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

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Tips for the Job-Seeker by Christy R

Tips for the Job Seeker

Is it time to leave college behind and transition into the real world? Are you bored with your current job and want to change careers? Read on, job search advice is coming your way! There are many ways to go about finding a job that is perfect for you.

Explore your options
First, you need to decide which factors are important to you when seeking a job. Think about the field you would like to work in, hours you want to work, the environment that’s right for you, and whether the job is in line with your values. Decide if you are willing to relocate for the job, and if it is important to you whether you can move up in the company.

Get an Internship
If you find a profession that you are interested in, you may decide to explore what it would be like to work in the field. Consider trying an internship to acquire experience in your area of interest. This is a great way to determine whether a certain career path is right for you. Additionally, an internship is an outstanding résumé booster that will show employers that you have some related experience.

Do Your Research
Once you decide on an occupation that suits you, you’re ready to begin your journey toward finding a specific place of employment. This is when the real hunt begins.

To start, you may want to use online resources to research and find openings for the types of jobs you’re looking for. Look on our Job Search Resources page on the Career Services website to identify job posting websites in specific fields that may interest you. There you can find an assortment of postings by field or type, including seasonal/summer, teaching abroad, multicultural, nonprofit, and green jobs.

Ohio University students may also take advantage of Bobcat CareerLink to view postings online for jobs targeted specifically to OU students and alumni.

Networking
Don’t stop at perusing through job postings online, though. Take your job search one step further by networking. Both face-to-face and social media networking are effective job search strategies. Consider trying out Bobcat Mentor Network, which can put you in contact with alumni from Ohio University that are willing to help you decide which career path is best for you. Some can even help you find an internship or a job.

You can also use social media such as LinkedIn to connect with professionals in your network and beyond. Reaching out to people you already know can help you connect with others in the field or recommend other job search strategies to you.

Career Fairs are also a great way to network. You can meet individuals in the company you wish to work for, or get a feel for the types of organizations you wish to look into further.

Contact the employer
Once you decide which organization sounds like a good match, you need to contact the employer to find out if there are job openings and whether you can interview for a position. Find an email address or a phone number and contact the individual in charge of hiring. Mention that you’re interested in the company and that you would like to schedule an interview if they have an opening.

Prepare for the interview
If you land the interview, make sure your résumé is up to date and tailored toward the specific job you are applying for. Then, you should find references that can attest for your work ethic and motivation. References should be professional and can include professors, advisors, supervisors, or anyone that can comment on your potential for the new job. Once you’ve got your résumé in hand and your references ready, you need to prepare for your interview. Develop an elevator pitch, which is a brief overview about yourself regarding your background, education, relevant experiences, and why you want to work for their specific company. Also make sure to do your research on the company and prepare questions to ask at the end of the interview.

Ace the Interview
Show up a few minutes early to your interview and be professional and courteous to all individuals you meet on the way into the interview. Remember to BREATHE! You’ve done your preparation, and now it’s time to show them why you would be a good fit with their organization.

Be proactive about your job search. It can be a full-time job trying to find a full-time job, so start your search now!

For further information regarding our career resources, visit the Career Services website, or schedule an appointment to meet with one of our Career Advisors.

—Contributed by Kelli Swackhamer, Office of Career Services Practicum Student



Internships: Path to your profession by Christy R

Internships: Path To Your Profession

Are you a college student looking to spend your summer with an organization in your career field? A recent graduate looking to gain experience in your field before entering the job market? Thinking about a career change and want to test the waters before you make the leap?

Securing an internship is an excellent way to introduce yourself to a career in your area of interest. You can find out what the job environment is like before jumping head-on into a full-time position. You can use the opportunity to meet new people, network, and use the experience to boost your résumé for a future job.

So, how do you go about snagging an internship?

Start your search early
Don’t wait! If you are looking for a summer internship, now is the time to begin your search. Start thinking about the field you would like to work in, and do your research to find the types of companies or organizations that are willing to take interns. Websites such as indeed.com, simplyhired.com, idealist.org, and internships.com are great resources to help you find a place that fits your needs.

