Fall Job and Internship Fair

It’s that time of year again! The Fall Job and Internship Fair is right around the corner on Wednesday October 2, 2013!  Career and job fairs provide candidates with an opportunity to meet employers from a variety of industries and receive first-hand information about the organization and available full-time, part-time and internship positions. These fairs allow employers the opportunity to view a large number of potential candidates and promote their organization, which aids in the pre-screening process and gaining familiarity with students at the fair. 

So, how do you ensure that you get noticed and land that perfect internship?  Here are a few simple things that will ensure success:

Update your resume:

A good resume is paramount to the job search. It is the first glance that an employer will get of your background and credentials, so you want it to be neat and tidy. You want to make sure you include your most recent employer and possibly take out any information that may be irrelevant. For help with your resume you can find helpful information on the Career Services website, or you can always schedule an appointment with a Career Services professional. They can guide you step by step; making sure everything is in order and giving you useful suggestions on how you can improve the professional appearance of your resume. Once you have your resume in tip-top shape, you should print off several copies to hand out to the employers you speak to at the Job Fair.

Dress for success:

It is important to remember that the Job Fair is just like a job interview: you want to make the best first impression possible. Here are a few of the basic tips on professional attire.

Men:

  • Wear nice dress pants that are clean and pressed with a buttoned up shirt and tie.
  • Choose a solid-color button down shirt that is wrinkle-proof.
  • If you can’t afford a suit, purchase a single-breasted, black, two-button blazer that will go with several of your dress pants.
  • Black leather laced shoes are another “must have” that can be worn with a variety of outfits.

Women:

  • If you don’t own a suit, you could wear a skirt (knee length or below) with a sweater set or nice blouse.
  • Avoid heels unless you need the height and are comfortable wearing (and walking!) in them. Remember – closed-toed shoes.
  • Ideally, blouses should not reveal any cleavage or undergarments (bra straps, etc.).

It is important for everyone to remember that as a general rule, jeans are a no! If you are having trouble figuring out what to wear, always err on the side of caution and go for being over-dressed. Also, be sparing with make-up, perfumes, and colognes. More information can be found on the UW-Green Bay Career Services’ website.

Research:

Once you have your resume finalized and your outfit picked out, the last thing you should do is do your homework!  Research the companies that will be at the Job and Internship Fair and get to know a little bit about the ones you would like to speak with.  It is a great way to make a good impression and you will be more relaxed knowing you will have something to talk about with the employers.  The company representatives will also be impressed that you took the time and effort; just another way to stand out in the crowd!  A full list of the employers attending can be found on the PRO website – and if you log into PRO, you can view all of the information submitted by the employers, including information about their organization and the types of positions which they are hiring.  

So, don’t forget to mark your calendars for October 2nd 2013. Get your resumes ready, get out your pants suits and sports coats, and brush up on your interview skills.  The Fall Job and Internship Fair is almost here!

Get LinkedIn To Your Future

If you are waiting until after graduation to start building up your LinkedIn profile, it’s time to reconsider.  37% of surveyed job recruiters identified social professional networks as one of the most important sources for hiring; they are also the fastest growing source of quality hires.  With its recent celebration of its tenth anniversary, LinkedIn has become the largest social media platform created specifically for professionals to connect on the web – but more than 40% of college students say they’ve never used LinkedIn.  “Employers are looking for recent graduates,” says Nicole Williams, LinkedIn’s Career Expert and the founder of WORKS by Nicole Williams, a lifestyle brand for young, career-driven women.  If you’re active on LinkedIn as a college student, “you may be able to be identified as a college student, and as a potential candidate without you even having to apply.”

But how do you actually build a great LinkedIn profile as a college student?  Mashable has you covered.

Post a profile photo.

Some college students are wary of including their profile pictures on LinkedIn for fear of looking too young.  But Williams explains a profile picture could actually work in your favor.  A photo provides a face for your digital personality and helps recruiters see you as a human, rather than a hyperlink.

Include coursework and extracurriculars.

Your LinkedIn profile should weave together the story of your professional development, so it’s good to be as detailed as possible.  Include information about relevant coursework, clubs and organizations in which you’ve participated at school.  If you’ve done any internships or gained work experience, be specific about what skills you developed, how many hours you worked or how many students you tutored. 

“Part of your differentiator as a college student is that you know technology and you know how to build a professional brand,” says Williams.  “Employers want to know that you can bring that to their company.”

Show off your schoolwork.

You can now visually illustrate your skills with rich media, such as pictures and videos.  If you have a presentation you’re especially proud of, or a design project you executed for an internship, include it on your profile to help recruiters visualize what type of talent you bring to the table.

Ask professors and advisers for recommendations.

