ACADEMIC & CAREER PLANNING
Academic & Career Planning Park Center, 2nd Floor 919.760.8341 www.meredith.edu/acp email@example.com
Table of Contents Developing Your Career Plan
Explore â€“ Look Inward Your Four Year Plan
Beginning Your Job Search
The Job Search Process Learn Through Resources Strategies For Success Pros and Cons of Different Job Search Methods Personal Internet Presence: Job Seekers Self Audit Using the telephone How to Make a Career Fair Work for You Sample 30-Second Commerical Career Fair Etiquette 10 Tips for Finding a Job in a Challenging Job Market
Developing Your Resume
What Is a Resume? Resume Formats Resume Outline Sample Objective Statements Top 10 Most Common Resume Mistakes Emailing Resumes Scannable Resumes Resume Critique Form General Action Verbs for Resumes & Letters Skills Clusters List Sample Resumes References
Writing Your Job Correspondence
Guidelines for Letters Outline for Sample Cover Letter Sample Cover Letter Sample Thank You Letter
Preparing For Your Interviews
Interview Preparation 3 Stages of the Interview Process Questions Employers Will Ask Questions for Teacher Candidates What are Employers Looking for? Case Interview Questions Salary Negotiations Evaluating the Offer Illegal Interview Questions Handling Inappropriate Pre-Employment Questions
Deciding on Graduate School
The Application Process Graduate School Test Preparation Resources Timeline for Applying to Graduate School
5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 12 13
14 14 15 16 17 18 18 19 20 21 23 32
33 34 35 36
37 38 42 42 43 44 44 44 45 45
47 47 48
Developing Your Career Plan Explore - Look Forward Know yourself. Interest, skills, and values. Determine your interests. Activities about which you are passionate. What do you enjoy doing in your spare time? Recognize your aptitudes. The skills you have and those you want to develop. What do you do well? Evaluate your work experience and education. Acquired knowledge that will help you advance toward your desired career paths. What are your accomplishments? Recognize your personal qualities. Traits that make you a strong candidate. What unique characteristics define you? Select potential career areas.
Assessments to help you Strong Interest Inventory Helps to identify your interests. Based on your responses, a list is produced containing occupations that may be a good fit for you. Majors and campus activities you may be interested in pursuing are identified. A counselor will interpret your profile and you will receive a personalized report. Myers Briggs Type Indicator Measures your preferences for interacting with the world and making decisions. Although the MBTI is not a career assessment, it has strong career implications. It is helpful in understanding how you make decisions, gather information and the way in which your personality “fits” with different careers. It can also be useful in developing job search strategies that match your preferences. Work/Life Values Checklist Helps you better understand yourself and make more informed decisions about your preferred work environment. Career Liftoff Interest Inventory A career planning inventory that assesses interests and compares them to the interest profiles of various career fields. It also assists in identifying and exploring potential career fields.
Areas of career interest for further research and exploration What career fields do you gravitate toward?
Career Planning Seminars
What can I do with a major in...
CPS 101: Freshmen and Sophomores explore majors and careers. One hour credit, pass/ fail, half semester (twice weekly).
A convenient website that offers you: * A listing of typical career paths associated with each major * Customized resource for Meredith College majors * Types of employers who hire these majors * Strategies to get connected
CPS 301: Juniors and Seniors examine career options and design job search strategy. One hour credit, pass/fail, half semester (twice weekly).
To access this website, you will need to go to www.meredith.edu/acp. Scroll to the Academic Planning column and click on the link for Current Students. Select Planning Resources from the column on the left and then there will be a link to the website under the heading “Choosing A Major.”
Developing a Career Path Your Four Year Plan Freshman Year
Adjusting to College Work & Life * Meet with a career counselor in ACP for individualized career planning. * Check out books from the ACP Resource Room on occupations that interest you. * Take an assessment offered by ACP to explore careers consistent with your interests. * Take a variety of academic courses and stay open-minded about the selection of a major. * Get acquainted with your professors, academic advisors and counselors. * Identify your interests, skills and values and learn how they relate to the choice of a major. * Join a campus organization to gain leadership and communication skills and to focus on your interests. * Establish effective study habits, which may differ significantly from high school. * Attend study skills workshops, or make an appointment in ACP to discuss your study skills, time management, and learning style. Summer After Freshman Year * Get a job or internship that relates to your college major or career interest. * Gain work experience and start developing a strong business and work ethic.
Selecting a Major * Take CPS 101 for help in choosing a major and planning your career. * Utilize the Occupational Outlook Handbook to research various occupations. * Develop a resume to apply for co-ops, internships, and summer jobs. * Utilize the Meredith College ACP LinkedIn Group to search for an alumna in your area of interest. * Complete an informational interview via email and obtain information about her career. * Take a leadership role in an organization of your interest and/or participate in the LeaderShape Institute. * Declare major(s) and minor(s), if not already done so. Summer After Sophomore Year * Study abroad or get a summer job relating to your field and develop your skills. * Strengthen your resume by developing references and a good reputation.
Translating Academic & Personal Experiences into Academic & Career Planning Goals * Update your resume and develop a cover letter and have them critiqued by a career counselor in ACP. * Secure a co-op or internship in the area of your interest/major. * Take CPS 301 to relate your major to the job market. * Get involved in a professional organization related to your career field to expand your information network. * Get information about graduate schools, take the appropriate entrance examinations and apply to schools. * Seek to deepen conversation and relationships with professors, faculty advisor, and college staff, especially in major coursework, research projects, seminars, and student organizations. Summer after Junior Year * Excel in your summer internship. * Further develop job-related skills. * Compile an inventory of interests and qualifications and how they relate to your objective.
Implementing Your Goals * Check out the ACP calendar of events for the semester. * Update and refine your resume. * Complete your profile on CareerLink, upload your current resume and view and apply for jobs. * Map out your job search strategies: target and contact and follow up with potential employers. * Attend career fairs and networking events. * Evaluate job offers. * Report job offers and acceptance to ACP. * If planning to attend graduate school, follow up on applications and keep a record of the status of each. * Review your graduation audit to determine that you will meet degree requirements, and complete your application for diploma. Anytime * Make an appointment to talk with an ACP counselor. * Update your resume and have it critiqued by an ACP counselor. * Join professional associations in your field of interest and become an active member to build a network of colleagues in your field.
Beginning Your Job Search The Job Search Process
Begin with Self Assessment What are your: * Interests? * Skills? * Values? * Goals? * Personality Traits/Preferences? * Preferred Environment/Lifestyle? * Preferred Geographic Locations?
Use the information you gathered about yourself in the first step and compare it to the material in the next step.
Congratulations on getting a job! When things change, start the process again.
Begin your Job Search * Use a Variety of Strategies and Resources * Tailor Each Contact * Adapt Your Plan as You Go * Follow Up & Follow Through * Develop Support Systems * Be Persistent * Exercise Patience * Send Thank you Notes/Letters
Explore Career/Job Information * Read Job Descriptions * Evaluate Career Fields/Industries * Gather Information on Required Education, and Qualifications, Training Provided, etc. * Research Work Conditions & Environments, Relocation Required, Earnings, Benefits, etc. * Incorporate Current Events/Job Outlook * Conduct Informational Interviews * What Personal Qualities are Required?
Use what you know about yourself and actual jobs to begin looking for specific opportunities.
Now that you have gathered all the needed information, get started by applying to positions.
Develop Job Search Skills * Set Specific & Tangible Goals * Write Resumes and Cover Letters * Create a Job Search Plan * Build & Use Your Network * Complete Profile on CareerLink * Research Employers * Develop Interviewing Skills * Adapt When Necessary * Identify Resources & Use Them
Learn Through Resources Learn about careers through the information interview One of the best ways to learn about a specific job or organization is to conduct an information-gathering interview. Talk with a Meredith alumna or use other resources to identify a person working in a career field that interests you. Simply call and request an appointment, assuring the person you are not calling about a job, but seeking information to help make career decisions. Prior to the interview, learn about the organization by visiting their website. The appointment should not last longer than 3045 minutes. It is best to conduct the interview at the person’s work setting, although phone and email interactions can provide useful information. Dress appropriately for the work setting and always send a thank you note.
Sample informational interview questions: * Describe your career path. * How did you decide to pursue this path? * What are your responsibilities? * How do most people enter this profession? * What qualifications do you seek in new hires? * What is the employment outlook for the field? * What advice do you have for students who are preparing to enter this field?
Learn how to research an employer A key element to successful interviewing is communicating how your qualifications meet the employer’s needs. Familiarizing yourself with the field, the employer, and the position is an essential part of your preparation. Online resources are available through the ACP website. Additional resources include: Hoovers, ReferenceUSA, Wall Street Journal, Fortune, Forbes, Triangle Business Journal, Philanthropy Journal, Business Leader, Business NC, Triad Business to name a few. By acquainting yourself with information about the employer, you will be able to identify aspects of the job with which you can express genuine interest and enthusiasm. The more you know about an organization, the better you can position yourself for a job within it.
