Job Search

The job search is not just about finding an opening and submitting a resume. There is a lot of preparation that goes into getting the job. Here are some tips for a strategic search:

Focus Your Search

It is important to determine what types of work you are seeking, narrowing down to specific industries, functions, job titles, and companies. The research process can help you gain familiarity of the company’s organizational culture, structure, services, and mission. Job seekers can benefit from employer research to help select an ideal work environment. Let the Career Services help you get started with your employer research!

Online Resources

Printed Publications

  • The Book of Lists (Available for review in Career Services)
  • OC Business Journal (Available for review in Career Services)
  • Business Journals
  • Professional Journals
  • Industry Journals
  • Recent Articles about the company
  • Public documents

Consider the Following Questions

  • What are the goals for the short term?
  • What are the challenges for the company? 
  • Who are the competitors for a company and what is their market share? 
  • What types of positions is the company posting and why are they posting them? 
  • Have there been any recent changes in management, lawsuits, downsizing, or changes in product/service lines?

Assess Your Calling

Learning about your personality type, career interests, work values, and skills will help you make better-informed career choices. Career Services offers various assessments with individualized interpretation and counseling.

Once you’ve taken these assessments,  schedule an appointment  with Career Services.   We’ll go over your results and help you discover how your personality and interests can play into a potential career!

My Plan

My Plan is a free online service that helps students and professionals explore their personality, interests, skills, and values.  The website is www.vanguard.myplan.com. Please come visit Career Services on the 2nd floor of the Scott Academic Center for your free code.

Take all 4 tests:

  1. Personality Assessment
  2. Interest Inventory
  3. Skills Profiler
  4. Values Assessment

After completing the tests, click on “Composite Score” on the left side and you will be provided a list of your top Careers. Jot down the jobs provided that you are interested in and research them using the MyPlan site.

Next step: Schedule an appointment with Career Services to discuss your results.

StrengthsFinder

Your StrengthsQuest journey begins with a 30-minute online assessment, the Clifton StrengthsFinder. This assessment has helped more than 5 million people around the world discover their talents. Click here to access the website: StrengthsQuest

After you take the Clifton StrengthsFinder, you’ll receive a customized report that lists your top five talent themes, along with action items for development and suggestions about how you can use your talents to achieve academic, career, and personal success.

StrengthsFinder codes may be purchased for $10. Either cash or check payments may be used. Checks should be made payable to Vanguard University, with StrengthsFinder Code in the note section. Either payment method may be hand-delivered to our Scott 230 office or mailed to: Career Services, 55 Fair Drive, Costa Mesa, CA 92626. For mailings, please provide the student/alumni name, email address, and phone number.

Upon receiving the $10.00 payment, Career Services will provide the student with the code and instructions for completing the StrengthsFinder assessment.

Job Market Information

Occupational and job market information will help you determine if the career you are considering is best suited for you. It will tell you the nature of the work, the growth or decline in the industry, education or training required and salary ranges.

Websites that contain job market information include:

Professional Documents

Resumes and cover letters are marketing tools whose primary focuses are to land you an interview. Using your knowledge of the companies and inside contacts, you can write tailored resumes and cover letters. These documents allow you to demonstrate the unique skills and qualifications you could bring to the company and position. It is important to write a specific and tailored documents for each position.

Resume Tips

View guidelines and resources related to resume development.

Cover Letter Tips

View guidelines and resources related to cover letter development.

Feedback

Schedule an appointment to meet with a Career Services counselor to assist with content and proof reading of your professional documents.

Networking

Networking is the ongoing process of connecting with others to build mutually beneficial professional and personal relationships. Developing this skill is essential for current students and an important aspect throughout an individual’s career pursuits and personal endeavors.

Why Is Networking Important?

  • Networking is one of the most effective ways to find a new job or internship opportunity.
  • Recent surveys of employers indicate that about 70% of all open positions are filled through networking (site source).
  • 80% of all jobs are unadvertised! Networking opens up doors to these unadvertised opportunities (site source).
  • Individuals can explore career options and fields of interest through Informational Interviewing.

What does networking look like?

  • Hanging out with your friends
  • Talking with a professor during office hours
  • Discussing your interests with a family friend
  • Having dinner with an alumna/us visiting campus
  • Talking with an alumna/us over the phone (informational interviews)
  • Meeting recruiters at a Job Fair, Information Session, etc.

