5 LinkedIn Tips for Upcoming Graduates

This post was written by Thomas Wolff. Thomas Wolff is the Managing Editor of Resume Mastermind, a boutique resume writing firm that works with clients ranging from students to senior executives to create interview-winning resumes, job search letters, bios, and social media profiles.

As upperclassman start thinking about internships and their first position after graduation, it’s more important than ever to start building a professional online presence. Employers want to pre-qualify each candidate, and with the availability of online information out there, even if you don’t share your online profiles, they are going to do a search for your name anyway to see what pops up. So why not point them in the right direction by proactively establishing a professional profile that you can confidently include in your resume and/or cover letter?

While Facebook and Twitter are fun and great ways to share photos and personal information with your closest friends and family members, LinkedIn is the one online platform that can actually shape your future. LinkedIn is the biggest and most powerful social network specifically designed for professionals. With over 200 million users, it is likely that every company you may be thinking of applying to right now will have at least one employee on LinkedIn.

Graduate Commencement 5.4.12

Here are six tips to make the most of LinkedIn as you prepare to enter the professional world.

1) Understand LinkedIn’s Value In The Social World

LinkedIn isn’t necessarily “sexy,” and it’s unlikely that you’ll spend hours each day browsing the site, like you would Facebook. Nor is it a source of immediate gratification or entertainment, as photos, videos, and constant status updates aren’t a primary component of the platform. LinkedIn is basically a dynamic version of your online resume, enabling you to research, connect, and engage with the people and companies who can help propel your career.

2) Write An Informative Profile Headline

Your headline should give people a brief and clear way to understand the professional version of you. Think of the headline as a slogan for your professional profile. You can get creative, using something like, “Emerging marketing practitioner with interests in public relations and marketing communications.” Or, you can include more specific information: “Finance student at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater seeking a position in investment banking in the Chicago area.”

3) Use A Professional Photo

To prove your credibility and attract the attention of employers, it is important to build and promote a professional appearance. Use a professional quality headshot, not an angled picture that you snapped with your cell phone in front of the bathroom mirror, and definitely not a Facebook profile picture of you out on the town. If you can’t afford to pay for a professional photoshoot, then find a friend who knows their way around a digital camera. Check out some truly awful LinkedIn headshots.

4) Tell A Story In The Summary Section

The summary presents a great opportunity to share with your network who you are, what you’re aspiring to do after graduation, and how your unique experiences and academic achievements will help you get there. Be clear and specific about what you want. People are much more likely to find you and to help you if you state you’re “in search of a brand management position with a leading consumer product goods company” than they are if you say you are just “looking for a job.”

5) Show You’ve Done Something Worthwhile

In a perfect world, you’ve already completed a fantastic summer internship with a company that aligns perfectly with your targeted post-graduation job. Unfortunately, not everybody can say that, so include any relevant volunteer work, extracurricular activities, college jobs, or freelance work you can and describe the impact that you had in each role.

6) Build Your Network

I would recommend starting to connect with your core network of classmates, friends, colleagues and others whom you have in your immediate circles. Then you can grow your reach and influence through direct engagements, sharing content, and following groups. If the people you are reaching out to do not know you, it’s important to give them a reason to talk to you, and provide the reason you want to talk to them. Also, don’t be shy about asking for recommendations from your colleagues, managers, or professors.

Like any good media platform, LinkedIn is intuitive and easy to use. Any time you invest now in crafting your profile and connecting with those who can open the right doors for you will pay dividends once your job search is underway.

If you would like help setting up your own LinkedIn account, schedule an appointment with one of the career counselors!

Photo by Southern Arkansas University.

Friday Favorites – Seniors Job Search

For this week’s Friday Favorites, I had the chance to interview five UW-Whitewater students who are graduating in May and searching for jobs. They’re all at different points during the job search process and all have very different experiences and advice to give to other seniors. Check out their interviews below!

Murphy Waldhuetter

Nelson Ritthaler, a senior, is majoring in organizational communication and minoring in philosophy.

Are you worried about not finding a job? “Yes, sometimes more than other times but I’m trying to be optimistic. The closer I get to graduation, the more anxious I get.”

What advice would you give students who are going through the same thing you are? “Keep applying and keep getting feedback on your resume. A well written and well formatted resume can open more doors. The more you apply, the higher chances you give yourself to land a job.”

