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Career Corner

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

Keyword: job search
So you have an interview; the excitement has died down and the nerves have set in.  First take a deep breath and sit down. It is time to do some homework.
Research the position and the company
Start off by revisiting the initial job posting to make sure you know exactly what the job entails.  If you have any questions, make note of them. It is good to have a couple of questions for the interviewer about the job itself or the company. Having a couple questions is a way to demonstrate to the interviewer that you did your homework. 
Research the company’s website.  Most companies also have some sort of mission statement as well as other information on the company itself.  Familiarize yourself with the mission statement as it will help you understand the goals and ethics of the company.
 Also Google the company as a way to find out if they have been in the news lately or if they recently revealed a new product. Most companies also now have social media accounts like Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram.  See if they have a social media account and use the information you gathered to make you more informed on the current interests of the company.  Also, try to find out a little bit about the company’s backstory.  This research will let you know about the where the company started and where they are today. 

Use your network

If you know who will be interviewing you, Google them as well.  Social media sites like Facebook and LinkedIn will have information on their backgrounds and interests.  This information could help you make more of an impression on your interviewer or help you connect with them. 

If you have any friends or connections to the company, utilize them.  Reach out to your connections to learn more about the culture of the company: what is it like working there, how do people dress, what is it like day to day? 

Research Yourself

Sounds silly, but take a few minutes to Google yourself.  See what comes up.  Is it all work appropriate? Are your social media sites clean? Chances are that whomever is interviewing you is searching your profiles online to see what comes up. Their aim is to see if you are professional and would be a good fit for the company. Be aware of what comes up when you google your name as they may ask you about it.  Also while you are at it, re-read through your resume. Is there anything there that you are particularly proud of and want to highlight?

Directions & Alarms

Use the night before your interview to determine transportation plans.  Knowing the phone number for the office where you are interviewing is helpful, just in case of an emergency.  That way you can let them know if you are going to be delayed or need to reschedule due to unforeseen circumstances. Choose the outfit you are going to wear for the interview the previous night.   Set more than one alarm to ensure you wake up early enough to get ready in plenty of time. You don’t want to feel rushed on an important day.  Try to go to bed early so that you are well rested and ready to go.

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.


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.

There are now various ways to connect to employers about potential jobs or internships online.  One of the somewhat new ways is to connect online through the site LinkedIn.  According to LinkedIn, it is a way for you to:

  • “Build your professional identity online and stay in touch with colleagues and classmates.”

  • “Discover professional opportunities, business deals, and new ventures.”

  • “Get the latest news, inspiration, and insights you need to be great at what you do.”

LinkedIn is one of the tools that you can use to build and visualize your personalized professional network.  You can also use LinkedIn to build your personal brand.  With your personal brand you can market your skills and experiences to potential employers. 

Making a well informed and professional LinkedIn profile page can be challenging.  Here is an easy five step list to achieving an impressive LinkedIn profile.

Step One: Make sure that your profile picture is professional.  You should be wearing business attire or business casual with a plain or office setting background.  A good rule to remember is that you want your profile picture to be from the waist up.  Leave the selfies for other social media sites.

Step Two: Leave the numbers game for Twitter.   LinkedIn is not a popularity contest.  Professionals viewing your profile will not think that you are more experienced based on more connections.  Build your LinkedIn connections based on people you are certain that will be helpful and supportive of your career development.  With your connections, remember to take it slow.  After meeting someone in the professional world it is not a good idea to ask to be their connection an hour after meeting them.  Do not be afraid to reach out after meeting a business professional, just give it some time.  When connecting with them, leave a thoughtful note that will make you stand out. 

Step Three: Remember to set your privacy settings accordingly.  For example, if you do not want others to see what groups you are following, it can be hidden from your profile.  It is a good idea to hide when you have applied to one company, but are following their main competitor on LinkedIn.  

Step Four: Unlike other social media sites, you are notified when someone has viewed your profile and vice versa.  Do not be shy about the fact that you can see who has viewed your profile and vice versa.  Feel free to browse profiles to see if there are any opportunities which fit for you.  Although you may see this as “creeping,” try not to see it in that way.  LinkedIn is about networking and finding opportunities. 

Step Five: Express yourself on your LinkedIn page.  Don’t be afraid to have a thorough profile of education, experiences, and skills.  LinkedIn gives you the ability to show these things on your profile, but it allows you to also make it more personal.  You can outline your experiences and skills in the first person.  Sometimes, professionals will add a personal story of their career development journey to their profile.

