Archive for the Career Exploration Category

Savvy Seniors: Be a Stand Out Applicant & Land the Job

Posted on February 5, 2014 with No Comments

PMG logo

The inside scoop from a local public relations firm

What is an employer looking for?

Here’s what you should know about applying for a position: we are looking for professionalism and creativity above all when sifting through the many resumes.  Please do not try to be cute or funny, stick to the basics and tell us what you could bring to our office.

What do employers notice in an applicant?

Do your research, look at our website, read our blogs: you will gain tremendous insight into who we are and what we do.  Then take that research and apply it to your cover letter.  I look for cover letters that demonstrate an understanding of the business in a clear, concise way.

The most common mistakes I see in cover letters include grammatical errors and misspellings.  Always have a trusted person edit it with you.  You might think it sounds fine, but it never hurts to have another set of eyes look over your work. (This practice continues even in the working world; all of our work goes through several rounds of revisions, no matter what our title may be.)

How and when should I follow up?

Don’t panic if we don’t respond to your email the first day.  We read every application and cover letter closely, but we also have our everyday jobs to tend to.  However, if it has been more than a week, it is fine to send a quick follow up note just reiterating your interest.  Tell us something different about yourself or your interest in our company, rather than just saying “Did you get my application?”  Be creative, professional and persistent.  The application process is a lot like pitching to the media, it might take two or three follow ups to finally get that big hit.

~Beth Parent, Account Supervisor
PMG

People Making Good (PMG) PR specializes exclusively in publicity and media relations.

Learn more at this great workshop with special guest Logic Supply:
Stand out in the Application Process Tuesday, February 18, 12-1pm at the Hub!


Your Own Job Search Syllabus

Posted on January 30, 2014 with No Comments

Illustrated image of class syllabus

As the semester gets underway, assignments, class schedules and long-term projects get your attention.  One course you may not have realized you also have on your plate is Job/Career Prep 101.  It is always part of your load, even after graduation. Managing your career and taking advantage of opportunities continues throughout your life.  Make sure you understand the basics now and treat your professional development like a class or research project.

Here are your assignments:

Weekly Homework: Add Job/Career Prep time to your weekly schedule, even when you have a job or a very full plate.  Taking three small actions a week adds up!

Extra Credit: Take advantage of meeting people, being curious, finding out more ~ be it a conversation in a coffee shop, a follow-up email with a presenter in class, or attending events on and off campus.  Get involved in conversations and activities that will support your own learning beyond your assignments.  It will pay off.

Vocabulary:  Choose language that motivates you! “I gotta get a job” or “I have no clue,” is Eeyore-think.  We can all get discouraged, but don’t get stuck there!  Practice the language of possibility: “I wonder how that person got started;”  “I am going to contact X organization;”  “I am exploring career options “ (vs. being lost).  Keeping positive is essential to moving forward in the world of work.

Final Project: Reflect on what you learned, what the next step is and take action! The 4 Year Plan can support you each year at UVM.

Daunting?  Come drop in at the Career + Experience Hub to meet with a career counselor to help develop your strategy!

~Holly

What Characterizes a Good Internship?

Posted on January 23, 2014 with No Comments

Two kinds of internships; one with collaboration and learning, another of simply filling coffee orders

Photo: An example of a good internship (where there is communication and feedback), and an example of a less-than-good internship (repetitive tasks that aren’t related to career goals)

At this time of year, many students are applying for summer internships at a variety of different companies and organizations. With so many internship postings out there, how can you find one that provides a quality experience?

Whether paid or unpaid, or if you’re earning academic credit or not, there are several qualities that characterize an effective internship:

  • Your internship has direct relevance to your career interests and goals. It also provides opportunities for learning skills and knowledge that can transfer to other work environments.
  • The internship takes place in a supervised environment. The intern has the opportunity to ask questions, as well as receive training and feedback.
  • There is clear communication, and expectations for both the intern and the internship site are clear.
  • Optimally, interns are given the opportunity to see the “big picture” of how the organization operates. This might happen through meetings, events, and resources provided by the internship supervisor.

