Is It Worth It? NETWORK IT! Reality Check Networking Night

Can you believe that the semester is already more than half over?! For those of you who are graduating, there may be some concern over the job search and building a professional network. Luckily, CSC has your back!! On Wednesday April 8th, 2015 from 5:30pm-7:30pm in the UNCG Alumni House, we are having an event, Reality Check Networking Night.  During this event, students will gain the opportunity to network and connect with alumni! Professional Business Attire is REQUIRED to attend the event, so remember to wear suits!

reality check

Networking can be scary and overwhelming, especially if it is a new skill for you. Let’s take a look at some information and ways to make sure that your time at Reality Check is a success!

NETWORKING- can be defined as building and maintaining relationships, it is a CHOICE, and requires action.

networking myths

Additionally, it does not occur overnight. Like the rest of the job search, it is a PROCESS.

  • Explore: Build self-awareness
  • Prepare: Research, identify contacts, practice skills
  • Act: Interact with contacts, ask for feedback
  • Reflect: Evaluate performance, information learned, next steps

Hopefully, through attending Reality Check, you will walk away with a variety of professional contacts.  While you will have time to talk to alumni individually, you may want to continue to get more information once the event is over. In order to continue the networking process with these individuals, one option is to conduct informational interviews. What is an informational interview? GREAT question!

Informational interviews are informal meetings where job seekers (you!) get information about a specific industry, job function, or company through professionals who are already in that profession or field. Therefore, the purpose of an informational interview is to:

  • Gain information about a career, field, company, or position
  • Build a relationship NOT to seek employment
  • Build your network and develop future contacts though referrals

Sample questions to ask on an Informational Interview (think about picking one or two to try out at Reality Check)!!

  • How did you get started in this field?
  • How did your academic major prepare you for this job/field?
  • What do you like most/least about your job?
  • Why did you choose this career path over other paths?
  • What are some of the biggest challenges that you face, within this career field?
  • What advice would you give to a student at UNCG who is interested in pursuing a career within this field one day?

You’re now on your way to being a pro at networking! We hope to see you at Reality Check Networking Night on Wednesday April 8th. Registered attendees will receive FREE personalized business cards, so BE THERE!!

Living the Dream by Staying Green

Looking for an environmentally conscious job can be a frustrating experience.  Many students are discouraged from majoring in a “green” major by friends or family because there is a fear in the amount of money that a person would make in this industry and a lack of knowledge about this job industries growth.

It’s important to not become discouraged when looking. Environmental jobs, sustainable development jobs, and “green jobs” is a field that is currently growing every day.  In 2010, the clean energy industry showed rapid growth and has been steadily growing ever since.

The following are some tips and guidance for pursuing a green job:

  1. Look at job websites that post exclusively green jobs- By looking at a website that specializes in green jobs, potential job seekers have narrowed their search to what is most important to them; they won’t have to wade through the clutter of non-green jobs that they would have no interest in.
  2. Be specific-searching for “green” or environmental job is only going to get a job seeker so far. It’s important for the job seeker to specifically know what type of job they are looking for.  This means that the applicant must put in more effort towards figuring out whether they are applying for an entry level, applying for
  3. Network- Linked In is a great tool for finding environmentally friendly companies on the internet and getting connected with them. It’s also important to remember the importance of going to conferences and meeting new people who can help an applicant in the future.
  4. Search for tools and technology- Talk with professors and professionals about growing trends and developments. Today’s job seeker should become a sponge for information; they need to keep track of industry growth, new technology, and potential new regulations.

green jobs

Some potential green career paths include:

Construction Project Manager: Oversees all aspects of construction project and makes sure that the finished project meets sustainability requirements.

Sustainability Analyst: Reviews projects, procedures and policies to see if they meet standards.  If the finished project doesn’t meet standards, analyst will recommend improvements.

Sustainable Design Professional: Career know for architectural and engineering expertise.  Responsible for designing and implementing blueprints to make a building sustainable.

Energy Efficiency Analyst:  Responsible for determining the current energy efficiency of a project or building and recommending ways for improvement.

Operations Manager: Responsible for making operations run more efficiently in both productivity and energy consumption.  Creates and implements sustainable practices into their business or industry.

Solar Professionals:  While many other industries were laying off workers and during the last recession, the solar and wind industry saw an increase of 70,000 jobs.

Autoworkers:  There’s been a shift in the automobile industry in the past six years.  While this industry has historically been very against government regulations and improving environmental standards, they’ve made many improvements.  There is now a resurgence in the creation of tens of thousands of jobs

Green Builders:  Engineers, contractors, and other professionals who are working to build and upgrade buildings to greener LEED standards are in high demand.  Green homes comprised 17 percent of the residential construction market in 2011.  In 2016, it’s expected that number will be between 29 and 38 percent.

Sustainable Farming:  There was a 10 percent jump in U.S. organic food sales from 2009 to 2010 and sales totaled $27 billion in 2010.

Sustainability Professionals:  These professionals are responsible for educating the next generation and also helping existing businesses improve their standards.  Responsible for educating businesses and creating synergy between environmental responsibility and economic success.

Some websites for green job searching include:

Happy Hunting!

Start Smart: Salary Negotiation for Women

Start Smart

Attend this workshop on Saturday, February 28th and make sure you are ready when it comes time to negotiate your salary, setting yourself up to earn more over the course of your lifetime!

  • Saturday, February 28th
  • 10am – 2pm
  • Maple, EUC
  • Lunch will be provided

RSVP through Spartan Careers by Monday, February 23rd – space is limited to 30 students!

If you have any questions, please contact Beth Walker at 336-334-4443 or beth_walker@uncg.edu

This event is sponsored by The WAGE Project, AAUW, Women’s and Gender Studies, and the Career Services Center.

 

 

 

Spring Career Fair – Rescheduled Again! Now Tuesday 3/3

The Spring Career Fair has been rescheduled to due the weather forecast – it will now be Tuesday, March 3rd from 10am-2pm in the EUC Cone Ballroom! Make sure your suit is pressed, your resume is ready, and your handshake is strong!

To help do your research on the companies that will be there, check out our Pinterest board with the full list of employers. And new this year – we have an app! Download UNCG Career Fair+ to get all the information you need in the palm of your hand.

career fair app

Career Fair Flair – Are You Ready?

Confused about what to wear to the Career Fair on February 18th? Our Employer Relations team, Leslie and Mary Lesa, are here to help!

Buying a suit for women:

Suit options for men:

Suits are required for the Career Fair, so check our Pinterest board or stop by and ask us if you need help or have more questions!


Spring-Career-Fair-2400x1800

Getting Started on Your First Resume? Start Here!

Getting started on a resume can seem like a daunting task.  Statistics indicate that employers only spend about 10-20 seconds reviewing a resume!  However, breaking down each section of a resume can make the process a little easier.  Before we get started, let’s first define what a resume is and how it should be utilized to its upmost potential.

I like to think of a resume as a “personal branding document.”  In other words, a resume is a professional representation of your accomplishments, skills and experiences laid out in a formal way.  Here at the Career Services Center, we include resumes in the Marketing Materials section of the Career ID, meaning that the resume should reflect your brand and be tailored for each job opportunity you are targeting.

So now that we’ve defined what a resume is, let’s break down each section of a resume and discuss what to include in each section.

Header Section
Begin with a blank word document.  Keep in mind that templates can sometimes be a pain when attempting to reformat items.  Therefore, I suggest simply starting with a blank word document to make things easier!

The header should include the following contact information:

  • Full Name
  • Address
  • Phone Number
  • Email Address

Note that your name should be bold and larger than the underlying text.  It is not required to include your specific street address if you do not feel comfortable.  In these instances, a city and state is sufficient.  Also, if you have a LinkedIn profile or electronic portfolio, it’s appropriate to include the link to those websites in the header section.  Lastly, be sure your voicemail is set up properly and professionally with no inappropriate ring back tones.

John Smith
123 Pine Street
Greensboro, NC 27405
johnsmith@uncg.edu
123-456-7890

Objective & Profile Section
This section is not necessarily required for your resume, but if you do wish to include an objective or profile, remember to include the following information:

  • Name of the position you’re applying for
  • Name of the company or organization
  • Indicate skills sets you can offer to meet employer needs as indicated on the job description

“Seeking part-time position as a Cashier at Food Lion, using strong customer service skills, proven work ethic, and ability to learn quickly.”

Education Section
Next, we move to the Education section.  In this section, we include our formal education listed in reverse chronological order (most recent education listed first).  Items to include are listed below:

  • Formal name of the institution you attended/attending
  • Location of the institution
  • Formal name of the degree/certificate and major you received/receiving
  • Expected graduate date of the degree or date certificate was received

Optional items include:

  • GPA, if over 3.0 and/or you feel proud of it!
  • Academic Accomplishments or Awards (i.e. Dean’s List, Scholarships, etc.)
  • Relevant Coursework (1 – 3 courses specifically relevant to the job description)
  • Study Abroad

The University of North Carolina at Greensboro – Greensboro, NC
Bachelor of Science, Business Administration – May 2015
GPA:  3.67/4.0
Achievements:  Dean’s List, 2012 – 2013
Relevant Coursework:  Business Statistics, Advanced Accounting

Work Experience Section
The work experience section generally represents the “meat” of your resume.  This section can include paid or unpaid experiences listed in reverse chronological order.  Typically speaking, designating the section header as “Work Experience” may connote a paid experience.  Therefore, if it makes more sense to include the experience under another section heading, such as “Volunteer Experience” or “Leadership Experience,” that is also fine too!

Items to include are listed below:

  • Formal title of your position
  • Name and location of the organization/company
  • Dates of employment
  • Bullet point descriptions of your experience beginning with an action verb

Food Lion – Greensboro, NC
Cashier, May 2013 – August 2014

  • Utilized superior customer service skills to greet patrons and accurately handle financial transactions.

Skills Section

The skills section will be the last formal section we discuss in detail.  Generally speaking, this section is reserved for any technical and language skills you may possess.  At times students question whether to include “soft skills” in this section (i.e. communication skills, teamwork skills, customer service skills, etc.).  While these skills are important, we suggest incorporating these skills in the bullet points of the Experience section and leverage the skills section for items such as computer skills, language skills, or other “hard skills” you may have.

Computer:  Advanced Microsoft Office, C++, Intermediate Java Language

Language:  Fluent Spanish

Putting it all together…

Remember to keep in mind that there is no absolutely right or wrong way of doing a resume!  The best rule of thumb is to keep the content concise, consistent and organized to ensure ease of readability and attractiveness.  Lastly, it’s critical to read job descriptions to identify the qualifications necessary for the job you’re applying for.  Then you can tailor your resume to reflect the skills and experience you possess that make you qualified for the position.

The Career Services Center is here to help!  Our PCA library is open Monday-Friday from 10am-5pm for drop-in hours.  Additionally, if you feel you need more time to discuss your resume in detail, feel free to schedule an appointment with a career counselor.  You can find a copy of our Resume Guide in the D.I.Y. section of our website as well.  Navigate to the “CSC Bookshelf” to view our Resume Guide for more great details!

How Volunteering Can Help You Build Your Career

volunteeringvolunteering2

Ever felt like this before?  Do you feel like you have need to have had a job in order to get a job?  Well, the good news is, your “work experience” does not have to only include your official job titles.  Volunteering and engaging with your community is an excellent way to gain valuable experience.  Through volunteer work you can gain what we call transferable skills.  That is, the skills that you gain through volunteering can also be applied to a future job or career.  Did you know that leadership is one of the top skills that employers look for?  This is the kind of experience that you can gain working with a community organization.  What are some other benefits?

Networking

You have probably heard the phrase, “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know?” But, did you know that only 15 percent of jobs are posted online?  The rest are found through alternative routes.  Volunteering at a community organization is a great way to expand your network.  It gives you a new set of people to make connections with.  Take the time to get to know them and let them get to know you.  You never know what kinds of new opportunities you might come across.

Opportunities to Find Your Passions

Are you considering a career in working with children?  Volunteer work is a great time to discover your passions.  It gives you’re the chance to “try out” a career before you actually commit to it.  If you are considering a career in working with children, you can spend your time volunteering with a youth serving organization to see what it is like to work there.  Whatever your passions are, there are likely multiple organizations in the Triad area that relate to them.  Pick a place that works with something you feel strongly about and you are more likely to enjoy working there.  Even if you are not sure, it is a great way to try something new.

And Use Your Strengths

Are you a pro at creating websites?  Are you looking for a way to apply the things you are learning in your classes before starting your career?  Many organizations have needs such as maintaining their website, but do not have the capacity to hire someone to do that.  Connecting with an organization that has the needs for your skills is an excellent way to demonstrate experience without having previously had an actual job title in the field in which you are interested.  You have might have the opportunity to develop new skills in the process.

In order to get the most out of your experience, here are some of the “Dos” and “Don’ts” of volunteering

DO:

  • Make sure you are meeting a community need. Any type of service should not be solely for you benefit.  Talk to organizations and find out what their needs are.  Discuss ways in which this can be matched with what you are trying to get out of your experience.
  • Maintain proper etiquette at all times. Just because you are not getting paid, does not mean you do not have to follow workplace rules.  Show up (and on time) when you say you are going to be there.  Many organizations rely on volunteers for programming and other things, so if you are not there, then someone has to cover for you, which takes away from their job.
  • Engage with others at the organization. Find out more about their career paths.  Talk to them about what you are hoping to do.  Give input (respectfully) during meetings.

Don’t

  • Volunteer for the sake of filling up your resume. There is nothing wrong with one time service events.  However, demonstrating a long-term commitment to one (or more) organization(s) will look better to a potential employer.  It also gives you time to build a relationship with that organization as well as better ensure that you are helping them to meet their needs.
  • Rely on the organization to know what you are looking to gain from your experience. If there is a particular aspect of the organization you would like to be involved with or learn more about, speak up.  As long as it is feasible, the organization will likely be happy to include you.

There are several ways that you find volunteer opportunities.

  1. Check out the My Service database on the Office of Leadership and Service-Learning website. You can search by interest, populations, and location.
  2. When you are signing up for classes, choose a service learning class. You can search by looking up designated classes (marked with the “.svl” indicator under the class search function in Genie).  These classes will help you use what you are learning in the classroom for real life applications.
  3. Stop by the Career Services Center (#1 EUC) or check out Spartan Careers on the Career Services webpage to find out about internships, community service work study, and more!