SVSU Career Services
A publication from the Career Services Office of SVSU.
Contents Welcome 1 Four-Year Action Plan 2 Cardinal Career Network 3 Online Tutorials 4 Student Employment 5 Internships & Co-ops 7 Resume Overview 9 Writing Effective 10 Bullet Statements Sample Resumes 11 Cover Letters 15 Power Words 17 References 18 Career Fairs 19 Professional Dress 20 Social Networking 21 & Online Presence Interviewing 22 Graduate School 25 Welcome! This career guide is designed to help you identify the many resources available at SVSU’s Career Services office. Take a peek inside ― you will find advice on how to take the next step toward your future, whether you are applying for internships, your first job or even the graduate school of your dreams. It is one more way your university is serving you, to help you find your next step in life. At Career Services, we see your success as our success, and we will do our best to ensure that you have every chance to develop yourself as a professional. Feel free to stop by frequently, so you can walk out of SVSU saying ... i am ready for success! Resources Resources offered through Career Services include: ● Resume and cover letter assistance ● Nationally recognized Online Tutorials ● Mock interviews ● Interview coaching ● Career fairs on campus ● Workshops ● Internship and co-op advising ● Job search strategies ● Advice on how to develop your personal brand ● One-on-one advising ● On-campus job assistance ● Alumni placement surveys Be sure to use the online resources available at www.svsu.edu/careers 1 Four-Year Action Plan Freshman Year ● Meet with a Career Services staff member for one-on-one career advising to get you started ● Check out the "Online Tutorials" at www.svsu.edu/careers to learn about resumes and cover letters ● Attend a Career Services resume workshop to build your resume ● Build an effective cover letter; once you have created the general template, a customized version should be submitted to each individual job application based on the position and your unique qualifications for that specific vacancy ● Get engaged with Student Life to find out about student organizations and volunteer opportunities to add to your resume ● Explore the Cardinal Career Network for employment opportunities on campus and around the community ● Attend at least one Career Services event on campus – this is a great time to explore Career and Employment Fairs ● Develop your long term career plan and determine the steps you need to take to achieve your career goals Sophomore Year ● Edit and review your resume; have it critiqued by Career Services ● Check out the "Online Tutorials" at www.svsu.edu/careers to learn about interviewing and professional dress ● Explore the Cardinal Career Network for experiential learning opportunities like internships, co-ops, or job shadowing ● Apply to the SVSU Cooperative Education/Internship Program ● If you haven’t joined an organization on campus, do it this year ● Engage in volunteer activities through Student Life ● Go to at least one Career or Employment Fair to experience what it is like to network with employers – it is also a great place to search for co-op and internship opportunities ● Re-evaluate your long term career plan and make any necessary revisions in the steps you need to take to achieve your goals Junior Year ● Update your resume, have it critiqued, and upload a polished version to the Cardinal Career Network ● Gain acceptance into the SVSU Cooperative Education/Internship Program ● Check out the "Online Tutorials" at www.svsu.edu/careers to learn about interviewing and building a professional network ● Attend Career and Employment Fairs to research employers and look for internship opportunities ● Take a leadership position in your organization on campus ― a great experience and great resume builder ● Schedule a mock interview ● Check the Cardinal Career Network to sign up for an on-campus interview and apply for internships ● Re-evaluate your long term career plan and continue to take the steps you need to take to achieve these goals Senior Year ● Update your resume, have it critiqued, and upload a final version to the Cardinal Career Network ● Review the "Online Tutorials" at www.svsu.edu/careers to update your professional documents and review interviewing and ● Get references together from employers, faculty members, and advisors ● Apply for jobs: it can take a student four to six months to secure a position, so START EARLY ● Attend as many Career Services events as possible, including Career and Employment Fairs, workshops and etiquette dinners ● Network and apply for jobs at Career and Employment Fairs and on the Cardinal Career Network ● Meet with Alumni Relations to build a networking team for after graduation ● Don't forget, your @svsu.edu email address is yours as an alumnus free for life! networking strategies Don't forget to stay connected via the Cardinal Career Network. About 25% of all postings are under the "Career/Degreed, 5+ Years Experience category. 2 Cardinal Career Network The Cardinal Career Network is a free resource for students and alumni to search for open positions around the region, state and country. To access and search for opportunities: 1. Visit www.svsu.edu/careers. 2. In the “Access” box on the right-hand side, click on “Cardinal Career Network.” 3. Enter your Cardinal Direct username and password to access the database. 4. In order for you to continue to search for jobs, internships, and co-op positions, you must upload your resume. 5. Under “Employment Opportunities” there are two options: a. Select "Cardinal Job Postings" to search for positions that are currently posted only for SVSU students and alumni. There are various position types you can search for, including: Career/Degreed 0-5 Years Experience, Career/Degreed 5+ Years Experience, Part-Time, Internship, On-Campus Student Employment, and many more. b. Utilize the "NACElink Extended Job Search" to perform a keyword search by any location in the United States. The extended job search will provide results from other databases. Apply to those positions which match your interests and qualifications. Some positions allow you to submit resumes directly through the Cardinal Career Network, while others will direct you to the company’s website or will instruct you to apply via email. Read instructions for all postings very carefully as they vary and may require different information and documents, such as cover letters, reference pages, and transcripts. You will be in direct competition with other qualified applicants for positions. It is necessary that you spend some time to develop your professional documents and interviewing skills by utilizing the resources and advising from Career Services for document critiques, mock interviews, and interview coaching. At a minimum, students are encouraged to watch the "Resume Overview and Best Practices" video in the "Online Tutorials" section at www.svsu.edu/careers In addition to the nationally recognized Online Tutorials, there are also workshops available to assist you in preparing these documents. Schedules for workshops are posted each semester in the Career Services office and on the Career Services website at www.svsu.edu/careers 3 Our Online Tutorials are available at: www.svsu.edu/careers Online Tutorials Online Tutorials for Your Career Planning SVSU Career Services has been recognized by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) for its online tutorials for students and alumni. These videos supply students with a plethora of "how-to's" in regards to cover letter and resume construction as well as job search and interviewing strategies. Subject matter ranges from general overviews and best practices to detailed snippets addressing specific information either necessary or recommended for inclusion within the individual sections. After reviewing these tutorials, it is highly recommended that students and alumni also attend a resume workshop, schedule an individual appointment or email a resume for review at careers@ svsu.edu. By following-up with our office and attending one of these sessions, students/alumni will receive additional tips and strategies, attain clarification and reinforcement of key concepts, and be able to tailor their documents based on the personal recommendations of our professional and highly trained staff. Job Search Strategy Tutorials ● Building a Personal Network Interviewing