Academic & Career Planning
Career Guide 2012â€“2013
Academic & Career Planning Park Center, 2nd Floor 919.760.8341 www.meredith.edu/acp email@example.com
Meredith College Academic and Career ,Meredith College Academic & Career Planning
A Guide to Academic & Career Planning Online Resources
For a complete list of online resources view links under the Stay Connected bar at www.meredith.edu/acp
For Job Postings:
E-Leads: Employer contact network developed in cooperation with other colleges and universities to provide employment leads for liberal arts majors. Leads from the areas such as Criminal Justice, Environmental, Foreign Language, Government, Healthcare Administration, Hospitality, Performing Arts/Museums, Public Policy, PR/Advertising, Publishing, Radio/ TV/Film, Youth Social Services, Adult Social Services, and Sports Management/Marketing are included in the database. Exclusive to Meredith: Fashion, Interior Design, and Exercise/Sport Sciences.
CareerLink: ACP’s online registration system that includes off campus part-time jobs, on campus workstudy, full time jobs, internship and co-op listings. Post your resume, apply online, sign up for campus interviews and allow employers to search for your resume.
Hoovers: Database containing information on companies, people, and industries that can be helpful during the job search.
Meredith College ACP LinkedIn: Join and connect with other Meredith College students and alumnae for resources, tips, strategies, and networking. Build your network and develop contacts that can possibly assist you with your internship/co-op/job search.
Note: Passwords are located in your CareerLink account under the Resource Library section. 2
Liberal Arts Jobs: Job postings across the nation and internationally in liberal arts fields: Writing/ editing/communication, managment & business, education, art, and performing arts.
What Can I Do With a Major In…? Guide that connects majors and career options. Includes information on common career areas, typical employers, and strategies designed to maximize career opportunities, plus a list of related websites.
Academic & Career Planning Facebook Page: Events and Services offered by ACP. “Like us” and stay connected.
The Meredith ACP Blog: Helpful articles about a range of academic advising and career planning topics.
Table of Contents Developing Your Career Plan
Beginning Your Job Search
Developing Your Resume
Writing Your Job Search Correspondence
Preparing for Your Interviews
Pursuing Graduate and Professional School
Explore â€“ Look Inward A Four Year Plan Learn Through Resources Gain Experience, Connections with Top Skills Sought by Employers Top Places to be discovered
5 6 7 7 7 7
The Job Search Process Strategies For Success Pros and Cons of Different Job Search Methods Personal Internet Presence: Job Seekers Self Audit How to Make a Career Fair Work for You 10 Tips for Finding a Job in a Challenging Job Market
8 9 10 11 13 15
What Is a Resume? Resume Formats Resume Outline Sample Objective Statements Scannable Resumes Resume Critique Form Skills Clusters List General Action Verbs for Resumes & Letters Sample Resumes References
17 17 18 19 20 21 23 22 25 29
Cover Letter Thank You Letter Acceptance Letter Effective Emails Outline for Sample Cover Letter Sample Letters Professional Emails Sample Thank You Letter Sample Acceptance Letter
30 30 30 30 31 31 31 33 33
Interview Preparation Types of Interviews 3 Stages of the Interview Process Questions Employers Will Ask Questions for Teacher Candidates What are Employers Looking for? Case Interview Questions Illegal Interview Questions Handling Inappropriate Pre-Employment Questions Evaluating the Offer Salary Negotiations
34 34 35 39 39 40 41 42 42 41 41
Deciding on Graduate School The Application Process Graduate School Test Preparation Resources Timeline for Applying to Graduate School
43 44 44 45 3
Meet the Staff MARIE B. SUMEREL, PhD Director firstname.lastname@example.org DANA F. SUMNER, MA Associate Director, Employer Relations email@example.com LISA FLINT-MORRIS, MS, NCC Assistant Director, Adult and Transfer Advising firstname.lastname@example.org AMY T. LOSORDO, MEd Assistant Director, Career Development email@example.com Brandon Stokes, MEd Assistant Director, Academic Advising CANDICE WEBB, MEd Assistant Director, Advising and First Year Experience firstname.lastname@example.org MARY ELLEN PHILEN, BA Office Manager email@example.com ANN PHILLIPS Administrative Assistant firstname.lastname@example.org LEIA TROTTER, â€˜14 Creative Director/Graphic Designer SOFIA CASTILLO-CIEZA, â€˜13 Marketing Assistant
Our Services Academic & Career Counseling Individualized Appointments Academic Advising Career Planning Career Assessments Major Exploration & Selection Four Year Planning Time Management Study Skills Learning Styles Assessment Academic Difficulty Student Employment Internship/Co-op Resume/Cover Letter Interviewing Job Search Graduate/ Professional Study
Academic & Career Information Job Search Guides Industry Directiories Graduate School Information Professional Development Internship/Co-op Listings
Major Exploration & Selection How to Study Series Time Management Goal Setting Four Year Planning Resume Writing Tips Interviewing Tips Networking Tips Preparing for Career Fairs Job Search Professional Development Graduate School Series Marketing Your Skills and Experiences
Special Events Networking Event: Meet informally with professionals to learn more about careers. Spring Career Fair: Gather information and network with employers in business, industry, government, and the non-profit sector.
On Campus Interviews
Teacher Network Fair: Connect with the representatives for full time teaching positions.
Non-Profit Fair: Talk with representatives from a wide range of non-profit agencies will be present to talk with you.
Interview with Employers on Campus Information Sessions Internship and Job Opportunities
CPS 101 Career Planning Seminar Explore majors and begin to learn about careers.
CPS 301 Career Planning Seminar Prepare for the job search.
