Learn more about the interview process at “The Art of the Interview,” March 4th at 3pm in Batza!
The job-searching process can be extremely stressful, so it’s common to feel relief when you finish an interview. However, the minute you walk out of the interview is NOT that last step to applying for a job. You should ALWAYS follow up your interview with a thank-you. In fact, the follow-up letter could be the difference between you getting or not getting the job over the other candidates. Although there is no exact science to the process of the follow up, here are some simple steps to make sure you are the candidate that remains on the employers mind:
REQUEST A BUSINESS CARD
After your interview you should always make sure you request the information of the interviewer(s). How do you expect to send a follow up email if you don’t have their information? It can also show how interested you are in the company and will remind the interviewer(s) one last time of who you are.
SEND A THANK YOU NOTE
There are 2 ways you can go about sending a thank you to the interviewer(s): through email or through hand written letter. Although it couldn’t hurt to send both, the email is the most important. If you do choose to send a physical letter as well make sure it is not a copy of the email.
You should send an thank you email the same day as your interview, not to long apart. Your letter should always thanking them for their time and thanking them for the opportunity, but it should also contain a personal detail that will help your letter stand out amongst the rest. You want to take this last opportunity to sell them again on why they need you working for their company. Feel free to bring up details from the interview itself and/or ask any questions regarding the interview, the company or the job position you are seeking. DO keep your letter short and simple, get to the point but still be descriptive. DON’T sound needy or creepy, you don’t want to sound like you are begging for the job or the love of the interviewer(s).
MAKE PHONE CALL
About a week after your interview you should make a follow up phone call, unless you’ve directed otherwise. The phone call should not consist of you begging for the job or repeating anything you said in the interview or thank you letter, but it should focus on your application status. Although you may get an answer on whether or not you’ve been hired right then and there, you are more likely to get an idea of where the interviewer(s) and company are in the hiring process. The call simply shows them that you are still interested in the position.
After the phone call the ball is in the companies court. Don’t continue to call and follow up because you will start to sound needy and pushy and could actually deter the company from hiring you. After you have followed up, you have done everything you can in pursuit of the job and now must be patient and wait for an answer.
For more information on the proper way to follow up, visit for the original article: http://blog.westwood.edu/the-job-interview-follow-up-three-steps-to-follow/.
For more tips on networking and utilizing LinkedIn attend “Networking: Face to Face and Online,” March 3 at 4pm in Batza as part of Senior Career Week!
Lately it seems as if everyone and all of their friends is either on LinkedIn, or feels as though they soon will be. Founded in two, LinkedIn has become the largest and most successful professional networking site in the world – or on the web. Available in over 20 languages and containing people from over 200 countries and territories, LinkedIn has made itself accessible to people involved in all fields and disciplines. Suddenly, accessing anyone in any industry is a possibility.
Being involved in LinkedIn is a huge opportunity for college students and graduated adults alike. Being virtual, LinkedIn allows individuals to network and connect with others from the comfort of their office or home. Rather than having to pay thousands of dollars for airfare, a rental car, conference fees, etc., anyone can now log onto their account and begin to search through the millions of individuals and companies, find job listings, as well as posting their resume, photos, and begin to ‘brand’ themselves.
While using LinkedIn can get you far in your chosen industry, there are plenty of smaller and lesser known online networking sites that lend themselves to making connections with individuals that might otherwise be unreachable. Read below for 11 social networking sites that function similarly to LinkedIn, yet all with unique differences that make them useful in their own ways. Further down there are more specified online communities list which are dedicated to specific fields and industries.
Elixio is a private online community for professionals. This site is invite-only, but you can be sure if you get an invite, you will have the chance to make awesome connections. Because it’s a community of less than 14,000 (mostly business) professionals, Elixio hosts networking opportunities for the cream of the crop.