Important information to acquire: * Types of products/services offered * Rank and reputation within the industry * Responsibilities of a department or division * Movers and shakers within the company: major executives and their backgrounds * Past, present, projected growth: expanding areas of the organization * Problems facing the organization or industry * Size, location, structure of the organization * Projected human resource needs * Skills and personal qualities required * Realistic salary for the position * Legislation or political issues affecting the organization or industry
Top Skills Sought by Employers
Top Places To Be Discovered
Verbal and written communication Honesty and integrity Interpersonal skills Strong work ethic Teamwork skills Analytical skills Motivation and initiative Flexibility/adaptability Computer skills Detail oriented
Company’s internship program Company’s co-op program On-campus interviews Employee referrals Career fairs Faculty contacts Job postings on company website Student organizations Job postings on ACP website
Gain Experience * Seek a co-op or internship opportunity * Participate in volunteer, service learning, undergraduate research, study/travel abroad, and leadership programs * Develop a strong resume and cover letter * Create your portfolio * Attend interview workshops and practice through mock interviews
Find Opportunities on CareerLink: CareerLink is Meredith’s job posting and on-campus interviewing system. All students have an account and can enter the site. (If you have a problem, please contact ACP for assistance.) CareerLink gives you access to internships, co-ops, and full-time job opportunities. Students can also sign up for on-campus interviews with employers. * Access through Links at www.meredith.edu/acp * Enter your personal profile information. Be sure to enter the email you will be using for your job search * Upload your resume so that applying for jobs through the system will be easy * Use the employer information to target specific employers. Names and emails are available through this section
Connect with Graduate Schools * Attend graduate school preparation workshops * Have faculty and/or ACP staff member review your personal statement for graduate school * Complete individual study in preparation for an entrance exam * Review section on graduate school in the Career Guide
Connect with Employers * Develop your job search strategy with a career counselor * Interview with employers on campus * Attend career fairs * Participate in networking events and employer presentations * Join professional associations * Apply for jobs through CareerLink
Strategies For Success Get Organized Identify your skills, interests, preferences for work, and values: you will communicate these to employers through your resumes, letters, and during an interview Write a professional resume and have it critiqued by a career counselor Write a strong cover letter, identifying how your accomplishments and experiences match the job Prepare a portfolio if appropriate for your career (e.g., graphic design, art, public relations, communications, teaching) Create a list of 3–5 references including contact information – be sure to ask their permission first Participate in a mock interview Attend ACP workshops and events
Begin to use multiple job search strategies Stay open to opportunities and industries Realize that many opportunities are not advertised Explore the ACP website Upload your resume and apply for positions through CareerLink, the ACP job board Network with personal contacts, family, faculty, classmates, alumnae, former employers, co-workers, anyone you know! Make direct contact with employers of interest Research employers in a variety of industries that match your interests and those that may have positions available Personalize each letter and resume, matching your qualifications with the needs of the employer Review opportunities listed on employer websites Enter your resume into the database offered through your professional association Attend career and job fairs (see ACP website for dates, times, and locations) Attend employer information sessions and events on and off campus Participate in the On Campus Recruiting program
Top tips for your job search Research companies, organizations, and positions of interest (note sources below) Hoovers, database containing information on companies, people, and industries that can be helpful during the job search. Professional associations and employer web sites Membership directories for professional associations Research salaries – resources available in the ACP Resource Room
Follow-Up Write a thank you letter note after each employer contact Tell your references, others who have assisted you in your job search, and ACP when you accept a position or have been accepted into graduate school
Maintain a positive attitude If you believe you will find a job, you are more likely to find one! This job market will require your patience, confidence, hard work, and upbeat attitude.
1. There is more to the job search than just sending out resumes The job search includes self assessment, learning about careers and employers, and talking with professionals. In the grand scheme of things, responding to job postings will be just one portion of your search.
2. Use multiple job search strategies Limiting your search to one method (for example, just applying for positions online) limits your options. There are many jobs you will not find through the On Campus Recruiting program and there are many you will not find posted on Internet sites. If you want more options, use more methods, including networking, which is the #1 way Meredith students find jobs. Come to ACP to learn about job search (see next page).
3. Start early One year out is not too early to begin a job or internship search. Some employers find employees 6+ months before the anticipated work start date. If you don’t begin early there are still opportunities to be found, but you may miss out on some of the options.
4. Talk with others in your career field about how they have been successful Again, don’t limit yourself to one source. Talk with a variety of people that can help: faculty in your department, students that have graduated from your major/department, Meredith College alumnae, and networking contacts in the fields you’re considering.
5. Realize that your major oftentimes doesn’t equal a job title Think beyond your major. Some have a major that equals a job title, most do not. The workplace is not organized by academic majors. Instead, think about occupations, career fields, organizations, job skills, work values, and interests.
6. Understand that the job search is a job The job search is hard work and it is very likely that it will not be quick and easy. Your attitude and motivation will help you through the process. Expect to put in as much work as you put into a really tough course.
Pros and Cons of Different Job Search Methods Method
On Campus Recruiting program
Easy and convenient because employers come to campus looking for interns and full time employees. Interview in ACP
Not every industry or employer uses On Campus Recruiting to hire employees. It is associated with specific deadlines.
Not every industry, job field, or employer is represented.
Job Listings Online (ex: Monster, Careerbuilder, indeed.com, etc)
Employers list positions specifically for Meredith College students and alumnae. Posted positions typically mean an employer needs it filled soon so log on often for new postings everyday. Some organizations still use this method to post job openings, particularaly small companies.
Job Listings in Print
You’ll find some positions that aren’t posted online.
Not every industry or type of job is represented. Legitimacy of position/ employer is often a concern. Patience is required to navigate the Internet. Oftentimes entry level positions are not posted by this method. Not as convenient as viewing them online. You have to view them where available: ACP, newspaper, etc. First impressions are important. Must be willing to approach employers. You may not be looking specifically at the positions advertised at the fair, but more so at the organization and/or industry. You’re oftentimes exploring the type of industries that are hiring, not necessarily a specific position.
Speak with many employers at one time and in one place. A variety of career fields and industries represented. Oftentimes employers consider a variety of majors.
Networking: making contacts
Number one way Meredith College students and job seekers nationwide find positions. Many job openings are never advertised; networking is how they are found.
Takes time, effort, energy, and motivation. Requires confidence to approach and speak with professionals.
Posting Your Resume Online
It doesn’t hurt to get your resume out where it can possibly be seen by employers.
Passive job search method where you wait to be contacted. If your qualifications are in demand you may be contacted more than you want. If not, you’ll have to choose other, more active strategies. Membership dues may be steep for some organizations. It is best to join as a student because national conferences can be costly. Not job listings but a way to uncover organizations nationwide that you might be interested in targeting. Once you have a listing of employers, you must then investigate them and contact those that
Professional Associations Hoover’s
Networking while keeping aware of the latest in your career field. Volunteer for comittees, leadership positions, or present. A searchable database that provides information about companies and industries that may interest you.
Social networking for professionals. Contacts to obtain job leads. Recruiters use LinkedIn to identify potential candidates.
Students may have a limited network of professionals.
Personal Internet Presence: Job Seekers Self-Audit Facebook and other on-line networking sites are a great place to network, catch-up with old and new friends and keep up with social and campus events. However, they also create some problems. We encourage you to consider the following when creating profiles on these sites: * Do not include your address, academic schedule or any personal information that allows a stranger to know your location and/or the times you will and will not be home. * Do not upload pictures that you would not want your family, professors, other campus administrators and potential employers to see. * Do not join groups that you would be embarrassed for your parents, professors, other campus administrators and potential employers to see. * Check your profile(s) on a regular basis to edit posted comments and pictures that have been “tagged” by others. If you are not sure about a posting, a picture, etc, that probably means you should remove it from the site. If you are still unsure, a career counselor would be happy to give you feedback.
The following questionnaire is a good resource to “check” your online identity.
Job Seekers Self Audit: What is the email address you use on your resume? ______________________________ This email is: Permanent Expires in the near future In your opinion, this address is: Professional Funny Google Yourself Have you used a search engine to see what information about you is available on the internet? Regularly Occasionally Once Never If you have, were you comfortable with what you found? Yes No Is there Anybody Out There? Do you belong to a social networking site (e.g. Facebook)? Yes No For each site you belong to, would you be comfortable if an employer were to see your… Profile? Definitely Give me a half-hour Employers check Facebook?!? Pictures?
Give me a half-hour
Employers check Facebook?!?
Give me a half-hour
Employers check Facebook?!?
Give me a half-hour
Employers check Facebook?!?
Give me a half-hour
Employers check Facebook?!?
Do you belong to any student organizations or other groups?____________________ Have any of these groups posted your resume on their sites? Yes No I don’t know If you answered “Yes” or “I don’t know,” circle those organizations. If your resume is posted on the Internet, do you… Know when the resume will be removed from the site(s)? Yes No If you answered “No,” note that above where relevant. Have all of your contact information included? Yes No If you answered “Yes,” note that above where relevant You are What You Type If you have your own web site or blog, would you be comfortable if a potential employer were to read its content? Yes No Have you ever discussed a company, interview, job, etc. on your blog or web site? Yes No
Using the telephone… a networking and communication tool The telephone can be an efficient means of communicating and building relationships. For good telephone technique, consider the following steps to make each call an effective networking opportunity. Do your research: know the name of the person you wish to contact. Establish the purpose of the call, which could be any of the following: * to introduce yourself prior to sending a letter * to follow up on a letter previously sent * to set up a meeting * to request or provide information * to follow-up on an interview * to keep in touch Prepare an effective opening statement
Do you follow the “If you wouldn’t want to read it in the front page of the newspaper, don’t put it in an email” rule? Yes No Action Plan Based on your answers above, are you comfortable with the image of yourself that you are projecting through the internet? Yes No If you answered “No”, what steps do you plan to take to increase your level of comfort with your personal Internet presence? First, consider the areas (Google, posted resumes, social networking sites, etc.) where you have identified potential problems. * What could you fix immediately? * What is going to take some research? * What might take ongoing maintenance? * Is there anything that you would like to discuss with a career counselor in ACP? If you answered “Yes,” think about what strategies you may be interested in taking to improve your web presence. Goals and Steps 1. ___________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________ 2. ___________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________ 3. ___________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________ 4. ___________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________ 5. ___________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________
* Identify yourself * Include the name of your referral source * Establish rapport * State the purpose of your call Remember to be respectful of the employer’s schedule – inquire if the time is convenient for a conversation. Prepare relevant and thoughtful questions. Plan closing remarks: * Confirm next steps to be taken * Express thanks for time and help Then – just do it! Skill and confidence come through practice. Effective telephone communication can play an important role in your job search by connecting you with prospective career opportunities.
How to Make a Career Fair Work for You I. Prepare
III. Follow up
The better prepared you are, the more confident you’ll be.
Tell an employer about yourself and your interest in their organization during the career fair. Demonstrate confidence, interest and enthusiasm.
It’s not over when you walk out of the doors of the job fair. Effective, timely, and appropriate follow-up is a must.
Before the career fair: * Know the employers that are attending. * Research the employers you want to speak with prior to the fair. You should know: - Company History - Company Stability - Company Strengths - Company Job Description - Competitors * Create your game plan: Decide who to talk to in advance so you don’t wander aimlessly at the fair. * Clarify your goals: Why are you going to the fair? What do you want to get out of it? Prepare a list of questions to ask each representative. Be open to exploring a variety of employers. * Know your 30-second commercial (see next page). * Prepare for the questions they may ask: Why are you interested in our company? What skills and experiences do you possess that would be a good fit with our organization? * Make many copies of your clear, concise, and professional resume on resume paper. * Professional attire – business suit with professional blouse, closed-toe shoes with hosiery, conservative nail polish (if any), conservative jewelry.
During the career fair: * Communicate your 30 second commercial (see below): 1. Introduce Yourself (name, year, major, courses taken). 2. Convincingly, affirm your interest in the employer (opportunities you’re seeking). 3. Connect your experiences to the organization’s needs (skills, strengths, relevant previous experience). 4. Discuss the knowledge you have of the company in relation to the value you add. 5. Ask appropriate questions. * Present your clear, concise, and professional resume on resume paper. Use a professional portfolio to easily reach your resume for the representative. * Demonstrate your interpersonal skills: 1. Verbal and Nonverbal communication (smile, eye-contact, active listening, firm handshake, posture, proper and appropriate choice of words). 2. Be professional, yet enthusiastic (in dress, in choice of words, in attitude/mentality). * Ask for the representative’s business card/contact information. * Discuss timeline and appropriate follow-up with representative. * Take a few minutes after you leave each table to jot down notes/details about the organization, position, and follow up.