Other Fairs and Events: Surrounding universities and employers invite our students to their events, such as the NCSU Law School Fair.
COE 302 or 403 Cooperative Education Supervised professional employment related to student career goals.
Mock Interview Program: Practice interviewing with professionals. Scheduled during the spring.
Developing Your Career Plan Explore – Look Inward 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. Areas of career interest for further research and exploration What career fields do you gravitate toward?
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.
Career Planning Seminars
What Can I Do With a Major In… 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 101: Freshmen and Sophomores explore majors and careers. One hour credit, pass/fail, half semester (twice weekly). CPS 301 A: Juniors and Seniors examine career options and design job search strategy. One hour credit, pass/fail, half semester (twice weekly).
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.
SOPHOMORE YEAR 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.
JUNIOR YEAR 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.
SENIOR YEAR 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. 6
Learn Through Resources
Learn how to research an employer
Learn about careers through the information interview
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.
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 30-45 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?
Internships and co-ops can be found through these resources: * eleads * CareerLink
Top Skills sought by employers 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
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
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 CareerLink is Meredith’s job posting and oncampus 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
Top Places To Be Discovered 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
* 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
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.
Use what you know about yourself and actual jobs to begin looking for specific opportunities.
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
Source: Auburn University Career Development Handbook
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?
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
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, www.meredith.edu/acp for recommended links 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
Research companies, organizations, and positions of interest (note sources below) E-Leads, a database of organizations seeking liberal arts graduates, with over 100 leads in each of these career categories 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.
Top tips for your job search 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
On Campus Recruiting program
Easy and convenient because employers come to campus looking for interns and full time employees. Interview in ACP, 2nd Park.
Not every industry or employer uses On Campus Recruiting to hire employees. It begins early and is associated with specific deadlines.
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.
Not every industry, job field, or employer is represented.
Job Listings Online (ex: Monster, Careerbuilder, indeed.com, etc)
Some organizations still use this method to post job openings, particularaly small companies.
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.
Job Listings in Print
You’ll find some positions that aren’t posted online.
Not as convenient as viewing them online. You have to view them where available: Academic & Career Planning, newspaper, etc.
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.
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.
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.
Job and internship leads and contact information in career categories in a variety of geographical locations.
Not job listings, but a source to find potential employers. You must follow up to discover if they have current openings.
A searchable database that provides information about companies and industries that may interest you.
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 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 SelfAudit 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.
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?
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.
Pictures? Groups? Friends’ Comments? Friends’ Profiles?
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?!?
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 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 consultant in the career center? 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. ___________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________
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 * 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.
Resource: http//www.naceweb.org/pubs/journal/su06/SheaWesley3.htm. Career Center for Opportunities, www.cco.purdue.edu
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?
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.
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.
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.
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 bottom-line oriented in a downturn and need to be shown very clearly the value that a candidate can bring. Keep in touch with Academic & Career Planning 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.
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). 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 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. Stay open minded and flexible about opportunities, industries, and geographic
6. 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. Stay connected to people that you have worked with, know and trust. 7. 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. Utilize job search sites. Keep checking industry specific sites and those 8. more general such as CareerLink. Also, sites like e-Leads and Hoover’s can be a valuable resource. Treat others with respect throughout your job search…you may end up in 9. front of them again. Once you’ve landed a job don’t forget about those who helped you. 10. 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
* 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
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: 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
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 19 for samples
Profile Summary or Qualifications Summary
Honors and Involvement
Specialized Information (space allowing)
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.
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
In reverse chronological order, list full-time and parttime 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 23-24 for sample action words. 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. 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 29 for sample. 18
Your objective should: * Briefly state your employment goals without getting too specific and ruling out consideration for jobs. * Focus on what you bring to the employer, rather than what you want from them. * Your 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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. View a sample of a scannable resume on page 28.
Resume Critique Form
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 be consistent in case (i.e. either all caps or all mixed caps or all mixed case). Too long (for most this means limit to one page) or too short (too much white space at bottom). Use spell check and proofread grammar carefully! Use punctuation and format consistently. Use lower case and upper case letters (capitalize appropriately). Avoid abbreviations.
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 bold/caps/larger font size. Drop labels for obvious facts such as “address”, “telephone”, “email.”
Objective If you include an “OBJECTIVE” on your resume make sure it isn’t too specific or too broad. An objective is a “theme” statement that should help you organize the supporting information in the rest of the resume. Delete filler/fluff material and lofty, long-term goals. Focus on what you can do for an employer, not what you want from an employer. Use it as a statement says specifically what you are seeking. You may not need an objective as may be redundant to information in your cover letter.
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 freshmen or sophomore with limited experiences. Include only schools from which you have received degrees or are currently attending. 21
Relevant Courses Create a “Relevant Courses” section if not 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.
Special Sections Computer Skills, Language Skills, etc. Consider adding a Class Projects section to your resume (if these projects are supportive of your objective). Include the name of the course, semester and year enrolled, description of the project, (e.g.: “Worked with a team of five classmates to…”) and your accomplishment.
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 own category (including paid, volunteer, etc.) and combining unrelated work experience under Other Experience. Include descriptive statements, especially for related positions. Avoid passive phrasing such as “responsibilities were”, “duties included”, “in charge of”, etc. Descriptive statements are more effective if they begin with an ACTION VERB (see page 22.) Avoid using same verbs repeatedly. Vary usage. Communicate your skills. Say you worked summers in a warehouse and are interested in a business career. Stating that you “loaded trucks with furniture” doesn’t tell your potential employer that you are detail oriented and accurate. You can communicate those qualities by noting that you “reviewed furniture orders, loaded in proper order for the correct delivery, and were 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 and delete or reduce descriptions on non-related positions.
