Posts Tagged online identity

Savvy Seniors: Polish your Resume and Professional Presentation

Posted on December 1, 2011 with No Comments

Mile 21

Many marathoners will agree that mile 21 is a tough one. You’ve come so far, yet you still have a ways to go. You are almost finished with your college career, almost but not quite.

Where do you find the energy to push through until the end? To sit down and polish your resume, create a professional Linked-In profile, attend networking events, make professional connections and apply and interview for jobs? Not to mention, homework and tests.

Whew! Just reading through the list could make you tired.

Let us consider advice from the Marathon pros to help you finish the year strong!
• Pace yourself: This isn’t a quick sprint. Keep taking steady, sustainable steps forward
• Take care of yourself throughout the process: rest and good food are your friends
• Pay attention to your mind-set and self-talk: success is mainly in the mind
• Set reasonable outcome and process goals: think of things you can easily achieve, as well as ultimate goals

To help you keep moving forward and meeting your goals, step-by-step, the focus this month is on Resumes and your Professional Presentation.

Check out the resources on the Senior Checklist for Career Success to create or improve your resume and create a professional Linked In Profile.

The keystone of your job search is your resume. You will need it to network and job search effectively. If you don’t have one yet, now’s the time!

If you already have a fabulous resume, please consider your on-line presence. Are you Linked-In? Have you checked your Facebook Privacy settings? Have you Googled yourself lately? Now is the time to create a positive, professional on-line presence.

Ryan Hall, on running a marathon:
“I don’t think about the miles that are coming down the road, I don’t think about the mile I’m on right now, I don’t think about the miles I’ve already covered. I think about what I’m doing right now, just being lost in the moment.”

You’re entering the home stretch.
Wishing you well!


Marathon Comic

Blogging Yourself into a Job

Posted on November 29, 2011 with No Comments

Marshall McLuhan famously wrote that “the medium is the message.” When you list your blog on your resume, the message you send to a potential employer is that you understand the importance of modern media and its role in society. As a medium, a blog is very much an extension of yourself; it allows you to express a fuller version of yourself beyond your resume.

I Think, Therefore I Blog

A blog is not just for writers and artists to advertise their portfolios, it’s a tool for all jobseekers to demonstrate their ability to analyze, synthesize and communicate information in their field. By blogging about professional and academic experiences, jobseekers can animate those bullet points on their resume, bringing to life a semester abroad, a service-learning course, or an internship. Here is a good example.

Like anything else you include on your resume, you must carefully consider whether or not your blog promotes you as a candidate.  Poorly organized, infrequently updated, incredibly personal or irrelevant blogs can work against you! Also keep in mind that a blog can be a compliment to a resume but it is not a substitute.

Blog the Blog

Other Advantages of Blogging

-A blog can reveal hard-to-communicate personal qualities: passion, creativity, imagination, etc.

-Blogging allows you to come across as an individual before the interview.

-Know the tools of the trade: more and more companies are using blogs to organize projects

-Your blog will pop up if employers Google you!

Don’t have a blog? Here is a basic guide to getting started as well as strategies for writing good blog posts and maintaining a blog routine.


#socialmedia and Careers: Developing Your Social Media Presence

Posted on July 21, 2011 with No Comments

Here in Career Services, we’ve been talking a lot about our online presence.  Social Media has increasingly become a major force in today’s job market.  Employers are using Twitter and Facebook to post open positions. Job seekers and long time professionals are connecting in special interest and industry specific groups on LinkedIn. Interviews are being conducted on Skype and we have yet to see how emerging technologies like Google+ will factor in.

While we’re excited about the ways that we use these platforms in our office, we’re also eager to work with you on how to create and manage your own social media presences.  Even though most students are engaged with some type of social media at this point, have you considered how you might use these mediums as tools in your job search and career process?

Career Sherpa developed a 3-part series earlier this summer highlighting some of the strategies that can be most effective when developing your social media profile, including:

There are so many social media outlets in today’s world and these are just sampling of them.  Regardless of which you choose to participate in, it’s important to make social media a tool in your career toolbox.  By developing your own social media presence, you can make intentional decisions about your image and stay current in the ever-changing world of work.

~Ashley Michelle


Communicating Professionally via Email

Posted on April 19, 2011 with No Comments

In today’s tech-savvy world, knowing how to communicate appropriately via e-mail is crucial to professional success.  E-mail is now the dominant form of communication in most careers, and you can make a great impression on potential employers, co-workers, and clients by following these tips:

