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Career Corner

Current Career Topics for Mount St. Mary's University Students

Keyword: career center
As much as you might like to think that your future dealings with supervisors and co-workers will all be pleasant and motivating, you will most likely experience situations where you have disagreements with others, or stress that...
A career assessment is a great way to gauge your strengths and where you might need to improve, even if you already have a clear vision of where you would like your career path to go. There are various career assessment services available online, ...
Welcome to all new and returning students! As this semester launches into action, the Career Center would like to reach out and offer their services and expertise to you. Deciding on your future is extremely important; however, thinking about what you’re going to do after you graduate doesn’t have to be overwhelming. ...
If you focus too intently on working through the sludge of midterms, essays, and projects that school demands from you, it can be easy to lose sight of your end goal: your career after college. A great way of renewing your passion for your major and inspiring motivation for school assignments is to connect with someone who has a career in your intended profession or who has more experience than you. Often referred to as a mentor, this person can give you advice about your career, critique your résumé, and introduce you to other people in the field. By reaching out to others who have more or different experiences, you can learn new information and find encouragement to work through your school assignments....Read the full blog post

Last week’s post was all about the steps in writing a cover letter. This week, we will shift our focus to the document that follows the cover letter – the resume.

Time is of the essence when an employer reads your resume. According to a study released by the Ladders, an online job-matching service, recruiters spend only 6 seconds reviewing a resume. As a result, following the style and guidelines of resume writing will be crucial in any job search.

The first thing that should appear at the top of your resume is a heading. The heading should include your name, current address, phone number and email address. Your name should be the focal point of the entire document, so be sure to make it large, bold or both.

After the heading comes the objective statement. This statement should clearly tell employers the type of position you are seeking and the skills and experiences you can contribute to the company.

Resume

The objective statement is a controversial aspect of the resume. Some experts say that it is too limiting, and it eliminates other job opportunities within the company that the candidate is unaware of.  Others say that it provides much needed focus to the resume. A career center counselor can help you decide if an objective statement is right for your resume.

For students and recent graduates, the next section of the resume is usually education. This portion of the resume lists the colleges and universities you are attending or have previously attended. It is also important to indicate your major(s), minor(s) and concentration(s). GPA can be included if it is over 3.0.

Next comes the experience section. In this portion of the resume, you should bullet or briefly explain the responsibilities held and skills demonstrated for each position you have formerly held. Pick up a list of resume actions verbs in the Career Center so you can keep your duty descriptions clear and not too wordy.

Skills will follow experiences in your resume. In your skills section, it is good to include computer, customer service and leadership skills if these are applicable to your prior experiences.

Honors and Activities sections can be altered on a case by case basis. For example, if the Dean’s List is your only honor, you might not want to make a specific section for honors. Instead, you could add the Dean’s List to your education section.

So, do you feel you are ready to submit your resume? Think again! Have a peer look over your resume beforehand. Bring it to the Career Center so it can be critiqued by a professional. Do not let simple grammatical or mechanical mistakes prevent you from being offered an interview.

A cover letter can make or break the opportunity to be offered an interview. If you write a great cover letter, it can grant you an interview that your resume alone would not give you. If you write a poor cover letter, the greatness of your resume and experiences could be overlooked by the flaws of the initial letter.

Don’t let your cover letter be a hindrance in your job search! Below are 10 easy steps to make sure your cover letter sets you apart from the rest.

Step 1: Review your resume

The purpose of a cover letter is to introduce your resume. Therefore, you should have a strong hold on what is written in your resume before you begin to write a cover letter.

Step 2: Think about making a good first impression

This will be the first time your potential employer shapes an opinion of who you are and what you bring to their organization. Capture their attention immediately and use the cover letter to encourage him/her to read your resume.

Step 3: Address your letter to a real person

Be sure to get a name or position title of the person you are writing to. If you do not know who you are addressing in the letter, jump into the body of the letter. Do not use “Dear Hiring Manager” or “To Whom it May Concern.”

Step 4: Do not repeat what is said in your resume

Cover letters are not resumes in essay format. Cover letters add new information that would not be found on your resume like personal traits, work habits, and why you are interested in the job.

Step 5: Keep it brief

A cover letter should be three to four paragraphs at the most. It should not exceed one page, and preferably, not more than three quarters of a page. A cover letter should be clear, concise, and convincing.

Step 6: Show experience in your first sentence

Do not start your letter with a generic sentence such as, “Hello, my name is Jane Doe, and I am applying for this position as a summer intern.” An introduction like this makes you sound very inexperienced. Spice it up a little and explain how your hard work and dedication in this field makes you a great candidate.

Step 7: Write your first paragraph

In the first paragraph, tell the employer why you are writing to them and any personal contacts that have referred you for the position. Also state how you resonate with the company or opportunity.

Step 8: Write paragraphs two and three

Do not tell the employer what you want. Tell them why they should want you. Make sure the employer knows all the knowledge, skills, and experience you can bring to the organization. While your needs are also important in the job search, it is not what an employer is looking for in a cover letter.

Step 9: Finish with a “Call to Action” Statement

In the last paragraph of your cover letter, it is very important that you inform the reader when you will be following up with them. Give an exact date and how you will be contacting them.

Step 10: Send as a PDF

To ensure there are no formatting issues, send your cover letter and resume as a PDF.

For more details on formatting a cover letter, be sure to visit the Career Center!

“You’re gonna miss this. You’re gonna want this back. You’re gonna wish these days hadn’t gone by so fast.”

Over winter break, I heard these lyrics from Trace Adkins’s popular song playing on the radio. It was at that moment when I realized how much time has gone by. It feels like just the other day when I was beginning my new life as a college student.

Now, I am a second semester junior, and the future is coming faster than ever. Luckily for students like me, there is a great resource available to make this transition easier – the Career Center.

Hello, my name is Josh Karlheim, and I am the new journalism intern at the Career Center. I am a double major in Communications and Accounting, but I have recently become very interested in student affairs. When I heard about this position in the Career Center, I thought it was an excellent opportunity to develop my writing skills while getting an inside look at higher education.

There is a lot to look forward to this spring in the Career Center. The Mount’s hub of career development will continue to help students and alumni find their vocation through career counseling, educational programming and employer services. A countless number of career events will begin this week and continue throughout the semester.

In our increasing tech savvy world, a LinkedIn account can be very useful in job searches. On February 24, Mount alumnus and PayPal senior recruiter Kevin Dunn will be on campus for a LinkedIn seminar.

Free professional photos and pizza will be available for all those who are interested. If you do not have a LinkedIn account or you want to make your account more effective, this will be one event you do not want to miss.

Ever dream of working for the FBI, Secret Service, US Postal Inspection or NSA? If so, you can look forward to an entire week devoted to these careers. Federal Agency Week will be March 23-27, and it will include several information sessions with these federal agencies.

The second half of the semester will include two important events: the career fair and the etiquette dinner. The career fair, one of the biggest events every year, will be held on March 18. This semester’s programming will wrap up with the etiquette dinner on April 16. It will be led by well-known author and career specialist, Mike True.

Of course, these are only a few of the many events that the Career Center will be hosting this spring. Many other workshops, information sessions and on-campus recruitments will also be offered. Watch your email and the TVs on campus for more information or head online to http://www.msmary.edu/student-life/career-center/calendar_career_center.

No matter your major, interests or career goals, the Career Center is here to help you in any step of the process. If you have any questions regarding programming this spring, be sure to contact the Career Center at 301-447-5202, or come to the office in Upper McGowan.

Life is a journey. The Career Center is here to help you embrace your climb to the top of the mountain and enjoy the view when you arrive.

 
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