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Dear Candidate: Career Services staff cordially invite you to use our resources and assistance for your job search activities. Successful candidates typically have an extensive network in place to help them identify and effectively pursue challenging career options. We would be honored to be part of your network, which should include family, friends, faculty members, professional associations, and other resources. Whether you are a student seeking part-time employment to help defray educational expenses or attempting to gain pre-professional experience through internship or cooperative education participation, systematic planning is essential. This is also true if you are seeking that first professional position after graduation or are an alumnus looking for a career change. Together, we may be able to help you implement a comprehensive plan to achieve your career goals. Dynamic career fairs, on-campus interviewing, extensive job listings, individual advising, workshops on various topics related to the “nuts & bolts� issues of the job search process, part-time employment (both on and off campus), experiential learning opportunities, and an extensive career library are resources we can offer. They are described in this publication as well as on our website at careerservices.nmsu.edu. Use of these tools, some of which are available online and through Internet resources we have identified, will contribute to your success as a job seeker. Many of our past candidates have benefited from AggieCAREER Manager, our automated candidate registration system. As a registrant, you will be able to sign up over the Internet for campus interviews, be able to be referred to various employers who list job postings, and receive pertinent career-related information in a timely manner. You will also have access to specific job information from AggieCAREER Manager. An added benefit to your registration is access to Optimal Resume (Optimal Interview & Cover Letter included). Optimal Resume requires a separate registration but you can find it on our home page. Please review the information in this publication and on our website for its applicability to your unique situation and let us know how we may serve you. A timely plan of action and full use of all the resources available to you through your network will hasten your successful entry into the challenging world of work. Thank you for selecting New Mexico State University as your foundation for the future. Sincerely, New Mexico State University Career Services


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Introduction to Career Services. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 Services and Resources Offered. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 AggieCAREER Manager Registration. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Planning Your Career Direction. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 How to Find the Right Career. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 Network Your Way to a Job . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 Applying to Graduate School . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 The Resume. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 The Qualities of a Winning Resume. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15

CAREER PLANNING GUIDE 2012 - 2013 New Mexico State University Career Services Division of Student Affairs and Enrollment Management

Functional Skills and Action Verbs for Resumes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 The Top Ten Pitfalls in Resume Writing. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 Sample Resumes. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 Letters of Recommendation. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 Preparing Your Cover Letter. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21 Sample Letters . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22 Interviewing. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25 Interviewing Moments. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26 The Follow-Up Interview. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28 Behavior-Based Interviewing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28 Dressing for the Interview. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29 Are You Ready for a Behavioral Interview?. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30 Dining Etiquette at the Interview Meal. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31 Guide to Career Research. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32 Federal Jobs: Working for Uncle Sam . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34 How to Apply for Federal, State and Local Employment. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35

Advertiser Index Clark County School District . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37 El Paso Independent School District . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40 Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc. . . . . . . . . . . Inside Front Cover University of Kansas School of Engineering . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36 New Mexico Consortium . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Inside Back Cover New Mexico State University . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 University of New Mexico School of Law . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 University of New Mexico School of Medicine . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38 State Farm . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27 Texas Tech University, Rawls College of Business . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36 University of Texas at Permian Basin . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 U.S. Army Research Laboratory . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 U.S. Army ROTC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39 U.S. Department of State . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36 Wake County Public School System . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 White Sands Missile Range . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Inside Back Cover

Career Services New Mexico State University Garcia Annex, Room 224 P.O. Box 30001, MSC 3509 Las Cruces, NM 88003-0001 Main Line: (575) 646-1631 Fax: (575) 646-5421 hireNMSU@nmsu.edu careerservices.nmsu.edu


Introduction to Career Services

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Career Services Staff

areer Services, Department in the Division of Student Affairs and Enrollment Management, is open to all students and alumni without regard to age, ancestry, color, disability, gender, national origin, race, religion, sexual orientation, or veteran status.    Career Services adheres to the NACE Principles for Professional Conduct for Career Services and Employment Professionals and expects employers and candidates to do the same. These principles are available on the National Association of Colleges and Employers website: www.naceweb.org/ principles or you may view an annotated version at www.naceweb.org/principles/annotated.htm.    Career Services is committed to fostering self-direction and ­personal responsibility by assisting students and alumni with their career planning and employment goals. A variety of programs and services are offered to assist the candidate in locating employment. Your success as a candidate will be based on the amount of time spent on the job search process. We do not secure employment for you, but rather work with each individual to determine what would be the best approach to implement his or her career and educational choices.

Career Services

Director: Dr. Anthony Marin hireNMSU@nmsu.edu Associate Director: Roseanne R. Bensley rbensley@nmsu.edu Employer Relations Coordinator: Elizabeth Ortega employer@nmsu.edu Student Career Resource Coordinators: Lizeth Vazquez careers@nmsu.edu Yvonne Franco careers@nmsu.edu

Cooperative Education & Internship Program Cooperative Education Program Coordinator: Kevin D. Andrew coop@nmsu.edu

Administrative Assistant, General: Marilyn Alejo coop@nmsu.edu

Professional Employment Administrative Assistant, General: Donna Miller proemp@nmsu.edu Administrative Assistant, General: Charles Morgan proemp@nmsu.edu

Our staff are here to guide you in utilizing our ­services. The main office is located in Garcia Annex, Room 224. The main office telephone number is (575) 646-1631, Fax (575) 646-5421.

www.careerservices.nmsu.edu  3


Services and Resources Offered

—for full details visit our website at careerservices.nmsu.edu

Advising—Individual Sessions

• Resume and cover letter reviews • Mock interviews • One-on-one directed job search guidance • Interview success tips • Data for evaluation of offers of employment and relocation assistance • Cooperative Education and Internship Programs

Workshops

Whether you would like to learn resume writing tips or prepare for your next job interview, our free workshops and webinars are the best place to start.

Sample Categories • How to Get Started on AggieCAREER Manager • Resume Writing/Cover Letter • Dress for Success • Co-ops and Internships • Etiquette Dinner • Interviewing Tips • Oh My Graduation (OMG) • How to Use Social Networking to Launch & Enhance Your Career • Job Search Strategies • Federal & State Employment • Graduate School Applications If your student organization, residence hall or class would like to request a special presentation by our staff on any of our workshop topics, please call 575-646-1631 (at least three weeks in advance) and we’d be happy to make arrangements.

Career Resource Library

Learn more about all the components of planning your career (resumes, cover letters, interviewing, co-ops/internships, prospective employers and much more) through our Career Resource Library. A selection of books is available to check out with an ID.

Library Book Categories • Resumes, Cover Letters and Interviewing • Co-op/Internships • Federal Employment • Job Search Strategies • Career Planning • Reference • Graduate Schools

4   New Mexico State University

Career/Job Fairs 2012-2013

Unless noted otherwise, all fairs are held at Corbett Center Student Union from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. For complete details, visit careerservices.nmsu.edu • Career Expo—September 18-19, 2012 - Meet with over 100 employers to learn about various career opportunities. - All majors and levels of interest invited to attend. • Graduate and Professional School Fair—October 3, 2012 • Government and Public Service Career Fair— October 23, 2012 - Meet with employers from municipal, state and federal government. - All majors and levels of interest invited to attend. • Career Connections—February 5-6, 2013 - All majors and levels of interest invited to attend. • Employment Extravaganza—March 13, 2013 - Statewide and regional employers. • Educators’ Job Fair—April 22-23, 2013 - Structured interviews with more than 50 school districts from 14 western states. - Online registration and interview sign-up begins early February through mid-April. - In-person registration begins at 3 p.m. April 21, 2013.

Work-Based Learning

Work-based learning or experiential learning is Cooperative Education, Internships and other forms of employment that enhances an academic major or career interest area. Today’s competitive employment market necessitates that students gain practical experience related to their major before they finish their college degree. Obtaining practical real-world work experience early in your college career is very important. Remember EXPERIENCE MATTERS!

Cooperative Education Program and Internships

NMSU enjoys a national reputation for its Cooperative Education and Internship Program, which contributes to students’ total educational experience and realization of career goals by integrating academic theory and practical application on the job. Co-op assignments provide varied work experiences with employers from business, industry, government, and nonprofit organizations. All co-op work assignments are for continuing students, and must be completed prior to graduation. Each semester that a student participates in an approved co-op a notation is placed on his/her permanent academic transcript which can only be authorized by Career Services. No other office at NMSU has this authority so it is very


important that the candidate maintains communication with the Coordinator for Cooperative Education and Internships Program. Students may register for the alternating plan, usually working a minimum of two work phases throughout the U.S.; each work phase will last the duration of an academic semester. Work phases are separated by at least one semester of full-time on-campus classroom instruction. Note: While on an alternating work phase, students are afforded full-time status with the university, which protects enrollment status, financial aid, health insurance and other student eligibilities, whether or not they are registered for any credit. Continuous academic enrollment can be maintained through the parallel plan, wherein a student works 20-30 hours per week concurrent with full-time enrollment. Employers are generally located within commuting distance of the university. In addition to gaining academically related work experience, co-op students establish positive work ethics, receive remuneration for their educational experiences, and also may arrange for course credit through an academic department. Experiential learning also includes internships. Internships are usually one-time work assignments that may or may not be curriculum-related, of a short duration and are paid or unpaid. Internships may qualify for NMSU Cooperative Education if they meet the program requirements. Internships may earn academic credit through an academic department. International students interested in Curricular Practical Training (CPT) will also work with the NMSU International Student Services office. CPT is classified as Cooperative Education and Internship. Prior to a work assignment, all international students must have a signed CPT request form from the International Student Services office and complete an advising session with the Cooperative Education office. All students interested in Cooperative Education or Internships must first register in AggieCAREER Manager and schedule an appointment with the Cooperative Education and Internships program for an advising meeting.

Off-Campus Student Employment Utilize your AggieCAREER Manager account to locate parttime student employment in the Las Cruces community. Upon accepting a community job, please be aware of the following: 1. You will be an employee of the individual or business hiring you, and NOT of NMSU. Read any contract or agreement carefully before signing it. Be sure you know what is expected of you (i.e., duties, dress code, work schedule, etc.) before you begin working.   2. Also know that you are required by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to demonstrate your eligibility to work in the United States. Your employer will provide you with an I-9 Form to complete and submit within three (3) working days of the time you’re hired. Be prepared to provide acceptable documentation, which is listed on the back of the I-9. International students at NMSU are not eligible for Community Employment positions unless they have a valid “green card.”

3. Your employer will also have you complete a W-4 Form (Employer’s Withholding Allowance Certificate) in order to withhold the correct amount of federal and state income taxes from your pay.

Student Employment Service (Non-Work Study) Currently enrolled students may utilize the Student Employment Service, which offers on-campus student employment. These positions are right here on campus and are usually about 20 hours per week. Postings for these job opportunities can be found via the Human Resources Services site at: http:// hr.nmsu.edu/employment/employment.html or by calling 575-646-8000, Hadley Hall Room 17. Work-Study Employment (Apply with AggieCAREER Manager) Work-study eligibility is awarded through the Office of Student Financial Aid and Scholarships at NMSU. More information on work-study awards, qualifications, and opportunities can be found on the following website: http://fa.nmsu.edu/ index.html.

U.S. Army Research Laboratory, White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico MISSION: To strengthen the survivability of Army systems in an electromagnetic environment and security of Army information systems and networks. EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES: Electromagnetic environment (radio frequency, infrared, and electo-optics) -Field experimentation -Anechoic chamber studies -Laboratory studies Information Assurance -Computer security -Network security -Source code analysis Computer Network Operations -Ethical hacking -Penetration testing -Network exploitation Software development -C++ needed, C# a plus -Real-time software development

WORK ENVIRONMENT: -Full Time -Professional Growth -Professional Certifications -Job Security BENEFITS: -Vacation and Sick Days -Paid Holidays -Health Insurance -Life Insurance -Retirement Benefits -Training and Education -Flexible Work Schedule -Pay for Performance Increases -Thrift Savings Plan (comparable to 401K) -Merit Promotion System DISCIPLINES: Scientists and Engineers (e.g., Computer Science, Computer Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Physicists)

HOW TO APPLY:

See www.arl.army.mil for employment application information. Reminder: U.S. Citizen Only

www.careerservices.nmsu.edu  5


AggieCAREER Manager Registration AggieCAREER Manager

   AggieCAREER Manager is New Mexico State University’s online registration system which is used for storing your resume(s) and cover letter(s) to apply for job postings, schedule on-campus interviews, review employers attending Career Services’ sponsored career/job fairs, RSVP for a workshop and access Optimal Resume tools. Registrants in AggieCAREER Manager are kept up to date on special events and employment information through periodic emails and/or phone calls. Plus, like us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest for up-todate activities and tools.

AggieCAREER Manager Benefits

• Receive key information via email. (Please add proemp, coop, and HireNMSU@nmsu.edu to your address book.) • Jumpstart your career by scheduling interviews 24/7. • Access job openings, tips, and career research. • Design resume(s) and cover letter(s) and do mock interviews using Optimal Resume. (Note: You will need to upload these to your AggieCAREER Manager account separately.)

AggieCAREER Manager Registration Step One: Create Personal Profile • Launch your career pathway early to be aware of careerrelated opportunities such as, work-study, off-campus student employment, co-ops, internships, summer jobs, and/or professional employment. • Register online at careerservices.nmsu.edu and choose Students or Alumni to begin your job search. • Create an AggieCAREER Manager profile and keep it updated to maintain your active status. • Login and sign the NMSU Registration Agreement. • Respond to all emails from Career Services. Note: Cooperative Education candidates must indicate interest by stopping by or calling the Co-op Office. Step Two: Resume Upload Registration is not complete until you upload your resume. • Candidates must upload one resume to be eligible for on-campus interviews and apply to job postings.

On-Campus Interview Scheduling— Scheduling a time slot with employment recruiters:

1. Login to your AggieCAREER Manager account. 2. Click on Interview Schedules. 3. Select date range or type in employer’s name and click on Search; just click Search to see everything. 4. If you meet employer requirements, you will be able to Sign up for an Interview or Submit your resume. If you are having difficulty scheduling an interview, contact our staff for assistance.

Meeting Employer Requirements

• Employers visit NMSU to seek qualified candidates for their positions. Selection criteria may include major, GPA, job title, skill sets, experience, transferable skills, work authorization eligibility and other factors. Since these requirements vary, the candidates must note the

6   New Mexico State University

employment requirements and research the employer thoroughly. • Candidates who do not meet the employer requirements, but feel they would like to pursue employment are encouraged to contact the employer directly to request special permission to schedule an interview. Contact information is located in the On-Campus Interview Scheduling under the Details section. Present proof of your approval to our office to secure a time slot. If you need assistance in securing permission to interview, please contact our office directly at 575-646-2849 for Professional Employment or 575-6464115 for Cooperative Education/Internship Program (Work Integrated Learning). • Professional attire is required for all on-campus interviews.

Playing Fair: Your Rights and Responsibilities as a Job Seeker

Seeking employment is a challenging process along with the many other responsibilities required of a student. Career Services supports and enforces the policies listed in “Playing Fair” which is available on the National Associations of Colleges and Employers website: www.jobweb.com/studentarticles.aspx?id=902 To assure you are meeting the expectations for yourself and your potential employer it is important to become familiar with these guidelines.

No-Show and Cancellation Procedures

Scheduling a campus interview creates a commitment between the employer and you to honor the time scheduled. A failure to appear for the scheduled interview or a cancellation with less than 24 hours notice jeopardizes the relationship between NMSU, the employer, and you.

Cancellations

You must inform Career Services of a cancellation at least 24 hours in advance of the interview. While we appreciate being informed of a late cancellation, they present a hardship for the employer since your time slot will likely be vacant. A pattern of late cancellations will affect your eligibility and your interview privileges may be revoked.

No-Show Policy

Failure to attend a scheduled interview is recorded as a No-Show. Failure to follow through on these policy requirements may disqualify you from interview privileges.

