Published: March 9, 2022

Finding a job or internship can take time. In fact, it can often take about 6-9 months to land a job. Whether you’ve just started your search or you’ve been submitting applications for a while, here are some things you can do to stay competitive and motivated while waiting to hear back from employers.

Keep applying

As you submit applications, keep searching through postings and applying for job openings. Avoid putting things on hold and waiting to hear back from an employer after you submit an application—there’s a chance you may not hear from them, and you’ll want to maintain momentum in your search. 

Find job and internship postings on Handshake, and set up saved searches to learn about new postings that match your criteria. 

Build professional skills

Using your time to learn new things and expand on skills can give you an edge over other candidates. While many of the skills you’ll need are built into your courses, there are other ways to further develop skills outside the classroom.

Check out the MySkills program in Career Services to learn more about building professional skills. This self-paced program allows you to identify the skills you already have, learn about the skills you’ll need to develop and find opportunities to build skills.You’ll also learn how to talk about your skills at every stage of your job search. Make an express appointment or attend a workshop to get more insight.

LinkedIn Learning is another option for learning new skills. CU students have free access to  hundreds of courses for both technical skills (like HTML, data analytics and project management) and non-technical skills (like communication, teamwork, problem solving and leadership).

Practice for interviews

Regular practice and preparation can help you feel more confident when the time comes to interview with a potential employer. Interview Prep is a digital tool that you can use anytime, anywhere to practice and evaluate your interviewing skills virtually. Once you select your questions, you record yourself answering them. Then you’ll be able to review your answers to evaluate how well you did. Learn more about how to prepare for interviews


The people in your network can provide different levels of support while you’re searching, whether it’s sharing job postings, proofreading your resume or practicing for interviews. And between campus events and online networking platforms, there are many ways to make new connections and grow your network. 

Employers visit campus throughout the year to meet with students at career fairs or other networking events both in person and virtually. These events are a great time to network with recruiters. Attend the upcoming virtual Buffs Hire Buffs networking night on March 10 to meet with CU alumni.

You can also meet others virtually on a variety of online platforms:

  • Forever Buffs Network: Connect with CU Boulder alumni and other students.

  • Handshake: Attend virtual events and chat with potential employers, and use the community feature to meet other students and alumni. 

  • LinkedIn: Make connections with professionals in your field of interest.

Networking can sometimes feel awkward or intimidating, but it’s helpful to remember that it’s just a conversation and a chance to get to know someone new. Review these tips to feel more comfortable with networking

Find ways to stay motivated

Even though it can feel discouraging to not hear back from potential employers, keep applying and networking to maintain momentum in your job search. Set goals for a number of applications and networking contacts per week. If it’s helpful, you could ask a friend to help keep you accountable and motivated.

Volunteering can also help you stay motivated. It’s an opportunity to support a cause you’re passionate about, gain experience for your resume and develop new skills. Connect with the Volunteer Resource Center to find opportunities.

For more tips to help you with your job or internship search, check out weekly programs and workshops from Career Services. These free workshops will share best practices for resumes, networking and more.