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Never Underestimate the Power of a Thank You Note

If you are interviewing for jobs or internships and not sending a thank you note after each interview, you are missing a very simple opportunity to connect positively with this potential employer.  Below are  suggestions I give to students when it comes to writing great thank you notes.

1. Put it on paper.  That’s right. Send an actual thank you note, not an email. Emailed thank you’s are not unacceptable, and may be preferred by some recruiters, but I’ve yet to hear a recruiter complain about receiving a note in the mail.  And in this world of overflowing email in-boxes, your thank you email becomes just one more to delete or file after simply reading the subject line.  Getting a thank you note in the mail these days is like getting really good customer service. We expect it, but it’s still a pleasant surprise when it actually happens. And more importantly for you, it shows follow through and thoughtfulness. Who doesn’t want that in an employee?

2 Timing is key.  Send your thank you note (or thank you email) within 1-2 days of your interview.  Do not send it from your phone as you are walking out of the interview, that’s too soon! It’s like the  old 3 day rule of calling after someone a great date.  You don’t want to look desperate by calling too soon, but you don’t want to be forgotten either!

3. Even if you interviewed with several people, don’t send a group thank you.  While it’s better than no thank you at all, it’s also like getting a gift from an aunt that you have to share with your siblings. An individual gift (or thank you note) makes us all feel special.

4. Don’t send individual notes containing the same exact content.  While they can be very similar, try changin at least one or two sentences to make it specific to the person you are sending it to. Reference something that person did or said, or something you may have observed.

5. Keep it short and sweet.  No one wants to read a full reiteration of your interview.

Happy writing!

 

 

 

Top 5 things I want my residents to know about the Career Education Center

montyGUEST BLOGGER: Montgomery Thomas, Complex Director and Coordinator of Housing Operations, Office of Residence Life at Providence College. Montgomery received has B.S. in Sociology from Central Michigan University and will be completing his M. Ed. from Providence College this summer. He has spent the past 2 1/2 years at Providence College and has previous experience as a Resident Director at Regis College.

 

 

As a Hall Director, I work and live with students. I see my role as “laying down the law” in my assigned residence hall or halls, but providing development and growth outside the classroom is of the utmost important to me.

Many residents are unaware that I am a live-in professional who works to develop my skill set to better assist with their overall college experience. Low and behold, as I develop myself more, I have been able to work towards completing my internship for my Master’s degree in Counseling, in the Career Education Center at Providence College. Through this experience and my own, I wanted to highlight the Top 5 things I would want my residents to know about the Career Education Center

 

Available even in the Summer!

  • Even though the school year is no longer is session, professional development does not stop. Appointments can be made in the summer for your career development needs.

Develop that LinkedIn profile!

  • Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are great, but developing a LinkedIn account allows for professional networking instead of social, and opportunities to build connections with alumni and others already established in careers and organizations of interest to you!

Resumes, Cover Letters, Internships, oh my!

  • Among other assistance and resources, these are three basic components that could help you land that future job! Use your down time this summer to get them perfected. (or started!)

Interview Preparation

  • Learn how to dress the part, talk the talk, and walk the walk.

Alumni Networking

  • It is never to early to network with Alumni to understand who they are and the types of jobs and careers they have! In addition to an alumni-student networking night in Washington DC on 6/18/14, and a NY alumni student networking night for the class of 2014 on 6/26/14, you can do informational interviews all summer long with PC alumni in person or by phone.

 

REMEMBER: Don’t wait, Slavin 108!

 

The Successful Interview – Telling Your Story

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GUEST BLOGGER: Joe McCarthy, Career Advisor, Career Education Center at Providence College. Joe received a B.A. in Psychology and Philosophy from the Jesuit University of Scranton and an M.A. in Holistic Counseling from Salve Regina University. He spent many years as a Human Resources professional in the insurance, banking, chemical and textile industries. He has been married for 48 years to his wife, Marlene, and they have 4 children and 4 grandchildren.

 

 

Years ago I worked in the Human Resources Department of a chemical plant in Louisville. A unique aspect of the factory was the rotational shift schedule that was in place for all manufacturing employees. On the rotating shift, employees alternated their schedule: two weeks on day shift, followed by two weeks on the afternoon shift and then two weeks on the night schedule.  Anyone who worked a rotating shift would tell you that it was a very tough schedule to follow since daily living routines were dramatically changed every two weeks.