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: Member, Psychology Club, Fall 20xx – Present.
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. 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 person (a former supervisor, major professor.)
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. If you have a second page, place name on it. Select a FAX/copier friendly white,off-white, or ivory paper. Use 10-12 point font size.
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 audited awarded broadened calculated coached communicated compiled conceptualized conducted constructed coordinated counseled created defined delegated designed developed devised drafted edited encouraged enlisted established
estimated evaluated examined exhibited expanded facilitated forecasted generated governed guided implemented improved increased installed instructed interpreted interviewed investigated launched led maintained managed marketed mastered moderated modified motivated negotiated organized
originated performed persuaded planned prepared presented programmed promoted published purchased recommended reconciled recruited reduced reinforced reorganized researched revised selected simplified solved strengthened structured streamlined summarized supervised systematized taught trained translated wrote
Use action verbs at the beginning of your descriptions. Use present tense when you are currently in the position and past tense when you are no longer in the position.
Drop In Resume Clinic Mondays, 10am–noon 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. Check out the Events Calendar on ACP’s website by clicking “events” located on the Stay Connected tab. 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 23
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
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
Human Resources Align Analyze Appraise Assess Categorize Coordinate Design Document Inform Interview Inventory Link Manage
Mediate Organize Process Program Recruit Screen Select Structure Survey Train
Innovating Activate Change Create Design Establish Implement Improve Modify Restructure Stimulate Transform Upgrade
Investigation Analyze Examine Explore Interrogate Intuit Probe Pursue Question Search Seek
Compare Comprehend Converse Fluency Interpret Lecture Negotiate Proficiency Teach Translate Tutor Understand
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
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
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
Remodel Repair Replace Restore Solved Specialize
Standardize Troubleshoot Upgrade Utilize
Abstract Capture Conceive Conclude Construct Craft Express Integrate Interpret Inform Summarize
Analyze Apply Assemble Build Conceptualize Construct Convert Design Develop Edit Engineer Implement Inspect Locate Modify Operate Overhaul Print Program Regulate
Sources: Virginia Tech Career Planning Guide Auburn University Student Handbook
Meredith A. Student 3800 Hillsborough Street, Raleigh, NC 27607, 919.123.4567, email@example.com EDUCATION Meredith College, Raleigh, NC Bachelor of Arts, Political Science, May 2010 Minors: Communication, Ethics & the Public Interest POLITICAL EXPERIENCE John W. Pope Civitas Institute, Intern, Raleigh, NC, February 2009 – Present Serve as investigative journalist for Civitas Review magazine covering State projects and legislation. Blog for www.civitasreview.com, concentrating on environmental legislation and state projects. Bryan Gossage for N.C. House, Scheduler, Morrisville, NC, September – November 2008 Coordinated daily schedule of the candidate. Meredith Votes, Student, Raleigh, NC, August – November 2008 Organized on-campus voter registration drive. Coordinated event hosting local candidates. Justice Bob Orr for Governor, Intern, Raleigh, NC, December 2007 – May 2008 Assisted in planning and coordinating campaign events. Extensive district and local issue research. N.C. Republican Party, Intern, Raleigh, NC, August 2006 – September 2007 Recruited and coordinated volunteers within the Republican National Committee’s Victory 2006 effort. Planned and coordinated the 2007 State Convention. Voter Vault certification. M.D. Republican Party, Intern, Annapolis, MD, June – August 2007 Used VoterVault and Excel to organize data to assist county party leadership with outreach efforts. ADDITIONAL EXPERIENCE Howard County Public School System, Human Resources Intern, May – August 2006 Maintained high customer service standards and confidentiality within the office. LEADERSHIP EXPERIENCE AND INVOLVEMENT Meredith College Class of 2010 Vice-President, 2009-2010 Fundraising Co-Chair, 2007-2009 Meredith College Office of First Year Experience, assist with Orientation for new students. Chief Transfer Student Ambassador, 2009-2010 Transfer Student Ambassador, 2008-2009 Habitat For Humanity, Meredith College chapter Fundraising Committee, 2008-2009 Training LeaderShape, Leadership Development Retreat, Summer 2008 Civitas Institute Academy of Practical Politics, Spring 2008 Leadership Institute, Fundraising Seminar, Fall 2007
MEREDITH A. STUDENT
1234 HILLSBO ROUG H STREET ● RALEIG H, NC 27607 ● (919) 123-4567 ● MEREDITHSTUDENT@G MAIL.COM Seeking a teaching position in a Wake County Public School.
Meredith College, Raleigh, North Carolina Bachelor of Science: May 2009 Major: Child Development with a Kindergarten through Sixth Grade Teaching License
Teacher Intern- First Grade Northwoods Elementary School, Cary, NC, January -May 20xx • Constructed relevant and integrated lesson plans according to the NCSCOS and student needs based on constructivist ideals and implemented those lesson plans in a first grade classroom. Provided an authentic assessment and reflection for each lesson. •
Teacher Intern-Kindergarten North Forest Pines Elementary, Raleigh, NC, January -May 20xx • Created and implemented lesson plans integrating the developmentally appropriate practice guidelines and using observation- based planning to educate the child in each developmental area.
Infant/ Toddler Caregiver Ellen Brewer House, Raleigh, NC, January 20xx-December 20xx • Implemented developmentally appropriate curriculum for infants and toddlers while promoting the development of the child and built trusting relationships with families.
