Thursday, October 19, 2017

I went to the Fall Career Fair, now what?

It was great seeing so many of you at the Fall 2017 Career Fair and we hope that you had a positive experience. For some of you, it might be clear what your next steps are, and not so much for others. Either way is completely okay! Hopefully these scenarios and suggestions can help.

·       Met with great companies, but they don’t have positions of interest:
In this scenario, you have the advantage of having connected with some recruiters, and this is the first step of the relationship building process. One suggestion is to message the recruiter periodically (maybe start with once a semester) and keep him or her informed with your updates and what you are interested in pursuing; the updates will help keep your name and story top of mind for when opportunities of interest do open up within the company. Another suggestion is to use the insights that you gathered from the conversations to help you gain more clarity around what attributes you are looking for in a company and then you can articulate that in conversations with other companies as part of your reason for why you want to work with them.

·       Met with great companies, and they have positions of interest, but you don’t qualify for them:
 In this scenario, you have connected with recruiters, which is important. The next step would be to do some introspective reflection and assess why you don’t qualify for the positions of interest. Is it because the position requires a certain class year? GPA? Other experience? Have no fear, you are not the first person to encounter these obstacles, nor will you be the last. If you weren’t able to address these perceived barriers in your initial conversation, we would encourage you to follow-up with the recruiter and share with them your value proposition for why you are a great candidate for the position, even if you don’t check off all the boxes they are looking for in an ideal candidate. This scenario is all about selling your story, hustling hard (see post "It's ALL about Hustle"), and applying anyway. Feel free to schedule an appointment with a Career Counselor to help you develop and sell your story.

·       Didn’t see any companies of interest:
We thank you for coming to the Career Fair anyway and hope that you were able to have some good conversations even if they didn’t pique your interest. Although this scenario can be frustrating, it can also help you gain some more clarity around what it is that you are looking for in a company; sometimes the best way to figure out what you want is by knowing what you don’t want. We recommend that you schedule an appointment with at Career Counselor to debrief on your Career Fair experience and what your strategy should be moving forward.

We at the Career Center are here to help you throughout your different scenarios, so don’t hesitate to come in for our drop-in hours (between 10-11am and 2-4pm every day the university is open) or schedule an appointment with a counselor. Happy Fall!

Ava Danville, MBA
Assistant Director
The Career Center, Hofstra University

P.S. As a reminder, if you have not yet sent follow-up thank you emails to any recruiters you spoke with, we recommend that you do that as soon as possible and include some information about your conversation to refresh their memory.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

How Non-Verbal Clues could be Career Miscues

Hello From The Career Center!

As I sit here, in the lobby of The Career Center, I am in the midst of our accounting on-campus recruitment interviews.  Students are meeting with employers, chatting about their experiences, school activities and academics.  Many of these students are well-prepared, having practiced their answers to common interview questions such as "What are your biggest strengths?"  However, it's more than what you say during an interview that gets you hired; it's also those important non-verbal communications skills.

For example, how is your handshake?  Don't know?  Go shake someone's hand and ask for their opinion (go ahead, I'll wait...)  Done?  What was the critique?  Did you crush the other person's hand? Did you give them the "fish" handshake, where your hand is limp?  When an employer comes out to get you for an interview, he or she will undoubtedly shake your hand. You want that first impression to be a good one.  Come on in to The Career Center to shake my hand and I would be happy to give you my opinion.

How you dress is another important factor in an interview. While many students are aware of this, they miss some important points. For example, you may be wearing a black business suit, but if the skirt to that suit is way too short, you are not making the impression that you were intending to.  Same with a wrinkled shirt.
Finally, don't forget to smile! A smile goes a long way in your everyday conversation, and this is the same for an interview.

Need more interview tips?  Make an appointment for a practice interview with The Career Center.

Best Regards,
Darlene Johnson

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Taking the Fear out of “Adulting”

In business attire and a coffee in hand, I set out to start my work day. However, as I proceeded with my daily routine, I couldn’t help but think how different life was just a year ago. The fall of 2016 consisted of me rolling out of my dorm bed in my coziest sweats and messiest bun, heading to class with a PSL from CafĂ© on the Quad. Although my taste in coffee has not wavered, it is safe to say that the picture of my life is being painted by a new artist.

My undergraduate years may have come to a close, but this next chapter has turned out to be surprisingly rewarding.  Whether you choose to go onto graduate school or to start your career, you are surrounded by a new kind of learning. At this point, you start to obtain information only in the field you are interested in, which makes the learning process that much more rewarding. You also begin to branch out on your own as an adult, graciously accepting the freedom that comes along with it. The time following your undergraduate years is a time to find out who you are as an individual, so embrace it! For the first time, you are determining your next step without the guidance of the path most traveled. Although it may seem scary, trust me, you’ve got this!

