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poptart

Brilliant_Rock
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May 23, 2006
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Sweetpea''s topic about leaving a job got me thinking about my upcoming quest of finding a job. I''m 21 this year and graduating from college (just days before my 21st birthday), and I am going to start sending out my resume and cover letter soon. I''ve been working since I was 16, but never interviewed for an ACTUAL, career type job. I also don''t know if these interviews will be different than the part time ones that I have already been through. Is there any advice you can give, or important things to remember? I was told to start sending stuff out around mid February and set up my interviews from there. I''ve been to the career fairs at my college and talked to the advisors, but I can use all the help I can get. I''m really nervous. Thanks in advance!

*M*
 

starryeyed

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Nov 6, 2006
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Poptart, congratulations as you finish college! That''s a wonderful accomplishment! Sounds like a reason for a diamond bauble.


You can check such sites as Monster.com for jobs - check frequently! Networking is really important too. I got my first job through the head of my engineering department. The dept had an "advisory board" with a few CEO''s - one firm was hiring.

Have a friend check over anything you write, including your resume, to make sure there are no typos or misspellings.

If you send resumes cold, you will need to follow-up. Organize your follow-up so you can refer back to what you''ve done.

Does your college have a career/job placement office? They may be able to give you some pointers too.

Always respond to a callback immediately and make yourself VERY available for interviews. After your interview, send a thank-you email to EACH interviewer immediately.

Good luck!
 

Aloros

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May 2, 2006
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947
Starryeyed has some great advice. Also, does your college offer a job fair? Check to see if your school has some sort of career center. Oftentimes potential employers will post job opportunities there. It''s a good place to start, and how I got my first job out of college.

It''s great that you have some work experience under your belt. Someone once gave me some really good advice concerning interviews. Always have three good stories in your head. Three stories about times you have overcome some sort of obstacle in the workplace or in a school environment. If you have three good stories, you can usually mold these to fit those "Tell me about a time you..." questions. Practice them. They should each have a clear beginning, middle, and end. Be concise - try to keep them to a few minutes. Even when an interviewer asks a "Tell me about a time you failed" question, try to end your reply on a positive note - what you learned from the experience, how the next time around you succeeded, etc.

General advice - keep a good posture, sit on the edge of the seat (makes you appear more interested and engaged), try to remember names so you can give a smile, a warm handshake, and a "It was nice to meet you, ____" at the end of the interview (also so you can shoot them a thank you email later and know who you are addressing!), and ask questions. If you can''t think of an answer right away, you can do a quick stall by asking for clarification.

Once you''ve nabbed an interview, do some research on the company so you can appear knowledgeable at the interview.

Hope this helps and good luck!
 

poptart

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May 23, 2006
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Thank you Aloros and Starryeyed! Your advice was very helpful! To answer your questions, I have been to the job fairs, career center, resume and career planning classes, AND talked with my advisor and career center advisor. I am just afraid that interviews will be different than ones I have already been to and I won''t say the right things. We have another job fair coming up in a couple weeks which I will be going to as well. Our career center at school also offers to check your resume and cover letter to make sure that it looks the best it can. So in that respect I guess everything would be fine. I''m just nervous about the interviews themselves I guess. I''ve never had an interview where the resulting job could actually turn into a career, you know?

*M*
 

jcrow

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 8, 2005
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7,395
confindence. that''s my advice.

also, i''ve always followed up with a handwritten thank you card. although i''m in the design industry, i''ve always designed my business cards, resumes and thank you cards to match. i also did the same for DH when he was job searching, and he''s in sales/management. i think that extra touch is always nice.
 

zoebartlett

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Dec 29, 2006
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Hi Poptart!

What field are you looking to get into? Maybe I missed it? The reason I ask is because depending on what field, you''ll get very different types of questions during your interviews. I began in publishing, where there was one set of qualifications and interview questions. I got my first job in publishing through the company, which had its own temp. hiring policies. I started out temping in different departments within the company, and that was great, because then I could narrow down where I felt was the best fit for me. I ended up getting a job in the children''s production dept. after temping there for a few weeks. A few years later, I ended up getting my master''s in teaching and now I''m teaching elementary school. Totally different type of interview questions than I had originally in my other field. Sorry to mention so much about my own experiences.

I''d try to talk to as many people you know who are in the field you''re considering. Some colleges'' career offices have alumni in fields people are considering. Often the alumni are willing to help answer questions and provide others with helpful information. Maybe check with your school if that idea interests you.

I second jcrow''s advice about writing a thank you card after the interview. It''s a thoughtful way to let them know you''re really interested in a certain position. Best of luck!
 

poptart

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May 23, 2006
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Ah yes. My career field would be kind of important, wouldn''t it? lol. I am an English major and I really want to do something in the environmental field. They have a lot of environmental agencies in my area that are looking for people for PR and writing, both of which I know how to do. I''ve also thought about working in publishing, but that field does not normally incorporate any type of environmental awareness at all, which is really important to me.

*M*
 

zoebartlett

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Publishing could include environemental issues if you work for an organization or publishing house that focuses on that. My dad works in aviation/environmental planning. He studies the environment around airports to see how noise, pollution, etc. affects the environement nearby.
 

