Posts Tagged Savvy Seniors

Savvy Seniors: Know Who You Are

Posted on October 30, 2014 with No Comments

Ben Mervis

A Networking story by Ben Mervis, ‘12
Account Manager @ Rescue Social Change Group

Before walking in to a networking event or job interview, I tell myself: “you have the experience and you have the hunger.” Most importantly, I remind myself to be confident. Then, I wipe the nervous sweat off my palms, stride into the venue and shake some hands.

As a Senior at UVM, I worked on my confidence by building my best story: “I’ve spent the last 4 years developing skills in marketing strategy and campaign implementation, and have a sincere interest in socially responsible businesses and marketing.” I tested different versions and lengths of this in front of the mirror, over dinner with friends and at networking events of every type. I realized that each time I told my story I understood more about who I was and what I was looking for.

I met my life-changing connection on Church Street. His name is Jeff, and he was visiting from California; his non-traditional marketing agency works with different branches of State and Federal Governments to develop behavior change marketing campaigns.  After staying in-touch via LinkedIn and other means, Jeff introduced me to his client, and I began working for the Vermont Department of Health coordinating social marketing campaigns. I launched my career as the direct liaison to Jeff’s marketing agency, in-addition to other marketing and advertising contractors. Eighteen months later I moved to California to work for Jeff as the Account Manager on a National tobacco-prevention campaign.

The Takeaway:

  1. Figure out what you ACTUALLY want to do.  Conversations with people will help you get there by exploring the different roles and fields where you can apply your skills.
  2. Talk to people. Tell your story. You never know where that connection will take you.
  3. Follow-up! My company’s CEO constantly says “the squeaky wheel gets the grease.” I say that it’s the tactful, confident and persistent (within reason) applicant that gets the job.

You have the experience, you have the hunger, now go shake some hands!

Savvy Seniors: Resumes- Think Twice

Posted on October 2, 2014 with No Comments

Cat Meme about resumes

You probably have one. You’ve learned a thing or two along the way about how it’s “supposed to look,” listed your experience, and tried to format it with some underlining or bolding to make certain items pop. It’s a “to-do” that you may have already checked off of your list.

Before you move on to the next step however, take a moment to ask yourself the following questions about this important document:

  • Does my resume market my best assets and experiences?
  • Is my resume pleasing to look at, consistent and error free?
  • Would my resume stand out in a pile of 50-100 applicants?

It might help to put yourself in the shoes of an employer who is seeking to fill a position. The recruiter looks at the giant stack of resumes (50-100!) and gives each resume perhaps 30 seconds before sorting them into initial piles: No, Maybe, Yes. She’s trying to winnow the pile down to those candidates with whom she thinks it would be worth having an initial screening interview. She’s busy, and looking to fill this position sooner than later. Takeaway: The recruiter is trying to eliminate as many applicants as possible.

What does this mean for you, the applicant?

The recruiter is not looking at your resume and imagining where you might fit in with their organization.They are looking for a very specific set of skills and experiences that were articulated for this position in the job description. You need to connect how your skills fit with their needs for this position.  It is important to provide evidence of your attention to detail by having a resume that is consistent and error-free. Most employers also like to see that you’ve gained communication, teamwork and leadership skills, in addition to industry specific knowledge.

~Kala

Want to know more?

Learn how employers really see your resume and what you can do to make yours shine at this Senior Series workshop with special guest Duff & Phelps:

Resumes 2.0 Tuesday, October 7 12-1pm at the Hub.

Savvy Seniors: How will YOU define your final year at UVM?

Posted on September 4, 2014 with 1 Comment

Bowl of cherries

“Is life a bowl of cherries?”

There’s a lot of metaphors for what life is and how one chooses to live it. You’ve probably heard everything from the food comparisons (“life is like a box of chocolates” or a bowl of cherries) to the journey descriptions (life is a highway or a marathon).  These descriptions are more than cute sayings, they are worldviews that shape how a person approaches their days and makes decisions.  For example, if life is a marathon, then steady effort day in and day out is required and making it through means to keep putting one foot in front of the other.

