Job Search Strategies

Job searching takes time — many employers hire on an annual cycle and some application processes take months. So, start early and have patience with the process and yourself.

Effective job searching requires multiple strategies, such as applying to postings online, networking, tailoring your application documents, knowing your non-negotiables and more. Use a combination of job search strategies, allocating about 80 percent of your search time to proactive strategies and about 20 percent to reactive strategies.

This might feel counterintuitive to spend less time looking at job postings, but relationships are the key to getting an interview!

“The Job Hunt” LinkedIn Learning Path

Job searching can be intimidating.

Let the University Career Center help you make a plan!

Meet with a Career Coach

Proactive Job Searching

Proactive job and internship search strategies are all about networking. They generally take more time and effort to cultivate, but connections made through networking tend to pay off better in the long run. The strategy here is to start early and keep at it—continually identify people working in positions and/or organizations you’re interested in and connect with them.

  1. Identify industries, organizations, and job positions of interest to you.
  2. Focus on building relationships—reach out to people in your immediate network and communicate with them what you’re looking for. Ask if they know of someone working in a related industry or in a position you’re interested in and proactively reach out to them.
  3. Use LinkedIn’s alumni tool to identify UO alum and others in your extended network to connect with.
  4. Go to campus Career & Internship Expos, networking events, and employer presentations. Continually seek out and attend any events where you can meet people, get comfortable sharing your career story, and expand your opportunities through relationships.
  5. Conduct informational interviews to expand your network and learn more about a specific organization or position.
  6. Keep an active list of your contacts, follow up, and stay in touch.
  7. Meet with a Career Readiness Coach at the University Career Center to brainstorm and prioritize informational interviews and other strategies for success.

Reactive Job Searching

Reactive job and internship searching is the process of identifying open job and internship postings and applying for them. It’s easy to waste a lot of time scrolling through job boards when you do not have a strong focus on your job search. Try to think about geography, job responsibilities, salary requirements, specific companies, and other things that are important to you so you can narrow down your search or create a more targeted job search. This will also help you pair your reactive efforts with proactive strategies to reach out to real people at those companies that can help you have a better chance of getting an interview.

Not sure where to look for jobs? Here are some resources to get you started.