Career Services

Lebanon Valley College

What? You want me to read another book?

Yes, I do.  Books can change us, help us to see things differently, expand our horizons.

Lakeisha M. Matthews, Director of the Career and Professional Development Center at the University of Baltimore, recently submitted a post to The NACE Blog titled Five Books Every Student Should Read. Click HERE to read her picks for the five books that “had an enormous impact on [her] professional development as a college student and entry-level professional. 

What I appreciated most in Ms. Matthews comments was the connection she made to the benefits of reading and the skills/qualities that employers seek in the candidates they hire. I’ve no doubt you could easily come up with those connections, but just maybe you need to be reminded of exactly what they are. 

So read… this post, for sure. You might even want to ask some of your favorite professors, administrators, or other professionals for books/articles they consider to be a good read for your development and maturity as a person and as a professional.

Consider this my “encouragement” for how to spend some of your summer days.

-Sharon M. Givler, director of career development

 

 

Robots and Résumés

Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) are the recruiting tools that many organizations now use to streamline the hiring process.  In many ways these systems make it much easier for candidates to connect with employers and opportunities in the job search process.  But, as with most any new system, the old ways of preparing documents for human eyes may need to be tweaked for the robots that now read them.

This INFOGRAPHIC from the HireRight Blog offers great do’s and don’ts for robot-friendly résumés.

-Sharon Givler, director of career development

Fonts, Sizes and Formats – How about yours?

There are all kinds of opinions on what you should and should not do with your résumé.  Sometimes it is a matter of opinion. Always it’s a matter of good taste and sensitivity to the industry and the people that are tasked with reading your document. To ensure your résumé has the look of a well-crafted document consider the tips that this INFOGRAPHIC  from the JobCluster highlights.

-Sharon Givler, director of career development

Local to Global: Annville to Shanghai

Within the past decades, China has grown to become the world’s second largest economy, fast surpassing that of its rivals in an explosion of economic expansion. This economic status has led to increases in the consumption of education and luxury goods, trademark developments of a developed country. The internationalization of the Chinese culture includes an increased marketability of both Mandarin and experience in the East Asian world. Through the work of the Center for Global Education, Lebanon Valley College is now proud to offer a study abroad program to Shanghai, China.

Studying abroad in Shanghai, in comparison to the other European programs that the college offers, can appear daunting due to the extremity of the cultural and linguistic differences. Fortunately MyWorldAbroad has several resources that will be very helpful in alleviating any pre-departure anxiety. Under the ‘Top Resources’ section are a series of country guides (specific by region) and tips on travel smarts to help educate students on the norms of their destination. Unique to this study abroad experience is an optional internship opportunity, and students can learn about international internships and the expectations of other countries through the ‘What Do You Want to Do?’ > “Intern Abroad” sections.

Most helpful to students is the 4 Big Things tab, which divides the site into two sections; studying abroad (‘While in School’) and working abroad (‘While Looking for Work’). In this area, students can access all of the site’s articles that pertain to studying abroad, which discuss not only preparation for the study abroad experience, but how to speak professionally about a semester abroad once they return. By making an effort to examine and understand these unique aspects of other cultures (and understanding the quirks of American culture!), students can become adjusted faster, alleviate homesickness, and have an overall better experience!  Happy Travels.

-Marie Gorman, student assistant for the Center for Career Development

MyWorldAbroad: Why Me?

Students are constantly being bombarded with databases and resources that are supposed to make their lives simpler and research process easier.  The number of options can be overwhelming, and each additional program seems to make things more complicated.  Thankfully, MyWorldAbroad is not another endless database but a searchable academic site comprised of informative content.

As a student interested in going abroad, MyWorld Abroad can inform you of the cultural norms of a country before you arrive. Many students fear appearing “like a stereotypical American” or an outsider, and can fear the cultural divide more than the communicative divide. Tips sheets and the stories of others who have already been abroad can help travelers to understand the perceptions of their host nation and learn to better adapt to these norms.

Students who have already been abroad may be interested in finding ways to finalize or formalize their experience. By submitting to the MyWorldBlog, students have the possibility of earning a monetary reward by writing about their time abroad.  Two entire sections of the site are devoted to writing and speaking about study abroad experiences for the workplace, and also provide advice about the international application and hiring process.

