COOPERATIVE EDUCATION SEARCH PROCESS
Your Professional Co-op Employment Search Process As a Kettering student, you can look forward to starting your profession while still in school through our professional cooperative education program. Now that you have submitted your resume to the Cooperative Education and Career Services Office, it is time to begin exploring co-op opportunities. This booklet is designed to help prepare you for interview opportunities. It provides advice and suggestions for working with the Co-op staff, approaching potential co-op employers, guidelines for corresponding with employers, and developing successful interviewing skills. The Co-op staff is committed to working with you every step of the way as you begin your cooperative employment search and as you progress through your Kettering co-op career. Please contact the Office of Cooperative Education and Career Services if you have any questions.
Kettering University Cooperative Education and Career Services 1700 University Ave. Flint, MI 48504 Phone: (810) 762-9846 Fax: (810) 762-9837 Email: email@example.com www.kettering.edu 1
Table of Contents The Goals of Cooperative Education at Kettering University...................................................................3 Cooperative Education Employment Search Process Calendar..............................................................4 Tools for Securing a Professional Co-op Position..........................................................................................5 Kettering Connect - Utilizing the Jobs Database....................................................................................6-13 Preparing for the Interview.................................................................................................................................14 The Interview..........................................................................................................................................................15 Handling Offers of Employment......................................................................................................................16 Representing Yourself and Kettering University.........................................................................................17 Sample Cover Letter.............................................................................................................................................18 Sample “Thank You” Note – To Follow Your Interview...............................................................................19 Sample Letter of Employment Acceptance..................................................................................................20 Kettering University Cooperative Education Student Agreement.......................................................21 Notes..........................................................................................................................................................................22
The Goals of Cooperative Education at Kettering University • • • •
To develop a strong correlation between your academic program and the co-op work experience with your co-op employer To provide educational experiences which orient and integrate you into a professional role with your employer To develop positive work-related habits, characteristics and skill sets To grow within your co-op position by remaining with a single employer throughout your college career
Co-op Expectations – A Working Partnership A successful co-op experience depends on the cooperation of Kettering University, the participating employer partner and the student. Each has defined responsibilities and expectations. Carefully following these requirements will help ensure that your co-op experience is the best it can be. Student • Works and meets regularly with their Co-op Manager • Maintains a current resume, attends professional development seminars and applies for co-op positions • Is accessible and available for interviews with potential employer partners • Notifies the Co-op Manager when employment offer is received and accepted • Completes an evaluation of the co-op experience at the end of each work term • Meets the academic expectations of the University and the work performance expectations of the co-op employer Kettering University – Office of Cooperative Education and Career Services • Serves as a liaison between the employer partner, student and university • Makes suggestions for appropriate co-op positions • Provides information about Kettering University’s academic programs • Refers resumes and helps with appropriate interview arrangements • Advises employer partner on appropriate wages and benefits • Counsels students on career goals and helps match their skills to an employer’s needs • Monitors the quality of the co-op work experience The Co-op Employer Partner • Provides a work plan for students and appropriate job descriptions for co-op positions • Works with the Office of Cooperative Education and Career Services to ensure co-op students are enrolled and registered at Kettering University during each work term • Completes an evaluation of the student’s performance at the end of each work term • Provides alternating work assignments, with an increased level of challenge and responsibility as the student progresses academically • Provides a work assignment suitable for a Senior Thesis Project
Cooperative Education Employment Search Process Calendar Upon receiving a formal acceptance letter from Kettering, you were asked to develop a resume to kick-off the co-op search process. The process for securing a co-op position is much like a typical employment search. The outcome is greatly dependent on your effort and there are no definitive dates that can be attached to the process. You must take an active role in your search. Kettering University cannot guarantee you a co-op position, but will work to develop employment opportunities. Remember that open communication with your Co-op Manager will greatly enhance your co-op search efforts. The co-op search process is very competitive. Potential employers are sent resumes of several qualified applicants whose abilities and career goals may meet the employer’s human resource needs. If you are invited for an interview with one of these organizations, it is up to you to convince the organization that you are the right person for the job. Following is a general overview of the co-op job search process: January through March • Submitted resumes are reviewed and students are provided with feedback • Prep for Success conferences are held. Prep for Success prepares students for co-op and features seminars about resume writing, interviewing and co-op expectations April • Access to co-op postings available for students with resume and deposit • Students review postings and request resume referral using Kettering Connect • Employers begin reviewing student resumes • Co-op Managers refer resumes • Spring Co-op Fair is held on campus in late March/early April: prospective co-op employer partners visit campus to interview students May through June • Interviewing begins • Co-op employment offers may begin to be extended to students July through September • A-section students begin classes • Professional Development Seminars are offered. This series helps students improve their resumes, enhance their interviewing and networking skills and prepare for employment fairs • Summer Co-op Fair is held • Employers continue to submit position postings • Students continue to review postings and request resume referrals October through December • B-section students begin classes • Professional Development Seminars are held on campus • Fall Co-op Fair is held • Employers continue to submit position postings • Students continue to review postings and request resume referrals 4
Tools for Securing a Professional Co-op Position Remember that your approach will have a significant impact on your success. The timeline depends on many factors, such as the economy, student involvement, and geographic limitations. It is critical to have patience, flexibility and most of all, open communication with your Co-op Manager. The process is much like a typical job search. There are no guarantees and your success depends on your involvement.