Consider your options
Figure out what type of internship would work the best for you by narrowing down your options. Is it important for you to have a paid position? With regard to location, can you go anywhere or do you need to stick close to home? Will you get college credit? What kind of time commitment will it require? These are all important to think about when you begin your search.

Network
One of the best ways to find a job or internship is by connecting with professionals in the field. Don’t be afraid to reach out to talk with a professional about your area of interest. They may be hiring interns or could direct you to someone else that is. Attending career fairs is a great way to network and get your name out there as well. Try using the Bobcat Mentor Network to find Ohio University alumni in your profession. These individuals are willing to talk with young Bobcats, give career-related advice and answer any questions you may have about the field.

Polish your résumé and create a cover letter
Once you find a place where you want to apply, make sure that your résumé is tailored to highlight your experiences as they will relate to the internship. Create a cover letter for each individual position, detailing your past relevant activities and what you hope to gain from the experience. Stop in Career Services during walk-in hours if you would like us to take a look at your résumé and cover letter.

Go after it!
Send an email or make a phone call to inquire about openings. Tell the organization a little bit about yourself, what special skills you possess, and why you would like to work with that particular company.  Ask for information regarding the position, what you will be doing, and when you can start. Don’t forget to follow up if they don’t give you an immediate response.

Benefits to obtaining an internship

  1. You will get to shadow and learn what a “day-in-the-life” is like for individuals in your career field.
  2. You will gain hands-on experience in the field.
  3. You will have an opportunity to network with professionals in your area of interest.
  4. The individuals you are working with will be able to provide you with letters of recommendation for future employment or graduate school.
  5. Some internships may be compensated.

Whether you are a college student seeking experience prior to starting a full-time job, or a professional looking to make a career change, try an internship! It’s possible that your performance in an internship might just land you a full-time job.

For other career-related assistance and information, visit our website.

—Contributed by Kelli Swackhamer, Practicum Student for the Office of Career Services



Brush Up on Your Career Fair Etiquette by Christy R

Brush Up on Your Career Fair Etiquette

As we gear up for the annual OU Winter Career Fair tomorrow, here are a few helpful reminders to help you interact successfully with employers.

BEFORE THE FAIR

1. Identify & research employers: Visit Bobcat Career Link to find out what employers are registered for the fair. Do some initial research about the companies by visiting their websites.

2. Bring multiple copies of your résumé…and don’t forget to organize them neatly in a nice portfolio.

3. Practice your introduction: Be ready to introduce yourself to employers and highlight your major, class status, and how your knowledge/skills would be an asset to the company.

4. Dress professionally: Dark business suits and ties for men, with polished shoes, dark socks, and well groomed hair. Neutral or dark suits work best for women, with panty hose, close-toed, low-heeled shoes, and minimal make-up/perfume.

DURING THE FAIR

1. Make a good first impression: Greet the employer with a firm handshake and smile, and introduce yourself.

2. Demonstrate your knowledge: Let the employer know that you’ve done your research and are able to communicate how you will fit into the company.

3. Remember names and companies: Be sure to get the recruiters name and business card.

AFTER THE FAIR

1. Follow up: Send a thank you note to the employers you spoke to. Reiterate the main points you discussed with them at the fair e.g. your qualifications, interest, and anything you forgot to mention at the event. Be sure to send a résumé/make a phone call if the employer asked you to do so.

—The information above was taken from the Office of Career Services’ “Career Fair Etiquette” flier which is available for students to pick up at any time. For other helpful handouts on a variety of career-related topics, stop by our office or visit our Handout Library online.



Interested in working for the government? Check out these resources! by Kristine Hoke

Federal Workshops event banner

Interested in working for the government? Check out these resources!

Career Services has two upcoming workshops related to federal employment:

Federal Internships – Find and Apply for Summer 2011
Wednesday October 20th at 5:00 in Baker 503
This workshop, a product of the Partnership’s Making the Difference Campaign, is for students interested in finding and applying for internships for Summer 2011. During this session, we will highlight a number of exciting internships across government, and show you how to research, find and apply for an internship that’s right for you.