After the career fair: * Send thank you notes to each representative, reminding the employer of where you met and reiterating your interest in the organization and the skills and experiences you can contribute. * Complete proper follow-up as discussed with the representative. * Reflect upon your career options: 1. Utilize the contacts you’ve made. 2. Evaluate your interests, values, skills, and personality and how they relate to the needs of each employer to determine which one(s) may be a good fit for you.
Sample 30-Second Commercial The 30-second commercial is a conversation with the recruiter. While you will not follow this style/format word for word, this will be a good reference as you prepare to communicate appropriately with an employer.
My name is _______________________, a senior, __________major from Meredith College. I am very interested in your company because ______________________________. May I give you a copy of my resume? From the research I completed about your company I realized ___________________. Your company appeals to me because ______________________. As a ________________ major I have taken a variety of courses in _________________ that have prepared me for a role as __________ with your company. As well as taking a full load of courses I have also served as an intern with _______________ doing ___________________. These experiences are relevant to your company/available position because __________________________. As you can see from my resume I’ve also had a relevant part time job with _____________ as a _____________. This position allowed me to learn ________________ and has prepared me for full time work.
Possible questions to add to your 30-second commercial * What would it take to exceed your expectations for this position? * What have been some of the challenges previous employees have faced in being successful in this position? * What is your training philosophy? How often do you provide one-on-one training? * What factors are most important in your candidate selection process? Grades? Major? Experience? Campus activities? * Does your company hire on a continual basis or just at certain times of the year? * As an entry-level employee, what could I expect to be doing 2, 5, 10 years from now? * May I have your business card? Can you tell me about appropriate follow up I should take at this point? *What next steps would you suggest as I am very interested in this opportunity?
Possible closing statements
* Thank you for your time today. * I will follow up with you as you suggested. * I look forward to speaking with you again.
Career Fair Etiquette 1. Don’t interrupt an employer representative or your fellow job seeker. If the employer is being monopolized, try to make eye contact to let him/her know you’re interested in speaking. If that doesn’t work move to the next employer and plan to return later. 2. If you are strongly interested in an employer, learn how to secure an interview with their organization. Some screening interviews happen on the spot at career fairs. Other employers invite interested candidates to their site for first round interviews. 3. Be sincere and interested. Rely on your personal presentation and communication skills. 4. Use your time at the career fair effectively. Be strategic and get your resume in the hands of the employer representative. Plan to introduce yourself and highlight your relevant experience. Collect his or her business card before moving on so you can follow up. 5. Do your research before attending the fair. Know who is coming and those employers with whom you want to speak. Advance planning will help you stand out from the competition.
Top 10 Tips for Finding a Job in a Challenging Job Market 1 - Beat the apathy bug! Don’t let the news get you down and cause you to do nothing about your search. That is not productive. Remain optimistic and positive. Attitude is everything. There are opportunities out there…but you must hunt for them.
5. Build your experience. You may have to piece together opportunities like an internship, part time position, or even a volunteer experience. This could lead to a full time position later. Consider a contract or temp to hire position with a reputable staffing company as that might be your “foot in the door” at the company.
2 - Meet with a career counselor to help you stay focused and develop your personalized career plan. Have a very clear idea of the type of job you are looking for, assess your skills, and be able to provide demonstrable ways of adding value and the ability to “get things done” for a prospective employer. Employers are even more bottomline oriented in a downturn and need to be shown very clearly the value that a candidate can bring. Keep in touch with ACP and regroup to ask for help if a strategy you’re using is not working. You may have to reevaluate your strategy and adjust your plan. Remember, alumnae have our service for their lifetime.
6 - Stay open minded and flexible about opportunities, industries, and geographic locations. Being willing to move and consider opportunities that are slightly out of your comfort zone and area of interest but that could help you gain effective skills, develop contacts, and build your experience/resume can be effective. Attend networking events, career fairs, on campus recruiting, and information sessions led by employers that are held on Meredith’s campus and at other campuses/company sites to learn about opportunities.
3 - Think through your personalized marketing strategy. Develop an effective resume and cover letter. Tailor your documents….buzzwords, keywords…based upon the job description, company, and what you know about the opportunity and industry is a necessity. Most of the time this is the first impression you will make with an employer. Do employer research and master your interviewing skills. Think fully about your web presence, too. Google yourself and know the image you’re projecting. Be ready and able to converse with individuals you meet – even in informal situations. Know what you’ll say (your background, experience, education, what you’re looking for, impact you’ve made and value you’ve added).
4 - Focusing on companies that are doing well & adding employees. Look for small companies that might have opportunities as opposed to large companies. Sample resources for our area and other geographical areas include (but are not limited to): • Journals and Magazines: Triangle Business Journal, Business North Carolina (journals like these in other geographical areas), Fortune, Fast Company • Directories: Raleigh/Durham Chamber of Commerce (chambers in other cities), RTP.org , Hoover’s • Professional Associations: an extension of your student organizations
7 - Stay connected to people that you have worked with, know and trust. A lot of times the best jobs aren’t posted on job boards. They may only be uncovered by close connections or relationships with someone that knows someone who works at the company. Leverage your professional network: friends, family members (mom, dad, aunt, uncles, cousins, grandparents…), classmates, professors, former supervisors, former colleagues, alumni groups, community connections – professional organizations, volunteer organizations, networking groups, and social media websites like LinkedIn.
8 - Utilize job search sites. Keep checking industry specific sites and those more general such as CareerLink. Also, sites like Hoover’s can be a valuable resource.
9 - Treat others with respect throughout your job search…you may end up in front of them again.
10 - Once you’ve landed a job don’t forget about those who helped you. Hand-written, personalized notes to those individuals will go a long way. Who knows, you may need their help again in the future. Reciprocate your efforts by helping others when they may need assistance with their job search.
Developing Your Resume
So, you’re ready to write a resume? Or are you?Writing a resume requires careful thought, research and preparation.
Resume Guidelines * Be accurate and honest * Print on quality paper using a quality printer; use matching paper for your resume, letter and reference page * Carefully proofread to avoid any mistakes * Consider overall page design * Be consistent in format and style: readability, eye appeal and total positive impression should be your goals * Will likely be one, or at most, two pages regardless of amount of work experience * Omit all personal pronouns and use phrases beginning with an active verb * Omit high school information unless it relates to your objective * Update your resume every six months to reflect your desired focus or goal
Resume vs. Curriculum Vitae
A curriculum vitae (CV) is a comprehensive biographical statement, usually three or more pages in length. A CV is used in the field of higher education and concentrates on academic pursuits, research, teaching or presentation skills and published work. A resume is a summary of an individual’s educational, and work experiences as it relates to careers in a particular area, it is typically one or two pages in length.
What Is a Resume? * A brief summary of your work and/or experiences, educational background and skills. * A document that highlights your qualifications and experience as they relate to the job you are seeking. * A way for you to market yourself effectively on paper to a specific audience. * Use it to gain attention, arouse interest and generate action (an interview) so you can sell your strengths in person.
And remember, there are no “set rules” to writing a resume—only guidelines.
Resume Formats While there is no one right way to structure a resume, most resumes fall into one of three basic formats:
Chronological: Your education, employment and other experience are presented in reverse chronological order the most current first. Most common style particularly among college students and recent graduates.
Functional: Emphasizes qualifications, skills, and related accomplishments, rather than chronological listings. Skills are organized into categories that identify your functional skills. This style can be effective for re-entry candidates and career changers.
Combination: Information may be arranged to highlight functional skills within the basic chronological format. Relevant experience may be organized into skill areas in a chronological way.
Depending on where you post your documents, include your name, address (including zip code), telephone number
(with area code), and email address. If you will be moving from your present address within a short time, include a permanent address and telephone number where you can be reached.
Optional section where you can briefly state your current career goals. Build your statement around several areas including career field of interest, position title, type of organization, and functional skills. See page 16 for samples
Profile Summary or Qualifications summary Education
Use a summary section rather than an objective when you have multiple years of work experience (+5 years) and can reflect the depth and breadth of your experience. Used most often by experienced candidates.
Begin with your most recent education and work backward. Include your degree, major, concentration, minor, month and year of graduation, and name and location of college. High school information is generally not included unless it is of special interest to your audience or you are completing your first or second year of college. Regarding your GPA, the generally accepted rule-of- thumb for including your grade point averages is when it is 3.0 or higher. If your major GPA. is over 3.0 while your overall GPA is less, you may choose to include only your major average.
In reverse chronological order, list full-time and part-time
After a few years of working in a career related field: 1. Move Education section to the bottom of your resume and highlight experience first 2. Delete GPA
employment, summer jobs, volunteer work, internships, cooperative education, and other work–related experience. Use action verbs to describe your accomplishments, skills gained or used, and the value/impact you made to the organization. See page 23 for sample action words. Pages 20-22
Honors and Involvement
List the organizations to which you belong and the leadership roles you held. Highlight activities which are closely related to your career goals and/or the needs of the employer.
Specialized Information (space allowing)
Consider specialized headings that match your background with the employer’s needs. This might include Skills (computer, language, laboratory), Leadership, Awards, Study Abroad/Travel, Relevant Coursework, Publications, Projects, Presentations, Undergraduate Research, Service Learning.
A standard phrase, “References available upon request” is optional at the end of the resume, but not recommended. When requested, a list of references, with addresses, phone numbers and emails can be provided on a sheet separate from the resume.
References are not included on the resume but listed on a separate page. See page 32 for sample.
Sample Objective Statements: Accounting Entry-level accounting position within the banking/finance industry. Biology Laboratory research assistant with an emphasis on pathology, immunology, and pharmacology. Chemistry Clinical research position in a government or non-profit setting. Communications Entry level public relations position with an interest in corporate branding and media messaging. Computer Information Science Position that includes responsibilities for systems analysis and creating data systems, evaluation of programs and projection of future sales trends. Design Graphic designer with an interest in publication and website design. Education Seeking a teaching position in a corporate-owned preschool. Finance Operations analyst position with a global investment bank that requires the ability to develop and manage products, processes and services in ways that maximize profitability while minimizing risk. Human Resources Human resources generalist position in a large corporate environment. Management Management position in production utilizing my expertise and organization skills, supporting my commitment to customer service, employee development and continuous improvement. Marketing Marketing research position with a contract research organization fully utilizing analytical skills, communication within teams, and problem-solving skills. Mathematics Actuarial position in an insurance company. Political Science Lobbyist with special interest in individuals with disabilities. Psychology/Sociology Youth counselor position working with at-risk youth in an outdoor setting.
