Where do I start?
There are a daunting number of available positions for your job and internship search. At any given time, there are hundreds of jobs on SMU’s Handshake job posting site alone. Looking at every single one can be overwhelming. Narrowing down the options can take time. Don’t worry! The Hegi Family Career Development Center is here to help.
Be intentional about your job search
The key to being successful in your job search endeavors is to search with a purpose in mind. If you know a particular industry, position, and/or culture that you are looking for, it becomes much easier to shorten the list of options available to something manageable. We encourage everyone to begin the job search process by thinking through the following:
Values: What is important in your life
Interests: What gets you motivated, excited, curious, or passionate
Personality: The combination of characteristics that make you, you
Strengths: Your strongest attributes and assets
Experience: The transferable skills you bring to the table
Environment: The people and spaces you want to surround yourself with
For help in exploring these ideas of self, visit a member of our Career Development Team in drop-in hours or by scheduling an appointment. Our dedicated career development specialists have activities that can reveal much about yourself. Once you have a thoughtful understanding of these ideas, the list of possibilities that are right for you becomes more apparent, and much smaller. Because of this, you can concentrate your efforts on finding opportunities that fit you. Specific industries will pop out. Particular positions will sound appealing. Types of corporate culture will be more appropriate. In the long run, investing time in understanding yourself will help save time and energy!
Start with who you know
Whether you realize it or not, you already have a huge network of people with the potential to hire. Your parents’ friends, your friends’ parents, and SMU alumni are all great places to start. Reach out to your network and explore the prospects available. Ask questions. Interview people. Focus on people who do things you might enjoy doing. Once you establish a relationship, applying to a job and getting an interview will be much more probable.
If you need help meeting people in a particular field, consider attending events hosted by the career center, or by professional societies in the Dallas area. On campus networking events include info sessions, employer Lunch n’ Learns, Coffee Chats, Panels, and career fairs. The professionals at these events want to meet you, and would be delighted to answer questions while getting to know you.
Searching through job posing sites
Job posting sites are valuable resources to help in the job search process. But, they should not be your only resource. Keep in mind: many positions that are posted online have over 100 applicants. Your job is to be one of the applicants that a company wants to interview. A good resume is essential. Knowing someone in the company is perhaps even more valuable. Applicants who know someone in a company are up to ten times more likely to get the job. To better your odds, you should know someone too.
The Hegi Employer Relations Team
The Hegi Family Career Development Center has a dedicated team of career specialists who have relationships with many of SMU’s biggest employers. These specialists know what opportunities are available, and can help connect you with professionals and recruiters in an industry or position which interests you. Visit the Hegi Family Career Development Center during drop-in hours, or to schedule an appointment and our staff will be able to help you find the connections you need for your next job or internship.