Looking for a job can be a full-time job in itself. It is also an activity that Colby students will engage in a number of times over the course of their working lives. Career Services offers you help with identifying your job search strategy and learning the skills of writing effective resumes and cover letters, and preparing for interviews. Learning these skills and practicing them while you have advisors close at hand will serve you well in your first job search and in subsequent job transitions.
The job search may be approached differently for different fields or employers. Some fields hire early in the senior year, others don't want to interview you until you are free to begin the job immediately. The first step in a job search is to learn what are the expectations in the field you are pursuing. The following interrelated strategies will be important to pursue.
Be sure you've done your background research and thoroughly understand the field you hope to work in. Knowing what employers are looking for will help you put your qualifications forward in the most effective way.
- Exploration Resources
If you haven't thoroughly mined the exploration resources available through Career Services, now is the time to do so.
Many, but not all, fields utilize publications and/or web sites to post openings they seek to fill. Your background research will tell you whether this is true for your field of interest.
- Spotlight on Careers
Spotlight will lead you to resources on the internet related to 30+ career fields, including job and internship listing sites related to each field.
- Internships USA
offers an online collection of internship directories in a variety of
categories, including internships in Washington, DC, human rights
internships, sports internships, museum internships, and many other
- Indeed.com is a site that gathers job listings posted on employer web sites. It is the most useful mega-listing site available.
- Professional Associations
Use Google to find professional associations related to your field. Often those organizations have job listings on their web site.
- LACN (Liberal Arts Career NetWORK) Database
Colby has partnered with 28 other colleges to offer a database of internship and job postings. Search by field, location, or job type for opportunities gathered by the LACN Consortia. Again, don't use this as your only resource for jobs and internships, but definitely include it in your search.
- Participate in On- and Off-Campus Recruiting Activities Sponsored by Career Services
Career Services organizes multiple opportunities throughout the year for students to interview with employers either at Colby, or off-campus at Bates, Bowdoin, our Boston interview day in November, and our New York interview day in February. Check the eRecruiting caledar frequently for resume deadlines and read your weekly e-mail newsletter from Career Services.
You can identify possible employers by field or location using the following tools. One you find the employers, you can visit their web sites to find job openings or use networking resources to learn about potential job opportunities.
Click on the "Companies" link and browse by industry to find lists of companies as well as information about companies gathered in their surveys of recent graduates working there.
CareerSearch is an online collection of directories that may be searched by field or location. You can even do keyword searches to find employers with a particular focus (ex. environmental consulting firms specializing in water quality). You may download lists of employers and save them to your computer.
Networking is nearly always cited as the number one way to find a job. You can approach it by contacting alumni for career information. If you know of employers you are interested in working for, finding an alum who already works there can connect you with information to strengthen your application.
Colby offers you access to a wealth of potential contacts via the Alumni Directory, linked below. However, also give some consideration to who you already know and who they may know as an additional layer to your networking universe.
Not sure how to approach people you don't know? Draft an e-mail or letter to one of your potential contacts and bring it by Career Services during drop-ins or an appointment for help polishing your approach. Or, come talk to us about best ways to approach your networking strategy.
- Colby Alumni Directory
To access this Directory you will need to set up a user ID and password and will need an access number, available in Career Services, to do that. Once you've registered with the system, you may access it from anywhere.
Career Services can help you fine-tune your resume and cover letter and practice effective interview skills. Effective application documents and interview skills don't happen overnight -- take advantage of many of the opportunities Career Services offers to develop your job search skills.
Writing your resume is an effective way to review your experiences and qualifications. It is a document that is endlessly in need of updating and "tweaking," with the goal of making it the best support possible for your candidacy each time you apply for something new.
You can also download informatioon about resumes and writing cover letters in our Quick Resources section.
- Have your resume and cover letter critiqued
Career Services staff are happy to review your resume and/or cover letter and offer advice on how you can strengthen it. Bring it in during drop-in hours, Monday - Thursday 2 - 4 (no appointment needed) or make an appointment that fits your schedule.
- Optimal Resume
Optimal Resume will assist you in organizing your experiences into a first draft resume. You'll still want to have it reviewed and critiqued before sending it anywhere, but it makes it a bit easier to get it started.
Career Services offers several ways to learn about interviewing throughout the year. Several times a year we give Introduction to Interviewing workshops -- watch the weekly e-mail for dates and times. You can meet individually with a staff member to discuss ways to prepare for interviews. And, we will do a videotaped "mock" interview (best scheduled as you get closer to having the real thing) and review the tape with you, offering suggestions for improving your interview skills.
You can also download informatioon about interview preparation in our Quick Resources section.