Landing a career

Launching Your Career | Four Keys to Landing Your First Job

An approach to creating a structured job search plan to reduce stress, simplify the process, and help achieve a successful outcome – landing that job!   

We are pleased to share this recap and recording from our January 2023 CAP STRAT program: Launching Your Career | Four Keys to Landing Your First Job.

We are so grateful to our expert, Megan Walls, CPC, PCC, ELI-MP, Executive & Career Coach, and Founder of Walls Career Coaching for offering our college students and parents who attended some valuable strategies to secure a job during or after college.

Start With A Job Search Plan

Like anything in life, preparation is key. It’s important to:

  1. Have a structured plan
  2. Set realistic goals

Your Resume – 3 Resume Commandments

  1. Nicely formatted
  2. The top third of the resume is the most important to grab attention
  3. Bullets are accomplishments, not tasks


Networking is all about relationships – building and maintaining relationships and professional connections.

  • 85% of positions are filled through networking
  • LinkedIn’s research: Most jobs are found through personal connections
  • Your network: College alums, classmates (college, HS), fraternity or sorority members, business professionals in your town, family, friends of the family, past employers/colleagues
  • Make it easy for them to make introductions. Send them a short email and resume attached.


Informational interviews are a great way to practice, get advice and insights, and open doors.

  • Be intentional about making a positive first impression, in-person or virtually.
    • Posture, smile, make eye contact and dress professionally
    • When virtual: check the camera, lighting, and background beforehand
  • Ask for the job!

Your Follow-up

  • Ask for a business card or email so you can send a follow-up note. If that’s not available, have your primary contact forward it to colleagues.
  • You can also send thank you’s via a personal LinkedIn request to connect.
  • Send it on the same day as the interview.
  • Create a thank you email template beforehand and add one sentence to personalize it to your actual experience.
  • If someone introduced you to the company or you have a contact who works there, send a note letting them know about the interview(s), your interest in the company, and what you are waiting to hear. And as appropriate, thank them for the intro and/or information they shared about the company.
  • If you haven’t heard from the hiring manager or primary contact in one week, follow up by email.

Resources & Links

For more on this topic, here are a few additional resources:


Finally, be sure to check and register for the next Women’s Forum events.

About Our Speaker

Megan Walls is a certified executive and career coach and founder of Walls Career Coaching. She provides professional guidance for all phases of her clients’ careers – entry, advancement, and change. Megan coaches individuals, leadership teams, and groups; and also leads presentations and workshops for leadership teams and organizations, as well as college students and young professionals, on professional development, leadership, career and job search topics. Megan received her coach training from the Institute of Professional Excellence in Coaching (iPEC) and is a member of the International Coaching Federation

Megan is passionate about helping clients unlock their full potential, so they confidently thrive in their careers. She does this through a proven, unique “inside-out” coaching approach, which sets the foundation for career success. The “inside” refers to helping clients identify areas of strength, areas of improvement and obstacles to overcome. The “out” refers to helping clients set realistic goals and create action plans to achieve their career goals. During this process, Megan provides expert guidance, insight, career tools and serves as an accountability partner to accelerate the client’s success.

To learn more about her group and one-on-one coaching programs and services, visit Megan’s website:

Please let us know if you would like to have a conversation with us. Email the CAP STRAT Women’s Forum with any questions at! Or call us at 630.320.5100.

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