Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Demystifying Career Networking Dinners

If you have not been able to attend any of the Information Sessions on the Career Networking Dinner opportunities during this winter break, please let me provide you with a student’s take on these experiences:

As a sophomore, I attended a dinner with an alum located in Washington, D.C. It was nerve-wracking to think about what would be discussed during the evening. My best advice would be to just bite the bullet (pun intended). Think of the experience as a chance to personally grow while getting to know another Gettysburgian.

The real purpose of these dinners is to get to connect and learn about this alum, other guests and students that are in attendance. You already know that you have one aspect in common, Gettysburg. Since my dinner, I have remained in contact with the alum and his personal friend that was in attendance. I have remained in contact with him and feel that he has become almost a mentor to me.

If you are placed in a Job Shadowing or Networking Dinner that was not your first choice or are uncertain what you want to do in life. It does not matter. The point of these experiences is to connect and develop your skills as a careerist, student and mostly as an individual. Each and every student on this campus will be in a situation where networking will be necessary. Why not take advantage of the plethora of resources that our campus, specifically the Center for Career Development has to offer…

Taylor Larsen ’14
Political Science Major
Art History Minor

More information on 2014 Winter Break Opportunities
Gettysblog Help on Applications

Monday, November 11, 2013

Completing Applications the Right Way

Many of the Career Development and other campus offerings require an application. Here are some helpful tips.

Start With a Plan - Develop a plan to complete your application at least 2 days prior to the deadline. This gives you time for unexpected issues. Do not procrastinate. Get started early and include in your plan ample time to draft and edit your responses to the questions.  Do you need to gather additional information/research to answer the questions?  Do you need to send in a resume or other additional information to complete the application? If so, factor these into your plan and timeline. 

Answer the Questions Fully and Thoughtfully - Are there multiple parts to the questions?  Make sure you answer each part.  It is all too common for students to answer the first part of the question completely but leave out the important ending!  Often you are asked to reflect on prior experience related to this opportunity. Be thoughtful in your responses.  This is an opportunity to promote yourself as the best candidate.  Give thorough/thoughtful answers to each part of the question.  Every other applicant probably will.

Proofread your Work - Check for spelling and grammatical errors. If it is an online application copy and paste it into a word document for some easy help but make sure to re-read to catch anything your word processor might have missed.  Edit accordingly.

Get Help - Share your draft responses with others. Ask them if you answered all of the questions posed? They will likely find any typos you have not.  Edit based on your review and the feedback you receive.

Friday, September 27, 2013

How to Navigate a Job Fair

By: Dr. Manuel Ruiz

The Center for Career Development organizes a full-time job and internship fair each semester.  Our fall 2013 fair is scheduled for Thursday, October 3rd (11:30am to 1pm) in the CUB Ballroom.  If you plan on attending the fair proper planning and preparation are keys to having a positive experience. For your convenience I have put together some helpful tips of items to consider prior to attending the job fair, during the job fair, and after the job-fair.

Before The Job Fair
1.    Research employers.  Look over the list and see who is recruiting.  Decide which employers interest you.  Then, visit their web sites.  Find out who they are, what they do, and why you might want to work there.  With this knowledge you’ll be able to talk intelligently with recruiters at the job fair and impress them.
2.    Update and polish your resume. Create an effective resume using key accomplishment statements.  Stop by the Center for Career Development during drop-in hours (Monday-Friday) 2:30pm to 4:30pm for assistance if needed.  During the fair, bring several copies of your resume.  Carry them in a professional portfolio.
3.    Dress for success.  First impressions are important.  Dress conservatively, in clothes you’d wear on the job (suit).  Forgot your suit at home?  Do not panic.  The Center for Career Development has a clothing bank that can assist you.  For more details stop by the office.
4.    Practice your handshake.  Engage the full hand, palm to palm.  Grip firmly, but don’t crush.  Look the other person in the eye and smile.
5.    Prepare and practice your “sales pitch”.  Short speech – 15 seconds long.  Follow the four step plan: (1) Give your name; (2) Mention the occupation you are looking for; (3) State your experience, skills, and accomplishments.  Explain how they benefitted a previous employer and how they’ll benefit the employer at the fair (accomplishments are big selling points); (4) Offer your unique selling point – What sets you apart from the competition – What makes you special?
6.    Questions to expect from recruiters.  Can you tell me a little about yourself?  Tell me about your skills?  What attracts you to this industry?  What do you know about our company?  Why do you want to work for us?  What motivates you to do a good job?  Tell me about your proudest accomplishment.  What are your career goals?
7.    Questions to ask recruiters.  What qualifications will make a candidate stand out?  What are the biggest challenges of this position?  What do you like most about working for your company?  Can you describe your corporate culture?  How is the company performing during the current economic crisis?  What types of training do you offer?  What are the next steps in the recruitment process?  How can I secure a job interview with your company?
8.    Questions NOT TO ASK. What’s the pay range for this position?  What about benefits and vacation time?  Can you tell me about your company – this question demonstrates that you did not do research.

