Three Simple Steps for your Job Search

Blonde girl with notebook in the lab. She is very happy.Finding a job that's right for you takes time

Whether you’re still in school or you’ve graduated, finding an internship or job is difficult, stressful, and time consuming. That’s why PREPs has devised this three-step plan to make your search as efficient and stress-free as possible.

These steps work well in unison with regular meetings with a career advisor. If you are a member of IUPUI’s Honors College or the School of Science (either currently enrolled or an alumni), you are welcome to come in for free one-on-one meetings with a PREPs career counselors. Simply click the "Meet with a Career Advisor" button to the right!

Step 1: Assess Yourself

Begin your job search with some honest self reflection. Ask yourself:

  • How well do I know myself?
    • What are my unique strengths?
    • What are my values?
    • What are my hobbies and passions?
    • Do I need to take a self-assessment such as Myers-Briggs?
  • What do I have to offer an employer?
    • What are my skills?
    • What are my experiences?
  • How do I want to contribute?
    • What type of work do I find meaningful?
    • What vision do I want to achieve?
    • What missions do I want to serve?
  • What is my ideal job?
    • What kind of people do I want to work with and how might this influence the industry I choose to work in?
    • What type of environment do I want to work in? Do I prefer to work outdoors, or do I do my best work in a cubicle?
    • What is my ideal workload? How important is work-life balance important to me?
    • What type of benefits do I want? How much do I want to earn, and how hard am I willing to work for that income?
  • What industry do I want to be in?
  • Where do I want this job to take me in the next 10-15 years?

It is easy to overlook these questions when you are stressed and in need of a job, but being confident about what type of job you seek will make you a stronger candidate because you will be better able to articulate why you are well suited for the position.

Struggling to answer these questions? Check out these resources:

Step 2: Search Smarter not Harder

Job searching can become an all-consuming pursuit if you aren't strategic. To protect your valuable time, PREPs has handpicked the best sites to look for your next job. Don't search harder, search smarter with these resources:

  • ScienceLink is our new career services management database. It's a powerful tool that connects School of Science students and alumni with exceptional career and internship opportunities. Every day we evaluate each job posting and determine if it satisfies NACE standards. 
  • Search for jobs by major: PREPs has put together this list of organizations where you can search for jobs by your major.
  • Student Employment: if you are looking for a job on campus be sure to visit the Office of Student Employment. 
  • The Next Step Fair is a great opportunity to meet with many employers at one place. Help each spring, the next step fair will connect you with a broad range of job options suited to your major.

Keep in mind that achieving ambitious career goals require time. Your first job is probably not going to be your dream job. Rather, it will be an opportunity for you to learn about the industry, yourself, and gain valuable experience. Think of each job as a stepping stone towards your ultimate destination.

Step 3: Apply

Your application materials form the first impression of hiring managers. Yet employers consistently report receiving cover letters riddled with gramatical errors and spelling mistakes. Submit an error-free, standout resume and coverletter by using our "Resumes & More" section then make an appointment at PREPs for a full review.

PREPs also holds resume reviews every semester in the SL/LD lobby, see our event calendar for the next "Resumania" event.

Career Resources

Glassdoor for Students

Glassdoor for Students has recently launched. It is a free resource customized to meet the specific needs of today’s students, allowing them to find and research the latest internships, entry-level jobs and salaries, career tips and more.


CareerBliss is a free online career community that empowers job seekers with millions of jobs, reviews, and salaries, along with hundreds of career advice articles.

Meaning and Pay

Explore jobs by seeing how different workers rate job meaning, salary, stress and job satisfaction. This interactive graph allows you to explore the pros and cons of over 450 jobs. 

O*NET OnLine

O*NET has detailed descriptions of the world of work for use by job seekers, workforce development and HR professionals, students, researchers, and more!

Occupational Outlook Handbook 

The Occupational Outlook Handbook is the Nation′s premier source for career information! The profiles featured cover hundreds of occupations and describe the work tasks, environment, pay, and career path. Each profile also includes employment projections for the 2010–20 decade.