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CONTENTS Welcome, Resources


Four-Year Action Plan


Cardinal Career Network


Internships & Co-ops




Cover Letters


Power Words




Professional Dress


Social Networking & Online Presence




Graduate School


WELCOME! Welcome! This career guide is designed to be an all-inone resource to help you discover the many resources you will find at SVSU’s Career Services office. Take a peek inside ― you will find advice on how to take the next step toward your future, whether you are applying for internships, your first job or even the graduate school of your dreams. It is one more way your university is serving you, to help you find your next step in life. At Career Services, we see your success as our success and we will do our best to ensure that you have every chance to develop yourself as a professional. Feel free to stop by frequently, so you can walk out of SVSU saying...

i am ready for success!

RESOURCES Resources offered through Career Services include: Resume and cover letter assistance Mock interviews Interview coaching Career fairs on campus Workshops Internship and co-op advising Job search strategies Advice on how to develop your personal brand One-on-one advising On-campus job assistance Alumni placement surveys



Meet with a Career Services staff member for one-on-one career advising to get you started. Attend a Career Services resume workshop to build your resume. Utilize your career guide for building an effective cover letter. Get engaged with Student Life to find out about student organizations and volunteer opportunities to add to your resume. Explore the Cardinal Career Network for on- and off-campus employment. Attend a Career Services event on campus. Develop your long term career plan and determine the steps you need to take to achieve your career goals.

Sophomore Year

Edit and review your resume; have it critiqued by Career Services. Explore the Cardinal Career Network for experiential learning opportunities like internships, co-ops, or job shadowing. If you haven’t joined an organization on campus, do it this year! Engage in volunteer activities through Student Life. Go to at least one career fair to immerse yourself in knowing what it is like to network with employers. Re-evaluate your long term career plan and make any necessary revisions in the steps you need to take to achieve your goals.

Junior Year

Update your resume, have it critiqued, and upload a polished version to the Cardinal Career Network. Attend career fairs to research employers and look for internship opportunities. Take a leadership position in your organization on campus ― a great experience and great resume builder! Schedule a mock interview. Check the Cardinal Career Network to sign up for an on-campus interview and apply for internships. Re-evaluate your long term career plan and continue to take the steps you need to take to achieve these goals.

Senior Year

Update your resume, have it critiqued, and upload a final version to the Cardinal Career Network. Get references together from employers, faculty members, and advisors. Apply for jobs: it can take a student four to six months to secure a position, so START EARLY. Attend as many Career Services events as possible, including job fairs, workshops and etiquette dinners. Network and apply for jobs at career fairs and on the Cardinal Career Network. Meet with Alumni Relations to build a networking team for after graduation.

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CARDINAL CAREER NETWORK The Cardinal Career Network is a free resource for students and alumni to search for open positions around the region, state and country. To access and search for opportunities: 1. Visit 2. In the “Access” box on the right-hand side, click on “Cardinal Career Network.” 3. Enter your Cardinal Direct username and password to access the database. 4. In order for you to continue to search for jobs, internships, and co-op positions, you must upload your resume. 5. Under “Employment Opportunities” there are two options: a. Select Cardinal Job Postings to search for positions that are currently posted only for SVSU students and alumni. There are various position types you can search for, including: Career Degreed 0-5 Years Experience, Part-Time, Internship, On-Campus Student Employment, and many more. b. Utilize the NACElink Extended Job Search to perform a keyword search by any location in the United States. The extended job search will provide results from other databases. Apply to those positions for which you qualify and are interested. Some positions allow you to submit resumes directly through the Cardinal Career Network, while others will direct you to the company’s website or will instruct you to apply via email. Read instructions for all postings very carefully as they vary and may require different information and documents, such as cover letters, reference pages, and transcripts. You will be in direct competition with other qualified applicants for positions. It is necessary that you spend some time to develop your professional documents and interviewing skills by utilizing the resources and advising from Career Services for document critiques, mock interviews, and interview coaching. There are also workshops available to assist you in preparing these documents. Schedules for workshops are posted each semester in the Career Services office and on the Career Services website at



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Relevant experience in your field is one of the most important factors employers consider when making hiring decisions. By participating in internships, co-ops, externships and field placements, collectively referred to as experiential learning, you not only better your understanding of your future profession, but also increase your value to potential employers.


A co-op is a paid, on-going relationship between the employer, student, and university. Students in the program not only gain work-related experience, but also actively participate in key projects. The co-op program is open to all undergraduate students currently enrolled at SVSU. International students are required to provide proper work authorization to work off-campus. Because of the high expectations, the co-op program has several requirements for participation, including: 1. Must have completed a minimum 24 college level credit hours from SVSU or another accredited college or university.* 2. Must have and maintain a minimum 2.0 cumulative grade point average (GPA). 3. Must have successfully completed a minimum 24 credit hours in past academic year. 4. Must have at least one year of coursework remaining until graduation. 5. Must fulfill any additional requirements as set forth by the employer or SVSU. *A freshman whose high school co-op employer has requested the student to continue the co-op at SVSU are exempt.