Cooperative Education Manager: • • • •
Acts as your personal co-op “agent” - connecting you with, and marketing you to, co-op employers Critiques your resume Provides professional coaching and advice throughout your Kettering career Acts as a liaison between you and your co-op employer
Who is my Cooperative Education Manager? Co-op Managers are initially assigned by geographic territories. You may find a list on the co-op website or contact the Office of Cooperative Education and Career Services at (810) 762-9846. They will gladly direct you to your Co-op Manager. Once you are employed, your Co-op Manager may change. It is essential for you to know who is responsible for the organization with which you are employed.
Kettering Connect: • • •
Available at https://www.myinterfase.com/kettering/student/home.asp Submit and update your resume Apply for co-op positions online – available to incoming freshmen in early April
Co-op Employment Fairs: • •
Dates, locations, more information and registration available at www.kettering.edu Held on campus during the spring, summer and fall
Professional Development Seminars: •
Series offered on campus to enhance your marketability – watch for dates and topics
Networking: • • • •
Talk with your parents about social and professional organizations in your hometown Contact the local Chamber of Commerce for a list of local employers Read your local newspaper; especially the Business and Help Wanted sections Provide contact names to your Co-op Manager, who will follow up with potential employers
Things to remember going into the co-op job search process: • • • • •
Be flexible and have realistic expectations Take initiative Keep a positive attitude Stay in close contact with your Co-op Manager through phone or email Be sure to follow up on all employer correspondences
Kettering Connect - Utilizing the Jobs Database Students who have uploaded a resume to Kettering Connect can view and apply for co-op employment opportunities in early April.
Important Kettering Connect Guidelines: • • • • • •
Co-op jobs are posted for 7-10 days. The date the job will expire is listed in the title of the job. It is your responsibility to view these postings and request your resume be referred to employers of interest. View postings weekly. Be patient. Do not be discouraged if there are no postings of interest each time you log in. The information will change regularly as new postings are received and others are closed. Jobs listed are in many geographic areas. If requesting your resume be referred to an employer in a different geographic area, be certain you are willing to relocate. Only request your resume be sent to employers in which there is a sincere interest. Review postings carefully. Critical information, such as section preferences (A or B), job requirements, housing information, and class levels are listed. Be sure your credentials match the description. Some employers request an “Apply Direct” process which means the employer wants you to apply through their website. The URL to their site will be listed. Remember, Kettering Connect is only one resource for your co-op employment search. You are encouraged to utilize additional resources such as personal networks, the Internet, and most importantly your Co-op Manager.
Kettering Connect Login 1. URL: https://www.myinterfase.com/kettering/student/home.asp 2. Use your Kettering LDAP username and password login (Same as Blackboard, Banner Web, Webmail) 3. If you forgot your password, please contact Kettering Technical Support toll-free at (800) 955-4464 extension 8324 between the hours of 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. EST
Kettering Connect - Utilizing the Jobs Database Student â€“ Job Search You can search for jobs by highlighting the Job Search menu and click Co-op Job Search. NOTE: The jobs menu will be available dependent on your status. You need to have your tuition deposit paid and a resume on file for job viewing access. Access will be granted to all incoming students in early April who meet this criteria.
