Monday, November 29, 2010

Online Teacher Job Fair November 29th - December 1st

Hey future educators, check out the American Association for Employment in Education (AAEE) annual online job fair. This is a free opportunity to connect with schools districts in an online environment. In this job fair you can chat online with representatives from school districts, submit job search documents, and learn about prospective employers through virtual information booths. The AAEE online job fair runs today through December 1st and is FREE for job seekers.

Check out the details here


Sunday, November 7, 2010

But I Need More Time...

Every semester we see students going through the job search process, whether directly through our office or externally. Being the quality job seekers that Marquette students are, most of these students are spreading their options and applying with a number of different organizations. This helps the students get a good feel for the companies out there, and in turn which may be the best fit for their needs. The best news comes for the truly fortunate students that get to choose which company they ultimately work for. But as good of news as this can be, at times it causes the most stress of any part of the process.

Most students go into the job search process having an idea of which company is their first choice. The interview process will usually help to reinforce this feeling. However, the problem that often arises is when an offer comes that is not from the first choice organization. Due to the timing of recruiting cycles, you may run into a situation such as this where you receive an offer before you have completed your interview with your top choice organization. How should you then proceed in this circumstance?

First, any offer you receive should allow you time to consider all the details. If you are being pressed for an immediate answer, you may want to think about why they would want such an immediate decision. Should this happen, ask for time to think about the offer and make the best decision for yourself. If you do have an interview upcoming, it is acceptable to let the organization know about this. Most companies will be flexible to allow you to make the best decision for yourself, as they want employees that want to be working for them.

As with anything, you need to use some reason with asking for additional time. If you are asking for a few days, or maybe even a week, you should be fine. If you are delaying your response by an extended amount of time, you are risking your spot being taken, as the company may then assume you are not truly interested. Ultimately the companies are willing to show some flexibility, but you need to be respectful of the position they are in, just as you would hope they are respectful of the position you are in.

Monday, November 1, 2010

The Informational Interview

Whether you are trying to declare a major, or looking for a job or internship, informational interviewing is one of the most valuable sources of occupational information and a great way to network.

What is an informational interview?
An informational interview is when you sit down with a professional in a field of interest, and ask questions and converse with him/her in order to gain insight and a better understanding of their profession. Not only can informational interviewing give you the inside scoop to a certain career, but it is also a great way to gain advice straight from someone who has been where you are today.

So, you may be thinking, “Yes this sounds great, but how do I find professional contacts in (insert field/occupation)?”

A great starting point is talking to your friends, and family members and anyone else they may know. I highly recommend using the professional networking site It is not only a great resource for networking, but also a great source for finding professionals in your field of interest. Your first step is to establish a profile, which is basically your resume. Then start making connections- join groups, and build your network.

There are many useful areas on LinkedIn. Someone who is trying to find contacts will find the people search option the most useful. This option allows you to type in a key word or phrase, and the search engine will establish a list of people who have the key word in their profile. You can check out their profile, and send the person a message through the site explaining who you are and the reason for contacting them. Whether it’s a place you are interested in working, or a professional from your career field of interest, LinkedIn is great way to find and connect with professionals.

You have some people you’d like to contact. What do you say? For example message templates, see our networking and/or LinkedIn handouts in our online library at

Here are some additional tips for when you have a meeting set up with someone:

The Do’s of Informational Interviewing:
• Know the name of the person you will be meeting, along with their title/position
• Wear business attire. You don’t need to wear a suit, but business casual is most appropriate.
• Arrive on time! Being prompt shows respect to the person and that you appreciate and value the time they take to meet with you.
• During the Interview, use this time to learn as much as you can. Don’t be shy to ask questions.

Some sample questions include:
1. In your current position, what do you do in a typical day?
2. What are the most/least interesting aspects of your job?
3. What are the jobs you had which led to this one?
4. What is the top position you can expect to have in this career field?
5. How long does it take to move up in this field?
6. Are there any other related fields where people may transfer?
7. Are there any specific courses someone may benefit from in this field?
8. What are the educational/training requirements of your position?
9. What are the salary ranges for the various levels in the field?
10. What is the job outlook for this field?
11. What advice do you have to offer to obtain a position that will start me in this field?

After the Interview

Jot down notes. Write down a summary of as many key points from the interview that you can, so you have notes to refer back to. You can always keep notes during the interview, but try not to let this break the flow of the conversation. Your notes will help you remember any important information.

Follow up with a thank you. Always thank the person for their time in person and through a thank you note. You can send one online, or a hand written one for a more personal touch. Remember to maintain the relationship after the interview. These are the kinds of contacts who may serve to be valuable to you when it comes time for the job search.