Thursday, June 28, 2012

Personal Branding….whats that?

Have you ever heard the term "personal branding” and thought…”what the heck is that??” If so, or you would just like to know more, is a great resource.  There is a wealth of information on branding tailored to both undergraduate and graduate students from experts on the topic.

Happy branding,

-Jeremy Eudaly, Career Counselor

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Summer Internship Search

"Now that the summer has arrived and I have free time, I'm ready to begin my summer internship search." Oddly enough, we in Career Services hear that phrase more often than you could imagine.  The academic year is definitely full of more hustle and bustle than the summer months, which leads students to put off their internship search until things have "calmed down."  The issue is that the hustle and bustle of the academic year also includes various career fairs, networking events, career development programs, and most notably on-campus interviews.  The majority of employers begin their hiring process for summer interns during the Fall semester; though some do hold off until Spring semester.

Don't worry though, all hope isn't lost.  Even though there may not be a significant amount of internships to pick from, there are definitely still a few available.  Kick your search into gear by getting organized!  Set a schedule for yourself - one hour each day of the week dedicated to your internship search. Step one, make sure your resume and cover letter are in tip-top shape.  If you would like for a counselor to look over your professional documents, you can set up an appointment by calling 414-288-7423.  Next step, look through those online search engines to see what's being posted online.  In conjunction with the previous step, network, network, network.  LinkedIn is still live and active during the summer months and the Marquette University Alumni Association grows in membership daily.

If it so happens that you can't seem to find an internship for this summer, do keep in mind that there are other options; career development takes place in many different forms.  Consider volunteering at a corporation/hospital/institution that aligns with your career field interest.  Even though you won't be getting paid, you'll still be gaining experience and environmental exposure.  Another option would be to shadow a professional in your industry of interest.  Spending a half day observing what someone in your industry of interest does, could answer a lot of questions you may have in regards to their daily functions and responsibilities.  If you're not necessarily looking to volunteer or shadow a professional, the other option would be to conduct an informational interview.  For at least 45 minutes, you could pick the brain of someone who is doing what it is you'd like to do.  Don't think of not getting an internship this summer as you being behind, think of it as getting an early start for next summer :-)

Friday, June 1, 2012

Hiring "Secrets"

From time to time in the Career Services Center we do some hiring of our own. As I review applications for various positions, I find that I approach applications with a critical eye looking for ways to distinguish the potential candidates from the applicants who will not be considered. It is a much different approach than I take in my daily work life. As a Career Counselor, I thrive on bringing out the best in the resumes of MU students and alumni; as a person looking to hire a new staff member, I scrutinize the applicants' materials looking not only at the information he or she has provided, but also the overall impression of the submission.

Here are some tips to keep in mind...
  1. Length - Too short and I don't think you have the qualifications/experience we are looking for; too long and I question your ability to communicate concisely and effectively.
  2. Typos - If you can't submit an application, cover letter, resume, etc., free of typing, grammar, and/or spelling errors, I wonder if you lack attention to detail or if you simply don't care about the position you are applying for.
  3. Relevance - Unless you manage to convince me that you are qualified for the position, your application will be overlooked. Don't tell me about everything you have ever done; rather, tell me about the things you have done that will help you perform well in the position I have available. Some of this information may be directly correlated to the position (accounting intern applying for an accounting job) and some will be transferable skills (restaurant server with multitasking ability applying for a nursing position).
  4. Professionalism - A job application is no place for a conversational tone. Being professional does not mean you have to be stuffy and cold; it just entails proper formatting (even if you know the person you are sending a cover letter to, you will address the person as Mr./Ms. ____), being courteous, and staying on point.
  5. Contact - Knowing someone who is employed at the place you have applied continues to be a huge help in getting your foot in the door.  If you do have a contact, make sure you are in touch with the person prior to applying for a job to ask some questions (knowing more about the company helps you write a better cover letter) and for any application advice. After you have submitted your application, follow-up to let the person know and consider attaching your application materials as a courtesy.
  6. But not too much contact - Have you ever been repeatedly contacted by a company trying to get your business?  How did that make you feel?  Don't make the recruiter feel that way.
These are just a few tips to help ensure your application materials get you to the interview, so come visit us for many more - we are open all summer!