Four Steps to a Solid First Impression

As we continue to power through Job Fair Season, it’s important to always remember the basics: make eye contact, smile, and have a firm handshake. There’s another aspect of the basics that you should never forget: your first impression! I’m sure you all have heard the expression before of “you only get one chance to make a good first impression,” and that is especially true during your job or internship search. This can be particularly nerve-wracking when you are going into a job fair or networking event, where you are vying with scores of other people to leave a good impression on an employer.  As part of the 4 Minute Read series, Fast Company shares four tips on how to make a memorable (in a good way!) first impression.

  1. Connect with the employer in a professional and personal manner. Your conversation doesn’t have to be strictly business. Allow the conversation to deviate if it means you can connect over a mutual interest- just make sure you go back to the original topic or interview question!
  2. Use numbers. I’m sure your professors have told you that statistics in research papers or presentations are a great way to grab the audiences’ attention.  Well, the same thing happens when you connect with an employer. Be sure to have an interesting statistic- whether it’s related to their company or the industry as a whole- to show you know your stuff.
  3. Share a fun fact. In the same vein as sharing a statistic, look for opportunities to share an interesting fact. Maybe it’s a life hack, or a cultural understanding, or a tip for their social media platform. Keep in mind this shouldn’t be totally out of the blue, but if it contributes to the conversation, feel free to share!
  4. Be word-conscious. Think about what you are saying to ensure you are concise, but still getting your point across in an effective way. Make sure they are words you won’t trip over or mispronounce.

Just as you practice your handshake and elevator speech, practice using these tips on an everyday basis so when the time comes to meet with an employer, you will really knock their socks off! To read more insight from Fast Company, click here: https://www.fastcompany.com/3066553/four-easy-ways-to-make-a-memorable-first-impression

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Looking for a Job? Maybe I can Help!

On my spear time, I love to scroll the internet looking for jobs in fields that I am interested in. I mainly do this to see what jobs I come across that maybe I have never heard about. Two websites that I find myself consistently going back to are (1) internships.com and (2) indeed.com. You can type in one word or phrase in the search section and adjust additional options; such as: location, paid or unpaid, etc. Check out the sites and see if you like them as much as I do!

-D.T

Do Not Be Afraid of the Fourth Page of Google!

When searching for internships, there are a variety of websites to peruse. Google was my best friend during my internship search! When I use Google, I usually look at the max up to page 2. My theory always was, “If it’s not on page one, then it’s not worth my time!” Well, I was very, very wrong. Let me lay some background info. I am a Biology/Pre-Vet major and there are very few places I can intern, especially when I am stuck to places close to Philadelphia. So for me, the internship search was a massive process. Not only could I not find many internships, I also found really cool ones … in other states. Due to these circumstances, I was forced to break my usual Google rule. Here’s the part where I learn how wrong I was. I found my current internship on the FOURTH page of my Google search. I was very close to giving up and then I saw the exact thing I was looking for and here I am with a full time internship for Summer 2017. Here’s the lesson: DO NOT BE AFRAID OF THE FOURTH PAGE OF GOOGLE! Exhaust every resource there is out there, because I can guarantee you that there is an internship out there for you! Happy Searching!!!

-Teresa

What Questions Do You Have For Me?

When preparing for an interview, it’s pretty common for job seekers to prepare for the questions that the employer may ask. However, it’s equally important for a job seeker to have questions prepared to ask of the employer.  Of course, there are the standby questions, such as “what is the rest of the hiring process like?” or “what is a typical day here like?”  The time when you ask questions is an essential part of the interview process. It’s an opportunity for you to get to know the company more, and continue making a good impression of the interviewer.  The Forbes Coaches Council developed a list of 11 questions a job seeker should consider asking in order to stand out from the other people being interviewed. Here are a few to start:

  1. What could I accomplish in six months that would really exceed your expectations? Many job seekers ask something along the lines of “what are your expectations of me?” Of course your employer will have expectations for you. This will give you a clearer idea of ways you can take initiative and go above-and-beyond to make a good impression.
  2. What gets you excited to come to work every day?  It’s important to know the culture of your new company, as well as what motivates your new supervisor.  The response to this question can help you determine if you will mesh well with both!
  3. How does your workplace help employees reach their peak potential? Again, it will be a great insight of the company culture to know if they work to help their employees succeed, or adapt with changing needs and times.
  4. What other information can I share with you? This gives the interviewer another door to ask you more questions, and gives you the opportunity to respond to any concerns or doubts they may have.

