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Resumes/Cover Letters
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Conducting a Job Search
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Special Populations
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For Employers
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CDC Services

The Career Development Center is dedicated to helping students fulfill the lifelong pursuit of purpose by providing services, access to information, resources, and experiences that address individual career needs.

Job Search Check Out What Works!

According to some sources 85% of jobs for recent college graduates are not advertised. The effective job seeker spends most of their time uncovering these types of “hidden” job openings. That means talking to people and identifying and approaching employers of interest. While it is important to check out advertised openings, more time should be spent cultivating your contacts (see Networking ) and conducting informational interviews with potential employers. Use the internet not just to look for openings, but to network, research industries and organizations, and access employer directories, such as CareerBeam. Join a professional organization to meet people in your field as well as to keep current on industry trends. Most jobs never hit the newspaper or the internet, so be a proactive rather than a reactive job seeker. Focus your energy on meeting people and contacting organizations that you have researched.

Remember - think creatively about how you can make contact with employers, and how to best construct your job search.

The following checklist should help you identify and organize some of the job search tasks you will need to complete.

Clarify Your Job Target

  • Determine where your interests, abilities, and values fit best in the world of work.
  • Use the CDC Career Information Center to learn about career opportunities.
  • Conduct informational interviews with professionals in your field. Contact Alumni Mentors/Career Advisors to discuss careers, job search strategies, and graduate school opportunities.
  • Complete an internship in your field of interest. The conversion rate of interns being hired by the organization where they interned is 57.7% (NACE, 2011).
  • Select preferred geographic location(s) and identify realistic starting salaries in your field. is a good place to do your research on salaries.

Prepare Your Job Search Correspondence

  • Attend resume and cover letter writing workshops offered by the CDC.
  • Set up an appointment with a counselor to review your printed resume or cover letter.
  • Use the CDC’s books on resume/cover letter writing. Pick up Resume/Cover Letter handouts in the CDC or view them here.

Get Ready for Your Job Search

  • Start networking now! Let friends, relatives, supervisors, teachers, and former employers know you are looking.
  • Pick up the Networking handout in the CDC or view it on our website.
  • Use the CDC books on job searching.
  • Join and become active in a professional organization in your field.
  • Read local newspapers or, if relocating, read out-of-town newspapers on the web.
  • Shop for your interview suit.
  • Pick up a Reference File Packet or view it here

Identify Unadvertised Openings

  • Research potential employers using CareerSearch, an online directory of over 1.7 million employers available through ORCA.
  • Begin contacting potential employers with phone calls, visits, and letters of inquiry with resumes.
  • Start keeping records on employer contacts and follow up periodically.
  • Continue to increase your networking activities.

Check Out Advertised Openings

  • View job openings using ORCA on the CDC website.
  • Create a search agent and have ORCA job postings emailed to you.
  • Upload your resume to ORCA.
  • Visit popular links to other job listing sites on the CDC website.
  • Identify publications or websites related to your field that list current openings.
  • Visit organization websites for employment listings.
  • Check out all upcoming events on the CDC website to find out about employers visiting campus and all upcoming job fairs.

Find Employers by Accessing and Navigating CareerBeam (Previously known as Career Search)

While we encourage you to check out the many new features of CareerBeam, the following directions are for searching the employer database - the largest most up-to-date of its kind!

  • Go here and click on, "Create an Account" and complete the setup form using your Buffalo State email address.
  • Note: Only email addresses,, and are acceptable for use in CareerBeam.
  • Check the inbox of the email account you used during the setup process and find a message from You must activate your new CareerBeam account by clicking the URL found in that message.
  • Once activated, login to your newly created CareerBeam account.
  • Click on "Research Tools" in the main menu to do a company search.
  • There are three main categories for searching: Industries, Location, and Keywords.
  • Within "Industries," select one or more industry categories.
  • All underlined industries have sub-categories that can be accessed with a click.
  • Select sub-categories or sub-categories of sub-categories to refine your search.
  • If you do not find a specific industry, use the search option (E.G. textiles, theatre).
  • Click on "Locations" to make selections as you did for "Industries."
  • Click on "Keywords" to further refine your search in optional ways including contact names, addresses, and more.
  • View a summary of your selections on the right-hand side of the page under "Criteria."
  • Click on "Get Results" to execute your search.
  • For detailed organizational information click on an organization's name.
  • If your search result is empty then you need to modify your search criteria by clicking on and returning to "Industries," "Locations," and/or "Keywords."
  • "Reports" of the data are available in HTML, TEXT, and PDF formats and "downloads" of the data are available in formats ranging from ASCII to Access and Excel. Click on "Save Results" and print in the format of your choice.
  • Call or stop in to the Career Development Center if you need assistance with CareerBeam.

Develop Good Interview Skills

  • Attend the CDC's interviewing workshop.
  • Refer to books on interviewing in the CDC library.
  • Pick up the Interviewing handout in the CDC or view it on our website.
  • Practice interviewing in a recorded mock interview session with a CDC counselor.
  • Use the CDC's employer resources, or the web, to learn more about organizations.

Follow Up

  • Check with the CDC or on ORCA to make sure all references requested have been submitted.
  • Follow-up with organizations that you have not heard back from.
  • Send thank you letters after interviews.

Updated 9/9/2011