Tutorials ● Overview - Four Stages ● Preparing for an Interview ● Types of Questions ● Managing a Panel or Group ● Following Up After ● Clothing Guide Resume Tutorials ● Overview and Best Practices ● Contact Information Section ● Objective Section ● Education Section ● Writing Effective Bullet Statements ● Relevant Experience Section ● Work Experience Section ● Computer Skills Section ● Honors/Awards/Activities ● References Section Cover Letter Tutorials ● Overview and Best Practices ● Heading Section ● Opening Paragraph ● Body Paragraph ● Conclusion going to check out the "Online Tutorials" at www.svsu.edu/careers today! i am 4 Your Financial Aid Award Letter, viewable on Cardinal Direct, may reflect that you are eligible for Federal College Work Study. For this to happen automatically, you had to have expressed interest in work study on your FAFSA and be eligible for the award. Work-study funds do not initially count toward any bill a student may have at SVSU. The student earns work-study funds if they are hired into a position, and the student receives a paycheck every other week. Student Employment Types of Student Employment The on-campus Student Employment Program includes part-time positions funded through Federal Work Study and SVSU's general fund. Being awarded work study does NOT guarantee a position on-campus nor does it guarantee that the student will be able to earn the entire amount awarded. Students must apply for vacant positions via the Cardinal Career Network. Students will be in direct competition with other qualified applicants. It is highly recommended that students develop professional documents and practice interviewing skills prior to application. Student Employment positions are funded in the following ways: Student Eligibility General requirements for on-campus student employment include: 1. Fall and Winter semesters: Undergraduate students must be enrolled for at least six (6) credit hours and Graduate students five (5) credit hours during both fall and winter semesters. Spring and summer employment: Undergraduate students must either be enrolled for six (6) credit hours and Graduate students five (5) credit hours during spring/ summer semesters or Undergraduate students be registered for at least six (6) credit hours and Graduate students five (5) credit hours in the upcoming fall semester. 2. Student employees must be current students at SVSU; incoming freshman and transfer students are not permitted to work until their first semester of classes. 3. All student employees must be admitted as regular students at SVSU. Guest students do not qualify for employment. 4. Student employees must have a valid social security number. Federal College Work Study (CWS) Federal College Work Study is a federal student employment program for students that have financial need. Under this program, the federal government pays the majority of student wages. Students are required to apply for financial assistance on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), which can be obtained from SVSUâ€™s Office of Scholarships & Financial Aid or completed online (www.fafsa.ed.gov). Based upon the studentâ€™s financial need as ascertained by the FAFSA information, students may be awarded Federal Work Study. This award allows students to apply for positions that require Federal Work Study as a qualification in addition to positions open to all students. Equal Opportunity Employment It is the policy of Saginaw Valley State University that no unlawful discrimination will be practiced or tolerated in the provision of employment, education, organizations, athletics, housing, public accommodations and other services to the public. Equal opportunity will be provided regardless of race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, age, marital or familial status, color, height, weight, handicap or disability. For additional information regarding student employment, please visit www.svsu.edu/careers Saginaw Valley Work Study (SVWS) Saginaw Valley Work Study is a student employment program funded by SVSU. In order to receive SVWS, a student must submit a FAFSA and be awarded Federal College Work Study. These positions are posted as requiring Federal Work Study on the Cardinal Career Network. Regular Student Employment (RSE) Regular Student Employment is funded entirely from the SVSU general fund. All enrolled students are eligible to earn RSE funding. Departments may choose to continue employing a student using RSE funds once they have earned their total Federal College Work Study award and if the department has RSE funding available in their budget. These positions are posted as "Open to all students" on the Cardinal Career Network. 5 Student Employment Application Process Online Via the Cardinal Career Network SVSU’s Student Employment Program positions are posted on the Cardinal Career Network, SVSU’s online job database. Full job descriptions are available on the Cardinal Career Network (www.svsu.edu/careers). Please read each job description carefully as positions posted have different eligibility and work shift requirements. You will be in direct competition with other qualified applicants. It is highly recommended that you spend some time to develop your professional documents and interviewing skills. Visit: www.svsu.edu/careers to learn how we can help! To Apply: 1 step2 step3 step Log into the Cardinal Career Network, www.svsu.edu/careers. Select the Student Login link. Enter your SVSU network Username and Password to access the database. Upload your resume under Documents. Under "Employment Opportunities", select "Cardinal Job Postings" and select “On-Campus Student Employment” under the "Position Type" option. (Note: You may also use the “JobID” option to look up specific positions under Keywords.) Apply to those positions for which you qualify. If you have questions regarding the Federal or Michigan Work Study Programs, please refer to the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid in Wickes Hall or www.svsu.edu/financialaid for additional information. 4 step5 step step 6 Tips to Success: ● Watch the Online Tutorials at www.svsu.edu/careers ● Attend a Resume Workshop ● Email your documents for an advisor to review ● Follow-up with a one-on-one meeting with a staff member at email@example.com during walk-in hours or by scheduling an appointment 6 Relevant experience in your field is one of the most important factors employers consider when making hiring decisions. By participating in internships, co-ops, externships and field placements, collectively referred to as experiential learning, you not only better your understanding of your future profession, but also increase your value to potential employers. Internships & Co-ops Co-ops A co-op is a paid, on-going relationship between the employer, student, and university. Students in the program not only gain work-related experience, but also actively participate in key projects. The co-op program is open to all undergraduate students currently enrolled at SVSU. (International students are required to provide proper work authorization to work off-campus.) Because of the high expectations, the co-op program has several requirements for participation, including: ● A minimum of 24 college level credit hours from SVSU or another accredited college or Non-Academic Credit Internships university must be completed prior to application.