Job Hunting

By Annika Rittenhouse

Finding a job is going to be the most frustrating and exciting thing you do while in college. Here is where your internships become your core for knowing your skill base, what jobs interest you, what jobs you do not want to do and what you really qualify for. Some tips for Job Hunting are:

* Search EARLY and by early I mean before your senior year! Many big companies recruit during fall of your senior year and you do not want to miss out on an opportunity because you didn’t know it existed.

* Search company websites- there are so many more jobs than the basic doctor, lawyer, nurse, teacher stereotypes. See what jobs there actually are out there.

* Know what you enjoy, either in classes, internships or your everyday life. If you do not like a strict schedule and long working hours do not search for jobs being a lawyer or high level consultant, you will not be happy if you end up with that type of job.

* Figure out what you are passionate about. Even if it is something little. If you can find part of that in a job you are much more likely to A) get the job B) enjoy the job and C) be good at the job.

*Take Breaks! This can be hard when you feel like you are in a time crunch and you need a job NOW but you will get burnt out if you do not take a break from the job hunting.

* Sign up for recommendations from sites such as Monster, Linkedin, CareerBuilder etc they will help give you job postings based on your interests.

* Send personalized and specified resumes to every job application. This may seem tedious but it will give you a much better chance at getting a call back.

* Do not get down on yourself if you aren’t getting call backs. It only takes one call back and a lot of the time if they don’t want you, you probably don’t want them.

* Apply to lots of jobs! You will not get called back for all of them (or any) so cast a wide net when job searching.

* Keep a folder on you computer of companies or jobs you are interested in for you to come back to- also note which companies you have already applied for because after awhile they might start to blend together and if you get a call back you want to be able to pull up that specific resume and cover letter when talking with them.

* Always send a cover letter. This will give them a better sense of why you are good for the job  Make sure each cover letter is company specific- describe why you want to work for them specifically- it will definitely let them know you are serious and put in the effort.

What I did:

I got to watch all of my friends and roommates do the whole job search and interview thing before I really had to start and in a way it helped me be a better job hunter.

I had started putting feelers out in the job world about April of my Senior Year (although I still had that extra quarter in the Fall) just to see what was out there and what I had experience for. At the time I had only done two internships and was not finding much that I had enough experience for. So I put my searching on hold until after I came back fromWashingtonD.C.and had more internship experience.

When I came back I started searching for jobs right away. I put my resume in Monster and had jobs sent to me from multiple job search sites. This was very helpful because when I did not feel like searching, my email would give me recommendations. I actually got calls from recruiters because they saw my resume on Monster including Youtube and Sales companies inNew York. I got call backs and went to interviews but I did not settle for a job just because it was a job, I wanted to do something I at least had some interest in. I began to get extremely frustrated with looking for jobs because I felt like I had sent out a million resumes and cover letters and wasn’t getting the responses I wanted. So I took a few days off of looking and tried not to even think about it. That ended up being very helpful because when I would come back to it I felt energized and ready to go again.

Even on the days I did not feel like writing a cover letter or resume I would have a folder in my favorites for sites that I wanted to send my resume to later so that I didn’t have to search from scratch every time.  When I started getting call backs was when I would write a cover letter very specific to the company and job I was looking for. The generic cover letter never gave me a follow up. I started to get annoyed- hadn’t I done all of these internships so that I could get a job when I graduated? Hadn’t I gotten good grades all four years? I didn’t understand why I wasn’t get more calls for jobs I really wanted, until I realized it was because I was applying to things I was not very interested in. I thought I should apply to jobs only my majors directed me towards and I got stuck searching for the basic job titles that everyone else always searches for. When I got my email about the job at Google in Career Development I also realized that I got it because I loved what that job required and had some experience actually doing it. I did not find out about my Google opportunity until December (during finals) which goes to show its not a good idea to take a mediocre job just because you want one. That is not to say you need to wait for the job of your dreams, but at least give yourself some time to find something you truly enjoy.



  1. Really good article and some great advice. As you said job hunting can be very frustrating and it is very important to keep composed and relaxed. Stress is a bad thing that will only make the process worse, so it is important to relax, be positive and have a level of confidence. It is important that you conduct research in depth. Identify what it is you as a person want, what industry and sector do you want to work in. Identify your strengths, weaknesses and then compare these traits to that of the company your looking at. Identify if you are suited to this style of company etc and if they will be looking for someone like you. It is important to ask around, referrals, networking and searching online. Keep at and be persistent and hopefully it will work out

  2. Nice article with great information. It is more than very though out there. Hard for anyone to find a job- let alone a college kid. My son has another year and half left and I told him to prepare for the worse because it is not getting any better. Keep the imagination going to create your own job and income. Thanks again..I will show him this site also.

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  3. This is a fantastic article. It is so important to realize that there are literally tens of thousands of different choices a recent grad can make and that it is important to focus on what characterizes you. My name is J. Soul and I am a San Diego DJ who went through these considerations, made a seemingly risky choice, and realized all of the potential. Thanks for this great post.

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