Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Career Fair Feedback

Feedback, or “constructive criticism” as it is sometimes called, is always a good way to check in and make sure what you’re doing works and to see how it can be improved.  I thought this would be a good time to share some employer feedback from the Professional Job Fair last week.  It seems that the requirement for professional business attire was definitely a step in the right direction; many employers commented on the improvement over past fairs, and we’ll continue to require it in the future.  Employers said that many students were well-prepared, especially in the area of research on employers.  In general students were able to articulate their interests well, and some of the “elevator speeches” were very good.  Students were engaging and proactive, and resumes were “strong” for the most part. 

Now for the “constructive” part—watch for workshops, blogs, and handouts from Career Services as we try to address these concerns. We still need to reach more students with preparation suggestions and focusing on a few key employers based on interests, rather than just “walking the floor.”  While some students were quite outgoing, some were very hesitant and had to be drawn into conversation by the employer; elevator speeches and quick introductions needed polish for the majority of students.  (See “elevator speeches” above!)

All in all employers were pleased with our students and compared us very favorably to our bigger neighbor to the north.  Keep up the good work, and practice those quick elevator speeches to introduce yourselves! A great place to do that is at our Speed Networking event on November 13th at 5:30 p.m. in the Crescent Club in the Vaughn Center! 

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Myths Busted

After the job fairs for the semester are over, we always look for other ways that students can interact with employers and can explore opportunities for employment in some less traditional ways, ways that may not “require” a particular major but are open to students of all majors and degrees.  The first of these panel discussions, which we call “Myth Busters,” will be from 4:30 to 6:00 pm. in the Vaughn Center Trustees Board Room on Tuesday, October 29th with representatives from the CIA, FBI, and MacDill Air Force Base who will discuss careers in the US Intelligence Community.

The second will be on Wednesday, November 6th from 5:00 to 6:00 p.m. in Riverside 102 when our “Myth Busters” panel will discuss what careers in volunteerism/public service look like.  UT students seem to have a passion for volunteering, and our Peace Corps representative is anxious to take advantage of this and helped us to contact other agencies with similar post-graduate opportunities to give back to those less fortunate, whether in the international realm or right here at home.  He will be joined by representatives from Americorps/VISTA, City Year, and the Public Allies Program.

So, whether you are a first or second year student just beginning to think about a career or a junior, senior, grad student, or alum in a more immediate job search, we hope you’ll join us to explore some options that you may not have considered.  

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Professional Job Fair- TOMORROW

Professional Dress is Required!  Click here to see what you should wear.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

The Corner Office

On a typical day at work, I work out of room 106 in the Riverside building. Room 106 doesn’t have any windows and smells sort of plasticky because it’s where we store our promotional products. It’s a ton of fun. Occasionally, I’ll have the opportunity to sit in Room 110, which is bigger, doesn’t smell of plastic, and has windows, which is quite refreshing. But there was one not so typical day that I had recently during which I had an experience that I found quite exhilarating, and I’d like to share it with you. There are some quite lovely offices in the Riverside building. I’ve been in quite a few of them, for meetings and the like. These are the top-tier offices; I’m talking overlooking the river, memory foam faux-leather office chair, big L-shaped desk, a bookshelf (with books on it!) and so on. A really pleasant place to spend your work day. Many people work their entire lives and never get to call an office like that theirs. But for one day, I got to work out of one.
I won’t say whose office it was, but to say the least it was beautiful. That morning I came in, and there were interviews going on in Room 110 and 106. Some of the staff members were out of the office for the day, so my boss says to me to go ahead and take one of their offices for the day. Take your pick. Of course, I selected the biggest, roomiest, book-filled-iest office of them all and got settled. And as I continued to work through the day, I began to realize something; this was the life. I’ve worked in a lot of places; I’ve called a cubicle home before (not literally), and although I realize that such a place is ideal for a working environment, having a corner office with a view was actually something that I really, really wanted. I’d never thought about it until that very day. The whole day I felt more in tune with my work, and with the office as well, and it was really quite exciting.

