Page 1

Career Management Center

Welcome to the Coggin College Career Management Center How to Connect with an Employer and Make the Right Impression Executing Your Job Search

As a Northwestern Mutual Financial Representative you can make a difference in people’s lives and fulfill your potential. Opportunities await. Liza Wrobel Director of Internship Recruitment (904) 356-5155

05-3040 Š 2012 Northwestern Mutual is the marketing name for The Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company, Milwaukee, WI (NM) (life and disability insurance, annuities) and its subsidiaries. Staff members are associated with the local office listed above and support Representatives. Products and services referenced are offered and sold only by appropriately licensed individuals.

Table of Contents

Career Management Center at Glance Overview | page 2 Annual Events | page 3 STAR Program | page 5 Career Wings | page 7 Coggin Clubs | page 9

Job Search Strategy & Application Materials Job Search: Step-by-Step | Page 10 Internships | Page 13 Resume Tips | Page 15 Resume Examples | Page 19 Cover Letters | Page 23 Reference Sheets | Page 27

Interviewing Interviewing Cheat Sheet | Page 28 Questions You May be Asked | Page 29 Behavioral Interviewing | Page 31 Questions to Ask Employers | Page 32 Phone Interviews | Page 33 Negotiation Guide | Page 34 Thank you Letters | Page 37

Professionalism Dress for Success | Page 39 Communication Essentials | Page 41 1

Career Management Center

The Career Management Center offers specialized services to help students begin successful and fulfilling





individualized assistance, the center aims to provide a competitive edge to allow Coggin students to

Shannon Italia Director Career Management Center Coggin College of Busines

secure the best positions available.

Services for students: • Resume Writing Assistance • InterviewPRO-Practice Interview Program

Larissa Bodniowycz Career Coordinator Career Management Center

• Access to job postings via Career Wings • Recruiting and networking events • Internship programs • Networking workshops • Individual Career Counseling • Official Business Cards for Coggin College of Business Students

Scott Curry Recruiting Assistant Career Management Center

For more information, please email or call: (904)620.2067 Facebook: Coggin Career Management

Shatara Francis Graduate Assistant Career Management Center

Office: Bldg 42, Suite 2021 Hours: Monday through Friday 8:30am - 5:30pm by appointment only. 22

Career Management Center Events

ANNUAL EVENTS Career Fairs (Fall & Spring) Employers from various industries will be on hand recruiting for internships, part-time employment, and full-time employment. Students should come prepared with resumes to distribute. There is no cost for UNF students to attend.

Fall Boot Camp Boot Camp is a series of workshops and other professional development opportunities designed to prepare students for job and internship recruitment. These events take place every fall. Students have the opportunity to receive STAR 1 & STAR 2 credits by attending topic specific workshops. This event is casual and designed to be a fun way to get excited about your career development plans.

Internship Fair The Coggin College Internship Fair provides a great opportunity for students to explore internship opportunities while networking with professionals from the Jacksonville business community. Employers from various industries will be on hand recruiting for interns for spring and summer semesters. Attendees should come prepared with resumes to distribute. This event is for UNF students interested in business internships.

Information Sessions & Hiring Socials Information Sessions & Hiring Socials are presentations made by companies that are interested in recruiting students for internships or full-time positions. Sessions are scheduled based on employer hiring needs. Check the “Events� tab on a regular basis to keep up to date on upcoming sessions.

Additional Events For a listing of ALL upcoming events, workshops and information sessions, please check your Career Wings account OR the Career Management Center Events Calendar at:


Campus Map - Event Locations

Bldg. 58 West Student Union Bldg. 42 CCB CMC located in Suite 2021

The Amphitheatre

Bldg 43 University Center

Success Tip! Be sure to check the required attire for each event to ensure that you are dressed appropriately.






don’t miss your



The STAR Program is a professional development program designed specifically for Coggin College of Business students. The program’s focus is on helping students advance their careers through the development of employability and networking skills. To become STAR Certified, students must complete all 5 STARS; this can be done over the course of multiple semesters. Students interested in participating in the STAR Program should first create an account in Career Wings (, UNF’s online job opportunity and career events management system.

Once an account is created, students can register for STAR Workshops and InterviewPRO and take advantage of all the career related opportunities in the system.


Wings 5

STAR 1 Job Search Workshop Attend the Job Search Basic Training workshop where you will learn how to create or fine-tune a business resume, draft effective cover letters and plan your job search.

STAR 2 Interviewing Workshop Attend the Interviewing for Success Workshop which provides an overview of the interviewing process including preparation strategies, commonly asked questions and follow-up.

STAR 3 Resume Critique Have your resume and cover letter (optional) reviewed by the Career Management Center and receive personalized feedback on how you can improve your resume.

STAR 4 Upload Resume Upload your critiqued resume into Career Wings. Credit will not be given until STAR 3 is completed.

STAR 5 InterviewPRO Participate in InterviewPRO, a practice interview with a representative from the Jacksonville business community who will provide you with feedback on your performance.


Career Wings Career Wings Overview Career Wings is UNF’s online management system for job listings, internship postings, on-campus recruiting schedules and career events registration. Create an Account Log-in to your MyWings account and select the link for Career Wings under “Quick Links.” You will need your N# to create an account. Navigating Career Wings Once you are logged in to your Career Wings account, you can use the tabs at the top of the screen and the menu items on the left side bar to navigate between pages. The tabs are discussed in greater detail below.

Career Wings Features My Account

Employer Directory

Job Search

On Campus Interview / Mock Interview Schedule

Career Events

My Account Use this tab to view and update your profile, documents and activity.

Profile It is important to update your profile on a regular basis. Many of the jobs/internships in Career Wings filter out applicants based on criteria including GPA, graduation date, major, etc.

Documents Upload resumes, cover letters, transcripts and additional documents to be used when applying for job/internship opportunities. Be sure you have had your resume critiqued by the Career Management Center before uploading.

