Are you graduating in May? Are you feeling excited, thrilled, on top of the world? Or are you perhaps feeling a bit nervous, uneasy, and maybe even a little nauseous? We at the PF understand that the thought of looking for a job right now is daunting. Even though we teach you about Freudian defense mechanisms in class, though, that doesn’t mean we endorse over-use of them! Denial might seem like a good strategy (Job? What do you mean I need to find a job?) now, but it’s probably not in your long-term best interests. Our Career Tip of the Month, therefore, is to check out the wonderful work done by UW-Green Bay’s Career Services (http://www.uwgb.edu/careers/). They can assist you with your resume, cover letter, interviewing skills, and job search strategies, and most of their services are free to you as a current student. Take advantage of those services now before you graduate, and don’t let fear delay putting you on the path to career success!
If you think you want to teach, but you do not have the credentials from an approved Education program that would make you eligible for certification, consider investigating the Milwaukee Teaching Fellows program. It is a competitive program that can help highly qualified candidates with bachelor’s degrees in other areas become certified to teach in Wisconsin as they teach full-time in Milwaukee (and are paid to do so) and pursue the coursework needed for licensure. Our quick read of their website seems to indicate that individuals might be able to teach math, science (if they have majors in those areas), special education, or elementary bilingual education (if fluent in English and Spanish). It can be dangerous to rely on your Editors’ quick reading skills, though, so learn more for yourself by visiting the program’s website at: http://www.milwaukeeteachingfellows.org/.
We at the PF understand that the prospect of job hunting feels particularly daunting right now. How can you cope with anxiety about the job market? Be prepared. Some great ways to start include:
- Visit the Career Services’ website at http://www.uwgb.edu/careers/. You’ll find a great article about how to deal with a tight job market, as well as the opportunity to join a webinar on February 11th that will address how to thrive in that market.
- Attend the Human Services’ Networking Night on Monday, February 23, 2009 from 4:30-6:30 p.m. in Phoenix C. Learn more about the potential employers who will be in attendance and about Networking Nights in general at: http://www.uwgb.edu/careers/NetworkingNights.htm.
- Plan now to attend the Spring 2009 Job and Internship Fair on March 4, 2009 from 9:30-1:00 p.m. in the Phoenix Rooms.
Obtaining the job of your dreams does not begin with the job search just before graduation. It begins now with course selection, extracurricular activities, skill-building, and part-time employment. It also begins with networking – making connections in the community, meeting potential future employers, and practicing professional communication skills. Not sure when or how to begin with networking? Plan to attend Career Services’ “Networking Nights”! Networking Nights are regular opportunities to connect with professionals from diverse career areas. You can find out more about the program at: http://www.uwgb.edu/careers/NetworkingNights.htm. Upcoming dates (and attending organizations) are listed below. Several of them are businesses, but keep in mind that many of our Psychology and Human Development students take entry-level positions in businesses as their first jobs. Please also note that local human service agencies will be on campus one evening next semester.
October 20 – M&I Bank
November 3 – Nsight/Cellcom
November 17 – Sherwin Williams
February 9 – Schenck Business Solutions
February 23 – Area human service organizations
March 9 – Associated Bank
March 30 – LaForce
April 13 – BayLake Bank
April 27 – Virchow Krause
Career Services has a fabulous line-up of offerings for Fall 2008. Make sure to put the Job/Internship Fair on your calendars: October 1st from 9:30-1:00 in the Phoenix Rooms. First year students through seniors can benefit from attending. Find tips and details at: http://www.uwgb.edu/careers/2008_FJIF.htm
Career Services will also be presenting workshops on interviewing and creating resumes and cover letters. Each will be offered twice – once in September and October. See the complete schedule at: http://www.uwgb.edu/careers/
Remember, Dr. Eric Landrum from Boise State University will offer his thoughts on careers you can pursue with a Psychology major on April 16th at 6 p.m. in Rose Hall 250 (see previous Psi Chi item). Why listen to us when you can get information from a real expert? That means our best career advice this month is to attend his presentation!
