Students walking outside of the Student Center.

Conduct a Job Search

A job search may seem overwhelming and time-consuming, but preparation is key. Technology has drastically changed the way we search for jobs and connect with professionals in a variety of industries. Before searching for open positions and submitting your resume, there are important steps that you can take to prepare.

 Dress the Part!

Please select a topic from below for tips on navigating your job search! 

Prepare for the Job Search

Link Your Major to Career Opportunities: First, it is important to determine what careers align with your program of study. It is important to keep in mind that major does not have to determine what you will do for a living. You should also take into account your values, skills, personality and interests.

Conduct Information Interviews: Have a conversation with someone in the field you are interested in working in to help you learn what it is really like to work in that field.

Develop Your Resume and Cover Letter: Because no one knows you as well as you know yourself – your goals, your accomplishments, your strengths – no one can write an effective resume and cover letter for you but you. You must be comfortable with every word in your resume and be able to speak easily about whatever you write.

Learn from the Pros: Career Services hosts a number of career development workshops and networking events throughout the year. Check out the events calendar and plan to attend sessions of interest!

Review Your Digital Footprint: Update profiles and resumes on LinkedIn, Handshake, and other sites where you are marketing yourself for employment opportunities.

Avoid Job and Internship Scams: Scam artists take advantage of college students since they tend to be new to the job search and quite vulnerable during the process. They also understand that many students are very interested in finding positions that are paid and advertise their false positions as such. Be aware that job scams exist and learn how to recognize and avoid them.

Create a Plan: Set S.M.A.R.T. goals (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timely) and hold yourself accountable. Create a routine with designated timelines in which you utilize avenues such as networking contacts and online resources. Track your progress using an Excel sheet!

Identify Advertised Openings

Use Handshake to Search for:

  • On-Campus Jobs
  • Full-time Jobs
  • Part-time Jobs
  • Seasonal/Temporary Jobs

These opportunities have been posted specifically for the Montclair State University community!

Online Job Boards and Search Tools: There are many online job search sites available. We’ve compiled a list of online resources to help you with company and salary research, networking tools and job boards.

Attend Career and Internship FairsOrganizations’ hiring managers are often on campus to directly recruit young talent for internships and entry-level jobs.  Fairs, information sessions and other employer recruitment events offer great opportunities to explore jobs, gain industry knowledge, and network with employers seeking to hire students and alumni just like you!

Visit Organizations’ Websites: Interested in working for a specific organization? Be sure to check their websites for available opportunities!

Don't Forget the Hidden Market

Understanding the hidden market can open many new avenues in your job search.

  • Open positions that have not yet been posted
  • Potential positions that may have been discussed, but not posted
  • Positions created to meet a need, a problem or a critical issue

Networking is the most important tool for uncovering the majority of “hidden” positions. Here’s how to tap into your network:

  1. Create a list of everyone you know. Ask them if they know anyone you might talk to. Do this – it works – often better than formal ways of job hunting since people like to hire people they know.
  2. Expand your social network by utilizing professional sites, such as LinkedIn.
  3. Search for in-house job boards.
    • If you work for an organization part-time or as a temp, you may have access to the in-house job board to see available positions.
    • Also, contact your employed friends or acquaintances to look at job postings within their organizations.
  4. Stay abreast of the occupation and industry trends in your field of interest.
    • Determine trends. Find out who’s leaving, who’s been promoted and which organizations are growing. Send your resume to those organizations where you believe new people will be hired.
    • Write emails or messages asking for advice from people who have written articles you like.
Utilize Career Services at Montclair State

Career Services exists to help you identify studies and career goals that suit you, to support you in your future planning, help you prepare for the world of work or further education, hone your skills through experiential education, brainstorm with you, listen to you and cheer you on. As a result, we offer everything listed above plus counseling, workshops, internships, co-ops, Career Fairs, an information-rich website, job listings of all kinds, meetings with employers and more.

You own your job search – the result of which is up to you and employers. Career Services does not “place” students or alumni; we educate our students and our grads to connect with the folks who do make those offers: employers!