 

Jamie Selck is majoring in management with a human resource emphasis.

What kinds of platforms did you used when searching for a job? “I mostly used Hawk Jobs because it was so precise. The other job boards were very broad. With Hawk Jobs, everything was in one place.”

Were you worried about not finding a job after graduation? “I was worried, but I just got offered a job with Colony Brands. They were on Hawk Jobs and had a bunch of jobs listed so I submitted my resume for one of them, got an interview, got invited back for a second round of interviews at Monroe, which is where their headquarters are, and then they offered me the internship!”

What advice would you give students who are going through the same thing you are? “Start early, make sure you have a Hawk Jobs profile and a LinkedIn profile, so when it comes time to apply, you aren’t overwhelmed. Make sure you have a resume that you always update. Have copies of your resume and copies of your references with you at your interviews. Apply for everything; even if there isn’t an job you might not want, you should do the interview for practice.”

 

Patrick Johnson will graduate with a Bachelor of Arts with Instrumental Music degree and is minoring in advertising.

What kinds of jobs are you looking for? “Music administration, but also anything in public relations/advertising agencies.”

Do you have any worries or concerns about not finding a job? “Very. As far as jobs come, it’s very hard to find a job, so I’ve applied for internships. I’m worried the internship might not pay enough.”

What advice would you give to students who are in the same place you are, graduating soon and haven’t found a job yet? “Be patient. And don’t be afraid to apply for everything.”

 

Britt Asbach, a senior, is majoring in organizational communication with a minor in special education. She will be going to graduate school.

What kinds of platforms have you used when searching for a graduate school or job? “I use a lot of social media (LinkedIn, Facebook, Google+, and various career blogs and books) to research potential jobs and schools. Networking is also extremely important when searching for a job and this is a skill I’m always looking to improve upon. Half the battle is learning creative and innovative techniques to tap into the right medium to connect to new networks and interesting people.”

What kind of job would you like to get after you finish grad school? “After grad school, I would like to get a job with a medium size company or nonprofit organization and work in the human resources department as a director of staff training and development. I’m extremely interested in transforming leadership in the workplace and helping people to reach their full potential. I also want to understand the parallels between the family unit and the workplace. I desire to conduct training seminars, conferences, and travel internationally as a motivational speaker. Ultimately, I would like to end up working at an international children’s organization or at a big church in family ministry where I can use my leadership and development training to help children and their families.”

What advice would you give students who are going through the same thing you are? “Start thinking about your plans for post graduation by the end of your sophomore year. Time flies so fast in college and what you do with your time matters. I was lucky because my parents always kept me thinking about my graduation plans years ahead of time. They encouraged me to pursue my passions, but also keep a level head about my professional expectations after college ends. I would also encourage students to stop listening to much of the new stories about job markets today. The fact is that economy is always going to be changing and it is more important for you personally and professionally to continue to foster those “learning relationships” and key networks. You will be much more happier if you learn early on how to communicate your values successfully and live out your passion in the workplace.”

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Cameron Schultheis is majoring in media arts and game development with a minor in advertising.

What kinds of platforms have you used when searching for a graduate school or job? “The platforms I primarily use in job searching are agency website directories (agencypimp.com), and Big Shoes Network.”

What kinds of jobs are you looking for? “The jobs I’m looking for junior art director or art director intern positions. I’m heavily interested in the creative side of the advertising process.”

What advice would you give students who are going through the same thing you are? “If you work hard enough, and don’t give up, you have nothing to worry about. My advice to other students is to chase your dream and never give up. The moment you give up is the moment you forfeit everything you’ve worked for to get to that point.”
 
Thank you to all the students I interviewed! I know you all will be successful in whatever path you choose to take in life.
 
Photo by UWW Career.

The Do’s and Don’ts of Using Your Parents to Help Your Career

This is a guest post written by Erin Palmer. Erin writes about a variety of topics such as teaching careers, attending graduate school and career planning for US News University Directory. You can follow Erin on Twitter.

College is the time to transition from being taken care of by your parents to taking care of yourself. In the professional world, you will be on your own, which is why it’s important to learn independence right from the start of your career path.

