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School of Labor & Employment Relations University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Job Search Tips

The employment market follows the same rules for success as the business market.

Build your personal dream team.
Every successful person has a team of supporters, mentors, professional, role models, motivators, and reality checkers. Build your list of great references. Ask them for advice and let them know you’re available.

Make your own luck.
Work hard, prepare for opportunities and be in the right place at the right time. Make a list of your accomplishments. Acknowledge the effort and commitment it took to achieve them. Network daily, whether at fairs or sitting at the library. When you meet someone new who can help your career goals, ask for contact information – they may become a perfect reference for a company you want to work with.

Start thinking like a professional.
Dress professionally when you know you will be around someone who may later want to hire you. Maintain a professional social media presence. Make intelligent choices based on your interests and personal circumstances.

Help people you work with or hope to work with.
Pass along information when you hear about opportunities. In work as in life, what goes around comes around.

Know what skills you need and what skills you have.
Then look for opportunities that can help you get what experiences you may be lacking. You can get experiences through other entry jobs, organizations, or even volunteering.

Understand companies’ trends and current events.
Read daily business sections and blogs to gain insight about a company’s culture and what your tasks may be.

Spend time looking.
Look around at products you use and what companies make those products and who are their suppliers. Look on career websites and make sure your resume and online profiles are geared toward the position you want.