To-Do List: Winter Break Edition

happy holidays!

Hip, hip, hooray! Finals are done, you’re headed home for a month-long break, and you have nothing to do but binge watch Netflix… Wrong.

This is the perfect time to be productive in your job search. Don’t get me wrong, you will still have plenty of time to rest, relax, and eat a lot of delicious food, but it’s important to take the time you have off from school to be proactive in your job/internship search. Here are a few tasks you should accomplish over your winter break.

1. Revamp your resume

Winter break is a great time to update your resume. Did you join a club, get promoted, or hold a new leadership position over fall semester? Don’t forget to add these accomplishments to your resume. This is also the perfect time to update your address, GPA, major, minor, and any scholarship awards that may have changed over the last four months.

2. Start the job hunt

This is the time when companies start posting summer internship applications. Make sure you are actively looking for job opportunities while on break. If you find any, take the time and apply for the positions you find. Capitalize on your free time now while you aren’t busy with papers, projects, and readings for your classes.

3. Network

You know all those awesome holiday parties you’re going to?! Use them to your advantage and network with your friends and family. Connect with people and let them know that you are looking for possible career opportunities in the ___ industry. You never know if a friend or family member has a possible contact that can help you land your dream job. Remember: it’s all about who you know.

 

Photo Credit: Melissa Brawner

How to Jump-Start Your Internship Search

Job search

The time has come to begin thinking about your summer internship. Yes, I know it’s only December, but some summer internship applications are already closed!

When I started my internship search last year, I had no idea where to begin; I had no industry experience, no connections, and no idea what to do. But I did have ambition, drive, and a good internet connection. Here are 3 ways to jump-start your internship search.

1. Reflect

The first step is to take some time and really reflect on your professional goals. Take a minute to consider the different career paths you could pursue, and where you would be happiest. For any major, there are a number of different careers to choose from, so make sure you know what you want to do.

2. Research

Once you have an idea of what kind of position you’re interested in, it’s time to research it. Learn everything you possibly can about the industry: Where are the best companies in that industry located? What is the job like? What is the industry culture like? Do they have a hiring season? These are all important questions to ask yourself. Nearly every company has a website. Use it to your advantage to learn everything about the specific companies your interested in working for. Also, check the company’s website for job openings; if there aren’t any posted don’t hesitate to contact their office to ask if they have an internship program.

Not only should you research the industry and the companies, you can also research the job market. Sites like InternMatch (that’s how I found my internship), Intern Sushi, and indeed are great internship search engines.

3. Reach Out

After you’ve found some perspective internships to apply for, reach out to people that work there. If you don’t already have connections to the industry LinkedIn is a great tool for finding people that work for a specific company. As awkward as it may seem to reach out to a complete stranger, it’s totally worth it. But don’t reach out asking for a job or an interview, when you connect with someone make the conversation about them. Fore example: ask them what they do on a daily basis, what they like about the job, or how they got to where they are.

 

 

Photo Credit: Kate Hiscock

Friday Favorites – Top Information to Gather About Career Fair Employers

So, you’ve printed out a dozen copies of your resume, you just bought new shoes, and you’ve practiced your elevator speech in front of the mirror every day for the past week.

All set for the Hawk Career Fair on September 25? Not quite. First of all, break into those new shoes! (You don’t want to go to the Fair with new shoes. That will make for sore soles and blisters!) Second, read these five tips on how to research employers who will be at the Fair. While you may have some of the  ‘fun’ stuff done, such as picking out what you’re planning on wearing and updating your resume, doing research is just as important.

New shoes

First, find out which employers will be attending the Hawk Career Fair. You can find this out on Hawk Jobs. First, log in where it reads, ‘Student/Faculty Login.’ If you’ve never been on Hawk Jobs before, it will require you to fill out your profile. Second, click the tab at the top that reads, ‘Career Events & Workshops,’ and then click ‘Hawk Career Fair.’ There will be a blue button at the top that says, ‘View Employers Attending.’

Know The Basics

You never, ever want to go up to an employer and ask, ‘So, what does your company do?’ Don’t make this mistake! Instead, find about 5 or 10 companies that are attending that you are interested in and browse their website – but don’t limit yourself to just their website. Their Facebook page or Twitter can also have some great information that might not be found on their website. You’d be amazed at what you can learn from their tweets and Facebook posts! Bonus points if you ‘like’ and follow them on Twitter!

What is some basic information you should know about them? Where they are located, if there are any job or internship openings, if the company is big or small, what products the company has released, if the company has won any recent awards, when they were established, and their mission statement. A good idea is to jot some of the information down in your padfolio (we’re giving away a couple at our Resume Doctor events next week if you don’t have one yet!) or a notebook and review the information before you start to talk to them.

Are They Hiring?

One of the main reasons employers attend the Hawk Career Fair is because they are looking for jobs or internships to fill. They are looking for YOU! You can find if there are open positions on Hawk Jobs, on their website or on their Facebook page. If you are having trouble finding the information, sending the HR employer a quick e-mail or LinkedIn message asking about jobs or internships won’t hurt!