Student â€“ Job Search and Search Results After clicking Co-op Job Search, the following search criteria screen will appear. To see all jobs matching your academic qualifications, click Search. You may narrow your search by selecting additional criteria such as state or concentration.
Kettering Connect - Utilizing the Jobs Database Search Results - Jobs Based on your selected criteria, the Job Search Results will appear. To view more information regarding a specific job, click the job title link. The date in the title indicates when the posting will expire.
You can save your Search criteria for future use.
A confirmation dialog box will appear for each Saved Search.
Kettering Connect - Utilizing the Jobs Database Viewing and Applying for a Job You can access a job posting by clicking the job ID or job title in the search results page. Online vs. Apply Direct Applications: •
Online Application: If a job is posted on Kettering Connect and you meet all of the job requirements, the Submit Resume button is available. Your resume will be referred when the posting closes.
Apply Direct Application: If a job is posted on Kettering Connect and reflects “Apply Direct” in the description, you must apply through the employer website. The employer URL is listed in the posting on Kettering Connect for convenience. Please follow directions as provided in “On-line Application Instructions”.
Required Documents not on file: Some employers require additional documents such as a cover letter. If you do not have the required documents on file for a co-op position, you must first upload the documents before you can apply to the posting. The following message will appear at the top of the job posting screen identifying the documents you need on file to apply: “You cannot perform activity on this job as you do not currently have all the required documents on file. Upload documents for the following categories: Cover Letters, Resumes.” How to Apply to a Job Posting: To apply, click the Submit Resume button at the top or bottom of the job. When clicked, you can select the documents to submit and type a message for the Coop Office if necessary, on the Self Referral screen. Once the documents are selected and a message to the Co-op Office (optional) is typed, click the Submit button to send the information. You will receive a confirmation message on the screen: You have successfully submitted your resume. NOTE: Your Resume Referral activity is located under My Account > My Activity menu option.
Kettering Connect - Utilizing the Jobs Database Job Agents You have the ability to receive job results via email or text message when new positions become available in Kettering Connect. The ability to create a Job Agent is separate from the Saved Search function. Saved Job Search and Job Agents are independent of one another. In the top right corner of the Job Search Results page there is a link entitled [Create Job Agent]. Click the link.
You can name the Job Agent and click Save.
A confirmation dialog box will appear for each saved Job Agent.
Delete Saved Searches or Job Agents: Click the red x next to the name of the search/agent you wish to delete.
Kettering Connect - Utilizing the Jobs Database Student Activity – Job Agents The Job Agent tab listed in your Activity will allow you to view, disable/enable, and remove Job Agents. You can access your Activity under My Account > My Activity > Job Agents tab
Under the Action column you can access the following options: • View: This link takes you to a search results page with a current list of jobs that meet your criteria. • Disable: This link disables the Job Agent but does not remove it. The Job Agent will still exist but will no longer send emails to you. Once the Disable link has been clicked it will change to an Enable link. • Enable: The Enable link will allow you to turn the Job Agent back on at a later time. • Remove: This link will remove the Job Agent completely from the system. Once removed, it will no longer exist, and you will no longer receive the emails/text messages.
Emails - Job Agent Job Agent emails include an interactive link that when clicked prompts you for your login information and immediately displays a list of the new jobs matching the Job Agent criteria. The email also includes a link allowing you to disable the Job Agent so you will stop receiving the emails.
From: firstname.lastname@example.org Sent: Thursday, March 19, 2009 3:05 PM To: John Student Subject: Job Agent Results for Thursday, March 19, 2009 Below is a list of your job agents that produced results for Thursday, March 19, 2009. To view the results for each job agent click the corresponding View Jobs link below and login. NOTE: If you no longer wish to receive an e-mail for a particular job
Here is an example of what the Job Agent email agent, click the Disable link next to it. The job agent will not be deleted from your account and can be enabled again by logging looks like: into your account and accessing your job agents in My Activity. Job Agent Results: Agent Name New/Update of Job Engineering Jobs 1 Job ID Organization Name 49 J & P Engineering
Action [View Jobs] [Disable]
Kettering Connect - Utilizing the Jobs Database Report A Hire The Report A Hire function is meant to allow students or employers to report a hire for a co-op position. You may complete this function after an offer of co-op is extended by an employer and you have officially accepted the offer. Click the Report A Hire link.