The Forbes Coaches Council has other great questions you can ask! Check them out here: http://www.forbes.com/sites/forbescoachescouncil/2016/11/10/11-unusual-question-to-ask-in-an-interview-to-distinguish-yourself-from-the-competition/#68ec588f25f3

Five Facts for your Federal Resume

More and more students are including positions with the federal government as part of their job search. And why not? There are positions for all majors and career paths, they offer great benefits, and every day is different while still having a positive impact on society. However, it’s important to note that when you apply for a federal position, you will need to use a federal resume. The Partnership for Public Service is an excellent resource as you get started in your federal job search. One of their resources is a guide on developing your federal resume.  Here are five tips to get you started:

  1. It’s ok to be longer than one page.  In fact, for an entry-level position, your resume could run anywhere from two to five pages. The content of your resume is very similar to a civilian resume, but will provide much more detail.
  2. Tweak your resume to match the job announcement. Just as you would for a private sector position, it’s important to keyword match and ensure that you emphasize that you are a solid fit for the position.
  3. Give detail, but be concise. It’s ok for your resume to run longer than a page because you are providing a much more extensive history of yourself, but do not let your accomplishment statements become so wordy that the hiring manager cannot interpret what you are getting at.
  4. Make absolutely sure that you are including all of the required information. Civilian resumes can be flexible in what you choose to include. However, a federal resume has different requirements for every resume, such as name, contact information, citizenship, educational history, and full employment information including hours worked per week.
  5. Proofread! Read over your resume multiple times to make sure there are no spelling, grammar, or punctuation errors.

To see more helpful tips from the Partnership for Public Service, check out Create Your Federal Resume and Federal Resume Writing Tips

From the Rio Olympics to Albright

As it gets colder and snowier, it’s easy to let your mind drift to warmer days full of sunshine. Some of us even daydream of the Rio Olympics- two weeks of sun, warm-weather sports, and temperatures that would definitely prevent snow. Abby Wolfe and Stacey Gawronski, both of The Muse, shared some insight on how we can incorporate lessons from the Rio Olympics into our everyday lives for success in the workplace or at school. Every student wants to do well in their classes, but it’s important to also take care of yourself in the process. Here are just a few of the suggestions that Wolfe and Gawronski provide:

  1. Get plenty of the right kind of sleep.  In other words, no all-nighters! Your body and mind won’t work effectively if they are deprived of the time they needs to restore themselves.
  2. Have confidence.  Clarify your goals for yourself, communicate them with others, and make your goals your focus.
  3. Take a break for fun.  There will be times when the to-do list seems daunting. Pencil some time into your schedule to get off campus, read a Buzzfeed article, or watch Carpool Karaoke. This will give your brain some time to relax and be ready to focus for your next round of studying.

There are many other ways we can emulate Olympic athletes to make sure we stay productive, such as finding ways to keep anxiety at bay, and eating healthy.  Learn tips from ten incredible athletes here: https://www.themuse.com/advice/10-olympic-athletes-daily-habits-you-should-steal-that-dont-involve-the-gym

Can Your Cover Letter REALLY Make Someone Smile?

We’ve discussed in previous posts about how cover letters can be TOUGH.  It’s hard to explain why you’re a perfect fit in a concise, personable manner- but still make sure it doesn’t come across as bragging. Moreover, it’s hard to make sure your cover letter stands out from the sea of dozens of other cover letters. To help you out, Jenny Foss of TheMuse explains what she looks for in a cover letter from a recruiter standpoint. By knowing what recruiters are looking for, it will be easier for you to make sure your cover letter will rise to the top of the pile!

