Use the search strategies below and in your next job or internship search. Use two or more concurrently to shorten the length of your search!
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.
- 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.
- Reach out to schedule informational interviews. Request 15-20 minutes to learn more about their career path/organization or ask for referrals.
- Prepare for the conversation: Craft a concise self introduction, dress to impress and be resume ready.
- 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 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
- At-Home Networking Strategies (Inside Higher Ed)
- 15 Creative Alternatives To In-Person Networking
- 5 Ways to Find a Job Through Instagram
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
- Top organizations ranked for diversity, by DiversityInc.
- Career resources for military veterans
- Resources for LGBT students
- Multi-ethnic students
- Resources and tips for ex-offenders job searching
- Job Search Tips for International Students, Vault article
- Visa and Job Prospects for International Students in 2020, Vault article
- 4 Options for International Students Who Don’t Win the H-1B Visa Lottery, Vault article
- Resources for students with accommodations and disabilities
For a full list of resources, visit the University Career Center's diversity & inclusion webpage
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.
- Aggregate search engines yield many options: Indeed.com, Linkup, Google Jobs, or Simplyhired.
- Locate niche job boards in your area of interest: Top 100 Niche Job Boards
- 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.
- Openings advertised for UMD students.
- Search online smarter: Tips for using Google in your job search, Business 2 Community
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.
- The Best Fonts to Make Your Resume ATS and Recruiter-Friendly
- Pros and Cons of PDF Resumes in Job-Search
- Tips for Beating the Resume Bots: "75 percent of job applications are rejected before a recruiter or hiring manager even sees them."
- Use Jobscan to optimize your resume and boost your interview chances.
- How to Create an ATS Resume that Beats The Bots, by Career Cloud
- See resume samples for BSOS majors.
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.
Need help developing your search strategy? Schedule a Career Planning appointment.