Job Search Resources

The Career Resources Center at the John Cook School of Business has assembled information useful for all Saint Louis University students — whether they are pursuing an entry-level position or one of significant responsibility.

Research Industries

Gaining an understanding of an industry is key. Once you are able to understand what it entails, you’ll be able to better discern if it is the right fit for you and determine if you desire to pursue career opportunities.

Additionally, Glassdoor.com has provided users with full access to its content, which can be used to research companies and salaries. 

Networking

Networking is interacting or engaging in informal communication with others for mutual assistance or support. Networking is considered the number one way to gain solid job leads.

Approximately 65 percent of all career leads come from networking. Networking is everywhere — there is no limit to where and when you can network. Everyone is a potential lead.

Some people are not as comfortable with approaching people they do not know. Don't let that stop you. Practice will make it more comfortable. Since two out of three jobs are found through networking, chances are that the person you are networking with found his or her job through networking, and therefore will be receptive to your attempt to reach out to them.

Possible networking opportunities include: 

  • Professional associations 
  • Alumni mentors 
  • Co-workers (both past and present) 
  • Professors 
  • Informational interviews 
  • Career Resources Center 
  • Seminars 
  • Cold calling 
  • Volunteering
  • Friends, family or relatives and neighbors

LinkedIn is an interconnected network of experienced professionals from around the world, representing 170 industries and 200 countries. You can find, be introduced to, and collaborate with qualified professionals that can help to accomplish your goals.

When you join, you create a profile that summarizes your professional expertise and accomplishments. You can then form enduring connections by inviting trusted contacts to join LinkedIn and connect with you. Your network consists of your connections, your connections’ connections, and the people they know, linking you to a vast number of qualified professionals and experts.

Resumes and Cover Letters

A resume is a summary of your qualifications for employment. It will typically let the reader know what type of position you are seeking and will highlight your education, experience, skills and other relevant information. In most cases, employers will request that you submit a resume, along with a cover letter, to be considered for openings within their organizations.

A well-crafted cover letter is just as important as a resume. A cover letter that is tailored for the industry and is employer-specific will differentiate your application from the others and should accompany every resume that you send.

Download our Cover Letter Handout

Interviewing

You’ve applied for a position, and now the employer wants to interview you. The Career Resources Center can help you be prepared for an effective interview.

Know Yourself

Understanding who you are, what your strengths and weaknesses are and determining what is most important to you are issues that need to be thoroughly considered before you begin the interview process. The importance of “looking inward” cannot be overstated, as it will largely determine the level of satisfaction and success you achieve in your career. Unless you are able to articulate these points with confidence and resolve, interviewing will be a waste of time and, in the interviewing process, there are no second chances.

Know the Job You Want

Once you have determined what you need to achieve personal satisfaction, it is easier to begin the process of career research. In addition to considering the work itself, it is important to look at the lifestyle the career offers. Is it worth an extra $1000 a month to spend an extra 40 hours at work every month? What is the career path? Does it involve travel? Relocation? Don't be afraid to be creative and consider alternatives. Keep in mind that you will be spending more time working than anything else you do in your life (except sleeping).

Research the Company and the Industry

Thanks to technology there are websites like Hoovers, The Vault and Sorkins that cover every type of industry, company information, annual report, etc. In addition, one can find similar information on individual companies’ websites and in trade journals. Informational interviewing is also a useful way to gather industry information from an insider’s point of view. Fully understand the job description or position advertisement. Research the position offered, the company itself and the industry as a whole.

Prepare Specific Questions

There is no more impressive way to begin an employment interview than with an early comment or question about what is happening within the company or the industry. Current events are also a great topic and a good way to let the interviewer know that you are interested as well as informed about what is going on in the world. Prepare questions to ask the interviewer

Conduct Mock Interviews

Unless you are one of those lucky people who can express themselves clearly and concisely under very stressful situations, it is probably a good idea to practice the interviewing situation. Often ideas that you have firmly understood in your head have a way of getting lost when they are spoken out loud.

Schedule a mock interview by calling the Career Resources Center at 314-977-3824.

Job Offers, Negotiation and Salary

When a job (or internship) offer is made, it is recommended that you express your enthusiasm and interest, but avoid accepting immediately. It's in your best interests (as well as those of the employer) that you make a good decision. Take some time to carefully evaluate the offer and clarify any specifics about the job or offer of which you are unsure.

You should fully understand your specific duties and responsibilities, expectations of your performance, the reviewing process for performance and compensation, the compensation package, starting date and any contingencies (such as physical examinations, drug testing and background check).

It's appropriate at this time to contact other employers with whom you have been interviewing, with whom you received an offer or were close to receiving one, or with whom you were extremely interested to define your status with them. They may be good future networking contacts. It's extremely unethical to renege on your acceptance if a better offer comes in later.

It is perfectly acceptable to request that the offer be put in a letter that contains the terms and conditions of the offer. Because you probably established a rapport with your future employer during the interview process, it is very common to verbally accept the offer. Follow up your verbal acceptance with a letter.

Researching a potential salary is a vital part of any job offer and helps during the negotiation process. Understanding the starting and median range for job titles (which also takes into consideration your geographic location, years of experience and education) is a great bargaining tool.