Page 1





GETTING STARTED Getting Started 3 Our Programs 4 Handshake 5

EXPLORE AND EXPERIENCE Choosing a Major Holland Assessment and Results Gaining a Competitive Edge

7 8 11

CREATE AND COMMUNICATE Your Experiences 15 Your Skills 16 Adapting Your Resume 17 Action Verbs 18 Resume Styles 21 Cover Letter 23 Showing Your Fit 24 References 26 Curriculum Vitae 27

MARKET AND MANAGE Online Branding 29 Proactive Job Search 30 Navigating a Career Fair 31

LANDING THE JOB Interview Preparation 33 Types of Interviews 34 Sample Interview Questions 36 Interview Attire 38 Closing the Deal 40 Following Up 41 Job Offers & Negotiation 43




Since you are a valued part of the Central Michigan University community, we want to make sure you are prepared to live out your dreams. Visit our office early and often, and

Visit our website: to learn how to best utilize our resources.

Utilize Handshake on our website as your personal career management tool to store your resume, keep track of career events on campus, apply for jobs and internshisp, and much more!

Schedule an appointment with a career coach for a personalized session.

let us assist you with all your career development needs!

Follow us on social media. Like us on Facebook at

Follow us on Twitter at @CMUCareers. Connect with us on LinkedIn at Central

Michigan University - Career Services.

Thank you to our advertisers: Office of Study Abroad pg. 12 University Bookstore pg. 12 Department of Counseling and Special Education pg. 12 Handshake pg. 12 Student Activities and Involvement pg. 13 Mary Ellen Brandell Volunteer Center pg. 13 Office of Student Success pg. 13 Speedway pg. 45 Enterprise pg. 45 Ford Motor Company pg. 45 Auto-Owners Insurance pg. 45 Nexteer Automotive pg. 46 CMU Teacher Fair pg. 46 Alpha Kappa Psi Career Fair pg. 46 Global Campus pg. 47

Editorial Team:

Elizabeth Heintzkill, First Impressions Staff Advisor Heather Masters, Mock Interview Staff Advisor Erik Simon, REACH Advising/CCIP Staff Advisor Layout and Design: MediaGraphix, Stephanie Husted Printing: CMU Printing Services, Mt. Pleasant, MI To advertise, please call Career Services at (989) 774 - 3068.



Stop by Ronan Hall 240 for a walk-in peer-to-peer advising appointment. Our REACH Advisors are trained to help you with resumes, cover letters, and general career guidance, including navigating our career management platform Handshake.


Mock Interviews provide an opportunity to practice communication and interviewing skills in a simulated interview setting. Our peer-topeer interviewers craft an experience that fits your field of study while providing feedback that focuses on verbal and non-verbal strategies. Schedule a Mock Interview through Handshake to practice communicating your experiences, skills, interests, and goals.


Make a difference in the State of Michigan through the Capital City Internship Program. All students, regardless of major and grade level, are encouraged to participate. Free transportation and parking can be arranged. Opportunities are available all semesters through Career Services.


Our dedicated student Sales Associates are here to help you look your best at your next interview or networking event. To submit an application for FREE professional clothing, see page 39 or stop by the store located in the lower level of the Bovee University Center (117) to inquire about the process.


The Employer Spotlight program educates undergraduate and graduate students as early as freshman year to prepare for their careers. Network with featured employers on campus to learn about future internship and job opportunities. Utilize Handshake to see the calendar of employers on campus and to stay up-to-date on current employer events.



You may request a presentation on any career-related topic of choice, including developing application materials, interviewing, and networking with employers. Contact the OutREACH team by emailing your request to


NEED HELP NAVIGATING HANDSHAKE? Call Career Services at (989) 774-3068 for assistance using the database or stop into Ronan 240 during REACH Advising walk-in hours.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8

with your CMU email, Global ID, and password at

Complete your profile and upload your resume.

Explore part-time and full-time jobs and internships.

Scope out events related to your major and career.

Find career fairs on campus and around the United States.

Schedule practice and on-campus interviews.

Search and follow employers in your industry.

Discover career options to plan for your dream job.


It’s difficult knowing how to plan for the rest of your life. With multiple career options to choose from, the process can often be very stressful. Your interests, skills, personality, and values all play an important role in finding a career that will best suit you. To get started in choosing a major, you may want to gain greater self-clarity by taking a career assessment and talking with a career coach about majors, minors, and career options available to you.




Identify your interests, abilities, skills, and values. Take the Holland Personality Assessment on page 8 to validate your practical experiences and gear them toward a future career.


Discuss your personal and academic interests, future plans, and goals with a coach from Career Services. Faculty members in the academic programs you are exploring can also provide additional information about program requirements, specific coursework, and career options. Schedule these appointments early in your academic career at CMU!


Although you probably took a “career test� in high school, there is nothing wrong with re-assessing yourself now that you are in college. The FOCUS 2 assessment tool can help you identify your interests, values, skills, personality, educational preferences, and leisure interests. We also offer the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) and Strong Interest Inventory, two of the most widely known assessments, for a nominal fee. Information on all three of these assessments can be found through Handshake on the Career Services website at


Read the course descriptions for the majors and minors offered at Central Michigan University by consulting your bulletin, and keep a list of the programs that interest you. Many programs have introductory classes; take advantage of these to help explore academic and career options. You can also explore the bulletin online at

College is about



and taking risks. 7



Participate in athletic activities

Dislike work requiring physical skills

Work outdoors or enjoy spending time outdoors


Like things (tools and machines) more than people

Enjoy working with computers

Like to build or repair things

Work in an office environment

Take care of animals

Like to know what is expected of me

Like to create things with hands


Like activities involving coordination and skill

Good self-control

Enjoy structure

Don’t mind rules and regulations Know what is right and wrong

ARTISTIC Designing things Play or listen to music

Doesn’t seek leadership roles Like well-defined tasks and structure Like working with numbers

Participate in a play or attend a play (theater) Like to be original


Write a creative story

Show concern for others

Express emotions easily

Enjoy teaching or helping other people

Solve problems using creativity instead of logic

Get along well with and want to work with people

Enjoy cooking

Able to express yourself

Like to plan things (parties or social activities)

Sociable Like attention


Popular and outgoing

Works well with words

Like to be a leader

Enjoys public speaking


Likes to persuade others to your viewpoints


Energetic and enthusiastic

Participate in community service activities

Manage people to complete a task Like material wealth Enjoy leadership roles Work in an upscale environment Sells products or services Discussing law and/or politics

INVESTIGATIVE Like to solve mathematical problems and games Like to take things apart to see how they work Like science Try to understand complex concepts and problems Solve problems by thinking Enjoy reading about and studying school subjects Enjoy libraries and online research



Directions: Check the items that best describe you. Total each box and record your three highest personality lifestyles. Look to the next page for your results. Most people are a combination of these six types.





You are a DOER. Do you like to work outdoors with tools and machines? Do you have a preference to deal with things instead of people?

You are a CREATOR. Do you have little interest in problems that are highly structured or require physical strength, preferring those that can be dealt with self-expression? Do you have a need for individualistic expression?

Some of your possible hobbies include: woodworking, gardening/landscaping, playing sports, hunting or fishing, coaching, building, and/or exercise and fitness. Some of your possible majors include: engineering, biology, geology, geography, mathematics, statistics, outdoor recreation, environmental studies, or anthropology.


Some of your possible hobbies include: photography, writing, sewing, visiting art museums, designing, travel, music, homemade crafts, painting.