Wonderful!  These five steps can help you build a great network of connections and an outstanding LinkedIn profile page.  The Career Center is also here to help you build your LinkedIn profile.  Be aware of upcoming events focused on social media or LinkedIn in the spring semester, including a LinkedIn workshop on February 9, 2015.

It is hard to believe that the Fall season is upon us.  As the leaves begin to change and everything becomes pumpkin flavored everything, the time can only mean one thing… Fall Break is coming!   There is always great anticipation leading up to Fall break.  The stress of midterms before Fall break makes it effortless to depart from resident halls as fast as possible.  When students arrive home or the place they are going to stay for break, it is also easy for them to check out mentally to relax their mind, body, and soul from all stress. 

It can be helpful to leave campus to relax.  Taking a mental vacation where no production work is done is not the best idea.  With Fall Break lasting a week, it is a great opportunity to research potential careers or internships.  Fall break gives the opportunity to students to devote all their time into career related research.  Doing this during a break is less stressful because of not having to worry about homework deadlines as much.  Career searching seems like such a big task within itself, even if a student has a full week of research.  It is important to remember to break the research down into smaller pieces. 

 Step one: Dedicate a specific time and place every day that you will do your career search.  Start with a little self reflection.  Reflect on things such as: what career or internship is best suited for you, what skills can you contribute to a specific field, and ask yourself what you want to gain from an internship or work experience.

Step two: Now it is time to work on your resume.  Remember to avoid using a set template on your resume.   It is better to have a clean and easily presentable resume without designs distracting the employer from the things found on your resume.  Remember to have consistency within your resume.  This means: using the same font throughout your resume, using the same amount of space between different lines, making sure that your name stands out and that are your margins are fully aligned with one another.  Proofreading is crucial for a resume.  Remember that even though you are home on break the Career Center is still willing to help.  If you have any questions regarding your resume you can email the Career Center at

Step three: With your finished resume in hand, start to contact employers.  Remember that you can search for potential jobs or internships on College Central Network.  It is a good time to get creative in researching opportunities.  Remember to think about the connections that you already have and if those connections know of any internship or career opportunities available.  Remember that you are not limited to simply searching on the web for a career or internship.  If there is a specific company that you are interested in working or interning at, get in touch with them.  Sometimes, opportunities on job search engines might not show up.  It is important to check organizations’ websites for openings or contact information about possible openings.

Now that you have researched and prepared yourself well in the career search, you can return to campus with a clear idea of what you want.  This would be the perfect time to schedule an appointment with The Career Center located in Upper McGowan past The Mail Room.   Look for The Career Center sign down the hallway and turn left.  The Career Center is open Monday through Friday from 9 AM-5 PM.  The Career Center offers drop-in hours with no appointment necessary on Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 1 to 2 PM, and can also be reached by calling 301-447-5202.

Beginning a new internship and job is always exciting.  It is exciting because it is another chapter in your life with new opportunities and new beginnings.  But what happens when your new internship or job is not everything you expected it to be? Sometimes you get a gut intuition on the first day that the job simply is not for you.  This is often a hard thing to accept because you were so happy to be given a new opportunity.  If this happens to you, remind yourself that you are not a failure.  The job simply is not for you.  You have to remember to do what is best for you.  There will be other opportunities out there, better fitted with your personality.  Sometimes you have to let go and let God.  In other words, put faith in God that He will take care of you.  Often times a prayer of faith can help you discern what the right decision is.  You also have to faith in yourself.

Facing this road bump in life can sometimes be avoided.  Doing thorough research of a company and what your job description will be is one way you can avoid facing conflict and disappointment.  You can do this research online.  You can also get in contact with people that have previously worked or interned with a specific company.  If you do not know anyone that has previously worked or interned for the company, going to The Career Center is one way to try and get connected.  The Career Center regularly interacts with current students, alumni, and employers, so it may be possible to receive contact information for a company. 

Also, it may help to consider what the opportunity may cost.  Often times you get so caught up in the moment of being given such an amazing new opportunity that you do not see the downsides.  You start to not see the true opportunity costs (especially the negative ones).  You start to have a mentality that everything will turn out great because you just got hired.  It is important to take time to make a list of your opportunity costs.  Things such as the commute and being away from your support group (family and friends) are things to be considered.  Try to really picture yourself in your new job or internship and if it will help you reach your goals. 

One last thing to consider before accepting a new job or internship is not settling for less than you deserve.  This can be very challenging to do because often times we need to get a job or an internship.  You should not accept an internship or job simply because it is your only offer.  You should accept an internship or job because it will be beneficial to you.  This requires a lot of self reflection.  One question you always have to ask yourself before accepting a job or internship offer is, “is this truly for me?”  The answer simply cannot be yes or no.  Remember to reflect on what you truly want in life.  Reflect on what your morals and values are.  Reflect on what makes you truly happy.  This is essential in finding the right fit for you in an internship or job.   