Non-Academic Credit Internships

An internship is an experience with a definite time frame (e.g., four summer months) that can be either paid or unpaid and can involve projects that vary in intensity based on the student’s level of experience. Unlike co-op positions, the requirements for internships vary from employer to employer and by academic background. If you wish to participate in SVSU’s internship program through Career Services, you must meet certain requirements, including: 1. Currently enrolled at SVSU, regardless of class standing. 2. Must have and maintain a minimum 2.0 cumulative grade point average (GPA). 3. You must be registered on the Cardinal Career Network to apply for the Co-op/Internship Program offered by Career Services. Visit Career Services in Wickes 270 for further details and instruction.

Internships for Academic Credit

Internships for credit that are offered by academic departments have unique guidelines and should be followed per the department. Credit bearing internships combine a structured learning experience with academic requirements that must be met. If you are interested in an internship and wish to seek out information regarding earning academic credit, you must first speak to a faculty representative from your respective department. To earn academic credit, students should seek out an advisor within their department well in advance of the semester they wish to complete their credit-earning internship experience. In order to gain permission to enroll in the internship or independent study course, a plan with course content and requirements will be devised with your advisor. Credit is not simply granted to you without an academic component or plan. After a mutual agreement between the faculty, student, and employer with a well-defined description of tasks, academic components, and responsibilities, the student may receive permission from the faculty member for enrollment to earn academic credit.


If you are an unpaid intern, be sure that the employer you are working for is following the criteria for unpaid internships under the Fair Labor Standards Act of the U.S. Department of Labor.

The Test for Unpaid Interns

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There are some circumstances under which individuals who participate in “for-profit” private sector internships or training programs may do so without compensation. The Supreme Court has held that the term “suffer or permit to work” cannot be interpreted so as to make a person whose work serves only his or her own interest an employee of another who provides aid or instruction. This may apply to interns who receive training for their own educational benefit if the training meets certain criteria. The determination of whether an internship or training program meets this exclusion depends upon all of the facts and circumstances of each such program. The following six criteria must be applied when making this determination: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.

The internship, even though it includes actual operation of the facilities of the employer, is similar to training which would be given in an educational environment; The internship experience is for the benefit of the intern; The intern does not displace regular employees, but works under close supervision of existing staff; The employer that provides the training derives no immediate advantage from the activities of the intern; and on occasion its operations may actually be impeded; The intern is not necessarily entitled to a job at the conclusion of the internship; and The employer and the intern understand that the intern is not entitled to wages for the time spent in the internship.

If all of the factors listed above are met, an employment relationship does not exist under the FLSA, and the Act’s minimum wage and overtime provisions do not apply to the intern. This exclusion from the definition of employment is necessarily quite narrow because the FLSA’s definition of “employ” is very broad. Some of the most commonly discussed factors for “for-profit” private sector internship programs are considered below.

Similar To An Education Environment And The Primary Beneficiary of The Activity

In general, the more an internship program is structured around a classroom or academic experience as opposed to the employer’s actual operations, the more likely the internship will be viewed as an extension of the individual’s educational experience (this often occurs where a college or university exercises oversight over the internship program and provides educational credit). The more 3 the internship provides the individual with skills that

an intern

can be used in multiple employment settings, as opposed to skills particular to one employer’s operation, the more likely the intern would be viewed as receiving training. Under these circumstances, the intern does not perform the routine work of the business on a regular and recurring basis, and the business is not dependent upon the work of the intern. On the other hand, if the interns are engaged in the operations of the employer or are performing productive work (for example, filing, performing other clerical work, or assisting customers), then the fact that they may be receiving some benefits in the form of a new skill or improved work habits will not exclude them from FLSA’s minimum wage and overtime requirements because the employer benefits from the intern’s work.

Displacement And Supervision Issues

If an employer uses interns as substitutes for regular workers or to augment its existing workforce during specific time periods, these interns should be paid at least the minimum wage and overtime compensation for hours worked over forty in a work week. If the employer would have hired additional employees or required existing staff to work additional hours had the interns not performed the work, then the interns will be viewed as employees and entitled compensation under the FLSA. Conversely, if the employer is providing job shadowing opportunities that allow an intern to learn certain functions under the close and constant supervision of regular employees, but the intern performs no or minimal work, the activity is more likely to be viewed as a bona fide educational experience. On the other hand, if the intern receives the same level of supervision as the employer’s regular workforce, this would suggest an employment relationship rather than training.

