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Job Search Techniques and Strategies

Early Preparation

Begin your serious job search at least 4 months in advance. Typically, it takes our graduates just over 3 months to obtain a job. Begin to think about packaging yourself: What skills, strengths, and attributes do you have? What are your unique experiences? Be sure to draw from the technical skills you have acquired in field and the classroom. Study the market and salary ranges of the geographic area to guide your job search, looking online and speaking with personal contacts.

Networking

Networking is the key to finding a job you want and can begin now! Internships, past jobs, family, friends, universities, and other agencies in your field of interest are all excellent resources. A useful networking strategy is to start early by scheduling informational interviews with employers, which can be performed in-person or over the telephone. Please review our networking hand-out for more information.

Conducting the Job Search

The number one thing to keep in mind is that the majority of people receive job offers through personal contacts, not through websites or newspapers. Start by researching your state and/or agency's licensing, certification, and supervision requirements, so you are looking for a job that is appropriate for your level of qualifications. Create a list of agencies for the geographic region you are searching in, and collect key contact names and phone numbers to direct resumes to and/or setting up informational interviews. Think about the agency's stability, including their reputation, funding sources, and recent hiring or lay-offs.

Job Sources can Include:

  • Associations
  • Committees
  • Career fairs
  • Listservs
  • Newspapers and newsletters
  • Volunteer opportunities
  • Task forces
  • Universities and colleges

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