Career Services

Job Search Process and Resources

Your Job Search

An effective job search requires a lot of preparation, research, and persistence. These job search strategies can help position yourself to impress potential employers.

1. Identify Your Interests

Use self-assessments and industry research to target job functions, industries and geographic locations that interest you.

What are your search criteria? Be honest with yourself and the people you talk with about your search. Common search criteria are: Geographic location, Application of skill set, Connection to interest/passion, Fit with work values and Compatibility with personality.

After generating your search list criteria, create a list of 10-20 organizations with whom you are most interested in working. These organizations should get most of your attention.  Read through the job descriptions and make a list of desired skills for these organizations and the positions that are of interest.

2. Prepare

You only have one opportunity to make a first impression with a potential employer, so make sure that impression is a good one!  Follow the SORR resume guidelines to create your powerful resume.   And before you launch into your job search, make sure that you have your elevator pitch, cover letter, and résumé thoroughly reviewed by Career Services.

Practice your interviewing skills by utilizing resources such at Big Interview.

3. Find Opportunities

The Department of Labor estimates that up to 80% of positions are filled without employer advertising. If you are relying on job postings as your primary job search strategy, you’re only seeing approximately 20% of what’s out there.

Begin by exploring job boards like Handshake @ Illinois for positions that match your interests and skills. Then utilize LinkedIn to begin building connections with recruiters you have interacted with at Career Fairs or at campus events and to connect with alumni who work at organizations you are interested in working for.

Your Virtual Job Search

Many elements of a virtual job search are similar to those of an on-campus job search.  For more tips, please review our Virtual Job Search Guide.

Find career opportunities

Follow these tips when exploring online job boards:

Leverage Multiple Job Boards: Not all employers post their positions in Handshake or on third-party job boards so be sure to search both

Refine Your Search: In addition to keywords, use filters for industry, major, job function, location, etc. to find positions that most closely match your qualifications and interests

Set Up Email Alerts: Favorite positions on Handshake so you get reminders about the application deadline and set up email alerts on third party job boards so you learn about new postings that meet your criteria

Watch Out for Scam Postings: If a job posting seem fake, or if you are asked to complete tasks atypical of the application process (e.g. paying a fee), then report the job posting to career services so we can research to determine if it is legitimate


Learn about event and job postings from employers recruiting on the Illinois campus and beyond

Global search engine and job board

Global search engine and job board; integrates with LinkedIn to identify potential contacts

Information systems/information technology

USA Jobs

Federal government jobs


Non-profit job board

For international students seeking jobs in the US