Networking with Power

Hey Argos,

Trying to get your name out to employers? Well, it might not be as hard as you think. Here are a few tips to help you network.

1.      Talk to your professors.

Your professors have years of experience in their fields, and likely still have many connections. Ask them, and they may be able to give you some contacts in your chosen field.

2.      Attend the Career Services showcases.

Career Services puts on many events throughout the year that employers from across the county attend. These are great opportunities to get your name out and start networking.

3.      Use JasonQuest

JasonQuest is an amazing resource available to all students at UWF. It has many potential jobs listed for everyone to see. Getting in contact with these employers is a great step towards building your own professional network.

–          James

Grad School, Resumes, and Personal Statements

Hey Argos,

Preparing for graduate school doesn’t have to be hard; there are a few simple tasks that will get you halfway there.

  1. Have your resume reviewed.

Having an up-to-date resume will ensure that institutions will have an outline of the work you do outside of the classroom.

You can have your resumed reviewed by a staff member in person with an appointment or as a drop-in (Monday – Thursday 11AM-4PM).

Resumes can also be reviewed online through JasonQuest and Optimal Resume.

  1. Create a personal statement

Personal statements highlight the important factors that have influenced you to choose a particular institution or field. Whereas your resume shows what you have done, the personal statement shows why you are doing it.

  1. Last but not least, attend our Professional and Grad School Expo  on Sept. 28, 2016 from 1 to 4 p.m. in the Commons.

This is a great way to learn more about the different types of graduate programs as wells as networking with institutions in attendance. If you’re still unsure about attending grad school, this will be a great opportunity to ask questions and get advice!

-Kabria

2016 Professional and Graduate School Expo is coming up!

Greetings fellow Argonauts!

Allee here! Are you interested in pursuing graduate or professional school after undergrad? If so, you should come out to our upcoming Career Grad School Expo! The Expo is a great opportunity to speak first hand with admission officers from different schools, see what specific programs are offered, and gain advice for your future aspirations.

During my freshman and sophomore years, I attended the Expo and loved it! For me, it was a great opportunity to gain knowledge and insight first hand from graduate academic advisers. Although I was a freshman and just beginning undergrad, attending the event allowed me to see what graduate admissions look for in future students. I learned about networking with professors, students, coworkers, and even having mentors in the field. One way to network is simply getting involved on one’s campus and in the community. The Expo is just a great way to gain experience and plan for career options.

A great reason to attend is to see what programs are out there. Some of you may not be completely certain what career path/or major you want to pursue, by attending the Expo you may find a field that you would never have considered before. Others of you know what you want to do, and by attending you can understand what most grad programs require and speak in person with the school’s professional staff to get some inside tips and advice for admissions process.

See instructions below for how to see the current schools attending:

  1. Log in to you MyUWF
  2. Type in the search bar “Jason Quest”
  3. Click on the “Events” tab
  4. From there scroll down till you see “Prof. & Grad. School Expo”
  5. Click on “View Employers Attending”

Can’t wait to see you there!

Allee

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Part Time Job Fair Recap

Part-time Job Fair

Students meet with on-campus and regional employers for part-time job needs during the Part-time Job Fair in the UWF Commons.

Greetings, Argos,

I hope you all are enjoying the start of a wonderful Fall semester. The Career Service 2016 Part-Time Job Fair recently passed, and I am here to give you a complete rundown of the successful turnout. The event was hosted on August 31, from 1-4PM in the University Commons.

The Job Fair featured over 40 different employers seeking to hire students for part-time positions. Of those employers, some were on-campus, accessible via trolley, or off-campus. Ultimately, there was ample opportunity to get your feet wet in multiple fields of work.

The Career Services staff set the event up in a way that made students feel more confident before walking into the actual Job Fair by including a “Prep Place.” In this area, students were given the opportunity to leave nervous jitters at the door and go over their pitch by doing a “One-Minute Commercial” with a staff member. In addition to this, students could check their clothing, hair, and breath. Taking a breath in our ‘safe-haven’ released anxiety before getting started. Walking in to such a competitive setting with confidence makes the process much easier!

My station was an informative stop. In case you didn’t know about the other upcoming events such as: The Professional & Graduate School Expo (Sept. 28, 2016), the Fall Career Showcase (Oct. 5-6, 2016), or the Health Promotion Fair (Nov. 2, 2016), you could stop at my station to grab info. The new Career Development Guide was also placed here, as well as where/how to access it (FYI, you can look at it online here)

Overall, the event was very successful and I witnessed multiple students walk out with interviews and smiles. Be sure to stop by Career Services if you have any questions about any of our services. Click here to schedule an appointment!

Until next time,

Kierra, Career Peer

Part-time Job Fair tips for success

Argos,

Welcome back to another school year! I hope you all had a successful start to your fall semester. The Career Services 2016 Part-Time Job Fair is upon us. Happening on August 31, from 1 to 4 p.m., all students are welcome to drop by the University Commons to meet on-campus and regional employers for part-time needs.  Before coming to the job fair, I have some tips on how to get the most out of this experience.

