By: Devyani Gauri, Peer Career Coach

As an international student, the first time I ever got exposed to job searching was when I started looking for a job on-campus. As daunting as it seemed, with time and quite a bit of effort I was able to find not one, but two jobs that I have stuck with ever since. I did however realize very quickly that my job searching days were far from over. Luckily, one of my jobs is at the Career Services office and I asked for help. Any student who has ever been to the Career Services office has at the very least looked at “The 2-hour Job Search” by Steve Dalton. 

 

Holding the book in your hand gives you newfound confidence that you can find a job. You take it back to your room, and it sits at your desk for the next few months collecting dust as you repeatedly tell yourself that you will read the book, while the 2 hours the book promises never become a reality. I am writing this blog post in an attempt to provide students with a hopefully easy-to-use guide that would make you pick that book back up and actually use it.

 

The best way to use this blog post would be to open the book to Page 216, start following the steps given, and come back to this blog post for more detailed information for Illinois Tech students(written in purple). 

 

The 2-hour Job Search

Pre-requisites

 

  1. Spreadsheet software: Microsoft Excel, Google sheets, Notion(if you want to be really fancy)
  2. An email program with an integrated calendar: Gmail, Microsoft Outlook, Apple Mail
  3. A LinkedIn profile (if you don’t have one yet, feel free to drop by the Career Services office hours from 9-10 am or 12:30 pm-3:30 pm M-F to learn how to get started!)

Step 1: The LAMP Method (Chapter 1-4)

List (40 minutes/120 minutes)

Goal: Make a list of at least 40 employers.

If you come to really think about it, 40 employers is a huge number. But the number of companies out there is much higher. To avoid being overwhelmed by the countless number of companies and jobs available, start with companies that you already know of.

Split this search of 40 employers into:

  1. Dream employers (10 minutes – around 10 employers)
  2. Alumni employers: 

Go to https://www.linkedin.com/school/illinois-institute-of-technology/people/. You can search for alumni based on your major, the company, or the job you want to look for. (10 minutes – around 10 employers)

  1. Posting search: jobs found on search engines like Indeed, Monster, LinkedIn, and in our case Handshake (10 minutes – around 10 employers)
  2. Trend-following: Spend 10 minutes on Google/the search engine of your choice to search for the industry of your choice along with the word “trends”. Skim through the top few articles and list out the names of companies you see that you haven’t already put in your list. (10 minutes – around 10 employers)

Alumni (10 minutes/120 minutes)

Goal: to find alumni(any contact who is sympathetic to your cause and may advocate for your eventual recruitment) at a company

  1. Search the name of the company on Linkedin and it will show you what alumni work there. 
  2. At this stage, we just want to write Y or N in the column next to the name of the company based on whether alumni work there or not.

Motivation (5 minutes/120 minutes)

Goal: to narrow down the list you’ve made

Award a score of:

  1. 5 to employers you find most motivating(dream employers)
  2. 2 to employers you are familiar with but find less motivating
  3. 1 to employers you are completely unfamiliar with

Posting (15 minutes/120 minutes)

Goal: to figure out which of these employers are currently hiring/likely to be hiring

You can use any job searching website for this (Handshake, LinkedIn, Indeed.com, etc)

Award a score of:

  1. 3 if there are hits when you search for <employer name><job keyword>
  2. 2 if there are hits when you search for <employer name> but not for <employer name><job keyword>
  3. 1 if there are no hits found for either

Now, sort the list you have based on the employers that got higher scores, and ones that have alumni working for them.

Step 2: Contact: Boosters, Obligates, and Curmudgeons (Chapters 5-7)

Naturalize (20 minutes/160 minutes)

Goal: To turn any N in your spreadsheet to a Y (for Alumni)

  1. Identify top 5 employers with Ns in the Alumni column(if there are none, move on)
  2. Use the following:
    1. LinkedIn: looking through your first-degree connections, second-degree connections, group connections, third-degree connections
    2. Utilize Emails4Corporations
  3. Look at other databases like The Bridge, Handshake, Facebook to find other contacts that could be working for these employers.

Email (20 minutes/160 minutes)

Goal: To start networking

  1. Locate email addresses for the most relevant contact at each of the Top 5 target employers.
  2. Write a 5-point email to each contact (samples on Page 114 and 117)

Track (10 minutes/160 minutes)

Goal: To remember when you want to reach out to these employers again

Follow the 3B7 rule:

  1. Set 2 reminders for yourself on Google Calendar/Outlook whenever you send out a new 5-point email:

Reminder #1: 3 business days later

Reminder # 2: 7 business days later

  1. If a response is received before Reminder #1 pops up, you have found a Booster. This means that you should try to schedule an informational interview as soon as possible. (can be a 15-30 minute call talking about the work culture, what they like about their job, or any exciting projects the company is working on)
  2. If no response is received before Reminder #1 appears, contact a second contact in the same company and set up reminders for that email.
  3. If no response is received before Reminder #2 appears, follow up with the original contact.

At this point, you have concluded the 2 hours, built a system you can use and are ready to start interviewing! (Contact Career Services to schedule Mock interviews, get interviewing tips, and revamping your resume, cover letter, or LinkedIn profile)

How to use “The 2-Hour Job Search”