Research About Their Open Jobs/Internships

It looks like the company you’re interested in is hiring! That’s great! But… your major and minor don’t exactly qualify you for the job. That’s okay! This is why it is good to research jobs and internships before you step foot into the Williams Center Gym. If employers might not see that your major or minor line up with the position they’re trying to fill, a good idea is to write down all your strengths, extracurricular activities and leadership positions that are relevant to the position you’re interested in.

Use LinkedIn To Your Advantage

A good idea to have an edge over the competition is to search your top 10 employers on LinkedIn. More than likely a UW-Whitewater alumnus may be employed there, and chances are they’ll be more than happy to talk about their experience at said company. A good idea is to send them a message or e-mail asking what the company culture is like, what entry-level jobs or internships are like, and what they like about working for the company. You’ll get some insider tips that can put you ahead of the other students applying for the same job.

Prepare Questions To Ask

Every company at the Hawk Career Fair will be different – even those in the same industry. This is where you need to dig deep and frame your questions to fit each company. If you know that a company wants you to apply online for a job, ask the employer who reviews the application, and what happens after you click ‘send’? If you’re applying for a specific position, ask the employer what the biggest challenges are for that position. If you didn’t get a clear understanding from the company’s website, ask the employer what their company culture is like.

I hope these five tips will help you at the Hawk Career Fair and other fairs to come! As always, the career counselors are here in Career & Leadership Development to help you every step of your college career.

Photo by Mingo Hagen.

What’s a Curriculum Vitae (CV) and How Do I Create One?

Research is an incredible way to prepare for graduate and professional school. UW-Whitewater has a number of opportunities to engage in research including the Undergraduate Research Program, the McNair Program, and various opportunities to participate in ongoing faculty research.

As you develop skills to become an effective graduate student, it will be very important to learn how to appropriately market yourself. When applying for employment, assistantships, fellowships, grants, and other opportunities, resumes will no longer be the document of choice. Instead, you will be asked to submit your Curriculum Vitae (CV). Curriculum Vitae is Latin for ‘course of life’. The purpose of the CV is to provide a snapshot of your education, professional background, and research interests.

Students in "class" on Bascom Hill

Academic and International CVs
There are two types of CVs: the academic CV and international CV. Several countries outside of the U.S. use the term CV to refer to their equivalent of the American resume. Domestically, it will be necessary to begin a CV if you fit into one of the following categories:

  • Planning to attend graduate school
  • Engaging in student teaching
  • Participating/conducting research
  • Interested in academia

CV or Resume: What’s the difference?
A CV and resume are both documents used to provide a snapshot of one’s skills and experiences. The CV differs from the resume in that it is:

  • More comprehensive and longer in length
  • Used primarily for jobs in academia, research and when applying for grants, conferences, or graduate school
  • Strictly a professional document that should be approached conservatively

How do I begin my CV?
Create a master CV document. It may be easiest to request the CV of faculty member in your field of interest to get an initial idea of how a CV in your field of interest will appear.

  1. Outline information. Outline the following information: contact information, education, professional employment, research experience (publications, presentations, grants, etc.), teaching experience, honors and awards, professional service, professional affiliations. The CV does not need to be limited solely to this information, but the aforementioned are a few samples. Accompany each experience with the position held, name of organization, dates present and location
  2. Create headings and organize. Create headings that are relevant to your experiences. The list in Step One identifies information that may be used as headings. Place corresponding experiences underneath headings. Research and teaching experiences are often the first sections following the education section. Note: In regard to section order, the most important information will be listed toward is the top of CV. However, information within each heading should be listed in reverse chronological order.
  3. Create descriptions. Fill in experiences with descriptions regarding your accomplishments. Use complete citations for research (including publications, presentations, and research in progress).

The CV length for undergraduate and graduate students will likely range from 2-5 pages. For more information, explore ‘Additional Resources’ below and make an appointment with a career counselor in Career and Leadership Development and faculty member in your department.

Additional Resources:
http://seaver.pepperdine.edu/careercenter/doc/CV%20Packet.pdf
http://chronicle.com/blogs/profhacker/creatingmaintaining-your-cv/26887 http://chronicle.com/article/The-Rhetoric-of-the-CV/131404/

Photo by joelrivlan.

Why Do You Want to Work for Our Company?

How many of you think about this question BEFORE you step up to an organization’s booth at a career fair?

Question mark sign

What attracts you to that booth? If you’ve done your research ahead of time, this question can be answered fairly simply. They have the prestigious name you’d like to work for. The work seems interesting and satisfying. There are benefits with the job. They have job or internship openings.

You are just looking for a place to land… Sorry, this last one is wrong! It implies you didn’t do your job ahead of time to research the companies that were coming to the fair. Let’s take a little look at how you can prepare ahead of time for the career fair.