Stroome is the foremost online video collaboration hub. Launched in April 2010, the site connects journalists, filmmakers, travelers and anyone else with a video camera — allowing them to upload their films to the Internet and then collaborate with other users to create new video, audio, and photo mashups from all corners of the world.
Ryze is an online business network founded in 2001 and now operating with 80,000 members. You can make a free networking-oriented homepage and connect with professionals (or re-connect with old contacts). The site, which initially focused on the high-tech community, now appeals to CEOs, entrepreneurs and home-based businesses.
Ning’s industry connections span many categories, including politics, entertainment, consumer brands, small business, non-profits, education and more. It connects more than 74 million people around the globe with the topics they are passionate about, making it a great foundation for professional networking. You can use Ning to create and design your own free social network. For instance, there’s a social community for the band Linkin Park, the Peace Corps and Classroom 2.0.
Quora connects you to everything you want to know about, and gives you leverage to interact with high influencers in any industry. You can create your own profile, share content and ask questions. Also, the site itself is organized by people and their interests, so you can easily find like-minded individuals. One way you can think of it is as a cache for research: When you see a link to a question page on Quora, you can feel good that it will have information you need.
Ecademy is a membership organization aimed at business professionals.The site boasts an online network, blog and boardrooms for collaboration over the Internet. It’s for entrepreneurs and business owners who want to belong to a community that connects, supports and collaborates with each other to produce new ideas. Those who want to take a more passive approach to networking, however, may find less use for it.
Ziggs is a site that will allow you to create and manage your personal brand. You can also join groups and make contacts on the network. Ziggs is for the Internet user who proactively wants to market himself on the web — to be discovered by recruiters, to find a better job or just to be found. The platform is also for folks who want to develop or participate in private online communities with colleagues, friends, club members or charity teams.
According to its website, Tweako is a “user-powered community website and social network, specializing in all aspects of computing, technology and the Internet.” Tweako.com is a place to learn and share information and knowledge about computer and technology topics. For those interested in keeping a pulse on cutting-edge technology and IT concepts, Tweako also keeps tabs on startups and company business to see who’s hot in the field — a great resource for those looking to get job leads.
9. Your Personal Blog
While a personal blog will be a networking opportunity on its own, you can use the blog to get your name out there. Post your blog’s URL when you comment on industry articles and share it with people on your networking profiles. You never know — someone might like what they see on your blog and start up a conversation that could be beneficial to your career or job search. There are many options available for creating a blog, but you can create a free one easily on WordPress.
Tumblr has several advantages over other blogging options for building your brand. If you are a recent graduate or in the younger job-seeking demographic, you’ll benefit from Tumblr’s youthful user base. Plus, you’ll find a breadth of business blogs that are hosted on the platform that can easily be followed, helping you stay knowledgeable about brands you might want to work for. However, while Tumblr will allow you to quickly and easily share your personal brand, the site doesn’t offer as many features or formatting options as other blogging platforms.
11. Brazen Careerist
This site was created for college students and young professionals to “meet new people, find a job and build relevant relationships” to advance their careers. A smart option for those entering the market for the first time, Brazen Careerist also offers a connection to Facebook — an easy way to see who in your current circle of friends is also using the service.
Communities Categorized by Industry and Interest
If you’re interested in a particular industry, you can find a hub in which you can meet like-minded individuals. Here are some examples:
- Academics: Academia.edu
- Activism and Environmentalism: Care2
- Art: deviantArt
- Human Resources: HR.com
- IT/Computers: Talentopoly
- Law: Legal OnRamp
- Music: ReverbNation.com
- Politics/Government: GovLoop
- Science: Epernicus & ResearchGate
- Writing: Writing.com
(List courtesy of http://mashable.com/2012/02/19/niche-job-networking-websites/)
For more information on job search strategies attend “Job Search Dos and Don’ts: Learn from the Experts,” March 4th at 4pm in Buchner Hall and “Inside the Search: Top Job-search Strategies,” March 5th at 4pm in Batza!