Service Learning Volunteer Preschool, Apex, NC, Feb ruary 20xx-May 20xx • Evaluated the learning environment of the classroom. • Implemented strategies and materials to promote teacher-child interactions, literacy and inclusion of the indoor and outdoor environments. Assistant Lead Teacher KinderCare, Virginia Beach, VA, May 20xx-August 20xx • Educated children in two and four year old classroom. • Created a welcoming environment for the children with daily interaction Sunday School Teacher Immanuel Baptist Church, Chesapeake, VA January 20xx-July 20xx • Lead Sunday school and Vacation Bible School for elementary age students.
Caregiver Saint Francis United Methodist Church, Cary, NC, Octob er 20xx-Present • Provide care for children during Church Services Sales Associate Bab y GAP, Raleigh, NC, March 20xx- Present • Educate customers on products while providing practical customer service.
Resident Assistant Meredith College Office of Residence Life, Raleigh, NC, August 20xx-May 20xx • Created a comfortable, welcoming and confidential environment for a diverse group of freshmen through program Development and policy enforcement. Event Coordinator Royal Banquet and Conference Center, Raleigh, NC, November 20xx –May 20xx • Provided hospitality as a hostess for weddings and business conferences.
Format is easy to read when you consider how and when to use special features such as bold, caps, italics, bullets, columns, font, space, tabs, etc.
Volunteer: World AIDS Day with AIDS Alliance, Raleigh, NC, December 20xx Co-chair: Senior Parent Night, Class of 2009, Meredith College, Ma y -October 20xx President: North Carolina Association of Educators: Student Chapter, Raleigh, NC August-May 20 xx Volunteer: SAFEchild Auction, Raleigh, NC, November 20xx Volunteer: MeredithREADS, Raleigh, NC, September -December 20xx Historian: Freshman and Sophomore Class, Class of 2009, Meredith College, August 20xx-Ma y 20 xx Volunteer: Breast Cancer Awareness Week, Meredith College, Raleigh, NC, October 20xx Volunteer: Operation Christmas Child, I.B.C Youth Group, Charlotte, NC, November 20xx and November 20xx
INVO LVEMENT AND LEADERSHIP • • • • • • • •
These separate experience sections highlight this student’s experiences and skills more effectively than combining under a general Experience heading.
Meredith Senior Student firstname.lastname@example.org
919-123-3211 123 The Oaks, 3800 Hillsborough St., Raleigh, NC 27607
EDUCATION Meredith College, Raleigh, NC - Bachelor of Arts in Spanish, Psychology, May 20XX GPA 4.0/4.0 Thesis: Your Research May Also Be Included Under Relevant Experiences To Demonstrate Mastery of the Subject or Major Study Abroad (February-December 20XX) - Universidad Nacional de Cuyo: Mendoza, Argentina LANGUAGES and SKILLS Fluency in Spanish reading, writing, and speaking Proficient in PASW Statistics 18; MS Office (Excel, Word, PowerPoint); Internet; Various e-mail servers; Social media sites RELEVANT PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE LEP Family Outreach of Wake County Public Schools, Raleigh, NC: Intern (spring 20XX) ● Delivered academic and vocational outreach through Power Point presentations and handouts to Limited English Proficient (LEP) families Assisted with survey data collection, organization, and management Served as Spanish interpreter and translator for Hispanic/Latino clients and colleagues Teamed with partner departments to help enroll international students in public schools ● ● ●
Bilingual Agricultural Health and Safety Educator, Department of Labor, Raleigh, NC: Intern (summer 20XX) ● Participated in migrant outreach education by teaching North Carolina farm workers agricultural safety and health practices ● Assisted fellow Compliance Safety and Health officers (CSHOs) with conducting migrant housing inspections, interviewing farm workers in Spanish about work conditions, and writing citations ● Wrote articles about migrant housing and farmer/farm worker issues for various Department of Labor publications Designed a unique 20XX agricultural safety and health calendar by photographing agricultural workers and crops and by writing monthly safety tips themed around specific seasonal harvests ●
Relevant Experience can be paid or non paid experiences.
Consider providing details under Volunteer Experiences when relevant to the position you seek.
SELECTED LEADERSHIP EXPERIENCE AND COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT Spanish Club, Meredith College: Co-President (August 20XX-May 20XX) ● Coordinated planning of monthly club meetings and semester fundraisers and designated weekly and monthly tasks for all other officers ● Teamed with various community leaders to provide guest speaker presentations on campus ● Communicated mass information about club events through social media sites IFSA-Butler University Study Abroad Ambassadors Program, Student Ambassador (January 20XX-May 20XX) ● Assisted the Office of International Programs in planning, organization, and implementation of study abroad networking events ● Gave oral presentations at selected campus events and in selected classes about benefits of study abroad ● Wrote articles for publication in campus newspaper and departmental newsletters about personal study abroad experience The Meredith Herald Newspaper, Meredith College: Staff Writer (20XX- 20XX); Copy Editor (20XX – 20XX) ● Authored original advice column to suggest innovative solutions to variety of student personal problems ● Wrote informative articles each week to raise awareness of current events and submitted editorials when requested Assisted editor in proofreading and editing articles in preparation for publication each week ●
This Objective outlines the skills and interests the student brings to the employer. Experiences are presented to back up the objective statement.