Looking for a potential job or internship can be stressful to say the least.  Finding time to search for a potential job or internship is very hard while studying in college.  It is important to set aside a set number of hours every week to search for a potential job or internship.  Searching for a potential job or internship is easier now than years ago.  We do not have to drive around and actually look.  We are fortunate that we live in a society that is easily connected and where technology is advanced. We are even more fortunate that we go to school that offers free services to help us plan for our futures.

If you have no idea what type of job or internship you want, it is important to visit FOCUS.  FOCUS is an online self-assessment of your interest, values, and skills.  After completing your self-assessment, you can see how the results relate to majors and potential careers.  To access FOCUS visit  The access ID is: themount.

Now that you have an idea what type of job or internship you want, it is now time to search for one.  One easy way to do this daily is by always checking your email.  Look for Career Center updates via email, especially the Career Center Career Round-ups.  These are bi-weekly emails sent out about on-campus recruiting, on-campus interviewing, information sessions, recruiting tables, or information tables in Patriot about potential jobs or careers.  These resources offered are in a variety of fields.  This week alone the fields include: accounting, law enforcement, a consulting firm, and a CPA firm.  The Career Center is also on Facebook (Mount St. Mary’s University Career Center) and Twitter (@MSMCareer).   By staying connected with the Career Center via social media you will receive updates as well. 

If for some reason you cannot find a job or internship that is fitting for you via email or social media, it is time to go College Central Network.  College Central Network is free to students, alumni, and employers.  Approved employers may post jobs on College Central Network.  To access College Central Network, go to  At the top of The Mount’s website go to the tab that says “Student Life” and then click on “Career Center.”  Next, either click on College Central in the left hand menu, or scroll all the way down until you see the College Central Network logo.  The symbol is a square that has purple, red, green, and blue in it.  After you click on the College Central Network symbol, you get to logon to your account for the first time.  The only thing that you will need to log in to your account is your student ID number.  Remember that your student ID number is the last six digits found on the back of your Mount Card.  The first time access password is “mount”.  If for some reason that does not work try clicking on the “forgot my password” link.

After entering into College Central Network you can fill out a profile.  Filling out the profile helps because it can find jobs or internships that match your interests or major. On College Central Network you can search for opportunities posted to your school.  You can also search for opportunities listed in areas of your interest.  The really neat thing about it is that you can narrow down the search to a specific location.  You are also welcome to upload your resume.  This way, employers may view your resume.

If College Central Network does not help, remember that you can always come to the Career Center to make an appointment with our insightful staff.  You can also call 301-447-5202 to make an appointment.  The Career Center is open Monday through Friday from 9AM-5PM with drop-in hours on Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 1-2PM.  The office is located in Upper McGowan past the Mail Room - just look for the Career Center sign down the hallway.  Opportunity is knocking here at The Mount.  It is important to take advantage of these helpful resources to better increase your chances of success.

Another year gone.  It is hard to believe, but all too soon finals will be over and seniors will be graduating.  We hope that all students have had a fulfilling and enriching year, and for seniors, your time here at Mount St. Mary's University will undoubtedly be an important chapter in your life.  Whether you are moving onto graduate school or entering the workforce, remember that the Career Center is still here to help!

Many of the services available to students are still available to you as alumni.  Alumni can use College Central to search for job opportunities 24 hours a day, seven days a week.  Career Counseling is also an option for alumni.  You can continue to visit with a counselor for individual assistance with career planning and decision-making, along with taking a career interest and personality inventory.  Not only are you encouraged to make appointments with a career counselor, but you are also invited to all the events the Career Center sponsors.  Alumni are welcome to attend the workshops, seminars, on-campus recruitment and Career Fairs that are held throughout the year.  There are various ways for you to give back to the Mount too.  Serving on an alumni panel or offering internships or jobs at your place of employment are just some examples.

A service exclusively for alumni is the Mentoring Network.  This gives alumni the opportunity to mentor fellow Mounties and network with alumni on various career levels.  To register, visit and select “Join Our Mentoring Network.”  Director of the Career Center Clare Tauriello encourages alumni to take advantage of these services: “The Career Center welcomes the opportunity to assist alumni in their career development.  You may be graduating, but our services continue!”

Remember that you can always contact the Career Center at 301-447-5202 or  Once a Mountie, always a Mountie!  On behalf of the entire Career Center staff, we congratulate the Class of 2014 and wish them the best of luck as they begin their next chapter in life!

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