By DeVry University
April 1, 2021
9 min read
April 1, 2021
9 min read
Once you’ve earned your online degree, your next goal probably involves pursuing the job you’ve been dreaming of. But leaping forward in your career—or starting a new one—requires planning and commitment. We’ve put together some tried-and-true job search tips to help you get on the path toward success.
Pull keywords from the job description to add to your résumé along with personal and professional achievements to stand out.
Avoid over-crowding by using ample margins and subheadings to increase readability.
Proofread your résumé several times—and consider asking a friend to take a look as well.
If you have minimal experience, keep your résumé to one page. Your résumé may become longer if you have held several relevant roles.
Tell me about yourself.
Sum up your résumé in 15 seconds. You graduated with a degree in ___ and earned a graduate degree in ___. You’re career-oriented and passionate about the ___ field. You have ___ hours of applications-based experience in the areas of ___ and ___. When asked “tell me about yourself,” present your portfolio (if you have one), explaining how it demonstrates the positive combination of education and skills needed for the position. Also, sell your soft skills—such as leadership, communication, organization and time management—while offering specific examples of each. This is a great opportunity to let your personal brand shine through.
Why should I hire you?
Approach this question in the same manner as “tell me about yourself.” Reiterate your strengths as well as your interest in the job and company and explain why you'd fit well into the organization and how you’d make a direct impact.
What are your strengths and weaknesses?
When preparing for your interview, review your work experience and soft skills and prioritize those most applicable to the job you’re pursuing. When discussing strengths, talk about your top two or three. Be honest. Surprisingly, weaknesses can often be presented as a positive. Offer an example of a skill you know is relevant to the job and explain steps you're taking to enhance your performance in this area. For example, in sales it's important to be both adept at listening and aggressive in closing the deal. Thus, mention your strength in closing deals and steps you're taking to improve your listening skills. Showing that you know listening skills are important and are taking action to improve will be viewed as positive.
In what ways can you contribute to this company?
This question provides an excellent opportunity to sell yourself while using the knowledge you’ve learned about the organization. Relate your strengths to the company's mission, which you should have found during your job interview preparation. You might also discuss how you plan to become a team player dedicated to making positive contributions from day one.
What are the day-to-day responsibilities of the position?
Why is the position open?
How would my performance be evaluated?
To whom do I directly report?
What are some challenges I might encounter in this position?
What do you like most about the company?
What are the company's plans for growth?
What are some current issues and challenges facing the company?
What is the typical career path for someone in this position?
Is there a formal training program?
How does the company encourage and support professional growth?
What characteristics should a person possess to succeed in the company?
How does this position interact or relate with others within the company?
Refresh Your Memory
Review your résumé, the job description and the company's website one last time before you arrive for your interview.
Be On Time
If possible, do a dry run so you know how to get to your destination. Plan to arrive at least 15 minutes early to check in and collect your thoughts.
Always treat any company personnel you interact with—including front desk staff—with respect. This is the first impression you'll make.
Use Strong Interpersonal Skills
When you meet the interviewer be sure to smile, introduce yourself, use a firm handshake and maintain good eye contact.
If you’re preparing for a virtual interview for the first time, don’t fret. Many of the concepts above still apply. In addition, don’t forget to tidy up your interview space and test out your technology in advance.
Will I be developing as a professional?
Do the organization's philosophies and values match mine?
Are there opportunities to advance within the company?
Would I like the daily responsibilities of the job?
Are the expectations for the position realistic?
Could I work well with my manager and learn from him or her?
How will the demands of the job (such as hours and travel) affect my family or lifestyle?
Within 24 hours of your interview, you should also:
Send a brief email to everyone you spoke with thanking them for their time and reiterating your interest in the company. This is an opportunity to further your relationship with a potential hiring manager by reinforcing your understanding of the position and your ability to excel in the role. It allows you to further sell yourself and demonstrate your communication skills. Don’t have email addresses for the individuals you met with? It’s ok. Simply send your note to the HR manager you worked with and kindly ask them to pass it along.
Contact Your References
If you submitted references, be sure to call them yourself and inform them of a possible contact from the company. Tell your references the attributes the company is seeking and ask that they try and reinforce your strengths in those areas.
Contact Your Recruiter
If you've used a recruiter, call him or her to obtain any feedback they might have received from the company and to let them know how you think the interview went.
Continue Your Job Search!
Don’t sit and wait to hear back from jobs or recruiters. Continue to search and apply for other open positions.
Type of employer
Salary range established by the company for the position
Your current compensation (in some states)
Competition in the field
The skillset you bring to the job
To the extent possible, find information that correlates with your education and experience level. Also, be sure to consider cost of living when comparing positions in different geographic areas. Consulting the website for the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics is always a good place to start.
While an abundance of helpful salary information is available online, be sure to use this salary research merely as a benchmark.
Never cite a salary survey when negotiating your own compensation. Keep in mind that salaries cited in many surveys are often just median figures, meaning half of those surveyed make more and half make less.
When negotiating salary, ask what range of salary the company is prepared to pay for the position. Then be prepared to demonstrate how you will add value to the team with your professional experience and educational background to earn an offer at the higher end of their range.
In some states, potential employers may be allowed to take your current salary into consideration when making you an offer. If asked what you currently make, be honest.
Let the company make the initial salary offer. After this, either accept the offer or formulate a salary negotiation strategy.
1Our Certified University Career Coaches are certified by The Academies (www.theacademies.com). Our Certified Professional Résumé Writers are certified by the Professional Association of Résumé Writers and Career Coaches (https://parwcc.com/page/CPRW)
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In New York, DeVry University operates as DeVry College of New York. DeVry University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission (HLC), www.hlcommission.org. The University’s Keller Graduate School of Management is included in this accreditation. DeVry is certified to operate by the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia. Arlington Campus: 1400 Crystal Dr., Ste. 120, Arlington, VA 22202. DeVry University is authorized for operation as a postsecondary educational institution by the Tennessee Higher Education Commission, www.tn.gov/thec. Naperville Campus: 1200 E. Diehl Rd., Naperville, IL 60563. Unresolved complaints may be reported to the Illinois Board of Higher Education through the online compliant system https://complaints.ibhe.org/. View DeVry University’s complaint process https://www.devry.edu/compliance/student-complaint-procedure.html Program availability varies by location. In site-based programs, students will be required to take a substantial amount of coursework online to complete their program.
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