Loyola University Chicago

Career Development Center

Job Search Preparation

You’ve heard that "it's a jungle out there." The truth is that college graduates can and do find jobs, although the process is neither quick nor easy: it is a process, which involves equal parts planning and doing. The following suggestions are a blueprint for both this process:

Set up an appointment with a career advisor

Discuss your job search, check your resume and other application materials, and learn about resources for your job search.

Understand your career identity

Know your interests, values, skills and personality preferences. Use them as criteria to identify work that will be satisfying. Loyola's ePortfolio program is a great tool for learning, reflection, transformation, and self-assessment.

Understand the field

Research your potential career options. Search online. Read trade and professional journals, newsletters, blogs and employer publications.

Build a network of personal and professional contacts

Notify family, friends, neighbors, colleagues and acquaintances that you are job hunting. Participate in professional associations related to your area or areas of interest. Gather information through conversations, meetings, seminars, workshops or any other opportunity to interact with those who may be able to assist you. Discuss your career goals whenever the occasion arises, and ask for suggestions. Social networks like LinkedIn are also another way to network when actively job seeking. Visit LinkedIn for Students for quick tip sheets and videos to make the most of using LinkedIn.

Strengthen your I.Q. (Interviewing Guide)

Sharpen your interview skills through practice. Stage mock interviews with someone whose feedback you trust. Develop accomplishment-oriented responses to those "typical" interview questions.


Phone, write, e-mail, and fax. Keep in touch with interviewers and your network contacts. Be sure to thank those who have set aside time to speak with you.

Set goals, be organized

Set reasonable weekly goals for accomplishing items listed on this page. Develop workable methods to keep track of networking contacts, job postings, and applications you have submitted. Set aside specific parts of your week to work on these goals.

Reward yourself

Build pleasant personal activities into your day. Meet a friend at the gym or for dinner as a reward for working through your job search to-do list. Take time for yourself. Keep connected to people who will provide you with emotional support throughout this process. Manage your stress in positive ways.

Familiarize yourself thoroughly with RamblerLink's various resources

Keep your profile information current, especially your e-mail address. Make sure that your latest resume is uploaded, approved, and that you have selected it as your default resume. Find the best way to criteria for the type of jobs you are seeking and set up Search Agents based on that criteria. Make sure your account privacy settings allow batch emails from RamblerLink so you receive notices of career fairs, workshops, information sessions, and other events.