We hope most of you already know about the PRO System that is run through the Career Services Office on campus. If not, let the PF be the first to tell you that it’s a great system that allows you to search for available internships and part-time and full-time jobs. Many of you may be thinking it will only be of use when you graduate, but that’s not true! You can access PRO and look for an internship or summer job that helps build your resume. In addition, once you are ready to head onto the job market full-time, it is a great resource for finding that first job. For example, two recent posts to the system were for a full-time Victim Advocate at Golden House and for a Volunteer Coordinator at Harbor House, both domestic violence shelters in the area. To learn more about and access PRO, click here: http://www.uwgb.edu/careers/PROstudents.htm
The Career Services Office is a great resource for our students that can help you answer this question. Conveniently located in the newly-remodeled Student Services area, their professionals can assist with everything from resume-reviews and mock interviews to career counseling. Human Development and Psychology students should strongly consider checking out their workshops and events for the semester, which include:
• Creating Dynamic Resumes & Cover Letters: Feb. 6th, 12:30-1:30 p.m. Heritage Room (Union)
• Thinking About Graduate School? Feb. 6th, 2-3 p.m., Garden Café B Booth
• Learn to Interview Like a Professional: Feb. 26th, 12:30-1:30 p.m. 1965 Room (Union)
• Spring Job and Internship Fair: Feb. 27th, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Phoenix ABC
Finally, Career Services is sponsoring Dining with Professionals: The Do’s and Don’ts of Etiquette, which will be held on Tuesday, April 8, 2008 at 5:45 p.m. in Fort Howard Hall of the Weidner Center. It is an opportunity for students to mingle with colleagues and business professionals in a fun learning environment. The basics of etiquette will be covered over a delicious multi-course meal combined with the opportunity to informally meet area professionals. The evening will be lead and emceed by Deborah Thomas-Nininger who is a national speaker on business and professional etiquette. Space is limited, so if you are interested in this event, you will need to register in advance at the Registration website.
Want a job as the PF‘s new Senior Investigative Reporter of MAC Hall Flamingo Sightings? Well, first you’ll have to submit an eye-catching resume. In fact, one of the keys to getting your foot in the door when applying for jobs and to making yourself stand out as a graduate school candidate is having a dynamic, polished resume or vita. (Note: A vita or “CV” is similar to a resume, but it is usually longer and focuses on academic-related qualifications. For more, see: CV Information. Realize, however, that for most undergraduates, a resume is going to be the most appropriate document – whether you are applying for a job or for graduate school. Consult with Career Services and/or your advisor if you have questions.)
Our tips for creating and maintaining a great resume or vita include:
Do some reading and research! The Career Services site provides great information about how to develop these documents and even provide samples.
But…don’t rely too heavily on on-line samples. Your resume or vita should be just that – yours! You do not want employers or schools to view your resume as just another one using a computer program’s template or UWGB’s on-line functional resume sample.
Keep a folder of training certificates, honors or accomplishments, major projects for school or work, and other information you might want to include on a resume or vita. Maintain a record of your past employment and volunteer work (e.g., dates, supervisors, responsibilities). Having good records will make the process of developing a resume easier.
Don’t be afraid to highlight your accomplishments, but be honest as you represent them.
Don’t forget about your skills! A resume should highlight your computer, foreign language, communication, supervisory, research, and other skills.
Use action words (e.g., supervised, organized, lead, promoted, implemented) when discussing your qualifications and abilities.
Remember that paid employment is not the only way you acquire experience and skills. The transferable skills obtained through volunteer work, internships, and research or teaching assistantships are also valued by employers and graduate schools. These types of experiences can be included with employment information in a “Relevant Experience” category on your resume. They are likely to be a separate category or categories on a vita.
Tailor your resume or vita to the specific type of job or graduate program to which you are applying. You may need to have more than one version of this document if, for example, you are applying for human resource positions and jobs in day care centers.
Make sure your document is easy to read and visually appealing.
Proofread, proofread, proofread!!! Get as many people as possible to look at your resume or vita, and make sure it is perfect. Even one grammatical or spelling error can eliminate you from consideration.
Want to learn even more? Attend a “Creating Dynamic Resumes and Cover Letters” workshop (Link to the Career Services Workshop Schedule)!
Students headed to graduate school will have to solicit letters of recommendation for their applications. Those moving directly into the job market, on the other hand, will probably not need letters. They will need to provide the names of people who can serve as job references. Here are some “dos” and “don’ts” for selecting and working with your references.
Do ask people to serve as references, rather than just assuming they are willing.
Do make the request of people who know you well and who can speak to your abilities in areas that are relevant for that job.
Do ask politely whether the individual feels he/she can be a good reference for you.
