Job Search Strategies
How do I get started?
Before you begin your job search, take time to narrow down what you’re looking for so that you can create a targeted approach and a timeline that will lead to effective results.
Where do I look?
Handshake is the preferred job site for the University of Minnesota and the College of Liberal Arts, so make sure your job or internship search starts on Handshake!
Search Websites and Resources
Many other sites post jobs and other opportunities, and many specialize according to certain industries, geographical regions, underrepresented populations, or other specifications.
As a CLA student, you will find great opportunities at many career fairs and other events, whether they are hosted by CLA or by other campus partners. Attending these events gives you a great opportunity to learn about employers, practice your networking skills, and even interview for open positions.
Employers on Campus
Employers often visit CLA to interview students for opportunities, participate in fairs, and appear at smaller, college-specific panels, information sessions, or classroom presentations. CLA also organizes site visits to employers in Minnesota and Wisconsin. Take advantage of these opportunities!
What do I need to apply for jobs?
Ready to start applying? You’ll want to make sure you have a few important materials prepared ahead of time.
Your Personal Brand
Before you start preparing your application materials, spend some time thinking about who you are, how you want to present yourself, and what that might mean for your application materials. A LinkedIn profile is a valuable online presence as you network and job search, and it’s a good starting place for thinking about your identity and your presentation as a professional.
Research on Employers
As you prepare for a career fair, get ready for an interview, create a cover letter, or prepare for any interaction with an employer, it’s important to do some research about the organization you’ll be engaging with. We’ve put together some questions to help guide you.
Resume vs. Curriculum Vitae (C.V.)
Almost all jobs will require that you provide a resume or curriculum vitae. Once you have figured out which one you’ll need for a particular job, you’ll also want to revise the materials so that they speak directly to the particular job or opportunity for which you are applying.
Most jobs you apply for will also require that you provide a cover letter. Your cover letter is an opportunity for you to make a detailed, persuasive case for your employment. Words are powerful. And we can help you harness them to create cover letters that are convincing and compelling!
To help you prepare for your interview, we have put together a list of steps you can take, questions to prepare for, and answers to draft.
Who can I talk with?
Networking is by far the most effective way to uncover job/internship opportunities to pursue and, ultimately, land. Networking might sound daunting, even a little off-putting. But it doesn’t have to be. And once you start, you begin to realize something… It can actually be fun.
What if I want to take a gap year?
A gap year is a term commonly used to define any short-term opportunity, approximately 6 months - 2 years long that is viewed as a transitional period between school and career, it can include interning, volunteering, working, teaching, researching, doing a fellowship, and/or traveling.