Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Vacation, All I ever Wanted

Ah yes…sleeping late, working a fun summer job and hanging out at the beach or with friends and family doing whatever you like to do sounds very appealing. Sounds downright delightful. However, just because school's out for Summer and businesses slow down and folks go on vacation doesn't mean all will be quiet on the employment front! Actually, these Summer months can be an extremely busy time for internship or job seekers - and here are four steps to follow to make the most of this special time:

1. Create a schedule. This will help organize your day and make the most of your job (re)search. Include some down-time on your "to do" list to relax so that you don't feel like you are spending the entire summer working on finding an internship or job.

2. Stay Social. Social networking is always a good choice when trying to remain visible even when nobody is around. Now is a good time to create or populate your LinkedIn account so you can connect with companies, hiring managers and alumni. Ask for informal meetings or to make connections.

3. Network. Networking is pretty much one of the best ways to secure a job and you should not slack on this major step during the summer. Industry events, career fairs and conferences are still happening. Attend them. People will be hosting summer outings, a prime opportunity to meet new people and articulate your career goals. And make sure that your "backyard of contacts" knows you are looking!

4. Apply. Make it a point to try and apply for a few internships or jobs per week. Be strategic and really write a solid cover letter, a unique and highly customized document, for each opportunity. Don’t spray your resume into the internet vortex and pray that someone gives it a second look. Less is more. Check on LinkedIn to see if you know anyone who works there.

Hiring still happens over the summer, and if you stay on top of your search you can make great strides. So do have a great summer vacation but don't take a vacation from your job/internship search – businesses still have to function and positions still need to be filled. Instead, take your efforts to the next level and be better positioned to land something for fall and beyond.

See you at The Career Center in September! 

Monday, July 13, 2015

A Resume That Excels

So you’re finishing up your resume and added the common “Skills” section at the bottom like most resumes you have seen.

You include any foreign languages you know, and your computer skills.

For most students, the Skills section could look something like this:

Basic Spanish
Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Word

But did you know that you can make your Skills section more notable if you listed the specific Excel skills you have?

Some of the Excel skills that you could list on your resume, and may already possess are:

·      PivotTables
·      Charts
·      Formulas
·      Functions

If you want to learn or relearn these skills, there are various free tutorials online including gcflearnfree.org (which I found through a quick Google search).

Listing specific Excel skills might start to become more common, as employers start to ask candidates to give more detail about their Excel skills in interviews. And your skills section can perhaps look like this:

Basic Spanish
Microsoft Excel – PivotTables, Charts, Microsoft Word

      Nayelli Perez
       Assistant Director



Monday, July 6, 2015

The Read to Success: Summer Edition

Summertime is the time to take a breather, have a break from schoolwork (if you are not taking Summer classes), and hopefully go on some trips. It could also be a time when you take charge of your own learning and get knowledge on important things that you won’t learn in the classroom and could impact your life.

If you are looking for some impactful summer reading, here are 3 suggestions:

The Personal MBA: Master the Art of Business – Josh Kaufman
Kaufman basically believes that getting an MBA is a hard expense to justify, which is an opinion I find debatable. However, this book covers various areas of business such as entrepreneurship, marketing, sales, finance, and working with others. This is a great read if you are debating whether you would like to get your MBA or are a non-business major interested in business.

StrengthsFinder 2.0 – Tom Rath
I am a huge fan of StrengthsFinder. This book contains an assessment you can take to see what your top strengths are. Knowing your strengths has many benefits that will help you figure out how to live your life according to your strengths and thrive in ways that are authentic to you. [Side Note: The Career Center is here to help if you want to discuss how you can use your top 5 Strengths in your future career and goals. You can make an appointment at Hofstra.edu/career or by calling 516-463-6060.]

The Big Leap: Conquer Your Hidden Fear and Take Life to the Next Level – Gay Hendricks
Hendricks’ book gives tips on how we could overcome our fears to eliminate the barriers that are holding us back from success in our life, relationships and career. 

     Nayelli Perez,
     Assistant Director

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Backyard BBQ

Summer is here! And what better time for a backyard BBQ?! And since we are always career-minded here at the Career Center – I often like to compare the elements of a backyard BBQ to a job search:

1. Who's on the guest list/in your backyard? (your established contacts). This would include people in your social circle, relatives, friends, professors, old bosses or co-workers. Have you told them you are looking for an internship or job? Do they know (if) you graduated?

