If you are a UCCS student, you’re likely hoping to land a career job post-graduation. Job searching can be a daunting task, especially if you’re not sure where or when to start.
Whether you’re a freshman, a senior or a graduate student, it’s never too early (or late) to prepare. Some student can even secure a job before graduation and start post-graduation if the company is willing.
Below are ways to prepare for job applications, for whatever career you are aspiring to.
Resume and Cover Letter
A resume and cover letter are arguably the most important factors of the application process as they are the first two things that you’ll send to a potential employer. Typically, a resume should not be longer than a single page and should list your name, contact info, past job experience, skills and education. If there is space, including accomplishments and volunteer positions related to your field is helpful to make you stand apart from the crowd.
Connecting with others in your field can help you understand what companies are looking for from your resume. For example, an English major’s resume may be a certain way, but a technical resume for computer science majors may require different information.
A cover letter should also be a brief introduction to who you are, why you’re interested in the job, your relevant experience and why you would be a good fit. Your cover letter should also be tailored to the job you are applying for; address the goals of the company and how your employment will benefit their mission. Finding the name of who the HR manager of the company and addressing the letter to them shows that you have submitted energy toward researching the company.
LinkedIn, Handshake or other job searching sites
While many people have a LinkedIn account or other job search sites such as Handshake, Indeed or ZipRecruiter, not all university students are utilizing their full potential.
Not only are these pages incredible resources for turning on notifications on relevant jobs you will want to apply for, but they allow recruiters to see a lot of valuable information about you. These profiles can show a lot more about yourself than you would normally be able to include in a one-page resume. Students are able to link recruiters to past published works, websites and accomplishments, which is not as simple to do in a regular one-page resume.
Here are some things to include on a LinkedIn profile: a short bio, job experience, volunteer positions/internships, accomplishments, awards, classes, skills and a professional profile photo.
The more relevant information you can include, the better your profile looks and stands out from those with little or no information.
Interviews are a way for employers to engage with applicants and get a sense of their strengths, personality and ability to fit into a workplace culture
Being able to talk about yourself, answer questions and solve problems they may pitch to you is extremely important in proving to the recruiters that you have what it takes for the position.
Depending on the job, you may be able to look up examples of the kinds of questions the company will ask. Practicing and having prepared answers before the interview will eliminate awkward pauses and uncertainties while also helping you appear confident and experienced.
At the end of the session, the interviewer will ask if you have questions about the position or the company. You’ll want to have at least one question to ask to show interest in the company.
Practicing in mock interviews is the best way to prepare for a real interview. The UCCS Career Center offers mock interviews and is a great resource for students looking for support with their job search.