Entry Level – Starting a Job Search

Working is a common activity, yet finding the right job is often a difficult task–so much so that many people work at making the process easy and understandable.

Here is a list of “hacks” that may be useful in finding a job.

The 2023-24 American Indian College Fund Student Ambassador cohort.


You need to tell people what you want to do. Pick something special to highlight about you and your interests. Once you have that down, tell everyone you meet. Talk to family members, friends, community members, and professionals that may offer good advice or a direction to impact your future.


  • Create an elevator speech.
  • Go to career fairs.
  • Join a professional association and go to their meetings
  • Build a profile on the College Fund’s CONNECT page and virtually connect with professionals in a variety of industries.
    The 2023-24 American Indian College Fund Student Ambassador cohort.


    Use technology to conduct your job search in search of a meaningful job. The internet is loaded with great resources to connect to possible employment, information on salaries, benefits, job descriptions, and opportunities to enhance your resume. Additionally, using social media is a new way to build your professional presence.


    • Use websites like Indeed.com and the College Fund’s CONNECT to link to possible employment.
    • Use websites like glassdoor.com, careerbuilder.com, and ziprecruiter.com to find human resource information for a variety of jobs.
    • Use LinkedIn.com and Facebook to create a professional presence by highlighting your community engagement and information that connects to your professional interests.
    The 2023-24 American Indian College Fund Student Ambassador cohort.


    Research the companies that hold your interest. You must learn more about the company to tell people, hopefully during an interview, why you want to work for them. Native people are committed to values such as family and community and it is good practice to learn if a company you want to work with supports those values.


    • Conduct professional informational interviews (CONNECT is a tool created to do just that).
    • Visit a company’s website to learn more about the mission, vision, goals and strategic plan.

    • Look for value add information on a company such as ‘best place to work’ or ‘community commitment.’

    The 2023-24 American Indian College Fund Student Ambassador cohort.

    Think Outside of the Box

    Learn how to think outside of the box to be noticed by an employer. As mentioned, working and applying for a job is a common practice and the workforce is competitive. Setting yourself apart from other applicants does not always mean you have to talk about how amazing you are. It may be as simple as sending a thank-you note after your interview. It may be being able to ask smart questions about the position you are applying for or about the company. It may be being able to align your questions to the position you are applying for such an accountant might as about budgetary process. Additionally, be aware that your cover letter and resume are the most important part of landing a job. They are the first thing and sometimes the only thing that gets you in the door.


    • Apply to a job even if you do not completely fit the job description. (An extra bit of advice for women: men will apply for a job when they meet only some of the job posting requirements, whereas women will not apply if they do not meet all of the job posting requirements.)
    • Consider your approach to relationship building with a possible employer – ask inquisitive questions, send thank-you notes, use your sense of self in making an impression.
    • Review and update resume language to point out and emphasize your attributes to a position and values that connect to the company.

    Start with Explore Careers to look for academic programs that may align with personal and professional goals; additionally, find useful information on possible job tracks.

      • Academic Programs and Jobs
      • Networking
      • Native-Focused Degrees and Programs
      • Native-Focused Institutes and Centers
      • Tribal Colleges and Universities
      • Future Planning Form

    Check out Programs to Develop Your Skills page to learn about student programs that can support academic and skill development goals.

      • Student Professional Development Grants
      • 7 Generation Innovators Fellowship
      • Internship Matching (coming soon)
      • Innovation Programs (coming soon)

    The Professional Development page offers basic resources to support professional and career development.

      • Creating Your Résumé
      • Interview Tips and Professional Etiquette
      • Graduate School
      • Internships

    Employment Resources provides basic information for us as we move from entry level positions to upper-level management roles.

      • Entry Level
      • Management Level
      • Leadership Level (coming soon)
      • Entrepreneurship Level (coming soon)
      • Retirement Level (coming soon)

    The Career Advising Resources page provides resources for those who are supporting academic and professional journeys for others.

      • Cultural Career Advising
      • Six R Evaluation Framework
      • Research Repository

    Tribal Colleges and Universities

    Tribal colleges and universities provide dynamic higher education opportunities, most on or near reservation lands. Known for their remarkable programs, culturally-relevant curricula, and familial student care – tribal colleges allow students to further their careers, attain an advanced degree, or better support their communities.