Job Entitlement

The internship should be of a fixed duration, established prior to the outset of the internship. Further, unpaid internships generally should not be used by the employer as a trial period for individuals seeking employment at the conclusion of the internship period. If an intern is placed with the employer for a trial period with the expectation that he or she will then be hired on a permanent basis, that individual generally would be considered an employee under the FLSA. (Source: United States Department of Labor)


ould be flawless and professional. Most resumes should be no l Because a resume is the employer’s first impression of you, it should be ger than one page for recent college graduates. Students flawless who and professional. Resumes should be no longer than one page for most ave a lengthy list of pre-professional experiences (like recent somecollege graduates. Students who have a lengthy list of pre-professional experiences (like some education and healthcare majors) may require two pages. ucation and healthcare majors) may require two pages. TheThe following components are suggestions to include on your resume. lowing components are suggestions to include on your resume.


Your heading should include your name, current address, phone number, and your email. It is important to use a professional or SVSU email on your resume.


An objective is not required. If you choose to have one, it must be specific and succinct, and should support the position for which you are applying.


Your education section should include a full spelling of your degree your major(s), minor(s) if applicable, and your grade point average if it is above a 3.0. Only list institutions where you are working toward a degree or from which you have earned a degree.


Your employment section should be listed in reverse chronological order, with the name of the employer, your position, location, and dates of employment. This section includes any positions, jobs or internships, in which you were paid. Each position should contain three to five descriptive and complete bullet point statements about your responsibilities and tasks on the job. Anyone should be able to pick up your resume and have a clear idea of what you did in your position.

Professional Development

Professional development can include unpaid internships and can highlight experiences in which you have held leadership positions. Like the Employment section, your list should be in reverse chronological order and include the name of the organization, your position, location and dates of involvement. Listing three to five specific bullet points detailing your responsibilities will give the employer a distinct understanding of what you did.

Involvement & Honors

Involvement and Honors contains a reverse chronological order listing of organizations to which you belong and any awards or honors you have received, such as scholarships, Dean’s List or other recognitions.


Some majors develop a specific skill set that employers require for certain jobs. It’s very important to include these skills on your resume to showcase your expertise and marketability. For example, graphic designers typically develop a skill set that includes various programs including Adobe InDesign, Illustrator and Photoshop. Computer science majors may include Language Proficiency such as C++, HTML, Java and CSS. A mechanical engineer student may wish to include various design applications they are proficient in such as AutoCAD, MATLAB and Solid Edge. Majors in Health and Human Services would want to include safety certifications such as First Aid, CPR and Blood Borne Pathogens.


SAMPLE RESUME 1 For most college students Joseph A. Joseph

7400 Bay Road, University Center, Michigan 48710 989.964.4954 EDUCATION Bachelor of Science in Computer Science Saginaw Valley State University, University Center, Michigan Minor: Physics GPA: 3.66/4.0

May 2013 (Expected)

EMPLOYMENT Technology Consultant August 2010 - May 2012 SpeedNet, Saginaw, Michigan Fielded customer phone calls to ensure quality assurance along the company’s range of products Oversaw the operation of the business’ servers and maintained the local network Assisted with the implementation of a wireless internet network to local residential and commercial properties Sales Associate August 2008 - August 2009 American Eagle, Saginaw, Michigan Scanned incoming and outgoing merchandise for inventory control Collaborated on store projects with store management Facilitated store growth through various marketing and advertising campaigns PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT Club Red Ambassador January 2011 - Present Saginaw Valley State University, University Center, Michigan Lead prospective students and parents on campus tours to develop an understanding of SVSU and its programs Represent SVSU in the highest regard to demonstrate a cohesive and diverse environment for prospective students VOLUNTEER WORK Green Cardinal Initiative, Saginaw Valley State University Alternative Breaks, Saginaw Valley State University Big Brothers, Big Sisters, Saginaw, MI

August 2012 - Present October 2011 - Present August 2011 - Present

SKILLS Progamming: C++, Perl, C, Java Multimedia: Camtasia, Adobe Flash, Quicktime INVOLVEMENTS & HONORS Conversation Pods National Society of Leadership and Success 1st Place, SVSU Speech Competition Saginaw Valley State University Award for Excellence Scholarship

February 2012 - Present January 2012 - Present August 2011 May 2011 - Present


SAMPLE RESUME 2 For students with pre-professional experience Susan B. Student

7400 Bay Road, University Center, Michigan 48710 989.964.4954 EDUCATION Bachelor of Science in Health Science Saginaw Valley State University, University Center, Michigan Minor: Psychology GPA: 3.72 / 4.0