Students who are not interested in going abroad may be interested in the country guides, which allow students to grow their international intelligence (IQ). These are organized by country, and can be used in the classroom and for assignments that require knowledge about world regions and the latest significant events. Guides can range from economics and international trade routes to feminism and the treatment of women in the Middle East. The variety of resources ranges from online articles to books to movies.

If you have a question about the world we live in, MyWorldAbroad has an answer. Simply head to the website for the Center for Career Development to get started!

- Marie Gorman, student assistant with the Center for Career Development

Convincing Cover Letters

Getting the attention of an employer in a cover letter is not always the easiest thing to do.  But if you know what impresses them, then you are well on your way to communicating in a manner that increases your chances of being asked to interview.

By now you’ve heard or read many of the things that the Center for Career Development recommends for cover letter writing (see Correspondence for the Job Search TIP Sheet).

  • Make it personal for each company/organization
  • Show a bit of your personality
  • Emphasize 1-2 qualifications the organization would likely be interested in and consider beneficial for the job to which you are applying
  • Explain your interest in the company and demonstrate your knowledge of it

I thought maybe viewing cover letter tips from another source might drive home the message a tad further.  Different versions often have a way of striking chords that help us “catch” things we may have previously missed or misunderstood.

That being said, please check out Getting into the Employer’s Frame of Mind with Your Cover Letter on the Resume Target blog.

-Sharon Givler, director of career development

Time to take a break…

… whether or not it “feels” like Spring.

Get some fresh air. Unplug from your studies and technology for a day. Do something different. Try a new restaurant, engage a stranger in conversation, write a poem, enjoy a sunset…

You can count on a new blog entry for March 11th.  I’ll be taking a little “spring” break on March 4th.

-Sharon M. Givler, director of career development

Find your hook…

... and “cast it deftly” (Curran and Greenwald in Smart Moves for Liberal Arts Grads).

Distinguishing yourself from the pack isn’t necessarily all that difficult. But perhaps the greatest obstacle to finding what sets you apart is the lack of effort made to get inside the head of your potential employer and look at things from their perspective.

What can you do that will add value to the organization where you want to work? What do you have through transferable skills or special interests that could help you to meet a company need?

Consider Chris, a government major, whose first failed application to become a diplomat woke him up to the fact that more foreign language skills could open a door door for him. Or Todd, a music major, with a passion for musical entrepreneurship, learned how to repair and restore musical instruments and then proposed himself as the one to do just that at a school where he identified through research had such a need.  No job was posted; he created one for himself.

Smart Moves for Liberal Arts Grads is full of stories just like those of Chris and Todd. perhaps reading a few of these stories could help you capture a vision for finding your own hook and getting the attention of employers.

Are you up to the challenge of this fifth and final smart move for liberal arts grads?

-Sharon M. Givler, director of career development

Identify your competence gaps

Do you have the passion to keep learning?

I certainly hope so. for no matter how educated and equipped you are with a degree from LVC there are going to be tasks and responsibilities in the days and years to come with which you will be unfamiliar.

Perhaps you are already aware of a few competence gaps. Maybe you want to run a non-profit company some day or start your own consulting or marketing business.  if your undergraduate studies are primarily in the liberal arts you likely have some work to do developing business skills and business saavy to achieve your goals.  Eventually pursuing an MBA might be needed, but in the meantime are there other things you could learn from a business mentor in our alumni network. Meeting regularly for advice and counsel can be quite valuable.  You may discover that you’ll need to learn what case interviews are or how to segment a market (see the stories of Harpreet and Theresa in Smart Moves for Liberal Arts Grads).

Project CLOSE-UP students who have put together a Professional SkillScan profile and discussed it with the mentor they shadow have frequently fund two things:

  • skills they don’t particularly want to use in their careers are sometimes actually used in the jobs they are considering
  • mentors often have great ideas for how students can begin to work on their competence (skills) gaps while still at LVC

So where do you need to grow?  Public speaking, making presentations, working with numbers, writing, developing proposals, researching, interviewing, analyzing data, understanding cultural differences, composing thank you notes…..

-Sharon M. Givler, director of career development