Grad School: To Go or Not to Go

Should you go on to graduate school? Is it the right move for you at this point in your career? Give your decision careful consideration, weighing all the factors, including:

Your career path

What do you truly want to do? What excites you more than anything? If it’s a profession you absolutely, positively must pursue, and it requires advanced education, then you’re probably an excellent candidate for further education.

“You go to graduate school to become an expert in a certain area or to be a professional in certain industries, like law, medicine, or engineering,” explains Cindy Parnell, director of career services at Arizona State University.

Investment of time, money, and energy

Graduate students find out very quickly that their days of frat parties, general education courses, and hanging out with friends are over—graduate school is, well, about school.

Are you ready to commit?

Also consider your post-undergraduate life plans. Are marriage and family in your immediate future? Graduate school can put a huge financial strain on a young couple already facing student loan debt, not to mention the burden of the time you’ll be spending studying. Be sure you—and your family—are ready for the added responsibility of a few more years of schooling.

Your marketability to an employer

Not every profession requires an advanced degree, so do some research on potential career opportunities before committing to more education.

“Students run the risk of thinking today that grad school might be the answer. Depending on the program, you want to have the fieldwork experience as well as grad school. If you go on to grad school without having any fieldwork experience, you run the risk of being over-educated [and under-experienced],” says Shayne Bernstein, associate director, career development services, at Hunter College.

Opportunities within the field

If you do plan to work before going back for that advanced degree, will more education help you move up the ranks at your company? Have you landed a job in your undergraduate area of study, and now you’re thinking you want to enhance what you’ve learned, or pursue a totally new field? Depending on your professional career path, advanced education may help you reach your career goals.

Your motivation

Can’t think of what else to do next? Don’t think of graduate school as a way to hide from the job search. You face wasting a lot of resources.

Bernstein suggests giving careful consideration to your decision to pursue graduate school.

“Don’t go if you’re not passionate about something,” she stresses. “Don’t go for the sake of going to graduate school. Go because you’re passionate and you want to develop your skill set in a certain area.”

Courtesy of the National Association of Colleges and Employers.

Welcome Back

Welcome back to UW-Green Bay for spring semester.  Career Services is gearing up for a wide array of workshops and programs to assist you with your career goals and future plans.  Check out the list of programs and events below.  Start working on your resume if you want to attend the Spring Job and Internship Fair on March 7.  Career Services can help you with your search for employment upon graduation, applying to graduate and professional school, your search for an internship, choosing your major and a great deal more!  Connect with our office for help with YOUR future!

Listed below is our schedule for spring semester.

Creating a Resume 101
W – February 8, 2012 from 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm in the Wequiock Room of the Union
T – April 10, 2012 from 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm in the Wequiock Room of the Union

Interviewing Basics – Make a Great Impression
T – February 14, 2012 from 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm in the Wequiock Room of the Union
W – April 18, 2012 from 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm in the Wequiock Room of the Union

Get LinkedIn – Learn about this Social Network Tool for your Job Search
M – February 27, 2012 from 12:00 pm – 1:30 pm in Phoenix B of the Union.
RSVP REQUIRED

Dine Like a Professional Etiquette Lunch
T – February 28, 2012 from 12:30 pm – 2:30 pm in Phoenix B of the Union.
ADVANCED REGISTRATION REQUIRED

Mock Interview Day
W – February 29, 2012 from 8:00 am – 4:30 pm in Phoenix B of the Union.
ADVANCED REGISTRATION REQUIRED

Insider Tips on the Job Search from Area Employers
M – March 5, 2012 from 12:00 pm – 1:15 pm in Phoenix B of the Union.
RSVP REQUIRED

Spring Job & Internship Fair
W – March 7, 2012 from 9:30 am – 1:00 pm in the Phoenix Rooms of the Union.
MORE DETAILS HERE

Sophomore Success Day
R – March 8, 2012 from 8:30 am – 3:30 pm in Student Services Suite 1600.  No appointment needed.
MORE DETAILS HERE

Value of a Personal Brand

In her book, Career Smart – 5 Steps to a Powerful Personal Brand, Sherri Thomas discusses how she realized that she is the driver of her own career. Sherri took time off to learn about herself and goals that she wanted to achieve. She realized that if she was the driver of her own career, then she needed to represent herself that way. The only way she could do this was by creating her own personal brand.

When we think of almost any celebrity today, we come up with a vision of them and what they represent. Take Martha Stewart, for instance. She represents everyday luxury and attainable beauty because she shows her audience how to create beautiful things. As jobseekers, we need to create the same feeling in our potential employers.

