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Job Search Preparation

Prepare a personalized plan for success, and to land a great job

Finding the right job can take time and effort—and what’s right for you isn't what’s right for someone else. Fortunately, YC has the resources you need to prepare a personalized plan for success, and to land a great job.

No matter where you are in your career search, YC Career Services can help, including with free workshops.

Throughout the academic year, YC Career Services hosts a variety of workshops and events to enhance your job search skills and network with employers and industry experts. Click on the YC Career Service website to see dates and times of upcoming workshops.

No time to take a workshop? view the online workshop


In today’s competitive job market, employers are often swamped with a high number of resumes for each job opening. Your resume may only have seconds to capture their attention. Taking the time to match a resume that will capture your education, experience and skills to the employers needs will move your resume to the top of employers list to schedule you for an interview.

  • Chronological Resumes: There are several different types of resume to consider when writing your resume, but it is highly suggest that you start with a chronological resume to document each job you have had in the past , and then add each job you do in the future to this document. You will use this document to copy and past your career skills to your target resumes. If you decided to use your Chronological Resume for a job opening only include the last 10 years of employment information to your resume. Remember for a resume you can use the whole page, and do not need one-inch margins
  • Targeted Resumes: A targeted resume focuses on a specific job opening. The targeted resume is written to highlight the skills and experiences relevant to a particular job posting. When writing your targeted resume compare the skills on your chronological resume to the job description. Next, write your resume using only the job skills that match the job description. Targeted resumes grab the hiring manages attention, giving them only the skills they are looking for. Remember most employer only take a few seconds to look at each resume, so taking the time to target each resume to the employers needs, can result in gaining the interview, to land the job. To request assistance with writing a resume click here.

Cover Letters:

The cover letter is a tool to help introduce yourself in a memorable, personal way during a job application. A well crafted letter goes over information on your resume and expands this information for the employer. Your resume is intended to lay out the facts, but your cover letter is meant to convey more personally.

Successful cover letters have:

  • Memorable introduction
  • Specific, organized examples of relevant work done ,problems solved and how your skills will meet the job requirements.
  • Concise conclusion including why you would like to work at their organization, and let them know you are excited to offer more information and looking forward to talking with them. Cover Letter Template


When applying for jobs typically employers ask for three references, but that number can vary per company. References are listed on a separate sheet of paper, and not added to your resume. Remember to bring copies of you references with your resume when you report for your interview, and don’t forget to remind reference when you are using them for as reference. Reference Letter Example

Reference page should include:

  • Your name and contact information
  • Reference name
  • Reference position
  • Reference company
  • Reference Address
  • Reference Phone number
  • Reference Email Address



Networking is an essential tool that will benefit you throughout your career. It is estimated that at least 60% of jobs are found through this method. Networking is about making connection and building professional relationships. Use this elevator speech to communicate your brand in networking situation and during interviews.

You will need to work on your elevator speech which is a short introduction of your career goal, experience, and education. Use this elevator speech to communicate your brand in networking situation and during interviews.

A traditional 30 second elevator speech example:

  • Hello, my name is —————————. I am an experience ————————-. My strongest skills are in _______________ and _____________. I have received awards for __________. I am interested in expanding my expertise in ____.

Social Media:

The ever expanding influence and impact of social media includes our professional lives.  The image that you project on social media can help you expand your professional network and stand out to hiring managers. Conversely, your social media image may cause an employer to think twice about extending you a job offer, especially if they find inappropriate content posted on one of your accounts.

Social media can also be a really useful tool when you’re researching potential careers or preparing for interviews  or growing your professional network.

With over 400 million users across the globe, LinkedIn is a great tool for professional networking, searching for jobs and internships, and researching potential industries, companies and job markets. You can also use other platforms, like Twitter and Facebook to professionally market yourself online.

While the resume gets you the interview, it’s the interview that will get you the job! The secret to performing well in the interview is to be prepared, to get you one step closer to hearing those sweet words, “you’re hired!” Hone your interviewing skills by scheduling a practice or “mock” interview with a Career Services staff member.  Interview with Confidence Article

A good percentage of employers are willing to negotiate, yet many job seekers find the process extremely stressful and take the first offer.  Successful negotiation starts with knowing yourself and what’s right for you, followed by understanding how and when to ask for what you want. You need to know your value in the marketplace while also understanding the employer’s needs and constraints. Career Services is here to offer tips and guide you through the process.

The federal government provides regularly scheduled online workshops on how to find and apply for a federal job, prepare a federal resume, and interview for an opportunity with the federal government. There are also special sessions on employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities and pathways programs to recruit and hire students and recent graduates into federal careers.

Additional website resources:

  • The USAJOBS website provides information on how to create a USAJOBS profile, the federal application process, and opportunities in high demand. This site also discusses the federal government’s hiring paths and eligibility requirements.
  • The Arizona State Jobs System provides job openings throughout the state of Arizona.