Scholars Learn Job Search and Resume Tips From Alumni
By Isabel Galupo, junior
As part of Ithaca College’s wider Alumni Weekend, members of the Park Scholar Alumni Board hosted several workshops for current Park Scholars on Saturday, October 13.
I was eager to attend the “Resume and Job Search 101” workshop and begin thinking about how make a smooth transition from school into the working world. Facilitators Morgan Steele Connacher ’05 (OCLD/CMD), Lindsey Knox ’07 (Journalism), Alyssa Gardina ’08 (IMC), and Ashley Bookheimer ’09 (TV-R) traveled from New York City, Texas, and Georgia in order to give us advice about networking with alums, creating professional resumes, navigating the job market, and much more!
Here are my top seven tips from the workshop:
- Join professional organizations and associations as a student: Joining professional organizations and associations is a great way to network and keep “in the know” in your field of choice before you even enter the work force. Many professional organizations offer significant student discounts, as well as “Networking Nights” to connect students with working professionals.
- As you prepare to graduate, remove your graduation date and school information from your resume: It reminds the people hiring you how young you are! This includes removing your school email address; if you don’t already have one, sign up for a Gmail account.
- Tailor your resume: Change your “Objective” section and your “Skills” section to be specific for every internship or job you apply for. Use key words from the job description and weave them into your resume.
- Informational interviews are helpful and can expand your networking skills and contacts…if conducted properly: Always prepare specific questions ahead of your interview. Never ask about job openings; this is an informal interview to help you get a sense of what it is like to work in a specific field, not a chance to ask for a job. Always write a thank-you note (see below)!
- Never underestimate the power of a handwritten thank-you note: Make sure that your note arrives in a timely manner. (This reminder was particularly relevant for myself and the rest of the Junior class, as we completed our annual Shadowing Trip in New York City just a week and a half after the Alumni Weekend Workshops!)
- Take advantage of your status as a student while you can: If you email a professional to ask her or him for an informational interview or a shadowing experience while you are still a student, you are considered a go-getter. If your email a professional asking for that same favor after graduation, you are considered bothersome and desperate for a job.
- Don’t be afraid to reach out to alumni: A lot of alumni (not just Park Scholar alums!) are willing to help out and hear from students from their alma mater. Don’t forget to connect with PS alumni using the Wiki!
In order to facilitate more frequent conversations among current scholars and alumni, some members of the Park Scholar Alumni Board have organized a Google + Hangout to be held on Saturday, November 3. The Hangout is entitled “Internships: how to get them and how to make the most of them.” The PS Alumni Board will be available to answer any questions about the process of securing an internship, as well as tips for using internships as networking tools.