Ohio University Office of Career Services


A Review of 2010-2011 & What It Taught Me by Christy R

A Review of 2010-2011
and What It Taught Me

As the end of the school year is upon us, I wanted to take this last opportunity to share some of my experiences from the past year and to say thank you to all my co-workers here at the Office of Career Services and to all of our blog followers out there. This has been an incredibly rewarding year interning with the Office of Career Services. I’ve gained a number of invaluable skills here at this office and I would like to share some of these experiences in hopes that they will help my fellow classmates and graduates.

  1. I learned to set specific goals for myself.
    I would have to say this is the most important thing I learned all year, and I cannot believe how much it has improved my ability to perform well on the job! I learned that discussing my responsibilities with my supervisor and setting specific (very specific!) action lists for myself helped me achieve my goals and provided me with a concrete way of assessing my performance both personally and with my employer. While I have always considered myself to be an organized person, the ability to use my organizational skills effectively within the existing structure of a specific office was something I had not yet learned.
  1. I learned that it’s ok to ask for help.
    There is a difference between simple irresponsibility and willingness to recognize that you have too much on your hands and need some assistance. Every office has tasks that simply must be accomplished. I learned that it is better to ask for help when I find myself swamped with work, rather than leaving vital tasks undone. In certain situations I had to admit to myself that I could not do it all. My job responsibility was not simply to DO, but also to organize and collaborate with co-workers to make sure a task was completed even if I could not do it myself.
  1. I learned how many skills go into building a successful career.
    I’ll admit this one is probably an obvious advantage of working for the Office of Career Services! Observing the counseling, training, resources, and advice concentrated all in one office was an invaluable experience. Students, you have amazing services available to you, and I cannot possibly encourage you enough to take advantage of them! Simply by working here I learned about such things as proper business attire, dining etiquette, networking, résumé writing, interaction with employers, and so much more.

As I close, I want to say thank you to everyone who has followed this blog. I hope you have found it informative and helpful. Please stay connected to read our summer articles and to welcome our 2011-2012 social media intern as he takes over in the fall!

Lastly, I would like to say thank you to all of my co-workers at Career Services for a truly rewarding and memorable experience. I could not have asked for a better group of people to work with. I wish you all the best!

Christy Robe



Résumé Words Not to Use by Christy R

Résumé Words Not to Use

When browsing a résumé, recruiters often look for specific words that are relevant to the job description. When writing a resume, you should aim to make it stand out. A couple of simple rules will help you to avoid words that are overused and do not add uniqueness to your résumé, as well as words that are not appropriate to put on your résumé.

Never use words that are too general and are irrelevant to a position description.

Remember to be very concrete and provide specific examples about every skill you list on your résumé. Avoid words like responsible or successful. We all have responsibilities that are associated with our jobs, so avoid listing your job duties unless very relevant to the job for which you are applying. Instead, be very specific about your accomplishments. It should be common sense to include only successes on your résumé but just listing them does not provide employers with useful information. Illustrate your success with specific examples and show how the success was measured.

For the same reason, avoid putting problems-solver or skilled on your résumé. These words are too general and need more concrete examples to add value to your résumé.

Avoid using words like assisted, helped or contributed.  When tempted to put assisted down, ask yourself: How exactly did you help/assists? What were the results and how big of a contribution did you manage to add? What amount of work (list specific tasks) did you do?

Avoid using word team-player, describe how you contributed to or lead a team. Never put just excellent written and verbal communication skills—provide an example of how often you had to write and how many viewers you had.

Never use words that are not appropriate for the résumé.

Remember to screen every word that you put on the résumé to make sure they are professional enough to be there. Avoid using over-praising adjectives like splendid or spectacular—they not only do not sound professional but also have no credibility.

Avoid saying how you feel about your job or your job function—words that carry feelings are not relevant to your job function whether you hated it or it was a pleasure. Never include a description of your physical appearance such as attractive unless it is relevant to the job.

You résumé is not the proper place for talking about your political beliefs or your religion—thus avoid words like liberal. It is also not appropriate to mention your health and there is no need to put strong immune system on your résumé.

It is tempting to use familiar with when you are not particularly good at something however still want to mention it on the résumé. You have a choice of learning it well enough to become proficient or leaving it off your résumé. Familiarity means that you know a little but will still need to be trained—just like a person who is not familiar with that same thing.

Avoid highly-intelligent (and rarely used) words. You may just confuse your reader or give the wrong impression. By the same token, avoid jargon or acronyms that are not generally accepted or widely understood. Don’t use clichés and words that are overused and won’t set your résumé apart from the others. Use synonyms to make your résumé stand out.  Never use personal pronouns in your résumé—it is a summary of your experience and “I” or “me” are considered redundant.

By using strong words and avoiding inappropriate words, and by spending good amount of time writing your resume you will be able to add character to it and make it stand out from hundreds of others!

To have a career counselor look over your résumé, come to the Office of Career Services walk-in hours.

