Wednesday, April 17, 2019

The Journey to Your Passion May Never Be a Straight Path!

Not Sure What You Want Your Career To Be?

I am the quintessential model of when you want to do everything, you end helping others find their passions. Let me take a minute and explain this to you. I switched my major exactly 5 times between 2 undergraduate colleges. Hmm let me list them to you: architecture, biomedical engineering, biology, secondary education, pre-med, and finally landed on psychology with a pre-med concentration; and I’m also certain at some point I
wanted to go into corporate America.  My parents thought it was because I was indecisive, but I just wanted to do everything, and I still do!
Therefore, when I found my niche- higher education and career counseling, it spoke to me, I am able to work with students that want to do all different types of careers. In a way getting a feel for all the careers I wanted and have a hand in the various industries.
What do I want to impart on you all is that, when you love what you do, there’s something pleasant every day.

Even those days when you don’t want to get out of bed, you’ll have something to look forward to. I would even go as far as saying, it’ll make finishing your degree and going on internships fun. I’m also a nerd and decided to do my third degree in a field I love, but everyday is new and I never know what’s going to happen.
Here are some questions that we like to use in the career center that helps students think of their career path:
  1. WHAT problems do you want to solve?
  2. WHO do you want to help? Is anyone is already doing this type of work?
  3. HOW do you want to help solve the problem?
  4. WHERE do you want to help solve the problem?  (setting, location)
  5. WHEN do you want to begin to solve the problem? (after undergrad/grad school)
  6. WHY do you want to solve this particular problem? 

Sabeen Sheikh, MHC
Assistant Director
Outreach and Special Programs
Career Center | Hofstra University

Thursday, April 11, 2019

The Countdown Is On!

Can you believe we’re almost halfway through April?! I feel like it was just yesterday that we were starting a brand new academic year… and now we’re just a few weeks away from graduation and summer break!

Time seems to speed up around this time of the year; when it does, it’s easy to find yourself focused on your end goal and how close it is—so easy, that we tend to forget that we should be enjoying the journey we take along the way.

So, for the remainder of this semester, I encourage you to go back to the basics and ask yourself the following:
Who’s in your corner? The people in your network are there to listen to, advocate for, and support you — they are a resource! You don’t have to (and in some cases, simply can’t!) do it alone.
What are your “sticking points”? Even the most proactive planners and do-ers among us have one thing in the back of our heads that just doesn’t get done. Challenge yourself to knock those little things out of the way, so you can focus on the big things to come.
Where do you see yourself this time next year, or in 5? Envisioning the future while reflecting on the recent past helps you make sure you’re grounded, rather than getting too caught up in what’s happening right now.
When are you taking time for you? Getting caught up in all of the things you need to do makes it easy to forget about the most important part of it -- YOU! Self-care, whether it’s taking time to step away from your screens for a walk, grabbing dinner with a friend, or just spending a few moments alone, will help keep the burnout at bay. Remember, you can’t pour from an empty cup.
Why are you doing this? Revisiting your vision and the bigger picture of what your right-now tasks represent can solidify your drive and guide you through the busiest times. Finish the sentence “Imagine how I’ll feel when…” --- whatever comes after the “...” is your reason, and your motivation!
How can you get help? Think back to the first question; who’s in your corner? Is there anything you’re currently dealing with that can be made easier with their support? Are there offices on campus (*cough* like us! *cough*) who can give you advice or assistance? I know I said it before, but it’s worth repeating; you don’t have to go it alone!

Good luck -- You’ve got this!

Amy Smith
Associate Director of External Relations

Thursday, April 4, 2019

eNetworking - Expanding Your Online Network

Welcome to the second and final installment of eNetworking! In this post, we will discuss how to professionally and effectively reach out to people on LinkedIn to set up informational interviews.

Now that your digital profile, your brand, it's as sharp as a tack, it is time to start making new connections! You will foster and grow these connections through informational interviews. An informational interview is an opportunity in which a potential job seeker seeks advice on their career, the industry, and the corporate culture of a potential future workplace from a current employee
of a company. At one point or another, everyone has needed help with their career, so people are happy and willing to help those who ask for it by talking about their workplace or career path. The following steps will guide you through the process of making connections and handling these interviews.