Activity Review all of your job/internship applications, event registrations and interviewing schedules. 7

Job Search Use the job search to feature to look for jobs and internships. Click on any positions that you are interested in to view the job qualifications and application instructions. Some positions will allow you to submit your resume through Career Wings. Others will have a different application process. Be sure to follow directions carefully! On Campus Interviews / Mock Interviews Search for on-campus interviews and mock interviews that you are qualified to apply or sign-up for. You must have a resume in the system in order to participate in mock or oncampus interviews.

Mock Interviews Interview schedules that begin with “STAR 5” are practice interviews. These are available on a first come, first serve basis. Simply click the date you are interested in and sign-up for a timeslot. On Campus Interviews To submit your resume for consideration for an on-campus interview, click on the position that you are interested in. If you qualify, a “Request Interview” button will appear at the top of the screen. Click this button and follow the prompts to apply. If you are selected for an interview, you will receive an e-mail notification directing you to log-in and sign-up for an interviewing timeslot.

Career Events Use this tab to view and RSVP for upcoming career related events including workshops, information sessions, career fairs and hiring socials. If you have any questions or problems with your Career Wings account, please contact the Career Management Center at (904)620.2067 or e-mail


Coggin College Students Organizations

Getting involved with a Coggin College based student organization is a great way to build your resume and develop a professional network of peers, faculty, staff and professionals from the business community.

Open Membership BEST Alliance

UNF Geography Club

Selective Membership Osprey Financial Group

Coggin Student Ambassador Program




Student Leadership Advisory Board

Honor Societies


Job Search

Job Searching Steps Your job search should begin well before you are actually “looking” for a job. 1. Self-assessment 2. Research & evaluate 3. Prepare and Practice 4. Identify Job Opportunities 5. Track Progress & Follow-Up

1.Self-Assessment The job search process begins with an identification of your values, interests, skills, accomplishments, experience and goals. Self-assessment, though a time-consuming process, provides invaluable information to facilitate career decisions and to prepare you to market your background effectively.

2.Research & Evaluate Prospective Careers and Employers Explore the matches between your identified skills, interests and values, and the demands of career fields and organizations.

• Research what companies and industries are located in Jacksonville or the city/state you intend to live in after graduation. The Jacksonville Business Journal Book of Lists is a great research tool. Access it for free through your My Wings account.

• Try out intended jobs through internships, part-time or summer jobs, or volunteer opportunities.

• Talk with individuals in fields you are interested in. Don’t be afraid to ask professionals for an “informational interview.”


3.Prepare & Practice Job Search Documents It is helpful to have generic versions of each of these documents prepared. However, you should review and customize each for EVERY position that you apply to. • Resume – A resume is a marketing tool designed to get you an interview. It is a brief summary of your background.

• Cover Letter – A cover letter is your introduction to a prospective employer outlining your interest in the position and the organization and expressing why you are qualified for the position. It should entice employers to read your resume and be an example of your writing abilities. • References – Reference sheets list 3 -5 professional references that can attest to your work. For students, this may include previous supervisors, professors or club advisors. • Thank You Letter – A thank you note should be sent or e-mailed after every interview. This simple step demonstrates your professionalism, business acumen, and interest in the position. Online Presence Before looking for a job, it is imperative that you review your online presence and ensure that you are portraying a professional image. • Google your name • Create a LinkedIn Profile • Check your Facebook security settings and remove inappropriate pictures Practice Networking & Interviewing Networking and interviewing skills are crucial to a successful job search and will continue to benefit you after you have landed a job. The best way to develop these skills is to PRACTICE. Through the STAR Program and other events, the Career Management Center provides ample practice opportunities each semester.


4.Identify Job Opportunities There are two doors into any organization. The first is through the formal application process where a candidate applies to a posted position. The other is through unpublicized openings found by networking and direct outreach to employers. The best job searches use both search methods. Apply to Advertised Vacancies

• Career Wings • Other Online Job Boards (ex: Indeed, SimplyHired, Monster) • Company websites

Utilize Your Network • Colleagues • Fellow students • Friends & family Contact Employers Directly • Find contact information in Career Wings, LinkedIn and other directories

5.Track Progress and Follow-Up When looking for a job or internship, you will be applying to more than one position. It is important to keep track of the positions that you are applying to. This will help you to remember to follow-up at appropriate times and avoid mistakes like applying to the same position twice (it happens!). A simple Excel spreadsheet is usually enough to keep you organized. It is also prudent to save the job descriptions that you are applying for. These will help you to prepare for an interview. If you do not hear from the employer by the given contact date, it is appropriate to contact the interviewer or recruiter and inquire about the status of the position. Do not harass the contact with multiple calls and e-mails. Ask the question and wait for a response.


Learn and Intern

What is the value of an internship? In today’s competitive world an internship is an invaluable experience that helps provide exposure and related work experience in your particular field of study. Internships can be part time hours up to full time hours and often times are paid opportunities. Internships can take place during any semester. They usually last for at least one semester. Students completing internships develop a competitive edge and can positively distinguish themselves from their peers. Whatever your major or field of study, there are opportunities to gain related experience through an internship. Check with your Academic Advisor and Career Coordinator to see what your internship options are.

Employers are seeking: • •

Students with academic and extracurricular achievements Students who demonstrate to potential employers that they have related real-world experiences to contribute to their organization

Students that could potentially transition into a full-time job opportunity


Types of Internships 1. Academic Internships require that you first meet with your academic advisor to assess if receiving academic credit is an option in your program. By participating in an academic internship you are receiving academic credit in your program, often in addition to payment from the employer, for your work experience. For more information regarding receiving academic credit for an internship please review the Coggin College of Business academic internship processes and procedures page: To review requirements for academic internship and to print application materials visit:



2. Non-Academic Internships are essentially the same experience as an academic internship but without the academic credit component. You do not receive academic credit, nor are you required to work with an internship coordinator or academic advisor for approval. To search for an internship you should meet with your Career Coordinator, and utilize Career Wings to post your resume, apply for positions and communicate with employers. Don’t forget to use your personal networks such as peers and faculty to try and connect with potential employers as well. The internship timeline, pay and internship job requirements are all determined by you and the employer.