When we interviewed applicants for jobs in the plant, we asked for their reaction to working a rotating shift. Of course, most candidates responded that it would be a very difficult challenge, but they felt that the good pay and the promotional opportunities made the schedule acceptable. This reasoning made sense to our HR interviewers.

But there were always candidates who sang the praises of the rotating shift and acted as though they had been anticipating the opportunity to work a three-shift schedule since second grade! Of course, none of the interviewers believed these testimonials. Such a response could lead the interviewer to wonder about the accuracy and integrity of the interviewees’ other responses.  Were they accurately stating what they believed?  Or were they merely trying to answer the questions in the way they thought the interviewer wanted to hear them?  This type of response didn’t necessarily exclude the candidates from consideration, but it certainly did not cause their applications to jump to the top of the pile.

One of the key interviewing lessons that can be learned from this is: BE TRUE TO YOURSELF!  Don’t shape your answers to fit the responses that you believe the interviewer is seeking.  Your integrity is too important!  If you know that you would never want to hold a commission sales position in Missoula, Montana, then don’t indicate that your bags are packed and your UM Grizzlies jacket just came back from the cleaners.

It is important to focus on the reality that an interview is not an oral quiz with a variety of right and wrong answers (thank goodness!). Rather, consider an interview as a conversation. The interviewer wants to get to know you — your values, your interests, your strengths and experiences. When you think of an interview as a conversation and realize that it is about you, you’ll recognize that you are the leading expert on this topic. This will enhance your comfort level.

What about feeling nervous before an interview? It helps to realize that virtually everyone feels some level of anxiety going into an interview. But the good news is that as soon as you begin to talk, the butterflies tend to go away. Also, participating in a practice interview through the Career Education Center is a good way to encourage the butterflies to begin an early migration! Sign up via eFriars.

So, as you head toward an interview, visualize what a good communicator you are.  Affirm your skills and anticipate the opportunity to share your unique story — you are very special and an interview is your chance to show how truly remarkable you are.

 

 

 

 

Get That Job!

You’ve got this!

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Whether you are just beginning your job search, in the middle of your job search, or fed up with your job search, we can help.

Come in during daily Quick Question hours or call 401-865-1031 to make an appointment with a Career Advisor today!

4 Secrets Of People Who Always Get The Job Offer

 

I Attended the Spring Career & Internship Fair, Now What?

Over 700 students (including multiple athletic teams who took advantage of the opportunity to attend during practice hours in uniform) attended the Spring Career & Internship Fair.

The feedback from employers is that they were thoroughly impressed by the student participation and their preparedness for this event!

2013 career fair

 

The question is, now what do I do?

1. Follow up with any/all employers that interested you. Hopefully you collected some business cards/contact information. Email them a thank you for attending the fair and speaking with you. If you want to stand out, mail them a handwritten thank you note.

  • Reiterate your interest in their company/position and what your next steps are (will  you be applying online? attending their information session? awaiting job or internship postings on their web page so you can apply? taking a course that will make you better suited for their industry? etc.)
  • Keep it short and to the point, use proper greetings and grammar (an informal, poorly written email can ruin that professional image you want to project) and try to refer to the conversation you had with them to help them remember you.

2. Apply to any positions that you learned about and were interested in, and would like to pursue formally.

3. Email the recruiter you met at the fair if you have applied to their open position and let them know that you did so, and that you look forward to a personal interview.  Thank them for sharing the information about the company/position with you at the fair as it helped you better understand what type of candidate they were looking for.

4. Save that recruiter’s contact information.  You may need it in the future, don’t be afraid to use it!

5. Take advantage of the “What’s Next” workshop series listed in eFriars where you can attend follow up workshops on a variety of career topics such as job & internship searching, networking and more.

whatsnextefriars

 

 

 

 

Remember that if you didn’t find what you wanted at the fair, we want to meet with you individually to help you find that in other ways. Call 401-865-1290 for an appointment with a Career Advisor.

The Spring Career & Internship Fair is Coming!

