Jump to featured news Jump to other news and events
Purdue Logo
Center for Career Opportunities
CCO Logo

Steps to Successfully Finding an Internship or Job

#1. Know yourself

#2. Create a plan of action

  • Create a list of target companies that match your interests, skills, and values .
  • Research each organization to find career opportunities.
  • Set 5-7 short-term goals and with timelines.
  • Track your progress & celebrate small milestones.
  • Have a contingency plan. Alter your goals and deadlines as necessary to continue moving forward.

#3. Develop a network

  • Two out of 3 job seekers obtain work through networking.
  • Conduct informational interviews with professionals.
  • With each person you speak to, ask for names of more people to contact.
  • Write thank you notes and maintain regular contact to develop a relationship with each person.
  • Join professional associations and alumni clubs to connect with individuals who have similar career interests.
  • Join Facebook and LinkedIn groups and actively participate in discussions
  • Read blogs in key interest areas and comment intelligently.

#4. Obtain practical professional experience through volunteering, part-time work or internship

#5. Be open-minded and flexible

  • Although you are obtaining a degree in a particular field, be open to possibilities in other areas.
  • Consider opportunities that will allow you to develop valuable skills even if it is not your "dream job."
  • Broaden your search to a variety of geographic locations.
  • Consider part-time work, contract work, or starting at a lower salary than expected to get your foot in the door.

#6. Consider less popular organizations & industries: non-profit, federal government and small-medium sized companies

  • Research companies that are not well known to job seekers in your career field.
  • Remember that other companies are seeking candidates and may offer valuable opportunities for advancement and responsibility.
  • Conduct informational interviews or organizational research to learn about potential careers.

#7. Create a powerful resume

  • Clearly demonstrate relevant skills.
  • Focus on accomplishments rather than duties or responsibilities performed.
  • Tailor your resume to each job posting/organization.

#8. Follow up

  • Keep in contact with the employer and individuals in your network periodically.
  • Contact employers 1-2 weeks after submitting your resume via phone to see if they received your application materials, ask any questions about the position, and reiterate your interest in working with their organization.
  • Remember to write thank you notes within a day of the informational interview.

#9. Get help

  • Visit the CCO at www.cco.purdue.edu or Young Hall, Room 132; call (765) 494-3981 to speak with a Career Services Consultant and learn about services.
  • Consult a placement agency or recruiter/headhunter to assist you in your job search (we recommend that you use an agency where the employer pays rather than the job seeker).

#10. Be patient and positive

  • Expect 6 months or more to obtain a position.
  • Adopt 3-4 ways to conduct your job search and rotate them when you reach a roadblock.
  • Focus your energy on other tasks/hobbies periodically .