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Job Search Strategy

Many times students are unsure of where to begin their job search, or how to successfully pursue different career opportunities. A successful job encompasses the three following phases, please click the below headers to read about each phase. 

Phase 1: Before you Start your Job Search

1. List your goals for finding a job. Edit to make sure your list meets the criteria for SMART goals.

SMART goals are those that are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time Bound. When considering your job search, keep in mind the following: 

  • What jobs or job titles are you most interested in? (start with a maximum of 4 to begin)

    • If you don’t know, spend some time using the Tulane Career Center’s premium services – Do What you Are or Woofound – to get some ideas of jobs that would be a good fit.

    • Use the Occupational Outlook Handbook and other online resources to research possible jobs.

    • Conduct informational interviews with people working in the fields that interest you.

  • Where do you want to live?

  • Will you be able to afford the quality of life you want based on the salary range you have researched through reliable web sites, networking, and informational interviewing?

Keep in mind that job searches are time intensive. You should plan to allow one month of job search for every $10k in gross salary you’re seeking. According to a recent study by the Bureau of Labor statistics, the average job search took 33 weeks. 

2. Prepare Your Marketing Materials.

  • Create a “one-size-fits-all” resume that you can post online but plan to customize it to each job opportunity based on what the employer is interested in.

  • Create a basic cover letter ready to customize to each opportunity.

  • Develop a robust LinkedIn profile. 

  • Create a tracking system for your networking leads, job applications and target employers. 


Phase 2: During your Job Search

1. Build a pipeline of leads (preferably 100 leads at any given time)

  • Identify potential “hiring managers” at target employers based on industry, location, or both.

  • Network, network, network! Use LinkedIn and Tulane Connect to develop relationships with alumni and others who may be able to assist you. 

  • Search advertised openings on job boards such as Handshake, Indeed and ZipRecruiter

2. Apply for jobs. 

  • Follow the employers instructions for applying.

  • Try to communicate directly with the “hiring manager.”

  • If you have indicated you will follow up in your cover letter, put a reminder on your calendar or to-do list.

3. Be ready for telephone interviews at any time.

  • Always answer your phone in a professional manner.

  • Practice, practice, practice your responses to common interview questions.

  • During phone interview, have your resume in front of your along with any notes to help you answer questions. 

4. Prepare thoroughly for interviews.

  • Have an appropriate outfit ready with all accessories, including a portfolio or folder for extra resumes, list of references, and other supporting documentation.

  • Research the company and prepare a list of 5 to 6 questions to ask the interview.

  • Practice, practice, practice your responses to common interview questions.

  • Have a research-based salary range in mind for each job.

5. Shine during your interviews.

  • Relax…put on your “game face”…smile!

  • If the employer doesn’t offer, ask what the next steps in the hiring process are so you know how to follow up.

6. Follow up after your interviews

  • Send a thank you note or email within 24 hours.

  • Based on the information you got during the interview, follow up with the employer at the appropriate time.

  • Continue to follow up at regular intervals (without being a pest!) to show your continued interest and your persistence.

7. Assess and negotiate offers.

8. Accept your preferred offer.

Phase 3: After your Job Search

1. If you have not already done so, let employers with whom you have interviewed know that you are off the market.

2. Let your references and others in your network who have been helpful know what job you accepted and thank them again for their assistance.

3. Update your online profile.

4. Deactivate any job search agents and remove your resume from job search sites.