Resumes that Get Interviews: Top Tips from a Recruiter | Wednesday, December 2

Looking to revamp your resume in preparation for your impending job search or internship placement?

Attend our upcoming resume webinar on Wednesday, December 2 from 12:30-1:30 PM ET led by alumna Julie Kim Richards ’96, MSW New York Coordinator for Social Work p.r.n., a specialized social work staffing agency serving the New York City Metropolitan area.

At this event, you will learn:

    • What employers look for in resumes
    • How to effectively showcase your skills, experience, and value
    • Additional tips to make you stand out

Register here to receive a link to the webinar.

About Julie Kim Richards

Julie Kim RichardsJulie Kim Richards is the New York Coordinator for Social Work p.r.n., performing the role of recruiter and temp assignment coordinator in the only staffing agency created exclusively for social workers by social workers. Julie’s varied professional experience in multiple agencies and fields has driven her passion to help make the right fit for social workers and the settings where they work.

Julie’s social work experiences include individual and group therapy, advocacy, and supervision in the areas of child and family services, developmental disabilities, substance use, and services in schools. She dedicated 14 years of her social work career to developing the programs of a New York City agency that provides linguistically and culturally-specific services to Asian survivors of domestic violence, human trafficking, and sexual abuse. As the Director of Programs, her accomplishments included nomination to Vice President of the Advisory Council to the New York State Office of Victim Services, and the development of: a women’s wellness center, a legal services division, a digital art therapy youth program, and a training program—all achieved while maintaining high-quality services provided to over 600 women and children annually, including a hotline provided in over a dozen Asian languages. Julie has presented at numerous conferences on the topics of domestic violence and mental health in the Asian community, including a workshop provided at the U.S. Department of Justice Domestic Violence Summit. She has also taught the domestic violence practice course at Columbia University School of Social Work.

Navigating the Job Search During Challenging Times

The global COVID-19 pandemic, sociopolitical climate, and accompanying distress — particularly for BIPOC communities that have been disproportionately impacted — have brought added challenges to an already stressful job-hunt process. For those graduating next spring, these challenges may feel particularly pressing.

The importance of self-care cannot be understated, especially during these times, and we encourage prioritizing it in your search and overall career management strategy. This may include monitoring your energy; setting mini-goals, and adjusting them as needed; as well as finding support and community within and outside of your personal, professional, and CSSW network, including one-on-one appointments with our office.

Students can receive additional support through our mentorship program, a new initiative started in the spring that facilitates connections to alumni for career insights and advice. BIPOC-identified students can also participate in our upcoming Communities of Color event, an annual program designed to connect and engage students and alumni of color in candid career conversations within a dedicated support space.

See below for more tips and resources on navigating the job search, as highlighted in last week’s webinar:

    • Treat job searching as a process. Allow time to reflect on how you can contribute to an organization so that you can tailor your search for opportunities that speak to your strengths, interests, and values.
    • Break down the process into smaller, achievable parts. These may include clarifying your goals and direction through a self-assessment, establishing your target list by conducting research on organizations that have missions that you care about, and learning more about career options and opportunities through informational interviews.
    • Create a timeline and action plan using organizers to track your progress. This will allow you to recognize and celebrate mini-wins that you achieve along the way, which in turn can help you stay motivated and focused.

Remember, you’re not alone on this journey — there’s a community you can turn to for support. Take a moment to assess what networks and supports might be most helpful for you, not only for landing a meaningful role but also for maintaining your momentum and well-being for the long haul.

If you missed our webinar, you can find the presentation slides in Career Connect within our Document Library under the Workshops / Webinars / Presentations folder.

Making the Most of Informational Interviews

Does the idea of conducting informational interviews feel intimidating?

Consider thinking of them as “curiosity conversations”—opportunities to make meaningful connections with folx in your field and gain insights and advice that will help you move forward in your career development.

If you missed our information interviewing webinar last week, here are some key takeaways:

    • Clarify your interests, needs, and goals to assess what knowledge and insights will help you move forward in your career exploration.
    • Identify contacts from your network who possess the background or expertise in your area of interest, including through the CSSW LinkedIn Group or career mentoring program for students.
    • Prepare a brief overview of your professional experience and an agenda for the meeting to ensure you leave with your “must” takeaways.
    • Ask thoughtful questions that can provide actionable insights and build upon what you already know.
    • Make sure to follow-up with a thank you note and keep the contact up-to-date on your progress.

You can find the presentation slides in Career Connect within our Document Library under the Workshops / Webinars / Presentations folder.

Career Advice from VNSNY Community Mental Health Panelists

Last week, our office sponsored a panel discussion with VNSNY and their community mental health professionals to learn about their career paths and what led them to this work.

If you missed the session, here are some key takeaways:

    • Meet and build relationships with folx in the field, because networking is still one of the most effective ways to land opportunities.
    • Seek mentors and supervisors who are invested in your development. Surrounding yourself with a strong support system is key to growing and advancing in an organization.
    • Take risks by being open to new opportunities or exploring new paths—these experiences can help you build career agility, find meaningful work, and expand your professional network.
    • Take ownership of the job you have right now; it will not only help you build character and skill sets for your current role, it will also prepare you for future ones.
    • Make sure to prioritize self-care. When interviewing, ask questions about initiatives that are in place to support the well-being of employees and the agency as a whole.

Thanks to those who attended, as well as to our speakers Jessica Aitken, Natasha Anderson, Deborah Cho ’15, Sabrina Machuca, and Echelle Norman, and Keith Peters and Leah Blumberg for collaborating with us on this event!

You can find the presentation slides and speakers’ contact information in Career Connect within our Document Library under the Employer Events / Information Sessions folder.

Exclusive Global Career Resource for Students and Alumni

Did you know that as a student or graduate of Columbia School of Social Work, you have free access to GoinGlobal, an international career resource for both domestic and international candidates?

Whether you are interested in pursuing an opportunity across town or around the world, take a look at GoinGlobal, including their country and city career guidesdirectory of employers, H1B visa employer listings, and opportunities in 120 locations worldwide.

With the changed employment landscape due to the COVID-19 pandemic, they have recently added a wealth of new resources to support your job search.

Take a look at the links found on their homepage sidebar “Job Search During COVID”:

    • Working During a Pandemic – forward thinking job search and networking tips
    • COVID Career Advice – timely news articles covering a range of topicsGlobal
    • Employment Briefings – areas of job promise in key countries

You can also find new economic information in their country career guides under “Snapshot” and “Job Search Overview.” Note every country guide has a dedicated section under “Finding a Job” about “Telework and Freelance.”

To learn more about the site’s features and resources, take a look at their user training schedule.

Communities of Color Virtual Networking Event | Monday, November 9

Image by febrian eka saputra from Pixabay

The offices of Career Services and Leadership Management, Development and Alumni Relations, and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion are pleased to invite you to our 3rd Annual Communities of Color Virtual Networking Event on Monday, November 9, 2020.

All those who identify as students of color/ BIPOC are encouraged to participate!

Meet and mingle with a group of distinguished alumni of color, learn about their career paths and trajectories, and get tips and advice on navigating your own path as a professional of color in this dedicated virtual support space.

The list of featured alumni can be found below.

Event Details

Monday, November 9, 2020
6:30 – 8:30 pm ET
Platform: Zoom

The event will open with a 45-minute panel discussion and Q&A featuring select alumni guests. Thereafter, you will have the opportunity to engage in two rounds of small group networking with one or two alumni per group. 

*Pre-registration is required. Sign up here using your LionMail account ASAP. We ask that you only register if you are able to attend.


FEATURED ALUMNI (Read their full bio HERE)

Nadine Rose Carole ‘13 (SEA) – Program Manager at Facebook

Chris Eagar-Finney ‘13 (AGPP) – Psychiatric Social Worker II at Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health

Brandon Hadi ‘20 (SEA)  Program Manager at Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders in Philanthropy (AAPIP)

Kazuko (Kazu) Kato ‘13 (POL) – Engineering Analyst at Booz Allen Hamilton

Erick Nunez ‘15 (AGPP) Director of Specials Projects & Therapist at Soco Rey Therapy

Gwenelle  Styles O’Neal ’81 (POL) – Professor at West Chester University

Lorenzo Shaw-Graham ’20 (AGPP) – Program Associate, at Council on Social Work Education

Whitney Stewart ’14 (POL) – Senior Consultant-National Security at Guidehouse

Martinique (Marti) Teperman ‘06 (ACP) – Deputy Director of Social Services and Family Engagement at East Harlem Tutorial Program

Suzanne Towns ’01 (AGPP) – Deputy Executive Director at DC Workforce Investment Council

Asking Powerful Negotiation Questions

Establishing your value and asking for more is not a selfish act, says Alexandra Carter, Director of the Mediation Clinic at Columbia Law School and author of Ask for More: 10 Questions to Negotiate Anything. Instead, it primes others on how to value you and those who will come after you.

Negotiating is also more than asking for a higher salary and includes intangible benefits such as recognition for your achievements and mentorship and training opportunities. Asking questions is the most underutilized practice in a negotiation strategy, notes Carter. Some powerful questions she suggests asking yourself in any negotiation process are:

    • What’s the problem I want to solve and how? This can help frame what you want to ask for and how you ask for it.
    • What do I want from this negotiation? Consider both tangible and intangible needs.
    • What am I afraid of? Air out your emotions and hesitations by writing them down. Once you acknowledge your feelings, you can move forward to creating a strategy with confidence.
    • Where have I successfully advocated for myself or others in the past? In evaluating the strategies you’ve used and simply thinking about a prior success, you are more likely to do better in negotiating.

Remember, whatever you want to ask for, keep it optimistic, specific, and justifiable. Learn additional tips including how to boost your confidence going into a negotiation by listening to this episode on the How to be Awesome at Your Job podcast.

Written by Rawlisha Pena, Assistant Director of Career Services and Leadership Management, August 25, 2020

Building a Positive Professional Brand

Whether you’re job searching or starting field, let your professional brand speak for itself.

Your professional brand communicates your core values, strengths, and attitude in and out of the workplace and helps you stand out as a marketable candidate for future roles.

For your brand to be effective, however, the mediums through which you convey who you are and what you offer need to be consistent. This includes not only your job applications, Linkedin, and other social media activities, but also your personal interactions.

In assessing your brand, consider the following questions:

    • How are you presenting yourself and communicating with others online and in person? Do your email messages and nonverbal behaviors, for example, reflect the professional image and reputation you seek to project?
    • How do you respond to feedback, criticism, or conflicts and challenges? Do they demonstrate your willingness and initiative to adapt, collaborate, learn, and grow–attributes particularly critical to the post-COVID world?
    • How are you nurturing the relationships you have with others, such as with supervisors, classmates, professors, mentors, and leaders in your field?

Your professional brand will evolve as your career grows. What impression do you want to leave on others? Use this to guide the steps you need to take to refine your brand, so others can have a clear sense of what you stand for and why they should hire you.