* ● Students must meet and maintain a minimum 2.0 cumulative grade point average (GPA). ● Candidates must have completed a minimum 24 credit hours in past academic year. ● Applicants must have at least one year of coursework remaining until graduation. ● Students are required to fulfill any additional requirements set forth by the employer or SVSU. ● Candidates must submit applications for the Co-op/Internship Program through the Cardinal Career Network. Visit Career Services in Wickes 270 or www.svsu.edu/careers for further details and instruction. An internship is an experience with a definite time frame (e.g., four months in the summer) that can be either paid or unpaid, and can involve projects that vary in intensity based on the student’s level of experience. Unlike co-op positions, the requirements for internships vary from employer to employer and by academic background. If you wish to participate in SVSU’s internship program through Career Services, you must meet certain requirements, including: ● Applicants must be currently enrolled at SVSU, regardless of class standing. ● Students must meet and maintain a minimum 2.0 cumulative grade point average (GPA). ● Candidates must submit applications for the Co-op/Internship Program through the Cardinal Career Network. Visit Career Services in Wickes 270 or www.svsu.edu/careers for further details and instruction. Internships for Academic Credit Internships for credit that are offered by academic departments have unique guidelines and should be followed per the department. Credit bearing internships combine a structured learning experience with academic requirements that must be met. If you are interested in an internship and wish to seek out information regarding earning academic credit, you must first speak to a faculty representative from your respective department. To earn academic credit, students must seek out an advisor within their department well in advance of the semester they wish to complete their credit-earning internship experience. In order to gain permission to enroll in the internship or independent study course, a plan with course content and requirements will be devised with your advisor. Credit is not simply granted to you without an academic component or plan. After a mutual agreement between the faculty, student, and employer with a well-defined description of tasks, academic components, and responsibilities, the student may receive permission from the faculty member for enrollment to earn academic credit. If you are an unpaid intern, please be aware of specific criteria for unpaid internships under the Fair Labor Standards Act of the U.S. Department of Labor. 7 *A freshman whose high school co-op employer has requested that the student continue their co-op at SVSU is exempt from this requirement. The Test for Unpaid Interns There are some circumstances under which individuals who participate in “for-profit” private sector internships or training programs may do so without compensation. The Supreme Court has held that the term “suffer or permit to work” cannot be interpreted so as to make a person whose work serves only his or her own interest an employee of another who provides aid or instruction. This may apply to interns who receive training for their own educational benefit if the training meets certain criteria. The determination of whether an internship or training program meets this exclusion depends upon all of the facts and circumstances of each such program. The following six criteria must be applied when making this determination: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. The internship, even though it includes actual operation of the facilities of the employer, is similar to training which would be given in an educational environment; The internship experience is for the benefit of the intern; The intern does not displace regular employees, but works under close supervision of existing staff; The employer that provides the training derives no immediate advantage from the activities of the intern; and on occasion its operations may actually be impeded; The intern is not necessarily entitled to a job at the conclusion of the internship; and The employer and the intern understand that the intern is not entitled to wages for the time spent in the internship. i am an intern in multiple employment settings, as opposed to skills particular to one employer’s operation, the more likely the intern would be viewed as receiving training. Under these circumstances, the intern does not perform the routine work of the business on a regular and recurring basis, and the business is not dependent upon the work of the intern. On the other hand, if the interns are engaged in the operations of the employer or are performing productive work (for example, filing, performing other clerical work, or assisting customers), then the fact that they may be receiving some benefits in the form of a new skill or improved work habits will not exclude them from FLSA’s minimum wage and overtime requirements because the employer benefits from the intern’s work. Displacement And Supervision Issues If an employer uses interns as substitutes for regular workers or to augment its existing workforce during specific time periods, these interns should be paid at least the minimum wage and overtime compensation for hours worked over forty in a work week. If the employer would have hired additional employees or required existing staff to work additional hours had the interns not performed the work, then the interns will be viewed as employees and entitled compensation under the FLSA. Conversely, if the employer is providing job shadowing opportunities that allow an intern to learn certain functions under the close and constant supervision of regular employees, but the intern performs no or minimal work, the activity is more likely to be viewed as a bona fide educational experience. On the other hand, if the intern receives the same level of supervision as the employer’s regular workforce, this would suggest an employment relationship rather than training. If all of the factors listed above are met, an employment relationship does not exist under the FLSA, and the Act’s minimum wage and overtime provisions do not apply to the intern. This exclusion from the definition of employment is necessarily quite narrow because the FLSA’s definition of “employ” is very broad. Some of the most commonly discussed factors for “for-profit” private sector internship programs are considered below. Job Entitlement The internship should be of a fixed duration, established prior to the outset of the internship. Further, unpaid internships generally should not be used by the employer as a trial period for individuals seeking employment at the conclusion of the internship period. If an intern is placed with the employer for a trial period with the expectation that he or she will then be hired on a permanent basis, that individual generally would be considered an employee under the FLSA. (Source: United States Department of Labor) Similar To An Education Environment And The Primary Beneficiary of The Activity In general, the more an internship program is structured around a classroom or academic experience as opposed to the employer’s actual operations, the more likely the internship will be viewed as an extension of the individual’s educational experience (this often occurs where a college or university exercises oversight over the internship program and provides educational credit). The more the internship provides the individual with skills that can be used 3 8 Because a resume is the employerâ€™s first impression of you, it should be flawless and professional. Resumes should be no longer than one page for most recent college graduates. Students who have a lengthy list of pre-professional experiences (like some education and healthcare majors) may require two pages. The following components are suggestions to include on your resume. Creating Your Resume* Heading Your heading should include your name, current address, phone number, and email. You should also include a link to your E-portfolio if you have one. It is important to use a professional email on your resume. Your @svsu. edu email is a good choice because it establishes a connection with the university and is free to SVSU alumni for life. Objective An objective is not required. If you choose to have one, it must be specific and succinct, and should support the position for which you are applying. Education Your Education section should include a full spelling of the degree, your major(s), minor(s) if applicable, and your grade point average if it is above a 3.0. Only list institutions where you are working toward a degree or from which you have earned a degree. Academic honors, such as the "Deans List" should be listed in this section. Relevant or Work Experience These sections should be listed in reverse chronological order, with the name of the employer, your position, location, and dates of employment. Each position should contain two to five bullet point statements highlighting your significant responsibilities and accomplishments while employed in that position. Anyone should be able to pick up your resume and have a clear idea of what value you added to your position. Relevant experience is defined as any related experience that an employer may deem relevant to the position for which you are applying. Involvement & Honors Your Involvement and Honors section should list any organizations to which you belong(ed) in reverse chronological order, along with any awards or honors you have received, such as scholarships. You may also include 1-2 bullet statements to clarify or highlight significant accomplishments or statistics to strengthen the value of the involvment or honor to potential employers. Computer/Technical/Specific Skills Some majors develop a specific skill set that employers require for certain jobs. Itâ€™s very important to include these skills on your resume to showcase your expertise and maximize your marketability. For example, graphic design majors typically develop a skill set that includes various programs including Adobe InDesign, Illustrator and Photoshop. Computer science majors may include Language Proficiency such as C++, HTML, Java and CSS. The same holds true for mechanical engineering students, majors in Health and Human Services, and so on and so forth.