Conducting an effective job search

As you launch your job search, keep in mind that finding a full-time job is a full-time job. Imagine that you are working full-time on commission, and you will not get paid until you close the deal.

An effective job search requires a multi-faceted approach. You cannot sit at home on your computer, fire off resumes, and hope your phone rings. Remember that image of working on commission. You need to hustle. Chase down leads. Make cold calls. Pound the pavement!

Networking is a critical aspect of an effective job search. You do not want to keep your job search a secret. Bill Stone, owner of career planning firm Promising Futures, has a great answer to the question, "with whom should I network?" Stone points out, "if they have a pulse, network with them."

Develop a winning resume: needs to focus on accomplishments more than job duties. Prospective employers are less interested in reading about what you did; they want to know what you achieved.

Be professional at all times: That includes online. Clean up Facebook, set up profiles on professional networking sites. LinkedIn is a must do, and consider profiles on sites such as Spoke, Plaxo, ZoomInfo.

Build your network: Making personal connections is essential.

Keep up-to-date in your industry: read trade publications, seek out industry groups, attend professional events, call leaders in your field to set up informational interviews.

Keep informed about trends in resumes, interviews, and the job search in general. Read informational content on respected sites like Career Builder, Monster/Hotjobs, Wall Street Journal, and various links on the Thomas Career Services website. Be aware of what is important - best practices in resumes, networking, and interviews.

Get business cards professionally printed: through Staples or online at, you can get a reasonably priced card that beats jotting down your email address on a napkin.

Volunteer in your community: gain practical experience on non-profit boards or offer to do special projects.

Look for project work on a contact/freelance basis: gain practical experience one project at a time.

Be flexible: Do not limit yourself!

Use job sites with good reputations: is a very good resource. Also, set up profiles on,, and

Winning resume:
Read Creating an Effective Resume on the Career Services site, and visit for excellent tips and samples of winning resumes.

In summary, use strong action verbs, begin resume with a strong opening statement, clean format

Be professional - online and off:
Prospective employers will Google you - take some control over what they see

LinkedIn is a key component to your job search. It complements, not replaces, traditional face-to-face networking. Connect with people you know including faculty and staff at Thomas.

Establish your own website. Even without technical skills, you can use sites such as Google Sites to convey your professional qualifications.

Professionalism at all times. Do not use cute, bizarre, or inappropriate email addresses, make sure outgoing phone messages are clear and professional sounding, and written correspondence should look more like business letters than text messages.

Build your network/personal connections:
Do not keep your job search a secret - tell all friends, relatives, former co-workers, and pretty much everyone you encounter about your search for a career role.

Attend job fairs - making a personal connection with people representing hiring organizations will go a long way

Make follow-up phone calls after applying for jobs. It is important to establish personal contact with a prospective employer.

Networking is a two-way street - you have your needs (a job) but consider what the other person needs and be a helpful resource for them.

Be flexible:
Willing to relocate or look for work beyond a short commute.

Be open to something that falls short of your ideal job, as long as there is potential for the future.

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