  • Use an appropriate e-mail address.  In any job search or work-related e-mail, make sure to use your UVM e-mail address or another address with your name and/or numbers.  Save your “” address for personal communication only!
  • Make sure your e-mails have a clear subject line and greeting. Use the subject line to specify the purpose of the e-mail (for example, “Resume for the Business Analyst position” or “Question about travel to the April 20 client meeting”).  Also, begin each e-mail with a greeting geared toward your recipient.  If it is a formal e-mail, use “Dear Mr./Ms. Last Name,” or if you are more familiar with the recipient, use “Hi First Name.”
  • Be careful with your tone, spelling, and grammar. Professional e-mails should have a respectful and approachable tone.  Do not use all caps in a professional e-mail (it makes the recipient feel like you are shouting at them), and do not use abbreviations or emoticons, even when replying from a smartphone.  Always take the time to make sure you have used correct spelling and grammar before sending the e-mail—a few mistakes can go a long way in damaging your credibility.
  • Be concise. Most people receive hundreds of e-mails a day and don’t have the time to read extremely long messages.  Try to get to the point of the e-mail as quickly as possible (while still including the necessary details).  When appropriate, use bullets to highlight your key points, and bold or underline any key deadlines or pieces of information.
  • Finish with a sign-off and signature. Try to end all e-mails with some type of respectful sign-off (such as “thanks,” “sincerely,” or “best”) followed by your name.  When applicable, set your e-mail preferences to automatically include a signature at the bottom of each e-mail that includes your name, title, and contact information.

Now that you know how to compose a professional e-mail, here are a few tips for using e-mail appropriately in the workplace:

  • Before sending any e-mail, triple check who is addressed and copied. Make sure your e-mail program did not auto-fill the address line with the incorrect recipient, and don’t become an “accidental reply all” or “accidental reply instead of forward” horror story!  Also, beware of the BCC—it is best to only use this feature if you are sending an e-mail to a long list of people so that all of the e-mail addresses remain private.
  • Strive to answer e-mails on time, every time. Even if your inbox seems to be constantly overflowing, make sure you reply to urgent or time-sensitive e-mails as soon as possible and to all other professional e-mails within a reasonable period.
  • Remember that e-mail isn’t private. Most companies can access work e-mail accounts belonging to employees, and e-mails can be used as evidence in a court of law.  Plus, any e-mail you send has the potential to be forwarded to unintended recipients!
  • Some things are just better in person. Although e-mail is the most common form of professional communication, sometimes it’s best to meet with someone in person or over the phone (for example, when you are expressing strong emotions about an issue, when you are asking someone for a recommendation, or when you are severing a professional relationship).

Need help crafting the perfect e-mail to accompany your job application materials?  Feel free to stop by during Career Services Drop-In Hours on Mondays-Thursdays from 1-4PM in L/L E140.

A few resources from around the web:


Market Yourself to Get Hired: Social Media Edition

Posted on February 16, 2011 with No Comments

What is social media? Sites we use all the time; Facebook, Myspace, LinkedIN, Twitter, and blogs– these are all social media sites. We call them this because of the way we can create our own  “media “ like status updates, sharing of other people content, or posting and sharing articles, pictures and videos, among other things.

How can my Facebook or my Twitter really help me get hired?

First, it might be worthwhile to notice how it can get in the way of getting you hired.

-Are there incriminating photos of you on your Facebook? One word: untag. Untag, untag, untag. Just because Joe-Shmoe in the triple across the hall thinks you are hysterical dancing with a lampshade on your head, doesn’t mean a future employer will be as amused if they do a search for your profile.

-Check your security preferences. If you go to your “Account” button on the upper right hand corner of your Facebook page, you can change your security settings to ensure that only the people you want to view you can actually see your updates and your photos. I strongly encourage all users not to allow “friends of friends” to see you, because if you have 800 friends, it is possible for 640,000 people or MORE to view your profile.

-But wait…who ARE your friends? And what are they saying? This is tricky. If you have friends who repeatedly post to your wall about their various thoughts and events, and they don’t jive with a professional image you are working toward creating, it might be a good idea to send them a private message and let them know. Still not getting the picture? Unfriend.  As harsh as it sounds, it sounds even more ridiculous to think you didn’t get an interview for a great internship because the headhunter saw tasteless jokes or comments on your page.

Ok, so you’ve untagged, you’ve scouted your settings, maybe even let a friend or two go to protect your page content. What are some proactive steps you can take to actively use social media to your advantage? I have some ideas.

-Create a webpage. I have a close friend who used his Mac to create a webpage where he posted his resume, embedded his Twitter feed, and periodically he posts interesting articles and his thoughts on them in a blog section to the site. All of his pages include colorful pictures of him at work, doing the types of things he enjoys most (he is a teacher) working with students in labs, on field trips etc. Basically, the site is a way for him to be “googled” and be in control of what comes up on the Google hits.

-Making a webpage seems like a lot to you? Try creating a Google Profile. It’s an easy way to create your own directory tab that comes up whenever your name is searched. You can provide as little or as much info as you want. I have a small professional headshot on mine, a little info about working in at UVM and where I received my education, plus my current industry. I do not include where I work or my contact information.  Check out this example of a profile….

-Think about taking control of what comes up when you are Googled. Oh sure, some things cannot be helped, but maybe your Tweets could use some more security than you may have initially thought, maybe it is time to really commit to creating a LinkedIN page for you to upload your resume, maybe you find that a blog from high school you thought had disappeared…hadn’t. Take control; get the good stuff up, and the bad stuff, gone.

Want to know more about how you can Market Yourself to Get Hired? Drop by our weekly sessions on Tuesdays at 4:15pm in L/L E166 during the Spring 2011 semester!


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