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Job Search

Searching for your next opportunity can be a challenging process but this page will help break it down into manageable steps. Don’t worry about doing them in order, just get started checking off as many activities as you can and you’ll be on the way to a great opportunity.

Know yourself

  • Identify personal strengths, skills, interests and values.
  • Make a list of possible job titles/fields of interest.

MSU Career Services can help you with this process. To find out how, visit our Career & Major Exploration page.

Decide where you want to work

  • Research organizations or companies that might hire someone with your skills and background.
    • Research can be done via company websites, Eagle CareerNet, people in your network, business publications and professional organizations.
    • Consider setting up an informational interview with someone to discuss his/her background, a typical day and any advice for someone getting started in the field.  The purpose of an information interview is to expand your knowledge about a particular field by actually talking to people doing that work.  
  • Research average salaries.  
    • Career Services has entry level salary data if you ask. Other good sources are professional organizations, people in your network, and O*Net.

Get ready for the search

  • Access Eagle CareerNet.
  • Finalize your resume, cover letter and three professional references.
  • Prepare for interviews by practice interviewing through InterviewStream, MSU’s online mock interview module and finding an interview suit.   

Start searching

Treat your search as if it is a full-time job. Be aware that it can take from 6 to 9 months to find an opportunity.  Students seeking a full-time job upon graduation and those seeking a summer internship need to begin the job search process during the fall semester.

  • Track your contacts, interviews and job search activities. Plan to follow up after two weeks.
  • Use the internet – Many job/internship search databases are available.  Try and, or look through a list of ranked job sites and in-depth comparisons at
  • Want ads in newspapers and business publications can still be effective.  
  • Develop a relationship with an employment agency. Job seekers should never have to pay a fee to reputable agencies.


Tap into the Hidden Job Market

Only 20 to 25% of available jobs are advertised openly. Many opportunities are in the “hidden job market.” Candidates are found through niche postings, like Eagle CareerNet, and “word of mouth” advertising. This is why building your network is so important.

  • Check Eagle CareerNet for opportunities and recruitment/networking activities.
  • Take the initiative to target the organizations of interest to you and reach out with a tailored cover letter and resume.
  • Consider looking through business directories (Chamber of Commerce websites in your preferred geographic location, yellow page directories).