Job Search Strategies
Searching for a job or internship may feel like a daunting task. However, with an organized job search strategy, it will be easier to stay focused and motivated. Follow these steps as you navigate your job search:
Here are some questions to reflect on as you consider different opportunities:
- Find the type of employment that best fits your schedule. Full-time or part-time, remote or on-site, employee or contract/freelance, etc.
- Determine where you would like to work. Consider staying local or relocating.
- Consider the type of employer you’d like to work for: nonprofit, large corporation, start-up, etc.
- Understand the educational requirements of the industry/position of interest. While some positions may require more advanced training/education, there are many positions that do not. Take a look at the educational requirements in the job postings you find, or research job titles on O*Net and UA Career Coach for educational requirements before you begin your search.
- Identify and articulate the transferable skills and abilities you can offer to an employer. Showcase language skills, computer skills, experience working with diverse populations, etc. Not sure what specific skills you bring? Check out our list of assessments to help you articulate your skills and abilities.
- Discover what you value in a workplace. Are there certain values you want from a potential employer? Look for professional development opportunities and/or a commitment to equity and community involvement. Learn more about discovering your workplace values.
Just as valuable as knowing yourself is knowing a potential employer. Here are some ways to learn more about organizations and opportunities you may be considering:
- Follow and connect: Review and follow the organization's social media and website. Do they align with your values, passions, and interests? Pay special attention to their “About Us” and Human Resources (HR) pages to access their benefits, company culture, and ethics.
Word of mouth is still the best marketing strategy, therefore it is extremely important to build connections and relationships with people in addition to searching the web. The more varied and wider your network, the more you will learn about new opportunities. Build connections with colleagues, friends, professors, previous employers, and potential employers through:
- Career Fairs: UAA Career Services offers an all-industry career fair every semester. Check out the events section of our homepage for more information.
- Clubs and Organizations: Joining a club or organization at UAA is a great way to get involved, gain transferable skills, and foster connections with other budding professionals.
- Professional Associations: Professional associations offer the opportunity to connect with professionals in your field/aspiring field and find employment opportunities. Some associations have membership fees at a discounted rate for students.
- Handshake: Find and interact with employers throughout Alaska and beyond. Access thousands of internships and jobs that align with your interests, discover career and networking events, schedule appointments with Career Services, and more.
- LinkedIn: LinkedIn is a free professional social networking platform and an opportunity to connect with professionals in your field. Create your LinkedIn profile and be sure to include a professional headshot.
Job Boards: In addition to an organization’s website and/or social media profiles, opportunities are often posted on online job boards. Be sure to monitor these sites frequently for updated opportunities. The following is a concise list of recommended job boards:
- UA Career Coach
- Careers at UA
- Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development
- Workplace Alaska
Be aware of scams! Some job scams are easy to spot while others appear legitimate. Always research employers and opportunities you find online.
General Job Scam Tips:
- Make sure the employer has a reputable website or is recognized by a legitimate business in the community (i.e. verified social media page with reviews).
- Be cautious of emailed or posted opportunities, verify the job posting on the official company website or with a trusted employee within the company.
- Be skeptical of any job opportunity that offers money for little to no work.
- Never give out your personal information such as your social security number, bank account, etc. over the phone or through email.
- You should never have to “pay” for employment; never cash a check, wire money, etc. to an employer for a job opportunity.
Employers who use Handshake cannot see your alaska.edu email and will only be able to contact you through the Handshake platform. Handshake will never ask for sign-in credentials, personal information, or payment through email.
It’s important to leave a great first impression. Be sure to schedule an appointment with UAA Career Services to review your application documents, practice your interview skills, and share your career journey.
- Before you apply, Google yourself. Know what comes up and remove any inappropriate or embarrassing content. Be sure your social media presence is polished and your security settings are strong. Employers will do a search, so it’s important that what they find online is as accurate, appropriate, and professional as you can make it.
- Tailor your resume and cover letter for each position. A customized and thoughtful application is more likely to yield you a worthwhile position.
- Practice and prepare for interviews. Schedule a mock interview with Career Services.
- Develop your “about me”: a brief (30 second to 2 minute) introduction to who you are as a potential employee (including your name, education, work/project experience, and skills). Consider how you would introduce yourself to a new coworker or classmate.