No-Show or Late Cancellation Policy Guidelines:

1. Complete the Request of Reinstatement of Interviewing Privileges Form. Describe the circumstances resulting in your late cancellation or no show. Attach any supporting documentation (i.e. doctor’s note, traffic report, or other documentation). 2. Prepare a letter of apology for submission to the employer. Bring the letter as well as a self-addressed stamped envelope to Professional Employment, Room 227, or Cooperative Education & Internship Program, Room 200. 3. Candidates may be required to meet with the Director or another staff member of Career Services. Bring all relevant paperwork to this appointment for review.


Connect

with

NMSU Career Services

Career Services has the social media channels to provide you valuable information about career planning and employment goals. Interact with us and see exclusive content such as, career fairs, workshops, tips, and more.

Career Services careerservices.nmsu.edu Garcia Annex Rm 224 (575) 646-1631


Planning Your Career Direction

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here is more to getting the job of your choice than having a degree. Your degree will open many doors, but it is up to you to obtain the employment that is desirable to you. Advance preparation is critical. Let us examine what you can do to ­successfully meet the challenge of competition for employment.    First, you must recognize that searching for the position you desire can be a full-time job in itself. You must be prepared to make a personal commitment of time and energy. You will need to spend time analyzing your career and life goals, and you will need to be organized and flexible as you pursue these goals. The more committed you are to your job search and decision ­making, the greater your chances are of finding the job most ­satisfactory to you at this time of your life, and of paving the way for a ­rewarding career in the future.    Second, you must accept the fact that obtaining the position you desire requires a sales campaign on your part. Consider for a moment that you have a product to sell and that the potential employer is the consumer. As a salesperson, you must seek potential customers of your product and learn how they could use your product. You must be aware of your competition and know the product you are selling.    In terms related to the job search, you must do a complete analysis of yourself—your values, your interests, and your expertise—in order to determine what you want, what you can do, where you would like to do it, and what (if any) your ­second choice might be. The following questions serve as a guide to accomplishing this self-analysis.

Who Am I?

   Have you ever sat down and written a clear, concise ­statement related to this question? Could you in five minutes or so clearly describe yourself to a stranger? Have you identified your strengths, your weaknesses, your interests, and your special ­talents? If not, you may find yourself at a distinct disadvantage ­because your competition may have made this self-analysis. ­Being able to discuss these things with employers in an orderly and ­convincing manner will make a much more favorable impression.

What Do I Want to Do?

   For many candidates, this is a very difficult question. To ­employers it is one of the most important questions. The ­answer you give to this question will indicate whether you are realistic, whether you have given serious thought to where you’ve been, where you are now, and where you hope to be in the future. The more thought you give to this question, the more ­convincing you will be. Employers need a starting point in evaluating ­candidates, and often this question is it. Remember, employers will be paying you for “doing something” and not just for ­“knowing something.”

Why Do I Want to Do It?

   If an employer asks you this question, can you be convincing in your answer? Have you thoroughly considered what motivated you to make this decision? Are you realistic? The answers you ­provide to these questions, like the answer to the question “What do I want to do?” will be a big factor in determining your success in convincing an employer that you are an excellent ­candidate for employment. 8   New Mexico State University

Where Do I Want to Work?

   When an employer asks you, “Where do you want to work?” or “Why are you interested in my organization?” the interviewer is anticipating a well-thought-out response.    “Where do you want to work?” has hidden meanings. It could refer to working for a specific employer; working for a ­particular size of employer or for a particular type of ­employer; or working in a particular geographic location. Your response to questions like these will assist you in deciding whether you should ­interview with a certain employer, and should they be asked, will help you make a favorable impression.    Often, to arrive at the answers to these questions, you will have to conduct some research. Your career services office is equipped to assist you with this project. In any case, your ­analysis of these thoughts will go a long way toward saving you time and money.

What Are My Goals?

   No one expects you to say with absolute resoluteness what you plan to be doing 5, 10, or 20 years from the time you enter the job market. However, many employers will ask this ­question to see if you have considered where your entry-level job may take you and where, at this time, you’d like it to take you.    It is important for you to realize that you are being hired, not only for what you can contribute today, but for the ­potential you are exhibiting for tomorrow. Today is a developmental stage ­bringing about change, growth, and future direction. ­Tomorrow is the era that allows leadership qualities to fully blossom.    Thinking about goals now helps you stay on target as you ­develop, learn, and implement the skills from your entry-level ­position.

Summation

   In summary, choosing your career direction calls for a close look at your product—you. In doing this self-analysis, you must: • Know Yourself. Make an honest appraisal of your interests, abilities/disabilities, personality, and values. • Determine Your Interests. Analyze what activities ­interest you most (outdoors, helping people, mechanical, clerical, etc). • Recognize Your Aptitudes. Identify the special abilities you have at present, understanding that skills develop with experience and time. • Evaluate Your Work Experience and Education. ­Determine what knowledge and skills you have acquired through your academic training and work experiences and how these assets will transfer to your desired career path. • Recognize Your Personal Qualities. Evaluate those traits that will make you an outstanding candidate and be able to clearly discuss them. • Identify Your Leisure Time Activities. Evaluate your ­personal interests and hobbies. Determine how these can be an asset to you in accomplishing your goals. • Determine Your Vocational Goals. It is important to ­establish goals. However, goals are only short-lived. They are either attained, at which time new goals are set, or they are not attained, for whatever reason, and then alternative goals are established. In any case, at the very outset it is ­important to establish short-term as well as long-term goals. Doing so provides a target and helps keep you on the ­proper path.


How to Find the Right Career

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inding the career you want takes many steps and involves just as many decisions. This checklist is designed to help you along the way and guide you to the appropriate sources. Be sure to discuss your progress with your career advisor.

Knowing What You Want 3 Choose your ideal work environment—large corporation, small business, government agency or nonprofit ­organization. 3 Choose your ideal location—urban, suburban or rural. 3 List your three most useful job skills and know which is your strongest. 3 Know whether you want to work with people, data or things. 3 Know whether you enjoy new projects or prefer ­following a regular routine. 3 List some of the main career areas that might interest you. 3 List your favorite leisure time activities. 3 Know what kind of reward is most important to you in a career—money, security, creative authority, promotions, environment, etc.

Researching Career Options 3 Develop a list of career possibilities to research. 3 Visit your career services library and utilize the Internet to learn about various careers. The Dictionary of Occupational Titles and the Occupational Outlook Handbook are valuable resources. 3 Consider whether your desired career requires an advanced degree. 3 Keep up with current trends in your field through trade publications, news/business magazines, news­papers, and professional social networks like LinkedIn. 3 Identify employers interested in interviewing someone with your academic background and experience; create a list of three or more employers in the field you are ­considering. 3 Use the Internet to learn more about potential employers and check out salary surveys and hiring trends in your anticipated career field. See Glass Door and Career Rookie on our Home page. 3 Make professional contacts through friends, relatives, professors, and your online network of contacts to learn more about your field of interest. 3 Meet with faculty and alumni who work or who have worked in your field to talk about available jobs and the outlook for your field. Using LinkedIn you may join the NMSU Alumni Group and other groups to locate professionals in your interest area.

Getting Experience 3 Narrow down the career options you are considering through coursework and personal research, or visit the Career Exploration Center. 3 Participate in a work experience or internship ­program in your chosen field to learn of the daily requirements of the careers you are considering. Such assignments can lead to permanent job offers following ­graduation. 3 Become an active member in one or more professional associations—consult the Encyclopedia of Associations for organizations in your field. See National Trade & Professional Association book in the Career Services library. 3 Volunteer for a community or charitable organization to gain further work experience. Volunteer positions can and should be included on your resume.

Creating a Resume 3 Form a clear career objective. 3 Know how your skills and experience support your objective. 3 Use action verbs to highlight your accomplishments. 3 Limit your resume to one or two pages and make sure it is free of misspelled words and grammatical errors. 3 Create your resume using a word processing program and have it professionally duplicated on neutral-colored paper, preferably white, light gray or beige. If you are submitting your resume online, be sure to include ­relevant keywords and avoid italics, bold and underlined passages. 3 Compose a separate cover letter to accompany each resume and address the letter to a specific person. Avoid sending a letter that begins “Dear Sir/Madam.”

Preparing for the Interview 3 Arrange informational interviews with employees from companies with which you might want to interview. Use your network of acquaintances to schedule these meetings. 3 Thoroughly research each employer with whom you have an interview—be familiar with product lines, services offered and growth prospects. Use Vault Career Insider to gain other data about employers. 3 Practice your interviewing technique with friends to help prepare for the actual interview. 3 Using the information you have gathered, formulate questions to ask the employer during the interview. 3 Arrive on time in professional business attire. 3 Collect the needed information to write a thank-you ­letter after each interview.

www.careerservices.nmsu.edu  9


Network Your Way to a Job

M

any people use the major job boards as their sole job search technique. Unfortunately, statistics show that only 10% to 20% of jobs are ever published—which means that 80% to 90% of jobs remain hidden in the job market. For this reason, networking remains the number one job search strategy.

Networking Defined

   A network is an interconnected group of supporters who serve as resources for your job search and ultimately for your career. Some great network contacts might include people you meet at business and social meetings who provide you with career information and advice. Students often hesitate to network because they feel awkward asking for help, but it should be an integral part of any job search. Though you might feel nervous when approaching a potential contact, networking is a skill that develops with practice, so don’t give up. Most people love to talk about themselves and their jobs and are willing to give realistic—and free—advice.

Eight Keys to Networking 1. Be Prepared  First, define what information you need and what you are trying to accomplish by networking. Remember, your purpose in networking is to get to know people who can provide information regarding careers and leads. Some of the many benefits of networking include increased visibility within your field, propelling your professional development, finding suitable mentors, increasing your chances of promotion and perhaps finding your next job. Second, know yourself—your education, experience and skills. Practice a concise, one-minute presentation of yourself so that people will know the kinds of areas in which you are interested. Your networking meeting should include the following elements: introduction, self-overview, Q&A, obtaining referrals and closing. 2. Be Targeted  Identify your network. For some, “I don’t have a network. I don’t know anyone,” may be your first reaction. You can start by listing everyone you know who are potential prospects: family members, friends, faculty, neighbors, classmates, alumni, bosses, co-workers and community associates. Attend meetings of organizations in your field of interest and get involved. You never know where you are going to meet someone who could lead you to your next job.

Questions to Ask During Networking Meetings • What do you like most (least) about your work? • Can you describe a typical workday or week? • What type of education and experience do you need to remain successful in this field? • What are the future career opportunities in this field? • What are the challenges in balancing work and ­personal life? • Why do people enter/leave this field or company? • Which companies have the best track record for promoting minorities? • What advice would you give to someone trying to break into this field? • With whom would you recommend I speak? When I call, may I use your name?

10   New Mexico State University

3. Be Professional  Ask your networking prospects for advice—not for a job. Your networking meetings should be a source of career information, advice and contacts. Start off the encounter with a firm handshake, eye contact and a warm smile. Focus on asking for one thing at a time. Your contacts expect you to represent yourself with your best foot forward. 4. Be Patient  Heena Noorani, research analyst with New York-based Thomson Financial, recommends avoiding the feeling of discouragement if networking does not ­provide immediate results or instant answers. She advises, “Be ­prepared for a slow down after you get started. Stay politely persistent with your leads and build momentum. Networking is like gardening: You do not plant the seed, then quickly harvest. Networking requires cultivation that takes time and effort for the process to pay off.” 5. Be Focused on Quality—Not Quantity  In a large group setting, circulate and meet people, but don’t try to talk to everyone. It’s better to have a few meaningful ­conversations than 50 hasty introductions. Don’t cling to people you already know; you’re unlikely to build new contacts that way. If you are at a reception, be sure to wear a nametag and collect or exchange business cards so you can later contact the people you meet. Online contacts offer additional responses. Always thank everyone for their time. 6. Be Referral-Centered  The person you are networking with may not have a job opening, but he or she may know someone who is hiring. The key is to exchange information and then expand your network by obtaining additional referrals each time you meet someone new. Be sure to mention the person who referred you. 7. Be Proactive  Stay organized and track your networking meetings. Keep a list of your contacts and update it frequently with the names of any leads given to you. Send a thank-you note or email if appropriate. Ask if you can follow-up the conversation with a phone call, or even better, with a more in-depth meeting in the near future. 8. Be Dedicated to Networking  Most importantly, ­networking should be ongoing. You will want to stay in touch with contacts over the long haul—not just when you need something. Make networking part of your long-term career plan. Start building your network as a freshman. Add contacts to your LinkedIn account to remain connected for the duration of your career.

Do’s & Don’ts of Networking • Do keep one hand free from a briefcase or purse so you can shake hands when necessary. • Do bring copies of your resume. • Don’t tell them your life story; you are dealing with busy people, so get right to the point. • Don’t be shy or afraid to ask for what you need. • Don’t pass up opportunities to network. • Create a business card when a resume is not appropriate or available. Written by Thomas J. Denham, managing partner and career counselor for Careers In Transition LLC.


Applying to Graduate School: Factors to Consider in the Application Process The Graduate School of New Mexico State University, http://gradschool.nmsu.edu

A

ttending graduate school can help you increase your   knowledge and skills, earnings, and help you obtain    employment in areas that you enjoy. A graduate education is not for everyone. Attending graduate school requires a great deal of time, energy and money. Your decision to attend graduate school should be based on a number of factors including: • Your career goals and objectives • Your ability to enter and complete an advanced degree • Your ability to finance your education • Your learning needs—a traditional classroom or online classes

e) Some programs require the Graduate Record Examination or another type of standardized test.

Funding for Graduate School

Ask for fellowships and teaching and research assistantships from the department of interest. A great deal of information is available on the Internet. For information on fellowships at New Mexico State University, please go to the website for the Graduate School: http://gradschool.nmsu.edu/ fellowships/index.htm.

What If My Grades Are Less Than a B Average (3.0 GPA)? You need at least a 3.0 overall grade point average as an undergraduate or a 3.0 grade point average in your last 2 years of undergraduate studies to be admitted as a regular student to graduate school at New Mexico State University. Students with at least a 2.5 grade point average can be accepted as a provision student. Provision students must complete at least three graduate level courses, totaling at least 8 credits with a grade point average of at least a 3.0 to continue their program of study. You can take classes as a non-degree student at New Mexico State University. You can enroll in unrestricted courses and build up your grade point average. Please note that you can only transfer in 9 graduate credits towards a degree program.

Selecting a University

It is important to seek programs that have a reputation for excellence. The factors that you should consider include the following: • Publications and funded research of the faculty • Quality of the libraries, labs, computers and other research facilities on campus • Placement of graduate students • Course offerings in your areas of interest • Degree requirements—credit hours; thesis requirements; time to complete degree • Diversity of student body including programs, organizations and services for students of color

Applying to Universities

For each university, you need to know the following: a) When to apply—deadlines will vary from school to school and from department to department b) The criteria that is used for admissions including grades, GRE scores, professional experience, leadership skills, research experience At New Mexico State University admissions deadlines and requirements vary depending on the program of interest. Please check our website for information on application deadlines and admissions requirements: http://gradschool.nmsu.edu/. Note: Career Services hosts a Graduate and Professional School Fair early in the fall semester.

Presenting a Successful Application

Students will need to organize the following types of information when applying to Graduate School: a)  Letters of Recommendation b)  Statement of Purpose c) Transcripts from all universities you attended d) Application forms—1) for the Graduate School and 2) the program of study

UT Permian Basin Graduate Studies Biology | Geology | Computer Science | English | History | Spanish | Psychology | Business AdministraƟon (online and tradiƟonal) | Professional Accountancy | Criminal JusƟce AdministraƟon | Public AdministraƟon | Kinesiology (online) | MathemaƟcs | EducaƟon (6 programs).

For more informaƟon, please contact: UTPB Graduate Studies 432.552.2530 gradstudies@utpb.edu www.careerservices.nmsu.edu  11


Wake County PubliC sChool system

I n c r e a s e a c h I e v e m e n t. InspIre Leaders. I m pa c t L I v e s . Consider the Wake County PubliC sChool system Where We are Committed to highly effeCtive eduCation Professionals!

