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September 22, 2003

Student Career Development

By Lorie Logan-Bennett, Assistant Director, Career Development Center

Don't wait for employers to come knocking on your door - get out there and knock on theirs! While traditional recruitment options like job fairs (UMBC's is October 9), on-campus interviews, and job postings still work; in today's job market, more and more employers can afford to just sit back and let the applicants come to them. Often, there's no need to go to the effort of searching a commercial resume databases or to pay to place an ad in the Sunday want ads. So what's a job seeker to do if employers aren't advertising and recruiting in the traditional, visible ways?

Hello…is anybody out there? Many employers are hiring, but it may take some legwork to find them. To start identifying potential employers in your field, industry or geographic area, ask a reference librarian to direct you to relevant employer and industry directories. Other great sources of information available conveniently in the campus' Career Development Center include InfoUSA (a searchable database of 12 million companies), the Baltimore Business Journal's annually updated Book of Lists, and the good old-fashioned phone book.

Make the connection. Once you've identified an employer you're interested in, an easy first step is to visit the employment/careers section of their Web site to learn of current openings. But don't stop there; take it a step further and call the company's human resources/personnel office to inquire about current job openings. Even if the company is not currently recruiting, ask where/how they advertise when they do have position openings. This information can be valuable in identifying additional job search resources and strategies.

Who do you know? Ever hear it's who you know that counts? Well the who you know won't get you the job, but it may get your foot in the door or ensure that your resume gets a second glance. Talk with everyone you know about your job search. Your mechanic may not be in your career field, but she may have clients, friends or family who are. The more people you know -- and the more who know you -- the better your chances of connecting with opportunities via word of mouth and referral. To learn more about art of networking, consider attending the annual Schmooze or Lose workshop and/or participating in the Networking and the Hidden Job Market job search club (information on both Career Development Center programs is available at (410) 455-2216 or careers@umbc.edu).

Patience is a virtue. The successful job search is more likely to take months rather than weeks. So start early, combine multiple traditional and non-traditional job search strategies, keep good records, follow up, do your best to stay positive, and remember that the Career Development Center is here to help you along the way!

Posted by dwinds1 at September 22, 2003 12:00 AM