So, what comes to mind when you hear the term “adulting”? Are you ridden with fear? Do you become excited and/or motivated? It goes without saying that many college students struggle with the transition into adulthood and the workforce. It is often a dreaded concept associated with a lack of sleep, limited free time, the stress of bills, and the thought of not making it on your own. That being said, I am here to tell you to take a deep breath, exhale, and have a little faith in yourself! Be proactive and view the next chapter as something you are absolutely ready for. Have a goal and create a to-do list of the necessities to achieve that goal. With the perfect amount of effort, and support from your professors and your friends at the Career Center, your dreams can be far more attainable than you realize. Just think, a year from now, you could be sitting in my shoes, wondering why you ever dreaded this amazing time in the first place.

All the best,
  Sabrina Iaria
  Career Center Graduate Assistant

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

How to Lose a Student in 10 Seconds

Making the Most of Your On-Campus Recruiting Event!

College students are complex individuals. They say they want one thing, but often lack the enthusiasm to put themselves out there to go and get it. It is assumed that the reason they are in college is to get a degree and eventually a job. While this is understood, it can be difficult for them to see past the present moment and go after their future goal. Students live in the now. They are more concerned with their upcoming exams, going out over the weekend, and spring break plans than what they are going to do after graduation. Whether this prioritization stems from fear of the future or love for the now, employers need to spend their time recruiting on campus in the NOW where students live. As an employer you may be asking yourself, “How do I get the students to come talk to me?” As a student and the Career Center Marketing Assistant, here is what works:

1.   Quality Freebies

Notice the word quality is in bold. This is because students do not really need another pen or frisbee. They are more inclined to walk up to a table that is giving away something that provides value to their life. The most successful tables I have seen pass out food or vouchers for food. Students are drawn to this because it solves two essential needs: saving money and getting nourishment. The winning component for you as the employer is that the student is going to feel like they owe you something in return and be more willing to have a conversation about opportunities at your company!

2.   Make Your Table POP

While it is understood that different organizations prioritize marketing in different ways, a little in terms of presentation style can go a long way. Put forth the effort to make your display pop; Incorporate colors and graphics! Students view your table display as a representation of your company culture. If there are balloons, a banner, and eye-catching flyers, students are more likely to want to know more. If there is not even a sign to advertise what you are doing there, the odds of students walking right by are going to increase significantly. Like students are expected to be their best selves on Career Fair day, your company needs to be its best self on recruitment days!


3.   Integrate an Element of Competition

While this might not be as applicable for Career Fairs, general tabling events that have had great success involve opportunities to WIN. Successful ideas I have seen include raffles and “pong” events! These do not take a lot of effort and if it gives students an opportunity to compete to win a prize, they are all in! Plus, I have seen employers utilize this strategy to gain student information i.e. email addresses and phone numbers to continue the recruitment process past the tabling event.

4.   Be Approachable and Fun!

Put yourself in the shoes of the student for a minute. Maybe they are really interested in your company but are too nervous to walk up and introduce themselves. Alleviate some of their anxiety by standing up, smiling, and positioning yourself in a way that seems welcoming to students. Just by saying “Good Morning” to students as they walk by will leave a positive impression of your company on campus. While it’s definitely easier to sit behind the table and make small talk with your fellow recruiters, students are going to pick up on a vibe of exclusivity and not want to engage with you because they feel left out. Now this does not mean to act like “Recruitment Robots” because that is a turn off too. But a little friendliness and personality can go a long way.

My final words of wisdom are this: understand you are marketing to a generation that lives in the NOW. College students have college student priorities and the best way to get them to think long-term is to appeal to them in the short-term. I promise if you take any or all the tips above, students are going to have a greater interest in your company and want to learn more about why you are standing there recruiting. Hopefully, this will provide you with a stronger and wider pool of candidates that would have otherwise been too afraid to step up to the plate and introduce themselves!

Just my two cents, 
Maggie Tardif 
Graduate Marketing Assistant

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

If the shoe fits...wear it!

This morning, as I got ready for work, I grabbed a pair of shoes off my shelf and put them on. As I stood up, I looked down and thought to myself, “Why don’t I wear these shoes more often?” You might be asking yourself a question now, too; “Why am I reading about shoes on a Career Center blog post?” Stick with me, reader! 

I remembered that these were shoes that I had purchased right before an interview. An interview for a position that I really wanted – a position that I did not get. Today was one of the few times that I’d worn the shoes since that day, and each time I wore them, I would think about how these were those shoes. They represented a negative, a failure, something I’d rather forget. But, I was running late, so I didn’t take them off.

