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Job Seeking Skills

Finding a Job

  • People change jobs approximately 9-15 times in a lifetime
  • An effective job search can take anywhere from 6-9 months
  • There are many ways to look for a job

Career Services

  • BSUCareers
  • Career Services Resource Library
  • On-Campus Interviews/Mock Interviews/InterviewStream
  • On-line Vacancy Bulletins
  • Job Fairs
  • Self Managed Credential File

Networking Sources

  • People who have helped you:
    • Professors, counselors, peer educator, teachers
  • People you have met through college:
    • Parents of roommates, team-mates, coaches
  • Friends and people I see a lot:
    • Study groups, clubs, neighbors, hair-dresser
  • People you have worked with in:
    • Volunteering, school projects, internships, summer job
  • Relatives:
    • Parents, siblings, cousins, in-laws, aunts & uncles, etc.
  • People in organizations:
    • Libraries, conferences/workshops, Chamber of Commerce
  • Exploratory Interviews and Mock Interviews
    • Used to gather info from someone in your field
    • Provides opportunity to practice interviewing
    • Helps establish contacts & be referred to others
  • Professional Journals and other Directories
    • Provides names of firms & other valuable info
  • In-Person Visits
    • Visit various companies/organizations
    • Submit resume and complete application
  • Job Fairs and On-Campus Interviews
    • Tri-College, Job Fair, Career Connections and Ed Fair
    • Government and Non-Profit Fairs
    • Check Career Services Website for Employers

Job Postings


  • JobPost, EdPost and InternPost~College Job postings provided to consortium of schools
  • BSUCareers~ Bemidji State’s online resume referral service
  • General Job Search Links~ Designed to create a pool of applicants—rate of success not as high

Employment Sources

  • Mass Internet Postings
    • Post resumes for access to many companies
    • Monster, Iseek, AAEE, JobWeb
  • Governmental Agencies
    • Federal, state, county, and city agencies
    • Wide variety of occupational opportunities
    • Most have separate applications on their websites
  • Employment Agencies
    • Private employment agencies
    • Applicant fee, employer fee, reimbursement fee

Develop a Skills List

  • Outline skills from work, school, volunteer/extra-curricular activities
  • Be able to document how skills were obtained
  • Have at least 5 skills you feel confident about and can readily list

Six Mistakes to Avoid as a Job Seeker

  1. Don’t rely too heavily on the internet
    • Use networking, Job Fairs, On-campus interviews
    • Use it, but don’t exclude other avenues
  2. Don’t wait until you graduate to look for work
    • Start 6-9 months before graduation
    • Attend Job Fairs, interview on-campus, set up your references, utilize BSUCareers
  3. Don’t ask people if they know of any jobs
    • Yes/no question that ends job-related conversation
    • Ask for suggestions for your resume and what ideas they have about any other people to contact
  4. Don’t limit yourself to one field/industry
    • Stress skills that can be used in many fields
    • Many things you learn are transferable
  5. Don’t play it solo
    • Make contacts and use every source of career assistance available
    • Check back frequently with all contacts
  6. Don’t clam up, possibly because you’re embarrassed at not having a job
    • Communicate unemployment to many contacts
    • Join a support group for people looking for jobs

Looking for Jobs Before they are Announced

  • Expansions
  • Retirement
  • Work with Friends within an Organization
  • Assistant Needed
  • Study Internet
  • Read Journals in your Field
  • Cold Calls
  • Family and Friends

Resume and Cover Letters

  • Be Brief, Clear and Concise
  • Be Consistent
  • Be Positive
  • Be Careful
  • Be Professional

When Sending a Resume

  • Always send a Cover Letter
    • Cover Letters should include: How you are qualified for the job and why you want to work for the organization.

If You Get an Interview

  • Prepare/Review your Skills List
  • Research the company
  • Ask for a Job Description
  • Review typical Interview Questions and Practice Answers
  • Dress Appropriately

Keys to Effective Job Search

  • Networking
  • Professional Resume and Cover Letter
  • Research Companies and Job Descriptions
  • Interview Preparation
  • Follow-up

For More Information

Contact Career Services

  • Have Access to BSUCareers
  • Resume and Cover Letter Critique
  • Job Skills Workshops
  • Career Resource Library
  • Self-Managed Credential File