In contrast, what makes for a less-than-good internship experience, and should you avoid?

  • Repetitive, menial tasks that don’t relate to your career interests and goals. We hear jokes about interns whose sole tasks are to deliver coffee and make copies, but that obviously doesn’t create a valuable experience. As a side-note, we all end up making coffee and copies once in a while – but those shouldn’t be your main responsibilities.
  • Commission-based work (that is, being paid based on sales). As an intern, you are new to the company and are just learning about the organization and how it works. It isn’t fair to put you in a position of pitching products that you don’t know much about, and it likely won’t connect to your career goals.
  • Paying for an internship. In specific circumstances, it might make sense to pay for a comprehensive program (interning abroad is one example, when your money goes towards housing and travel), but be wary of any company that asks you to hand over money for the opportunity to intern.

A quick Google search can bring up a lot of information about former interns’ experiences, as well as more information about a specific company. Do your research before applying, especially if an opportunity sounds sketchy or too good to be true.

Still looking for more resources? Come for the Internships 101 workshop, every Tuesday at 4:15 in the Career + Experience Hub, or stop by our Drop In Hours at the hub Hub, Monday – Thursday 1-4, or Friday 1-3pm.

~Amanda

Welcome the World to Vermont

Posted on January 16, 2014 with No Comments

Drawing of several people surrounding a giant globe

Many want a life with purpose and greater meaning although fear often stops them from taking their next step, whether it is choosing a major of interest or traveling to study and immersing in a new culture or a new way of learning. The growing UVM international population has overcome fear and shown initiative, independence, and ability to be flexible. These are the skills the global community depends on and could shape the international landscapes.

International students in particular have a task of navigating the US and business culture. The coming semester there will be opportunities for all UVM students to learn job skills, hear from experts, and network with professionals in their field.

International students CAN:

  • Get paid to work on campus
  • Join a club and practice communication skills
  • Network with the people you meet on campus and at Networking events and on LinkedIn (the new International Student and Alumni group is a place to start).
  • Participate in one or all of the 3-part Skill Series—check the Career Center calendar

You’ve flown across the world, worked hard for years, learned a tremendous amount and experienced a world you never knew. The Career Center can help you navigate your next professional move. Participate and reach out to build skills to create the life you have been working toward.

~Kim

Savvy Seniors: Find Hidden Jobs (One Senior’s True Story)

Posted on January 8, 2014 with No Comments

Michelle LeungSpring semester of my senior year – stressed out and exhausted, I was bogged down with papers, exams, projects, presentations, work and extracurricular commitments. On top of that, I hadn’t yet secured a job for after graduation. Everything was still up in the air and the next several months were filled with uncertainty.

In April, UVM Career Center and the Tower Society collaborated to host a panel and networking event featuring female business leaders. They were asked to share their wisdom and stories on their career path and professional growth. The advice they gave was invaluable and I found myself taking notes.

After the panel, I approached one of the presenters, a Senior Vice President with Human Resources at State Street. I thanked her for her time and shared my desire to work in Human Resources. Meeting her led me to several interviews and two weeks after graduation, I got the call and was offered a job at State Street Corporation!

Now, as a contract Recruiting Coordinator, my days consist of scheduling interviews, sending out offer letters, posting internal and external job openings, facilitating background investigation, and conducting new hire paperwork appointments.

Who knew attending the Women in Leadership Panel would land me a job at State Street? I certainly did not.

To all seniors who are currently in their job search process – keep your head up and don’t get discouraged! Attend networking events and career fairs when you get the chance, connect with those who work in companies you are interested in, make the extra effort to get to know and understand their business – who knows? You might be talking to your future employer. It happened to me.

~Michelle Leung, Class of 2013
Recruiting Coordinator at State Street Bank

Want to learn more? Join us with special guest The Intervale Center for the next Savvy Seniors Workshop: Finding Hidden Jobs Tuesday, January 21, 12-1pm at the Hub!

Get Adobe Flash playerPlugin by wpburn.com wordpress themes