When it comes to the Job Search, it can seem very overwhelming and soon feel like an endless vortex of possibilities. In order to ensure that you get the most out of your job search take a deep breath, and follow these simple DO and DON’T guidelines.
Utilize Social Media:
Social networking is one of the most unused but efficient ways of job searching. Having a professional LinkedIn page can help you connect with a large selection of employers while getting your name and credentials out there. Take the time to go online and make your presence on social network sites professional and noticeable.
Use Search Engines:
There is nothing wrong with using Google to search for companies with open job opportunities. There are many great sites on the internet that have a sole purpose of posting job opportunities. Search engines are a great first step in locating jobs for you to apply for.
Attend Job Fairs:
Whether it’s a local town fair or done through your school, a job fair is always a great place to look. It’s like a real life search engine. Job fairs allow you to walk around and talk face-to-face with perspective employers while getting a feel for the companies present or the positions available. Even if you leave the fair without an application, you’ve spent the day networking, broadening your connections, and getting insight into different companies that could lead you to a job.
When in doubt, go to the companies website. If you are searching for a specific job take the time to dig through the companies official pages to see what they have to offer. Even if you come up with no job opportunities, you can gain information on the business itself and details on the hiring parties of the company for future reference.
Use Your Network:
Many people are unaware of the vast network they are already involved in. When searching for a job, ask around. Friends, relatives, teachers, old co-workers may all have advice or opportunities that could help you locate and land a job.
As a student, you have access to some of the best job search help materials. Whether it’s through a meeting with one the the career counselors, utilizing our online (Goucher specific) search engines, or checking out some help books from our library, the Career Development Office can help guide you through your Job Search with ease.
Only Apply To One Company
It’s never a good idea to only apply to one job. Having multiple options will not only increase your chance of landing a job, but it will also give you experience in the interview process (if obtained) and guarantee that you end up with a job that is a proper fit.
Integrate a Current Job In Any Way
If you are currently employed elsewhere, never integrate that job into your current job search. A job search should be a confidential thing when it comes to sharing with co-workers, online or with the people in the company you are applying for. Make sure to never utilize your current offices utilities when sending paperwork or making calls.
NEVER bad-talk your current job to a future employer. If you are negative about your current job it leaves a bad example for a future employer and can make them not want to hire you. Who wants an employee that hates work?
Although you should dive in head first, don’t dive in unprepared. Be ready to sell yourself if the opportunity arises. Make sure your resume is always up to date and that you are always on your best behavior and look your best for business events. You want to show the employer how ready you are to be a part of their company.
Let The Internet Do The Work
Although the internet can be a great first step in your search, don’t rely on it to find the job for you. You have to be the one to perfect your resume and cover letter. You have to make the effort to ace the interview and make fantastic follow-ups. In the end, you are the one they’re hiring.
The Job Search is just the first step in obtaining a job, but it is a very crucial one. Put in the time and effort to make it the best search possible and you will soon be moving on to the applying and interviewing stage.
Much of the information for this article can be found at http://www.clacareer.umn.edu/jobsearch/dodont.html.
To learn more about Cover Letter development and resumes attend “Play Up Your Strengths: Resumes and Cover Letters,” March 3rd at 3pm in Batza!
Most students learn the ins and outs of a resume before they even begin thinking about a cover letter. What is a cover letter and why is it so important? How do I craft a successful cover letter? These are all questions often asked by students applying to jobs and internships. What most might not realize is that a cover letter is equally as important as a resume. Informally, your cover letter’s job is to give the employer incentive to read your resume – it’s like the hook of a well-crafted essay. A cover letter can also be a great place to make personal connections with the job you are applying to or the employer that is hiring. A little less formulaic, the cover letter is an excellent way to round out your application and showcase all of your talents and hard work. Presented below are a few tips and tricks to help you begin crafting a successful cover letter.
