Career Services

Lebanon Valley College

Make the Choice to Read Job Choices

Among many traits that employers look for in ideal candidates, resourcefulness and an inquisitive approach to problem-solving are right up there.  Learning about the latest trends and resources, as well as staying current on the competition, are important to many organizations for success.  Students should take a similar approach to career planning and the internship/job search!

Each month, the Career Services Blog will spotlight a few of the tools and tips that we believe are valuable.  This month, I’m encouraging you to get acquainted with the digital Job Choices magazine, accessible on the Resources for Students page of the Career Services website.

Why? Because you can be assured that these online magazines, compiled and distributed by the National Association of Colleges and Employers, contain oodles of relevant articles and information for your job or internship search.  Published annually, each magazine – Job Choices and Job Choices, Diversity Edition – covers information from rights and responsibilities of job seekers, to social media, to graduate school or first years on the job.  Take a look at the contents page of the Job Choices edition:

Job Choices picture

 

If that doesn’t inspire you to take a look, maybe the opportunity to win $500 by taking a Reader Poll will (details on page 5 of the magazine).  Two LVC students have won within the past several years…maybe your resourcefulness will also be rewarded!

*Note: Even if you don’t win the $500, can we agree that resourcefulness for resourcefulness’s sake is generally a reward in and of itself?  I think so!

~Gwen Miller, associate director, career services

Researching Companies – the most important activity of job searching

Spring often means that many students are engaged in an active search for jobs or internships.  Identifying companies of interest is certainly the first step, but what comes next?  Your resume, along with your cover letter or presence/conversation at a career fair, is your opportunity to illustrate how you would be a good fit for a position or organization.  That means that you should be purposefully highlighting skills, abilities, and attributes that are relevant to the employer.

Figuring out what is relevant is the behind-the-scenes preparation before your resume is created, your cover letter is drafted, and your interview responses are practiced.  By researching the organization and industry of interest, you will be able to tailor your job search materials and create a strong personal brand that advocates for why you should be considered as a candidate.

According to the Digital Job Choices Magazine, available through the Career Services website, “Researching employers is perhaps the single-most important activity you will undertake in your job search.  The information you uncover can help you:

  • Discover organizations that are a good match for you,
  • Identify the organization’s goals and needs,
  • Tailor your resume and cover letters to highlight your skills and experiences that match the employer’s needs,
  • Know what questions to ask employers,
  • Demonstrate your interest in and enthusiasm for the organization,
  • Answer interview questions with confidence, and
  • Make an informed employment decision.”

Click HERE for this 4 page article that advises where to begin, offers research resources, information you should be looking for, and websites to delve into specific industries.  Don’t skip this step!  The more effort you put in, the more confident you will feel when making a positive impression on potential employers.

Rules for Writing Cover Letters

According to the CareerSpots Video The Cover Letter, there are 5 rules to keep in mind when writing a letter that will accompany your resume in the job/internship process.

  • Rule 1 – Always send one!  Even if it’s not specifically requested, it is an excellent piece that enhances your application packet.
  • Rule 2 – Get personal.  Cover Letters must be tailored to each specific job for which you are applying.  It’s a good idea to learn the name of the individual who will be reading it.  This may require you to call the organization and ask who you should address your cover letter to – although it takes additional work it is worth the effort!
  • Rule 3 – One page only.  Your letter should follow professional business format.  Be concise!
  • Rule 4 – No typos.  If your submit a one page document with errors, employers will question your ability to communicate effectively in other work assignments.
  • Rule 5 – Use a professional email address.  Whether your letter is sent via email or includes your contact information within the letter, choose an email address that is professional and won’t distract employers from the letter’s intent. Creating an address such as your firstname.lastname@carrier.com is the safest bet.
  • Additional writing tips: Describe how you are the best fit within the organization and for that specific job.  Don’t simply reiterate your resume in paragraph form; tell them how your past experiences have prepared you for their role.  Be sincere in expressing your interest!

Career Services offers additional help in writing cover letters online or by meeting with us for individual assistance.  Keep in mind that cover letters take time to write; utilize the resources available to you and take the time necessary to ensure you make a positive first impression through your written communication!