One common misconception of LinkedIn recommendations is that they have to come from previous employers.  A recommendation from a university professor or academic adviser, especially one with experience in your desired field, speaks volumes to your ability to stand out from the crowd.  Aim to get recommendations from professors who know you personally, or who have a good sense of your work ethic, and can speak specifically to your accomplishments in the classroom.

Connect with industry leaders.

One of the most exciting aspects of social media is the access it gives you to influential people in your industry.

Don’t be intimidated by someone’s professional clout; reach out to people whose careers you admire, but be sure to personalize your request to connect.  Your request should include two elements, says Williams.  The first should contain a detail that connects you to the person.  Look at his or her LinkedIn profile and pull out a piece of information that will help you personalize your request.  Ideally, include something you both have in common, like a hometown or a favorite publication.  If you can’t find anything significant to mention, offer a compliment or a respectful comment about the person’s professional work instead.

Second, include a reason.  Why do you want to connect with this person?  Your reason should NOT be a request for a job.  Instead, engage him or her with a request for career advice, a personal question, or offer up a skill that could be of service.  Demonstrate that you have a passion for what you do and offer up your services free of charge.  If a position opens up with their company or a company they have close contact with, you will go from a ‘maybe’ into being hired for the position.

Look into different career paths.

LinkedIn lets today’s college students access information on career paths in a way no other generation could.  Now, you not only see where someone has gotten in their career, but how they got there.  More often than not, people are surprised to see how non-linear careers are today.  And who knows, looking at someone else’s career path may inspire you to take a chance you otherwise wouldn’t.

 

For more career advice, visit Nicole Williams’s website http://www.nicolewilliams.com/ or mashable.com

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.

Ace That Interview!

It’s natural to be nervous before a job interview.  But did you know there are some simple tricks you can use to calm your nerves?  In an article on Forbes.com, a group of renowned career experts give excellent advice on how to calm your nerves before and during an important job interview.  Follow these simple tips and you’re sure to do great!

 1.  Be Prepared.

  • Do research: on the company, their products, their competition, on the position you’re applying for, anything!  The more you know the more confident you’ll sound.

2.  Plan.

  • Work out little details beforehand, instead of the morning of.  Print your resume, iron you pants and shirt, map out your route and check traffic reports.  Don’t let unexpected delays catch you off guard.

3.  Rehearse.

  • You don’t need to memorize a script, but preparing what you would like to say can be a big help.  Remember, practice makes perfect!

4.  Eliminate the Unknown.

  • If you’re not sure about the company’s dress code, call their HR department and ask.  The fear of the unknown can make you unnecessarily nervous so sort out any uncertainties before your interview.

5.  Arrive Early and Relax.

  • Allow yourself plenty of time.  Before going inside, take a few minutes to sit in your car and gather your thoughts. 

6.  Think of the Interview as a Conversation.

  • If you think of the interview more like a conversation between two people it is easier to stay calm.  Both of you are trying to get to know each other and access whether you would be a good fit for each other. 

7.  Think Positive and Be Confident.

  • Don’t let negative thoughts of doing poorly wreck your interview before you even start.  Visualize yourself doing a great job, and it’s more likely to come true!

8.  Think Friend, Not Foe.

  • Remember that the interviewer is not your enemy.  They simply want to know if you will be a good fit for their company.  Taking the time to learn a little bit about the person who will be interviewing you will help you to visualize them as just a regular person.

9.  Sit Up Straight and Don’t Fidget.

  • It’s no secret that you appear more confident when you are sitting up straight, but it also helps project your voice and make you sound better, too! 

10.  Normalize.

  • Realizing that it’s normal to be nervous is a big step in helping to calm your nerves.  Don’t sweat it!

11.  Focus on Your Strengths and Your Purpose.

  • Try this: Imagine you already got the job.  Why is that?  By thinking about all of your strong points you can focus on portraying yourself the way you want the interviewer to see you instead of worrying about inadequacies. 

12.  Breathe and Take Your Time.

  • Deep breathing increases the oxygen going to your brain and helps calm your nerves.  If you need time to gather your thoughts before answering a question, take a deep breath, even jot down a few notes.  It will help to keep you on track.

13.  Accept the Fact that Mistakes Will Happen.

  • We all know nobody is perfect.  And truthfully employers aren’t looking for perfection either.  If you remember this it will be easier to take the pressure of and focus on doing your best.

14.  Remember There Are Other Jobs Out There.

  • It’s easy to get caught up thinking that if this interview doesn’t go well you’re doomed to unemployment forever.  But don’t put all your eggs in one basket!  There will be other jobs!

               To read the full article and get more information go to http://www.forbes.com/pictures/efkk45ehgee/how-to-stay-calm-during-a-job-interview/ 

Make sure you check out the Career Services webpage for more interview tips.  You can also attend Interviewing Basics-Make a Good Impression on April 17th.  There we can provide you with even more information about how to effectively answer questions and ace your interview!

