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Career Center Milo Bail Student Center, Room 111 6001 Dodge Street Omaha, NE 68182 402.554.3672 8:00 am to 4:30 pm Monday through Friday

Career Advising APPOINTMENTS 8:30 am to 4:30 pm Monday through Friday WALK-INS 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday


Career Resource Guide 2013

table of contents Getting Started


Exploration Tools


Job Search Strategy


Social Networking


On Campus Networking


Detecting Job Scams




Resume Examples


Cover Letters






Thank You Notes


Next Steps

28 5


Skill Types

Beginning to search for any type of employment–whether it is an internship, part-time job while you are in school or that first job after graduation–can be an overwhelming task. The Career Resource Guide will help to prepare you for each step in the process.

SPECIFIC Learned skills related to a specific job, such as the ability to operate a particular type of equipment or knowledge of technical procedures.

This guide is laid out to begin with self assessment and help you navigate through the negotiation of a job offer. With today’s highly competitive job market, it is important to use multiple strategies. The job search is not a simple, straightforward process; it requires self knowledge, research and dedication. The first step in beginning a search is to do a self-assessment. Take a few minutes to reflect on the following questions: —What are my skills, interests, goals? —What is my ideal working and living environment? —Do I want to live in a big or small city? —Should I work outdoors or in an office? —What type of organization do I want to work for? —Should I consider non-profits, government agencies or small businesses?

TRANSFERABLE Skills that are used in any job, such as the ability to work as part of a team, pay attention to detail, organize effectively, and manage time. INTERPERSONAL Skills related to how well you are able to get along and interact with others. SPECIAL Unique skills and training that will benefit you in the job you are applying for, such as fluency in a foreign language.


Good career decisions require good information about your personal traits and preferences. 6


exploration tools Self-Assessments It is important to not only know about career options, but to also have a solid understanding of yourself. Your personality, interests, abilities and values all impact your career satisfaction. Before rushing to choose a major or career path, take some time to reflect on what you want in your work tasks and environment. Visit to take free interests, skills, values and personality assessments. Afterward, meet with Career Center staff to discuss how your results are related to career decisions.

Informational Interviewing Talking to people who work for an organization or are in a career field that you would like to learn more about is a valuable way to explore career choices. It is a great way to investigate careers and learn about an industry, a company or a specific job. Conduct informational interviews with as many people as possible to expand your network and knowledge of the work. —Ask people in a career field of interest what they do. —Find out how they got where they are. —What kind of education and training do they have? —Ask questions about the day-to-day functions of the job so you know what you can anticipate. —Remember to send a timely thank you note, expressing appreciation for their time and attention.

Industry Research —Consider whether the industry or organization aligns with your values, skills and preferred work environment. —Check out the website of a particular organization to learn more about their mission, goals and values. —Find out which professional organizations are associated with your career interests and visit their websites. —Search for information about various career paths at the US Department of Labor website and the Occupational Information Network website

Experiential Learning Internships, volunteer work, summer jobs and part-time employment are all examples of experiential learning. These opportunities give you the work-related experience that employers seek and may lead to full-time employment because organizations prefer to hire familiar, proven employees. It can also help you identify if that type of work is a good fit. —Visit UNO Career Connect to search for opportunities and apply for jobs: —Talk with your instructors and academic advisor about opportunities and experiences recommended by employers in your preferred field. —Attend a Career Fair and speak with recruiters about what they are looking for in candidates. —Get involved with service learning 7

job search strategy Professional Organizations

Word of Mouth

Professional organizations are a good way to learn more about specific careers and industries. Many offer reduced rates for student membership in order to encourage participation. Getting involved and attending meetings, conferences and/or networking events is a good way to find out about job opportunities in the field.

Numerous job openings are filled by word of mouth and never formally advertised. That is why networking is the best way to find a job. Many people find networking intimidating or are afraid they might be seen as pushy or annoying. Networking is not about using other people, it is about building relationships.

Many professional organizations have job postings for members only. You may also be able to connect with a mentor in the organization and learn valuable information about applying for jobs within your field.