Interviews and Meetings

  • Be prompt: Arrive 10 to 15 minutes early. Do not arrive later than 30 minutes after the event start time.
  • Research Beforehand: When you know in advance who will be present at an event; research beforehand to be best prepared. Review company information.
  • Make a Positive First Impression
  • Smile!
  • Make Eye Contact: Maintain eye contact throughout the conversation.
  • Offer a Handshake: Firm, not too relaxed, nor aggressively strong. Two pumps, held for 3 seconds. Use a tissue to wipe your hand if you experience nervous perspiration.
  • Introduce Yourself Using An Elevator Speech: Prepare an introduction that is clear, interesting and well-delivered. The content depends on the type of event but should be brief in nature.
  • Be curious about the other person: Show genuine interest in the individual’s field and background. Focus on the other person. Ask open-ended, thoughtful, inquisitive questions:
    • What do you like about your current job?
    • What are your career goals and interests?
    • Have you read any good books or articles recently?
    • How do you spend your free time?
    • Have you seen any movies recently?
    • Do you like to travel? Where have you traveled recently?
    • What do you do for fun?
    • How did you hear about this event/party/restaurant/etc.?
    • What brings you here today?
    • What do you do for fun in the winter/summer?
    • Do you have any big plans for [insert upcoming holiday or season]?
    • What does your company do?
    • What industry do you serve?
    • Who are your key prospects/clients?
    • What type of products do you have?
    • What is your competitive advantage?
    • What got you started in this industry/job?
    • What do you enjoy most about the profession you are in?
    • What trends do you foresee in your industry/profession?
    • What marketing/sales activities have you found to be the most successful for your business?
    • Can you refer me to someone that does ___?
  • Be a great listener:Keep the 80/20 rule in mind — listen 80% of the time and only talk 20% of the time. Avoid interruptions. Wait for the opportunity to interject.
  • Collect and Distribute Business Cards
  • Follow Up: When collecting business cards, make written notes that will allow you to follow up effectively. Be sure to call or email your new contacts the day after the event.
  • Touch base often, particularly with your “most valuable” contacts.Go to lunch or dinner, attend an event together, or simply pick up the phone and chat a bit!

Job Listings

LIONSLINK

Looking an On-Campus Job? Looking for a local employer who is particularly looking for Vanguard students? Lions Link is for you!

Lions Link provides local job and internship listings just for Vanguard students. Create a live résumé using your Vanguard email and then search jobs, checking “for my school only.” Click the link below to get started.

For Lions Link , go to https://vanguard-csm.symplicity.com/students/index.php.

For help with registering for an account, use the LionsLink User Guide.
For additional assistance, contact us.

LinkedIn

The professional networking website LinkedIn is one of the top ways recruiters seek to fill positions.

1. Register for your free account.

2. Create your Profile.

2. LinkedIn Job Search Tips Checklist.

On Campus Student Employment

Career Services assists students in the Work Study process by providing information about on-campus jobs and assistance in portfolio development.

Note: Work Study does not guarantee placement into on-campus employment.

The process for identifying on-campus student employment opportunities is described here.

Internship Listings

YOU SHOULD PARTICIPATE IN AN INTERNSHIP TO

  • Gain related work experience and improved job skills
  • Earn academic units toward your degree while working
  • In some cases, earn money while learning
  • Make important networking contacts
  • Increase employment opportunities after graduation

TO FIND AN INTERNSHIP CONTACT

  • Vanguard University Career Services
  • Your department professors
  • Vanguard Alumni through the Alumni Relations Department
  • The Internet
  • A company’s Human Resources Department
  • A company’s web site

For help with registering for an account, use the LionsLink User Guide.
For additional assistance, contact us.

About

You should participate in an internship to:

  • Gain related work experience and improved job skills
  • Earn academic units toward your degree while working
  • In some cases, earn money while learning
  • Make important networking contacts
  • Increase employment opportunities after graduation

To find an internship contact:

  • Vanguard University Career Services
  • Your department professors
  • Vanguard Alumni through the Alumni Relations Department
  • The Internet
  • A company’s Human Resources Department
  • A company’s web site

Government (See also Business & International)