If you have any further questions or concerns, come down to the career development office where we will be happy to assist you in any way possible. You can make an appointment by phone or simply by stopping in at the front desk. Or, take advantage of our walk in hours which are on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday from 2-4, and Wednesday from 3-5. We look forward to hearing from you!
1. Advertise Your Skills and Accomplishments
Advertising your skills and accomplishments early on in a cover letter works well to pique the interest of hiring managers. This is because many are more intrigued by intros that start with: “Searching tirelessly for a top-level executive chef with 20 years of restaurant, casino, and hotel experience? Look no further!”—rather than: “I want to thank you for the opportunity to apply for the executive chef position.”
Candidates have found that managers respond more willingly to the creative introduction that lists reasons they should be hired. Keep this concept in mind as you write your own.
2. Pinpoint Challenges You Want to Address
In the first sentence, you’ve likely touched on the second goal, which is to pinpoint challenges you want to address with the company. But it’s not a bad idea to do it again. You don’t have to talk about specific challenges in the introduction; this can be saved for later in the letter. But you can touch on goals that any company in the field might face and why you want to tackle them.
Believe it or not, this can be accomplished in two brief sentences that read something like this: “Every restaurant faces its challenges in customer service, staff and budget management, and food execution. I am eager to take the reins with XYZ Restaurant and steer business in the right direction.”
3. Explain Why You’re the Right Fit
Next, it’s important to explain why you’re the right fit for the position. You can do this by noting that the company needs a qualified candidate to meet its agenda, then list three or four reasons why you’re the qualified candidate it needs.
The idea is to get right to the point of why you’re the perfect fit. No beating around the bush allowed—because hiring managers simply don’t have time to search for the message you’re trying to deliver.
4. Entice the Reader to Keep Reading
Finally, your goal is to let the reader know that your introduction is only the beginning and that you have more to offer. For instance, by stating, “I believe it’s never too late to develop strategies that lead a restaurant to greatness, and I am ready to utilize my long-term experience, intuition, and dedication to get the job done”, you could successfully convince a manager to keep reading.
(List courtesy of Jessica Hernandez; http://www.youtern.com/thesavvyintern/index.php/2012/04/12/4-goals-your-cover-letter-introduction-should-accomplish/)
For more information on Networking, attend “Networking: Face to Face and Online,” March 3rd at 4pm in Batza during Senior Career Week!
by Lisa Hinkley
Being a busy and slightly shy student, I found networking to be challenging, even when given specific recommendations for people with whom to connect. Ironically, my most important networking lesson came from a woman I had avoided contacting when I was a novice networker. Although I had shied away from reaching out to her, I came into contact with her through other means: I was assigned to work with her during an internship. Not only did she teach me much about the career I was considering, but she also introduced me to people who I needed to know in my field—including one who eventually had a role in hiring me for my first professional position.
What I didn’t know as a student is that people generally like to help others, especially when you make it easy for them.
Networking is among the most effective career development and job-search techniques. Many job seekers spend their time looking at job postings and want ads, but these seldom provide a complete job description. That’s where networking can play a role: Savvy students use networking to get the full story about organizations, positions, and career-growth opportunities.
Not only can you use networking to find jobs, but the information you learn through networking can help you craft your resume appropriately and give you an edge in the interview. (Although you are likely focused on your first professional job, remember that networking is important for subsequent jobs as well.)
If you are like many students, networking to learn about career options and job/internship leads is probably toward the bottom of your list of job-search tasks. Unfortunately, it may only emerge as important when you’ve exhausted your other options and desperation-or some twist of fate-forces you to try networking.
The fact is, if you are like many students, you probably use networking skills more than you realize. For example, to choose classes, you read through the course catalog, ask friends and acquaintances for recommendations, read “student only” sites with feedback on specific courses and professors, and (hopefully) talk to your academic adviser. Your parents also might offer their thoughts. This is networking. It is a combination of research, conversation, and analysis.