Your objective should: *窶ィriefly state your employment goals without getting too specific and ruling out consideration for jobs. *窶ェocus on what you bring to the employer, rather than what you want from them. *窶ズour stated objective is supported by the facts and accomplishments stated in the rest of your resume. * An objective is not required for a resume, but it can help to focus it. If you do not put an objective in your resume, you need to include it in your cover letter and be prepared to discuss it in your interview.
Top 10 Most Common Resume Mistakes
* Document is too long and/or paragraphs and sentences are long winded. Highlight the major areas which will help you get the interview.
* Spelling errors, typos, and poor grammar.
Forgetting to proofread several times.
* Exaggerated/false accomplishments and experiences.
* Listing references on your resume. Prepare them on a separate sheet of paper.
* Including discriminatory information such as race, gender, religion, national origin, political preference, height, weight, birthdate.
* Unprofessional email address.
* Inconsistent format.
* Using personal pronouns.
* Dates that are inaccurate, vague or not provided.
* Sending a resume without a cover letter.
Scannable Resumes Many employers use scanning technology to scan your resume into a database that can be retrieved later. It is then categorized or rated for positions based on the specific requirements of the job. Some formatting, such as underlining, shading, italicizing can interfere with this process and make it impossible for your document to be considered. A scannable resume avoids any feature that could cause misreading of your text. Do you need a scannable resume? It depends on the kinds of employers you’re pursuing. Large organizations that receive large volumes of resumes typically use this process. They may scan your resume that is received online or via email. Follow the directions of each employer about how they prefer to receive resumes. If you can’t find this information, ask the employer. If you don’t know if a scannable resume is necessary you could do one of the following: 1. Send two versions of your resume 2. Send one version of your resume avoiding any formatting that could interfere with scanning. As the job seeker it is your responsibility to provide your resume in the way that works for the employer and to make it easy for the employer to receive it.
For your resume to be successfully scanned follow these guidelines: Format: * No italics, underlining, shading, or other unusual enhancements. * You may use bold or ALL CAPITAL letters if the individual characters don’t touch each other. * Use a sans serif font like Arial, Helvetica or Tahoma. Don’t use fonts like Times New Roman because the characters are more likely to touch each other. * Use 10-12 point font size (use the same size throughout your document). * Don’t use vertical or horizontal line, graphics, or boxes. * Avoid two or more column formats.
* No bullets–instead, use asterisks (*) or hyphens (-). * No parentheses or brackets. * Even spacing throughout your documents and no tabs. * Left justification only–no centering or right margin justification. * For emailing (if the employer hasn’t given you exact preferences do the following): 1. Attach your scanner friendly resume as an MS Word document AND 2. Include the text (no font/ formatting enhancements) in the body of your email after your cover letter. * For hard copy: 1. Laser printed or high quality photocopy. 2. White or very light paper – no flecks or heavy texture that could interfere. 3. Don’t fold or staple and use a 9 x 12 inch envelope and paper clip your documents. Content: * Content should be the same as your traditional resume. * Employers use keyword searches to retrieve resumes from databases. Make sure relevant words are included in your document (ex: degree levels, job titles, computer skills or other competencies that are important in your field). • Focus on using nouns that indicate your accomplishments rather than verbs that highlight your duties. Research your industry and the requirements of the types of jobs you are seeking so you’ll know what employers seek and the types of keywords to include. Keywords can also be found directly in the position description. Keywords vary greatly by industry. Each time you apply for a different position your document (keywords, content) should change. * Make sure words are spelled correctly. Typos prevent words from being found by the scanning technology. Stay up to date: Trends with this type of scanning technology are continually changing and improving. Consult the employer to find out how they want resumes – including scannable resumes – to be submitted.
Emailing Resumes Emailing resumes is a common and acceptable practice these days. However, before you send a document this way make sure you have confirmed with the employer (either by their website or an individual within the organization itself) for the preferred method. There are a variety of ways you may send an employer your resume via email: * MS Word or PDF document attached to your email. * Pure text within the body of your email, following your cover letter. * OR both (if you can’t find instructions use this method and explain to the employer that you have done so to provide options. Do your research before sending your resume. Employers are too busy to try and open a document in a format that is not compatible for them.
View a sample of a scannable resume on page 31.
Resume Critique Form
Relevant Courses Create a “Relevant Courses” section if not
Use the following form to check for errors and look for ways to make your resume more competitive. General Pitfalls All headers (Objective, Education, etc.) should
implied by your major or minor and you need additional content. Use course titles, not course numbers. Consider listing courses in columns to maximize space.
be consistent in case (i.e. either all caps or all mixed caps or all mixed case).
Leadership/Honors/Involvement Include relevant professional affiliations, awards, honors, campus activities, or community involvements that relate to your objective. Try using a one-column format to increase readability. Omit references to specific religious denominations or political parties.
Use a consistent format such as:
Too long (for most this means limit to one page)
Computer Skills, Language Skills, etc.
Member, Psychology Club,
or too short (too much white space at bottom).
Consider adding a Class Projects section to your
Fall 20xx – Present.
Use spell check and proofread grammar
resume (if these projects are supportive of your
objective). Include the name of the course,
Use punctuation and format consistently.
semester and year enrolled, description
Use lower case and upper case letters
of the project, (e.g.: “Worked with a team of
five classmates to…”) and your
References “References Available upon Request” terminology is assumed and not necessary to add. Build reference list on a separate page and be sure your name is on it.
Header Your identifying information could/should include: name, permanent and/or current addresses, phone number(s), email address and personal website if it is professional. Consider putting your name in
Experience Provide job title, name of organization, city and state and dates. Use a consistent format: Lifeguard, Northridge Country Club, Raleigh, NC, Summer 20xx. Consider separating Relevant Experience into its
Reference information should include: name, title, place of business, business address, city, state, zip code, email (if available), and business telephone number. Could include the relationship to the
bold/caps/larger font size.
own category (including paid, volunteer, etc.)
person (a former supervisor, major
Drop labels for obvious facts such as “address”,
and combining unrelated work experience
under Other Experience. Include descriptive statements, especially for
Objective If you include an “OBJECTIVE” on your resume
related positions. Avoid passive phrasing such as
make sure it isn’t too specific or too broad.
“responsibilities were”, “duties included”,
An objective is a “theme” statement that should
“in charge of”, etc.
help you organize the supporting information in the rest of the resume.
Descriptive statements are more effective if they begin with an ACTION VERB (see page 22.)
Delete filler/fluff material and lofty,
Avoid using same verbs repeatedly. Vary usage.
Communicate your skills. Say you worked summers
Additional Data Improve balance of layout, spacing the information evenly through out the page, using appropriate margins or type size. Break up text to increase readability. Use highlighting (i.e. capitalization, italics, bold) to attract reader’s eye to key areas of content.
Focus on what you can do for an employer, not
in a warehouse and are interested in a business
If you have a second page, place name on it.
what you want from an employer.
career. Stating that you “loaded trucks with
Select a FAX/copier friendly white,off-white, or
Use it as a statement says specifically what you
furniture” doesn’t tell your potential employer
that you are detail oriented and accurate. You
You may not need an objective as may be
can communicate those qualities by noting that
redundant to information in your cover letter.
you “reviewed furniture orders, loaded in
ivory paper. Use 10-12 point font size.
proper order for the correct delivery, and were
Education List major, degree, month/year of graduation, name of school, city and state. E.g.: Bachelor of Science in Biology, May 20xx, Meredith College. List month/year of graduation. “Expected” or “anticipated” before grad. date if freshmen or sophomore. If you have more than one degree, list in reverse chronological order. Include your major or overall GPA if at least a 3.0. Do not include high school unless you are a
ensured accurate delivery of $70,000 worth of merchandise.” Include accomplishments, skills used, and results produced. Quantify when possible: supervised staff of 10, increased sales by 15%, handled up to $15,000 daily, etc. Use present tense for current jobs and past tense for former employment. List positions in reverse chronological order. Be more descriptive on related positions
freshmen or sophomore with limited
and delete or reduce descriptions on
Include only schools from which you have received degrees or are currently attending.
General Action Verbs for Resumes and Letters The use of action verbs can have a huge impact on your resume. It is a great way to communicate your accomplishments. Use action verbs at the beginning of your descriptions; present tense when you are currently in the position and past tense when you are no longer in the position.
