Office of Career Services a Summary of Services and Events A Message From the OCS Director......................................................... 4 An Overview of Our Services................................................................... 5 Student Employment Office..................................................................... 6 Career ARTICLES Career Choices Turning Your Intership into a Full-Time Position.......................................... 8 Thinking About Graduate School................................................................ 9 Job Search/Self Marketing Advice for Success at the College Job Fair........................................... 10 Job Search Strategies.............................................................................11 Networking: The Number One Job Search Strategy............................. 12 Making Social Networking Websites Work for You............................... 13 Transferable Skills.................................................................................. 14 Resume Tips/Key Words Resume Writing...................................................................................... 16 Action Verbs for Your Resume............................................................... 17 Writing a Curriculum Vitae...................................................................... 18 Sample Resumes Sample Resumes................................................................................... 19 Sample Cover Letters............................................................................. 21 Professional Employment Related Letters............................................ 22 Cover Letters/Interviewing Interviewing............................................................................................. 24 Behavioral Interviewing.......................................................................... 25 Questions Asked by Employers............................................................. 26 Questions for Candidates to Ask Employers ........................................ 26 Considering Job Offers........................................................................... 27
ADVERTISER INDEX Adler School of Professional Psychology.......................................................2 Enterprise...........................................................................................................15 GSS Infotech......................................................................................................31
Career Planning Guide
The University of Illinois at Chicago Office of Career Services (M/C 099) 1200 W. Harrison, Room 3050 Chicago, IL 60607-7165 (312) 996-2300 http://careers.ocs.uic.edu Barbara Henley Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Linda Deanna Associate Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs/Dean of Students AndrĂŠs Garza Director Office of Career Services Jaime Velasquez, Editor Assistant Director Office of Career Services Daniel Ruiz Cover Design NONDISCRIMINATION STATEMENT The commitment of the University of Illinois to the most fundamental principles of academic freedom, equality of opportunity, and human dignity requires that decisions involving students and employees be based on individual merit and be free from invidious discrimination in all its forms. It is the policy of the University of Illinois not to engage in discrimination or harassment against any person because of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, ancestry, age, marital status, disability, sexual orientation, unfavorable discharge from the military, or status as a disabled veteran or a veteran of the Vietnam era and to comply with all federal and state nondiscrimination, equal opportunity, and affirmative action laws, orders, and regulations. The nondiscrimination policy applies to admissions, employment, access to and treatment in the University programs and activities. Complaints of invidious discrimination prohibited by University policy are to be resolved within existing University procedures. For more information contact the Office for Access and Equity, (312) 996-8670. Rights - All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without written permission of the publisher. ÂŠ Copyright 2011 Office of Career Services UIC Office of Career Services
Office of Career Services Room 3050 Student Services Building • 1200 W. Harrison • (312) 996-2300 Andrés Garza Director Mark R. Martell Assistant Director
Jaime Velasquez Assistant Director
Katherine (Kathyy) A. Battee-Freeman Assistant Director
Elizabeth (Liz) Herrera Assistant Director
A Message From The Director Greetings and welcome to UIC for the 2011-2012 academic year. It’s been a busy summer with the staff in the Office of Career Services (OCS) and the Student Employment Office (SEO) working hard to provide you with quality job search services. We have redesigned our website to make it easier to navigate and to provide you with additional information about our services and events. While there was a noticeable bump in recruitment activity during the spring semester and the employment outlook for college graduates has improved, we are not sure whether this increase will carry over to the current recruitment season. We continue to see some employers recruiting on campus for the first time in years and new employers registering for recruitment activities. Once again, we will cohost a government job fair on our campus this fall. Regardless of the strength or weakness of the economy, I cannot emphasize enough that there are excellent employment opportunities for those students who prepare. Students who are successful in finding a job after graduation understand that it takes time and hard work. Registering with our office and using the UICcareers. com website are the first steps in your job search. Attending workshops, career fairs, and employer information sessions to network with prospective employers, are also key elements in making a smooth transition from UIC to your professional life. Whether your plans are to search for a job or apply to graduate school, the use of OCS services is essential to your success. Students and parents often ask, “What does it take to succeed in finding employment after graduation?” I think that the key is to focus on your goal and to use all of the resources available on and off-campus. There are jobs available. You may have to look at smaller companies or government positions as well as the large employers to find your position. To aid in your search, the OCS staff has invited thousands of local and regional employers to recruit at UIC either on campus or through the use of UICcareers.com. Stop by OCS and meet with a counselor or use http://careers.ocs.uic.edu to learn more about our services. Taking a few minutes to upload your resume on UICcareers.com and having an OCS staff member review it are the first steps in your job search. This small investment of time can result in employment opportunities throughout the year. Remember that while some employers conduct on-campus interviews many others recruit exclusively by posting their positions on UICcareers.com. Thousands of excellent opportunities are posted on this website every year. Reaping the benefits of your years of hard work in school requires your active participation to ensure a successful job search. This Career Planning Guide gives you an overview of our services and articles on numerous aspects of the job search. Additional information about our services and a schedule of all of our workshops/career fairs can be viewed at http://careers.ocs.uic.edu. Mark your calendar with the events that are important to your job search. Come visit our office, meet with our staff, and use our services. We look forward to working with you this year. Andrés Garza Director
UIC Office of Career Services
Office of Career Services: An Overview of Our Services The Office of Career Services provides a variety of services to assist UIC students and recent graduates with career development plans and job search strategies. Appointments may be arranged by visiting our office at 1200 W. Harrison, Room 3050 Student Services Building, or by calling (312) 996-2300. Our office hours are 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. INDIVIDUAL COUNSELING Students from all academic disciplines can make an appointment with a career professional to discuss general job search questions, resume and cover letter reviews, interviewing questions, and any other career related concerns. DROP-IN ADVISING Get answers to quick career related questions. No appointment necessary. Please check the schedule on our website at http:// careers.ocs.uic.edu for times. CAREER SEMINARS It is mandatory that students who wish to interview on campus during the academic year in which they graduate attend one of these seminars. Registration is not required but students MUST be on time. A listing of seminar dates is available on our website. CAREER EXPLORATION CENTER Our extensive resource library contains materials with information on career exploration and preparation, job search strategies, and relocation information. Other resources include: • Current job and internship listings from a variety of sources • Computers for students working on career development and/or job search tasks • Company and government agency information • Graduate school, test preparation, and scholarship information • FREE career and graduate school magazines and guides VIDEOTAPED MOCK INTERVIEWS Mock interviews are arranged by appointment and enable students to practice their interviewing skills. Students receive instant feedback on their interviewing skills and are able to watch themselves on tape. Students are allowed one mock interview per semester. CAREER FAIRS/DAYS A variety of Career Fairs/Days are conducted throughout the fall and spring semesters. These programs offer an opportunity for students to interact with employers, learn about job opportunities, and submit their resumes. WORKSHOPS Many workshops are offered throughout the fall and spring semesters addressing topics such as creating a resume, interviewing, networking and attending a job fair. SIGI3 Sigi3 integrates self-assessment with in-depth and up-to-date career information to help you evaluate your values, interests, and activities; and explore career options. To use this tool, visit
