Networking 101

September 29th, 2008

Networking is a valuable skill used in the job search. Through your connections you can get access to information about jobs and companies that is not located on the internet. Only a small percentage of jobs are posted on the Internet job databases (approximately 20%) so you must know people who know people in order to find out about jobs. But. how do you get started networking your contacts?

First, make a list of all the people you know. this includes all your friends, family, professors, supervisors, even your doctor and minister. Every connection you have is another lead on a potential job. Your asking yourself right now “But, how will my preacher help me get a job? I don’t want to become a minister!” Your minister or doctor might not have a job for you but they have connections to who might know of potential positions. Networking is like a spider web, one string leads to another and to another and so on. Before you know it your network is a hundred strong. After you make your list of connections you need to let them know what your looking for. Tell them specifics and give them your resume.

This two step process will then be repeated every time you make a connection. Do you want more information about networking? Check out the Career Center Help Guides for more ideas on establishing an effective network.

The Subjective Resume

September 22nd, 2008

What is a resume? According to most dictionaries, it is a written summary of a person’s education, experience and other important information. But a resume goes far beyond that for you, the job seeker. A resume needs to be a marketing piece or advertisement for you to prospective employers. And what do all great advertisements have in common? They focus on the best feature of the product and put all the other information in fine print (or not mention it at all).

So what does this mean for you and your resume? Your resume needs to focus on your best features and qualifications for the position. If you have relevant experience you need to focus on that information, not your stint as a bag boy in high school. Information like that becomes part of the fine print (or not mentioned at all). But the entire time you are exalting your best features, remember to remain honest at all times. Lying in a resume will not help in the long run. Not only will they expect things you cannot deliver but they may call you on it and not hire you.

Need to know more about writing that great resume. Check out the Career Center’s resume handout, “Developing an Effective Resume,” on our website.

And don’t forget to attend the Career Center Resume Workshop on October 15 or 16 at 3:00!  For more details look at then events calendar on the Career Center Website.

The Five (or six) Year Plan

September 15th, 2008

Years ago the standard time frame for college of four years (hence the titles “Four Year College” and “Two Year College”) but fast forward to present day and a lot of students are spending upwards of five to six years in college. Is this wrong? It depends on the reasons.

If you are staying in college five or more years just goofing off, changing your major 10+ times, or taking extended periods of time off to relax at the beach, then, yes the five year plan is wrong! Not only is it not good for your (or your parents) budget but it is a waste of resources. You are taking up valuable space that another more interested student could be filling.

But if you are staying in college five or more years because you are experiencing all that you can plus gaining relevant skills/knowledge then go ahead. Most people who complete an extra degree, take an internship(s), or study abroad spend extra time earning their degrees.

So if some asks what year you are and you feel like hanging your head when you say, “Second year Senior,” don’t! Especially if it is because of meaningful experiences. Those experiences will help you in the long run, not only to gain real world experience/knowledge but to expand your horizons.

For more ideas about how to gain the most out of college (even if it will take a few more semesters, check out these links:

Events Galore!

September 8th, 2008

This semester the Career Center is offering a multitude of workshops and other events to help you in your career development. No matter if your a freshman or a senior you can find something at the Career Center. As usual we are offering several workshops on writing resumes and preparing for the Career fair. But new this semester are workshops on choosing internships, choosing majors, completing the online job search, and finding that part-time job. Check out the Events Calendar for more information about our workshops. We also list job related events around the Charleston area.

Don’t Just Sit There, Get Out There!

September 1st, 2008

College is more than just classes! You may be thinking that this is odd for someone who works for the college to say but it is true. Through your classes you are getting the necessary educational background needed for the world but everything else you do in college is important too! Through clubs, greek life, sports, part-time jobs, and more you are gaining valuable life experiences needed to be a successful individual.

Many employers love to see extra-curricular experiences on a new college graduate’s resume because it shows that not only did the student not sit in their dorm room for four years but that they have other experiences/skills to be successful in the job. Activities can provide you with valuable communication, leadership, organizational, and team-work skills. Skills that are little harder to gain during traditional lecture classes.

At the College of Charleston there are over a hundred different clubs and organizations that you can become involved in. There are honors/academic, political, religious, social, and professional organizations on campus. And if you say that there is not an organization that meshes with your interests then you are lying to yourself. The College of Charleston offers a diverse mix of groups and if a college organization does not interest you then the Charleston community will have something that fits you.

So get involved, gain some great life experiences and skills that will benefit you in the future when trying to land your dream job.