Independent Gal

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Nov 12, 2006
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5,471
A really great technique someone once taught me is to ''get your own interview''. Basically, call someone up who is senior-ish (but not TOO senior...so not TOO busy) in your area of interest at an organization you''re interested in and say ''I''m exploring what I might like to do in the future, and I thought a job in your area would be great someday. I wondered if you''d meet with me and tell me what it''s like in your job and how I should think about structuring my career if I might like to do something similar eventually." Take him / her to lunch. At worst, you learn a little about what it would be like in that field. But at best, suddenly, you''ve already been interviewed! If a job comes up, and you''ve impressed him / her, they''re bound to think of you. Following up with a resume when you send your ''thank you for meeting with me'' e-mail can''t hurt either.

Worked for me! Worked for my pal who suggested it too.

 

Skippy123

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Joined
Nov 24, 2006
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24,299
When you get an interview show your passion for what you LOVE. If you are passionate about what you love it will show. My firm likes us to take the recruits to lunch and I can tell who will do well with us. I love people who are passionate about the job. Also, do research on the company you get an interview with, since that shows them you took the time to find out more about them! Best wishes!!!
 

poptart

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May 23, 2006
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I just wanted to update this thread a teensy bit, if anyone else is still interested or hopefully getting some helpful information as well. I took the advice of many of you and contacted Career Services again, and just applied for an internship with a local Clean the Bay project. It''s one of the biggest events of the city and is a festival that promotes environmental awareness, particularly with our Bay water. It gets rather mucked up from pollution not to mention the Navy. DH is terrified to go in that water because he says, "I know what''s in there!" So Clean the Bay makes sure that the water is safe for people to swim in and includes the entire community! I hope I get the internship because I have decided to work with an environmental organization. If I don''t though, I have decided to volunteer instead. As long as I''m helping, that''s all that really matters! Thank you all so much for your advice! It really gave me that extra boost I needed, since all my friends are in the same boat and are just as scared as I am. I''ll keep all of you "posted" (lol, that''s about the dumbest joke ever) with what happens!

*M*
 

monarch64

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Premium
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Date: 1/22/2007 7:34:43 PM
Author: Independent Gal
A really great technique someone once taught me is to ''get your own interview''. Basically, call someone up who is senior-ish (but not TOO senior...so not TOO busy) in your area of interest at an organization you''re interested in and say ''I''m exploring what I might like to do in the future, and I thought a job in your area would be great someday. I wondered if you''d meet with me and tell me what it''s like in your job and how I should think about structuring my career if I might like to do something similar eventually.'' Take him / her to lunch. At worst, you learn a little about what it would be like in that field. But at best, suddenly, you''ve already been interviewed! If a job comes up, and you''ve impressed him / her, they''re bound to think of you. Following up with a resume when you send your ''thank you for meeting with me'' e-mail can''t hurt either.

Worked for me! Worked for my pal who suggested it too.

I think this is a great idea, if you''re willing to put forth the time and effort to do it. When I was in college, these types of interviews were called "informational interviews," and were exactly as IndependentGal described.

Good luck Poptart, you''ll do great. Another thing you can do to brush up on interview skills is do a mock interview with a friend or family member and videotape it...then review the tape later to see what things you can improve upon as far as speech, body language, eye contact, and answers to typical interview questions. I think I still have my mock interview tape from college, lol.
 

poptart

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Joined
May 23, 2006
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1,899
Date: 1/31/2007 11:48:42 PM
Author: monarch64
Date: 1/22/2007 7:34:43 PM

Author: Independent Gal

A really great technique someone once taught me is to ''get your own interview''. Basically, call someone up who is senior-ish (but not TOO senior...so not TOO busy) in your area of interest at an organization you''re interested in and say ''I''m exploring what I might like to do in the future, and I thought a job in your area would be great someday. I wondered if you''d meet with me and tell me what it''s like in your job and how I should think about structuring my career if I might like to do something similar eventually.'' Take him / her to lunch. At worst, you learn a little about what it would be like in that field. But at best, suddenly, you''ve already been interviewed! If a job comes up, and you''ve impressed him / her, they''re bound to think of you. Following up with a resume when you send your ''thank you for meeting with me'' e-mail can''t hurt either.


Worked for me! Worked for my pal who suggested it too.


I think this is a great idea, if you''re willing to put forth the time and effort to do it. When I was in college, these types of interviews were called ''informational interviews,'' and were exactly as IndependentGal described.


Good luck Poptart, you''ll do great. Another thing you can do to brush up on interview skills is do a mock interview with a friend or family member and videotape it...then review the tape later to see what things you can improve upon as far as speech, body language, eye contact, and answers to typical interview questions. I think I still have my mock interview tape from college, lol.
I have a big list of interview questions that I will need to review this weekend. I have an interview on Monday, so I am really excited, but really nervous because I actually WANT the internship. It makes it all the more nerve wracking when you care!!

*M*
 

:)

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jul 25, 2006
Messages
1,864
You have gotten great advice, particularly on the way to sit (appearing interested and open with your body language), greet people, write thank you notes, RESEARCH THE COMPANY prior to the interview, etc. Also don''t forget to be polite to every one there - I have seen people be incredibly rude to secretaries, etc. I think this demonstrates the type of person most companies would not want to hire (I sure wouldn''t), plus you never know whose ear that secretary has - perhaps he/she is married to someone making the hiring decisions!!
 

zoebartlett

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Dec 29, 2006
Messages
12,450
Hi Poptart! Wishing you good luck for your interview on Monday. I know it''s nerve wracking before an interview, but try to relax on Monday. Go over the info. you need to in order to be prepared, but if you can, take some time for yourself too. Keep us posted!!
 
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