Networking Letters: 101

In today’s world regardless of the field you enter, many of your aspirations and career pursuits will be inspired or built upon the professional relationships you have. Your job search will be most effective if you have connected and have made efforts to expand your network. A networking letter will be conducive to you as you prepare for job search, as this letter’s focus is not to request for a job, but to request their assistance in your job search by connecting you with people or opportunities.

You will want to be very professional in your letter. Business formatting is recommended for formality. Make sure that you distinguish the person whom you are reaching out to by referring to them by name. The following is an example of what should be included in a networking letter:

Dear Ms. Little,

(Objective) Example: I am very interested in gaining insight on a career in the finance department.  I am writing to colleagues, and professional leaders whose opinions, insights, and advice I value to learn more about this process and accumulate guidance.

(Highlight Key Strength/ Do so without repeating your resume) Example: improving services, generating revenue, saving money.

Your letter should be as concise as possible. Ask for the reader’s help, highlight your strengths and express your thanks.

(Ask for information) Example: I would be very appreciative for your review of my enclosed resume. If you have any insight as to where I should direct my job search or advice during this process, please feel free to contact me at (555) 555-5555. I appreciate your input and advice.

Sincerely,

Jane Doe

Once you have completed your letter, continue to network and build connections. The outcome of doing so will work in your favor as you accumulate knowledge to aide in your growth. If you should have any questions on networking, building professional career based letters please stop by Career Services!

Sincerely,

Judy

Stay LinkedIn!

I, myself, was guilty of not having a LinkedIn profile until just recently. I now see the benefits of having an account. It aids in growing your network. Though networking may not seem like a big deal right now, you will reap the benefits of it in the long term.

LinkedIn is very user friendly and easy to use. Setting up your account is very simple. After the account is created, simply send the invite to all your contacts and begin growing your network. LinkedIn is basically your professional profile. You brand yourself to the best of your abilities and begin getting endorsements on the skills you possess. The fun thing about LinkedIn endorsements is it takes you back to the good old days where you liked pictures for pictures, endorsements work the same way.

Add your skills, organizations and abilities to your profile and watch the endorsements flourish. Watch your network grow.

LinkedIn gives you the ability to draw connections with many people whether you know them or not. It gives you the opportunity to connect with alumni from the university, old employers, and even past professors. This alone means that you are given the chance to market yourself to the highest degree and have people to vouch for you.

LinkedIn also has a jobs tab. This is super helpful. You’re able to view available jobs within your career field and even across the map. So, if you are trying to relocate, no problem. LinkedIn can help.

Connecting and contacting others via LinkedIn is very simple. You can easily contact users to either ask about their career or even just gain knowledge.

Don’t stray away from creating the LinkedIn profile. After all, having a LinkedIn account pop up when employers google your name is far more professional than your old Myspace page.

When and doubt, ask for help! Call Career Services at 850-474-2254 today to set up a LinkedIn appointment.

Signed,

Kierra, Career Peer

 

Networking and Making Your College Experience Worth It: 3 Reasons Why You Should Attend the Spring Career Showcase

Hey Argos, I hope you are having a wonderful spring semester!

With summer right around the corner, many students are thinking of opportunities that can lead them to success in their future careers. Why not attend the spring career showcase. Below I will give you three great reasons as to why you should attend the event.

  1. Learn How to Network

Networking has become a crucial skill in the workforce. Many who land opportunities are acquired as a result of networking. Attending the spring career showcase will allow you to begin to practice networking. So put on your best business formal fit, come to career services to get your resume reviewed, and head over to the career showcase.

  1. See what employers are looking for

Far too many of us miss out on opportunities because we are not keen on what skills employers are looking for. Attending the spring career showcase will allow you to meet directly with employers and see what is needed in the workforce. Anyone can benefit from this, whether you’re a freshman or senior these skills are likely to land you an opportunity.

  1. Gauge what types of opportunities are out there.

Many of us plan our future careers by gauging what opportunities are currently out there. By coming to the career showcase you will be able to see firsthand what positions employers are looking to fill.

There you have it, three reasons why you should attend the career showcase. All majors and classifications are welcomed and I strongly encourage you to have your resume reviewed. The spring career showcase is two days long starting March 1st at 1 pm, I hope to see you there!

Sincerely,

Kabria Shelley

(see the link for more details:  event details )

Success After School

Hello fellow Argos!

Planning what to do after college can be daunting, but Career Services is here to help! Like some of you reading this, I too am about to graduate college with a bachelor’s degree. This is an exciting milestone in life! If you are planning to step into a career field straight out of college, today’s topic is for you. Here five motivational advice points that I believe will help you as you step into a new chapter in your life. In addition, I have included Career Service’s Job Search Checklist as a PDF so you can download it to help you accomplish your job goals.

1 – Work hard and be kind

Yes, I intentionally made a Disney reference. (For any of you Disney fans, I thought you would appreciate it!). Although this is simple, living each day working harder than your peers can be a challenge. Success requires blood, sweat, and tears. If you endure and work at challenging yourself each day you will find you are capable of things you never thought you could do. The second part of this quote is just as important. Not only should you be kind in order to have friends, but also by being kind, you will be able to grow. When you are kind and considerate to those around you, people will be more willing to help you succeed.