Your parents can be both a blessing and a curse when it comes to your job search and career development. It all depends on how you use them. Consider these do’s and don’ts:

Leigh_10

Do: Expand Your Network

One of the most difficult parts of beginning a career is not yet having a strong network to rely on. Use your parents’ connections to start building your professional network while you’re in school. Inquire about their friends and colleagues who work in your desired field. Incorporating your parents’ network into your own can help you find job opportunities and potential mentors. If you end up working at the same company as a family friend who used to change your diapers, just make sure to keep it professional during work hours.

Don’t: Let Mom and Dad Complete Your Application

Having a parent fill out your application, call up a potential employer or any other form of doing the talking for you is a bad career move. Employers will not take you seriously if your parents are doing all of the work for you. How can they trust your ability to do the job properly if you can’t even apply for it on your own? Your parents won’t be with you when you go to work, so they shouldn’t participate in the job search process at all.

Do: Ask for Advice

Starting your career can be scary and overwhelming, so it is important to ask for advice when you need it. No one can make your decisions for you, but talking things through can help you make the right one. Even if your parents work in an entirely different field, they can likely still relate to your issues. Certain workplace stresses are universal, so chances are your parents may have the answers you need.

Don’t: Use Your Parents as a Reference

Putting your parents down as a reference is a pointless endeavor. Employers know that your parents are too biased to give an honest recommendation, so it is unlikely that they would bother calling. Besides, your parents aren’t the best people to speak about your professional talents. A teacher, former colleague or other professional would be a much stronger choice. Choosing your parents as a reference is basically like telling the potential employer that you can’t think of anyone else to vouch for you.

Having the support of your family can help make it easier to adapt to the professional world, but it is still up to you to handle the responsibilities. Use your parents as a guide, not a crutch. Show the world that you can make it on your own and then let your parents take you out to dinner to celebrate your success.

Photo by CP Food images.

Kick Off Your Spring Semester The Right Way

Welcome back to campus, UW-W students and staff! I hope you all had a nice, relaxing break, but are ready to hit the books again, embark on a brand new semester of internship or job duties, and to get back into the swing of things.

Hyland Hall

For those of you who took some pieces of advice from our last post, about doing career-related projects over the break, you’re ahead of the game! No matter what grade you’re in and how far along you are on your internship or job hunt, completing those projects will help to make your semester less stressful. If you haven’t done some career-related projects yet, don’t worry! You can start by doing these three things:

Polish Your Resume

I know, I know – we’ve heard this all before. Updating your resume is the first step in jump-starting your job hunt. I hope you all have a resume somewhere, whether it be in a folder on your computer or on your online website. Before you start anything else, make sure your resume is up to date. Check out this article from our archives, which includes five links about sharpening your resume.

Use Your Resources

No matter if you’re a freshman, senior, or graduate student, Career & Leadership Development can help you in many career-related areas. The staff can help you fix and spice up your resume, they can conduct practice interviews with you, they can help you figure out the best way to search for a job, and I know for a fact that they’re more than happy to talk to you about internship/searching and deciding what path you should take during and after college. Check out the staff list to find out which staff member would be best fit to help you.

Job Search

If you’re not looking for a job yet, start looking for internships instead! Visit the UW-W Internship Blog for information and advice on scoring a great internship. Employers will definitely notice if you have had one or two internships, so don’t pass up any opportunity to apply for one!

For those of you who are graduating within the year, try looking at job boards on the web, such as Hawk Jobs. If you’re new to job searching, look out for a post coming up in the next few weeks, titled ‘How To Navigate Hawk Jobs’. If looking at job boards isn’t your thing, you can also check potential employers’ websites to see if there are any job openings, and definitely mention your pursuit to your friends, parents, and colleagues. Networking is a great skill to have, especially if you’re looking for a job!

We post current job openings on this blog, as well as on our Twitter page and Facebook page, so be sure to follow us on these social media sites!

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I hope you’ve taken some of the advice into consideration and will stop by the offices of Career & Leadership Development sometime. We’re happy to help with all of your college and career concerns!

Photo by UWW Career.

Friday Favorites – Top Job Searching Tips

December has been a busy month. With wrapping up job or internship duties, studying for final exams, figuring out your plans for the holidays and possibly even graduating, you might not have had any time to search for a job. That’s where I come in! I’ve provided you with the best job searching tips – from using a job board to utilizing social media. It’s all there!

