Search for Full-Time Work 

Graduation is just around the corner, and it’s time to look ahead! Are you off to graduate school? Do you plan to search for full-time employment? No matter your choice, it’s important to start deciding early so you can fInd a school or employer that fits. It’s time to start transition into the world beyond USTP. 

Job Search Strategies 

The job market for graduates has varied in recent years, and the long-term outlook is difficult to predict. Regardless of economic conditions, the most effective method for graduates to find desirable employment is to conduct an active, self-directed job search campaign.


Most students find meaningful employment by developing their career goals, identifying desirable employers, assuming control of their job search campaign, and actively pursuing employment opportunities. Many job seekers only focus on developing a resume and polishing their interview skills are key aspects of a job search, it is important to know that there are many other steps in this process.


The most careful, comprehensive job search involves each of the following steps, though not necessarily in the order presented. Read them carefully and decide how many you want to implement.

The Job Search Process: A Step-By-Step Approach

1. Start Early and Visit The Career Center Before Your Senior Year

Use on-campus interviewing, and take advantage of many additional services that are available through the Career Center to assist in your search process.


2. Read About the Job Search Process

Various job search sites and books found in The Career Center Library can help you generate effective strategies, feel more motivated, and organize your approach. 


3. Decide What Type of Work You Want

Whether you are seeking an internship, part-time, or full-time opportunity, employers are most interested in individuals who have focused their job/career interests. 

When formulating your career objectives think specifically about what you have to offer (skills, abilities, knowledge, experiences, etc). It is also helpful to ask yourself what kind of work environment you might want (large or small business, non-profit organization, educational institution, health, government, cultural, etc.).

If you have several possible goals in mind, you can write two or more different goal statements. This is not necessarily the best form for your resume, however.


I want to do_____________________(tasks, activities)

using_________________________(skills, knowledge, experience)

in ___________________________(setting) 


4. Research the Field

After writing some possible goal statements, you should find out what work in your field of interest involves. Read occupational information or job descriptions and interview people in these fields.

Consider speaking with somebody in your field of interest to learn about a typical day on the job. You can also learn where and how people obtain positions, what skills and information are important  on a resume or curriculum vitae (CV), and how various work settings job search process, especially if your field of interests is difficult to enter.


5. Expand Your Location or Job Target


6. Develop a List of Possible Employers

Tell everyone you know that you are looking. You never know who may have a lead! Use the following resources to broaden your search:

  • USTPLink
  • Alumni or others in the field 
  • Social Networking sites such as
  • Contacts from professors, instructors, friends, neighbors, and family
  • Members of professional associations in the field
  • Reputable private employment agencies
  • Workforce Career Centers
  • Newspaper job listing
  • Employer Directories
  • Professional journals
  • Telephone books
  • Internet sites 

As you identify potential employers, consider the following employment sectors. There may be possibilities for someone with your major in each of these settings. Also note that they may overlap to some extent.


Business/Industry: Employers vary tremendously in size, and they hire from all majors. Types of business include merchandising, manufacturing, public utilities, communications, transportation, hospitality, financial services, information technology, insurance, consulting, etc.


County/Municipal Government Agencies: These can include Agency on Aging , Children’s Services, Tax Office, Parks and Recreation, Police Department, Planning and Zoning, Voter Registration, Judicial System, Fire Department, etc.


  • Education: This sector consists of public and private schools, community colleges, trade/technical schools, colleges and universities, nature centers, etc.


  • Non-profits, Foundations and Associations: Social services (both public and private) include housing agencies, mental health services, centers for persons with disabilities, etc. Many hospitals and medical services are non-profit. Cultural foundations and centers, such as museums, zoos, community theater, etc. may be non-profit organizations as well.


  • Professions: Sectors include law, medicine, the many allied medical professions, clergy and counseling, etc.Private Enterprise: This segment encompasses all forms of individual and private ownership. Many overlap with previously listed categories.


