Job Search Strategies

Reflect & Explore

A job or internship search requires time, effort, and strategic planning. Before you begin applying for positions, first take some time to consider the kinds of positions that match your career interests and values, whether that’s company reputation, geographic location, position title, etc. 

The Focus 2 assessment* provides students with major and career recommendations based on your responses.  It’s also a great starting place if you are uncertain of your career goals. (*Note: link opens a login page to the Focus 2 assessment)

There are so many employment opportunities available to students!  To explore those career paths, visit What Can I Do With This Major?

Get Experience

When searching for skill-building experiences, consider options besides employment. There are many other ways to gain experience that will build your resume and gain the interest of employers and graduate schools.

  • Join a student organization. There are many orgs on campus that represent a wide range of interests. Stay involved, pursue a leadership role, and make a difference.
  • Volunteer for one-time or ongoing service opportunities and consider enrolling in a in a service learning course to make a positive impact on others.
  • Employers are seeking students with leadership skills and potential. Take advantage of these campus leadership opportunities.  
  • Consider undergraduate research to learn new things in your field of study and build valuable relationships with faculty. 
  • Look into studying abroad to enhance your cultural competence and broaden your worldview. Opportunities are available for short and long-term programs.

Navigate Your Search

There are many different ways to discover job openings. While employers advertise some job vacancies, a vast majority (60-80%) goes unadvertised. To tap into these “hidden” job opportunities, job seekers need to use less conventional approaches that rely on a personal touch. Take advantage of the following methods so you can stay organized, grow your network, and find both hidden and advertised employment opportunities:

Career Fairs: Use this unique opportunity to meet a large number of companies in one place and learn about several career opportunities. Review the list of participating employers and prepare for the day by reading our Guides to Career Fairs and Virtual Career Fairs.

HireMizzouTigers, powered by Handshake: Mizzou students and alumni have access to this massive list of part-time, full-time, and internship opportunities. Create a “saved search” to set up email notifications when new positions are uploaded to the system. Scan our Guide to HireMizzouTigers to get started!

Other Job Boards: Public job boards like Indeed or ZipRecruiter are a good way to learn about opportunities and in-demand career areas, but competition is higher because anyone is able to apply through the site. Searching on more specific sites lessens your competition.

Networking: Join the online Mizzou Mentoring network to find alumni with common career interests and make meaningful connections. Also, using platforms like LinkedIn, Instagram, and Twitter makes networking easier, and most companies use social sites for hiring. Engage with their posts and follow organization accounts for insight into their culture, industry trends and services.  To begin, check out the Guide to Networking to learn how to make connections, introduce yourself and build your network.

Informational Interviews: Informational interviewing is an opportunity to spend time with a professional in a career field of interest. Professional contacts are an effective way of gaining knowledge, becoming connected in your field, and developing confidence in approaching others. The Guide to Informational Interviews walks you through how to prepare, arrange and conduct an interview from start to finish.

Professional Groups: You can connect with individuals interested in similar career paths who can provide helpful career advice. Be aware that you may need to pay a fee to join the organization and access certain career opportunities. Look for a “Careers” or “Jobs” tab on their websites to find opportunities. You may also attend professional conferences and meetings to develop your network. Use the JobStars directory to find professional associations related to your field.

Top 5 Resources

1. HireMizzouTigers, powered by Handshake: This job board is accessible to Mizzou students and alumni. Employers post full-time and part-time jobs, on-campus and off-campus opportunities, and internships.  In addition to job listings, Handshake enables you to contact employers, sign-up for company interviews, RSVP to recruitment events and more.

2. LinkedIn: This large, global networking tool has endless possibilities for students. As well as the robust job board, the site features groups, hashtags to follow, and a feed that allows you to stay updated with connections and trends in your field.  Visit to make a free profile and get started.

3. Glassdoor: This site offers an inside look at companies and positions by featuring salary information, interview questions, employer and job reviews. It also includes its own jobs board. Students can access all information by going through Glassdoor for Students.

4. GoinGlobal: This job search platform contains employment resources for more than 120 worldwide locations. Additionally, GoinGlobal includes information for international students seeking H1B visa employment in the United States. And finally, the site features 47 USA City Guides, a critical tool for any student planning to relocate in the U.S.

5. Mizzou Career Tools: This interactive and searchable platform includes hundreds of resources based on career interests, student identities and class years. Whether you are exploring majors, searching for a job, or preparing for an interview, you can use filters to zero in on the exact information and advice you need.  Get started exploring!