Make networking part of your daily activities
You can easily make networking a part of your normal daily activities. For example, it’s likely you’re being asked by friends and relatives about your post-graduation plans. This is a networking opportunity. Share details with them about fields or positions of interest to help them think of people they know who are doing similar work. Ask them to help you connect with these people, and then, follow through. (Uncertain about your intended career path? Not sure you can offer a clear answer to questions about what you want to do after graduation? Ask your career adviser to help you refine your interests and formulate a good response.)
Make the most of your networking
Finding people to contact is just part of networking. Try these quick tips to make the most of your conversations with networking contacts:
- Send an e-mail to introduce yourself when requesting a meeting. Explain (briefly!) what you have in common and describe what you hope to learn through your conversation. Include a date and time that you will follow up by phone to schedule your meeting time if you haven’t heard back; then, follow through! (Because so many people don’t do what they say they will, this attention to detail is sure to impress.)
- Research the industry, organization, and person you will be meeting prior to your conversation.
- Consider information that you are learning in classes, internships, or student organizations that might be interesting to your target contact.
- Make a list of questions to ask; if you are starting with a sample list of questions obtained from your career center or online, customize the questions to be specific to the industry and the person you will be contacting.
- Treat professionals with respect. Use appropriate grammar and spelling when writing messages. If you’ve scheduled a meeting, don’t cancel. Arrive 15 minutes early.
- Whether your conversation is in person, on the phone, or via e-mail, follow up with a thank-you note to show your appreciation and improve your chances of creating a productive relationship.
- Don’t be discouraged if some people whom you contact aren’t immediately helpful. Be patient, and continue to develop contacts. Similarly, you might encounter people who you don’t feel a positive connection toward; in those cases, be polite, send a thank-you note, and move on. None of us can predict which connections will lead to meaningful outcomes, so use care to nurture your connections. Accept networking as an investment in your future that can produce results in the present.
There are a variety of places through which to find people to talk to about your professional interests. Here are a few to get you started:
- Social networking sites such as Facebook and LinkedIn;
- Alumni networks and campus mentoring programs;
- Career fairs, employer information sessions, and networking events;
- Professional associations related to your field of interest;
- Friends/family and their friends; and
- Community groups.
Lisa Hinkley is Director of Career Services at Lake Forest College.
Courtesy of the National Association of Colleges and Employers.
When it comes to a job seeker’s skills/qualities, employers are looking for team players who can solve problems, organize their work, and communicate effectively, according to employers who responded to NACE’s Job Outlook 2014 survey.
Employers who interview and hire new college graduates were asked to rank a job candidate’s desired skills and qualities. Employers rated seven of 10 qualities as “very important”; three were rated “somewhat important.” (See Figure 1.)
How can you demonstrate that you have these qualities? Here are some things you can do during your college years to meet these demands:
Join extracurricular activities. Being an active member of a club or an intramural sports team, organizing a volunteer project, or taking part in group tasks, will help you earn that top quality spot, “ability to work in a team structure.” Participating in extracurricular activities while maintaining a high GPA will demonstrate that you have the “ability to plan, organize, and prioritize work.”
Keep Your GPA High. Good grades show that you have a good knowledge base—the “technical knowledge related to the job”—and demonstrates a strong work ethic—a quality that employers value.
Find an internship. Another way to demonstrate your knowledge of the job is to have done an internship or two in your field. You’ll have taken an opportunity to look at your future career close up while getting hands-on experience with any potential job. Your internship can put your “foot in the door” to a job opportunity with many employers and help you build a network of professionals in your field.
Make a Date With the Career Center. The career center staff can help you go a long way in preparation for selling yourself to future employers. In addition to helping you choose a major and career direction, a career counselor can help you find internships, perfect your cover letter and resume, and develop your interviewing skills. Good interview skills will help you show a potential employer know that you can “verbally communicate” with people inside and outside the organization.
Courtesy of the National Association of Colleges and Employers.
