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Tips help with job search

Advice for students and others who are starting the job-search process:

Tap into everyone you know as a potential networking partner. If you are looking for employment, it’s a good idea to let people in your circles know what you are looking for. It may not happen immediately, but they may be able to connect you with an opportunity as it arises, perhaps through a third party.

Do the legwork yourself. Networking is a great way to discover job openings, but employers prefer that applicants take the initiative to follow through and learn more about the opportunities themselves.

Carefully read and follow the instructions that accompany a job announcement. Most employers prefer applicants to communicate with them in a particular way, which they generally specify in the announcement or want ad.

Develop a well-designed resume that conveys the educational and work experiences that would appeal to the particular employer. Enlist the services of a proofreader to catch errors. Consider your resume to be a working document — store a master version on a computer — and update with applicable experiences. These can include trainings, certifications, internships and volunteer experiences in addition to the typical education and work listings.

Answer all questions on a job application. Write legibly.

Dress to impress when meeting a prospective employer for the first time and when interviewing for a position. Opt for an outfit that is slightly dressier than the job generally calls for. Pay attention to grooming and personal hygiene, and avoid flashy or revealing clothing and jewelry.

Practice for job interviews with mock interviews, which you can set up with a friend who can play the interviewer. Anticipate commonly asked questions and perfect your answers.
Follow up with thank-you cards or notes to the interviewers. Show your appreciation for their time and consideration.

Editor’s note: Article authors Jesse Gallegos and Dave Kavanaugh are both former career advisers with New Mexico Highlands University.