Job Search

All the information you need to land your next job.

Job Search Methods & Resources

Job Searching 101 

After you have defined your career interests and developed a realistic understanding about the job market, your attention should be focused on generating a list of potential employers and job possibilities. Unfortunately, employers probably won't find you, you must actively search for opportunities and available positions. This will be a time consuming effort, however, the time you invest now will reap benefits for years to come.  

Materials

To begin, make sure you are prepared with all the relevant job search tools. The following is a list of items you may need:

  • A professional resume that has been reviewed by Career & Life Planning
  • Well-written, specific cover letters targeted to your intended career field
  • A list of references who have indicated a willingness to recommend you
  • Resume-quality paper for in-person interviews, job fairs, thank you letters and mail-in applications
  • A date book or online calendar to keep track of deadlines, job fairs and interview dates
  • A professional portfolio to hold application documents, interview notes and company handouts (get yours free from Career & Life Planning!)
  • Lists of companies and positions which you have researched and submitted applications
  • An appropriate e-mail address and professional-sounding voicemail message
  • A well-tailored suit, good shoes and other professional interview attire

The Importance of Being Proactive 

When it comes to the job search, many folks respond to job postings and advertisements but will not take initiative in identifying potential job leads. If you employ this strategy and do not attempt to personally identify employers with whom you would like to work, you are limiting your success. A proactive job seeker will generate many more leads and will, more likely, be able to secure a position upon graduation.

Listed below are methods you may pursue, both reactive and proactive, to identify possible employment leads. Successful job searches involve careful preparation, multiple strategies, and, most importantly, good follow-through.

Utilize the Center for Career & Life Planning

Career & Life Planning provides you with numerous resources for contacting employers. Briefly, Career & Life Planning offers: the on-campus interview program, targeted job listings in office binders, online job postings, Career Expo and much, much more. To take full advantage of these services, it is important to meet with a career counselor to discuss your goals and plans. A career counselor can help direct you to resources that will be most helpful for your specific interests. Remember: the responsibility of securing a job rests with you - no one else can do it for you. The Career & Life Planning staff will provide support, guidance, and information to help you with this important task.

Networking

One of the most effective means of locating a job is through networking.

  • To begin, develop a list of people who would be willing to assist you: relatives, friends, faculty, Rollins alumni, former employers, high school teachers, and other professionals.
  • Provide each of these individuals with a copy of your resume and make sure they are aware of your career goals. 
  • Ask the people in your network for ideas, guidance and advice on job searching in your field of interest.
  • Be sure to contact former employers at part-time jobs and internships to update them on your current job search status. Since you have already proven yourself to be a valuable employee, they may be interested in re-hiring you for a full-time position or recommending you to a colleague.
  • Follow up on all leads; make changes to your resume, call or e-mail recommended employers and contacts, and check out suggested Web sites.

When contacting prospective employers, be sure to mention the name of the person who provided the lead, as this information may cause the employer to consider you more favorably.  An excellent way to grow your network is by using the Rollins Alumni Group on LinkedIn. Be sure to keep your connections informed of your progress and send thank you notes or letters to everyone who has assisted you.

Jobs for Tars and Other Internet Sites

Employment and job search Web sites of all different kinds exist on the Internet. In R-CareerLink is Rollins' own job (and internship) posting site called "Jobs for Tars". All positions in Central Florida, the U.S. and around the world that are known to the Career & Life Planning staff (coming through mail, fax, e-mail, calls from alumni, etc) are posted in this system. In addition to Jobs for Tars, there are many sites offering advice on conducting an effective job search for a particular field and others offering job listings and resume drops. For a list of job search Web sites, visit the Career Resources Online-Job Search Sites page.

Career Expo and Local Job Fairs

A job fair can be an efficient method of quickly talking with many employers all under one roof. When preparing for a job fair, it is helpful to have a list of employers registered for the event. (See Rollins' Career Expo Registered Employer List here). Review the list and identify 5-10 employers that you would like to meet. On the day of the event, dress professionally and be prepared to distribute your resume. You should prepare a list of questions to ask the employers. When greeting the employer, smile, extend your hand and state your name clearly.