First, come prepared. I recommend that you bring multiple copies of your resume as you’ll most likely be meeting more than one employer. If you do not already have a resume, stop by Career Services in building 19 and we’d be glad to help you formulate one or help you review one you’ve already made. Furthermore, definitely be ready to talk about your career interests as well as academic and extracurricular experiences to illuminate your skills and strengths.

Second, you can review the online directory of employers and their job opportunities by logging into Jason Quest via MyUWF. This is a good way for you to get some background on an organization or company, and you may be able to ask more focused and specific questions. By doing so, you impress representatives because this shows you possess genuine interest in what they have to offer.

Third, dress appropriately. First impressions are very important. We recommend that you dress “business casual (Click for business casual guide)” as you may meet employers who’ll strike an interest in hiring you. If you lead a day-to-day busy schedule, and you are unable to stay long I recommend prioritizing the employers that you’re most interested in, so you can visit those employers first. If you have any other questions, or would like any assistance preparing for the part-time job fair feel free to stop by Career Services.

Your friendly Career Peer & Oracle Resource Coach,

Judy Cholymay

How to Stand Out in a Competitive Job Market

standing out from the crowd

Hello Argos,

The current job market is very competitive. Due to the disconnect between available positions and number of applicants, active job seekers are looking for ways to “stand out from the crowd.” With this current economic structure, the job searching has now become an employer’s market as opposed to an applicant’s market. Thus, applicants have to take additional steps to get noticed.

Here are three tips in order to stand out in a sea of applicants:

  1. Have a perfect resume.

Employers usually spend about 5-7 seconds reviewing an applicant’s resume the first time. So, it is crucial to have an error free resume and to market yourself in the best way possible. Having an error free resume will ensure you will not lose out on a possible job offer. A quick visit to Career Services will help you get your resume up to par.

  1. Dress appropriately for an interview.

Appropriate interview attire could make or break the interviewing process. When applicants dress inappropriately, employers may pass judgement that would not be in the applicant’s favor. When dressing for an interview, always get a second and third opinion on your outfit. Also, refer to the career development guide for an entire section on interviewing.

  1. Treat every opportunity like obtaining your dream job depends on it.

Exhibiting your best performance and efforts at any job, interview, meet and greet and job fair could play a role in getting numerous job opportunities. Networking is crucial. If you have a good reputation amongst your employers in your field, they may recommend you to other employers.

Remember that achieving your goals regarding job opportunities will not just come to you. You have to put in the effort in order to gain success. Thus, following these tips will enhance your chances at finding your dream job.

-Kabria Shelley, Oracle Resource Coach

UWF Alumni Spotlight

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Today’s blog reviews an alumna’s experience at the University of West Florida. Mandy H., a former Public Relations major, provides tips and advice on how to gain employment after graduation, and also explains why it is so important to be involved on campus. Mandy’s first  taste of leadership was when she was selected to be an Orientation Leader. Mandy explained that the Orientation Leader position helped her develop into the leader that she is today. Mandy also found success in Greek life. She joined Alpha Chi Omega and  climbed the ranks on the Panhellenic executive board, eventually becoming the Panhellenic President. Mandy also worked for Undergraduate Admissions where she climbed the ranks of that organization as a Student Admissions Representative and became a Senior Star.

Mandy is now employed by the University of West Florida as the Coordinator of Orientation and Visit Experience. Her words of advice are as follows: “Step outside of your comfort zone. You can’t expect a job opportunity or involvement opportunity to be handed to you. You need to apply yourself and  don’t be afraid to say no. When you are developing yourself as a young professional, it is still an early learning experience. Don’t be afraid to learn more and become the best version of yourself that you can be.”

Hakeem, Oracle Resource Coach

Working on Campus

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Research has shown that students who attend college are more likely to take on additional financial responsibilities. Therefore, finding employment is crucial for students who may not have a great amount of financial resources. Jobs provide students the opportunity to gain experience that will be beneficial for their future beyond their college career. One of the decisions that students will have to make is whether or not to work on campus. Below is an interview with a fellow ORC who shares her experience working on campus.

  1. What are the pros and cons of working an on-campus job?

There are both advantages and disadvantages to working on campus. Some pros of working on campus include: more flexibility with classes, no need for a car if living on campus, a chance to network and build relationships with both faculty and administration, and opportunities to work in a variety of areas. Some cons include: limited hours to work and limited exposure beyond students, faculty, and administration.

  1. How could an on campus job prepare you for the professional workplace?

I am currently an Oracle Resource Coach (ORC) who works for both UWF Housing and Residence Life and the UWF Career Services department. I currently live in a sophomore residence hall and my role is to assist residents with academics, act as a mentor to students for leadership development, and serve as a professional development coach. I am well-connected with resources and have established relationships with different departments on campus. Working with a diverse population of students, staff, and alumni has highlighted my ability to interact, appreciate, and respond to a variety of backgrounds and needs. I have further developed transferable skills such as interpersonal skills, organizational skills, leadership skills, and communication skills that will benefit me in the future.

