Career Peer Summer Advice, Career Services Summer Hours, and Congratulations Graduates!

Summer-Sun-3

Hello fellow ARGOS!

As we finish the end of the school year, here are a few things to keep in mind. Keep your heads held high! You can, and will, finish strong. After finals, we hope you are able to relax with family and friends. I do want to remind you, though, to use this summer to prepare for your dream career. I know for some of us relaxing and resting is the best medicine right after finals, but I would encourage you to use this summer to plan for your long-term goals in life. For those of you who may be here on campus over the summer, or live in the area, Career Services is still open. Our office hours are the same during the summer semesters. Below are our hours:

  • Monday – Friday 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
  • Drop In hours: 11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

In addition, I want to give a HUGE shout out to all the Graduates! CONGRADULATIONS! YOU MADE IT! Even when you graduate, Career Services is here for you. Feel free to use us whenever you need help. We can help you with your resume, cover letter, and thank you notes, conduct mock interviews, and so much more. In addition, if you move out and are not able to come into our office physically, we can also help you online via Jason Quest with resumes and cover letters. If you want to practice interviewing in the comfort of your own home, we have Interview Stream that enables you to record yourself answering interview questions. Accessing Interview Stream is easy. Just log into your JasonQuest account via MyUWF Desktop, and find the Interview Stream link in the Resource Library, or click the picture of Interview Stream logo in the left-hand column of the JasonQuest welcome page. Once you complete your interview, just send the video to us, and we will share some tips and advice to help you improve your interviewing skills.

I wish all of you the best of luck as you begin planning for your future career. Until next time… GO ARGOS!

Sincerely,

Allee Millsap

Getting the Bang for your Buck

Blog Salary Negotiation Picture

Hey Argos,

The time has come: the end of the semester. Those of you who are graduating may be in the process of applying and interviewing for jobs. Now is the time to do your research!

Either in your interview, or when you are offered the position, your starting salary will be brought up by the employer. Here are a few tips to get the best salary for your position:

1. Do your research! Sites like www.careeronestop.org/SalariesBenefits, www.naceweb.org/salary_calculator, or www.myplan.com are great places to start. These sites let you know what the average salary is for your position. This way, whenever the topic of your salary comes up, you will be prepared to give an educated response.

2. Give a range. If the employer offers you a lower salary than is typical for your position, give them a range of the average salary for your position. Always shoot for the mid-to-high range. This will leave room for negotiation.

3. Never bring up your salary in the interview. Only discuss it in the interview if the employer mentions it first. The best time to mention your salary is after you have already been offered the position.

Using these tips you will be able to get the best starting salary! Good luck negotiating!

Until next time,

Keriann

Job Search Tips

Hello UWF ARGOS!

I hope all of you are having a wonderful semester thus far. Summer is just around the corner so keep your heads held high! As summer approaches, many of you may be trying to find work over the summer. Or, some of you may be trying to find a part time job or a full time job. In any case, below are some tips to keep in mind to help you STAND OUT from the crowd.

# 1 Prepare a Professional Resume

I highly encourage you to come by and schedule an appointment with Career Services (Bldg. 19) where we can help you format your resume.  During the appointment, we will go over the Career Development Guide (click to bring you straight to it) and show you some tips to improve your resume.

Make sure you personalize your resume to the specific company needs. Look at the job description and review the skills and qualifications that they are looking for to use to give you some ideas of how to personalize your resume. Make sure you are honest.

Keep in mind for every resume; you should always place your most important (strongest) qualifications at the top. Our Career Development Guide has some great examples on pages 18-19.

Depending on what type of job you are applying for, there are four different types of resumes:

  1. Functional: Emphasizes transferable skills if you do not have a lot of work history/experience in that specific career field.
  2. Federal: You usually use this form when you are trying to apply for a state job or a federal job.
  3. Chronological: As the name implies, this resume emphasizes your employment history.
  4. Curriculum Vitae (aka- CVs): This type of resume is used primarily in academic circles and medical careers.

            In addition, I would encourage you that if you are printing off your resume to have resume paper (watermark). You can purchase this type of paper from any office supply store. Also, make sure your use a good printer so that everything comes out clear.

#2 Personalize your Cover Letter

By personalizing your cover letter, you are able to stand out from the crowd of generic cover letters. In our Development Guide, on pg. 12, we have some examples of what to include in each paragraph. One item to always remember is to address the hiring manager by their name when you begin the letter. In the first paragraph you want to show how you heard about the position, why you are interested, and critique your cover letter for the position or type of job you are applying for.

