Career Planning Guide UW- Stevens Point Academic and Career Advising Center
Experience as Currency
Hello World- First Moves
Winning the Game
ｓ ｓ ｓ Hello World - First Moves Collecting Knowledge Experience as Currency Winning the Game 1.1 Exploration .................................... Pg. 6 1.1a Involvement and Organizations 1.1b Online Resources 1.2 Handshake ..................................... Pg. 8 1.3 Resume Transition ........................... Pg. 9 1.3a Basics 1.3b Writing 101 1.3c Gap Analysis The Dawg Adventure ............................ Pg. 12 2.1 Update and Explore Handshake ....... Pg. 14 2.2 Build Connections Beyond Campus .. Pg. 15 2.2a Informational Interview Guide 2.2b Job Shadowing 2.3 Career Fair Navigation 1.0 .............. Pg. 19 2.4 Maintaining Connections ................. Pg. 20 2.4a LinkedIn Basics 2.5 Considering Graduate or Professional School ........................ Pg. 22 3.1 Maintaining Networks ..................... Pg. 23 3.2 Expanding Use of Career Fairs ......... Pg. 24 3.3 Locating Experiences ...................... Pg. 26 3.4 Preparing for Interviews .................. Pg.27 3.4a Interviewing Basics 3.4b Practice Interviews 3.5 Update Your Resume .......................Pg.33 3.6 Plan for Future ...............................Pg. 34 3.6a Graduate School 3.6b Reflecting on Workplace Values 4.1 Professional Connections and Organizations ...........................Pg.37 4.2 Handshake and LinkedIn for Your Job Search .............................. Pg.38 4.3 Fine Tune Your Skills and Materials .....Pg.39 4.4 Your Future Destination .................... Pg.40
Welcome to your Career Planning Guide! This guide is brought to you by the Academic and Career Advising Center (ACAC) in University College and is designed to help you navigate your career journey at UWSP and beyond! Know that your career journey is unique to you and your experiences and goals, but this guide can provide some steps to follow to help move you towards career success upon graduation. Each step is designed to work through the various components of your UWSP career journey, with some great tips along the way! While there is an outlined order to this guide, this resource is for anyone, no matter where your starting point is. This guide is designed to be an interactive booklet with clickable links throughout to connect you to great resources at UWSP and beyond! In addition to this guide, the Academic and Career Advising Center website has many wonderful resources that, together with the ACAC staff, can help you explore options and develop skills along your UWSP journey. Our Academic and Career Advisers and Career Specialists are excited to help guide you through this adventure!
5.1 Career Journey Checklist .................. Pg.41 5.2 NACE Competencies ........................Pg.42 5.3 Resources Index ............................. Pg.43
Hello World - First Moves
1.1 b Online Resources
Handshake UW-Stevens Point has partnered with Handshake - a modern career development platform - to serve as your one-stop-shop for searching for internships, summer jobs, or full-time jobs. You’ll use Handshake to discover employers and attend Career Fairs, workshops, and other career preparation events. The more complete your profile, the more focused the job openings, activities, and events will be on your page! Candid Career Candid Career currently features 6,000+ interview clips from thousands of professionals. You can explore careers and hear directly from industry professionals about what they do and why they do it. These 3-5 minute videos offer you expert advice to help you successfully navigate your career journey. LinkedIn Learning Using your UWSP sign-on information, gain access to 1000’s of hours of content to learn new skills in any area. Myers-Briggs Personality Test ”It’s so incredible to finally be understood.” Go get a concrete, accurate description of who you are and why you do the things the way you do, for free! Students can also explore Career Path information for each personality type profile! What Can I Do with This Major Whether you’re exploring majors or searching for information about your chosen field, this website will help you connect majors to careers. Occupational Outlook Handbook The Occupational Outlook Handbook (OOH) from the Bureau of Labor Statistics can help you find career information on duties, education and training, pay, and outlook for hundreds of occupations. O*NET OnLine Explore career paths based on interests, education, and field. O*NET OnLine has detailed descriptions of the world of work for use by job seekers, students, researchers, and more!
As you take these first steps in your career journey, it’s important for you to reflect on your skills and interests and evaluate how they fit into your career goals. If you have not yet decided on a career path or you have multiple interests, that’s perfectly okay! Everyone makes these decisions on their own time and you may even change your mind down the road. For the rest of Step 1, we will provide you with suggestions and resources for exploring career options, regardless of your starting point.