STEP 1 - Reaching out
A. Target and research a company you are interested in and scroll through their employee list on LinkedIn. If a position or profile interests you, take a look!
B. Once you've found your employee of interest, click Connect and send InMail.
     a. Always send a message explaining why you’d like to connect and your background.

STEP 2 - Receiving a connection
A. Once the user has accepted your request, respond in a professional and timely manner asking to set up a phone call where you can learn from their experience and insights into the company.
     a. Phone calls are the most convenient way to connect with busy professionals.

STEP 3 - Nailing the informational interview
A. Always confirm your call the day before because people can forget and conflicts do come up.
B. Treat this phone call like an informal interview by following these tips.
     a. Prepare questions ahead of time
     b. Have a pen and pad to take notes
     c. Make sure your phone is charged and you will maintain cellular service
C. Communicating with professionals oftentimes strikes a balance between informal conversation and polite respect. Don’t be afraid to stray from ridged professional topics and conversational structure if you discover you both have something in common. A good rule of thumb is to mirror the demeanor of the person you’re speaking with.

STEP 4 - Follow up
A. Make sure to email them that night thanking them for their time and insight.
     a. Reference things from your conversation to show that you were listening and valued what they           said.
B. If you have already applied for a position at their company, mention it in your email. Companies have internal referral programs that often benefit employees who refer potential hires.
C. Now that this new connection is a part of your network, make sure to keep in touch! Reach out to your network every 3-4 months to keep them updated on your career, personal life, and ever-changing goals. This will help you strengthen your network so that you can support each other for years to come. By following these steps, you can develop a robust online network that will help you throughout your career! You may even have the chance to help others and support someone who is also trying to get their start.

If you have any questions about this article or need help phrasing any of your outreach; please contact Michael Goldin at

Michael Goldin
Graduate External Relations Assistant

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Dating - Path to Pride

Why didn't they call?

I thought we hit it off...

Does this sound familiar…when it comes to your job search? Yes, getting a call back from your interview can feel a whole lot like trying to get a second date from that person you're really into. And just like dating, you need assistance to follow the steps to success.

1. Visit With a Career Counselor
When you're not sure what to do or need to vent, doesn't it always feel better when you have someone to hear you out? Making an appointment with a career counselor can provide that. You can express your concerns and figure out a game plan to get to the career you want.

2. Take a Career Assessment
When dating, you sometimes run into a dead end and have to self-reflect on what you really want. The same goes for figuring out the careers best suited for you. At The Career Center, you can "find yourself" by making an appointment to take a Career Assessment.

3. Research Careers
When you have figured yourself out and what you want in a significant other, the next step is to see who's available and if they fit your "type".  After you have narrowed down your career choices, you can start researching them by using the resources provided at The Career Center's website (

4. Begin to Make Connections
Studies show that most people meet their significant other through a mutual friend. Networking is just as important in your career development. Put yourself out there and make connections by developing your LinkedIn profile, joining Hofstra clubs and attending campus events such as the Job Fair.

5. Develop Your Career Skills
Stepping into the dating world can seem daunting, so it's important that you have all your "tools" ready: clothes, hair, etc. The same goes for finding a job or internship; you want to make sure that your resume, cover letter and interview skills are all the best that they can be. The Career Center can help with one-on-one appointments and Mock Interviews.

6. Search and Apply for Internships
Once you are ready, going out on dates is a good way to figure out what you like and don't like. Figuring out the career that you want is a similar process. The best way to find out if a career is right for you is to get relevant experience through internships, part-time jobs and/or job shadowing.

7. Establish Post-Graduation Goals and Plans
After dating for a while, you will probably come at a crossroads where you have to decide what you want, which may include picking someone to be in an exclusive relationship with. At the end of your time at Hofstra, you will also have to make a decision. Will you start finding full-time work in your chosen career field or will you go to graduate school?

