Job Search Tools
Cutting Edge Résumé Writing
Your résumé is usually the first impression you will make on a potential employer, and as such is often the key factor in determining whether you get an interview. Your résumé should present your education, skills, experiences, and background information in the best possible light.
Résumé formats and styles vary with individuals and programs but the key is to target your skills and abilities to the position. Also, keeping your résumé concise and focused can help you get to where you want to go. Here’s a good place to start: Resume Companion.
Attention Getting Cover Letters
Creating cover letters that will grab the employer’s attention is one way of getting your foot in the door. Cover letters are a way to introduce yourself and market your ability to fit into their position. In addition you will have to write several different kinds of letters when job hunting, including thank you, job acceptance and rejection, and resignation letters.
Excellent Interviewing Skills
The job interview gives both parties the opportunity to learn more about each other. Perhaps more importantly, it may be your only chance to convince an employer that you're the best person for the job. And, with about one minute to create a favorable impression, it's critical that you're prepared and know what to expect.
Big Interview is a program to help students/alumni to learn and practice their interviewing skills, whether you’re interviewing for a job or a four-year school.
Here’s a good place to start: BigInterview.
Networking with Potential Job Prospects
Learning how to establish and maintain a network is vital in today's job market. Networking can enable you to make contacts that lead to opportunities you otherwise wouldn't have known about. Remember, approximately 70% of all jobs are in the hidden job market (i.e., they're not advertised).
The more information you have about a potential employer, the greater your advantage over other job seekers. In addition, employer information helps you to evaluate whether a job offer is right for you.
Social Media Tips
More and more students are using social media web sites (i.e., Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn, etc.) to create pages and share information about themselves, sometimes sharing a bit too much. Employers, too, are using Facebook and other social media web site to create a presence and market their company. Unfortunately, what started out as a way to connect with your peers is slowly creating additional problems for people who are looking for work. So here are a few suggestions to follow when posting information on your social media pages:
- Be extremely careful what you post on any social media site, both text and photos. You don’t want anything to come back and haunt you.
- Don’t rely on privacy settings or selective "friending" to protect you. Just because you are careful does not mean the people you "friend" are careful with your information.
- The free speech rights guaranteed by the First Amendment are not absolute. They can only protect a Facebook post in certain circumstances.
- Think twice before you post, particularly any comments that are negative in tone or photos that some may find objectionable.
- Remember that employers do sometimes run social media background checks.
As a student starting out in your career journey, you need to take ownership of the image you are presenting in person and online. Utilize social media to brand yourself in a positive way and create a network that will help you become successful.