Select the position for which you have accepted.
If the results did not return the position that was filled, use the click here link to enter the information.
Kettering Connect - Utilizing the Jobs Database Report A Hire cont. Fill in the details. Provide as much information regarding your position as possible. If you do not have all the information, you may leave the fields blank. You are required to provide information for all mandatory fields.
Once you have completed this form, click Finish. You will be returned to your Profile page. This information will be sent to the Co-op Office for further processing.
The Next Step Stay in regular contact with your Co-op Manager throughout your co-op search process.
Preparing for the Interview Once your resume has been sent to companies, employers will decide which students to invite for interviews. Employers typically contact students directly by telephone or email to arrange the interview. You must prepare for your interview! Making Interview Arrangements: • Prepare a professional message on your answering machine and cell phone • Check email daily • Use a professional email address • Keep calendar readily available by the phone • Ask for name and phone number of the interviewer when scheduling interviews • Obtain clear directions and parking information • Ask if a tour of the company will be included in the interview. If there is a tour, be aware of particular safety requirements and/or dress restrictions Appearance: • First impressions are lasting impressions… Make yours a great one! • Cleanliness is a must • Hair should be neat and professional • Jewelry should be kept to a minimum – absolutely no body piercing should be visible • Men: suit, dress pants, white shirt, tie, matching socks and dress shoes • Women: suit with slacks or knee-length skirts, hose and polished closed-toe dress shoes with low heels Research the Organization before your Interview: • Know the company’s products and/or services • Geographic locations • Number of plants, stores or facilities • People you know within the organization • Potential growth in the industry and their competitors • Recent items in the news • New products, services and markets Where can you find this Information? • The Internet • Your Co-op Manager • The library • Ask the organization for literature or brochures
The Interview Things to Bring: • Several copies of your resume and references • A notebook and pen • Three to five prepared questions to ask the interviewer Use Good Communication Skills: • Firm Handshake – Remember to begin and end your interview with one • Eye Contact – Make good eye contact with all of your interviewers • Body Language – Lean forward and smile, do not slouch or fidget • Speak Clearly – Speak loudly enough to sound confident, do not mumble or talk too fast • Vocabulary – Use proper English and avoid slang terms • Enthusiasm – Always have a positive attitude Rehearse these Sample Interview Questions before you interview: • Tell me about yourself. • What are your strengths and weaknesses? • What high school courses did you like the most? The least? • What did you gain or learn from your part-time job or volunteer work? • What two or three accomplishments have given you the most satisfaction? • Why do you plan to attend Kettering University? • Why do you plan to major in your intended field of study? • Give me an example of when you had to work in a team environment. • How do you handle conflict? • How would you describe your work ethic? Give me an example. • Why do you want to work for us? • In what ways do you think you can make a contribution to our organization? Be Prepared to ask the Employer Questions: • Does your organization employ other Kettering students? Other co-op students? • What type of assignments do freshmen students receive? • What type of increased responsibility would I experience during my time here? • Do you have an example of a Thesis project completed by a Kettering student? • What do you like the most about working for this organization? • What is the next step in the hiring process and can you give me an estimated timeline? Finish Strong: • Say “Thank you” and shake hands with all interviewers • Collect business cards from all interviewers • Always send a thank you letter
Handling Offers of Employment It is extremely important that you handle offers of co-op employment professionally. This is the beginning of your professional career and the first step in establishing your reputation. And remember, even after you have a co-op position, your relationship with your Co-op Manager will continue throughout your career at Kettering. Your Co-op Manager is the liaison between you and your co-op employer. As with the co-op search process, communication between you and your Co-op Manager is very important for a successful experience. Good luck! Guidelines for Receiving Employment Offers: • Say “Thank you!” Whether or not you are accepting the offer, it is important to present a professional image • Request a few days to consider the offer. Employers typically allow you a few days to a week to respond • Always discuss offers with your Co-op Manager, who will guide you through the process • If you choose to accept the offer, make sure to follow up your acceptance in writing • Employers may request a student change their university-assigned section. Please confirm your section with the co-op employer and your co-op manager • If you choose not to accept, make sure to follow up and thank the employer • Contact your Co-op Manager immediately upon accepting an offer • Once you accept an offer of co-op employment, your search process is complete – you may not schedule interviews with other co-op employers after accepting an offer Drug Testing Most employers will require you to have a physical examination before your employment begins. In addition, many employers do drug testing on all new employees. Be prepared for a drug test as part of the co-op employment process. Drug testing is administered through these means: • Blood testing • Hair testing • Urine testing • A combination of any of the above Different types of samples show the employer different things and can give information dating back several months. Ask the employer for their organization’s policy on drug testing. For more information on the subject, speak to your Co-op Manager or contact the Student Wellness Center at email@example.com or at (810) 762-9650. After Accepting a Co-op Position After you have secured co-op employment, your relationship with your Co-op Manager does not cease to exist. Communication is the key to success as you move forward. Your Co-op Manager may change upon accepting employment. It is your responsibility to make sure you know which co-op manager works with your employer based on geographic location.