Lorraine Massiah
Assistant Director For Diversity and Inclusion Initiatives

Thursday, March 14, 2019

eNetworking - Effectively Building your Online Profile

Upwards of 70% of all open positions are filled through networking. If you are on the job hunt, tapping into your network of friends, family members, classmates, professors, and coworkers can be the shortest route to employment.  But what do you do when you’ve exhausted all of your resources, or when you don’t know anyone at that dream company?

Technology has revolutionized the way we approach the job hunt, from finding companies, too submitting applications.  It has also changed the way candidates can differentiate themselves and network.  Utilizing platforms like LinkedIn and Handshake can empower people looking for employment by allowing them to build a unique brand and connect with employees that can help them get their foot in the door.  In this two-part post, we’ll help you craft a meaningful digital brand and instruct you on how to professionally connect with new people on LinkedIn.

“Marketing is no longer about the stuff that you make, but about the stories you tell” - Seth Godin, Best Selling Author and Blogger

Sculpting your digital brand is as essential to e-networking as your handshake is to starting off an interview right.  Your online profiles, including LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, all curate a story about yourself.  This story informs your candidacy and influences how employers perceive you. Your story, your brand is meant to sell you. You are the product that your portfolio is trying to sell. When you tell employers this story, make sure it is unique to you. This will help you stand out as a candidate and allow other users to understand who you are, which will make them more inclined to talk to you.

Joining different communities online will allow you to naturally expand your network and develop a well-rounded profile.  Whether it is college alumni associations, sports team fan groups, or industry-specific organizations, becoming a part of groups that interest you will help you meet people online who may be able to share information about your desired industry and build a habit of engagement online.

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit.” – Aristotle

Regular, meaningful engagement on your platforms is also an important aspect of building your online profile. This will allow you to spark conversation and engagement, which will help you connect with your network. Your posts can be questions to spark a conversation, relevant articles, and career updates. Whatever content you post, realize that it reflects on the type of candidate you are and the type of contacts you will reach.

Your online brand is like a hyper-relevant resume, it tells your story and must be updated as often as possible. Although this can be exhausting, it will make you stand out from other candidates.  Next time we will discuss how to professionally expand your network with meaningful and relevant connections.

Michael Goldin
External Relations Graduate Assistant

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

What is a Career Fair?

What is a Career Fair and Why Should I Go?

Good question, and we know some of you are thinking it. While the words “career fair” are thrown around in our office with great frequency, we realize that students may not truly know what a career fair is. So, consider this Career Fair 101 regarding our Spring Career and Internship Fair, happening on Wednesday March 13th from 11-2 in the Mack Arena.

A career fair is a gathering of companies that are looking to hire students for full-time, part-time or internship positions. If a company is at the fair, chances are they are actively looking to fill these roles, although they may have varying timelines. For example, some hiring needs may be immediate, while some may be for the following academic year or summer. So, no matter when you graduate, chances are you will find employers who fit your time table.

Not looking for any position at the moment? Coming to a career fair is still a great idea so that you can walk around and know what to expect when you are ready to search for an internship or job. Walking into a room of over 130 employers can be intimidating, so doing a practice run is a great idea!

Here are some frequently asked questions about our career fairs:

What should I wear?
Wear your professional best! Come in business attire. If you are not sure what that means, we can help!

Is the fair only for business majors?
NOPE! Employers attending the fair will be representing a wide variety of industries, including engineering, education, health care, not-for-profit, and may others!

What employers are coming?
You can find the list on Handshake. Review this list prior to the fair, and identify your top preferences. Research those companies so that you know who they are and what they do. Don’t just look at the company name, but review the jobs that they are seeking to fill. If you are a marketing major, don’t necessarily skip over a non-profit organization, as the organization may be looking for interns to market their services to the community.

Should I bring resumes?
Yes, and plenty of them. It’s a good idea to have your resume looked over by The Career Center prior to the fair. Students can get a quick resume review during our Quick Question drop in hours, which are Tuesdays and Thursdays from 3:30-4:30 and Wednesdays from 11-1, no appointment necessary!

Should I bring cover letters?
Nope, not necessary.

