Job Search Preparation

Photo of a career services practice job interview.The Career Services office assists Colorado Mountain College students with preparing for an effective job search. There are several resources available to assist with developing a self assessment, resumes and cover letter, network building, social media etiquette and interview preparation:

Self-Assessment

Resume and Cover Letter writing

Networking

Social Networking sites

Self-Assessment

Knowing your strengths, best qualities, interests, your challenges, as well as areas that aren’t appealing to you, are all important in the first steps of your job search process. Take time to evaluate these self-assessment areas, as this will greatly impact your decision-making journey.

Self-assessment should be the first area of concentration before you begin exploring career fields. Being able to identify clearly and understand your skills, interests, personality traits and values at the beginning of your career development process will make your job search much more effective.

Even if you have chosen a major, you may still have questions regarding what the job outlook is for your chosen field. You may wonder about specific areas within your degree such as the multitudes of Business sub-fields including, but not limited to, finance, human resources, marketing, ski operations and management, purchasing agent — the list goes on and on. Connect with and email Career Services at careerservices@coloradomtn.edu to inquire about this important self-assessment piece.

Resumes and Cover Letters

“You only have one chance to make a first impression.” Resumes and other career letters are incredibly powerful tools that can make or break you professionally. Having a top notch stellar resume and cover letter could be the difference between getting an interview or not. These career documents provide the employer with an initial glimpse of your experiences and skillsets, as well as providing you the ability to market your academic and professional accomplishments. It’s your first chance to “sell” your best qualities.

If you have additional resume and cover letter questions, or would like to brush up on updating your current career documents, click on our Resumes and Cover Letter Guidelines (pdf) packet to receive detailed letter writing expert advice or contact the Career Services office at careerservices@coloradomtn.edu to receive additional assistance.

Networking

Networking involves talking to people about your career goals, seeking advice and spreading the word about what you are interested in. You can talk to anyone and everyone. It is building and maintaining genuine relationships that support you in your career pursuit. Keep in mind that your connections are a two-way street enabling you to help others. Social and professional networking websites are also a great source for networking (see Social Networking section below.)

  • Networking is one of the most successful job search approaches.
  • Seventy to ninety percent of jobs are found via networking.
  • Do NOT ask for a job. Instead, seek advice, feedback and referrals (which in turn may very well lead to a job opportunity).

Effective networking can result in:

  • Being afforded an opportunity not yet advertised, therefore, reducing the competition significantly. Finding the hidden job market.
  • Strong inter-personal relationships in which you continuously maintain and grow.
  • Obtain specific information on your sought after areas of interest within the field(s).
  • Putting you in the position of focusing attention on the qualities and strengths you possess, putting you in control of the image you would like to present.
  • Allowing you to make and utilize referrals that make your job search process easier.
  • Finding out strategies to help you break into your job fields of interest.
  • Receiving additional contacts through your initial contacts.
  • Networking is a PROACTIVE job search method.

With networking, it is key to remember:

  • Although it is a very effective technique, one must always be aware of the possibility of indiscretion. Choose your contacts wisely and ensure that you maintain confidentiality at all times.
  • It’s a waiting game, where you may have to wait it out patiently for the right opportunity and/or the right contact to come available.

Who do you network with?

  • Family, immediate and extended
  • Neighbors
  • Friends
  • Community Members
  • Friends of your Parents
  • CMC Alumni
  • Work/Internship contacts
  • Professors and Staff team members

Social Networking Sites

The use of social media in career-related activities has increased dramatically in recent years. Use on-line social networking to increase your opportunities of networking and finding a job. There are several other benefits to engaging in on-line social networking including: keeping you informed of the trends and news, finding internship opportunities and allowing you to expand your network base. There are many sites. Take a look at a few of the more popular sites listed below:

  • LinkedIn.com – this site allows you to connect with people who know you as well as giving you access to their connections, greatly increasing your level of potential networking contacts. For more information on how to use LinkedIn in a job search visit Jobsearch.about.com.
  • Twitter.com – this is a social networking and mini blogging service based on interest areas. For more information regarding utilizing Twitter for networking visit Jobsearch.about.twitter.com.
  • Facebook.com-connect with your friends, primarily created to get to know others on your campus or school. It is now being used for job searches as well. For more information about job searching with Facebook visit Jobsearch.about.Facebook.com.

Caution

It is vital to remember that posting information on ANY website means it is viewable by others. Many employers will search the web and view your social networking profiles. Think about what you post and the image you are presenting. A good tip to follow is if you wouldn’t show it to your family members, then don’t post it.