* 9 *Section-by-section breakout information is available in the Online Tutorials section at www.svsu.edu/careers Writing Effective Bullet Statements Overview It is said that “a picture is worth a thousand words.” Writing effective bullet statements can help you paint a picture in the mind of the person reading your resume. In order to effectively accomplish this feat, your bullet statements should be clear, concise and detailed. List accomplishments over tasks. Remember, in many cases the position title explains the duties that you performed. For example, writing that you "used a cash register" as a cashier adds no value to your resume. See the "Power Words" list on page 17 for more ideas. Bullet Construction Levels The stronger your bullet statements are constructed, the greater your value proposition will be to an employer. There are three levels of bullet statements: Level 1 (not very impressive): Listing your duties, tasks and responsibilities. Avoid using Level #1 bullets at all times. Examples: ● Dealt with customers* ● Stocked shelves ● Used cash register ● Cleaned store i am... never going to include level 1 statements on my resume Number of Bullet Statements Generally, you should include a minimum of two and no more than five bullet statements under each position listed on your resume employment history. *Think about the negative tone of certain word choices. "Dealt with customers" has a negative connotation. Rephrasing this statement as "Assisted customers" would convey a more positive attitude. Formatting Bullet Statements Bullet statements are intended to be concise and to the point. Do not embellish or use ten words when five will do. Your bullet statements may extend to a second line if necessary to clearly describe the accomplishment. Bullet point statements do not need to end with periods or other punctuation. If you choose to use punctuation, be consistent throughout the document. Level 2 (more impressive): How or in what way do you or did you perform Level #1 exceptionally well? Are there any additional duties that you initiated that were not part of your job responsibilities? Employers want to hire individuals that show initiative. Conveying Your Message For each bullet statement, use an action or power word that supports one of your professional strengths or skill areas. Do NOT recycle action or power words. In other words, if you "processed financial transactions" in one bullet statement, do not use the word "process or processed' in subsequent statements. Find another word to convey your thought. Use descriptive versus general language. For example, instead of writing that you presented to a group of students write that you presented to a group of 25 high school seniors. This strategy allows you to paint the person reading your resume a “word picture,” giving them a better idea of how you might be a good fit for their company or organization. Examples: ● Assisted customers in a warm and friendly manner ● Stocked shelves during down times to ensure a professional environment ● Processed financial transactions through the cash register in a fast and efficient manner ● Cleaned store to maintain an appealing atmosphere to enhance customer satisfaction Level 3 (most impressive): What value did you bring to your previous employer? Did you make something better or solve a problem? Employers want to hire individuals with a track record of accomplishments. Be able to support all Level #3 bullets with detailed examples or anecdotes during an interview. Examples: ● Earned Associate of the Month honors for outstanding service in June 2013 ● Created effective displays which increased monthly sales by 200% in a two-month period Don't forget! The Online Tutorials at www.svsu.edu/careers are a fantastic resource to help you put together a fantastic resume. 10 NOTE: Level 3 Bullet Statements will stand out. There is a big difference in the sample resume when comparing the Level 3 (accomplishment) to the rest of the items. Your goal is to list only Level 3 Bullet Statements on your resume Sample Resume 1 For most college students Joseph A. Joseph 7400 Bay Road, University Center, MI 48710 | firstname.lastname@example.org | 989.964.4954 | E-portfolio: www.svsu.edu/~jajoseph EDUCATION Bachelor of Science in Computer Science May 2016 (Expected) Saginaw Valley State University, University Center, MI Minor: Physics GPA: 3.66/4.0 RELEVANT COURSE WORK C++ Programming Computer Programming I & II Algorithm Design and Unix Visual Basic.NET Programming COMPUTER/TECHNICAL SKILLS Programming Languages: C++, Perl, SQL, ASP.NET, C, Java Applications: MS Visual Studio, Eclipse Application Server: JBoss, Tomcat Operating Systems: Windows, Unix, Linux Multimedia: Camtasia, Adobe Flash, Quicktime RELEVANT EXPERIENCE IT Co-op December 2013 - Present SpeedNet, Saginaw, MI ● Fielded customer phone calls to ensure quality assurance along the company’s range of products ● Oversaw the operation of the business’ servers and maintained the local network ● Assisted with the implementation of a wireless internet network to local residential and commercial properties WORK EXPERIENCE Sales Associate August 2012 - December 2013 American Eagle, Saginaw, MI ● Scanned incoming and outgoing merchandise for inventory control (This could be converted into a Level 3 Bullet Statement with numbers!) ● Collaborated on store projects with store management ● Facilitated store growth through various marketing and advertising campaigns PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT Club Red Ambassador January 2013 - Present Saginaw Valley State University, University Center, MI ● Lead prospective students and parents on campus tours to develop an understanding of SVSU and its programs ● Represent SVSU in the highest regard to demonstrate a cohesive and diverse environment for prospective students VOLUNTEER WORK Green Cardinal Initiative, Saginaw Valley State University August 2013 - Present Alternative Breaks, Saginaw Valley State University July 2013 - Present Big Brothers, Big Sisters, Saginaw, MI August 2010 - Present ● Earned "Outstanding Big" award for spending over 1,000 hours with four littles; all of whom went on to attend college (Example of Level 3 Bullet Statement!) INVOLVEMENTS & HONORS Conversation Pods February 2013 - Present National Society of Leadership and Success January 2013 - Present 1st Place, 24th Annual Sims Public Speaking Competition November 2013 ● Delivered a persuasive speech on the dangers of society's increasing dependence on computer technology Saginaw Valley State University Award for Excellence Scholarship May 2013 - Present 11 NOTE: Level 3 Bullet Statements will stand out. There is a big difference in the sample resume when comparing the Level 3 (accomplishment) to the rest of the items. Sample Resume 2 For students with pre-professional experience 7400 Bay Road, University Center, MI 48710 email@example.com | 989.964.4954 E-portfolio: www.susanbstudent.com EDUCATION Bachelor of Science in Health Science Saginaw Valley State University, University Center, MI Minor: Psychology GPA: 3.72 / 4.0 May 2017 (expected) Susan B. Student FIELDWORK August 2013 - present Physical Disabilities Mid-Michigan Medical Center, Midland, MI ● Evaluate and treat clients from diverse backgrounds and with various diagnoses in an inpatient rehabilitation setting ● Implement treatment following clinical pathways and protocols in an acute care setting ● Assist physician in assessing psychological effects of patient disabilities to provide the best