You are a HELPER. Are you concerned with the welfare of others? Do you usually express yourself well and get along with others? Do you seek situations that allow you to be at or near the center of the group? Do you describe yourself as cheerful, popular, and a good leader?

Some of your possible majors include: art, journalism, fashion, interior design, broadcasting, video game design, communication, music, or theater.

Some of your possible hobbies include: volunteering, joining organizations, attending sporting events, caring for children, religious activities, going to social gatherings, and/or planning team sports.

You are a THINKER. Do you love science and scientific activities? Are you task-oriented and not particularly interested in working around other people? Do you like to think through problems rather than act upon them? Do you like challenges and creativity but dislike structure and rules?

Some of your possible majors include: teacher education, child development, social work, sociology, psychology, management, hospitality, or family studies.



Some of your possible hobbies include: astronomy, crossword puzzles, board and video games, computers, visiting muesums, and/or collecting items.

You are a PERSUADER. Do you have a great way with words, which you put to effective use in selling and leading?

Some of your possible majors include: any science-related area: computer science, pre-medicine, pre-physician assistant, pre-pharmacy or pre-dentistry.

Do you see yourself as energetic, enthusiastic, adventurous, and self-confident? Do you enjoy persuading others? Some of your possible hobbies include: discussing politics, reading business journals, watching the stock market, selling products and services, leading organizations and/or operating a home or small business. Some of your possible majors include: marketing, retail management, sales, political science, history, finance, public health, or women’s studies.

10 10

Are you less assertive about your own opinions and capabilities? Are you more sensitive and emotional? Are you independent, original, unconventional, expressive, and tense?

CONVENTIONAL You are an ORGANIZER. Do you prefer highly-ordered activities, both verbal and numerical? Do you fit well into large organizations but do not seek leadership? Are you dependable? Some of your possible hobbies include: collecting, using/working with a computer, card games, keeping records. Some of your possible majors include: accounting, management, construction, technology, paralegal.



Organizations look for those with relevant experiences that provide evidence of their talents and abilities. Staying active in college both on and off campus can help you build skills that are essential to personal and professional development and success. There are many ways for you to build skills and experiences in college in order to gain a competitive edge.

ACADEMICS Coursework, your content/industry knowledge, capstone projects, and continuing education opportunities such as graduate school and certifications can help you stand out to employers. Different industries focus on GPA more heavily than others, but overall, your GPA can showcase a wide variety of skills and abilities in a quick and easy format: Maintain a strong GPA throughout college and actively participate in class. Meet with an Academic Advisor early and often to map out your field of study. Meet with a Success Coach through the Office of Student Success early and often to best navigate campus resources. Network with fellow classmates and meet with faculty to help develop your career path. This can lead to research opportunities, conferences, and developing a strong support group. Consider the pros and cons of Graduate School and different certifications in your fields of interest.

EXTRACURRICULAR There are so many ways to get involved on campus, in the community, and beyond. There are offices all over campus that want to help you gain experiences through a variety of outlets. Become a member of our Career Services team by becoming a “Career Ambassador.” Get involved with the Mary Ellen Brandell Volunteer Center through Alternative Spring Breaks and other various programs. Meet with a Study Abroad advisor. Join Registered Student Organizations (RSO’s) of interest through Orgsync and take on leadership roles. Attend conferences such as through CMU’s Leadership Institute.

JOBS AND INTERNSHIPS Gaining hands-on professional experiences is highly recommended, even if your degree doesn’t require an internship or cooperative education (co-op) experience. Internships are designed to provide relevant experiences and will allow you the opportunity to build relationships with professionals in your field of interest. In addition, many employers use their internships as a first step in the recruitment process for full-time positions. Your work experiences can also be a great way to showcase transferable skills to employers, but it is up to you to show the value of what you have done. Often, you will gain a variety of skills through the different jobs you hold throughout college that can help you develop customer service, management, organization, technical, and communication skills. Gain multiple internship/co-op experiences in your areas of interest. Meet with the Internship Coordinator or a faculty member in your department to inquire about academic credit for the experiences. Secure jobs throughout college to gain transferable skills.


Add cultural depth and experience to your resumĂŠ.

Study Abroad

(989) 774-4308




16 17

Choose your next adventure.

Looking for a job or internship? Activate your Handshake account now to: Apply to jobs at top companies Get personalized job recommendations Register for career fairs Signup for on-campus interviews 12



You Drive. We’ll Help.




Coach to: Contact a Success • • • • • • • • • @CMICHSuccess CMU_Success

ills Improve study sk ty Reduce test anxie potential l na rso pe ize Maxim hievements ac o Turn dreams int journey ic em ad ac ur Plan yo ections nn co Create campus ment ge na ma e tim e Enhanc om sd Wi l Gain Financia lly Engage intellectua

(989) 774-3401


230 Ronan Hall, CMU Mt. Pleasant

13 Learn more on CentralLink: keyword oss

It’s inevitable: you will need a resume and cover letter when applying for a part-time or full-time job, internship, or graduate school. Start by reflecting on who you are and what you’ve accomplished and prepare to adapt your application materials to best match each organization’s needs. Visit our website to schedule an appointment or stop by our REACH Advising walk-in hours. We’re here to help you brainstorm, edit, and polish your finished products!


YOUR EXPERIENCES Gaining hands-on experience is crucial to landing your next position. Write down your experiences for each heading, and focus on developing the areas where experience is lacking. All of your experiences can be relevant depending on the opportunity you are looking to secure.




















15 15


Reflecting on your experiences is a great way to begin the process of finding and applying to opportunities. In order to better understand and present your whole story, you will also want to focus on the relevant skills, talents, and qualifications you gained from all of your experiences. In general, nearly every experience can help you develop skills in any of the three categories below:


Technical, content knowledge, coursework, etc.


Teamwork, verbal and written communication, organization, etc.



Stop by Ronan 240 for walk-in resume and cover letter critiques.

TOP 10

Timely, genuine, hardworking, passionate, positive, resilient, flexible, selfless, etc.


Communicating with others Working well on a team Problem-solving Organizing and prioritizing work Processing information Analyzing data Obtaining job-related technical knowledge Understanding computer programs Writing and editing Influencing others


1 2

Developing an initial resume that effectively showcases your experience and skills can help you prepare when it comes time to create tailored resumes that target opportunities, employers, and industries. Think about the needs, goals, and culture of an organization to adapt. How will you market yourself?


Is the document easy to scan? Does the most applicable, relevant information stand out? Is it clean, consistent, and use space well without clutter? Will you use a chronological (page 19) or functional (page 20) format? Start from scratch. Research templates online or see pages 21-22 to find a style that best matches your experiences and skills to an opportunity. Save your file as your first and last name (ex: “Chip Waters Resume�) and send it as a PDF file to ensure consistency.


On your initial resume, you can use the general headings from page 15 to stay organized since its purpose is to reflect on your experiences. When applying, develop specific headings with key words that better showcase your experiences that fit the opportunity. You may also want to adjust the order of sections based on relevance to the position. Include the most relevant information first and provide supplemental information as you go further down the document. Example heading adaptations:



Professional Experience

Marketing Experience

Professional Development

Campus Leadership

Employment Customer Service Experience


Use page 16 to reflect on skills within experiences that are relevant to the opportunity you are applying to, and consider organizing bullet points by relevance. Learn how to build a strong statement below: Start with a basic framework. Advised students on finding jobs






Next, expand on statements by adding details that are relevant. Your goal is to develop a more detailed picture by using numbers and descriptive words. Advised over 1,000 undergraduates on application materials, career development, and search strategies to help them secure jobs and internships

ADDITIONAL SAMPLE BULLET STATEMENT Assisted with an after school program Partnered with staff to develop and implement an after school intervention program that resulted in a 50% decrease in post-school discipline referrals


ACTION VERBS Utilize action verbs and other key words to showcase skills and experiences connected to position requirements. No matter what your area of study may be, organizations are looking for transferable skills that are essential to their daily functions and culture. Employers will also be looking for specific skill sets based on their industry and needs.