accelerated adapted administered adjusted analyzed applied approved arranged attained audited awarded balanced broadened calculated catalogued classified coached collected communicated compiled conceptualized conducted constructed coordinated corresponded counseled created defined delegated designed developed devised directed drafted edited enabled encouraged enlisted
established estimated evaluated examined executed exhibited expanded expedited facilitated forecasted formulated generated governed guided implemented improved increased installed institued instructed inspected interpreted interviewed investigated launched led maintained managed marketed mastered moderated modified monitored motivated negotiated organized originated oversaw
performed persuaded planned prepared presented produced programmed promoted published purchased recommended reconciled recruited reduced referred reinforced reorganized represented researched reviewed revised selected scheduled simplified solved strengthened structured streamlined summarized supervised systematized taught trained translated wrote
Drop In Mondays 10amâ€“noon, ACP Bring your resume in for a quick review. To start a resume, attend our workshops, go to our website to learn more, or arrange an appointment by calling 919-760-8341. Resume tips on ACP Pinterest. www.meredith.edu/acp
Skills Clusters List Accounting Appraise Assess Audit Calculate Estimate Examine Figure Forecast Maintain Measure Prepare Record Verify
Administration Access Assess Coordinate Furnish Monitor Organize Process Receive Serve Track
Assess Clarify Conceptualize Conclude Discern Discover Dissect Illuminate Infer Interpret Observe Qualify Quantify Review
Build Choreograph Compose Conceive Construct Create Design Draw Entertain
Illustrate Mold Perform Render
Communication Addressed Advertised Arbitrated Articulated Authored Clarified Collaborated Communicated Conveyed Convinced Corresponded Debated Defined Described Developed Expressed Formulated Incorporated Influenced Mediated Moderated Outlined Persuaded Presented Proposed Publicized Reconciled Responded Solicited Summarized Translated Wrote
Arrange Assess Assist Contribute Counsel Guide Motivate Problem solve Serve Survey Train Troubleshoot
Counseling Align Analyze Assess Assist Coordinate Facilitate Help Inform Intuit Listen Perform Understand
Begin Combine Compose Conceptualize Condense Create Customize Design Develop Direct Display Entertain Fashion Formulate Illustrate Initiate Integrate Introduce Invent Model Modify Perform Photograph Plan Revised Revitalize Shape
Build Create Display Draft Draw Explore Formulate Layout Organize Pattern
Plan Sketch Style
Advise Amend Analyze Check Comment Compare Correct Improve Initiate Investigate Read Review Revise Rework Rewrite
Acquire Adjust Allocate Analyze Appraise Audit Balance Budget Calculate Compute Conserve Construct Corrected Deploy Determine Develop Evaluate Inventory Invest Manage Program Project Reconcile Reduce Research Retrieve
Fundraising Analyze Contact Coordinate Develop
Direct Inform Inquire Monitor Motivate Persuade Program Research Strategize
Mediate Organize Process Program Recruit Screen Select Structure Survey Train
Adapt Advocate Aide Answer Assess Assist Care for Coach Collaborate Contribute Cooperate Counsel Diagnose Educate Encourage Expedite Facilitate Guide Help Insure Intervene Prevent Provide Rehabilitate Resolved Simplify Support Volunteer
Compare Comprehend Converse Fluency Interpret Lecture Negotiate Proficiency Teach Translate Tutor Understand
Align Analyze Appraise Assess Categorize Coordinate Design Document Inform Interview Inventory Link Manage
Activate Change Create Design Establish Implement Improve Modify Restructure Stimulate Transform Upgrade
Investigation Analyze Examine Explore Interrogate Intuit Probe Pursue Question Search Seek
Advise Appoint Approve Assign Attain Authorize Chair Compare Consider Create Decide Delegate Direct Encourage Govern Implement Increase Initiate Inspire Lead Manage Merge Motivate Organize Originate Overhaul Oversee Preside Prioritize Produce Recommend Represent Strengthen Supervise Terminate Transform
Management Consult Coordinate Delegate Develop Evaluate Facilitate Listen Mediate Monitor Plan Schedule Strategize
Marketing Advance Advertise Analyze Announce Assess Boost Identify Improve Promote Quantify Review Survey
Organizing Arrange Assist Catalogue Categorize Classify Collect Compile Coordinate Distribute File Generate Liaison Maintain Monitor Obtain Operate Order Organize Record Review Schedule Simplify Standardize Streamline Support Systematize Update Validate Verify
Performing Act Create Dance Inspire Interpret Model Perform Play Present Read Sing
Persuading Arbitrate Articulate Challenge Clarify Convince Influence Inquire Mediate Negotiate Present Reason Reconcile
Program Development Analyze Construct Coordinate Design Develop Formulate Implement Monitor Persuade Prepare Recommend Strategize
Public Relations Assess Coordinate Facilitate Handle Negotiate Participate Prepare Present Promote Publicize Strengthen Troubleshoot
Research & Development Analyze Assess Clarify Collect Compare Conclude Conduct Critique Detect Determine Diagnose Evaluate Examine Experiment Explain Explore Formulate Identify Investigate Locate Measure Organize Prepare Recommend Research Review Search Solve Summarize Survey Systematize Test
Assist Convince Educate Handle Inform Negotiate Persuade Present Provide Sell Serve Trade Vend
Anticipate Assist Coordinate Enhance Help Maintain Prepare Present Serve Troubleshoot Welcome
Adapt Advise Amuse Awaken Clarify Coach Communicate Conduct Coordinate Counsel Critique Develop Educate Enable Encourage Entertain Evaluate Explore Facilitate Guide Individualize Inform Instill Instruct Motivate Persuade Simulate Stimulate Teach Train Transmit Tutor
Analyze Apply Assemble Build Conceptualize Construct Convert Design Develop Edit Engineer Implement Inspect Locate Modify Operate Overhaul Print Program Regulate Remodel Repair Replace Restore Solved Specialize
Standardize Troubleshoot Upgrade Utilize
Abstract Capture Conceive Conclude Construct Craft Express Integrate Interpret Inform Summarize
Sources: Virginia Tech Career Planning Guide Auburn University Student Handbook
Meredith C. Alumna
1111 Job Search Drive, Apt 11 | Raleigh, NC 27607 firstname.lastname@example.org (919) 222.0000
Seeking an administrative support position in which I can fully utilize my efficient problem solving and wellhoned organizational and communication skills in a highly stimulating environment.
Bachelor of Science in Business Administration Meredith College Customer service Event coordination Time management Written/verbal communication
EXPERIENCE State Employees’ Credit Union
Financial Services Representative
Volunteer Services Intern
Server/ New Hire Trainer
Production Line Worker
Spring 2013 Raleigh, NC
Summer 2010 Henderson, NC
Greet customers, take orders, assemble orders and receive payments Deliver pizzas and other orders in the absence of delivery people or in the event of high customer traffic Trained new employees on products, role responsibilities/duties, and corporate policies Received recognition from managers, fellow staff, and customers about my positive attitude and customer service skills Regularly asked to work special events not offered to other staff
May 2013- Present
Served as an assistant to volunteer services manager Put together meetings based on people’s availability Planned and organized luncheons and dinners for volunteers Assisted in the onboarding process for new volunteers including completing any necessary paperwork and taking them on a tour of the facility Worked as a backup for the front reception desk to assist patients and their families needing appointment information or directions
Microsoft Outlook 2010 Organization Skills Financial Planning Interpersonal skills
Provided top-level customer service phone support in a fast paced, high pressure work environment Reviewed accounts and provided detailed explanation to members regarding account activity Tailored personalized solutions for members with appropriate products and services based on their individual financial goals Maintained member privacy by keeping all financial discussions and arrangements confidential and secure Ongoing, continuous knowledge of changes in banking industry laws and regulations
Duke Raleigh Hospital
Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint Sensitive information confidentiality Supplies Management Setting up/managing reservations
May 2013 Raleigh, NC
Summer 2009 Oxford, NC
Enjoyed a variety of assignments in factory operations and frequently asked to work in other departments due to willingness to learn new things quickly Able to work well with others in a department known for tension among employees Earned one of the best attendance records in the plant throughout tenure and consistent high marks for meeting quality and productivity goals Working in a safe manner in accordance with Health and Safety requirements while meeting deadlines and keeping stock loss to a minimum
MEREDITH A. STUDENT Scannable 1234 Meredith Drive Resume Raleigh, North Carolina 12345 919-‐123-‐4567 email@example.com EDUCATION ========== Meredith College, Raleigh, NC Bachelor of Science in Biology, May 20xx Wake Technical Community College, Raleigh, NC Certified Nursing Assistant Program, July 20xx RESEARCH AND PUBLICATIONS ========================== *Contributor to workshop and booklet for NC Cooperative Extension, Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program Services Division *Research Presentation on Osteoporosis and Women to the Meredith College Community *Literature Review of Medical and Nutritional Journals in developing thesis WORK EXPERIENCE ================ IMPACT DESIGN-‐BUILD, INC., Raleigh, NC Customer Relations Assistant (20xx-‐present) *Assist in general office organization including extensive Microsoft Excel projects *Assist in client correspondence and follow-‐up for an Inc. 500 Company *Organize scheduling between customers and project managers in an efficient and accurate manner *Resolved client concerns using active listening skills WAKEMED CARY, Cary, NC Certified Nursing Assistant on Medical/Surgical Unit (20xx-‐20xx) *Served as first line of patient care for 20 patient load ensuring that patients’ needs were met *Measured and recorded blood glucose levels, heart rate, blood pressure, respirations, and comfort status FAMILY DENTAL ASSOCIATES, Raleigh, NC Dental Assistant (20xx-‐20xx) *Assisted dentist for small procedures and in sterilization laboratory contributing to the team environment BATH AND BODY WORKS, Raleigh, NC Sales Associate (20xx-‐20xx) *Provided product knowledge expertise including the ability to direct customers to product that matched needs INVOLVEMENT ============ MEREDITH COLLEGE NUTRITION AND WELLNESS CLUB, Committee Co-‐chair and Treasurer, 20xx-‐present *Organized Fundraiser and sold product to College Community, handled funds MEREDITH COLLEGE SENIOR CLASS, Fundraising Co-‐chair, 20xx-‐present WOMEN IN LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT CONFERENCE, 20xx
References A reference is a person who provides a recommendation for you when you are seeking employment or an introduction. A reference should be able to attest to your personal qualifications, work-related skills and dependability. Guidelines * List three to four references. * References generally should include at least one college professor and at least one former or present supervisor. * Always obtain permission from each person prior to using their name as a reference.
Meredith Student 123 Meredith Avenue • Raleigh, NC 27607 • 919 - 555 - 5555 • MeredithStudent@email.meredith.edu
References Dr. Jane Smith (Advisor, Professor) Professor, Department of Social Work Meredith College 3800 Hillsborough Street Raleigh, NC 12345 firstname.lastname@example.org 919.555.1234 Eric Jones (Current Supervisor) Program Coordinator Residential Services 1234 Harris Drive Chapel Hill, NC 23456 Eric.email@example.com 919.555.2345 Sherrie Graham (Former Supervisor) Director Cornerstone Homeless Shelter 234 Henderson Road Raleigh, NC 12345 SGraham@cornerstone.org 919.555.6789
Writing Your Job Correspondence Guidelines for Letters
Effective letters are as important in a job search as a resume. Em-
* Always mail a resume with an accompanying letter. * When possible, address your letter to a specific individual using the correct title. If you don’t know the name, look on CareerLink, company website, or call the organization. If you exhaust all resources and do not locate the name of the appropriate person, use the job title in the salutation (i.e., Dear Human Resources Director) * Individualize your letter for each employer; never mass-produced job search correspondence. * Use high quality stationery and typing, following standard business letter style. * Proofread thoroughly to ensure an error-free document. * Arrange the contents of your letter in a logical sequence, placing the most important items first. * Be clear & concise. * Keep your letter warm, personal, and professional, remember that business letters are formal, not informal documents. * Use language that is positive and active, conveying energy, productiveness, and benefit to the employer. * Keep a copy of all correspondence for your job search files.
ployers typically read the accompanying letter before they read the enclosed resume. A cover letter that commands the attention of the reader can play a vital role in creating employer interest in following up with a candidate. Cover Letter
This is normally the first letter you send an employer in response to a specific job announcement, and it is accompanied by your resume. In this letter, you are identifying the position for which you are applying and showing persuasively how well your skills fit the position. Its main function is to ask for an interview.
Thank You Letter
These letters may be written at a variety of times during the job search. Its most frequent use is after an employment interview. This letter may be brief, expressing your appreciation for the interview, reemphasizing key points discussed during the interview, and reiterating your continued interest in the position. Ideally, a thank you letter should be written within 24 hours.
It is used to accept a job offer, confirm the terms of your employment (salary, starting date, etc.), express your appreciation for the opportunity, and, of course, state your pleasure at joining the organization.
