How I Approach my Job Search – Part I

Mar 21, 2011 | Career

This is the first of a multi-part series in which I explain the process which I’m going through to land a job. This first post covers my general approach to job searching (keep in mind the fact that I have been  unsuccessful thus far). As I wrap up my final semester at NYU Schack I have begun to seriously think about the next stage of my real estate career.

With a wide range of real estate interests varying from finance, development, design and sustainability to policy work, entrepreneurship, affordable housing and economic development the most challenging part of my search has been identifying exactly what I want to do. By conducting as many informational interviews as humanly possible, I’ve been able to get a good grasp of what various positions entail, and thus have been able to narrow my search.

With an uncertain market and poor consumer confidence, firms are still hesitant to hire. However, I have noticed an up-tick in the available finance and asset management positions, with a few development firms who focus on affordable housing and/or public-private partnerships ramping up for future projects.

The job search process isn’t simply firing off hundreds of resumes to every company you can find, using the same standard cover letter template. Quite frankly, this is a waste of your time. Every single person I’ve spoken to has said that jobs are found through referrals from trusted advisors and friends.

Graduating from a program such as NYU Schack, which has 1,000’s of graduates actively working in New York City real estate, makes it easy to get your foot in the door in almost any company. However, you must approach the alumni in the right manner. Don’t shoot off an email asking for the job, but rather approach them for an informational interview with an email that adds value to their job, such as an interesting article you read on the market (I’ll cover this in more detail in part II).

In addition to networking with Tufts alumni and NYU Schack alums, I’ve made an effort to become active in various organizations for young real estate professionals in New York.

In my next post I’m going to cover how I reach out for informational interviews and briefly discuss personalizing cover letters.

I’d love any input you may have on what else I can do to improve my job search process.

If you’re interested in a career in real estate start here.