3. International Business majors are REQUIRED to complete a one-semester internship with a company actively involved in international business. This training provides international business majors with practical experience that will make them more marketable upon graduation. Students will receive academic credit upon successful completion of their internship.

International Business majors are required to: •

Complete the STAR program.

Work with their academic advisor to evaluate which semester they will be able to complete their internship.

Meet with the Career Management Center to improve their resume and receive instructions on how to begin the internship search.

Meet with the International Business Internship Coordinator for approval of their internship.


Resume Writing Tips

A resume is a brief, informative summary of your abilities, education, and experience. It should highlight your strongest assets and skills, and differentiate you from other candidates seeking similar positions. A resume alone will not get you a job or internship. However, the decision to interview a candidate is usually based on an overall first impression of the resume. Your resume will be scanned, not read in its entirety. A recent survey found that 45% of hiring managers spent less than one minute on each application. 10 to 20 seconds is all the time you have to persuade a prospective employer to read further. By the time they have read the first few lines, you have either caught their interest, or your resume has failed. That is why we say that your resume is an advertisement of you.

DO • •

• • • •

Use Action Verbs to describe duties and skills in experience sections. Be specific. Use numbers and fact based statements whenever possible. Focus on accomplishments. For example: “Recruited, hired, trained, and supervised more than 20 employees in a restaurant with over $2 million in annual sales.” is better than “Worked with employees in a restaurant setting.” Tailor your resume to the company and position you are applying for. Update your resume each semester. List headings in order of importance. Print your resume on quality white or ivory resume paper.

DO NOT • • • • • • •

Use personal pronouns (such as “I”). Use the phrases “Duties included” or “Responsible for.” Include high school information after the first year of college. List references on your resume or the statement “References Available Upon Request.” Include anything you don’t want to talk about during an interview. Exaggerate OR sell yourself short. Be inconsistent in your formatting (e.g. Florida is spelled at one secion, but written “FL” in another).


and how to avoid them


A hiring manager or recruiter will spend 10-30 seconds reviewing your resume.

Don’t just list your responsibilities. Thinks SAR: Situation, Action (s), Result (s). What was the situation, what actions did you take, and what was the result?

Do not include personal information like your age,

84% of employers say that a resume should only be 1 page if you have less than 5 years of experience.

hobbies or picture. After freshman year, high school information should not be included on your resume.

Proofread your own resume and then have someone else review it for you. Most grammatical errors and

In a recent survey, 100% of employers said they would reject a resume if there were misspelled words!

typos can be caught this way. This easy step is too frequently skipped. Do not rely on spell check alone!

Use a font that’s easy to read online. Basic fonts like Times New Roman or Calibri tend to work best. Similarly, use a design format that is simple, easy to

70% of employers would reject a resume if the format was unorganized.

read and organized. Many online applicant tracking systems will produce errors if your formatting is too complicated, so your resume will never reach a human.

Customize! Customize! Customize!

Each time

you apply to a position, make sure that all of the information on your resume is relevant to that position. When possible, use the same keywords as the position described in the job post.

80% of screening happens with the resume.

Action Verbs

MANAGEMENT assigned coordinated delegated developed directed increased led managed motivated organized produced reviewed strengthened supervised

COMMUNICATION addressed arranged communicated corresponded developed defined edited influenced motivated negotiated reported researched summarized

RESEARCH clarified collected diagnosed disproved evaluated

examined identified interviewed organized researched reported reviewed searched

planned projected Reevaluated Reconciled

studied summarized

developed evaluated fashioned formed formulated founded integrated introduced molded performed planned presented produced updated

TECHNICAL analyzed assembled calculated computed designed devised engineered inspected maintained operated programmed repaired trained

FINANCIAL administered analyzed appraised audited balanced budgeted calculated estimated forecast forecasted

CREATIVE composed created designed

HELPING advised assisted clarified coached coordinated counseled demonstrated educated encouraged facilitated familiarized guided

helped maintained modified performed referred Supported upheld

CLERICAL OR DETAIL assembled approved arranged catalogued classified collected edited executed gathered generated implemented maintained observed operated organized prepared processed


Sample Objective Statements

Sample objectives for internships: •

Seeking an audit internship with a regional accounting firm that has the potential to lead to a full time position upon successful completion of the internship.

• •

Accounting major seeking a tax internship with a large public accounting firm to begin fall 2013. Master of Accountancy student seeking internal audit internship position with a large, public corporation to start January 2014.

Rising college senior seeking a marketing internship with a global company where advanced language skills and extensive international experience will add value to the organization.

Logistics and International Business double major seeking a summer internship with a focus in the area of global supply chain solutions.

College junior seeking to successfully participate in a summer internship program with a global retailer which could lay a foundation for full time employment upon graduation.

Academically strong finance major with a keen interest in international markets seeking a challenging internship with a Jacksonville based asset management firm.

Sample objectives for full-time positions: •

CPA track, bilingual accounting graduate seeking an entry level staff accountant position with a global corporation.

Capable student leader and recent college graduate seeking full time entry level position in an organization with a well developed management training program.

Outgoing and solution-oriented college graduate seeking a full time opportunity in the field of business development.

Sales management position where skills and experience can be effectively utilized for increased profitability and product sales volume by developing a dynamic team.

To secure a full time position which will utilize strengths in research and financial analysis while offering new challenges and opportunities to advance professionally.

Obtain a position as a team player in a people oriented organization to maximize customer service experience in a challenging environment to achieve the corporate goals.