People choose to do business with people they know and like. Your network of friends, family, colleagues and acquaintances is your most valuable job search resource.

Benefits of Networking Your best bet for finding job opportunities is not through online job boards, classified, or employment agencies–it is by talking to the people around you. Your network of friends, family members, academic and professional acquaintances is the most valuable job search resource you have. As much as 80% of all jobs are filled through (direct and indirect) referrals, not through job postings. Jobs do not just appear after graduation, as much as we would like that to happen. It requires time, effort and commitment to identify the organizations you would like to work for and who are currently hiring. The average job search takes between two and six months for new graduates, so don’t get discouraged if you don’t get the first job you apply for. Utilize a variety of tools, including on-campus resources, to help you in your job search. 8

Job listings bring in applicants that you will be competing against. Connections in an organization can give you advice for how to make your application stand out. You know more people than you realize! Many of those people know someone who may offer you career advice or help you access a job. Though you might be nervous about making the initial contact, remember that people generally like to give advice and be recognized for their expertise.

Networking is NOT about using people, it is about building relationships. Career Resource Guide 2013

Social Networking LinkedIn LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional network. LinkedIn allows you to exchange knowledge, ideas and career opportunities with a broad network of professionals. Your LinkedIn profile rises to the top of internet search results, letting you control the first impression people get when they “Google” you. With options to join relevant groups, search job opportunities and companies, and connect with professionals in your desired field, LinkedIn is a valuable networking and job search resource. Since LinkedIn shows your connections with listed organizations, you might find out that your aunt is connected to the hiring manager of your top choice company or find a UNO alum with your dream job. This is a great place to learn about exclusive job opportunities and to build your network.

Your network of friends, family, colleagues and acquaintances is the most valuable job search resource. Social Media and Job Search Social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, can be used to create your “personal brand,” network with employers and research companies. 92% of employers indicate using social media to find new talent—and 70% report not hiring someone based on something they saw online. It’s important to make sure your profile is recruiter-friendly. Opt for the highest privacy settings to restrict what’s viewable by the public. Remove any complaints about your job or boss, as well as distasteful comments and photos of yourself that could be construed as inappropriate. Ask yourself these questions:

wnload 200,000+ brand logos in vector format freesaying about me? What is for my page

Does my profile present my best self? Do the groups I belong to reflect my career interests and goals?


On-Campus tools Career Fairs The Career Center organizes campus-wide career fairs every semester and some colleges host major-specific career fairs, as well. Students who attend fairs are able to meet prospective employers, gather information, build their network and search for internship and career opportunities. If you are interested in broadening your search, you may also consider attending career events hosted by organizations in specific regions.

On-Campus Recruitment Recruiters from organizations and graduate programs often visit the campus to recruit UNO students. They may host information tables in the Student Center or present their opportunities during scheduled information sessions. Visiting with recruiters at these events is a great way to learn more and expand your professional network without having to travel off-campus. To find out about upcoming recruiter campus visits, check out the Events Calendar at

On-Campus Interviewing A number of companies visit campus each year to interview and recruit UNO students and alumni. On-campus interviews begin in September for the Fall semester and in February for the Spring semester. Interviewing on campus is an excellent way to market yourself. Generally, you must register on UNO Career Connect to interview with employers recruiting on UNO’s campus. 10

UNO’s online employment database is exclusively available to UNO students and alumni. To create a profile, visit This is a great place to start your search, as employers who post positions in the Career Connect system are looking for UNO students. Employers post part-time, full-time and internship openings as they become available, so be sure to check for new opportunities on a regular basis.

Safety in the Job Search Job scams are a very real threat to job seekers in today’s technological world. They can appear in many different places including online or print advertisements, career websites, Craigslist or even in your email inbox. Ask yourself these questions before you responding to any job posting, online or otherwise.

Are the company name and details provided in the ad? If the job posting is missing pertinent details like company name, website, e-mail address or location, be suspicious.

Did they offer you a job without meeting you? No legitimate employer will make you a job offer without having first met you in person. If you’ve been hired simply on the merit of having responded to an ad, you’re probably dealing with scammers.

