Career Resources

7 Steps for a Successful Job or Internship Search

Set yourself up for a successful job or internship search.
Summer Success Program

1. Reflect & Prepare

  • What type of role, industry, and employer are you looking for? Not sure? Check out our career exploration tools.
  • What are your values as it relates to employment and the type of employer that you think will be a best fit for your interests and skills? What are your “must haves” versus “wish list”?
  • Wide or narrow search: If you are applying to lots of different jobs in different industries, you may want to narrow your search so that you can better focus on particular job types that will best suit your skills and interests. Likewise, if your job search is very narrow (for example, if you are only applying to a specific role at only a few dream employers) you may want to widen your search.

2. Get Organized

  • Use a document or spreadsheet where you can keep track of your job search, jobs you’ve applied for, application outcomes, and notes.

3. Prepare Your Application Materials

  • Complete your resume and a draft cover letter.
  • Update your LinkedIn profile.
  • Get a Career Success Mentor, friend, or colleague (preferably in the career field you’re interested in) to review your materials.

4. Review Job Search Sites & Setup Alerts

  • There are many job search websites and tools. Review each and use the one(s) that is relevant for your role and industry. Pro tip: Setup alerts! Many job search platforms allow you to set up email alerts based on your search criteria, so that you can be informed about new roles when they open.

5. Apply Early

  • When you see an open role, apply ASAP. Sometimes roles get filled quickly, or the employer only accepts a certain number of candidates to the interviews. It’s in your best interest to apply early!

6. Utilize your Network

  • Some roles are not advertised publicly. Ask your friends, colleagues, and others to let you know if they hear of any jobs or internships that meet your job search criteria.
  • Connect or reconnect with former colleagues, supervisors, classmates, etc. Schedule a video call or meet with them for coffee to catch-up and let them know about your job search.

7. Self-Care

  • Be Patient: searching for a job or internship can take a lot of time and energy. Job searches can often take 6-9 months.
  • Be Kind to Yourself: It can be challenging to apply to positions and not hear back from employers, or not get a position after an interview.
  • Vary Your Environment: mix it up. Some people work better in a community environment such as a coffee shop or library versus job searching alone at home.
  • Find Balance: schedule time in your week for job search activities. This can help you stay focused, but also have time to do things you enjoy.