  1. Give the company a specific reason why you are interested in them.  Everyone wants to feel special, and a representative of your dream company is no different. Like that they have a day of service each quarter? Let them know! Appreciate the outstanding service you’ve received from them? Tell them!
  2. Tell them exactly what you can deliver. Focus on key points of their candidate requirements, and explain how you have those qualifications. Let them know how you have used them in a professional setting.
  3. Make it personal by telling your story.  Add in a fun fact about yourself that may contribute to your career choice, or interest in that particular position or company.
  4. Address it to a real person. Yes, it’s tedious and can be hard to find exactly who will be reading your letter.  Let Google and LinkedIn be your friend and try to find the head of the department your position would be with, or at least someone related to hiring within HR.

It goes without saying that your cover letter should be well formatted, and free of grammar and spelling mistakes. It should be in formal language with no slang, text talk, or emojis. But most importantly, it should be a good representation of who you are- not a stuffy, overly-professional version of you. To get more insight from Ms. Foss, check out her entire article here: https://www.themuse.com/advice/the-cover-letters-that-make-hiring-managers-smile-then-call-you-1

Today is Your Day!

Welcome back, students! The campus was quiet without you. We are so excited to help you this semester as you choose your majors, write your resumes, apply to study abroad, and prepare for life beyond graduation.

It can be hard to get back into the swing of things as you come back from a long break.  Over the past few weeks, you were probably able to sleep in, or stay up late.  You didn’t have to prepare for exams or read chapters of a textbook. You weren’t juggling your time between class, club meetings, or athletic practices. It’s a tough transition! It may seem frustrating and overwhelming, but it IS worth it.  This semester is going to be the best semester yet- we can feel it!  Study hard, but also remember not to pull all-nighters. Be involved, but also remember to take time for yourself. Focus on being present, but also remember to think ahead to where you want your life to be in one year, five years, ten years. You can do it!

dr-seuss

Looking Forward to 2017!

We wish for all of our students: a safe trip home, a happy holiday season, and plenty of time to sleep and relax over interim! We can’t wait to see you in 2017!

holidays

Introvert Networking 101

When faced with a networking opportunity, many introverts tend to be filled with fear. Introverts know that people can be a drain on their energy, and they may be overshadowed by their extroverted peers.  Interviews also seem terrifying, because introverts know they have to be in Super Duper People Mode. The Muse recently posted an article to help introverts conquer networking events and interviews by preparing effectively.  Here’s a quick overview of their five steps:

  1. Plan out your time – Give yourself some buffer time before and after the interview or event.  This will build up your energy beforehand, and help you regroup and process information afterwards.
  2. Embrace the chitchat – Understand that small talk is part of the process. Remember that this is a way to establish a relationship, and prepare “get to know you” questions in advance, such as “did you see the Cubs win the World Series last night?”
  3. Really shine at the beginning and the end – Remember to have an awesome introduction to make a great first impression.  Having a confident, friendly closing will leave a good impression, too.
  4. Mirror the interviewer – Make sure you don’t revert to your introverted ways during the conversation.  Make it a point to match what the interviewer is doing, either in body language or tone of voice. If the employer is being unprofessional, such as slouching or using negative body language, don’t feel concerned! Instead, take a deep breath and make a point to use good eye contact and more open body language.
  5. Make your introversion a positive – If the point is to develop a rapport, it may be beneficial to keep in mind that the interviewer could be an introvert, too.  Find ways to highlight your qualities as an introvert.

The Muse has all kinds of good suggestions and points in their article, which you can read here: https://www.themuse.com/advice/5-survival-tricks-every-introvert-needs-to-know-before-going-on-an-interview .  Other helpful tips for introverts that the ELCDC recommends are doing your research so you feel more prepared, and set achievable goals, like “meet with three employers, and then take a five minute break to get water.”  What other suggestions do you have?