Job and Career Development

What Goes Into A Good Job Search?

A successful job search requires real commitment. Having a solid game plan will make your job search more manageable. By understanding the different pieces of a job search and jobs available in your field, you can effectively develop a process that will help you reach your career goals.

What Steps Do I Need To Take?

Begin by taking an honest look at yourself (values, experience and skills). Identify the types of jobs you would like to have and the types of employers you want to work for. Next familiarize yourself with available people, places and companies to look for jobs in your local area. This may include using a local college career center, local newspapers, Internet websites (like Monster, etc.), scheduling information, interviews, attending job fairs, etc. The final steps include coming up with a plan to develop contacts with employers.

Job Seeker Hints

  • Whether you have just lost a job, are looking for a career change or are looking for your first real job, it is good to surround yourself with people who are positive and can help you in the job search process.
  • Have a job target, a specific job or career area, in mind when beginning a job search. A job target adds focus to your job search. Know what environment you would like to work in and in what cities, suburbs or neighborhoods.
  • Learn how to market yourself for the job search process (professional resume, cover letters, applications, portfolios, interviews, networking, business image, neat personal appearance, etc.).
  • Organize and keep records of your job search process. Time management and goal setting skills can help you stay on target with your job search
  • Maintaining a positive attitude while job hunting is important. Remember you are not alone. Know where to find jobs (websites, journals, newspapers, etc.).
  • If an employer interests you, send a resume and customized a cover letter to them directly.
  • Interview third-party staffing agencies/placement firms to determine which seem most interested/qualified in helping you achieve your career goals.
  • Practice interviewing before you attend your first real job interview. You'll be glad you did. You can find sample interview questions on websites such as Google, Yahoo and others.
  • Your tone of voice is important. Try to keep everything in moderation -- pitch, tone and volume.
  • Attitude is everything. Remember to smile and be pleasant.

Job Advertisements

Reviewing newspapers, journals, magazines and newsletters is an easy way to identify help wanted ads. Respond as soon as possible to advertised positions with your cover letter and resume.

World Wide Web

Identify possible employers that you are interested in working for and go directly to their website. Once there, look for Careers, Jobs or Employment links to view the types of positions the company is recruiting for. Next investigate the "About Us" or "Our Company" page to educate yourself on the company, its products, culture, etc. Here are some websites you can use to assist you in your job search:


Let everyone know you are looking for a job -- ask for tips, leads and suggestions. This includes family, professional colleagues, professors, internship supervisors and anyone else you can think of.

Employment Agencies

Registering with an employment agency can be a great way to further tap into the hidden job market and get into companies without having to make a commitment to working there for a long period of time.

Job and Career Fairs

Job Fairs are an excellent way to meet potential employers and gather information about employment opportunities and local companies that are hiring.

Don't Neglect Your Personal Appearance

What might be considered fashionable and "hot" among your friends and relatives, may not necessarily be appropriate for the workplace. One good rule to remember is less is more. Some additional tips include:

  • Cleanliness and neatness will go a long way.
  • Try to avoid extreme hair styles, bold jewelry, long nails, evening or beach shoes, party clothing, and boldly colored clothing .
  • Instead, wear basic, plain, neutral colors and styles.
  • Keep hair and nails clean, short.
  • Do not chew gum, but DO take along a mint or two.

Before the Job Fair:

  • Research: Know the employers attending the job fair
  • Resume: Proofread, get feedback from at least three people about your resume. Bring plenty of copies
  • Ready: Have everything ready the night before
  • Professional outfit pressed
  • Resume reviewed and printed
  • Research completed
  • Top three employers identified
  • Map to job fair location printed
  • Supplies ready - pens, portfolio, business cards
  • Rest: Get a good night's sleep so you can be fresh, enthusiastic and energetic the day of the job fair

Day of Job Fair:

  • Relax, once you get to the event slow down, look over the event program and locate your most desirable employers.
  • Then go out there and be your outstanding professional self.

After the Job Fair:

  • Review, look over any notes you took, any contact information you collected and reflect on your performance during conversations with employers (for improvement purposes).
  • Reconnect: Take advantage of your new found contact information and reconnect with contacts. Building a strong network is key and a quick follow-uptime is a good way to start new professional relationships.

Workforce Centers

Funded by the Department of Labor, Workforce Centers are another networking and resource you as a job seeker can use. Using one of these centers is a great way to network and gather more information on the how's and what's of job seeking. Go online to Workforce Solutions of Tarrant County or contact the office nearest to you:

  • Arlington Workforce Center 140 Mitchell, C Section, Arlington, TX 76010. Phone: 817-804-4200
  • Eastside Workforce Center 4701 E. Lancaster, Fort Worth, TX. Phone: 817-531-7800
  • Mansfield Workforce Center 1275 N. Main, Ste. 103 Mansfield, TX 76053. Phone: 817-804-2690
  • Mid-Cities Workforce Center 7001 Boulevard 26, Ste. 501 North Richland Hills, TX 76101. Phone: 817-548-5200
  • Northside Workforce Center 2100 North Main Fort Worth, TX 76106. Phone: 817-626-5262
  • Resource Connection Workforce Center 1400 Circle Drive Fort Worth, TX 76119. Phone: 817-531-5670
  • Westside Workforce Center 8000 Western Place, Suite 700 Fort Worth, TX 76107. Phone: 817-737-0311