Are you ready for it?

Getting through the next week may be the only thing on your mind right now with spring break fast approaching, but don’t forget that the Spring Career & Internship Fair takes place on Wed. March 19, in Peterson from 2-5pm

If you’re looking for a full time job or summer internship, you can’t afford to miss it!  There are over 100 organizations attending and they’re looking for you!

AAA Southern New England
ABM Industries
Aflac
Allied Building Products Corp. Division of Oldcastle
Alma del Mar Charter School
Alzheimer’s Association
AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps FEMA Corps
Amica Mutual Insurance
Angel Taveras for Governor
AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals
athenahealth, Inc.
Atrion Networking Corporation
Bankers Life and Casualty Company
Barnum Financial Group
Barton Associates
Bay View Academy
Beecher Carlson
Block for Governor
BlumShapiro
Bowdoin Group
Boy Scouts of America
Buckeye International, Inc.
Capital Good Fund
Care New England Health System
Catholic Charities, Boston
Cedar Crest Nursing and Rehab
Centinel Financial Group
City Year
Clean Water Action
Collette
Corporation for National & Community Service
DiSanto, Priest & Co.
Duffy & Shanley
East Bay Community Action Program
Enterprise Rent a Car
Ernst & Young
Evergreen Center
Eze Software Group
Fidelity Investments
Gloria Gemma Breast Cancer Resource Foundation
GTECH Corporation
Guidance In GIving, Inc.
Indeed
ING Financial Partners
Insight Global, Inc.
ISlide, Inc
James L. Maher Center
Kaplan Test Prep and Admissions
LGC&D LLP
Liberty Mutual Insurance
MassMutual Westchester
MatchEducation
MEDITECH, Medical Information Technology, Inc
Mohegan Sun
Mondelez International (Nabisco, Cadbury): Snack & Food Company
New England Center for Children
New York Life
Northwestern Mutual – Greater Boston Area and Rhode Island
Otis Elevator Company
Oxford Global Resources
Peace Corps
Peter Jacobsen Sports
Picerne Management
Procter & Gamble
Providence Children’s Museum
Providence College MBA Program
Prudential Financial
RDW Group, Inc.
Robert Half
Save the Bay, Inc.
Serve Rhode Island
Sherwin Williams
Swarovski North America Limited
Swipely
SWS Technologies
Talbots
Teach For America
Teknor Apex Company
The Beacon Mutual Insurance Company
The Committee For Allan Fung
The Genesis Center
The Groden Network
The Guide, LLC
The Haitian Project, Inc.
The Hanover Insurance Group
The Judge Group
The Miriam Hospital-Centers for Behavioral and Preventive Medicine
The TJX Companies
TV9 Seekonk
U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP)
U.S. Department of Justice Federal Bureau of Investigation
U.S. Department of State; Bureau of Diplomatic Security
UMass Memorial Medical Center
UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS OFFICER PROGRAMS
Vernon Public Schools
Walker School
Waterfire Providence
Wolf & Company
Year Up Providence
ZipRecruiter

 

See you there!

 

Personal Brand Alignment: Headline, Summary and Skills Match

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Guest Blogger: Anne Lipsitz, Graduate Student Advisor, Providence College Career Education Center. Passionate career development coaching professional and experienced marketing communication leader. She received a B.A. in Journalism, Speech, PR and M.A. in Communication Studies from the University of Rhode Island. She previously worked in Sales, Marketing and PR at MetLife Insurance Company.

 

When using LinkedIn to market yourself, it is critical in defining your brand make sure to be clear, succinct and create consistent alignment. Do yourself a favor and do not create brand confusion. Clearly define “your product” in the marketplace.

The formatting of your headline, summary and skill set are critical to an effective and efficient algorithm search on LinkedIn. Yes that’s right LinkedIn uses the beauty of art and science and searches on keywords.

Your goal is to strategically align your brand with the skills that are needed in the marketplace and showcase what you can contribute in the headline and summary. You want to demonstrate the problems that you can solve.

  • Focus on skill sets that matter.
  • Use the summary key word algorithm to your advantage.
  • By using the keywords in headline you double optimize your brand.