To manage people, interface with customers, and work with highly technical software or hardware applications.


Sample Resumes

19 19

20 20

Sample Resumes



Cover Letters

The Cover Letter It is important that you prepare your written job search correspondence with as much care as you used when constructing your resume. A cover letter is a vital tool in marketing yourself to prospective employers. An effective cover letter will draw attention to your qualifications and experiences that are most relevant to the position for which you are applying. Employers often use letters to assess the written communication skills that you will need for any position. A letter provides you the opportunity to convey to a potential employer your interest, enthusiasm, and other personal attributes that are not easily expressed in a resume alone.

General Guidelines When should I send a cover letter? If you are conducting an on-campus job search a cover letter may not always be required. If you are conducting an off-campus job search sending a cover letter will provide the employer with helpful information to complement the resume. A cover letter can convey your interest in a position and indicate that you are a “match” for the position.

What should my cover letter say? • Why you are writing and how you learned about the organization or opportunity • Why you are interested • Why you are qualified and would be a good “match” for the position • How you plan to follow up with the employer • Do not restate what is on your resume • Emphasize personal attributes/strengths related to qualifications for the position

How do I begin to compose the letter? Use your own words! Resist the temptation to compose your letter simply by replacing a few words in the attached sample. Remember, the purpose of your letter is to showcase your individual strengths and your own written communication skills. Use the sample as a guide, but be unique.


To whom should the cover letter be addressed? If possible, address the cover letter to a specific person, not “Dear Sir/Madam” or “To Whom It May Concern.” If contact information is not available on Career Wings, use a position title (e.g. Dear Internship Coordinator or Dear Recruitment Manager). Make sure to use current information.

How long is a cover letter? Cover letters should not exceed four paragraphs or one page in length. They should be clear and use concise sentences and short paragraphs. Use proper business format when constructing your cover letter.

What is the best way to send my cover letter via email? When you’re sending an email cover letter, it’s important to follow the employer’s instructions on how to submit your cover letter and resume, and to make sure that your email cover letters are written as well as any other correspondence you send. Even though it’s quick and easy to send an email, it doesn’t mean that you should write anything less than a detailed cover letter focused on why you are a good match for the job you are applying for. When applying for employment via email, copy and paste your cover letter into the email message or write your cover letter in the body of an email message.


Cover Letter Format

Your Street Address City, State, Zip

Date (Be sure date is the same date you send the letter) Contact Person’s Name Position Title Company Address City, State, Zip Dear Mr./Ms./Hiring Manager___________: In the first paragraph, indicate why you are writing and where you heard about the position. Make sure to include the specific position title for which you are applying. If an individual or personal contact referred you to the organization, be sure to mention the name in the first or second sentence. Then provide a brief explanation of your interest that reflects your research into the organization. Keep the first paragraph brief and attention grabbing. In one or two paragraphs, detail how you can contribute to the company. Show how your qualifications, skills, and attributes will benefit the firm. Make sure not to reproduce your resume in this space, but highlight your most pertinent experiences. If you have access to a position description or job listing, specifically address how your background matches the qualifications they are seeking. You might even list your qualifications in the same order that the criteria were listed in the job description. Your objectives here are to demonstrate that you are a “match” for the position and to stimulate enough interest that the contact person will want to read your resume. Create a “need” for yourself at the company, and indicate your willingness to contribute to the organization. In the closing paragraph, you should suggest the next step. If this is an off-campus opportunity, mention your desire to arrange an interview. You can indicate that you will call at a particular time, usually within two weeks, and then follow up. Thank the person for his/her time and consideration of your credentials. Sincerely, (Signature) Full Name 25

Cover Letter Example

4587 Hillshire Lane Jacksonville, FL 32224 (904) 555-2233 Lacy.Smith@unf.ed January 12, 2012 Ms. Sylvia Range Special Programs Assistant Merrill Lynch 303 Center Street Jacksonville, FL 24560 Dear Ms. Range: I am a junior at University of North Florida, working toward my bachelor’s degree in business administration with a major in Financial Services. I am writing to inquire about possible internship opportunities with Merrill Lynch. I am seeking an internship for summer 2013, and while researching opportunities in the field of finance, I found that Merrill Lynch has opportunities for a finance internship. My work background and coursework have supplied me with many skills and an understanding of finance, that I believe will allow me to quickly become an asset to your organization. I worked previously as a teller at Bank of America which provided me with an opportunity to work closely with the bank manager and learn all aspects of branch based services. Additionally, I have completed upper level coursework which emphasized investments, real estate, financial management, risk management & insurance, money & banking and international finance. I have been actively involved with the Coggin College of Business student clubs & organizations, including being elected as treasurer of the Finance & Investment Society. FIS has afforded me the opportunity to network with many finance employers and allowed me to gain a perspective on finance and the ability to apply it to real world situations. My enclosed resume provides additional details about my background. I look forward to an opportunity to meet with you to discuss your internship positions. Thank you for your consideration. Sincerely, (handwritten signature)

Lacy Smith 26

Reference Sheet References should only be submitted when an employer has asked for them. NEVER include references on the same page as your resume or submit without a request to do so. NEVER provide a reference without asking permission from the person ahead of time.

Mark Donahue

608 Preston Place Charlotte, FL 22903 Home phone: (904) 555-1234 REFERENCES Dr. Margaret McGonagall Professor of Finance University of North Florida, Coggin College of Business P.O. Box 400173 Charlottesville, FL 22903 (904) 555-1234 Mr. Donald Weasley Manager American Eagle Outfitters 234 Town Center Road Jacksonville, FL 22003 (904) 555-6789 Mr. Martin Malfoy Volunteer Coordinator Madison House, University of North Florida 170 Rugby Road Charlottesville, FL 22903 (904) 555-4949


What You Wish You’d Known Before Your


Statistics show that when meeting new people the impact is:

of the bosses know whether they will hire someone or not during the first 90 seconds of an interview

From what we actually say The quality of our voice grammar and overall confidence The way we dress, act and walk through the door

Failure to make eye contact Playing with hair or touching face Lack of smile Bad posture Crossing arms over their chest Using too many hand gestures Handshake that is too weak Fidgeting too much

Employers claiming they don’t want applicants to be fashinable trendy.