Addressed Advertised Arranged Collaborated Composed Described Edited Incorporated Interpreted Interviewed Marketed Negotiated Observed Outlined Persuaded Summarized Translated

Acted Composed Condensed Created Customized Displayed Entertained Fashioned Illustrated Initiated Integrated Invented Modeled Modified Performed Photographed Revised

Adjusted Administered Allocated Analyzed Appriased Assessed Audited Balanced Budgeted Calculated Corrected Estimated Prepared Projected Reconciled Reduced Retrieved

Advocated Aided Answered Clarified Contributed Cooperated Counseled Demonstrated Educated Ensured Familiarized Furthered Intervened Prevented Provided Subsidized Supported

Adapted Applied Assembled Built Calculated Computed Constructed Designed Engineered Maintained Operated Printed Programmed Regulated Remodeled Solved Utilized






Administered Coordinated Developed Directed Executed Hired Implemented Initiated Managed Motivated Organized Planned Produced Scheduled Strengthened Supervised Transformed

Collected Compared Conducted Determined Diagnosed Evaluated Examined Explored Gathered Identified Inspected Interpreted Investigated Measured Researched Reviewed Summarized

Advised Coached Consulted Critiqued Encouraged Explained Facilitated Focused Guided Informed Instructed Motivated Persuaded Stimulated Tested Trained Tutored

Catalogued Categorized Classified Coded Compiled Corrected Distributed Inspected Logged Maintained Monitored Obtained Operated Ordered Processed Purchased Updated

Accurate Analytical Confident Consistent Deliberate Dependable Efficient Enthusiastic Flexible Independent Innovative Organized Passionate Persuasive Precise Structured Supportive

Make sure to use the correct verb tense when writing bullet point statements. If you currently hold the position, or are currently performing a task, use a present tense verb (ex: Coordinate). If it is a position you’ve held in the past, or a past task, use a past tense verb (ex: Coordinated).


Stop by Ronan 240 for walk-in resume and cover letter critiques.


KEYWORDS ARE CRUCIAL: Your overall goal is to clearly showcase transferable and industry/area skills that fit the employer and position. Use intentional headings and bullet points that explain your skills and experiences.


Including a professional website can allow an employer another opportunity to learn more about you and your experiences.


Maintain a strong GPA and showcase it.

PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE 4 Special Olympics, Mount Pleasant, MI Public Relations Intern, January-August 2015 • Managed social media marketing content for Facebook and Twitter including event 5 promotion, participant recognition, and community partnerships • Established “Athlete of the Week” and “Volunteer of the Week” series to highlight and promote program involvement • Created promotional fliers for Summer Games using InDesign that were posted to social media and handed out to organizations throughout community 6


ADAPT HEADINGS: Tailor headings to fit opportunities and positions. This heading could become “Public Relations Experience.”


BULLET POINTS: Include major responsibilities.

PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT 7 Central Michigan University Program Board President, Fall 2014-Present 8 • Lead weekly meetings with elected officers to discuss recruitment, programming, campus outreach, and professional development opportunities for members General Member, Fall 2013-Spring 2014 • Developed educational programming on diversity, health, and professional development for 100 members to meet Registered Student Organization (RSO) guidelines


BULLET POINTS: Include specific tasks and projects.


ADAPT HEADINGS: Consider utilizing headings such as “Campus Leadership.”



100 Washington Ave. • Mount Pleasant, MI
• (989) 555-2222
• 2

EDUCATION Central Michigan University, Mt. Pleasant, MI Bachelor of Science, May 2017 (Expected) Major: Communications; Minor: Marketing Overall GPA: 3.5 (Major GPA: 3.6) 3 HONORS Elected to Alpha Kappa Delta, International Sociology Honor Society: Fall 2014 Dean’s List: Fall 2014, Spring 2015 and Fall 2016 Best Undergraduate Communications Paper Award: Spring 2016

Media for Millenials (Capstone Project), Fall 2013 9 • Researched trends in social media engagement amongst Millenials to develop marketing plan for college admissions offices when communicating with potential students



The Social Mitten Conference, Summer 2012 Presenter: “A Study of Technology’s Impact on Diversity Awareness” EMPLOYMENT 10 Mountain Town Station, Mt. Pleasant, MI Host, September 2013-Present


If you’ve had multiple positions within one organization, you can split up the experiences. Include class projects, research, group work and area/industry content knowledge.


ADAPT HEADINGS: This could become “Customer Service Experience.”


BULLET POINTS: Not all experiences have to include details.

NOTE: Consider combining a chronological resume with a functional resume by including a skills section to create a “Cross-Functional” resume.

19 19


555 East Main Street • Mount Pleasant, Michigan • (111) 555-3333 •

SUMMARY OF QUALIFICATIONS Communication Skills • • • • • • •

Familiar with a variety of office-related software packages, including: Word; Publisher and WordPerfect Office Able to utilize, and understand, the following social media and communication platforms: Twitter; Facebook; LinkedIn; Skype; webinars and various conferencing packages Composed information letters for clients seeking agency services Wrote reports for agency directors on the volume of clients served, in addition to utilizing SurveyMonkey for timely follow-up with clients Maintained good working relations with clients; including: daily telephone contact with current clients; researching problem areas and; providing detailed information and thorough follow-up for agency director Counseled residents and served as a campus/community resource Trained new wait staff and bartenders

Analysis Skills • • • • • • •

Familiar with analysis software (including SPSS and Excel) for quantitative data and NVivo for qualitative data Planned and executed a web satisfaction survey to assess seniors served by health awareness program Completed a statistical analysis of survey data, and presented results to Central Michigan University’s Council of Chairs Wrote a 25-page data analysis report for agency director and staff, based on survey findings Provided PowerPoint presentations to agency director and board members summarizing survey results Assisted with the development and implementation of focus groups with parents of youth served by agency Researched and wrote additional scholarly papers for various undergraduate and graduate classes

Organization Skills • • • • • •

Assisted with the transition from a paper to a web-based system for managing schedules of Multicultural Advisors Created educational and social programs that focus on diversity themes for residence hall of 300 students Assisted with training entire residence life student staff and making them aware of cultural sensitivity issues Designed and implemented new program for seniors facing multiple health issues Developed a nine-part documentary series for campus audience, averaging an attendance of 85 persons per showing Raised $10,000 for programs for seniors through the Isabella County Commission on Aging; this was the largest amount ever raised by students in the county


Central Michigan University, Mount Pleasant, Michigan Bachelor of Science, May 2017 (Expected) Major: Sociology; Minor: Psychology


Ruby Tuesday, Mount Pleasant and Novi, Michigan Bartender, September 2013-Present Central Michigan University, Mount Pleasant, Michigan Multicultural Advisor, Office of Residence Life, August 2013-Present


Stop by Ronan 240 for walk-in resume and cover letter critiques.

NOTE: Consider using this skills-based format when a chronological format may not allow your most relevant skills/experiences to be emphasized.