Conversations at a job fair are very brief, but that first impression is still very important. Be sure you know what you want to ask or tell the employer. At the end of your conversation, as the employer for a business card and leave a copy of your resume with him/her. After talking with all of your targeted employers, spend some time meeting other employers; you may be pleasantly surprised by their opportunities. You should follow up on all job fair leads within a week; be sure to mail or e-mail the employer another copy of your resume in case it was misplaced during the job fair. Local and regional job fairs are listed in the Career Quest e-newsletter and on the Calendar page as they become known to Career & Life Planning. The annual Rollins College Career Expo is held in March.

Targeted Job Search

If you have identified employers for whom you would like to work, you should consider sending targeted cover letters accompanied by your resume. Do not try to shortcut the system by sending generic cover letters; the employer will easily identify a form letter and will assume that your interest is not sincere. This proactive method is especially important in today's challenging job market, as many employers do not widely publicize job openings. Rather than post a job on a large Internet site and receive thousands of applications, many employers tend to post openings only on their own corporate Web site, if at all. 

To increase your effectiveness, try to identify an internal contact with whom you can conduct an informal informational interview. Not only does this demonstrate an ability to take initiative, but you will also be able to incorporate information you learn into your cover letter. Be sure to follow up on all letters. If you are planning a long distance job search, keep in mind that for most positions, employers have access to qualified candidates in their immediate geographical vicinity. To improve your chances of being considered, try to identify an internal contact. Another effective approach is to plan a time that you can visit the area and inform the employer of your plans to visit and your availability. Do not be surprised if you do not hear back from employers; many do not send responses unless they have an opening and feel that you are qualified.

Third Party Agencies

Employment agencies may be contacted by various businesses to find part-time and full-time candidates for their vacant positions. If you decide to work with an employment agency, you may want to check with the Better Business Bureau regarding the agency's reputation.  Know that reputable employment agencies charge all related fees to the employers, therefore you, the job seeker, should not be charged a fee for service.

In meeting with an employment agency representative, be sure to have a clear career goal; some job seekers feel that they have been persuaded to take a position in which they had no real interest. However, do keep your mind open to considering various positions, as temporary or entry-level employment can be an excellent way to "get your foot in the door" and offer the opportunity to demonstrate your skill set, leading to more advanced positions.  Always be sure to read all contracts carefully before signing. 

Employment Bulletin Subscriptions in Career & Life Planning

Career & Life Planning subscribes to several fee-based employment bulletins and makes these materials available in hard copy format in the Career Resource Library.  Bulletins are updated monthly and contain national and international full-time job and post-graduate internship opportunities. Stop by Career & Life Planning and check out the following binders:

  • Current Jobs in Management & Business
  • Current Jobs International: Foreign Language and International Affairs Positions
  • Current Jobs in Writing, Editing & Communications
  • Current Jobs in Liberal Arts
  • Current Jobs in Performing Arts
  • Current Jobs in the Visual Arts
  • The Job Seeker - Environmental Professions including Biology, Forestry, Conservation, Action/Policy, Administration, Education and Parks/Outdoor Recreation

Accepting & Rejecting Job Offers

Receiving a Job Offer

Job offers are generally made by mail, phone or e-mail. The majority of employers will confirm a verbal job offer in writing including salary, position, and start date. Job offers are very easy to accept on the spot. DON’T!! Ask for some time (usually one week is enough) to think about it. Before you accept an offer, evaluate the position carefully. 

Consider:

  • Job responsibilities, type of work, job security, supervision, co-workers
  • Size of company, working conditions, environment, company reputation
  • Salary range, employee benefits
  • Geographical location, required travel
  • Advancement opportunities
  • Future possibilities - where could the job lead?