  1. What advice would you give to current or prospective student workers who want to make the most out of their positions?
  • Take opportunities.
    • They may be doors to future opportunities.
  • Challenge yourself.
    • Get out of your comfort zone and take risks that will help you grow from your experience and gain transferable skills.
  • Be open-minded.
    • Try new things and be able to understand different perspectives.
  • Learn from your experiences.
    • In the process you will learn about yourself.
  • Connect with people.
    • Developing a network is beneficial. Relationships are valuable.
  • Take the initiative.
    • What you get out of your experience is what you put in to it.

 

Until next time,

Kabria, Oracle Resource Coach

What Employers are Looking For

Hey, Argos!

Have you ever wondered what employers are looking for in candidates? Here is an Informational Interview with Mr. Shane Countryman from New York Life. He discusses the skills and abilities he believes are important in the workplace.

Employers are looking for

  1. What skills and abilities do you consider most important to have for the Financial Professional position currently being advertised on Jason Quest?

“For skills, we are looking for the intangible skills that aren’t necessarily advertised on the resume. We are looking for the innate skills, such as, how somebody presents themselves, how they naturally communicate, and how they naturally hold themselves when they walk in the room. People with these communication skills tend to do well in both the interview setting and with our company. Other skills we can teach. And I would say that the biggest ability we are looking for is effort and the desire to be rewarded from one’s personal effort.”

  1. What are some examples of how can one develop the desired traits and skills necessary for this position?

“I would say being around people, growing your communication skills, and getting yourself out of your comfort zone. We all have an internal comfort zone. Being able to get uncomfortable and accept that is very, very important.”

  1. What particular skills or talents, in general, are most essential to be effective in your industry?

“Communication skills. Also humor always works. When you’re dealing with a client and you’re talking money, people tend to put up a brick wall. Being able to relate to someone else is essential and humor is a great way to do that.”

  1. When reviewing resumes, what is considered most appealing and most unappealing?

“I am a very detailed person. Most appealing… good structure. Resumes that are not organized well with bullet points all over the place lack good structure. It makes one feel that the person writing the resume didn’t put the time and effort into creating it. Most unappealing… having distractions that distract from the basic material should be left out. Some examples of this are: pictures, pretty font, and stuff in the margins. Don’t worry about a different colored paper or a unique layout. A resume is only to make the hiring manager curious to meet you in person. These other things are more distracting than anything else.”

  1. What abilities or personal qualities make a potential employee stand out from the crowd?

“Personal qualities… someone who is looking to grow their own business. A person who has an entrepreneur spirit. Somebody who is looking to work for themselves, grow their own business, and someone who wants direct reward for their direct output. Receiving guidance is a great factor and being your own boss is great; but making the rules and having someone guide you in the right direction is better. New York Life is a Fortune 100 company and we are number 80. Receiving guidance and experience from one of the top 80 companies in the nation is an opportunity. Those who want rewards from their efforts tend to be successful rather than those who just want to get a paycheck or those that only want the job because they have a certain education level or experience.”

  1. How diverse are the skill-sets and personal qualities of your employees at New York Life?

 “At New York Life, we are a front runner in diversity both in skills and in background. We have people that are experts in individual areas and people that are a ‘jack-of-all trades.’ We have people from multinational backgrounds and from the local area. We are looking to take care of every individual client, not just one particular area or sect of clients.”

  1. And, how does the company work with differing abilities to build effective teams?

“Diversity is a basic part of New York Life. We look for people with different natural skill-sets to work with different areas of clients. For example, when you have a client who speaks a specific language, they do better with someone who speaks that language. When someone does not speak that language things can get lost in translation or misunderstood and that doesn’t bring comfort to the client. We are looking to take care of everyone.”

Experience Skills Performance

Until next time!

-Hannah

 

How to: Reference Sheets

Hey Argos,

670px-Refer-to-a-Third-Party-in-ASL-Step-1
Though a simple part of your application, who you have as your references and how you display their information is serious business! Here are a few do’s and don’ts to help guide you through the process.
Do:
• Include between 3-5 professional references (professors, former bosses, mentors)
• Make a separate sheet for your references, using the same header and format as your resume
• Contact your references before placing them on your sheet, and also for each job you apply for, so they can better tailor their responses
• Give your references a copy of your resume
Don’t:
• Include any unprofessional references (family, friends, people who have not worked with you or above you in a direct capacity)
• Place your references on your actual resume!
• Have references on your sheet that are not aware they are your references
• Include your reference sheet with your application if the employer doesn’t ask for it. Some employers will throw out your application if you do this because they think you can’t follow directions

And there you have it! For an example and more information, please see page 21 in our Career Development Guide here:

Until next time,
Keriann