Browsing articles in "Steps to Career Success"
Sep 25, 2014
Peer Career Advisors
Comments Off on Words to NOT Use to Describe Yourself

Words to NOT Use to Describe Yourself

10 Words to Never, Ever Use to Describe Yourself

By Jeff Haden of Inc., June 02, 2014
****Come to the CDO to turn these words into characteristics that can set you apart from other candidates! Learn how to use them professionally and appropriately. Not all of them are bad words to describe yourself as long as you’re using them correctly.****

Consider the word “charismatic.” If someone called me charismatic, I would be incredibly flattered (and hugely surprised.) But if I called myself charismatic, you would think I’m a jerk—and rightly so.

Here are 10 more words that are awesome when used by others to describe you, but you should never use to describe yourself.


1. Generous

Take it from Adam Grant, an expert on the subject of giving and taking. Generosity is in the eye of the beholder.

“Generosity is earned, not claimed,” he writes. “Leave it to other people to describe you as a giver—that’s the highest form of praise.”

The most generous people I know give without fanfare and without seeking accolades. Their giving is so far under the radar it’s subterranean. And they don’t consider themselves to be generous since they’re always thinking they could do more.

All of us can be more generous than we are. While relative to what others give you might be more generous than most, if that’s the case let other people describe you that way.

After all, true generosity is often found in people who are also…


2. Humble

I like to think I’m humble. (Maybe I am, at least compared to this guy.)

But I’m really not.

Case in point. Last week, I showed two different people, totally unprompted, a photo of me with Mark Cuban at GrowCo. (I took a photo of Mark with someone else that was actually worthy of comment.) Sure, meeting Mark was cool, but showing off the photo was definitely a d— move. (Yep, I’ve still got a lot of growing up to do.)

Truly humble people don’t call themselves humble, if only because they’re too humble to ever say it.


3. Self-Disciplined

Every remarkably focused person I know readily admits they struggle to stay disciplined. Why? It’s hard to stay on track. It’s hard not to go off on tangents. It’s hard not to give in and, to use a football expression, take a few plays off.

So you worked really hard and stayed on-task today. Big deal. So you resisted temptation today. Big deal. Do that for days, for weeks, for months—then come talk to us.

Self-disciplined people constantly struggle with self-discipline because they’re trying incredibly hard to stay disciplined. That’s why they are the last people to describe themselves as self-disciplined—they know it’s a challenge that must be met each and every day.


4. Passionate

I’ve written about this before, and it’s still true. Passion is never claimed. Passion isdisplayed. Plus it’s really easy to sound over the top; claim you’re passionate about, oh, designing functional workspaces and you sound just a bit hyperbolic.

Here’s a better option. Save your passion for your loved one. That person truly deserves it.


5. Witty

I’ve never met anyone who claimed to be witty who didn’t also turn out to be insufferable.

You may, in fact, be witty. Some people are. This guy is. But you’ll never hear him claim he’s witty; he’s too busy developing even more great material.

And if he doesn’t call himself witty (or hilarious or entertaining or funny), then neither should you.


6. Empathetic

Empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of others.

That’s great but also almost worthless unless you do something with those shared feelings: offer support, offer help, offer guidance, offer tough love, and the like. Feeling empathetic is fine, but what you do with that feeling makes all the difference for the other person.

Claiming you’re empathetic turns a feeling that should be all about another person into a description that’s all about you—which, of course, is completely not the point.


7. Fearless

Everyone’s afraid. If my ex-Navy SEAL pal Jeff Boss can admit to having been scared—hey, we’ve all been afraid. Besides, courage isn’t the absence of fear. Courage is doing what you need to do in spite of fear.

So don’t say you’re fearless. You’re not. Brave? In certain circumstances, maybe. Courageous? Possibly so. But fearless?



8. Straightforward

Maybe it’s just me, but I read “straightforward” and it sounds similar to starting a sentence using, “With all due respect…” Straightforward is usually a code word for rude, abrasive, disrespectful, or impolite.

Be straightforward all you want. We’ll assess your level of candor by what you say, not by what you call yourself.


9. Adaptable

I hate to whip out a cliché, but the only constant is change. Nothing—no industry, no market, no job, no, um, nothing—stays the same. We all have to be adaptable.

Like Chris Rock says, never take credit for things you’re supposed to be.


10. Independent

Self-reliance is a good thing. The ability to take care of yourself, to function without too much help or assistance, is a good thing.

But that’s now how most people use the word. Most people describe themselves as independent as a way to cover for being terrible team players, or for not knowing how to follow as well as to lead, or even as an excuse for not playing well in sandboxes.

After all, “It’s not that I don’t get along with other people. I’m just independent!”

Sure you are.