http://sigi3.ocs.uic.edu. Select “click here to use SIGI3.” Under “NEW USERS- Create an Account” enter the “Access code” uicocs3050 and create your own “Desired ID.” UICCAREERS.COM UICCareers is used to manage job and internship listings, full-time on-campus interviews, the resume service and occasionally oncampus interviews for internships and/or part-time positions. All UIC students have basic access which allows you to view some listings; however you must register with the appropriate office(s) to get full access. • Job and Internship Listings The following offices post and encourage employers to post jobs and internships at UICCareers.com: Office of Career Services, Undergraduate Business Career Center, Liautaud Graduate School of Business Career Center, Engineering Career Center, and the Student Employment Office. • On-campus Interviews for Full-Time Positions Companies/organizations schedule on-campus interviews with graduating students. You must be registered to use this service. To get registered you must attend a Career Seminar, have your resume reviewed and uploaded into UICCareers.com, and complete the white signature card. Interviews typically take place from September to November and from February to April. Graduating students should register for this service as early as possible in the academic year in which they graduate, even if you are not graduating until May or July. • Resume Service Students and recent alumni may upload their resumes into UICCareers.com. Employers can only see your resume if you give permission to be included in the resume service and/or apply to the company’s job, internship, or interview listing. SERVICES FOR EDUCATION AND SOCIAL WORK MAJORS Employment Resources: • Education Job Fair is held in the spring semester. It provides students with a unique opportunity to interview on campus with area school districts. Credential Services for Graduating UIC Students: • As of October 8, 2007, The UIC Office of Career Services no longer accepts requests to set up new credential files. • We recommend that candidates seeking credential services utilize Interfolio. Interfolio is an online service that is dedicated to maintaining credential files and can be accessed at http:// interfolio.com. • If you are a student or alum who has already established a credential file with our office, you may request your letter be sent out by stopping in room 3050 of the Student Services Building. STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES According to the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, employers cannot discriminate against qualified individuals with disabilities. For additional information please refer to www.eeoc.gov. For advice on how to handle the job search and interview process students are encouraged to make an appointment with a career counselor. UIC Office of Career Services
Student Employment Office Room 2100 Student Services Building • 1200 W. Harrison • (312) 996-3130 Carmen J. Garza Assistant Director for Student Employment
Monica Gerhardt Human Resources Representative
Approximately 70% of University of Illinois at Chicago students hold part-time jobs on campus and in the Chicagoland area while pursuing their studies. As part of the University’s commitment to assist in helping students pay for attending the University, the Student Employment Office offers four services for part-time employment. They are: • University Employment (Federal Work Study or Regular Student Employment) • Student Temporary Service • Job Location & Development Program • General Off-Campus Employment The Student Employment Office holds seminars on different employment topics, provides assistance with resume writing and interviewing techniques, and sponsors events such as job fairs. Please visit the Student Employment website at http://jobs. studemp.uic.edu for more information about these events. ON-CAMPUS EMPLOYMENT A wide variety of University departments offer part-time oppor tunities to students. In order to work on campus, a student must be enrolled for at least half-time (six hours) during the normal academic year. Graduate and professional students, as well as those students receiving federal or University-based financial aid, may work at the campus. On-campus positions begin above the federal minimum wage with an average commitment of 10-15 hours per week. Students may review current postings online at www.uiccareers. com. Students simply need to contact the departments for posi tions in which they are qualified. Once hired, the student will need to visit the Student Employment Office with a Student Employee Requisition Form and appropriate employment documentation (see Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986). FEDERAL WORK STUDY PROGRAM The primary purpose of the Federal Work Study Program is to provide part-time employment opportunities for students who have financial need. Federal Work Study is part of a student’s financial aid package. To be considered for the Federal Work Study Program, students file for financial aid each academic year. Students must work in order to utilize the Federal Work Study award. Contact the Office of Student of Student Financial Aid (312-996-3126) regarding eligibility information. STUDENT TEMPORARY SERVICE The Student Temporary Service is geared toward students who are interested in short-term assignments around campus. Most positions last at least one to two days and up to two to three weeks in length. Students can complete an application for the program and meet with a staff member. The Student Employment staff member will review the student’s skills, work history and class schedule. As positions become available, the staff member will contact students directly to inform them about the temporary assignments. JOB LOCATION & DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM The Job Location & Development Program is a federally funded
UIC Office of Career Services
Jorge Martinez Romo Human Resources Assistant
program that assists students with part-time employment that is career related. Students must complete an application for the program and submit a resume and meet with the coordinator of the program. As positions become available, the Student Employment staff member will refer students to positions for which they qualify. Applications will be kept on file for one year. In order to be eligible for the program, an applicant must be a UIC student, registered for at least 6 credit hours and have more than one semester remaining. Because of federal funding, the student must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident. GENERAL OFF CAMPUS The General Off Campus area provides a listing of positions, varying from clerical, food service, physical labor, or retail to name a few. Businesses around the Chicagoland area place part-time postings, as well as full-time, throughout the break periods. Once posted, students may search for these positions online at www. uiccareers.com and contact the companies directly. JOB SEARCH TECHNIQUES AND STRATEGIES UIC students may find employment in one of two ways: 1. Find a part-time job by contacting the department, office or campus unit where they wish to work. Often departments advertise job openings on their own departmental bulletin boards. Students also hear of job openings talking directly to staff or other students. 2.
Select and contact the part-time positions listed through the Student Employment Office. These positions are posted in a central location for easy access on www.uiccareers.com.
In either instance, once hired the student must visit the Student Employment Office to complete the employment hire paperwork. Hire paperwork includes federal as well as state forms that must be completed by all employees at the University. In addition, the student must submit documentation for employment purposes. BENEFITS OF STUDENT EMPLOYMENT •Part-time employment provides the student with valuable work experience and an opportunity to test and develop skills, whether it be specific skills or abilities that will benefit the student as they move from one work situation to another or from one career to another. •Part-time employment often develops into full-time professional opportunities. As a result, many jobs offer a critical starting point toward a definite and viable career path. •Part-time jobs allow the student to experience something new and completely different or unrelated from their academic interests. For many, working 12-15 hours a week is a refreshing break from the books.
Continued on page 7
Continued from page 6 •Working part-time develops effective time-management skills. Holding down a job requires you to balance a class schedule, study time, leisure time and the demands of a work schedule. •National statistics indicate that students who work an average of 12-15 hours per week develop more effective study habits and perform better academically. This may be a result of developing effective time-management skills. •Working can develop self-confidence, self-sufficiency and a real sense of independence for many individuals. These are personal attributes that are in high demand in the job market. •Students who work through a series of jobs while attend ing college can establish for themselves an excellent work record and employment history. A solid work history can benefit the student as they begin seeking permanent employment.
•Helps reduce the cost of education loans. •Finally, it is important to note that employment is a part of education itself. What better way is there to learn about the world of employment than “on the job!”
NATIONAL STUDENT EMPLOYMENT WEEK National Student Employment Week will be held the week of April 9-13, 2012. This week was established by the National Student Employment Association and celebrated nationally to recognize and appreciate the contributions made by student employees. In the past, UIC has celebrated with various events including seminars, raffles, contests such as penny and trivia contests and much more. In addition, UIC recognizes the contributions made by its own workers by sponsoring the UIC Student Employee All-Stars award. This is where UIC supervisors can nominate a student employee. Five students are selected on their overall performance and receive an award. For more information, please visit our website at http://jobs.studemp.uic.edu.