Undecided? We Can Help!

Choosing a major is one of the most important decisions of your college experience.  It can also be one of the most difficult and stressful decisions you will ever make.  But did you know it doesn’t have to be?  UWGB offers so many resources to help you make the right decision for you with as little pressure as possible.  You can review the list of majors offered at UWGB and speak with a Career Services advisor.  But one of the most interesting options is the Career Planning course that is offered every semester.

Human Development 225 is a rewarding class that offers students the opportunity to explore major and career options through self-evaluation.  The course as described by the syllabus reads: 

This course is designed to help you develop a broad, interdisciplinary perspective on career development, as reflected by the definition presented in the text book: “the total constellation of economic, sociological, psychological, educational, physical, and chance factors that combine to shape one’s career.”  The class sessions and assignments will provide the knowledge and resources necessary for conducting self-assessment, researching occupational and educational options, and establishing goals for career/life planning.

In the class you will also learn how to understand and apply career development theories, assess your own values, personality, and skill set, explore your academic options, and learn how to make informed career decisions.  The course is worth one credit, has two sections to choose from, and is open to everyone. 

Register for the Human Development 225 this fall through your SIS account or visit Career Services in SS 1600.  We look forward to seeing you!

Does College Prepare You for the Job Market?

Everyone knows that a Bachelor’s degree has pretty much become a prerequisite in the job market.  But did you know that employers are starting to feel like recent graduates are unprepared when it comes to hiring?  According to an article by Karin Fischer published in The Chronicle of Higher Education, employers find candidates with bachelor’s degrees to be under-qualified and ill-prepared.  Many of these employers are blaming colleges for the lack of preparedness, with over 30% ranking them as “fair or poor.”  But why is this?  What are we doing wrong?  And what can we do to fix it?

Fischer states that the breakdown between the goals college degree and the expectations of employers differ in regards to marketability.  She believes that colleges seek to prepare graduates on a broad scale, giving them a wide variety of knowledge and skills, whereas employers want candidates with specialized skills and specific knowledge.  Employers want a college grad to be trained and ready to begin working from day one. 

According to the survey in the article, as well as a survey of employers in the 2013 NACE Job Outlook, the most important (and lacking) skill for recent college grads is the ability to effectively communicate verbally.  Employers are looking for candidates that can speak their mind and give intelligent responses to questions and problems.  These skills are often overlooked, but can be very important in a job setting, as you will most likely be working with a group of people from time to time.  David E. Boyes is quoted in the Chronicle article as having said, “It’s not a matter of technical skill, but of knowing how to think.”  Developing critical thinking skills will allow you to make decisions and express yourself in an effective way. 

Here at UW-Green Bay we offer a wide range of critical thinking course as part of our interdisciplinary approach to education.  Consider taking Fundamentals of Interpersonal Communication (Comm-166) and Communication Problems (Comm-200) to develop and hone these marketable skills.  There are also numerous leadership opportunities in student organizations, including Student Government Association, Sigma Tau Delta, and other major related clubs.  Search the UWGB webpage for a list of all orgs offered on campus.  If you want to further develop on-the-job skills, try an internship.  The Career Services office can assist you in searching and applying for internships.  Check out the PRO website to browse local internship options.

The jobs market it always changing; there’s not changing that.  But how we adapt to it is entirely up to us.  Knowing which skills and assets are important to employers can help you better develop skills to meet these growing demands.  Stop by Career Services (SS 1600) to find out more about what you can do to prepare yourself for the jobs market and beyond.

Social Media in Your Job Search

As you set out into the crazy world of the job search, it can sometimes be overwhelming.  But did you know that you probably already use some helpful job search tools every day?  Believe it!  Lindsey Pollak, bestselling author of Getting from College to Career: Your Essential Guide to Succeeding in the Real World, tells us about how social media can be an amazing tool when it comes to networking and building connections during a job search.

Known as the expert on the struggles “Generation Y” will face in the job search, Pollak wrote an article for the February 2013 issue of Job Choices magazine.  In the article she outlines 10 steps that everyone can take to improve their networking skills and make connections using the social media tools they already have. 

1.      Develop a Professional Presence.

2.      Fill Your Profile With Keywords.

3.      Use LinkedIn to Find Your Path.

4.      Get Personal.

5.      Be a Joiner (Of Groups and Online Communities

6.      Tweet.

7.      Blog.

8.      Share.

9.      Keep People Up to Date.

10.   Use Social Media to Ace Interviews.

These ten steps are a great outline for you to get started using social media as a job search tool.  But don’t forget, it is always important to make sure that your online presence is professional.  Do you really want a potential employer to see what you did last weekend?  Didn’t think so.  Pollack also reminds us that social media is only a tool in the job search, not the only aspect.  Make sure to explore all forms of job search techniques to ensure a well-rounded and thorough experience. 