What is your personal brand saying about you?
Consider what people think of you when they say your name. Then consider what YOU want people to think about you. If you represent the qualities you come up with and role model them accordingly, doors will open for you. Start out by asking “what are your values?” They can consist of core values, passions, personal traits, signature talents, and accomplishments.

What is your message?
Share your knowledge or expertise in specific technologies, tools, methodology, industry trends, product development, marketing, or business. Key into the results you obtained and the leadership experience gained; BUT, most importantly, BE PASSIONATE! Apply for jobs that you have a connection with – you’ll be much more likely to get the job offer. Take the time in your job interview to interview THEM and see if they are the right fit for you; otherwise you’ll polar bear right back to where you were.

Who’s in your network?
A network is a group of acquaintances and/or associates that you keep in contact with through regular communication for a mutual benefit. These people are usually referred to as your career influences.
There are four types of career influences:
1. Those who can hire you or introduce you to others who could potentially hire you.
2. Those who can champion you.
3. Those who can teach you something new.
4. Wish list.

Your Plan
Success happens when preparation meets opportunity. Now that you’ve prepared yourself and have a good idea of what you’re looking for, you can develop your resume. It is sometimes wise to invest in a professionally written resume, but more often you want to try to write it yourself. Learn about keywords, formats, and cover letters so you can customize your resume to fit the job to which you are applying.

Building a career that inspires you takes time, focus and commitment. You need to the take the time to complete these steps before expecting results. Benefits include more control over your career, more career opportunities, and most importantly, the ability to create a career that gives you meaning, purpose, and great personal satisfaction.

“Seven Mistakes Job Seekers Make Online and How to Avoid Them” by Lindsay Cummings

In an era of Jersey Shore, Lady Gaga, and Twitter, our idea of professionalism can get somewhat misconstrued and hazy.  Where do we draw the line between our personal lives and our business lives when it seems everything we do is readily available for viewing on the Internet?  50% of employers rejected a prospective employee based on a Snooki wannabe picture found online while Googling his or her name – and they WILL Google you.  In his book, Job Seeking with Social Media for Dummies, Joshua Waldman addresses these Internet faux paus and how to avoid them.  He provides his readers with this crucial information for job seeking in the 21st century by using LinkedIn, the world’s most powerful professional network.  Here, Waldman identifies the top seven mistakes job seekers make on LinkedIn and how they can be avoided.

1: Not having a well-defined brand across platforms

Branding starts with you and ends with them.  Identify your values and then do research on your target employer’s top two problems. How can you help solve these problems?  Align all messaging and images with that.

2: Using your job title in your professional headlines

You are NOT your job. Move away from commodity and into personality by using your personal branding message in the 120 characters available in LinkedIn’s headline space.

3: Rambling on and on in your Profile Summary

The profile summary of your online resume is a place to differentiate yourself in 20-30 seconds. Deliver your elevator pitch in 5 lines or less.  Keep it to “Hello, my name is….I’m a….specializing in….”

4: Not using LinkedIn’s applications

Tell your prospective employer what motivates you by showing them what books you are reading and recent blog posts or slide shows you’ve created using LinkedIn’s applications.

5: Not having 100% LinkedIn profile

Just like you would dress up for a job interview, you want your LinkedIn and online profiles to be as clean and professional as possible. LinkedIn guides you through the process of getting to 100%.

6: Looking like an axe murderer

Like it or not, people make split-second decisions about us based on the way you look. Make sure your profile photograph is professional and welcoming.

7: Leaving your online relationships online

You want to get the meeting, phone call or appointment as quickly as you can.  Although networking can feel somewhat uncomfortable, don’t hide behind your computer monitor.  Take these relationships off line and buy them a cup of coffee while you ask them industry-specific questions. 

Twitter can also be an extremely helpful resource.  Jobs are posted to Twitter in real-time and can be applied for in seconds.  You are 40% more likely to get hired if you apply to the job within 30 minutes of it getting posted.  Twellow, Twitter Yellow Pages, is another way of searching for specific jobs in your respective location.  Just remember, if you are using Twitter to network and contact prospective employers, do not tweet what you had for breakfast unless it was life-changing.  That’s the fastest way to get un-followed and moved into the rejected pile.  Keep your personal life off line and focus your online attention on the fast track to success.  The best way to do this is by branding yourself BEFORE going online, polishing off your profiles, and deepening your relationships by taking them offline.  Combining all of these tools will make you a success both on and off line!

Tips to Remember When Drafting Your Resume

Looking to apply for a part-time position, internship, or post-graduate opportunity?

You will want to ensure your resume includes all necessary information and the layout allows for an easy, quick read for employers. The following items are important things you should be aware of when you draft your resume.

OBJECTIVE:

- Indicate the type of position you are seeking (part-time, full-time, internship). Keep your objective to the point. One or two sentences will suffice.

