02 Mar 2017

Career Search Tools

The mission of the Career Services department is to serve the career development needs of Spartan’s current students, graduates, alumni, and employers.  Our services range from providing guidance in goal setting to developing an effective job search strategy.  The Career Services team has provided you with some essential tools to help make implementing your career search strategy easier!

Your Resume:

Employers don’t spend much time with your resume; 20-60 seconds at the most! In order to maximize this time, you’ll want to make sure your resume clearly shows how your skills, experience, education, and characteristics match what they’re looking for. Essentially, your resume needs to make an impression in 20-60 seconds!

Here are a few tips and a worksheet to make it easy to capture your information for easy transfer to the template (located on the main page of the GCS website).

  • Tailor your resume to mirror the job – what skills are they looking for and highlight those skills on your application, resume, and cover letter.
  • Utilize important “real estate” – the top half of your resume is prime “real estate” where you should highlight your most relevant skills, experience, and education.
  • Keep it brief – use bullets or indentation, not paragraphs (unless otherwise specified).
  • Pay attention to formatting – make headings, job titles, and degrees stand out by using bold fonts and organize information into distinct sections; being consistent throughout.
  • Proofread and edit – read and re-read then have one or two others proofread and make edits.
  • Be honest – make your experience stand out but don’t mislead the employer with information that can’t be backed up in the interview or by references.

Resume Building Worksheet (click and print)

Once you’ve complete the worksheet, go to the programmatic Resume Templates on the Graduate Career Services page and get started on your resume!

Your Cover Letter:

Your cover letter introduces you to the prospective employer and should, whenever possible, be included with your resume or application. It should be brief and interesting, ensuring that your resume will be read.

Helpful TIPS on writing a great cover letter (remember to tailor each letter to the individual company and position you’re applying to!):

Sample cover letter (fax or snail mail)

Sample cover letter (email)

Your Social Media Presence:

Social media is an excellent way to create an online presence, establish yourself as an industry professional, and connect with others in your field.  Linkedin is the leading professional social media platform allowing you and your credentials to be seen by recruiters and hiring managers. Click the link below and get your Linkedin profile started!

Image result for linkedin

Create your Linkedin profile!

Your Interview:

Interviewing never seems to get any easier – even when you’ve gone on more interviews than you can count.  You are always meeting new people and having to sell yourself and your skills, often getting the third degree about what you know (or don’t know).  And, not to mention, you have to stay upbeat and enthusiastic through it all!  That being said, there are ways to make the interview much less stressful!

  • Practice and Prepare – Practice answering questions, prepare examples to highlight your skills, dig deep as to how you would be a cultural fit for the company
  • Research the company – know the company and the industry (history and future) and incorporate your company knowledge into your answers
  • Get ready ahead of time – know what you’re going to wear, print extra copies of your resume, and know exactly how you’re going to get there
  • Be on time (this means EARLY) – on time means 10-20 minutes early. The time you arrived will always be communicated with the interviewer!

Your body language shapes who you are.

Body language impacts the way others perceive us. To be your most confident self at your next interview, try some of these power poses.

Watch HERE

How to speak so that people want to listen. 

Here are some excellent rules to follow when you’re talking in general or sharing employment experiences with an interviewer. The best part is that you’ll walk through ways you can use your voice to show excitement, emphasis and even power – all useful tips when showing a hiring manager what you can bring to the table.

Watch HERE

Interviewing 101 (click and print)

What Questions do you have for me? (click and print)

Interviewing in a corporate setting has changed! Companies want candidates who have the right skill set and who’ll be a good fit for their culture. This is why behavioral interviewing has become more and more popular. These questions are designed to illustrate how you’ve handled various work situations in the past and how you’ll handle similar situations in the future. Click below and read (and answer) the example behavioral interview questions. You never know when you’ll be in the behavioral hot seat!

Behavioral Interview Questions (click and print)

Ready to practice your interviewing skills in an almost real setting? Print and read the Mock Interview Guide below then schedule your mock interview with one of the Career Services team (email for below for an appointment).

Mock Interview Guide (click and print)

alessia.crenshaw@spartan.edu

Brittany.henderson@spartan.edu

 

Your Job Offers: 

When you finally start getting job offers in the door, you’ll probably feel the urge to sign on the dotted link as quickly as you can. But no matter how excited you are, it’s worth taking a step back and thinking about each offer and the benefits (and drawbacks) of each.  This is a BIG decision and shouldn’t be based solely on one or two criteria. Here are a few questions to ask yourself, helping to guide your decision to sign that offer letter!

  • Are you being offered fair compensation?  Keeping in mind that you may or may not have previous, industry relevant work experience that might influence your starting salary.
  • What’s the turnover rate?  A company full of new employees can sometimes be a red flag!
  • Have you met and will you like your potential supervisor?  While you don’t have to be best friends, you do have to spend 8-12 hours a day together.
  • Will you have room to grow with the company?  Will this position ultimately lead you to reach your overall career goals?
  • Be Honest – do you really want it?  If you’re not genuinely enthusiastic about an offer, your gut may be telling you something.

Here are a few tools you may find useful as those offers start to roll in.

Negotiating Do’s and Don’ts (click and print)

Salary Negotiation (click and print)

Job Offer Comparison (click and print)