Academic and Career Advising

Today in senior seminar we had a resume and cover letter workshop. Someone from the academic and career advising center came to our class and talked about what employers look for on a resume and in a cover letter, and also what should be left off of one. She also told us where we can find resources such as examples or one on one help. I learned that you can visit the academic and career advising center even if you have no idea what you want to do. They can help you figure it out. Some of the resources that they offer are:

  • Resume and cover letter help
  • Internships
  • JobWISE
  • Part-time and full-time jobs
  • Career events and fairs
  • Major and career exploration
  • Academic planning
  • Degree requirements
  • Academic resources

Resumes

Resumes are how employers typically decide who would fit the position well and who they want to bring in for an interview. When an employer has a stack of resumes to look over and review, they usually don’t have too much time to spend on each one. Typically they will spend about 20-30 seconds on initial review. These 20-30 seconds will determine if your resume makes it through to the next stage or is rejected. That is why it is very important for your resume to stand out and be well organized. Using key words from the specific job posting and putting your education and experiencing at the top can help with this. They also look for spelling errors and other mistakes because those tell them right away that you might not pay attention to detail and show that your work is sloppy.

Interviews/Job Fair

Following up on an interview or even just a quick meet and greet at a job fair can make you stand out. Not many people will do it and it shows that you are interesting in the job or company. Also, having a personal voicemail can also help you in the job search. This way they know when they call and you don’t pick up, that they are calling the right number.

Important things to remember for interviews are:

  • Research the company and the job/internship
  • Identify your skills, experiences, and qualities that make you a great candidate for the job
  • Identify specific examples that demonstrate those skills and qualities
  • Know how to talk about your studies and experiences including how they will help you do the job successfully
  • Practice, practice, practice
  • Dress for success

Networking

Networking is a very important part of getting a job. Some great tools for networking are Twitter, Linked-In, and even blog sites like this one. Some things to remember about networking are:

  • It’s about who you know: 75-85% of jobs are found through networking
  • Connect with professors, supervisors, professionals, friends, and family
  • Let them know what you are interested in and what you are looking for
  • Create a Linked-In profile to connect with KSC alumni and to join professional groups related to your interests
  • Always send thank-you notes

Career Fair Pitch Example:

You should always include the following:

  • Name
  • Major/area of interest
  • Career interest area(s)
  • A question to start the conversation

It is also a good idea to use a couple of companies as “warm-up” companies. These are ones that you may not be super interested in, but will give you a chance to practice your introduction and start to get more comfortable.

  1. Hello, my name is                     and I am pursuing a                 degree in                             at Keene State College.
  2. I am interested in a career (internship) doing                     in the                       field (industry) because                                                                       .
  3. I have been involved (during college) in                                                                      .
  4. And developed skills and knowledge in                                                                       .
  5. I was interested in your company because                                                                 .
  6. Could you tell me more about internship/job opportunities you are recruiting for?

Some sample questions that you could ask are:

  • What kind of entry-level positions (or internships) exist within your organization?
  • What kinds of skills and experience do you look for in the employees you hire?
  • What are the typical responsibilities of an intern or entry-level candidate?
  • Are there specific career tracks within the organization?
  • What is your organizations culture like?
  • Are there opportunities for ongoing training through your organization?
  • Are graduate degrees important to advancing within your organization? Which ones?
  • Is there a process to apply? What is the timeline?