Find a Full Time Job

1. What are the first steps in finding a full time job?
2. How should I search for opportunities?
3. How can I stay organized while I search and apply for jobs?

4. How do I write my resume and cover letter?
5. What should I do to prepare for interviews?
6. How should I make my decision?
What tips can you offer international students?

1. What are the first steps in finding a full time job?

Starting a job search can be overwhelming, especially if you aren’t sure what kinds of jobs you’re interested in. Make a list of your career interests and skills as well as any geographic areas that interest you. The key to starting your job search is limit your search by eliminating jobs, tasks and locations that don’t interest you while still making a broad job search possible. If you’re having trouble starting your search or getting organized, check out our Job Search Strategies Worksheet.

Not sure what careers and skills interest you? Take a self-assessment.

Not sure where to start? Schedule a career counseling appointment.

2.      How should I search for opportunities?
Now that you know what kinds of jobs you’re looking for, make sure to use every resource available to you to find possible opportunities.

  • Your professional network – start connecting to people in your areas of interest and ask for an informational interview or inquire about openings.
  • Wake Forest Alumni – use LinkedIn to find Wake Forest alumni and contact them to do an informational interview.
  • Job Search Websites – search a variety of websites using our list of job search resources, including specialized resources designed to promote diversity & inclusion in the workplace.
  • Location Specific Resources – use these resources if you know where you’d like to move after graduation.

3.      How can I stay organized while I search and apply for jobs?
Finding a well-targeted job can be labor intensive. You will need to keep applying and interviewing until you secure an opportunity, which can often mean more than 20 applications. As you begin to fill out applications and submit resumes consider using this Networking Tracking Tool to help you keep all of your opportunities and contacts in order.

4.      How do I write my resume and cover letter?
A targeted resume and cover letter is key to landing an interview, but writing them can challenging, especially when you have limited work experience. Here’s a complete guide to writing both your resume and cover letter plus tips on how to complete your resume when you have less experience. Drop in for our daily Resume and Cover Letter Reviews so we can help you perfect these important documents.

5.      What should I do to prepare for interviews?
When it comes to interviews remember to prepare and practice.

  • Prepare by researching the company and the position and think about the interview from the employer’s perspective. What are they looking for in a candidate and what kinds of questions will they ask to determine if you’re a good fit?
  • Practice by scheduling a mock interview with a career counselor or practice on your own time with Interview Stream. Remember the more you prepare and practice, the more confident and successful you’ll be.

6.      How should I make my decision?

Before proceeding to the following financial resources, please create a free account on Cash Course using your WFU email address.

Deciding between job offers?  CashCourse offers resources to compare job offers in order to determine the best offer for you. Also, it’s important to consider job priorities. What is important to you in a career? The list will help you decide which offer is best suited for you based on your priorities.

Analyze your estimated paycheck to determine your salary after payroll deductions (i.e. take-home pay). You need to compare cost of living for the cities in which you want to live after graduation. Not every city is comparable. Making $45,000 in Winston-Salem looks a lot different than in New York City.

When it comes to making the final decision about which job offer to accept, look back at the list you made for Question #1. Does this offer meet many of the things you mentioned as interests? Are there adequate professional development and growth opportunities for you with this organization? Make an appointment with a career counselor to help you evaluate your opportunities.

As you evaluate your offer consider whether or not you should negotiate your salary. To evaluate the salary you’ve been offered begin by using the NACE salary calculator to determine what a reasonable salary for your position, location and experience would be. Next prepare a budget to determine your financial needs for that upcoming year. If the salary you were initially offered is far from the salary suggested for your position by NACE or there is a large discrepancy between your budget and your salary consider contacting your employer. For more information, click here to view our complete guide to salary negotiation.

Another important factor to consider when making your decision is student loan repayment. Be knowledgeable and understand your options. Click here to learn more about repaying student loans after graduation and starting your career.

7. What tips can you offer international students? 

This handout (click link for attachment) provides tips and advice for international students who wish to find a job or internship in the United States.  The Office of Personal and Career Development provides tools, resources, and staff to partner with you in this process.  However, just as for American students, it is up to you to take control of and be responsible for your job search.  During the entire search process, you must work closely with the Wake Forest Center for International Studies to ensure that you are working within the regulations required of your visa status, as the rules are constantly changing.