1.1 a Involvement and Organizations
Connecting to experiences is about what you know and who you know. Especially in a mostly virtual world, getting involved and trying new things is key to building and maintaining connections with others. UWSP has so many ways you can get connected, get involved, and start exploring the experiences that will help you figure out what you want out of your time at UWSP and your future career! Not sure where to start? • Connect with your Academic and Career Adviser for recommendations based on your interests. • Check out the Stevens Point Involvement Network (SPIN) to learn more about the over 200 student organizations on campus. • Visit the Campus Activities and Student Engagement (CASE ) Office to explore volunteer opportunities. • Talk with your faculty after class or during their office hours for industry- specific recommendations as well!
1.3 Resume Transition
Getting started on Handshake The Career Team has already set up a Handshake account for you. Just go to app.joinhandshake.com, select UWSP, and follow the prompts to log in and activate your account. Not sure where to start? Check out our step-by-step Handshake Guide ! Your profile is your time to shine, so don’t be shy about listing your accomplishments. The more potential employers know about you, the better the chance they’ll reach out to you. Make sure to list all of your hard work — in and out of the classroom — on your profile. Set your preferences for the types of internships and jobs you’re interested in, so Handshake can find the right opportunities for you. Searching through hundreds of internship and job postings that don’t fit isn’t a good use of your time. Let Handshake do the work for you! Let us help! The UWSP Career Team has the tools to help you take the first step. And then the next step as well! Our Career Preparation Events and UW System Career Treks are found on Handshake as well! Now, let’s get you hired. Join the largest career community for early talent in the US! There are three easy steps to get you one step closer to finding your next opportunity:
It is never too early to start working on your resume. With just a few changes, you can turn a resume you used in high school into a polished, professional document. The following example and information can help you with the transition or aid you in creating a document from scratch!
1.3 a Resume 1.0
Top 5 resume tips Your resume should be a living, changing document. Whenever you gain a new skill or experience, remember to add it to your resume while it is fresh in your mind. By starting with a very thorough resume, it will be easy to adjust each time you need to use it. We call this your master resume. Master resume Create a master resume that will include everything you have ever done. You can then cut and paste pieces of this master resume to create a tailor- made resume for each job. This also provides a great work history document. You can include additional information, including supervisor name, contact information, salary, employer address, extra work duty details just for your benefit, and knowledge (or for use on a Federal Resume on USAJobs )! Do not use a resume template It is recommended to look at templates to find a style you like but then try to re-create that style using Word. A template can be very restrictive when you try to edit and add to a resume as you gain experience. Focus attention on you Focus through sub-headings, capital letters, bold print, italics, or bullets. If you overuse these items, they lose their effectiveness, so be careful! Quantify/Qualify your experiences Where appropriate – use numbers, specific names of equipment, scientific names, and/or monetary figures to illustrate knowledge and skills. Go beyond duties to identify what was achieved or accomplished in your work and volunteer experiences. Edit, edit, edit Proofread for spelling or grammatical errors, and also make sure your format is uniform – for example, make sure your fonts, margins, and the style of your dates match (e.g. 6/2018 or June 2018) throughout your document.
Tell us what you want to do and where you want to be
Download the app and log in to start building your profile today. Don’t worry, you can update your preferences as often as you want!
1.3b Resume Writing 101
1.3 c Gap Analysis
One way to make sure that you are gaining the skills and experiences you need for the career you want to have after graduation is to conduct a Gap Analysis. A Gap Analysis is designed to identify what skills and experiences you need or want to gain to be a competitive candidate for your dream job. Below are the steps you can take to complete this activity: Step One | Find your dream job • Using Handshake, LinkedIn, or a professional organization in your field, find a job you would like to have after graduation. • It could be the job you want directly out of your undergraduate program, maybe it is the job you’d like to have 5-10 years after graduation, or perhaps it’s the job you want to retire from. Step Two | Read the position description • Identify the Required and Preferred qualifications. • Pay special attention to Educational Requirements, Years and Type(s) of Experience, Technical or Hard Skills (computer skills, languages, equipment, etc.), and Soft Skills (communication, time management, leadership, etc.). Step Three | Analyze your own skills • Reflect on the following Questions: ▪ What experiences have you had? ▪ What have you already learned? ▪ What skills have you gained? • Once you have answered these questions, compare your experiences and skills to those that your dream job needs or wants you to have; the pieces you’re still missing are your gaps. Step Four | Fill in the gaps • After you identify your gaps, create a plan for filling them in. Here are some of the ways you can fill in your gaps: ▪ Academic Opportunities : There are a variety of academic- related opportunities that can help you fill in your gaps including upcoming coursework in your major, adding a major, minor, or certificate, and being intentional when selecting general education courses. Some positions prefer or require a graduate degree as well. Refer to page 34 in Collecting Resources for more information about graduate programs. ▪ On-Campus Opportunities : Some on-campus experiences you can have to fill in gaps include undergraduate research, on-campus employment, and involvement in student organizations. ▪ Internship Opportunities : On- or off-campus internships are a great way to fill in your gaps. Begin your search for internships using Quest (on-campus), Handshake, campus networking events, and Career & Internship Fairs. ▪ Off-Campus Opportunities : Volunteering in your community or participating in a Study Abroad/National Student Exchange experience are just some great ways to fill in your gaps outside of UWSP.