Sourced from The Muse (

Sep 24, 2014
Peer Career Advisors
Comments Off on How to be a Good Intern

How to be a Good Intern

Sourced from Career Geek (

Sep 23, 2014
Peer Career Advisors
Comments Off on Networking for Introverts

Networking for Introverts

The Introvert’s Guide to Networking

by Suzannah Scully

“Don’t think of it as networking; think of it as seeking out kindred spirits.” – Susan Cain

A very hot topic with my clients lately has been networking. Particularly with those who consider themselves to be an introvert. If you are not sure if you are an extrovert, introvert or ambivert (me!), I highly recommend taking Daniel Pink’s free online assessment here.

If it ends up that you are an introvert and the very idea of networking makes you run screaming to your room to crawl under the covers, I want to provide some guidance on how to make it work for you.

I believe so much in networking that it is one of my main priorities in terms of my time spent. Does this mean that it is easy for me? No. Like you, I would rather be curled up on the couch with my husband while watching an episode of “Homeland” or “Scandal” after a long day.  The last thing I want to do is get in the car, walk in to a room full of people I don’t know and make awkward small talk.

The reason I do it three or four times per month is because I have seen the value in it each and every time. It is all a part of building community, exposing myself to new ways of doing things, meeting people who inspire me and building my personal brand. And I rarely, if ever, regret going.

But what if it feels just too hard to do networking the way I’m talking about? How you can achieve the same results without putting on a name tag and handing out business cards to people you don’t know?

Here are five effective networking tips for introverts:

1.  Embrace Consistency

One of the easiest ways to build community and your network is to show up to the same place consistently each day/week. Do you get a coffee every morning? Try going at the same time everyday where the familiarity of seeing the same people will start with a familiar smile, then turn into polite conversation about current events or the weather, and eventually turn into a relationship.

2.  Get Moving

There is nothing that builds community like sweating together. I believe it is one of the easiest and fastest ways to meet like minded people. Check out Basic Training, which combines great workouts with fun happy hours.

3.  Follow Your Friends

I subscribe to Eventbrite, which sends me a weekly email telling me which of my Facebook friends are going to which event. Knowing that I will know one person often helps me to have that anchor when I attend different events.

4.  Tweet Away

I have made so many wonderful friends via Twitter. How? Many different ways, but some ideas are:

  • Tweet using the event hashtag to meet other attendees without leaving your seat
  • Engage in conversation with people on Twitter who have common interests, retweet their tweets, respond to theirs, share their blog posts, etc.

5.  Volunteer

Using your time and talents to help others is a great way to meet like-minded people who share common interests and values. It provides a great structured environment to do good and build your network along the way. I love Hands On Bay Area to find volunteer opportunities.


Sourced from Levo (

Sep 23, 2014
Peer Career Advisors
Comments Off on Get to Know Your Co-Workers

Get to Know Your Co-Workers

The Fab Five: The Network Everyone Needs

by Alexandra Moncure
The importance of finding strong mentors, leaders in your field who have both the professional and personal experience to advise you in your career, has been a hot button topic for some time. However, Cindy Pace, the current Director of Change Management & Strategy Integration at Pfizer and the future AVP of Diversity & Inclusion at MetLife, views mentors as just one part of the puzzle. She sat down with Levo League during Office Hours to share the importance of building a strong network among your colleagues.

Pace emphasized the important role networks can have in your development as a leader and your development as an influencer. She thinks of her network as five concentric circles, or the Fab Five, made up of true friends, mentors, advisors, sponsors, and colleagues. Each circle adds value to your professional life in may ways, but Pace argues that the people who know you best as a professional are the people who work alongside you every day, your colleagues.

Co-workers can become your allies and act as advocates on your behalf. Developing strong connections with your current colleagues can lead to a strong professional network in the future.

Get Personal

Connecting with your co-workers does not necessarily mean getting into their personal business by sharing drinking stories or personal dramas. Pace advocates what she describes as a “pleasant distance” until you have ascertained the relationship. Your colleagues are people that you work with, not your best friends, and they are also your competition. Be cognizant of this and show discretion in the type of information you give out and the relationships you try to build.

It is also important to respect everyone that you work with, regardless of your personal feelings towards them. Find something about them that is unique and special that they bring to the table, and by no means should you burn bridges. The fact that you personally don’t like someone does not mean that you won’t have to work with him or her. In fact, that person could one day become your manager.

Get to know the essence

Take the time to get to know what motivates your co-workers, what they enjoy doing, and what kind of projects they engage well in and can become an integral part of. By identifying the strengths each of your co-workers posses, you will be better able to leverage your network in the future and possibly act as a connector or maven.

Pace recounted instances in her career in which her co-workers acted as advocates on her behalf and connected her with job opportunities that she would not have otherwise aware of. Her network of colleagues, who she refers to as her allies, identified her strengths and matched them to specific career opportunities for which they thought she would be a good fit. They also acted as connectors by making personal introductions.