Career Resource Guide 2013

Detecting job scams Does the email address match the name? Sometimes scammers will use a domain name that is similar to a legitimate company in an attempt to fool victims. Other times they will use a completely unrelated domain name. Always check to make sure that email addresses are legitimate and match up to the company you are applying to.

Did you respond to one job posting and the “employer” responded back to you with information on a completely different job? This is a classic bait-and-switch. If, for example, you responded to an ad for a data entry position and you receive a response about a job in which you would be paid for transferring money or signing up for “offers,” you may have found a scam.

Are you asked for credit card or bank account numbers? Job seekers should not have to provide financial information or pay a fee in order to complete a job application or view job postings. Scammers use the personal information they request from applicants to commit identity theft or charge unexpected recurring fees to bank accounts and credit cards.

Does the job involve transferring money from one account to another or are you being offered a large sum of money in exchange for the use of your bank account? Legitimate companies have their own bank accounts. In other words, they don’t need yours. If you are being asked to use your

own personal bank or PayPal accounts to perform work for an “employer” what they are doing is probably not legal and you are most likely being scammed.

Are they offering a lot of money to perform little work or to pay you before you begin? Scammers often boast huge earnings or use enticing phrases such as “Work at Home”, “No Experience Necessary”, “Make $1000 a week”, or “Work just one hour a week.” While there are certainly legitimate work-from-home and entry-level jobs, ask yourself if the rewards being offered to you are realistic. As always, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

What to do if you are contacted by a fraudulent organization: End all communication with the employer. If financial information was disclosed, monitor your accounts for unusual activity. If you have sent money to a fraudulent employer, contact your bank or credit card company to close your account or dispute the charges. Report the scam to the UNO Career Center. If you have already become a victim of an online false job posting/ scam, please file a complaint with the Internet Crime Complaint Center at and possibly the police.

As always, if the job sounds too good to be true, it probably is. 11

REsumes On average, an employer spends 1530 seconds skimming a resume before deciding whether or not to interview you. Your resume must be well-written and easy to read in order to quickly show an employer why they should pick up the phone and call you. After developing your resume, visit the UNO Career Center in the Student Center for a resume review.

Tailoring Your Resume While it is tempting to develop a standard resume once, it is more effective to tailor each resume you submit to the specific employer and position. To develop a resume that demonstrates your fit for a position, you need to understand the experience, skills and abilities required. Refer to the job posting to identify keywords and important skills to highlight in your resume.

Headings You determine which sections to include on your resume. Adjust them to best highlight what you have to offer for each employer and position. The following are commonly used sections: —Summary of Qualifications —Education —Relevant Coursework —Experience or Related Experience —Skills (Computer, Language, etc.) —Involvement, Activities, Leadership —Honors and Awards Content adapted from the University of NebraskaLincoln’s “Preparing for the Job Search”


Summary A good summary of qualifications should be tailored to the position to which you are applying. Highlight 3-5 key skills you possess that are relevant to the position.

Formatting and Layout In addition to being tailored and wellwritten, your resume should be visually pleasing and easy to read quickly. —Avoid using resume templates that reduce your control —Use between a 10-12 point font —Margins should be at least ½ an inch all around —Describe experience with bullet point statements beginning with action verbs —Avoid use of the word “I” —Use bold and italics sparingly to highlight key information and distinguish sections —Save a copy of your resume as a PDF for online applications and email submissions —Seek feedback from the Career Center, faculty, former bosses and professionals in your field —Proofread several times

On average, an employer spends 15-30 seconds skimming a resume before deciding whether or not to interview you. Career Resource Guide 2013

REsumes Formatting and Layout Bullet points describe what was accomplished or learned in a particular experience and should address “What,” “Why,” and “How.”

Step 1




What did you do? Brainstorm a list of tasks. —Answered phones —Greeted customers







Step 2


How did you do it? Identify patterns in your tasks to demonstrated skills you gained. —Communicated with customers over the phone —Used a friendly and welcoming voice

Step 3 Why did you do it? Consider the importance and the end result of your tasks. —Addressed customer needs and concerns through effective communication over the phone.

