Finding a Job

Learn how to navigate your job search.

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.

We provide access to several online tools to assist you in your job search. Handshake is exclusive to UK students and is the preferred online job resource for employers specifically seeking UK students. This interactive and informative online database is used exclusively by UK students, alumni, and employers. The Career Center post internships, jobs, upcoming events, employer info sessions and more. Employers post their opportunities in the system year round.

Glassdoor is another online job board linking you to thousands of jobs. You can also do company research and find your connections through Facebook and LinkedIn at the companies posting job opportunities.

Participate in On-Campus Interviewing

Every year, the Career Center hosts 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 Handshake.

Developing 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.

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.
  • 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!

Salary Negotiation

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.

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.

International Students

International students are eligible for all career services available through the James W. Stuckert Career Center, including on-campus recruiting. It can be challenging to find a "sponsor-friendly" employer, so you need to begin the process early!

Here are some general tips to get you started:

  • Become an expert on visa and work options available to you, as you may need to educate prospective employers.
  • Schedule some time in your semester regularly, for focusing on your job search.
  • Attend workshops (especially ones that emphasize US business culture and etiquette).
  • Be sure to prepare a concise resume that includes your language skills beyond English.
  • Practice interviewing. Focus on selling the skills you have that are of value to employers.
  • GoinGlobal: Access an extensive database of companies and organizations that have sponsored H1B visas.

In addition to the Stuckert Career Center, help is located in the International Center’s Office of International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) in Bradley Hall. Come to Bradley Hall during regular daily walk-in hours or schedule an appointment to meet with an F-1 or J-1 student immigration advisor, to discuss your potential employment options both before and after graduation. 

Employment Before & After Graduation

Employment options prior to graduation, such as internships, are limited due to restrictive immigration regulations. However, for students who are required to complete an internship, this can be a wonderful opportunity to show off your skills. 

Most students will be eligible to apply for some type of practical training shortly before or immediately after all academic program requirements have been met.  Visit the ISSS website for more information about student employment options for F-1 and J-1 visa holders after graduation.

Students should also plan to attend at least one employment-based workshop offered by ISSS each fall and spring semester.  Watch for dates/times in your emails from ISSS, our Facebook and Twitter pages, or contact ISSS staff in Bradley Hall. 

  • Some employers will not sponsor international students for various reasons. Move on to employers who are "sponsor-friendly".
  • Talk to recent graduates, do an advanced search on jobs in Handshake, or ask your professors—there are many ways to find employers that are known to hire international students and sponsor H1-B status.
  • A good resource can be found through the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration website.  A list of companies that have filed labor condition applications (an application that precedes the H-1B filing) has already been disclosed and can be downloaded.