The UNM School of Law offers a unique environment focused on student success. Proud of a deep commitment to our sense of community, we offer: • • RALEIGH #1 BEst CIty to LIvE BLoomBERG/BusInEss WEEk — September 2011

nc LIcensure: www.ncpublicschools.org

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• •

What We Offer: – hIgh perfOrmIng, aWard WInnIng schOOL dIstrIct – saLary advance fOr eLIgIbLe candIdates – One Of the hIghest payIng pubLIc schOOL dIstrIcts In nc RECRUITMENT: hrrecruitment@wcpss.net

More than 40 student associations Small class sizes A close network of lawyers and students Demonstrated success in bar passage and job placement

Call 505-277-0958, email admissions@law.unm.edu or visit lawschool.unm.edu to learn more.

To access our employment application and to explore employment opportunities, please visit our website, w w w.w cps s .ne t.

www.wcpss.net

Department of Human Resources Crossroads I, 5625 Dillard Drive Cary, North Carolina 27518 www.wcpss.net/employment.html

www.facebook.com/WCPSS

www.twitter.com/recruitwcpss

The Resume How Is It Used?    Your resume will assist in accomplishing several objectives: 1. Preparing your resume will help you to identify your ­marketable skills. 2.  Your resume will help you to organize your job search. 3. The mailing of a resume can allow you to cover a wide range of employers in various geographic locations. 4. Sent ahead with a cover letter, a resume introduces you to a ­prospective employer and outlines your qualifications for the purpose of getting an interview. 5. It will assist in improving your interview. When your assets are on paper, you will find it easier to discuss them with assurance. 6. The resume, left behind after an interview, will act as a visual reminder of who you are and will be a resource for the information which was covered in the interview. Be sure to take extra copies of the resume to an interview and ­offer them to individuals who interview you. 7. Your resume will introduce you in any chance meeting with a potential employer. Have copies with you and use them like a calling card. The more people who know of your qualifications and of your availability, the better it is for you. While they may not have insight into an immediate job, the situation could change—they could hear of an opportunity and may need to get in touch with you. 12   New Mexico State University

The Preparation of the Resume

   When preparing your resume, keep the following points in mind: • There is no one right way to organize a resume. A resume is a reflection of you. It should convey an impression with which you are comfortable. • Choose the format that best highlights your skills.    A Chronological resume is arranged by date, with the most recent position first.    A Functional resume represents a skills-based summary of qualifications. It highlights skills and achievements, rather than work histories. The purpose is to describe accomplishments, not jobs, which are listed at the end of the resume. Functional resumes are helpful if your job titles don‘t adequately portray your experience. In short, if your skills and accomplishments outshine your work history, use a functional resume.    A Targeted resume presents capabilities and accomplishments that are targeted toward a particular job or field.    A Combination resume begins as a functional resume by listing significant skills which are pertinent to the position you desire. The second section lists your employment in reverse chronological order. • For most individuals, one page will be sufficient. However, if you have had a variety of different jobs and/or several years of experience, you may need two pages. However,


the resume should be long enough to present your qualifications. • Your resume should be printed on a high-quality laser printer. • The appearance of your resume is especially important. Use an easy-to-read typestyle, good quality 8 1/2˝ x 11˝ white or neutral colored paper, and be neat and accurate. Employers or interviewers often tend to view typos, misspellings, or other mistakes or obvious corrections as a demonstration of your carelessness or lack of concern. To avoid reading over your own errors, have a qualified person proofread your final draft.

Resume Content

   The employer will use the resume to screen applicants and determine whom to interview. Employers can visually scan a resume in 30 seconds for evidence that a candidate will be of value to their organization. Your resume should be results oriented and tailored to the employers needs.    The length of the resume is determined by the relevance of the information you want to present. Typically, resumes can be either one or two pages long. If you need a second page it should be a minimum of half of the second page. Your name should appear in either the center or upper right hand corner of the second page. If you only use a few lines on a second page of a resume then you should condense it into one page. The headings should stand out from the content areas. It is recommended to bold your headings and use a font size between 12 and 14 points. The content areas should be between 10 and 12 points.    Use your own judgment on the visual appearance of the resume. If you feel it is crowded or hard to read, it probably is and should be changed. The order of your headings on the resume should start with the most important heading and then follow in sequence until you list the least important heading. Start a resume with your name and address and end with the “References” section. Current students should list their Education after the Objective. Those who have been out of school for five years or more may elect to place their Education towards the end of the resume. Every person’s definition of order of importance will vary based on their own personal preferences. For additional assistance use Optimal Resume, found in Your Resources section of you AggieCAREER Manager account.

An objective is important because few employers will take the time to study the situation, evaluate the job seeker’s talents and come up with a position that would be suitable for the applicant. Developing the Career Objective

   Many job seekers drive employers crazy because when asked what they want to do, they’ll say either “I’ll take anything” or “I don’t have a specific objective because I don’t want to limit myself.”    The purpose of the objective is to let the employer know the type of job being sought and what skills are being brought to the marketplace to accomplish this job. An objective is ­important because few employers will take the time to study the ­situation, evaluate the job seeker’s talents and come up with a position that would be suitable for the applicant.

   The lack of a career objective could indicate that 1) the job seeker hasn’t taken the time to assess his or her skills relative to the job sought or 2) the job seeker would be content with just about anything. Both of these situations are negative and project a losing attitude. Who would want to employ someone who doesn’t know where his or her talents lie? Why should the company put faith in someone reluctant to express a ­preference? Stating a career objective projects a “take charge” attitude.    An objective is a concise statement of what value you can add, what you can bring to the employer, and what needs you can fill. A poor objective would be: I want a challenging position with a progressive company that will draw on my education and experience, allow me to grow and develop, and provide an opportunity to help meet the goals of the organization.    This type of objective provides no information to help judge you appropriately. What do you want to do? At what level are you qualified to do it?    A focused career objective has three components: 1) a statement of the general field the job hunter is considering, 2) the emphasis or specialties that the job seeker is­considering within that field, and 3) the special skills the job seeker will bring to the job. Seeking a position in the field of ___________, with special emphasis on __________ and ___________, using my proven abilities in __________, and ______________.    This type of statement helps the employer determine how they should evaluate your credentials, and for what area. If you have multiple goals, then it may require multiple resumes, each with a different objective.

Contact Information    List your formal name, current mailing address, permanent mailing address, phone numbers, email and personal URL for your website, if you have created a homepage. Generally you will place your name in the center of the page. Place your current address on the left and your permanent address on the righthand side. If you are only using one address you can center it under your name. Note: Email and URL addresses should have professional names. Answering machine messages should be professional, too. Objective    Clearly state which functional areas or what kinds of positions interest you, (e.g., sales, teaching, finance, marketing, design engineer, process engineer, social worker, agriculture extension). This makes it easier for companies to sort resumes and give them to the correct reviewers. This, in turn, improves your chance of being contacted. Employers are interested to know your desires. Education    In reverse chronological order, write your most recent or highest formal degree using the proper name, i.e., Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Business Administration, Bachelor of Accountancy, etc. Follow the degree with your major, area of emphasis and minor. List the name of the school granting the degree and the location followed by the graduation date. If you have an overall GPA, GPA in Major or GPA for last [insert # of credit hours] Credit Hours that is 3.00 or better, it is recommended to list that GPA. Sample Education Heading: Bachelor of Business Administration, Major: Management, Option: Human Resource Management, New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, NM May 2013, GPA for last 60 credit hours: 3.5. www.careerservices.nmsu.edu  13


Summary of Qualifications or Career Summary    An effective summary highlights your most valuable accomplishments or unique qualifications. Example #1 Progressively increasing responsibility in finance and operations with a major consumer products company, emphasizing manufacturing and distribution, cost analysis, productivity, accounting and finance controls.    • Managed and gained extensive hands-on experience in cost management including budgeting, accounting, forecasting and analysis.    • Successfully managed cost-effectiveness programs and projects.    • Earned reputation as a proactive, hands-on, innovative leader with excellent business sense and the ability to identify and promote profit improvement opportunities. Example #2 Extensive experience in marketing with expertise in sales and project management. A strong background in the development of advertising campaigns. Keyword Summaries    A keyword summary is a list of skills that pertain directly to the type of job you are seeking. The keywords are industry-related terms, jargon and acronyms. The order of the keywords depends on the level of importance relative to the position. Keywords can be found in classifieds, trade journals, textbooks and job descriptions posted on websites. Examples of keywords by Job Category and Personal Traits can be found on www. quintcareers.com/resume_keywords.html and in your Optimal Resume account. Skills    What you include here should be pertinent to the requirements of the job that you are seeking—equipment that you can use, licenses which you have obtained, language abilities, computer skills, relevant coursework, special training, class projects. Some of these can become their own individual heading if you have more than 3-5 items per topic.   Identifying your skills: If you are having a difficult time identifying the skills you have, then the answers may be in a Sunday paper, trade journal, Internet or textbook. Utilizing the Sunday edition of a newspaper of a large metropolitan city is a good place to start. Place three markers in front of you, for example, green, orange and red. Read job descriptions for skills that you currently possess. As you come across a word or phrase for a skill that you can perform, highlight the word or phrase in GREEN. If you can not perform the skill, but know your course work will teach you the skill at some later point in time, highlight those skills in ORANGE. Lastly, if you come across some skills that you can not perform but recognize the need to become proficient in those areas for future success in your career field, highlight those skills and phrases in RED. All the skills highlighted in GREEN can be placed in your resume today. Those in ORANGE can be added to the resume as you learn those skills. Those in RED can only be added to the resume if you take it upon yourself to find a way to learn the skill through your own efforts in order to correct the deficiency. Work Experience, Professional Experience or Experience    This section is a key player to your future position. Employers want to see your accomplishments and results of your performance for a previous employer. The information you provide about a job could change with each objective so the two sections should show some type of correlation to each other. Every job has value; it is just a matter of presenting what occurred in a job that is relevant to the objective. 14   New Mexico State University

   Continuing with the rule of presenting headings in order of importance, information within a heading should also be presented in order of importance. In regard to the work experience section, it is recommended to start with the job title, employer, location and dates. Underneath this information in either a bulleted or paragraph format, state your personal accomplishments while in the position. Tell the future employer the action you performed (using action verbs), what you did, how you did it, why you did it and the results of your actions. The results show the employer how you are different from others who may have held a similar job title but tackled their job with a different passion for their performance. Examples    • Directed eight executive directors in the coordination of the first Dance Marathon which resulted in reaching a fundraising goal of $10,000. Established criteria for the selection of future directors and administration of the fundraiser.    • Managed ten construction crews that worked at different field sites simultaneously on various phases of the project.    • Interfaced with all levels and disciplines of management during implementation stages of $5 million product introduction.    • Prepared 100 hamburgers per hour resulting in perfect quality control and no lost product providing a net savings of $2,000 in inventory.    • Increased sales by 10% in a four-week period as a new employee.    It is OK to include internships, volunteer work, or any other relationship with employers.

Honors/Awards/Scholarships/Professional Affiliations/ Memberships/Activities    These are only a few of the possible headings that can be added to the resume. Depending on the amount of information you may have, you can choose to list them as separate headings or you may group some together. A simple rule is if you have less than three items to report per topic then you would have them grouped under a multiple topic heading, i.e., “Honors and Awards.” If you have more than five items per topic then it would require separate headings of all like items of five or more.    Employers like people who are recognized for their accomplishments, involved in their community and profession, and take on leadership responsibilities. A degree alone may not be enough to lure the interest of an employer. They are looking at the full package that requires the candidate to take on some extra responsibilities on their own. References    If you wish, you may ­indicate “Letters of reference available from Career Services, P.O. Box 30001, MSC 3509, Las Cruces, NM 88003, (575) 646-1631.” Other phrases that can be used if you do not have references established with Career Services include “References available upon request,” or the names, titles, addresses, email and phone numbers of three to five ­people who can be contacted. If you choose to list names directly on the resume, be sure your references have granted ­permission to be printed on your resume. All references should be kept up-to-date on your job search progress and given a copy of your resume, so they may discuss your strategies and be prepared if contacted by employers.

Curriculum Vitae

   Applicants for teaching and research positions in colleges and universities are often asked to provide a curriculum vitae, or c.v., rather than a resume.


A curriculum vitae differs from a resume in several ways. Resumes summarize an individual’s education and experience in a page or two, and are designed to demonstrate qualifications for a specific position or career field. A curriculum vitae is a comprehensive biographical statement of two pages or more, emphasizing professional qualifications, accomplishments, and activities. The order of topics is flexible and should highlight your strengths.

Categories Appropriate for the Vita    •  Academic Preparation    •  Academic Interests    •  Academic Awards    •  Activities and Distinctions    •  Affiliations    •  Areas of Experience    •  Areas of Knowledge    •  Committee Leadership    •  Conferences Attended; Leadership; Presentations    •  Dissertation Title    •  Educational Highlights    •  Fellowships    •  Foreign Study

   •  Graduate Fieldwork    •  Honors and Distinctions    •  Internships    •  Languages    •  Licensure    •  Presentations    •  Professional Interests; Papers    •  Professional Memberships    •  Professional Certification    •  Proficiencies    •  Programs and Workshops    •  Publications    •  Related Experience    •  Research    •  Research Assistantships    •  Scholarships    •  Special Honors    •  Special Training    •  Study Abroad    •  Teaching Assistantships    •  Teaching Experience    •  Thesis    •  Workshop Presentation

The Qualities of a Winning Resume

H

ow your resume looks, reads, and feels generates an image of you to your readers. Great resumes are determined by effective content, visual appearance and tangible factors such as font style, paper weight and quality of reproduction. Purchase matching paper and envelopes for your cover letter and other mailings. The packaging is every bit as important as the content.    Try looking at your resume as though you were the hiring official: • Is the resume visually inviting? •  Do large blocks of text make it difficult to read? •  Is it balanced between print and white space? •  Is the writing style clear and action-oriented? • Are your accomplishments and experiences presented favorably? Tips for profiling your responsibilities: • Use strong descriptive words that show action (i.e., ­“created” rather than “put together”). • Using buzzwords or jargon of your trade is permissible. • Use numbers to establish credibility; whether these numbers are to show volume, percentages or dollars, they all show that quantity makes a much stronger statement. • Write descriptive, grammatically correct phrases. If you review Who, What, When, Where, Why, and How for each statement, you are certain to provide the reader with enough information to show your accomplishments on the job. Explain your job to a friend or other interested person. Listen to the words used in describing your job to another person. This explanation is ­usually the best way to

discover what type of information should be included in a description. • Show growth from one position to the next.    Most job seekers think that relevant professional experience is all that matters when employers review resumes. A solid job history is usually the main reason candidates are selected, but it’s not the only information that attracts employers. Listing other activities and training on your resume can show employ­ers that you have the knowledge, skills and experience necessary to perform a job.    Job seekers with limited experience in a profession should list related college course work. Since course titles don’t always describe the mate­rial covered, include a course description and important assignments.    Career changers and older candidates whose formal education is outdated should also include relevant continuing education classes, workshops and seminars. These activities can demonstrate initiative, professional development and an awareness of professional and business trends.    Special projects completed for a club or other organization should be treated like a paid job. If you chaired a major committee, show this on the resume because it demonstrates organizational, managerial and leadership skills, and a good track record of handling responsibility.    Community service and volunteer activities also show transferable skills. Be careful when listing religious or politically oriented groups since it can be a basis for a bias from the employer.    Many employers are looking at what you can DO. Unpaid activities may convey your experience, qualifications and accomplishments better than anything else you may have done.­ www.careerservices.nmsu.edu  15


Functional Skills and Action Verbs for Resumes Computer

Hardware: name(s) and application Software: name(s) and application Language: name(s) and application Systems: name(s) and application Internet web design

Team Leadership administered collaborated completed contracted coordinated developed devised directed distributed elected established evaluated expanded implemented initiated introduced led a team maintained managed organized patented planned planned events rated selected simplified started recommended regulated worked with a team

Management Financial

accounted for analyzed booked budgeted compared compiled computed financed implemented maintained managed prepared reconciled

Human Resources allocated appointed commissioned designed

Management Cont’d

Begin the description tasks with an action verb rather than “duties included,” or “responsible for.”

developed evaluated hired installed instructed interviewed recruited supervised

Technical Cont’d

Office/Equipment/ Inventory/Property Management accepted catalogued contracted controlled coordinated developed executed expanded functioned improved increased inventoried maintained managed negotiated operated patented produced programmed purchased saved scheduled sold verified

Technical

adjusted analyzed assembled assigned assisted calculated calibrated compiled conducted conferred consulted coordinated designed developed devised directed disassembled drafted drew estimated evaluated examined fabricated inspected

16   New Mexico State University

Also rev iew actio n verbs in your Opti m al Resume account

installed interpreted maintained measured modified observed operated planned prepared provided recommended recorded reviewed selected set up sketched supervised tested

Communications Written

authored composed letters designed forms drafted edited prepared published revised

Oral

addressed conducted influenced instructed interpreted lectured presented published spoke to taught

Performing attended participated performed presented scheduled selected supervised trained

Customer Relations advertised assisted greeted handled helped negotiated persuaded promoted responded served welcomed

Leadership (offices held) acted advised analyzed arranged assigned collected compiled conferred coordinated delegated designated developed directed disseminated evaluated explained maintained managed participated performed planned prepared presided promoted purchased recorded recruited represented reviewed revised scheduled selected sent supervised visited welcomed

Reprinted with permission from Louisiana State University and A&M College’s 2003-04 Career Services manual. Copyright © 2003 by Alloy Education.

