Conduct targeted outreach

The search process is more than just applying online and waiting for an interview. Instead, use a proactive search strategy that involves conducting targeted outreach. With targeted outreach, you directly contact individuals and communities of interest. As a bonus, these connections can also give you access to decision-makers (those that make the hiring decisions) and expose you to unposted internship and job opportunities.

As you develop your outreach strategy, focus on the three tasks below. 

  • Attend events and actively participate in communities

    Professional communities and events allow you to be an active participant in the field or industry you want to join! You learn what is happening in the industry and interact with people doing cool things that can give you insider knowledge of fields, organizations, and roles.

    Actions:

  • Perform Informational Interviews

    You naturally explore different fields, organizations, and roles as you search for an internship or job. Talking to people gives you the opportunity to double-check your assumptions, get insider information, learn what it takes to get entry into a field, identify leads to roles before they are even posted, and potentially meet contacts who may be willing to refer you for openings, or introduce you to others who may help you along the way. This is a key part of networking, but don’t let the word ‘networking’ scare you! It’s basically the same thing as ‘making professional friends.’

    To learn how to navigate informational interviews, we recommend you refer to our Talk to People > Conduct Informational Interviews step.

  • Track Your Progress Using Metrics

    Using progress metrics allows you to evaluate how you are spending your time and celebrate your successes, such as participating in an event, engaging in a networking conversation, or being invited to an interview! Not only will metrics help you assess your progress and identify improvement areas, but they also help you feel accomplishment throughout your search.

    Actions:

Sidebar

Find hidden opportunities through news and trends

Many students say they “just want a job,” but no employer wants to hear that, and in reality, the more you know about what energizes you, the more you can develop a niche and set yourself aside from other candidates in the job search. Pay close attention to news and trends. When you ‘read between the lines,’ you can uncover hidden career opportunities while increasing your comfort with industry lingo needed for networking and job interviewing in your field.

By Chloë Benjamin (she/her)
Chloë Benjamin (she/her) Assistant Director, Engineering Master's Career Services and Professional Development
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The Two-Hour Job Search

Does submitting online applications feel ineffective and unsatisfying? Consistently, data show that the majority of Duke engineering master’s students find their post-graduation jobs using alternate methods. In fact, connecting with other people often exceeds websites as the largest source of …

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

Your Internship Search – Phase 3: Troubleshooting

If your search is not getting the results you want, it’s time to troubleshoot. First, start with the basics and move on to advanced search techniques. Contact one of the EMP career coaches using Teams chat if you want to …

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Your Internship Search – Phase 2: Good to Great, Incorporating the Employer Perspective

Once you’ve established a solid search, improve your ability to incorporate the employer perspective. This single factor is often the difference between being a good candidate and the good candidate who is hired.

Here are three employer categories to consider:

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Your Internship Search – Phase 1: Three Steps to a Solid Search

Congratulations! You’ve got a solid search if you are:
✅ confidently submitting online applications
✅ reaching out to people at the organizations that most interest you to find a network of professional supporters irrespective of whether they have an active job posting …

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Resources

If your search is not getting the results you want, it’s time to troubleshoot. First, start with the basics and …

Once you’ve established a solid search, improve your ability to incorporate the employer perspective. This single factor is often the …

Congratulations! You’ve got a solid search if you are:
✅ confidently submitting online applications
✅ reaching out to people at the organizations …

Start Your Search with Focus and a Plan.

These three steps will ensure your search is on track from start …

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