1403 West High Street, Mt. Pleasant, MI • 989-772-1892 • Full Profile:

EDUCATION Central Michigan University, Mount Pleasant, Michigan Bachelor of Science in Education, December 2016 Triple Minor: Elementary Education, Mathematics and Science, Integrative Creative Arts

CERTIFICATIONS State of Michigan Provisional Certification Childhood Education (Gr. 1-9) Middle Childhood Education (Gr. 5-9) Teaching Students with Disabilities (Gr. 5-9)

STUDENT TEACHING Vowels Elementary, Mount Pleasant, Michigan Teacher, September 2016 - Present • Collaborated with special education and developmental teachers to determine appropriate behavioral and academic interventions




1403 West High Street, Mt. Pleasant, MI • 989-772-1892 •

EDUCATION Grand Valley State University, Allendale, Michigan Master of Education in Higher Education, April 2012 Concentration: College Student Affairs Leadership (CSAL) Central Michigan University, Mount Pleasant, Michigan Bachelor of Science in Education, December 2005 Triple Minor: Elementary Education, Mathematics and Science, Integrative Creative Arts

PROMOTIONS EXPERIENCE Isabella Community Soup Kitchen, Mount Pleasant, Michigan Website and Social Media Manager, September 2014 - present • Develop content and update webpages to promote events, areas of need, and volunteer opportunities




555 High Lane,MI Mt.•Pleasant • 555-111-3333 • 1403 West High Street, Mt. Crest Pleasant, 989-772-1892 • EDUCATION


Central Michigan University, Mount Pleasant, Michigan Master of Science in Information Systems, May 2017 (Expected) GPA: 3.96/4.0

• • • • • • • • •

Central Michigan University, Mount Pleasant, Michigan Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering, May 2015 GPA: 3.8/4.0

IT INDUSTRY EXPERIENCE HCL Technologies, Mount Pleasant, Michigan Software Engineer, September 2014 - present • Executed developmental and testing tasks for business applications using Informatica 9.1 and Oracle 10g in Banking and Financial Services Industry vertical

SQL Visual Basic C C++ Java Python JavaScript HTML/XHTML XML


MySQL Oracle 11g


1403 West High Street, Mt. Pleasant, Michigan



Central Michigan University Mount Pleasant, Michigan Bachelor of Arts in Graphic Design, May 2016 Minor: Media Design


Stop by Ronan 240 for walk-in resume and cover letter critiques.

989-772-1892 •


MGX Graphic Design Agency Mount Pleasant, Michigan Account Manager, September 2014 - present

• Develop content and update webpages to promote events, areas of need, and volunteer opportunities for various clients


100 Pickard St., Apt. 45
• Mount Pleasant, MI
• (989) 555-2222
• August 1, 2014



Mr. John P. Johnston Vice President Ajax Accounting Company 555 Tamarack Drive Billings, ND 55221


Greetings Mr. Johnston:


Thank you, once again, for speaking with me during your recent visit to the City College of New York’s Accounting Career Day. I enjoyed learning more about your background in forensic accounting and the Staff Accounting positions available with Ajax. During our meeting, you suggested that I send my resume and cover letter to you as application for the position.

posting the letter, be sure to include the date.

3 When possible, address the letter to a specific 5

person. If you don’t have a specific person to address, include the company, office/ department, and address.

4 Show enthusiasm in your salutation

instead of the common “Dear Mr. Last Name.” If you don’t know his/her name, you could use “Hiring Committee.”


I know the skills attained in my coursework, through internship and work experiences, and from my cocurricular involvements make me a well-qualified candidate for this position. I look forward to speaking with you further about the position; my contact information is above, and I look forward to hearing from you as you begin to make hiring decisions. Thank You For Your Time,

application materials by using the same heading as your resume.

2 When you are e-mailing, mailing, or

As I complete my Accounting major and the required 150 credits to be eligible for the CPA exam, there are several classes that have prepared me for the Staff Accountant position. In the Auditing and Accounting class, for example, we had to complete five case studies on different departments on campus. We were given limited access to their past year’s financial statements to determine any discrepancies and we were able to present cost-saving recommendations to the Directors in each area. I also completed two Forensic Accounting classes, which gave me necessary auditing and detail skills needed to succeed with Ajax. My advisor also gave me the opportunity to prepare taxes for college students. I have completed over 35 tax returns through this hands-on program. Communication skills are essential in this position, as I would be meeting with clients and traveling to corporate locations to complete audits. As the president of two organizations on campus and having spent a semester in Italy, I have focused on developing strong communication and interpersonal skills. In addition, I have worked for two consecutive summers and over holiday breaks in the clothing retail field. Strong communication skills are certainly a must when handling returns the day after a major holiday in a high-traffic mall!

1 Create a consistent look for your


Kari McGuide Kari McGuide


Identify the position you are seeking. Mention names/titles of any referrals. Thank the person for past communication. Connect through common skills, experiences, goals that fit the opportunity, and why you are interested.



When you’re not face-to-face with an employer, your cover letter is your introduction.

1 2 3 4

The best cover letters are customized for the employer receiving them. Show an employer that you’re the best candidate by tailoring your experiences with what they’re looking for in the job description (see page 24 for an example). Be professional and direct while showing a personal interest and passion for their industry and your field of study. APPLYING BY EMAIL: Your email message can become a quick summary of your cover letter. Avoid using the same language as your letter. Simply stating “See Attached” can be a missed opportunity and shows lack of interest.

Highlight and expand on your strongest qualifications that match the position and employer’s culture. Develop themes based on experiences or skills that match the opportunity. Include transferrable skills, industry specific skills, or experiences. Provide concrete evidence throughout to showcase skills. Avoid generic statements that are not validated with any specific information.


Consider summarizing your qualifications and mention when you are available (relocating to a specific area, interview, start date, or hire).


SAMPLE COVER LETTER PARAGRAPH I strongly desire a Career with Target, as its stores provide the energetic, committed retail environment I am seeking. My experience has shown me that clear goals and working through challenges provides a welcoming atmosphere for growth and teamwork. Throughout my college experience, I have enhanced my depth of abilities by learning to work in fast-paced environments. As Marketing Chair for the Residence Hall Assembly at Central Michigan University, I had an impact within the organization because I provided dedication to market and inform our student population on the services and programs, which we offered throughout campus. In addition, I have been able to empower students through collaborative efforts with many student departments.

SAMPLE BULLET POINT STATEMENTS Lead a team of six on brainstorming strategies to address the needs of students within the Towers Residence Complex Inspire hundreds of student residents to take part in campus events via social media and print marketing campaigns Greet all students, parents, staff, and administration warmly, addressing all needs and providing information for various residential services

24 24

Stop by Ronan 240 for walk-in resume and cover letter critiques.

Since your application materials are a conversation, it is imperative to research industry, culture, and position qualifications to better understand an employer’s needs and goals. In order to stand out, find opportunities that you are genuinely interested in to connect your career story with an employer’s story. Show what you want fits what they need by using key words and phrases from the job description in your application materials to catch the employer’s attention.


Use your business, leadership and people skills to inspire exceptional performance. Maximize sales and profits for your target store. Ensure great guest service and team member satisfaction. Create a fast-paced, energetic environment that delivers a consistent Target brand experience for team members and guests. Use your skills, experience and talents to be a part of groundbreaking thinking and visionary goals. As a Stores Executive Intern, you’ll take the lead as you:

Gain a significant knowledge base during your comprehensive training program Work closely with the senior leadership group Gain the opportunity to make an impact within a Target store as an executive-in-training and project leader Offer innovative ideas focusing on results, and inspire your team to do the same Receive extensive training to help you become a strong store executive leader Return to school with strengthened leadership and project management skills, and a better understanding of the outstanding opportunities at Target Requirements: Desire to pursue a career in retail management Leadership and strong decision-making skills Assertiveness and initiative Team-oriented thinking Ability to communicate clearly and effectively in all situations Strong organizational skills with the ability to multitask

25 25


List the person’s full name and position title.


