Beginning the job search can be daunting. Whether or not you know the kind of work you want to do, or the type of organization you want to work for, it's easy to get overwhelmed. CareerLAB can help you break down the process into manageable steps, thus reducing your stress while making the search itself more enjoyable.
Identify Two to Four Career Fields to Pursue
It’s impossible to do an organized job search if your plan is “I’ll do anything, anywhere.” If you’re having trouble narrowing the list down, schedule a meeting with a career advisor. You can also talk to alumni working in fields that interest you.
Explore the range of positions in your areas of interest in our Career Field Notes web pages, Vault (to research careers and companies), Going Global and Transitions Abroad (for organizatios in the US and abroad). And don't forget the Brown Student Job and Internship Board.
Master Resume and Cover Letter Writing
Check out our online resources and then bring your cover letter and résumé to walk-in hours for a review with a career advisor.
Most people look for jobs in newspapers and online. While you want to include such tools in your search, avoid relying on them as your primary resource for potential positions. Why? Nearly 70% of jobs are never posted on a website or listed in a newspaper.
The majority of your job search time should be spent networking--talking with people who can help you uncover opportunities that are not posted on any job board or website. Our networking tip sheets can help you develop a strategy for initiating conversations with people who can help you identify potential positions.
- BRUnet — Alumni Network
- LinkedIn and Facebook Alumni Groups
- 3 Fs — Family, Friends, Faculty and campus speakers at CareerLAB workshops, Careers in the Common Good Community Hours, Brown Degree Days and other campus events.
- Supervisors from past jobs, internships or volunteer work.
- Alumni from high school or college sports teams, clubs or organizations.
Your first job doesn’t have to be your dream job. Think about finding interesting work you’ll enjoy, that will allow you to explore a career field, get some experience and learn important job skills.
Every year Brown students get jobs by calling organizations and saying “I’m a senior at Brown University and I see that you’re involved in [X]. Is there someone I could speak with about full-time opportunities?”
If you do cold calling, be selective. Do your research first, and make sure that you would like to work for the company. You don't want to engage with someone only to decide that you're not interested in their company. It's a waste or everyone's time and risks antagonizing a potential future client or employer.
Make sure to follow directions for applying to jobs closely, including what materials to include with your application and what to include in your cover letter.
Congratulations--you landed an interview! Now you've got some work to do. At your interview, you want to appear to fit in with the company that is interviewing you: you dress the part, you communicate effectively within that particular culture, and you know a lot about the company--so much that you create the impression that you would integrate seamlessly into the daily work life of that company.
CareerLAB can help you with all aspects of the interviewing process. Begin by reviewing our interview tip sheets and online workshop. You can also schedule a mock interview with CareerLAB before you do the real thing.