Contact Information Use a larger font for your name. Include the information that will help an employer most easily contact you.
Education You can add your major, minors, certificates, and GPA (optional).
Experience Include the name and location of companies, your title, and the dates you held each position. Use bullets and action verbs to highlight your skills.
Section Titles Use a variety of sections to capture the experience that will interest future employers. Within each section you can mix jobs, organizational involvement, and volunteer experiences.
Additional advice • Use a font style and size that are easy to read; generally, 11-12 points. Your margins can be anywhere from 0.5-1 inch on each side. • Be consistent in your formatting – this can make it easier for the recruiter to find the information they need. • Keep updating your resume as you gain experiences; it is much easier to add details as they happen rather than needing to overhaul your resume each time you start looking for a job. • Keep your resume tailored when you apply for positions, but be sure to save a longer version (called a Master Resume) to remember anything you might want to include in the future.
The Dawg Adventure
Adaptability Recognize challenges as opportunities to improve. Embrace a growth mindset that allows for action, reflection, failure, and resilience. 1 Collaboration & Leadership valuing, and leveraging strengths of others. Take responsibility for your own role and contributions within a team. 2 Communication Effectively articulate thoughts and ideas to others. Understand the impact of Build mutually beneficial relationships and achieve common goals by understanding, communication on your professional work image. Use communication skills to motivate and develop others. 3 Critical Thinking & Problem Solving Exercise reasoning to independently analyze issues, identify options and alternatives, formulate opinions, make decisions, and overcome problems. 4
Digital Literacy & Technology Utilize knowledge of information and communications technology to ethically and efficiently solve problems, complete tasks, and accomplish goals. 5 Engaging Diversity Cultivate awareness of your own identity and that of others through exploration of diversity. Appreciate multiple perspectives and participate in society as a conscious global citizen. 6 Integrity & Accountability Take ownership of your actions and learn from your mistakes. Act with the interests of the larger community in mind. Establish effective work habits. 7 Career Management Identify and describe your interests, skills, values, and experiences. Explore and make decisions about academic and career options. Demonstrate the continual development of a positive personal brand. 8
Discover Your Purpose
Are you Career Ready? Before your career journey ends at UWSP, make sure you can demonstrate these key competencies!
2.2 Build Connections Beyond Campus
Now that you’ve started building connections with peers, faculty, and staff on campus, it’s time to explore going beyond campus. There are many ways that you can begin to build relationships with people who may work in the field you are interested in. Conducting an informational interview or participating in a job shadow experience can provide valuable insight into a career or industry you may be considering and is an excellent way to expand your network.
2.1 Update and Explore Handshake
Build a strong profile Adding these elements to your profile makes you 5x more likely to get a message from a recruiter! • Add recent work or volunteer experience. Include any jobs you’ve held; don’t worry about relevance when first building your profile. • Include your skills and organizations. Employers search for students based on what they list on their profile – make sure to be thorough! • Consider when to make your profile public so that employers are able to proactively find you! Keep your career interests up to date • In the “For Employers Only” section, add career and location interests which assist in connecting you to recruiters. • Share your preferences, and Handshake will share relevant job, internship, and event recommendations. Show employers you’re interested • Keep track of which employers viewed your profile, and “favorite” the employers you want to connect with most to let them know you’re interested. • Apply to jobs! It might sound obvious, but the first step to securing an opportunity is applying. • Upload your resume so that you can easily apply to positions using the mobile app.
2.2 a Informational Interview Guide
An informational interview is an informal conversation with someone working in a field that’s interesting to you. The conversation serves to offer the opportunity to gain information, perspective, and advice. Candid Career Video - How to Do an Informational Interview Before you meet • Use LinkedIn, family, friends, the UWSP Alumni office, your Adviser or Career Specialist to identify potential interviewees. • Reach out to a few individuals with a brief note introducing yourself and requesting 30 minutes of their time (see sample message below). • Brainstorm questions you want to ask and be prepared to take notes. • Verify the details of your meeting (time, date, location/format, technology). • Have a brief elevator pitch prepared to introduce yourself, a career goal or two, and some professional interests.
Sample inquiry message Subject: Informational Interview
Dear Ms. Spruce, I’m currently a freshman at UW-Stevens Point and I’m preparing to return home for the summer break. I see that you are the county forester where I grew up in Sheboygan County. I’m interested in working outside and am considering Forestry as a major. I’d like to learn more about your day-to-day work and advice about pursuing Forestry as a major and career. I’m wondering if you’d be interested in meeting for about 30 minutes in late May. If so, please let me know and I’ll follow-up to schedule a time for us to meet. Thank you for considering, Stephanie Pointer (715)123-4567
Get Discovered by Employers!