Representing Yourself and Kettering University As a Kettering co-op student you are representing yourself, Kettering University and future students who will have the opportunity to work with your co-op employer. You are expected to demonstrate a professional work ethic throughout your entire experience. While at work, you are a student and an employee at the same time. You are bound by the Kettering University Code of Student Conduct. If you are found in violation of any of theses guidelines while at work, you will be subject to the same reviews and penalties as when you are on campus.
Code of Student Conduct The Kettering University Code of Student Conduct represents a body of behavioral standards for all students. These standards are strictly and vigorously enforced by Kettering University to ensure members of this educational community a productive, safe, and equitable environment for growth and development. Kettering students are expected to conduct themselves as mature individuals while on campus, at home, and in their work-section communities. Students are expected to comply with all University regulations governing student conduct and the use of University property and facilities. Kettering University has the right to take action and investigate any offense that involves our students, either as victims reporting or students accused of violating the Code of Student Conduct or any federal, state, and/or local laws/ordinances. The Code of Student Conduct extends to students at their places of co-op employment. We expect students to honor their co-op employer’s standards for workplace demeanor and may impose our Judicial Affairs procedures upon any student charged by an employer with workplace misconduct. Conduct for which students may be subject to judicial action falls into, but is not limited to, the following categories: • Endangering people or their property. • Obstructing the normal functions of Kettering University or a co-op employer. • Theft or damage to property, including intellectual property, of Kettering University, a co-op employer, or any individual. • Any willful damage to the reputation or psychological well-being of others. • Threatening, intimidating, harassing, coercing, or verbally abusing another. • Any physical violence directed at any member of the Kettering University community or a co-op employer’s. • Unauthorized entry to, use of, or occupancy of Kettering University facilities or a co-op employer’s. • Any dishonesty, cheating, forgery, plagiarism, or alteration of, or misuse of Kettering University documents, records or identification, or a co-op employer’s. • Computer misuse, while on academic or work term, at the University or at co-op employment, including but not limited to: • Theft or other abuse of computer operations. • Unauthorized entry into a file to use, read, or change the contents, or for any other purpose. • Unauthorized transfer of a file or files. • Unauthorized use of another individual’s identification and/or password[s]. • Use of computing facilities to interfere with the work of another student, faculty member, or university official. • Use of computing facilities to send obscene or abusive messages. • Use of computing facilities to interfere with the normal operation of the University’s or a co-op employer’s computer system. • Violation of applicable public laws while on Kettering University owned property, University or student-sponsored or supervised functions, a co-op employer’s owned or controlled property, or at a co-op employer-sponsored or supervised function. • Possession or use on campus or at a place of co-op employment of firearms, explosives, explosive fuels, dangerous chemicals or other dangerous weapons, except as specifically authorized by Kettering University or a co-op employer. • Use, possession, or distribution of narcotics or controlled substances except as expressly permitted by law. • Possession or use of alcohol on Kettering’s campus; any underage possession or use of alcohol. • Failure to comply with directions of Kettering University or co-op employer officials acting in performance of their duties. • Conduct which adversely affects the student’s suitability as a member of the Kettering University and/or co-op employment communities.