If you accept the offer:

  • Write a letter confirming your acceptance, even if you have accepted verbally
  • Confirm the starting date and time
  • Confirm the salary
  • Keep a copy of the letter for your files

Notes on Salary

Salary is rarely discussed during the initial interview. Wait for the interviewer to bring up the topic. Most recruiters cover salary information during the second interview. If he/she does not discuss salary with you, it is not appropriate to inquire until an offer has been made. It is a good idea to have a general idea of salary level for positions you are considering prior to interviewing. You can research this information in the Salary Survey compiled by the National Association of Colleges and Employers, the Occupational Outlook Handbook, ChoicesPlanner (through R-CareerLink) and other Career Resources Online. 

Negotiating for Money

Negotiating for a salary offer is a delicate process designed to initiate a discussion between you and the employer about your initial worth. Before you begin, objectively evaluate the offer. Compare the offer to the most recent salary statistics.  Remember that salaries must be considered in light of a number of other factors: evaluation processes, cost of living, salary subsidies such as a car, tuition reimbursements, and benefits packages. Only after careful and objective consideration should you decide to negotiate salary.

Before you begin a dialogue, evaluate carefully what you have to offer that would be worth the extra salary - excellent grades, career related experience, specialized course work, strong leadership indicators, or proven performance in a particular area. What do you have to negotiate with? You must have more than a simple desire to make more money. Evaluate also the flexibility of the offer. If the employer already indicated the salary levels are predefined and not flexible, it will probably not be fruitful to initiate a discussion.

Go into the discussion with a win-win attitude. Always be objective and discuss the factors you want and why you feel you should get them without being personal. Throughout the negotiations, let the employer know you are interested. Don’t rush the discussion and don’t let silence make you feel uncomfortable. When you have discussed the factors that you want to discuss, listen to the employer’s counter-offer. If you decide the counter-offer is acceptable, write an acceptance letter detailing the new employment specifications and thanking the employer for their support. If you are still unhappy with the offer, you can reopen the negotiations. Remember, at some point you will have to decide whether you will be happy with the offer as it stands. If not, and you have tried to negotiate, you may need to write a letter declining the offer of employment.

Deadlines for accepting or rejecting an offer range from one week to the end of the semester. Do not wait until the last minute to accept a job offer. The employer will think you are not interested in the position. Keep in mind that an employer has the right to withdraw the offer any time prior to acceptance.

Replying to a Job Offer

Only accept one job offer. You should only accept an offer after you have cleared your decisions or negotiations on other offers. Be ethical in all of your employment dealings. When you accept an offer you should stop interviewing, cancel any further interviews, and notify other employers who are considering you as a candidate that you have accepted another position. This will maintain your image in the employer community as a professional individual.

Requesting Deadline:  If no deadline is given, express great interest, ask how soon they need a decision, and mention your time frame if you have one.

Requesting More Time: It’s all right to ask for more time, especially if you are given only a short amount of time to think about an offer. Specify the amount of time you would like. But remember, there’s a risk involved - the employer may withdraw the job offer.

Using an Offer as Leverage With Other Employers: If you are awaiting word of an offer from another employer in which you are very interested, write or call (depending on urgency) to say that another employer has made you an offer and before making a decision you would like to know your status. Don’t push too hard or the employer may lose interest.

Declining an Offer: Reply as soon as possible in writing. Indicate why you are declining if you can do so tactfully and constructively. You may just say you have accepted a position with another organization. It is acceptable to mention the name of the organization. End with an appropriate statement to keep the door open for some possible future contact. In other words, stay on good terms.

Job Search Rejections

Rejections are a real part of the job search process. You should expect to receive several rejections. After a while, you may become discouraged thinking that you will never get hired. If you get very discouraged, the best thing to do is give yourself a day off; do something that will take your mind off of the search and help you to relax. On the following day, reevaluate your search, consider new strategies and continue. The key to a successful job search is persistence!

