Today: Jul 17, 2024

Career services offers students job seeking tips

Jessica Giannone, General Assssignment Reporter:
Looking for a job can be a job within itself, as Patricia Whelan, the director of Cooperative Education at Southern, said as she offered advice to students seeking tips for their future.
A discussion was held in the Center for Career Services last Wednesday to address what students should do when applying and aspiring for jobs.
“Asses where your values lie,” said Whelan.
She said in today’s competitive market, it’s important to stand apart from other people.
Suggestions for students included how to identify a career choice, build a resume, develop interview skills, dress properly, job search and network.
The first step, according to Whelan, is to narrow down career options and research jobs that are interesting. She encouraged students to visit Career Services to meet with a career counselor and become familiar with the FOCUS and JOBS programs which are through the Southern website.
“JOBS is great,” said Whelan. “Don’t let it be your only resource.”
Through the FOCUS website, students can learn about the careers that best suit their interests and abilities through assessments.
JOB, which only requires an Owls account, is an online job board available for Southern students and alumni to find part-time and full-time jobs, internships and co-op openings and opportunities.
Whelan explained how students can discover jobs through websites, networking and “getting the word out.”
She said professional organizations, publications, staffing agencies and career fairs are good resources to find opportunities. If an organization is unaffordable, she recommended asking to volunteer.
“A big thing is to know yourself,” said Whelan, “and be willing to do the work.”
The slideshow Whelan presented said 80 percent of jobs go unadvertised. Whelan said students should talk to professors, join professional organizations in their fields and attend events where they can network.
Students should conduct informational interviews with people, keep business cards of people they meet for follow ups and remember that networking websites like Facebook and LinkedIn can help or hinder their efforts.
“Google your name,” said Whelan. “That’s what employers are doing.”
She suggested students create business cards and include their strengths as the bulk of their cards.
Whelan told students that when building a resume, to tailor it for each job. Students can refer to the Career Services handbook, attend workshops or meet with a counselor to learn about creating resumes and cover letters.
“You definitely want your resume to be the best possible representation of who you are,” said Whelan. “It’s really an investment in your future.”
She urged students to make sure they keep track of where they apply and who they hear from.
When it comes time for the interview, Whelan said students should prepare questions for employers and arrive 15 minutes ahead of time. She said if an individual can’t be on time for an interview, the employers are going to wonder if that person will be on time for work.
She noted that first impressions are everything. An employer can make a judgment within the first five seconds they meet someone. Whelan said that is why it is important to dress appropriately.
For girls, tips included to wear skirts or pant dress suits that are solid, dark colors, along with dress shoes and limited makeup, jewelry and perfume.
“You definitely don’t want them to smell you before they see you,” said Whelan.
She said to have well-manicured nails and a professional hairstyle.
Girls and boys should not wear open toe shoes or jeans, reveal any tattoos or piercings or carry tote bags, electronics or beverages such as soda and coffee to the interview. Whelan recommended students set their clothes out the night before.
She said although some jobs don’t require dress clothes on a daily basis, it is still important to dress up for an interview.
“You have to get the job first,” said Whelan.
She told students to attend interviewing workshops, view DVDs and “role play” to learn about how to conduct themselves during an interview.
As one slide said, “The resume can get you the interview, but the interview gets you the job.”
According to the U.S. Department of Labor website, individuals should learn as much as they can about the company they are applying for and be prepared to show how their experiences relate to the position.
Whelan told students not to take it personally if they are rejected and to move forward in the process, because qualified individuals get rejected for positions all of the time. She said to continue to seek new resources and contacts, and always evaluate progress and improve resumes, interviewing and networking skills.
“It’s work to find work,” Whelan said as she encouraged students to “be motivated and stay motivated.”

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