and most appropriate care RELATED EXPERIENCE Medical Receptionist May 2012 - present Family Practice, Dr. Montgomery Shepherd, Midland, MI ● Aid in making patient visits with the doctor as smooth and relaxed as possible ● Prepare and update patient charts for physicians to maintain continuity ● Schedule appointments and receive messages using a multi-line phone system ● Collect, post, and balance monies from patients; file reports and charts (Very weak example – avoid!) WORK EXPERIENCE August 2009 - May 2011 Server Bennigan’s Restaurant, Saginaw, MI ● Reviewed patrons’ identification to ensure that they met minimum age requirements for consumption of alcoholic beverages ● Recorded customer food orders on order slips, memorized orders, and entered orders into computers for transmittal to kitchen staff (Notice how this is a task implied by the title) ● Checked with customers to ensure that they were enjoying their meals and took action to correct any problems PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT Club Red Ambassador January 2014 - present Saginaw Valley State University, University Center, MI ● Lead prospective students and parents on campus tours to develop an understanding of SVSU and its programs ● Represent SVSU in the highest regard to demonstrate a cohesive and diverse environment for prospective students INVOLVEMENTS & HONORS Health Professionals Association January 2014 - present ● Organized a charity event that raised over $5,000 for United Way (Example of Level 3 Bullet Statement!) Pre-Physical Therapy Club January 2014 - present Health Science Association August 2013 - present Saginaw Valley State University Award for Excellence Scholarship August 2013 - present 12 NOTE: Level 3 Bullet Statements will stand out. There is a big difference in the sample resume when comparing the Level 3 (accomplishment) to the rest of the items. Sample Resume 3 For experienced individuals 7400 Bay Road, University Center, MI 48710 | 989.964.4954 | firstname.lastname@example.org | E-portfolio: www.joejohnson.com EDUCATION Bachelor of Science in Secondary Mathematics Education Saginaw Valley State University, University Center, MI Minors: History and English Joe Johnson May 2008 CERTIFICATIONS & QUALIFICATIONS History (CC) 6-12 Mathematics (EX) 6-12 English (BX) 6-12 Social Studies (RX) 6-12 E2020 Online Learning Program, SASI Classroom Program, Integrade-Pro Gradebook, Turning Point Systems, Smart Board, PowerSchool, and Microsoft Office EXPERIENCE Math Teacher July 2011 - Present Bay City Public Schools, Bay City Central High School, Bay City, MI ● Develop daily and unit lesson plans to facilitate educational development for students in Algebra, Advanced Algebra, Geometry, and ACT Prep ● Institute subject-specific after-school tutoring system that led to a 10% increase in overall ACT score average (Example of Level 3 Bullet Statement!) ● E2020 Online Learning Program Administrator for over 1,200 users (Example of Level 3 Bullet Statement!) ● Learning Options Program Junior class STAR/Grad Plan Supervisor Math Department Head-Teacher February 2010 - July 2011 Beal City High School, Beal City, MI ● Taught Business-Consumer Math, Algebra, Algebra 2, Geometry, and Calculus ● Created and taught hybrid classroom online-learning courses ● Tailored teaching methods to suit individual needs of students from diverse cultural backgrounds to encourage development in all students ● School Improvement Co-Chair/School Technology-E2020 Online Learning Program Coordinator Math and History Teacher January 2009 - February 2010 Carrollton Public Schools, Carrollton High School, Saginaw, MI ● Taught 8 block schedule Math courses: Algebra 1, Algebra 2, Geometry, and U.S./Michigan History ● Instituted subject-specific after-school tutoring system ● School Core Skills Representative/Teacher Representative to PTO COACHING EXPERIENCE Varsity Baseball, Bay City Central High School July 2012 - Present ● Earned Saginaw Valley League Conference Coach of the Year in 2012 (Example of Level 3 Bullet Statement!) Varsity Golf, Beal City High School February 2010 - July 2012 Co-ed ALNet Softball, Carrollton High School January 2009 - February 2010 13 going to earn interviews by having a high quality resume! i am 14 Many employers require that a cover letter be sent in addition to a resume. A cover letter should be brief, specific, and convey the message you are trying to deliver - that you want an opportunity to interview for a position with the employer. Cover Letter Some necessary components to all cover letters are: ● A heading that contains your current address ● The date of the letter ● The recipient’s name, title, company name and business address ● A proper salutation (e,g., Mr., Mrs., Miss, Ms., Dr.) Additional information on cover letters is available in the Online Tutorials section at www.svsu.edu/careers COVER LETTERS TYPICALLY INCLUDE FOUR PARAGRAPHS. EACH PARAGRAPH ADDRESSES A DIFFERENT COMPONENT. paragraph 1 2 3 4 State the purpose of your letter and the position for which you are applying. Also indicate where you found out about the position, and thank the person and the company for taking the time to review your application. paragraph Inform the reader why you are interested in the position, and reveal how your qualifications align with the responsibilities and duties of the position for which you are applying. Always provide specific examples to demonstrate your skills. paragraph Now that you have informed the employer of your interest, market yourself. Make it known why you are the best for the position, and what skills and qualities you will bring to the job and the employer. Be modest, yet firm, and provide examples. paragraph Thank them again for taking the time to review your resume, and indicate your interest in an interview with the employer. Provide your contact information ― email and phone number will suffice. 15 IMPORTANT TIP: Avoid using a generic cover letter. Write a new cover letter and personalize it for every position for which you apply. Employers can tell the difference between the two, so make the effort. Sample Cover Letter 7400 Bay Road University Center, MI 48710 December 1, 2013 Dave Davison Human Resources Dow Corning Corporation 3901 South Saginaw Road Midland, MI 48640 Dear Mr. Davison: Please consider the enclosed resume as my application for the Human Resources Co-op position at the Dow Corning Corporation. I learned of this opportunity through an employee, John Johnson, and received additional information through the Career Services office at Saginaw Valley State University. Thank you for taking the time to review my application materials. While employed at XYZ Company, I utilized my administrative, organizational and communication proficiencies to perform tasks that included answering phones, responding to emails, running errands, sorting mail and using a multi-purpose copier. In addition, I helped multiple departments maintain documents such as invoices, statements, packing slips, non-conforming product reports and data analysis sheets. Most importantly, I ensured customer satisfaction by providing customers with elemental analysis before orders were completed and performed advanced research to resolve any customer issues. My background of working in a professional office setting and my education are excellent indicators that I will be successful in this position. A co-op position will allow me to utilize my administrative skills and gain professional experience in a corporate setting while pursuing a degree in business administration. I look forward to starting and advancing my career through a co-op position at Dow Corning Corporation. I would be happy to answer any questions you may have and would appreciate the opportunity to interview with you. You may contact me by phone or email at 989.964.4954 or email@example.com. Again, thank you for your time and the opportunity to apply. Sincerely, Susie Smith going to write a specific cover letter for each position I seek. i am 16 Using power words on your resume are very important when it comes to developing effective bullet points. Power words, or actions, begin each bullet point describing your responsibilities. Power words help the employer understand what you did with solid action. Power Words Communicate Recruited Addressed Advertised Arbitrated Articulated Authored Collaborated Communicated Condensed Conferred Consulted Contacted Conveyed Convinced Corresponded