May 2013 (expected)

FIELDWORK Physical Disabilities August 2011 - present Mid-Michigan Medical Center, Midland, Michigan Evaluate and treat clients from diverse backgrounds and with various diagnoses in an inpatient rehabilitation setting Implement treatment following clinical pathways and protocols in an acute care setting Assist physician in assessing psychological effects of patient disabilities to provide the best and most appropriate care EMPLOYMENT Medical Receptionist May 2011 - present Family Practice, Dr. Montgomery Shepherd, Midland, Michigan Aid in making patient visits with the doctor as smooth and relaxed as possible Prepare and update patient charts for physicians to maintain continuity Distribute faxes and messages to the correct physicians and/or staff members for efficient communication Schedule appointments and receive messages using a multi-line phone system Collect, post, and balance monies from patients; file reports and charts Server August 2009 - May 2011 Bennigan’s Restaurant, Saginaw, Michigan Reviewed patrons’ identification to ensure that they met minimum age requirements for consumption of alcoholic beverages Recorded customer food orders on order slips, memorized orders, and entered orders into computers for transmittal to kitchen staff Checked with customers to ensure that they were enjoying their meals and took action to correct any problems PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT Club Red Ambassador January 2011 - present Saginaw Valley State University, University Center, Michigan Lead prospective students and parents on campus tours to develop an understanding of SVSU and its programs Represent SVSU in the highest regard to demonstrate a cohesive and diverse environment for prospective students INVOLVEMENTS & HONORS Health Professionals Association January 2012 - present Pre-Physical Therapy Club January 2012 - present Health Science Association August 2011 - present Saginaw Valley State University Award for Excellence Scholarship August 2011 - present


SAMPLE RESUME 3 For experienced individuals Joe Johnson

7400 Bay Road, University Center, Michigan 48710 989.964.4954 EXPERIENCE Bay City Public Schools, Bay City Central High School, Bay City, Michigan Math Teacher, July 2011 - Present Teach Algebra, Advanced Algebra, Geometry, and ACT Prep Institute subject-specific after-school tutoring system Develop daily and unit lesson plans to facilitate educational development for students E2020 Online Learning Program Administrator Learning Options Program Junior class STAR/Grad Plan Supervisor Bay City Public Schools, Bay City Western High School, Bay City, Michigan Math Department Head-Teacher, February 2008 - July 2011 Taught Business-Consumer Math, Algebra, Algebra 2, Geometry, and Calculus Created and taught hybrid classroom online-learning courses Tailored teaching methods to suit individual needs of students from diverse cultural backgrounds to encourage development in all students School Improvement Co-Chair/School Technology-E2020 Online Learning Program Coordinator Carrollton Public Schools, Carrollton High School, Saginaw, Michigan Math and History Teacher, January 2007 - February 2008 Taught 8 block schedule Math courses: Algebra 1, Algebra 2, Geometry, and U.S./Michigan History Instituted subject-specific after-school tutoring system School Core Skills Representative/Teacher Representative to PTO EDUCATION Saginaw Valley State University, University Center, Michigan Bachelor of Arts in Secondary Education, May 2003 Major: Mathematics Minor: History and English CERTIFICATIONS & QUALIFICATIONS Secondary Education (6-12), History (CC), Mathematics (EX), English (BX Sec.), and Social Studies (RX) E2020 Online Learning Program, SASI Classroom Program, Integrade-Pro Gradebook, Turning Point Systems, Smart Board, PowerSchool, and Microsoft Office COACHING EXPERIENCE Varsity and Freshman Baseball, Bay City Central High School, July 2011 - Present Varsity Golf, Bay City Western High School, February 2008 - July 2011 Co-ed ALNet Softball, Carrollton High School, January 2007 - February 2008


A cover letter addresses the employer with your intentions of application for a position. A cover letter should be brief, specific, and convey the message you are trying to deliver - that you want an opportunity to interview for a position with the employer.

COVER LETTER Some necessary components to all cover letters are: The same heading that appears on your resume with your name, current address, phone number and email. The date of the letter. The recipient’s name, title, company name and business address. A proper salutation (e,g., Mr., Mrs., Miss, Ms., Dr.).











State the purpose of your letter and the position for which you are applying. Also indicate where you found out about the position and thank the person and the company for taking the time to review your application.

Inform the reader why you are interested in the position and reveal how your qualifications align with the responsibilities and duties of the position for which you are applying. Always provide specific examples to demonstrate your skills.

Now that you have informed the employer of your interest, market yourself. Make it known why you are the best for the position and what skills and qualities you will bring to the job and the employer. Be modest, yet firm and provide examples.