Provide the company name and department office/ address.


List a professional email address and full phone number.


100 Washington Road • Mount Pleasant, Michigan 48858 • (989) 555-0000 •


Use a separate page to list your references. Be sure to use a consistent font and heading from your resume and cover letter. Include 3-5 professional references, including past or current supervisors, internship coordinators, and/or professors. Consider avoiding personal references such as family and close friends. Select your references carefully. Consider several references who can speak about your different professional qualities, abilities, or accomplishments. Make sure your references can help build a strong case for your candidacy. Start by asking your references if they would agree to serve as a reference for you, and confirm which contact information they would prefer you use. Then, be sure to stay in touch with them. Notify them of each position you have applied for and how to best speak on your behalf.

References Ms. Carol M. Dotson Instructor Department of Physical Education and Sport Central Michigan University Mt. Pleasant, MI 48859 989-555-1234 Dr. Benjamin I. Fine Vice President Alpha Company, Inc. 123123 Auto Alley Livonia, MI 48452 111-555-3333

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Mr. George H. Smith Human Resource Specialist Omega Services, Inc. 1234 Greek Avenue Troy, MI 48123 235-555-6622

TAKING IT A STEP FURTHER When applicable, ask your references to write a letter of recommendation on your behalf for your professional portfolio and to attach to your application. Remember to give your references adequate time to write the letter, and gently suggest a date to complete the letter. Consider adding a reference section to your professional website. Write your references a thank you note shortly after they write you a letter of recommendation or give a verbal reference on your behalf. Also, be sure to stay in touch with them to share your job success!


Stop by Ronan 240 for walk-in resume and cover letter critiques.

CURRICULUM VITAE 1 Use a curriculum vitae (CV)

when applying for grants and fellowships, academic, educational, scientific, medical, or research positions. This is a lifelong document, so add to it frequently. It can be multiple pages in length.


100 Washington Ave. • Mount Pleasant, MI
• (989) 555-2222


EDUCATION Central Michigan University, Mt. Pleasant, MI Ph. D. in Military History (focus in American Military History), May 2016 Drew University, Madison, NJ B.A., December 2012 Major: History; Minor: English


2 Include your dissertation,

RESEARCH Disseration: “A Winter Campaign: General Philip H. Sheridan’s Operations on the Southern Plains, 1868”

3 Use this format to highlight

TEACHING EXPERIENCE Hunter College, New York, NY 3 Assistant Professor, August 2014 - present • Teach the following undergraduate courses: U.S. History to 1877; U.S. History from 1865; and the Civil War

thesis, class projects, and papers.

your teaching experiences.

PROFESSIONAL AFFILIATIONS New York Military Affairs Symposium (NYMAS), Board of Directors, September 2013 - present

4 Use the correct format for

publications, presentations, and papers by referring to the most recent APA Manual.

American Historical Association, Member, November 2014 - present PUBLICATIONS Attack at Dawn: Phil Sheridan’s Winter Campaign, 1868-1869. In preparation for University of Oklahoma Press.


“Los Diablos Tejanos.” Review of Lone Star Justice: The First Century of the Texas Rangers, by Robert M. Utley. Chronicles: A Magazine of American Culture, November 2011.

IN SUMMARY: USE: Apply to research and/or academic-oriented positions or to positions outside of the United States and Canada. FORMAT: Typically multiple pages and longer than a resume. Paragraphs can be used to describe experiences in addition to bullet points.

The Little Bighorn Campaign, March-September, 1876. Revised paperback edition. Conshohocken: Combined Publishing, 2010. The Civil War Book of Lists (contributing editor). Conshohocken: Combined Books, 2009. ACADEMIC SERVICE Hunter College-College of Humanities Tenure Committee, Fall 2013 - present Hunter College-History Society Advisor, Fall 2014 - present Central Michigan University-Academic Senate’s General Education Committee, Fall 2012 - Spring 2013 COMMUNITY SERVICE Madison Parks and Recreation, Little League Baseball Coach, Summers 2007 - 2009

CONTENT: Focus more on research, publications, and academic achievements.


Use strong action verbs when developing your documents and omit abbreviations that show a sign of laziness, such as “etc.”


Since it’s a full-time job to find a job, it is important to develop a search strategy. You need to stay organized and get connected. Make lasting impressions with employers on social media and through your online presence, follow up with your applications in person, on the phone, or through email, and keep in mind your ultimate goal to land a job that fits your personality, interests, and skills.


ONLINE BRANDING Your LinkedIn profile is one of the most valuable pieces of real estate you have when it comes to showcasing your authentic, genuine, and amazing self. As a job-seeking candidate, you will be able to research people and employers by industry that will help you develop and build your own network. Employers will also be able to view your information by conducting keyword searches and seeking out profiles that match those searches. To best utilize the LinkedIn network, follow these five basic steps to research, discover, and connect:


1. Develop an engaging, original, and clear summary of who you are. 2. Search for people you may know and connect with them. Try using the “Find Alumni� search to connect with fellow Central Michigan University graduates in your field of study. 3. Send your contacts inMail to network professionally. 4. Join groups based on skills, interests, and industries. 5. Search job and internship postings. Learn how to best utilize LinkedIn by visiting: com/linkedin-for-students. A personal website will also help you stand out among other applicants. Some free platforms include WordPress, Wix, Jimdo, and Weebly, but feel free to experiment with any other favorites. Use your website to host all of your professionally-based social media links in one location and to host pictures, video highlights, documents, and video references to better connect with employers. Lastly, be sure to include a link to your personal website on your resume, cover letter, business cards, and email signature line. You may also want to use your Facebook and Twitter accounts to research employers and connect with career opportunities. In this case, make sure they are professional, appropriate, and reflect you in a positive manner. Always be careful what you post online, even if you use the highest privacy settings.


PROACTIVE JOB SEARCH It is important for you to be proactive in your job search, both online and in person. The networks you create are vitally important to you, so follow these steps to boost your career search and get you in front of people who can help you. Building an Online Network: It is important to keep track of the different types of online resources that will best support your job and internship search for discovering openings and increasing networking opportunities. Weigh your resource options to see what works best for you. The ultimate goal is to find and explore employer websites and connect as directly as possible. Below are some resource categories to get you started: “Handshake” Career Management System: Stay in the loop with all of the opportunities that are sent directly to our staff (see page 5) Large Job Search Engines: Simply Hired, Monster, and Indeed “scrape” the internet to find opportunities based on search criteria, which are valuable but not your only option Industry-Specific: Look for job boards that are specific to your area of interest in order to more strategically pinpoint opportunities in your field Location Specific: No matter where you want to live, job boards often exist for states, major cities, and countries Employer Directories: Resources such as “Buzzfile” can help you find employers by various search criteria like location and area of study/industry Social Media: LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter can help you find positions and employers and connect you with professionals in your desired field (see page 29) Set up email alerts, when applicable, to have postings of interest sent directly to you! In a recent national survey, 70% of respondents reported they got their present position because of a personal contact. The earlier you start building relationships with people in your field of interest, the stronger they will be when you actually begin your job hunt. Building an In-Person Network: As the old adage goes, “It’s not only what you know, it’s who you know.” Finding the right people to job shadow or communicate with may seem difficult, but start by building a professional network with your family, friends, co-workers, and professors. Next, go to career fairs (see page 31) to expand your network. When you’re ready, take it a step further and schedule an informational interview. The goal of informational interviews is to learn as much as possible from professionals in your field of interest. These people will slowly become your best advocates in your job search. After asking to set up an informational interview, create a list of 5-6 questions to bring with you. Sample questions may include: What do you enjoy the most about your position? What are the challenges facing your business? Are there specific initiatives currently in place to address these challenges? How do you collaborate with others in likeindustries?


