1. Know yourself. The most important part of the job search is knowing your strengths and what differentiates you as a candidate. Explore what motivates you and what types of environments you thrive in and seek employers accordingly.
2. Emphasize your Fordham education. Whatever your major, a Fordham degree represents a classic liberal arts education that builds the skills of listening, thinking, speaking, writing, reading, reflecting, measuring, calculating, estimating, and dreaming. Be prepared to articulate the superiority and value of your Fordham experience.
3. Build your Brand. Just as successful organizations have a strong brand, so should you. Your brand is reflected in your resume, cover letter, interview skills, and all your interactions with a potential employer, whether in person or online. Build a strong personal brand and actively monitor it. Google yourself; your online image is extremely important.
4. Build your Network. Cultivate relationships with alumni, professionals and organizations you admire. In so doing, you will learn from their experiences, become more professional and competitive, and learn about job opportunities.
5. Be an expert. Do your research, tap your professional contacts to benefit from their expertise, and learn as much as possible about the industries or organizations you would like to work in. Being knowledgeable and passionate about an organization’s mission will make you an appealing job candidate.
6. Tap the Hidden Job Market. Many jobs are not advertised through job search engines, and some are never posted online. Find these hidden jobs by: 1) telling your professional contacts what you’re seeking; 2) checking the career sections of companies’ web sites (don’t forget small and mid-size firms); 3) sending exploratory e-mails to companies that don’t have positions posted on their sites; and 4) joining the professional organizations of your target industries.
7. Seek Temporary Positions. Explore temporary consulting or project-based positions. This is an excellent way to network, build your expertise and get your foot in the door in a tough economy.
8. Customize your Cover Letter and Resume. When applying for a job, work backwards from the job description and make sure your application proves you have the listed skills or qualifications. You must also prove you are the best fit and strongest asset in the candidate pool.
9. Persist. It is a tough job market, but strong candidates are landing great jobs. Get organized in your job search and keep track of your applications and networking. Make sure you follow up consistently.
10. Seek Fordham’s Help. The Office of Career Services is open to students and alumni alike. If you are unsure how to take any of the steps above, set up a career counseling appointment. Tell the staff member exactly where you need help and where you would like to go.