Walking into the office from my car, I thought to myself, “these are actually pretty comfortable.” Once I got into the office, a coworker pointed them out, complimented them, and asked where I’d gotten them. “Why don’t you wear these more often?” They asked me.
Well, why don’t I?! Was I mad at the shoes for the fact that I didn’t get that job? Of course not! Had I gotten that position, I would have missed out on a lot of great things both personally and professionally that would not have happened otherwise. Actually, as I thought more, there were a lot more positive things that came out of that situation than negative. Maybe I should have been thinking of these shoes as a manifestation of those positive things this whole time!  

Still with me through this long-winded analogy? Congrats! I encourage you to think about your “shoes;” what are the positive things that have come out of a not-so-great situation that have benefited you? Maybe you didn’t get your dream internship or job, but it freed you up to take advantage of a different opportunity that ended up being great. Perhaps you didn’t get a good grade on a paper and needed to rewrite it, which led to you learning something completely new once you revisited the same information. We never know what’s going to happen, or what it means for us; the only thing we can do is regroup, put our best foot forward (get it?), and start the next chapter of our story.

Step on,

Thursday, September 21, 2017

How to Add & Not Subtract from Your Job Search Equation

Major + Internship = Job
Math might not be everyone’s strong suit but the above equation seems simple enough.  It is expected though, like in any advanced math class, the teacher will say “Show your work”. 
The same concept applies to finding and obtaining a job. It is imperative as an active job-seeker to show the work that got you to the place you are at today. But as busy students, we often ask ourselves what work needs to be done to get that job?

      Step One: Update your resume

Step Two: Write a cover letter

Step Three: Pursue an informational interview

Step Four: Figure out your “Elevator Pitch”

Step Five: Participate in a mock interview

It may not be the mathematical order of operations we are all used to using, i.e. PEMDAS, but it is a proven method to help students advance in their career aspirations. The Career Center is much like a tutor or professor who is present to help you out with these things.

If you are not sure what your story is, we will help you figure it out.  If you are not sure what jobs you can get with your major, we will help you figure that out as well.  Just remember, we will not give you the answers.  We are here to equip you with the tools needed to obtain the job. Keep in mind it may not be the dream job, it may be the prerequisite. However, much like any math problem, it is important to take those preliminary steps to get to the right answer!

Have a great semester,

Lorraine Massiah
Assistant Director of Career Services

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Student Spotlight: Benji Weiss and How He Locked Up a Lockheed Martin Co-Op Internship

Meet Benji Weiss

Benji Weiss is the 2016-2017 Hofstra University Co-op Student of the Year from the DeMatteis School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. To compete, both Benji and his supervisor at Lockheed Martin wrote about the significant contributions that Benji made during his co-op experience at Lockheed. Benji will be nominated by Hofstra University for the national co-op award competition hosted by the Cooperative Education and Internships Association.

Cooperative Education is currently offered in the DeMatteis School of Engineering and Applied Sciences at Hofstra. It is one of the most impactful ways to learn about yourself and get your foot in the door for the career you want. To find out more about co-op, contact Phil Coniglio at

Co-op Experience
Coming into college, I knew I would need internship experience to stand out and have a chance at a job when I graduate. Little did I know, the co-op experience was exactly what I needed. I have aligned myself with exceptional interview experience, resume content, and a life changing job, all because I applied for a co-op internship. Here’s how I did it.

I went to Philip Coniglio to figure out what this co-op internship was all about. After he told me all the relevant information, I needed to update my resume and hand it in to him. Philip also made it very clear and straightforward to my parents about how the co-op internship worked because they were very uneasy about me graduating a semester later. Philip handed out my resume to a plethora of companies, in which four of them wanted to interview me. The first three were all in person, and the last one was over the phone. I was rejected by the first three; which was still okay because I got the interview experience that I needed and the necessary feedback to grow from this. The last of the four was Lockheed Martin, the largest defense contractor in the world! All they wanted was an over the phone interview, in which I immediately accepted and thankfully, they gave me an offer.

At this point, Lockheed Martin has already offered me a position to intern for their software team and I had accepted! Beginning the co-op in June 2016, I was super excited. I began working on various automation projects that positively impacted their software team, and would make their lives easier. I also worked on simulators that would inevitably help the development of submarines for the U.S. Navy. This work was extremely fulfilling and a phenomenal learning experience. By partaking in this internship, I developed better communication skills, presentation skills, a sense of business attire, and the ability to collaborate with other software engineers.  Not to mention all the new programming languages and skills I learned as well! I returned from the co-op as a more developed and prepared engineer, and thankfully, they wanted me to come back for another internship which I completed this summer of 2017. 

With all of this said, you can imagine how life changing this could be for someone who was just going to graduate undergrad with no internship experience. Now I have 10 months’ worth of internship experience, amazing resume content, a professional sense of the working world, and ultimately, a position at Lockheed Martin waiting for me for when I graduate. I could not thank Philip Coniglio enough for providing me with this opportunity. If you are reading this, it is not too late. Apply for the co-op internship and start interviewing!