During the meeting • Be on time. • Wear appropriate clothing for the setting. • Bring your questions and something to take notes with. • Let the person speak; do more asking and listening than sharing. • Complete your interview in the allotted time. • Ask for their contact information before you leave the meeting. • Be sure to say thank you! After the meeting • Send the person an email or handwritten note thanking them for their time and information (see sample note below). • Follow-through (in a timely manner) on any leads that they share with you or advice they give you.
Closing thoughts • Most professionals are happy to sit down with students who aspire to work in the same field. Be polite, curious, respectful, and express gratitude for their time, perspective, and advice.
2.2b Job Shadowing
CandidCareer video - Career Exploration 101
Sample thank you note
Dear. Ms. Spruce, Thank you for spending time with me and answering my questions about county forestry work! It was especially helpful for me to hear about the different types of people you work with – loggers and contractors, local landowners, County Board Members and everyone else. I hadn’t thought about that aspect of this field. I did what you recommended and found some students at UWSP who had worked out West during the summer doing conservation work and I’ve been talking with them about their experience. I’m planning to apply for those positions for next summer so that I can gain experience in the field and have a stronger resume. I really appreciate that you took time to meet with me and offer advice and recommendations. Thanks again, Stephanie Pointer (715)123-4567
What is Job Shadowing? Job shadowing can be a great way to learn whether a career is right for you. By observing a snapshot of a day in the life of an in-field professional, you’ll get a sense of what that job is really like. This knowledge can help you decide whether you would enjoy working in that career field and environment. A job shadow experience can also help you decide if your skills match that career field and how your education and past experiences might translate to similar types of positions. Job shadowing also provides opportunities to network with professionals. Job shadowing for a day only allows you a small window of opportunity, so make the most of your time! Remember these 7 tips to gain the maximum benefit from job shadowing: I. Connect with professionals • Make a list of potential companies where you would like to job shadow and see if anyone in your network works at those companies. Check with your family, faculty, Career Specialist, or Alumni Office. • If you don’t have a personal contact at the company, call or email someone in the Human Resources Department or a contact in the department you are interested in. • Some large organizations and governmental agencies offer job shadowing programs, so check out their website first. • Prepare a professional email or phone script that explains you are a student interested in that career field and would love to shadow someone who is working within the same field within their company.
Sample questions to ask • What do you enjoy about your current position? What are some of your challenges? • What are the common misconceptions people have about working in this field? • What does a typical day or week look like? • How would you describe the work environment/climate? • How can I best prepare for this field of work? • What do you look for when you hire an intern or new employee? • What skills or qualities are essential for this type of work? Who is a good fit? • What trends do you anticipate in this field? Will jobs be available when I finish school? • What suggestions do you have for me as I select courses and explore summer jobs? • Can you suggest people I can contact for more information or a different perspective? May I use your name when contacting them? • What companies, trends, or organizations guide or influence the work you do and/or the work your company focuses on?
II. Understand the details • Before you arrive for your job shadowing experience, confirm the details. Miscommunication before you start job shadowing can reflect poorly on you. • Ask where you’ll job shadow, what time you should arrive, where you should meet the person you’ll be shadowing, and what you should wear - apparel depends on workplace expectations. III. Do your homework • You’ll be much better prepared to job shadow if you’re informed about the company and the person you’re shadowing, so visit the organization’s website and LinkedIn profile of your contact(s). • Write down questions you would like to ask the person. This creates a good impression and will help you learn more throughout the experience. IV. Define your career path • Prepare to speak about your career goals, past experiences, and professional interests. • Your host is likely to be interested in what brought you to the company and where you hope to take your career. Reflect on this before you arrive, it will ensure you give an articulate answer that creates a positive impression. • Update and bring a copy of your professional resume. V. Take notes throughout the day • Hopefully you’ll learn a lot during your job shadowing. Taking notes during job shadowing is a good way to retain this information. • Remember to bring along a notepad and pen to write down your observations and insights and jot down questions that may arise. VI. Professionalism matters • Focus on making good impressions: shaking hands, maintaining eye contact, addressing with formal titles. Be attentive, enthusiastic, and participate appropriately throughout the job shadowing experience. • During your time, you might love your job shadowing or realize this career path isn’t for you. Regardless of your realizations, be sure to maintain a respectful, positive demeanor. VII. Follow-up • Job shadowing often is done as a favor by established professionals. You should write a thank you email or note to the employee for providing you the opportunity to learn from them, even if you decide this career field isn’t the right fit for you. • If you are interested in this career field, stay in touch with the person you shadowed – they can serve as an invaluable network connection as you begin to search for jobs and internships.
