The Office of Experiential Opportunities and Post Graduate Success is committed to assisting you in making connections between your academic experience and career path. We provide career-related counseling, resources, and programs to help you clarify your goals.
We assist in establishing a career plan and develop job-search skills in order to help our students/alumni to make successful career transitions. We build relationships with alumni, employers, and graduate schools to optimize internship, job, and career opportunities.
We also create strategic partnerships with campus departments to assist students in developing and articulating co-curricular experiences that will help to ensure they are competitive in their future pursuits.
Students and alumni are encouraged to visit our office and staff members are available to answer specific questions. Appointments are recommended for consultation regarding career planning and advancement.
Career Planning Services
The Office of Experiential Opportunities and Post Graduate Success is here to assist you with a variety of questions you may experience as you plan your way along the path to career success. Below are a few resources that you can use when navigating the decision making process of selecting a major/minor, learning about occupations, and planning out your own year-by-year plan.
Students will work with First Year Seminar Instructor to assist with declaration, assessment and exploration of majors and minors.
Whether you are exploring multiple majors or searching for information about your chosen field, What Can I do With This Major? Will help you connect majors to careers.
This tool breaks down “umbrella majors” into smaller categories. For example, business majors get divided into management, sales, banking, real estate and human resources. Get a sense of whether or not a particular major is the right fit and continue your research through the information and websites provided.
What Should I Major In?
Our career exploration model will help students discover future career and academic goals and/or decisions based on their educational experiences
- Identify values, interest, and skills
- Choose a major
- Determine potential career and/or educational paths
- Define and refine goals
- Become involved in the many activities and events on campus to prepare and strengthen aspirations for future career opportunities
The best way to determine the most satisfying career option for you is to reflect on yourself. Know your personality traits, interests, values, skills, and abilities.
- Prepare a resume by reviewing experiences (educational and professional), achievements, skills, and strengths
- Assessing what you do well and what you enjoy doing will help you establish your main career ambition as well as show qualifications to potential employers
How to Look for a Job
Looking for a job can not only be tedious, but stressful as well. It’s hard to know where to begin. Below is a list of dos and don’ts for beginning your job search and going to interviews.
- Do make a weekly schedule of your job search. It is important to devote a few hours a week. The more hours you put in, the more successful your search will be. Create a list of the activities you hope to complete and check them off as you go. Make sure to reward yourself for completed tasks!
- Don’t use your current work or student email address when speaking to future employers. But make sure the one you use is professional, i.e. use firstname.lastname@example.org instead of email@example.com.
- Do have a clear idea of what you are looking for. Write a job description for your ideal career and search for positions with that criteria. This will help you narrow your search to find your perfect fit.
- Don’t just search for jobs on a specific company’s website. We all have our dream company we’d like to work for, but it is important to keep an open mind in order to get a job. Indeed, Glassdoor, LinkedIn Jobs, Facebook, and even Craigslist are great resources for your search.
- Do determine which of your skills you think a future employer will find most appealing. Making a list of them and connecting them with experiences will also help you in interviews. Add the most marketable to your resume.
- Don’t lie on your resume. The hiring manager will most likely figure it out.
- Do always keep your resume up-to-date. This includes your most recent jobs, education, and contact information
- Don’t forget a cover letter. A cover letter introduces you when you can’t introduce yourself personally. A personalized letter/email is a good idea any time you will not be handing in your resume directly.
- Do adapt your resume and cover letter based on the company you’re applying to. For example, if you’re applying to work at a college, you should include activities and events you participated in on campus on your resume. Cover letters should always be rewritten for each company. Here, you can highlight your skills that would be the most beneficial to the position and/or company.
- Don’t send your cover letter and resume to companies without proofreading. A company will put an unedited resume with grammar mistakes at the bottom of their pile.
- Do research the company before going in for your interview. It’s important to know a bit of information about a company to impress the interviewer even more and to learn who your potential employer is.
- Don’t wait for the hiring manager to contact you. Send a follow-up email and/or phone call if you haven’t heard back from a company you’ve applied for or had an interview with,
- Do dress for the job you want. Looking the part is the first step.
- Don’t dress inappropriate. An interview and your first day on the job are a company’s first impressions of you, so you want to look your best. Eventually, you’ll get the feel of the office and can adapt your work ensemble accordingly. Try to steer clear of clothing that is too casual or inappropriate for an office setting.
- Do be prepared for an interview. You can search for basic interview questions online and think of some answers that might work. Since you don’t know exactly what they’ll ask, reflect on yourself and think of your best qualities, strengths, and weaknesses to come up with responses quicker.
