Axia College Material
Job Application Skills
Planning a Job Search
You may or may not be working right now. Chances are, however, one of the reasons you are
attending college is so you get the job you want. Whether you are looking for an entry- or higher-
level job, you must strive to make a strong impression for the hiring manager and company. If
your job-related materials, such as your résumé and cover letter, are professional and free of
errors, you are more likely to receive a second glance. Before you begin this communication, you
must plan your job search.
Preparing to Search
Before you search for a job, you must know what you are looking for and where you would fit
best. To plan your search, consider the following steps:
Make a list of your strengths and areas in which you know you excel.
Decide where you are willing to move if the opportunity presents itself.
Decide what hours and days you are willing to work and how those may affect your
personal life, such as school, family, and friends.
Decide what types of stress you are willing to tolerate: standing all day, meeting tight
deadlines, and so forth.
Make a list of the types of jobs in which you are interested.
If you are talented at organization and word-processing, for example, you could include an
administrative assistant on your list.
Although it is important to strive for your dreams, you must be realistic. If you want to be in show
business, but do not have a wealth of experience, you could search for jobs related to the field,
such as client services or production assistant, depending on your skill set. You may have to start
at an entry-level job and work your way up, which is typical of almost any field.
Once you know what type of job you are looking for, browse through a newspaper or access the
Internet. Web sites such as
may be helpful.
Search for the jobs that interest you by entering keywords and your city and state. As jobs come
up, read the requirements and duties. If the job includes requirements you do not meet or duties
you know you would not want to fulfill, do not apply. Be cautious of scams—jobs that sound too
good to be true, such as modeling or stay-at-home jobs. If an announcement shows promise,
research the company at the Better Business Bureau (
) to see if complaints have
been filed against the company.
When you find jobs that interest you, print or write down the required information. Find out what
the application process involves. Some companies request an e-mailed résumé. Others require a
cover letter or letter of interest and résumé, but accept them only by mail. If the instructions are
unclear, e-mail or call the company for more information.
This type of planning may take time, so make sure you budget your time accordingly. Although