HEADLINE:

  • The secret to a great headline is making sure you have four to six skill sets tied to endorsements.
  • Endorsements are a REALLY BIG deal!
  • The keyword skill search can help employers find you.
  • Consider the relationships in your network that you can have a skill endorsed and that can help you find a job.
  • Know that in order to get endorsements you need to give endorsements.

SUMMARY

  • Write a more in-depth paragraph to give people an idea of where you stand now in your career, what your strengths are, where you want to go and what you have to offer.
  • FACT: Recruiters use algorithm and points are scored on key words when searching. They pay $8K/year to search on keywords. Don’t take up valuable real estate and key words with narrative. Be strategic!
  • Have a strong branding statement that articulates your passion and solves problems. StrengthQuest is great for this. Call the Career Education Center and request a code in order to take a Strenthsquest assessment.

SKILLS:

  • List specific skills. Choose wisely and sparingly.
  • Other members in your network can endorse you for these skills so avoid choosing something you possess that others aren’t aware of or a skill (Microsoft word) that does not compliment your headline or summary.

When in doubt, make an appointment with a Career Education Center professional by calling 401-865-1290!

Resolve to Engage in Career Exploration in 2014

With a new year comes new resolutions.  Goals that we set to help us improve ourselves and ultimately, our lives.  Why not move beyond resolving to eat less, drink less, or exercise more, (all great resolutions by the way!) and resolve to dedicate time this year to planning for your future.  If that seems a daunting task, the sample resolutions below and the action steps you can take towards them, may help you get started.

1. Resolve to Network

     80% of internships and jobs are found through networking.  Attend the alumni-student networking night on 1/29/14 at 6:30pm in ’64 Hall as your first step.

2. Resolve to put time into your internship or job search this semester

     Jobs and internships are posted in eFriars daily by employers are looking for PC students to fill their positions! Additonally, our spring career fair is 3/19/14 in Peterson, offering full time jobs and
summer internships

3. Resolve to have a conversation with someone about your future

     Call us at 865-1290 and make an appointment to speak with a career advisor or ask us to help you connect with an alum in your desired career field

4. Resolve to create an excellent resume and cover letter

     Use our guide and then come in during daily Quick Question Hours to have it reviewed

5. Resolve to practice your interview skills

     Sign up for a mock interview with an employer.  Offered every Friday from 1:30 – 3:30pm.  Sign up for a timeslot in eFriars

Good luck keeping your New Year’s resolution(s) and come see us in Slavin 108 for help with your career related ones!

Watch Some Videos Over Winter Break

In addition to catching up on any movies you may have missed out on this year, you can use your break to view the brief Career Spots videos  that the Career Education Center just uploaded to their home page.  Each one gives quick and easy information on a career related topic such as “Who Am I?” or “Build Your Network” or “No Google Answers,” so you’re bound to find some that appeal to you.  Even if you think you’re already pretty well versed in your career preparation, watching videos like “Applying on Facebook” and “Behavioral Interviews” will give you an edge over the competition in your internship or job search!

I suggest all students watch “Be Smart on Social Media” and “Email Etiquette” as these are two mediums we all take for granted. You may be very surprised to learn how some recruiters are using social media and the emails you send them, to make judgments about whether or not they want to interview you!

Give us a call at 401-865-1290 now, to schedule an appointment for late January, when you are back at PC. Get a jump start on your career education this spring! It’s not too late (seniors), nor too early (freshmen) to plan for life after college.

#Don’t Wait…Slavin 108

 

 

Valid Reasons Students Should Have an Internship (or Two!) by Graduation

The article, The Real Reason New College Grads Can’t Get Hired, presents a hard truth to students.  The good news is, if you’re reading this now, there’s still time to do something about it.

If the issue that’s addressed in the following paragraph from this article hits close to home, now’s the time to think about the consequences to staying on this path during your college years:

“…more than 80% of employers want new grads they hire to have completed a formal internship, but only 8% of students say interning in a field related to their major is something they spend a lot of time doing. Instead, the top extracurricular activities are hanging out with friends, working in an unrelated job and eating out.”

The choice is yours, and if you choose to become a college graduate that employers will hire, we can get you there!

#Don’t Wait…Slavin 108

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