UIC Office of Career Services
Turning Your Internship Into a Full-Time Position One of the best benefits of an internship or cooperative educa tion experience is that it can serve as your passport to future employment opportunities. Getting your foot in the door by landing the internship or co-op is only half of the challenge in turning your career dreams into a reality. The more vital half is to build a reputation during this career experience that will culminate in receiving a full-time job offer. A growing number of employers are using internships as a way to gain a first in-depth look at prospective employees. In this respect, both you and your employer have a common goal—namely, to determine if there is a good fit between you. Here are ten tips to becoming a savvy intern and making powerful career moves: 1. Exhibit a Can-Do Attitude Pass the attitude test and you will be well on your way to success. Attitude speaks loud and clear and makes a lasting impression, so make sure that yours is one of your greatest assets. Take on any task assigned—no matter how small—with enthusiasm. Take the initiative to acquire new skills. Accept criticism graciously and maintain a sense of humor. 2. Learn the Unwritten Rules Get to know your co-workers early in your internship. They will help you figure out quickly the culture in which you will be working. Being the “new kid” is like being a freshman all over again. You will need to adapt, observe, learn and process a large volume of information. Watch closely how things get done. Ask questions and pay attention to how people interact with each other. 3. Take Your Assignments Seriously Build a reputation for being dependable. Be diligent and accurate in your work. You may encounter a great deal of ambiguity in the work environment, so seek direction when in doubt and do whatever it takes to get the job done. As an intern, you will generally start out by performing small tasks, asking a lot of questions and learning the systems. Your internship supervisor knows that there will be an initial learning curve and will make allowances for mistakes. Learn from your errors and move on to your next task. From there, your responsibilities and the expectations of others are likely to grow. 4. Meet Deadlines Always assume the responsibility to ask when an assignment is due. This will help you to understand your supervisor’s priorities and to manage your time accordingly. Alert your boss in advance if you will be unable to meet expectations. This will show respect and professional maturity. 5. Set Realistic Goals and Expectations Invest actively in the most critical element of your internship— that is, the learning agenda which you set up with your super visor at the beginning of the assignment. Your learning agenda should target specific skills and competencies that you wish to acquire and demonstrate. After all, the learning agenda is what distinguishes a short-term job from an internship. It is up to you to establish a correlation between your learning goals and the daily work you are asked to perform. Maintain a journal of your activities and accomplishments in order to monitor your progress. Seek
UIC Office of Career Services
regular reviews from your supervisor to assess your performance and reinforce the fact that you mean business. 6. Communicate Respectfully Assume that everyone else knows more than you do. However, don’t be afraid to present useful ideas that may save time or money or solve problems. Make sure, however, that your style does not come across as cocky. Employers value assertiveness but not aggressiveness. Find out the proper way to address individuals, including customers. Maintain a pleasant and respectful demeanor with every person, regardless of his or her rank. 7. Be Flexible Accept a wide variety of tasks, even those that may not relate directly to your assignments or those that may seem like grunt work. Your willingness to go the extra mile, especially during “crunch time,” will help you carve the way to assuming greater responsibilities. 8. Be a Team Player Learn how your assignment fits into the grand scheme of things and keep a keen eye on getting the job done. In today’s work environment, success is often defined along the lines of your ability to get along with and interact with others. You’re a winner only if your team wins. 9. Get a Mentor Identify at least one individual to serve as your mentor or professional guardian. It should be someone who is willing to take a personal interest in your career development and success. Once you know your way around, begin to network wisely and get “plugged in” by associating with seasoned employees who may share their knowledge, perspectives and insights. Get noticed, because many more people will have a role in determining your future than you might at first realize. 10. Have Fun! Last but not least, enjoy learning, sharpening your skills and developing professionally and personally. Participate in workrelated social functions and become an active member in your work community. Make your internship or co-op experience work for you. It can be the first link in the chain of your career.
Lina Melkonian Director of Development San Jose State University, College of Engineering
Thinking About Graduate School? Katherine Battee-Freeman Assistant Director for Recruitment UIC Office of Career Services As new and upcoming graduates look at their future, many think it may be easier to stay in school and wait for the situation to improve. In addition to the challenging job market, the fear of entering the “real world” and the misconception that having a higher degree will automatically increase ones pay makes graduate school more appealing. While graduate school may be beneficial for some, it may be detrimental for others. The financial, physical, and emotional cost of graduate school can be great. Please consider all your options and do not rush into a decision. Below are some questions to consider while evaluating your decision. • Does your long term career goal require a graduate degree? If you know for certain you want to be a neurosurgeon, a lawyer, or even a college professor; then a graduate degree is going to be required. However, if you’re still deciding on your career choice, it may be advantageous to wait before going to graduate school. • Do you have the experience you need? Some graduate programs require or expect students to have experience prior to entering the program. Research the type of program that fits your career goals so you know whether taking some time off will make you a better candidate for the programs that interest you. Also, going directly to graduate school without getting any work experience may harm your job search. Employers expect job seekers to have a combination of education and experience. • Are you exhausted from spending the past 4 to 6 years getting your undergraduate degree? Getting an undergraduate degree can be exhausting and getting a graduate degree can be even more exhausting. Don’t begin a program before you are emotionally and physically ready to give it your all. If you start the program exhausted, it is going to be difficult to have the energy to complete the program. • Can you manage the financial responsibilities of graduate school? Look into your finances and options for assistance before making your final decision. If working and saving for a year or two will ease your financial burden, it may be worth it so that you can focus on school when you begin your program and not worry as much about how to pay for the program. Also make sure to look into what types of assistance are available at the school, through your community, and even through your employer. Finding out what percentage of graduate students in your program of interest receive financial assistant will tell you how likely you are to receive help in paying for the program. • How is graduate school going to impact the other areas of your life? Look at what else and who else is going to be impacted by your decision to attend graduate school. How will this decision impact your ability to work? How will this decision impact your health? How will this decision impact your interaction with your significant other, your children, your family, and your most dear friends? Are the benefits stronger than the disadvantages? Other resources to help with your decision: • The Career Exploration Center in the UIC Office of Career Services has a special section dedication to exploring, identifying, and applying to graduate school. It contains more than 60 books and is located in Room 3050 of the Student Services Building. • The 2011 Chicago Graduate and Professional School Fair Thursday, October 6, 2011, 3:00 pm -7:00 pm in the UIC Forum http://chicagogradfair.ocs.uic.edu • Approaching the Graduate School Decision: The Calendar and Considerations Involved http://www.marist.edu/careerservices/gradschl.html • Why GradSchool http://www.gradschools.com/Category/Why-GradSchool.html • Grad School . . . Explore the Possibilities http://www.drake.edu/career/student/graduateschool.php
UIC Office of Career Services
Advice for Success at the College Job Fair Jaime Velasquez Assistant Director UIC Office of Career Services When a college student thinks about getting a job, one of the first things that comes to mind is going to the annual job fair held at the University or College. The first thing you need to know, like everything else related to your career search, is that you must prepare yourself for the fair. Begin by preparing an effective and professional resume. For information on recommended formats for resumes, read the related article in this guide. We have also included a sample cover letter and thank you letter. How else do you prepare for a job fair? The second and most obvious thing to do is invest in a good business suit/outfit that is going to impress employers. Do not wear clothes that you would wear to nightclubs or parties. Remember that ‘conservative’ is the theme, and colors and patterns should reflect this. The key element is to look sharp, be clean and have a positive attitude and pleasant personality. Remember that employers are making judgments on you on that ‘first impression,’ so make it a great one! Research employers thoroughly. Show them that you have done your homework and really have a genuine interest in what they do. It is easy to research a company via the web or the UIC library and find out what they do as well as their history. The most important thing you can do to make a positive impression on a recruiter is to go to the job fair and ask specific questions about the company.
benefits. This is important to know when you start to discuss salary/benefits once an offer has been extended to you.
Today’s most valuable source of information on employers is the Internet. Almost all companies and organizations have a website. The best way to search for a particular site is to use a web search engine like Yahoo. com or Google.com. There are also a number of sites on the web that not only list specific jobs but information on employers, like Hoovers, engineeringjobs. com, Monster.com or Monster College, Career Rookie to name a few. Also check the Career Services home page for a list of employers that will be at the job fair. Employers are usually linked to their web sites. When gathering information, remember to concentrate on the most relevant data related to the position you want. Most employers also provide general information on company
Once you have all the information you need, make a list of the companies you are most interest in by listing them in order of priority. Plan on first speaking to the ones on the top of your list. There will likely be long lines for the most popular employers at the fair. DO NOT talk on your cell phone while you are waiting in line. This is disrespectful to those around you and considered unprofessional by many recruiters. Smile as you approach the recruiter and offer them a firm handshake. Introduce yourself by speaking in a clear and articulate manner. Be prepared to offer a one-minute ‘commercial’ about yourself. Maintain good eye contact but do not stare (you may scare them). Remember to ask relevant questions and ask for their business card. When you go home write a brief thank you note
UIC Office of Career Services
Photo courtesy of Jaime Velasquez
For over 30 years UIC has hosted some of the Chicago area’s largest college job fairs - The Fall and Spring Diversity Career Days. to those employers that interest you the most. You will be competing with hundreds of other potential candidates at the fair. Keep in mind that this is only one fair out of many that this recruiter will be participating in during the year. You are one out of a thousand candidates for only a handful of jobs. This is why we recommend you do everything you can to stay one-step ahead of the game. Everything you do to prepare is highly important, so take advantage of the Career Services Office and visit us from time to time.