2.3 Career Fair Navigation 1.0
Career Fairs are for Everyone Explore : Research career fields on possible majors/minors; explore career paths. Investigate : Obtain a summer job or internship; practice interviewing skills; explore graduate schools. Graduate : Secure a full-time job; obtain information on a specific employer, position, or organization. Why attend a Career Fair? • Practice networking with professionals so you are prepared when the big interview arrives. • Learn about companies and organizations you may have an interest in for future employment and connect with their recruiters. • Submit your resume to companies who are looking to fill internships and full-time positions. Before the Fair • Download the Handshake app so you can research the companies who are attending. • Create a prioritized list of those employers you would like to speak with. • Prepare questions to ask recruiters. • Review your resume and think about the qualities and skills you possess – upload a copy of your resume to Handshake and have printed copies for an in-person fair. • Dress professionally. During the Fair • Stay focused on the employers you plan to meet and be sure to allow time to meet with them, but visit your lower priority employers first so you can become more comfortable. • Introduce yourself and make eye contact to make a positive first impression. • Ask each recruiter for their contact information; offer a resume to employers you are interested in. • Ask about next steps if you are interested in applying for positions. • Take notes when you finish talking with each employer.
After the Fair • Review notes and consider which organizations or opportunities you would like to pursue. • Send a follow-up note or email thanking the recruiters for attending the event and for talking with you. Reiterate a reason or two about why you value the company’s work and/or your reason for being interested in the company. Need more information? Watch these excellent Candid Career Videos: • Career Fair Advice
2.4 a LinkedIn Basics
Using LinkedIn is a great way to stay connected with current and former employers, classmates, and faculty, as well as recruiters you meet at Career Fairs and networking events. Below are some tips to keep in mind as you build and evolve your LinkedIn profile and presence.
Components of a LinkedIn profile: Background Image | This is one of the first things visitors see on your profile. Choose a photo that is professional but also brings out your personality. Headshot | This is also one of the first things visitors see on your profile. Select a photo that showcases you professionally – the photo should include you alone in the frame and you should be dressed professionally. Headline | Use your 120 characters wisely. Think of the words/phrases you can use to make your profile stand out and communicate important information about yourself. About | Use this area to highlight your most important experiences, skills, and strengths. Include information about what you’re seeking and what motivates you to work in your chosen industry. Include keywords specific to your field rather than just listing “buzzwords.” (examples of words to avoid: strategic, team player, creative). Experience | Give more information than just your title and dates of employment. Include a description of your role that highlights your accomplishments while in the position. Do not copy and paste directly from your resume (or the position description). While you can start with the content from your resume, you’re not limited in the amount of space you can use on LinkedIn. Education | List colleges and universities from which you’ve earned a degree/certificate or where you are currently enrolled. Be sure to list your anticipated graduation date and any additional educational experiences you’ve had, including study away or study abroad programs. Volunteer Experience | Adding volunteer experience is a great way to round out your profile and is often viewed by hiring managers as equivalent to work experience. It’s also another great way to connect to your community and find common interests and values among your network. Skills | Add skills – this is the easiest and fastest way for your connections to support the work you’ve done and endorse your performance. It’s recommended to have at least five skills listed on your profile. Be sure to include skills that are sought after in your industry. Other Optional Sections | LinkedIn has quite a few optional sections that you can add based on your experiences and industry. Make sure you are updating your LinkedIn sections annually and more often if you’re actively searching. Begin connecting: Now that your basic profile is completed, it’s time to connect! Unless you know the person well, you’ll want to send a personalized message to new connections explaining why you want to connect and how you know them. Keep in mind that it’s not good practice to ask unknown people for jobs or internships via your LinkedIn connection message request.
• How to Work a Career Fair • Tips for a Virtual Career Fair
2.4 Maintaining Connections
Now that you’ve learned a bit about the value of connecting with employers and industry professionals, it’s important to remember that networking isn’t a “one and done” situation. You should keep in touch with connections throughout your time at UWSP. Stay in contact via email or LinkedIn by occasionally sending your connections updates about the progress you’re making and the experience you’re gaining. Attend Career Fairs and campus networking events to visit with the company reps with whom you’ve connected – this ensures you stay within their memory!