In today’s job market, an employer may ask you to email your resume. This should be accompanied by a brief, well-written cover letter. Focus on your skills and accomplishments, emphasizing why you would be a strong candidate. Be sure to include your contact information. Ideally the email cover letter should not exceed 3 paragraphs. Indicate that you are attaching your resume and the type of software (Microsoft Word) used. For positions you are seriously seeking, we suggest that you send a hard copy of your resume and cover letter. In the letter, indicate that you emailed a resume earlier. You will draw attention to your interest in the position and make it easier for an employer to share your resume with others in the organization. Be formal and do not start your email with “Hey.”
Outline for Sample Cover Letter (Your complete address) (Your City, State, Zip Code) (Date) Employer/Representative Name Employer/Representative Title Organization’s Name Address of Organization City, State, Zip Code
Dear (Representative’s Name): Paragraph I: “Why Am I Writing?”
Identify the type of position or inquire about positions in which you are interested. State how you heard about the opening or organization. Include a statement of “energy” that begins to create the match between the position requirements and your qualifications.
Paragraph II: “Who Am I and Why Should You Hire Me?”
Describe your skills, experiences, and qualities that relate to the position or area of interest. Provide examples of your strongest qualifications and how they relate to the needs of the employer. [While working at the XYZ Corporation as a marketing co-op, I developed my skills in sales and persuasive communication.] Give information that goes beyond what is on your resume.
Paragraph III: “My Next Step?”
End the letter indicating your strong interest in the position. Be assertive and state how you intend to follow up. [I will be calling you in the next week to discuss scheduling an interview.] Thank the employer for his/her consideration and interest. Sincerely, (Handwritten Signature) (Your name typed) (Your phone number or email address)
Meredith Student 123 Meredith Avenue • Raleigh, NC 27607 • 919 - 555 - 5555 • MeredithStudent@email.meredith.edu
April 18, 20xx Ms. Jane Doe Senior Recruiter, Sourcing Specialist, Clinical Sodexho 50 Washington Blvd. Gaithersburg, MD 55555 Dear Ms. Doe: With an outgoing personality, a passion for nutrition, and as a current Sodexho employee, I feel that I am a qualified candidate for the Resource Dietitian position you informed me of this past fall at NCCU. I enjoyed your lecture and as a new college graduate, found the information you provided to be very beneficial to my ongoing career search. I will be completing a dietetic internship at Meredith College in the next few weeks, and it has equipped me with skills and experiences that will undoubtedly make me a talented dietitian. Having been trained to be a clinical dietitian at Duke University Hospital, I have experience using critical thinking and medical nutrition therapy with a variety of high-risk adult and pediatric patients. I have had many public speaking opportunities that have further developed confidence and professionalism as part of my character. In addition to these experiences, I have been selected to travel to Dallas, TX this May to intern at the worldrenowned Cooper Clinic for Preventative Medicine. I am excited about this opportunity as it will further both my counseling and clinical skills. It is my belief that all of these skills can benefit Sodexho, the leading employer of Clinical Dietitians in North America. I look forward to hearing from you to learn more about this position as a Resource Dietitian and to discuss my qualifications with you in person. You may reach me at (919) 555-5555 or via email at MeredithStudent@email.meredith.edu. Thank you for your consideration. Sincerely,
Meredith Student Meredith Student
Sample Thank You Letter
A.Meredith Student firstname.lastname@example.org (919) 888-8888 8888 Cumberton Drive, Cary, NC 27511
September 01, 20xx
Jane Dean Senior Account Coordinator Howard Agency 2359 Fayetteville Street Raleigh, NC 27607 Dear Ms. Dean: It was very enjoyable to speak with you today about the assistant account coordinator position at the Howard Agency. The job, as you presented it, seems to be a very good match for my skills and interests. The creative approach to account management that you described confirmed my desire to work with you. In addition to my enthusiasm, I will bring to the position strong writing skills, assertiveness and the ability to encourage others to work cooperatively with the department. My artistic background will help me to work with artists on staff and provide me with an understanding of the visual aspects of our work. I understand your need for administrative support. My detail orientation and organizational skills will help to free you to deal with larger issues. I neglected to mention during my interview that I had worked for two summers as a temporary office worker. This experience helped me to develop my secretarial and clerical skills. I appreciate the time you took to interview me. I am very interested in working for you and look forward to hearing from you about this position. Sincerely, Your Signature A. Meredith Student
Preparing for Your Interviews Interview Preparation A few things to know about interviewing: * Interviewing requires advance planning, preparation, and practice. * Interviewing is an interactive process. * Interviewers are human too. * An interview is a conversation with a purpose. * You, too, have decisions in the interview process.
Whether you’ve had one interview or 21 interviews, you’ll find that all interviews are different: * Some interviewers are skilled at interviewing; others are not. * Some interviewers are talkative; others let you do all the talking. * Some interviews are highly structured; others are more conversational.
Your challenge is to be ready for any style.
To prepare for any type of interview think about it in 3 stages: 1. Before the interview (Preparation) 2. During the interview (Communication) 3. After the interview (Follow up)
Knowing yourself and the employer and how to communicate that information to an interviewer is essential to landing a full time, part time, co-op/internship position. Perfect practice is vital to your success!
Types of Interviews In an interview, an employer wants to see if you have the knowledge, skills, and competencies to do the job, if you understand the requirements for the position, and how well you will fit into the organization’s culture. Employers often use different types of interviews to gather this information.
Screening interview * You will exchange information, focused on questions about your skills and experiences. * Usually an even flow of information between the interviewer and interviewee. * Some interviewers will incorporate behavioral interviewing strategies in a screening interview. * On-campus interviews are typically this type.
Telephone interviews * Common when an employer wishes to screen candidates before bringing a few in for an interview. * This interview often indicates you have exhibited some of the skills and experiences sought. * If an employer calls unexpectedly, you can request to schedule the conversation at another time to prepare and be focused on the interview. The employer, however, may not be willing to delay the interview and you must adapt accordingly. Always be prepared to respond professionally to all phone calls. * Some of the items you should have in front of you during the phone interview are your resume, company information, and the key points you want to share.
Group interviews * Occur occasionally when employers want to talk with many candidates at one time. * You may, as a group, be given a problem to solve and explain your best strategy is to be involved,
rather than being aggressive or passive in the interaction. You want to balance your ability to lead, listen, and follow directions.
Panel interviews * Several interviewers gather to ask questions often as a time-saving device for employers. * You want to respond first to the person asking the question, and then make eye contact with the remainder of the group throughout the answer.
Case interviews * Used primarily by consulting firms and for higher level positions. * The interview simulates a work issue of the job and involves a presentation on the hypothetical or real business case or quantitative problem. * An employer is evaluating your problem solving skills when dealing with difficult situations. A case interview requires intense preparation with practice cases.
Behavioral interviews * Asks job candidates to provide concrete evidence of their qualifications in behavioral terms. Based on the premise that the best predictor of future potential is past performance. * The interview focuses on identifying specific examples in an applicant’s background that document skill in the areas relevant to the job description. * Be prepared to discuss specific, concrete, and relevant behaviors in an employment interview. You will be demonstrating the attributes of initiative, problem–solving, planning, communication, motivation, and maturity that most interviewers are seeking in potential employees. (See additional information on Behavioral Interview Questions).
3 Stages of the Interview Process:
Do not underestimate the importance of your personal appearance. Personal neatness and cleanliness are important and you are expected to dress as if you would immediately fit into that company. You do not need a lot of clothes for interviewing, but what you have should be of good quality, properly fitted, clean and well pressed, and reflective of current business styles. Follow these tips.
1. Before the Interview (Preparation) Overview:
* Bring a folder/portfolio to hold additional resume copies and a pen * Have clean, well-manicured fingernails; conservative length and no polish preferred * Use perfume only in moderation * Wear shoes that are well maintained * Iron/press your clothing * Dress for the job you want, not the one you have
* The appropriate attire will contribute to a positive first impression.
Attire: * Conservative tailored suit or suit dress * Conservative, frill-less blouse * Skirt length: Top of knee down; avoid extreme slits * Basic medium/low-heeled pumps, shined; neutral hosiery * Handbag: Small and appropriate to outfit * Conservative jewelry coordinated with outfit and avoid dangles
Know yourself & how to communicate your skills * Conduct an analysis of your strengths, weaknesses, and goals and how they relate to the employer
Know the employer and what they are looking for * Research the employer, the position, the field
Anticipate and Plan * Anticipate questions you may be asked and devise ways to tell the employer things you want her to know * Prepare questions to ask that demonstrate your interest, motivation and knowledge of the organization * Arrive at least 10 minutes before the interview, giving yourself time to relax and feel in control
Practice (aloud) to reduce anxiety * State your strong points for the position and provide concrete examples and anecdotal evidence to support them
Social Media * Check what others see when they search by your name.
Negative qualities that lead to rejection of a candidate in an interview include: * Poor personal appearance * Candidate is perceived as overbearing, overly aggressive, conceited or a know it all * Inability to express self clearly – poor voice, diction, grammar * Lack of interest and enthusiasm – passive, indifferent * Lack of confidence and poise
Improve the impression you make during the interview by following these tips: * Make good eye contact to demonstrate interest and to be positively remembered; don’t stare * Use facial expressions – smile * Use a firm handshake, not limp or bone crushing. Lean into it and bend your arm at the elbow * Demonstrate good posture and body position. Sit comfortably with shoulders fairly erect and chin level * Demonstrate interest and active listening skills by nodding, leaning forward slightly and using hand gestures as appropriate * Keep enthusiasm in your voice by using a self assured, confident tone * Be cognizant of your appearance and the impression it can make
2. During the Interview (Communication) Opening
Time to establish rapport and make a solid first impression. Tips: Be prepared to greet the interviewer by name, with a smile, firm handshake, and good eye contact.
Many employers use a behavioral interview style of questioning. The goal is to see how you react in various situations.
Possible Questions you May be Asked: • Tell me about yourself. • Why are you interested in our position? Organization? • Why do you want to work here?
Information Exchange The interviewer will begin to evaluate your qualifications for the job immediately. In addition to your knowledge and skills about the position, this time is designed to discover your communication and decision-making skills, as well as your ability to analyze information, take initiative, and get along with others.
Tips: * To reduce anxiety try to think of the interview as a conversation – the interviewer getting to know you, you are getting to know her. * Incorporate what you know about yourself and the organization in your responses. * Be clear and concise. * Be specific and give examples. * Respond to questions by highlighting your strengths and accomplishments, indicating why you should be hired. * Ask intelligent questions that will underscore your interest and initiative. * Practice active listening skills.
