Skip to main content

Search Strategies

The job or internship search is a process.  At times, it can seem like a job itself. An effective search will integrate a variety of strategies.

Full-time jobs launch your career.  They are long-term and salaried.

Part-time jobs help you pay your bills and/or gain experience.  They are short-term or seasonal and paid by the hour.

Internships are learning experiences.  They are a chance for you to apply what you are learning in the classroom and an opportunity to test out a career. They vary in length and can be paid or unpaid.  You can seek academic credit for your internship.

  • FirstHand guides offer industry insights to help you narrow down your field of interest.
  • Occupational Outlook Handbook is powered by the U.S. Department of Labor and can help you find career information on duties, education and training requirements, pay and outlook for hundreds of occupations.
  • O*NET helps you search specific job titles or search the system based on careers that have a bright outlook (lots of future job openings!) or jobs that match a certain skill set you want to use in the workforce.
  • provides students with tips and resources for applying to internships and jobs with the Federal Government. 
  • Creating your own opportunities (internships) (entrepreneurship)
  • Handshake - Handshake is the Center’s primary online career management tool for University of Maryland students and alumni. Employers specifically seeking UMD students use Handshake to post full-time, part-time, and internship positions. You can search by industry, type of job, geographic location, major, and other criteria. You can even use the system to find current students, alumni, and employers who are willing to talk to you about that organization and the opportunities.
  • General job boards - Job boards are search engines that display job openings, organizations and recruiters use them to post open positions. Job seekers use them to find career and internship opportunities.You should use the Advance Search feature when possible, thereby narrowing or focusing your search for job postings within a defined time, e.g. Last Week, Last Month.
    • - career and internship job board that offers application tips and company reviews
    • Glassdoor - find jobs and take advantage of company information, reviews, and salary information
    • - find jobs and internships while also researching companies and connecting and networking with employers
  • Industry and Interest Specific
  • Targeted searching
    • Interested in working with a specific company? Many companies will have their current openings listed right on their website for candidates to apply directly
    • Check out relevant professional associations based on your intended career field. 
  • Networking
    • Conduct informational interviews with individuals in your intended career field to learn tips and tricks not found online. Enroll in our Informational Interviews online module for details on how to reach out, what to say, how to prepare, and more.
    • LinkedIn 
    • Terrapins Connect - Connect with UMD Alum from around the world who have volunteered to share industry specific information, be a mentor, conduct resume reviews, among other things
  • Career events

Career resources through UMD Colleges, Industry Searches and Professional Organizations

University of Maryland has many career resources available through the schools and colleges.

Based by industry

  • Explore different industries & career paths 
  • Research specific industries and occupations using the Occupational Outlook Handbook, O*NET, and Vault Guides on Firsthand
    • Vault Guides are accessible through Handshake. Login to Handshake, click "Career Center" and then "Resources". You should see Firsthand listed, which is where you can access Vault Guides for specific industries
  • Find professional associations for your industry of interest using the Occupational Outlook Handbook, O*NET, Vault Guides on Firsthand (accessible through Handshake), and CareerOneStop
    • Professional associations are great ways to learn more about an industry of interest, find job/internship opportunities, meet people in the industry, and engage in various activities that help you to learn and grow skills within the industry.

Search Strategies: Identity-Based Considerations

International Students

As international students, you face a different set of challenges in your job search efforts than students who are citizens of the United States (U.S.).  For starters, you need to have a pretty clear goal as to whether you want to return to your home country or plan to work in the U.S.  Common practices to work in your home country, for example, may include having the government, academic advisors or even family members greatly involved in finding jobs for you.  On the other hand, if planning to remain in the U.S., it is largely your responsibility to find your own job, which is tied to complex and changing visa regulations.  Keep in mind that for both of these two options, you may need a different timeline and process. Login to Handshake to request an appointment and discuss these issues with a career advisor.

  • Plan ahead!
  • Work authorization rules will impact your timeline, so stay connected with the university’s Office of International Students and Scholar Services.
  • Become knowledgeable of all the pieces involved in your job search – especially visa requirements - as you may be the best resource for informing recruiters of how you can fit into their process.
  • Respond honestly about your immigration status and work authorization eligibility when asked by a recruiter.
  • Do your research of organizations – some employers are legally restricted from hiring you.
  • Identify a list of targeted organizations that do not have restrictions.
  • Communication skills are important.  Find opportunities to use your English-speaking skills through on-campus employment and in-class work experiences.
  • Attend career and job fairs and enhance your communication skills while learning about various organizations.
  • Have a plan “B,” that is – another option outside of the U.S. -  in case your search for a U.S. job is not successful.
  • Identify international/home country organizations and tailor your resume according to the country’s standards.
  • Maintain your networks in your home country.  Keep in touch!
  • Use LinkedIn for possible alum searches in your native country.
  • GoinGlobal - Identifies opportunities both at home and abroad.  View the H1B section for a list of organizations that have sponsored visas by each state and major metro areas.  Access via login to Handshake and click "Career Center" and then "Resources".
  • MyVisaJobs - Identifies employment opportunities for foreign nationals who want to live in the U.S. and Canada and contains information on work authorizations, searching for jobs and industry information.
  • Immihelp - A comprehensive resource of information about U.S. legal immigration, provides detailed info for visitors’ visas, student visas, green cards, etc.

Multi-Ethnic Students

The University Career Center staff are here to help you identify and integrate your skills and abilities to explore careers, participate in internships, and acquire post-graduation opportunities in environments that embrace your identity and assist you in identifying supportive workplace environments. Below are some questions that may help you assess an organization's climate, culture, and resources in your job or internship process:

  • Do you see diverse populations in the organization’s literature, website, social media, etc.?
  • What percentage of the executives/managers are multi-ethnic?
  • Does the organization provide mentors or programs to advance your career?
  • Is there a race/ethnicity Employee Resource Groups (ERG)?