Human Relations Interpersonal Relations assessed conducted corresponded counseled demonstrated determined documented educated encouraged empowered examined explained followed-up implemented informed instructed interpreted interviewed mentored motivated negotiated observed provided recommended recruited taught translated tutored

Community/ Organization Relations advocated conferred consulted facilitated led mediated presented referred represented

Multicultural

lived in # cities, states, countries speak, read, and/or write foreign languages experienced work in ____ (name country) translated interpreted observed different work environments


The Top Ten Pitfalls in Resume Writing 1. Too long. Most new graduates should restrict their resumes to one page. If you have trouble condensing, get help from a technical or business writer or a career center professional. 2. Typographical, grammatical or spelling errors. These errors suggest carelessness, poor education and/or lack of intelligence. Have at least two people proofread your resume. Don’t rely on your computer’s spell-checkers or ­grammar-­checkers. 3. Hard to read. A poorly typed or copied resume looks unprofessional. Use a plain typeface, no smaller than a 12-point font. Asterisks, bullets, under­lining, boldface type and italics should be used only to make the document easier to read, not fancier. Again, ask a professional’s opinion. 4. Too verbose. Do not use complete sentences or paragraphs. Say as much as ­possible with as few words as possible. A, an and the can almost always be left out. Be careful in your use of ­jargon and avoid slang. 5.  Too sparse. Give more than the bare essentials, especially when describing related work experience, skills, accomplishments, activities, interests and club memberships that will give employers important information. Including membership in the Society of Women Engineers, for example, would be helpful to employers who wish to hire more women, yet cannot ask for that information.

6. Irrelevant information. Customize each resume to each ­position you seek (when possible). Of course, include all ­education and work experience, but emphasize only ­relevant experience, skills, accomplishments, activities and hobbies. Do not include marital status, age, sex, ­children, height, weight, health, church ­membership, or anything too personal. 7. Obviously generic. Too many resumes scream, “I need a job—any job!” The employer needs to feel that you are ­interested in that particular position with his or her particular company. 8. Too snazzy. Of course, use good quality bond paper, but avoid exotic types, colored paper, photographs, binders and graphics. Electronic resumes should include appropriate industry keywords and use a font size between 10 and 14 points. Avoid underlining, italics or graphics. 9.  Boring. Make your resume as dynamic as possible. Begin every statement with an action verb. Use active verbs ­to describe what you have accomplished in past jobs. Take ­advantage of your rich vocabulary and avoid repeating words, ­especially the first word in a section.  10. Too modest. The resume showcases your qualifications in competition with the other applicants. Put your best foot ­forward without misrepresentation, falsification or ­arrogance.

Succeed with us Our graduate students learn from and conduct research alongside renowned faculty who pioneering centers and world-famous institutes give graduate students knowledge and experience that opens career doors.

/4-10/11280

are leaders in their fields. New Mexico State University’s interdisciplinary programs,

575-646-2736 prospective.nmsu.edu/graduate

www.careerservices.nmsu.edu  17


Sample Resumes Chronological format: Presents work experience and education in reverse time sequence and lists responsibilities and achievements under each category. Business Aggie

101 University Avenue Las Cruces, NM 88001 (575) 646-1631 hireNMSU@nmsu.edu OBJECTIVE To obtain a co-op or internship in finance or accounting with interest in tax, auditing or investments in the financial services field. EDUCATION Candidate for Bachelor of Business Administration, Major: Finance, Minor: Accounting New Mexico State University, Las Cruces NM, GPA: 4.0, May 2013 SKILLS   • Exercising knowledge of MS Excel, Word, PowerPoint, Access and Visual Basic   • Ability to identify, promote and cater to target markets   • Bilingual: Spanish   • Strong interpersonal, leadership and teamwork skills   • Able to communicate effectively both orally and in writing   • Strong understanding of current tax laws FINANCE PROJECTS   • Served on the Governmental Affairs Lobbying Committee. Lobbied at the 2009 and 2010 legislative session in Santa Fe, NM. Passed several bills NMSU introduced for funding.   • Served on a council that allocated money through Associated Students of NMSU to various clubs, organizations, teams and business fraternities throughout the campus. WORK EXPERIENCE Director of Special Events, ASSOCIATED STUDENTS OF NMSU, New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, NM, January 2012-Present   • Organized and planned for three days that included day and night activities.   • Finalized contracts with Housing, Dining Services and Conference Services.   • Directed 165 new students and supervised 37 counselors.   • Adhered to $65,000 budget to organize, manage and lead a successful camp.   • Trained new hires in areas related to the North America Department. Office Assistant, CAREER SERVICES, New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, NM, August 2010-May 2011   • Provided service and expertise to 50 or more students a day seeking full-time employment.   • Assisted recruiters from Fortune 500 corporations by prompt, articulate service to ensure a successful outcome.   • Calculated statistical reports for brochures by compiling past reports for future enhancement.   • Created student’s files on an internal database to allow them access to our services. ACTIVITIES AND HONORS   • Delta Sigma Pi, August 2010-Present       o  Vice President of Professional Activities, Aug-Dec 2011   • Associated Students of NMSU (Student Government)-Executive Staff, 2010   • BA and Finance Council Representative; 2011-Present   • Rotary Club Scholarship, 2010   • Crimson Scholar

Teacher Aggie

hireNMSU@nmsu.edu 575-646-1631 851 Wagon Mound Las Cruces, NM 88007 OBJECTIVE Seeking the Elementary Teaching position utilizing innovative integration, technology, and hands-on activities to support learning concepts for grades 3-5. HIGHLIGHTS OF QUALIFICATIONS   • Dedicated to meeting the individual needs of children using creative, engaging methods.   • Skilled in team teaching and interfacing with parents, colleagues, and administration.   • Excellent program development and strategic planning skills, including design of after-school enrichment and remediation programs.   • Experienced with a range of student ages, from preschool through middle school and junior high.   • Top awards and evaluations received during short teaching tenure. EDUCATION Master of Arts in Education New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, NM Expected Graduation Date: May 2013, GPA 3.2 Bachelor of Science in Education New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, NM Graduation Date: May 2009 TEACHING EXPERIENCE Ravenswood Elementary, Las Cruces, NM August 2009 - Present Teacher Managed classroom of 2nd and 3rd grade students, teaching all subjects. Developed lesson plans that met varied student needs. Achieved advanced test scores through use of technology and utilization of classroom volunteers to assist in tutoring students after school. •  Selected as “model classroom” by administration for emphasis on clear goals and objectives for each lesson. •  Awarded top performance rating in Principal’s evaluation due to assistance designed for students with special needs. •  Created math centers to teach math in real world settings. •  Compiled student’s poems and stories into a literary magazine for young readers. Sunrise Elementary, Las Cruces, NM January 2009 - May 2009 Student Teacher - Second Grade, Mrs. Weaver •  Developed Science lesson plan on the life of butterflies. •  Taught multi-level math skills to small groups of gifted students. •  Implemented cross-curricular lesson to link math and history concepts. •  Assisted students with individualized instruction as needed. •  Aided in parent conferences to present goals and objectives for students.

18   New Mexico State University

Teacher Aggie 2 Las Cruces Public Schools, Las Cruces, NM January 2008 - December 2008 Substitute Teacher Worked twice a week covering elementary classrooms at Hillrise, Mesilla, Conlee, Tombaugh and University Hills Elementary Schools. 80% of assignments had lesson plans prepared in advance, designed plans around assignments observed when advance information was not available. •  Effectively implemented available lesson plans to ensure continuity of instruction. •  Achieved classroom management immediately on all assignments resulting in students staying on task and fulfilling goals presented by current teacher. •  Inserted supplemental materials to enhance lessons presented in math and language arts. College Heights Preschool, Las Cruces, NM Instructor •  Taught art and music to 9 pre-school children 3 times per week. •  Introduced musical notes and sounds. •  Used music in art class to aid in creativity of students. •  Exposed students to various art forms and music styles. •  Presented students’ artwork at the Southern New Mexico State Fair.

May 2008 - December 2008

University Hills Elementary School, Las Cruces, NM May 2008 - December 2008 Practicum - 1st Grade, Ms. Murphey •  Developed and implemented a science lesson plan for class of 18. •  Conducted specialized one-on-one lessons designed for specific student enhancement. •  Encouraged student participation by creating a co-supportive classroom environment. •  Developed lesson plans with teacher for group activities. AWARDS / ACHIEVEMENTS •  Regents Scholarships, 2006-2009 •  Crimson Scholar, 2005-2009 •  Service Learning – Aggie Tutors ACTIVITIES/VOLUNTEER •  Phi Delta Kappa Professional Education Association •  Keep State Great – Spring 2008 & 2009 •  Student for Equality Education and Diversity (SEED) References Available Upon Request


Sample Resumes

Functional format:  Experience is explained under major skill headings, while degrees, job titles, employers, and dates are listed separately. This format is advantageous if your experience is unrelated to your objective, but you have performed the skills related to your objective. Present Address 1240 W. University Ave. Las Cruces, NM 88005 (575) 646-1631 hireNMSU@nmsu.edu

CORBETT STEWART

Sylvia M. Ortiz

Permanent Address 1403 Gauthier St. Bruno, PQ Canada J3V (206) 646-1111

2600 E. Idaho # 120 Las Cruces, New Mexico 88011 (575) 521-1761 email: sortiz@nmsu.edu OBJECTIVE To obtain an entry-level position in communications, requiring applicable education, interpersonal skills, and creative talent.

OBJECTIVE: Seeking a Co-op position in International Marketing or Sales that would utilize my international experience and multilingual skills in both French and Japanese. EDUCATION Candidate for a Bachelor of Business Administration in Marketing and Economics New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, NM, May 2014, GPA: 3.72 International Student Exchange Program (ISEP) Chukyo University, Nagoya, Japan One year academic exchange, January 2011-August 2012 SKILLS INTERNATIONAL   •  International Experience: Canada and Japan   •  Multicultural: Extensive experience in interacting with people from various cultures   •  Multilingual: Japanese and French   •  International Travel: Australia, Cambodia, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, Northern Mariana Islands and Thailand PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE Board of Education, JET Program Nagoya, Japan Teaching Abroad Oct. 2011-Oct. 2012   •  Assisted over 45 junior and senior high school teachers with English classes.   •  Taught American and Canadian culture to over 5,000 Japanese students.   •  Participated in after-school activities with students to enhance their understanding of other cultures.   •  Served as the Advisor for all JET Program English teachers in Nagoya City. TEAMWORK AND LEADERSHIP   •  American Marketing Association, President, NMSU, Feb. 2010-May 2011   •  Western New Mexico University Golf Team, August 2010-May 2011 ACADEMIC   •  Dean List’s, Fall 2010-Present   •  Crimson Scholar, Fall 2010-Present   •  Regents Scholarship Recipient, Fall 2011-Present   •  AIEJ Japan Board of Education Scholarship Recipient, 2011-2012 REFERENCES AVAILABLE UPON REQUEST

Federal Employment Sample Javier Brown

29 Wisconsin Ave. Lake View, NM 88001 (575) 555-0000 Home (575) 555-1111 Cell jbrown@mail.com Social Security Number: 000-00-0000 Country of Citizenship: United States of America Veteran’s Preference: N/A Contact Current Supervisor: Yes OBJECTIVE Environmental Engineer, GS-1000-000 QUALIFICATIONS       •  Work independently or in a team to meet goals and objectives.       •  Complete research for a co-author environmental impact study.       •  Use computer models to forecast bird migrations after reforestation efforts.       •  Conduct field studies on soil erosion and levels of pollutants. EXPERIENCE Environmental Technician Intern Environmental Protection Agency, 102 South St., Fairbanks, AK, May 2011-May 2012 Supervisor: Dana Jones, (555) 444-3333, Salary: 3 credit hours, 20 hours/week       •  Conduct research as part of a three person team on levels of pollution in local National Park.       •  Analyze soil, water, and air samples to compare with historical files.       •  Write grant proposal and assist supervisor in monitoring other grants. Shift Leader Hilltop Ski Resort, 474 Eagle Lane, Cleary Summit, AK, October 2009-February 2010 Supervisor: John Thoreau, (555) 333-4444, Salary: $160 per week, 15 hours/week       •  Operated and maintained ski lift equipment and made repairs as required.       •  Informed clients on ski range operations, safety precautions, and weather and trail conditions.       •  Maintained ski trails to ensure customer safety.

For additional assistance with federal employment resumes, visit the following websites: •  www.usajobs.opm.gov •  federaljobs.net/applyfor.htm

EDUCATION Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and Mass Communications/Advertising Design, New Mexico State University, GPA: 3.5, December 2011 SKILLS AND INTERESTS Initiative and Dedication •Adjusted quickly to a new city and culture when starting college. •Maintained a high GPA while working two jobs. Creative Graphic Design Techniques •Created the 2008 4-H Leadership Handbook cover. •Designed logo for 4-H After School Child Care program, a statewide extension effort. •Developed promotion packages containing posters and programming materials for 4-H activities. •Generated a black and white, and a five-page color storyboard for photojournalism. •Produced posters for many statewide 4-H events. •Designed pamphlet for New Mexico 4-H Alumni and Friends Association. Academic Achievements •Alumni Scholarship, New Mexico State University. •Crimson Scholar, New Mexico State University. •Dean’s List, College of Arts and Sciences, Fall 2008 through Spring 2011. •Golden Key National Honor Society. Writing and Research Skills •Assisted in editing of 4-H literature. •Researched material for the National Student Advertising Campaign for American Airlines. •Compiled a portfolio of writing and graphic design pieces. •Used word processing and desktop publishing packages. Interpersonal Skills •Worked in a cultural restaurant, meeting the public and helping them. •Served as a creative member of the 4-H team and worked well with others. •Supervised other employees while managing the tanning salon. WORK EXPERIENCE Server, La Posta’s Restaurante, Las Cruces, NM, March 2009-present. Journalism Aide, State 4-H Office, Las Cruces, NM, October 2008-April 2009. Manager, Pizza Hut, Las Cruces, NM, December 2007-May 2008. REFERENCES Confidential letters of reference available upon request from Career Services, New Mexico State University, P.O. Box 30001, MSC 3509, Las Cruces, New Mexico 88003 / (575) 646-1631. Portfolio available upon request.