Experience as Currency
2.5 Considering Graduate or Professional School
If you are thinking about going to graduate or professional school, here are some things to consider as you determine whether graduate school is right for you at this point in time. • Research your dream job and determine what the required and preferred qualifications are. If your dream career requires a graduate or professional degree, you’ll want to do more research on graduate degrees within your field(s) of interest. Talk with your faculty and connect with alumni to get more industry-specific information. • Network with employers to gain more information about entry-level positions at companies you’re interested in. Inquire as to when their employees typically pursue a graduate degree, if at all. Many fields recommend getting some in-field experience directly after undergrad and then pursuing a graduate or professional degree when/if you’re looking to move up within an organization. Graduate school is an investment of time and money, so it’s important to make an informed decision. • Conduct informational interviews to learn more about jobs and careers. Seek out the people who are doing the work you want to do and ask them about their educational and career paths and what they did to get to the point they are at in their careers. There may be more than one way to get to where you want to be. • If you decide that grad school is in your future , you’ll need to think about what type of graduate or professional degree you need for your field. Some fields require specific degrees, licensure, and/or certifications. Other fields have more than one option; you’ll need to reflect on what you hope to do with your graduate degree before you make final application decisions. • Determine what you can be doing now to help prepare you for the graduate or professional school application process. Talk with people you know, research online, and find out more about what graduate schools are looking for within applications. This knowledge will help you explore the experiences, involvement, skills, and academic qualifications that will help you stand out among the applicant pool.
3.1 Maintaining Networks
As you are looking at the knowledge you’ve gained through attending Career Fairs and meeting employers via informational interviews and job shadowing, it is important to not let those conversations end. Networking is key to creating strong professional relationships that can help guide your career path or even land you a job in the future. Here are a few guidelines to keep in mind as you begin this stage of your career path: Build a foundation You may already have a strong start here! Think about employers you have spoken to at Career Fairs, UW System Career Treks, your own work experiences, or even family members. Building a foundation can be as easy as introducing yourself, asking a question, or having a brief conversation.
Be timely Recruiters and those attending fairs may be very busy, often visiting multiple campuses each month. Reach out to your initial contacts before the foundation begins to crumble or they forget the conversation you had. It is a good idea to keep in touch over time to stay connected.
Include details Continue to develop the relationship through your communications with employers; this can be through email, phone, or websites like LinkedIn. Rather than starting the relationship from scratch, include information from past interactions. Think about what interests you in furthering the discussion as well! Open doors Asking for a job directly can end a conversation very quickly. Think about opening doors and taking the first steps to build the relationship. Networking takes time and effort. Trying to take advantage of connections too soon can make you seem insincere. Nurturing a relationship and building trust and learning from your network can all help keep the conversation moving forward. Be gracious Thank employers for their time. The opportunities you have to connect with employers may be taking them away from their primary duties. Although most professionals are happy to connect with those entering the field, it is always appreciated to have their time recognized.
During the Fair: • Adjust your plan based on the format of the fair: virtual or in-person • Dress for success and make sure you have access to a pen, paper, and your resume • Practice your Elevator Pitch with employers you are not as interested in before talking to your top employers • Start each conversation with a smile and greeting, introduce yourself, and have your Elevator Pitch ready ▪ Be sure to politely ask for contact information of the employers who are of interest to you • Take notes about each organization you are interested in - name of recruiter, positions available, locations, dates, etc After the Fair: • Connect with employers you are interested in on LinkedIn • Follow up within 24 hours with a professional “thank you” email; attach a PDF of your resume to the email Need more information? Watch these excellent Candid Career videos: • Creating your Elevator Pitch
3.2 Expanding Use of Career Fairs
How to navigate a fair when actively seeking employment? Before the Fair:
Develop a plan of action (see page19 for Career Fair 1.0 information) • Use the Handshake app to create a list of employers to visit including the booth locations for in-person events • Research their websites to discover the mission/goals/purpose of the organization ▪ Be aware of current initiatives, projects and programs ▪ Understand what types of positions they are seeking ▪ Follow the LinkedIn profiles of the companies you are interested in • Update your LinkedIn profile with current, relevant information • Update your resume and upload it to Handshake so employers can view it – this is especially important for Virtual Career Fairs; bring copies to in-person Fairs • Select professional attire that shows you are career ready • Create and practice your “Elevator Pitch” What is an “Elevator Pitch”? An “Elevator Pitch” is an opportunity to sell yourself and make a positive impression in a 30 second sales campaign - think of it as your first interview! • The key is to be confident, concise, and friendly with meaningful dialogue • Address your strengths – what do you want the employer to know about you? • Tailor your pitch to who you are talking to! • Think about the research you’ve done on the company and the position • What skills do you have that will make you an excellent candidate for THIS particular job? • Reference the “why” – why should this employer hire you over the fifty other people they have talked to at the fair? Create your “Elevator Pitch” Use these talking points to create your 30 second pitch: • Introduce yourself ▪ First and Last Name ▪ Major/Minor/Certifications • State your academic standing and what you are seeking ▪ Graduating? Or Freshman, Sophomore, Junior, Senior ▪ Internship, Full-time, Part-time, Co-op? • What skills/experience do you have that would benefit a potential employer ▪ Work Experience: Internship(s), Non-major related Work Experiences ▪ Activities: Participation in Organizations, Leadership Roles, Volunteering ▪ Academic Preparation: Research, Special Projects, Study Abroad ▪ Applicable Skills: Technical Skills, Special Qualifications, Soft Skills