It’s important that you think about your own worldview and the metaphors, values and beliefs that guide you if you want to be the captain of your own ship (another great metaphor!)  While that may seem overly lofty, you can break it down to this year: your final year at UVM. How do you envision this year for yourself? You are the only one who can decide how you want to shape this year, what you want from it, and what it means to you.  Your conception of this year will be reflected every day in the choices you make: to study or not, to go out or not, to get good rest or not, to start thinking about your life after college or not.

If you are looking for a roadmap to help guide you through this final year and get you to your next destination, may we recommend the 4 Year Plan for Career Success. Look at the Senior Year of the Plan and start to articulate your vision for this final year. The Plan gives you ideas, suggestions, and benchmarks to help you see the possibilities and identify your own goals.

~Kala

We’d like to help you plan for your final year and life after college.  Join us for:

Careers + Coffee: A Senior Open House Wednesday September 10, 3-5pm at the Career Center L/L E-140.

Savvy Seniors: Yes, YOU do have Career Experience!

Posted on May 9, 2014 with No Comments

Seniors with whiteboards indicating where they got career experience

Last week, we saw so many of you at the Senior Celebration at the bookstore where you were picking up your caps and gowns and sitting for formal graduate portraits.  We asked you to share career related experiences you had during your time at UVM.

This is what happened:

Career Counselor: Would you like to share a career related experience you had during your time at UVM?

UVM Senior: Oh, I don’t think I have anything to share….

But then after a brief conversation, everyone did have something to share!  We loved hearing about all the great things you’ve done on campus, around Burlington, nationwide and around the world.

So as you’re polishing that resume, looking for jobs, or talking yourself up in your next interview, remember that these are all great ways you’ve gained experience during your time at UVM:

  • Internships
  • Study Abroad
  • Research
  • Service-Learning
  • Class projects
  • Part-Time Jobs
  • Summer Jos
  • Leadership Experiences
  • Volunteering
  • Campus Clubs and Organizations

So what do you say about these experiences? Employers across industries are all interested in communication, organization, and leadership skills.  Everyone is looking for people to join their team who are able to collaborate, are self-directed and have strong work ethics. Reflect on your experiences and try to articulate what you’ve done so you can tell a potential employer how those experiences helped you build relevant skills. (See this great list of action verbs for ideas.)

Want some more individualized help with your job search? We are open all summer and we do help alumni!

Here’s to the Class of 2014!

~Kala

Savvy Seniors: Finish Strong

Posted on April 9, 2014 with No Comments

Silhouette of person at the light at the end of a tunnel

Seniors:

Are you seeing the light at the end of the tunnel? As Spring appears and graduation nears, it’s time to dust off your motivation and get geared up for the final push of your college career.

Advice abounds for college seniors, but here are three tried and true secrets to success in the world of work:

  • Networking is worth your time.
  • Your first job is your first job – not your destiny.
  • Professionalism will be noticed.

All of which boils down to: Find a job that feels like it could be heading in the right direction, work hard and make a great impression and solid connections.  You’ll be glad you did:  these experiences will help you to clarify your career interests and grow your skills.

So how do you land that first job? Use our Job Search Readiness Checklist to make sure you have your bases covered.  Note which areas you need to work on and make a strategic plan to fill those gaps in the coming weeks.  This is the time to spring into action and take advantage of all of the great resources here at UVM. For example, if you don’t feel confident with using LinkedIn to network, then come to our LinkedIn workshop every Thursday 4:15 at the Hub (while school is in session).

Also, don’t miss the final Senior Series Workshop:
Career Boot Camp Thursday, April 17 12-1pm at the Hub.
Special guest Green Mountain Keurig is coming to give you the essentials you need to get job ready fast.

Good luck as you finish the last few weeks of your college career and may the odds be ever in your favor.

~Kala

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