Job and Internship Search
Starting the search for your next opportunity can be both exciting and daunting! An effective job search requires a mix of strategies, including researching companies, networking, attending career fairs, searching online platforms and job boards, and preparing effective materials. Many job seekers rely on submitting as many job applications as possible, but this walk-through will help you develop a more strategic internship and job search!
Career coaches are available to help students understand nuances of the internship and job search for their specific industry or intended career.
Step one: Self-assessment and goal-setting
It’s important to know yourself and the type of opportunity you’d like to pursue before you start searching and applying. Begin by reflecting on your skills, interests, values, and career goals. If you need more support with reflecting on these topics or exploring careers, we recommend beginning with Career Exploration first.
You should set a clear timeline for your internship or job search. Identify whether or not your intended industry has a peak hiring season. This will help you understand the optimal timeline for beginning your internship or job search.
If your internship is required for graduation or for academic credit, be sure to communicate closely with your success advisor to understand the requirements of the internship and any pre-approval processes, if applicable.
Step two: Research companies
Once you know the types of roles you’d like to pursue, begin researching companies. You can explore companies through Handshake, LinkedIn, professional associations, or a variety of online resources. Below are some additional tools to support your research:
Great Place to Work: This resource provides “best workplace” lists for many industries and identities.
Glassdoor: Glassdoor offers company reviews, salaries, interview experiences, and employee ratings. It provides a unique perspective on companies from current and former employees.
Indeed: In addition to job listings, Indeed provides company reviews, ratings, salaries, and interview insights shared by employees.
Forbes: Forbes publishes annual lists such as the "Best Employers," "Top Companies to Work For," and industry-specific rankings.
When researching companies, you should evaluate their mission, values, culture, benefits, and opportunities for growth. Create a list of target companies that align with who you are and the type of environment in which you’d like to work. While many of us may feel pressure to secure an internship or job quickly, it’s also important to consider whether an opportunity meets your needs, both personally and professionally.
Step three: Networking and building connections
Networking is an important part of most searches. Not only is this helpful as you explore careers and companies, but it can also help you develop valuable connections that can propel you forward during the search. Making connections with alumni is especially valuable- we all know that Bobcats want to help Bobcats! These individuals will have unique company insights and may be willing to mentor you through the process. To begin networking, you can leverage tools including:
On-campus or virtual networking events; these are often hosted by student organizations or academic departments
Review the Networking page for more networking insights.
Step three: Job search platforms and resources
When you’re ready to start searching for positions, utilize online platforms, including:
Professional association job boards
Industry-specific social media pages
Get creative with the search terms you are using to search for positions! There may be multiple job titles that could be used for the same role. Review O’Net to identify alternative job titles.
It can also be helpful to start with broad search terms then gradually narrow your search with more specific keywords. This helps to be sure you aren’t missing something important or it may display roles you hadn’t previously considered!
Many platforms enable you to favorite or save opportunities so you can revisit them later when you’re ready to apply. Some platforms, including Handshake, will also send reminder emails when the application deadlines are approaching for your saved positions.
If there is a specific company you’d like to work for, you may be able to create a job alert on their job or career webpage. A job alert will generate an email to you when a position posts that may be of interest to you. This will help you stay at the front of the search!
Beware of scams! Any time a company is seeking a monetary transaction, this should be a red flag that this is a scam. Never deposit checks sent from a company or give personal information, such as bank accounts, to a company during the interview process.
Additionally, if you receive a message similar to this: “We received your resume from your career services office for a possible job placement. Please respond to this email if you are still job hunting or you are looking to earn additional income,” this could also be a scam. If you receive any emails or paperwork from a company that may not seem legitimate, please email the Career Network at email@example.com.
Step four: Attend career fairs and hiring events
Ohio University hosts several on-campus and virtual career fairs. These events connect students and alumni with employers who are eager to recruit from OHIO. Most events can be found in Handshake. When browsing career fairs, you can also review the employers who are registered to attend.
You may also identify hiring events or job boards offered through professional associations or student organizations. Connect with student organization leaders or advisors to learn more.
Step five: Developing strong application materials
Once you’ve identified specific internship or job postings, it’s time to prepare your application materials. This can become the most time-intensive part of your search, as you should tailor the materials to the posting. Tailoring your materials helps draw direct connections between your experience and skills to the qualifications that an employer is seeking.
It's also important to pay attention to whether other supplemental materials should be prepared, including a portfolio, demo reel, writing samples, or other examples of your work. If these are required, your faculty are great resources in identifying the pieces to showcase.
Review additional relevant Career Network pages when you’re ready to update your materials.