Job Search Checklist


  • Determine your personal strengths and job preferences; evaluate whether there is a skills/education gap
  • Create resume and get feedback; if relevant to your target, also create a portfolio and get feedback - College Central Network features both a resume builder and a place to post your portfolio
  • Create a 30-60 second introduction / personal pitch
  • Create a LinkedIn account using the above resume and introduction information and professional photo
  • Create a professional email address and voice mail greeting; check email and voice mail daily
  • Share your resume with recommenders once you've confirmed that they are comfortable with that role. There can be a WRONG approach to getting recommendations. If they're on LinkedIn, consider asking them to post on your LinkedIn profile.
  • Clean up your social media accounts; be sure to not post anything negative or inappropriate


Proactive Approach (this may feel like the harder approach but is usually more productive):

  • Research organizations and reach out directly to key personnel (Human Resources director and/or Department/Division head); consider asking for an informational interview or job shadowing experience. If available, sign up for emailed job alerts and see if they have a place to share your resume without being tied to a current job opening on their website
  • Network with professionals in industry groups / associations, meet-ups, LinkedIn, school alumni (3500+ PVCC alumni are on LinkedIn), friends, and family

Reactive Approach (this may feel sufficient but this results in the most candidates per vacancy which equals more competition for you):

  • Apply to job listings
  • Register with employment agencies for either temp-to-hire, temporary or permanent positions
  • Attend job fairs (be sure to prepare!)

For both approaches:

  • Write targeted cover letters (and/or change your resume if targeting different industries/types of positions)
  • Practice interviewing with preparing STAR (Situation-Task-Action-Result) scenarios and good questions to ask the employer; prepare for general and industry-based questions and different types of interviews: phone, virtual, in-person
  • Keep track of your job applications, follow-ups and networking contacts

Day of the Interview

  • Dress appropriately (which varies by industry)
  • Practice stress management techniques before you start the interview
  • Show up early (for both virtual and on-site interviews)
  • Monitor self for positive energy, body language, and use of good examples in answering questions (STAR!)
  • Ask for interviewers' business cards (or get their names, titles and contact information) so that you can follow-up with them


  • Write thank you letters/emails immediately
  • Get involved through volunteering and/or networking with professional groups, meet-ups or school clubs / alumni
  • Keep researching who is doing what in your target geographic region; don't wait on the results of one application before starting another one; consider remote / freelance opportunities
  • Follow-up in two weeks or a month if you haven't heard anything; if you see the position posted again, consider applying again and/or asking what you could have done to be more competitive for the position


  • If you're applying but not getting interviews, be sure to get your resume(s) and/or cover letter(s) reviewed
  • If you're interviewing but not getting job offers, be sure to get a mock interview (with multiple people if you can)
  • Consider expanding your geographic focus and/or job targets if you're not finding enough organizations / jobs
  • Being positive and persistent pays off in the job search!