—Written by Anna Morlang, CareerCATS Coordinator for the Office of Career Services

References
New Grad Life
SavvySugar: Money
Hub Pages
Online Degrees Today



Career Resource Spotlight: Military-to-Civilian Career Transition Guide by Christy R

Career Resource Spotlight:
Military-to-Civilian Career
Transition Guide

The Essential Job Search Handbook
for Service Members

Leaving the military might be one of the most difficult transitions you’ll ever make. Significant tim

e and effort must go into getting your civilian life and career off to a good start. This book will guide you through creating a transition strategy and timeline and investigate the continuing military benefits and opportunities available to you.

Taking advantage of this resource will help you:

  • Prepare for what to expect from those around you as you transition from the land of ID cards to one without them.
  • Identify your greatly expanded available military and civilian resources.
  • Clarify your new potential benefits and entitlements as a soon-to-be veteran.
  • Create an overall transition strategy that works.
  • Identify your skills, strengths, weaknesses, and desires so that you can put yourself on the right career track.
  • Write résumés and job search letters that get the attention of employers.
  • Interview successfully for jobs.
  • Effectively evaluate and negotiate job offers.
  • Begin your new job with a clear understanding of the civilian side of things so that your next promotion is right around the corner.

Stop by the Office of Career Services‘ Career Resource Center today to browse our extensive resource library or make an appointment with a career counselor!



The Art of the Last Minute Job Search by Christy R

The Art of the Last Minute Job Search

Did your time at OU fly by? Are you scrambling to find a job that’s right for you? Come learn about last minute job search techniques, including a quick résumé revamp, how to market your education, and who to help you get a leg up on the competition!

As part of Senior Week 2011, Career Services invites you to attend this free workshop tomorrow, Tuesday, May 24th @ 5pm, Baker 503.

Hope to see you there!



Adaptability: Why it counts in today’s workplace by Christy R

Adaptability: Why it counts
in today’s workplace

Among the skills that employers are looking for in a potential employee, adaptability is ranked the highest along with communication, interpersonal skills and a strong work ethic. Every company looks for a candidate who fits within the existing work environment and is able to anticipate, respond to and manage change on a day-to-day basis.

Each organization has its own workplace culture that is strategically important for the company’s success. When hiring, companies consider not only a candidate’s experience and skills, but also how that potential employee will mesh with the company culture.

Cultural fit can mean many things: for example, it could be a candidate’s willingness and readiness to adopt the company’s values. It can also mean that a candidate’s work style matches the company’s expectations.  One question asked during interviews and aimed to discover the level of a candidate’s adaptability is: “Will you follow the set values and encourage similar behavior in your subordinates?” Other times a candidate is asked to describe the culture of their last employer or the type of culture they prefer.

Adaptability can often be a deal-breaker in the job search process. Even if a candidate makes a good impression due to their experience and skills, they will not be hired if they demonstrate a lack of willingness to adapt to the new environment and to get out of their comfort zone. In fact, a company will many times choose a candidate who lacks experience, but nevertheless fits perfectly into the company culture. A candidate can be trained to have the needed skills, the company says, but adaptability is something an employee must bring with them to the job.

Why are companies so concerned about getting the perfect fit? Employees who fit into the company culture tend to be more successful and productive than those hired simply because they fit the job description. Some studies indicate that almost half of an employee’s success in the first 18 months of being hired results from fitting well into the company environment.

When applying for a management position, adaptability becomes even more crucial. Managers affect subordinates and their attitudes towards the corporate culture.  The higher the position for which a candidate is applying, the more the hiring committee will be looking for a nearly perfect fit with the company culture. Making the mistake of hiring someone who reflects the wrong company image can cost the company reputation dearly.

So how does this affect you? When applying for a position, pay attention to the company regulations. Figure out for yourself if that company’s environment is something you can easily fit into. If you don’t find it suitable for yourself, then don’t go into the interview telling them you like the company culture and can be flexible. Finding yourself in an environment that does not suit your personality can compromise your chances of success. Instead, take the time to find an organization that fits you and enhances your natural skills.

Questions about your job search? Come to the Office of Career Services walk-in hours to meet with a career counselor.

—Written by Anna Morlang, CareerCATS Coordinator for the Office of Career Services

References
Integrity HR
The Most Important Job Skills a Job Candidate Should Have




Interview Bloopers & How to Avoid Them by Christy R

Interview Bloopers & How to Avoid Them

The ability to write a great résumé or cover letter may help you land an interview, but that’s not all it takes to get the job. An outstanding résumé can get you in to meet with your potential employer but once you’re sitting across from them in the interview you will have to start over in order to prove that you are the best candidate.

Most interview bloopers occur because of the lack of practice and preparation. Of course even if you are well prepared, the interview may not go perfectly–we all make mistakes. However, the following mistakes can easily be avoided by developing strong interviewing skills and preparing properly for the interview.

Weak communication skills.
Non-verbal communication plays a crucial role throughout the interview. A poor handshake may weaken your chances of getting hired from the very beginning. Also remember to make eye contact, avoid fidgeting and looking at your watch. Be aware of your body language–it may not be obvious to you but the interviewer will easily notice it.