General Tips —Incorporate key words and phrases from job description —Start bulleted statements with action verbs in either past or present tense —Highlight accomplishments, not just duties/responsibilities —Quantify results when possible/ appropriate








Resume Examples Notice that the resumes on the following pages do not look exactly alike, as each student highlights skills and achievements specific to themselves and the positions to which they are applying.


RESuME ExAMPLES First Year Student

As a first year student, you may want to include your high school information on your resume. This information will be removed as you gain more experience and become involved on campus.


Career Resource Guide 2013

RESuME ExAMPLES Criminology and Criminal Justice

When listing coursework on your resume, be selective. Focus only on relevant courses.

You may wish to highlight your internship experience and separate it from your other work.


RESuME ExAMPLES Educational Resume

Objective statements are optional. If you include one, make it specific.

It is typical for resumes to be longer than one page for teaching positions. Familiarize yourself with industry expectations in your field.


Career Resource Guide 2013

RESuME ExAMPLES Student Career Change This student highlights business-related experience toward the top of her resume

Additional experience is mentioned in less detail to provide a solid work history.


RESuME ExAMPLES Graduate Student List all college degrees or certifications earned or in progress, starting with the most recent.


Career Resource Guide 2013

RESuME ExAMPLES Computer Science Major A strong summary section is tailored to the position you are applying for. List three to five specific accomplishments or skills.

Don’t assume that employers know what technology you are familiar with using. Clearly identify your technical skills. 19

COVER LETTERS Cover Letter Format Applications for professional positions often require both a resume and a cover letter. This one-page letter should describe your relevant experience and focus on the qualities you can bring to the organization that match the job qualifications.


Career Resource Guide 2013

COVER LETTERS Entry Level Position Write a cover letter that is tailored to a specific job description and organization, so invest time researching that particular organization and carefully review the job description. It should NOT parrot your resume, but should serve as a bridge to it.


COVER LETTERS Sample Email Cover Letter Email cover letters differ only in format. It is still important to carefully write and proofread your email cover letter, including the same pertinent information about your qualifications.


Career Resource Guide 2013

NETIQuETTE Email Etiquette Tips SUBJECT LINE Always include a subject line in business emails. Keep it brief and relevant, but avoid single-word subject lines. GREETING Never forget to start off an email with a “Hello” or “Good Morning.” Omitting a greeting can come off as too informal or rude. BE CONCISE Try to present the purpose of your email in the first sentence. Leave out any unnecessary details and maintain clarity throughout your email. PLEASE AND THANK YOU Be sure to maintain a formal yet friendly tone. Say “please” in your requests, and

don’t forget to close your message with “Thank You” or “Sincerely.” PROOFREAD It only takes a couple of seconds to reread a message before hitting send. By proofreading, you will be able to ensure that you are really getting across what you mean to say. ADDITIONAL TIPS Always avoid text message abbreviations, or recipients might LOL at your lack of professionalism! Don’t use all capitals or all lowercase. Punctuate properly. Make sure your email is set up with a signature block with your contact information. Avoid too much clutter (pictures, quotations, etc.).




Interviewing The Four Ps PRACTICE Being comfortable, confident and effective in an interview comes with some practice. Decide what it is that you want to say and practice saying it! Schedule a mock interview at The Career Center to rehearse your answers to commonly asked interview questions and get feedback on your overall interview performance. PREPARE Know yourself and be ready to speak about your skills, accomplishments, values, interests and goals. Prepare specific examples that demonstrate your abilities. You will also want to research the company and the potential career opportunity. Doing your homework shows employers you are interested in the position and the organization specifically, not just any job. Generate a list of three to five questions you want to ask the employer during the interview, as well. PERFORM Arrive at the interview location at least 10 minutes early. Be respectful to everyone you meet, even those not directly involved in the hiring process. Be confident and enthusiastic! Answer the questions completely, giving specific examples when appropriate. Remember that interviewing is a two-way street and you should consider what impression the interviewer is making on you, as well. PROCEED Afterward, ask yourself how the interview went. Do you feel it went well? Did you highlight your skills, experiences and 24

strengths? Did you like the environment and the people? What could you improve upon for the next interview? Send a thank you note or email within 24 hours of the interview, letting the interviewer know you appreciated his/her time and recapping why you are a good fit for the position.