Having little or no knowledge of the company!

Of bosses said clothes could be the deciding factor between two similar candidates.

Over-Explaining why you lost your last job Conveying that you’re not over it Lacking humor, warmth or personality Tell me about your experience at _____ .

Not showing enough interest or enthusiasm

Why do you want to work for us?

Inadequate research about a potential employer Concentrating too much on what you want Trying to be all things to all people “Winging” the interview Failing to set yourself apart from other candidates Failing to ask for job

Learn about the organization Have specific job in mind Review your qualifications for the job Be ready to briefly describe your experience

What do you know about our company? Why did you leave your last job? Tell me about yourself.

You Have an Interview, Now What?!

In addition to preparing yourself physically, you need to prepare yourself mentally. The best way to prepare mentally is to know what may be coming. Fear of the unknown can only exist when there is an unknown. Take the time to understand some of the “standards” when it comes to interviewing questions. The following are some of the most difficult questions you will face in the course of your job interviews. Some questions may seem rather simple on the surface—such as “Tell me about yourself”—but these questions can have a variety of answers. The more open ended the question, the wider the variation in the answers. Once you have become practiced in your interviewing skills, you will find that you can use almost any question as a launching pad for a particular topic or compelling story.

Tell me about yourself. What the hiring manager really wants is a quick, two - to three-minute snapshot of who you are and why you’re the best candidate for this position. So as you answer this question, talk about what you’ve done to prepare yourself to be the very best candidate for the position. Use an example or two to back it up. Then ask if they would like more details. If they do, keep giving them example after example of your background and experience. Always point back to an example when you have the opportunity. “Tell me about yourself” does not mean tell me everything. Just tell me what makes you the best.

Why should I hire you? The easy answer is that you are the best person for the job. And don’t be afraid to say so. But then back it up with what specifically differentiates you. For example: “You should hire me because I’m the best person for the job. I realize that there are likely other candidates who also have the ability to do this job. Yet I bring an additional quality that makes me the best person for the job--my experience and success in similar positions.”

What is your long-range objective? The key is to focus on your achievable objectives and what you are doing to reach those objectives. For example: “Within five years, I would like to become the very best accountant your company has on staff. I want to work toward becoming the expert that others rely upon. And in doing so, I feel I’ll be fully prepared to take on any greater responsibilities which might be presented in the long term. For example, here is what I’m presently doing to prepare myself.”


Are you a team player? Almost everyone says yes to this question. But it is not just a yes/no question. You need to provide behavioral examples to back up your answer. A sample answer: “Yes, I’m very much a team player. In fact, I’ve had opportunities in my work, school and athletics to develop my skills as a team player. For example, on a recent project...” Emphasize teamwork behavioral examples and focus on your openness to diversity of backgrounds. Talk about the strength of the team above the individual. This question may be used as a lead in to questions around how you handle conflict within a team, so be prepared.

Have you ever had a conflict with a boss or professor? How was it resolved? If you say no, most interviewers will keep drilling deeper to find a conflict. The key is how you behaviorally reacted to conflict and what you did to resolve it. For example: “Yes, I have had conflicts in the past. Never major ones, but there have been disagreements that needed to be resolved. I’ve found that when conflict occurs, it helps to fully understand the other person’s perspective, so I take time to listen to their point of view, then I seek to work out a collaborative solution”. Focus your answer on the behavioral process for resolving the conflict and working collaboratively.”

What is your greatest weakness? Most career books tell you to select a strength and present it as a weakness. Such as: “I work too much. I just work and work and work.” Wrong. First of all, using a strength and presenting it as a weakness is deceiving. Second, it misses the point of the question. You should select a weakness that you have been actively working to overcome. For example: “I have had trouble in the past with planning and prioritization. However, I’m now taking steps to correct this. I just started using a pocket planner...” Talk about a true weakness and show what you are doing to overcome it.

If I were to ask your professors to describe you, what would they say? This is a threat of reference check question. Do not wait for the interview to know the answer. Ask any prior bosses or professors in advance. And if they’re willing to provide a positive reference, ask them for a letter of recommendation. Then you can answer the question like this: “I believe she would say I’m a very energetic person, that I’m results oriented and one of the best people she has ever worked with. Actually, I know she would say that, because those are her very words. May I show you her letter of recommendation?” So be prepared in advance with your letters of recommendation.

What qualities do you feel a successful manager should have? Focus on two words: leadership and vision. Here is a sample of how to respond: “The key quality in a successful manager should be leadership--the ability to be the visionary for the people who are working under them. The person who can set the course and direction for subordinates. The highest calling of a true leader is inspiring others to reach the highest of their abilities.” 30

Behavioral Interview Questions

Behavioral Interviewing Explained The premise behind behavioral interviewing is that the most accurate predictor of future performance is past performance. Examples of Behavioral Questions: • Tell me about a time when you demonstrated leadership skills • Describe a time when you had to use your presentation skills to influence someone’s opinion. • How do you typically deal with conflict? Follow-up question: Give me an example.

Answering Behavioral Interviewing Questions: It is difficult to prepare for a behavior-based interview because of the endless variety of questions that you might be asked. The best way to prepare is to have a strategy for answering these questions, brainstorm example stories that can be adapted for different behavioral questions, and PRACTICE! We recommend that you use the STAR Method to guide your answers: Situation Describe the situation; give necessary background information Task Explain the task that you were given to complete Action Discuss the action(s) you took to tackle the task Result Tell the interviewer the positive outcome that resulted The focus of your answer should be on the action and the result. Do not spend too much time laying out the situation. Additionally, use professional (work or school) not personal examples.

