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Student and Alumni Job Search FAQ

Below are some common questions and answers for students, new graduates and alums conducting a job search. If you have other questions or needs, please call the Center for Career Education at 601-974-1346 or email careercenter@millsaps.edu.

When should I start my job search?

  • It typically takes six to nine months to conduct a successful job search.
  • Networking can assist in cutting the time of your job search. This is an ongoing process that may begin early in your college experience.

How do I prepare for my job search?

  • Know yourself. Clarify life and career goals. Assess career interests, values and skills.
  • Complete a well-written and updated resume.
  • Learn how to write effective, personalized cover letters.
  • Develop strong interviewing skills.
  • Select references and discuss your career plans and their contribution to your job search.
  • Develop knowledge of salary statistics and salary negotiation skills.
  • Research companies that interest you.
  • Establish a timeline. Determine the time you will spend on your job search each day, each week, or each month.
  • Get organized. Create a method of documenting and organizing your job leads and communications.

Can you send me a resume and/or cover letter example?

  • For a quick "crash course" on resumes or job search letters, visit Job Choices online. Each version of this publication provides basic samples for you to view.

What are some effective job search techniques?

  • First, be sure you know your focus. A broad job search is unproductive.
  • Network! This is the process of interacting with others who can provide information about an industry or available positions within it. Start by contacting the Alumni Relations Office about their alumni group on LinkedIn.
  • Visit the Millsaps College Center for Career Education! This office provides job search assistance, a career resource center, career counseling/testing, and information sessions. Special events include networking events and on-campus recruitment.
  • Join professional organizations related to your area of interest. In addition to well-known websites, search for jobs using College Central Network and CareerShift
  • Register with a private employment agency! This is a good method for finding temporary or permanent employment, however be cautious. Target agencies that DO NOT charge the job seeker and be sure to read all contracts carefully before signing.
  • Try internal campaigning. A way of proving your "worth" to employers is through volunteering and/or interning with a company. Think of this as an extended interview highlighted by your job performance.
  • Attend job fairs! Employers are invited to recruit employees at colleges as well as regional organization and industry-related events.
  • Ask faculty for referrals for for industry connections. Many of Millsaps faculty are well connected within their field of study.
  • Make a site visit during holiday breaks! Market yourself to a company whether you are aware of open position or not. This is done by resource mining with  the idea of ultimately visiting the employer in person.
  • Employers welcome informational interviews. Well before you graduate, set up appointments with potential employers. Ask their advice, gather current industry information, and learn the best way to market your skills. However, do not ask for a job during an informational interview.

How do I conduct a long-distance job search? 

  • Contact Chamber of Commerce offices for organization/company directories.
  • Register with CareerShift and with College Central Network for national and international information.
  • Obtain Yellow Pages for your targeted geographical area at www.yp.com.
  • Utilize alumni connections for career advice and networking. Visit Major Mentors to get started.
  • Attend alumni networking events and job fairs held in your targeted city. Offer to meet with employers initially on the phone or through Skype. This is an inexpensive way to conduct a screening interview.

How and when should I follow-up?

Q: I sent an unsolicited resume directly to the company, but they have not called. What do I do?

A: Allow time for the resume to arrive and be routed internally. Then, call to see if the resume has arrived. Ask what the company policies are regarding applications. Also, ask if there are available positions. Career professionals report that the chances of getting an interview from mailing an unsolicited resume increase when the company is contacted prior to sending the resume.

Q: I sent my resume in response to an actual job posting. When should I hear a response?

A: Allow time for the resume to arrive and be routed internally. Again, call to see if the resume has arrived and ask for the time frame of reviewing resumes, conducting interviews, and making offers. If you do not hear from them within ten days, call and ask the status of the search. It is recommended that students vary their contact by using mail, the telephone and email.

Q: I had an interview with a company. Will they call me about their hiring decision?

A: At the end of the interview, ask the recruiter when to expect an offer. Then, send a thank you note or email. If you do not hear anything within a few days after the interview, do not hesitate to call. Job seekers should definitely call if one week has passed.