Login to Handshake to request an appointment with a Center staff member to discuss these issues.

Neuro-Diverse Students and Students with Disabilities 

Disclosing a disability is an individual decision.  You are never required to disclose a disability at any point in the employment process.  However, your disability may be visible, or you may want to disclose in order to receive accommodations, or you may feel that your disability is an important part of who you are.  Whether you need to disclose, when to disclose, and how to disclose can be complicated, and we are here to help. 

We encourage students to turn accommodations/disability into an asset.  You do this by demonstrating that you have the knowledge, know-how and resources to partner effectively with the organization to put in place the accommodations or work-arounds that you need to succeed.  Demonstrating such mastery shows an organization that you are persistent, resilient, a creative problem-solver, and a good communicator, and that the success of the company is your primary interest.  We can assist you in developing that mastery.  

Login to Handshake to request an appointment and discuss these issues with a career advisor.

Undocumented Students

As an undocumented student, you will likely have special considerations as you navigate the job or internship process. While it is important to be truthful during the hiring process, you are ultimately the one to decide when and how to share your status with a future employer. If you choose to disclose, you will want to think through who you are disclosing this information to (a recruiter or a future supervisor) and in what manner the information is shared (during an interview vs. the offer stage).

Most job applications will ask, “Are you legally authorized to work in the United States?” If you have DACA, you are able to answer “yes” and continue through the hiring process without disclosing additional information about your background. More information about DACA can be found here. Once hired, employers should not ask you about how you received your work permit. More information about this process can be found here. If you did not apply for a social security number through DACA, read more about ITINs here.

Login to Handshake to request an appointment and discuss these issues with a career advisor.

Veteran Students

As a veteran and a student, you may find navigating from military to civilian opportunities to be challenging.  You may not see the obvious link between your skills gained in the military translate into a civilian job.

However, an increasing number of organizations have launched initiatives to hire more veterans.  Many have created Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) to help transition newly-hired veterans into the organization, and they may also partner with veteran support organizations.  As a veteran student you should research potential organizations that have ERGs and any other efforts they may have made to address veteran needs and concerns.

Staff in the Center assist veteran students in their job search.  We can help you to clarify your interests and articulate the transferable value of military and other prior experience.

Login to Handshake to request an appointment and discuss these issues with a career advisor.

  • Careeronestop - Identify your Military Occupational Code (MOC).
  • - Search for civilian jobs using your Military Occupational Code (MOC).
  • - Find government jobs that give preference to veterans.
  • USAJobs - Check out their special web page for veterans.
  • - Learn great tips for applying for federal jobs.
  • - Get all-around great advice for transitioning to the civilian working world.
  • American Corporate Partners - A national NPO that matches student veterans with a year-long professional mentorship representing a wide range of industries. 

LGBTQ+ Students

As a lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender (LGBT) student,  you may have additional questions as you move from college to the working world.  While you may have found a vibrant support network for LGBT students, the workplace can be different and you may have to engage in additional career exploration and research to best align your values and goals with a supportive work environment.

In particular, you may have questions about how “out” you want to be in your job search, including on your resume, in your interview, on the job and in work-sponsored social gatherings.  You may also have questions about appropriate interview or workplace attire in relation to your gender identity and expression.  As you explore potential workplaces, you may want to investigate some or all of the following:

  • Organizational climate
  • Partner benefits
  • Employee Resource Groups (ERGs)
  • Non-discrimination policies
  • Ways to combat and respond to workplace discrimination
  • Changing state and national laws and regulations
  • Culture of, and opportunities in, the work location (e.g., city, town, urban, rural, etc.)

Staff members within the Center are available if you wish to discuss how these issues may impact your job search, and can help you clarify personal values and career goals.

Login to Handshake to request an appointment and discuss these issues with a career advisor.

Additionally, there are LGBT-focused professional associations for many career fields and LGBT caucuses within your field's larger professional associations.  These can be excellent places for your job search, helping you to find information and networking opportunities.  Please consult with a career advisor or staff at the LGBT Equity Center to learn more about opportunities specific to your field.

A wide range of resources may serve as helpful tools as you begin your job search:


As a woman, your job search may offer unique opportunities as well as challenges. You may have questions regarding equitable access as you move into the workplace.

Non-Traditional/Older Students

As an older student preparing to enter the workforce, or to re-enter with new credentials, you may be concerned about age discrimination or you may have questions about generational differences among workers.  Let us help you to decide whether, when, and how to address your unique fitness for a job!  

Login to Handshake to request an appointment and discuss these issues with a career advisor.

Career Related Events

  • Career Fairs - Connect directly with Employers to establish professional relationships and discuss potential job and/or career opportunities
  • On-Campus/Virtual Interviews - 1on1 interviews with employers 
  • Information Sessions - Attend these sessions to learn about an organization, their mission, values, and career opportunities
  • Paneled Events - Career exploratory opportunities in which you can obtain insights from a group of industry specialists
  • Intern for a Day - A great opportunity in which the University Career Center staff matches UMD students with alumni, parents, and employers for in person job shadowing experiences to explore potential career fields
  • Industry Insights - Connect with industry professionals in small group settings

The Application Process

Once you’ve identified opportunities that you’d like to apply for, the next step is completing the application. Two of the most common and important parts of the application process are resumes and cover letters. Consider checking out the resources we have available to support you as you’re completing your application and eventually preparing for interviews.

Back to Top