Congrats! You’ve landed an interview! You have well-prepared yourself for the possible questions and have updated your resume so it’ll stand out. But now comes the difficult part, choosing what to wear. By now you have probably heard of the terms “business professional” or “interview attire” but do you really know what that is? Luckily, we are here to help! Follow our list of dos and don’ts for proper “interview attire” and you will be looking excellent on your big day!
DO: Stick with pant suits, or skirt suits for you wardrobe. The suit look is the most professional. Make sure your suit and blouse are nicely pressed and ironed for you interview. Also make sure that the fit of your suit is just right, not too big or too small.
DON’T: Wear any sort of informal pant, such as leggings or jeans, or a shirt that is not appropriate, no deep v-necks or crop tops. Never show up to an interview with a suit that does not fit or a wrinkled shirt. If you can’t put in the effort to look nice how will you be able to put effort into the job.
DO: Wear minimal and appropriate jewelery. A nice necklace and bracelet combo is a great way to accent your outfit without being to flashy.
DON’T: Wear gaudy jewelery that is too flashy and over the top it takes away from the outfit. Twelve bracelets is too much and every finger does not need a ring.
DO: Make sure your hair and make-up is done well. You want to look beautiful and natural.
DON’T: Cake on the make-up or decide that day is the day to go crazy with you hair. Your goal is to look professional, not like a clown.
DO: Wear comfortable and basic shoes. Heels are totally acceptable if they are an appropriate height and color. Commonly, the heel should not exceed 2 inches and flats are definitely acceptable. You want to make sure the shoe goes well the the suit.
DON’T: Wear shoes that are super stilettos with a platform that you can’t walk in or do not match the suit. Though they seem like a small touch, your shoes can be a big no-no if they take your outfit from business to tacky.
ALWAYS remember to maintain clean hygiene. Although it may seem redundant, don’t forget to brush you teeth, put on deodorant, have a nice manicure and look healthy when it comes time for your interview. When you step foot into that office and shake hands with your interviewer, you want them to be thinking “She looks very professional.” Although it’s not the focus of your interview, your outfit can make or break you chance at the job. Always try your best and put effort into your look and that effort will show.
Information for this article was provided by:
For many students, the easiest and most helpful way of job searching is through job fairs. A job fair is a big event where many businesses send representatives have tables set up with information and applications for students and others seeking a job to look into. They can be hectic and overwhelming, but just like any business event, they are certain tips and tricks that can help you be a stand out candidate.
The number one trick to stand out is to never show up empty handed. For any job fair or employer opportunities you attend you should always have your resume, a note pad, and a pen. If you have a business card, you may also want to bring a handful of them. You want to get as much information on the companies you apply to as possible, so that you could easily answer questions during later interviews, or send follow-up emails.
While circling your way around a job fair you should never be afraid to network. How do you expect to get a job if you don’t sell yourself to the representative there? Your goal at a job fair should be to talk to as many people as you can. The employers want to know more than just your name, they want to get to know you as a possible employee. Don’t go in expecting to walk out with a job, but go in expecting to walk out with a much larger database of employers with opportunities available for you.
You can’t stand out at a job fair without standing out. Whether it’s the bright blouse you decide to wear or the perfect answers you have to any interview style questions you may be asked, do something that makes you different. You should be dressed in interview attire, business enough so that you appear serious and the job hunt, but not so over the top you could be at prom. Don’t show the employer why they should want you, show them why they need you.
A job fair can be such an important step on your career path, opening many doors to many different job opportunities. They are a great place for face-to-face networking and can be your key to landing the job of your dreams. You should always enter a job fair well-prepared and confident so you can stand-out to the employers and leave with multiple opportunities on you plate.
The information for this blog was provided by:
Goucher College along with other Maryland Career Consortium colleges present the largest career fair in Maryland! Join us on Friday, February 7th, 2014 from 10am-2:30pm to meet employers from over 100 companies in the region who are hiring for full-time employees and interns. For a list of registered employers visit the MCC website.