Second, you should use your two strongest skills/qualifications and relate them to the company’s needs. Make sure you use specific examples instead of vague examples. Your final paragraph should refer to your resume; also make sure to thank the reader for taking his (or her) time to look over your application. Also, make sure you mention how you will follow up, instead of assuming that the hiring manager will follow up.  Make sure to end with a farewell of some sort and to sign and type your name.

#3 Practice Interviewing

I highly encourage you to prepare for the interview. Make sure you prepare at lease 3-4 questions for the person(s) with whom you will be interviewing. Make sure to bring a note pad, pen, and dress professionally. Ask a friend if you can practice with them.

On your note pad, you could have, what Career Services calls, your “cheat sheet,” with your one-minute commercial speech. The one-minute commercial speech answers the question, “Tell me about yourself.” Some things to include are your major, type of position you are seeking, work experience, class projects, and how your background/goals fit with the company’s needs. Check out our new technology called Interview Stream, where you can record yourself and we can give you some tips on how to improve your interview.

Another way to prepare for interviewing is through the STAR (Situation, Task, Action, Result) technique. In behavioral interviews, you will likely have to answer questions concerning how you have handled tough situations. By preparing in advance, you will be able to distinguish yourself from the other applicants. Make sure you use a strong example.

#4 Thank You Notes

One of the BEST ways to distinguish yourself is by following-up with a thank you letter to each person who interviewed you. Just like your cover letter, you want your resume to address each hiring manager (or each person who interviewed you).  Remind the reader about what you covered during the interview and anything you may have neglected to remember. Reiterate why you are interested in the company and make sure you remind them about your transferable skills.

Feel free to call us or come by. We are here to help you in your job search!

Until next time… GO ARGOS!

Sincerely,

Allee Millsap

Alumni Spotlight

 UWF Alumni Spotlight

Jennifer Vallin

Q: Can you tell me about your background?

J: My dad was in the military, so we moved around a little bit and I ended up graduating from Crestview High School. I applied to most of the small universities in Florida and on a whim decided to attend UWF without ever visiting the campus.

I received my B.A. & M.A. in history from UWF. When I was an undergrad I was involved in Honors Council, History Club, Phi Alpha Theta, and I was a student ambassador. I later became social chair for Honors Council and served as secretary and president of History Club. As a grad student, I was a graduate assistant for the History Department.

The Honors Program was my favorite part of undergrad. I made lifelong friends and even married another UWF Honors student (not until many years later). The family atmosphere was awesome and I have so many fond memories of Honors events and bonding in Pace Hall.

Q: Could you share with me some of your experiences at UWF?

J: Academic memories that stand out would be the travel opportunities. As a history major, I took three courses that allowed experiential learning. I traveled on Route 66 learning about the Cold War, went overseas to Russia and Eastern Europe to experience their history, and went north studying urban development in America.

Q: Could you please share any employment/job search advice you may have?

J: When I was finishing up my graduate degree. The chair of the History Department asked me if I knew if anyone who was looking for a job. I told him I was going to be looking for a job soon and he connected me to the employer and I got hired. So the moral of the story is to get to know your professors and make connections in your field of study. The more you participate in your department and the more memorable you are to your professors, they can write a personalized letter of recommendation that will hopefully stand out. Internships are also a great way to get your foot in the door. Network at major related conferences too.

I would recommend that students get involved in their major and on campus. Seek out leadership positions that will help you grow. I never realized how difficult it was to lead a group until I was Honors Council Social Chair. Getting people motivated to help out, keeping people excited, and planning events were a challenge, but I grew from the experience. As a Student Ambassador I was forced to overcome my shyness since I gave campus tours to parents and prospective students.

As for my current job as Assistant Director, since I was a former Honors student, Dr. Lanier remembered me and my interactions with Honors Council and that helped me get the job. Some of my job duties include academic advising for students completing their General Studies requirements, recruiting potential Honors students, day to day office management, event planning and management, maintaining UWF’s chapter of the National Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi, and anything else that pops up!

Thank you so much Jennifer for interviewing with UWF Career Services. We hope you continue to have great success in everything you do!

Meagan Adams

What are Employers Looking for in Candidates?

Hey Argos!

This week I asked myself: when I go to an interview, what are employers looking for? Obviously employers want a candidate who is qualified, but what other qualities do they want to see in a potential employee?

To find the answers to my questions, I asked professionals about what they hope to find in candidates during their search to fill a position.

ENTHUSIASM

Kathleen Hudon, the Assistant Director of Career Planning at UWF Career Services, says that displaying excitement about the position is very encouraging to the hiring staff. Hudon said:

“Employers generally prefer to find someone who shows passion for the particular job they are offering as opposed to those who express lukewarm feelings about the opportunity.  If there is evidence of enthusiasm, employers become less concerned that candidates might pack up and leave soon after they have been trained.”

