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9 >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> 19 >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> 33 >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> 45 >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>



Handshake HANDSHAKE.AUBURN.EDU he AU Career Center and the Harbert College of Business Office of Professional and Career Development have launched a new career and job search platform called Handshake. Accessing your Handshake account is quick and easy! Go to, click Auburn University Student Login, and use your Auburn username (e.g., abc1234) and password to login to your account – it’s as simple as that!


• Access more jobs & internships • Utilize powerful job search tools • Engage with helpful career resources

Take a picture in the Handshake chair! #GiveYouAHand @AUCAREER


Our Location R. ROOSE










MARY MARTIN HALL Home of the Auburn University Career Center


Due to accessibility limitations, please notify us if special accommodations are needed. For assistance making an appointment in an accessible location, please call 334.844.4744.


Table of


Title Page.............................................................................................................. 1 On Location.......................................................................................................... 3 Table of Contents................................................................................................ 4 Menu of Services................................................................................................. 5 The College Road Map..................................................................................... 6 Career Events/Contact Information................................................................ 8 Execute Your Job Search................................................................................ 9 The Job Search.................................................................................................... 10 Skills Employers Look For.................................................................................. 12 Experience is Everything.................................................................................... 13 How to Work a Career Fair................................................................................ 14 Conducting an Online Job Search................................................................. 15 Specialized Resources........................................................................................ 16 Next Steps............................................................................................................. 18 MarketYourself................................................................................................. 19 Types of Marketing Materials............................................................................ 20 Résumé................................................................................................................. 22 Cover Letter.......................................................................................................... 26 Digital Identity...................................................................................................... 28 Using LinkedIn..................................................................................................... 29 Showcase Your Work.......................................................................................... 30 Utilize Free Resources........................................................................................ 31 Next Steps............................................................................................................. 32 Land a Job........................................................................................................ 33 Interviewing: General Info................................................................................ 34 Types of Interviews.............................................................................................. 35 How to Prepare: Resources............................................................................... 36 Illegal Questions.................................................................................................. 37 Behavioral Interviewing...................................................................................... 38 Dress for Success................................................................................................. 40 Professional Etiquette......................................................................................... 42 Next Steps............................................................................................................. 44 Start Your Career.............................................................................................. 45 Evaluating Job Offers......................................................................................... 46 Salary Negotiation............................................................................................... 47 1st Year on the Job............................................................................................. 48 Next Steps............................................................................................................. 49 DIRECTOR Nancy Bernard





Addye Buckley-Burnell Torey Palmer Dori Weldon

Alex Williamson



• Career Center Resources:

• Career Counseling: free one-on-one sessions

• Job Search Resources:

• Interest and personality assessments

• eRésumé Review:

• Workshops and networking events

• Pathways: Major Guides: pathways

• UNIV 1150: Exploring Majors Learning Community (freshmen only)

JOB & INTERNSHIP SEARCH PREP • Career Coaching: free one-on-one sessions • Résumé and cover letter reviews


• Handshake: job/internship listings, career expos and on-campus interviews

• Interview practice

• CareerShift: Comprehensive job search and networking site

• Workshops and networking events

• GoinGlobal: Information on working abroad

• InterviewStream: Online interview practice software

SOCIAL MEDIA • “Like” us: • Follow us: • View our pins: • Join our group: (Search: Auburn University Career Center) • Follow us:

SPECIAL PROGRAMS • Auburn on the Hill Congressional Internships: • Peer Career Advisors • Your Major: Career Discovery Workshop: • Pathways: Major Guides:



College Road Map FRESHMAN YEAR • Join at least one service or leadership organization • Meet with a career counselor to establish needs • Begin developing a professional résumé • Register with Handshake at handshake.auburn. edu • Look for opportunities to build your résumé (e.g. leadership, service, work, etc.)

SOPHOMORE YEAR • Join a career related organization or professional association • Research specific careers and required qualifications • Attend career expos and employer information sessions • Participate in job shadowing or conduct an informational interview with a professional in your field of interest • Begin developing useful skills through part– time jobs, internships, and volunteering

For specific information about progression within your major, visit


he career planning process takes time and small steps can be taken throughout your college education to research your options, develop your skills, build your résumé, and make connections with potential employers. There is no need to worry if you haven't completed each recommended step during the suggested year. Evaluate where you are in your own career planning process and take action now to prepare yourself for the job search.


JUNIOR YEAR • Pursue a leadership role in a campus organization • Update your résumé and have it reviewed in the Career Center • Update the information in your Handshake account • Attend career expos and employer information sessions • Complete an internship to gain career related experience

SENIOR YEAR • Discuss upcoming career plans with a career counselor • Update your résumé for the job search • Update your Handshake account and participate in on–campus interviews • Attend career expos and employer information sessions • Schedule a mock interview to practice interview skills • Begin applying for jobs 8–10 months before graduation


Campus Career Events

Internship & Part-Time Job Fair Fall & Spring semesters STEM Career Expo Fall & Spring semesters Harbert College of Business Career Fair Fall & Spring semesters Grad School Info Day Fall semester Education Interview Day Fall & Spring semesters All Majors Career Expo Fall & Spring semesters Communication & Media Career Day Spring semester For a list of Spring 2016 events visit

Auburn University

Career Center

334.844.4744 >> 303 Martin Hall >> DROP-IN HOURS Monday-Friday 9AM-4PM


Need assistance? Get started by coming in to the Career Center during drop-in hours for a brief 15 minute meeting. If additional help is needed, an appointment can be made at that time.

APPOINTMENTS Schedule an appointment in Handshake or call 334.844.4744.

Execute Your Job Search KEY WORDS

Networking | Timeline | Career Fair | Online Job Search | Experience


ésumés, and cover letters, and portfolios, oh my! You may feel like you’re walking down your yellow brick road of job searching with no direction of which way to go. Luckily for you, we have plenty of resources to help you navigate your job search effectively. When beginning your job search, you will need to know where to look to find job postings. Use the information on the following pages to research employers and find companies that stand out to you. By using resources like Handshake, LinkedIn, career fairs, and other job search portals, you will be setting yourself up for success. In addition to these job searching outlets, follow companies on social media and interact with them. More and more companies are starting to market their job postings through social media, so use this resource to browse for postings as well.

Ultimately, you will get out of job searching what you put into it. If you are applying minimal effort and not using these previously mentioned resources, your return will likely be minimal as well. However, if you are actively using these resources and remaining persistent, the return can often be positive. Finding a job can be hard work and require patience, but keeping the end goal in mind is crucial. This chapter will discuss finding available positions, growing your network, leveraging skills and experiences most desired by employers, navigating career fairs, and using online job search outlets.• DORI WELDON Career Counselor


the Job >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Networking It is estimated that 65%-80% of jobs are found through networking. Network to gain information about your career field of interest and to develop contacts that can help you achieve your goals. Networking contacts can fall into one of three categories, personal, pro-personal and professional. The type of connection you have with each contact can affect the way in which you communicate. For example, you will discuss career goals and plans differently with a trusted professor than with a corporate recruiter.


• Family

• Friends • Mentors


• Professors • Advisors

• Classmates


he job search process takes time and a lot of hard work. Fortunately, there are many ways for job seekers to go about locating employment opportunities. To maximize your time and energy, utilize both online and in-person search


methods and be purposeful in identifying opportunities and companies that mesh with your personality, skills, interests, and values, and developing materials to effectively market your skills, education and experiences.


1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8.

Handshake | LinkedIn | CareerShift | Career Expo | On-Campus Recruiting (OCR) | AU faculty and advisors AU alumni clubs Friends and family

• Alumni


• Corporate Recruiters

• Internship Supervisors • Industry Professionals • Alumni Assess your current network by listing people you know from each category. Look for opportunities to expand your network through resources, activities, and events such as career expos, professional organization meetings, informational interviews, and LinkedIn.



Handshake is a great place for Auburn students and alumni to start the job search as it is home to 2,072 employers actively recruiting for open positions. Set up your account at, upload your résumé, and begin searching for jobs and internships immediately.

about your prospective company

> > > > > >

Products and services Company culture


Mission and values Awards and achievements Locations Job titles Parent company and subsidiaries

DO YOUR HOMEWORK Securing a job is more than a quick search on Handshake, reading the job description, and assessing it to be a fit. Job descriptions only begin to reveal the depth and complexity of the companies and organizations to which you will be applying. Making sure that you have a sound understanding of your potential employer is essential in identifying a good position and fit. If you, like many others, are lost and not quite sure to where to begin in the investigative process be sure to check our cheat sheet below to identify potential avenues of research. Know that each one will provide a different nuanced approach to discovering information about an organization.

C H E AT S H E E T These websites are great resources for discovering the types of companies and people for whom you could work. You would research a potential significant other; why wouldn’t you research a potential employer?

1. 2. 3. 4.



5. Glass Door | 6. Career Shift | 7. GoinGlobal | 8. Company Website

Twitter | LinkedIn | Facebook |

Summer • Research prospective companies

SENIOR August • Create/Refine résumé, cover letter, and ePortfolio with the Career Center September • Identify openings in prospective companies • Attend Career Expos • Utilize On Campus Recruiting (OCR) October -> Employment • Interview • Tweak résumé • Build network • Keep applying!

Instagram |


Skills Employers Look For NACE JOB OUTLOOK 2016

attributes employe rs s e e k in a can didat e 's rĂŠ s u mĂŠ ost of the top skills desired by employers are developed through experiences outside of the classroom. Pursue career related experiences to test out potential employers and industries, put your education into practice, and develop the skills most valued by employers.


1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. Leadership Ability to work in a team Communication skills (written) Problem-solving skills Communication skills (verbal) Strong work ethic Initiative Analytical/Quantitative skills Flexibility/Adaptability Technical skills Interpersonal skills (relates well to others) Computer skills Detail-oriented Organizational ability Friendly/Outgoing personality

Internships will help you understand how much work goes into having a job and help with networking opportunities with other employers. Going to class and getting good grades is not enough, you need to gain the experience and knowledge in any field of study you are going into with hands on experience. - Alexandra Britton, Interned with C.H. Robinson, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, and Stryker


Companies look for related work experience. Internships are a great way to get that experience. Even if you are looking for a fulltime job right after graduation, sometimes it is best to do a summer internship in order to gain experience. - Career Expo Employer

Experience is Everything AUBURN.EDU/EXPERIENCE xperience comes in many forms and depending upon your career goals, you will pursue one or more of the opportunities listed below during your college education. Employers appreciate candidates with a variety of career related experiences. In the 2016 National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) Job Outlook survey, 91.2% of hiring managers indicated a preference for hiring new grads with work experience. 64.2% of those respondents said specifically that they prefer experience to be related to the candidate's career field.



Typically one semester in length

May be paid or unpaid

Can be part–time or full–time

Related to your career field

• •



Typically completed under the direction of a faculty member

Available through campus and community involvement

Related to your career field


Excellent preparation for graduate or professional school

#1 attribute employers look for on a résumé

Provide volunteer services to an organization

Alternate semesters of school and work

Does not have to be related to your career field

Typically paid

Can be any length of time

Can be part–time or full–time

Develop philanthropic perspective

Related to your career field


PA R T-T I M E J O B Typically completed while in school or during breaks

• •


Make a like and hate list with your internship, focus on your like category and use that for your next job — from @InternQueen

I N T E R N AT I O N A L Travel to another country

May be a few weeks to a few months in length

Paid work experience

Does not have to be related to your career field

Can involve study and/or work opportunities

Develop skills that can transfer to any career

Experience a different country's culture and customs

A #job or #internship search should strike a balance between broad + specific. Start w/defining your end goal. — from @NUCareerAdvance

For access to detailed information on each of the forms of experience listed above, visit or stop by the Career Center during drop-in hours (303 Martin Hall).


How to Work a Career




Update your résumé and have it reviewed by the Career Center (check out page 22 for more info).

Visit the Career Center Events ( career/events) page to view the required dress for each career fair or flip to pages 40 and 41 to learn how to “Dress for Success”.

Learn about the companies who have registered: •

Who they are

What they do

Where they are located

What types of positions they recruit for

Dress for the job you want, not the job you have.


Make eye contact with the representative

Introduce yourself and shake hands


What you are studying - What you are looking for - What main skills/qualifications you can offer the company 30-45 seconds


Be prepared to ask thoughtful questions

DO NOT ask “What does your company do?”


Find out about the company’s preferred application process (company website, Handshake, other)

Ask for the representative’s business card in order to follow up with a thank you letter/email.

Take notes AFTER leaving the table. Detail the representative’s name, important items you discussed, and next steps.

Follow up that evening or the next day with a thank you letter or email message.

Key Points to Consider Do

Do Not

Research the companies of interest to you before arriving

Talk or text on your phone around company representatives

Take a deep breath

Be a table hog

Practice your elevator speech

Try on your suit before career fair

Speak negatively about any company, representative, peer, or yourself

Have the Career Center review your résumé

Wear a book bag or heavy coat while browsing


Conducting an Online

Job Search

WHERE TO FIND POSITIONS - > Handshake Get access to full-time, part-time, and

– access through Handshake > CareerShift CareerShift is a job aggregator that will search

– > LinkedIn Find and apply for positions and network with

Websites > Company Visit the websites of companies that interest

internship postings by creating an account in Handshake.

Auburn alumni who live in the cities or work for the companies of interest to you.

all public job postings using your job title, keyword or location criteria.

you and search for openings on their “Careers” page.


Search entry-level positions by your major in Auburn’s database, Handshake or use LinkedIn to find recent graduates of your program to see their job titles and where they are working. Search using keywords such as your major, position titles, or skills you can offer to refine your search. To apply or not to apply? Apply for positions where you meet 75% of the qualifications.

M ATC H T H E P O S I T I O N D E S C R I P T I O N Review each position description carefully and make sure your résumé and cover letter highlight the key skills and qualifications requested by the employer. Change your cover letter for each application to highlight how you specifically fit the position description

and show your interest in working for that particular company. Use the same language/wording in your résumé and cover letter that is in the job description. If the description asks for a “red sweater” don’t tell them in your résumé that you have a “crimson cardigan.”

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> AVOID SCAM POSTINGS

Be cautious when applying to online job postings and avoid those that require a fee or your Social Security number to apply. 15

Specialized Resources VETERANS

Returning to civilian life and college after serving in the military can bring about a variety challenges and unique concerns. The Auburn University Career Center is happy to help ease this transition. Many employers, including the federal government, see the benefits of hiring veterans, and have developed programs to increase recruitment of this population. • • • • •

Hire Heroes USA | VetCentral | Combat to Corporate | VetJobs | Federal Jobs |

Utilizing all of your resources in the Auburn University Career Center and the Veterans Resource Center will help you prepare for the transition ahead and succeed in your future profession.


Job searching for those within the LGBT+ spectrum can present additional challenges, especially for those individuals beyond the gender binary. As there is no blanket federal non-discrimination protection for LGBT+ job seekers it is important to understand the applicable discrimination protections available in the state you are applying. As well you will want to be aware of discrimination policies in place for housing and public accommodations. It is also important to note that employers within discriminatory states may have higher standards when it comes to equal employment opportunity (EEO) protections. The Career Center counseling staff is Safe Zone trained and are able to help you navigate these issues in a welcoming and judgment-free environment. • Human Rights Campaign (HRC) | -- Advocacy organization for LGBT+ people with many resources for career and personal application • Lambda Legal | -- Easy to use website to research your rights as an LGBT+ person in and out of the workplace • Out for Work | -- Provides resources for LGBT+ engaged in the job search and maintains a registry of employers with LGBT+ positive hiring practices



The Auburn University Career Center is here to assist with any accessibility concerns you may have while job searching. There are resources available through our office and the University that can assist you with preparing for employment. • • • •

The Auburn University Office of Accessibility | 1228 Haley Center ( Federal Disability Resources | Career Opportunities for Students with Disabilities (COSD) | National Organization on Disability |

Career Counselors are available to meet students on campus or conduct online appointments if you have accessibility needs that could prevent you from coming to Mary Martin Hall. To schedule an online or out-of-office appointment, please call (334) 844-4744.


Navigating the job search as an international student can be difficult and there is a lot you will need to know before your search. Knowing what is allowed with your specific Visa is only the beginning of the process. Come to the Career Center for additional information. General information for F1 visa students: • Allowed to work part-time (up to 20 hours per week) for the university only. • Option of utilizing Curricular Practical Training (CPT): while in classes to gain experience related to your major. Many restrictions apply and student must attend CPT workshop and go through official process through Office of International Programs. • Optional Practical Training (OPT) : allows students to work part-time if done prior to completion of program or full-time after completion for program without needing immediate sponsorship from an employer. Position must relate to degree earned and typically lasts 12 months. Many restrictions apply and students must attend an OPT workshop in the Office of International Programs and file paperwork with the government to qualify. • H1B Visa: work visa that must be sponsored by an employer for continued work in the US. Limited number of visas are granted each year and awarded in a lottery through the Federal Government. • For much more in-depth information about, visit Office of International Programs- international Here are some of resources to help you in identifying internships, part-time, and full-time opportunities: • Handshake | find part-time positions on campus as well as internships and full-time positions • GoinGlobal (found in Handshake) | identify companies who have filed paperwork for H1B visas in the past • My Visa Jobs |


NEXT STEPS Begin your job search 8-10 months before graduation Identify employers for research and exploration Log into your Handshake account and make sure all information is correct and up-to-date Assess your current networking and identity opportunities to expand your professional network Begin professional dress investment for wear at career fairs Speak with a career counselor for additional assistance


Market Yourself KEY WORDS

Résumé | Cover Letter | Curriculum Vitae | Portfolio | LinkedIn | eRésumé


arketing yourself may be a foreign or just overwhelming concept, but it is an essential part of the job search and career progression. No, you are not a product, but like it or not, you are your own brand and it is up to you to let others know why they should be interested. What do you want people to remember about you? What skills and abilities do you bring to the table? The key to effectively selling yourself is to think like the employer and ask yourself, “What would I want to see in an applicant?” Use this as a guide when creating your creating your marketing materials (aka résumés, curriculum vitae (CVs), portfolios, etc...) and be creative in how you get your information out there.

Let’s face it, no one enjoys writing résumés, CVs, and cover letters but we all know they are important and will be needed for every new position, promotion, and even graduate/professional schools. The purpose of these documents is to prove that you have the skills needed for the position and land the interview. It is just bad marketing to not adapt the documents to your

audience or have misspelled words and/or grammatical mistakes. This is the first impression others will have of you, so make it exceptional.

Just like you, employers are online and many are using the internet to find and research prospective employees before hiring. What will they see when they Google you? You will of course want to clean up any profiles or pictures that are not so flattering, but do not be afraid to use your online presence to promote yourself as well. Having a welldeveloped profile on LinkedIn and an online portfolio/ePortfolio are just two of the ways you can promote yourself and learn from others in your career field or industry. Both allow you to add artifacts that prove your skills sets and add a picture to personalize your brand. Just remember to include the URL from your portfolio on you résumé to direct employers to your site. Even after landing a position, keep your profiles clean and updated so you can leverage them for a promotion or new position later. This sounds like a lot of work, but the effort will pay off in the long run. Remember the Career Center is here to help every step of the way. ADDYE BUCKLEY-BURNELL Career Counselor


Types of Marketing Materials


arketing materials come in various shapes, sizes, and utility. It is important to note that what might work best for one candidate, might not be the ideal model for another. As you begin considering which marketing tools might be most beneficial for you, remember too that what works best for some employers might not be what is best for others. If you find yourself struggling to make the selection, be sure to reach out and ask the Career Center for assistance.


Of all the items discussed in this section, the résumé is likely the most familiar. An almost universal presence in any job search, the résumé is the de facto document of choice by employers to assess past experiences, skills, and abilities.

So, what is a résumé? In short, a résumé is a targeted (notice the emphasis on targeted) marketing document that best illustrates the most relevant skills, abilities, and experiences for the particular position that you are applying for. Contrary to the evidence presented in eRésumé submissions (more on what eRésumé is later), a résumé’s worth is not indicated by the number of pages it contains, but instead on the quality and pertinence of information provided.

Job searchers and hopeful applicants do themselves a disservice when they only create one version of their résumé and send it to all their prospective employers. Imagine the look on your face when you receive a standard form letter in the mail, now imagine that exact same look on an employer’s face when they read a standard form résumé. This likely was not the reaction you were hoping for. For examples of potential different layouts and different examples within majors be sure to look at career/résumé.



Arguably the most personal and potentially impactful of the marketing materials (if done correctly), the cover letter is an essential part of any applicants submitted materials. And yes, before you ask, a cover letter should always be included unless you are specifically told not to.

Where résumés and C.V.s show skills, abilities, and past experiences a cover letter demonstrates fit for a role. This document provides the applicant an opportunity to prove why they are the best candidate for that particular position. A potential candidate should feel free to “borrow” language from the job description and incorporate it into their selling pitch. A cover letter should entice someone to read your résumé. For many employers having a candidate that can fit within their established company culture is an important trait in the potential applicant and your cover letter provides an excellent opportunity to showcase this aspect. As with résumé writing, a potential applicant does themselves a disservice by utilizing the same standard cover letter for all of the positions. It is difficult to show how one might fit in at Apple Inc. when one uses the same cover letter as their application to Microsoft Inc. Marketing materials should look to make an impact. This is exceedingly difficult to do when all your cover letters are the same. As with résumés, for most cases, a cover letter should never exceed more than one page. Other small items to pay attention to: A cover letter is a business letter, as such it uses a colon after the salutation and does not indent paragraphs. As well, you should do your very best to find an individual to address your letter to, a little thing, but little things make all the difference.


A curriculum vitae, or as it is more commonly known C.V., is an entirely different document than a résumé. Where a résumé is a targeted marketing document, crafted for singular positions or roles, the C.V. is a complete history of experience. For most entry level candidates there will likely be very little difference between their résumé and C.V., but in later careers the differences become more marked. Where a résumé will always be geared toward brevity and specificity a C.V. is more of a comprehensive history of past experience. It is not uncommon for C.V.s to go on for multiple pages.

You might also notice that the curriculum vitae is more often used in fields like academia and those where research plays a large role. Common sections included in C.V.s but not as often in résumés include: Conference Presentations, Publications, Poster Sessions, Thesis, and Research. In addition to academic settings the C.V. is often used in international job searches. If you find yourself struggling with which document to use, come to the Career Center (303 Mary Martin Hall) for individualized feedback.


There might come a time in your job search where you are asked to submit a portfolio of your work. If you do not already have a portfolio, after the initial panic of providing something that you do not have wears off, you might find yourself wondering what exactly to include or, more importantly, what exactly is a portfolio. Simply put, a portfolio is collection of examples. These examples will vary from field to field. Where a graphic designer might submit examples of layouts, a health services administrator might submit a previously conducted assessment of efficiency. The sophisticated word for these things you put in your portfolio is “artifact”. A portfolio should showcase your work at its most brilliant and sublime bearing in mind some fields will require examples of your creative process along with the final product. The portfolio is not the time for humility nor is it the time for it plagiarism. Be sure that the examples/artifacts that you are using your portfolio are actually works of superior quality and that they belong to you. Imitation might be the sincerest form of flattery but you should want to showcase your own individual works.

Also, you should look to showcase a variety of works. Do not submit 15 versions of the same kind of item, instead showcase the breadth of your brilliance by giving an employer or admissions panel many types of artifacts so that they can see your ability to create across a spectrum.


Where a portfolio is comprised of actual tangible items, an ePortfolio is electronic. No less representative of your work or ability, it is just not an actual physical item. The same types of things you would include into a physical portfolio should be included here as well. The electronic version might allow for more ability to provide context and why an employer should care that you’re electing to show them these items. One should take special note however to not get too weighted down in reflection and context, when many employers will be wanting to get directly to the point. What might work for an academic audience, might not work for an industry oriented audience. You will need to use your best judgment when assessing what will work for either audience.

In addition to being wonderfully convenient ePortfolios are part of official university policy. The university officially supports several electronic portfolio platforms and more information can be found on auburn. edu/eportfolios and on page 28.

DID YOU KNOW? In many international cultures, the curriculum vitae is the preferred professional document of choice. If you are conducting an international job search, be sure to check out GoinGlobal, in Handshake at handshake.auburn. edu, for information particular to the country you are looking to work in.


Résumé It is estimated that on average an employer spends between six to fifteen seconds evaluating a résumé during their first review of a document. Decidedly, this is not much time to get through one page, much less seven. For individuals with less than 10 years of experience and no advanced degree a résumé should be one page. As with any rule, there are exceptions. Nursing majors for example typically have two page résumés due to their large amounts of clinical and preceptorship hours.   There is no set of rules for résumé writing, and the information included in your résumé will depend on your unique make up of experiences and skills. Additionally, the content will vary based on the type of position for which you are applying. In fact every résumé that is sent out should be created and modified for the singular position to which you are presently applying. Though it may be a large investment of your time, the ultimate payoff (i.e. getting a job) is worth the effort.

B A S I C F O R M AT T I N G Margins

0.75 inch – 1 inch


Traditional/Non-Ornamental, e.g. Arial, Times New Roman, Garamond


8.5 inch X 11 inch résumé paper

Text Color Black


1 page (for individuals with a bachelor’s degree and/or less than 10 years of experience)


ACTION VERBS F I N A N C I A L / DATA administered adjusted allocated analyzed appraised assessed audited balanced budgeted calculated computed conserved corrected

determined developed estimated measured planned prepared programmed projected reconciled reduced researched retrieved

HELPING adapted advocated aided answered arranged assessed cared for clarified coached collaborated contributed cooperated counseled demonstrated diagnosed educated encouraged ensured

expedited facilitated familiarized furthered guided insured intervened motivated prevented procured provided rehabilitated represented resolved simplified supplied supported volunteered

C R E AT I V E acted adapted began combined composed conceptualized condensed created customized designed developed directed displayed drew entertained established fashioned

formulated illustrated initiated instituted integrated introduced invented modeled modified originated performed photographed planned revised revitalized shaped

LEADERSHIP administered analyzed appointed approved assigned attained authorized chaired considered consolidated contracted controlled converted coordinated decided delegated developed directed eliminated

emphasized enforced enhanced established executed generated handled headed hired hosted improved implemented increased initiated inspected instituted managed merged motivated

organized originated overhauled oversaw planned presided prioritized produced recommended replaced restored scheduled secured selected streamlined strengthened supervised terminated transformed

C O M M U N I C AT I O N addressed advertised arbitrated arranged articulated authored clarified collaborated communicated composed conferred consulted contacted conveyed convinced corresponded debated defined described developed directed discussed

drafted edited elicited enlisted explained expressed formulated furnished incorporated influenced interacted interpreted interviewed involved joined judged lectured listened marketed mediated moderated negotiated

observed outlined participated persuaded presented proposed publicized reconciled recruited referred reinforced reported resolved responded solicited spoke summarized synthesized translated wrote

O R G A N I Z AT I O N accommodated achieved approved arranged catalogued categorized charted classified coded collected compiled corrected corresponded distributed filed generated

implemented incorporated inspected logged maintained monitored obtained operated ordered prepared processed provided purchased recorded registered reserved

responded reviewed routed scheduled screened served set-up submitted supplied standardized systematized updated validated verified

TEACHING adapted advised clarified coached communicated conducted coordinated critiqued developed enabled encouraged evaluated explained facilitated focused

guided individualized informed instilled instructed motivated persuaded simulated stimulated taught tested trained transmitted tutored

RESEARCH analyzed clarified collected compared conducted critiqued detected determined diagnosed evaluated examined experimented explored extracted formulated gathered identified

inspected interpreted interviewed invented investigated located measured organized researched reviewed searched solved summarized surveyed systematized tested

TECHNICAL adapted applied assembled built calculated computed conserved constructed converted designed determined developed engineered maintained manufactured

operated overhauled printed programmed regulated remodeled repaired replaced restored solved specialized standardized studied upgraded utilized



Should include full name, mailing address, phone number, and email address

Name should be bold and between 18-22 point font, or at minimum, at least one font size larger than body

You can list your current and permanent address but it is not necessary to do so

Use a school or personal email address (NEVER work email). Please be sure to check for an appropriate email address (midnightrainstorm, cutiepie, howyoudurin, and the like are frowned upon).

Depending on field, a link to your ePortfolio might be beneficial. Include it in your heading if desired.

Education should be listed in reverse chronological order, i.e. newest to oldest

Include the degree title (easily found in the Bulletin, auburn. edu/bulletin), school name, city and state, and the graduation month and year

Include your GPA if 3.0 or higher. Be sure that you are including the scale, e.g. GPA: 3.75/4.00

There is no need to specify "anticipated", "expected", "projected", etc. with your graduation month or year

Do NOT include high school information after first year of undergraduate study and only degree conveying institutions have to be included.




Provide employer, job title, city, state, beginning and ending month, and year of employment (if ongoing use "Present")

This section should be in reverse chronological order (most recent first, then working backward)

Pay attention to verb tense! For ongoing positions use present tense, for positions concluded use past tense. See page 21 for verb suggestions.

Use consistent formatting throughout section

Be diverse in your use of verbs to effectively demonstrate your range of ability and skill

DO NOT provide the contact information for your supervisor, e.g. direct phone line, mailing address, etc.


ADDITIONAL SECTIONS Examples Here are a few more examples of things you may want to include in your résumé. Remember though, the focus of your résumé will be on experience. Experience will often carry more weight with an employer than other sections. Skills: Use this section to highlight other abilities and assets you may possess that you may lack traditional experience to demonstrate (e.g. computer ability, foreign language skill, etc.). Involvement: Campus organization and activities are a great way to showcase skills and abilities. Format these as you would a paid experience so that you can highlight the skills and abilities you utilized during your tenure there; especially if you held leadership roles. Honors & Awards: This section can be used to highlight prestigious awards accumulated during your academic tenure, but should not dominate your document.

To view more sample résumé formats, visit



1. 2.

Tailor your letter to the specific position: Sending out canned, generic cover letters tells the employer that you haven’t done your research on the company and position.


KISS: Adopt the Keep It Simple, Stupid approach when writing your cover letter. The letter should communicate how you meet the employer’s needs while remaining short and to the point.


Show enthusiasm and interest in the position: Don’t be afraid to show your enthusiasm for the company and position to which you are applying when writing your letter.


Don’t rehash your résumé: Your cover letter should not be a summary of your résumé. Instead, it should highlight your main qualifications as they relate to the position and entice the reader to look at your résumé for more information.



Address your letter to a specific person: Call the company and ask to whom the letter should be addressed or use CareerShift ( or to search for contacts.

Use confident language: Avoid using wimpy wording such as “I think, feel, or believe” when describing your qualifications and fit with the company. Strong, confident language such as “I am convinced”, “I am certain” or “I am confident” conveys a more assertive message.


cover letter is an integral part of your application packet. In fact you should always include a cover letter unless you are expressly told not to include it. Writing a quality cover letter can be a time intensive, but ultimately worth the investment, considering most job applicants will not write it correctly, and it can serve an excellent opportunity to help you stand apart. As always if you find yourself requiring further assistance in drafting your cover letter feel free to come to the Career Center (303 Mary Martin Hall) for further support and assistance.

Is •

A way to explain how you meet an employer's needs

A strategy for enticing employers to read your résumé

Your opportunity to show enthusiasm for the position

Is Not •

Your autobiography

A regurgitation of your résumé


D O N ’ T C ATC H “ I ” “ M Y ” D I S E A S E ! When writing cover letters, many students will overuse the personal pronouns "I" and "my." After time these words will distract the reader from your critical content. To ward off "I" "my" disease, try reading your cover letter out loud and have a trusted friend and/or advisor read it as well.

Header, font(s) and margins should match format of résumé.

Date followed by 1-2 blank lines

Salutation, followed by colon and 1 blank line

Body should be single spaced, left justified and have one blank line between each paragraph

Closing, “Sincerely” is appropriate, followed by 3 blank lines

Do not “sign” if attaching to an email

Type name, followed by 1-2 blank lines Enclosure can be typed if you are forwarding résumé, reference page, transcripts, etc.


Digital Identity YOUR ONLINE IMAGE earch your name in Google and on other sites to see what employers will find if they look for you online. Remove any digital dirt that you wouldn’t want a potential employer to see. Check your privacy settings often to protect your profiles from unwanted visitors. Highlight your accomplishments and interests to promote a well-rounded professional image.


Only 4% of recruiters DON’T use social media in the recruiting process.

Biggest Positives:

Biggest Negatives:

Candidates who convey a well-rounded personality and professional image

Candidates who post inappropriate photos and info

Candidates’ background info supports professional qualifications

Candidates who post info about drinking or using drugs

Spelling/grammar errors in tweets/posts

Candidates who highlight volunteer work

Candidates who post a large number of selfies

In a survey of 1,404 human resource and recruiting professionals spanning several industries Source: Jobvite 2015 Recruiter Nation Survey


92% of employers use social networks to recruit candidates.


Complete as much of your profile as possible

Join career related groups and remain active in discussions


of employers use LinkedIn



Create a Twitter handle to share information related to your career field

Follow companies and wellknown professionals in your field


of employers use Twitter


Clean out undesirable pictures and posts

Avoid discussing interviews or companies specifically, especially if you choose to use this profile primarily for personal interaction


of employers use Facebook



L is becoming an integral part of recruiters’ tool sets in hiring and selecting top talent. Therefore it is essential that you too utilize LinkedIn as part of your job seeker tool set. So what exactly is LinkedIn? At its most basic level LinkedIn is Facebook for job searchers, but with less pictures of your Aunt Irene and her seven cats and fewer conspiracy theory tirades by that uncle.

LinkedIn is a dynamic social media hub for prospective employees, recruiters, and current talent to interact in a social and collegial environment. Effectively utilizing LinkedIn can make all the difference between a successful and effective job search and one that… well isn’t. We hope that these usage statistics and helpful hints will help you to identify how you can enhance your LinkedIn experience.


Jobvite has released the results of their annual Social Recruiting Survey. The results are comprised of the responses of recruiting professionals spanning across industries and sectors. If anything their feedback should be your call to immediate action if you do not already have a profile.


of recruiters surveyed indicated they use LinkedIn to actively search for candidates


indicated they use the website to vet candidates before an interview as compared to only 32% on Facebook.


of recruiters indicated they use LinkedIn as way to contact potential hires


of those interviewed said they regularly post jobs to LinkedIn


of those surveyed indicated they used LinkedIn to keep tabs on prospective hires.


of recruiters indicated that they use LinkedIn to actually hire a new employee as compared to 26% on Facebook and 14% on Twitter.



Get your profile to 100%. The site is very helpful in pointing out what you need to do to reach that 100% mark. You will find more success with utilizing LinkedIn if all your pieces are filled out


Be Professional. You would think it would go without saying, but LinkedIn is not the place to engage in vitriolic political debates or personal life discussion. Utilize the site as an opportunity to showcase your professional credentials.

2. 5.

Have a professional picture. The picture of you and all your friends, though precious on Facebook, is not appropriate for LinkedIn. This site is a professional networking tool. A cropped headshots of you taken in dingy SkyBar is likely not the best selection. Use Feeling overwhelmed by creating and getting started with your LinkedIn account? The university site has helpful tutorials and even more tips for getting the novice started or advanced applications for the experienced user.


Join a group. Being an active contributor to a group on LinkedIn is a great way to showcase your expertise and to passively network with other like-minded professionals.


Use One of the most helpful sites within LinkedIn to network and find individuals to reach out to. The alumni site allows you to search by all current registered Auburn University alumnae and alumni. Currently there are over 102,000 registered Auburn alumni!


Showcase Your Work ePORTFOLIO

rofessional ePortfolios are websites that communicate and showcase your skills and experiences to your target audience (employer or graduate school) through the organization and display of documents, pictures, and work samples known as “artifacts.”



Artifacts may include: •

Video recordings of presentations

Highlights from internship experiences

Pictures from volunteer or study abroad experiences

Work samples from related class projects

For more information on developing an ePortfolio and to see portfolio samples from other Auburn University students, visit

Include artifacts that show evidence of experiences, skills, and knowledge as they relate to the positions to which you are applying. The types of artifacts included in your ePortfolio will vary between students of different

majors. It is important to know your audience before creating an ePortfolio. Research the position and company to which you are applying to identify the skills and qualifications they would like to see in a portfolio.


Auburn University supports the following free platforms:







Free Resources

rafting winning marketing materials for your job search is not an easy endeavor at first. Thankfully there are many resources across campus that can assist you in this important task. If you are struggling with coming up with a way to cleverly present your artifacts in an ePortfolio or getting some extra polish on your cover letter, the resources below are ready to assist you.