Sample Cover Letter August 1, 2009
Your Address Your Town, Michigan 48555
Interviewerâ€™s Name Interviewerâ€™s Title Organization Name Address City, State Zip Code
Dear (Name): Opening Paragraph: In this introductory paragraph, you should state the reasons for the letter; indicate the position or type of position in which you are interested and tell how you learned about the organization and/ or the position. Body of Letter: The body of your letter should take one to two paragraphs to summarize your background. Do this by: pointing out your skills and potential as they relate to the employer and the position (give examples); highlighting the educational successes or coursework and training that may be of particular interest to the employer; and finally, referring the reader to your enclosed resume. Closing Paragraph: In the closing paragraph you should: request an interview; use an appropriate statement that leaves you open for follow up action (for example, request an application form or additional information about the organization or the position); repeat your phone number; and add a statement of appreciation. Sincerely,
Your Signature Your Name Enclosures
Sample “Thank You” Note – To Follow Your Interview August 15, 2009
Your Address Your City, State Zip Code
Interviewer’s Name Interviewer’s Title Organization Name Address City, State Zip Code
Dear (Interviewer’s Name):
Thank you for taking time to meet with me on (date of your interview). The information you shared during my interview was extremely helpful, and I am enthused about the possibility of applying my education and experience as a co-op student with (Organization Name). If I can provide you with any additional information, please let me know. I look forward to hearing from you soon.
Your Signature Your Name
Sample Letter of Employment Acceptance August 30, 2009
Your Address Your City, State Zip Code
Name of Person Extending Offer Their Title Organization Name Address City, State Zip Code
Dear (Name): Opening Paragraph: The opening paragraph should confirm your acceptance and reaffirm your interest in the position. Body of Letter: In the body of the letter you should confirm the logistics including: the starting date and time; the rate of pay; and the person to whom you should report. You may also acknowledge the receipt of any employment or insurance forms and the method and date of returning the forms. Closing Paragraph: The closing paragraph should express your appreciation for the opportunity. Sincerely,
Your Signature Your Name CC: Kettering University Cooperative Education & Career Services Office
Kettering University Cooperative Education Student Agreement As Kettering University student participating in the cooperative education program, I agree to and understand the following:
1. I understand the goal of the Kettering University Co-op Program is to remain with one co-op employer throughout my education at Kettering University. 2. I will maintain a working relationship and will communicate regularly with my Cooperative Education Manager throughout my career as a Kettering University student. 3. I will check my e-mail accounts regularly and will promptly respond to all e-mails and phone calls from the University and prospective employers. 4. I understand I must take an active role in my co-op search and will utilize Kettering Connect, employment fairs, and personal networking in my co-op search. 5. I understand once I receive and accept an offer of co-op employment my search is complete and I will not accept other interviews or co-op offers. 6. At the conclusion of each co-op term I understand I am responsible for ensuring completed work evaluations are submitted to the University â€“ both the supervisor and the student evaluation. 7. I understand it is my responsibility to share my grade report at the beginning of each co-op term with my co-op employer representative. 8. I agree to conduct myself in a positive, professional manner with my co-op employer by adhering to company policies, maintaining good attendance and punctuality, following safety rules and regulations and striving for positive working relationships throughout the company. 9. If I leave my co-op employer without discussing my situation with my Kettering University co-op manager, I understand I jeopardize the future support of the university including the use of Kettering Connect and eligibility to participate in co-op employment fairs. These actions could also jeopardize earning work experience credits required for graduation, and risk being placed on probation and/or disciplinary review. 10. As a student of Kettering University, I understand during my co-op term, I am bound by the Kettering University Code of Student Conduct as found in the Kettering University Student Handbook. I will be subject to the same reviews and penalties as on-campus, if found in violation of any guidelines in the Code of Conduct while at work. The Kettering University Student Handbook is available at http://www. kettering.edu/currentstudents/ Student Signature: __________________________________
Student ID: ___________________
The Kettering University cooperative education program is a partnership between the student, the employer and the university. A successful co-op experience depends on the cooperation of each partner. Following the established guidelines will help ensure your success as a student and help make your co-op experience the best it can be.
Kettering University 1700 University Avenue Flint, MI 48504