Be a team player

A connector does not mind building relationships and making connections for others. It’s a reciprocal process and by providing others with the opportunity and information they need to get ahead, you have set in motion the law of reciprocity. Although it might not come back from the same person you gave it to, it will come back to you. By acting as an advocate on behalf of a co-worker, you set yourself up as a team player and show comradery and a willingness to help. “[Potential sponsors] are watching you and they want to support people who support others,” Pace explained.

Pace also discussed coping with failure and explained that she is herself recovering from fear of failure. “I wasn’t moving,” she said. “If it wasn’t the way I wanted it to be, I wouldn’t act on things.” She now endeavors to maintain an “I can come back” mindset—look at failure as information and consistently ask for feedback from which she can learn.

As she transitions into her new role with MetLife, Pace discussed how she has set out goals and steps for success in her new position. She has also identified success strategies for herself as a woman of color, or a self-described double-outsider, by being a high performer, having confidence in the face of fear, building confidence through wins, leveraging her network, and controlling her exposure.

Above all, Pace wants to impart the power of authenticity. “Don’t over edit yourself,” she said. “Sometimes we think we have to be something else to be accepted in certain environments.”

Sourced from Levo League (

Jul 10, 2014
Goucher CDO
Comments Off on Protecting Yourself from Job Scams

Protecting Yourself from Job Scams

Throughout the year the Career Development Office works to verify employment and internship opportunities for you in order to ensure that each opportunity we post is truthful and enhances your skills and experience. Every so often we locate a scam or are notified by another local college about a possible employment scam. Although we screen all postings to Goucher Recruit, it is also your responsibility as the job seeker to practice vigilance before applying. For this reason we want to ensure that you are taking the measures necessary to identify job scams before they become unfortunate situations.

Tips for Identifying Job/Internship Scams

  • Research the company and job. Can you locate the company and does the job posting seem to fit?
  • The posting focuses only on the benefits, not the actual requirements
  • The employer asks you to deposit a check for them once you are hired
  • The employer requires you to pay money up front or to use your bank account
  • The email address associated is not the same url associated with the company
  • When you contact the employer/are hired, the job requirements aren’t what was stated in the ad
  • If it seems too good to be true, it just might be

Protecting Yourself from Scams

  • Bring the posting to the Career Development Office for review if you’re uncertain
  • Search for the email address/phone number/company online- does the company come up in your results? Is any of the information reported as a scam? Does the posting seem to fit with the companies mission?
  • Do not provide any personal information unless you feel 100% comfortable with your employer
  • Check their references just as they may ask to check yours – Ask to speak with current or previous employees


If you learn about a job scam please report it to the CDO at For more information on job scams or to report a job scam, visit the Federal Trade Commission.

Jul 1, 2014
Peer Career Advisors
Comments Off on Phone Interview Tips

Phone Interview Tips

Phone Interview Tips- Undercover Recruiter

Sourced from Undercover Recruiter (

Jun 26, 2014
Goucher CDO
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Elevator Pitch

The summer is a great time to meet new people. Maybe you meet someone new in the airport, walking through your neighborhood, through that volunteer opportunity you’re working with this summer. Either way, each time to meet someone new you have the opportunity to network and make a great first impression. Having your elevator pitch prepared and perfected will help you make the best first impression possible. Elevator pitches can take many forms- it can be as an introduction in a pre-scheduled meeting or interview, or maybe you have a chance meeting on an airplane. It’s your chance to tell someone who you are, your strengths, and your passions in under 60 seconds.

The CDO has wonderful handouts to assist you in your networking endeavors here. Check out the “30 Second Pitch” handout for examples of elevator pitches. Also, Interview Stream has put together a great infographic on utilizing your elevator pitch for an interview. Check it out here!


Sourced from Interview Stream.

Jun 5, 2014
Goucher CDO
Comments Off on What is a soft skill?

What is a soft skill?

When applying for a job or internship, marketing yourself to employers, and making new connections, you’re focused on your technical and industry related skills. But what about your soft skills? These skills are the ones that many employers note as equally important when reviewing applicants. They are also the skills that most employers note applicants could strengthen to be more marketable and competitive. Take a look at this article from US News and World Report to learn about various soft skills. Have any questions about soft skills? Contact the CDO!

Soft Skills: What Are They and Why Do They Matter?


Jun 1, 2014
Peer Career Advisors
Comments Off on Spotlight: Art Majors

Spotlight: Art Majors

Are you afraid of becoming a struggling and starving artist? Are you filled with creative passion and ideas but have no idea where you want that energy to take you? What exactly can you do with an art major? Surprisingly enough, the stereotype is worse than the reality. There are plenty of interesting and exciting jobs that art majors can get involved with. According to, the arts and culture industry creates about 5.7 million full-time jobs per year!

