Finding a job
Job searching is a multi-step process that can take some time. The average job search takes 3-6 months! That's why it's important to use your time as wisely as you can and to be targeted in your job search strategies. Learn as much as you can about your industry and the current job market.
The James W. Stuckert Career Center has multiple ways to help you in your quest for the right job. As a member of the National Association of Colleges and Employers, we have several online tools available to students. View a self-study guide on job searching or the latest online issue of Job Choices magazine for articles on job searching and related topics. A Diversity Edition is also available for tips specifically for multicultural students.
UK Wildcat CareerLink
This interactive and informative online database is used exclusively by UK students, alumni. The Career Center post internships, jobs, upcoming events, employer info sessions, etc. in Wildcat CareerLink. Employers post their opportunities in the system year round.
See your Career Counselor
A Career Counselor/Consultant can assist you in all phases of your career/job search decision making process. Some of the things you may want to discuss with a Career Counselor/Consultant include:
- Overview of services the Career Center offers
- Choosing a major
- Online assessments
- Exploring careers related to your major
- Mentoring/Shadowing and Informational interviews
- Internships and Part-time jobs
- Job Searching
- Resume and/or Cover letter critique
- Wildcat CareerLink and/or On-Campus interviews
- Career Fair prep and Career Center events
- Researching companies
- Mock (practice) interview
- Salary information and comparing job offers
- Transition from college to work, first year on the job
Visit the Katherine Kemper Career Library
The Katherine Kemper Career Library (Computer Lab), located in the Career Center, is full of information related to career planning and job search research and activities. Inside, you'll find many resources to help you including computer access, books, online tools, and audio-visual materials on such topics as career planning/career decision-making strategies; resume writing; job search techniques; business etiquette; salary information; employer brochures. It is open to all UK students and alumni during normal business hours.
Participate in On-Campus Interviewing
Every year, the Career Center hosts over 150 companies who come to campus specifically to interview and hire UK students and alumni for full-time jobs after graduation and internships during the Fall, Spring, and Summer Semesters. During the Fall and Spring Semesters, local, state and national employers conduct on-site interviews at the Career Center. Students and graduates of the University of Kentucky are eligible to participate in the on-campus interview program. To access the schedule of interviews and register for upcoming interviews, visit the UK Wildcat Careerlink.
Develop a Networking Strategy
Networking is about connecting and sharing information. It requires you to talk to friends, professors, family, co-workers, former supervisors, customers, and reaching out to people you’d like to know in areas of interest. It’s a give and take process. Networking is one of the most efficient ways to spend your time when you're looking for a job. Networking yields about an 80% success rate. Do not be afraid to utilize your network. Most people remember what it's like to be job searching and are happy to help out. In addition, people usually like to talk about themselves and their careers. If you are respectful, professional, and enthusiastic, you will probably find that networking can work for you! In order to begin networking follow these steps:
- Brainstorm a list of all the people who can help you find a job. Don't leave anyone out. Your contacts don't have to be CEO's to be helpful!
- Let all of your contacts know what type of position for which you are looking.
- If possible, give each of your contacts a copy of your resume to circulate.
- Join online professional and social networking sites to network.
- Network with faculty and members of professional associations.
UK Wildcat CareerLink has a Mentoring and Shadowing Network that allows you to connect with professionals working in your major or chosen profession! A Career Counselor can assist you in developing a networking strategy. They may suggest employers to talk to beyond those you know or find in the Mentoring and Shadowing Network.
Conduct Informational Interviewing
Another great way to network is to conduct an informational interview. An informational interview allows you to "interview" someone in your chosen major or profession, or a profession that you are considering. It can be conducted face to face, on the phone, or via email. The purpose of an informational interview is twofold: a) to find out more about the career in which you are considering, and b) to make contact with professionals who can offer information and possibly help you along the path of finding the right career for you.
Follow the steps below in order to complete a successful informational interview!
- Make a list of people you know who have a connection to your line of work or area of interest. You may also connect with individual using the UK Mentoring and Shadowing Network via Wildcat CareerLink.
- Call or email each person on your list and suggest a brief meeting (15-30 minutes) in order to learn more about their line of work. Suggest a meeting (informational interview) at their place of employment or wherever is most convenient for them.
- Be on time for the meeting and ask for information and suggestions, not a job. Be brief and respectful of the person's time.
- Have good questions prepared. Be sure that you have researched the career, the company, and that person's position adequately before you arrive. This will help you ask better questions and appear more professional. These will help you get started:
- How did you decide to go into this profession?
- How did you get your position here?
- What type of degree / training do you possess?
- What do you like best and least about your job?
- What are some of the challenges of your job?
- What opportunities for advancement exist in this field?
- What do you see as the future of this occupation?
- Take your resume with you in case they ask to see it or to circulate it for you.
- Close the meeting at the scheduled time.
- Thank the person for their time. Ask for 2-3 other names of people in the profession. Be sure to ask the initial contact if you can use his/her name when you contact the names he/she gave you. Repeat the process above for each new contact.
- Write the initial person a thank-you note immediately.
- Be sure to follow-up on all leads and write thank-you notes to everyone who helps you.
- Remember all you need is a nod of recognition to take your resume from the bottom of the pile to the top of the pile. If you don't have contacts now -- make them!
If you have any questions or concerns about networking or informational interviewing, contact the Career Center to set up an individual appointment with a career counselor.
Salary negotiation is a delicate process. Salary offers will vary widely depending on such factors as the industry you're entering, previous experience, geographical location, employer size, and your specific qualifications. Some quick tips to keep in mind are:
- Do salary research ahead of time.
- Try not to discuss salary until the employer has decided to hire you. Wait until the employer initiates the topic.
- Always provide a salary range, if possible. A $10,000 range is recommended.
- Take at least 24 hours to consider a salary offer.
See our Career Guide's discussion of Salary Negotiation for specific tips on getting through this process with ease! Your career counselor can provide you with average salary information for entry-level graduates. Make an appointment to discuss more about salary negotiations with your Career Counselor, or attend one of our workshops focusing on this important topic.
The NACE Salary Survey is published four times each year. This is a report of the salaries from job offers made to new college graduates from over 330 universities and colleges in the United States. As a NACE member, the Stuckert Career Center receives and makes the Salary Surveys available to all students and alumni. NACE also provides UK students with a salary calculator to predict salary based on position, geographic region and your personal qualifications.