Internships & Jobs
Getting Started with Your Search
It is true that it takes work to find work. However, if you practice a variety of
both reactive and proactive search methods, stay organized, and stay motivated it
will all be worth it when you land that job! You can begin proactive methods sooner
to make connections in your industry and set yourself up for a favorable application
process. You can also use them at the same time as reactive strategies to optimize
your time and effort.
Online Job & Internship Search Resources
When it comes to using online resources, general job boards are helpful but you should
also find ways to narrow your search tools by things like location, industry, or job
function. This way your search is more tailored to what you want. These tools are
also helpful in doing broader research on a company so you have more insight into
salary, organizational structure, and company culture.
Your search methods must include ways connect with others, identify the hidden job
market, and build your brand. This way you are not just reacting to what is posted
online but proactively putting yourself in the job market to be discovered. Examples
of proactive methods include:
- Focus on Relationships: Leverage your network and stay connected to mentors and colleagues
to get direct referrals and introductions.
- Target Employers: Research companies that interest you. Identify your connections
and reach out to current employees or the decision makers of the organization.
- Ask for information, not a job: Find someone who inspires you and ask for a short
information interview in-person, over the phone, or via e-mail.
- Build an online presence: LinkedIn is an easy place to start your brand and opens
the door for employers to seek you out.
Timeline & Organization
It takes time to find opportunities
While there is no set period that applies to every person, on average you should plan
on 3 months of active engagement in your job hunt before an opportunity turns into
an offer. Below are a few common steps you will experience during your search; you
can see where the time can start to accumulate!
- Preparing and completing application materials
- Screening Interview (often virtual or over the phone)
- Getting offered an in-person interview (could be one of several rounds)
- Wait while other candidates are interviewed and company discusses applicants
- Receive a verbal offer
- Negotiations before accepting
Search Timeline & Organization Tips
Staying organized will help you feel more accomplished while assuring you are being
timely in every step of the search process. Start by setting both short- and long-term
goals to stay on track. Utilize technology and your favorite apps to set reminders
and check-ins on your progress. Check out the document below to help you get started.
Sample Job Search Tracker
Organizing your search will help you stay motivated! Don’t be afraid to share your
goals with us who can support and encourage you throughout the process.
Offers & Negotiations
This final step of your search may seem like the easiest; however, it is important
to take time and evaluate the offer before making a decision. Here are a few key elements
to remember during this process:
- Ask for time to consider the offer. It is completely acceptable to ask for at least
- Use that time to evaluate and prepare questions or negotiations
- Research average salaries and know your worth
- Remember to consider all benefits (time off, retirement package, insurance, etc.)
not just wage or salary
- Think outside the box, you may be surprised about what is negotiable (start date,
bonuses, work schedule, etc.)
- Get the final offer in writing and accept it in writing
Remember you are in the driver's seat, the organization wants you to join their team
and are often expecting negotiations.
Offer & Negotiation Tips
One last thing to remember, not every job you interview for will be the right fit
for you and that is okay! You can professionally decline and offer without damaging
your connections or future opportunities.
Sample Acceptance/Decline Letters
WCU Fund for Unpaid Internships
The Fund for Unpaid Internships seeks to ensure no student has to turn down an internship
because of a financial barrier. If you have an offer for an internship that is unpaid,
you can apply for one of the three types of funding offered . The application for spring 2023 scholarships and wage stipends is now closed.
However, if you are a student teacher who is completing a before or after school experience
at your site, the application for before and after school stipends for student teachers
is open now through February 24, 2023, and can be found here.