- Don’t be late to an interview. Being late already puts a bad opinion of you in the interviewers mind. Try to arrive about 10-15 minutes early to get yourself acquainted.
- Do decide upon at least three references you can use for an application. Most companies require professional and personal references. This is in order to learn from others about your work ethic and attitude.
- Don’t avoid using social media. Many companies will look at your Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn accounts after you apply to verify your resume. It’s a good idea to have a presence on these outlets. They are also great ways to network.
- Do watch what you post on social media. While it’s so important to keep a presence, companies could scroll through posts from years ago and may not hire you (or could fire you) if they see something they don’t like. You should definitely be mindful before posting or keep your profile private.
- Don’t burn bridges at your current job. It’s fun to have a great quitting story but, you never know when you’ll need a letter of recommendation or reference from a previous employer. Keep it civil if you are planning on leaving your company.
Cover Letters and Resumes
A resume is a written account that presents evidence to employers of your educational, professional, and personal experiences and qualifications. This should support your career objective and show that you are qualified with the skills and knowledge to perform the job. Before beginning your resume, develop a working list of your education, experiences, skills, abilities, honors, awards, and activities.
Once you determine your career objectives, write a resume that highlights the appropriate skills and experiences related to that job. It will be difficult to create a compelling resume if you are unsure of the career options you are willing to pursue.
While a resume shows your skills and achievements, a cover letter lets you highlight your best areas to an employer that would make you the perfect fit for the job. A cover letter is not always required, but it is an ideal way to set you apart from other applicants. Be sure to include your personal details (name, address, email, and phone number), the hiring manager’s name, why you should be chosen for the job (including skills and experiences), what you can do for the company, and a conclusion of thanks.
Each letter needs to be specific for the job and company you are applying to. Be sure to show your personality in your cover letter so the employer gets a taste of who you are. For resume resources, head to this website.
An interview is a professional meeting where a potential employer asks questions to determine how a candidate’s skills, experiences, desires, and personality will fit the needs of the organization. The candidate can also see what the company is like and if it is somewhere they would like to work.
A very important part of getting a job is a successful interview. They can be handled in many different ways:
- Over the phone and/or in person
- One-on-one and /or with a group/committee
- One interview or multiple meetings
At this time, you have the opportunity to demonstrate your value to the potential employer. Below are tips on how to navigate the interviewing process.
- Interviewing Preparation
- Interviews are all about you, so make sure to know yourself so you can answer questions honestly and positively. It is a good idea to set clear goals in relation to your desired position. Think about examples of how you used your skills in professional or personal experiences.
- You should always practice interview questions before attending your interview. There are a few basic questions you will be asked in most interviews:
- How would you describe yourself?
- What are your strengths and weaknesses? (Reflect on your weaknesses in a positive light)
- What are you looking for in this position?
- What experiences have you had that relate to the position?
- Why do you want to work for our company?
- Research the company you are applying for. It is helpful to know some information about your potential employer whether it comes up in the interview or not.
- In an interview, you will usually be asked if you have any questions for the interviewer. Prepare a few questions you can ask them. These can include:
- What do you enjoy about working for this company?
- What are duties for this position? (if they didn’t already tell you)
- Do you think I am a good fit for this position?
- If I am offered the job, what preparation can I do?
- When can I expect to hear back from you?
- Professional Dress
It is important to look your best at a job interview because it will be the company’s first impression of you. Make sure you look professional and appropriate for the job you are applying for. You may have different interview looks depending on the company.
- If the company is a very professional environment, men should opt to wear a suit or blazer with a tie and button-down shirt while women should wear a skirt or pant suit with heels.
- For a more casual office, go for a business casual ensemble. Men should wear a button-down or polo shirt with dress pants and dress shoes. Women can wear a work appropriate dress or a blouse or sweater with a skirt paired with heels or flats.
- Also remember, it is better to be overdressed than underdressed.
Networking is a way for individuals to find their next career opportunity by utilizing, building, and expanding relationships. You can gain more career and social opportunities while learning more about your field of interest through connections with professionals. Below are resources to learn more about networking in-person and online.
- Informational Interviewing
- An informal conversation with someone who works in your desired field with the goal of learning more about the career. It is a great research tool for tips, advice, and inside information about career paths.
- Social Media
- Some employers will use social media to verify facts on resumes and to evaluate the attitude and knowledge an applicant exposes to the public. LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter are all social media sites companies use in job networking. Make sure your posts are appropriate and showcase your strengths in case an employer decides to search for your profile.
Networking is not asking for a job, but is the process of forming relationships with professionals in order to achieve career goals. It can ultimately lead to a referral, a new business opportunity, or even a job.