At the Job Fair
1.    Develop your game plan.  Arrive early, get a list of employers, and plan your order of attack.  Remember, we will have a waiting area for students to relax, break, and ask questions!
2.    Start talking and wowing.  You only have a few minutes to wow each recruiter – make it count.  Your conversation should be interesting, short, and memorable.
3.    End with a request.  Say that you are interested in the position.  Give the recruiter your resume.  Ask for the recruiter’s business card.  Ask the recruiter how should I follow up with you and when?  Take notes on what the recruiter says.
4.    Make a good impression.  Firm hand shake, be professional, let your personality shine, and think of your conversation as a mini interview.
5.    Network with everyone.  Don’t just talk to employers; talk to other job seekers as well.  You never know who may be a good contact for you.

After the Job Fair
1.    Follow Up – Make Yourself Memorable.  Write a thank you note – a thank you note shows the recruiter that you really want the job.  You’ll also stand out because you are one of the few who made a special effort. The note can be handwritten or email.  Handwritten is more memorable and personal.
2.    Write to Everyone Else.  Send an email to the recruiters you didn’t talk to, but whose business cards you took.
3.    Keep Your Application in Motion.  Follow the recruiters’ instructions for setting up interviews/next steps.  If a recruiter told you to go online and fill out a job application, do it.  When you apply, write that you met their recruiter at the Job Fair.  Then email the recruiter to tell them you applied online as requested.
4.    Persistence Pays.   Remember those business cards you collected?  Stay in touch and follow-up within two weeks.  Let them know that you are still interested.  IMPORTANT NOTE: DO NOT BOMBARD THE RECRUITER ON A WEEKLY BASIS – COULD WORK AGAINST YOU!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Transitioning a High School Resume to a Professional Resume

If you are an incoming first year student at Gettysburg you probably have some experience with a resume.  You’ll be working on your resume over the next four years, and if you want to work on campus, you might need to submit a resume through Gettysburg Works.  There are might be some considerable differences between the resume you used for college applications and the professional resume you’ll be using on campus and after college.  Here are a few tips to help you transition:

  • No hours needed - You don’t need to list how many hours a week/year you participated in an activity.  You do need to provide real dates (not semesters, quarters, trimesters, etc.)
  • No “selfies” - If you’ve got your picture on your resume you can take it off.  That’s not the best use of space and doesn’t matter to your future employer. 
  •  Keep it to one page - You did plenty of incredible things before coming to Gettysburg, but you should only pick the most recent and relevant activities/work experiences for your resume.  It also helps to tailor your selections based upon the job you are applying to.
  • Describe your experience – You should talk about what you did/accomplished for each job or activity.  Avoid using “I” and describe your experiences with action statements and deliverables. 
  • Keep it organized - Create sections and place items in reverse chronological order (most recent first). You shouldn't break things down by class year.
  • No references needed – You will need to provide references for your future job applications but don’t waste space on your resume by including references there.

We have plenty of resources on the Career Development website that can help you and we strongly suggest reviewing our resume handout and a sample professional resume (sample 1 and sample 2) before submitting anything through Gettysburg Works.

Friday, June 21, 2013

What is Gettysburg Works?

Gettysburg Works is the College’s system of record for employer relations and job postings.  Over your four years at Gettysburg you’ll use Gettysburg Works in a number of ways. 

  • You might be asked to submit a resume for an on-campus job at Gettysburg.  Resumes in Gettysburg Works require approval.  Once you get one resume approved you’ll be able to upload as many as you want without approval. 
  • You’ll have the option to set up (and update) your profile information.  You should always keep you profile up to date so that we can let you know about events and opportunities that fit your career interests. 
  • You’ll use Gettysburg Works to identify internships and post-grad job opportunities.  You might even use Gettysburg Works to submit a resume to a potential employer and set up an on-campus interview. 
  •  You’ll RSVP for career related events.  We often like to know how many students will attend a given event.  Therefore, we ask that you RSVP in Gettysburg Works.  Another good reason to RSVP is because you’ll receive a reminder email before the event itself!

Since you’ll be spending some time on Gettysburg Works we suggest getting oriented with the system now.  If you need help we have a great users guide onlineLog in now to get started and let us know if you have any questions!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Welcome to Career Development's new Blog!

Welcome to the Center for Career Development Blog.  We'll be sharing lots of information about Career Development, feedback and reports from our various experiential opportunities, and advice for Students embarking on their career path.  Keep an eye out for new posts and some great information!