What types of professional development opportunities are currently in place? Are there resources or professional organizations you find most helpful? Are there other people in the industry you would suggest I talk to who would also provide excellent insights into the profession?


View event details and participating employer lists, and determine which employers to target (Details and employer lists for all CMU career fairs and events are available on Handshake.) Review other sections of this Career Guide, especially the Elevator Pitch on page 37 Visit REACH Advising to polish your resume and get advice on tailoring it for your targeted employers If you need a suit, seek out First Impressions, a program that provides free, professional attire Practice talking about your experience and skills through the Mock Interview Program Attend a prep event, such as Fire Up Your Career, or schedule an appointment with a career coach Research your targeted employers and prepare specific questions to ask them


Dress professionally and bring a padfolio with your tailored and general resumes Refer to the career fair’s registration packet, which usually includes a map of the fair’s layout, as well as each employer’s desired majors and available positions Use your elevator pitch to initiate a conversation about your experience/skills and how you are a good fit for the employer and your desired position Connect with employers by asking relevant questions Exchange business cards or contact information


Keep the employers’ contact information and your job/internship leads in one place, such as Handshake Connect with and thank the recruiters via e-mail and LinkedIn Follow up with any additional materials/information, such as a project write-up or updated resume If you were interviewed, send a thank you note Make notes about the experience and personal areas of growth for the next career fair


Career fairs are only for graduating seniors to find jobs – MYTH!

It is NEVER too early to attend a career fair. We encourage students of all class standings and alumni, as well as all majors, to attend. Seniors and alumni can seek out full-time jobs, and juniors typically look for internships. Freshmen and sophomores can also go to get comfortable with the environment, gain feedback on their resumes, learn more about which in-demand internships and jobs they are interested in for the future, and get connected.

I should only go to a career fair when I need an internship/job very soon – MYTH!

While some employers will be looking to fill positions ASAP, a good majority of employers may be recruiting for positions eight months or more in advance. Examples: Spring 2017 graduates should attend Fall 2016 career fairs to find full time positions beginning in May/June 2017; Students interested in Summer 2017 internships should attend Fall 2016 career fairs to be considered for internships beginning in May/June 2017.

When I go to a career fair, I need to visit every employer – MYTH!

Access the participating employer list for the career fair ahead of time and create your own, targeted list of approximately 10 employers. Then, make sure to customize resumes for those 10, and make it a priority to visit them. Don’t overwhelm yourself by feeling you need to visit each employer! At a career fair, it should be a matter of quality not quantity.

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You’ve got an interview! Now what? First, you have to look the part and know the part. Preparation matters, and employers will know who is the most viable candidate based on a strong first impression, company knowledge, and overall preparedness. Consider this: The average length of an interview is 40 minutes, but 33% of 2000 surveyed bosses indicated they can determine within the first 90 seconds if they will hire that candidate. So, bring your personality, but also put your best foot forward. You’ve got nothing to lose‌except the job offer.



Your knowledge of the employer and industry should be evident in your responses to interview questions, as well as your questions for the interviewers. When you demonstrate this knowledge, you also express your sincere interest in the position.


Create a concise, memorable summary (commonly referred to as an elevator pitch) for introducing yourself to the interviewers. Highlight your most relevant experience, accomplishments, abilities, and future goals that relate to the position. You can use this introduction in response to the prompt, “Tell me about yourself.” If you need help verbalizing how your skills and experiences match the job posting requirements, refer to page 37 and schedule an appointment with a career coach.


Make a good first impression! Refer to page 38-39 for a guide to appropriate and professional attire. If you are in need of interview attire, we encourage you to apply for professional clothing through First Impressions. Visit www. for more details.


The best way to prepare for an interview is to actually do it! Through our Mock Interview Program, we will simulate an interview for you to strengthen your interviewing skills. Sign up for a Mock Interview by logging into Handshake at To practice your responses to common interview questions, see page 36. For additional practice, consider visiting Ready, Prep, Interview at or Big Interview at


Interviewers expect you to ask questions. Asking questions is another way to express your genuine interest in the position and organization. Refer to page 36 for sample questions to ask during the interview process. Keep in mind that you will likely develop additional questions on-the-spot based on what transpired during the interview.


References are typically requested at the conclusion of the interview. Refer to page 26 for a sample reference list. Make sure to bring a copy with you to your interview and notify your references that you have an upcoming interview. They may be receiving a call from the hiring manager soon!


An important step in the interview process is following-up with the employer. Request each interviewer’s business card at the conclusion of the interview, and send each of them a thank you note. Refer to page 41 for a guide on how to write them.



“Tell me about a time when...” or “Give me an example of a situation where...” are prompts that seek your best examples of how you would satisfy the requirements of the job. These behavioral interview questions are frequently asked in interviews of all types. See page 37 for examples of common behavioralbased interview questions.


This is typically the method used for the first round of interviews and will be your first “live” interaction with the employer. Make sure your cell phone has a strong signal and connection or use a landline phone. Dress professionally to help yourself get into a professional mindset and be free of distractions and background noise.

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This method will provide you the opportunity to prove your knowledge, skills, and abilities pertaining to the job. You may be required to do one or several activities in front of the interviewers and key stakeholders. The activities may involve a presentation or role-playing, for instance, and last from an hour to several days. Organizations are willing to include assessment center techniques in the interviewing process to make a wise investment in the successful candidate.


You, along with multiple candidates, will be assessed in the same room for the same job. Candidates may be asked to all respond to the same question or different sets of questions in either a roundtable or random format. Group interviews often involve interaction between candidates, which will allow the interviewers to see if you stand out and how well you interact with others. The interviewers will also be able to assess your ability to deal with pressure, take on leadership roles, work well with a team, and remember details such as the other candidates’ names and responses.


Software, such as Skype, is more and more commonly used to connect you, as a potential candidate, with the hiring committee in a convenient, cost-effective way. Prepare and test your video/audio equipment by practicing with a friend or having a Skype mock interview through the Mock Interview Program before your scheduled interview. Your video screen name should be professional and appropriate. For the interview, make sure that your backdrop is plain and lighting is appropriate. Dress professionally and look at the camera (not your screen) to maintain eye contact.


Congratulations! You are most likely one of the finalists when invited for a panel interview, as you will meet multiple key stakeholders. Appearance, eye contact with each person on the panel, posture, and overall demeanor are as important as your responses to their questions.


…how you will make an impact in the new position, starting on Day #1!


…your ability to fit in with the existing team structure.


…your enthusiasm about the job and organization.


…your sparkle. Be yourself and let your personality shine!


INTERVIEW QUESTIONS GENERAL INTERVIEW QUESTIONS Tell me about yourself. What do you consider to be your greatest strengths and weaknesses? Why did you choose Central Michigan University and your area of study? Which classes have you enjoyed most? Least? Why? In what extra‐curricular activities have you participated? Which did you enjoy most and why? What are your short‐term and long‐term career goals, and how do you plan to achieve them? What leadership positions have you held? Describe your leadership style. What motivates you to put forth your greatest effort? Why are you interested in our organization and this position? What do you think it takes to be successful in an organization like ours? What qualities do you think a successful manager would possess? What three accomplishments have given you the greatest satisfaction? How would your previous supervisor and coworkers describe you? What criteria are you using to evaluate the company for which you hope to work? Why are you the best candidate for this position?

