By Marcie Waters and Devlin Brush
So, you’ve graduated college and are now faced with the seemingly daunting task of finding your first full-time job. By this point, you are sick of hearing, “Do you have a job yet?” and “What’s your plan?” You are just hoping something falls into place before the lease on your college apartment ends in August. If this sounds familiar, you should first know that you are not alone. The good news, however, is that there are some steps you can take to ensure you are not unemployed for long:
- Visit L&S Career Services – We’re not just saying this because we think we’re special. An appointment with a Career Consultant is the most efficient and thorough way of getting your career path in order. In just a meeting or two, a consultant can evaluate your goals and current experience, and help you create a plan that will give you a clear way forward. Our consultants can help multiple times along your journey, as our services are available up to a year after graduation, and we can be reached by e-mail or Skype if you will be leaving the Madison area. If you’ve already decided on a path but just haven’t reached the end yet, we offer more specific help as well:
- Mock Interviews – If you’re nervous or inexperienced in the interview process, practice with one of our career consultants first!
- Resume and Cover Letter Review – Make sure you’re presenting yourself as well as you can in your resume before you let an employer see it and learn how to tailor it to the position you are seeking.
- BuckyNet – If you haven’t already, make sure you have a BuckyNet account so you can browse the wide variety of positions offered.
- Prepare Your Elevator Pitch – While it’s tempting to avoid answering questions like, “What kind of job do you want?”, use this as an opportunity to make connections. Every person you talk to has the potential to help you or know someone who could be a great connection. That’s why it is important to have a quick elevator pitch prepared. Tell the person (1) what you’ve done so far, (2) what you would like to do in the future, and (3) why you chose that area to focus on.
- Network – You may have heard that finding a job is really all about who you know, and that is not entirely untrue. You can network in many different ways; consider these:
- Asking for help – This is the simplest form of networking, and you shouldn’t be afraid to do it. Just asking someone for help with your job search can go a long way. A great way to do this is, at the end of your elevator pitch, to ask, “Do you know anyone who might be able to help me get into this industry?” You could be surprised to find they have a great connection!
- Social Media – Nowadays, social media is really where the job search is at. Utilize LinkedIn and Twitter to reach out to professionals in your desired industry. You can also use these sites to look for job postings.
- Informational Interviews – Informational interviews are a great way to obtain knowledge about an industry or position you are interested in, which can make it easier to successfully apply and interview for a job. They are also great ways to meet people in your desired industry and get advice. Ask the professional how they got their current job. Maybe their story will help you determine what your path should be.
- Gain Experience – If you feel you haven’t found your dream job yet because you don’t have the right kind of experience, you can try to gain more experience before applying. Volunteering, part-time jobs, and internships are all ways you can gain a little more experience that may give you the edge in the job market. Keep in mind that to obtain your dream job you may have to work your way up the company ladder. Consider taking a job in a lower position in the company you want to work for; many companies prefer to hire from within, and you could have a better chance of ending up in your dream job.
Follow these tips to get your job search moving. For more tips on every aspect of the job search, make sure to check out all the information from our consultants on the L&S Career Services website. We wish you the best in your job hunt!
Where has the time gone? It seems like just yesterday that I was home in my pajamas on a lazy January day, looking through all the jobs and internships I could apply for this summer. I even remember the due dates for most of the applications: February. Oops. Continue reading
You deserve a round of applause. You, above all your fears and anxiety, went to the career fair. You perfected your resume. You practiced your elevator pitch. You put on that business formal clothing, marched right in and talked to every employer you were interested in. And you know what? You nailed it. Congratulations to you.
But you’re not done. You haven’t won over those employers yet. Continue reading
Of all of our career fairs, the Public Service Fair may be the most confusing to students. After all, how do we define “Public Service”? Is it all volunteer work? Are only nonprofits allowed? Is there a test to see if you’re a “good person” at the door?
Students can rest assured that the answer to all of these questions is a firm “no”. The Public Service Fair is a great resource for any student. The business of providing service takes many forms and requires many different roles and perspectives, which means that there truly is something for everyone at this fair. Opportunities for internships, full-time and part-time jobs, and volunteer work will all be present among the 78 employers attending this Spring. To give you a better idea of what you’ll be able to find at Union South from 3-6 PM on January 27th, here’s a list of some of the kinds of work representing public service at this fair.
- Public Sector – Government isn’t just politics. Someone has to execute the laws and programs! If you’re looking for an entry-level job to get experience in an office setting, working with data, being face-to-face with people, or working for a cause you believe in, the public sector can be a good place to start. The State Department of Administration, Illinois Department of Child and Family Services, and the Dane County Sheriff’s Office are just a few of the government entities represented at the fair this year, which shows the wide range of opportunities this field can provide.
- Camps – Want to get away for a bit this summer while still earning money and experience? You may want to take a look at the camps visiting the Public Service Fair. Camp Anokijig and Camp Whitcomb/Mason, both located in Wisconsin, are looking for counselors as well as administrators to help with their operations for children, and the Easter Seals organization is looking for help in their camps for the disabled.
- Teaching – If you like to teach at all, the Public Service Fair is where you need to be. There will be a number of organizations looking for tutors and mentors for their target audiences, as well as education-focused organizations such as Teach for America and City Year. If you want experience working with children or helping a specific group with education, the Public Service fair has many opportunities for you. In addition, if you have foreign language skills or an interest in working outside the US, there will be a workshop on teaching English abroad at 4 PM elsewhere in Union South.
- Caregiving – Taking care of people isn’t just a medical field. A holistic care experience requires excellent communication, problem-solving, and work ethic. If you have what it takes, caregiving can be a very rewarding experience with a huge payoff for your interpersonal skills. Check out some of the assisted-living centers looking for help at the fair if this is something that interests you!
- Working with Animals – If you’re an animal lover, the Public Service Fair has a few great opportunities for you. If you’re concerned about the care and adoption of animals, the Dane County Humane Society has internships available in a variety of roles, from marketing to wildlife rehabilitation. The I Am Magic Foundation is looking for help with their horse-based wellness programs to help veterans and children who have experienced emotional trauma. Even the Henry Vilas Zoo will be represented at the fair, offering internships, jobs, and volunteer positions.
- Peace Corps – You may not know this, but UW-Madison currently has the second-most graduates participating in the Peace Corps of any university in the country. If you’re interested in continuing this proud tradition of Badgers serving all over the world, talk to a representative while at the Public Service Fair and find out how you can participate in a truly unique and important experience.
These are just a few of the categories of work that will be represented at the Public Service Fair. If any of these interest you, or you want to see what other opportunities you can find, check out the list of employers that have registered on BuckyNet or stop by Union South from 3-6 PM on Wednesday, January 27th, to visit the fair for yourself.
There will also be 2 special information sessions going on around Union South: An Alumni Panel discussing nonprofit careers, and a workshop on the opportunity to teach English abroad! Descriptions and times for these events can be found here. Don’t miss out on this unique opportunity to see all the ways you can use your skills to serve others who need it.
The Public Service Fair is organized by the Letters and Science Career Services Office and the Morgridge Center for Public Service. Make sure to check out both for more information on how to make a career out of serving the public good.
It’s safe to say that at some point, everyone has been interested in learning the “secrets of success.” It’s a nice concept to believe in, as the idea suggests that if you could just teach yourself to do certain things all the time, your life would improve drastically. And, if you look into it, you might also come across the idea that making or breaking a habit only takes 21 days. Suddenly, you have an attainable goal in front of you! Just 21 days to start doing the things that will bring you money, power, and respect. How easy is that?
The truth is, it’s probably not that easy. Continue reading
By Devlin Brush
During the semester it can be hard to find time to think about your career path. Once you’re done with class, it’s time for student org meetings, homework, work, and exercise. And once you’re done with all that… Well, often it’s time for bed. When things slow down for Thanksgiving Break, it can be nice to take the time to relax and unwind before hitting the books again hard for final exam season. However, it can also be an invaluable time to start the cogs turning in your career process while your other obligations are on hold for the weekend. From networking to improving your “look”, here’s a few ways that you can get ahead this Thanksgiving break: Continue reading
By Devlin Brush
Job interviews, like sports and music, require practice for one to truly excel. However, while it pains me to to say this, I must inform you that there is no NCAA-sanctioned interviewing league. There are no intramural interview teams, no interview quartets offered by the School of Music, and you will probably receive blank stares if you ask your roommates to run a few interview sessions with you at the gym. So how can you practice your interviewing skills if everyone around you is giving you their best Allen Iverson impression? Two words: Mock Interviews. Continue reading