Thank them again for taking the time to review your resume and indicate your interest in an interview with the employer. Provide your contact information ― email and phone number will suffice.


7400 Bay Road, University Center, Michigan 48710 989.964.4954

December 1, 2012 Dave Davison Human Resources Dow Corning Corporation 3901 South Saginaw Road Midland, MI 48640 Mr. Davison: Please consider the enclosed resume as my application for the Human Resources Co-op position at the Dow Corning Corporation. I learned of this opportunity through an employee, John Johnson, and received additional information through the Career Services office at Saginaw Valley State University. Thank you for taking the time to review my application materials. While employed at XYZ Company, I utilized my administrative, organizational and communication proficiencies to perform tasks that included answering phones, responding to emails, running errands, sorting mail and using a multipurpose copier. In addition, I helped multiple departments maintain documents such as invoices, statements, packing slips, non-conforming product reports and data analysis sheets. Most importantly, I ensured customer satisfaction by providing customers with elemental analysis before orders were completed and performed advance research to resolve any customer issues. My background of working in a professional office setting and my education are excellent indicators that I will successfully perform in this position. A co-op position will allow me to utilize my administrative skills and gain professional experience in a corporate setting while pursuing a degree in business administration. I look forward to starting and advancing my career through a co-op position at Dow Corning Corporation. I would be happy to answer any questions you may have and would appreciate the opportunity to interview with you. You may contact me by phone or email at 989.964.4954 or Again, thank you for the time and the opportunity. Sincerely,

Susie Smith


Using power words on your resume are very important when it comes to developing effective bullet points. Power words, or actions, begin each bullet point describing your responsibilities. Power words help the employer understand what you did with solid action.

POWER WORDS Communicate Recruited Addressed Advertised Arbitrated Articulated Authored Collaborated Communicated Condensed Conferred Consulted Contacted Conveyed Convinced Corresponded Debated Defined Discussed Drafted Edited Elicited Enlisted Explained Expressed Furnished Influenced Interacted Interpreted Interviewed Involved Joined Judged Lectured Listened Mediated Moderated Negotiated Observed Outlined Participated Persuaded Presented Promoted Proposed Publicized Reconciled


Referred Reinforced Reported Resolved Responded Solicited Specific Spoke Suggested Summarized Synthesized Translated Wrote


Advised Coached Conducted Coordinated Critiqued Educated Enabled Encouraged Evaluated Facilitated Focused Guided Individualized Informed Instilled Instructed Motivated Simulated Stimulated Taught Tested Trained Transmitted Tutored


Administered Adjusted Allocated

Analyzed Appraised Assessed Audited Balanced Budgeted Calculated Computed Conserved Corrected Determined Estimated Forcasted Managed Marketed Measured Netted Planned Prepared Programmed Projected Qualified Reconciled Reduced Researched Retrieved


Analyzed Collected Compared Conducted Critiqued Detected Determined Diagnosed Evaluated Examined Experimented Explored Extracted Formulated Gathered Inspected Interviewed Invented

Investigated Located Measured Organized Researched Reviewed Searched Solved Summarized Surveyed Systemized Tested

Leadership Administered Analyzed Appointed Approved Assigned Attained Authorized Chaired Considered Consolidated Contracted Controlled Converted Coordinated Decided Delegated Directed Eliminated Emphasized Enforced Enhanced Established Executed Generated Handled Headed Hired Hosted Improved Incorporated Increased Initiated

Inspected Instituted Led Managed Merged Motivated Navigated Organized Originated Overhauled Oversaw Planned Presided Prioritized Produced Recommended Reorganized Replaced Restored Reviewed Scheduled Secured Selected Streamlined Strengthened Supervised Terminated


Acted Adapted Began Combined Composed Conceptualized Created Customized Designed Displayed Drew Entertained Established Fashioned Founded Illustrated Instituted

Integrated Introduced Invented Modeled Modified Originated Performed Photographed Planned Revised Revitalized Shaped Solved

Organization Approved Arranged Catalogued Categorized Charted Classified Coded Collected Compiled Corrected Distributed Executed Filed Generated Incorporated Inspected Logged Maintained Obtained Operated Ordered Organized Prepared Processed Provided Purchased Recorded Registered Reserved Responded Reviewed

Routed Scheduled Screened Submitted Supplied Standardized Systematized Updated Validated Verified


Adapted Advocated Aided Answered Assessed Assisted Clarified Coached Contributed Cooperated Counseled Demonstrated Diagnosed Educated Encouraged Ensured Expedited Facilitated Familiarized Furthered Guided Helped Insured Intervened Motivated Prevented Provided Rehabilitated Represented Resolved Simplified Supplied Supported Volunteered


