Updates & news

Archive for February, 2013

Introducing VINE, Social Media’s Hottest New Craze… What it is & Why you should care!

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Over the last month or so, our friends at Twitter introduced a brand new (and awesome) social media network that lets you record and share  6 second looping video clips online. When I signed up and started playing with it, it reminded me a lot of Instagram but with videos.  You know that friend of yours on Instagram who constantly posts pictures of their dog or cat wearing glasses? Ever wonder how they got him to wear them so perfectly? With Vine, those 2 dimensional “Pet Wearing People Clothes”  pictures transforms into a 6 second clip of the PROCESS of your friend getting those glasses on their pet – you now see the drooling,  the barking, and real struggle that it took to get the glasses to stay on their pet’s head. It goes from a picture to a story…

One of the best ways I have read Vine be explained/described is  “Vine is to YouTube what Twitter is to WordPress/Blogger”. It’s  social at the core and addictive. As a technology, it is user friendly – it records while you’re touching the screen, pauses when you take your finger away, and stops when you hit 6 seconds…

So now, the “Why you should care” part… First things first, in this day and age it is important to stay current  and relevant. If you are applying for an internship/job that involves social media, marketing, communication, PR, technology (I could keep going) that means staying on top of emerging technologies. Imagine how impressive you might sound at your next interview if you talk about ways the company might be able to expand their social media presence by using this new social network called Vine… I know I would be impressed. The Career Planning Center cares about this new social network because we want to make sure we are encouraging and empowering you all to be RESPONSIBLE social media users. Just like we say with Facebook or Twitter it is important to become experts on privacy settings and never post anything you wouldn’t want an employer to see. But at the same time, if you are planning on going into an industry where social media is relevant, it is important for you to be an active user.

With all that being said check out VINE and start posting some videos!

     

Steph Grejtak

 Assistant Director,  Career Planning Center

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Follow up with Employers after the Career Fair!

First things first, a big thank you to all of the employers and amazing students who came out to the Career Fair yesterday. The room was alive and you could tell there was some serious networking going on. But just like any networking event meeting and talking with people is just one small component  - it is the follow up that really takes it to the next level. With that being said, this is to all the students out there who met with any employers…

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Sending a follow up letter or email message reiterates your interest in the organization and serves as a reminder of who you are to a busy recruiter who met with many candidates during the event. Here are some simple tips with writing a solid thank you note:

1. Be prompt.

If the the Career Fair was yesterday that means you should send a follow up note TODAY. Now there is the great debate over email vs. handwritten notes. My gut, send an email right away and if you want to do handwritten note because you are a romantic (which I am), then send BOTH. The last thing you want is for the employer to not get your note for some reason. I have heard a ton of horror stories about hand written notes never making it the employer…. You don’t want this to you be you.

2. Keep this basic structure.

Paragraph 1: Remember it is a THANK YOU note, so be sure to express your gratitude.

“Thanks for taking the time to meet with me at the career fair on Thursday. I really appreciated hearing more about the internship program with XYZ company. ”

Paragraph 2: Sell yourself. This is your opportunity reiterate why you’re a perfect candidate for the job. What experience/skills or abilities can you bring to the company?

Paragraph 3: Reinforce your interest in the position and the company, and let the recruiter know you’d welcome further discussions.

3. Keep it short, sweet, and personal.

Thank you notes shouldn’t be much longer than 2 -3 paragraphs. Think of this letter as another way to show you communication skills – a solid written and succient letter is proof you are able to articulate your ideas in a digestible manor. It is also important to address specific points that you and recruiter discussed.

4. Avoid spelling & grammatical errors.

OK, this is a no brainer… Read over your email and make sure it is perfect.

5. Be Confident (& humble)

Moral of this point, do not come off as desperate. When it comes to the hiring process  recruiters don’t show pity for desperate people. They want to hire people who are confident, collected, and capable.

 

     

Steph Grejtak

 Assistant Director,  Career Planning Center

 

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Making the most of the Career Fair (PS, it’s tomorrow!)

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In less than 24 hours 70 employers from a variety of industries will invade Fairfield’s campus. At first glance this might seem daunting… But it is not! Consider this an amazing opportunity for you to network with employers and learn more about what types of careers are out there. It is also a great place for you to get experience talking about YOU.  Below are some tips on how to make the most of the Career Fair.

How to Prepare:

  • Know who is coming!  Checkout the Career Planning Website for the complete list of attendees.
  • Research in more depth about the employers that you want to meet. What do they do? Are they hiring?
  • Be prepared to introduce yourself with a 30-60 second “Elevator Pitch:
    • - Communicate a professional/enthusiastic attitude, use a firm handshake, and have a confident smile.
    • -  Prepare a sincere, one-minute “commercial” about yourself.  Include information such  as: your major, courses, GPA, skills, activities, work values, reason why you would be a  good match with their company/industry, what makes you a special candidate, what your greatest  strengths are, or what you have to offer. Summarize your relevant skills, interests, and  background.

Day of the Fair (TOMORROW!)

  • Arrive early and check out the floor plan, this might help ease any anxiety you have going into the day.
  • Collect Business Cards and write something notable on the back about the person, this makes writing thank you notes very easy!
  • Bring a pad of paper to take notes.
  • Bring copies of your resume on RESUME PAPER even if they have the resume already
  • Be open to talking to different companies, you never know what types of opportunities are out there.
  • Don’t pair up with a buddy – go off on your own.. It is easy to get comfortable going up in pairs, but employers want to talk to you individually.
  • DRESS FOR SUCCESS!

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Day After the Fair

  • Review your notes & business cards to craft thoughtful thank you notes..
  • Be sure to email or write thank you notes sooner rather than later.

Final Tips

  • Do your homework on the companies you are interested. They want to know your interest & knowledge of company.
  • Dress for success
  • Go early and know is attending
  • Project a positive image
  • Know your elevator pitch!
  • DO NOT BE PASSIVE – ask questions!

 You can do it and if you need anything CPC Counselors will be there the whole day! 

 

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No date tonight? It’s OK… You can spend your time learning how to prepare for a Skype Interview!

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Chances are at some point you will be interviewing by Skype. While you will still need to research and prepare for your interview doing all the things you need to do as if it were an in person interview there are other critical elements that can enhance your success.   Here are some tips from College Bound Success Inc. to help you excel with this type of interview.

How do you prepare for
an online interview? 

Did you know that, according to Forbes Magazine, more than 60% of companies are conducting job interviews online via Skype?

In today’s global workplace, the Skype interview is a fast, inexpensive, and convenient recruitment tool.  Interviewing through Skype brings challenges and opportunities. With the right preparation, you can excel in your online interview and successfully land your next job!

Top 6 Tips to Ace Your
Skype Interview   

1. Dress for Success

  • Treat it like an in-person interview – dress in business attire from head to toe.

2. Establish a Professional Environment    

  • Determine an appropriate interview space and arrange a quiet area to eliminate background noise.
  • Ensure a neat work area and simple background. Suggestions:Keep your resume and other appropriate documents, including questions for the interviewer, close at hand.Solid or simple pattern colored wall
  • Organized bookshelf or desk
  • Avoid plain white background, windows, or a busy background that may distract the interviewer.

3. Check Your Equipment  

  • Ensure you are connected to high speed internet.
  • Test your webcam and microphone to verify that you are seen and heard clearly.
  • Confirm that your Skype username and status are appropriate and professional.

4. Control the Lighting 

  • Be seen at your best. Too much or too little light can make it difficult for the interviewer to see you clearly.

5. Ensure Professional Body Language

  • Treat the online interview the same as you would in person.   Maintain good eye contact by looking directly into the camera rather than at the interviewer’s or your own image.
  • Be conscious of your body language and maintain good posture.
  • Keep hand gestures to a minimal.
  • Remember to smile!

6. Practice Makes Perfect

  • Ask a friend or colleague to conduct a mock interview with you on Skype.
  • Dress in your interview outfit and sit with good posture.
  • Practice speaking audibly and clearly, and looking into the webcam.
  • With a few practice sessions, you will be comfortable and prepared to ace your Skype interview!

If you ever need a place to conduct your Skype interview, you can do it at the Career Planning Center.

Sue Quinlivan

 

 

Sue Quinlivan

Associate Director, Career Planning Center

 

 

 

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Preparing for an Interview? Here are some tips…

As you might already know, an interview is a conversation between you and a potential employer.  In a perfect scenario, it is a mutually informative conversation where you both learn something from one another. For example:

 “You are the perfect candidate!” or “I do NOT want to work here!”

Remember, the “fit” between you and the interviewer – how natural the conversation is, how much you enjoy one another’s company, how confident and positive you seem and how interested they are in spending time with you can be just as important. Also keep in mind, interviewing is a skill and like any skill one should practice and prepare to be successful.

A Career Planning Center counselor is available to assist you in honing your interviewing skills and can help you prepare for any interview!  But in the mean time, here are some great tips on how to be an “Effective Interviewer”.

Prepare for the Interview

The first step in preparing for an interview is to research everything there is to know about the organization and the specific industry it is in.  Employers expect you to have done your “homework” and be able to clearly articulate why you are interested in working for that particular company. The only way to do that is to KNOW the company inside and out.

Starting your research:

Go to the company’s website and start digging!

  • You want to know as much as you can – who are their clients? Their competitors? What are their products or different services? Do they have an annual report?
  • Set a Google alert for the corporation and the industry so you can start getting alerted on anything that is     occurring in the news.
  • With all of your research, begin to formulate questions that you can ask the employer during the interview.

Start reading the paper!

  • You need to have an understanding of what is going on in the world.
  • Some employers might even ask you a question about a current event!

Now that you know the company inside and out, it is time to get to know YOURSELF!

  • Assess the requirements of the job and determine how your qualifications meet the employer’s needs.
  • Relate skills, projects, and internships to the position.
  • Know your resume and be able to DISCUSS it in detail.
  • Prepare answers to potential interview questions (see Interview question handout.
  • To boil it down, an employer is interested in knowing the answer to three basic questions:

1. Why are you interested in this field?

2. Why are you interested in this position and organization?

3. What relevant skills and experiences do you have that will make you successful?  WHY YOU?

The Interview

Dress for success!

  • Be sure to dress professionally – wear a suit, conservative tie or blouse, clean shaven, limited jewelry, and bring a portfolio (more on dressing professionally in future blog post!)

Getting there!

  • Know the location of the interview in advance and arrive early.
  • Check in 5-10 minutes early – think of this as your first impression!
  • Bring copies of your resume on RESUME PAPER even if they have the resume already.
  • Prepare for inclement weather, bring an umbrella.

Communicating in the Interview

  • A successful interview involves making a positive first impression and building rapport with the interviewer.
  • Offer a good firm handshake and small talk to break the ice; be sure to be responsive.
  • Your nonverbal communication is just as important as what you say.
  • Maintain good eye contact, sit up straight, and be aware of your nervous habits (are you a tapper?
  • There are 4 different styles of interviews, understanding the types will help you be intentional in your answers

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  • As the interview comes to an end, be sure to express your interest in the position and summarize why you are well qualified.
  • Ask what the next steps will be or when you can expect to hear from the interviewer.

Follow Up E-mail

  • Write a thank you email shortly after the interview
  • This shows your interest in the position and provides you with one more opportunity to illustrate why you are                     perfect for the job.
  • If you are not contacted within the specified amount of time, call or e-mail your contact to restate your interest and inquire about the status of the hiring process.

Do not be a nag, that might turn the interviewer off.  Try to be patient and wait until they make a decision.

OK that was a lot! Again, come by if you want to do some one on one prep for any interview!

 

     

Steph Grejtak

 Assistant Director,  Career Planning Center

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Nemo… You have FOUND us!

 

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Finding Nemo has a totally new meaning today as we hunker down to prepare for the storm. We wanted to let everyone know that the Career Planning Center will be closing at 12:30 today. All appointments will be rescheduled and Drop-In Hours will not be held.

Stay safe & warm!

 

 

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LSAT Prep Class at Fairfield University

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The St. Robert Bellarmine Pre-Law Society will be offering LSAT preparation classes on campus on Monday’s, Wednesday’s and some Saturday’s beginning March 18 through May 8, 2013.

The cost for Fairfield University students is  at the discount price of $850. The registration deadline is Friday, February 15th.

If you are interested in taking this course please contact:

Sue Quinlivan

Associate Director, Career Planning Center

squinlivan@fairfield.edu

OR

Dr. Sharlene McEvoy

Director, Pre-Law Advising Program

samcevoy@fairfield.edu.

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Top Paying Liberal Arts Majors in 2012

 

The National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) came out with their annual report on the Top Paying Liberal Arts Majors for 2012. Some pretty interesting stuff!  See below to for the entire article.

Three liberal arts majors had average starting salaries that topped $40,000 in 2012, according to NACE’s January 2013 Salary Survey. 

The survey found that liberal arts and sciences/general studies ($43,100), history ($41,900), and English language and literature/letters ($40,200) were the top-paying liberal arts majors in 2012. (See Figure 1.)

The increases in average starting salary from those paid in 2011 for these three majors ranged from 3.9 percent for general studies to 3.6 percent for English language and literature.

Furthermore, while the average starting salary for visual and performing arts majors ($33,800) was the lowest among the liberal arts in 2012, it, too, is on the upswing, representing a 3 percent bump from the average starting salary earned by these majors in 2011.

An executive summary of the January 2013 Salary Survey report is available at www.naceweb.org/salary-survey-data/.

NACE’s first report on starting salaries for Class of 2013 college graduates will be available in the April 2013 issue of Salary Survey.

spotlight-top-paying-liberal-arts-majors

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LinkedIn Tip of the Week: Networking with Alumni!

As mentioned in previous blog posts, I am a HUGE fan of networking. I am a firm believer  that creating personal relationships with potential employers or industry peers is an incredibly powerful way to go through the job search process. One way to start networking is through LinkedIn, specifically using the LinkedIn Alumni Tool . Below is a quick lesson on how to search for and connect with Alumni in your field of interest. Before you start connecting with alumni it is important that you have an updated and professional profile.

If you need help conducting a search or have any questions regarding LinkedIn, make an appointment with a CPC Counselor… We are here to help!

STEP 1:     Go to the “CONTACTS” tab and click on “Fairfield University”.

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STEP 2:    The Alumni Graph appears & it allows you to search for Fairfield Alumni based on location, Industry, and Company. Be creative… What do you want to do? Are you interested in Marketing? Do you want to work for an advertising agency? Make the search all about your interests and you will be surprised to find that Fairfield has Alumni in nearly every career field.

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STEP 3:   Next step, choose a company or area that you are interested in & search. For example, we chose GE Capital & Finance and there were 29 people who met the criteria… Pretty impressive, huh?

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STEP 4:   Now that you have the 29 people that meet the criteria you set, take some time to look through them. You will find people in various roles and at different points of their career. You might also find someone that you share a common connection with which could be a starting part to a conversation with them. Once you find the right person and you are ready to connect – press “Connect”.

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STEP 5:   When you connect with them a generic message will come up (see below). DO NOT USE THAT… This is your opportunity to make contact with this person and you probably have never talked to them, making this your FIRST impression. You only get to make that first impression once, so we encourage you to craft a thoughtful note. For example:

Dear Mr. Lucas S.,

My name is Sally Vatingforajob and I am a Junior from Fairfield University. I identified your LinkedIn profile through the Alumni LinkedIn Tool and would like to connect with you.  I see that you have had a long career at GE Capital, a company that I aspire to work for.  If willing, I would love the opportunity to talk with you either in person or over the phone to learn more about your career and to gather your advice and insight. 

Thank you and I look forward to connecting.

Sally Vatingforajob

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We don’t want you to start wildly connecting with Alumni, rather use this as a tool to SELECTIVELY connect with people in fields that you are interested in. I had a student connect with me from my alma mater regarding my past jobs and he was thoughtful, articulate, and professional – so guess what I did… HELPED HIM OUT. Ultimately this tool works, so I encourage you to play with it and become comfortable with searching for people in different careers.

     

Steph Grejtak

 Assistant Director,  Career Planning Center

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Networking – The key to nailing your dream job.

10 years ago (wow, it’s been a long time) I had my first exposure to networking.  My dad’s coworker’s wife was a producer on Live! With Regis & Kelly, a show that I loved. When it came to my attention that I had this connection,  I asked if it might be okay if I contacted her. Once I had the green light, I sent an email. We set up a time to have a phone conversation and eventually met for coffee. I prepared for those meetings as if it was a serious interview – I learned as much as I could about the show, was able to articulate why I was interested in working in television, and had ample questions ready to throw at her. We ended up hitting it off and she helped me land my first internship.

That’s how a lot of networking happens – you hear that your friend’s uncles’ step daughter mom (anyone!)  is doing something that you think is awesome and you find a way to connect with that person. If you do end up getting a meeting you want to come prepared – learn as much as you can about the company, the industry, and even the job function. This research will help you prepare articulate and thoughtful questions – remember it’s all about leaving a good impression. The hope is if they hear of an opportunity (job/internship), they’ll think of you. You are now officially on their radar.

Since that internship I have taken the same approach for every job search I have entered. When I was interested in working for a professional sports league I asked around to see if anyone in my personal network could connect me with anyone working in sports – that lead me to meeting with the VP Business Development for the PGA TOUR, who ended up hiring me. I even used networking to find my most recent job here at Fairfield (Just ask Cath Borgman).

Networking can take different forms – you can network through your personal connections, with Fairfield Alumni, and even through people you connect with on LinkedIn. I have found the hardest part about meeting with people in these types of situation is not talking to them face to face, rather it is the build up to the initial contact. Sending that first email or placing that first call is the hardest part – but you just have to pull the trigger.

Ultimately, if I retrace my steps throughout my professional journey, it becomes clear that all of the jobs that I have been hired for connect back to networking in some way, shape, or form. Moral of the story, networking works.

 

     

Steph Grejtak

 Assistant Director,  Career Planning Center

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