Network, Search & Apply
Once you have identified the types of job you want to pursue, then you are ready to start the actual job search. There is no single job search method that encompasses every need. You will want to research jobs that are both advertised and unadvertised. Use of mix of methods.
“They cannot hire you if they don’t know who you are. They can’t hire you if you don’t know who they are.”
Networking is perhaps the most recommended method to uncover job openings. It really is about connecting with people out in the workplace who will help you make better career decisions. It is not pressuring people to give you a job, rather it is about making sure everyone you know is aware of what kind of work you are seeking and making relationships with people in your chosen career field so that they know your skills and interests. You probably have more connections than you realize.
Connections you may already have:
- Family friends
- Acquaintances (both professional and personal, for example, your pastor or hair stylist)
- The Career Development staff
- Presbyterian College alumni
Ways to reach out to these connections:
- Conduct informational interviews with alumni and other professionals to learn about careers.
- Join the Presbyterian College Alumni chapter and attend events.
- Join professional associations to network with professionals working in your career field of interest.
- Connect with people online.
- Build and maintain a professional profile on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Google+.
- Follow targeted organizations on Twitter.
- Make a targeted list of people to talk to
- Ask for referrals to add more people to your network.
- Keep track of your efforts using this worksheet: Strategic Job Search Plan
- Volunteer for a favorite non-profit or charity to do good work and to make connections.
An informational interview is a conversation with a professional employed in an area of interest to the student for the purpose of gaining current, regional, and/or specialized occupational, industry, or other career-related information from an “insider’s” point of view. Many professionals, including Presbyterian College alumni, are willing to share information and give advice and most importantly connect our students to other professionals.
Take a look at this video before you schedule an informational interview Informational Interviews.
Expand your network by using LinkedIn – a powerful tool for maximizing the reach of your personal network. Create a LinkedIn profile to let prospective employers about your skills, accomplishments and what kind of career opportunities you are looking for. Making connections is key as many jobs are not listed online.
- Get started by creating your LinkedIn profile.
- We recommend that you start by looking over the LinkedIn Profile checklist which provides a brief explanation about each section of your profile and best practices
- Check out this video on how to create a LinkedIn Profile (yes, we know it refers to high school students, but it still has good material)
- Additional helpful information can be found at LinkedIn University.
- Once you have created a free LinkedIn account and completed your professional profile, you can begin to make connections.
- You can also directly search for jobs and internships.
- We suggest you join Groups on LinkedIn (professionals who share common career interests)
- and also search for Presbyterian College alumni who are in relevant job fields to learn more about their careers after college and perhaps gain access to unpublished jobs.
Steps to search for alumni:
- Log into your LinkedIn account
- On the search bar, enter Presbyterian College, then click on Find Alumni (you can also find this page at Alumni)
- From there you can search for alumni by a number of categories including location, employer, job function, major, and skills.
- Click on the Connect tab and write a thoughtful, custom message when you uncover a potential connection. You can briefly write an introduction, an explanation of the common affiliation, what you hope to learn or do and end with a thank you. Example: “Dear Mr. Evans: I am junior business major at PC and see that we both played soccer at the college. I am beginning my internship search and exploring different options. May we connect? Thanks for your consideration, Tom Meeks.”
Steps to join LinkedIn Groups – communities of people who come together based on a specific affiliation, interest or professional.
- Log into your LinkedIn account
- On the search bar, click on Groups and search using key words (search on industries or job functions, skills etc.)
- Once you find a potential group to join, request membership.
- When you receive notification of approval, you can follow the discussion forum, post questions and share information like articles which are relevant to the group. Another key benefit of group membership is access to the profiles of members. You can search for members to find people to talk to (again personalize the message).
There are many job boards available and we have listed a few below – just do not limit your job search to these job postings!