Job Searching 101: Where Do You Start?

Whether you’re a current student, an early career professional, or just someone looking for their next job opportunity, a question you might be asking yourself is, “Where do I start the job-hunting process?”.

With so many different avenues and ways to learn about new jobs (there are more than you think), the job-hunting process can be overwhelming. A lot of time is spent looking for jobs, applying, interviewing, and waiting for job offers, so it’s important that you use your time wisely. Two ways to do that are by making sure you’re looking in the right places and doing everything possible to accelerate and amplify your job-hunting process.

But where are the right places to look and how do you amplify your job-hunting process? In our recent Job Searching 101 virtual event, we invited Manny Contomanoli the Director at the Office of Career Services at Harvard University, Norma Gaier, the Executive Director for Texas Career Engagement at the University of Texas, John Pearson the North American Early Careers Manager at Unilever, and Cindi Love, the CEO of Out For Undergrad to fill us in on these job-hunting secrets.

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Respond to Uncertainty With Curiosity

One of the most important things to remember when starting the job search is not to stress out if you aren’t sure what you want to do. On the contrary, you should take this as a fun and exciting opportunity to explore different things.

Curiosity is going to be your biggest weapon at this stage that is best used in as many places as possible. The more things you expose yourself to the quicker you will find what you’re passionate about and what you want to spend your life doing!

Set Your Standards and Don’t Lower Them

Once you do know what you want to do, it’s important that you set certain standards and metrics for yourself and try not to change them. When you know what you want and exude confidence about it, you are able to express passion for an opportunity when you finally come across it. 

Organic, natural passion is something that recruiters love to see. Don’t be the person who fires off a bunch of random applications just because a company is hiring. If you don’t care enough about a position to look into it, it’s probably not something you want to spend a good chunk of your time doing.

Don’t waste your time or the recruiters! The only time when standards might be ok to be changed, and you’re going to hate us for saying this, is when it comes to the paycheck. Never choose a job just because of what you get paid. Look to the other standards you set to lead the way. 

Think more about things like the work you get to do and who you get to do it with! Having a flexible schedule or the perfect location might take precedence over a higher salary. Additionally, culture, mission, growth, products, and projects should also weigh in on your decisions!

Use The Resources at Your Disposal

One thing that frustrates employers and recruiters is people who don’t use the job-hunting resources they have at their disposal! College campuses, for example,  are full of them. Specifically, Career Centers on college campuses tend to be the most obvious resource for those looking for jobs. 

Whether it’s resume advice, cover letter tutoring, job fairs, or connections to employers who are actively hiring, career centers are a gold mine when it comes to finding jobs.

But college campuses aren’t the only place where opportunity awaits. In our completely unbiased opinion, WayUp is one of the best places for students and young professionals to find a job. Our platform is easy to use and matches you with job openings with the intention of finding you your perfect fit. Whether it’s through our virtual events where you get to meet employers, our blog content full of career tips and advice, or our job matching platform, we are the stepping stone you need. Also, don’t forget social media! The WayUp Instagram is full of great job-searching ideas and tips! 

Besides that, there are tons of other networking platforms like job fairs and LinkedIn that are handy resources to meet people. However, you just need to make sure you’re reaching out to the right people.

Reach Out to The Right People

While networking is one of the most important tools when it comes to job hunting, you have to know how to do it properly. Early career candidates and even people with industry experience repeatedly make the same networking mistakes and waste their time and opportunities establishing connections that are either unauthentic or not really valuable.

One of the most important things to consider when it comes to networking is knowing where to aim. In our Job Searching 101 event, John Pearson of Unilever explained the benefits of reaching out to someone on the team you want to apply to instead of just a recruiter for a company.

“Many companies out there have multiple recruiters so they might not necessarily be recruiting for the role you’re interested in. Instead, reach out to someone that’s actually on the team. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gotten emails from a director or a manager that was with a department and said, ‘Hey, I spoke to a great candidate on Linkedin. I think he or she would be a great fit for the role. Please set him up for an interview, or include them in the next Discovery center.’ I would strongly recommend that because then it’s a direct pipeline to the personal recruiter who’s recruiting for that role.”

John Pearson, North America Early Careers Manager, Unilever

As John made clear, the internet is your friend! You just have to learn how to use it right. That means doing your due diligence and research to find out who the key decision-makers are and how you can reach them in an authentic way.

At the end of the day, no matter where you are in your professional career or job-hunting cycle, the most important thing you do is take the first step. Whether that first step is touching up your resume, creating an email template, or doing any of the suggestions on this list, the most important thing you do is start!

For more career advice and tips on how to find a job, keep up with the WayUp community guide and look out for new Job Searching 101 virtual events!

Source: Employer -


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