Job search

If you’re searching for a job for the first time, have no fear! It’s not as hard and scary as it seems. There are many steps, but what better time to do them than over winter break?!

To get started…

  • First, do research. You need to find out what kind of company you would like to work for and if there are job openings. You can usually find a ‘career’ or ’employment’ tab at the bottom of the page.
  • You can also utilize job boards, such as Hawk Jobs! You can filter your search on many levels, you can post your resume so employers might see it, and you can even get e-mail notifications for when jobs you might be interested in have open positions.
  • Then, narrow your search. Which companies have openings in your state, or near the city where you live? Make sure you target your search so you’re only applying for the job you want, not a job that you might be qualified for and you might enjoy.
  • Beggars can’t be choosers. With that in mind, don’t pass up the good job for your dream job.

Create your personal brand

  • Make sure you create a professional profile on LinkedIn, and if your Twitter or Facebook profiles are public, make sure you clean it up incase an employer searches you. Be yourself, but do it with class. (via Ryan Park)
  • Make sure you know your personal brand as well. Mashable has a great step-by-step  formula to show you how you can create your personal brand!
  • Then, prepare your ‘elevator speech’. Now is no better time to prepare your ’30-second resume’! There are many aspects that go into this, and I suggest checking out this article which is all about preparing your own elevator speech.
  • When was the last time you updated your resume? Now is a good time to do that too, before you’re flooded with networking events and interviews!

Network, network, network!

  • Reach out to your network. Talk to your supervisor, your coworkers, even your aunt Sally. They could have great ideas for you and they might even know someone who works at your dream company.
  • Did you know that you can find a job on Twitter, LinkedIn, or Facebook? So the next time your mom catches you on Twitter while you’re supposed to be job searching, just present her with this article by Mashable!
  • This goes without saying, but make sure you are on your best behavior when out looking for a job. If you are dropping off your resume or waiting to talk to an employer,  the employer or receptionist won’t be the only one who will notice you. Dress appropriately, be prepared and be organized.
  • Never be afraid to ask questions! I’m sure employers would rather have a person clearly interested in the company by asking questions than a quiet one not saying anything.

While you’re waiting to be called back for that interview…

  • Volunteer! This will look great on your resume, and you’ll be able to mention that during your interview.
  • Read! Whatever job you’re applying for, make sure you’re knowledgeable on the ins and outs on the type of job path you’re going into and the company itself. Knowledge is power.
  • Travel! What better time to travel than now? Your potential interview, job boards, and dream job will still be there when you get back. If you’re worried about all the travel expenses, think about how quickly you’ll be able to pay them off when you score a new job!

What not to do while job searching?

  • Don’t hide out online. Sure, social networks can have their perks and benefits to job searching, but there are other ways to find a job, such as going to networking events, parties and having conversations face-to-face.
  • Don’t forget to prepare! If you do snag an interview, make sure you’ve done research on the company, have your resume up to date and dress nicely.
  • Don’t be a negative Nancy. Keep your head up, keep networking, and keep a smile on your face.
  • Never give up! Job searching can be tough, but if you stick it out, you may score that job you’ve always wanted.

If you’re still looking for more tips, check out Career & Leadership Development’s Job Search Strategies.

Photo by Kate Hiscock.

December Graduates – What Comes Next?

For those of you who are graduating in December – this post is for you!

Graduates

First of all, congratulations! The day is almost here. Graduation can’t come soon enough, right?! Your mind might be focused on December 15, your cap and gown, and your graduation party, but… have you thought about what happens afterwards? There are many paths you can take after graduation, such as working at a full-time job, joining a non-profit organization or going to graduate school.

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For those of you who have jobs lined up, that’s awesome. You’re ahead of the game! But for those of you who are still looking, it’s okay. Finding a job takes time, and there are a lot of factors that go into it. Take some of these tips below into consideration.