Job Search Strategies NETWORKING Job search networking is the number one way that people acquire jobs. Networking starts with friends, family, and neighbors and expands to former coworkers, college alumni, and social and business networking sites. Whether you are attending a party or making small talk with the person sitting next to you on an airplane, don’t be shy about mentioning that you are seeking employment. You never know who you’re going to meet! • Utilize the alumni member directory: www.uiaa.org – click on Online Directory • Utilize www.Facebook.com for professional purposes • Join www.LinkedIn.com • Join a professional organization: www.weddles.com/ associations/ • Do an informational interview JOB POSTINGS ON THE INTERNET Don’t rely only on Career Builder and Monster- these job boards are saturated with job seekers and are often flooded with jobs from employment/temporary agencies. Also, due to the high cost, smaller companies may not be able to post on these sites. The Office of Career Services provides lists of smaller, more targeted job board sites. • Use www.UICcareers.com • Visit http://careers.ocs.uic.edu – click on Students, then Internet Job Sites • Always go directly to company websites if possible ON-CAMPUS RECRUITING Companies/Organizations come to the Office of Career Services to conduct interviews with graduating students for fulltime positions that start after graduation. You must be registered to use this service. To get registered you must attend a Career Seminar, have your resume reviewed and uploaded into UICCareers. com, and complete the white signature card. Interviews typically take place from September to November and from February to April. Graduating students should register for this service as early as possible in the academic year in which they graduate, even if you are not graduating until May or July.
RESUME SERVICE Make your resume visible to employers on UICcareers.com. Employers have the ability to do a search for resumes using UICcareers.com and if you fit the criteria they are looking for they might contact you. CAREER FAIRS Companies/Organizations come to UIC for career fairs to recruit students. Take advantage of the opportunity to meet many employers all in one day. Treat a career fair like you would an interview. It is your first chance to make an impression on an employer.
Additional Strategies HAVE A FLAWLESS RESUME One error and your resume might be tossed in the garbage. Always read through your resume and have as many people proofread your resume as possible. Spell check is not enough. A career counselor in the Office of Career Services is a perfect person to help you with this. SEND AN ORIGINAL COVER LETTER Even if the job posting says that it is optional you should always send a cover letter (one that is original and not massproduced). A cover letter can set you apart from another candidate. It lets you link your experiences and skills to the specific job opening and shows how you are qualified for the position. It also shows that you are willing to put the time into writing one.
Job Search Resources www.UICcareers.com (Job and internship postings, resume service, full-time oncampus interviews) www.collegegrad.com (Geared toward entry-level jobs for college students and recent graduates) www.usajobs.gov (The primary website for federal jobs at agencies around the country including FBI, GSA, State Department, NIH, etc. However, each individual agency may also have its own website with career information) www.indeed.com (Gathers job openings from thousands of sources including: large job boards, small industry specific job boards, local newspapers, and associations. Keyword search) www.simplyhired.com (Search millions of job listings from across the web. Find local jobs, salary comparisons, and employment trends. Keyword search and can filter by education required) www.idealist.org (Information about nonprofit and community agencies around the world, as well as volunteer opportunities, job, and internship listings) www.npo.net (Nonprofit job opportunities and resources in the Chicago area) www.bls.gov (The Bureau of Labor Statistics: the official government site with a wealth of information about the labor market in the U.S. and projections for 10 years in the future)
RESEARCH YOUR OPTIONS AND BE FLEXIBLE Do your homework on growing industries. Search publications, message boards, and government sources to find information on employers that are hiring, job sectors that are growing, and areas of the country where opportunities can be found. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov) releases updated figures every month on occupational job growth. Laura Myers
UIC Office of Career Services
Networking: The Number One Job Search Strategy You’ve probably heard the proverbial saying “Being at the right place at the right time.” When it comes to the job search that’s exactly what you want to happen. And it is possible, if you practice the art of networking. What is Networking? Networking is the process of establishing professional relationships. These relationships can offer support, advice, and information to help you reach your career goals. You can begin to build your network by talking to people you already know such as family members, friends, bosses, faculty, co-workers, and classmates. These contacts may offer helpful information and referrals. This is how your network will grow. When you receive a referral, you’ll want to set up an informational interview. This article will focus on the informational interview, which is a sub-set of networking. What is an Informational Interview? An informational interview is a type of networking whereby you set up an appointment with a professional for the purpose of obtaining career information, job search advice, and additional referrals to other professionals. It is not an opportunity for you to ask for a job. However, job or internship offers may result from an informational interview. If this happens then you are definitely experiencing, “being at the right place at the right time.” Nonetheless, the information and referrals you receive are valuable in moving you closer to your ideal job. First Step: Identifying a Professional Start by asking family and friends if they know a professional in your field. They may be able to provide this information or refer you to someone who can. It is best to identify a professional through a referral. Why? Because it is easier to contact someone through a referral than it is through a cold call. But don’t let a lack of a referral stop you. There are other resources you can use to make contacts such as professional associations and your alumni association. Information on professional associations can be found in The Occupational Outlook Handbook. The handbook is available at most libraries, your career center, and on the web at www.bls.gov/oco. Another
UIC Office of Career Services
excellent resource is the Encyclopedia of Associations. Once you’ve identified a professional association, you’ll need to attend their meetings and conferences and, if possible, volunteer for projects. This is an excellent way to get acquainted with professionals and an opportunity for others to get to know you. Many associations will provide discounts for student memberships or volunteers. In addition, associations may provide a contact list of their members. Another resource for contacts is your University Alumni Association. The University of Illinois Alumni Association now has an Online Directory for Networking. The Online Directory lists more than 45,000 alumni. Within this list you can identify alumni who have volunteered to provide career-related information and advice. It is an excellent resource for networking. Just go to www.uiaa.org and click Online Directory. Step Two: Setting up an Informational Interview The best informational interviews are conducted face-to-face. This gives you an opportunity to observe the organizational culture. Also, you can make a better connection with your interviewer, which can increase the possibility of a job offer. Always request a face-to-face interview; however, if it is not possible to meet in person, you can communicate via phone or email. Whatever format for the interview, the decision on the mode of communication should be up to the interviewer. When requesting an informational interviewer with a professional contact, remember to: • Introduce yourself. • State why you are contacting the person. • Explain how you got the person’s name. • State that you are only requesting a brief meeting (20 minutes). • Assure the person that you are only seeking career information—not a job. • Request an in-person visit. If this is not possible, offer to talk via phone or email. • Thank the person for considering the informational interview.
Step Three: Making the Call When calling to arrange your interview, be sure to treat everyone with courtesy and respect. You never know who is answering the phone. It could be the boss or support staff employee who, if treated well, will be more inclined to assist you and connect you with their boss. Sample Script The following is a guide to help you develop your introduction and request for an informational interview: “Hello Mr./Ms (name of contact). My name is (your name). I was recently referred to you by (use name of referral if applicable). I am seeking career information about the field of (your field of interest), and I would like to arrange an informational interview with you. Would it be possible to set up a brief 20 minute meeting to discuss your career?” If yes, be prepared to suggest a possible day of the week and time. Whatever times the contact suggests, be flexible and do all you can to accommodate their schedule. Sample Questions to Ask During an Informational Interview: General Career Questions: “How do most people enter this profession?” “What aspects of the job do you find most challenging?” “What qualifications are important for someone entering this field?” Job Specific Questions: “What specifically do you do on a daily basis?” “What is a typical day like?” “What types of problems might you encounter in this job?” These sample questions are provided to stimulate your thoughts on possible questions you may want to ask. Remember, you only have a limited time to ask questions. Therefore, it’s important to prepare and prioritize the questions you will ask. Be sure to ask for a referral who could provide career information and add to your network. Also, thank the interviewer, and follow up with a written thank-you note. Adela Peña, MEd.
