Talking with professionals who have the type of job you are interested in landing, is the number one best search strategy! Spend most of your searching time on this strategy to speed up your job searching timeline. Review the steps below to get started. 

  1. Make a list of EVERYONE you know, regardless of their profession (i.e. you don’t know who they know!)
  2. Request informational interviews- request 15-20 minutes to learn more about their career path or organization
  3. Track your progress and follow through on referrals with this spreadsheet
  4. Top questions to ask during a “job seeking” informational interview 


Expand your network

  • LinkedIn - join groups or review UMD’s alumni page to connect with alumni and employers of interest
  • Terrapins Connect - connects students with UMD alumni 
  • Employer networking events - attend to meet professionals and gain knowledge of openings
  • Intern - make the most of your internship by requesting informational interviews 
  • Intern for a Day - one day shadowing experience that allows students to forge connections
  • Road Trips to the Real World- Visit an organization for a day over winter break
  • Career Shuttles - a half day, group experience to visit an organization of interest


How-to Articles 

Access openings not advertised anywhere by gaining leads from friends, family, and contacts. This is the number one most effective search strategy to identify openings! Read more: How to Create Opportunities Rather Than Compete for Them, by Vault. Get started by contacting organizations that hire within your field and inquire about job opportunities. This strategy can be implemented in person (depending on the type of organization you are targeting), email, phone, or through social media and works best when the resume and cover letter are customized for the organization.

Identify organizations of interest

Track your progress with this spreadsheet.  


Target organizations who value diversity & inclusion

For a full list of resources, visit the University Career Center's diversity & inclusion webpage

Hiring managers who are having a difficult time filling positions (i.e. competition for candidates is tight or they are searching for a hard to find skill set) tend to advertise openings on job boards. The job seeker can search for advertised openings and apply for positions online.

Application tips 

Over 95% of organizations use an Applicant Tracking System to manage applications. Use the tips below to increase your odds of getting past the digital gatekeepers.




Agencies work for employers to locate job seekers with specific skills to fill short term positions.

A growing number of organizations are outsourcing their hiring to temporary agencies. A temporary agency will locate and vet candidates that possess the skills required for a position. Organizations may use the short term jobs to "test" an employee and then offer the employees that they see as a good fit a full-time position. Other organizations use temp agencies to find professionals to fill in for a short period of time (i.e. the busy season). Learn more about how temp agencies operate

  • PREPARE: Identify your skill set and industry references. Also consider your geographical work preferences and contact an agency in that area.
  • EXPECTATIONS: The initial interview may include tests to assess your skills. Prepare for this interview as you would a traditional interview.