MC Senior Student 123 Angel Way, Apt. 123, Raleigh, NC Raleigh, NC, 27607 email@example.com 123.456.7890
Education Meredith College, Raleigh, NC Bachelor of Arts, May 20xx, Major GPA 3.1 Major: English, Minor: Professional Writing and Presentation Media Technical Skills Adobe: InDesign, Photoshop HTML
Relevant Experience Editor, The Herald, Meredith College, Fall 20xx-present Recruit Meredith College students to join the publication staff based upon specific needs of the publication and the specific skills of writers, layout editors, and other positions Establish a newspaper that is relevant to students and other readers by hand-selecting each of the 15 articles that are required to create each issue of the publication Organize a staff of 14 members to produce a successful newspaper six times per semester Tripled the online readership of the Herald through advertising on campus and on social media websites
Special Events Intern, The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, January 20xx-present Assist in planning the Leukemia Cup Regatta, including captain recruitment, fundraising assistance, ticket sales and tracking, participant support, and event logistics Craft press releases promoting the Regatta and other campaigns Create letters requesting donations from various businesses and corporations Communicate with sponsors to coordinate invoices, payments, and sponsorship benefits
Relevant Academic Projects Writing for the Media, Meredith College, Spring 20xx Composed various pieces of writing including press releases, TV anchor sound packages, news articles, reviews, editorials, and clips for radio broadcast Implemented the ethics of writing for professional and public outlets
Professional Writing, Meredith College, Fall 20xx Constructed documents appropriate for use in various professional environments that apply to different audiences Collaborated with the Meredith College Carlyle Campbell Library Archive department in order to conduct extensive research used for a website design project Customized assignments appropriate for business settings
Public Speaking, Meredith College, Spring 20xx Learned how to professionally articulate topics in professional and public settings Successfully prepared and presented two major speeches
Work Experience Wait Staff, Owens Restaurant, Nags Head, NC, Summers 20xx-20xx Contributed seasonally to a team of twenty five people to consistently provide quality service Thought quickly and critically to solve customer problems or complaints
This Functional Resume Style is effective for re-entry candidates and career changes. It emphasizes skills rather than chronological listings.
M E R E D I T H
S E N I O R
110 The Oaks, 3800 Hillsborough Street • Raleigh, NC 27607 919.123.1234 • firstname.lastname@example.org
EDUCATION AND CERTIFICATION Bachelor of Science, Family and Consumer Sciences, May 20xx Meredith College, Raleigh, NC Major GPA 4.00 License GPA 3.86 Cumulative GPA 3.68 North Carolina Seventh through Twelfth Grade Teaching License, May 20xx Meredith College, Raleigh, NC
PUBLIC HEALTH EXPERIENCE Cooking Instructor, Holly Springs Cultural Center; Holly Springs, North Carolina, May 20xx to present • Promote awareness of healthy food choices and alternative cooking techniques Camp Counselor, Kraft Family YMCA; Holly Springs, North Carolina, May 20xx to August 20xx • Campaigned appropriate food and beverage selections for kids through visual aids and displays Awareness Advocate, Susan G. Komen Foundation; Raleigh, North Carolina, October 20xx • Advocated for public awareness and education on breast health and breast cancer screening
MEREDITH A. STUDENT
MeredithAStudent@gmail.com 919.123.4567 - 1234 Meredith Drive, Raleigh, NC 12345 - Raleigh, NC 12345
EXPERIENCE: Design Center Coordinator, Hauser Homes, Inc., Charlottesville, VA, June 2008- Present o Stage model homes to appeal to potential buyers o Meet with prospective clients to explore client needs and desires for their home o Develop creative and innovative design concepts covering all aspects of home design o Develop preliminary design concepts through block diagrams, schematic layouts, and specifications o Prepare design documents and plans for kitchens and bathrooms o Manage selection and interior/exterior design & development modifications o Work with construction, product development, purchasing and estimating teams to bring the designs to fruition o Proficient in computer based drafting system (CADD) o Address ergonomic and ADA code compliance o Monitor project progress to guarantee compliance and adherence with contract documents and ensure quality Develop and maintain a punch-list of items remaining, issue summary reports to management including project insights that will be beneficial to future projects o
Sales Associate, Hillary’s Interiors, Inc., Raleigh, NC, March 2006 – June 2008 o Staged showroom displays with furniture and accessories o Established exceptional customer relations by working one on one with clients o Assisted customers in selecting fine home furnishings, accessories, and custom furniture o Developed spatial layouts for customers based on their needs and interior restrictions
Interior Design Intern, Schelfe & Associates, Raleigh, NC April 2005 - August 2005 o Assisted designers with on-site and office client consultations o Staged 2005 ASID Carolinas Raleigh Showhouse o Performed on-site measuring for installation of window treatments o Assisted with lighting, furniture and fabric selection for clients
PUBLIC EDUCATION EXPERIENCE Education Licensure Student, School of Education; Meredith College, October 20xx to May 20xx • Develop teaching techniques effective for variety of learning modes and special needs • Continuing practice of collaboration in diverse cross-cultural and group settings • Incorporating skills to effectively plan, develop, implement, and evaluate education programs • Exceptional practice with public speaking in large groups and in classroom settings Teacher Intern, Wake County Public Schools, North Carolina, January 20xx to May 20xx • Gain experience working with populations of diverse racial and socio-economic backgrounds • Learn how to assess needs of audience, in order to determine appropriate topics to cover • Develop educational material individually and collaboratively with cooperating teachers • Plan lessons consistent with goals and objectives of the state, county, and school system
Interior Design Intern, Momentum Group (Interior Design, Project Management Firm), May 2003 - August 2003 o Displayed multi-tasking capabilities by assisting clients with billing information, project updates and other administrative tasks o Developed client relation skills through daily interaction with clients, contractors, furniture and material dealers Coordinated meetings with subcontractors and superintendents
Interior and graphic design students have more flexibility with resume design and are encouraged to demonstrate their creativity through their design.
The Umbra Institute, Perugia, Italy (August 2005 - December 2005) Università per Stranieri di Perugia, Perugia, Italy (August 2005- December 2005)
EDUCATION: Meredith College, Council for Interior Design Accreditation (Formerly FIDER), Raleigh, NC Bachelor of Science: May 2008; Major: Interior Design, Minor: Art
LEADERSHIP: American Society of Interior Designers (ASID), Secretary (2007 -2008) Kappa Omicron Nu: National Honor Society for Human Sciences, President (2007 -2008) Committee Chair, YWCA Racial Diversity Initiative (2002 – 2004)
LEADERSHIP EXPERIENCE Vice President, Campus Activities Board; Meredith College, August 20xx to May 20xx • Presided over and lead student executive board meetings • Selected peers for executive board and designated duties according to needs of organization • Supervised peers in the planning and preparation of campus wide events Member-at-Large, Kappa Omicron Nu; Meredith College, August 20xx to Present • Attend state-wide professional conference and communicate plans and goals of chapter • Organize events in accordance to campus policies and national organization by-laws
HONORS AND PROFESSIONAL INVOLVEMENT
Descriptions are not a “laundry list” of duties. Rather they highlight this student’s skills and impact/value to the organization.
• Meredith College Academic Award Scholarship Recipient, 20xx – 20xx • Alpha Lambda Delta, Freshman Honor Society, January 20xx - Present • Kappa Omicron Nu, Family and Consumer Sciences Honor Society, February 20xx – Present • Kappa Delta Pi, Education Honor Society, March 20xx- Present • American Association for Family and Consumer Sciences, Student Member, April 20xx – Present
Utilization of space – This student effectively used only two lines to provide name and contact information as space was tight.
Meredith Student 1234 Meredith Drive, Raleigh, NC 12345
Meredith.Student@yahoo.com (919) 123-4567
Techniques in Microscopy Acquired skills working on Aquatic Environmental Microbiology research Basic molecular, biotechnology biology and chemistry skills Research involving water quality testing and constructing a protocol in determining toxin levels of Microcystin-LR in water Aseptic Techniques
OBJECTIVE To acquire a position with a national accredited agency, offering opportunity to utilize my research experience, skills and education in research for the biochemical field. SKILLS EDUCATION Meredith College, Raleigh, NC Bachelor of Science, May 2009, Overall GPA 3.3 Major: Biochemistry, Minor: Mathematics RESEARCH EXPERIENCE Research Assistant, Meredith College, Raleigh, NC, May-August 2008 Received summer research stipend for study of Cyanobacteria and gained extensive understanding from library research and investigations of such bacteria from samples of Meredith pond. Cultured micro-organisms to determine identity. Developed knowledge of basic microbiological and basic molecular genetics. Tested DNA sample kits to see if applicable in a classroom environment. Created and presented a PowerPoint project to fellow students and faculty advisors.
RELEVANT EXPERIENCE Tutor in Biology, Chemistry, and Mathematics Triangle Learning Consultants, Raleigh, NC May 2007-Present Increase student knowledge through individual and small group tutoring sessions. Answer complex problems using critical thinking skills. Lab Technician: General Chemistry Labs Meredith College, Raleigh, NC, August 2006-Present Keep students on task, answering questions about experiments and calculations. Create and promote a safe lab environment to students and properly monitor all lab equipment and chemicals stored in the lab. Pharmacy Technician Eckerd Pharmacy, Raleigh, NC, May-August 2006, 2007 Responded to customers needs by filling prescriptions, filing insurance, and ordering drugs under the Pharmacists’ supervision. WORK EXPERIENCE Sales Associate Hecht’s, Raleigh, NC, February 2004-March 2005 Belk, Cary, NC, January 2003-February 2004 Provided strong customer service by answering questions and responding to customer concerns.
Research and class projects are oftentimes an appropriate addition to the resume– particularly as it relates to the employer’s needs.
HONORS & ASSOCIATIONS Member, Tri Beta Biological Honor Society, Meredith College Member, Huan Xie Chemistry Honor Society, Meredith College
A bulleted list of skills relevant to your industry will catch the eye of prospective employers.
Graduate School Bound Senior
123 The Oaks, 3800 Hillsborough St, Raleigh, NC 27607 • email@example.com • (919) 123-4567
EDUCATION AND CERTIFICATIONS
Meredith College – Raleigh, NC Bachelor of Science in Exercise and Sports Science, Psychology Minor, May 20XX GPA: 3.93/4.0, Summa Cum Laude
American Council on Exercise (ACE) Lifestyle and Weight Management Coach Certification, April 20XX Group Fitness Instructor Certification, May 20XX American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) Health Fitness Specialist Certification, December 20XX American Heart Association CPR, AED, O2, and First Aid Certifications,Current
TAC FITNESS (Cary, NC), Group Fitness Instructor/Trainer, May 20XX-present Plan and implement on-land fitness classes for the fitness program at Triangle Aquatic Center Teach and train participants in Tabata, Bootcamp, Strength & Core, and Lunch-Time fitness classes ● ●
WAKEMED HEALTHWORKS (Raleigh, NC), Student Intern, January 20XX-April 20XX Observed and assisted exercise specialists in group fitness, cardiac rehab, and clinical settings Observed dietician, nurses, and counselor in evaluations, classes, and rehab settings Worked with patients in the fitness center, in rehab, and in special programs Assisted with group exercise and special programs for non-traditional exercisers Completed administrative work dealing with all aspects of Healthworks ● ● ● ● ●
ANGELS IN MOTION (Raleigh, NC), Group Fitness Instructor, September 20XX-November 20XX Planned and implemented free fitness classes for the students at Meredith College Taught two cardio boot camp classes of 10-35 students ● ●
WELLNESS ADVISORY COMMITTEE (Raleigh, NC), Student Representative , August 20XX-May 20XX Assessed and evaluated the health and wellness of Meredith College Developed wellness initiatives for students, faculty, and staff ● ●
WORKING ON WELLNESS AT WORK (WOW!) (Raleigh, NC), Instructor, October 20XX-May 20XX Planned and implemented two fitness classes for the faculty/staff wellness program at Meredith College Taught Powerflex, Walking, Circuit Training, Cardio Interval, and Core group fitness classes ● ●
MEREDITH COLLEGE (Raleigh, NC), Fitness Center Supervisor, August 20XX-May 20XX Created a weekly staff schedule for ten employees Calculated monthly attendance totals Kept the fitness center clean and organized Completed administrative duties ● ● ● ●
THE CYPRESS OF RALEIGH CLUB, INC. (Raleigh, NC), Volunteer, February 20XX-present Assist Wellness Coordinator in leading fitness classes Assist with annual health fair Engage members in quality exercise while having fun ● ● ●
This is an example of a Scannable Resume. See page 20 for more information related to scannable resumes.
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 A. Student 1234 Meredith Drive Raleigh, NC 12345 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 * 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-produceb 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, rememberin 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.
Effective letters are as important in a job search as a resume. Employers 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.” (Additional information can be found in “Professional Emails” section.)
Outline for Sample Cover Letter (Your complete address) (Your City, State, Zip Code) (Date)
Sample Cover Letters
Employer/Representative Name Employer/Representative Title Organization’s Name Address of Organization City, State, Zip Code
Jane Brown Human Resources Director Workplace Options 6500 First Blvd., Suite 300 Raleigh, NC 27604
Dear (Representative’s Name):
Dear Ms. Brown:
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.
I am eager to achieve new goals, learn new skills and interact with new people. These are the reasons I am responding to the advertisement recently posted with Meredith Academic & Career Planning for the position of Resource and Referral Specialist at Workplace Options. I researched the company website and believe I can contribute and enjoy the ultimate goal of improving families’ options by providing assistance to their work/ life issues.
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) Enclosure
1234 Meredith Drive Raleigh, NC 12345 August 10, 2008 Edelman Productions 4455 Connecticut Ave. NW Suite #250
My years at Meredith College have given me many opportunities to work on task-oriented research assignments both individual and group-designed. My project assignments have run the gamut from a group project about families dealing with chronic illness to an individual project about special needs for people with a physical disability. My internship at Resource for Seniors Inc. in Raleigh has equipped me with the basic knowledge and exposure to a resource and referral work environment. During this internship, I researched and updated files and talked with clients about their various needs and concerns. I realize each organization has it’s own methods of conducting business. I am excited about providing my knowledge as well as learning new approaches to achieving results. With regard to my salary requirements, I am willing to consider a salary consistent with my education and experience. I look forward to discussing my qualifications with you in person. Sincerely,
Washington, DC 2010 Dear Hiring Manager,
Meredith A. Student 919.123.4567
In seeking out a uniquely creative and hands-on design job in the Washington DC area, I discovered the Behind the Scenes Design Assistant position. The position distinctively set itself apart from all other jobs as it sparked my excitement for physical design application in a dynamic, hightempo environment. I bring over five years of professional design experience, as well as a bachelor’s degree in interior design from a Council for Interior Design Accredited program. Within my design career I have been involved in many projects requiring physical and creative implementation of design through painting, remodeling work and artistic creation. I have found through my experiences within the design and building industry that the hands-on, creative work, specifically staging homes, is where my passions lie. In my current position, as the sole designer within my company, I work with clients personalizing the interior and exterior of their homes, staging model homes, and managing design projects for over 80 homes a year. This new role, which would combine my home design experience with the daily excitement and challenges of staging a home, bringing it all together, and being a part of that team process, is the ideal match for my interests and talents. Once again I would like to express my interest in joining your company as a Behind the Scenes Design Assistant. Please review my attached resume at your convenience. References and my design portfolio are available upon request. You may reach me by phone 919.123.4567 or via email at MeredithStudent@gmail.com. Thank you for your consideration. I look forward to speaking with you in the near future. Sincerely, Meredith A. Student
Professional Emails Professional email is very different from casual email or instant messenger. Remember: it’s easier to be ‘ruled out’ than ‘ruled in’ for a position. Here are some rules to consider when writing an email in which you are job prospecting or applying for a job.
Email Cover Letter
* When an employer emails you, always respond. For example, imagine you applied for a job via email and the employer emails you for an interview. Return a message regardless of your interest – it is better to withdraw than to not respond. * Always introduce yourself the same way you would in a cover letter. For example, Dear Mr./Mrs. So and So: I am writing in regard to your posting on…for XYZ positions in financial services. * Treat your email as if you were writing a professional cover or thank-you letter on paper, but be brief. * In the subject line, make it obvious why you are writing: “Application for XYZ postion.” * Make sure you change the contact name and content according to the person/company to whom you are sending the message. * If you are responding to an email, include the original message in the reply, so the receiver can put your email into the correct context. Also, respond within two business days. * Always spell words correctly! Don’t just use spell check. It won’t catch words that are mis use within the context of the sentence, even though they are spelled correctly. * Never use all capital letters. Employers may think that you are screaming. It is alson difficult to read. * Think about the message your email address sends. Keep your address simple, and avoid unprofessional sounding names like “partygirl.”