Adapted Applied Assembled Calculated Computed Conserved Constructed Converted Debugged Designed Determined Developed Engineered Fabricated Fortified Installed Maintained Operated Overhauled Printed Programmed Rectified Regulated Remodeled Repaired Replaced Restored Solved Specialized Standardized Studied Upgraded Utilized

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REFERENCES PAGE About References

Building relationships with supervisors and professors is important to maintain a good circle of references that you will need when you apply for internships, co-ops, or jobs. A reference page includes professional and academic references that can speak to your abilities. Personal references should not be included. They tend to have bias and cannot speak to your professional attributes. This page should include the same header as your resume and cover letter and should include: Name of reference Occupation Employer name Employer address Employer phone number Business email

For Example:

Susie Smith

7400 Bay Road, University Center, Michigan 48710 989.964.4954 REFERENCES John Smith, General Manager Mooney’s Ice Cream 1234 Some Road Saginaw, Michigan 48602 989.555.0000 Dr. Sue Susan, Professor of Psychology Saginaw Valley State University 156 Brown Hall 7400 Bay Road University Center, Michigan 48710 989.555.1234 Dr. Joe Johnson, Physician Mid-Michigan Medical Center 4005 Orchard Drive Midland, Michigan 48670 989.555.9090

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Dress for the job you want. For interviews, career fairs or other networking events, dress the part and be impressive. Your clothes say a lot about you as a professional so take the time to make a great first impression.

PROFESSIONAL DRESS MEN Suit ― black, navy, or gray, two- or three-button Shirt ― long sleeve, solid white or pale blue Tie ― complements the suit (no graphics) Shoes and belt ― black or brown, must match each other; polished Socks ― match pants No excessive cologne Hair ― neat and trimmed; clean shaven or neatly trimmed Jewelry ― ring, watch or cuff links only if necessary; no earrings or other visible body piercings Tattoos should be covered

WOMEN Conservative suit ― black, navy, or gray Skirt ― no shorter than knee length Blouse ― solid white or pale blue; be mindful of showing too much skin Hosiery ― match suit or skin color Shoes ― polished with small to medium heel, neutral color Hair/Nails ― well-groomed with no loud colors Jewelry ― minimal and conservative (for example, avoid large hoops); visible body piercings, aside from earrings, should be removed No excessive perfume Appropriately sized purse, bag, or briefcase, but only one Tattoos should be covered

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By connecting with prospective employers through social networking, you can utilize online resources as a means for internship and employment acquisition.


As most are aware, Facebook is the largest and most popular social network. You use it to have conversations, post pictures and videos and catch up with old friends. Basically, most Facebook users disclose more information than they should. This is where your problem lies. If you don’t lock it up or clean it up, this could have a huge impact on the way that potential employers look at you as a candidate and can make or break a decision to hire you. Clean up your page by doing things such as removing and untagging poor photos, removing wall posts, and editing your privacy settings for maximum security. However, you can use Facebook to your advantage. By “liking” pages of employers and companies in which you are interested, it keeps you updated on what’s going on in their worlds. It’s impressive to a recruiter when you know current news about their company. Career Services also uses Facebook to post news, articles, events, and job, internship, and co-op opportunities. By “liking” SVSU Career Services, you will get special access to all of this FREE information that helps to foster your career and professional development.


Twitter is used by many different organizations and people as another social media and networking tool. If used correctly, Twitter can be beneficial to your job search and to getting tips on career and professional development. By using strategic hash tags (e.g., #careers #resume #jobs #jobsinMI), you can find jobs that companies are posting on Twitter or advice on career development. Many employers have Twitter accounts dedicated solely to tweeting information about new job postings within their companies. Other smaller companies have general Twitter accounts. It is a good idea to follow these accounts for upcoming news on the company and information that might be helpful in an interview. The more you know about an employer, the better off you will be. Remember, unless your tweets are private, employers can still search for you and see what you’re tweeting so be careful and mindful of the information that you are posting. If you have a job, be sure to add a disclaimer that your tweets are your own. In addition, if you follow Career Services on Twitter, you will get tons of tweets of information regarding events, career development tips and ideas, and job postings that we retweet from employers. Follow us @SVSUCareers


LinkedIn is a professional social network. On LinkedIn you will find over 175 million students and professionals from around the world connecting. Instead of personal information, LinkedIn is like an electronic resume that houses information on your professional life, including student status, occupation, skills, involvements, honors and much more. By making connections on LinkedIn with colleagues, peers and employers, you create a network of professionals. LinkedIn can be used to find jobs and opportunities, including a specific site for students seeking post-graduate employment ( In order to have an effective LinkedIn profile, it must be complete and current. Collect recommendations from past supervisors or peers, join groups, follow companies and most importantly, maintain your network by using LinkedIn. Don’t forget to Google yourself to assess the impression an employer could get if they Googled you!


