Thursday, December 6, 2012

Job and Internship Searching over Winter Break

by Gwen M. Greene Career and Internship Center Associate Director Laura Godwin

Exams are done, papers and projects have been submitted, and you’re heading home for the holidays and a much needed break! Kick back, relax and enjoy some, but know that this is valuable time you can spend on making progress toward your career goals!

Laura Godwin helps student with her resume.
Here are some ideas on how to maximize the time before the Spring 2013 semester begins.

Educate yourself about career options.

A successful career plan starts with the 3 F’s! This is a way of expressing your goals very specifically in terms of the general career area (Field), what is done on the job (Function), and the type of employers (Firm) that hire such professionals. Spend some time researching options on the What Can I Do With My Major? page on our website, which features links to resources containing a wealth of information to help you delve into the information you need to make a good decision and pursue your goal.

Polish your resume(s) and cover letter(s)

Now that another semester is done, it’s time to take a critical look at your resume and the cover letter you are (hopefully!) sending along with it. You may wish to add mention of significant class projects completed the Fall semester, as well as relevant courses you will be taking this Spring. Don’t have a resume yet? Check out our resume and cover letter samples and build a draft, then call the office to make an appointment (via phone, if necessary) with a counselor to discuss. Yes, we are open and do take appointments during the break (on a limited basis).

Network

Winter break is the perfect time to conduct “information conversations” with alumni and other professionals who may prove to be immensely helpful in the months and years to come. Such discussions, be they over coffee or over the phone, will yield career information, advice, contacts, and yes, possibly even consideration for a job or internship! How do you do it? Start with the ideas and resources on our Networking page. And, mark your calendar for the 3 Student-Alumni Networking Nights in Boston, New York City and Washington, DC in early January – see our blog post for details.

Research potential employers

Create your own “hitlist” of employers based on keyword and geographic search criteria using an amazing tool called CareerShift. To create your account, first log into CareerLink; from the main page, click the blue CareerShift logo on the left. Once you register (it’s free) click on the “My Companies” tab – that’s where the goldmine is! Build your list, research each one, and when you get back to campus in January, make an appointment with a counselor here at the Career and Internship Center to discuss “proactive search strategies” for the employers on your list.

Apply, inquire, communicate

Roll out those resumes and cover letters and start clicking the “submit” button! It’s NOT too early! (And in most cases, it's not too late, either.) Students frequently ask us, "how many jobs/internships should I apply to?" The issue, however, is not the number of applications -- it's the number of communications. Besides applying to postings you find online, you should also be making direct, targeted inquiries to employers who don't have any opportunities posted. Either way, don’t forget that following up on EACH application or inquiry you send is an important step in the process.

Attend the CICs

By now you’ve probably heard about the four “off-campus” recruiting events happening in early January, in New York City, Boston, Washington DC and Los Angeles. The Career and Internship Connections events feature a wide variety of employers and opportunities, and if you’re able to make it to one (or more) of them, you should definitely consider attending? Even if you missed the application deadline, you can still attend the morning portion of the event, which is an “open forum” career fair format, where you could be offered an interview on the spot for that afternoon. See our CIC blog post for details.

Again, our office is indeed open throughout late December and early January (with a few exceptions for the holidays). If we can be of assistance, please give us a call at 585.275.2366.  We hope you have a productive and enjoyable break!





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