To view the full article from Lindsey Pollak, visit http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nace/JobChoices0812_Diversity/index.php#/27

Feeling “Pin”-spired

If you have been paying attention to recent social media trends, you have probably heard of Pinterest.  And if you’re anything like me, you are probably obsessed!  This new craze is all about creating online “inspiration boards” by “pinning” pictures of things that interest you.  Clothes, Celebrities, Dream Weddings and Houses are just a few of the examples.  But did you know that Pinterest can be a useful tool in preparing you for a job search and the interview process as well?  Career Services has started our own boards and we want you to check them out!

               By visiting http://pinterest.com/uwgbcareers/ you can find useful information on all of your professional needs.  From interviewing to résumés, networking to etiquette, and even dressing professionally, the Career Services Pinterest boards have it all!  Plus you can link to the source website of the pin just by clicking on it.  This is a great way to see tips and tricks for your job search queries all in one place. 

               If you already have a Pinterest account, search and follow UW-Green Bay Career Services today to have our pins show up on your homepage.  If you don’t have an account you can still click the link above and view our boards.  Creating an account is quick and easy, too.  Sign up for this hot, new social media trend and you’ll never miss a thing!  Who knows, maybe you’ll become pin-spired, just like us!

Welcome Back from Career Services!

The spring semester is upon us once again and it’s time to get back into the swing of things.  In all the chaos, Career Services would like to remind students of the amazing programs that will also be happening this semester.  A wide variety of events are planned to help students with anything from writing a resume or cover letter to networking and professionalism. 

The events are as follows:

Feb. 6 – Creating a Resume 101

Feb. 12 – Interview Basics – Make a Great Impression

Feb. 12  – Speed Networking 101

  • Get the opportunity to speak with UWGB alumni about understanding fields, jobs, careers and the basics of professionalism!  Early registration is required.

Feb. 25 – Nuts & Bolts of Professionalism

  • Listen to successful recent alumni and young professionals offer their insights into what mistakes to avoid on your resume, how to use LinkedIn, why networking is important and much more.

Feb. 27 – Spring Job & Internship Fair

Feb. 28 – Don’t Be “That” Candidate – Employer Panel

  • Employer representatives will be available to share stories about what they have experienced screening and interviewing candidates so you can learn what NOT to do as a candidate in the job search. Registration is encouraged.

Mar. 4 – Dine Like a Professional Etiquette Lunch

Mar. 7 – Mock Interview Day

 You can find more information and register for events by signing into your PRO account. If you have additional questions, feel free to check out the Career Services webpage or visit us in Student Services 1600.  We look forward to seeing you!

The Lost Art of Thank You During the Job Search

A frequent comment today from employers focuses around the simple “thank you” from job seekers during the search process and especially following an interview.  Unfortunately it appears that the job seekers who actually send a thank you letter following a job interview are in the minority.  Many years ago, you set yourself apart from the candidate pool when you failed to send a thank you letter.  Today – you are singled out in a positive way when a candidate sends a follow-up thank you letter in the job search.  This is a basic, simple action and often seen as common courtesy – sending a letter or note of thanks to the employer for evaluating your candidacy and allowing you to interview and meet their employees.  It is best to send a targeted thank you letter which focuses on the job and opportunity.  In the letter it is ideal as a candidate to reference a discussion or part of the interview.  This demonstrates your interest and level of connection during the experience. In the thank you letter, take the time to emphasize and point out your skill set and qualifications.  Finally be sure to reiterate your interest in the opportunity.  This thank you letter can be sent by email – which is the more commonly acceptable format today.  However it can be sent via US mail.  Our staff recommends candidates send a professional letter and avoid the personal, handwritten thank you note.  See this article for additional information about the importance of thank you letters here:  http://www.careerrush.com/careerrushblog/1113/why-a-thank-you-letter-after-interview-is-so-important/

A new twist on the “thank you” letter concept is for candidates to send a thank you for a “No” received during a job search.  Once again, this simple act can keep communication going and allow for a long term connection with the organization.  You never know when another opportunity with the organization might open again.  Sometimes candidates hired do not work out for the employer.  A recent online article details why saying thank you for a “No” can be a big benefit to a candidate during the job search.  See the details here:  http://designresumes.com/2013/01/why-to-say-thank-you-for-the-no-when-you-dont-get-the-job/?goback=%2Egde_44583_member_205138013

Staff in Career Services can help you in developing a solid, effective thank you letter.  The most important thing to remember in the job or internship search is to send a thank you letter following an interview.  Take every opportunity you can to keep your candidacy at the forefront for the employer.  Examples and more information are available on our website:  http://www.uwgb.edu/careers/skills/professional-letters-guide.asp#post.