Use the STAR system to respond: S/T: describe the specific Situation/detail the Task A: share the Action you took R: and describe the Results and what you learned. * Give me an example of the most complex assignment or project you have worked on. What was your role? What was the result of the project? * If you were to list your accomplishments on this job three years from now, what would they be? Give an example of an obstacle you have overcome in the past. * Describe a project that you initiated. How did you go about organizing it and what was the outcome? How could you have planned it differently to get better results? * Give me examples of two good decisions you have made in the last six months. What were the alternatives? Why were they good decisions? * Tell me about the most complex formal presentation you have made while in school. How did you go about preparing it and how did it turn out? * Give an example of a problem you faced and the steps you took to resolve it? Did they work? Why or why not? * Describe your most successful experience working on a team project. How did you relate to other team members and what did you contribute to the success? * What was the most innovative project you’ve been involved with? What part did you play? * What are your standards of success? Give a recent example where you applied them. * Describe a time when you had to perform under the pressure of time or task difficulty. What happened?
2. During the Interview (Communication) Sample Questions to Ask an Employer
Think Strategically, Respond Convincingly
* What would it take to exceed your expectations for this position?
Listen carefully to all questions during the interview. Relax as much as possible and think in terms of “What is this recruiter really asking me?” Do not over-analyze the question, but at least listen carefully and think a moment before responding.
* Does the company promote from within or externally? * Can you tell me how different departments at the company work together? * Describe the duties of the job and how it fits in the organization. * What is the profile of a successful employee in your organization? * What is the supervisory style of the manager who oversees this position? * How are performance reviews conducted? * What are some recent challenges and opportunities faced by your organization? * What kind of opportunities exist for me to improve my professional skills within the organization? * Can you tell me the next step in the selection process? * Will you discuss the hiring timeline for this position? The organization’s next steps? * If I don’t hear from you in ______ weeks as you mentioned, may I give you a call to follow up?
• No questions that you could find out with research beforehand.
“Why did you sign up for this interview?” The recruiter is asking you to prove that you are interested in the company. Discuss your company research. Prove your interest! “What is your greatest strength?” Here is your opportunity to prove that you have the most important strength required for the position. Do not blow it by offering some off-the-wall strength that does not relate to the position for which you are applying. “What is your greatest weakness?” Take a positive approach to this question. Select an area of personal or professional development such as “presentation skills” or “working toward understanding the big picture” to indicate your willingness to grow and improve. Do not name serious weaknesses that might be perceived as true negatives to the interviewer. “Why weren’t your grades higher than 2.3?” The recruiter is giving you an opportunity to prove ability in spite of your average grades. Be ready to explain. “Why did you attend this university?” Companies like to hire winners who have been in control. Do not indicate that external forces directed you to college: “I didn’t have the money for Stanford, so I settled for Billings U.” Offer a response that is logical and shows that you made the decision.
Source: adapted from the 35th Edition CPC Annual
No salary questions during the initial interview.
Closing * State your interest in the position. * Briefly summarize why you are well qualified for the job. * Find out what the next step will be and thank the interviewer for her time. Tips: * Smile; remain confident and interested in the position. * Make sure to collect business cards before you leave. Possible Questions you May be Asked: * Why should we hire you over another candidate? * Write a thank you note to the interviewer within 24 hours, reiterating your interest.
3. After the Interview (Follow Up) Follow Up • • •
Write a thank you note to the interviewer(s) within 24 hours, reiterating your interest and strongest qualifications. Complete any follow up request from employer. Contact your references to let them know how it went and to potentially expect to hear from the company. Your enthusiasm may be conveyed by your references. During the interview, ask about the selection process. If the interviewer doesn’t contact you as promised by the designated time, contact them. It is reasonable to follow up after a week or two following your interview. This demonstrates your interest and ability to follow up.
Reflect on the experience, your interest in the organization and position and use the interview as a learning experience, noting areas to improve. Recall details from the interview – questions asked and your responses, information you gathered, additional questions you have. Evaluate whether this job is for you – a bad job can be worse than no job.
Looking for a part-time job, workstudy, internship or co-op? Job searching? Want to know if we have a contact with an employer your’re pursuing? Secured a position and want to let us know? These are just a few of the things that CareerLink has the power to do. Take a look at the power of CareerLink: * View and apply for part-time jobs, internships & co-ops. * View and apply for full time positions. * Allow an employer to view your uploaded resume. * Sign up for On Campus Recruiting. * Report that you’ve been hired in an internship, co-op, full-time position, or accepted to graduate/ professional school. * Search the Employer Database for contact information and graduate schools. * Check out upcoming events sponsored by ACP.
While you wait • • • •
Research salary in comparable positions in your geographical area. Prepare your salary negotiation points. Is there a 2nd or 3rd interview – start preparing for the next interview. Maintain an active search. Don’t wait to hear from each employer. Continue to network, conduct information interviews, volunteer, be active! Be seen! Do NOT tweet or update your social media status with “opinions” about the company or your confidence in landing the position.
Questions Employers Will Ask Personal
* Tell me about yourself. * What do you like to do in your spare time? * Why did you choose to interview with our organization? * Describe your ideal job. * What can you offer us? * What do you consider to be your greatest strengths? Weaknesses? * How do you think your friends would describe you? * Define success. Failure. * Have you ever had any failures? What did you learn from them? * Of which accomplishments are you most proud? * Who are your role models? Why? * How does your college education or work experience relate to this job? * What motivates you most in a job? * How have you handled getting along with a difficult former professor/supervisor/co-worker? * Have you ever spoken before a group of people? How large? * Why should we hire you rather than another candidate? * What do you know about our organization (products or services)? * Where do you want to be in five years? Ten years? * Do you plan to further your education?
* What job-related skills have you developed? * In what positions did you work while in school? * What did you learn from these work experiences? * What did you enjoy most about your last employment? Least? * Have you ever quit a job? Why? * Give an example of a situation in which you provided a solution to an employer. * Give an example of a time in which you worked under deadline pressure. * Have you ever done any volunteer work? * How do you think a former supervisor would describe your work?
Education * Why did you choose your major? * Why did you choose to attend Meredith College? * Do you think you received a good education? In what ways? * In which campus activities did you participate? Tell me about your leadership skills. * Which classes in your major did you like best? * If you were to start over, what would you change about your education? * Which elective classes did you like best? Least? Why? * Do your grades accurately reflect your ability? Why or why not? * Were you financially responsible for any portion of your college education?
Career Goals * What kind of boss do your prefer? * Would you be successful working with a team? * Do you prefer large or small organizations? Why? * What other types of positions are you considering? * What do you think about working in a structured environment? * Are you able to work on several assignments at once? * How do you feel about working overtime? Flextime? * Do you like to travel?
Questions for Teacher Candidates * What is your philosophy of education? Of classroom management? * What issues in education are of greatest concern to you? Why? * Describe the role of the teacher in the learning process. * What is the role of the teacher in the community? * How would you individualize instruction in your classroom? * How would you set up a program in your major teaching area? * Why do you want to teach? * Describe yourself using 5 adjectives. * What special abilities do you have that would benefit your students? * Describe a time that you failed. * How did you get interested in the field of education? * Do you grade on ability or effort? Why? * If you found out the slower learners in the class could not read the grade-level book, what would you do? * How do you handle discipline in your classroom? * Tell me about your teaching experience. * Describe in detail a lesson that you taught. * Define the role of the principal. * What youth-related activities have you been involved with? Are you interested in working with students in an extra-curricular activity? * Describe your teaching style and motivational theories. * What if --------- ?
What are Employers Looking For? Here are a few things that employers say they are looking for in an ideal candidate: Presentation
* Professional and appropriate dress and appearance * Eye contact * Good handshake * Body language * Fit * Image
* Held leadership roles and responsibilities within competitive organizations * Moves others to action * Decisive and demonstrates sound judgement * Self-reliant * Passionate about his/her pursuits * Sets goals and follows through * Identifies opportunities and takes responsibility
* Resolves problems with logical approach * Comes to reasonable conclusions * Enjoys and demonstrates problem solving * Effectively combines diverse information * Shows common sense * Inquisitive
Preparation for the Interview * Knowledge of the company * Understanding of the job expectations * Demonstrated preparedness for the job * Able to ask pertinent questions * Related work and academic experiences
Sincerity * Genuine attitude * Honesty and sincerity
* Persuasive/passionate in presenting ideas * Quickly grasps concepts/questions * Responds directly to questions * Uses correct grammar and vocabulary–articulate * Ideas presented logically and concisely
* Enthusiastic, energetic * Motivated, mature and has initiative * Comfortable/confident around many personality types * Open, engaging and candid demeanor * Listening skills * Empathy
* Well-defined goals * Confidence in abilities * Proactive and self motivated * Demonstrates diligence and the ability to produce quality results in timely fashion
* Achieves goals in face of adversity * Not easily discouraged and strives under pressure * Develops effective alternatives to achieve goals * Initiates constructive change, challenges status quo and continuously looks for better ways to do things
Practice Without Pressure…
Mock Interview Program
Sign up on CareerLink to practice your interview skills with an employer… Or contact our office for a mock interview with a counselor.
Productivity * Thrives under high pressure * Successfully manages multiple priorities * History of high productivity * Examples of positive recognition in the past
Teamwork * Works well on a team * Ethical and responsible behavior * Shares information * Effectively informs, inspires and influences others
Other * Creativity * Computer literacy * Language skills * Written and verbal communication
What are you looking for in an organization, company, or position? Does it match what employers look for in you?
Case Interview Questions
(typically used for consulting positions) A case interview is designed to evaluate a person’s analytical skills in relation to a simulated business problem. It is an interactive process through which the candidate is evaluated on how she approaches the problem and derives a solution. An excellent resource is available in ACP Resource Room. There are four categories of case questions, according to Marc Cosentino of Harvard University: 1. Situation case: a specific situation is presented and the candidate evaluates and solves it. 2. Brainteaser: logic puzzles or riddles 3. Guess the Number: asked to estimate the number needed to solve a problem (i.e., how many disposable diapers are sold each year) 4. Business case: a case requiring that you examine profitability, industry analysis, market expansion, price and strategic planning, etc. Marc Consentino proposes the following fifteen guidelines for handling a case: 1. Listen to the problem 2. Take notes 3. Restate the problem 4. Verify objective 5. Ask clarifying questions 6. Think “big picture” first, think top down 7. Identify the type of case 8. Structure the problem 9. Organize your answer, manage your time 10. Be creative and brainstorm without commitment 11. Be “coachable” – listen to the interviewer’s feedback 12. Think out loud (but think first) 13. Bring closure and summarize 14. Show enthusiasm and a positive attitude 15. Have fun
After you Accept an Offer
This is a general guideline to negotiate salary. To discuss your specific situation come see us in ACP.
Once you have accepted an offer of employment, write a letter withdrawing your application from other employers. Do this with great care since you may wish to consider employment with this employer in the future. When a job has been offered and accepted, you must STOP interviewing. It is unprofessional to continue interviewing with other employers to see if something better comes along.
