Geared towards the government or NPOs? Our next Career Fair’s for YOU!

By Shannon Feeney, Employer Relations Coordinator

It’s clear students at Syracuse University are committed to public service, so much so, that the Washington Monthly ranked SU the 14th university overall contributing to the public good in social mobility, research, and service.  Because of our students’ continued interest in making a difference, Career Services is hosting the Nonprofit & Government Career Fair on Wednesday, February 22 from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. in Panasci Lounge (Schine Student Center).  This year we’re welcoming 39 organizations from the nonprofit, government, healthcare, and education sectors!

Some agencies you can expect to see at this year’s fair are: Arc of Onondaga County, City Year, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Internal Revenue Service, Make-A-Wish, Peace Corps, and Utica College.  These agencies are recruiting undergraduate, graduate, and PhD students for full-time, part-time, internship and volunteer positions.

If you are interested in a career in the nonprofit or government sectors, here are some great resources for searching and applying for jobs!

1)      Idealist.org connects people and organizations that are interested in “building a world where all people can live free and dignified lives.”  The website gives you the chance to search for jobs and internships with nonprofit organizations, find volunteer opportunities, and share events and programs relevant to world issues.

2)      USAJOBS.gov allows you to search for all types of jobs within all departments of government.  The advanced search feature gives you the ability to specifically search within an agency, state, or profession.

3)      MakingtheDifference.org provides resources to understanding and searching for federal jobs and internships.  Their federal jobs page offers some great tips to finding and applying to federal positions like Financial Management Specialist for the Department of Labor or Contract Specialist at an Air Force Base.

Know of other great resources for nonprofit and government jobs?  Share them here!  And don’t forget to check out the Nonprofit & Government Career Fair on Wednesday, February 22!

Resumes and Cover Letters: a Senior Session Recap

By Lauren Wannermeyer, Intern at Syracuse University Career Services

Our Senior Sessions help you to prepare!

Did you miss Career Services’ first Senior Session on Resumes, Cover Letters, and preparing for a Career Fair? Here’s what you missed!

Tracy Tillapaugh and Shannon Feeney from Career Services presented on how to make our resume and cover letters stand out among the stack and how to make an impression at a Career Fair. The theme of the session was pretty obvious. To get a job (or even just get an interview), standing out is key.

Tracy kicked off the hour with a brief workshop on resumes, starting with the job description.

Glassdoor.com

The job description
You’d be surprised to hear how many people do not even completely read through a job description before applying for a job. This is an imperative step. If you don’t completely survey the job description, it’s impossible to be strategic with your resume. The idea is to put the most applicable work experience at the top, where it is most likely to be read. It may sound tedious to tailor your resume to every job you apply for, but if you just have a few separate sections (specialized experience, leadership experience, etc.) you can organize them based on the requested skills and experience on the job description.

Recruiters say they pay most attention to the top half and the bottom three lines of a resume. Be strategic with how you place your work/internship experience and your special skills.

We have all heard that resumes shouldn’t be more than one page. With this in mind, don’t be afraid to weed out irrelevant information. You want the experience on your resume to be relevant to the job you are applying for. This might mean taking some things out. While all of your clubs and involvement in college might have been formative, it might not be applicable. Keep this in mind.

Action Words
The next tip is to focus on action words. You should start every bullet point with a verb to kick off your description. Recruiters cannot get the full picture of your experience from a simple listing of the company you worked for and your position there. You should use verbs to explain your duties and responsibilities and try to relate them back to duties and responsibilities listed in the description of the job you’re applying for.

An Objective
Tracy’s final tip had to do with listing an objective. Think of your objective as a headline. It’s a brief statement of what you want to do. It helps recruiters clarify why they have your resume. It’s especially helpful when you’re at a career fair. Company reps are often at fairs recruiting for a variety of positions and they will have a hard time remembering why you spoke with them if your resume does not make your objective clear. An objective statement is completely optional, but it’s something to consider if you’re set in what kind of position you aspire to receive after graduation.

As the workshop continued, Tracy spoke about cover letters. Cover letters are often even more frustrating than resumes. They need to be even more specific to the position you are applying to. If there is one key point when it comes to cover letters, it’s relevance. Examples also matter. You can use all the adjectives you want to describe yourself and what kind of worker you are but it will never have the same effect as an anecdote that displays why you possess all the qualities that they are looking for.

Research is a MUST before Career Fairs

Next, Shannon offered excellent tips on how to make the most of career fairs. Her first tip was to do your research. Find out what companies are attending, figure out what tables you’d most like to visit, have your resumes set to go with those companies in mind. Look up the company’s website and social media accounts. Be prepared to have a conversation with the recruiter. You should never go up to a table and say “Tell me about your company.” If you’re serious about applying for a job, you should be able to tell them about their company and why you’d make a good fit. OrangeLink is a great resource. It allows you to look up the companies that are attending, their website and what positions they are recruiting for. Use it!

