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Help for finding success in the job market

Learning to find a job is much like learning to play a sport. It requires practice, stamina and commitment. Just as a successful player would never enter a competition without sufficient exercise and training, a successful job seeker would never think of entering the job market without the appropriate preparation.

Michelle Magee '02
Alumni Career Services Coordinator
Office of Cooperative Education and Career Services

RIT’s Office of Cooperative Education and Career Services offers a highly qualified staff to prepare alumni for an informed and effective job search. We offer resources including career fairs, job listings, interview opportunities and one-on-one advisement to prepare you for the job search in today’s competitive market.

Our program coordinators will work with you to develop a sound job search strategy, craft a winning resume, develop well-written employer correspondence, and sharpen your interviewing skills. We will assist you in identifying employers who are seeking talented people with your unique skill set and coach you to find employment opportunities in your field. You don’t have to be located in Rochester to work with us – you may schedule phone appointments, or in some cases, correspond via email at your convenience. Alumni may contact RIT’s Office of Cooperative Education and Career Services at 585-475-2301.

Here’s the program coordinator’s pre-game pep talk to get you ready to hit the employment market playing field at full throttle:

Do your homework. Make sure you know what skills you possess and which ones you may lack for the field you are targeting. Do you need further education, training or certification? Next, get the proper equipment to play: conduct an honest self-assessment, design a winning resume, write a solid cover letter and research potential employers.

Target the market. Decide what you want to do, be specific about what jobs you envision for yourself, where you would like to work, the kind of organization you’d like to be part of and focus your energies on pursuing that plan. Know your competition.

Develop an elevator pitch. An elevator pitch is a brief self-marketing statement that you deliver at conferences, job fairs and other networking events. It should sound informal and impromptu, and you can practice by rehearsing on your own voice mail!

Learn to market yourself. Practice selling your skills both in written word and in person. Communication skills are a critical component of securing employment.

Seek a support structure. Join a group or professional organization to network with other like-minded individuals. You will increase your career knowledge and gain many contacts at the same time. Consider volunteering in the group to take on assignments that will allow you to meet additional members in your career field and community.

Find a mentor. Is there someone you know and respect in your field who can provide guidance and support during your search and afterward? Seek out someone who is willing to take an interest in your progress and success.

Consider consulting or temping. As a temporary measure, why not consider offering your skills in a short-term assignment? Temp agencies offer opportunities that will allow you to get a foot in the door of an organization and prove your value firsthand.

Develop a positive attitude and demonstrate enthusiasm. Try to maintain a healthy and positive attitude while in your job search. Employers recall those who were excited about their organization better than the person who could merely perform the job without conviction. Remember that your upbeat attitude is infectious to everyone around you.

Learn from rejection. Use the information you gather as a stepping stone for further self-knowledge and growth. Remember, rejection is short-term and part of the job search process.

Never, ever throw in the towel! The job search is demanding and can be brutal. The competition can seem overwhelming, but to win the game you must be on the playing field and ready for the sport.

Let RIT’s Office of Cooperative Education and Career Services work with you one-on-one in your job search to ensure your success. We look forward to helping you build your winning story as you enter the competition!

Members of the RIT community share expertise on a variety of subjects in FYI, which appears from time to time in The University Magazine.