Aside from your resume, the interview is the most important element in the job search process. Through interviews, you and the employer have a chance to exchange information and participate in a discussion to determine whether you are a good fit for their organization and whether the organization is a good fit for you.

INTERVIEWING TIPS Preparing to Interview Conversation Skills

Despite your best intentions, if you have not practiced before the interview, you will probably make a mistake. Try not to abuse words and phrases such as, “like,” “uh,” “um,” or “you know.” These overused words and phrases are nervous habits that make for awkward conversation. Though acceptable in informal conversations, they may leave a lackluster impression of you with the employer.

Body Language

Exercise eye contact, a firm handshake, proper posture (leaning slightly forward) and a positive demeanor. It is important to maintain all of these in the interview. Be enthusiastic and interested. Research suggests that body language has over 50 percent impact on what you are verbalizing, so it is important to exercise it well.

Know Your Resume

It is inevitable that you will get questions regarding the work and educational experiences that appear on your resume. Be sure that you know everything on your resume and that you can answer questions about it, especially specific examples that demonstrate characteristics that you claim to possess.

STAR Guide

The STAR guide is a technique to learn and use for interviewing when answering situational questions. By utilizing this method, you are ensuring that your answers are clear, thorough and complete.


Briefly describe the background of your example and include your role.


Share the details of the problem or responsibility you were charged with in the situation.


Describe the various courses of action you could have taken and why you chose a certain action. Detail what you did in the action.


Describe the outcome and/or resolution of the situation. If positive, what was successful? If negative, what could you have done differently?


Interviewers will ask a variety of questions to ascertain whether an applicant is qualified for the position and delve further to assess a candidate’s growth potential within their company. The following questions are not all-inclusive, but provide a guideline for several you should expect during the course of an interview.

INTERVIEW QUESTIONS Popular Interview Questions Tell us about yourself.

You will likely be asked this question, so use it to your advantage! Stay clear of personal information. Answer using the most recent and relevant information. “I am a recent graduate of SVSU with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication. I enjoy keeping up with trends in social media, writing in my music blog, and creating infographics.”

What would you do if...?

Situational questions are very common. The employer may want to see how you will react if presented with a hypothetical scenario. Answer thoroughly and try to incorporate examples of similar situations you may have encountered from previous experiences by using the STAR Guide.

Tell me about a time when you...

This type of question digs for information from you regarding a specific scenario and is commonly known as behavioral interviewing. The employer might ask about a time when you had to work with a difficult customer and how you handled the situation. They might ask you to describe a time when you had to work in a group. Again, the STAR method is very valuable to counter these types of questions.

Do you have any questions for us?

Never leave a job interview answering this question with “no.” By asking an employer a question or two, you will exhibit interest in the employer and the position. Preparing these questions in advance is easy. Also, pay attention to the questions they ask you during the interview. Ask the interviewer questions that show that you learned new information about their company or organization.

For example:

What would a typical day be like? Can you tell me how success in this position is measured? Who would I work with most closely on a daily basis? What do you consider the most challenging aspect of this position for someone who is new to your organization? What are your major projects in the coming year? How do you encourage your employees to keep current with professional developments in the field?

It is imperative to research the employer prior to the interview to avoid asking questions that are already answered on their website.


COMMON INTERVIEW QUESTIONS Other Common Interview Questions Can you summarize the contribution you would make to our department? Why did you choose to attend SVSU? Tell me about your most significant work experience. Why are you the best candidate for this position? Have you ever supervised anyone? What are your strongest skills? (Back up answers with specific examples.) Tell me about the most difficult experience you’ve faced and how you handled it.

What do you expect from your supervisor? Describe to me the best and worst supervisor you ever had. (Never talk badly about a previous employer.) How do you define success? What are the most important qualities necessary for success in this field and which of these qualities do you possess? How did you motivate a resistant student or client to comply with your instructions? How would you be described by former colleagues? How would you describe yourself?

Why should we hire you? (Be ready for this one. Even if it is not asked directly, the answer to this should be woven throughout all of your responses.)

How would a supervisor or colleague describe you?

What do you think is the most significant problem in our field today?

What are your long-term career goals?

Why are you interested in this job? Why are you interested in working for us? Describe your greatest strength. Describe your greatest weakness. (The key to this question is to be honest about a work-related flaw and to thoroughly describe how you are working to improve. By being honest, you can build trust with the employer in addition to demonstrating your ability to overcome challenges.) What do you know about our company? Are you a team player? How do you handle conflict? How competitive are you?