Making Social Networking Websites Work for You Mark R. Martell Assistant Director UIC Office of Career Services Many students use social networking websites almost daily. While primarily used to socialize, the new trend of using social networking websites for the job search, both for job-seekers and employers, has emerged. Some employers fill 56 percent of jobs through networking, another 10 percent through their own online research, and 4 percent by searching Google, social networks and other sites for possible recruits. Companies and recruiters are more likely to recruit through social and professional websites. One company recruited 10 percent of its new hires through LinkedIn and a recruiting firm found 40 percent of their clients through networking sites. Here are some suggested social networking sites for finding a job:
2. SimplyHired www.simplyhired.com
7. Myworkster www.myworkster.com
There are additional sites that are field specific: All: Xing (www.xing.com) Art: ArtBreak (www.artbreak.com) Business: Spoke (www.spoke.com) Create Your Own: Ning (www.ning.com) Directory of Sites: DigFoot (www.digfoot.com) Marketing: AdGabber (www.adgabber.com) Medical: Sermo (www.sermo.com) Remember, while social networking websites are useful to research companies, interact with employers, and find jobs, recruiters are doing research on the job-seeker as well. About 37 percent of employers said they would not hire someone if they discovered something questionable about them. Although 40 percent of employers “google” prospective hires, only 12.5 percent check social networking sites. In other words, profiles and public pictures should always be professional, especially during the job search, on social networking websites. Here are some tips on presenting yourself professionally on a social networking website: 1. Use a profile picture that shows your professional side. Invest in headshots or have someone take a picture of you wearing interview attire to use for professional networking sites. Remove tags of social pictures that show you in “spring break” or “party” settings. 2. Remove offensive content that interviewers may see. Encourage your friends or colleagues to write positive endorsements on your wall or comments section. 3. Google yourself and see if there is negative information connected to your name online. If so, develop key messages designed to answer questions that may arise during the interview process. 4. Use socioclean.com to gauge the professionalism of your profiles. Sources Fogarty, K. (2009). Social netiquette: Mind your manners. An etiquette guide for using the Web as a tool in the executive job search. Schawbel, D. (February 24, 2009). Top 10 Social Sites for Finding a Job. Social networking your way to new job. (December 18, 2008). The Ottawa Citizen. Staffmagnet on Social Networking. (January 29, 2009).
UIC Office of Career Services
Transferable Skills Many people do not realize that they have been acquiring a set of skills all their lives that can be used to their advantage in their job search and their career. These skills become more developed and honed over time as people grow older and gain more and more experience. Many people overlook these important skills when it comes to writing a resume, writing a cover letter and interviewing for a job. What are Transferable Skills? They are skills that you have obtained through activities such as jobs, internships, classes, projects, organizations and athletic activities that are transferable to your future career. They are skills that complement your college degree and make you more desirable to employers. If you are looking for a career in a field that you already have experience in then identifying your transferable skills should be quite easy. However, if you do not have experience in the field you are interested in or you are looking for a career change, identifying and portraying your transferable skills will be extremely important. Examples of Transferable Skills Communication: • Speaking effectively • Writing concisely • Listening attentively • Expressing ideas • Facilitating group discussion • Providing appropriate feedback • Negotiating • Perceiving nonverbal messages • Persuading • Reporting information • Describing feelings • Interviewing • Editing Research and Planning: • Forecasting, predicting • Creating ideas • Identifying problems • Imagining alternatives • Identifying resources • Gathering information • Solving problems • Setting goals • Extracting important information • Defining needs • Analyzing • Developing evaluation strategies Human • • • • • • • • •
Relations: Developing rapport Being sensitive Listening Conveying feelings Providing support for others Motivating Sharing credit Counseling Cooperating
UIC Office of Career Services
• • • •
Delegating with respect Representing others Perceiving feelings, situations Asserting
Organization, Management and Leadership: • Initiating new ideas • Handling details • Coordinating tasks • Managing groups • Delegating responsibility • Teaching • Coaching • Counseling • Promoting change • Selling ideas or products • Decision making with others • Managing conflict Work Survival: • Implementing decisions • Cooperating • Enforcing policies • Being punctual • Managing time • Attending to detail • Meeting goals • Enlisting help • Accepting responsibility • Setting and meeting deadlines • Organizing • Making decisions (From www.quintcareers.com) Using Transferable Skills in Your Job Search For each experience on your resume think about how you can emphasize your transferable skills and make them relevant to the job you are applying for, even if the experience is unrelated. If you can’t show how a skill supports what you want to do then leave it out. Be sure to do the same thing in your cover letter. Then, when you get the interview, you will continue to highlight your transferable skills. Examples of Showing Transferable Skills in a Resume Portraying a receptionist position as being applicable to the field of finance • Proved ability to deal with a wide range of individuals, including high-net-worth investors and institutional money manager, in a stressful and time-sensitive environment. • Gained knowledge of financial markets and instruments, especially stocks, bonds, futures and options. Portraying a server position as being applicable to the field of marketing • Acted as a "sales representative" for the restaurant, selling add-ons and extras to achieve one of the highest per-ticket and per-night sales averages. • Prioritized and juggled dozens of simultaneous responsibilities. • Built loyal clientele of regulars in addition to tourist trade.
Continued on page 15
Continued from page 14
talents that would contribute to our mutual success when I join your management trainee program.
Examples of Showing Transferable Skills in a Cover Letter
Telemarketer/phone survey taker seeking position in hotel management My work as a telemarketer required me to communicate with a diverse array of people, some of whom represented difficult challenges. I refined my communication skills to the point where I was nearly always able to smooth ruffled feathers, solve problems and provide satisfaction to customers. These are exactly the skills that are vital to effective hotel management, and I am eager to apply my talents at your hotel.
Server in restaurant seeking entry-level marketing position In addition to my marketing coursework, I have employed marketing and customer service skills in the restaurant field. In my most recent position, I marketed appetizers, desserts, and other add-ons to customers and added value to their dining experience. I would like to apply the same sales savvy and interpersonal skills in the marketing position you have open. Babysitter/nanny seeking position as management trainee As a former caregiver to three active youngsters, I certainly know the importance of good time management. Iâ€™ve gained that skill, along with exemplary leadership, organizational, and communications
(From www.quintcareers.com) Laura Myers
uiccareers.com your online source to full time,
part time and internship positions
UIC Office of Career Services
Resume Writing First Impressions Last A resume is an essential and expected part of virtually any job search. It often forms the first, and if poorly written, the last impression on an employer. As an advertisement of yourself, your resume should be designed to entice employers to meet with you. Employers are interested in people who know what they want and why. Until you know what you want, you cannot write a strong resume. Once you know and can express your skills, strengths, and goals, the direction and style of the resume will fall into place. In beginning your resume, keep in mind these general guidelines: • There is no “right” format. It is important to keep in mind, however, that a good resume is concise, neat, well organized, and clear. Try to keep your resume to one page unless you have extensive experience. • Prioritize your resume. Arrange entries in order of relevance to your focus. Your most important experiences and accomplish ments should come before less important information not only in the categories you establish, but also within those categories. • A resume should include relevant information to help you real ize your goal of obtaining an interview. Any experience can be considered relevant to an employer if you can emphasize your transferable skills and abilities. Most experiences show some sort of responsibility or leadership. The key is to communicate effectively. Formats: Form Follows Function In choosing a format for your resume, be sure to keep in mind your background and qualifications. There are two major types of resume formats, although the most effective resume is generally a combination of the two: Chronological: In writing a chronological resume, list your back ground in reverse chronological order- most recent first. You may arrange the category headings in whatever way best represents the parts of your resume you think are most important. Functional: This type of resume is built around your most impor tant skills or functions. Category headings are then chosen from the skill sets you come up with. This type of resume can be timeconsuming. The place of employment, city, state, title of position and dates are usually included in a small section at the bottom, not within the section describing your skills. The functional resume can be effective for people without directly related work experience. Combination: This is the best approach. There are numerous ways to organize your resume and there is no one “right” or “only” way. Sections of the Resume Standard Sections: Personal Information: Name, address, phone number (home and/or work), e-mail address, personal home page address. By the way, make sure that your answering machine or voicemail message is appropriate for an employer to hear. Education: Name of school, city, state, name of degree and major, graduation date (or dates of attendance if a degree was not completed), minor, GPA. Spell out Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor
UIC Office of Career Services
of Science or Master of Arts, etc., on your resume, e.g., “Bachelor of Arts in History, May 2004.” You can include coursework if the courses are in areas relevant to the position for which you are applying. If you attended more than one school, list the most recent first, although you do not always need to include all your education. Experience: Paid, volunteer, internships, military, etc. Include the name of the organization, job title if you had one, and dates of the experience. Using action verbs, emphasize your responsibilities, duties, and accomplishments. Keep entries consistent. Optional Sections: Objective: A brief description of the type of position or work desired. This section follows your name and address. You may include your objective on your resume or may decide to include it in your cover letter if your objective is not very clear. Service or Activities: Make sure you include dates and any leadership/responsibility you may have had. Professional Organizations: Spell them out. Do not use acro nyms. Certifications or Endorsements or Licenses Skills: Computer skills, foreign languages, laboratory techniques, etc. Publications Honors or Achievements References: You may, at the bottom of your resume, include the phrase “references available upon request,” although it is not necessary. An employer will know they can ask you for references. Have a separate list of references ready, though. Make sure you inform your references before you give their names out. Resume Hints: • Your resume should have a focus. • Your resume should be open to change. • Use short, concise phrases beginning with action verbs. • Use quantities, amounts, and dollar values where they enhance your description. • Avoid the use of “I” or “my.” • Avoid personal evaluations such as “learned a great deal through this experience.” • Avoid vague descriptions such as “Responsible for” and “Duties included.” • Edit and proofread for possible errors. • Use good quality bond paper in a neutral color. • Use bullets sparingly. • Avoid semicolons, as well as colons, which clutter the resume. Periods and commas are best. • Keep dates consistent by format and location: 20012002 is preferable to 2001-02 or 2001-2. • Never include social security number, marital status, or ethnicity.
