Hidden Gems for Finding Job Leads

Wednesday, 2 November 2011 14:21 by givler

Students who have used What Can I Do With This Major know it is a good resource for suggested career paths that connect your major to the world of work.  But, did you know you also can find actual employment leads, even scholarship information, in this resource.

As an example, let’s pick on the English major.

On the home page for What Can I Do, look for View All Majors and select the hyperlink for Connect majors to careers found beneath it. Next, select the box marked “English".  Choose the hyperlink to Majors and Careers just under the heading “English.” This immediately takes you to the bottom of the page – the place of the hidden gem – where you will find links to related professional associations, miscellaneous career information, and job postings. Bear in mind, it is not only the job posting section that provides job leads.

For example, if you chose Magazine Publishers of America under the Professional Association section you will quickly discover there is a Careers section for the Association within which you will find the MPA Job Bank (internships too).  Look a bit closer and discover Career Guides and Resources too, including four Guides for Professionals New to the Industry (Succeeding in Magazines, Making the Switch to Magazines, Moving Up the Masthead, Building a Career in Magazines).

Choosing Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators won’t provide a careers section, but it does offer information on upcoming events like the organization’s annual winter conference (New York City, 2011) and information on awards and scholarships.  Did you know they offer a Student Illustrator Scholarship? 

A little snooping around in What Can I Do may go a long way to uncovering possibilities you never knew existed in all majors.  Depending on your interests, you may find that information under multiple majors can apply to you.  For example, an English major may also be very interested in the Majors and Career Links listed under Journalism or Communication Studies.  Be sure to spend some time exploring!  

By the way, have you looked at other gems for job leads at http://www.lvc.edu/career-services/internships-usa.aspx? Four great sources await you, free of charge. Search away………………….

Understanding the Differences

Wednesday, 26 October 2011 10:58 by gmiller
I’ve written blogs about the importance of tailoring cover letters, approaching recruiters thoughtfully, and preparing for interviews by doing research and having specific questions.  However, I don’t know that I’ve ever stressed the reasons why it’s so important to tailor your letters, conversations, and questions to each specific company you are interested in.

Have you ever been in a situation where you are not seen as an individual, but rather as just one of many?  Has anyone ever classified you by major and said ‘all you _________ majors…you’re all the same!’  Although there may be definite similarities between you and your peer groups, it doesn’t feel very good to be lumped in with everyone else and have to fight to show your individuality.  Does it?

It’s the same with employers!  When you are asked what you want to do after graduation and you give an answer of “I’d like to find an entry level position in a (insert industry here) setting,” what does that mean?  Sending out vague resumes and cover letters that express that sentiment or having conversations with employers in which you tell them you look forward to working for a company like theirs is basically saying you’ll take whatever you can get, regardless of who hires you.

Instead, change your resume objective to match a position or company, focus on accomplishments that are relevant to their organization and position, utilize the few paragraphs of a cover letter to show how you fit their needs (vs. what you hope to gain from them), and spend time at career fairs, networking events, or interviews showing that you have done some research and have an understanding of the company you are discussing.

No one likes to be lost in the crowd; employers don’t want to feel like their company is just one of many you’ve applied to.  Career Services is glad to help you focus your efforts in tailoring your job search.  Be assured, the students who demonstrate genuine interest are much more likely to be noticed!

Get your Hands on the Occupational Outlook Handbook

Wednesday, 21 September 2011 09:21 by gmiller

Two weeks ago I mentioned that the Occupational Outlook Handbook is a feature within our What Can I Do with a Major in… resource.  Given that some students may not be aware of what this means, I thought this week I would go into further detail!

The Occupational Outlook Handbook is an extensive resource compiled by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.  This nationally recognized source of career information is updated every two years on hundreds of different jobs or fields.  Currently you can browse through the 2010-2011 edition; the 2012-2013 Occupational Outlook Handbook is scheduled to be released in late March 2012.

What can you find in this resource?

  • Learn about the training and education needed for a specific job
  • Find out about salary or earning potential
  • What the expected job prospects are in that field
  • What you would be doing on the job
  • What the working conditions may be

The Occupational Outlook Handbook is an excellent starting point for students wishing to learn about careers and understand more about specific jobs out there.  You can never have too much information!  Check out this resource for some of the most up to date career news available.  You can either access the Handbook directly by following this link:
http://www.bls.gov/oco/, or utilize the What Can I Do with a Major In….resource to focus your efforts on specific industries that may relate with your major and career interests.

Will You Be My Reference?

Wednesday, 4 May 2011 10:32 by gmiller

The semester is almost over…but your job search may not be.  Although you may have already sent out resumes (tailored!) to apply for positions that interest you, you may find that you also need to provide references to potential employers.  You should put as much thought into this as you did in putting together your resume and cover letter!  Here are some tips for providing Top Notch References:

  • Ask, don’t assume.  Ask your references for permission to use their names.
  • Let the professionals do the job.  Potential supervisors are not interested in hearing friends or relatives talk about how nice you are.
  • Avoid name dropping.
  • Provide references with the appropriate tools.
  • Alert them to potential phone calls.
  • Keep your references informed.
  • Thank your references!
  • Keep in touch.
  • Update your list.
  • Return the favor.

For further explanations on these 10 Tips for Top Notch References (Who to ask and why), click HERE!

As a side note, you do not need to include the statement “References Available Upon Request” on your resume.  That takes up valuable space and, frankly, if an employer asks for your references, of course you’re going to make them available!

How to Jump-Start a Flagging Job Search

Wednesday, 27 April 2011 11:51 by gmiller
I was looking through a great career resource, Job Web, to see what I could come up with for today’s post.  While searching, I found the following article and don’t think I could say it any better!

Article by Sally Kearsley -

Continuing an unproductive job search can be depressing. Many people become immobilized, fearing that their next effort will meet with negative results. It’s easy to lose faith in yourself. People say:

"I've sent out 150 resumes and it hasn't produced anything!"
"Why apply? Chances are there's an internal candidate who will get the job anyway."
"I never see jobs listed for someone with my _______." (Fill in the blank: experience, major, skills.)

Sound familiar? Then it is time to re-strategize! Using the same old approach is going to produce the same results. You need to try a fresh approach. Click HERE for some suggestions:


Don’t forget about Career Services!  We have plenty of resources to get you started.  Or, staff is more than happy to meet with you for individualized help – just call or email for an appointment!  (717-867-6560; careerservices@lvc.edu).

Spend your Spring Break exploring...

Wednesday, 9 March 2011 10:04 by givler

...some of our resources! 

CSO, the company that powers JOB CENTER, is excited to announce a new partnership with Indeed.com! Indeed is the #1 job site worldwide, with over 40 million unique visitors and 1 billion job searches per month. Indeed is available in more than 50 countries and 24 languages, covering 94% of global GDP. This partnership enables a brand new job stream to come to LVC students directly through the Jobs & Internships tab in JOB CENTER.

Get started using Indeed today by logging in to your JOB CENTER account (select Jobs & Internships tab).  If you have not already done so, sign on while in your account to access two additional new partnerships – Internships.com and CareerRookie.com. – made available in December 2010. And, as always, don’t forget to check out the more “local” postings we receive for jobs and internships.

Other sources to which Career Services subscribes that may help you uncover job leads include:

The FREE Job Choices 2011 magazines, located by the stairwell in Mund College Center, are a great resource to use when thinking about all the varying aspects associated with conducting a successful job search.  In addition, take a look at the many articles JobWeb.com has on these topics. As always, you are welcome to make an appointment to discuss with us what you’ve learned from these resources or receive additional help in using them.

Study Abroad and the Job Search

Wednesday, 23 February 2011 16:07 by gmiller

Does your Study Abroad experience relate to your job search?  Absolutely!  Through Study Abroad, you are building and/or developing an entirely new set of skills that can help you stand out from other candidates and transform you into a more confident person. 

There are certain qualities that employers seek in an ideal candidate, a few of which include: verbal communication skills, a strong work ethic, teamwork skills, analytical skills, and initiative.  At a recent Unpacking your Study Abroad Experience workshop, Career Services and Study Abroad teamed up to help students articulate and market skills such as these by utilizing examples and illustrations from their time abroad. 

I asked two students to give some insight into at least one thing they gained from their experience that might serve to strengthen their job candidacy.   

Amber Keeseman ’11 – London, England:               
While my desire to study abroad never stemmed from a need to improve my resume, it is just an added bonus that my experiences abroad are great examples of characteristics necessary for success in the workforce.  As most people who have studied abroad would agree, the person who leaves is not the same as the person who returns.  The transformation that I experienced by pushing myself out of my comfort zone is sure to have a positive impact on my career success.  Now when I talk to employers, I attempt to convey my increased confidence and my new-found willingness to take on risk. 

Caitlin Murphy ’12 – Maastricht, Netherlands:               
My college experience has provided me with valuable time management and critical thinking skills. Whether it’s analyzing literature in English Class, volunteering in a student organization, or playing basketball on the court, I am confident in my abilities to handle my tasks. Another aspect of my college career that was very influential was my study abroad in the Netherlands. I was forced to make difficult decisions about which train or plane to take and other survival necessities. The roadblocks I faced made me realize my ability to think through any situation and the confidence I gained from each challenge has made me the independent and capable person I am today.

What you are able to ‘unpack from your experience’ will be unique to you – the important thing is to remember that your study abroad experiences can be great additions to your job search!

50 Best Places to Work

Wednesday, 19 January 2011 13:26 by gmiller
Welcome back from break!  With the beginning of a new year comes the chance to make this year better than the last.  Be sure to write down your goals and plan out the steps to make them happen.  (Check out our latest edition of the ‘Career Corner’ newsletter for a compilation of our semester events.) 

Unfortunately, the job market is still tough, and probably will be for quite some time.  The best advice is to be proactive about your job search and do everything you can to get yourself out there networking, gaining experience, and searching for opportunities.  One way to stay motivated is to start a list of all the companies that interest you or of networking contacts you’d like to reach out to.  This exercise can help you focus your energy and can spark new ideas for potential opportunities. 

To get you started, take a look at Glassdoor’s annual list of 50 Best Places to Work.  What makes this list unique is that it’s the “Employees’ Choice” of workplace awards – the winners were selected by the 150,000+ employees that completed a company review on Glassdoor during 2010.  You can then click on each company to view comments from employees, which can be valuable insight when deciding for yourself what you value in a work environment.  Several of the companies will undoubtedly be familiar to you – here are the top five: 

1.       Facebook
2.       Southwest Airlines
3.       Bain & Company
4.       General Mills
5.       Edelman 

Best wishes in your first week of classes.  Make 2011 a great year!

Are you interested in working for the Federal Government?

Wednesday, 10 November 2010 13:54 by gmiller

Like many others, you might be unsure of how to get started and/or overwhelmed with the application process of pursuing a Federal career.  One bit of good news for job seekers is that “the federal government is the nation’s largest employer, with 2.1 million employees in 250 federal agencies.  Currently, half of the federal workforce is eligible to retire, and agencies are doing more succession planning as a result.  Recent statistics indicate that this trend will likely continue for the next three to five years.”  (Source: October 2010 Campus Career Counselor newsletter: interview with Kim Ainsworth, Executive Director of the Greater Boston Federal Executive Board)

To give yourself an advantage when positions become available, begin learning as much as possible about the application process early.  If you are interested in a specific agency, begin by browsing their website thoroughly for career information.  Or, check out http://www.usajobs.gov/ for the Federal Government’s official one-stop source for Federal jobs and employment information.  Here, you can view available positions or find oodles of information through the menu options on the top left – Search Jobs, My Account, and Info Center.  In particular, the Info Center contains a link to a Student Jobs page that holds plenty of information on internships, SCEP or STEP programs, Volunteer opportunities and Summer Employment. 

Applying for positions within the Federal Government may take quite a bit of time to go through the complex hiring procedures.  It is important to be patient, diligent, and proactive!  If there is anything our office can do to assist you along the way, don’t hesitate to contact us.

Rise Above the Competition

Wednesday, 20 October 2010 11:10 by gmiller

Wouldn’t it be nice to have the inside scoop on how to make yourself rise above the competition in a job search?  It can easily become overwhelming to think about all of the details and procedures to follow when applying for jobs. 

  • Is it really ok to ask questions during an interview-doesn’t that make me appear ignorant? 
  • Is it ok to send a thank you note through email? 
  • How many times should I follow-up after applying/interviewing?

Certainly everyone has different opinions on such questions – it can depend greatly on the field, position, and any number of other factors.  Your best bet is to get as much information as you can and make your best judgment from there.  To start, talk with your faculty, alumni, networking contacts, and Career Services staff for their perspectives on best practices.  You can also read articles, such as THIS one, to gain insight from actual hiring managers.  Always keep in mind though – there is never just one finite way to approach a job search/interview process.  Information is power….learn as much as you can to stand out from the rest!