Job and Internship Search Strategies Webster University | Career Planning & Development Center

Information and website links have been provided as a convenience for users and the Webster University Career Planning & Development Center (CPDC) is not responsible for the contents of any linked site. This resource is not a comprehensive list.

In this guide, we will discuss information regarding job and internship search strategies. Explore the resources below to learn more about the different stages throughout the job seeking sequence of events.

While there are a variety of strategies that you may utilize when conducting an internship or job search, the two primary goals in the job search are as follows:

  1. Locate openings to which you can apply.
  2. Identify employers who may be seeking to hire employees with your skills and qualifications.

The information in this guide outlines strategies that you may use in your search. Employ multiple strategies simultaneously to maximize your success. Useful resources may vary by industry, occupation, and/or geography.

Locate Openings


Handshake is Webster University’s online career management and recruiting platform for students and alumni. The Jobs section of Handshake contains on-campus student employment, internship, full-time, and part-time openings. When building your profile, complete the career interests inventory. Your complete profile and career interests inventory will assist with the platform recommending employment opportunities tailored to you.


Interested in working in a new city or outside of your home country? Utilize GoinGlobal, a web resource that contains country-specific career information, city-specific career guides, internship and job postings, and an employer directory. The site also contains information on companies that apply for H-1B visas to hire international talent. Access GoinGlobal through the Handshake Resources page.

Company Websites

Find internship and job postings directly on company websites. Some companies have an entire website section dedicated to postings along with information and tips for those interested in the company. Frequently, information can be found in a “careers” or “employment” section of a company’s website.

Job Search Engines/Job Boards

You can utilize general job search engines such as Indeed and Simply Hired or use specialized job search engines for a more targeted approach. Categories of specialized job search engines include:

Be prepared to manage responses if you post your resume to a job board. If you would like to keep your job search more targeted, consider submitting your resume for specific applications but not posting it to all prospective employers.


The majority of job seekers get hired through a referral. Use LinkedIn to boost your chances of getting hired through people you know. With its own job board on the free social networking site for professionals, LinkedIn Jobs is an excellent way to leverage your contact network and identify opportunities that are tailored to you.

Identify Employers

Develop a List

Develop a list of employers (aim for 10-30 to start) that interest you. Utilize employer databases in Handshake or GoinGlobal as well as company directories like the local Business Journal’s Book of Lists, Reference USA, Hoover’s, or other regional company research databases to identify employers of interest. Find company directories and industry information through the Webster University Library or public libraries.

Then, seek to develop knowledge of your target employers and build relationships by identifying and speaking to employees. Many internship and job seekers utilize a tracking system or spreadsheet to keep track of applications and contacts made.

Professional Organizations/Associations

Your profession may have a campus, city, regional, state, national or international organization. These organizations typically meet on a routine basis, host conferences, webinars or networking events, and publish openings in the field. Consider joining one or more of these; if you do not join, utilize their websites for information. Identify professional associations through an online search, ask professors and other industry contacts for suggestions, or view the Career Planning & Development Center's list of examples of professional associations.

Alumni Connections

Most colleges have developed a network of alumni, parent, and/or community contacts who have agreed to answer career-related questions. You may opt to join your alumni association and become active in a chapter near you. Graduate students should also investigate the alumni association affiliated with their undergraduate alma mater. Learn about and utilize Webster University’s Alumni Association and Online Community.

LinkedIn & Social Media

Identify companies who hire professionals with your academic and career competencies through social media. Join a professional networking site like LinkedIn to establish contacts and connect with relevant LinkedIn groups in your field of interest. When using professional networking sites or social media, be mindful that employers view what you post as a reflection of your character. Google yourself regularly and address privacy settings, when needed.

Informational Interviews

Informational interviews are a means of gathering career information and advice while also networking. Schedule appointments to meet with professionals in person or by phone/video call to gain knowledge about their careers and to seek insight and advice. Learn more about requesting informational interviews and potential questions in the Career Planning & Development Center's Informational Interviewing guide.

Best Practices


Networking is an effective and proactive search strategy and should be used in concert with other strategies. Individuals who connect with others are more likely to find “hidden” opportunities. Learn about opportunities for networking in the Career Planning & Development Center's Building Your Contact Network guide.

When conducting networking activities, tell individuals about your qualifications and the types of experiences you're seeking. Always follow-up with networking contacts.

Following Up

Some employers’ hiring decisions are influenced by a candidate’s ability to follow-up. Send a thank you to everyone who interviews you for a position. Also follow up after networking events or important contact with an employer in order to maintain communication.

Example of a thank you letter after an informational interview

For additional resources, please explore the Career Planning & Development Center's collection of online career guides.


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