Federal Jobs – Find and Apply for Full-Time Work in 2011
Tuesday October 26th at 5:00 in Baker 503
This workshop, a product of the Partnership’s Making the Difference campaign, is for students interested in finding and applying for full-time jobs with the federal government. During this session, we will highlight a number of exciting full-time jobs across government, and show you how to research, find and apply for a job that’s right for you.

There are several other helpful resources for students who are interested in public service:

Making the Difference
Learn about various federal jobs and internships and the benefits of careers in public service

Where The Jobs Are: Mission Critical Opportunities for America
This report outlines federal hiring needs

USA Jobs
Job search resource for federal positions

—Kristine Hoke, Assistant Director



Prepare For Success: What you can do beforehand to make the most of your career fair experience by Christy R

Business men and womenWhen planning to attend a career or job fair, a little preparation is necessary to maximize your experience and give you the best results. You’re already taking the time to go to the fair, so you might as well go the full mile and make it worth your effort by following these simple steps.

1. Identify and Research the Prospective Employers.
Obtain the list of organizations attending the fair and identify the prospective employers that most interest you by clicking on the Fall Career & Internship Fair link on the homepage of Bobcat CareerLink. Keep an open mind when making this list. Don’t discount employers based on industry. You don’t necessarily need to be a business major to work for a large business company or a retail merchandising major to work for a department store. Instead, see what kinds of jobs each company has available, and what types of majors they are recruiting.

Once you’ve made your list of 5-10 employers you want to meet at the fair, do some research on each one of them. Visit their websites. Run internet searches. Be sure to familiarize yourselves with key products/services as well as the organizational structure, culture and values of the company.

2. Rehearse your elevator speech.
Prepare a 20-30 second introduction to use with employers. Have a clear focus on why you are here and what kind of job you are looking for. Tell them why you are interested in their company and how your specific skill set will benefit their company. (For examples of a concise elevator speech, see earlier post: Elevator Speech: A 30-second Interview).

3. Prepare résumés.
Have multiple copies of your résumé printed out and ready to go. It’s also helpful to have them organized neatly in a folder or portfolio. Show them that you can be an organized employee.

4. Choose proper career fair attire.
This is a must. For most career fairs professional attire is required, consisting of a clean-cut, well-fitting, conservative look, with darker colors such as navy, black, and slate. Dressing unprofessionally is one of the most common errors made by job candidates. If the outfit you’re considering is something you would wear to a party or a night on the town, it is most likely not appropriate professional attire. It is always safer to err on the side of dressing too conservatively. Also remember to give your shoes a little polish, and don’t overdo on jewelry or perfume/cologne.



From the Classroom to the Workplace by Alyse K

From the Classroom to the Workplace: How to apply your classroom skills in the job market

Besides refining your résumé and earning that college degree, there may be more to consider in order to make yourself more marketable. As you prepare to enter the job market, students are encouraged to look closely to how their experience in college can be beneficial to the job hunt. The article, “Which Classroom Skills Translate To The Job Market?” provides a list to see how your school experiences can become valuable job skills.

  1. Communication skillsCan you effectively share ideas?

    Class presentations and group projects provide an opportunity to develop valuable communication skills that will be helpful when it comes to selling ideas or products, running meetings and more.

  2. Analytical skillsAre you detail oriented?

    Classes promoting analytical skills can help in solving problems and analyzing information. Analytical skills are particularly prized in professions where you are expected to multi-task under pressure.

  3. Teamwork skillsDo you work well with others?
    Although some group projects in school may seem like a waste of time, they can really help you when you enter the professional world. Working well with others is important as almost any level of employment. You can gain skills that help in managing organizations, supervising others and delegating responsibility.

  4. Technical skillsAre you computer savvy?

    Being able to work with complex systems or equipment is an invaluable tool for applicants. Technical skills developed in the classroom can help launch a career in technology or media.

  5. Strong work ethicHave you made special efforts to reach your goals?

    Employers look for applicants that can meet deadlines, stay committed to tasks and handle pressure. Taking online classes or going to night school requires the dedication and time management skills, which come in handy when you have tight deadlines and meetings to attend.

To read more about classroom skills, check out this article and more at Yahoo! Education.