Debated Defined Discussed Drafted Edited Elicited Enlisted Explained Expressed Furnished Influenced Interacted Interpreted Interviewed Involved Joined Judged Lectured Listened Mediated Moderated Negotiated Observed Outlined Participated Persuaded Presented Promoted Proposed Publicized Reconciled Referred Reinforced Reported Resolved Responded Solicited Specific Spoke Suggested Summarized Synthesized Translated Wrote Analyzed Appraised Assessed Audited Balanced Budgeted Calculated Computed Conserved Corrected Determined Estimated Forecasted Managed Marketed Measured Netted Planned Prepared Programmed Projected Qualified Reconciled Reduced Researched Retrieved Investigated Located Measured Organized Researched Reviewed Searched Solved Summarized Surveyed Systemized Tested Inspected Instituted Led Managed Merged Motivated Navigated Organized Originated Overhauled Oversaw Planned Presided Prioritized Produced Recommended Reorganized Replaced Restored Reviewed Scheduled Secured Selected Streamlined Strengthened Supervised Terminated Integrated Introduced Invented Modeled Modified Originated Performed Photographed Planned Revised Revitalized Shaped Solved Routed Scheduled Screened Submitted Supplied Standardized Systematized Updated Validated Verified Technical Adapted Applied Assembled Calculated Computed Conserved Constructed Converted Debugged Designed Determined Developed Engineered Fabricated Fortified Installed Maintained Operated Overhauled Printed Programmed Rectified Regulated Remodeled Repaired Replaced Restored Solved Specialized Standardized Studied Upgraded Utilized Helping Adapted Advocated Aided Answered Assessed Assisted Clarified Coached Contributed Cooperated Counseled Demonstrated Diagnosed Educated Encouraged Ensured Expedited Facilitated Familiarized Furthered Guided Helped Insured Intervened Motivated Prevented Provided Rehabilitated Represented Resolved Simplified Supplied Supported Volunteered Leadership Administered Analyzed Appointed Approved Assigned Attained Authorized Chaired Considered Consolidated Contracted Controlled Converted Coordinated Decided Delegated Directed Eliminated Emphasized Enforced Enhanced Established Executed Generated Handled Headed Hired Hosted Improved Incorporated Increased Initiated Organization Approved Arranged Catalogued Categorized Charted Classified Coded Collected Compiled Corrected Distributed Executed Filed Generated Incorporated Inspected Logged Maintained Obtained Operated Ordered Organized Prepared Processed Provided Purchased Recorded Registered Reserved Responded Reviewed Teaching Advised Coached Conducted Coordinated Critiqued Educated Enabled Encouraged Evaluated Facilitated Focused Guided Individualized Informed Instilled Instructed Motivated Simulated Stimulated Taught Tested Trained Transmitted Tutored Research Analyzed Collected Compared Conducted Critiqued Detected Determined Diagnosed Evaluated Examined Experimented Explored Extracted Formulated Gathered Inspected Interviewed Invented Creative Acted Adapted Began Combined Composed Conceptualized Created Customized Designed Displayed Drew Entertained Established Fashioned Founded Illustrated Instituted Financial Administered Adjusted Allocated 17 References Page About References Building relationships with supervisors and professors is important to maintain a good circle of references that you will need when you apply for internships, co-ops, or jobs. A reference page includes professional and academic references that can speak to your abilities. Personal references should not be included; they tend to have bias and cannot speak to your professional attributes. This page should include the same header as your resume and cover letter and should include: ● ● ● ● ● ● Name of reference Occupation Employer name Employer address Employer phone number Business email TIP: Be sure to let your references know you are applying for positions and frequently update them on your job search. For Example: Susie Smith REFERENCES 7400 Bay Road, University Center, MI 48710 | firstname.lastname@example.org | 989.964.4954 | E-portfolio: susiesmith.domain.com John Smith, General Manager Mooney’s Ice Cream 1234 Some Road Saginaw, MI 48602 989.555.0000 email@example.com Dr. Sue Susan, Professor of Psychology Saginaw Valley State University 156 Brown Hall 7400 Bay Road University Center, MI 48710 989.555.1234 firstname.lastname@example.org Dr. Joe Johnson, Physician Mid-Michigan Medical Center 4005 Orchard Drive Midland, MI 48670 989.555.9090 email@example.com recommended 18 i am Fun Fact: The #1 way most organizations want to recruit college students and alumni are by meeting them at Career and Employment Fairs. Career & Employment Fairs Why You Should Attend Career Fairs Career and employment fairs provide an exceptional opportunity to network with employers looking to fill current positions or seeking candidates for future opportunities. In this day and age, society's reliance on social media and digital communication seems to have obscured the importance of face-to-face contact and the impact of a firm handshake. The truth is that Career and Employment Fairs are more relevant than ever and may be the decisive factor in obtaining gainful employment in a competitive job market. Attending career fairs and meeting directly with potential employers gives job candidates an advantage over applicants whom the employer has not had the opportunity to meet and vet directly. According to a 2013 survey by the National Association of Colleges & Employers (NACE), "nearly 40% of recruiters plan to attend more career fairs." Furthermore, "over 70% of human resource departments participating in fairs are expecting to hire qualified candidates," according to the Society of Human Resources Management (SHRM)/Career Journal Poll Search Tactics Survey. Career Services organizes several employment fairs available to students and alumni free of charge. Our annual employment fair schedule typically includes several fairs in which employers are hiring from a wide variety of industries: ● Fall University-Wide Fair ● Spring University-Wide Fair ● Summer Job & Internship Fair In addition, Career Services also puts together a industryspecific fairs for majors that might require a specific skill set for employment, such as: ● ● ● ● Accounting & Finance Fair Health and Human Services Fair Manufacturing & Information Technology Fair Education Fair Our website also lists a variety of off-campus Employment Fairs that are open to the general public. Please visit the Employment Fairs section of our website at www.svsu.edu/careers for a complete listing of employment fairs in addition to a link detailing job fair etiquette and tips for effective networking. 19 Dress for the job you want. For interviews, career fairs or other networking events, dress the part and be impressive. Your clothes say a lot about you as a professional so take the time to make a great first impression. Don't be remembered for something other than your answers! Professional Dress Professional Dress for Men ● Suit ― two- or three-button; black, navy, or gray ● Shirt ― long sleeve, solid white or pale blue ● Tie ― complements the suit (no graphics) ● Shoes and belt ― must match each other; polished; black or brown ● Socks ― match pants ● No excessive cologne ● Hair ― neat and trimmed; clean shaven or neatly trimmed ● Jewelry ― ring, watch or cuff links only if necessary; no earrings ● Remove visible body piercings ● Tattoos should be covered Professional Dress for Women ● Conservative suit ― black, navy, or gray ● Skirt ― no shorter than knee length ● Blouse ― solid white or pale blue; be mindful of showing too much skin ● Hosiery ― match suit or skin color ● Shoes ― polished with small to medium heel, neutral color ● Hair/Nails ― well-groomed with no loud colors ● Jewelry ― minimal and conservative ● Visible body piercings, aside from earrings, should be removed ● No excessive perfume ● Appropriately sized purse, bag, or briefcase, but only one ● Tattoos should be covered For more information and examples of appropriate professional attire, be sure to check out the "Clothing Guide" video of our "Interviewing Tutorials" available in the "Online Tutorials" section at www.svsu.edu/careers i am professional 20 By connecting with prospective employers through social networking, you can utilize online resources as a means for internship and employment acquisition. Social Networking & Online Presence Facebook