DePaul University Career Center's Blog

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Jumpstart YOUR Job Search!

by Megan Boone

Happy Spring! With the change of seasons, brings new opportunities and exciting advancements. Whether you’re a senior exploring your next steps after graduation, a professional that’s looking to make a change, or a current student looking for employment, now is a great time to jumpstart your job search. 

Here are five tips to consider as you start your job search: 

Prepare a Master Resume

Typically, in an application, companies look for candidates to submit a resume and cover letter. Ahead of looking for positions and starting the application process, it can be helpful to develop a master resume which includes everything you’ve experienced and accomplished. Consider including an education section, all paid and unpaid jobs or internships, volunteer experiences, leadership roles, shadowing opportunities, class projects, skills and technology section, and anything else you’ve worked on or accomplished on your master resume. It is normal for a master resume to be a few pages long, worry less about the length, and more about including everything you’ve done to have this in your back pocket when you are ready to start applying. 

Start Drafting a Target Employer List

In addition to preparing a master resume, starting to draft a target employer list will be something that you start prior to your job search that you can then use when you are ready to actively start applying. To start this process, create either a document or Excel file where you will save a list of companies and organizations that are of interest to you. Then, start looking for companies on LinkedIn, Indeed, or any other general job site by using keywords related to the industry you are interested in. Typically, companies have robust profiles on LinkedIn which can give insight into what the company stands for, the work that they do, who works for the company, and more. In addition to LinkedIn, the company’s website can also give insight into the same details as shared above. When doing this research, it’s important to keep your values and interests in mind. Ask yourself the question, can I see myself working here and why or why not? Going into your job search with a list of companies that closely align with your interests and values can guide you in knowing where to start your search. 

Tailor Your Resume and Cover Letter to Each Applied Job

It’s time to start your search! Once you’ve identified a position that you are interested in applying for, take your master resume and copy over your most relevant accomplishments into a separate document. To determine what is most relevant from your background and experiences, look carefully at the job description and qualifications list and choose what best fits for what you are applying to. Specifically, consider the language that the job description includes, and make sure you are including those keywords on your resume that you submit. For your cover letter, analyze what the company is looking for, and create a brand statement that incorporates three explicit reasons why you would be a good fit for the position. All in all, each resume and cover letter should be tailored to the specific job you are applying for. Pro tip, make sure both of your documents are uploaded as PDF files! 

Organize your Job Search

 When applying to several jobs, it’s easy to lose track of what you applied to and when. To maintain organization, consider starting an Excel file or document to keep track of this information. In terms of organization, you may choose to include columns for the job title, company name, the deadline for applications, the date you specifically applied, the link to the online application, next steps, and more. The goal is to have one place where you can reference back all of the applications you’ve sent in and track the status of your applications. This is especially important when identifying timelines and when it’s appropriate to follow up on a specific role.

Tap into your Personal and Professional Networks

As you start your search, inform your networks that you are actively starting your search. You may consider sharing with them your target employer list or the general industry you are interested in. Doing this allows your network to keep their ears open or even share contacts they may have in the industry or at a specific company. Looking to build your network? Alumni are great resources to connect with as you both hold the shared experience of DePaul. The Alumni Sharing Knowledge Network (ASK) specifically allows you to connect and have conversations with alumni that have opted to be mentors for current students.


Interested in crafting a master resume, starting an employer target list, tailoring your documents to a specific job application, finding opportunities, or building your network? That’s exactly where we come in. Whether you’re a senior looking for post graduate opportunities, an alumni looking for a new opportunity or a student looking for employment opportunities, we are here to help you through your job search process. Book an appointment with Megan, or another member of the advising community through Handshake, or by calling the front desk at (773) 325-7431. We look forward to meeting with you!

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