Create a Job-Search Plan

  • Don’t rely on just one method when hunting for a job or internship. Searching online at job boards, such as Hawk Jobs, is a great method, but you can expand this by searching directly on employer’s websites and looking for ’employment’, ‘careers’ or ‘internships’ towards the bottom of the page.
  • Make sure your resume is up to date. You never know when you’ll need to reference it or e-mail it to a potential employer. Going along with these lines, make sure you have a LinkedIn profile as well.
  • Network, network, network! It’s important to talk to people who work in the field you want to get into. If your mom knows a friend of a friend who is the CEO of that company you’ve been dying to work for, ask that person if you can set up a phone call or informal meeting with them. Also, mention to your friends and family that you’re looking for a job. Having that word of mouth factor can definitely help you out in the long run, and being connected will make it easier to find a job.
  • While you’re on the job hunt, keep yourself busy. This may not seem like a big deal, but when you have your interview for X company, I guarantee they will ask you, ‘What have you been doing since graduation?’ Be prepared to answer that question with: I’ve been volunteering at the local hospital/I’ve been working on a new hobby of mine/I’ve been helping my father out at his landscaping business/I went on a mission trip to help build a church in Mexico/I’ve been going to graduate school, or whatever it is you’ve kept yourself busy with.
——————————————————————————————————————–If you’re not ready to settle down with a full-time job right away, joining a non-profit organization may be the perfect option for you.Volunteering

 
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Graduate school
is another path to take after graduation. Did you know that UW-Whitewater offers a graduate school program?Kristina Stankevich, a senior at UW-Whitewater, is studying accounting. She will be graduating in December and continuing her education at grad school at UW-Whitewater. She used Hawk Jobs as a resource to find her internship.
 
‘After I graduate, I will be attending graduate school at UW-Whitewater. My first semester as a graduate student I will be interning at Schenck, an accounting firm in Milwaukee. The accounting program has an internship program set up through Hawk Jobs that I interviewed through and I was able to be placed at a firm. I haven’t been actively looking for a full-time job. I still have a year and a half left of graduate school, so I have some time to find a full-time job. My goal is to work with taxes for the entirety of my career. Eventually, I would love to work with International Taxes.
 
‘Kristina, we wish you the best of luck at graduate school and your internship. Also, good luck to all the December graduates!

As one last tip, the career counselors at Career & Leadership Development will always be a great resource for you to utilize whenever you need it. The career counselors aid all students and alumni of UW-Whitewater.

Connecticut College graduates

Photos by Tulane Public Relations and manjidesigns.

Be Proud of Your Veteran Status

Guest post by Josh Combs, UW-W alumni and Military Liason for Aerotek.

As the overall unemployment rate for veterans hovers around 9.3%, a significant decrease from November 2011, it is still astonishing to look at the unemployment rates for the National Guard (Army and Air) and the Reserve components, reaching as high as a staggering 17%. Now I’m not naive to think that all 17% of these individuals are hard charging, readily employable people, but I would like to think at the very least half of them are.

Military Police Practice Medical Evacuations [Image 2 of 3]

As service members in the Guard and Reserve see these statistics they are rightfully woeful in looking at the job market. And what these trepidations have done for some is something that I am embarrassed about as an employer and enraged about as a veteran – individuals are excluding their military experience from their resumes and are not bringing it up during an interview. Guard and Reserve service members are worried that a potential activation or a deployment will deter companies from hiring them.

As an employer, let me clearly say that you should make your military experience a prominent part of your resume and speak about it during your interviews.

Leadership

Every member of the military, through their own free will or by situation necessity, has led at some point. If you are an NCO (a non-commissioned officer), one of the main responsibilities entrusted in you is to develop and mentor those you lead. As a Senior NCO it is your responsibility to ensure mission success at all cost. Even as a junior enlisted you must always be aware of what your fellow Soldier, Sailor, Airman or Marine is doing around you, as your life and your mission depends on it.

If you are among the commissioned ranks, you’ve had 5,000-5,500 people looking at you for leadership. This leadership is not only wanted in the civilian job market, it is absolutely needed. Be sure to explain your leadership roles in the military in your resume.

Performance Under Pressure

Every day, CONUS or OCONUS (Continential United States or Outside Continential United States) service members are under pressure to accomplish a mission or task. The pressure comes in a variety of ways, from pressure above you in the chain of command, to pressure from the enemy, as well as the pressure we put on ourselves to succeed. In the “real world” the pressure may be coming from your boss, your direct reports, or your clients. Employers want and need to know that the individuals they choose to lead their organization into the future can handle the day-to-day pressures of the job.

