Step #1: Preparation
- Attend senior meetings and workshops by the Career Center
- Get your resume and cover letters reviewed (Drop In Hours & Appointments)
- Practice your interviewing technique with Career Center staff (mock interviews)
- Clean up all voice messages, online profiles, and social networking sites
- Prepare your “elevator speech” (30-second pitch) for brief encounters with employers/contacts
- Create a profile on LinkedIn.com (for tips, click here), and join group, “Colby Alumni & Friends”
- Create an account on the online alumni directory, Colby Alumni Community (formally known as “CAN”)
- Get at least one interview suit
Step #2: Self-Assessment & Research
- Determine the job you want
- If unsure, do some self-assessment (likes & dislikes, values & skill sets)
- If have some idea, but need clarification:
- Investigate various job titles and descriptions
- Do informational interviews, and use Inside Jobs
- Utilize What Can I Do With This Major?
- Determine where you want to live
- Research industries and organizations to determine best fit by reviewing organizational web pages and utilizing online resources like Vault (access via your home page in Colby CareerLink under “Shortcuts”) and WetFeet
- Research best practices for job search methods; one resource includes Job Search Guide for Gen Y
Strategy #1: It’s Not Who You Know, but Who You Get to Know (Networking)
Networking is nearly always cited as being the most effective job search approach for Liberal Arts graduates. Networking entails contacting everyone you know and asking for advice, information, and job leads, as well as developing new relationships to increase your knowledge base and to explore possibilities.
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 the Career Center during Drop-Ins or make an appointment with an advisor for help proofreading your correspondence, as well as to discuss strategy.
- Make a list of contacts (people you know and people you want to know)
- Tell your advisor, faculty, friends, family, etc. that you’re looking for a job
- Initiate contact to set up informational interviews with people in career fields of interest
- Connect with Colby alumni in your field or in organizations of interest using the online alumni directory, Colby Alumni Community
- Utilize LinkedIn; join the “Colby Alumni & Friends” group
- Join Professional Associations (see What Can I Do With This Major?)
- When you get tips, assistance, etc., follow-up with a thank you e-mail or letter
Strategy #2: Colby-Specific Initiatives
The Career Center organizes multiple opportunities throughout the year for students to interview with employers either at Colby, or off-campus at Bates and Bowdoin, or at our Boston interview day in late October called the Liberal Arts Recruiting Connection (LARC). Check the calendar in Colby CareerLink frequently for announcements and resume deadlines.
Colby’s proprietary database showing announcements and on-campus recruiting deadlines. The system also lists entry- and mid-level job postings as well as internship opportunities. From Colby CareerLink, you may also access LACN (see below) and NACElink external jobs and internship listings.
Colby has partnered with 30+ other highly-selective liberal arts colleges to share entry-level job postings as well as internship postings.
Strategy #3: Find Job Listings (Applying for Known Openings)
Many, but not all, fields utilize the Web to post openings they seek to fill. Your background research will tell you if this is true for your field or not. Please keep in mind that there are not only numerous general web-site/online bulletin boards, but also many industry-specific sites as well as Colby-specific resources like Colby CareerLink. Some examples are below:
College Grad Job Hunter (http://www.collegegrad.com/)
College Recruiter Employment Site (http://collegerecruiter.com/)
One Day One Job (http://www.onedayonejob.com/)
GOINGLOBAL (access via your home page in Colby CareerLink under “Shortcuts”)
The Colby Career Center has started to compile a list of online resources that provide job listings, in in some cases educational opportunities and/or career exploration resources, in specific industries and fields. The list can be accessed by clicking here, or by going to the Center’s web site under “Students” and then “Job Search”. Another good resource includes the exploration tool, What Can I Do With This Major? Click on “Links” under your major or area of interest to see related Professional Associations and job listings.
Strategy #4: Identify Possible Employers (Prospecting)
Another successful job search strategy is to identify potential employers in industries of interest using the tools below. Once you find organizations that are engaged in the type of work you would like to be doing, you can visit their web sites to find openings and use networking resources to learn about potential job opportunities. Another strategy is to approach the employers directly through a direct mail campaign, where you mail/email a well-written resume accompanied by a cover letter, which clearly and directly states your qualifications.