Action Verbs for Your Resume *Categories for action verbs are only suggestions and therefore all verbs should be considered. Management/ Leadership Skills administered analyzed approved assigned attained authorized chaired consolidated contracted controlled coordinated decided delegated developed directed eliminated enforced enhanced established executed generated handled headed hired hosted improved increased initiated instituted led managed motivated organized originated overhauled oversaw planned presided prioritized produced recommended reorganized replaced restored reviewed scheduled strengthened supervised Communication/ People Skills addressed advertised arranged articulated clarified collaborated communicated composed consulted contacted conveyed corresponded described
developed discussed elicited enlisted explained expressed incorporated influenced interacted interpreted interviewed involved joined listened marketed mediated observed participated persuaded presented promoted proposed publicized reconciled recruited reinforced reported resolved responded solicited spoke suggested translated wrote Research Skills clarified collected compared conducted critiqued detected determined examined experimented explored formulated gathered identified inspected interpreted invented investigated located measured organized researched searched solved summarized surveyed tested Technical Skills adapted assembled
built calculated computed constructed converted designed determined developed engineered fabricated installed maintained operated overhauled programmed rectified regulated remodeled repaired replaced restored solved specialized standardized studied utilized Teaching Skills adapted advised clarified coached communicated conducted coordinated critiqued developed enabled encouraged evaluated explained facilitated focused guided individualized informed instilled instructed motivated persuaded set goals simulated taught tested trained tutored Financial/Data Skills administered adjusted allocated appraised assessed audited balanced calculated
computed corrected determined estimated forecasted managed marketed measured planned programmed projected reconciled reduced researched retrieved Creative Skills acted began combined conceptualized created customized designed developed directed displayed established fashioned formulated founded illustrated integrated introduced modeled modified originated performed planned revised revitalized shaped solved Helping skills advocated aided answered arranged assessed assisted cared for clarified coached collaborated contributed cooperated counseled demonstrated diagnosed educated encouraged ensured expedited facilitated furthered
guided helped intervened motivated provided referred presented resolved supplied supported volunteered Organization/Detail Skills arranged categorized classified coded collected compiled corresponded distributed executed filed generated implemented incorporated logged maintained monitored obtained ordered organized prepared processed provided purchased recorded responded reviewed scheduled screened submitted supplied standardized systematized updated validated verified More Verbs for Accomplishments achieved completed expanded exceeded improved pioneered spearheaded succeeded surpassed transformed won
UIC Office of Career Services
Writing a Curriculum Vitae (CV) Elizabeth Herrera Assistant Director UIC Office of Career Services
Professional Honors and Achievements: Special recognitions, departmental awards, teaching awards, scholarships, grants, fellowships, community and professional awards.
The curriculum vitae, also known as a CV, is generally a detailed summary of your education and academic background. A CV is most commonly used for those individuals seeking academic, education, scientific and/or research positions.
Conference Papers Presented/ Presentations: Be sure to include the date, title and location of each presentation.
The Difference Between a CV and a Resume: When determining whether to use a CV or a resume for your job search, it is important to know your targeted audience and understand the main purpose of each format. A resume provides a one-or-two page summary of education, relevant work experience, and strongest qualifications tailored for a specific position. A curriculum vitae is typically lengthier, three or more pages, because it showcases thorough documentation of your professional history reflecting your publications, teaching experience and research experience. CV Essentials It is important to note that your CV should be organized and categorized according to the needs of your targeted audience. Your CV is unique and your categories and subheadings may vary. Be sure to tailor your CV to a format that best highlights your skills, credentials, academic and educational background for the position you are seeking. These components can be emphasized by prioritizing the most significant points at the beginning of your CV. Furthermore, note that an accepted CV format can quite differ and vary by discipline. It is highly recommended that you seek advice from professors, advisors and others within your field to decide on an appropriate format. Common Sections in a Curriculum Vitae: Contact Information: Name, address, phone number, e-mail address. Education: Include your post graduate, graduate and undergraduate degrees, certifications, and licensures beginning with the most recent first. Research Interests: Be brief and precise. Make sure that your research interest aligns with the objectives of the position or program you are pursuing. Research Experience: Description of research projects (type and purpose). Work Experience: Indicate paid and non-paid positions. Be sure to quantify and illustrate your contributions with key action verbs. Teaching Experience: Include the institution name and location, date, and courses taught. Publications / Selected Publications: Include authored and/or coauthored publications using a bibliographic format. Professional Affiliations: Listing your professional memberships demonstrate your commitment and level of enthusiasm for your field of study.
UIC Office of Career Services
Foreign Languages: Indicate level of fluency (fluent, intermediate, basic knowledge of, familiar with). Credentials / References: List the name and office of the institution that manages your credential file or indicate that references are available upon request. CV ESSENTIALS: •
Bold headings, use subheadings
Choose an appropriate font (e.g., Times New Roman, Tahoma, Garamond)
Be consistent in content and format
Avoid long narratives of academic work and experiences
Avoid the use of “I” or “My”
Proofread and correct spelling and grammatical errors
Your CV should look crisp and polished
Showcase your key skills throughout your CV
Always have someone else review your CV before submitting it!
Sources: Jackson, A.L., Geckeis, K. (2003) How to Prepare Your Curriculum Vitae
Functional Sample Resume General Sample Resume UIC Office of Career Services
Education Sample Resume
Related Experience Sample Resume
UIC Office of Career Services
By Carmen J. Garza UIC Student Employment Office
UIC Office of Career Services
UIC Office of Career Services
Acceptance Letter This is a very brief letter used to confirm your acceptance of an employment opportunity that has been made to you by an employer. Be sure to do it in writing (actual letter or email). DO NOT send a ‘cute’ thank you card. You are not thanking them for a birthday present. Be professional! Use this opportunity to reaffirm a particular benefit or arrangement that has been agreed upon by both you and the employer. Be sure to demonstrate your sincere appreciation for the offer that has been made to you.