The PAR Method Your past behavior is an indicator of your future success. For that reason, many interviewers ask you to provide specific examples in their questions. When asked behavioral interview questions, utilize this method to make sure you stay on point. PROBLEM Describe the problem or situation you faced. Be sure to describe a specific event or situation, not a generalized description of what you have done in the past, giving enough detail for the interviewer to understand. This situation can be from a previous job, from a volunteer experience, or any relevant event. ACTION Describe the action you took, keeping the focus on you. Even if you are discussing a group project or effort, describe what you did—not the efforts of the team. Don’t tell what you might do, tell what you did. RESULT What happened? How did the situation end? What did you accomplish? What did you learn?

Career Resource Guide 2013

Interviewing Do


—Arrive 10 minutes early —Be prepared —Listen attentively —Express ideas clearly —Answer questions with examples & facts —Be concise and to the point —Relate positive experiences —Be confident and enthusiastic —Stress your qualifications —Ask appropriate quesitons —Send a thank you note within 24 hours

—Be late —Be unprepared —Argue —Babble —Answer with just a “yes” or “no” —Criticize the interviewer or ex–employer —Talk about personal or family problems —Bring up salary/benefits in the first interview —Talk about politics or religion —Ignore your personal appearance

The purpose of an interview is to determine a good fit between you and the organization or business. Dress for Success Your first impression sets the tone for the entire interview. Make sure you are dressed professionally and well-groomed. A good way to determine appropriate apparel is to look at what people in the organization typically wear, then dress a step above that for the interview. Refer to the image at right for examples. Generally, both men and women should plan to wear a fairly conservative outfit in a neutral color, such as black, gray, brown or navy. You may have more leeway in terms of casual attire in certain innovative organizations or industries, but it is always safe to stick with a basic suit for an interview. Avoid wild ties, trendy styles, loud colors, distracting jewelry and strong scents.




Interviewing Commonly Asked Questions Questions You Might Ask —Tell me about yourself. —What attracted you to this position? —What do you know about our organization? —Where do you see yourself in five years? —What is your ideal position and why? —What is your greatest strength? Weakness? —What experiences have prepared you for this position? —Are you willing to travel/relocate? —Tell me about your greatest accomplishment. —What motivates you? —What qualifications do you have that will make our company more successful? —Why should I hire you? —What questions do you have for me?

Behavioral Questions —Describe your involvement with extracurricular activities. How would you apply those activities to this position? —Tell me about a time when you had to work under pressure. What was the result? —Describe a situation where you took a leadership role. —Give an example of how you worked with a team. —Describe a time when you and a co-worker or group member had a conflict. —How did you handle that situation? —Tell me about the last time you learned something new. What was the situation and what steps did you take to learn it? —How do you handle balancing multiple deadlines and projects? —Provide an example of a time when you showed initiative. — What was the most successful presentation you have given and why? 26

—What is your timeline for the hiring process? —Can you describe for me what a typical day might look like in this role? —What do you like best about working for this company? —What opportunities and challenges do you foresee the person in this role will face? —Can you describe your training process? —What skills are you looking for a successful candidate to bring to this position? —I am interested in staying with a company long-term. What opportunities for growth are there within the organization? —Can you describe the organizational culture here?

You can schedule a mock interview with the UNO Career Center to practice and gain feedback on your interviewing skills. Career Center staff ask you to dress professionally and send your resume and a sample job description beforehand to make the interview realistic. Career Resource Guide 2013

ThANK YOu NOTES It is polite to send a thank you note after the interview, letting the interviewer(s) know you appreciated their time. Thank you notes also allow you to share how much you enjoyed meeting with them, reiterate how passionate you are about the position and how you are looking forward to hearing back. Your note reminds the employer of your interest

and qualifications, while demonstrating that you are respectful and appreciative. While a hand-written card is more personal, you may choose to send an e-mail if you have been corresponding with the interviewer electronically. You want to ensure that the thank you note is received within 24 hours of your interview, so select your method appropriately.

hand Written —Send a note to each person on the interview committee. —Personalize each note by referencing something specific from the interview. —A thank you note should be brief. —Proofread thank you notes carefully . —use a hand-written note only if your writing is easy to read.