As most are aware, Facebook is the largest and most popular social network. You use it to have conversations, post pictures/videos, and catch up with old friends. Unfortunately, many Facebook users disclose more information than they should. If you don't edit your Facebook site, it could have a significant impact on the way that potential employers look at you as a candidate, and might make or break a decision to hire you. Clean up your page: remove and untag poor photos, remove questionable wall posts, and edit your privacy settings for maximum security. However, you can use Facebook to your advantage. By “liking” pages of employers and companies in which you are interested, it keeps you updated on what’s going on in their worlds. It’s impressive to a recruiter when you know current news about their company. Career Services also uses Facebook to post news, articles, events, along with job, internship, and co-op opportunities. By “liking” SVSU Career Services, you will get special access to all of this FREE information that helps to foster your career and professional development. Twitter Twitter is used by many different organizations and people as another social media and networking tool. If used correctly, Twitter can be beneficial to your job search and to getting tips on career and professional development. By using strategic hash tags (e.g., #careers #resume #jobs #jobsinMI), you can find jobs that companies are posting on Twitter or advice on career development. Many employers have Twitter accounts dedicated solely to tweeting information about new job postings within their companies. Other smaller companies have general Twitter accounts. It is a good idea to follow these accounts for upcoming news on the company and information that might be helpful in an interview. The more you know about an employer, the better off you will be. Remember, unless your tweets are private, employers can still search for you and see what you’re tweeting, so be careful and mindful of the information that you are posting. If you have a job, be sure to add a disclaimer that your tweets are your own. In addition, if you follow Career Services on Twitter, you will get tons of tweets of information regarding events, career development tips and ideas, and job postings that we retweet from employers. Follow us @SVSUCareers LinkedIn is a professional social network. On LinkedIn you will find over 175 million students and professionals from around the world connecting. Instead of personal information, LinkedIn is like an electronic resume that houses information on your professional life, including student status, occupation, skills, involvements, honors and much more. By making connections on LinkedIn with prominent SVSU alumni, colleagues, peers and employers, you create a network of professionals. LinkedIn can be used to find jobs and opportunities, including a specific site for students seeking post-graduate employment (www.linkedin.com/studentjobs). In order to have an effective LinkedIn profile, it must be complete and current. Collect recommendations from past supervisors or peers, join groups, follow companies and most importantly, maintain your network by using LinkedIn. LinkedIn E-portfolios An electronic portfolio (E-portfolio) is a tool students and professionals use to showcase their academic and professional achievements via the Web. This visual representation of yourself allows employers to evaluate a comprehensive collection of your accomplishments and gauge your capacity for growth within their company. E-portfolios also demonstrate your organizational and communication skills as well as technological aptitude. When done correctly, your E-portfolio can be the first thing an employer finds if they Google you. 21 Don’t forget to Google yourself to assess the impression an employer could get if they Googled you! While a resume can get your "foot in the door," the interview is the most important element in the job search process. Through interviews, you and the employer have a chance to exchange information and participate in a discussion to determine whether you are a good fit for their organization and whether the organization is a good fit for you. Interviewing Tips Preparing to Interview Conversation Skills Despite your best intentions, if you have not practiced before the interview, you will probably make a mistake. Try not to abuse words and phrases such as, “like,” “uh,” “um,” or “you know.” These overused words and phrases are nervous habits that make for awkward conversation. Though acceptable in informal conversations, they may leave a lackluster impression of you with the employer. Body Language Exercise eye contact, a firm handshake, proper posture and a positive demeanor. It is important to maintain all of these in the interview. Be enthusiastic and interested. Research suggests that body language has over 50 percent impact on what you are verbalizing, so it is important to exercise it well. Know Your Resume It is inevitable that you will get questions regarding the work and educational experiences that appear on your resume. Be sure that you know everything on your resume and that you can answer questions about it, especially specific examples that demonstrate characteristics that you claim to possess. STAR Guide Be sure to review our Interviewing Tutorials, including "Types of Interview Questions" online at www.svsu.edu/careers in the "Online Tutorials" section. The STAR guide is a technique to learn and use for interviewing when answering behavioral questions about previous experiences. By utilizing this method, you are ensuring that your answers are clear, thorough and complete. Situation Task Briefly describe the background of your example and include your role. Share the details of the problem or responsibility you were charged with in the situation. Action Describe the various courses of action you could have taken and why you chose a certain action. Detail what you did in this action. Results Describe the outcome and/or resolution of the situation. If positive, what was successful? If negative, what could you have done differently? 22 Interviewers will ask a variety of questions to ascertain whether an applicant is qualified for the position and delve further to assess a candidate’s growth potential within their company. The following questions are not all-inclusive, but provide a guideline for several you should expect during the course of an interview. It is highly recommended that students participate in a Mock Interview through Career Services. Interview Questions Popular Interview Questions Tell us about yourself. You will likely be asked this question, so use it to your advantage! Stay clear of personal information. Answer using the most recent and relevant information. “I am a recent graduate of SVSU with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication. I enjoy keeping up with trends in social media, writing in my music blog, and creating infographics.” Tell me about a time when you... This type of question digs for information from you regarding a specific scenario and is commonly known as behavioral interviewing. The employer might ask about a time when you had to work with a difficult customer and how you handled the situation. They might ask you to describe a time when you had to work in a group. The STAR method is very valuable to counter these types of questions. Remember, "a time" is one, specific event. Situational questions are very common. The employer may want to see how you will react by presenting a hypothetical scenario. Answer thoroughly and try to incorporate examples of similar situations you may have encountered from previous experiences by using the STAR Guide. What would you do if...? Do you have any questions for us? Never leave a job interview answering this question with “no.” By asking an employer a question or two, you will exhibit interest in the employer and the position. Preparing these questions in advance is easy. Also, pay attention to the questions they ask you during the interview. Ask the interviewer questions that show that you learned new information about their company or organization. For example: ● What would a typical day be like? ● Can you tell me how success in this position is measured? ● Who would I work with most closely on a daily basis? ● What do you consider the most challenging aspect of this position for someone who is new to your organization? ● What are your major projects in the coming year? ● How do you encourage your employees to keep current with professional developments in the field? It is imperative to research the employer prior to the interview to avoid asking questions that are already answered on their website. 