Since today you will be especially conscious of your wardrobe choice, this is the perfect opportunity to review the art of business wear. Although we trust you won’t walk into an interview dressed like a Halloween pumpkin, it’s always helpful to have a refresher session on the basics of dressing to impress.
For an interview, the general rule of thumb is “you can never be too overdressed.” You have a short period of time to be assessed by a potential employer, so dress like you want the part five times over. While you want to convey professionalism through your dress, you don’t want to be remembered for your outfit. (You want to be remembered for your qualifications!) This means veering away from loud colors and statement jewelry. Go back to the basics!
What exactly are the basics for an interview?
Conservative Dress/Knee-Length Skirt or ironed business slacks with a blouse
No LOUD colors (in your outfit, jewelry or on your NAILS)
Limit the perfume & jewelry
Keep your hairstyle simple and professional (Tie out of your face to avoid playing with it during an interview- it’s distracting!)
Simple heels or flats (This is not the time for fashion forward stilettos!)
Outside of an interview setting, it is still important to dress professionally in the workplace. However, you must also feel out your work environment and look to your coworkers to see what the norms are. Someone working on Wall Street will undoubtedly be expected to dress more formally than someone who works at the more business casual Google office. However, for the first few days of your internship or job, lean towards overdressing.
Although it may seem like we are trying to quash your self-expression, there are many ways to dress professionally and still incorporate your own style.Also remember that dressing conservatively does not mean you cannot be stylish! For great workplace style tips, check out the following sites:
Women: Marie Claire at Work here (includes how to be “business chic,” what to wear as a fragrance at the office and more!)
Men: Check out GQ’s “A 10-step GQ Guide to Nailing Office Style” here
Ready to Dress for Success? Good.
Now feel free to change back into your Pumpkin costume, after all it is still Halloween!
You have one page to prove yourself. Although that sentence may seem a little harsh, a resume does essentially mean fitting and appropriating all of your accomplishments into one 8×11” page. Understanding that you have limited space begs the question, “What do employers look for in a resume?”
Of course there are the basics: Education, Relevant Work Experience, Volunteerism etc. However new research by the National Association of Colleges and Employers suggests eight out of tenemployers value and seek leadership skills on a candidate’s resumes. Thus, instead of over-involving yourself in campus activities to bolster your resume, hone in on your genuine interests and pursue a leadership position in one of those activities. The age-old notion of “quality over quantity” still applies!
NACE also highlightedNINEother qualities that employers sought in their applications. Check out the below picture to see all 10 desired attributes and think about how these qualities fit into your resume. Since resumes are ever-evolving documents, make changes that reflect these ideals.
While you definitely want to focus on developing desirable skills and experiences, don’t forget the basics rules either:
No typos: When there’s limited space, the details count! Always proofread your work AND have someone else check it as well.
Action Verbs:Under your experiences, choose action words to strengthen your descriptions. Make sure you use the right verb tense too!
Relevant Experiences: Although you may be really proud of your ability to make triple chocolate brownies from scratch, that fact should remain far outside the purview of your resume! (Well unless you want to be a baker…) Remember your goal is to snag an interview, so keep it relevant.
One readable page: For college students, your font size should be between 10 –12. And just in case you forgot… Resumes are ONE page documents!
You’ve probably been encouraged to take advantage of college resources on many different occasions in your academic career. However, it is not always clear how or which programs are best suited for you.
In this installment of “What’s in Hogan 203?” we will reacquaint you with the services and resources offered virtually by the Career Planning site. The mentioned sites are definitely worth taking a look!
First on the top right corner, you will find our“Self-Help Guides.” These packets will take you step-by-step through the process of developing your Resume, writing a Cover Letter and learning more skills to help you score your dream internship or job. This is the place to start learning how to develop your professional profile, while avoiding a major faux pas.
All of these guides are also offered in print inside the Career Planning Center- Hogan 203.
In the top left hand corner, we offer Powerpoints of our“Online Workshops.” These resources focus on more specific situations, such as the different types of interviews you may encounter. While the first section centers on more general advice, this is the place to look for tips when you’ve narrowed down the companies you’re applying for OR if you’ve already scored an interview.
Step 2: Crusader Connections
Before going through the “External Links” section, head over to Crusader Connections, where we post a TON of internship/job opportunities. To access these, sign in and familiarize yourself with CRUSADER CONNECTIONS. Throughout your job search, Crusader Connections will be your best friend… if you know how to navigate it. For a full Crusader Connections tutorial, check out last year’s blog post.
Step 3: External Links
Now it’s time to tackle the bottom section of“External Links.” All of these links provide helpful information about potential career paths or current internship/job opportunities. Look confusing? We’ll break it down for you….
Still not sure where your career path is heading? (P.S. No one really does)
We are excited to announce that our Alumni Guest Post series is back for the 2012-2013 academic year!
First up:Will Brown ’11will be sharing his experiences as a Physics teacher with Teach For America!