2 – Find a mentor and good peer group

As I mentioned, working with others will help you to grow. One way you can grow in your field is to find a mentor and successful peer group. Find individuals that you respect and admire professionally. You should aim to have people in the same profession as you. Ask them for advice, and see if they would be willing to mentor you. This person can challenge you to think about issues you may not have considered previously. There is an unknown saying that you are the average of whom you spend your time with, so spend it wisely! This is good reminder to surround yourself by hardworking and dedicated people to help you emulate their behaviors.

3 – Stay humble

Almost everyone starts at an entry-level position. Do not become complacent. Instead, challenge yourself to expand and go beyond what is required for that position. By having a Cinderella attitude, you will be able to learn, grow, and develop.

4 – Have a positive outlook

They say trying to find a job is working a full time job. Keep persisting and have a positive outlook. Practice each day writing positive attributes of what you are looking for. Keep enduring the race.

5- Do not be afraid to fail

As the British Prime Minister Winston Churchill once said, “Success is not final, failure is not fatal, it is the courage to continue that counts.” Never give up on your dreams. Keep challenging yourself and never take a moment for granted. Remember never to be afraid to step out into the water and get wet. Get involved in your community. Make new connections. Overall, remember that Argos finish strong! Graduation is right around the corner.

Sincerely,

Allee Millsap

Below is a great checklist of steps to take during your job search process after graduation:

job-search-checklist

Attend a Meet and Greet & Learn About New Opportunities For Success

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Hello Argos,

I hope you all are transitioning well into the semester and New Year. There are a couple of Meet and Greet events that I would like to bring to your attention.  Meet and Greets are especially important for undergraduate students as they provide an outlet for students to learn about new opportunities that can serve a powerful role in maximizing their skills for their future ahead. I encourage all of you, to take advantage of these special events, as not only can they help you with networking but also building your professional portfolio.

The Washington Center 

2/6: 3 p.m. – 5 p.m. (Career Services – Small Conference Room)

The Washington Center (TWC) will be having an information session for students to learn about internship programs and academic seminars in Washington D.C. The TWC allows students to become more competitive for entry-level employment to prepare for lives of achievement, engagement, and leadership.

Fisher Brown Bottrell Insurance

2/15: 11 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.  (College of Business, 76 A)

Fisher Brown Bottrell Insurance seeks to employ highly capable and motivated individuals who share our commitment to provide appropriate risk management solutions to customers. Their internship program allows students to gain more knowledge of the insurance industry.

Big Kahuna Water Adventure Park 

2/21: 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. (Commons Concourse)

Big Kahuna located in Destin, Florida is looking to fill positions such as Lifeguards, Cashiers, Cooks, Landscapers, Admissions, and more.

Enterprise Rent a Car

2/23: 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. (Military & Veterans Resource Center, Bldg. 38)

Enterprise is looking to fill a Sales Management Trainee & Sales Management Trainee Internship (summer) position. If you are graduating soon, this is an excellent opportunity to begin your job search.

Insight Global

3/2: 8:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. (College of Business (Bldg. 76 A) Room 215)

Insight Global is a national staffing and services company that specialized in sourcing information technology, accounting, finance, and engineering professionals. This company is doing pre-screening of candidates. Interested students must upload resumes by Feb 16 (11:59 pm.).

Until Next Time,

Judy Cholymay

Have employers approaching you!

Hey, Argos!
Are you tired of traditional career fairs? Tired of having to go from employer to employer? Well, you are in luck! On February 8th, Career Services is holding the Fourth Annual Reverse Career Fair! This event invites student organizations to host tables, while employers come to you with their questions.
This change of pace can work out great for students, as there is no longer the worry of asking too many questions. Now, it’s your turn to answer as employers ask about you! The Reverse Career Fair will take place February 8th from 5:30-6:30 PM in the Commons Grand Ballroom. Be sure to register your student organization today so you can host a table, and watch as employers all come to you!
Signed,
James Wiggins, Oracle Resource Coach

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The ResumPe to Success

Hi, Argos!

Welcome Back, I hope you all had a happy holiday break!

I’m here to give you the recipe, or should I say ‘ResumPe’ to success in the work field. Dissecting a resume is easy. Explaining the different parts is a breeze. The hard part comes in when its time to eliminate fluff and remember what is important to leave behind. The key sections to list are:

Header: your header should include your name, physical address, professional email, phone number, and any professional websites.

Education: the education section should list a full degree title, institution name, institution location, graduation date (month and year ONLY), GPA (if it is a 3.0 or higher), and any relevant coursework. We recommend leaving off your high school diploma, unless you are a freshman or sophomore.

Skills/Experience: this section will be the densest section of your resume. When listing either job history or skills be sure to boldface your position or the skill. You want to draw emphasis to what you did in particular, employers care more about what you’ve done, learned and obtained. If stating experience, be sure to include establishment’s name, establishment’s location, and the dates in which you work(ed). Start each bulleted statement with a power verb and answer at least two journalistic questions (i.e. who, what, when, where, how many).