Example Behavioral Question & Answer Question: Tell me about a time that you demonstrated leadership skills. Answer: Situation: Last semester, I completed an internship at ABC Financial Services where I worked as a Financial Representative Intern. I was the first and only intern the small company had ever had, and they decided they wanted to continue with an official internship program. Task: In order to successfully launch this program, my supervisor asked me to create and administer a training curriculum for the new, incoming interns. Action: To complete this task, first, I outlined all the procedures the new interns would need to learn about like the types of financial products the company offered, how to operate the 10-line phone system, and how to use the company’s sales lead database. Next, I created a three day training agenda covering these topics. Finally, I facilitated it to four new interns. Result: The training was a huge success. On a survey completed after the training, all four interns rated the program a 10 out of 10 in the areas of usefulness and creativity. In addition, each intern rated my communication and leadership styles as “Excellent.” 31

Questions to Ask Employers During Interviews Always prepare questions to ask to the interviewer. Be sure you have researched the company and the company’s website. Having no questions prepared sends the message that you have not prepared for, nor are you very interested in, the position. Some of your questions may have been answered during the course of the interview, before you are offered the opportunity to ask. If so, you can simply state something to the effect that you were interested in knowing about ..., but that was addressed during the interview. You could ask for additional clarification, if applicable.

Samples • • • • • •

What is the organization’s plan for the next five years, and how does this department fit in? Could you explain your organizational structure? How will my leadership responsibilities and performance be measured? By whom? What are the day-to-day responsibilities of this job? What are some of the skills and abilities necessary for someone to succeed in this job? What is the company’s policy on providing seminars, workshops, and training so employees can keep up their skills or acquire new ones? • Can you describe an ideal employee? • What particular computer equipment and software do you use?


• Ask questions that are clearly answered on the employer’s web site and/or in any literature provided by the employer to you in advance! • Never ask about salary and benefits issues until those subjects are raised by the employer!


Telephone Interview Tips Background Telephone interviews are common in today’s job market and are offered for a variety of reasons including cost savings, screening of candidates and out-of-town applicants. The following telephone interview tips will help prepare you for a successful call.

Research Try to find out who will be interviewing you. There may be multiple people on the call so if possible get their names and titles. Become familiar with these titles and names and have them written down in front of you. Make sure you have done your research about the company or organization. You should research and prepare for a telephone interview just as extensively as you would for an in person interview.

Organize your thoughts Make a list of your accomplishments and goals. Write out your strengths and weaknesses and what you are doing to overcome those weaknesses. Write down the reason why you are interested in the company. Take advantage of being able to have notes in front of you!

Practice! Never forget that a telephone interview is still an interview. Take time to practice interview questions with friends, family, or with the Career Management Center. Mock interviews are also available for you to participate in with the Career Management Center.

Sound check Have a friend ask you questions over the phone. Make sure that he/she listens not only for content, but also tone, rate and clarity of your speech. Are you speaking slowly and clearly? Can you easily be heard? Is your voice portraying you as a confident and enthusiastic candidate?

Find a private location and eliminate distractions Stake out a quiet space to occupy during your interview. Ideally, there should be a comfortable place to sit as well as a table to lay out your papers and take notes. Find a low-traffic spot where you are unlikely to be disturbed. Make sure that the television and the radio are turned off. Exit your email and turn off your computer screen.

Be organized Have a copy of your resume and cover letter close at hand. The employer on the other line will more than likely have these documents in front of him/her. Have your notes and lists easily accessible but be careful, too much paper can be a distraction. Place a notepad and several pens or pencils on the table. Write down notes, questions and most importantly, your interviewer’s names. 33

Negotiation Guide

Should You Try Negotiating? First identify the primary issue that you want to negotiate. Some students need to negotiate immediately for more time to make a decision. Other issues that students often wish to negotiate include salary, sign-on bonuses and start dates. Think carefully about what terms and alternatives are acceptable to you. For example, if your request for a higher starting salary is denied, you might then negotiate for a signing bonus or for a performance and salary review earlier than they are typically conducted. Next, decide if you have grounds for negotiating. What are good reasons for bargaining? You may want to consider negotiating if you: Discover that you will be unable to make ends meet with the offered salary or have experience or other qualifications that exceed those of other candidates offered positions by the organization; or learn that similarly-qualified candidates have been offered more appealing employment packages by the same organization in the same location; or will only accept the offer if the organization will negotiate the terms.

Enter into negotiation only if you plan to accept the offer if your needs are met. Don’t attempt to engage organizations in a bidding competition; you will annoy your potential employers; and while it is not common for employers to rescind offers to students who attempt negotiation, it is within the realm of possibility that you could end up empty-handed. With a tactful approach, you should be able to avoid putting your offer in jeopardy. If you are still uncertain about whether you have grounds to try bargaining, feel free to call The Career Management Center for advice.

Be Prepared Before you call an employer to begin negotiating a job offer, you should prepare your answers to the questions you will probably be asked. The employer’s first question usually is “why?” Review the partial list of possible answers listed below and decide which ones you think will be the most persuasive for your case. “How much do you want?” is a legitimate employer question. Be ready to answer it. The employer may ask about other offers; so, be sure there are job and location similarities and the spread is significant. Industry people talk to each other all the time. They have a general idea of the “going rate” for their industry for the year. Don’t try to negotiate for less than a $1000 differential. 34

Steps in Asking For More Time The process for asking for more time to consider a job offer is similar to asking for salary adjustments. In asking for more time, you may be implying the following things to the employer. You have other offers to consider, and/or You are unsure about the offer. While these are legitimate issues, you need to realize that the longer you take to decide on an offer, the more companies will pressure you to come to a decision. They are concerned that the probability of receiving an acceptance from you will decrease as time passes.

