During these uncertain times, many industries are experiencing workforce interruptions. However, now is a great time for you to spend extra attention on improving your employment prospects and career skills — with help from the Saint Rose Career Center!
Here are five action steps to ensure you are career-ready:
1. Update your resume. Add new experiences to your resume, such as internships, practicum, volunteer opportunities, etc. Also, think outside the box, and consider adding academic projects, awards, and coursework, and/or campus involvement to your resume. If you have taken advantage of any virtual professional development, such as field-specific webinars, include those too. Remember: invaluable, marketable experience does not have to be paid! Refer to our handbook to see sample resumes on our website, and set up a resume review appointment by emailing email@example.com.
2. Review and rate yourself using NACE Career Competencies. Are you “career ready?” The National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) has compiled a list of eight competencies that employers seek in new professionals. The competencies involve soft skills that are commonly used while on the job.
Tip: Evaluate yourself based on these competencies. How many do you have and how have you shown them? What are the ways you can gain more, both inside and outside of your education? There is always room for improvement — no matter where you are on your career journey!
3. Develop your LinkedIn profile. As the demand for digital platforms continues to grow, it is crucial to follow suit and become visible to recruiters. LinkedIn is a great professional social-media site that will allow you to showcase your experience, skills, and work in an interactive way. Start by connecting with Saint Rose students, faculty and staff, and alumni to grow your network, once your profile is complete.
Find information on how to make a profile and expand your network and other important career essentials on our LinkedIn information page.
Tip: Always have a professional photo on LinkedIn – no selfies! The Career Center offers free headshots every Fall and Spring semester on campus through iSmile studios. If you need a quick fix, wear professional attire and have someone take a photo of you from the chest up against a blank wall.
4. Practice your interviewing skills. Interviewing is arguably the most difficult part of the job search, as it forces you to speak on your accomplishments and refer to key moments in your experiences. Ask yourself: why would an organization hire me? What education, experience, and skills do I have that make me a strong candidate?
The Career Center offers mock interviews, in which we ask you questions based on the industry and job you are applying for (or interested in) and your qualifications and experiences. We can do this over Zoom! Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to set up a mock interview. Check out our list of commonly asked interview questions in our handbook and on our website.
5. Keep applying for jobs and internships. Companies are still actively recruiting and filling roles, and some are even allowing their new employees and interns to begin their jobs/internships online! Certain industries, such as IT and computer science, educational training, social media and marketing, supply-chain management, and healthcare administration are looking to hire even more talent than ever.
We are continuing to post jobs and internships on our career management system, HireStrose. Also, check out our job and internship boards, where you can browse by region and career field. LinkedIn also has a job search engine built-in!
No matter what the circumstance, the job market doesn’t stop, and neither should you! Continue to seek out opportunities for professional growth, and always remember, we are here to help and support you! We at the Career Center are still able to offer appointments via Zoom to cover topics such as resume/cover letter, job and internship search, interviewing and mock interviews, graduate or professional education, LinkedIn, and more! That offer goes for alumni, too. We are happy to meet with you, no matter your graduation year. If you find yourself considering a career change or looking for guidance in rejoining the workforce, let us know. Email the Career Center at email@example.com or reach out to me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org to set up an appointment.
Above all, we hope you stay safe and healthy. Happy career planning!
by Emily Nicholson G’20, assistant director, Saint Rose Career Center