Organizing Your Job and Internship Search

Landing a job or internship can be a challenging and sometimes overwhelming process. To make it more manageable, you’ll want to take an organized, step-by-step approach to keep track of all the details—here’s how.

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Components of a Job Search

There are three main components to the job search: Networking, applying, and utilizing LinkedIn/Handshake. Here’s a brief layout of how you should spend your time in each of those categories. 


Networking is paramount—and is where every search should start. We recommend that you spend most of your time here because research shows that 85% of jobs are found through connections – especially through Wheaton alumni. 


Although applying is good, it can often be ineffective if you are filling out applications with no referrals or connections. So many others are applying online, so it’s important to stand out through a personal connection or referral. 


Recruiters are using these platforms frequently, so it’s important that you spend time keeping your profile up to date! For more tips about LinkedIn, check out this article

Steps to Job Search Success

Do Your Research

Search the web for opportunities. Use this as a chance to become informed on typical titles, common keywords, requirements, and desired skills.


Reach out and network with Wheaton alumni, people you know, and professionals who can provide insights on career paths and opportunities in your area(s) of interest.

Tailor Your Documents

Create and customize your resume, cover letter, and other documents for each position. Highlight the mix of skills, experience, and passions that make you marketable for each opportunity.


Apply to the opportunities that seem interesting to you. We recommend that you spend 15% of your time applying, so be sure that you’re not spending too much time applying to lots of random jobs where you have no connections.

Organize Your Job Search 

Creating a spreadsheet is a great way to manage and track your progress. Download our Organize Your Job Search (Excel Template) to track your effort and progress.

  • INTEREST LEVEL: Rating your level of interest will help you prioritize your applications.
  • POSTING DATE: Jobs that have been posted for a long time have a higher chance of closing or being
    filled already, so this date will help you decide which applications to work on first.
  • DEADLINE: Most job postings have a rolling deadline, so it’s to your benefit to apply sooner rather than later!
  • STATUS: In this area, you can track date submitted as well as any progress towards an offer.
  • LINK: While you might find a role on a jobs’ platform, when possible, it’s a good idea to apply on the employer’s website.
  • CONNECTION AT ORGANIZATION: As we mentioned earlier, it’s important to make connections at the organizations you’re applying to. This will help you make sure that you’re making connections with every application.