Withdrawal - Rejection – Reference Document These letters are simple and should get directly to the point of the matter. Once you have accepted a position from an employer, a withdrawal letter should be sent to any other employer that is still actively considering you for a position. Simply thank them for them for their consideration and withdraw from consideration. This letter is especially important if you have already had a preliminary interview with the company. Sending a withdrawal letter will demonstrate your professionalism and business etiquette. A rejection letter should be sent when multiple offers have been extended to you by different employers. Again, this is a simple letter expressing appreciation, but rejecting an offer that has been made. Before you send it out, be sure to very carefully consider ALL offers in great detail. The decision you make will impact you career for years to come, so make a careful and thoughtful decision! A reference(s) page should include your contact information on top (like the resume) and with the information of at least three individuals that you plan to use as references. It should include their name, title, place of employment and contact information (address, phone, email etc.) Jamie Velasquez Assistant Director OCS, UIC
UIC Office of Career Services
Interviewing The Three “Ps” of Interviewing Prepare • Research the organization—request a recent annual report from the company and use library references and employer websites to determine growth areas, strengths, and other information. • Network and request informational meetings with those in the field. • Talk with alumni who may be doing the job you want to do. • Prepare an appropriate resume. • Prepare a list of references. • Prepare a one-minute commercial of you—use specific exam ples of success and phrases showing you know what they need. • You may take a leather briefcase, but do not take a backpack or gym bag to the interview. The less you carry the better. Present • Use friendly, confident body language. Be aware of the nonverbal signals you are sending. • Maintain good eye contact. • Dress appropriately. • Have a prioritized list of questions to ask. • Don’t ask “What can you do for me?” questions until hired. • Be an active listener. Don’t show off or exaggerate your skills Persist • End the interview by reiterating your interest in the job. • Write a thank you letter the same day. • Follow-up by asking when might be a good time to reach the interviewer. • Thank staff by name. Types of Interviews Screening Interviews A screening interview is usually meant to weed out unqualified candidates. Providing facts about your skills is more important than establishing rapport. Provide only answers to questions you are asked. Volunteering additional information could work against you. May be skipped with smaller employers. One-On-One Interview A one-on-one interview is designed to see how you would fit in the company, and if your skills and talents will meet their needs. The length of this interview varies and often starts with, “Tell me about yourself.” Stress Interview Stress interviews are usually a deliberate attempt to see how you handle yourself. The interviewer may keep you waiting or be argumentative to see how you handle yourself. Don’t take it personally, be rushed into answering, or try to fill in periods of silence. Silences may be meant to unnerve you. If several minutes pass, ask if the interviewer needs any clarification. Committee Interview Committee interviews are a common practice. When you face several persons who all have a say in who is hired, direct your answer to the person who asks each question. Sometimes they
UIC Office of Career Services
will ask you to come up with a plan to address the important issues involved in a problem situation they present. Group Interview A group interview is usually designed to uncover the leadership potential of prospective managers and employees. Top candidates for a job are interviewed informally together. Lunch Interview The same rules apply in lunch interviews as those held in an office. The setting may be more casual, but remember it is a busi ness lunch and you are being watched very carefully. Follow the interviewer’s lead in both selection of food and etiquette. Never order an alcoholic drink. Dress for Success: Dressing for the Interview Dressing Tips for Men 1. Your Suit: Invest in a solid/pinstripe business suit that is preferably navy or gray (but black is acceptable); singlebreasted, two-piece variety. A suit made of 100% wool will wrinkle less and hold its shape. Be sure to have it tailored to your measurements. Do not look like a kid with oversized (or undersized) clothing. A white cotton shirt, with straight or button down collar, is fine with a simple design tie. If you wear an undershirt, be sure it is a plain white shirt. 2. Shoes Should be Polished: We recommend modified wing tips or lace-ups in black, cordovan or dark brown. Wear dark socks to match your suit. Make sure your socks are high enough so that no skin shows when you sit down. 3. Clean-shaven: Be sure to shave the same day you have your interview. If you normally wear a beard or mustache, then trim it accordingly. Also be sure to comb or style your hair appropriately. 4. Jewelry: We strongly recommend that men do not wear earrings to an interview. Avoid wearing an excessive number of rings and/or chains. Dressing Tips for Women 1. Wear a conservative suit with a skirt no higher than one inch above the knee. Otherwise skirts tend to get too short when you sit down. While pantsuits are almost universally acceptable, some conservative fields such as banking, investments and law may expect the more traditional skirtsuit. 2. Don’t wear too much makeup, too much jewelry or heels that are too high. Keep it simple. Tips for Both Men and Women 1. Think Conservative: The best way to prepare for an interview is to think and plan out your strategy in a conservative fashion. Avoid loud colors and distracting patterns. 2. Personal Appearance: You only have one chance to make a good first impression. Personal appearance is of prime importance in an interview and includes cleanliness, fresh breath, conservative haircut, clean and trimmed nails, and clean glasses. 3. Perfumes/Colognes: If used, a minimal amount should be applied. DO NOT overuse; perfumes and colognes can be overpowering to the interviewer.
Behavioral Interviewing “Tell me about a time when you had to work in a team and one of the members was difficult to get along with.” If you hear a question like this, you are being asked a behavioral interview question. In the interview process you can either have an entire interview that is behavioral based, or more commonly, you will be asked behavioral interview questions along with more traditional interview questions. What is Behavioral Interviewing? Behavioral interviewing is based on the premise that future behavior is best determined by assessing past behavior in similar situations. An interviewer will ask you to provide a specific example of a situation that you experienced in the past to assess your behavior in order to determine if you are a fit for their organization. Your potential for success within an organization will also be measured and evaluated by using behavioral interview questions. Traditional Questions versus Behavioral Questions Traditional interview questions will ask you “what if” types of questions. They do not require you to call upon your past experiences, and are often thought of as being easier to respond to. The interviewer is assessing your thought process as opposed to your behavior. Behavioral questions usually start off with, “Tell me about a time when…”, “Give me an example of…” or “Describe a time when…” How Do You Prepare for Behavioral Interview Questions? The best way to prepare is to take the initiative and develop several 30- to 90-second stories that you can tell. Remember that many behavioral questions try to get at how you responded to negative situations; you’ll need to have examples of negative experiences ready, but try to choose negative experiences that you made the best of or -- better yet, those that had positive outcomes. Here’s a good way to prepare for behavior-based interviews: • Identify six to eight examples from your past experience where you demonstrated top behaviors and skills that employers typically seek. Think in terms of examples that will exploit your top selling points. • Half of your examples should be totally positive, such as accomplishments or meeting goals. • The other half should be situations that started out negatively but either ended positively or you made the best of the outcome. • Vary your examples; don’t take them all from just one area of your life. • Use fairly recent examples. If you’re a college student, examples from high school may be too long ago. Try to describe examples in story form and/or STAR.
Use examples from internships, classes and school projects, activities, team participation, community service, hobbies and work experience as examples of your past behavior. In addition, you may use examples of special accomplishments, whether personal or professional, such as scoring the winning touchdown, being elected president of your Greek organization, winning a prize for your artwork, or raising money for charity. Wherever possible, quantify your results. Numbers always impress employers. Examples of Behavioral Interview Questions Knowing what kinds of questions might be asked will help you prepare an effective selection of examples. • Describe a time when you were faced with a stressful situation that demonstrated your coping skills. • Give me a specific example of a time when you used good judgment and logic in solving a problem. • Give me an example of a time when you set a goal and were able to meet or achieve it. • Tell me about a time when you had to use your presentation skills to influence someone’s opinion. • Give me an example of a time when you had to conform to a policy with which you did not agree. • Describe a time when you had to go above and beyond the call of duty in order to get a job done. • Tell me about a time when you had too many things to do and how you prioritized your tasks. • Give me an example of a time when you had to make a split second decision.
Continued on page 26 UIC Office of Career Services
Continued from page 25 • • • • • • •
What is your typical way of dealing with conflict? Give me an example. Give me an example of a time when something you tried to accomplish and failed. Give me an example of when you showed initiative and took the lead. Tell me about a recent situation in which you had to deal with a very upset customer or co-worker. Give me an example of a time when you motivated others. Give me an example of a time when you used your fact-finding skills to solve a problem. Tell me about a time when you missed an obvious solution to a problem.
Overall, listen carefully to each question asked of you and respond with a specific and detailed example. With experience, you can learn to tailor your examples to several different behavioral questions. (From www.quintcareers.com) Written by Laura Myers
Questions Asked by Employers Personal Tell me about yourself. What’s your greatest strength? What’s your greatest weakness? What accomplishment are you most proud of? What do you see yourself doing in five years? Ten years? What motivates you to put forth your greatest effort? Define success. Failure. Describe your ideal job. Why are you interested in working for this organization? What was the last book you read? Education Why did you choose to attend UIC? Why did you choose your major? Which classes in your major did you like the best? Least? How has your college experience prepared you for your career? Do your grades accurately reflect your ability? Why or why not? Were you involved in any campus activities? Describe one of the biggest mistakes you made in college? What did you learn? Experience How did you manage work and school? What did you enjoy most about your last employment? Least? How would you describe yourself in terms of your ability to work as a member of a team? How do you think a former supervisor would describe you? Why are you interested in this position? What do you know about our organization? Why do you think you’ll be a good fit for this company? How do you deal with pressure? Career Goals Do you prefer to work under supervision or on your own? What kind of boss do you prefer? Are you considering other positions? What types? How do you feel about working overtime? Behavioral Questions Describe a time when you were not satisfied or pleased with your performance. What did you do about it?