When I look back at my four years at Holy Cross, many things stand out to me: long hours in class and science labs, long hours studying in Dinand, long hours working at Kimball, and long weekend nights with friends. I enjoyed all of those things, but the one aspect of Holy Cross that truly became a part of me was the idea of being “Men and Women for (and with) Others.” I took advantage of every opportunity I had to serve alongside the marginalized and oppressed. I was one of those people who fell in love with the spring break immersion program. I went to New Orleans my freshman year because I wanted to help others. I quickly learned, however, that the beauty of a life of service is not what you can do for others, but what you can do together. The individuals that I met, both from Holy Cross and the local communities, convinced me to broaden my perspective and go out into the world.
Fast forward a few years, and I am now a second-year Teach for America corps member serving as a physics teacher San Benito High School in the Rio Grande Valley of South Texas, the area of land alongside the Mexican border. As someone who was a biology major in the health professions program, I often get asked, “Why Teach for America? Why not go to med school?” Medical school is still my target destination, but I did not feel ready at that time to jump in. Instead, I opted for a short break from school and settled on joining one of the many service organizations that are available (Peace Corps, JVC, Americorps, etc.). Teach for America recruits high-performing college graduates with strong leadership qualities to teach in high-needs schools throughout the country. We go through an alternative teacher certification program and undertake continuous professional development throughout our two-year commitment. This makes it an excellent option for those individuals (like me) who realized very late that they have a passion for teaching, and also those individuals who would like a strong support system as they begin their teaching careers. Although it is not faith-based like the immersion trips, TFA appealed to me because it allowed me to work daily with students who have ambitious hopes and dreams for their futures, but who have also been written off by many as incapable of reaching those goals or, worse, not worth the effort.
The past year and a half has been a constant challenge. The old joke that “those who can’t do, teach” has certainly been proven false. I have worked harder during the past year and a half than I ever did before. My school day runs from 7:45 to 4:16, and then I stay at school most afternoons grading, preparing for future lessons, or organizing extracurricular activities. During my first year I taught three 90-minute chemistry classes and one remedial class for students who needed to pass the state exam. This year I am teaching physics. I find myself constantly relearning things I have forgotten since college. Most nights I am exhausted, and just like at Holy Cross I cannot wait for each weekend to come around so I can relax a bit. I love taking the time to go out to my students’ football games (yes, it really is like Friday Night Lights) or volleyball games and see them excel in something that they love. It is also a fun and easy opportunity to meet students’ parents and influencers.
All of the time and effort is worth it, though, when you see the fruits of you and your students’ shared labor: having Juan look up at you from a problem set and say he finally understands; seeing Mel’s face light up in wonder and amazement when a science experiment works like magic; or seeing a student who has failed multiple times in the past finally rise up and succeed. Those simple, joyous moments remind me why I chose teaching, why I chose Teach for America.
If you are interested in applying to Teach for America, make sure to get in touch with one of the recruiters from the Boston office. TFA works in 46 different rural and urban regions throughout the country from Boston to Hawaii and everywhere in-between. Check out the website to see detailed information about each of the regions. You can make yourself a more attractive applicant by taking on leadership positions on campus and developing your organizational skills, as these are two of the organization’s focal points when looking at applicants. Also, speak to people who are currently teaching in the public school system: there are many things I was unaware of that happen behind-the-scenes. There is a lot more to school than just teaching classes.
I want to leave you with my greatest moment in the classroom so far. One of
my students from last year, Myriah, had not passed the state science exam since she was in 8th grade. As a senior, she needed to pass that test to graduate. She was in two science classes with me, for a total of 135 minutes each day, all year long. Myriah had her confidence beaten down, but we knew that she could do it. One month before graduation, on her last chance, she finally succeeded in passing the science exam. She was going to walk across the stage and graduate with her class! I remember many things about that night: My mom and sister were at a Brad Paisley concert, and Johan Santana threw the Mets first no-hitter, but I will always remember the ear-to-ear smile on Myriah’s face as she lined up to walk across the stage. Tears welled up in my eyes as a student sitting near me said, “I didn’t think Myriah was going to graduate.” The tears began to run as I responded, “Well, she did.” In that moment, I knew that I was where I needed to be. I knew that joining Teach for America was the right choice for me.
FALLBREAK is finally upon us! While we would never dream of undermining the importance of sleeping, watching re-runs of Law & Order SVU and mulling over this year’s Halloween costume options, we know Fall Break also provides the opportunity to maximize your internship & career search. Here are some quick tips for you to tackle over break:
Research: Whether you are applying for an internship or full-time position, researching companies before you apply is essential. Many corporate websites feature a “Career” section, so take a look at what kind of positions are available and what qualifications they require. Also, check out our very own Crusader Connectionsto see what positions are available to you. (We post A LOT of jobs/internships for you!)
It’s October, Buy a Costume:No we don’t mean for Halloween…yet… Rather, invest in some staple business outfits so you are ready to roll for upcoming interviews or networking events.
Seniors –Apply!Those words may have left a bad taste in your mouth that even apple cider can’t fix, but it’s finally time to start applying. Many employers (especially in finance or other companies with training programs) set their deadlines in early October! So keep searching and sending out your resumes & cover letters! P.S. You’ve got this.