AUBURN UNIVERSITY CAREER CENTER The Career Center offers a variety of resources to assist you with your materials development

One-On-One Drop-ins: Need assistance getting started or have a quick question? Take advantage of drop-ins, staffed by Peer Career Advisors and with a counselor on call to assist for trickier situations. Drop-ins are an excellent opportunity to receive quick and immediate assistance on your résumé, cover letter, C.V., portfolio, and ePortfolio.

RBD Library Learning Commons

303 Martin Hall


Appointments with a Counselor: If you know that you’ll need more than 15-20 minutes for your particular situation, consider scheduling an appointment with a graduate assistant or counselor. During the session you will be able to gain assistance with all of your professional document needs. Please remember that you must have a drop-in, before you can schedule an appointment eRésumé Review: If you find yourself unable to come into the office, consider utilizing our eRésumé Review service. You may send in your résumé or C.V. (two pages or less) and receive feedback within 3 business days. For more information visit

The Miller Writing Center offers free, one-on-one consultation for all writers at Auburn University.

The Writing Center specializes in helping writers in all stages of the writing process.

For those who have identified significant issues with grammar and syntax, The Miller Writing Center could be an excellent place to iron out those irksome quirks.

You can schedule an appointment through their website and discover additional resources.


The ePortfolio Project is a campus-wide initiative that offers Auburn students the opportunity to create personal electronic portfolios.

Visit their website to take advantage of ePortfolio examples and online content.

M E D I A & D I G I TA L R E S O U R C E L I B R A R Y ( M D R L ) 1st Floor RBD Library

The MDRL is happy to help you develop videos or other digital artifacts for your ePortfolio. The computers are equipped with Photoshop, the Adobe Creative Suite, and much more. This software can help you develop artifacts by creating visual representations of your experience.

The MDRL staff can also help with a variety of technology and software questions.


NEXT STEPS Begin crafting your résumé early Reach out for assistance in improving your early drafts Take advantage of campus resources to improve your writing and materials Create an ePortfolio to begin cataloging your achievements and artifacts Update your résumé regularly


Land a Job KEY WORDS

Interview | Etiquette | Illegal Questions | STAR | Business Attire | Professional Communication


he pinnacle of the job search process culminates into one inextricable moment, the interview (or if you’re particularly unlucky, several). For many of us the idea of talking boastfully of our accomplishments and feats is uncomfortable, a chorus of professionally trained chalkboard nail scratchers might be a more entertaining pursuit, but one cannot deny the value and importance of conducting a good interview. This is the moment that many of us find no comfort in, but to be successfully employed it is unavoidable. Fear not gallant job seekers the Auburn University Career Center is here to help. Interviewing and the observation of the various etiquette mores associated with professional communication and conduct can be difficult to initially adjust to, and that is why in this section we will endeavor to shed light on the process. From discussing the value of using entire words and not text speak abbreviations in your emails, to how to prepare for an interview over lunch, we have you covered. • TOREY PALMER Career Counselor


Interviewing: General Information nterviewing is the ultimate trial for securing your job. Many applicants mistakenly believe that résumés will get them jobs, nothing could be further from the truth. Interviewing is your chance to really showcase and flesh out those skills and abilities you alluded to in your résumé and cover letter. As well, this is the employer’s opportunity to ensure that you are a good fit for their

organization and corporate culture. This is where your research about culture, organizational attributes and work type become very important. Like any other activity, interviewing is something you should practice ahead of time. Be sure that your first interview is not before your potential employer. See page 36 for resources for how to prepare for your interview.




Interviewing is challenging, here are some helpful hints to take away some of the guesswork.

○ ○ ○

Tell me about yourself

Do your research!

At some point in the interview process you will be asked to “tell me about yourself”. Demonstrate during the interview, don’t state. Before you start launching into the short Use facts, examples, meaningful stories to showcase skills not merely rely on the employer autobiographical narrative in which you trusting you to have them. catalogue the name of your brothers, sisters, household pets, and favorite color, be sure Take your outfit to the cleaners one week prior to note that this isn’t what they want to know. to the interview. Furthermore, ensure that your “Tell me about yourself” is your opportunity shoes match your belt and you are dressed in to showcase to an employer why they should a manner becoming a prospective employee, talk to you for the rest of the interview. “Tell not about to commence a night at an upscale me about yourself in relation to this position”, bar. that is the question you should be answering. Be sure to answer all questions asked. A question has three parts? Your response should as well.

○ Bring something to write with and on during the interview for complicated questions.

Bring copies of your résumé and cover letter, printed on quality paper.

○ Do NOT talk about salary and benefits during the interview, unless the employer brings up first.


Arrive 15 minutes early, check yourself in a mirror (fly away hair, lipstick on teeth, missed buttons, etc. do not make good first impressions), and take a deep breath. You will be fine.

YO U ’ R E A LW AY S B E I N G W ATC H E D Interview Conduct

Many interviews will take place across a day with many different parties involved, please note that you are always being evaluated. Just because you are presently meeting with current employees in a casual atmosphere, does not mean that they are not going to report back on what you said and how you said it.

Types of Interviews o interview is exactly the same, but when you are planning your particular interview know that it will likely take place in one of three ways in person, phone, or video conference. Each presents its own unique challenges and hurdles.



This is a burgeoning trend in recruiting practices and you need to be prepared for it

Dress as if it were in person. Yes, that includes pants and shoes. Clothes set the tone and you do not need to get too casual.

Control the environment. Do your best to control for noise and visual distractions. Interview in front of blank space as much as able, and send the roommates and household pets away. Look into the camera. As tempting as it may be to look at the screen while talking, look into the camera, that is the “eye” you should be attempting to make contact with. Use an Ethernet cable. Avoid conducting over Wi-Fi, temperamental connection issues might reflect poorly upon you. Use the Career Center. Unable to have a quiet space free of distraction or do not own a video camera? Feel free to use our facilities to conduct your interview. Call 334.844.4744 to take advantage of the resource.


Make eye contact. This simple task can be particularly vexing, but it is the best way to showcase you are plugged into what they are saying and are trying to connect when you are speaking as well.

Be prepared for a panel. Paneled interviews are not uncommon, be ready to actively engage with all the people in the room. Direct most of your eye contact toward the person who asked your question but be sure to hit upon the other members as well.

Seeing the interviewer take notes is not a bad thing. Their notes are often innocuous, instead of sinister, and mostly help them remember something you said for later debate.

Be overdressed vs. underdressed. It is much easier to scale back an outfit than to upscale it. Confirm dress expectations well in advance.


Telephone interviewing presents its own particular challenges, namely in the lack of visible feedback. Pay especially close attention to your tone and rapidity of your speech.

Smile while talking. As contrived as it may sound, smiling while talking will help to charge your language with positivity that you would otherwise give in person.

Silence is ok. When you’re on the phone silence seems to stretch forever. When you’re in person you can see the interviewer writing, being distracted, etc. but over the phone you get none of that. When you’re finished with your response, be ok with the seemingly infinite silence that follows.

Use a land line. Cell phones have the uncanny ability to go out when you need them most. Use a landline for your phone interviews. Don’t have a landline? The Career Center will allow you to use one of ours, free of charge.

Be in a quiet environment. Encourage your roommates to leave and take the dogs with them. You need it to be as silent as possible during your interview, especially to help cut down on the distractions, but not to bother them either.


How to Prepare:


o not go into your interview ill prepared; we can help. Here are some of our favorite resources for your interview preparation.