UIC Office of Career Services
Tell me about a time when you had to handle multiple responsibilities and how you managed the situation. Give me an example of a problem that you solved and the process you used to solve it. Give me an example of an important goal that you had set and tell me about your success in reaching it. Tell me about a time when you had to work with someone who was difficult and how you handled it. Give me an example of a time when you did not meet a deadline and how you handled the situation. Last Questions Why should we hire you? What questions do you have for me?
Questions for Candidates to Ask Employers How would you describe a typical day/week in this position? What is the department’s environment/culture like? What is the company’s management style? How many people work in this office/department? How much travel is expected? What is the typical work week? Is overtime expected? What are the prospects for growth and advancement? What do you like about working here? Who does this position report to? If I am extended a job offer, how soon would you like me to start? When can I expect to hear from you? What is the next step in the hiring process? Interview Questions NOT to Ask What does this company do? (Do your research ahead of time!) If I get the job when can I take time off for vacation? (Wait until you get the offer to mention prior commitments). Can I change my schedule if I get the job? (If you need to figure out the logistics of getting to work don’t mention it now). Did I get the job? (Don’t be impatient).
Continued on page 27
Continued from page 26
Questions Asked for Graduate School Admission Tell me about yourself. What are your strengths and weaknesses? If you’re not accepted into graduate school, what are your plans? Why did you choose this career? What do you know about our program? Why did you choose to apply to our program? What other schools are you considering? In what ways have your previous experience prepared you for graduate study in our program? What do you believe your greatest challenge will be if you are accepted into this program? In college, what courses did you enjoy the most? The least? Why? Describe any research project you’ve worked on. What was the purpose of the project and what was your role in the project? How would your professors describe you? How will you be able to make a contribution to this field? Explain a situation in which you had a conflict and how you resolved it. What would you do differently? Describe your greatest accomplishment. Tell me about your experience in this field. What was challenging? What was your contribution? What are your career goals? How will this program help you achieve your goals? How do you intend to finance your education? What skills do you bring to the program? How will you help your mentor in his or her research?
Interview Questions Specifically for Medical School Admission (or other health related fields) Why do you want to be a doctor? How did you select this school and why do you want to attend? How are you a match for our medical school? What other medical schools have you applied to? Explain the poor grades on your transcript/low MCAT scores. What is your biggest concern about entering medical school? If you are accepted to multiple schools, how will you make your decision? How did you prepare for the MCAT? Are you satisfied with your scores? How will you pay for your medical school education? Which field of medicine are you interested in? What kind of experiences do you have in the medical field? How do you know you will make a good doctor? There are 1,000 applicants as qualified as you are. Why should we choose you? What do you have to offer to our school? If you want to “help people”, why not a career in social work, law, or teaching? What is your relationship with your family? If your best friend were asked to describe you, what would he or she say? Name something you are most proud of. Have you taken a leadership role in such an activity? How involved were you? How did you help the organization? Discuss a book that you recently read for pleasure. Why does this book interest you? What do you do in your spare time?
Considering Job Offers Jaime Velasquez Assistant Director UIC Office of Career Services Before accepting any job offers, you must take the whole package into consideration and not just the salary! Many individuals focus primarily on the money without fully considering the range of benefits and perks that may or may not be included. First, remember that you are now considered a working professional and you will be earning a salary, which means you will likely not be getting paid by the hour. In some cases it means you may not get overtime, time and a half, or even compensatory time. Have a clear understanding of the number of hours that are expected of you for the position. Employers vary on the number of hours they expect you to work for them on a weekly basis with the average being 40, but ranging anywhere between 35 and 55 or more! Some of the key benefits to consider include: Vacation Days; Sick Days; Personal Days; Basic Holidays; Medical Insurance, Dental and Optical Benefits and Retirement Plans. Other benefits include:
Tuition Reimbursement; Travel; Parking; Flex Time; Health Club; Company Car, Phone and/or Laptop, etc. Always be sure that any benefit discussed and agreed upon is given to you in writing! Research the salary for your particular degree; also consider the industry, geographic region, and size of the company. Many factors play a role when starting salaries are determined. One primary source is the ‘Salary and Survey” publication that the UIC Office of Career Services receives several times a year. This booklet lists the starting salaries for entry level positions for most undergraduate and graduate degrees. Keep in mind that some offers are not negotiable, and given the highly competitive job market, it may not be wise to ask about negotiating. However, if you feel that you need to negotiate, be sure that you consult with your Career Services Advisor. Some useful websites include www.naceweb.com, www.bls.gov (under publications – Occupational Outlook Handbook), and www. salary.com UIC Office of Career Services
UIC Office of Career Services
UIC Office of Career Services
Career Services Offered by Other University Departments INTERNSHIP AND CO-OP PROGRAMS Art and Design, Cooperative Education 106 JH (312) 996-3337 www.uic.edu/aa/artd Engineering Career Center 818 Science & Engineering Offices (312) 996-2238, firstname.lastname@example.org www.ecc.uic.edu/ECC/WebHome Undergraduate Business Career Center 1118 University Hall (312) 996-3251 www.uic.edu/cba/ugrad/businesscareercenter.html Liberal Arts & Sciences, Internship Program 318 University Hall (312) 996-0425 www.uic.edu/las/students/internships/ THE UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS ALUMNI CAREER CENTER 200 S. Wacker Drive, First Floor (312) 575-7830 email@example.com www.uiaa.org/careers All University of Illinois alumni may use the comprehensive career planning and job search resources for no fee, including the Hire UI Alumni job board, the Virtual Career Center and professional development Webinars. Advising is also available to alumni for a nominal fee. Visit the website, call or email for more details.
LIAUTAUD GRADUATE SCHOOL OF BUSINESS CAREER SERVICES 815 W. Van Buren Street, Rice Building, Suite 220 (312) 996-4573 www.uic.edu/cba/lgsb/cs/career_center_students.html This service is for Master of Business Administration, Master of Science in Accounting, Master of Science in Management Information Systems, and Master of Arts in Real Estate students who are looking for internship or fulltime opportunities. These students have access to career advising/career coaching, career development resources, and connections to alumni and employers.
UIC Office of Career Services
OFFICE OF INTERNATIONAL SERVICES 1200 W. Harrison, Student Services Building, Suite 2160 (312) 996-3121 firstname.lastname@example.org www.ois.uic.edu The Office of International Services (OIS) provides immigration and cultural advising for international students, including informa¬tion on how to obtain work authorization. International students are required to consult OIS before beginning any internship pro¬gram. Weekly workshops are offered for students with F-1 status. For a list of dates of the “Employment Options for F-1 Students” workshop, please visit “Workshops/Orientation” on the OIS home page. J-1 students should make an appointment with an international student advisor for information regarding employ¬ment eligibility. THE UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS ALUMNI ASSOCIATION 750 S. Halsted, Student Center East, Suite 520 (312) 996-8535 www.uiaa.org If you are a current UIC student, you are automatically a member of the University of Illinois Alumni Association. That makes you part of the world’s largest alumni community - a richly diverse and global family with a shared experience and pride in our Alma Mater. Visit http://www.uiaa.org/uic/ students/connected.html to learn about our networking tools that can help you find jobs, internships and even mentors. COUNSELING CENTER 1200 W. Harrison, Student Services Building, Suite 2010 (312) 996-3490 www.counseling.uic.edu The Counseling Center offers a variety of counseling and psychological services, including career counseling. The Counseling Center’s 4-week career development groups focus on career (or major) decision making. These groups use a multi-faceted approach that helps increase your understanding of yourself and your preferences in ways that will help you choose a college major and/or career direction. Standardized tests of occupational interest and personal style are used in conjunction with small group discussions and individual exercises to help you explore new ideas, get greater clarity, and make informed decisions. By the end of the group you will design a career plan that outlines the steps you can take in the future to achieve your desired career path. The Counseling Center also offers several Choosing A Major two-hour workshops every year that are specifically designed to help students decide which majors they wish to pursue. Career groups and workshops are usually offered in the fall and spring and occasionally over the summer.