Optimizing Your Job Search Resources

Before you start your job search
    Ask yourself these questions:

  • Why am I looking for a job? A job search requires time, effort, and determination. Be sure you are committed to the task and firmly believe that a new position is the next step in your career.

Note about internships: If you are looking for an internship, many of the same job search tips will work for you! Be sure to see Key Components of the Work Experience and Selecting a Valuable Work Experience.

  • How do I know if I should make a job change? If you like your present job but are unhappy with some aspect of it, consider talking to your supervisor or H.R. about ways to fix the problem. If there’s no solution, it may be time to change jobs.
  • What kind of job am I interested in? Do I need an entry-level position? A parallel position? An upward move? What are my priorities? Flexible hours? Higher pay? Working closer to home?
  • How do I prepare for a job search? Have I updated my career documents? Written down my current network of people? Created an appealing online presence? Learned how to search for jobs online? Practiced for interviews?

The First Step: Creating Your Career Documents

Using Networking and Online Resources for Job Searches

  • List your current “network.” List the current network of people you know in the workforce: immediate family, extended family, friends, neighbors, fellow students. Let them know your career goals and ask questions about their companies, especially if they work in the same field.
  • Handshake
    1. Develop your Handshake profile to attract employers. (See Handshake Login and Benefits)
    2. Check What’s Trending Now? This shows current job and internship postings on Handshake.
  • LinkedIn
    1. Develop your LinkedIn profile to attract employers and recruiters. (See Making LinkedIn Work for You)
    2. Watch for job postings and career-related events in Baker College Student and Alumni Group on LinkedIn.

Deciding Which Jobs to Apply For

  • Decide the distance you’re willing to commute or if you might be happy with a remote or hybrid position.
  • Research each company carefully. Look at their website, LinkedIn page, Facebook page, and news articles.
  • Consider your education and experience. Do you meet the basic requirements listed in the job posting? If you are missing a skill listed as “preferred” or only have a “related degree” or “related experience,” don’t disqualify yourself. Let them decide.
  •  Be sure to revise your cover letter and resume when needed to target the requirements in a specific job posting. Submitting a generic-sounding resume or cover letter won’t motivate the  employer to call you for an interview.   

Preparing for Interviews

  • Complete a mock interview with a career consultant using a specific job posting. (See Mock Interview Prep Sheet)
  • Think of your top five or six transferable soft skills (e.g., communication, teamwork, organization) and write down stories you could tell in an interview showing these skills in action. (See Telling Stories That Get the Job)
  • Always practice answering interview questions aloud. Interviewing is a verbal skill.

Following Up on Applications and Interviews

  • Applications-Follow up approximately one week after applying to a business by sending an email. Ask about the progress of your application and express continued interest in the job.
  • Interviews-Follow up with a thank you email within 24 hours after completing an interview. Follow up with a note of inquiry one week after completing the interview expressing continued interest in the job. (See What to Do After an Interview)

Discussing Salary Expectations

When employers bring up the topic of your salary expectations, be ready. You may be asked for your salary expectations on an application form, in an interview, or when a job is offered by the employer. (See How to Discuss Your Salary Expectations)

  • Research the average compensation for the role, and consider your experience level and region.
    • Know the average amount per hour (ex. $30,000/year divided by 52 weeks divided by 40 hrs.=$15/hr.)
    • Know the average amount per year (ex. $15/hr. x 40 hrs./week x 52 weeks in a year=$30,000.)o Kn
  • Decide the minimum pay rate that you would accept. For example, if the minimum you would accept is $40,000, you shouldn’t just settle for the minimum. State a range starting a little above $40,000. You could say, “I would like to earn $45,000 to $60,000.” In higher pay ranges, you may want to state larger differences. If your acceptable minimum is $70,000, you could say, “I would like to earn $80,000 to 90,000.”


Revised 18 August 2022


Submit a Ticket


Article ID: 146797
Thu 7/7/22 2:28 PM
Fri 8/26/22 9:45 AM

Related Services / Offerings (1)

Career coaching helps individuals who want to find a fulfilling career. Our career coaches will help establish professional goals, create a plan, and overcome obstacles that may be in the way.