Developing a Job Search Plan

The average job search takes 7.5 months. That means if you're graduating in May, you should begin your job search in October! The Office of Career Services at Shawnee State University houses a variety of resources to assist you in developing your personal job search plan. You can find resources in the Career Services Office and the library. To assist your planning efforts, the following summary highlights some of the primary topics you will need to consider.


Be Decisive.

  • Carefully define your career objective(s). 
  • Determine the geographic areas in which you are willing to work.
  • Calculate the income you are seeking. Need help? Check out the Budget Calculator on Ohio Means Jobs.
  • Determine the benefits important to you.
  • How long does it take to search for a job? Click here to find out! (Image by the National Association of Colleges and Employers, 2014)

Employers will request resumes, cover letters and references as a part of the application process. Develop, purchase, or gain access to the resources you will need to conduct your search. Below are important factors to keep in mind and prepare for as you begin your job search:

Research sources of information regarding job opportunities.


Job Search Literature

  • Career Services and the Library house a variety of books describing job search techniques. These resources often list sources of information regarding job opportunities.The Library has its own career corner with the books and resources that may be of assistance to you.


  • Alert everyone you know to the fact that you are seeking employment. People will help you...but you have to ask!
  • Contact anyone who you feel may assist you in your job search effort.
  • Maintain regular contact with the Career Services Staff.
  • Be sure to connect with recruiters during job fairs and throughout the academic year during scheduled visits using these tips. 

Take Advantage of the Career Services Office

  • Meet with a member of the Career Services team as needed to discuss your job search progress. They are here to help!
  • Explore the services and resources housed in Career Services Office.
  • Utilize career resources both in the Career Services office and in the Library. 

Job Search Mistakes

  • Don't let your job search take over your life. Be sure re-coup by spending time with friends and family and participating in activities.
  • Don't take rejection personally. There are plenty more opportunities for employment waiting; just be persistent.
  • Don't limit your searches to online only. Sometimes positions are posted and available in your local community. Stop into local shop and business to see they have any positions available. 
  • Be wary of job scams-they do exist and often times new graduates are easy targets. Some "red-flags" to look for when considering whether or not a potential job opening is a scam:
    • Does the company have a proper website, with descriptions of who they are and what they do?
    • Does they job advertisement tell you what you are doing, what your responsibilities will be, and what the salary will be?
    • Does the advertisement seem to be a very long sales description that  seems too good to be true? (For example, does it display that you can earn $$$ per week?)
    • Is formal, written contract given to you?
    • Are you being asked to pay any money up front? (This should NEVER happen.)

Career Services

Contact Information

Phone: (740) 351-3027
Fax: (740) 351-3108

Christina Jones
Career Advisor
Phone: (740) 351-3784

Peer Career Team 
Phone: (740) 351-3027

Office hours

8 am-5 pm Monday-Friday
Administration Building, 036

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