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Job Search Check Out What Works!

According to some sources many jobs for recent college graduates are not advertised. The effective job seeker spends most of their time uncovering these types of “hidden” job openings. That means talking to people and identifying and approaching employers of interest. While it is important to check out advertised openings, more time should be spent cultivating your contacts (see Networking) and conducting informational interviews with potential employers. Use the internet not just to look for openings, but to network, research industries and organizations, and access employer directories, such as CareerShift. Join a professional organization to meet people in your field as well as to keep current on industry trends. Most jobs never hit the newspaper or the internet, so be a proactive rather than a reactive job seeker. Focus your energy on meeting people and contacting organizations that you have researched.

Remember - think creatively about how you can make contact with employers, and how to best construct your job search.

The following checklist should help you identify and organize some of the job search tasks you will need to complete.

Clarify Your Job Target

  • Determine where your interests, abilities, and values fit best in the world of work.
  • Use the CDC Career Information Center to learn about career opportunities.
  • Conduct informational interviews with professionals in your field.
  • Complete an internship in your field of interest. The conversion rate of interns being offered full-time jobs by the organization where they interned is 64.8% (NACE, 2014).
  • Select preferred geographic location(s) and identify realistic starting salaries in your field. A good place to do your research is

Prepare Your Job Search Correspondence

  • Attend resume and cover letter writing workshops offered by the CDC.
  • Set up an appointment with a counselor to review your printed resume or cover letter.
  • Review sample resumes and cover letters on the CDC website.
  • Pick up Resume/Cover Letter handouts in the CDC or view them on the Resume Information page.

Get Ready for Your Job Search

  • Start networking now! Let friends, relatives, supervisors, teachers, and former employers know you are looking.
  • Pick up the Networking handout in the CDC or view it on our website.
  • Create a professional LinkedIn profile and join groups appropriate to your field.
  • Join and become active in professional organizations in your field.
  • Read local and out-of-town newspapers.
  • Shop for your interview suit.
  • Pick up a Reference File Packet or view it on the Refference Files page.

Identify Unadvertised Openings

  • Research potential employers using CareerShift, a career development portal to guide you through a strategic job search process, including access to an extensive and up-to-date employer database. See other side for instructions on using CareerShift.
  • Begin contacting potential employers with phone calls, visits, and letters of inquiry with resumes. Connect/follow on social media sites.
  • Start keeping records on employer contacts and follow-up periodically.
  • Continue to increase your in-person and online networking activities.

Check Out Advertised Openings

  • View job openings using ORCA on the CDC website.
  • Upload your resume to ORCA.
  • Visit popular links to other job listing sites on the CDC website.
  • Identify publications or websites related to your field that list current openings.
  • Visit organization websites for employment listings.
  • Check out all upcoming events on the CDC website to find out about employers visiting campus and upcoming job fairs.

Find Employers by Accessing and Navigating CareerShift 

While we encourage you to check out the many features of CareerShift, the following directions are for searching the CareerShift Employer database - a large, up-to-date database of national and international organizations!

  • Enter CareerShift using the "Member Login" found in the upper, right-hand corner of the webpage or register by entering First Name, Last Name, and Email Address, and then click "Sign Up".
    • Note: Only email addresses,, and are acceptable for use in CareerShift.
  • Complete the on-screen form by confirming your email address, entering a password, answering a security question, and agreeing to the user terms. Click "Next".
  • Respond to the group questions regarding status and major. Click "Submit". You now have an account and are logged into CareerShift.
  • Click on "My Companies" in the main menu to do a search for organizations.
  • There are five main categories for searching: Keyword/Description, Company Name/Web Domain, Industry, Area, and Size.
  • Within "Industry," select an industrial category (e.g. Finance) or a subcategory (e.g. K-12 Schools).
    • If you do not find a specific industry, search by "Keyword/Description" (e.g. textiles, theatre).
  • Within "Search by Area" select a State/Province, Metro Region, or Zip Code with Zip Radius.
  • Use "Company Name/Web Domain" to find more specific information about a particular organization and use "Company Size" if you wish to restrict results by the size of an organization.
  • Click on "Search". If your search result is empty, modify your search criteria by returning to and modifying your chosen industry, area, and/or other search criteria.
    • For detailed organizational information click on an organization's name.
    • In addition to information about the organization, you will also get links to key people, the organization's LinkedIn profile, and jobs at the organization.
  • Searches and corresponding information can be saved to your personal folders and exported.
  • Look for other CareerShift features like finding employer contacts by their alumni status; finding job opportunities by employer, geographic area, or keyword; and engaging in job search campaigns with online or printed applications.
  • Call or stop in to the Career Development Center if you need assistance.

Develop Good Interview Skills

  • Attend the CDC's interviewing workshop.
  • Refer to books on interviewing in the CDC library.
  • Pick up the Interviewing handout in the CDC or view it on our website.
  • Practice interviewing in a recorded mock interview session with a CDC counselor.
  • Use ORCA and the web, to learn more about organizations.

Follow Up

  • Check with the CDC or on ORCA to make sure all references requested have been submitted.
  • Follow-up with organizations that you have not heard back from.
  • Send thank you letters after interviews.

Career Development Center

Buffalo State College  •  1300 Elmwood Avenue  •  Cleveland Hall 306
Buffalo, New York 14222  •  Phone: (716) 878-5811  •  Fax: (716) 878-3152