Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon Portland Community College

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Make a weekly plan of attack:  to avoid getting overwhelmed, break down job hunting into manageable steps. Repeat these steps every week until you’re hired.

For now, searching for jobs is your full-time job!

1) Find job postings

Job openings are everywhere! The biggest mistake we see job seekers make is not checking in enough places or with enough people to find job openings.

Where to find job openings:

  • Look for openings with the companies on your preferred employer list.
  • Contact people you met while you were getting experience in school. Let them know you are actively looking for work.
  • Contact potential references to ask if you can use them.
  • Attend networking meetings, sign up for newsgroups and job listservs.
  • Contact professionals and ask for advice on new job search ideas.
  • Seek volunteer opportunities and internships with prospective employers.
  • Register with at least 3 staffing agencies. Temporary work often turns into permanent work.
Do you want this job?

The most efficient use of your time is to concentrate on those companies that match your criteria. Your criteria include: degree, program of study, expertise and lifestyle choices. Learn to evaluate job postings to see if it would be the right job for you.

2) Revise your documents

Target each position by revising your job search materials, including the application, cover letter, resume, essay questions, and transcripts. Customize your materials for each job opening.

What to do:

  • Do homework about the company to understand what they are looking for.
  • Each company has a unique hiring process. Follow the application instructions carefully. You do not want your first impression to be that you didn’t follow instructions.
  • Customize your resume for each position. Skipping this step is a common mistake!
  • Have someone proof-read your job search materials each time you customize.
  • Take time to regularly revise and refresh your LinkedIn profile.
  • Send out at least three customized resumes each week.

Keeping track of it all

There are too many details to remember without some kind of system. A few tools we recommend:

  • The “Weekly Job Search Tool” in Oregon CIS
  • A spreadsheet (here is a helpful template) that includes:
    • Where you applied
    • Which resume you sent
    • Date of last contact (resume sent, follow up, interview, thank you, etc.)

Do every week:

  • Aim to send out at least 3 customized resumes for 3 specific positions
  • Do some networking, spend time volunteering
  • Record your efforts and contacts during your job search – here is a helpful template for tracking your efforts

Avoid common mistakes:

  • Don’t stop searching once you have an interview on the calendar
  • Don’t stop checking with your professional network about job openings because there’s a job on the horizon

Staying positive

During the job search process, take extra care of yourself.  Remember: rejection happens.  Use your support network – someone who can encourage you each week.

Where to get help

If you aren't getting interviews after 4 weeks, it's time to try a different tactic. See all help resources available: PCC Panther Works.

PCC career contact information
If you are... Then contact...
  • Not finding job openings
  • Not getting interviews
  • Doubting yourself
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