The difference in landing or not landing an internship or job in your career field could come down to how effectively you manage the job or internship search process. There’s a saying that "the best jobs go to the best job seekers." The steps and resources provided below will help you to become a better job or internship seeker.
Step 1: Know Yourself and What You Want to Do
- Identify your personal interests, strengths, skills, values, and accomplishments—use our FOCUS assessment program to help you identify each of these areas.
- Make a list of job titles, industries, and potential work environments that interest you.
- Determine the type of jobs and environments in which you wish to work.
Step 2: Know Where You Want to Work
- Identify the top 3 geographic areas where you’d like to live and work—flexibility is key.
- Research organizations or companies that might hire someone with your interests, skills, and background.
- Identify 10 top employers that you’d like to work for in the setting that you chose.
- Attend UNCP career fairs every fall and spring to meet potential employers—for specific dates and other information about the fairs, please see our events page.
Step 3: Get Ready For the Job Search
- Register with Brave Opportunities, UNCP's exclusive job database.
- Draft a resume and cover letter and have it critiqued by a career coach at The Career Center. Our Writing Resumes and Cover Letters page can help you to get started with this.
- Create a spreadsheet or system for keeping track of your contacts, interviews, and other job search activities.
- Identify 3 individuals who will serve as references for you and contact them (hint: don’t use family).
- Prepare for interviews by scheduling a mock interview with The Career Center.
- Buy at least one attractive suit that is appropriate for interviewing in your field.
- Change the outgoing message on your answering machine/voicemail to something that sounds professional in case an employer calls.
- Include a neutral/professional e-mail address on your resume.
Step 4: Start Searching
- Upload your resume to Brave Opportunities.
- From your list of top employers, begin contacting hiring managers to schedule meetings.
- Develop lists of networking contacts and connect with each one to gather information and referrals.
- Check Brave Opportunities on a regular basis to search for updated job opportunities.
- Follow up every cover letter and resume sent with a phone call or e-mail requesting an interview.
- Send thank you letters within 24 hours to every person who offers assistance or interviews you.