Job Search Steps

As you begin your job search, the following steps will help you learn how graduates find work, as well as help you develop and execute your job search plan.


If you're having trouble developing or articulating your plan, come in and meet with a staff member for assistance.

  • What are your time tables for finding work?
  • Before you initiate contact with hiring managers and alumni, set up a system for tracking résumés submitted, networking contacts, interviews and other resources. This Excel template can help you get started. Add as much information as you can before you begin with resources, websites and networking contacts.


  • Generate a list of organizations in your field of interest and geographic area (develop a “prospect list”).
  • Learn everything you can about your industry or employment group (nonprofit, government, education) and the specific organizations or companies you’re interested in working for. Glassdoor is a good resource for this.


  • Since networking contacts are significant to successful job searches, let your network know about your areas of interest and that you’re job searching.
  • Take advantage of opportunities to expand your network, including Hope’s LinkedIn group and networking events. No one is alone in their job search. Assisting someone with an introduction for an interview that leads to a job is a rewarding experience; many Hope alumni and other contacts are happy to assist.

Search For and Apply to Open Positions

  • Apply to opportunities that you discover via networking or online.
  • Target your résumé and cover letter to each specific position. Some applications may also request a writing sample, portfolio or samples of your work.
  • Send required materials well in advance of deadlines.
  • Check openings through our recommended job search resources.

Follow Up

  • Contact each organization to confirm receipt of your application and to set up a phone or in-person interview (if appropriate).
  • If an organization has requested no emails or calls, then follow their instructions.

Next Steps

  • Call the Career Development Center to schedule an appointment to develop your plan and address any questions.