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Job Search Checklist

Networking is the key to your job search

Contacts open doors. Build a network of contacts who can directly or indirectly assist you in the job hunt. Faculty, university staff/administration, friends, parents, friends’ parents and parents’ friends are just some of the people that will help you build your network. Networking is a continuous action that you never stop doing. The earlier you start, the easier a job search could be.

  • Develop a strong elevator pitch: Describe yourself, your skills, and goals; be brief, sincere, and memorable. You never know when you might make a great connection so be prepared.
  • Join professional associations: Consider joining and attending local chapter meetings or conferences to build a network of other professionals. Students are usually able to join or attend at a reduced cost.
  • Connect with UMassD Alumni & Employers: Attend career fairs, industry panels, employer information sessions, and other career center related events. These opportunities are available for you to network with professionals. LinkedIn can also be a platform to identify and connect with alumni in your field of interest.

Job search steps for success

Research and Exploration

  • Create a targeted list of employers.
  • Strengthen your knowledge of your field and companies: Learn about company culture, career paths, competitors, key skills, buzz words, and more. Use Glassdoor, LinkedIn, and general internet searching to research.
  • Follow organizations on social media: LinkedIn and Twitter are great platforms to learn about current issues and see job postings.
  • Utilize UMass Dartmouth’s job and internship database, Handshake, along with several other job boards, including:,,,,
  • Attend career fairs, employer information session and other career-related events to learn more about companies and industries.


  • Develop a strong resume target for your specific field: Submit on Handshake or have a Career Counselor review it prior to applying to opportunities.
  • Build a polished profile on LinkedIn and join professional groups.
  • Establish your references: Choose and ask three people who are able to speak confidently and positively to your proficiency.
  • Prepare for interviewing.


  • Write a targeted cover letter, follow all application directions, and send thank you emails or letters after each interview.

Tips to keep you focused and efficient

  • Have a strategy. Keep your job search active and targeted. Targeted searches yield better success.
  • Keep a log. Include things such as job title, organization name, application date, and status.
  • Take small steps often. Break down the process into small, more manageable pieces of time to keep moving forward. Give yourself credit for each step forward. Set goals and meet them.
  • Be patient. A full-time job search takes time. Stay positive and take care of yourself throughout the process.
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