Life After VISTA: Job Search
May 23, 2013
JOB SEARCH TIPS (a big thanks to 2011-2012 MLC VISTA Leader Krista Eichhorst!)
- Know Yourself - Take time to figure out the parameters of your job search. Where do you want to live? What industries are you most interested in exploring? What types of positions are you looking for? What organizations or companies do you want to work with?
- Stay Focused - The more targeted your search, the more on-point your results will be. Focus on several fields and types of positions and only regularly check two or three job boards that reflect those specific interests.
- Set Goals - Instead of vowing to "get a job by August" think about concrete steps you need to take and develop goals around them. Some goals could be to check your favorite job boards twice a week or attend two relevant networking events in June.
- Be Open - Don't be afraid of applying for part-time or temporary work! Sometimes those types of positions become full-time opportunities further down the road. It helps just to get your foot in the door, and your resume will reflect your initiative.
- Prepare a Backup Plan - Know what the worst case scenario would be if you don't find a job immediately after your service year ends and - here's the kicker - be okay with it. If August rolls around and you don't have something in hand, decide what you can do in the interim like travel, intern somewhere or dust off your barista skills.
- Conduct an Informational Interview - Learn more about an organization, field, or position while putting your name out there and making professional connections. Read more about this process in a related blog post from earlier this year.
- Consider Cold Calling - In our digital age, making a personal connection can help you stand out from the crowd and it shows off your initiative. Learn the dos and don'ts of the practice in this blog post on "making the call".
JOB SEARCH & NETWORKING RESOURCES
- AmeriCorps Alums Career Panel Webinar - Next Wednesday, May 29th from 11am-12pm a panel of five alumni from a variety of fields will discuss how they leveraged AmeriCorps as part of their career. Participants will be introduced to a diverse set of career opportunities illustrating how their AmeriCorps experience can be tapped as part of a career path. Sign up today!
- AmeriCorps Career and Education Fair - Wednesday, June 12th from 1-5pm at the International Institute of MN. Connect with employers from the nonprofit and for-profit sectors and learn about continuing education and service opportunities. Free and open to AmeriCorps members only. See flyer attached below and register today!
- Service Corps to Social Impact Career - Check out this book (a companion guide to the Idealist Guide to Nonprofit Careers) aimed at current and former participants of national service who want to use their service experience as building blocks to their next steps. The whole book is available for free download as a PDF.
- Revisit earlier VISTA Living blog posts on the following topics:
- Making Post-VISTA Plans - Find tools and ideas for thinking about graduate school, looking for and landing a job, networking and staying connected and using noncompetitive eligibility status and the Education Award.
- Continued Learning and Career Exploration - Peruse resources, best practices and how-to-guides for conducting informational interviews.
- Making Connections: Why LinkedIn Matters - Hone your skills with this guide to personal branding, maintaining professional networks and finding job postings.
- Making a Job Search Plan - Start with a strong and straight-forward game plan and cut down on extra anxiety and wasted efforts along the way.