Pistol Pete Seeking Internship Experience in Drafting and Mechanical Engineering 1888 Aggie Lane Las Cruces, NM 88001 575-646-1631 hireNMSU@nmsu.edu SUMMARY OF QUALIFICATIONS • Classroom knowledge of drafting & design • Willing to relocate • Proficient in mathematical & statistical calculations • Bilingual: English and Spanish • Proficient with Microsoft Word, Excel, Photoshop and AutoCAD

• Proficient in group presentations & public speaking • Computer modeling & analysis • Ability to draft specifications, reports & other documents • International experience: Brazil and Italy • Process Improvement & Optimization

EDUCATION Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering with a Minor in Drafting New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, NM Expected Graduation Date: May 2013 Overall GPA: 3.55 Study Abroad Program: Spring 2011 American University: Rome, Italy HONORS AND AWARDS • Crimson Scholar: Spring 2010-Present • Department of Engineering Academic Scholarship Fall 2011 • NMSU Alumni Association Scholarship Fall 2011 INTERNSHIPS US DEPARTMENT OF STATE  Sao Paulo, Brazil

June 2012-August 2012

Student Intern Member of 8-person product design and engineering team responsible for new product designs as well as enhancements within embassy grounds, systems and technologies. Prepared detailed assembly drawings for on-site production and created computer models from sketches and antiquated drawings. Worked independently with little or no direct supervision. DALEY ENGINEERING FIRM  Raleigh, NC

May 2011-August 2011

Mechanical Engineer Intern Fast-paced position involving hands-on experience dealing with automotive part construction. Actively participated with Mechanical Engineers and successfully completed projects. References Available Upon Request

www.careerservices.nmsu.edu  19


Letters of Recommendation

C

andidates for employment, graduate school, scholarships or any activity for which others will evaluate their talents and abilities will need to request letters of recommendation. The content and quality of these ­letters, as well as the caliber of the people who write them, are critical to the selection process.

Selecting People to Serve as References

Select individuals whom you feel are knowledgeable of your skills, work ethic, talents and future capacity. The selection of your references is critical, as a reference that is ill-informed could sabotage all the great work you have done in a matter of minutes. Choose people who have known you for a minimum of six months. The longer they have known you the better, but they must have had regular contact with you to observe your growth and development. A reference from someone who may have known you several years ago but you have not spoken to in a year or more is not in a position to critique your skills. If you must choose between several people, select those who know you the best but who also hold a higher rank in their profession. A department head is a better candidate than a graduate assistant or an instructor. Never choose some­one on status alone, continue to choose people based on how well they know you and how much they want to assist you in your job search. Do not choose people who are not committed to you or who are not very familiar with your background.

Try to Meet Face to Face

Never assume someone will want the responsibility to serve as your reference. Make an appointment to discuss your career goals and purpose of the letter of recommendation. Determine if the person would want the responsibility of serving as your reference, which involves not only writing a letter supporting your skills, but also handling any phone inquiries and responding to other questions which may be posed by a selection committee. Persons who serve as a ­reference have responsibilities that go beyond the words they put on paper. They should feel strongly about your success and desire to do whatever they can to assist you in reaching your goals. You have come too far to let someone jeopardize your future. A personal meeting is always best because you can observe your potential reference’s body language to see how interested he or she is in assisting you. A slow response to a question or a neutral facial expression may be this person’s way of trying to show you that he/she does feel comfortable serving as your reference. Trust your instincts. If you don’t feel that you want to pursue this ­person as a reference you are not required to inform them of your decision. At any rate, always thank the person and end the meeting on a positive note.

Help Them Help You

You must assist your reference-givers so they can do the best job possible. Provide them with a copy of your current resume, transcript, job descriptions for the type of employment you desire or other detailed information related to the purpose of the letter. Provide a one-page summary of any achievements or skills exhibited with the person who will be writing the letter. They

20   New Mexico State University

may not remember everything you did under their supervision or time spent with you. Finally, provide them with a statement of future goals out­lining what you want to accomplish in the next few years. An employer will interview you and then ­contact your references to determine consistency in your answers. You should not inflate what you are able to do or what you may have completed in work or school assignments. A reference is looked upon as someone who can confirm your skill and ability level. Any ­inconsistencies between what you said in your interview and a ­reference’s response could eliminate you from ­further ­consideration. The key is to keep your ­references informed of what you are going to be discussing with employers so there is a clear understanding of what is valued by the employer.

What’s the Magic Number?

Each situation will dictate the appropriate number of ­references that will be required. The average would be three to five letters of recommendation. Generally, references are people whom you have known professionally; they should not be family or friends. When selecting ­people as references, choose people who know you well and have the most to say pertaining to the purpose of the letter. One person may be very appropriate for a reference for employment, while another would be best for use in admission to graduate or professional school or a scholarship application. Encourage your reference to use strong, descriptive words that provide the evidence of your interpersonal skills ­initiative, leadership, flexibility, conflict resolution, decision-making, judgment, oral and written communication skills, and grasp of your field of study. Education Majors are encouraged to request a letter from the cooperating teacher, supervising teacher, professor(s) in their major, and a ­current or former employer.

Maintain Professional Courtesy

Give your reference writers ample time to complete their letters and provide a self-addressed stamped ­envelope. Make it as easy for them as possible so they don’t have to spend valuable time searching for the proper return address and a stamp. Follow up with your letter writers and let them know the status of your plans and search. They will want to know how you are doing and whether there is anything else they may do to increase your candidacy. You never know when you will need their assistance again, and it is just good manners to keep those who care about you informed of your progress. Finally, many times when two or more candidates are considered equally qualified, a strong letter of reference can play an important role in determining who is selected for the position. Maintaining a good list of references is part of any professional’s success. Continue to nurture valuable ­relationships with people who will want to do whatever they can to aid in your success. Your personal success is based on surrounding yourself with positive people who all believe in you. No one makes it alone; we all need a ­little help from our friends. Written by Roseanne R. Bensley, Career Services, New Mexico State University.


Preparing Your Cover Letter

A

fter countless hours constructing your resume, don’t treat appropriate for the resume. You might mention people you   your cover letter as an afterthought. Your cover letter is know who currently work or have worked for the organization,    an opportunity to share reasons why you feel you are skills you have that may not be presented on the resume, or an qualified for the position you are seeking. The cover letter gives elaboration of the information from the resume (not a repeat you a chance to reveal your true personality. Not only do you of the same information). Anything on the resume that needs want to show the employer that you are a good fit, you also want additional information should be addressed in the cover letter. the employer to like you. Don’t leave the employer with concerns such as a low GPA, gaps   Always send a cover letter, whether it is requested or not. in your resume, or desire to change careers or industries. The Hiring managers will scan resumes (electronically or personally) secret to being selected as a candidate for further consideration to locate clues about the type of worker you are. If you show is using the cover letter to actually be your interview and provide that you consistently produced positive results for previous examples of your skills as it relates to the position. Don’t save key employers, you will be seen as a desirable candidate. information for a face-to-face interview because the interview    Be concise. Break any paragraphs that are seven lines or longer actually started when they read your cover letter and resume. into short sections. Focus on the employer’s needs. If every other sentence begins with “I” or “my,” then you may need to change the focus. Research the employer and find out what types of Your Present Address problems the managers are facing, quali City, State, ZIP Code ties they look for in employees, and future Date goals. Sometimes annual reports will Person’s Name provide a hint about the employer’s direcTitle tion over the next five or ten years. The Company best cover letters demonstrate what you Street Address can do for the employer and not what the City, State, ZIP Code employer can do for you. Dear Mr., Miss, Mrs., Ms., etc.__________________________:    Demonstrate your value to an employer. Using the “CAR” approach, First Section: State the reason for the letter, name the specific position or type of work for which identify the Challenges you encountered you are applying, and if relevant, indicate from which resource ­(placement office, newspaper, in various life or employment situations job announcement) you learned of the opening. If an ­employee of the company has suggested you apply, you should give the name, title or job category, and department where that person is and describe the Actions you took to employed. If you are writing as part of your own mail campaign, you should explain in two or meet the challenges and the Results of three lines why employment with that particular company interests you. your efforts. Promoting your “CAR” Second Section: The items covered in this section may require two or more ­additional paragraphs to accomplishments in previous situations complete your statements. This is the main section of your ­letter and should be treated with thought and relating them to the needs of your and care. Indicate why you are ­interested in the ­position, the company, its products or services, and, current application will enable you to above all, what you can offer the employer. If you are a recent graduate, explain how your academic show the employer what a difference you background makes you a qualified candidate for the ­position. If you have some practical work can make. An effective strategy would experience, point out your specific achievements or unique qualifications. Do not repeat data from be to lead with the results of your efforts your resume, but explain what the data means and how it makes you the most qualified candidate for before presenting the challenge of the employment. Elaborate on your qualifications and tailor the letter to the job you are seeking. Create assignment. This presents it in a more interest in yourself. positive light. Third Section: If necessary, you may refer to your resume at this time. Use this paragraph to    Customize your letter to fit the situamake a positive statement about your personality, interpersonal skills, and desires to meet tion. Each letter is a conversation with the specific job requests like relocation or longer hours. recipient. It is critical that the letter reach Final Section: Indicate your desire for a personal interview and your ­flexibility as to the time and the correct person. With this in mind the place. Repeat your phone number in the letter and offer any assistance to facilitate a timely response. best letters are addressed to the intended Finally, close your letter with a statement or question to encourage a response. For example, state that reader, not to an unnamed person. As a you will be in the city where the ­company is located on a certain date and that you would like to set up last resort you can address it to a job title, an interview. Or, ask if the company will be recruiting in your area, or if additional information or references are needed. but never “To Whom It May Concern.” If the employer listed only a box number, Sincerely, you may contact the post office and see if (your handwritten signature) they will inform you of the holder of the box. They should assist you if it is a public Type your name organization and not a private citizen.    Utilize the cover letter to share information that is of importance but not

www.careerservices.nmsu.edu  21


Application Letter Ms. Ava Vazquez Personnel Manager Nordstrom 701 S.W. Broadway Portland, OR 97205-3398

Application Letter 2049 Triviz, Apt. E-18 Las Cruces, NM 88001 August 27, 2xxx

12456 Canyon Vista Road Las Cruces, NM 88011 Mr. Roman Dominguez Regional Sales Manager Healthco Vitamins 2345 Goldenseal Parkway Tucson, AZ 83456

Dear Ms. Vazquez:

December 3, 2xxx

I am interested in being considered for a position as a Buyer Trainee or Sales Representative with Nordstrom Department Store. I have an interest in Nordstrom because of their personalized customer service tailored to meet each client’s needs. I feel I would be an asset to Nordstrom because I enjoy being a part of changes in the fashion industry, and possess high standards for customer service.

Dear Mr. Dominguez:

Earlier this year, I had the opportunity to visit the Broadway Nordstrom and the service was impeccable. A goal for myself has been to develop a personal interest in my clientele. I achieved this by maintaining a file on clients’ preferences (i.e., fashion tastes, colors, and sizes). In doing this, I have been able to meet my clients’ needs more effectively. Obtaining a position as a buyer would allow me to utilize the skills that I have developed throughout my college career. I designed a training p­ rogram for Dillards Department Store which focused on motivating employees through an intrinsic and extrinsic reward system. I recommended that an extensive training program be implemented that would improve productivity, employee morale, and customer service. Currently I am developing a marketing strategy for Pioneer Bank of Las Cruces which includes identifying a market niche in the local banking community. I will be in the Portland area November 10-16, and would appreciate the opportunity to interview and further discuss employment opportunities. If you require additional information, or have questions, I can be reached at (505) 522-6258. I am looking forward to hearing from you soon. Respectfully,

As a registered therapist, I have a strong interest in the health field and in promoting healthy living. For years, I have been taking daily vitamins, minerals, and food supplements—including Healthco products. I not only use these products myself, I recommend them to my clients. I know first-hand that they are effective, beneficial, and without the detrimental side effects of drugs and other therapies. The health food store environment is one I am very comfortable in, as I am a board member of the Las Cruces Co-op Market. In my travels I make contact with other health care providers in many different areas of the country which promote innovative approaches to health care. I have worked with commissioned sales representatives and have also served as one for over three years. This full circle exposure to the sales process has educated me on how to find prospects and build relationships with them. I am no stranger to cold calling and making sales presentations. For the last six years I’ve run my own practice, and my success has been completely dependent on my abilities to develop a customer base. I will be in the Tucson area on the 15th of January and would like to set up an interview with you at that time. I know if given the chance I can increase your sales by 25% during my first year. Sincerely, (Handwritten signature)

(Handwritten signature)

Mary Wells

Matthew Salazar

Letter of Inquiry Dr. Sofia Thomas Mountain Safety Research P.O. Box 24574 Seattle, WA 98124

Letter of Inquiry 2051 S. Espina Las Cruces, NM 88001 March 24, 2xxx

Dear Dr. Thomas: I am writing to find out about employment opportunities at M.S.R. for engineers. I’ve been active in climbing, back-country skiing, mountaineering, and other such activities for years and my XGK stove has always impressed me by its quality and simplicity. It is something I look at and wish I had designed. I’ve used it for five years in harsh environments and I know it will continue to serve me well in the years to come. Recently, I purchased one of your water filters; again the quality and reliability are what I’ve come to expect from you. I would like to be associated with the design and development of products like these. I would like to work for the company that produces some of the best equipment in the mountaineering industry, namely M.S.R. I have enclosed a technical resume which outlines my engineering background. I am interested in thermal systems and heat transfer, which I think would dovetail nicely with your stove design and development. Also, I’ve lived and worked for a year in Yosemite Valley selling climbing and mountaineering gear so I have some technical knowledge of your equipment line as well as an idea about the type of person who really uses it. I have seen the conditions that these products must function under and I have also seen the level of abuse they tend to get. I think it would be exciting and challenging to design and build equipment that functions well in spite of the level of care it receives and which is affordable for typical climbers. Thank you for your time and thank you for producing the best stoves in the business. If there is any other information I can give you, please contact me at (505) 521-0845 or at the above address. I hope to hear from you soon. Sincerely,

3301 McDowell Road Mesilla, NM 88046 April 12, 2xxx Ms. Julie Sullivan Director of Human Resource Management Children’s Memorial Hospital 2456 W. Fullerton Avenue Chicago, IL 60611 Dear Ms. Sullivan: As a former resident of the St. Louis area, I am excited about returning to the Midwest as a hospital administration intern. I have spent the past four years as an active member of Eta Sigma Gamma and the Children’s Miracle Network. As a student I have maintained a 3.85 GPA in my major course work. I have prepared extensively for this opportunity and hope you will have an internship available for the summer. The local Las Cruces hospitals have provided me with an opportunity to spend five hours per week working alongside various administrators and physicians as an assistant. These mentorships have included strategic planning, land acquisition, revision of nonprofit status, state legislature recommendations concerning Medicare, and the constant changes in all insurance policies. I am committed to the health care profession and have always taken advantage of every opportunity I can to learn more about the field. I feel a successful professional in health care administration must also have a solid business background. I have added 12 hours to my curriculum in order to take course work in the College of Business. These courses have given me a foundation in accounting, finance, economics, marketing and management. My volunteer work has put me in contact with the hospital’s foundation office. The office has done a tremendous job to increase their annual giving by almost 80% over the last five years. The Children’s Miracle Network is handled through this department and over $100,000 was raised last year for the local area. I feel strongly that I have the core foundation needed to be an intern who can handle many different responsibilities with minimal supervision. I understand you will be in the Dallas area for a Metroplex Job Fair in a few weeks. I plan to be in attendance at the fair and would like to arrange a time when we can meet. I look forward to the possibility being an intern at Children’s Memorial Hospital.

(Handwritten signature)

Sincerely,

Ryan L. Kirby

(Handwritten signature) Katherine P. Klemer

22   New Mexico State University


Thank You for Interview

Thank You for On-Site/Office Interview

Send within 72 hours of your interview Lucas M. Simms 2038 Embassy Dr. Las Cruces, New Mexico 88005

December 6, 2xxx

Ms. Caroline Shemroske Salerno Cookie Company 2345 N. Caldwell Niles, Illinois 60456 Dear Ms. Shemroske:

Thank you for taking the time on Tuesday, November 28, to discuss the Purchasing position with Salerno Cookie Company. As you can see from my resume and our conversation, I have had several co-op work phases with R.H. Macy and Company, with extensive background in merchandising, branch stores and control devices. This has allowed me to develop and use my organizational, analytical, planning, interpersonal, communications, motivational and negotiating skills. Since most of my experience at Macy’s was in the buying area I am confident that my skills would be transferable to a Purchasing position. The activities listed in the job description for this position are very similar to those performed at Macy’s. I would very much like to be considered for this position and would appreciate the opportunity to explore it further with you. I look forward to further discussions with you. Thank you.

