Office of Career Services
Activities Building West
Current Students, use MyWheelock to make an appointment. (click on Appointments to search the Career Services calendar for an open appointment.)
Alumni, ask questions or make appointments via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
As a student or recent graduate, the job search process can feel overwhelming. The key to finding job opportunities, getting hired and accepting a job is creating a strategy that helps you target your search and application process as well as evaluate job offers.
Create Your Search Strategy
Identify Careers/Jobs of Interest
To find job opportunities, you first need a job focus. You must identify job functions (skills and job duties), job titles and industries of interest. Do you want to teach first grade? Create anti-bullying media literacy campaigns? Work in Human Resources? Not sure? Use the What Can I Do With This Major resource to identify career opportunities connected to different majors and/or schedule an appointment to meet with Career Services (click the Appointment link to search our calendar). See the Career Exploration page for more information on identifying career options.
Find Job Openings
There are many ways to find job opportunities and you should use them all. They include:
- Networks - Networks are the people you know who provide you: tips and advice on how to find a job in your field; leads on places hiring; and connections to other people who will be helpful in your job search. Check out our Networking page for tips on how to develop and engage with your network.
- Wheelock Works - Wheelock Works is where employers who want to recruit Wheelock students and alumni post job, internship and volunteer opportunities. All students and alumni have access to this resource. Current students: use your Wheelock username and password to get started right away!
- Job Boards - Job boards are your online sources to find job opportunities from a variety of employers. These sites can be industry specific or general sites posting opportunities from all industries. Use the Job Search Resource Guide to identify general and industry-specific sites.
- Company/Organization Websites - Create a targeted list of organizations where you would like to work then use the company websites to identify job opportunities. You can locate organizations through chamber of commerce websites (look for member directories), United Way websites (look for partner lists), GuideStar.org (use advanced search to locate nonprofit organizations), State agency websites and Google searches. Review the Job Search Resource Guide for more information on locating organizations.
- Social Networks - Use online networks such as LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook to follow companies, build networks, and learn about job opportunities. Career Services uses social media to promote job openings so be sure to join the Wheelock College Alumni Association LinkedIn group, engage in your class Facebook page and follow the Career Services Twitter page (@WheelockCS).
- Career Fairs - Career Fairs are a great way to meet with employers, develop a professional network and learn about job opportunities. Career Services hosts two career fairs each Spring, provides students and alumni free access to the annual Massachusetts Educational Recruitment Consortium Fair and shares information about other local career fairs. Use the Career Services Events Calendar to locate upcoming on-campus and off-campus fairs.
Apply for Jobs
The job application process, whether emailing your resume and cover letter or applying through an online application system, takes time. Be sure to follow each organization's job application directions including fully completing application forms (even when you are attaching a resume) and submitting all requested documents (resume, cover letter, references, writing sample, etc.).
Job application tips:
- Make sure your resume and cover letter are tailored to the position for which you are applying. Need help with your resume or cover letter? Use the Resume Guide and Cover Letter Guide to help you get started, then make an appointment with Career Services to have both reviewed.
- Prepare and practice for interviews. Read the Interview Guide for detailed information on how to get ready for any interview.
- Some jobs opportunities have an application deadline while others are open until filled. When there is an application deadline, companies generally don't start the application review and interview process until after the end date so don't worry if you don't hear back from an employer right away.
- You may apply for a job and never receive a response from an employer recognizing receipt of your application or notifying you if the job has been filled. It is okay after applying to follow-up with the employer confirming receipt of your application.
Evaluating and Negotiating the Job Offer
You've just been offered a job and are extremely excited! Before you accept (or decline) the position, you want to take time to evaluate the job offer and negotiate your salary.
Evaluating the Job Offer
So how do you know if the job is right for you? Here are some points to consider:
- Would you enjoy the type of work and responsibilities connected with the job?
- Would you enjoy the work environment? Do the organization's values match yours?
- Consider compatibility with your supervisor.
- Salary—is the compensation enough to meet your financial obligations? This could be rent, student loans, car payments, etc.
- What benefits will you receive? Consider things like healthcare, retirement plan, vacation time, sick leave, professional development, tuition reimbursement.
- What is the stability of the company? Is it a start-up and does that appeal to you?
- Are you okay with the commute time?
- Anything else that is important to you in the workplace.
You want to take time to evaluate the offer, but be sure to determine with the employer how much time you have to make your final decision.
Negotiating the Salary (or other parts of job offer)
Negotiations will happen after you receive the job offer but before you accept the job. Here are tips on how to negotiate:
- Either through phone or email (depending on how you were offered the job), ask if there is room for negotiation. Start by reaffirming your interest in the position then be confident and remain professional throughout the negotiations.
- Do your research - know starting salary statistics for positions that take in to consideration your education level and experience. Two resources to help you identify salary ranges are:
- Be able to justify your request by highlighting the skills, experiences and value you bring to the position. Also remember to be reasonable and realistic in any request that you make during the negotiation process.
- For more information, read this article from Payscale.com on how to negotiate .
Make Your Decision
Once you've made your decision, call the employer to accept (or decline) the offer. Verbally confirm firm details of the offer and ask for the offer in writing. Remember, always be professional whether or not you decide to accept a job offer.