QUESTIONS TO ASK THE INTERVIEWER What would be the first project or initiative for the successful candidate? What is your favorite thing about your job? What do you anticipate to be the greatest challenges of this position? What professional development opportunities would be available to the successful candidate? What is the timeline of the hiring process? How would you describe your management style?


Sign up for a practice interview through Handshake.

BEHAVIORAL INTERVIEW QUESTIONS How have you demonstrated initiative? Tell me about a time when you successfully interacted with a difficult person. How have you motivated yourself to complete an assignment or task that you did not want to do? Think about a complex project or assignment you have been given. What approach did you take to complete it? Tell me about the riskiest decision you have made. Tell me about a challenge in which you successfully exceeded expectations. Give an example of when your persistence had the biggest payoff. Describe a situation where class assignments and work or personal activities conflicted. How did you prioritize and manage your time? How have you most constructively dealt with disappointment and turned it into a learning experience? Describe a situation in which you effectively developed a solution to a problem by combining different perspectives or approaches. Give me an example of a time when you needed to learn something new in a short amount of time. Describe a time when you disagreed with a supervisor.


Use what you’ve learned from the interview to ask specific questions:

“You mentioned that ... I was curious to know more about ... ”


A concise summary of yourself is needed in the form of a 30 second “elevator” pitch at a career fair or networking event, as well as in response to the #1 interview prompt, “Tell me about yourself.” So, what should you say? Do include: The Basics: your name, CMU major/minor, and year in school (i.e. sophomore) Experience: work experience, volunteer work, projects related to the position of interest Distinctions: your top, relevant accomplishments, strengths and skill sets The Future: your educational and career goals as they relate to the position Don’t include: Your age, marital status, ethnicity and other potentially discriminatory information Details about family, friends, co-workers, etc. Keep the focus on you! All of your work experiences-stick to what is most relevant for your listener Hobbies, unless you are able to make a clear connection between them and the position Example Elevator Pitch Position of Interest: Human Resources: Recruiting Internship with Ford Motor Company My name is Victor Chip, and I am currently a junior studying Human Resources at Central Michigan University. For the past two years, I have been the Recruitment Chair of the Society for Human Resource Management at CMU, as well as a Mock Interviewer for CMU Career Services. I also recently completed an employee recruitment and retention project with three classmates, and we won “Best in Class.” I welcome the opportunity to “Go Further” with Ford Motor Company and enhance my recruiting skills through this internship.

RESPONDING TO BEHAVIORAL INTERVIEW QUESTIONS The BAR Method Your interviewer will likely ask you a number of behavioral interview questions. These typically begin with, “Tell me about a time when…” or “Please provide an example of…” An appropriate response will include: Background: orient your interviewer by providing the “who, what, when, where, why” of the situation Action: describe what exactly you did in this situation and why you did it in that particular way Result: conclude your example with the outcome of your actions and what you learned from the experience *Note: Including what you learned is crucial when the outcome was unsuccessful. Example BAR Method Interviewer: Tell me about a time when you successfully handled a difficult situation. Your response: In my HR Training and Development class at CMU this past semester, I worked with two classmates to

complete a semester-long training project for our business client, Enterprise Holdings. I decided to take the lead on the project, and delegated responsibilities and tasks to my classmates. One classmate in particular had been late for two meetings and did not complete his first task on time, so I approached him individually to discuss his tardiness. He mentioned that he was having difficulty understanding the first task and was too embarrassed to speak up or even attend the meetings. I told him I appreciated his honesty, and then sat down with him for two hours to clear up his misunderstandings and get him back on track for his second task. He ended up understanding the tasks and purpose of the project a lot more after we talked, and was punctual for meetings and completing tasks for the remainder of the project. I’m proud to say that we achieved an A on the project and Enterprise Holdings will be implementing our work into their new employee training program. I also learned that, as a leader, you should check your team’s understanding of the tasks before moving forward, rather than delegate and see how things unfold without providing support.



Professional dress matters because it gives employers a positive first impression of you, but what you wear for a professional encounter depends on the career field you are pursuing and the employer’s environment. Consider the following options:



Will what I wear to the interview be everyday work attire?


Break out some of the best in your closet -- dark, conservative colors with color accents and appropriate, clean dress shoes.


Although your dress should still be neat and professional, there’s no need to bust out the tux. Black or khaki-colored slacks and collared shirts and blouses are appropriate.

CORPORATE-CENTERED FIELDS: You will need a conservative look that conveys competence, authority, knowledge, innovation, and approachability. Suits should have a classic, conservative style and be dark in color. Navy, dark grey, black, or brown are great top choices.

SERVICE-ORIENTED FIELDS: You will need an image that projects expertise and approachability. Suits should be conservative and dark in color, but coordinate separates can work, too. A pop of color in blouses and shirts are welcomed.


Your dress can contemporarily convey creativity and innovation. Two-piece suit coordinates are acceptable, and blouses and shirts should accent your look. Show your creative flair but remember professionalism still matters.


Sign up for a practice interview through Handshake.


Is my career field of choice more corporate-centered, service-oriented, technical, or creative?


Your goal is to appear like you will fit in with the company culture without looking sloppy. Avoid blue jeans, even if the company reveals a very casual atmosphere. Show your personality with a pop of color and, when in doubt, opt for more conservative options.


Your interview begins the moment you drive into the parking lot. You will be sized up immediately by all who see you throughout the day. For each person you meet during the process, including the office secretaries and the entire interview panel, consider the following tips: Always introduce yourself and greet other professionals with a firm handshake, smile, and eye contact. Bring with you a contagious excitement, enthusiasm, energy, and passion for your field. Be yourself: show you are poised and confident about your skills through your body language, posture, and facial expressions. Be knowledgeable about the company’s mission, vision, and values and be able to communicate them effectively. Follow these general rules in regards to interview attire: Hair should be clean, well groomed, and away from the eyes (this includes all facial hair, even in November!). Tattoos and/or body piercings should not be visible. Strong smells, including mints, perfumes, or aftershaves should be avoided in excess. Briefcases or portfolios provide an excellent outlet to store and organize documents. Clothing should fit properly. Wear a belt to hold your pants up and avoid low necklines, short skirts, and heels higher than three inches. Trendy clothing generally does not project the most professional image. Crisp, clean, and well pressed is non-negotiable. For any type of career-related event, fair, informational interview, conference, or job shadow, always dress professionally based on your industry. Be sure to avoid: Ripped jeans Flip-flops T-shirts Wrinkled khakis Short shorts and dresses

First Impressions, operated by the Career Services office, provides students with free business attire for interviews, job fairs, and other professional events. Located in the Bovee University Center, room 117, this resource helps students make a positive first impression in both the classroom and the business world. To apply for services with First Impressions, visit their website at



If you are no longer interested in taking part in the interview process, be sure to remain professional! Contact the person you scheduled the interview with and politely state you are no longer interested and would like to cancel. Do this with at least a 24-hour notice before the time of your interview. It is considered very disrespectful and unprofessional to simply not show up for a scheduled interview. You risk damaging your reputation, the reputation of those who helped you get the interview, Central Michigan University, and potentially many others! It is strongly recommended that you only interview if you have a legitimate interest in the position. It is not fair to the employer and takes away from the other candidates’ potential in moving forward if you take part in an interview simply for fun or practice. To schedule a practice interview, utilize CMU’s Mock Interview program or set up an account on Be sure to diversify your job search. It is not in your best interest to turn down interviews based on the assumption that you will get an offer from another company. For professional advice on your unique situation, schedule an appointment with a career coach. You may also consult the career-related resources and information available at


It is important to sell yourself at the beginning (see page 37) and end of your interview. Ending the interview on a positive note can be done by incorporating the following: Summarize your key points: relevant experience, distinctions, your passion for the position, and how you see a future with that employer Respond to information revealed by the hiring team, especially if it intrigues you and fits your skills/experience Ask appropriate, specific questions regarding the employer or position that haven’t already been answered by the job description or hiring team (see page 36) Leave out salary/benefits questions until the employer initiates the discussion or presents you an offer The above points may naturally weave into your responses. Even if they do (and especially if they don’t!), make sure to mention them as you close the interview.

