Career & Professional Development
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The career development process includes learning about yourself, your occupational options, making informed decisions, setting goals, gaining experiences, and having a holistic vision for your life.
The Career and Professional Development Office is able to assist you with a variety of questions and challenges you may experience as you maneuver your way along the path to occupational success. We can also assist you in navigating transitions as you make and re-make career choices throughout your life.
Many students and alumni have had various successes and utilized many of the resources and tools offered through the Career and Professional Development Office.
Networking is the process of utilizing, building, and expanding relationships with the purpose of obtaining more career and social opportunities. It’s not what you know, it’s who you know. It’s important to note that networking is not asking for a job. Rather, it is an on-going process of developing relationships in order to achieve career goals. Overall, networking can lead to a referral, new business, or even a job. The more people you know with quality reputations, the more chances you have of expanding your world and advancing your career.
Career Exploration and Job Shadowing
Career planning can be an exciting opportunity to examine your skills, your passions, your future vision, and your economic goals. The career development process includes learning about yourself, your occupational options, making informed decisions, setting goals, gaining experiences, and having a holistic vision for your life.
Take a proactive approach towards the career decision-making process. Engaging in the career development process allows students and alumni to choose their best-fit career path through informed decision-making, with Career Development providing guidance and support for these decisions.
- Explore: Knowing what you’re like as a person (personality traits), what you enjoy (your interests), what’s important to you (your values), and what you are good at (your skills and abilities) will help you to determine potentially satisfying careers.
- Research: Research and learn about various occupational and academic options, to assist in making an informed decision.
- Decide: Compare your interests, abilities, and values with the information you gathered about yourself and the world of work.
- Plan: Use information gained to examine what you want in life and how you plan to get it by making yourself the most qualified candidate.
- Evaluate: You are never completely stuck with a decision. You can always evaluate your goals and action plan as you gain new information and experiences. Use this new information to guide you and direct your journey down the paths that are in line with your idea of career happiness and success that you will take throughout your life. Adjust your plans and goals as your interests and expertise change.
Resume and Cover Letter
A resume should support your career objective by presenting evidence to the employer that you have the skills and knowledge necessary to perform the job. If you are unsure of the career options you want to pursue then it will be difficult to design an effective resume. Once you have an idea of what you want to do, you can write a resume that highlights the appropriate skills and experiences. Visit Academic and Career Development if you need help defining your career objective.
Before you write your resume, take time to do a self-assessment on paper (see attached worksheets). Develop a working list of your education, experience, skills and abilities, honors, and activities. Write everything down that pops into your head. What skills have you learned? What have you achieved that makes you stand out? What special qualities do you have that others might now? Use this information on your list to fill in the different sections of your resume.
General Resume Tips
- Length: A resume for a current college student or a recent graduate is generally 1 page; however 2 pages can be acceptable. If you are going into a research field or teaching in higher education then you would use a Curriculum Vitae (CV) rather than a resume and CVs are often longer than 2 pages.
- Keep Your Resume Professional and Easy to Read: Employers spend about 20 to 30 seconds on each resume during the initial screening period so don’t give them a reason to throw yours away before they even have a chance to read the content. It is important to be well organized and use consistent formatting so that your resume is sleek and easy to follow. Use an easy to read font of 10-12 points in size, utilize bullets to organize experience, bold text to highlight key words and PROOFREAD CAREFULLY.
- Your Resume is Your Marketing Brochure: Too many resumes basically list employment history, focusing on tasks and duties rather than accomplishments and skills. An effective resume excites employers about the possibility of you joining their staff so think about that with everything you put on your resume.
- Your Resume Should be Adapted to Each Position: Different positions you apply for will require different skills or experiences so your resume should be reflective of that. Information can be added or deleted according to the needs of the position or the order in which you present the information can be changed. The content categories you select for your resume should be determined by a number of factors, especially by your strongest “selling points” relative to the type of position you are seeking. You may find that you have several versions of your resume if you are targeting different types of career positions.
An interview is a professional business meeting used to determine how the candidate’s skills, experience, and personality will fit the needs of the organization. This is your opportunity to demonstrate your value to your potential employer. Below are tips on how to navigate the interviewing process.
An interview is like an exam. Your success depends on how well you have prepared and your ability to handle the subject. The subject in this case is you. How well you can relate your skills, interests, and potential to the needs of the employer is key.
What is the purpose?
- To supply the employer with information about you that is not contained in your resume/CV, application, or cover letter
- To enable the employer to evaluate your personal characteristics, abilities, values, attitudes, and skills based on the requirements of the position and organization
- To enable you to gain more information about the employer and position
What should you focus on?
- Experience and how it relates to the employer’s needs
- How you can be an asset to your employer
- How the employer can assist you in achieving your goals, directly or indirectly
It is important to have a general knowledge of salary ranges appropriate for your industry, years of experience, and geographical location. It is suggested that you take time to review trends when you look for a new position. Below are a list of websites that you can use to remain current.
- Salary.com: Offers a comprehensive review of current salaries, negotiation techniques and an array of information relevant to your professional development and job search.
- PayScale.com: Free salary reports, as well as research on salary trends and an “early guide” for those just entering the professional workforce.
- America’s Career InfoNet: Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor, this website offers a full spectrum of services: industry information, occupational information, regional information, as well as salary scales in various industries and states.
- NACE Salary Calculator: Offers salary data from more than 500 occupations.
- Glassdoor: Excellent job search engine offering facts and details on trending jobs and salaries. Offers a comprehensive review of over 500,000 companies by employees and former employees who anonymously provide reviews on their salaries and the company’s management.
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