2. Your tools - (in this case a resume, cover letter, linked in profile, portfolio, website) Only instead of a spatula, tongs and forks and knives - make sure you have all of the job essentials . You want to be ready if Aunt Bess tells you to send your resume to her boss.  

3. The grill - what's sizzling? (what's new and exciting in your career path, area of study or on your resume)? Do you have adequate gas for your grill? What are you doing lately to demonstrate that you are engaging in your career pursuits – are you a writer? What are you writing? Are you a bio-chem major? What are you researching? What are you making? What's a new and hot topic to discuss with a potential employer?

4. The menu – what are you serving? (skills and abilities). A variety or the same old, tried and true menu items? Is everything fully cooked or are things still too rare in need of some more time/effort/refining/refreshing? 

5. Who can help? – do you need a side dish, bag of ice or dessert? (a contact name at a company, interview practice, a ride to the bus or train station or to borrow a suit)? There is no shame in asking for a hand.

6. Decorations – are they modern or are they vintage? (how are you presenting yourself)?  Simple, classic, contemporary or elaborate - or are you maybe too fancy or ornate for a job interview?

7. Entertainment - band, DJ, Pandora or Uncle Harry playing the harmonica? (are you entertaining your guests/the employer during your interviews with stories and examples of your work)? What is going to set you apart from the other candidates?

The key ingredients for a successful backyard BBQ (and job search) should be planned out and prepared in advance. This should hopefully be a fun and memorable experience for you and your guests! So ready, set, take a deep breath, be yourself and have fun. And thank your guests for coming and for all of their help. 

Friday, June 12, 2015

Summer relaxation

This is here just to help you relax this summer.  We hope you're  having a great time, whatever you're doing.

If you didn't see our announcement by email, soon Pride-CMS will be replaced by a new system called Handshake.  More info will be coming soon.  But, in the short run, please log into Pride-CMS to save any documents you have stored there!

Monday, June 1, 2015

Look your Best in your Next Interview!

You always hear that for an interview, you should dress for success--but what does that really mean? Here are some tid-bits about personal grooming to keep in mind as you prepare for your next mock or real interview:

  1. Do not wear too much fragrance. If you have been told in the past, "I smell you when you leave the room," YES that is too much.
  2. Brush your teeth (and make sure you check for bagel seeds in-between!) 
  3. Wear clothes that fit. If they are too tight, you will look uncomfortable and feel uncomfortable as well.
  4. Wear comfortable shoes; for ladies, make sure your heel height is appropriate.
  5. Ladies, keep a shorter nail length and wear neutral nail polish.
  6. Minimal jewelry overall; for the men, NO earrings.
  7. Hair should be neat and clean (keep in mind, there are MANY old school interviewers, know the work culture of the company!)
  8. Makeup – less is best!
  9. For clothing, men should wear a dark suit and ladies may want to consider wearing stockings with your skirt suit (better to safe than sorry!)
  10. No matter your look, bring your BEST you.
Have you come into the Career Center for a Mock Interview? If you haven't, you should! Schedule one by calling us at 516-463-6060 or using our online scheduler at hofstra.edu/career!

Lorraine Massiah,
Assistant Director

Monday, May 18, 2015

Helping Others While Helping Yourself

Recently, students interested in the various areas of criminology had the opportunity to participate in a brand-new program with The Career Center, our Afternoon of Service.

Those of us in The Career Center have noticed that students are more eager than ever to give back to the Hofstra community.  In fact, social responsibility is rising among attractive characteristics of perspective employers.  At the same time, companies are recognizing that their employees want these opportunities as well. So, The Career Center created a way for both students and employers to achieve this goal, while also giving our students a way to engage and network with employers in their field of interest.

We were honored to have representatives from government, forensic accounting, social justice and banking join us first for lunch in The Career Center. During this time, the professionals were able to share their experiences and answer questions from students. Then, it was off to the Mary Brennan INN. The INN (Interfaith Nutrition Network) addresses the issues of hunger and homelessness on Long Island by providing food, shelter, long-term housing, and supportive services for those in need.

We took a tour of the facility, and then got to work. Some of us were stocking shelves in the pantry, while others sorted and coordinated clothing donations.  Students worked side-by-side with professionals, who talked about their daily jobs. They also gave valuable career development advice and tips.

At the end of the afternoon, students had a wealth of information, valuable networking contacts, and the satisfaction that they helped a great cause.  The Career Center looks forward to planning more of these events in the coming semesters. For more information, please contact us at 516-463-6060 or stop in to M. Robert Lowe Hall on the south side of campus.