Planning Ahead for Post-Grad Opportunities

Whether you just started the program or are approaching your final year of study (or both!), setting aside some time to craft and implement your career action plan will be critical for effectively navigating the job search process. This may include:
  • Conducting a self-assessment of your unique strengths, interests, values, motivators, and goals;
  • Creating a job wish list including target organizations and opportunities;
  • Preparing your marketing materials (e.g. resume, LinkedIn profile, and pitch);
  • Developing your network of contacts in your fields of interest; and
  • Setting goalposts to measure your progress

Not sure where to start? Book a career appointment, or take a look at the extensive resources available within the Document Library of Career Connect. Finding an accountability partner with whom you could share your goals, challenges, and successes can also be a great way to stay on track!

Highlighting Your Soft Skills in Resumes and Interviews

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As if crafting a resume that aptly and succinctly highlights your background and skills within a 10 to 15 second glance isn’t hard enough, highlighting critical soft skills, such as interpersonal skills — an essential qualification for any job — can be especially challenging.

So how do we tout such skills without saying that we simply have them? Start by thinking critically about what these skills look like in action-and-result form. For example:

  • Collaborated with a team to develop a new intake process.
  • Trained a group of student leaders on conflict resolution and mediation skills.
  • Developed partnerships with community organizations to streamline the client referral process.

Using concrete language to demonstrate your ability in these ways (i.e. showing versus telling) is far more effective than simply stating that you have good “people skills” or that you “work with well people”.

For more tips, review the resources in the Document Library within Career Connect.

Managing Your Job Search

Searching for a job, whether as a first-time job seeker or experienced professional, can feel like a roller coaster ride, filled with moments of hope, excitement, frustration, and disillusionment.

While there’s no quick, simple, or guaranteed way to smooth-sail through the process, there are tips, tools, and resources you can refer to that may help facilitate the journey. Take a look at a few below:

Strategies for Success in Your New Job

Whether you are entering the workforce for the first time or transitioning to a different role or career, starting a new job can be both exciting and daunting. Ensuring that you make a strong first impression takes more than just skill and mental preparedness. Consider the following strategies to start.

  • Define your goals and expectations: Discuss what’s expected of you and how your performance will be measured with your manager off the bat — it will show that you’re not only invested in the organization, it will also highlight your enthusiasm and initiative to contribute towards its goals.
  • Invest in building relationships: Take time not only to meet your immediate colleagues but with staff at all levels of the organization. Building connections early on can lead to great work alliances, friendships/support networks, and even formal and informal mentorships, which can be crucial for advancement in your career.
  • Watch and learn: Observe your surroundings and the general office culture, including how people interact with one another and get things done. These insights can help you understand unwritten rules and expectations of the workplace, as well as factors that are critical to success in the organization.

For more tips, take a look at these insights from Michael Watkins, author of The First 90 Days: Proven Strategies for Getting Up to Speed Faster and Smarter.

Making the Most of Your Summer

Summer break is finally here! Some of you may be taking classes, others, starting their internships or taking some much needed R&R time. Regardless of your plans for the next few months, remember that this is a prime time to reflect on your career goals and prepare for the next year.

Below are some ways you can make the most of the summer:

  • Update your marketing materials (resume, LinkedIn): Include your latest accomplishments and establish a LinkedIn profile if you don’t already have one. (Haven’t started a LinkedIn page? Take a look at this checklist for quick tips.)
  • Cultivate your professional network: Schedule coffee chats and informational interviews with professionals you’d like to meet or learn from using resources such as the Online Alumni Community and LinkedIn Group. You can also attend various networking events in your area based on your interests.
  • Create a career action plan: Start honing in on your post-grad plans including your target job, so you know what knowledge, skills, and connections you should be building through the next year. (Looking for opportunities to develop your skill set? Volunteer or take free skill-building courses.)

For more tips and insights, schedule an appointment with us via Career Connect. As a reminder, through the summer months, our office will be available by appointment only.

So You Attended the MSW Job Fair — Now What?

Kudos to those who braved the crowds to meet and connect with employers at last week’s MSW Job Fair! We hope you were able to walk away with valuable information about potential opportunities you could pursue post-graduation. Here are a few follow-up steps to take, now that the fair is over:

  • Get organized. Jot down what you learned about your target organizations, including recruiter contact information (if provided), open opportunities, and sought after skills and attributes not explicitly stated on their websites.
  • Update your marketing material. Incorporate information and feedback you received from the recruiters, and ensure that your resume, cover letter, and LinkedIn profile reflect the qualifications they’re seeking.
  • Follow up. Did the recruiters ask you to send them your resume or submit your application online? Make sure to do so and also send a follow-up email to thank them for their time and to reiterate your interest. You can also try to connect with them on LinkedIn. (NOTE: Not all recruiters accept requests.)
  • Reflect on the experience. Take a moment to assess how you think you managed the experience. Did you feel prepared? What did you do well? What could you have done better? For tips on improving for the future, feel free to schedule an appointment with the Career Services team.
  • Keep the momentum going. Job fairs are a great way to make connections and learn about openings, but your search should not end there. Take advantage of on- and off-campus recruitment events, including the Site Visit to Fresnius Kidney Care on March 29, and networking opportunities, such as the Networking Night at the Columbia Club on April 4, to gain additional leads and insights.

Career Strategies for the New Year

Happy New Year!

While any time is a good time for setting new goals and habits, the start of a new year always presents a great opportunity to implement new resolutions.

One easy-to-implement resolution, whether you’re interning or working in a full-time role, is to keep a regular journal of your personal and professional accomplishments. This is not only an effective way to track your progress toward your goals but also to tangibly reflect on your successes, challenges, and growth and identify next steps.

You can use the traditional pen-to-paper method or try one of the many free journaling apps available. Journal entries are most useful when they include:

  • Specific details about a situation, project, or challenge you faced (including who, what, and when)
  • Skills you used or actions you took to address it
  • Results you achieved or impact you had

Sound familiar? These are the core elements of resumes and interviews. They’re also great to discuss in performance reviews. Not sure where to start? Schedule an appointment with the career team today!

Tips for Maximizing Your New Connections After a Networking Event

Did you recently attend a networking event? Making connections is just the first step; now it’s time to follow up! See below for simple tips on building and growing your network.

Tips For Maximizing Your New Connections

  1. Send personalized thank you notes to the people you met, highlighting a specific tip you appreciated or insight you gained.
  2. Connect with them on LinkedIn, making sure to customize your request. Note that some people prefer to keep their connections closed.
  3. If the people you spoke with offered to meet or chat again for one-on-one conversations, follow up on their offer with suggestions for potential dates, times, and locations that would accommodate their schedule.
  4. Keep in touch and update them on any developments resulting from their support. If you find articles or resources that may be of interest to them, pass them along! Remember, networking is a two-way street. The more you pay it forward, the more you’ll get back.