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School of Public Health
School of Public Health

University of Washington School of Public Health

Job Search Strategies

Research Employers
Uncover Unadvertised Job Openings
Federal Jobs

Finding a job requires a good deal of time and effort. Your job search will be more successful if you develop an understanding of effective strategies. The following is an overview of tactics you can use to plan you career and find a job.

Research Employers

Make yourself stand out in a cover letter or interview by knowing something about your potential employer. By thoroughly researching the employer, you increase your chances of making a positive and memorable first impression. Learn as much as you can about the agency/organization and the specific position before meeting. Be prepared to present yourself as a person who would function well within both the position and the organization.

What to look for when conducting research:

  • Size and scope of the organization
  • Location
  • Number of employees
  • History, vision, and mission of the organization
  • Have there been major changes in its philosophy over time? Why?
  • Is it publicly or privately owned? Is it a profit or not-for-profit organization?
  • What issues are important to them?
  • If the organization is in the public sector - where does it get its funding? How stable are those sources?
  • How much with politics or shifting public opinion affect them?
  • Current issues affecting the organization

Uncover Unadvertised Job Openings

Unadvertised jobs occur when employers hire qualified people they know or who have been recommended to them. To tap into this “hidden” job market, you need to make yourself known to potential employers through networking. Get the names of professionals in your field. Ask faculty, peers, and alumni for referrals. Contact individuals who can give you specific information about your type of work. Contact them by letter, phone or email and request a conversation with them. Tell them that you are seeking employment, and that you know that they may not have any openings at the present time. Tell them that you would like a few minutes to discuss his or her organization and to get advice or suggestions in your job search.

The purpose of this contact is to let professionals and agencies in your field know that you are looking for a job. If people become aware of you, they might consider you once a job opens up.

Federal Jobs

Anyone who has ever applied or thought about applying for a federal government job knows that the whole process can be quite confusing. The following resources will help you to navigate a federal government job search:

USA Jobs
This U.S. Federal Government Job website lists job openings and requirements.

Governmental Jobs Pay Scales

Ten Steps for Students
Federal job search resources