Should I follow-up with employers?
Yes, take a business card from the representatives and make notes on the back with anything relevant that they told you. Send them a thank-you email for taking their time to attend the fair, and attach your resume, even though you may have given them a hard copy at the fair. Don’t be disheartened if you do not receive a reply. Recruiters attend many fairs and meet many students, but taking the time to follow-up with them shows your interest.

Have any more questions? We are here to help! Give us a call at 516-463-6060 or email us at See you at the fair!

Darlene Johnson
Director of External Relations

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Digital Portfolios Help Students Build Credibility

Today’s hiring managers are looking for evidence of ability, passion, skills and knowledge.  It’s not enough to say you know how to do things – you need to prove it!   It’s important that students can demonstrate their skills in a way that’s meaningful and authentic to employers and optimize their academic experiences to obtain meaningful internships and jobs.

Digital portfolios provide a visual, tangible and compelling approach to showcasing work samples and achievements. They are a great way for any student to market themselves professionally and show what they know in a way that goes beyond a two-dimensional resume or transcript.   For example, while a traditional resume allows a film student to describe a film they directed and produced, a digital portfolio gives the student an opportunity to share the actual film /clip.

This presentation of concrete capabilities often increases interest and confidence in a candidate resulting in students getting more interviews and having more successful hiring outcomes.  In addition, more employers are requiring that ‘work samples” be submitted with job applications and a random collection of links and attachments just doesn’t cut in today’s sophisticated digital media environment.  

If you’re in a creative industry, you may already know that a portfolio is an effective way to prove your street cred.  But digital portfolios aren’t just for students in creative fields. Virtually all students with any major can use a digital portfolio to showcase their skills and talents as well.   No matter what your major is, digital portfolios should focus on accomplishments, applied practice and demonstration of skills. 
Here are some content ideas that all students can include in their digital portfolio:

  • Case studies, research reports, project overviews, and presentation that you participated in as a team member or worked on yourself. This is a great way to show your strategic and creative thinking skills, and how you conceptualized and executed a project.
  • An expanded bio that allows you to go into more detail about yourself than on the LinkedIn or resume (make sure it’s professional and relevant).
  • A statement about your personal brand – this might be part of your bio, or perhaps an additional overview of what’s really important to you as a professional, where your talents lie, or how your personal values have influenced your goals and career choices
  • A web-based version of your resume that you can link to.
  • A flattering photo of yourself
  • Links to all of your relevant social media profiles or other platforms. A portfolio site serves as a great central landing page where all of your networks come together under a cohesive brand.
  • Your contact information – which is surprisingly hard for recruiters to access on LinkedIn (not an advantage for job seekers who WANT to be found).

Choose a Platform:
Thanks to the growing popularity of content management systems like WordPress, Wix, and Weebly, you don’t need to know anything about web design or programming to create a digital portfolio or simple website. There are many free options (upgrades to the basic services usually require a fee but are not necessary). You just need a strategy around why you’re creating the site, who your target audience is, and the overall message that you want it to convey.   Even LinkedIn can be used as a platform by enhancing your basic profile with more advance portfolio display features: add links and upload files.

And regardless of the platform you’re using, or the strategy behind it, remember that portfolios are all about the work – the focus should be on showcasing quality content and relevant information, versus spending time on a flashy design or complicated functionality. And if you don’t know what to include, start with a couple of your best pieces/projects that show a range of your capabilities and build it from there.

Some basic tips to keep in mind:   Select your strongest samples. Think of this as a showcase that presents the best of your best work, whether from your courses, employment, volunteering, freelance, etc.  Add detailed caption information. Include a brief description of each item; explaining either why you selected it and how it is important to you and your career or main goal and challenges of the assignment.  Any positive results? Did your work help increase sales or boost online traffic? Did the project win any awards or was it presented at an industry conference?
And on a personal note, I wanted to share that I am leaving Hofstra, relocating to be closer to family and friends.  It has been a pleasure working with Hofstra students and I encourage you to seek out help and guidance from the fantastic professionals at the Career Center.

Best Wishes,

Lisa Kornberg, MBA

Career Advisor
The Career Center