• Juggling Job Offers • Salary Negotiating • Tips to Impress at Virtual Career Fair
* 7 seconds - that’s how long it takes someone to form a first impression of you. — Will Rogers to make a fi rst impression. i You will never get a second chance
3.3 Locating Experiences
3.4 Preparing for Interviews
Locating experiences is about what you know and who you know. In order to get a successful start, begin connecting to the people you know and connect with new people and companies at campus networking and career events. You can also connect with employers as well as locate opportunities through many online resources. When beginning your job search, you need to consider factors such as location, financial expectations, and workplace culture. The only way to become aware of these things is to start researching the companies, people, and experiences that will help you learn about an industry. As you gain knowledge and experiences, it’s important to reflect on how they align with what you want and need in your future. This will help get you one step closer to a fulfilling career path. The following resources will help connect you to the places, people, and opportunities that can set you on your path. Resources • UW-Stevens Point has partnered with Handshake - a modern internship and job platform - to serve as your one-stop-shop in the search for internships, summer jobs, or full-time jobs. Use Handshake to discover employers and attend Career Fairs, workshops, and other career preparation events. The more complete your profile, the more focused the job openings, activities, and events will be on your page! Current students access their Handshake profile at uwsp.joinhandshake.com. • Quest is another excellent platform for getting connected to part-time jobs both on and off-campus. Our Campus Activities and Student Engagement (CASE) office oversees the platform and offers information and resources on their website. • Internships are one additional way to gain hands-on experience, learn more about industries and opportunities, and expand your network of connections. Internships can vary depending on the requirements of your major, the intern’s employer, and the expectations of the student, the campus, and the employer. Reach out to your major department’s Internship Coordinator to find out how you can get connected to these valuable hands-on experiences! • Don’t forget about your existing network! Use your existing network of Advocates, Connectors, & Experts (examples include: family, friends, advisers, and faculty) to help you connect to current positions or even positions that might not be posted yet! Your network can help connect you to so many more people and opportunities! • GoinGlobal is a great resource that helps you find opportunities both at home and abroad. Use this resource to get expert advice about finding a job or internship in your dream location whether abroad or closer to home. • Professional Organizations & State Licensing Entities are a great resources for finding posted jobs, internships, professional development opportunities, graduate schools, and career information. Your major adviser and professional student organization advisor can connect you to these helpful resources. • Visiting employer web and social media sites is sometimes the best way to find out about opportunities. Do your research and find out more about opportunities on company web and social media sites.
Preparing for an interview can be a daunting task. You can never know exactly what an employer is going to ask you, but there are a few best practices to make preparation more manageable. If you take the time to reflect on your experience (knowing yourself), carefully read the position description (knowing the job), and learn about the employer (knowing the organization), you will be prepared for the majority of potential questions. By knowing yourself, the job, and the organization, you will be able to anticipate some of the areas an employer will ask about. You’ll also have a stronger sense of your skills and experience, and you’ll be able to engage in conversation with your interviewers.
Three things you need to know:
• Take time to carefully review the resume and cover letter you used for the specific position • Think about what you are most excited about in the role • Identify specific experiences, projects, and tasks that are relevant to the position • Thoughtfully choose a professional outfit • Read through the job description and identify specific tasks, skills, and other requirements • Reflect on the position qualifications, duties, and requirements that overlap with your experience, knowledge, and skills • Consider the areas in which you don’t have experience or areas that are unclear; these areas can inform the questions you prepare • Read through the organization’s website to identify the mission, vision, and value statements • Research news articles related to the organization using sources such as LinkedIn, Handshake, and the organization’s website • Use your research to refine your potential interview answers and end-of-interview questions
Components of interviews can vary greatly. Anything from the size of the interviewing group (one-on-one or a panel/committee), style of the interview (one interview session versus multiple interviews with multiple people), or method (interview with people versus completion of a test or answering questions via video submission) can vary based on the needs and resources of the organization, program, or job. No matter the process or method, you will be asked to speak about your knowledge, skills, and experience at some point during an interview. Informing yourself about the types of interviews can help you better prepare!