Next steps Salary Research When you begin your job search, you should research salary rates. Be sure to factor in differences among industries and specific organizations, as well as the cost of living in various regions. This website is a good starting point for identifying wages based on career field and location: You may start your research online, but you should also utilize your network to gain detailed perspectives for specific regions or organizations. It is not ideal to start the conversation about compensation until you have received an offer. During the hiring process, you want to keep the focus on the value you can bring to the organization. However, if the organization asks for your preferred salary prior to making an offer, say you would be willing to discuss a reasonable offer and try to have the interviewer put out a number initially. If you are in a position that requires you to give your preference first, give a salary range based on your research of industry standards.

Negotiating Job Offers Receiving a job offer can be very exciting, but don’t get caught up in the excitement and forget to evaluate your fit with the organization and the job location. Consider all factors involved in the offer before making a final decision. Remember you can ask for time to consider the offer. Thank the employer for their offer and let them know 28

that although you are not able to give a definite answer at this time, you are very interested and would like a little more time before making a final commitment. Once you accept an offer, it is not professional to back out if another offer presents itself. Come to an agreement with the employer on an acceptable decision date and follow through with that date. Generally one week is acceptable. If you are pursuing more than one opportunity you can let the other organizations know you have received an alternate offer. Ask when they expect to make a decision. Let the employer know that you are interested in opportunities with their organization but have received an offer from a different company. This gives them a chance to accommodate your deadline if they are seriously considering you as a candidate. Once you accept an offer, contact other organizations you have been communicating with and politely decline their offers or withdraw yourself from consideration.

According to NACE’s 2012 Salary Survey, the average starting salary for a new graduate with a bachelor’s degree is $44,259. Career Resource Guide 2013

Next steps Before you negotiate terms of the offer, ensure you have done research and used your network to make sure that negotiating is appropriate. In some fields, such as government, there is rarely room for negotiation. This can also be true in companies that hire lots of entry-level positions. If you have more than one offer, you can carefully negotiate them against each other. Make sure you are honest about the other offer and don’t suggest you won’t accept the job if your requests aren’t met. Use language such as “Another company I have been talking to has offered

, is it possible....” Negotiating is not just about getting a higher salary but making sure nothing is left on the table. Don’t neglect the importance of benefits, time-off, educational opportunities, job growth potential, performance-based bonuses and other intangibles, such as work-life balance. Once an offer has been accepted, make sure to save a copy of the job description. This can be beneficial in evaluating that you are meeting your goals and objectives, as well as adding your responsibilities to your resume in the future.

“Far and away the best prize that life offers is the chance to work hard at work worth doing.” —Theodore Roosevelt


2012-2013 Employer partners Thank you to our 2012-13 Employer Partners for their continued support of the UNO Career Center. The UNO Career Center invites employers to help support UNO student success by joining our Employer Partnership Program. We would like to thank our current Employer Partners for their continued support of the UNO Career Center! Support from our Employer Partners is used to enhance student awareness of events and activities offered by the UNO Career Center, provide up-todate technology solutions, and facilitate

innovative programming for UNO Mavericks. In turn, Employer Partners can enhance their brand recognition within the UNO community and establish a positive presence on campus. If you would like to learn more about joining our Employer Partner Program, please contact Jessica Wolff, Director of The Career Center, at 402-554-3523 or

Premier Partners


Career Resource Guide 2013

2012-2013 Employer partners

Preferred Partners Gavilon Northwestern Mutual Financial

TD Ameritrade Werner Enterprises


University Policy The University of Nebraska at Omaha does not discriminate based on gender, age, disability, race, color, religion, marital status, veteran’s status, national or ethnic origin, or sexual orientation.

Credits GRAPHIC DESIGNER Raechel Meyer


UNO Career Resource Guide  

A comprehensive resource guide for students and alumni throughout the career search.

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