  • Know what you’re looking for – Do you want an Internship? A job? What type of company would you like to work for? What do you want to do? What skills do you want to learn/use?  Think ideal internship/job. You can always adjust your criteria as you start your research.
  • Know who’s coming to the fair – Most career fairs will provide a list of the companies and organizations that are planning to attend. Research the companies/organizations to find which ones match (or come closest) your ideal list. Then, figure out if you meet their ideal list (they have expectations, too).
  • Put together your resume – This is a general resume that covers your skills, abilities, accomplishments, etc. It will appeal to a wider range of employers than the resume you will send when applying to a specific company for a specific job. Career & Leadership Development can help you. Schedule an appointment (phone: 262-472-1471; in person – UC 146) or email it for a review. Be sure to have another set of eyes look at your resume.
  • Print your resume on resume paper – Don’t print multiple page resumes back-to-back or staple pages together. In general, a one-page resume, well-written, should be sufficient for a career fair. Make enough copies for the employers you plan on seeing, plus a couple of extra “just in case” resumes.
  • Dress properly – Business dress is always appropriate, but at least come in business casual. You’re trying to make a good impression.
  • Practice your elevator speech – Tell me about yourself in 30 to 60 seconds.

Best of luck to you at this year’s Multicultural Career Fair!

Additional Information & Tips:

Photo by Colin Kinner.

How to SELECTIVELY Research Employers BEFORE the Hawk Career Fair

As a UW-Whitewater student or graduate, you’ve already had many opportunities to conduct research. Consider the upcoming Hawk Career Fair one of your best opportunities, because this time, the potential reward is substantial.

The Hawk Career Fair takes place on Wednesday, September 28, from 12pm-4pm in the Williams Center. At the moment, 106 employers have registered to attend the event. So, how do you find a list of the organizations that will attend, along with their jobs and internships of their recruitment interest? If you haven’t done so already, you can quickly establish an account on Hawk Jobs by logging in with your NetID at the Student Login at http://www.uww.edu/career/hawkjobs.php.

  • After logging in on Hawk Jobs, Click on the Career Fairs & Workshops tab
  • Under Category, select ‘Career Fair’ and then Search.
  • At Career Event Search Results, go to the Action column (on the right) and click on ‘Search Employers.’ Without using any filters, click Search to reveal the Organization Name, Industry and Website of all employers registered to attend the Fair. The best research option at this point is to click on the name of a particular organization name to reveal the Positions Available and Job Categories for which the employer is seeking candidates (for the ‘Hawk Career Fair). If an employer has attached a job or internship announcement to their profile, even better. Read the details of the announcement, and think of how you can connect your background to the characteristics sought by the employer. Be prepared to communicate the qualifications in your background to those identified in the announcement. Review the employer’s website, and mention something about that research that is relevant to your profession, that will distinguish you and which appeals to the recruiter.


Do you need to research all 100+ organizations? No, just do a selective, targeted search using some of the filters, such as Position Type, Major, or Job Category. By the way, some organizations may not have completely accurate, up to the moment information on their recruitment profile for the Fair. And although their profile may not have indicated an interest in your qualifications for the Hawk Career Fair itself, they may be interested in your qualifications in the near future, and by the time you graduate.

If you want to take your research one step further, use LinkedIn to identify UW-Whitewater graduates that are working for the employer in a similar capacity. Contact an alumnus, and find out directly from that graduate some personalized information about the employer, job, or internship itself. If you can take your research to this level by obtaining information from internal, informal sources as well as formal, canned sources, you will have an edge over your competition.

Photo by: sffoghorn

Interview Prep: Three Things to Do

If you’re graduating in a couple of weeks or looking for an internship, I hope you’re preparing for your interviews. In case you’re not quite sure how to prepare, here are some basic ideas to help you get started.

Self-Assess

One reason for an interview is for the person to determine if you’ll be a good match for the organization (and if the organization is a good fit for you). Think about why you are the best person for the job. What are your strengths, weaknesses, goals, and so forth? What do you bring to the job that others do not have? Make a list of your accomplishments and consider how they are relevant to the employer. Quintessential Careers has a worksheet that can help keep track of accomplishments in various areas of your life.

Research

Make sure you research the company/organization for which you will be interviewing. Also, research the department and position for which you are applying.

The company/organization website is a good place to start. Keep in mind that this is just a start. Here are some additional suggestions:

  • Vault – Go to Hawk Jobs. Once you’re signed in, look under “Career Resources” and click on “Vault.”
  • The Forbes 500
  • Job Search Intelligence (includes salary information)
  • Standard & Poor’s
  • Andersen Library
  • EquiRaise – a free calculator that determines average compensation increases (including wages and salaries and benefits) and cost-of-living adjustments based on data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

There are many other sites to discover and don’t forget to talk to others that currently work in the organization/company you’re considering. Also consider finding out about the companies competitors.

Practice

This is commonly referred to as a “Mock Interview.” You are welcome to call our office at 262-472-1741 and schedule an interview with one of our counselors. You could also go online and look for “Interview Questions.” The point is to practice. I recommend working with as many different people as possible to give you a better preparation.

If you have further questions about interview preparation, check out our website or contact our office.