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Applying For Jobs

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You have identified job openings and/or targeted particular companies through informational interviewing and research. Now you need to take a step forward and make contact with the organizations to which you will be applying.

To find a job, you will need to consider advertised vacancies as well as unadvertised vacancies through direct company contact.

Advertised Vacancies

An advertised job vacancy will most likely be found in print or online. Online advertisements will have specific directions to submit your resume and other pertinent information. It would be to your advantage to become familiar with resume procedures when distributing your resume online.

Responding to job vacancies printed in newspapers, professional journals or job postings in the career office will most likely require the following steps:

  • Your resume, if necessary, should be customized to reflect any special skills or experience that may be specific to the position for which you are applying.
  • If the advertisement does not mention a specific person to send the resume to, call the company and inquire so that you can address your cover letter appropriately.
  • Be sure to briefly address each of the requirements stated in the ad in your cover letter. Stress your experience and interest in the position, but do not restate what is on your resume (see the Cover Letter handout at Career Services).
  • If a phone number for the company is available, you can follow-up your letter with a phone call to express your continued interest in the position. If no phone number is available, you will have to wait for a response.
  • Some large companies may take several weeks to reply. For this reason, you need to keep specific notes, along with the original advertisements, for every company to which you have applied. By doing so, you will always be ready for that unexpected phone call and can quickly refer to your notes during the conversation.

Direct Company Contact (Unadvertised Vacancies)

While researching companies and networking with friends, you may have found a company that sounds like a great place to work. You know they employ people in your field and you would like to explore the possibility of a position in the company, but have seen no advertisements.

  • Start with a phone call to the company. Ask for the name of the manager, director, supervisor, etc. of the department in which you would like to work. You may want to explain that you wish to send them some material. Be certain to ask for the correct spelling of their name, job title and address.
  • Now you need to write a letter of introduction expressing your interest in the company. Include a copy of your resume. At the end of the letter, be sure to state that you will follow-up with a phone call.
  • Phone the person to whom you directed your letter. Be prepared to discuss your interest in the company and in arranging to meet him. Record on a note card what you want to say so that you don't forget any important information.
  • Before closing the conversation, remember to thank them for their time, whether or not you gain an appointment or interview.

Ready to Interview

The above information should help you become familiar with different ways to find job openings. The more time you put into the job search, the more interviews you will obtain. The Career Library has a summary of interviewing skills in "Effective Interviewing." Pick up your copy today. Another way to prepare for interviewing is to schedule a Videotaped Mock Interview with an Fitchburg State Career Counselor.

Best Wishes in your job search and don't forget the staff at the Career Services Center is here to help you every step of the way, whether you're seeking your first "real" job or changing careers.

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