* Read your message carefully before you click the send button. The tone of an email can often be misinterpreted. * Have someone else proofread your message before you send it. It may be easier to find errors if you print and review your email. * Scan your resume for viruses before you attach it to your email. * Name your document “your name, resume.” Employers receive hundreds of resumes via email. If you follow-up by asking recruiters if they received your email, they won’t have to look through 300 attachments called “resume.” * If you are attaching your resume, ask the receiver if they would prefer that you send it in a different format, ie: Word Perfect, rich text format, or as a PDF. * Do not assume that if an employer is informal that you should be. * Don’t just rely on email. Email can be lost. Follow-ups can often be done via the telephone or regular mail.
250 Main Street
Thank You Letter
Wake Forest, NC 25555 May 26, 2007 Ms. Bridget Green Vice-President Triangle Publishing Company 234 Gant Street Durham, NC 28888 Dear Ms. Green: Thank you for the opportunity to interview with you yesterday for the Writer/Editor position. I enjoyed learning more about your work at Triangle Publishing Company. I am eager to begin my career as a writer and editor. Through my internship and summer experiences, I gained knowledge and expertise in correct writing form, interviewing for stories and working as a member of a team. I appreciated the opportunity to discuss my qualifications with you. Should you need additional information, please let me know. I will look forward to hearing from you soon. Sincerely,
Meredith A. Student 919.123.4567
678 Barefoot Hall Meredith College 3800 Hillsborough Street Raleigh, NC 27607 July 18, 2007 Ms. Yvonne Wellspring Manager, Research and Development Scientific Associates 4111 Phillips Avenue Charlotte, NC 23455 Dear Ms. Wellspring: I am pleased to accept your offer for the Research Lab Assistant position at Scientific Associates. I look forward to working with the team of scientists I met during my interview. I accept the salary and terms of employment stated in your letter dated July 17, 2007. As agreed upon, I will report to work on August 15, 2007. I look forward to being a part of Scientific Associates. Thank you for your confidence in me and for the opportunity this represents. Sincerely,
Meredith A. Student 919.123.4567
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.
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)
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) 34
3 Stages of the Interview Process:
Actions Speak Louder Than Words
Non verbal communication tips for interviews
Before the Interview (Preparation)
Your Appearance & Dressing for the Interview “You never get a second chance to make a first impression.”
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. 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 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 relevant skills and experiences * 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. Dress * The appropriate attire will contribute to a positive first impression. 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
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. 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.
Behavioral Questions Many employers use a behavioral interview style of questioning. The goal is to see how you react in various situations. 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?
Sample Questions to Ask an Employer * What would it take to exceed your expectations for this position? * 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. No salary questions during the initial interview.
Think Strategically, Respond Convincingly
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. “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
* 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 and
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.
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 workstudies, parttime jobs, internships & co-ops
Assess • 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.
* View and apply for full time positions
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.
* Report that you’ve been hired in a workstudy, internship, co-op, fulltime position, or accepted to graduate/ professional school.
* Allow an employer to view your uploaded resume * Sign up for On Campus Recruiting
* Search the Employer Database for contact information * Check out upcoming events sponsored by ACP
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?
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? 39
Experience * 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?
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 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 Verbal Communication * Persuasive/passionate in presenting ideas * Quickly grasps concepts/questions * Responds directly to questions * Uses correct grammar and vocabulary–articulate * Ideas presented logically and concisely Direction * Well-defined goals * Confidence in abilities * Proactive and self motivated * Demonstrates diligence and the ability to produce quality results in timely fashion
Leadership * Held leadership roles and responsibilities within competitive organizations * Moves others to action * Decisive and demonstrates sound judgment * Self-reliant * Passionate about his/her pursuits * Sets goals and follows through * Identifies opportunities and takes responsibility Sincerity * Genuine attitude * Honesty and sincerity Interpersonal Skills * Enthusiastic, energetic * Motivated, mature and has initiative * Comfortable/confident around many personality types * Open, engaging and candid demeanor * Listening skills * Empathy Flexibility * 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
Problem Solving * Resolves problems with logical approach * Comes to reasonable conclusions * Enjoys and demonstrates problem solving * Effectively combines diverse information * Shows common sense * Inquisitive 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
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.
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. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15.
Listen to the problem Take notes Restate the problem Verify objective Ask clarifying questions Think “big picture” first, think top down Identify the type of case Structure the problem Organize your answer, manage your time Be creative and brainstorm without commitment Be “coachable” – listen to the interviewer’s feedback Think out loud (but think first) Bring closure and summarize Show enthusiasm and a positive attitude Have fun
This is a general guideline to negotiate salary. To discuss your specific situation come see us in ACP.
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. The Job 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? The Organization How is the employer perceived in its field or industry? How will your values mesh with the organization’s culture? Location 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? Advancement Opportunities 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? Performance Evaluation 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? Salary/Benefits 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?
After you Accept an Offer
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.
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 part-time 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 ACP Resource Room): * National Association of Colleges and Employers Salary Guide
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?
Are you lawfully employable full-time in
Where were you born?
the United States? What languages do
What is your “native” tongue?
you read, speak, or write fluently?
Do you own or rent your home?
Where do you live?
How old are you?
Are you over the age of 18?
What is your date of birth? Marital Status
What is your martial status?
Travel is an important part of the job for
How many children do you have?
which you are interviewing. Would you be
What child care arrangements have
willing to travel as needed?
Would you be willing to relocate if necessary?
List any clubs or social organizations to
List any professional or trade groups or
which you belong.
other organizations that you consider relevant to your ability to perform this job.
Physical Conditions and Handicaps
Do you have any handicaps or
Do you have any disabilities that would
disabilities? Have you ever received
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
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 pre-employment inquiries.
Name/Address of relative to be notified
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.”
Name/Address of person to be notified
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.”
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….” 42
Pursuing Graduate & Professional 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
Deciding on 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.
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.
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 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.
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 (*$150) 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
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 yearof 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. 45
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