Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Starting Your Spring Internship on the Right Foot

This past semester you have spent researching, prepping, and interviewing to land an internship. For some of you it may be the perfect internship and you could not be more excited, for others you may be dreading this unpaid graduation requirement. For all of you, however, congrats are in order. Landing an internship is not easy, and takes time and resources to do so. Here are seven tips to get the most out of it.

1. Dress the part. Before you show up in an inappropriate outfit make sure to ask your supervisor the dress code. We at the career center recommend that if you are uncertain of what that means to please contact a career counselor, or at the very least over dress. Better to be overdressed than to be underdressed and embarrassed.

2. Be put together. Do not show up on your first day looking sloppy. Studies have shown that people are more likely to put positive attributes to a person that is physically attractive, also known as the halo effect. And while this is grossly wrong, it always helps to make a good first impression.
3. Plan ahead. If you have never been to the site before, look it up. Figure out the proper route. Do not decide the night before is the perfect night to celebrate being 21. Staggering in on your first day is a mistake you do not want to make. It may seem like overkill for some of you doing menial tasks, but sometimes a little sacrifice is necessary.

4. Arrive early. With many internships, employers will be looking at their interns to see if they are right for their company. This means that they want to see good work ethic. If waking up is not your thing, you need to go to bed early and set as many alarm clocks as
you need. I once had a professor who always said “If you’re early, you’re on time. if you’re on time, you’re late. And if you’re late, you’re embarrassed.”

5. Be professional. This means being respectful to your fellow interns and employees. This includes social media, peeps. You need to be aware that your social media is a part of your marketing. If you google yourself and do not like what you see, then things need to change.

6. Don’t blow off this internship. If you’re internship is not one to lead to a job, that is okay! This is all a part of experiential learning, and it will be helpful whether you get a job or not. This internship can lead to a glowing reference, an opportunity for networking, or a better understanding of what you want to do in your career. You never know the opportunities or skills that can arise simply from being in a workplace.

7. Make friends. You don’t know what kind of people you will meet on site. It is important to keep an open mind when meeting people. This internship can either fly by or drag on for months all depending on your co-workers. Some of the best people in my life I would never have met if it were not for the places I have worked.

Wishing you all the best of luck!!

Kristi Riecker

Career Fellow 

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

21st Century Career Readiness

What are the skills that students graduating in 2016 need in order to be career ready? Based on the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) Career Readiness list and the 21st Century Skills initiative, Hofstra is excited to introduce our 21st Century Career Readiness list.

Try using this list for yourself:
1. Rank each section on a scale of “mastered” (5) to “needs substantial work” (1).
2. Then, list several ways in which can you work toward improving in that set of skills. You can use the CareerHub website to get ideas.

This is a great starting point for career counseling! Call 516-463-6060 or visit the CareerHub to schedule.

Lisa Tandan

Director of Career Development and Assessment 

Thursday, November 17, 2016

What the election has taught me about the job search process....  

You never know what the employer is looking for....they may want someone with years of experience in the field or perhaps they are looking for a new fresh face to bring a totally different perspective.  How are you to know? You can’t, it's just that simple.  

All you can do is put your best foot forward and present your best self.  No matter how well you think you are doing in an interview, do not assume you have the job.  On the flip side just because you feel like you don’t meet the criteria for the job description, you should apply anyway and make a great pitch for yourself to convince the hiring manger how your transferable skills will be a great fit for the position.  

Use your network to leverage yourself and if you don’t get the job, be gracious and don’t burn any bridges. Employers might remember you in the future and may reach out if a different position becomes available that you could be a better fit for! 

Thursday, November 10, 2016

No one likes interviews, but here’s how to hate them less

You attended a career fair, exchanged pleasantries with recruiters, talked about your experiences, and submitted an online application after the event, as requested. Suddenly, you receive an email asking to schedule a first-round phone screening. What do you do?

First, know your audience. Remember that interview and hiring processes vary by industry and company. Some companies might hold first-round interviews with human resources recruiters, others might hold first-round interviews with hiring managers. If you speak with human resources first, note that the type of questions might vary and focus more on general topics, including the overall position, organizational structure(s), your educational training and experience level, salary ranges and benefits, and the projected hiring timeline. On the other hand, if you speak with a hiring manager first, prepare to speak about these topics, and also prepare to discuss more position-specific requirements and examples to prove your abilities.