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Sign up for a practice interview through Handshake.

FOLLOWING UP If you are looking for ways to stand out from other applicants, be the one who sends a thank you note or email 1-2 business days after the interview. The thank you note is a chance to stand out, demonstrate follow-up skills, add to interview conversations, and reiterate your top qualifications. Use the guidelines below for why, when, and how to write a thank you note: Send a thank you note after a phone interview. You don’t have to wait for an in-person interview to write a thank you note. A quick, simple note can go a long way. Thank you for taking the time to talk with me on the phone today. Please let me know if I can answer any other questions, and I hope to hear from you again soon. Thank you note etiquette can be a challenge when you meet with multiple people during an interview. A good rule to follow is to write an individual follow-up note to each person. Before leaving, ask for business cards of each person interviewing you. Dear Judy, It was a pleasure to meet you on Wednesday. Your description of the coordinator role and how you facilitate the weekly office communications was very helpful. Good luck with the event next week, and thanks again! If you don’t have the contact information for each person on the interview panel, it is still important to name each person you met with. I enjoyed meeting you and the rest of the team yesterday. Please tell Anna, Victor, and Lisa thank you for their time and thoughtful questions. Use the thank you note to expand or reinforce your interview conversations. If you mentioned a project, organization, or article, you can include a link to further information. We talked about the conference where I learned about the new IT governance strategies, and I wanted to share a link to the presentation I mentioned. You can also add information that you didn’t cover in the interview. You know that feeling when you walk out of an interview and think, “Why didn’t I say X? I should have told them about that project!” The thank you note can be your second choice. It was good to learn more about how you collaborate with your managed service vendors. I don’t think I mentioned that my previous role involved negotiating a new IT services contract. Finally, if you are working with an HR representative or recruiter who is coordinating the interview process for you, follow up with him/her as well. When you finish a round of interviews, let your recruiter know how it went. Dear Phil, Thank you for setting up the call with Donna today. She and I had a good conversation about the regional office’s rapid growth—and it was nice to find a fellow Houston native!

Combine the above examples that work for you to form a complete thank you note of three sentences to a couple of paragraphs. Be sure to write your note in your neatest handwriting and add a personal touch from your interview!





Woohoo! It’s a great feeling when you receive a job offer! However, do consider that accepting an offer is a BIG commitment. Do not accept an offer until you are sure you are committed to moving forward with that position and company and agree to the specifics of the offer. When you accept an offer, you enter a mutuallybeneficial business relationship. Before accepting, it is advised that you: Take time to decide and agree on a reasonable “decision date” with the employer; discuss how to follow-up (ex: inperson, phone, e-mail, letter) Ask questions! Don’t accept an offer with lingering questions or uncertainties about the position Request to meet again, see the office/environment or talk with potential colleagues if you feel you didn’t get the best sense of the position or employer during the interview

If you are still in the middle of pursuing other job prospects and opportunities, then you are not likely ready to accept an offer.


The way you conduct yourself during this process is a reflection on several others, including CMU, your college/department, and your connections. Most importantly, your conduct will reflect positively or negatively on YOU and may jeopardize your consideration for future employment. Always protect your reputation during the job search. In addition, thank and keep your references and others who have helped you in your job search updated on your status with interviews and offers.


First and foremost, thank the employer for the offer, no matter if you like it or not. Acknowledge that your goal is to accept an offer that is fair for both you and them. Remember to agree on a decision date with the employer and take time to evaluate the components of the offer. Think beyond the salary offer and look into further details such as benefits (ex: insurance, retirement plan), professional development, career advancement opportunities, flexible work schedule, and relocation assistance.

If you determine the offer to be below what you had hoped, move forward with the negotiation process: Know your worth—do your research on salary/ compensation for comparable jobs in the area by using resources such as and Consider the cost of living in the area, among other factors that will affect you beyond the position and employer Provide the employer your highest desired salary, while keeping in mind the lowest you will accept; your goal may be to arrive at an agreement in the middle of your range Negotiate specifics of the offer beyond salary, if desired


If you decide to turn down an offer, do so in a professional and respectful manner. Make the employer aware of your decision through a conversation either via phone or in-person, if possible. If they mention that notifying them of your decision by e-mail or letter is acceptable, then you may do so. Thank them for the offer and experience of going through their selection process You are not obligated to explain the reason behind your decision, but if you do, be considerate; view this as an opportunity to provide the employer honest, tasteful feedback regarding your decision


Job searching is a process and you may receive multiple offers around the same period of time. Take the time to think about if you’re really ready to commit and consider declining an offer if you’re not ready to make a decision within a reasonable amount of time for both you and the employer. If you feel unreasonably pressed by an employer to make a decision, you may find it necessary to decline the offer. Consider the interests and ethical rights of the employer. They have committed to you by providing an offer. If you were to accept the offer and later withdraw, they would likely need to reopen the search process for the position you had promised to fulfill. It is considered distasteful to go back on a professional commitment such as this. Also remember that doing so risks your reputation with that employer, individuals on the hiring committee, your references, and the entire CMU community. Schedule an appointment with a career coach for professional advice regarding your situation, especially if you are having difficulty deciding or knowing how to best communicate with an employer.




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When you work with us, you’re not just making quality automobiles; you’re building a future that’s as strong and attainable as our products. Our opportunities, and yours, are endless; because we go as far as our talents can take us – and then, we Go Further. The distance between you and an amazing career has never been shorter. Join the Ford team today, and discover the benefits, rewards and development opportunities you’d expect from a diverse global leader. IT • Manufacturing • Purchasing Bring your talents to Ford and help us build an even greater future, for both of us. Look out for the Ford Recruiting Team on campus during Fall Career Fairs and throughout the year. Complete your online applicant profile at today. Connect with us and be part of the growing Ford community at:


CHIPPEWA Majoring in any one of these areas? Visit today to apply!

• Business • Computer Science & IT • Finance & Accounting • Information Systems

• Marketing • Math & Actuarial Science ... and more! By choice, we are an Equal Opportunity Employer committed to a culturally diverse workforce.


Join Nexteer A global automotive technology company We need innovative, passionate team players in: • • • • • • • •


Electrical Engineering Software Engineering Mechanical Engineering Industrial Engineering Product Engineering Team Leaders Manufacturing Business Related Roles

Who We Are: We’re a Leader in Intuitive Motion Control. We make driving safe, fun & fuel-efficient with our technologies in steering, driveline, Advanced Driver Assist Systems (ADAS) & autonomous technologies for global OEMs.



October 14th, 2016 February 17th, 2017 Finch Fieldhouse | 9am - 1pm *All Majors Encouraged to Attend Professional Dress Required







Career Services


CMICH Career Guide 2016-17  

Central Michigan University Career Services' mission is to assist students and alumni in their career development and decision-making and ai...

CMICH Career Guide 2016-17  

Central Michigan University Career Services' mission is to assist students and alumni in their career development and decision-making and ai...