What I’m trying to tell you all is this: you want a corner office. Trust me. The thing is, you have to work for it; so do it. Work hard. Then work harder. And it will be yours. And hopefully, it will be for more than just a day. And when you get there, and your office smells of rich mahogany and leather bound books, it will all be completely worth it.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Dress for Success: Career Fair Attire

The Professional Job Fair is only a few days away! Appropriate attire is a key ingredient to effectively navigating a career fair – after all, this is often an employer’s first impression of you! To help you prepare, we’ve compiled some tips on how to dress for success.

When attending a career fair, business professional attire is required.

Business professional attire for women:
  • Business Suit in dark colors such as black, navy, or gray. If wearing a skirt suit be sure that the skirt is knee level or slightly above – no short skirts! Also, be sure to wear a tailored blouse underneath. Avoid low-cut tops.
  • Closed-toe leather pumps with low to medium heels.
  • Jewelry – generally, a good rule-of-thumb is no more than three pieces of jewelry (e.g., earrings, watch, and ring). Jewelry should be understated and appropriate for the workplace.
  • In addition, make sure your make-up and nail polish is neutral and professional. 
Business professional attire for men:
  • Business Suit in dark colors such as black, navy, or gray. If you do not own a suit, you can pair a long-sleeve dress shirt with a pair of dress pants.Long-sleeved starched oxford cloth shirt in white or light blue.
  • Conservative necktie in color and pattern.
  • Dress shoes – make sure your shoes are polished and well-maintained (i.e., no holes!).
  • Over-the-calf dark socks. 
Additional tips to remember:

  • A friendly smile and eye contact will make you stand out!;
  • Bring a briefcase or portfolio (no backpack);
  • Well-groomed hairstyle - avoid unusual styles & colors;
  • Wear minimal cologne or perfume;
  • No visible body piercing or body art;
  • Bring breath mints; use one before greeting recruiter. Do not chew gum! 

Thursday, October 10, 2013

ONE MORE TEST- Are you Ready?

As the economy shifts to a more stable and growing job market for graduating students, companies are once again preparing for a competitive job market to identify and hire the next top talent for their organizations.  With an increased importance on analyzing data, problems solving and critical thinking, new assessments are being developed to help companies better assess future employees readiness for the “real world”.    Some of these measurements focus on the student’s institution and how prepared the university prepared graduating students, while others assess an individual’s capabilities in this area.   One assessment, the Collegiate Learning Assessment, measures the incoming academic ability of the institution the student attended.

Whether you agree with this or not, more and more companies are using this type of assessment similarly to how schools evaluate SAT scores for incoming freshman.   To best prepare for that next step, we encourage you to review the latest information available to make sure you are best suited for the economy you are about to enter.   The skills mentioned above along with communication and interpersonal skills are among the most sought after by employers regardless of the industry or job.   Get prepared now!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

LinkedIn Profile Tips!

Is your LinkedIn profile reflective of your personal brand? Watch this video to learn the top five profile “to-do’s” from LinkedIn.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

U.S. Department of State

If any of you have ever considered working for the U. S. Department of State, here is an excellent videotaped interview with Linda Thomas-Greenfield, the Foreign Service Director-General. She gives an overview of the traits that the State Department looks for and explains the very competitive selection process.

Over 20,000 people take the written test each year, and only a few hundred per year are hired.  The written exam is only the first part of the  process; if you pass the multiple choice section, then your essays are looked at: and, if you pass that section, then you are invited to an oral exam. We are fortunate in Florida to have two of the 16 Diplomats in Residence whose function is to interact with college students who are considering a career in foreign service.

Hopefully you will have an opportunity to meet Ed Loo, who covers the southern half of the state, at one of our career events this year. If you are preparing your application materials for State Department internships or fellowships, he will review them for you and answer any questions that you might have.  If you want a career where you get to reinvent yourself every two or three years with each new assignment, the State Department just might be for you!