Employee and Labor Relations

Campus Address
121-20 USB
Mailing Address

121 University Services Building, Suite 20
Iowa City, IA 52242-1911
United States

The information below offers starting points to consider as you begin the job search process. These tips aren't comprehensive—they may differ from other resources. We encourage you to explore all the resources available to you and to plan a strategy that works best for your particular situation.

Explore Job Boards

Job boards are efficient tools for identifying potential openings, but they can offer an overwhelming number of options.

The major job boards (Indeed, Glassdoor, CareerBuilder, LinkedIn, etc.) typically provide the most robust results when conducting a search. However, it is important not to limit your search to only the major job boards. You also may consider any industry-specific job boards for niche fields or local job boards if your search is limited to a particular area.

Additional tips include:

  • Set aside short periods of time throughout the week dedicated to your job search and reviewing job boards.
  • Utilize and save job board filters to make your search results easier to manage.
  • Sign up for job alerts where possible and applicable.
  • Search directly on company job sites for particular employers of interest to ensure you see all available openings.
  • Apply directly through the company website when possible.

Prepare a Resume

Resumes are intended to inform potential employers about your qualifications and experience. The standard styles of resumes include:

  • Chronological (traditional resume for the experienced professional)
  • Functional (typical for applicants new to the workforce; highlights skill sets)
  • Combination (typical for anyone seeking a career change; combines chronological and functional formats)

Resumes should be tailored to each position for which you want to be considered. Ensure that your resume:

  • Directly addresses the qualifications of the job posting
  • Includes bullet points that highlight achievements, outcomes, or metrics
  • Prioritizes the information that is most relevant to the position

Other resume tips:

  • Avoid templates that contain too much white space. (Best practice is to use a simple Microsoft Word format or equivalent.)
  • Consider including a professional summary. (Think of this as a billboard statement that summarizes in a single sentence why you are a highly qualified applicant for the desired position.)
  • Include a “skills” section that addresses potential requirements such as proficiency with specific software programs, driver’s license, industry-specific certifications, etc.
  • Do not exceed two pages.

Prepare a Cover Letter

Cover letters are intended to persuade the reader. Tips for an effective cover letter:

  • Create a personalized letter that highlights your interest in the position.
  • Do not duplicate the information on your resume.
  • Consider these topics:
    • Why you are interested in the position and/or employer.
    • Why you are the best qualified candidate for the role.
    • What contribution will you add by joining the team.
    • Why you are seeking a new role.
  • Try not to exceed more than one page.


Networking is an essential tool to maximizing potential job opportunities. Now is the time to reconnect with former colleagues, professional contacts, or other members of the community that may be able to provide potential leads for your job search.

Social media can be an extremely effective tool in your networking efforts:

  • Consider creating or updating your profile on LinkedIn (most common and useful professional social media tool).
  • Ensure your profile is complete and accurate.
  • Highlight your skills and career achievements.
  • Advertise that you are seeking new opportunities.
    • Turn on the "open to opportunities" feature.
    • Edit your headline to read something like “currently seeking new opportunities…”
  • Set notifications to alert you about new job postings that match your interest.
  • Continue to build your professional network and market yourself online and off.
  • Consider other professional network sites that may align with your career interest (e.g., ResearchGate)

Utilize Additional Resources

It's also important to brush up on any skills you haven't used for a while. UI Learning and Development is the university's central resource for professional development opportunities and services for the campus. 

As a university employee, you can access LinkedIn Learning, an online training library that provides thousands of online courses on productivity, web design, graphic design, photography, programming, coding, and more. Learn more on the ITS website's LinkedIn Learning page.

The LinkedIn Learning library also offers videos and courses that designed to assist job seekers. To utilize these resources, simply search for key terms within the library. Some examples include:

  • Preparing a resume
  • Job interviews
  • Cover letters
  • Job searching

Some additional resources to consider include: