Career Corner – How to Kick Off Your Job Search – Part 1

If starting your job search isn’t overwhelming enough, COVID-19 has certainly added an extra level of complexity to the process. Here at Russell Tobin, we wanted to provide answers to some frequently asked questions that will help you take the first step in making your next career move.

You pick up your phone and it’s a recruiter who is excited to tell you about a position they think you would be a great fit for. You might be asking yourself why you would work with a 3rd party and not directly with the company? There are several benefits to having a good working relationship with a recruiter which is why we’ve outlined some pros and cons for you!


  • Recruiters are experts in their field.
  • Recruiters have market insights for working with many different clients and candidates.
  • They know rates and can help with negotiating the highest possible salary for you.
  • Having relationships with hiring managers at Fortune 500 companies means they can help you get your foot in the door.
  • Not only do recruiters schedule interviews, since they have multiple people interviewing, they can fully prep you for your upcoming interview and likely provide you with insights on how to answer the questions you’ll be asked.
  • Recruiters can be your partner in the process. They know exactly what you can expect and are there to be a sounding board.


  • You will be adding one more person into the process.
  • Recruiters may require you to make decisions faster.
  • Working with a recruiter requires you to be very communicative. The more information you share, the more helpful your recruiter will be!

You might be seeing more postings due to COVID-19 that are contract roles (or “temp-to-perm”). When a role is on a contract, that means you will be working for a company hands-on, but more often than not, an agency will handle the backend portion of the role. Usually these roles have predetermined end dates – which can be adjusted as needed. Here are the pros and cons of working a contract role:


  • You get the opportunity to “test” out a company.
  • You gain experience.
  • It’s an opportunity to get your foot-in-the-door at a large company.
  • Contract roles have a faster hiring process.
  • There is more flexibility within the role.


  • The contract may be short and doesn’t always lead to a full-time role (even with temp to perm).
  • Contract roles come with different benefits.
  • You might feel less of a sense of security.

Finding new opportunities can seem daunting, so if you’re on the hunt below are some of our favorite sources!

  • Reach Out to a Recruiter/ Agency
  • LinkedIn
  • CareerBuilder
  • ZipRecruiter
  • Various Job Boards

Now that you’ve got some leads and/or jobs that look interesting to you, you’re ready to narrow down your list and apply to the roles you have the best chance at landing an interview. Here are some things to look for when deciding if you should apply to a job on LinkedIn.

Search Terms

  • Make sure you are using terms to find jobs that match your major, goals, or past experiences ie. Finance, Communications, Marketing, Math, Administrative, etc.


  • Take a look at the skills each job require and ask how your skills match up with what they are looking for.
  • Skills fall into two categories hard skills like ability to use a software program to perform analytics functions, etc. and soft skills like leadership, communication, coordination.


  • If you graduated within the last two years, consider applying for entry level roles, roles that specify 0-2 years of experience, or roles with the title “assistant.”

We hope these tips are helpful in kicking off your job search!  Good luck and don’t hesitate to reach out to a recruiter at Russell Tobin – we’re here to help!

Michaela Jarvis

Associate Recruiter at Russell Tobin

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