Before you go, read these five tips below to learn what you can do make the most out of this career fair! Plan and be prepared to gain all that you can from this opportunity! We look forward to seeing you soon.
1. Dress for (comfortable) success
While shopping for formal business attire, make sure you look good as well as feel comfortable. Your dashing suit or brand new dress won’t do you any good if it is too tight or loose. Make sure that you can walk around in your formal outfit for an extended period of time without having to adjust anything. Comfortable business shoes are a must- all networking takes place standing up!
2. Have a plan
Remember that you will probably have classes scheduled around the career fair. In order to maximize your time, plan out the most important, “can’t miss” companies that you need to meet. You can always allow for detours if a new company’s booth strikes your eye, but having a plan will allow you to see all of the companies that you are seriously considering.
3. Ditch your friends
Okay, so don’t permanently leave your friends, but don’t walk around with them at the career fair. One of the best pieces I received regarding career fairs was from a representative at our own Northwestern UCS. “Your friends may have never seen you in professional mode, and they may not take it seriously”, he said. In order to be at your best and feel comfortable talking in a professional manner, let your friends take their own path around the career fair.
4. Be prepared
This may be an obvious one, but I have cringed at witnessing awkward experiences of other career fair attendees. Make sure you have plenty of resumes and any other documents you may need. Almost every recruiter will ask for your resume, and I have seen conversations fall and die when a student forgets their resume.
Being prepared also means doing your research on the companies you plan to talk to. Bring a set of notes with you that outline the essentials of each company’s internship program, as well as a set of questions that you can ask them. Telling a company how excited you are for their specific internship program sounds much more appealing than asking them if they have any internships available.
5. Notice your body language
Stand tall and walk proudly around the room. Give the recruiter a firm handshake and make eye contact with them. Actively use your hands to enhance your elevator speech instead of hanging them by your legs. Body language can distinguish between an anxious college student and an impressive, professional candidate. You would think that remembering to do these basic things would be easy, but I felt my posture slipping and my handshake lacking grip during my first career fair. I felt much more confident at my second career fair when I checked my body language before speaking to each company.
(Tips Courtesy of Northwestern Business Review, http://northwesternbusinessreview.org/5-college-career-fair-tips/)
After the stress of finishing projects and taking final exams, students look forward to the weeks of semester break and time to relax or travel. Before they leave for that much-anticipated time off, we can encourage them to be creative and use the break as a strategic interval in the career development process. Some alternatives they can consider:
- Review and revise the resume—Now that the fall semester has concluded, a review of accomplishments, new gpa, completed projects, major related courses, and extracurricular activities is in order.
- Update social media—LinkedIn is recognized as a valuable tool for networking and the job search. Students can create a profile or update the existing one. NOTE: this past semester we set up a station in our campus center with a professional photographer and invited students to take a photo for their LinkedIn page, at no cost to them. Nearly 90 students took advantage of the freebie and got them thinking about their professional image online.
- Short internships—Taking on a short term internship is a good way to add to overall work experience and can be another source of additional networking contacts. The internship can be full time or part time, depending on the agreement between student and employer.
- Finding a mentor—Having an experienced person as a guide in the career development process is a great advantage for emerging young professionals. The winter break can be an opportunity to review a list of previous contacts from school, community activities, and previous work experiences to identify a prospective mentor.
- Civic engagement—The holiday season offers may occasions to give back to the community. Volunteering has the triple advantage of providing assistance to those in need, adding another dimension to the resume, and supplying another means to build the professional network.
- Social situations—This is a season for parties, dinners, meeting up with friends and family, and making new acquaintances. When appropriate, sharing short and long term career aspirations can lead to helpful information for future reference.Students can advance their career development process while classes are not in session and they have more control over their time. These suggestions are a few that can get them thinking and provide a boost to their career plans.
This post is from the Jo-Ann Raines, Director, Career Services, NJIT, previously posted on 12/10/13 here.