Call or schedule an appointment with a career counselor for one-on-one prep before your interview -303 Mary Martin Hall, 334.844.4744

Online interview prep. Run through a series of questions and evaluate your own performance. Great for looking out for those verbal crutches and areas for improvement interviews


READY PREP INTERVIEW Easy to use question generator for practicing those difficult questions in different industries

An additional research tool for more comprehensive data gathering


GLASSDOOR Great for researching prospective companies

Interview Tip: Familiarize Yourself with your #strengths, #motivations, and #values. -@InterviewSucess

Illegal Questions mployers are eager to obtain as much information about a potential candidate as they possibly can in order to make the best decision possible for their organizations. Sometimes in their zeal to know more about a candidate, an employer may accidentally, or intentionally, ask an illegal question during the interview. There are regulations at the federal, state, and local level as to what questions an employer may ask of you for your protection. However that does not mean you should not prepare for your response. You have three options to pursue.



Answer the question if you wish. Baring in mind you take responsibility for the information you provide, and could be giving the “wrong” answer, that might hinder your chances.


Refuse to answer, which is legally well within your rights. Depending upon your phrasing though you run the risk of sounding confrontational and/or uncooperative.


Assess for what the intent behind the question is and how it might apply to the job. *Option 3 is typically the best way to go. See example below.

*Illegal question: Are you a U.S. Citizen? Appropriate answer: I am authorized to work in the United States.

EXAMPLE ILLEGAL QUESTIONS Here are some of the more common illegal questions you might be asked. For additional assistance on how to tackle these tricky questions and others speak with a career counselor in 303 Mary Martin Hall.

• Are you a U.S. Citizen?

• Do you have/want children?

• What is your “Native Tongue?”

• How much do you weigh?

• How old are you?

• Do you have any disabilities?

• When did you graduate?

• Have you ever been arrested?

• What is your relationship status?

• I see you were in the military, were you honorably discharged?


Behavioral Interviewing ncreasingly, employers are utilizing a method of interviewing known as behavioral based interviewing. Behavioral based interviewing operates under the notion that past experiences and your actions in them, are strong indicators of your ability to perform in the present should you be hired. Simply put, past performance predicts future performance. To ensure that you are providing on point responses you may consider utilizing the STAR method of response. STAR is great way to effectively answer the posed question and to guide your responses.



Practice your interview skills with InterviewStream, an online practice tool available through the Career Center. Choose from a variety of preloaded question sets or create a custom interview. Visit auburn. edu/career/interviews to create an InterviewStream account. When you have an upcoming interview, schedule an in person mock interview with a Career Center staff member by calling the office at 334-844-4744.


Past performance predicts future performance.

Question: Tell me about a time you’ve worked with a difficult person.




Set the scenario for the example.

I took a course that involved a group project. My group met and decided on a topic to research and present to the class at the end of the semester.



Describe the specific challenge or task that relates to the question.


As a collective group we developed a plan of action for divvying and distributing the various pieces of research and presentation development. It became apparent that one team member was not equally contributing and supporting the project. We decided to meet with the student.


Talk about the actions that you took to accomplish the task.

I elected to set the meeting up with the student and discuss the issues we were having as a group. We discussed what sort of tasks would be better suited to their particular skills and abilities. As a result we were able to shift responsibilities more in line with the student’s particular skill sets.



Present the results that followed because of the plan of action.

After realigning the tasks to better suit the particular skill sets of all team members we were able to more effectively perform and complete our assigned role. As a result of our work we were able to complete the project and received positive feedback from the professor.


• Use STAR as a guide to progressing through the question. Simply follow the acronym. • The "Result" is critical! You are building up to this moment. You want to be able to effectively and demonstrably showcase resolution and positive outcome.


Dress for Success BUSINESS PROFESSIONAL Business professional attire is a staple of the interview room and more traditional workplace settings. You should assume, unless otherwise stated, that business professional is the go to attire for your interview. With that being said, you will want to begin your investment in appropriate clothes early. Simply stated, business professional is expensive and you will want to invest in quality clothes to get the maximum wear and use. Guidelines: • You will want to invest in a conservative dark colored suit (i.e. matching tops and bottoms). Look for colors like charcoal, dark grey, and black. • Dress shirt/blouse should appropriately compliment your selected suite (solid and muted colors being ideal) • Shoes should be closed, and coordinated appropriately with your outfit. A good polishing is a good idea to add that extra touch to your outfit • Socks/stocking/hosiery, contrary to prevailing fashion trends, should match your outfit for the day

BUSINESS CASUAL Business casual is the go to clothing standard for many offices and professional events. However, unlike business professional, with its very clear guidelines for dress, business casual is a varying and highly particular to the specific culture present. You can look for more opportunity to express personal style and preferences, within reason. Remember it is, after all, dressing for professional engagement not leisure. Business casual can fluctuate from situation to situation and office to office, when in doubt ask someone familiar with the office or event, but below will find some general assistance and advice. Guidelines: • Embrace color and pattern with shirts/blouses within reason. In some instances golf shirts could also be appropriate for every day wear • More casual khaki pants, and similar fabrics, are often allowed. However, blue jeans/denim may only be allowed on special events or occasions. • Shoes no longer need to shined to a mirror finish. Loafers, flats, boots, and even tennis shoes may be appropriate for your office setting. Take your cue from your peers

• Hair should be styled conservatively and cleanly

IN GENERAL • Be miserly with your application of cologne/perfume. Antiperspirant is often sufficient for odor control. Do not assume everyone finds your signature scent as delightful as you do. • Accessories should be kept to a minimum. Jingling as you move about should be reserved for Santa’s reindeer, not a professional in the workplace. • As a rule, the later in the evening an event takes place, the more formal the occasion. The more formal the event the darker and longer the outfit should be (e.g. tuxedo black and evening gowns respectively) • For day to day clothing expectations, be sure to read your employee handbook, and always use sound judgement when making selections


The Auburn University Career Center maintains a Pinterest site with many examples of dress options for both casual and professional business environments.




Professional Etiquette P R O F E S S I O N A L C O M M U N I C AT I O N



Do Not

Respond in a timely manner to voicemails

Have an unprofessional voicemail

Stay on point when discussing matters

Neglect to check your voicemail

Use company phone for work related business

Use company phone for personal business

Answer with a professional greeting



Set up an automatic reply for when you’re out of the office

Use proper grammar and syntax for correspondence

Have a professional email signature (Name, Company, Position, Contact Information)

Always include a subject

Do Not •

Write emails in text speech, emoji, or use emoticons. Winky Faces ;) are never office appropriate.

Have an email signature that is longer than your actual email. Uplifting quotes and admonishments about printing are to be frowned upon


Social Media


Use social media to reach out and connect with clients

Network with potential new employers and colleagues

Stay informed on trends

Do Not •

Talk poorly of colleagues/ employer. Once it is out there it can never be taken back

Spend time on social media sites in office if forbidden by office policy

Share everything. Ask yourself, would I want to see this?



Do Not

Pass food from left to right.

If asked for salt or pepper, you should pass both.

Use a piece of bread to scoop difficult foods, not your fingers.

Place your napkin in your lap. It is not, in any circumstance, to be tucked into your collar. You outgrew bibs many years ago, best not to start bad habits.

Wait on your host to begin eating. Take your cue from your host.

Focus on your host and their questions. You’re there to be evaluated in a different light, not engorge yourself on food.

Order complex foods prone for mess (spaghetti) or foods that must be eaten with your hands.

Season your food before tasting.

Ask for a “to-go box."

Ever, under any circumstance, double dip from community dips.

Offer for others to sample your food (If offered to partake of others’ meals, politely decline).

Order the most expensive thing on the menu (lobster). How would you feel if someone did that on your dime?


