Posts Tagged Savvy Seniors

Savvy Seniors: Start “Relationship Building” Today!

Posted on November 7, 2013 with No Comments

Alyson Welch at Machu Pichu

Alumnae Alyson Welch shares her networking experience and advice

What role has networking played in your career exploration and job search?

Networking has played a huge role in my professional development.  Four years ago, I moved to Madrid, Spain and had no idea what I was going to do.  After a few months, I found a job and two internships through networking—through a friend of my mother-in-law, a college contact and a previous internship supervisor.

When we moved back to Vermont almost three years ago, I was concerned about finding a job. I started identifying companies of interest and looking for contacts at these companies.  In three months, I met with four people from Tetra Tech ARD, all referred to me through various contacts (a former UVM professor, a college friend of my husband’s and a friend of a friend that I met at a birthday party.)  When a position opened up at Tetra Tech ARD, I eagerly applied and used the knowledge I had acquired through networking to help write my cover letter and prepare for the interview.

Networking can be a bit intimidating.  What has helped you network effectively?

People are much more willing to share information and provide advice than to give you a job. If you are just looking for information, it’s easier to ask people to chat.

I’m kind of shy, so it’s a little intimidating to me to reach out to people that I don’t know. I’ve tried to challenge myself and send emails or call people, thinking that it’s always worth a shot.  I actually don’t like the word “networking” as it sounds sort of insincere.  I prefer to think of it as meeting people and building relationships that are mutually beneficial. Keeping this in mind makes networking – or relationship-building – more organic and, to me, rewarding.  People were very good to me during my job search and I’ve tried to do the same now that I have a job.

What advice might you give to a senior who isn’t sure how to begin their network?

Keep your request to meet short and simple. Be prepared and have a list of questions ready. Ask people to suggest other contacts. Remember to thank the person. Keep track of who you have met and follow up from time to time.  Try to keep your network alive.  Invite the people you have met to connect on LinkedIn

Also, use LinkedIn to identify UVM alums in your field and reach out to them. Check with professors, co-workers and family/friends to see if they might recommend professional contacts. Think about who is already in your network – maybe your aunt knows someone.  Never doubt the importance of any connection—even if someone is not in your field, you never know who they might know.

The most important thing to do is just start networking.  Once you start, you’ll gain momentum and it can even become fun.  Moreover, I am confident that networking is the best way to ultimately find a job – especially one that you’ll like.

Alyson Welch
Project Manager at Tetra Tech ARD

Want to learn more about networking? Join us for:
Seniors Lunch and Learn: Networking Made Easy!
Wed. Nov 13, 12 pm, the Hub

Savvy Seniors: Resume Writing- Some Things to Consider

Posted on October 3, 2013 with No Comments

KSV logo

Drafting a resume can be daunting, but if you’re not going to take the time to do it well, don’t bother at all. Competition is tough out there, so get it right.

Here are a few things to consider:

Limit the experience you include

Only include the most relevant work experience, the stuff that pertains to job your trying to get.  Each application you write should be tailored specifically to that position.

Make an impression with your verb selection

When describing work experience, choose verbs that pack a punch. Such phrases as “worked on,” or “contributed to,” won’t impress. Lead with something that allows your work to stand out like “ designed,” or “implemented.”

Typos are your worst enemy

Granted we all make mistakes, but no hiring manager is going to be impressed if your resume is ridden with spelling errors. It pins you as careless, even lazy. Take the time to check, double check and triple check your work.  And it never hurt to get a second pair of eyes to go over your stuff.

Formatting is imperative

Are your margins even? Bullets lined up? Have you included dates and headings in a consistent way? Is it easy to read and visually appealing? Be mindful of all these point. Your sloppiness will be noted.

Join us for the next Senior Workshop with special guest the HowardCenter to learn more about how to make your resume shine!

SENIORS LUNCH + LEARN: RESUMES 2.0

Thursday Oct. 10 12 – 1 PM, Career + Experience Hub

~Alexa Mucklow, Social Media Associate
Kelliher Samets Volk

Savvy Seniors: Top 5 Mistakes that College Seniors Make

Posted on September 12, 2013 with No Comments

Drawing a map

Welcome to your final year at UVM! Those who have gone before you have the wisdom of hindsight: knowing what they wish they had done differently.

Here are some mistakes that you can choose to avoid:

1) Waiting until March to think about what you want to do after graduation.
2) Not taking advantage of Winter Break for networking and informational interviews.
3) Not articulating your skills and strengths and just hoping that employers will magically see your potential.
4) Procrastinating on polishing your resume and sample cover letter until there’s a really good opportunity you want to apply for.
5) Not taking advantage of opportunities to continue to get career experience throughout your senior year, i.e. internships, campus leadership, volunteer etc.

Wondering how to avoid these mistakes and start your senior year off right?

Join us at Careers and Coffee, the kick-off event for a year-long career series especially for seniors! Because how you start your senior year will help determine how you finish it.

Careers and Coffee Thursday, Sept 19th, 3-6pm at the new Career + Experience Hub in the Davis Center Room 100!

~Kala

Savvy Seniors: Parting Words

Posted on May 9, 2013 with No Comments

UVM Graduation Ceremony

As you prepare to graduate from UVM, you are probably awash with information and advice. This article from US News Money boils it down to what you really need to know: Tough Love Tips for College Seniors Entering the Job Market

The highlights?

Good news! Employers report they expect to hire 13% more new grads than last year!

Reality check: You are still most likely going to need to work hard to land that first professional position.

Overall message: Own your job search process. It’s yours. The resources are here to support you, but you have to manage your time, seek out support and take concrete steps to achieve your goals.

More good news! As a UVM graduate you are now part of a large community of UVM alumni who connect with and support each other. Be sure to create a profile on LinkedIn and join professional groups such as the University of Vermont Career Connection and the UVM Alumni Association. Start building your connections through networking and informational interviewing.

It’s never too late to start where you are. So take a deep breath, stay calm, and take that next step!

Looking for more advice and tips? Read past Savvy Seniors blog posts.

Best wishes class of 2013!

~Kala

Savvy Seniors: Interviewing

Posted on April 4, 2013 with No Comments

Sailboats on Lake Champlain

Jen Guimaraes
Associate Director
Community Sailing Center

When a student lands an interview, what should they do to prepare?
Students should make sure to do their “homework” on the organization that they are interviewing with. Take the time to familiarize yourself with the entire organization by researching their website and any other information that you can gather about them. Create a list of questions you have about the organization and the position you are applying for. Employers always ask for your questions at the end of the interview process and having a list shows that you did background research and are very interested in the position. Make sure to dress appropriately, show up on time, and be professional in your communication (word choice and email style) with the prospective employer.

You must interview a lot of applicants for the Community Sailing Center, what makes a candidate stand out?
A candidate stands out if they are energetic, upbeat, and already familiar with the organization. Make eye contact with the employer(s) you are interviewing with and give complete answers to their questions, not just one-word responses. You can almost certainly anticipate what questions an employer might ask you based on the position you are applying for, rehearsing your answers ahead of time is always a good idea. Don’t forget to smile!

What questions should candidates be asking you?

I’ve had candidates ask a number of questions: Do I enjoy my job? What is a typical day like for this position? What is the chain of command with direct and indirect supervisors? Are there any additional duties that I will have not included in the job description?

Learn more about opportunities, classes, rentals and more at the Community Sailing Center!

Don’t miss this workshop to learn more! Savvy Seniors: Interviewing Wed., April 10th 4:15pm, L&L E166

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