P.O. Box 235 Las Cruces, NM 88001 March 30, 2xxx

Mr. Mark J. Arnold Professional Recruiting Officer Aldine, Kaufman & Sparrow 1240 Jackson Avenue San Antonio, TX 78468 Dear Mr. Arnold: I would like to thank you for the kind hospitality you offered to me during my recent visit to your firm. The arrangements were perfect, and the hospitality was genuine. Most important of all was the opportunity to exchange information. I learned a great deal about your firm, ­particularly in the area of tax consulting, and find that I am more interested than ever in the possibility of employment with Aldine, Kaufman & Sparrow. Thank you again. Please extend my gratitude to everyone who made my stay in San Antonio so pleasant. I look forward to ­hearing from you in the near future.

Sincerely,

Sincerely,

(Handwritten signature)

(Handwritten signature)

Lucas M. Simms

Todd L. Bencomo

Networking 1804 Highland Avenue Las Cruces, NM 88005 July 27, 2xxx Mr. Kyle Romero: Vice President, Marketing Dynamics International, Inc. 2345 Encanto Drive Mesa, Arizona 87890 Dear Mr. Romero: Mr. Garrett suggested I contact you. After five years of progressively more responsible positions in Regulatory Systems at Fireball Corporation, I am looking for an opportunity to broaden my horizons while utilizing my experience and expertise to improve productivity and profitability for a potential employer.

Resignation Letter 1814 Pine Grove Ave. Mesilla Park, NM 88047 August 4, 2xxx Mr. James Hutchinson Job Title Employer City, State, Zip Code Dear Mr. Hutchinson: Please accept this letter as my formal resignation as (Title) for (Company) to be effective as of (Date), (State the reason for the resignation: new position, relocation, personal, family, etc.).

In addition to the enclosed resume, allow me to highlight my capabilities:    • In-depth knowledge of manufacturing strategies and their corresponding system needs (process/ discrete, build to order/forecast).    • Balancing customer service philosophies with inventory planning and cost control requirements.    • Integrating material control, purchasing, customer services, and cost management requirements.    • Working with people at all levels to ensure the issues are accurately defined and planned, and cost and benefits are clearly understood, and change is accepted.

(State positive aspects of your job and what you gained from the experience you had with your position. You always want to leave a position on a positive note. There are always some benefits that took place during the position in regard to people, experience and opportunities. The amount of information you provide can be simple or elaborate depending on the length of employment and the relationship you had with your supervisor.)

I would appreciate the opportunity to discuss my credentials with you and to explore a possible match with your current or future needs. I will call you next week to discuss a possible appointment time.

I want to take this opportunity to thank you so much for the training, mentorship, and ability to offer new and exciting programs to benefit our customers. I have thoroughly enjoyed my (number of years) with the organization and will miss you all.

Sincerely, (Handwritten signature)

Sincerely

Joseph Bemont

(Handwritten signature) Your typed full name

www.careerservices.nmsu.edu  23


Acceptance Letter Ms. Coralie Bailey Carrier Agency, Inc. 223 N. Remington Butte Plate Springs, ID 83704

2030 Madrid Ave. Las Cruces, NM 88005 December 28, 2xxx

Dear Ms. Bailey: Thank you very much for the offer of employment as a Technical Assistant with your Graphic Arts Department. This position is perfectly suited to my skills and interests and I’m most pleased to accept this offer of employment. I look forward to being in Idaho around January 6th and in my new position on January 15th. A starting salary of $45,000 per year is what the recruiter ­mentioned during the interview. I understand I will be required to pass a physical examination before a firm salary will be discussed. Again, I am so happy to be selected for this position and look ­forward to being a contributing member of the Carrier Agency. Sincerely,

Rejection Letter

1625 Southwestern Dr. Las Cruces, New Mexico 88001 September 29, 2xxx

Mr. Richard Sandoval, Vice President Computer Tech, Inc. 6514 North Central Expressway Dallas, Texas 75206 Dear Mr. Sandoval: I was most pleased to receive your offer of employment as a Systems A ­ nalyst in your Dallas plant at $57,000 per year. However, I regret that I cannot accept your offer at this time because I elected to accept a ­position with another firm. My decision to accept employment with another firm is not a reflection on Computer Tech or its ­personnel. In fact, I was very favorably impressed with both the position and the people. My decision was based on the fact that I will be working in El Paso with the possibility that, in a short time, I may be assigned to Las Cruces. I would like to thank you for the offer of employment and all the courtesies that were ­extended to me. I hope that we can continue our positive relationship for possible ­future contact.

(Handwritten signature) James Dougherty

Sincerely,

(Handwritten signature)

Kathleen McManamon

Request for Informational Interview

6152 Hoagland Las Cruces, NM 88005 March 29, 2xxx

Mr. James T. Martinez Blane, Collier, and Phips Suite 3987 One Shell Square New Orleans, LA 70118 I am writing on the recommendation of Steve Salway, the Director of Placement and Career Services at New Mexico State University. Mr. S ­ alway and I have discussed my interest in the field of law, and he s­ uggested that since you are an alumnus of both NMSU and the UNM School of Law, you might be willing to offer some advice and provide me with information about the best ways to prepare for a career in law. I have enclosed a copy of my resume to familiarize you with my background. At present I am looking for a position as a paralegal or legal assistant. It is my intention to gain some exposure to legal work and learn some of the fundamental skills required of a lawyer before applying to law school one or two years down the road. I would be interested in your thoughts concerning this strategy and, of course, would welcome any assistance or advice you could provide. I understand how busy you are, so I will come with specific questions about the legal profession. I will call your office to arrange an a­ ppointment at your convenience. Thank you for your consideration. Sincerely,

(Handwritten signature)

Carolyn Croom

24   New Mexico State University

1625 Encanto Las Cruces, New Mexico 88011 April 20, 2xxx

Ms. Olivia C. Boyd O-Systems 2514 Parkway Dallas, Texas 75203

Dear Mr. Martinez:

Enclosure

Postponement Letter

Dear Ms. Boyd: I was most pleased to receive your offer of employment as a Systems Analyst in your Dallas plant at $47,000 per year. However, I cannot give you a definite answer at this time because there is a question in my mind still unanswered regarding the job. During our discussions and in the employment offer, you made no ­mention as to the geographic location of my permanent assignment upon c­ ompletion of my initial ­training in Dallas. In that your offer is especially appealing, I need to know the answer to this question so that I may objectively ­evaluate it in terms of the other offers I have received. As soon as I receive your reply, I will give you a definite answer. Once again, I want to express my appreciation for your patience and ­consideration. Sincerely,

(Handwritten signature)

Carl Buckels


Interviewing

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he interview is considered one of the most important events in your job search because the time spent with the interviewer may determine your future with that particular employer.

During the Interview

Before the Interview

Introduction    The interview starts before you say “Hello”. Therefore, arriving 15 minutes early will give you time to relax. Upon being introduced, you are expected to shake the recruiter’s hand; this shows confidence.    Many recruiters will begin the interview with some small talk topics including weather or sports. Although on the surface it seems that the conversation has nothing to do with the interview, recruiters are judging how well you communicate on an informal basis.

   You should begin preparations several days or weeks before your interview. The three important elements in preparing for an interview are self-assessment, employer research, and practice. If you are prepared in advance, you are more articulate and confident which will improve your overall impression. So the more time you spend preparing, the better. In general, preparing for an interview—including the self-assessment, employer research, and practice—should take a total of 10 hours.

Self-Assessment    Knowing yourself, reviewing your skills and experiences, and being familiar with your resume are key points to analyzing your abilities. Answering the following questions is a good start: • How does your past work experience relate to the position for which you are applying? • What are your strengths and weaknesses? • What are your short-term and long-term goals? • What abilities do I possess that an employer will want? • Why should you be hired?

It is imperative to look through the eyes of the employer to figure out how to market yourself.

Employer Research    The more pre-interview knowledge you have about your potential employer, the better able you are to present yourself during the interview. You will be able to anticipate questions you have about the employer and about how you can fit into the organization. Not knowing much about the company indicates a lack of interest on your part to the interviewer and may also say something to them about your abilities, enthusiasm, and interests. Therefore, you should research the employer’s: • webpage • mission statement • organizational structure • management style • finance reports and annual reports    After you have completed your research on the organization, you may then formulate some questions to ask the interviewer. Practice    It is important to practice interviewing and answering common questions. By practicing, not memorizing, the more relaxed, articulate, and confident you will be during the interview.

   While each interview will differ, all will share four common components: introduction, review, discussion, and conclusion.

Review    The main part of the interview starts when the recruiter begins discussing the organization. Be sure you have a clear understanding of the job and the company. Thus if the recruiter uses generalities about the position and you want more specific information, ask questions. Discussion    The recruiter will guide the discussion to your background, interests, and abilities. You will present how you are a good fit for the organization—currently and in the future. However, because you have done your prior preparation this portion of the interview should be painless. Conclusion    When the recruiter asks, “Do you have any questions?” it’s important to have a few ready. The questions you ask should bring out your interest in and knowledge of the organization. By asking intelligent, well-thought-out questions, you show the employer you are serious about the organization and need more information. It also indicates to the recruiter that you have done your homework.    During this time the recruiter is assessing your overall performance. It is important to remain enthusiastic and courteous. Shake the recruiter’s hand and thank her or him for considering you. (The interview isn’t over!) If you are sincerely interested, ask for the job. Emphasize that this is the type of position you desire.

After the Interview

   Record your observations and thoughts of the interview and employer in order to assist you in improving your interview techniques and comparing one employer with another.    Finally, send a thank you letter to convey to the employer that you are still interested in the position. It will also help the recruiter remember you; hence, a thank you letter can increase your chances of consideration.

Questions Asked by Employers

   Think about these questions and responses and practice or discuss them with a career advisor. You can also make an appointment for a mock interview to be sure you are able to communicate clear answers to interviewers. www.careerservices.nmsu.edu  25


Personal • Tell me about yourself. • Define success and failure. • Where do you want to be in five years? Ten years? • Why did you choose to interview with our organization? Education • Why did you choose your major? • What school activities have you participated in? Why? • How does your educational experience relate to this job? • Which class did you like best? Least? Why? Experience • What job-related skills have you developed? • What did you learn from these work experiences? • How do you think a former supervisor would describe your work? • Give an example of a time in which you worked under deadline pressure. Career • Would you be successful working with a team? • Do you prefer large or small organizations? Why? • What other types of positions are you considering? • Are you able to work on several assignments at once?

Teacher Candidates Are Likely to Be Asked the Following Questions:

• What is your philosophy of education? Of discipline? • What issues in education are of greatest concern to you? Why? • Describe the role of the teacher in the learning process. • What is the role of the teacher in the community? • How would you individualize instruction in your classroom? • Why do you want to teach? • What special abilities do you have that would benefit your students? • What prompted you to go into the field of education? • Do you grade on ability or effort? Why? • If you found out the slower learners in the class could not read the grade-level book, what would you do? • Tell me about your student teaching experience.

• How do you feel about observations by supervisors or ­principals? Why? • Are you interested in working with students in some extra­ curricular activity? If not, why not?

Questions to Ask Employers

   As the interview draws to a close, the interviewer will ask if you have any questions. Your questions should show a sincere interest in this particular employer, an awareness of the employer’s needs, and how you can fulfill those needs. In general, good questions are those which are concrete but not simple. By having well-thoughtout questions the interviewer will be further impressed with you.    Remember to ask the most important questions first in case the employer is on a tight time schedule. Some important questions to ask may be: • Please describe the duties of the job for me. • What qualities are you looking for in the candidate who fills this position? • What skills are especially important for someone in this position? • What characteristics do the achievers in this company share? • Is this a new position or am I replacing someone? • Does your company encourage further education? • What sort of training will you provide? • Describe a typical day. • How often are performance reviews given?

Behavioral Interviewing

   There is no secret how to succeed with a behavioral interview. Just show you have put thought into your past actions and have learned from them. Employers are trying to determine how your past will offer you success in a future position.

Sample Questions • Give an example of a time when you had to make an immediate decision, or an unpopular decision. • What is your typical way of dealing with conflict? • Give me an example when you showed initiative and took the lead. • State a goal and what you did to achieve it. • Give an example of how you motivated others.

Interviewing Moments

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n interview can be structured and formal, or it can occur   when you don’t expect it. A job seeker must be prepared at    all times to make a great first impression. Even a 16-second elevator ride can be a golden opportunity to network. Every time we interact with others, we are sharing information about our personalities and passions and possibly opening the door to new opportunities. Job seekers and, for that matter, all employees need to be aware of the messages they are sending every time they greet others. Casual networking encounters can be life changing, so always be aware of who is around you while standing in line, traveling on an airplane, sitting in a waiting room, or enjoying a cultural or sporting event. In every situation, opportunity exists for small talk which leads to some basic questions about what you are currently doing and where you are headed. In a span of seconds, you could be thrust into a situation in which you can provide the answer to two common interview questions: “Tell me about yourself” and “Why should I hire you?” 26   New Mexico State University

You can initiate the conversation with potential contacts by providing your name, time of graduation, degree, and major. Follow this up with what you plan to do in your field of study and the type of work you are seeking. As a job seeker, solicit information from the people you meet so you can find out where they work, if they are hiring, and what they value in their employees. Seek out information about other employers which your contacts can recommend, and ask your new acquaintances if it would be acceptable to use their name in your contact with those other employers. Express your personality as you share your unique qualities and aspirations. Always present your information in a way that focuses on how you can serve the person you are speaking too rather than how that person can help you. Put the other person’s needs in front of your own. As the old saying goes “It is better to give than to receive.” Placing an emphasis on the needs of the potential employer rather than your own desires will pay off in the long run.


So Many Choices Not just one flavor … there’s more here than just insurance. And with all these options, I can choose the job I want and go for it. Later, if I’m hungry for a change – it’s all right here. Sweet. Lots of sweet careers.

statefarm.com/careers

Katrina Claim Representative

Hungry for a change?

State Farm • Bloomington, IL

statefarm.com/careers

An Equal Opportunity Employer


The Follow-Up Interview

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n invitation for a plant, home/office, agency, or school   visit may follow your initial screening interview. This    visit, if offered, will allow you to talk more in-depth with an employer to determine how your qualifications and interest match the needs of the organization.    If you receive an invitation to visit the employer for a ­follow-up interview, recognize that the employer is very ­interested in you. It has been said that those who are invited to a follow-up ­interview receive a job offer 80% of the time.    When you receive an invitation, the employer normally will suggest a date with one or two alternative dates from which you can select. Before accepting the invitations, ALWAYS check your class schedule and consult with your professors. Avoid ­being gone from class on days when tests are scheduled or when you are scheduled to make a presentation. Also, check your ­calendar to avoid a conflict with any on-campus interviews you have already scheduled.    If the suggested dates are not suitable to your schedule, ­advise the employer of the conflict and suggest alternative dates. In any case, it is imperative to promptly acknowledge the offer for the follow-up ­interview.    The follow-up interview will be conducted in much the same manner as was your initial screening interview. However, you will undoubtedly meet more people, and the length of time spent with each will be longer. Therefore, you will be expected to be more conversant about the employer, your personal background, your academic and work experi­ences, your career and life goals, your activities, and how all of these accomplish­ ments will make you a valuable member of the employer’s team. Because of the ­extended time spent with each individual, you will have more time to ask questions. It will be very important to be prepared for that part of the interview process.

   Plan to spend most of one day with the employer. Though the time spent will differ by employer, you can expect your day to begin at around 9:30 a.m. and end by 3:30 p.m. Remember, this will be a stressful ­situation in many cases. Always get a very good night’s rest ­beforehand.    If all goes well during the follow-up interview, you may receive an offer of employment prior to leaving. This, however, is not always the case. The offer may be made within a few days after the interview. Therefore, don’t be alarmed if you leave not knowing whether you have an offer.

“It has been said that those who are invited to a follow-up interview receive a job offer 80% of the time.”

   After the interview, sit and record your observations. ­Doing this will assist you, should you have a need to ask the employer additional questions. This will also help you in ­comparing one employer with another. This practice will be very beneficial when it comes time to make a decision. You should also write a ­thank-you letter expressing appreciation for the interview. If you are very interested in the ­opportunity, send a thank-you letter to everyone who spent time with you that day. This little courtesy may be the one little extra thing needed to cause you to stand out among all applicants.