VALUES

Margaret Stinnett, Executive Director of the Birmingham Boys Choir, stated that when looking for her next hire, she looks for an alignment of values. “You want to employ with people who share the same passion for organization’s mission” said Stinnett. “Otherwise it is impossible to build the success you envision for your company.”

CRITICAL THINKING and INSIGHT

“I would say we are always looking for people with critical thinking skills, since data analysis is nuanced and you can’t take a cookie-cutter approach to doing the work” said Judi Free, Vice President of Enrollment Research Consultants. Free emphasizes the importance of an employee who can look beyond the information they are given.  “Our analysts must be able think through each project individually and make decisions based on each client’s needs.”

INITIATIVE and MOTIVATION

“I want to see past examples of how the candidate has taken initiative and improved their workplace” said Lindsey Walk the Assistant Director of Career Planning at UWF Career Services.  “I also like to see they are able to stay motivated, even in the face of adversity. I think these two qualities can take people far in their careers, so they are definitely something I am looking for during the hiring process.”

According to the 2013 National Association of Colleges and Employers Job Outlook Survey,

the top 10 skills employers seek are:

  1. Verbal Communication
  2. Teamwork
  3. Critical Thinking/Problem Solving Skills
  4. Ability to Plan and Prioritize Work
  5. Ability to Process Information
  6. Analytical Skills
  7. Technical Knowledge
  8. Computer Skills
  9. Written Communication Skills
  10. Ability to Sell of Influence Others

So remember, even if you do not have professional experience in the field you are pursuing, your employers are looking for these transferable skills and personality. Everything you have participated in prior to your interview, has helped you develop these skills. It is all about preparation and marketing!

See you soon, Argos!

Grace Tennyson

How to Write a Job Reference Page

Employers usually ask for a job reference page before they make a hiring decision. That means you need to have a reference page ready so when someone asks for one, you can respond quickly.

As a rule, you should not include your job reference page with your resume. Why? It’s a matter of keeping the information private. Instead of sending it with your resume, bring your job reference page to the interview and offer it to the recruiter or manager ONLY if you are asked for it.

When you create your job reference page, use the same letterhead that you used on your resume. That extra touch will give it a clean consistent look because all your job search documents, including your cover letter, will match. Under your letterhead, type this info for each of your job references. Start with your professional references and end with your personal ones. One important note is that you need to have the same amount of information for each reference, so if you do not have the home phone for one reference, you should not include the home phone for the other references.

Name

Title at his or her company

Company

Street Address

City, State and Zip

Work Phone

Home Phone (if it’s a personal reference, rather than a professional reference)

Relationship to you (if it’s not clear from your resume and cover letter)

Have a great weekend Argos!

Joseph Mays

Dress for Success: 10 tips for your next interview

Hey, Argos!

Congrats! The semester is halfway over and many of you will be graduating or starting an internship in May. The positions you are applying for will surely require an interview, so here are some tips on how to dress for that job!

  1. Research the typical dress within the industry/company for which you are applying.
  2. Invest in a “power outfit” and work-appropriate shoes.
  3. Make sure your interview outfit has been tailored and dry cleaned.
  4. Try on your outfit before you go to your interview to make sure it fits.
  5. Avoid too much perfume/cologne.
  6. Don’t shy away from accessories, but do not wear too many so that they are distracting.
  7. Be mindful of your posture and body language (e.g. sit up straight, keep your hands in your lap etc.).
  8. Personal hygiene! Simple, but critical. Make sure you have neat hair, clean fingernails etc.
  9. Dress for the position you want, no matter the level of the position. Always dress for that next step.
  10. Set up a mock interview appointment with Career Services to practice your skills!

Happy interviewing!

Until next time,

Keriann

The Benefits of Working on Campus

JasonQuest_FullColor

Hello, UWF Argos!

This is Allee Millsap. Today’s topic is on working on campus. I interviewed a current UWF student to get her feedback on how working on campus is beneficial as a student. I will also share some tips for getting a job on campus. I interviewed Keriann Smith who currently works as a Career Peer with Career Services. She also works as a Resident Assistant at UWF. As a UWF student, Keriann shared that working on campus is beneficial to a student financially, socially, and academically.

Today, many students have a lot on their plate. But, working on campus can allow students to save time and money. Kerinn shared that she is able to save money working on campus. For example, driving thirty minutes downtown and then another thirty back home takes an hour out of your day. If you work five days in a week, you are losing five hours out of your week. You could be using that time to study or hang out with friends. Furthermore, today’s gas prices could be taking a considerable chunk of your paycheck. Not only can you save money working on campus, but you can also live on campus, like Keriann, where going to classes and going to work is much more convenient.

Working on campus not only is beneficial monetarily, it can also help you grow socially and academically. Keriann shared that one of the reasons she loves working on campus is that she is able to get involved and help her own peers. She shared that working on campus can even help strengthen one’s academic experience. Currently, Keriann is working on her Bachelor of Science degree in International Studies with two minors in Spanish and Political Science. Keriann believes her experience as an RA and working with Career Services has helped her interact with different cultures and gain firsthand experience with international students. As an International Studies major, Keriann shared that she has been able to improve in her academics because she is able to work on campus with a diverse student population.

So, by now you may be asking yourself, “How do I get a job on campus?” Networking is the first fundamental step. Kerrian shared that she did a lot of research about the job, she met with Career Service staff members, attended many presentations led by Career Services, and continually learned how to improve her own skills in the process. She was able to utilize her past experiences in her sorority, and relate her leadership positions and skills to the job’s qualifications. With Keriann’s RA position, she was able to share her past leadership skills and also share her experience as a resident. Keriann also utilized her connections with friends to learn about the upcoming jobs on campus.

I hope this has helped you see why working on campus is beneficial and how you can land a job on campus. If you are interested in an on campus job, come by Career Services to schedule an appointment. We can help you improve resume, utilized your experiences and skills, prepare for an interview, and so much more! You can either stop by building 19 (next to the University Commons), visit JasonQuest for a list of available positions on campus, or call our office at (850) 474-2254.

Until then… GO ARGOS!

Sincerely,

Allee Millsap

Federal Resume Tips

American_flag-9

The Federal Resume can be a daunting task, but don’t be intimidated! The resume itself has all the basic elements of a Functional and Chronological, but it has more detail because you are applying for positions within the federal government. Before you begin, consider making an account on USAJOBS.com. Most government positions are housed on this website. As well, USAJOBS.com has a federal resume builder. This means no painful formatting on word! Rather, you can use this resume builder to walk you step-by-step through each part of the federal resume. Once you make it to this step, follow the tips below to create the best federal resume:

  • Detail, detail, detail! The federal resume is where you deviate from the bullet point format of the Function and Chronological resume. This is where you DO use paragraphs to describe your positions. You still want to use professional language and be concise, but also remember that the government loves detail.
  • Section Headers. Your paragraph descriptions should not just be one long paragraph. Instead, break up your position descriptions with headers, much like the skills and abilities sections in our Career Development Guide. These headers will depend on the type of positions you have held. Examples include Communication, Marketing, and Student Support.
  • Beef up your accomplishments. The government loves to hear about your achievements within each of your positions. Consider making a section called Additional Duties/Recognition (something along those lines) where you can talk about some of the “extras” of your position and your accomplishments.

Most importantly, don’t sell yourself short! Government positions are extremely competitive. The more time you spend perfecting your resume, the better it will be!

Happy resume building!

Until next time,

Keriann

 

Positive Workplace Relationships

Hey there Argos!

The workplace is where you will develop relationships with your boss, colleagues, clients, and business partners. Your personality and actions will be measured by others and will define what kinds of relationships you form. You are going to want to be polite, friendly, and professional. Most of the time, personal affiliations are purely platonic, but sometimes emotions can feel more intimate with co-workers.

Tips to develop a positive, professional relationship:

Do Not Gossip – Do not be that co-worker who enjoys hearing the workplace rumors or partakes in spreading rumors. No one appreciates their personal business being talked about behind closed doors. It makes work feel uncomfortable and is very unprofessional. Be wary of stories you tell about yourself as well, as they can lead to wrong impressions or a negative reputation.

Be Approachable – Talk to others, and be friendly. You want to be approachable so that others can seek your assistance if they need help. Having an intimidating persona can lead to awkward relationships and miscommunication. Keep in mind to stay professional. Maintaining an approachable yet professional persona is a plus for team collaborative efforts.

Be A Leader – Take on extra responsibilities where you can. Show initiative and leadership. If you would like to spearhead an operation, take that chance to do so. Being a leader is also knowing when to sit down, let someone else lead, and listen to others ideas. Know when to let others be a leader, and know when it is your turn to lead others.

Communicate – Let others know who you are. Open up to them, while still maintaining privacy. Many co-workers can become good friends. Be positive, and encourage others at work. Act supportive and be a team player. Communication is key to building positive workplace relationships. Good open channels of communication strengthens team work ethic, business partnerships, and staff relationships.

What About A Romantic Relationship? – Romantic relationships happen. Make sure you want a relationship with a co-worker before you decide to be in one. Emotions can run high in a stressful environment, and break ups could happen and create workplace awkwardness. Be certain that you can handle the consequences of a failed workplace relationship before deciding to involve yourself with a co-worker. While at work, you should keep things strictly professional.

Have a great week!

Meagan Adams

Oracle Resource Coach