Campus Involvement/Volunteer Experience/Honors & Achievements: these particular sections are completely optional, but highly recommended. It pays to show off the things that you spend your valuable time doing or achieving. Whenever you list items of Campus Involvement or Volunteer Experiences, be sure to include the position (i.e. member, officer, volunteer), organization/establishment, location, hours (for volunteering, if possible), and dates.

Final Tips

  • Be sure to keep dates continuous throughout the page, meaning, have all dates in the same regions on the page.
  • Stray away from using paragraphs to give descriptions.
  • Studies show that employers only look at resumes for approximately 10 seconds. Make yours count.
  • Use as many quantitative values as possible.
  • Be specific!

Lastly, your resume is a representation of you! Be honest and triple check for any errors.

Have a great semester, Argos

Signed,

Kierra Silas, Career Peer

What we are thankful for

Hello Argos!

Since Thanksgiving is right around the corner, we decided that this week’s blog would focus on things we are thankful for as students and Career Peers. So many times in life we get caught up on the mundane routines of life, instead of pausing and reflecting on the incredible opportunities we enjoy each day. As author Melody Beattie says, “Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.” This is a great reminder of how important it is to stop and be thankful for everything you have in life. Here are some things we are thankful for:

  1. Opportunity to attend college
  2. Doors that have been opened while in college
  3. Life achievements & experiences at UWF
  4. Going home to see family and friends
  5. Taking classes with incredible faculty and professors
  6. Living close to the beach
  7. The nice Florida weather
  8. Chick-fil-A and Starbucks
  9. Seeing incredible success and inspirational peers who are achieving their dreams through co-ops, internships, and full time jobs.
  10. Last but not least, the fact that the semester is quickly coming to an end, and there will be an entire schoolwork-free Winter break filled with extra sleeping and eating holiday food!

What are you thankful for? We would love to hear. Feel free to add a comment about what has impacted you the most or what your favorite part has been attending UWF. Until next time, GO ARGOS!

Sincerely,

Allee Millsap

Make an Impact, Get Involved, Leave Your Mark

Most courses on campus do not require community service as a part of a course. Personally, I believe it is necessary to give back to and interact with your community before being released into it to find a job. You never really know if you will like engaging in the field of choice, unless you actually get out and experience it. On this campus, two professors lead the mission of incorporating volunteer work into their courses. They are Environmental Science Professors Chasidy Hobbs and Christian Wagley.

I asked a Professor Hobbs a series of questions to better understand why community/volunteer work is incorporated into her course.

Professor Hobbs was asked “Why do you view volunteering as important?

Her response was “Nearly all of us learn better by doing. I love to see my students making connections to lessons we have in class, to real world issues and activities happening right in their community. Also, the health of our community is all of our responsibilities. We all breathe the same air, drink from the same water sources, swim and fish from the same favorite watering holes, eat from the same industrial food system. Learning about and protecting these systems which we all require for survival is all of our jobs, not just that of “some scientist over there”.

I then asked Sr. Hobbs, “What benefits do you see this having on your students?

She responded by saying “For most of them it really helps to bring textbook lessons into real world practice. In other words, it helps to answer that, oh so popular, question: “why do I even have to learn this?”

Hands on experience is very important. Leaving your mark on your community and interacting with those surrounding you is vital. Knowing that you have a greater purpose to serve within your community is great. There is seriously no better way to build connections other than making yourself known and available to society.

 

A special thanks to Professor Hobbs for being able to answer these questions.

Best of luck on your finals.

 

Signed,

Kierra Silas, Career Peer

Online Branding

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What is online branding? Why is it important? That’s a great question. Online branding is a strategy used to get more exposure for your brand on all levels of online marketing, especially search and social. Online branding has evolved over time and is continuously becoming more and more of a prominent tool used by many employers and entrepreneurs, hoping to reach out to a larger audience and convey their purpose and mission. Your audience will want to know why they should believe in you, and why they should invest in your services. It’s important that the answers to these questions are communicated and conveyed in your online brand.

Building a brand, especially online helps create awareness of what your company stands for. For example, here at Career Services, we want to be the cornerstone for students who are seeking help in career development, resume creation, and more. We achieve this by informing students and raising awareness of what we have to offer and how we can be of help to them in their career pursuits. We do this through tabling, career events, and social media. In doing so, we can fulfill our mission, which is: to advance UWF’s mission, vision, and priorities by educating and empowering UWF Students/Alumni in the career development process and by providing opportunities for experiential learning, civic engagement, service and employment.

Better said by Graphic Design Intern, Kaleigh Miller: “Branding is a promise. Being consistent in how you present the information makes you more reliable. Social media especially plays a role in branding because it reaches out to people in the ways they find easiest to communicate.”  Our question for you is, how will you use this information to create your brand or invest in the online branding of other organizations or groups you are involved in?

Until Next Time,

Your Career Peer

Judy Cholymay