Second, study like you do (or did) in school.  Review the job posting carefully and prepare talking points. Circle keywords and develop specific examples and stories for you to share with your interviewer. For example, if a posting emphasizes “communication,” “teamwork,” “reporting,” and “HTML,” think of specific stories you may share with the interviewer to prove your abilities. Also, as you wrap up your story during the interview, continue to keep the audience in mind and explicitly connect your story's ending to the new position.

Last, welcome nerves, fears, and uncertainty. In other words, acknowledge that interviews will challenge you, but also remember that your research, practice, and preparation will help you welcome the stressful aspects of the process. You might face a question you did not prepare for. You might mix up your words. You might never hear back from an interviewer. In the end, simply do your best, speak well, and maintain a positive attitude. Your perseverance, professionalism, and energy will help guide your process.

To further discuss your goals and how to reach them, feel free to schedule an appointment online at hofstra.edu/careerhub or call The Career Center at 516-463-6060.

Stefano Verdesoto, Assistant Director of External Relations

Friday, November 4, 2016

Consider the Big Picture with Graphic Resumes

Having just wrapped up the fall Career Fair season here at the Career Center, we have seen a whole lot of resumes over the past few months! One trend I noticed as I was looking at the resumes coming into the office or circulating around the fairs was an increase in the number of graphic resumes, that incorporate some creative design or layout into the document. This doesn’t seem to be a trend specific to our world at Hofstra, either; I was talking with a close friend about his resume, and the updated version he sent me was a graphic one, a complete departure from the previous, more conservative layout.

So, should you take the plunge and create a graphic resume? Consider these points:

Be mindful of your industry. If you’re in a design field, using a platform like InDesign, Photoshop, Publisher, or Canva to create an eye-catching resume can show your expertise using that particular platform. In more traditional fields such as finance or law, where the chronological format and tried-and-true layouts reign supreme, a graphic resume may stand out – for the wrong reasons.

Don’t compromise your content. Resumes should always be as clear, concise, and consistent as possible – the 3 C’s we talk about here at the Career Center! Graphic resumes often end up having a nice, clean layout; take care to make sure that you aren’t sacrificing valuable accomplishments that the employer should know just to get a certain look. The last thing you want to do is under-sell your great experience!

Too much of a good thing? You may be thinking of adopting a graphic resume at some point, but not just yet. Color can help bring a fresh feel to the resume, and can make headings (or your name) pop. But, it’s definitely possible to go overboard and have it detract from the overall “first-glance” impact you’re going for. Try not to use more than one color, and always print your resume in black-and-white first before sending it out to see how the color turns out in grayscale, especially if applying online where you don’t know if or how the employer will print your resume.

Like most changes to the resume, the decision to use a graphic resume is a personal one. Think about your industry, the position and company to which you’re applying, and your own personality to determine what works best for you! And, of course, let us know how we can help.

Happy Designing!

Amy K. Smith 
Associate Director of External Relations 
The Career Center at Hofstra University 

Friday, October 28, 2016

Find meaning behind all of your experiences, whatever the season...

Halloween is upon us! What makes Halloween so special? Is it dressing in costume? The candy? The decorations? The crunch of leaves under your feet as you walk down the sidewalk?

Halloween has meaning in our lives because our past experiences have shaped how we view the holiday. Like the meanings we assign to Halloween, meaning can also be assigned to experiences that help shape our professional careers. Interactions, practices, successes, and sometimes failures in an internship or job setting create meaning in such experiences.

These meaningful pieces mentioned are very useful in developing professional skills that they are not only talking points in an interview, or in a resume/cover letter, but they also help in the development of a "seasoned professional”. These people are those that have had an extensive amount of time in their respective fields and know all of the ins and outs of their jobs. They have learned these unique skills through direct experiences that serve as a guide as they go about their role day after day.

What do your experiences mean to you? There's meaning behind our Halloween costumes, so why not find meaning behind all of your experiences? How will they contribute to your dream profession? Only you can answer these questions! By finding meaning in your career experiences you will be one step closer to becoming a seasoned professional; wherever your career path takes you, you will be prepared for what lies ahead.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

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 Fall Career Fair, happening on 
Wednesday, November 2nd 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 125 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 here. 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 hospital, since maybe the hospital is looking for interns for their marketing department.

-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 Monday-Friday from 10-11 and 2-4, 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 careercenter@hofstra.edu. Quick Question drop in hours, which are Monday-Friday from 10-11 and 2-4, no appointment necessary! See you at the fair