Syracuse UniversityCareer Services

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THE APPLICATION PROCESS

First, you will need a resume and probably a cover letter (and a portfolio for some industries) to send to a potential employer during your job search. 

Don't forget that, even if you already have one, resumes and cover letters should be tailored to each job post.

HOW IT WORKS

Once you’ve identified a job you’re interested in, apply by submitting your resume and cover letter. Increasingly, job applications are submitted either through email, the organization's website, or via OrangeLink. When submitting a resume online there are a few key differences from a mailed application. 

  • If you apply by email, attach your cover letter along with your resume as a single document, and remember to write a short introduction for the body of the email. You could also include your resume as an attachment and paste your cover letter into the body of the email. In either case, be sure your email subject line clearly identifies the application. For example, “Application for Job # C-132-R, Accountant II.” 
  • If you apply via the company's website, you might be asked to complete an online form and submit your resume and cover letter separately.
  • Applying through OrangeLink? Follow our quick start guide.

Whether you're applying via email or a system, make sure you upload PDF files so that your formatting is preserved.  

Generally, employers will follow up with a group of candidates from the applicant pool for first-round interviews, either by phone or in person. A smaller number of those will be called back to continue the process until the final candidate is selected and offered the job.

You might hear from a hiring manager within days, or it might be six weeks or more.

Be sure to give yourself options by applying to several job opportunities.


KEEP TRACK & FOLLOW UP

Keep track of jobs you've applied to, including the date, deadlines, and any contacts you may have. Using Excel or Word can keep you organized.  

If you don’t hear back within a few weeks (assuming no date has been established), follow up with recruiters or contacts via phone.

One phone call to inquire about the status of your application is not pushy—it’s proactive!


PREPERATION & NEGOTIATION

Submitted an application and have a interview lined up? Great! You'll want to make sure you are prepared for the interview.

Being prepared means researching the company, the opportunity, and how your experiences and skills align with them. Check out our interview section for tips to help you prepare for your interview. Interviewing, like any skill, becomes better with practice. Schedule an appointment with a career counselor today so we can help you plan your approach, prepare for questions, and understand interview etiquette. We would be happy to conduct a mock interview with you as well.

While you research, one question you may have is about the appropriate salary to ask for. We have a section of resources you can look through in order to find average salaries. Nevertheless, do not bring up salary in your first-round interview, unless your interviewer brings it up. Usually conversations about salary and benefits come up during the negotiation stage once an offer has been extended. You'll want to carefully evaluate whether the offer presented is something you are comfortable with. 

Lastly, once you have accepted your offer, notify any other employers who may be considering your application that you have accepted another job, thank them for their time, their offer, and for considering you.