Job Search Tips

Job Search Tips

Conduct Informational Interviews

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Contact Employers Directly

If you know what field and type of organization you are interested in, a direct approach may be effective. Use rejections as opportunities to get more information. Ask questions such as, "How can I find out about future job openings with your organization?" or, "Where do you post your job listings?"

  • Develop a list of 10-20 organizations you want to target. You can use employer directories, organizational literature, and websites to narrow your choices.
  • Identify individuals who have hiring authority. Read magazine and newspaper articles, network with alumni, friends, and co-workers, and search organization websites for names and email addresses. You can send a resume first, and follow up with a call. This familiarizes the employer with your background and gives them an idea of what you have to offer.

Listservs/ Email Lists

Professionals often send emails to listservs when jobs become available in their organization. Sign-up to receive email from professional organizations and associations. Check with your academic department to see if they maintain a listserv (departmental email list)...if so, sign-up.

Newspapers and Professional Journals

Print listings in newspapers, professional association newsletters, and professional journals often vary from those on websites, so take a look at both online and print versions for job listings.

Agencies and Headhunters

Job seekers sometimes choose professionals to help them find open positions. Temp agencies, headhunters, and professional recruiters can be effective in helping you secure employment. Temp agencies can serve as an excellent way to get your foot in the door.

A few words to the wise...

  • Be cautious about paying for these services - the employers who are recruiting employees usually pay the recruiting fees.
  • Recruiters may be interested in "placing" you in any job, rather than finding you a job that aligns with your goals, skills, etc.
  • Be sure recruiters know what types of positions interest you.
  • If you decide to use a headhunter or temp agency, continue using other job search methods as well.

Volunteer Work

Volunteering is a great way to gain varied skills and experience that will be applicable to future full-time career opportunities. Explore volunteer opportunities through campus organizations as well as the local community.

Part-Time Job Advice

Part-time jobs offer an opportunity to earn extra money while developing beneficial work-related skills from how to use a fax machine to how to interact with a supervisor. In addition to the basics, you can learn to manage your time effectively and gain other career readiness skills. When looking for a part-time job, choose a setting that works well with your class schedule and gives you opportunities to learn valuable work skills.

Where to begin?

On Connections, the Career Center’s job search portal, part-time job postings range from on-campus jobs to local off-campus jobs. As a student, you are able to access your personal account by using your NetID and MSU password.

Each posting should include the location of the job, a brief position description, and instructions for applying to the position. Although some employers will require an online application, the majority of the job postings will require a résumé. Before uploading your résumé to Connections, drop it off to be critiqued by a staff member.

No luck using Connections for on-campus jobs?

Finding a part-time job on campus can be challenging but not impossible. To help students, the Career Center hosts a part-time jobs fair in August of each year. Both on- and off-campus employers host information booths about their student worker positions at the fair.

For incoming freshmen or transfer students not familiar with campus, turn to your class schedule. You can start by dropping your resume off at the buildings in which your classes will be held.

MSU Work Study

Federal Work-Study (FWS) is a federally funded, need-based student work program awarded by Financial Aid. Departments often look for students with work-study funds because it helps with already slim departmental budgets.

For more information about the FWS Program, contact the Financial Aid office located in Garner Hall at 662-325-7441 or 662-325-2450.

Salary Resources & Final Tips

Congratulations! You've been offered a job, and they've told you how much money you'll make. Is it a 'good offer'?

Here are some resources that can provide you with more information about salary based on geographic location, years of experience, etc.

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Once you find a job, some keys to remember are that you are earning money, you are gaining experience, and you are building references for your future.