Do think about whether faculty members would be the best job references for you. Potential employers often ask about your interpersonal skills, maturity, skills working with children (or other relevant group), maturity, responsibility, and so on. It can be very difficult for professors to answer those questions if they have only worked with you in a lecture-based class. On the other hand, if you have worked with a professor on an internship, RA, or TA, he or she may have many things to say about your applied skills.
Do follow-up with references, letting them know if you got the job and sending a thank-you note regardless.
And, on the other hand…
Don’t use personal references, unless you have been specifically told by the employer they are appropriate. You might have used individuals like a family friend or minister as references in the past, but they will probably not be good professional references now.
Don’t include someone’s name as a reference on your resume or a job application without asking first. Even if the person is willing, it can make you look bad and hurt your application if the potential employer calls, and your reference is obviously unprepared.
Cover letters and resumes are the first impressions you provide to employers, so you want them to be professional documents that present you both accurately and effectively. There are many tips out there for writing good cover letters, but there are two pieces of advice we would like to highlight for you.
Do not send a form letter. Customize your letter for each job to which you apply, emphasizing your particular qualifications for and interest in the available position. Make sure you consider the specific background and skills that would be necessary to perform effectively in that job (the posted job description is often a great place to find that information). Then, work to address how your own experience and abilities fit their advertised needs.
Think about your transferable skills. Let’s say you are applying for a job working with children in an after-school program, but your only work experience is as a store cashier. On the surface, those positions may appear to have little in common, but in reality, you may have developed very polished interpersonal skills through your interactions with customers. You may have honed leadership skills by training new cashiers. You may be very good at thinking on your feet and remaining calm during busy situations because of your experiences handling long lines and the occasional disgruntled customer. You don’t want to stretch the point, but you also shouldn’t be afraid to highlight the skills you have learned in one job that will help you excel in another.
To get advice from the experts on cover letters, you can check out the Career Services’ website. Even better, attend their upcoming workshop on Creating Dynamic Resumes & Cover Letters: October 24th from 2-3 p.m. in the 1965 Room.
This is an important Breaking News Alert just rushed from the AP wires to The Pink Flamingo news desk. The HUD and PSYCH departments have launched their own websites! Okay, so maybe this isn’t breaking news – the websites have been up for at least five years, but reliable sources tell us some students are not aware of them or the great information they contain. To learn about major/minor requirements, internship sites and policies, careers and grad schools, and much more, visit:
The Pink Flamingo knows you are eagerly anticipating the end of the semester and the beginning of summer (we’re with you!). Before you make too many plans, though, check out the official Pink Flamingo summer to-do list for the savvy student.
- Obtain some relevant applied experience (job, volunteer) to increase career and grad school marketability.
- Study for the GRE! (Really, you CAN and SHOULD study for it.)
- Read all the great career, internship, and graduate school information on the HUD & PSYCH websites and then do additional research on career and graduate school options.
- Conduct an informational interview or job shadow a professional in a career of interest to you.
- Read some great books!!!! One of the best ways to improve your writing and critical thinking skills (not to mention your Verbal GRE scores) is to read and build your knowledge base and vocabulary.
- Review your Degree Progress Report. Note the requirements you need to fulfill and make a plan for your remaining time at UWGB. Consider whether there are classes you wish to re-take or if there are skill areas you want to build before you leave. You should also check the report for accuracy every semester!
- Make a list of other great opportunities (RAs, TAs, Internships) you want to take advantage of while at UWGB and make plans for when you will apply for/complete them. One thing to consider? Plan to spend part of Summer 2008 as a counselor for Camp Lloyd! (See: http://www.uwgb.edu/camplloyd/)
- Take summer classes!!! These can be fabulous intensive learning experiences. They can also help move up your graduation date! Be careful, though, not to take on too much (e.g., we don’t recommend taking two summer courses in the same session). Also make sure you do not plan vacations or other time away during these courses. If you miss a day of a summer class, it’s like missing a full week of the regular semester!
Have fun, and come back rested and ready for an amazing 2007-08 academic year!
1. Take classes outside of Human Development and Psychology!!! Use elective courses outside of your major or minor to build skills you will need in your job and/or that will enhance your marketability for careers/grad school (e.g., writing, public speaking, and computer skills, learning a second language).
2. Select classes within your major or minor which complement your career or graduate school goals. These may not always be obvious. For example, those interested in School Psychology should almost certainly take Tests and Measurements, not simply developmental and counseling courses. What’s the best way to pick out the less obvious ones? Talk to your advisor!