When a job opening is advertised on the Internet or in the newspaper, there is a good chance that there will be hundreds of applications for the position. Plus, many jobs aren’t even publicly posted online or in the newspaper. Relying solely on advertised positions can make the job hunt longer and could lead to your never learning about the job you really want.

To give yourself the best possible chance at finding a job, you should spend a considerable amount of time and effort networking. Networking taps you into the hidden job market by gaining job search information and employment leads through personal, academic, professional and social contacts. Places to start building a network of contacts include faculty and advisors within your department, classmates, university alumni, friends, neighbors, relatives, and current and former co-workers and employers.

Ultimately, building a network, utilizing that network, and finding out about job openings before they are publicly posted are crucial components to landing the job and advancing your career.

Through networking and through researching industries of interest, you should be able to identify a number of organizations for which you think you might want to work. It is very important to utilize online and print resources to research these organizations so that you are able to customize your cover letter and resume for each position for which you plan to apply.

    What You Want to Know

  • What departments and positions exist within the organization?
  • Who would be managing the department in which you are interested?
  • What are its products and services, and what new initiatives are being undertaken?
  • How is the organization structured?
  • What is the organization’s mission and philosophy?
  • Like what is the work environment?
  • What is the history of the organization, and where is it headed?
  • What is the organization’s competition and is the organization a major player in its industry?

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