Evaluating the Offer
Congratulations! Finally after a long job search you have at least one offer and possibly waiting on others. Use the criteria below to evaluate an offer to affirm that it is the best fit for you.
Does the position offer the career opportunity you are seeking? Make use of your existing skills and educational preparation? Offer training that will improve your occupational qualifications? Challenge you? Provide an opportunity for you to grow professionally?
How is the employer perceived in its field or industry? How will your values mesh with the organization’s culture?
Does the job require relocation? Is it in a city or community that provides a compatible lifestyle? What personal adjustments will you have to make to live there?
Is there a career ladder system or other internal support system in place? Will your experience be transferable to other employers?
Reporting Relationship and Co-Workers
To whom does the position report? What do you know about the supervisor’s management style and work ethic? What does the departmental team look like and what is its place in the organizational structure?
What will be the basis for evaluation? How soon will you be evaluated? Six months? One year? How are compensation and promotion tied to performance?
What are the salary and benefits of the position? Taken as a whole, is the compensation package comparable to that of other new graduates with similar backgrounds? Can you realistically live on it? Do potential raises, bonuses, skill development or advancement offset the negative of a low starting salary?
Do Your Research How much do you need to earn to meet your personal needs? Evaluate realistic salary requirements. What are your skills and level of experience worth in the job market? Amounts can vary considerably by degree and industry. Your offer may depend upon prior professional experience, education level, GPA, internships, co-ops, volunteer or parttime work, leadership experience, and the employer’s internal salary schedule. Research career fields and starting salaries for various occupations using the following resources (located in the Academic & Career Planning Resource Room): * National Association of Colleges
Factors to Consider
Job Related Nature of work Level of responsibility Organizational culture Work hours Level of authority Benefits Travel Variety of work Salary Stability of industry Mentoring Advancement opportunities Lifestyles of employees Training and development Stability of organization Opportunities to learn/grow in job/company Quality of management Transferability of skills/experiences from job Support of continuing education Prestige of job or organization Company reputation Supervisor/colleagues Other Cost of living Community environment Cultural opportunities Geographic location Educational opportunities Entertainment
Illegal Interview Questions Subject
Have you ever used another name?
Are you a U.S. citizen? Where were you born? What is your “native” tongue?
Are you lawfully employable full-time in the United States? What languages do you read, speak, or write fluently?
Do you own or rent your home?
Where do you live?
How old are you? What is your date of birth?
Are you over the age of 18?
What is your martial status? How many children do you have? What child care arrangements have you made?
Travel is an important part of the job for which you are interviewing. Would you be willing to travel as needed? Would you be willing to relocate if necessary?
List any clubs or social organizations to which you belong.
List any professional or trade groups or other organizations that you consider relevant to your ability to perform this job.
Physical Conditions and Handicaps
Do you have any handicaps or disabilities? Have you ever received Workman’s Compensation?
Do you have any disabilities that would prevent you from performing the job? Do you understand that any offer of employment is conditional based on the results of a job-related pre-employment physical exam?
Have you ever been arrested?
Have you ever been convicted of a crime?
What is your height and weight?
Are you able to lift a 50 lb. weight and carry it 100 yards? (If that is a Bona Fide Occupational Qualification of this job)
Notice in case of emergency
Name/Address of relative to be notified
Name/Address of person to be notified
Handling Inappropriate Pre-Employment Questions Job candidates may encounter interviewers who are uninformed about employment practices covered by equal employment legislation. When that occurs, you have several optional responses depending on personal philosophy and level of interest in the position. ACP encourages you to develop a strategy for handling inappropriate preemployment inquiries.
1. Answer the question If answering is not a matter of principle with you, or if you want the job very badly. 2. Answer the question behind the question Respond to the concern behind the question. E.g: “If you are concerned that family matters will interfere with my job commitment, I assure you that I have excellent support with family responsibilities.” 3. Ignore the question Answer a different question. To a question about age a response might be “At this stage in my life, establishing myself in my career is a priority….”
4. Refuse to answer the question E.g: “Since that question is of a personal nature and not directly related to the job qualifications, I wonder if you could ask it another way so that I may respond to your concerns about my qualifications.” 5. Educate the interviewer E.g: “You may not be aware that your question could be considered discriminatory by the equal employment legislation.”
Deciding on Graduate School Questions to ask yourself: 1. Do you need an advanced degree to get the job you want? 2. What do you expect from a graduate degree? What do you expect it to do for you in the job market? Are your expectations realistic? 3. What are your reasons for wanting to go to graduate school? • To remain in an academic environment • To pursue a specific subject in depth • To postpone job hunting • To satisfy other’s expectations of you • To obtain necessary expertise for the position you want • To increase your marketability in the job market • To clarify your career goals • All your friends are going • You can’t think of anything else to do 4. Is it better to go to graduate school immediately after completing undergraduate study or wait awhile and gain some work experience? Time Off Refine goal Gain Experience Improve chances More mature Increase motivation if burned out Save money for school Go Now Reach goal faster Avoid job search Don’t get comfortable making money Already have clear focus on goal Already have strong credentials 5. Consider geographic mobility-is the area in which you want to live already saturated with persons with advanced degrees? Are you willing to move to get the job you want? 6. Can you afford the financial investment? For many students, the availability of financial aid may be a major fact in the decision to go to graduate school.
The decision to attend graduate school requires serious thought and consideration. Reference books such as Peterson’s Guides are excellent resources to help you evaluate programs and determine if they provide what you are seeking. Consultations with college faculty can also provide invaluable information about graduate programs as well as potential contacts with specific graduate institutions. Factors to consider in your research of graduate programs are:
* quality of the faculty * courses related to your special interest * prestige of institution * cost * housing, community, locations, etc. * facilities * where graduates are employed after degree earned Start gathering information early in order to complete your application on time. Application deadlines may range from August before your senior year to late spring of your senior year for those schools with rolling admissions. Most deadlines, however, will fall between January and March for entering the next fall.
Schedule an appointment with a career counselor in ACP to assist you with the decision and application process.
Application Process Requirements governing the graduate admissions process vary from one institution to another as well as from one academic or professional field to another. Read each program’s requirements carefully and strictly adhere to mailing instructions, fees and deadlines. The following are the usual components of the application process:
Graduate Admissions Tests
Institutions usually require a specific graduate admissions test, and departments sometimes have their own requirements as well. Your test scores are compared against those of previous students to evaluate the likelihood of your success in a given program.
Admissions committees require official transcripts of your grades to evaluate your academic preparation for graduate study. Your GPA, the rigor of your curriculum, your course load, and the reputation of your undergraduate institution are all considered. Official transcripts are sent by your college registrar.
Letters of Recommendation
Most graduate schools require 2 or 3 letters of recommendation from faculty and/or employers. The schools will specify who your references should be and what issues they should address. Give your references adequate time and enough information about your academic and career goals to enable them to write a good letter on your behalf.
Essays may be the most important and difficult part of the application process. It is your opportunity to make a personal statement about your background and interests as they relate to your field of study. Application essays are also a measure of your ability to write, so be meticulous about spelling, grammar, and writing style. Admissions committees will be trying to evaluate a number of things about you from your essays, including: * motivation and commitment to field of study * major areas of interest * immediate and long-term goals * reason for graduate program decision * expectations re: program/career opportunities * maturity * personal uniqueness
Graduate School Test Preparation Resources Free Practice Graduate School Entrance Exams Meredith College Library’s LearningExpressLibrary Offers free exams in the following: GMAT, GRE, LSAT, MCAT Go to www.meredith.edu/acp (FREE practice test through the MC library website) Kaplan Test Preparation and Admissions Go to www.kaptest.com, then to Find a Free Event (practice test) Princeton Review Go to www.princetonreview.com, then to Attend a Free Event (practice test)
UNC-CH The Learning Center (919) 962-3782 Offers standardized test preparation courses during both semesters. Go to www.unc.edu/depts/lcweb/ for further details regarding scheduling and types of courses. Registration may be done by email only. The director confirmed that Meredith College students are most welcome to join them. Kaplan Test Preparation and Admissions Go to www.kaptest.com to find the best preparation option for you. For example, GRE classroom preparation fee is *$1149. Princeton Review Go to www.princetonreview.com to find the best preparation option for you. For example, GRE classroom preparation fee is *$1049. * Fees are subject to change
Essays should always be typed. If space provided on the application form is insufficient, it is usually acceptable to attach pages.
Some graduate programs will require an interview. In other fields, you may have to submit a portfolio of your work or schedule an audition. In each situation, thorough preparation and excellent quality of workmanship are essential.
Timetable for Applying to Graduate School by Tara Kuther. Ph.D.
You should begin the application process no later than the summer before your senior year of college, or at least a year before you start to graduate school. Many students who have had graduate school in mind for most of their undergraduate careers start much earlier. This timetable is approximate, but it offers an idea of the steps you must think about and, roughly, when you must complete each step. No generalized chart provides the specifics that you need to meet your personal timeline. As you refine your own timeline carefully examine each application for deadlines. They may vary significantly. Keep your timeline updated and follow it. Summer/September * If you have not done so already, take the necessary standardized test for admissions. * Gather graduate program brochures and narrow your choices. * Consider which faculty members to ask for letters of recommendation. September/October * Research sources of financial aid. * Carefully examine each of the program applications. Note any questions or essay topics that will require your attention. * Write a draft of your statement of purpose. * Ask a faculty member, writing center staff, or the career counselor at your school to read your essays and provide feedback. Take their advice! * Ask faculty for letters of recommendation. Provide faculty with a copy of your resume, your transcript, each program’s recommendation form, and your statement of purpose. * Ask him or her if there is anything else that you can provide to help them. November/December * Arrange for your official transcript to be sent to each program to which you apply. * Request that the Registrar hold your transcript until the fall grades are in. * Finalize your essays and statement of purpose. Do not forget to seek input from others * Apply for fellowships and other sources of financial aid, as applicable. * Check and record the due date for each application. Keep a spreadsheet. December/January * Complete the application forms for each program. Scan the form into your computer or use a typewriter for a neat and clean application form. Reread your essays and statement of purpose. Spell check! * Mail your applications. * Relax and breathe! * Most schools send a postcard upon receipt of each application. Keep track of these. If you do not receive a postcard or letter, contact the admissions office by email or phone to ensure that your application has been receive before the deadline. February * Depending on your field, start planning for the admissions interviews. * What questions will you ask? Prepare answers to common questions. * Fill out the Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) application. You will need your tax forms to do this. March/April * Visit schools to which you have been accepted. * Discuss acceptances and rejections with a faculty member or the career counselor at your school. * Notify the program of your acceptance. * Notify the programs that you are declining.