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I Need To Find A Job. How Do I Get Started?

Looking for a job can be quite challenging. In fact, it can be a bit like doing detective work. There are many jobs available, but you want to find YOUR job---one that gives YOU a sense of satisfaction and fits into YOUR overall career plan.

One of the main things you need to know is that getting a job is a job in itself. Many students (and others) have an unrealistic view of the time required for a job search. College students can expect to spend from 6 to 9 months searching for employment. It can take longer for international students.


Do you have a professional Resume & Cover Letter?

Interviews - To impress an employer you must be well prepared and understand the value of what you have to offer. To relate your assets to the position and the organization, you must know yourself. Review your self-assessment results. Be prepared to substantiate all points with information. You also must be familiar with the position and the organization so you demonstrate how and why you will be an effective employee. Prepare in advance. Be ready! Review the lists of sample questions often asked in job interviews and formulate possible responses based on your education, experience and abilities. Practice the interview. Utilize the Interview Stream mock interview system available in the Career Center. Refer to the many interview resources available on this website.


You won't get very far in your job search if you don't know what kind of job you are seeking. So, the first step is to identify the exact things you want to do in your job.

(If you have no idea, then you need to take a step back and do some self-assessment, and make a decision. If you have an idea of the general area, but aren't sure of the exact job title, then investigate the job titles in your area of interest.


The next step is to decide where you want to live. Those open to relocation will find more opportunities available to them. Keep in mind that if you limit yourself to a specific location, you may be limiting your employment options as well.

If you do have a specific location in mind, identify potential employers there through LDS Employment offices, internet searches, information from local Chambers of Commerce and/or other business directories. Participate in a careerConnect trip to the area!


Next, you must determine which employers are the best match for you. You will need to make some decisions about the types of organizations that fit your needs, work style, and personality. Remember to investigate the organization's culture, vision and values, the management style, the size of the organization and other issues that are important to you.


Finally, you must determine your specific job search strategy and how much time you will allocate to accomplish it.

What methods will you use? Will you participate in on-campus recruiting and career fairs? Will you use a network of contact you've established? Will you cold-call on employers? Will you explore internet job postings?  Will you explore company web sites? Will you review classified ads and other posted job notices?

Follow Up

  1. Follow-up all contact--either by phone, email, or posted mail-- with employers.
  2. Send thank-you letters. Manners can pay off big dividends. That is one way you can differentiate yourself from others.
  3. Make follow-up phone calls. This can be difficult for some people, but it is very important. If your cover letter or other prior communication indicated you would follow-up with a phone call, then you absolutely must call!

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Job Research Pays Off!

Employment experts estimate that applicants who research employers increase their employability options as much as 25 percent! "Doing your homework," or in other words, occupational research, gives applicants a big competitive edge. Advantages include:

  • Competitive Edge
    Employers view candidates who don't have solid knowledge of the employer's business and industry as weak choices. Many applicants don't bother to research employers. If you do, you get the competitive edge.
  • Better Career Decisions
    Having current knowledge of the employer, industry, and job target equip you to make informed career decisions about employers and to assess your interest in, and qualifications for, specific jobs.
  • Improved Ability to Market Your Skills and Get Hired
    Researching employers improves your ability to discuss specifically how your qualifications match the employer's purpose, goals, and needs. Employers are most willing to invest training time and money in applicants who demonstrate initiative and commitment through their employer and industry knowledge.
  • Compensating for Lack of Experience
    Industry knowledge helps you compensate for lack of actual or extensive job experience.
  • Increased Confidence
    Being well informed helps you communicate more clearly, feel more confident and project greater competence.

(Source: Your Career: How to Make It Happen, 4th edition, Julie Griffin Levitt, South-Western Educational Publishing, Cincinnati, OH, 2000, p.108.)

Questions to ask yourself:

  • What are the pros and cons about this occupation?
  • How well does this occupation fit with my interests and skills?
  • Is the training or preparation for this field something I am willing to do?
  • Based on my findings, am I still interested in this occupation?


Research Tools



Hoovers Online business information resources will help you gain a thorough understanding of specific companies or entire industries.



CareerBliss provides company reviews and salary information synthesized to help you find the best company that meets your interest. (Company reviews, company salaries, employee-submitted interview tips, hiring trends and more)

 Rutgers University Library

Rutgers University Libraries Business Research Guide directs you to many print and online resources for conducting research on public, private, and foreign companies.



GlassDoor provides a free, inside look at over 70,000 companies. (Company salaries, reviews and interviews)


ONET online

O-NET On-line system serves as the US nation's primary source of occupational information by providing comprehensive information on key attributes and characteristics of workers and occupations.

Dept of Labor

Career Guide to Industries can help you find out about a specific or multiple industries. 



 Going Global is one of the best online resources available for learning about transnational opportunities, foreign hiring practices, and domestic, city-specific employment information.

 *Guide to Researching Companies Online 

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Job Search Methods

An effective job-searcher uses multiple methods of searching. Certainly college students would be wise to utilize the resources available on campus: the Career Center, the YCareers electronic job board, on-campus recruiting events, career fairs and alumni networking. The most effective job search methods are networking and direct or "cold" calls on employers.

Also utilize internet job postings, online professional networks, classified ads, and notices from professional associations. Direct mail copies of your resumes to potential employers. Apply online at company websites. Post your resume on the internet. Go to company's human resources departments and fill out applications. Use a staffing agency or executive search firm. Utilize government workforce agencies. Use the resources provided by LDS Employment Resource Centers around the world. Be pro-active and use multiple methods.


YCareers connects students and employers online through the BYU-Hawaii Career Center.  YCareers is part of the The NACElink Network, a national recruiting network and suite of web based recruiting and career services automation tools serving the needs of colleges, employers and job candidates. Post a job. Find a job.

We are a Hawaii owned and operated online Job Site, focused exclusively on the Hawaii job market. Our site allows employers to post job opportunities for hire and job seekers to apply for jobs. Our site also offers informative video interviews with top CEO's in Hawaii and we write articles with career tips specific to Hawaii.

Job Choices

JOB CHOICES ONLINE, sponsored by your BYU-Hawaii Career Center and the National Assn. of Colleges and Employers (NACE) is an online newsletter with the latest hiring outlook, details on what employers want in job candidates, tips on the job search process, current salary information and advice on social networking in the job search. 


jibberjobber logo

JibberJobber is your Personal Relationship Manager for your career. Just as a salesperson would use a Customer Relationship Manager (CRM) system, like or Goldmine or ACT!, to keep track of their sales leads, JibberJobber helps you keep track of your job search, networking contacts and other career management information.

Create an account by going to and signing up using your email address.

Analyst Jobs’ goal is to simplify the job search process. We strive to create a search experience fast, comprehensive, relevant and as fun as searching for a job can possibly be. Our search engine provides quick access to jobs found on thousands of employer websites, job boards, newspapers, niche sites and anywhere else jobs are found from all around the web.
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William & Mary is unlike any other university in America.

We’re the second oldest college in the nation, but also a cutting-edge research university. We’re highly selective, but also public, offering a world-class education without the sticker shock.

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GlassDoor provides a free, inside look at over 70,000 companies. (Company salaries, reviews and interviews)

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The Career Development Center (CDC) offers services such as counseling, workshops, presentations, on-campus recruiting, job/internship databases, reference file services, library resources, and alumni networking, to help students make informed decisions and to plan for life after Stanford. Services are available to undergraduate and graduate students, and all students are encouraged to visit in person or via the web. Programs and services are free to students; limited services are available to alumni and student spouses/domestic partners.