Help Your References Help You

April 8th, 2014

You had a great resume. You got the interview. Now you furnish your references. Will you get the job? Employers DO contact references and YOUR reference can make the difference between you and another candidate getting the job offer. Help your references help you:
1. Talk with potential references before the job search. The better you know your reference and he/she knows your goals and achievements, the better reference they can be for you. You want references who will enthusiastically endorse you for the job.
2. Use recent references who know your work experience and your work ethic. Ensure they’ve known you for a minimum of one year, and preferably longer. Employers are most likely to call more recent references. Using one or two former/present employer references and one or two academic references works well for recent graduates. Refrain from using family members, even if you have worked for them. They are automatically discounted as being subjective.
3. Use references that can articulate your transferrable skills. You may not have done the job you’re applying for, but a good communicator who knows you can demonstrate your strengths in a meaningful way to a potential employer.
4. Furnish your references with a recent resume. They may not recall how long you worked for them or what your background or other experiences are or even your major or degree. Whether or not they are writing a letter of recommendation, an updated resume will be helpful for them and beneficial for you.
5. Finally, remember that employers WILL contact references. Reference information needs to be updated. Check in with your references every time you have an interview set up to let them know they may be contacted. Ensure their contact information, title, company, etc. is correctly submitted to the employer, and that they have access to phone/and or email (travel, particularly international travel could affect their availability). When a candidate is a top contender following an interview and your references are not available by phone or email for several days, employers can and will move on to the next candidate.

Are you using the right words in your resume?

March 31st, 2014

In “Hiring Managers Rank Best and Worst Words to Use in a Résumé in New CareerBuilder Survey” Ryan Hunt shares words recruiters and hiring managers look for in a resume. Preferred words are action verbs that are result driven while the adjectives of old leave too much to subjectivity. After reading the article, ensure your resume is proving your accomplishments.

New Year, New Resume

January 6th, 2014

Time to refresh your resume? Our Career Center can help you take your everyday list of jobs and duties and turn it into a marketing tool that catches the employer’s attention. Robin Deshwan, writing for USNews Magazine in her Jan. 2, 2014 article, reinforces the tips we give our students and alumni: Resume writing tips for the new year

Holidays provide a great time to connect

December 17th, 2013

Add three to five people to your connections over the holidays. Take advantage of the holiday family and social gatherings to learn what others are doing and tell them about your career interests. Kim Isaacs, Monster Resume Expert, gives some great tips in her article Networking Tips for the Holidays.Networking Tips for Holidays

Resume Transformation

December 4th, 2013

How can you transform your resume from a series of facts and bullet points to an eye-catching,appetite whetting document that gets you calls for an interview? Vivian Giang explains what a career expert at TheLadders suggests in this article: How to Write an Excellent Resume 2013 For more resume and career advice, go to and select the Students or Alumni links on left.

Cover Letter Checklist

November 27th, 2013

Employers read cover letters. Many pay more attention to the content and flavor of the letter than they do the resume, since so many resumes look similar. Do include a cover letter. When writing your cover letter, be sure to review Martin Yates’ simple check list, all the while keeping it to one page.Simple Checklist For Writing Effective Cover Letters

Practice Interviewing on Inteview Stream

September 4th, 2013

Ever wonder how you would perform on a Skype or other webcam interview? Or, how you would do in person? Did you know that you can do practice interviewing from your dorm room and then watch and critique yourself? We all know practice improves performance. Your CofC Career Center has a tool and all you need is your computer and a webcam. Just go to our website,, and scroll down to Quick Links to find Interview Stream: Online Practice Interviews. After registering, you can take any of the practice interviews.

Prepare first: Go to the Students link (on left if Career Center site) and then select Interviewing and improve your interview skills. After completing one or more practice interviews, you can still set up an apppointment to come to the Career Center for a mock interview. But you might be so good after Interview Stream you don’t to!

Young and just starting in your career? Some insightful advice from your peers.

May 31st, 2013

Career Advice for Young Professionals from Successful Go-Getters article by The Brazen Team found in Brazen Life
Career Advice for Young Professionals from Successful Go-Getters

Job Seekers – You need to read this!

May 31st, 2013

If you are sending out resumes and not hearing back, Dr. John Sullivan’s May 20th article on is a MUST READ in its entirety. Why You Can’t Get a Job … Recruiting Explained by the Numbers