Whether you are a freshman or a senior, chances are you are thinking about the future of your career. According to Ivette Duarte, interim director of Career Services, it is never to late or too early to pass by the Career Services office and find information about your field and what you can do to land a job or internship. Here are the top 10 questions most students ask, answered by the Career Services staff. Next step: visit one of their three offices, located at MMC in GC 230, BBC in WUC 255 and at the Engineering Center in EC 2852.
1. How can Career Services help me with my job and internship search?
Career Services provides a full range of professional development opportunities to students from freshman to graduate. Some of the services include: 24/7 access to job/internship postings, networking events, info sessions, internship assistance, resume review, mock interviews, workshops and business etiquette dinners.
2. What are the basic characteristics that employers are looking for from someone who just graduated?
The ideal candidate will have had one or more internships, a GPA of 3.0 or better, be bi-lingual and be willing to travel and/or relocate. It is also imperative that you communicate clearly both verbally and in writing.
3. Why should I participate in an internship? And, how do I get one?
Students who obtain internships have an opportunity to explore their field, find the right fit, network with potential employers and can even earn academic credit if their academic unit approves it. The first step is to register with Career Services and attend an Internship 101 workshop.
4. How can I make employers want to hire me?
Start early! Polish your skills and do your “homework” before you need it. Utilize the resources offered by Career Services Office early and get ahead of the competition. Make an appointment to see a Career advisor for individualized help.
5. What should I highlight on my resume and what should my cover letter look like?
If you do not have a resume and/or cover letter, come to a workshop and get the basics. If you have one, come into the Career Services Office and visit the Cyber Cafe during walk in hours and an expert can help you. Make sure to stick to the facts; do not embellish your experience or your GPA.
6. What should I start doing today to land the dream job tomorrow?
Plan ahead, many students wait until they graduate to begin exploring their field. Obtain experience, network and conduct an informational interview with someone in the profession you seek, it will prove to be invaluable.
7. How can social media affect my job/internship search?
Social media can “make” you or “break” you. Use common sense and make sure that your settings are private. Once information is posted, it is never really “deleted”. Make sure to sign up for a LinkedIn account and maintain a professional “look” at all times. Employers have rescinded offers based on information obtained on social media!
8. What are professional articles of clothing that I should start buying now?
All you need is one good suit to begin your interview wardrobe. Make sure that it fits well and that you are comfortable. You don’t have to buy a whole wardrobe but rather build it slowly. Go to high-end stores and look at good brands and then go to a deep-discount store and find those very same brands at a huge savings! Keep to conservative colors; black or navy work best for men and women. Also invest in a good pair of shoes (closed toe for ladies) and dark socks for men.
9. What is the importance of a network? And, how do I build one?
Networks are paramount when searching for an internship or job. Seek volunteer opportunities with your Career Center; special events are a great way to meet future employers. Join student chapters of professional associations, become a leader of an organization on campus and most importantly, keep in touch. You may meet many people, but if there is no follow up, you are bound to be forgotten. Eighty percent of all jobs are never posted. That means people are usually referred by other people.
Internship and Career Fairs typically happen in the fall and spring semesters. These events can be daunting to the most experienced job seeker. Get your resume in top shape (no cover letters needed), participate in a mock interview, pick out your outfit, and attend preparation workshops offered through Career Services and map out your day. While there may be as many as 100 companies present, you want to identify your top ten and make sure you visit them first. Do not ask the employer the nature of their business. Your job is to do the research and become an informed applicant and don’t forget to smile!
*Dates for Fall 2013 Career Fairs:
Wednesday, September 18
3 p.m. – 7 p.m.
U.S. Century Bank Arena
Modesto Maidique Campus
Thursday, October 3
11 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Wolfe University Center Ballrooms
Biscayne Bay Campus