Employer Responses Vary

• We’ll talk about it and get back to you. • Our offer is firm. • I’m sorry we can’t do anything and hope you enjoy the other job.

Best advice: Think it through, do your research and see the Career Management Center coordinator to talk through your script before you call. You can get help as you go through your outline and may be asked some other questions to help you clarify the issue. Another opinion could help.

Researching Salary You should have a reasonably accurate idea of the salary ranges for the position that you are interviewing. Check out these web resources: • • • (NACE Salary Calculator)

Extension of an Offer Give yourself plenty of thinking and negotiating time. Before you call, check with other employers you’re interested in so you know your requested new date is valid. You don’t want to call every other week. If you say, “I need to know right now if you are going to make me an offer and the salary,” you risk a negative response. You should have discussed your timetable before leaving. Remember, once you accept an offer, either verbally or in writing, you must notify all other employers and withdraw from consideration.

How to start the negotiation process?

• Convey your enthusiasm and interest in the offer. • Contact the company representative who extended the offer. • Express your concern about the salary, and provide a rationale for your request for a higher starting salary 35

Ms. Employer: “I’m really impressed with your skills and experience. We would like to offer you the position at a starting salary of $35,000 per year.”

Mr. Job Seeker: “Thank you. I’m excited at the prospect of working for Rutherford Enterprises, however; my salary needs are at the $38,000 level. As you know, accepting this position will require that I relocate to the Seattle area. Accepting anything less than $38,000 would simply be far too costly given the moving expenses.”

Ms. Employer: “Hmmm, I can understand your position; but I simply can’t offer you more than $35,000 per year. Our company policy is to bring all new hire at this management level in for $35,000 per year. We are looking at raising salaries on a cost of living adjustment sometime next year….”

Mr. Job Seeker: “I’m afraid that simply would not work, as I would need to make the move this year in order to begin by your requested hire date.”

Ms. Employer: “I really hate to lose you. I believe we need someone with your experience on our team. Perhaps we could work out something else. As I said, I can’t start you out any higher than $35,000 per year, but I could possibly offer you a $3,000 sign on bonus. That would help to defray your moving costs. Would that be acceptable?”

Now, obviously all conversations are not going to go exactly as the one in the example did. In some cases, the employer will remain adamant that they simply can’t pay any more and they won’t offer any other type of compensatory benefit on their own either. Just keep in mind that not all of the money you bring home is tied up in your paycheck. Sometimes you can do as well as or better than a higher salary by negotiating for: bonuses, moving expenses, company stock options, better retirement benefits, extra time off, etc. 36

Thank You Letters

Thank you letters are an important part of your job search success and a critical step in the interviewing process. It is important to send a thank you letter immediately after an interview. However, keep in mind, interviews are not the only occasions to send thank-you and follow-up letters. You should also send a thank-you note to anyone who assists you with your career advancement including individuals that you meet with at job or internship fairs and networking events.

General Guidelines • • •

When meeting with recruiters or interviewers ask for their business card so you have accurate contact information. Send thank you letters within 24 hours of the event or interview. These letters are valued by recruiters and can help strengthen your position as you seek opportunities. If more than one person interviewed you, a thank-you letter should be addressed to the key decision maker and one to the coordinator of the visit. You can ask those individuals to thank the others on your behalf. If mailing the letter, use the same quality paper used for your resume and sign using blue pen.

Format for Thank You Letters Use formal letter formatting. The thank you should be 2 -3 paragraphs and include three parts: • Introduction - Express your appreciation for the time the person spent with you. Mention the time and place that you met. If it is following an interview, mention the job title. • Body – Reiterate certain points discussed with the contact person, as appropriate to the discussion. Mention any important items you may have omitted. Also, add any remaining questions you may have, and expand upon aspects of things mentioned during the discussion. • Closing - In your conclusion, indicate what you will do next, based on the conversation. Reiterate your interest and appreciation in their consideration of you as a candidate. Thank the individual again for his/her assistance.

Hard Copy, Handwritten or E-mail Thank-you letters can be hard copy typed, handwritten or e-mailed. Hard copies are most formal and are always appropriate after an interview. Handwritten are more personal, and can be appropriate for brief notes to a variety of individuals you may have met during on on-site interview or who may have helped you in other ways. E-mail is appropriate when that has been your means of contact with the person you want to thank, or if your contact has expressed a preference for e-mail, or when time is of the essence (e.g. a hiring decision is going to be made quickly).



Sample thank - you letter following an on campus recruitment interview 36 College Avenue Jacksonville, FL 32224 (904) 555-4667

October 3, 2012 Mr. Mark Hargis Store Team Leader Target Stores, Inc. 685 North Glebe Road St. Augustine, FL 32215 Dear Mr. Hargis: Thank you for interviewing me on campus at the University of North Florida on September 28; our meeting has solidified my interest in working as an intern for Target. After speaking to Brandon Little who interned at Target last summer, attending the Target information session on campus and speaking with your colleagues at the Osprey Career Fair, I have come to the conclusion that Target is an excellent company that offers the long term career potential I am seeking in an internship position. I am confident that my previous work experience in retail and the knowledge I have gained through my coursework at UNF would enable me to contribute to your cohesive and professional team of retailers. Again, thank you for your time and consideration. If you need any additional information please feel free to contact me. I look forward to hearing from you in the next few weeks. Sincerely, Andrew D. Carter


Dress For Success


Male Casual Attire • • • •

Dress pants are preferred. Khakis are acceptable. Dress shirt is preferred. Nice golf shirt is acceptable. Tie is appropriate, but optional. Dress shoes or conservative loafers with matching belt (avoid sneakers, sandals and flipflops). • Wear minimal cologne. • Hair and nails should be well groomed. • Clothing should be laundered and neatly pressed.

