Career steps

How to find a job in four steps

Take a deep breath and dive into this career search checklist

Four big steps (and lots of little steps) to find a job

Step 1: Get Planning

  • Take a Focus 2 self-assessment to explore real occupations and your working personality, data and facts.
  • Build your Handshake profile.
  • Get involved by joining a student organization, volunteering, attending campus events or finding a job related to your career goals.
  • Come to the Career Development Center for a drop-in appointment to review your résumé and/or cover letter.
  • Explore relevant courses, minors and study abroad options with your academic advisor.
  • Get to know your professors during office hours, and maintain a solid GPA.

Step 2: Get Professional

  • Begin researching and identifying two-three employers of interest and reach out to set up informational interviews or a job shadow.
  • Increase your online presence by creating a LinkedIn profile or electronic portfolio. Bonus points if you connect with College of Health on LinkedIn.
  • Attend career events, expos and workshops.
  • Explore research and internship opportunities.
  • Develop your elevator pitch to use during networking events.
  • Take on leadership roles in student organizations.
  • Start acquiring professional attire appropriate to your field. Second-hand clothing stores, like Goodwill, are a great place to source work attire.

Step 3: Get Connected

  • Network and make LinkedIn connections with professors, faculty, advisors and alumni.
  • Attend employer events and career panels to explore opportunities and industry-specific job/internship search strategies.
  • Join relevant professional organizations/associations in your field.
  • Research graduate schools and requirements for acceptance into programs of interest.
  • Develop a list of professional references.
  • Expand engagement in on- and off-campus activities to diversify skills, experiences and connections.
  • International students: Learn about Curricular Practical Training (CPT) to work in the U.S. during college.

Step 4: Get Hired!

  • Update your Handshake profile, résumé, cover letter and LinkedIn.
  • Leverage the network you have built both on- and off-campus to find opportunities.
  • Use Handshake and other job boards to apply for jobs or internships.
  • Attend speed mock interviews hosted by the Career Center and use StandOut to practice interview skills for employment and graduate school.
  • Evaluate your online presence from an employer’s/program’s perspective.
  • Create a professional email address and phone message.
  • International students: Learn about requirements for Optional Practical Training (OPT).


Adapted from the Career Development Center’s Undergraduate Career Guide (pdf).