Searching for a job or graduate school is a personal process. It is different for each individual. There is not one technique that is guaranteed to land you a job or get you into graduate school. Figure out what works best for you. Your Career Services Career Consultant can assist at every step.
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Narrow your search as best as you can. Consider geographic location, your skills and interests and how you want to apply them, what industry you want to work in, and what type of corporate culture is important to you. The more you define this list, the easier your job search becomes.
One good starting point is to make a list of 5-10 organizations that you think you would like to work for. Spend time researching their websites, reading annual reports, connecting on social media sites like LinkedIn, and actively working on meeting people within the organization. The more you get to know an organization, the more you will know if it is a good fit or not. This list can change over time as you learn more about what is important to you.
Maintaining an in-person, virtual and social media professional image is extremely important.
- Dress appropriately when you know you will be meeting and interacting with professionals or possible future employers. The appropriate dress may be different depending on what type of event you are attending or who the company is. Make sure you ask someone beforehand who may know how you should dress before an event or interaction. If you still are unsure, remember that it is always better to be overdressed than underdressed.
- Using sites like LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter can strengthen your connection with future employers and improve visibility. This can include liking or sharing relevant industry news, following employers of interest, connecting with hiring managers, or updating it with previous work experience. However, remember to maintain a positive, professional image when you post.
- Always use a professional photo.
- Before sharing posts, consider their effect on your professional reputation.
Seek out opportunities to meet professional and social contacts who have information about the career path you are interested in. Describe your interests to them and ask for their input. Through them, you become connected to their network. When a job opens, hiring managers sometimes turn to their network connections to learn about candidates who fit the position.
- Speak with your friends and family—Talk about their work and what you are interested in. This small and simple step could lead to an introduction with someone in the field.
- Talk to classmates and join student organizations—This is a great way to build and strengthen relationships. Your fellow classmates could help you land a job down the road. Maybe they've completed an internship or other experience that will interest you.
- Meet with your professors and other university staff—Many of your professors, advisors and student employment supervisors have worked in different industries and businesses and can offer both information and professional contacts.
- Attend on-campus workshops, info sessions, and Career Services events—At some events, you will meet employers face-to-face and can share your resume. When possible, research these employers in advance. Ask questions based on what you discover about them and what interests you. Learn from them how you might find a fit in their industry and organization. Ask for their contact information. Send a thank you. When employers are looking to hire, they may reach out to someone they have met before.
- Join professional organizations—Every major has a professional organization that provides networking opportunities, continuing education, and relevant industry news updates to its members. Many times they offer free or reduced rates for students.
- Make professional use of social media—Stay connected to companies and professionals through sites like LinkedIn and Facebook.
- Explore alumni connections
- Many alumni prefer to be contacted through email.
- Do background research to understand who they are and what they have accomplished in the workplace.
- Outline what you want to learn or to gain before you send an email.
- Your initial contact (often via email) should be brief and contain the following information:
- How you found them (alumni network, a referral from a counselor, etc.).
- Your school and (expected) year of graduation.
- Your current status (career exploration, industry research, job search).
- What you are asking them for (e.g., information about their organization, industry tips, or job search techniques).
- How you would like to gain that information (an in-person informational interview, a phone meeting—at their convenience).
- Indicate how you will follow-up.
- A suggested time and place for an informational interview (at the alumni's convenience).
- Do not attach your resume to your initial email. Bring it with you when you meet with alumni, and ask for industry-specific feedback on it.
- Follow up with a thank you note after your meeting or phone conversation with the alumni.
- Talk with recruiters via in-person, on-campus events or in virtual events.
- Recruiters are generally interested in talking to students at all stages of their career exploration and job search.
- Your Career Services Career Consultant
- Employers and Events in Handshake
- Wright State Alumni Association
- Wright State Alumni Association Career Assistance
- Wright State Alumni Group on LinkedIn
- View current job postings in Handshake
- Visit employer websites.
- Current openings will be listed in a Careers, Jobs, or similarly titled page on their website.
- Ask your network connections if they are aware of any current job openings that might be a good fit.
- Receiving a high recommendation from someone in your network can bring attention to your job application.
- Check professional organizations. They may have a job posting web page and they often offer other industry-specific tips as well.
- Consider a job aggregator. These websites search the web and pool together thousands of current opportunities. You can then filter based on geographic location, experience, salary, etc. A couple of the most popular aggregators are Indeed and SimplyHired.
Conduct salary research in advance so you are informed and ready when the time comes to discuss compensation as part of a job offer.
Assess your level of education and experience, then compare to salary estimates based on career field, geographic location, education level and experience.
The following timeline provides a list of things to consider and do in preparation for graduate school. Your Career Services Career Consultant can assist at every step, offering insights, information, and input on your application materials.
First-Year through Sophomore Year
- Begin to identify your career goals using the resources and staff of Career Services.
- Develop relationships and seek experiences with faculty and other Wright State University personnel who can help you define your interests and strengthen your application.
- Record your accomplishments and experiences in a journal and portfolio and collect samples of your work for a graduate school portfolio.
Junior Year (Fall)
- Establish criteria for identifying graduate programs and schools using the resources and staff of Wright State and Career Services.
- Develop relationships and seek experiences with faculty and other Wright State personnel who can help you define your interests and strengthen your application.
Junior Year (Spring)
- Begin to acquire letters of reference (three to five are typically expected).
- Record your accomplishments and experiences in a journal or portfolio and collect samples of your work for a graduate school portfolio.
- Seek national scholarships and financial aid.
- Register and prepare for admissions tests, if applicable.
Between Junior and Senior Years (Summer)
- Take the admissions tests if required. Make sure you check dates and deadlines.
- Request and review catalogs and websites.
- Begin drafting your admissions essay.
- Visit campuses and meet with students and faculty.
- Manage your time to meet application deadlines.
Senior Year (Fall)
- Organize, prepare, and complete application packages. Review and collect letters of references, critique admission essays with Wright State Career Services resources and faculty.
- Requests transcripts from the registrar.
- Make sure to keep copies of all application materials and then submit them.
Senior Year (Spring)
- Contact all schools to confirm receipt of application materials and the status of the application.
- Keep references up to date on the status of your application.
- Visit all programs of acceptance and evaluate offers.
- Notify all accepted and rejected schools.
Senior Year Summer / After Undergrad Commencement
- Take courses that will either give you a head start in your graduate program or will allow you to satisfy academic deficiencies.
- Share your success. Keep in touch with and thank everyone who provided support, encouragement, and assistance.
- Enjoy your success and your summer!
Please note that there is no one definitive source for ranking programs and schools; determine the criteria that are used and then compare with your own personal criteria