Get Ready for What Comes Next
Now that you know all about yourself and have identified some fields that interest you, you can think about ways to market your value to potential employers. The resources below will help you PREPARE great application materials that will help you articulate all the fantastic skills and experiences that you have accumulated in part-time jobs, internships, classrooms, and co-curricular activities in your application materials.
A résumé is a snapshot of the education, experience, and skills you have that are valuable to an employer. Its main purpose is to convince a potential employer to invite you for an interview – to make them want to learn more about you. Résumés are used to screen applicants and determine which candidates have the background most closely matching the employers’ needs. It answers the questions: have you, can you, and will you do the job.
Use the resources below to learn more about résumés and get started building your own.
SOU Career Clinic Résumé Presentation
UCLA Résumé and Cover Letter Guide
University of Pennsylvania’s Résumé Guide/Template Download
University of Cincinnati How to Write a CV
Bullet Point Examples to Communicate Part-Time Job Skills (UNC)
Basic Résumé Kit with Template
Considering Using a Functional or Skills-Based Résumé Format
You will usually need a cover letter to go with your résumé. The cover letter is a marketing tool – often one of the first things that a recruiter sees about you. Its purpose is to advertise you well enough to secure an interview. It should represent you – your passion, energy, accomplishments, individuality and professionalism within the context of the job to which you are applying. A good cover letter should not, however, simply restate the content of your résumé. Instead, it’s a chance for you to augment that content with some discussion of your work ethic, specific approaches you might take with the job you want, and to illustrate your writing (and thinking) skills.
SOU Career Clinic Cover Letter Presentation
Virginia Tech Cover Letter Types and Samples
UCLA Resume and Cover Letter Guide
Cover Letter Advice and Examples from Duke
Interviews and Recommendation Letters
Job interviews are a chance for the employer to learn more about you and for you to learn more about the job and the company or organization. Employers use the interview to determine if you are qualified for their open position and whether you would be a good fit for their organization or unit. You should use the interview to highlight your most relevant skills and experience as well as gather information about the job and the organization, so that you can decide whether or not to accept an offer if one is made.
In the entire interview process you play a major role in keeping the flow of communication interesting. You must make your résumé come alive and explain how your experiences relate to the employer’s specific needs. The resources below will help prepare you to do just that.
SOU Career Clinic Interview Presentation
Sample Interview Questions and What They’re Looking For
STAR Method to Ace Your Job Interview
What to Wear to a Job Interview
Writing a Great Thank You Note After the Interview
10 Thank You Letter Mistakes and How to Avoid Them
Prepare for a Career Fair
The Career Fair provides an opportunity to meet representatives who want to talk to you about their internship, employment, and graduate school opportunities. Use your time to gather information on career options, develop a network of contacts, identify openings, or secure an interview. Use these tips to network at the fair:
- Dress professionally: Employers will make decisions based on first impressions.
- Communicate your purpose: When looking for an internship or employment opportunity, state the type of position that interests you. If you are gathering information, tell employers you are exploring career options and are interested in learning about them.
- Make a strong first impression: When meeting employers, introduce yourself, offer a firm handshake, make eye contact, state your purpose, ask questions, listen and act professionally.
- Highlight your strengths: Be prepared to discuss your qualifications that are most related to the job. Include clear, concise examples to demonstrate your qualifications. Practice your verbal presentation (a 30 second “commercial” about you) so you can approach employers with confidence.
- Bring your résumé: Bring enough resumes to give to organizations you are targeting. Carry them in a portfolio. Omit the objective to expand your options.
- Ask questions: Use questions to increase your knowledge of industry trends, job options and career paths. Try these questions:
- What positions in (your career interest) are available in your organization?
- What kind of background do you look for when filling these positions?
- How do you see this field changing over the next five years?
- What advice would you give me if I wanted to break into this field?
- How did you get involved with this industry/organization? What keeps you involved?
- Follow-up: Request a business card for your records. If you want a job interview, follow up with a thank-you note or e-mail within 24 hours.
Requesting a Recommendation Letter
It’s nice to have people in your corner when you are putting yourself out there on the job market or with graduate school applications. Use the resources below to get started.
Reference Letter Basics: Goshen
How to Ask for a Letter of Recommendation
SOU Office of the Dean of Students
Stevenson Union, Room 321
1250 Siskiyou Blvd.
Ashland, OR 97520