Job Search Strategies

  1. What are some important first steps in finding a full-time job?

Starting a job search can be overwhelming, especially if you are not sure what kinds of jobs you are interested in. Make a list of your career interests and skills as well as any geographic areas that interest you. The key to starting your job search is limit your search by eliminating jobs, tasks, and locations that do not interest you while still making a broad job search possible. If you are having trouble starting your search or getting organized, check out our Job Search Links.

  1. How should I search for opportunities?

Now that you know what kinds of jobs you’re looking for, make sure to use every resource available to you to find possible opportunities.

  1. How do I write my resume and cover letter?

A targeted resume and cover letter is key to landing an interview, but writing them can challenging, especially when you have limited work experience. Here’s a complete guide to writing both your resume and cover letter plus tips on how to complete your resume when you have less experience. Drop in for our daily Resume and Cover Letter Reviews so we can help you perfect these important documents (Fall & Spring semesters).

  1. How should I prepare for interviews? What are some necessary steps?

When it comes to interviews remember to prepare and practice.

  • Prepare by researching the company and the position and think about the interview from the employer’s perspective. What are they looking for in a candidate and what kinds of questions will they ask to determine if you are a good fit?
  • Practice by scheduling a mock interview with a career counselor or practice on your own time with Interview Stream. Remember the more you prepare and practice, the more confident and successful you’ll be.
  1. How should I make my decision?

Before proceeding to the following financial resources, please create a free account on Cash Course using your school email address.

Deciding between job offers? CashCourse offers resources to compare job offers in order to determine the best offer for you. Also, it’s important to consider job priorities. What is important to you in a career? The list will help you decide which offer is best suited for you based on your priorities.

Need to find out if you’ll be able to afford the lifestyle that you want? If you plan to stay living in Texas use this lifestyle calculator from Texas Reality Check to see what kind of salary you’ll need to earn to support your desired lifestyle. If you already know your career field, you can use this occupation calculator to determine an estimated salary based on job and location, this can help you determine a lifestyle based on your estimated take-home salary. Analyze your estimated paycheck to determine your salary after payroll deductions (i.e. take-home pay). You need to compare the cost of living  for the cities in which you want to live after graduation. Not every city is comparable. Making $45,000 in San Antonio looks a lot different than in New York City, Los Angeles or Seattle, especially when you consider the cost of living expenses vary from place to place.

When it comes to making the final decision about which job offer to accept, look back at the list you made for Question #1. Does this offer meet many of the things you mentioned as interests? Are there adequate professional development and growth opportunities for you with this organization? Make an appointment with a career counselor to help you evaluate your opportunities.

As you evaluate your offer consider whether or not you should negotiate your salary. To evaluate the salary you’ve been offered begin by using the NACE salary calculator to determine what a reasonable salary for your position, location and experience would be. Next prepare a budget to determine your financial needs for that upcoming year. If the salary you were initially offered is far from the salary suggested for your position by NACE or there is a large discrepancy between your budget and your salary consider reevaluating your budget or contacting your employer. For more information, check out some salary negotiation tips.

  1. What tips can you offer international students?

GoinGlobal is a great resource that provides tips and advice for international students who wish to find a job or internship in the United States. The UTSA Career Center provides tools, resources, and staff to partner with you in this process. However, just as for American students, it is up to you to take control of and be responsible for your job search. During the entire search process, you must work closely with the UTSA Office of International Programs to ensure that you are working within the regulations required of your visa status, as the rules are constantly changing.

By Heidi Sawyer
Heidi Sawyer Career Counselor-University College