Critical Thinking and Decision Making

We have all been faced with decisions in the military that can have a major impact on our mission. The decisions that we make not only affect ourselves, but also those who look to us in a time of distress. Our training and our ethos allow us to make these decisions with pinpoint accuracy to ensure that we stay on task and on target. As a civilian employee, you will be forced to make business decisions every day that will impact the people in your organizations. Your employer will need to know that you can make these decisions while thinking not only of your own well-being, but that of your employees, company, and clients.

These three traits just scratch the surface of what has been developed in every veteran and each of these traits are directly transferable to the civilian job market. Do not hide these abilities; be prepared to speak about them in specific detail. Do not think of your experience as something that will hinder your job search, rather, think of your experience as enriching, and something that will lead you to a fulfilling career.

You are among a very exclusive group. You have answered the call to serve your country, and you have written a check to the people of this country payable up to and including the ultimate sacrifice. Highlight this when seeking the next challenge in your life. And if you find yourself in front of somebody questioning the values that you bring with you background, ask yourself “Is this the right place for me?” Be proud to be a veteran. You have earned the title.

Josh Combs is a 2006 graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Organizational Communication. He currently works as Military Liaison for Aerotek, the nation’s largest privately held staffing firm. His job is to help service members make the transition from the military to the civilian workforce successfully. Josh lives and works in the Chicago suburbs and travels across the country in this effort. He has served in the Wisconsin Air National Guard, 115th Fighter Wing since 1999. He has deployed multiple times in support of OIF and continues to serve to date.

MILITARY RELIEF EFFORTS IN HAITI

Photos by DVIDSHUB and expertinfantry.

Where Will Your Career Take You? Tips for Preparation & Common Careers Abroad

Earlier this year we shared information about where the job search may take you. Traveling outside of Wisconsin after graduation is a huge step and it is even more significant when you desire to pursue an international career.

Side of the VE Monument

Traveling abroad has become increasingly popular. Every year, the U.S. has nearly 300,000 students study abroad in addition to the cultivation of unique programs such as Semester at Sea. Traveling abroad provides several benefits such as learning a foreign language and developing a global perspective. Now on to the big question: what happens when you want to work abroad?

Here are some tips on preparing for a career abroad and some common international careers.

 Documentation needs (Passport, Visa, and Work permit)

  • While passports may be applied for through the U.S. Department of State, obtaining work visas and work permits are a bit more challenging. Many countries will require that you have a job offer prior to obtaining a work visa or work permit. Additionally, some countries will require a special type of visa related to work (i.e. business visa, work visa) and a work permit. Going Global, a career resource located on Hawk Jobs, provides excellent information on work visas and work permits.

Getting a Job

  • Preparation: According to the Institute for International Education of Students, you are more likely to secure a job abroad after completing an international internship. In addition to international internships, working domestically, gaining proficiency in a second language, and building a global network are other ways to prepare for an international career.
  • Before or After: Make the decision as to whether you want to have a job prior to traveling abroad or after you have settled abroad. There will be challenges either way, but there are useful strategies for each situation.
  • Study your Country: Different countries have their own unique benefits and challenges. Make sure to gather information about the economy and top companies of the countries you are considering.
  • Build a Global Network: Take some time to get to know individuals from different countries in your field of interest. Try to find out more information about how they have prepared for and obtained their job. This is always easier when you have had some previous travel abroad experience. In any case, using LinkedIn can be a useful tool as well.

Common Careers Abroad

  • Government and International Relations: This includes Foreign Affairs, Government Intelligence, and work with the United Nations.
  • Domestic to International: I once worked with a student seeking marketing opportunities in Israel. After some searching, we found some companies and job postings. Many positions available in America will also be available abroad.
  • Teaching English: We shared some information on teaching abroad earlier in the year.
  • Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO): If you have a passion for issues that span internationally, such as poverty, women’s rights, or community development, then you may want to consider NGO’s with international opportunities.
  • Miscellaneous: Other common careers abroad range from agriculture (WWOOFing) to working as an Au Pair.

You never know where your career will take you! Stop by Career & Leadership Development to find more information about working abroad.

Photo by Ben Demey.