23 NOTE: It is highly recommended that students participate in a Mock Interview through Career Services. Common Interview Questions Other Common Interview Questions ● Can you summarize the contribution you would make to ● What do you know about our company? ● Are you a team player? ● How do you handle conflict? ● How competitive are you? ● What do you expect from your supervisor? ● Describe to me the best and worst supervisor you ever our department? ● Why did you choose to attend SVSU? (Tip: Know something about your program's accreditation to demonstrate an "informed" decision. For example, a business major may discuss AACSB and how only 20% of all business programs attain it.) is not asked directly, the answer to this should be woven throughout all of your responses.) ● Why should we hire you? (Be ready for this one. Even if it had. (Never talk badly about a previous employer.) ● How do you define success? ● What are the most important qualities necessary for ● Tell me about your most significant work experience. ● Why are you the best candidate for this position? ● Have you ever supervised anyone? ● What are your strongest skills? (Back up answers with success in this field and which of these qualities do you possess? with your instructions? ● How did you motivate a resistant student or client to comply specific examples.) ● How would you be described by former colleagues? ● How would you describe yourself? ● How would a supervisor or colleague describe you? ● When did you know you wanted to be in this field? ● What are your long-term career goals? ● Where do you see yourself in five years? (You may ● Tell me about the most difficult experience you’ve faced and how you handled it. ● Why should we hire you? (Be ready for this one. Even if it is not asked directly, the answer to this should be woven throughout all of your responses.) field today? ● What do you think is the most significant problem in our ● Why are you interested in this job? ● Why are you interested in working for us? ● Describe your greatest strength. ● Describe your greatest weakness. (The key to this wish to answer this in terms of skills acquired or further education.) ● What do you do in your spare time? ● What do you enjoy doing when you are not working? ● How do you relieve stress? ● What gives you the most satisfaction in your work? Why? ● What two or three things are most important to you in question is to be honest about a work-related flaw and to thoroughly describe how you are working to improve. By being honest, you can build trust with the employer in addition to demonstrating your ability to overcome challenges.) your job? Be sure to review the "Interview Tutorials" section of the "Online Tutorials" at www.svsu.edu/careers 24 The single best piece of advice in this process: Do everything early! Graduate School Graduate School While the graduate school process is a long one, and you may feel you have plenty of time to write essays, get recommendations, or take your tests, you will find that the time passes incredibly quickly. Donâ€™t let these deadlines sneak up on you and avoid unnecessary stress as you wait for the last professor to finish a recommendation or try to cram last-minute for the GRE. Start at least a full year in advance! Though the time it takes to prepare for the application process may depend on the program you are applying for, give yourself ample lead-time to fulfill any requirements. If you are changing careers or entering a program that is different from your undergraduate studies, you may find that there are prerequisite courses necessary in order to gain admission into your intended program. You also want plenty of time to gather information on the various programs in your area of interest and to evaluate the relative benefits of different schools before you start applying. Planning a year ahead will give you time to consider what you want out of your graduate school education, to gather information from various sources on the best programs and schools, and to assess the overall costs of graduate school. Interviews One of the best ways to gather information is to talk to people. Talk to experts in the field, talk to your professors, talk to people who attended the schools or programs you are considering. The most valuable thing you can do is to learn all you can about different schools and programs. Gathering information from a variety of sources is your first step to getting the answers you need. Source: GradSchools.com i am... 25 getting ready to apply to graduate school! Need help finding a program? Check out www.graduateguide.com for a complete guide to accredited graduate programs. Graduate School continued Applications You can begin contacting schools and getting graduate school applications at any time. Where you apply is based on a variety of factors. The schools you apply to should provide programs that match your interests. Additionally, you need to consider things such as geographic location and overall cost of attendance, including tuition, housing, and living expenses. The graduate school application process is highly competitive. Apply to enough schools so that you will have options should you not be accepted into your first, second, or even third school of choice. You will want at least one "safe school" that you are confident you can get into, as well as at least one school that presents a real challenge in terms of competitiveness. Tests Almost all graduate programs require some type of standardized test, whether it be the GRE, LSAT, MCAT, or GMAT. Since these tests have a significant impact on the success of your application, you might want to get some test preparation materials, and start studying! Recommendations While it is a bit early to be asking for recommendations as a first-year student, it is a great time to build relationships with your professors. You are much more likely to get a positive recommendation if your professors know you and can speak from personal experience rather than solely reciting a list of your accomplishments. If you have the opportunity to be an assistant to one of your professors during your senior year, capitalize on it. Take the opportunity to talk to your professors about your interest in graduate school. You may be surprised to discover how receptive they will be. They were in your shoes at some point and will probably be more than happy to help you with advice or assistance. Essays You can also begin drafting the personal statement you will need for your application essays. For some people, writing their personal essay is the most difficult part of the process; starting early can help alleviate the stress as deadlines are still far away. One benefit of writing your application essays in advance is that you are able to think through your reasons for pursuing a graduate education and consider your qualifications for graduate school. Frequently, students will learn something about themselves through this highly introspective process that helps them in better defining their academic and personal goals. This kind of clarity can be of great benefit when considering where to apply. 26 SVSU Graduate Programs SVSU Graduate Programs SVSU offers the following post-baccalaureate degrees and programs. Contact SVSU Graduate Programs at 989.964.6096 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or one of the appropriate departments for more details. College of Arts & Behavioral Sciences • Administrative Science (MAS) • University and Student Affairs (MAS) • Communication and Digital Media (CDM) College of Business & Management • Business Administration (MBA) College of Education • Education - Non-Degree & Endorsements Programs (TC) • Education Specialist (EdS) • Instructional Technology and E-Learning (MAITEL) • Post Baccalaureate Initial Teacher Certification (TC) • Principalship (MEd) • Teaching (MAT) College of Health & Human Services • • • • • • Family Nurse Practitioner (MSN or DNP) Health Administration & Leadership (MSHAL) Occupational Therapy (MSOT) Clinical Nurse Leader (MSN) Nurse Educator (MSN) Nurse Administrator (MSN) College of Science, Engineering & Technology • Energy and Materials (MEM) 27