When did you know you wanted to be in this field?

Where do you see yourself in five years? (You may wish to answer this in terms of skills acquired or further education.) What do you do in your spare time? What do you enjoy doing when you are not working? How do you relieve stress? What gives you the most satisfaction in your work? Why?

i am

What two or three things are most important to you in your job?

prepared! 20

The single best piece of advice in this process: Do everything early!



While the graduate school process is a long one and you may feel you have plenty of time to write essays, get recommendations, or take your tests, you will find that the time passes incredibly quickly. You don’t want these deadlines to sneak up on you, to be biting your nails as you wait for the last professor to finish a recommendation, or try to cram last-minute for the GRE. Basically, you have to start at least a full year in advance! (Though this may depend on the program you are applying for and the requirements you will need to fulfill.) Giving yourself ample lead-time is especially important if you are looking at graduate school as a way to change careers or are entering a program that is different from your undergraduate program as you may find that there are prerequisite courses necessary in order to gain admittance to the programs you are considering. You also want plenty of time to gather information on the various prgrams in your area of interest and to evaluate the relative benefits of different schools before you start applying. Planning a year ahead will give you time to really consider what you want out of your graduate school education, to gather information from various sources on the best programs and schools, and to gather information directly from schools on what they can offer you.


One of the best ways to gather information is to talk to people. Talk to experts in the field, talk to your professors, talk to people who attended the schools or programs you are considering. The most valuable thing you can do right now is gather all the information you can about different schools and programs as well as the benefits of attaining a graduate school education and how to do so. You need to determine: why you want to go to school, what you want to study, what you want from a program, how you are going to accomplish and pay for all of this, and many other things. Gathering information from a variety of sources is therefore your first step to getting the answers you need.


You can begin contacting schools and getting graduate school applications now. Where you apply is based on a variety of factors. The schools you choose to apply to should provide programs that match your interests and can give you the necessary environment to pursue your graduate studies; in addition, you need to consider things such as location and cost. Apply to enough schools that you will have options come acceptance time. You will want at least one safe school that you are confident you can get into, as well as at least one school that presents a real challenge in terms of competitiveness.


Almost all graduate programs require some type of standardized test, whether it be the GRE, LSAT, MCAT, GMAT or the like. Now is a great time to get informed on the testing locations and schedules, get some test preparation materials, and start studying! You might be surprised at how much of your high school mathematics you’ve forgotten.


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going to maximize my potential!

Need help finding a program? Check out for a complete guide to accredited graduate programs.

GRADUATE SCHOOL continued Recommendations

While it is a bit early to be asking for recommendations now if you are still in school, it is a great time to build relationships with your professors. You are much more likely to get a positive recommendation if your professors know you and can speak from personal experience rather than solely reciting a list of your accomplishments. If you have the opportunity to be an assistant to one of your professors during your senior year, capitalize on it. Either way, take the opportunity to talk to your professors about your interest in graduate school. You may be surprised to discover how receptive they will be. They were in your shoes at some point and will probably be more than happy to help you with any advice or assistance they can offer.


Right now is also a great time to begin drafting the personal statement you will need for your application essays. For some people, writing their personal essay is the most difficult part of the process; starting early can help alleviate the stress as deadlines are still far away. One benefit of writing your application essays in advance is that you get to think through your reasons for pursuing a graduate education and what qualifies you to do so. Frequently, students will learn something about themselves through this highly introspective process that helps them in better defining their academic and personal goals. Such clarity can be of great benefit when considering where to apply.



SVSU offers the following post-baccalaureate degrees and programs. Contact SVSU Graduate Programs at 989.964.6096 or, or the appropriate department for more details.

College of Arts & Behavioral Sciences 989.964.4062 Administrative Science (MAS) Communication and Digital Media (CDM)

College of Business & Management 989.964.4064 Business Administration (MBA)

College of Education

989.964.4057 Post Baccalaureate Initial Teacher Certification (TC) Post Teacher Certification Non-Degree & Endorsement Programs in Education (TC) Teaching (MAT) Instructional Technology (MAIT) E-Learning (MAEL) Principalship (Med) Educational Leadership (M.Ed.) Education Specialist and Special Education Approval Programs (EdS)

College of Health & Human Services 989.964.2732 Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Nursing (MSN) Health Leadership (MSHL) Occupational Therapy (MSOT)

College of Science, Engineering & Technology 989.964.6096 Energy and Materials (MEM)


SVSU Career Guide 2013  

Advice on how to take advantage of the resources offered through Career Services, including: resume and cover letter assistance, mock interv...

SVSU Career Guide 2013  

Advice on how to take advantage of the resources offered through Career Services, including: resume and cover letter assistance, mock interv...