Find a Workplace of Equity

A group of UW-Whitewater students and staff attended the 8th Annual Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer & Ally College Student Career Conference recently. The conference is sponsored by Out for Work and was hosted by the University of Illinois – Chicago.

Finding the ideal organizational fit is a goal of all job seekers, regardless of the job seekers gender identity or sexual orientation. For individuals who identify as LGBTQ, finding an employing organization that is LGBTQ inclusive may be a deal-maker or deal-breaker during the job search process.

We want to share with you some resources and strategies that may help you better identify organizations that best align with your employment goals.

Resources:

  • The Corporate Equality Index. The CEI rates companies on 40 specific policies and practices that relate to workplace inclusiveness.
  • Out for Work has very good information on their website, including the HOT SHOTS 2012 publication highlighting young LGBTQ professionals, and includes a listing of LGBTQ inclusive employers listed on their job board.
  • The National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce has resources helpful for any job seeker. The site includes a listing of “Founding Sponsors”, companies who support the mission of the NGLCC, and may therefore be organizations that warrant your attention in your job search.

Strategies:

  • When you research employing organizations, search their site for Employee Resource Groups for LGBTQ employees. If one or more exist, this may be an indicator of a level of inclusion.
  • Contact local LGBTQ or PRIDE organizations within the community where the employer is located. If events are sponsored, like an annual PRIDE Parade, who are the sponsors of the events/parade? The organizations that support these events through a donation of funds or product may an indicator of a level of LGBTQ support and inclusion.

Last but not least, Career & Leadership Development is certified by Out for Work, which means that the staff are capable to provide quality career development advice to students and alumni who identify as LGBTQ. Web-based resources are available to help students learn more about support for LGBTQ individuals. Individual appointments may be made with your career advisor/counselor by contacting (262) 472-1471.

Ron Buchholz and Kathy Craney

Alternatives to Your Dream Job

graduation

Congratulations UW-Whitewater spring graduates! As you celebrate your achievements during various events, you are probably hearing several age-old quotes and clichés.

Graduation is a big thing, but you still may get doubts that the “the tassel is worth the hassle.” You earned a degree, but you may not be excited about your new employment or may have no job at all. Graduation can be sobering when you do not receive the outcome you expected four years ago.

Do not fear. Now is a good time to replace your worries with planning and preparation. Here are three roadblocks and four alternative career considerations as you pursue your ideal career.

Three Roadblocks After Graduation

“Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant.” – Robert Louis Stevenson

  1. Graduate School: It is amazing when someone pursues a graduate program in which they are passionate, committed, and prepared. The dangers of graduate school arise when one pursues graduate school just to avoid the workforce. Do your research before attending graduate school.
  2. The Couch: In 2011, the New York Post reported that up to 85% of graduates were moving back home. Disclaimer: Living at home does not mean a free-for-all on The View and Nintendo Wii. Continue to improve and develop skills through some combination of volunteering, internships, or other form of employment.
  3. Job Search Breaks: Continue your normal job search and set-up e-mail notifications for job openings. In addition, maintain your relationship with networking contacts and find ways to meet new contacts through various means (friends, family, professional associations, LinkedIn). Even if you have a job, stay up-to-date on position openings in your field.

Four Alternative Career Considerations

“Education is our passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to the people who prepare for it today.” – Malcolm X

  1. Duties of Interest: You may not immediately become a copy editor for HarperCollins or perform marketing for Google. For now, try to utilize the skills you love even if you are not working with the product, employer, or environment you love.
  2. Environment of Interest: Are you interested in working for the federal government? Get a job, any job, and use it to build networks and knowledge to help you move closer to your dream job with your employer.
  3. Service Programs: You may desire to build more experience or are still trying to discover fields in which you are interested. Try a service program to build experience and earn a few benefits along the way. City Year, AmeriCorps, and Milwaukee Teaching Fellows are just a few such programs.
  4. Temporary Work: If you are in the position to be flexible, staffing agencies can be a great way to build various skills. The key is to be  strategic about the types of positions you are willing to work.

Career services is here to help you develop and evaluate your job search strategies. Make an appointment at some point during the summer and we can assist you in your pursuit of your ideal career.

 “…if one advances confidently in the direction of his dream, and endeavors to live the life which he had imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.”
– Henry David Thoreau

Photo by Sean MacEntee.