A Parent's Guide to the Job Search Process

How can you help your graduating senior prepare for the job market? Be supportive and encourage them to sooner rather than later. We recommend that students follow these basic steps:

  • Identify strengths, values, interests, personality, and skills – these activities generate a critical language of action verbs and keywords for communicating qualifications to employers.
  • Develop career goals – knowing what you want to do and staying focused on your goals are very important to job search success.
  • Conduct job-related research – research companies, employers, and careers.
  • Write resumes and cover letters – they won’t get you a job, but they do advertise you for job interviews to prospective employers.
  • Assess personal brand/digital identity - most employers will Google job candidates to see what they can find.  Student need to ensure a positive digital identity and use appropriate privacy settings on social media.
  • Network for information, advice, and referrals – this will help to uncover opportunities in the hidden job market.
  • Interview – this is the single most important step in the job search process. Without an interview, there is no job offer and no job.
  • Negotiate salary and terms of employment – know what you’re worth in today’s job market and know when it’s appropriate to discuss salary & benefits.

An organized and targeted job search is an effective job search. The best way to get started is to take advantage of the services offered in the Center for Academic & Professional Performance (CAPP) at Millikin University. Ask your student where they are in the job search process and remind them to visit the CAPP, University Commons 312. All of our resources are free.