There are several reasons why you may be rejected: there was not a good match between you and the job; your background is not strong enough to start in the position; or there was a good match and your background is competitive, but you simply did not interview well. If the employer found that there was not a good match, you probably would not have been happy in the position. If, on the other hand, your experiences have not prepared you for the position, meet with a career counselor to examine your interests and marketability. If your rejection came as a result of interviewing skills, take heart. Interviewing skills can be improved. Schedule a videotaped mock interview with a career counselor and/or practice your skills online with InterviewStream (accessed through R-CareerLink).

Part-time Jobs

Are You A Student Looking for a Part-time Job?

Depending on the type of position you are seeking, there are different methods for identifying and applying for part-time position openings. Read through the options below to learn more about how you can search for part-time work.

Off-Campus Part-Time Jobs in the Winter Park/Orlando area For part-time, off-campus jobs, check out Jobs for Tars.  To access Part-time/Summer opportunities, login to your R-CareerLink account using your Fox ID (same username and password you use to access e-mail, Blackboard, and FoxLink) through the homepage of the Career & Life Planning website.

From the R-CareerLink homepage, select the “Jobs and Internships” tab and then “Jobs for Tars”; once in the Jobs for Tars database, go to “Position Type” and select “Part-time/Summer” from the drop-down menu. Next, complete the field that asks for “Jobs located within __ miles of zip code ______” (for example, “Jobs located within 1 mile of the Rollins zip code 32789), then hit “Submit” to see your search results.  You can tailor your results further by using the “Advanced Search” option.

Follow the directions to apply for each position of interest. If you need help with your resume or cover letter, attend one of our upcoming workshops or call the Center for Career & Life Planning (407-646-2195) to make an appointment.

On-Campus Part-Time Jobs at Rollins The new Office of Student Employment (OSE) serves as a central office for students seeking on-campus employment. Through the office’s new website, you can learn about and apply for on-campus jobs.

Through this website, you will also learn that there are two different types of part-time, on-campus employment at Rollins for undergraduate students: Federal Work Study positions and Rollins Student positions. Both involve students assisting departments with their day-to-day operations. The differences between the two are only in the funding source and student eligibility.  For more information, review the OSE website, including the new student application portal. Positions are limited, so check the website often!

Community & Private Employment If you are seeking work with a local family doing child care, tutoring, lawn maintenance or a similar type of independent work, check out the job postings in Dave’s Down Under (the lower level of Cornell Campus Center).  These postings, submitted by members of the community, are located at the bottom of the stairwell.

Job Search Sites


Aftercollege.com


Bookjobs     (Entry level job and internship offerings from over 35 publishers)

Campstaff.com

CampusCareerCenter.com

CareerBuilder

CareerJet

careerjournal.com      (Career site run by the Wall Street Journal)

Career Magazine

CareerOneStop.org      (A U.S. government-sponsored employment resource)

CollegeGrad.com

collegerecruiter.com

Creative Hotlist

Dice.com     (Leading career site for technology and engineering professionals)

Employ Florida

Environmental Careers Organization

GettingHired.com     (National employment portal for job seekers with disabilities)

Hound.com

Idealist.org     (job fairs, internships, volunteers opportunities and full-time job listings for non-profit and community service agencies)

Indeed

Jobing.com

JobTarget.com

Juju.com

JustJobs

Monster.com

My Summers     (National listing of camp counseling positions)

New York Foundation for the Arts     (Information and Jobs in and about the arts.)

NewYorkJobs.com     (Connecting job seekers with employers in New York, New England and the Tri-State area.)

Opportunity Knocks      (Job site for individuals interested in employment in the nonprofit sector)

ScienceJobs.com

snagajob.com

tefl.com      (ESL/EFL job list of abroad positions teaching English)

Thingamajob.com      (Free resource owned and operated by Allegis Group, the world's largest staffing firm)

Center for Career and Life Planning
Rollins College
170 W. Fairbanks Bldg. – 1st Floor
1000 Holt Avenue – 2757
Winter Park, Florida  32789
T. 407.646.2195
careercenter@rollins.edu