Skip to Content Bruce Rauner, Governor, State of Illinois

Finding A Job

It is important to be assertive when searching for a job. Seek out different job opportunities with as many different search strategies as you can handle. The more strategies you use, the higher your chances of successfully landing the right job. Below are seven different search methods you might consider using in order to become employed.

  1. Speak with your advisors, professors and your campus’ career/placement center staff. Companies looking for entry-level applicants will often alert colleges about their openings. Their requests give your college an edge on what’s available, and give you an edge on finding a job that’s right for you. Also, your school’s career/placement center provides current job-placement information, as well as advice, tips and answers to your questions about different jobs and career development.
  2. Search for available job openings in newspapers, trade publications, magazines, and on the Internet with national and citywide search engines. Also, check out different companies’ Web sites for available job listings. Usually, companies will allow you to submit your résumé and/or cover letter online. You may also want to send a paper résumé and cover letter. Call organizations to discuss possible job opportunities, and confirm that they have received your e-mailed or paper résumés.

    Start your search now. Check out the following national and state-based, job-search engines:
  3. Think of organizations that interest you, or ones at which you’ve dreamed about working. Send résumés to these organizations—even if they have no available openings. Chances are they’ll at least keep your résumé on file for a year. Plus, if you’ve been working hard to get into a particular company and your talents and skills are exemplary, they might even create a position for you.
  4. Your college, surrounding colleges and community organizations may host annual job fairs in your area. These fairs are great opportunities for companies to advertise themselves and their available job opportunities—which in turn create great opportunities for you to find out what’s available and speak with interested representatives on the spot. Go to as many job fairs as you can. They’re free and full of possibilities. Make sure you bring plenty of résumés and try to leave one with every company for which you might have an interest in working.
  5. Networking is one of the most powerful and successful ways to find a job. This tactic allows someone you know to give you first-hand information about an employer, and allows the employer to obtain first-hand information about you. A referral lowers the company’s risk factor of hiring an unknown applicant off the street. It also lowers your risk factor of joining a company that you may not know much about.

    Talk with anyone you know who might be able to help you, including friends, family, old work associates, professors, advisors, alumni, etc. Also, you can meet new people and expand your network by joining clubs or professional organizations in your field.
  6. Don’t forget to tap professional-recruiters (sometimes referred to as “headhunters”) and contact placement agencies in your area. Keep in mind that agencies should receive their placement fees from the employers—not from you. Be sure to understand each headhunter’s policies before signing up for their services.
  7. Searching for a job can be costly and very time consuming. It’s good to make your first priority finding a permanent job. But if money gets tight, consider a temporary position with a company for a short time. Temping will not only allow you to make some money, but will also allow you to see how a business works from the inside. And who knows—a temporary job may even help you to be considered for a full-time position at the company for which you’re temping. Plus, don’t forget about all the contacts you’ll make that can be added to your professional network.