students at a career fair pre-covid

Use the search strategies below to jump start your next job or internship search. Use two or more concurrently to shorten the length of your search! Job Search tracking Spreadsheet.

Search Strategies


Talking with professionals who have the type of job you are interested in landing, is the number one best search strategy! Spend most of your searching time on this strategy to speed up your job searching timeline. Review the 4 steps of networking below to get started. 

  1. Make a list of EVERYONE you know, regardless of their profession (i.e. you don’t know who they know!). Use this network tracking template to record contacts, track your progress, and organize your referrals.
  2. Reach out to schedule informational interviews. Request 15-20 minutes to learn more about their career path/organization or ask for referrals. 
  3. Prepare for the conversation: Craft a concise self introductiondress to impress and be resume ready
  4. Follow-up on all leads. Statistically speaking, this is when networkers have success! 

Expand your network

  • LinkedIn - join groups or review UMD’s alumni page to connect with alumni and employers of interest
  • Terrapins Connect - connects students with UMD alumni 
  • Employer networking events - attend to meet professionals and gain knowledge of openings
  • Intern - make the most of your internship by requesting informational interviews 
  • Intern for a Day - one day shadowing experience that allows current students to forge connections
  • Road Trips to the Real World- Visit an organization for a day over winter break
  • Career Shuttles - a half day, group experience to visit an organization of interest

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Access openings not advertised anywhere by gaining leads from friends, family, and contacts. This is the number one most effective search strategy to identify openings! Read more: How to Create Opportunities Rather Than Compete for Them, by Vault. Get started by contacting organizations that hire within your field and inquire about job opportunities. This strategy can be implemented in person (depending on the type of organization you are targeting), email, phone, or through social media and works best when the resume and cover letter are customized for the organization. Track your progress with this spreadsheet.  

Target organizations who value diversity & inclusion

Goodly Jobs Finder tool, a free database where job seekers can search for open positions at companies that offer employer-sponsored student loan repayment as an employee benefit

For a full list of resources, visit the University Career Center's diversity & inclusion webpage

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Hiring managers who are having a difficult time filling positions (i.e. competition for candidates is tight or they are searching for a hard to find skill set) tend to advertise openings on job boards. The job seeker can search for advertised openings and apply for positions online.

Careers4Terps, UMD’s online job and internship listing database, has features especially for BSOS students. 

BSOS/Major specific Blogs: List openings, usually shared by alumni. 

Aggregate search engines yield many options: Indeed.comLinkupGoogle Jobs, or Simplyhired.

Locate niche job boards in your area of interest: Top Niche Job Boards.

Tom Manatos: Job openings for government and political positions-paid for by the Feller Center in BSOS.

Policorner: Openings in Politics, Law, & Public Service. BSOS students may create a free account.

Political Internship/job Search Tips, Feller Center listing. 

Identity-Based Resources/Openings.

Neurodiverse students: Access Mentra | With one application, access hundreds of jobsMentra takes the stress out of the job search, by matching neurodivergents with jobs that most align with your neuro-exceptional strengths.

  • Once you decide on a couple of job boards to follow, establish search alerts and sign up for email alerts based on your keyword search to be alerted of new openings.
  • Search online smarter: Tips for using Google in your job search, Business 2 Community 

Application Tips 

Over 95% of organizations use an Applicant Tracking System to manage applications. Use the tips below to increase your odds of getting past the digital gatekeepers.

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Agencies work for employers to locate job seekers with specific skills to fill short term positions.

A growing number of organizations are outsourcing their hiring to temporary agencies. A temporary agency will locate and vet candidates that possess the skills required for a position. Organizations may use the short term jobs to "test" an employee and then offer the employees that they see as a good fit a full-time position. Other organizations use temp agencies to find professionals to fill in for a short period of time (i.e. the busy season). Learn more about how temp agencies operate

PREPARE: Identify your skill set and industry references. Also consider your geographical work preferences and contact an agency in that area.

EXPECTATIONS: The initial interview may include tests to assess your skills. Prepare for this interview as you would a traditional interview.

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Openings in popular interests areas for BSOS majors: