The best way to make sure your first flight from the nest is permanent is to be prepared to find the right job.
Just thinking about all the applications that must be filled out, resumes and cover letters to write can be a daunting task, not to mention preparing for the interviews. From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 19, Washburn is offering its annual spring Career Fair in Lee Arena.
Students can visit the fair to meet employers, make connections and receive tips for resumes and portfolios. Students talk with potential employers to ask questions and receive a better visual of what that job involves.
“It’s perfect venue to ask questions” said Kent McAnally, director of Career Services.
McAnally says that networking is a big deal in the workforce. It’s important to make connections with people, which is hard to do online with just a resume.
“You are highly unlikely to get a job without meeting face to face” said McAnally.
Deborah Moore, director of human resources at Washburn, gets a first hand view resumes and cover letters. As the human resources staff sorts through resumes, Moore offers some tips on how to make sure your resume makes it through to the next level.
First, always fill out applications completely and check spelling, said Moore, who has a personal pet peeve about misspelled words.
“I can’t tell you how that turns a person off,” said Moore
Imagine turning in a resume where the name of the company is misspelled.
Both McAnally and Moore recommend including activities to show that the applicant is well rounded.
The point of the resume is to get an interview, but it does not get you the job.
When it comes to interviews, Moore says, always dress professionally whether in person or online. Don’t wear jeans or a holey shirt. Arrive 10 minutes early and always turn your phone off. Moore says to answer questions completely but don’t go on and on. When job searching a person has to sell themselves differently because that is what will stand out to the employer.
“Be aware of what they can ask you” said Moore.
The interviewer can only ask job related questions, but nothing about a person’s personal life like how many family members you have. The interviewer can ask if you have reliable transportation or if you are able to be at work on time. One final tip is to be yourself at the interviews. The employers wants to get a better idea of who they may be hiring.
After the interview, send a thank you note. The feel of the work place and age of the employer will determine whether to send the thank you in the mail or email. With older employers, it may be better to send a letter in the mail. By doing this, it will keep the applicant’s name fresh in the employer’s mind.
It can be helpful to know what kinds of skills employers want. Employers want team players who have both written and interpersonal communication skills. Creative thinkers, problem solvers and leaders are also valued in many career fields.
Studies have shown that most people who graduate from college do not get a job in the career field they studied for. Some people have grown tired of their current job and decided to change careers.
McAnally said he had a bachelor in music education and a masters in music performing arts. After 20 years of being a music teacher, he wanted to do something else. McAnally says that it’s OK to change careers, but he recommends making sure to research the job options.
The online resources for today’s job seekers make research for jobs and how to prepare for them easier than ever before.
Lauren Doherty, [email protected], is a senior mass media major.