Poor verbal communication skills will almost certainly decrease your chances of getting hired. Giving a long, rambling answer to a simple question demonstrates an inability to concentrate and process relevant information. Avoid using any slang–stay professional no matter what. Listening skills are also vital: don’t spend so much time thinking about your answer that you’re not paying attention to the question.

Failing to research the company.
Be prepared to demonstrate an awareness of the company and the position for which you are applying. It’s going to be obvious that you did not do your research if you ask the interviewer to tell you more about the position or what the company does. Read the job description. Check out the company website. Know the organization. On the other hand, don’t go overboard with your knowledge. When you know something about the company, wait for the right moment to share it. Do not interrupt the interviewer to tell them you already know the information. Wait until they have finished and then add a comment to what they just shared.

Dressing inappropriately.
When in doubt, err on the side of too formal. It is unlikely that there will be a good reason to show up for the interview casually dressed. Every company has its own dress policy, and it is a good practice to dress one level above what is acceptable for company.

Being late or too early.
Never be late. Develop a habit of being on time. It’s also important not to turn up too early because it creates the impression of having too much time on your hands and being desperate for the job. Five to ten minutes early is a good rule of thumb.

Being negative.
It’s important to have the right attitude during an interview. Never complain about your current job and stay enthusiastic throughout the interview. Be careful to treat everyone you meet with courtesy, including the receptionist. Many companies watch to see how you treat their staff. It gives them an indication of how well you might fit in to the company.

Asking inappropriate questions.
At the end of the interview always take the opportunity to ask questions. By paying attention during the interview, you will ensure that you don’t ask about something that was already discussed. Take some time before the interview to think about the position, what it involves and what kind of information you need to know to learn more about it. Have several questions prepared before you go into the interview. Avoid asking questions about salary and benefits during the initial interview. These are only appropriate once you have been offered the job.

Failing to follow up.
Be persistent. Send an email and thank you note after the interview, thanking the interviewer for their time. By following up and letting the employer know that you are still interested, you will increase your chances of getting a job.

Remember, preparation and practice are key. The Office of Career Services provides you with assistance when preparing for an interview. You can find general information about interviews on our website.

The Mock Interview Program can also help you sharpen your interviewing skills. Visit our website for more information.

Make sure to check out our On Demand Presentations for additional information on Behavioral Interviews or Phone Interviews.

Get ready and the best of luck on your interview!

—Written by Anna Morlang, CareerCATS Coordinator for the Office of Career Services

References
Quintessential Careers
The Time of India
Career Alley



Staff Feature: Ali Woodworth, Graduate Assistant by Christy R

Staff Feature:
Ali Woodworth,
Graduate Assistant

In the Office of Career Services Office at Ohio University we emphasize to students that Career Exploration is a process that an individual may go through several times in their lives. While I have only graduated from college two years ago, I exemplify this idea as I have already made one career change.

As an undergraduate I attended Ohio State University.  I went to school with very clear goals about the things I wanted to accomplish and the career I wanted after graduation. Through a senior shadow program at my high school I found and shadowed a woman who would later become my mentor, in corporate marketing communications. Due to this experience I went to Ohio State University the following year, with very clear goals and a definite career choice in mind.  During my time at Ohio State, I enjoyed my classes but found that my internships helped me to gain a better perspective of what exactly a job in this field entailed. I loved the creative aspects of these internships, but found myself going home at the end of the day feeling unfulfilled. Was I making a difference? After reflecting on what I valued in a career, I realized that I wanted a career that would allow me to interact in a meaningful way, helping others and making a difference in their lives.

Inspiration to pursue a Master’s Degree in College Student Personnel at Ohio University was prompted by my own undergraduate academic adviser. Every quarter we met, discussing different classes and how they aligned with my interests and overall goals. She helped me to plan out every quarter efficiently, ultimately enabling me to graduate in four years. In my adviser, I felt I had found an ally, someone who was genuinely interested in helping me to achieve the goals I had set and introducing the countless resources available to me at Ohio State. My adviser truly impacted my college career in such a positive way, making a large university feel not so large after all. My senior year at Ohio State, as I shared my revelation that marketing communications wasn’t right for me, she suggested I look into getting my master’s degree in higher education. After getting to know me over the years, she believed that my personality, goals and values would be a perfect fit with counseling and advising positions at a college or university.

After researching different career paths and graduate programs, I felt as though a light bulb went off. This was the perfect career for me! As my first year of grad school at OU is coming to an end I am now positive that I’ve chosen the right career for me. In addition to my work in the Career Services Office, I’ve had the opportunity to see many other facets of student affairs, from working with Turning Points Student at the Allen Student Help Center, to Academic Advising in the Patton College of Education.

Upon graduating next year I hope to find a position either in academic advising or career counseling. Both positions would give me the opportunity to interact with students, guiding them through their college careers and helping them to navigate the challenges that arise along the way.  It is my goal to show students all of the tools, opportunities, and options available to help them to succeed both in their academic careers, and for the rest of their lives.

To make a career counseling appointment with Ali or to talk to her about her career search experience, call or stop by the Office of Career Services.