PLACE SETTING TIPS The formal place setting can be an intimidating thing to use effectively. With its various tools, the opportunity for mistake is high, but with these helpful hints you can minimize the risk! •

When in doubt on which piece of cutlery to use a good rule of thumb is to work your way from the outside in. When finished do not push your plate away, simply place your silverware across your plate from 10:00 (top) to 4:00 (bottom).

Between bites place utensils on plate. There is no need to be armed while you chew, your food is no danger of being stolen.

Drinks are to the right of your plate, bread to the left. Tip: When making the “ok” sign, your left hand makes a “b” for bread, your right hand makes a “d” for drink.

THANK YOU Congratulations! You have managed to complete your interview. The difficult questions were answered, the awkward silences made less awkward, and you looked spiffing throughout the entire thing. But, you’re not done quite yet. Now comes the easiest part of the entire process, thanking them for their time. In a world of instant written communication, the traditional thank you letter goes a long way, a significant way at that. IF, and that is big if, your handwriting is legible enough write a thank you letter to the interviewer. Let them know that you value the time they took in considering you and that you look forward to hearing from them in the future. If your handwriting is not up to par, send an email. Attention to small details like thank you letters goes a very long way in helping you obtain the coveted position.

It’s a nice touch when a #job candidate sends a handwritten #ThankYouNote after an #interview instead of the usual email. -from @MrsHRsource


NEXT STEPS Allow time to undergo several mock interviews and practice interview questions Begin your investment in business appropriate clothing early Utilize Career Center facilities to conduct your phone and video conference interviews After an interview send a thank you note


Start Your Career KEY WORDS

Evaluate Job Offers | Salary Negotiation | First Year | Office Etiquette


ou have arrived. Your countless hours of self–reflection, research, networking, résumé/cover letter writing, and interviewing have culminated in hearing one simple phrase… “You’re hired!” But now what? You are certainly not done, and in some ways you are just beginning.

  Transitioning to the work place can be a taxing time. Adjusting to new expectations and norms within the office, while attempting to develop and cultivate a life outside of the office can be quite challenging to do successfully. In this section, we will endeavor to give you a solid foundation for getting started with your transition. Though the section is diverse, we attempt to equip you with the skills you will need to make your alma mater proud in your newly employed state.   Be sure to pay close attention to the thoughts and sage advice from current alumni and employers scattered throughout the section, for personal insight in how they achieved success. As always, we would encourage you to never hesitate to contact our office for additional support and questions in going forward in your professional career path. •

TOREY PALMER Career Counselor


Evaluating Job

KNOW YOUR VALUE Many entry-level jobs are in a fixed salary range and most entry-level candidates do not have much clout in salary negotiations. However, to gain more, you have to ask for more. Your ability to negotiate within the salary range depends upon your qualifications and the salary research you can bring to the table.


It is increasingly common for the topic of salary to be discussed before an offer is presented. Here are a few situations and suggestions for handling them with confidence: • •

Application/Job Posting asks for salary requirements – indicate “negotiable”

Recruiters ask for salary expectations – be honest yet realistic about expectations and always reference research on industry averages Application asks for salary history – indicate “competitive” or if forced to include a number, include total salary (pay + benefits)

E VA LU AT I N G O F F E R S Once you receive a job offer, never accept or reject it on the spot. Ask for at least 24 hours to think it over. When making a decision, consider the following factors: • • •

Total pay and benefit package – compared to salary research Opportunities for growth, promotion, and training Company stability and management style



f you choose to accept the offer, do so both verbally and in writing. Sign the offer letter that contains the final terms of employment. In addition, call your main point of contact to tell them you have accepted their offer. Take time to thank those who have played a part in the hiring process including: contacts at the company, professional references and other professionals who assisted by answering questions. Should you decide to decline the offer, do so as soon as you have accepted another offer or made the final decision not to accept. The conversation may be difficult but it is poor business etiquette to delay responding. Call your main point of contact and inform them of your decision. Thank them for the job offer and let them know your reason for declining. Follow the phone call with an email. It is always in your best interest to do everything in your power to maintain a positive professional relationship.


Salary Negotiation Think FAIR for a fair wage


Find out what your skills and level of experience are worth in the current job market.


Assess your realistic personal requirements. How much do you need to earn?


Investigate cost of living adjustments to salary based on employment location. Use cost of living calculators available at, money.cnn. com, and


Research average salaries for the career field you plan to enter. Use the Auburn University Alumni Salary Survey and NACE Salary Calculator available at


  Ideally, the best time to negotiate is after an offer is proposed. Discussing salary before an offer is made may screen you out of the job if your requirements are too high or may lead to a disappointing offer if they are too low.   Should an employer ask you during the interview process what your salary requirements are, indicate a range rather than a dollar amount.   “Based on the industry average and my level experience, I am seeking between $34K and $39K.”   The range you present should be slightly higher than the low end of your actual range as determined when assessing your value.   When salary is non-negotiable from the start, know that you have other options. These include: annual bonuses, performance evaluations with salary review, health, dental, and life insurance, retirement plans, overtime policies, tuition reimbursement, moving expenses, professional development/training and sign-on bonuses.


1st Year on the Job >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Office Etiquette Myth #1 It is OK to decorate my office space however I choose.

NO, first make sure that you are compliant with company policy and established norms. Take your cue from your office mates. Follow their lead and no trouble should be had.

M y th # 2 Laura just spoke ill of my new friend Jeff, I should tell him. Do NOT begin your tenure in a new office ensnared in office drama. Do your best to minimize contact with such situations. If you know Laura is prone to gossip, politely remove yourself from interacting with her.

My t h # 3 I came in to the office early, so I can leave early.

Some days you will have to come in early and stay late. Do not think that because you are in early you get a pass to go home early. Put in your full time, understanding that you may even have to do more than that.


1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10.

Choose your attitude Adjust expectations Master breaking–in skills Manage first impressions Build Effective Relationships Become a good follower Understand company culture Develop organizational savvy Understand your new-hire status Master the tasks of your job

Don’t underestimate yourself. It is important to stay humble and to have an appetite to learn and gain experience, but confidence is key! From the first stages of interviewing to all throughout your first year on the job, confidence and boldness in your education, skill set, and abilities are going to bring you a team of 'believers'. Once your employer and co-workers begin to sense your genuine dedication and confidence, you will be entrusted with more and more responsibility, and your career will expand in amazing ways. It's all about stepping stones; building blocks to lead you to where you are meant to be. – Sarah Cait Sawyer, Auburn Alumna ‘12 Director of Sales

My th # 4 I'm fresh out of college with plenty of new ideas. I should share them immediately. Your colleagues have likely been at this far longer than you. Before you try to change the world, first observe and see what changes if any need to be made, and look for the appropriate time to present your ideas (i.e. when you're asked specifically.)


You shouldn’t pursue just a job; you should pursue a culture that inspires you to be better. #careeradvice #firstjob –from @GamePlan_A

SPRING BREAK no whining

s sad as it might seem, there are no more guaranteed Spring Breaks. Welcome to adulthood. Do not bemoan your loss, accept your loss with grace. Your colleagues do not want to hear your whining and it will accomplish nothing. Be thankful for your employment and schedule a smaller break accordingly with accumulated leave.


NEXT STEPS Research your desired position to develop a realistic salary expectation Gain an understanding of new office norms and policies Become knowledgeable of new office culture Take every opportunity available to learn new tasks in your position


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Job Search Guide ('16-'17)  

Job Search Guide ('16-'17)  

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