A professional thank you During the interview, you took notes on the conversation you had and to whom you were talking. Whether you feel the interview went well or was more of a learning experience, now is the time to follow-up with your interviewers. After the interview, you express gratitude for the experience by saying thank you! The first step to composing thank you notes is to reflect on the interview. You want to think about what was discussed and if there was anything you did not get the chance to share. Sending a thank you is a great way to reinforce your strengths or add a little detail to help you stand out to the employer. Here are a few steps to make it easier:
3.4 a Interviewing Basics
Phone Interviews • Check your location – find a quiet place with a strong signal and limited distractions • Make sure your cell phone is fully charged • Prepare your notes, resume, cover letter, and any additional resources • Remember to smile – interviewers can hear it in your voice • Know who is calling whom Virtual Interviews • Be presentable – remember interviewers can see you and your location, including background
Take some time to reflect on the interview, but be sure to promptly send your thank you note(s). Sending an email is perfectly acceptable, as is a handwritten note. Know your audience and what will work best given the situation.
During interviews, feel free to take notes about topics covered, questions, and any other areas of interest. These areas can be used to personalize your thank you note(s).
Collect business cards from everyone you meet throughout the process. These can serve as quick reminders of whom you want to thank.
• Utilize a strong, reliable internet connection • Limit distractions and other background noises
• Have your notes well organized so you won’t be shuffling through papers • Check time zones and verify the interviewing platform (i.e. Skype, Zoom, GoToMeeting, etc.)
Sample - marketing internship with XYZ nonprofit
Dear Mx. Jones: Thank you for the opportunity to interview for the Marketing Internship at XYZ Nonprofit. I enjoyed meeting your staff and touring the facility. I was able to see how your commitment to the community resonates in the work you do and with the people you serve. In the role of Marketing Intern, I will be able to serve the community and help promote the resources you offer, while refining my skills as a Marketing major. Thank you again for the opportunity to interview. Feel free to contact me if you have additional questions. Sincerely,
Steven Pointer (715)123-4567
In-Person Interviews • Be prepared – practice answering questions and bring copies of your documents and the position description • Dress for success – this is likely the first impression you make • Manage your time carefully – be sure to arrive a few minutes early • Be personable with everyone you interact with • Prepare thoughtful questions for the interviewers What to do next • Follow-up : Always send a prompt thank you note or email to each interviewer. • Evaluate : What is your impression of the people, the organization, and the position? Can you envision yourself working there? • Review : How did the interview go? Did you prepare adequately? What can you improve in the future?
S.T.A.R. Behavior | Responses
3.4b Practice Interviews
S ituation: Provide context of the situation helping an employer to see the big picture first. T ask or project: Within the larger context, state your role within the situation. A action: What actions did you take or what skills did you use to complete your task? R esult: State if your actions led to the desired result, but understand that great answers don’t always include a situation or task that went as planned. You can share experiences you have had that changed the way you approached a problem or taught you something valuable.
Congratulations! You have an interview! After taking time to investigate the organization and note the most important skills in a job description, you might wonder what the interview process will be like. If you have not had a professional interview or it has been a couple of years, you may be surprised by what lies ahead. Here are a couple of question types and strategies to prepare for answering them. Open-Ended Questions These are the most typical questions and can be used to help you think about what you most want an organization to know about you. Strategies: Look back at your resume and notes you have about your previous experiences. Highlight areas that overlap with the job description. This prepares you to talk about your experiences and skills during the interview process. Remember to keep your answers relevant! Behavior-Based Questions These are quickly becoming a key factor during interviewing. Rather than candidates only being asked to present their skills, candidates are being asked to share specific examples in which they used a skillset. Strategies: These questions can be both hypothetical or historical in nature so be prepared to share your past experiences as well as what you would do in certain scenarios. Frame your role within the situation and be ready to identify what skills and thought processes went into your actions. You can use the STAR method to help build your responses and practice using Big Interview .
Examples Question 1: Tell me about a time you had to deal with conflict in the work place. While at CT’s Superstore, my shifts would include working at the customer service counter to processing online orders and returns, and answer any questions our visitors had. One afternoon, a gentleman came in upset with a speaker he had purchased, saying that it was broken when he opened it. I was able to walk him through the return process to ensure policy was followed. I made sure to ask him if he understood some of the steps to ease any possible misunderstandings. At the end of the interaction, he was relieved that we were able to refund his purchase. Question 2: How would you handle a project if the manager did not provide a lot of detail? While I was an intern at Pointer Insurance, my manager asked me to analyze a set of claims. This led to some confusion, as I was currently working with a few different data sets. In this case I was able to limit my options to two sets of data, and then confirmed with my manager, which set he wanted me to work with. In this situation, I was able to show my initiative and problem-solving skills by presenting a more defined problem. In addition, I was able to ensure that I would not waste time moving in the wrong direction by seeking more input from my manager.
• Tell me about a time when… • How would you handle…
• Tell me about yourself... • Is there anything else you would like to share with us?
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