Jobs/Industries Include:

  • Conservation
  • Book Design
  • Art Law
  • Advertising
  • Medical Illustration
  • Curating/Art History
  • Education

Two women interviewed by say that being an art major forces you to develop self-discipline and a strong work ethic. With an art major you learn various social skills, the vulnerability of showcasing your own talents, motivation, experience with failure, and much more. All of these skills should be highlighted in potential resumes, cover letters, and interviews!

Listed below are some profiles of students who have graduated with art majors and share their various experience and expertise, courtesy of


Matthew Kilareski

Exhibit Designer, Hands-on House; Lancaster, Pennsylvania

  • Bachelor of Fine Arts, industrial design; Rhode Island School of Design

Kilareski wanted to design toys, so he wrote to 10 toy companies and asked what college major would lead to his dream job. About half wrote back, suggesting industrial design. After attending the Rhode Island School of Design, Kilareski decided to use his major for a different purpose. Upon graduation, he worked for a company that designed children’s furniture, made technical drawings, and designed industrial products. Now he is responsible for designing and maintaining exhibits at a children’s museum in Pennsylvania. One includes a make-believe corn field where kids pick plastic corn covered with husks Kilareski sewed on. He also found foam that could be cut into parts for kids to assemble toy airplanes. “You have to think like a kid, so you have to think of how a kid’s going to interact with something,” he says.


Durell Comedy

Dancer, Limón Dance Company; New York, New York

  • Bachelor of Fine Arts, dance performance; George Mason University

“My mom says I came out of the womb dancing,” Comedy says. Now he’s making a living with the company named after modern dance pioneer José Limón. While working on his dance performance degree, he learned about choreography, rhythm, the history of dance, different styles of dance, and how bones and muscles move. With Limón, Comedy has performed in Italy and China. The company also performs shows in New York City and teaches schoolchildren about dance. Most days start with warm-ups, followed by rehearsals for upcoming shows or learning new or reworked routines. Besides providing an outlet to do what he loves, Comedy says his work with Limón helps him develop as a performer.


Haley Roberts

Assistant Director, David Klein Gallery; Birmingham, Michigan

  • Bachelor of Arts, art; Wayne State University

After the final exam in a community college art history class, Roberts asked her instructor about jobs in the local art scene. He pointed her to the David Klein Gallery, where Roberts still works today. She worked her way up from an entry-level secretarial job to become Assistant Director, doing everything from shipping artwork to designing the gallery website. The gallery focuses on post-war and contemporary works by American artists, but Roberts has also handled original pieces by famous names like Pablo Picasso and Henri Matisse. Her art history classes gave her a deeper appreciation for art, which she shares with clients. “It’s kind of fun to see people’s faces light up when you tell them about a piece of art,” Roberts says.


Whitney Wilson

In-Game Entertainment Coordinator, Richmond Flying Squirrels; Richmond, Virginia

  • Bachelor of Arts, media arts and design; James Madison University

Minor-league baseball games are as much about entertainment as the sport itself. During each Richmond Flying Squirrels home game, Wilson is in charge of adding some production value to the bases, keeping fans entertained. “It’s basically a big show every night,” Wilson says. She picks songs for when players step up to bat, makes animated vignettes for the stadium video board, and edits videos of game highlights, later setting them to music for the team website. Wilson wanted to work in entertainment ever since she worked on her high school’s TV announcements, but she preferred being behind the camera. She worked on a similar program in college, and even got class credit for an internship assisting the director of the soap opera Days of Our Lives. She’s glad she also learned skills like photo editing, studio production, and Web design.


Nicole LaBonde

Executive Director, Indigenous Pitch Dance Collective; Ardmore, Pennsylvania

  • Bachelor of Arts, dance and general music, Eastern University

After graduation, LaBonde taught dance classes, conducted recreational therapy at a facility for people with disabilities, and worked as an account manager for an insurance office. Then, the founder of Indigenous Pitch, a dance company, recruited LaBonde to be its Executive Director. She says the position uses the artistic and administrative skills she picked up in her other jobs. LaBonde makes the organization’s ideas a reality. Among other things, that means seeking grants and donations, and getting media attention for Indigenous Pitch. In addition to performing, the Collective’s dancers host children’s camps in New Orleans, Philadelphia, and Haiti. Campers learn about dance, theater, creative writing, and other art forms.

Studying the arts doesn’t mean you’ll turn into a starving artist. Actually, it opens up a wide world of careers. “Artists can have very secure incomes,” Mady says. “They can lead happy, productive lives.”


As always, if you have any questions or concerns feel free to come into the Career Development Office for Walk-In hours or call to make an appointment with one of our counselors. We are here for all Goucher Gophers and their career needs!

May 13, 2014
Goucher CDO
Comments Off on “How Do I Decide on a Career Path”: An Infograph

“How Do I Decide on a Career Path”: An Infograph



Sourced from


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