Job Search Strategies

Your degree will open doors, but it’s up to you to obtain the job you desire.

Job searches are a marketing campaign with potential employers where you showcase that you are the best candidate for the position. Remember – you’re competing against candidates from other universities as well so timing can be critical. If a company has no openings at the time of your initial contact, follow up in a couple months to let them know you’re still interested. Persistence and perseverance pays off!

Our advice to students that are looking to attain internships, co-ops, or career opportunities is to diversify your approach as much as possible by extending as many nets as you can. To do this you will want to attend the South Dakota Mines career fairs, utilize different job search platforms, use your network and connect with people you may know in the industry, and talk with your professors as they may be able to connect you with alumni and other contacts in your field. Are you connected to any professional organizations for your major?  If not, the Career & Professional Development Center recommends getting connected into those networks as they have a lot of great professional development resources and is a great way to connect with other professionals in your industry.  

Also, don’t forget that social media is also a great way to network and let others know you are looking for new job opportunities. The Career & Professional Development Center recommends making a LinkedIn account and connecting with the companies you are interested in working for. Building up your LinkedIn profile, connecting with companies, and staying active on that platform is a great way to networking; LinkedIn also has it’s very own job search platform.  Additionally, now is also a great time to activate your Handshake account, if you haven't already done so. If you were a South Dakota Mines student last academic year, you can login with the same username and password you use for your school issued laptop.  If not, just create a free account using your South Dakota Mines email.  Our university’s Handshake portal is a great resource for finding internships, co-ops, and full-time positions.

In the meantime, it will always be to your benefit to garnering and hone your professional development skills and continue to build up your resume with relevant experiences. Actively pursuing and participating in internships, co-op, research opportunities, and extracurricular activities is a wise decision. Employers continue to indicate that internship experience is the deciding factor between two otherwise equally qualified candidates. Additionally, if the internship experience is with the specific company doing the hiring, the advantage is even greater. Real-world experience is one advantage many South Dakota Mines graduates bring to their first job, and our grads with at least one internship, co-op, or research experience tend to have an easier time finding placement and have a higher average starting salary than those that do not pursue these opportunities. 

Another idea is to give back to your community by volunteering with organizations that you are passionate about. Dedicating your time as a volunteer helps you make new friends, expand your network, and boost your transferrable skills. Participating in campus organization and extracurricular activities can help you feel more connected to the campus community and will help you develop relevant skills needed for your future success. 
 
The Career & Professional Development Center is here to help. If you would like us to review your resume or cover letter, to set up a mock interview, or need assistance on any other career related topics, we are here to assist you.  We can set up appointments with you in-person, over the phone, via zoom conferencing, or correspond via email, whichever platform works best for you, just email us at careercenter@sdsmt.edu to get the conversation started. We look forward to connecting with you soon!
 


Resources from the SD Mines Career Guide:

Success Stories

SHEA THORSON
NASA Johnson Space Center

SheaThorson-SuccessStory
Interning under NASA’s chief of neuroscience, Shea designed battery-powered, backpack-sized field tests to collect data from astronauts after landing for better training methods. Now, she works full-time at NASA’s Neuroscience Lab, analyzing data, coauthoring aerospace medicine textbook chapters, and running experiments so astronauts can land on Mars in 20-30 years.
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