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Making an Effort

“Ninety percent of success is showing up.”

One of my more successful family members shares this philosophy with us regularly. The older I get, the more life experiences I have, the more this seems to be true.

Working here at Career Services I have learned that “showing up” is crucial to job search success. First and foremost, if you are lucky enough to get an on-campus interview, show up. If you have to walk two miles uphill in the snow, show up. If you are not going to show up, don’t sign up.

Show up for information sessions of companies that are interesting to you, even if you are not looking for a job. Learn about the company, what they do and what the culture is like from someone who works there all from the comfort of your own campus.

Show up for a resume review. If you are … 

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"Tell me about yourself!"

During the past couple of weeks, students applying to join Texnikoi [the engineering activities honorary] have been coming to my office in a steady stream because my signature is one of half a dozen required on the application form.

Most seemed surprised that I wanted to talk with them, instead of quickly signing the form. But I wanted to meet them - to learn a little about each person, to find out about their current and future plans, and to hear how their job searches were coming along.

My first question was one typically asked by interviewers: “Tell me about yourself.” Surprisingly, most students seemed taken aback by the question and stumbled in their answers. Do they do the same in interviews, I wonder?

A few had ready answers. Here are a couple of examples. “I’m from a small town in NW Ohio, and currently I’m a junior, majoring … 

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The current job market and how to navigate it

First, the bad news:
Even if you don’t pay much attention to economic news, you’ve probably heard bad news about the state, national, or global economic situation. Nationally, more jobs were eliminated in January 2009 than in any year since 1974. During the past three months, employers have eliminated at least 1.8 million jobs. The unemployment rate is at its highest level since 1992. In addition, 2.6 million people have been out of work for more than six months, the largest number of long-term unemployed since 1983.* News reports tell us that more than 525,000 people in Ohio are unemployed, the most since 1980. A recent MarketWatch story was headlined, “worst job losses in 60 years… .” Sixteen US banks have failed since January. Most people have seen retirement accounts and other investments decline in value by 40% or more.

You may have family members who … 

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View from the front desk: Interview Feedback

One of my responsibilities at Engineering Career Services is to take comments employers write about students they’ve interviewed and present them to that student into helpful advice through email, a telephone call, or a scheduled appointment with an advisor for interview coaching.

Sometimes the comments are clearly individual: "don’t wear a party dress to your interview" or "iron your shirt next time." Most of the time the advice recruiters provide can be helpful to all applicants.

Here are the top five suggestions:
5. Work on a firm handshake.
4. Practice an introductory speech about yourself.
3. Maintain eye contact with the interviewer.
2. Answer questions in the STAR (Situation Task Action Result) format

And the #1 suggestion:
1. Know what you are interviewing for. Research the company before the interview and ask questions that show you did.

"Perfection does not exist - you can always do better and you … 

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Transferable Skills

You may be asking…

What are transferable skills?
Transferable skills are the skills that a person develops by performing a job or task that can be applied in other situations. In other words, these are skills that you may acquire through jobs, classes, internships, co-ops, research opportunities, study abroad experiences, campus or community activities, etc., that can be “transferred” to your next career pursuit.

Examples of transferable skills: dependability, time management, teamwork, customer service, decision making, problem solving, organizational skills, oral and written communication skills, responsibility, creativity, initiative, integrity, interpersonal skills, technology skills

Many students have some part-time and/or full-time experience, either related or unrelated to the position(s) for which they are applying through ECS. These experiences may be in restaurants, lifeguarding, construction, landscaping, baby-sitting, volunteering in the community, studying abroad, and so forth; the type of experience doesn't matter. You're developing transferable skills without even thinking about it. It's … 

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