Example: To obtain a professional position within the area of Finance.

EDUCATION:

-List most recent education (UW-Green Bay) first if you are a transfer student

-Be sure to include majors, minors, and areas of emphasis

-Include:

“Bachelor of Science, Expected Graduation Month, Year” – If you are not in your final semester

“Bachelor of Arts, Month, Year” (December, May, or August) – If you are in your final semester

Example:

      Bachelor of Science in Human Biology with Nutritional Science Emphasis, May 2011
      University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, Green Bay, WI

-If you include your GPA, do not round up and use this format: 3.7/4.0 and do not use more than two decimal places.

EXPERIENCE:

-Remove any high school information a year after you graduate from high school since you have more recent, relevant education and experiences

-Use present tense verbs when describing duties for positions you currently hold. Use past tense when describing positions you no longer hold.

-When listing work history, be sure to list in chronological order, with most recent first. Include the following information:

  Position Title, Dates
  Company, City, State
  Accomplishments, duties, skills used

-You can split your experience into relevant and related experience to draw attention to positions or experience related to your major or to the position for which you are applying.

ACTIVITIES/VOLUNTEER EXPERIENCES:

-For any activities or volunteer experience, place in chronological order, most recent first and use the following layouts:

                -Volunteer, Habitat for Humanity, UW-Green Bay, Green Bay, WI, September 2008-Present
                -Member, Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), Green Bay, WI, September 2009-March 2010
                -Participant, Intramural Football, UW-Green Bay, Green Bay, WI, October 2008 and 2009

REFERENCES:

-Do not include references on your resume. These should be on a separate sheet with the same heading as your resume. Visit http://www.uwgb.edu/careers/skills/resume-samples/References.pdf to see an example.

OTHER ITEMS:

-Do not include “I”, “me”, or “my” on the resume.

-If your resume will not fit on one page, be sure you do not split a position or your activities/volunteer experience onto two pages.

LAYOUT:

-Include your address, phone number and/or email at the top of your resume. Make your name an acceptable size so it stands out to the viewer.

-Move education to the top of your resume if you are looking for a position in your major.

-Resumes should ideally be one page long. You can adjust spacing, margins, layout, and font size/style to allow this.

-Be consistent with font size, style, spacing between sections, bullets and alignment.

Services Provided by Career Services at UW-Green Bay

Career Services Website:

Visit www.uwgb.edu/careers for more information regarding places to search for a job, along with examples of resumes, cover letters, and references. You will also find valuable information and videos about interviewing.

Schedule an Appointment

Career Services at UW-Green Bay encourages students to make an appointment with a staff member to review resumes and cover letters. The office also provides the opportunity for students to engage in a mock interview with a staff member to introduce them to the type of questions an interviewer might ask. To schedule an appointment, call 920-465-2163.

Upload Resume and Search for Positions on PRO

Students can upload resumes into the PRO system on the Career Services website. Some employers can view student resumes uploaded in PRO and may contact you about your interest in a position.

PRO is also a great way to view positions posted by employers.  Students can search on-campus, off-campus, internships, and professional positions along with community service within a certain industry or job function.

If you have any questions about information listed here, please contact our office at 920-465-2163 or email careers@uwgb.edu.

Connect with Career Services to Start Planning Your Future!

Whether you are returning to campus this fall or you are starting your first semester at UW-Green Bay, our staff asks you to consider what role Career Services can play in your future. Research shows that college students that utilize Career Services are better able to plan for their futures, gain good experience and make solid decisions about their future career and employment goals.

Career Services is here to help you explore academic majors, learn about career fields, gain experience and implement plans to make graduation and life after graduation successful! Think about these strategies:

FIRST YEAR STUDENTS: Make an appointment to talk with a staff member about your intended major or academic interests so you can establish a solid start.

SOPHOMORES: You should have declared your major and need to begin to think about the connection of your academics to your future plans after graduation. Our staff can help you to explore fields and talk with professionals so you have good information to make decisions about what you want to do in your future.

JUNIORS: Experience will be key to your success after graduation! Schedule a time with a staff member to explore internships, leadership experiences, volunteer experiences and other opportunities to build your resume. If graduate school is in your future, you need to use this year to explore programs and plan for required entrance exams.

SENIORS: Your last 2-3 semesters are critical! Applications are due for graduate and professional school. Employers begin hiring upcoming college graduates in the fall as well as spring. Revise your resume and attend any events with employers you can. Make sure you are using Phoenix Recruitment Online to its FULLEST potential. Schedule a time to review your timeline and plans leading up to graduation with a member of our staff.

We look forward to working with all of you this year. Welcome Back and have a great academic year!

The Staff in Career Services