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Gaining Momentum: Master These Search Fundamentals

Whether you have been searching for months or days, take a moment to build a strong foundation for your search. Here are three areas to focus first:

Learn How To Search, Develop and Use Your Strategy

Online applications are not enough. In addition to your activity on the OCC, Duke CareerConnections, Indeed, LinkedIn, Handshake, and other sites, incorporate outreach. It is the method that a majority of engineering masters’ students use to get the offer they accept! To get started on an effective search that builds as you go and does not crush your confidence, try these steps:

  1. Watch the Two Hour Job Search video to get step-by-step instructions for how to search effectively. 
  2. Create your LAMP/Target list, define your top 6, and use the templates to begin outreach without delay. 
  3. Schedule an appointment with a coach to get feedback on your target list, ask questions, and be precise with next steps.

Refine Your Applications using Best Practices

Using best practices for writing a resume ensures it makes the best impression when read by a person or searched in a database. Write to be persuasive, tell your story, and showcase how you have made an impact in your past experiences. More importantly, show how your past experiences have made an impact on you!

  1. Review the materials we provide to start your application documents. Incorporate the advice you learn.
  2. Use the educational template, resume basics checklist, and custom samples to make any needed resume improvements.
  3. Schedule an appointment with a coach for application feedback: select an example job or internship description, adapt your resume and other required documents.

Practice Interviewing

Be ready for your big moment! Preparing well for interviews increases your skill, your confidence, and the likelihood that you will be at your best when stress is high. Getting comfortable talking about your strengths, preferences, and experiences gets better with practice, which is an added benefit of having outreach calls. You are practicing interview skills throughout your search! In addition, here are a few recommendations:

  1. Review the materials we provide to prepare for interviews.
  2. Create your Duke account and use BigInterview to practice responses or work through the training modules.
  3. Schedule a practice interview appointment to improve and identify targeted improvement steps.

The next post will have information about what steps to take if you have skill and confidence and are ready to take your stable search into one that is optimized for the employer perspective.

By Cameo Hartz (she/her or they/them)
Cameo Hartz (she/her or they/them) Assistant Director, Engineering Master's Career Services & Professional Development