Female Casual Dress

• Dress pants which fit well and are conservative in style and color. • Skirts that are conservative in style and color and are a length at which you can sit comfortably in public. • Blouse or shirt that fits well and is conservatively cut (no low cut styles). • Pumps or flats that are polished and conservatively styled. Sling back styles are appropriate (avoid sandals, sneakers and flipflops). • Jewelry, make-up and perfume should be in good taste. • Hair and nails should be well groomed. • Clothing should be laundered and neatly pressed.



Male Professional Attire

• Dark Navy, Dark Charcoal Gray or Black conservatively styled two piece suit. • Pressed and starched button down dress shirt – white preferred (undershirt adds professional touch). • A tie in a simple pattern that matches the color of your suit (make sure tie is appropriate length). • Dark dress socks that are at least calf high. • Polished dress shoes in a dark color. Dress belt should be worn and needs to match the color of shoes. • No visible body piercings or tattoos. • Get a haircut – short hair is always preferred. • Clean and trimmed fingernails. • Wear minimal cologne. • Carry a light briefcase or portfolio.

Female Professional Dress

• Dark Navy, Dark Charcoal Gray or Black suit. Skirted suit is preferred but pants suit is acceptable. • Skirt should be knee length. • Blouse can be cotton or silk but should be white and conservative (low cut is not appropriate). • Pantyhose must be worn and should be flesh tone and free sof runs or snags (bring an extra pair with you to an interview). • Basic dark pumps with a 1”-2” heel (no strappy sandals, platforms or open-toed styles). • Simple and minimal accessories (ie. watch, stud earrings, simple pearl necklace). No visible tattoos or body piercings. • Minimal perfume. • Hair and nails should be clean and well groomed. Long hair should be pulled back off the face. • Carry a small briefcase or portfolio. 40

Communication Essentials Tips for professional email communication Be Polite & Courteous: Think of the basic rules you learned growing up, like saying please and thank you. Address people you don’t know as Mr., Mrs., or Dr. and only address someone by first name if they have instructed you to do so. Be Conscious of Your Tone: It is very difficult to express tone in writing. You want to come across as respectful, friendly, and approachable. You don’t want to sound curt or demanding. Be Concise: Get to the point of your email as quickly as possible, but don’t leave out important details that will help your recipient answer your query. Be Professional: This means, stay away from abbreviations and don’t use emoticons (those little smiley faces). Don’t use a cute or suggestive email address for business communications. Use Correct Spelling and Proper Grammar: Use a dictionary or a spell checker - whichever works better for you. Pay attention to basic rules of grammar. Wait to Fill in the “TO” Email Address: This will allow you to double check for grammatical errors, proofread your email and will keep you from accidentally sending an email prematurely.

Make sure you have an appropriate and professional e-mail address. The best professional e-mail addresses are the simplest. They typically include your name or some portion of your name.

How to change your UNF e-mail to a preferred professional address: 1. Login to your MyWings Account and select “Manage My Email Settings” under “Quick Links.” 2. View Alias will show you your current e-mail address 3. Go to “Create Alias” to change your e-mail address.

4. After you have selected your new alias, select “Apply” and this will be the new address that can be viewed by the public.

Tips for Professional Phone Communication Introduce Yourself: Start every telephone conversation or voicemail with an introduction of yourself and why you are calling. “My name is [your name] and I am calling to [reason for call].” Speak Slowly and Clearly: You should speak slower than you would in person and enunciate your words. This is particularly true when leaving a voicemail. Leave Contact Information: When leaving a voicemail, don’t forget to tell the person how to get back in touch with you. Speak very slowly when giving your phone number and repeat it twice. If possible, give a preferred. Eliminate Background Noise: When making telephone calls or recording your voicemail greeting, make sure that you are in a quiet environment. Check Your Voicemail Greeting: Make sure the voicemail on your phone is professional. Do not use a “funny” voicemail or the automated message that just reads your phone number to the caller. 41



Northwestern Mutual’s internship program has been named one of America’s top ten internships for 15 straight years. To see if you qualify, just go to No matter what kind of voice you have, it’s your chance to be in the top ten.

Liza Wrobel Director of Internship Recruitment (904) 356-5155 05-2743 © 2012 Northwestern Mutual is the marketing name for The Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company, Milwaukee, WI (NM) (life and disability insurance, annuities) and its subsidiaries. Staff members are associated with the local office listed above and support Representatives. Products and services referenced are offered and sold only by appropriately licensed individuals. Vault Guide to Top Internships: Top 10 Internships 1997-2012: 2012 Edition.

The Coggin College Mentor programs pairs students with local business professionals with between 5 and 25+ years of experience. The program seeks to give students real-world access to business practices and insight into their field of study through meaningful and personalized interactions with their mentor. Mentee Qualifications

• S.T.A.R. Certified • 2.75 Overall GPA or higher • Undergraduate, post-baccalaureate, or graduate student status with declared major in business • Graduating a minimum of 8 months after the program begins • Candidates must submit a resume and an application to be considered

How to Apply:

Student applications are available in the Career Management Center and on the CMC website during program recruitment each spring semester. The Career Management Center staff reviews all applications in late May and interviews candidates in June; final decisions are made by the end of July.

Companies who have previously participated as Mentors: • • • • • • • •

AZA Advisors CSX, Winn-Dixie Deloitte Deutsche Bank Enterprise Holdings Fidelity Investments Fidelity National Financial Florida Blue, Fortegra Financial

• • • • • • •

Henry Schein Heritage Capital group KPMG LBA Group Mayo Clinic Mercedes Benz USA Northwestern Mutual Financial Network

• • • • • • • •

PSS World Medical PwC, Prudential Rayonier Sea Star Line Stein Mart The Energy Authority Wells Fargo and more…

Coggin College of Business

Building 42, Room 2021 (904) Career Management Center 620.2067

Connections Guide  
Connections Guide  

A Career Planning Guidebook