7. Gather Information About Employers

To demonstrate sincere interest in commitment to an employer, gather specific information about the agency, institution or company.


Information can be obtained from any of the following sources:

  • Company websites
  • Human Resource personnel or employer public relations departments
  • Annual report, organizational newsletter or brochure
  • Directories of manufacturers, companies, agencies, or institutions


Remember to take notes and write down the names of anyone who provides you with information.


8. Utilize a Variety of Creative Job Search Methods 

According to Bolles’ 2014 book “What Color is Your Parachute.” the following are keys to success when job searching:You are 12 times more likely to find a job if you use a variety of creative job search methods.Only 4% of job seekers find a job when using the Internet alone.Below is one example of a creative job search method. You can search by multiple areas, including job openings, employers, and networking.


9. Prepare One or More Versions of Your Resume and Cover Letter

Tailor your resume to the specific type of position for which you are applying. If you are looking for several types of positions, you will be more competitive if you have different versions of your resume that are relevant to each position you are seeking.


10. Contact Employers and Apply for Jobs

To make initial contact with an employer in order to express interest, you can:


  • Send your resume with a Cover letter. 
  • Send an email to an appropriate contact within the organization.
  • Meet someone directly
  • Call someone who may be in a position to hire you.


It is important to express (in the cover letter, in person, or via email) why are you interested in that employer/job and to clearly and concisely explain why you are qualified. If you have talked with someone else, read a brochure, or reviewed the website, this should be mentioned in your letter. The least effective method of getting a job interview is to send 50 to 100 standardized resumes. Instead, try to obtain information on about 10 to 20 employers you are more interested in and make more personalized contact with a phone call, email, direct walk-in inquiry, or cover letter and resume tailored to the position.


11. Follow Up, Even If You Have Not Received a Response

Many employers are so busy and see so many resumes that they fail to respond to all of the resumes sent. Remain courteous, but do not be afraid to be persistent. You can explain to the employer that you would appreciate an appointment to discuss employment, even if there are no present openings.


12. Prepare for the Interview

There are variety of interview formats, from a highly structured list of questions to a very unstructured discussion. All interviewers are looking for answer to these major questions:


  • Is this candidate sincerely interested in the position and in us as an employer?
  • Will they be successful in the position?


Thorough preparation for the interview is essential! Think about the following:

  • Specific details about the job and organization.Your short-and long-term career goals, how they developed, and how they relate to that position.
  • Your relevant background (paid, volunteer, extracurricular activities, course wok, etc.).
  • Your skills, strengths, and characteristics that will help you succeed in the job.
  • Specific examples of your ability to get things done.


13. Send a Letter of Appreciation After Each Interview 

Though not mandatory, this step is a way to leave a good impression and express your interest in the job and employer. It needs to be done almost immediately after the interview and is much more effective if your letter is personalized rather than a form letter that could be sent to many different employers. Consider what form of communication the employer used to contact you (email, mail) and sent the letter that way,


14. Continue to Network

One of the most effective ways to obtain a job is to learn about it from another person! It is important to develop a broad and extensive network of contacts. Either you can tell everyone you know that you are looking for a job and provide a brief description of your interests and background or you can make it a point to get to know people in jobs related to your interests. Calling and making appointments, attending professional association meetings, or reaching out to possible contacts using social networking sites such as are good ways to build a network.


15. Assess Your Progress and Decide on Changes

Remember, even highly qualified people experience rejection and disappointment during the job search process. Ask yourself the following questions:


  • How much time each week am I actually spending on job search activities?
  • Are my job objectives focused enough?
  • How much have I learned about the work and career paths leading to what I want to do?
  • Am I developing a network of contacts?
  • When I send a resume and cover letter, are they tailored to the position?
  • Have I looked for and exhausted all possible job leads?


If you are having difficulty starting your search or staying focused, drop by The Career Center and meet with a career advisor.