Behavior-Based Interviewing

B

ehavior-based interviews have been conducted for over 15 years, but have surfaced in greater numbers most recently. In a behavior-based interview, candidates are asked questions that help determine how they actually performed in previous jobs or other related activities.    Questions are usually predetermined and are developed by analyzing the available job and deciding what skills and personal characteristics are needed to perform it well. The interviewer’s queries elicit the information needed to determine whether candidates have those skills and characteristics. The best predictor of future performance is past performance.    Preparing for a behavior-based interview requires specific examples of when particular behaviors or skills were demonstrated. For example, “tell me about a time when you worked

28   New Mexico State University

under tremendous stress, ” or “Describe an experience when you dealt with an angry customer.”    Keep in mind that interviewers already know what skills, knowledge and qualities successful candidates must possess. The examples provided will allow the employer to determine whether you possess them.    Rehearse how you’d describe key experience to interviewers, so you can recount them. Creating strong visual images in an interviewer’s mind provides more convincing support that you have the desired skill level.    If you don’t practice and think through your answers in advance you may only be able to recall less important experiences.    You don’t control the questions, but you do control the content.


Dressing for the Interview

D

epending upon your fashion style, whether it is the latest trends for the club scene or merely college senior casual, a job interview may be cause for some drastic wardrobe augmentation.    For your interviews, some of your individualism might have to be shelved or kept in the closet. In most business and technical job interviews, when it comes to your appearance, conservativism and conformity are in order.    While many companies have adopted the “office casual” dress code, don’t try to set new standards in the interview. When in doubt, it is better to be too conservative than to be too flashy. For men and women, a suit is the best bet.    Here are some guidelines:

MEN   • A two-piece suit will suffice in most instances.   • Solid colors and tighter-woven fabrics are safer than bold prints or patterns.   • Bright ties bring focus to the face, but a simple pattern is best for an interview. (A tip for larger men: Use a double Windsor knot to minimize a bulky appearance.)   • Wear polished shoes with socks high enough so no skin is visible when you sit down and cross your legs. WOMEN   • A suit with a knee-length skirt and a tailored blouse is most appropriate.   • Although even the most conservative organizations allow more feminine looks these days, accessories should be kept simple. Basic pumps and modest jewelry and makeup help to present a professional look.   • Pants are more acceptable now but are not recommended for interviews.

Staying Within a Budget

   For recent graduates just entering professional life, additions to wardrobes, or complete overhauls, are likely needed. Limited funds, however, can be an obstacle. Image consultant Christine Lazzarini suggests “capsule wardrobing.” For ­example, by mixing and matching, she says, an eight-piece ­capsule wardrobe can generate up to 28 ensembles.    Before shopping, Lazzarini advises establishing a budget, 50% of which should be targeted for accessories. For women, “even a brightly colored jacket could be considered an accessory when it makes an outfit you already have look entirely different.”    The most important piece in any wardrobe is a jacket that is versatile and can work with a number of other pieces, according to one fashion expert. This applies to men and women. “If you focus on a suit, buy one with a jacket which may be used with other skirts or trousers,” says a women’s fashion director for a major national retailer. “Then add a black turtleneck or a white shirt. These are the fashion basics that you can build on.”    A navy or black blazer for men can work well with a few different gabardine pants. Although this kind of ensemble would be just as expensive as a single suit, it offers more versatility.

   One accessory recommended by company representatives is a briefcase. “When I see one,” says one recruiter, “it ­definitely adds to the candidate’s stature. It is a symbol to me that the individual has done some research and that he or she is prepared.”

A Final Check

   And, of course, your appearance is only as good as your grooming. Create a final checklist to review before you go on an interview:   •  Neatly trimmed hair   •  Conservative makeup   •  No runs in stockings   • Shoes polished (some suggest wearing your sneakers on the way to an interview and changing before you enter the interview site)   • No excessive jewelry; men should refrain from wearing earrings   •  No missing buttons, crooked ties or lint    You want your experience and qualifications to shine. Your appearance should enhance your presentation, not overwhelm it.

Taking a Casual Approach

   “Office casual” is becoming the accepted mode of dress at more and more companies. The rules, however, for casual attire are subject to tremendous company-tocompany variance. At some, “casual day” is a Friday-only observance, where the dress code is slightly relaxed—a sports coat and slacks for men and slacks and a sweater for women. At others, especially entrepreneurial computer companies, it’s shorts and sandals every day.    The safest fashion rule for new employees to follow is dress about the same as your most conservatively attired ­­co-worker. As a new hire, don’t try to “push the boundaries” of casual attire. Fashion Arrests: 1) Never wear denim jeans or shorts unless the vast majority of others do; 2) Don’t dress too provocatively—you’re at work, not at a dance club; 3) “Casual” doesn’t mean “sloppy”—your clothes should always be free of stains or holes; 4) Workout wear belongs at the gym. Play It Safe: 1) Chinos or corduroy slacks are usually a safe bet for both sexes; 2) As for formal business attire, buy the best that your budget will allow; 3) If you will be seeing clients, dress appropriately for their workplace, not yours; 4) Go to the mall—most department and ­specialty stores have sections devoted to this style of office attire.

www.careerservices.nmsu.edu  29


Are You Ready for a Behavioral Interview?

“T

ell me about a time when you were on a team, and one of the members wasn’t carrying his or her weight.” If this is one of the leading questions in your job interview, you could be in for a behavioral interview. Based on the premise that the best way to predict future behavior is to determine past behavior, this style of interviewing is popular among recruiters. Today, more than ever, each hiring decision is critical. Behavioral interviewing is designed to minimize personal impressions that might cloud the hiring decision. By focusing on the applicant’s actions and behaviors, rather than subjective impressions that can sometimes be misleading, interviewers can make more accurate hiring decisions. A manager of staff planning and college rela­tions for a major chemical company believes, “Although we have not ­conducted any formal studies to de­ter­­mine whether retention or success on the job has been affected, I feel our move to behavioral interviewing has been successful. It helps concentrate recruiters’ questions on areas important to our candidates’ success within [our company].” The company introduced behavioral interviewing in the mid-1980s at ­several sites and has since implemented it companywide.

Behavioral vs. Traditional Interviews

   If you have training or experience with traditional interviewing techniques, you may find the behavioral interview quite different in several ways: 4 Instead of asking how you would behave in a particular situation, the interviewer will ask you to describe how you did behave. 4 Expect the interviewer to question and probe (think of “peeling the layers from an onion”). 4 The interviewer will ask you to provide details and will not allow you to theorize or generalize about events. 4 The interview will be a more structured process that will concentrate on areas that are important to the interviewer, rather than allowing you to concentrate on areas that you may feel are important. 4 You may not get a chance to deliver any prepared stories. 4 Most interviewers will be taking notes throughout the interview.    The behavioral interviewer has been trained to objectively collect and evaluate information and works from a profile of desired behaviors that are needed for success on the job. Because the behaviors a candidate has demonstrated in previous positions are likely to be repeated, you will be asked to share situations in which you may or may not have exhibited these behaviors. Your answers will be tested for accuracy and consistency.    If you are an entry-level candidate with no previous related experience, the interviewer will look for behaviors in situations similar to those of the target position: “Describe a major problem you have faced and how you dealt with it.” “Give an example of when you had to work with your hands to accomplish a task or project.” “What class did you like the most? What did you like about it?” Follow-up questions will test for consistency and determine if you exhibited the desired behavior in that situation: 30   New Mexico State University

“Can you give me an example?” “What did you do?” “What did you say?” “What were you thinking?” “How did you feel?” “What was your role?” “What was the result?” You will notice an absence of such questions as, “Tell me about your strengths and weaknesses.”

How to Prepare for a Behavioral Interview

4 Recall recent situations that show favorable behaviors or actions, especially those involving coursework, work experience, leadership, teamwork, initiative, planning and customer service. 4 Prepare short descriptions of each situation; be ready to give details if asked. 4 Be sure each story has a beginning, a middle and an end; i.e., be ready to describe the situation, your action and the outcome or result. 4 Be sure the outcome or result reflects positively on you (even if the result itself was not favorable). 4 Be honest. Don’t embellish or omit any part of the story. The interviewer will find out if your story is built on a weak foundation. 4 Be specific. Don’t generalize about several events; give a detailed accounting of one event. A possible response to the question, “Tell me about a time when you were on a team and a member wasn’t pulling his or her weight” might go as follows: “I had been assigned to a team to build a canoe out of concrete. One of our team members wasn’t showing up for our lab sessions or doing his assignments. I finally met with him in private, explained the frustration of the rest of the team and asked if there was anything I could do to help. He told me he was preoccupied with another class that he wasn’t passing, so I found someone to help him with the other course. He not only was able to spend more time on our project, but he was also grateful to me for helping him out. We finished our project on time and got a ‘B’ on it.” The interviewer might then probe: “How did you feel when you confronted this person?” “Exactly what was the nature of the project?” “What was his responsibility as a team member?” “What was your role?” “At what point did you take it upon yourself to confront him?” You can see it is important that you not make up or “shade” information and why you should have a clear memory of the entire incident.

Don’t Forget the Basics

Instead of feeling anxious or threatened by the prospect of a behavioral interview, remember the essential difference between the traditional interview and the behavioral interview: The traditional interviewer may allow you to project what you might or should do in a given situation, whereas the behavioral interviewer is looking for past actions only. It will always be important to put your best foot forward and make a good impression on the interviewer with appropriate attire, good grooming, a firm handshake and direct eye contact. There is no substitute for promptness, courtesy, preparation, enthusiasm and a positive attitude.


Dining Etiquette at the Interview Meal T

ips and strategies to help you successfully navigate the interview meal with poise and polish.

I. Accepting the Interview Invitation

   • RSVP (répondez s’il vous plaît=please respond) to the invitation within 24 hours.    • Write down the date, time, location and the name and phone number of the person with whom you will meet. Also ask exactly where to meet inside the restaurant.    • Verify the information the day before the interview.

II. The Day of the Interview

   • Arrive a few minutes early to organize yourself and check your appearance.    • Turn off your cell phone and other electronic devices.    • Enter the building with a warm, professional confidence.    • Greet your host with a firm handshake and a smile as you introduce yourself.

III. Before You Are Seated

   • Follow your host’s cue and wait to be directed to take a seat at the table.    • Enter your chair from the right.

   • Remember to order menu items that are neat and easy to eat with a knife and fork such as chicken breast, cut vegetables and roasted potatoes. Do not order messy food such as spaghetti or lobster.    • Do not order alcohol during an interview as you will need to be focused and mentally sharp to make the best impression possible.    • Do not smoke during the interview.

VI. The Four-Course Place Setting

IV. After You Are Seated

   • Do not place keys, phones, purses, sunglasses or other items on the table.    • Wait for your host to place their napkin on their lap before you do. Sometimes the waitstaff will place your napkin on your lap for you, so be observant.    • Fold the napkin in half and place it on your lap with the crease facing your waist.    • Use good posture and do not cross your legs under the table. Keep both feet flat on the floor, or cross your ankles.    • Avoid touching you hair and face and do not apply makeup at the table.    • If you must excuse yourself, exit from the right side of the chair, place your napkin on the seat of your chair and remember to slide the chair under the table until you return. When you return, enter your chair from the right and place your napkin on your lap.    • Study the place setting for a moment and follow your hosts lead before taking a sip of water or disturbing the silverware.

V. Ordering

   • Follow your host’s cue and pay attention to any recommendations they make regarding menu selections. It will be a hint from them as to the level of hospitality they wish to extend to you. If you are not given recommendations you can ask for one. Try to select a menu option comparable to what your host orders.

1. Bread plate 2. Butter spreader 3. Napkin 4. Salad fork (if the salad will be served before the main entrée) 5. Dinner fork 6. Place plate 7. Dinner knife 8. Salad knife (if the salad will be served before the main entrée) 9. Soup spoon 10. Water goblet 11. Iced tea glass 12. Dessert spoon 13. Dessert fork

PLACE SETTING

VII. Navigating the Place Setting            

• Your bread plate will always be on your left. • Your dinner plate will always be in the center. • Your glassware will always be on your right. • Forks will always be on your left and knives on your right.    • Begin using silverware from the outside and work your way in toward the dinner plate. Sonia Zubiate, Etiquette Coaching, Training and Consulting March 2011©

www.careerservices.nmsu.edu  31


Guide to Career Research

R

esearch is an essential part of the job search. It is necessary in order to understand the demands of an industry or to be successful in an interview. The more pre-interview knowledge you have about your potential employer, the better able you are to present yourself during the interview.    Job seekers shouldn’t limit their research to those companies that are maintaining high visibility. Knowledge of employers obtained through researching books, periodicals, magazines, newspapers, directories and websites helps you to gain insight into many career areas and company requirements.    Your first step should be to define the type of opportunities you want to pursue. For example, if you’re interested in retail management, your goals might be to determine: 1) whether retail managers are in demand, 2) whether your skills are easily transferable, 3) what a typical day for a retail manager is like, 4) what key challenges are facing the retail industry and 5) which companies would be most likely to have job opportunities.    Once you have a set of objectives, visit the Branson Library, Zuhl Library or any library which has a sufficient list of available resources. For a detailed listing of libraries and their resources, see K.G. Saur’s “World Guide to Libraries” or Gale Research’s “Directory of Special Libraries and Information Centers.”    Valuable industry information can be found in a wide variety of sources.

Directories (partial list) 1. Standard & Poor’s Register of Corporations 2. Million Dollar Directory (Dun & Bradstreet) 3. Ward’s Business Directory 4.  U.S. Industrial Outlook (U.S. Government Printing Office) 5. Directory of Foreign Manufacturers in the U.S. 6. Principal International Businesses (Dun & Bradstreet) 7.  Major Companies of Europe (Graham & Trotman, London) 8. Thomas’ Register of American Manufacturers 9. Moody’s Manuals 10. Value Line Investment Survey 11. Trade Names Directory (Gale Research Co.) 12. National Trade and Professional Associations 13.  National Directory of Nonprofit Organizations (Gale Research Co.) 14. Patterson’s American Education Directory 15. Business Organizations and Agencies Directory 16. Dun’s Employment Opportunities Directory 17.  Peterson’s Guides to Business and Engineering Jobs Magazines/Publications (partial list) 1. Harvard Business Review 5. Economist 2. Business Week 6. USA Today 3. Fortune 7. The Wall Street Journal 4. Forbes    Researching small employers, either local or regional, requires direct contact, so the best way to find anything is to talk to the company itself.

32   New Mexico State University

Contact: 1. Local newspapers 2. Economic Development Office 3. Chamber of Commerce 4. Better Business Bureau 5. Local chapters of professional organizations 6. Colleges or universities 7. Phone books    Now that you have compiled a list of resources for your interest area, the next step would be to determine the names and titles of the managers you’d most likely report to at your target companies.    Still need contact people? Contact trade associations in your field. Many have membership lists on their homepage.    The traditional approach of using magazines and books has evolved to include resources online. Social networks are starting to become part of the criteria that hiring managers use to weed out candidates. On average, one in five hiring managers conduct background checks using social networks such as Facebook to review applicants’ backgrounds. So while traditional methods are not abandoned, the method for conducting research has changed. Remember the saying, “It is not what you know, but who you know.” Networking is still popular, but now you don’t necessarily need to know the contacts personally; you may reach out to people via the Internet. Once you locate a contact name with an employer that you are interested in, then Google the name to see if you can locate any additional information. Social media has broken down the barriers or the gatekeepers of the past when all you could do was call or send letters.    LinkedIn is a popular site to locate professionals. To learn more about LinkedIn and how to create a 100% complete LinkedIn profile, go to http://grads.linkedin.com to launch your career using this social network.    Recognize that social media can help you find a job and connect you with people who can assist you; however, when used the wrong way it can also jeopardize your job search. Check your privacy settings to determine what people can see; but the best advice is to be sure all your communications which include email, instant messaging, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn profiles and blogs are always professional.

Websites

   You can’t just walk into an employer’s office and say, “So, what is this job you are interviewing me for and how do I fit into your scheme?” Employers expect you to know who they are, what they do, what the job entails, and how you fit into the company structure and culture before you come in.