Next Shannon advised to have your elevator pitch ready to go. Most of us have had to come up with one at some point or another in class. Your elevator pitch should be brief and informative. It should have flavors of your personality and be memorable. These things are hard to achieve. If you have trouble coming up with your elevator pitch, Career Services can help!

If you’re nervous about talking to your dream company, practice. Start by going to a company you’re a little less interested in to warm up. You might find after working out the kinks with a less stressful company, you’re ready to go. Finally, don’t forget to apply. You can’t apply for jobs at Career Fairs, but you find out about a lot of opportunities. Maximize them by applying. You’d be surprised by how many people don’t!

Don’t miss the next Senior Session on Wednesday, February 15th at 3:30 p.m. in Hall of Languages room 207. Chuck Reutlinger will offer a workshop on Job Searching Secrets. Then, on Wednesday, February 22nd, same time, same place, Kim Brown and Dan Klamm will help you to understand how social media plays a role in your job search and why you MUST be on LinkedIn. RSVP on Orange Link!

Sales: So Much More Than Cold-Calling

By Shannon Feeney

Cold-calling is so last century! (flickr / zigazou76)

There seems to be a stigma around the word “sales” when it comes to job seekers.  The images that come to mind are of cold-calling for new clients, salaries based solely on commission, and forcing people to buy something they don’t want.  I am hoping this blog post will help debunk some myths and shed some light on why you shouldn’t shut the door on a career in sales.

1)      Let’s consider sales for what it really is – account management, relationship building, and business development.  If you have a knack for working with people, love the idea of not being at a desk 24/7 and might want to own your own business, then maybe sales is for you.  Take a look at the job descriptions for sales positions in OrangeLink see if they are a fit for you!

2)      Not ALL sales positions are commission-based!  This is why it is so important to do your research into company-specific sales postings.  Many employers will offer their staff starting salaries with the potential to earn more.  Even starting salaries for entry-level sales positions are higher than perceived – according to Indeed.com’s salary calculator, the average salary for an entry-level sales representative in New York City is $59,000.

3)      The job outlook is good!  A recent article from US News listed sales manager and representative as one of the “hot jobs” that will be hiring this year. (We can’t disagree either – look at the positions employers are hiring for at the upcoming Spring Career Expo!)   This isn’t a new trend either; CNBC reported that sales was one of ‘The 10 Jobs Most in Demand in 2011.’

So before you completely shut out an opportunity in sales, I encourage you to do some more research.  Talk to the employers at the Career Fair hiring for sales positions, connect with alumni on ‘CuseConnect (through LinkedIn) who have started their careers in sales, and attend Career Services events such as ‘Sales Forecast: Successful’ on February 23 (6 p.m., Hall of Languages Room 114) to hear what working in sales is REALLY all about from the people who know best.

Introducing Shannon Feeney…

by Shannon Feeney
Employer Relations Coordinator

Hello blogosphere!  I am Shannon Feeney, the new Employer Relations Coordinator here at Career Services.  A 2009 alumna with a passion for everything Orange, I am definitely happy to be back on campus helping students connect with employers of their dreams.  My role in Career Services is to expand the employer base that recruits and hires students from Syracuse University.  I have done lots of research on different types of companies and made efforts to reach out and tell them exactly how awesome you are!

Some things to look forward to this year: we’re welcoming a bunch of new employers to the Fall Career Fair on October 5  – Aeropostale, Amphenol Aerospace, Burlington Coat Factory, eClinical Works, and Turning Stone, just to name a few. We’ll also be hosting all types of information panels. Keep an eye out for the Service Panel on October 3 with representatives from Teach for America, City Year, Student Conservation Association, and Peace Corps!  We’ll continue to connect employers like Macy’s, JPMorgan Chase, GE, and Deloitte to student groups for presentations too.

In my newly created role, I’ll be focusing on bringing opportunities to you from a variety of employers. As I do this, what’s most important is that I hear from you! As I continue to do research about employers and industries, I would love your feedback.  Here are some ways you can help:

1) Share companies that you would like to see on campus

2) Let us know about great companies you’ve interned for

3) Offer ideas for better ways to connect employers with you or your student organization

4) Have a connection to a company that might be interested in recruiting SU students? Pass along my information!

Feel free to contact me with your feedback and ideas! I can be reached by e-mail, telephone (315-443-9092), Twitter, and LinkedIn!

Go Orange!