Reading an Employer’s Homepage    • Look at anything that says NEWS or WHAT’S NEW. This will give you the latest information on what is happening and possible clues on new areas or projects you might fit into.    • Read any Mission Statements or Description of Services to see how this organization describes itself. Use this to customize your cover letter to their interests.


Career Services’ Website Favorites Career Exploration

Employer Research

• What Color is Your Parachute?:   www.jobhuntersbible.com • Quintessential Careers:   www.quintcareers.com • The Riley Guide:   www.rileyguide.com • NACE:   www.jobweb.com • Personality Test:   www.humanmetrics.com/cgi-win/ JTypes2.asp

• Glassdoor: www.glassdoor.com • Hoover’s Online - The Business Network:   www.hoovers.com • Vault Reports: www.vaultreports.com • WetFeet: www.wetfeet.com

Employment Listings

• Ag Careers: www.agcareers.com • Career Builder: www.careerbuilder.com • Hispanic Employment: www.saludos.com • Hotjobs: www.hotjobs.com • Inroads: www.inroads.org •  Indeed: www.indeed.com • Jobs in Higher Education:   http://academic360.com • Monster: www.monster.com • Natl. Bus. & Disability Council:   www.business-disability.com • Tribal Employment Newsletter:   www.nativejobs.com • Tweet My Jobs: www.tweetmyjobs.com • U. S. Federal Government:   www.usajobs.gov

   • Look for an Annual Report or Strategic Plan and read it carefully.    • Check out the Career Opportunities, Jobs, and/or Human Resources area. Realize that there may be many job openings which are not posted online, but read over the instructions on applying. Use this as a guide to their applications procedures, and look for information on their benefits.    • Look over the whole site. What does the design of these pages say to you about this organization? Are they conservative or flashy, are they well-organized or difficult to follow?    Consider the employer’s web page to be a book about the employer by the employer! Read it “cover to cover” and print pages which interest you or which have information you want

Guide to Researching Companies, Industries and Countries • Tools for Research:   www.quintcareers.com/ researching_companies.html • Researching Companies Online:   www.learnwebskills.com/company • How to Research Companies:   www.jobweb.com/resources/library/ Interviews/How_to_Research_262_1.htm • About.com Career Planning: http://careerplanning.about.com/od/ companyresearch/a/business_news.htm • Monster Company Boulevard: http://company.monster.com

General Career Information • Career Resource Center:   www.careers.org • CareerXroads: www.careerxroads.com • Homefair - Calculators:   www.homefair.com • Wall Street Journal: www.careers.wsj.com

to double-check either through search engines or in the many reference books found in your local library. Don’t be afraid to refer to those pages when you are in your interview. Many employers don’t know what their pages say or haven’t seen them lately. It will reinforce your knowledge and skills on the Internet.    The Internet cannot be the only resource you use for your job search. You must continue to utilize all contacts, information resources, and services available to you for the most effective and efficient search for employment. Continue to attend meetings, pick up the telephone and call people, and use the reference books in your local library. —Margaret F. Riley, The Riley Guide, webmaster@ rileyguide.com

www.careerservices.nmsu.edu  33


Federal Jobs: Working for Uncle Sam

S

o you want to work for the federal government? You are not alone. Uncle Sam employs approximately 1.8 million civilian workers worldwide. Federal employees receive a generous benefits package, and as of 2009 they earned an average salary of $72,572. As the largest employer in the U.S., the ­federal ­government offers a variety of career opportunities unparalleled in the private sector. Federal employees work with (and create) cutting-edge technology. They create ­policy, programs and services that impact the health, safety and welfare of millions of people worldwide.   But with these benefits come bureaucracy. If you do not like working within a system and following a defined chain of command, a federal job might not be for you. This bureaucracy is evident in the hiring process as well. Federal agencies follow strict hiring procedures, and applicants who do not conform to these procedures are left by the wayside. Typically, the federal hiring process can stretch on for months. In fact, many career professionals recommend that students applying for federal jobs begin the process at least two semesters before their graduation date.

Types of Federal Jobs

  Federal jobs are separated into two classes: competitive service and excepted service positions. Competitive service jobs, which include the majority of federal positions, are subject to civil service laws passed by Congress. Job applications for competitive service positions are rated on a numerical system in which applications are awarded points based on education, experience and other predetermined job qualification standards. Hiring managers then fill the position from a pool of candidates with the highest point totals.   Hiring managers for excepted service agencies are not required to follow civil service hiring procedures or pick from a pool of candidates who have been rated on a points system. Instead, these agencies set their own qualifications require­ ments, as occurs in private industry. However, both competitive service and excepted service positions must give preference to veterans who were either disabled or who served in combat areas during certain periods of time. The Federal Reserve, the Central Intelligence Agency and the National Security Agency are examples of some excepted service agencies. (For a complete list, visit usajobs.gov/ei6.asp.) It’s important to note that even agencies that are not strictly excepted service agencies can have excepted service positions available within them.

OPM and USAJOBS

  The U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) acts as the federal government’s human resources agency. OPM’s website (opm.gov) is expansive and contains a wealth of information for anyone interested in federal jobs, including federal employment trends, salary ranges, benefits, retirement statistics and enough links to publications and resources to keep a research librarian busy for days. Linked to the OPM site is the USAJOBS site (usajobs.gov), which has its own set of tools and resources that will be familiar to any standard job site user. USAJOBS acts as a portal for federal employment with thousands of job listings at any one time.

Searching for Federal Jobs

  Federal agencies now fill their jobs like private industry by allowing applicants to contact the agency directly for job 34   New Mexico State University

information and applications. However, most of these positions can be accessed through the USAJOBS site. All competitive service positions must be posted on the USAJOBS site, and although agencies are not required to post their excepted service positions on USAJOBS, many do.   Registered visitors to USAJOBS can create and post up to five resumes, which can be made searchable, allowing recruiters from federal agencies to find resumes during applicant searches. Applicants can also use these resumes to apply directly to jobs that have an online application option. In addition, job applicants can create as many as ten “search agents,” which search for job openings using certain criteria (such as location, job type, agency, salary requirements), and email matching postings directly to their inbox. Applicants can also search for jobs directly using the “search jobs” button on the USAJOBS homepage.   Remember, excepted service positions are not required to be posted on the USAJOBS site. If you are interested in employment with an excepted service agency, be sure to visit the recruitment section of its website for postings that may not have made it onto the USAJOBS site. It is often worthwhile to look at the sites of agencies that you do not associate with your field of study. If you are interested in the environment, you should definitely visit the EPA’s website. But you should also make sure to visit the websites of other agencies that you don’t associate with your major. It’s not unusual for a biology major, for example, to find a job with Homeland Security or the Department of Defense.

How to Apply

  There is no general way to submit an application to OPM or to individual federal agencies. Instead, students should refer to each job posting for specific directions. Whether for competitive service or excepted service positions, federal job postings can be intimidating. A typical posting can run over 2,000 words and include sections on eligibility requirements, educational requirements, necessary experience, salary range, job duties and even a description of how applicants are evaluated.   Most importantly, all federal job postings include a section titled “How to Apply.” Instead of letting this avalanche of information overwhelm you, use it as a resource to help you put together the best application possible, paying particularly close attention to the “How to Apply” section. If you do not follow the instructions and procedures closely, your application may not be processed. “I would emphasize that applicants should carefully read the ‘fine print’ of all printed and online materials and applications,” says Dr. Richard White, Director of Career Services at Rutgers University. “Applicants who dot all their i’s and cross all their t’s gain a competitive advantage and rise to the top of the applicant pool.”   Federal agencies require specific information on your resume before it can be processed. The OPM created the USAJOBS Resume Builder in an effort to help applicants create a resume which can be used for most government agencies—go to my.usajobs. gov to get started. Agencies may also request that you submit additional forms for application (many of which are available on USAJOBS). Strictly following the “How to Apply” instructions will ensure that your application has all the information necessary. Written by Chris Enstrom, a freelance writer from Nashville, Ind.


How to Apply for Federal, State and Local Employment

M

any federal agencies fill their jobs like private industries do by allowing applicants to contact the agency directly for job information and application processing. Previously, the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) maintained large standing registers of eligibles and required applicants to take standardized written tests. In addition, applicants completed a standard application form, the SF-171, to apply for all jobs.    Today OPM no longer maintains registers and only a few positions require a test. The SF-171 is obsolete, replaced by the Optional Application for Federal Employment, OF-612. In lieu of submitting an OF-612, applicants may submit a resume.    Federal jobs are posted on USAJOBS (usajobs.gov). USAJOBS provides worldwide job vacancy information, employment information fact sheets, job applications and forms online. There are two classes of jobs in the federal government: 1) those that are in the competitive civil service, and 2) those that are in the excepted service. For complete details and applications, go to USAJOBS and read the instructions, http://federaljobs.net.    The Student Educational Program (SCEP) provides federal employment opportunities to students who are enrolled or accepted for enrollment as degree-seeking students taking at least a half-time academic, technical, or vocational course load. Student Career Experience Program offers full- or part-time employment that provides work experience directly related to the student’s educational program and career goals. Successful completion of the program may offer students the opportunity for a non-competitive conversion to a permanent intern position, with promotion potential to the GS-12 level.    For details, refer to www.usajobs.gov/studentjobs.

Government and Public Service Career Fair - October 23, 2012

This event is an excellent venue to meet and greet many federal and state agencies. In addition, The University of Texas at El Paso is a co-host offering NMSU students the opportunity to meet other employers on October 25, 2012 at UTEP. In support of this event, workshops will be offered to provide guidance on How to Write a Federal Resume, Apply for Federal Employment and Tips from the Office of Personnel Management. Check back with Career Services for details and have an active AggieCAREER Manager account to receive information and details firsthand. Utilize Optimal Resume (a tool provided by Career Services) to develop a professional resume and utilize samples specific to federal employment.

How to Apply

   Review the list of openings, decide which jobs you are interested in, and follow the instructions given. You may apply for most jobs with a resume, the optional application for Federal Employment, or any other written format you choose. For jobs that are unique or filled through automated procedures, you will be given special forms to complete. Contact OPM for applications.    Although the ­federal government does not require a standard application form for most jobs, certain information is required to ­evaluate the candidate’s qualifications and determine legal requirements for federal employment. If the resume or application does not provide all the information requested in the job vacancy announcement, consideration for the ­position may be denied.    Here is what the resume or application must contain, plus any additional information requested in a specific announcement. JOB INFORMATION: Announcement number, title and grade of the job for which you are applying. PERSONAL INFORMATION: Full name, mailing address, Zip code, day and evening phone numbers. Social security number, country of citizenship, veteran’s preference (if applicable), ­reinstatement eligibility (if applicable), highest federal civilian grade held (if applicable, also give job series and dates held). EDUCATION: Type of degree earned or to be earned, major, name of school, city, state and graduation date, include credit hours if degree is not earned yet. High school name, location and date of graduation. Don’t send a transcript unless requested. WORK EXPERIENCE: Give the following information for paid or unpaid work experience — job title (include series and grade if a federal job), duties and accomplishments, employer’s name and address, supervisor’s name and phone number, starting and ending dates (month and year), hours per week, salary; indicate if current supervisor may be contacted. OTHER QUALIFICATIONS: Job-related training courses (title and year), job-related skills; for example, other languages, computer software/hardware, tools, machinery, typing speed. Job-related certificates and licenses, job-related honors, awards, and special accomplishments; for example, publications, memberships in professional or honor societies, leadership activities, public speaking, and performance awards (give dates).    Information for employment with the state of New Mexico can be obtained at www.spo.state.nm.us/. Details on Jobs in State Government in other states can be obtained at http:// about.com; in the subject heading “Find it Now,” type Jobs in State Government. The New Mexico Department of Labor has information for job seekers, labor market information, and data on towns throughout New Mexico at www.dws.state. nm.us/. Also visit state and local governments at www. statelocalgov.net. Please contact a staff member at Career Services for local, regional, state or federal employment information.

www.careerservices.nmsu.edu  35


I am an advocate for human rights. Growing up, I spent most summers with my grandparents in Honduras. From this early time in my life, I felt inspired by public service as I witnessed family and community members organize civil improvement projects such as protecting the culture of native Garifuna people. I became increasingly aware of the importance of political freedom and economic opportunity to national development, and I became interested in pursuing a Foreign Service career. As a Foreign Service Officer (or U.S. diplomat) I have worked extensively throughout Latin America on myriad of issues from drug trafficking, human rights, poverty, women’s issues such as domestic violence, and economic security. With a passion for women’s rights and empowering them with knowledge, I have been instrumental in helping local women understand, and implement, tactics used to effectively lobby for human rights causes. In fact, I nominated a woman who received the first International Women of Courage award. My career has purpose and when I think back to those summers in Honduras, I realize that my passion for public service and dedication to improving human rights worldwide have led me to where I am today. To learn more about Heidi and careers with the U.S. Department of State, visit careers.state.gov/HACU12

Heidi, Foreign Service Officer

careers.state.gov/HACU12 U.S. citizenship is required. An equal opportunity employer.

Graduating Soon? ... What Next? Consider An MBA Earning a Master’s Degree can add over $1 million to your lifetime earnings

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“I chose KU because of their successful, multidisciplinary research centers that connect academia and industry. I found a great place to advance my goals.

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No work-experience requirement Fifty $3,000 Scholarships available ($1,000 each semester, renewable for up to three semesters)

Learn more about the programs and opportunities awaiting you at the University of Kansas School of Engineering by visiting

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WORK in Las Vegas, Nevada

Clark County School District, the fifth largest school district in the nation, is currently accepting applications for the following positions :

- Art Teachers, Grades K-5 - Bilingual (Spanish) Teachers, Grades K-5 - Elementary Teachers, Grades K-5 - English Teachers, Grades 7-12 - Foreign Languages, Grades 7-12 (Chinese, French, German, Japanese, Spanish) - Mathematics and Science Teachers, Grades 7-12* - Music Teachers, Grades K-5 - Music Teachers, Grades 7-12 (Band, Strings, Choir, Mariachi)

- Occupational Therapists - Physical Therapists - School Nurses - School Psychologists - School Social Worker - Social Studies Teachers, Grades 7-12 - Special Education Teachers, Grades K-12* - Speech-Language Pathologists - Teachers of the Deaf, Grades K-12 - Teachers of the Visually Impaired, Grades K-12

* Special Qualifications License (SQL) Teaching opportunities available for individuals who meet requirements including: - Bachelor’s degree(s) in mathematics, science, or related fields - Five years of successful employment history in mathematics or science related fields

Apply online at: http://www.ccsd.net/jobs

For more information call the Human Resources Division: 702.855.5414


There’s strong. Then there’s Army Strong. Enroll in Army ROTC at New Mexico State University to complement your education with the training, experience and skills needed to make you a leader. You may also be eligible for up to a full-tuition scholarship to help you pay for your college degree. And when you graduate, you will have an edge in life as an Army Officer and a leader. For more information, visit goarmy.com/rotc/r670.

DO YOU HAVE WHAT IT TAKES TO BE ARMY STRONG? Enroll in one of our Military Science classes and see if you are up to the challenge! For more information, contact 575-646-4030 or email armyrotc@nmsu.edu.


Spread Your Wings and come to the District of Choice

$6000.00 Signing Bonus for Certified Secondary Math & Science Online applications at www.episd.org Tel: 1-877-881-1418

Come Work For the El Paso ISD

Are you committed to educating children? Are you a dynamic teacher? Five Reasons why you should choose EPISD:

1. Great students, staff and supportive administrators 2. Teacher Mentor and New Teacher Assistance Programs 3. Professional Learning Communities 4. Competitive salaries 5. Terrific benefits package


Student Job Opportunities

Are you an NMSU student with  an interest in any of the following areas? • • • • • • •

Biology Business Chemistry Computer Science Engineering Mathematics Physics

The New Mexico Consortium may have  job opportunities for you!

Individuals with a Bachelor’s degree, graduate students and post-docs are encouraged to visit our website at www.newmexicoconsortium.org to learn more about our mentored research and administrative positions. The New Mexico Consortium is a non-profit partnership of the New Mexico Universities that supports scientific research and education in New Mexico. EOE/M/F/V/D


Career Planning Guide  

New Mexico State Univeristy Career Services Catalog.

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