Pros provide advice for job-seekers
May 14, 1999
Four years, 168 tests, 640 lectures, 2,446 aspirins, 246 slices of pizza,
countless cappuccinos, 216 trips to the library, 21 broken dates, 2 broken
hearts, 1 goal.
Congratulations. Now it is time to put it all to work.
STARTING THE SEARCH
Hunching over classified ads with your morning cup of joe is a thing
of the past.
"The internet is the fastest way to find out open positions at
the tip of your fingers," said Laura Venturini, career development
Mainstream job sites like careerpath.com have become commonplace information
Several other sites like jobweb.org, collegecentral.com and monster.com
are useful, providing not just job listings, but career information as well.
The Career Development Center subscribes to various job sites like jobtrak.com,
as well as a list of over 100 career-related sites.
The Internet is a good source for finding information about positions.
However, Venturini warns about posting your resume on the Internet.
"Your chances are poor, and it's a passive way to look for a job,"
Although only a small percentage of jobs are found through online quests,
it is a hot spot if an opening in the technology field is sought.
"Over 80 percent of technology companies recruit from the internet,"
said Chuck Zigler, marketing executive for Nortel Telecom.
ULV alumni members can click on "alumni" at the University
website, www.ulv.edu to post their resume and link to mentoring services
and career counseling.
The career development center is an excellent source for graduates.
"Every senior should make an appointment with either Terrie Lopez
or myself," said Venturini.
"A session entails reviewing the student's resume, explaining the
job search process and going through a mock-interview to refine interviewing
NETWORK, NETWORK AND NETWORK MORE
"Only one job in six is ever advertised," Cindy Chernow, career
consultant tells students during her "Schmooz or Lose" seminar.
"The rest are discovered and filled through word of mouth between
Chernow suggests identifying some people who "work in your chosen
field" and ask if they would be willing to talk to you about their
"Bring along a list of questions for an informational interview
and follow-up with a thank you and periodical telephone calls," Chernow
The career development center can provide students with a list of questions
to use. It can also provide students with vital information prior to their
A good beginning goal is to send out five resumes per week and start
networking with persons who may have information about an opening. The old
adage, "it's not what you know, but who you know," holds true.
"Start simple, with a list of 20 to 30 people," Chernow said.
"Ask a cousin, friends or acquaintances who might know of a job opening
where they work and the possibilities become staggering."
Do not forget contacting previous supervisors from internships.
"A company would rather hire someone they know," Venturini
"They are familiar with your work style and how you fit into the
The saying "You don't get a second change to make a first impression"
has never held so true.
"Don't come to the interview looking like you're going to a party,"
says Pierre Vejar, human resource manager for Enterprise Rent-A-Car.
The Black Collegian voted Enterprise Rent-A-Car the No. 1 recruiter
for recent college graduates. Enterprise also assists students by presenting
seminars on the interviewing process.
Dress to impress. However, do it conservatively in a skirt and blazer
with a conservative blouse for women and a suit and tie for men. Do not
wear too much jewelry, and, by all means, lose the tongue ring!
"Image is important," Vejar said.
"I assume you are looking your best, and if you dress sloppy, I
think, does it get worse than this?"
There are many varied questions a candidate could be asked at an interview,
although it is sufficient to say that they are aimed at determining if you:
a) can do the job; b) will do the job; and c) will fit into the organization.
"Interviewees who project a strong self image and seem to know
what they want impress potential employers," Venturini says.
Key words like "team player" and "time management skills,"
as well as projecting a positive attitude are integral to today's hiring
"GPA's to most recruiters don't mean anything," Vejar said.
"The No. 1 aspect is personality.
"What I am looking for is how they work with their co-workers and
their ability to mesh with our corporate culture."
Vejar also emphasizes researching the organization prior to the interview.
"Employers are impressed with a candidate who has done her homework,"
"Ask intelligent questions at the end of the interview," Vejar
said. "Or at least say, you have so thoroughly explained the position,
I don't have any questions at this time."
Now that the interview is finished, don't forget to send a thank-you
letter shortly after the interview.
"Either hand-write on personal formal stationery or type on linen
paper in business format," Venturini said.
Including a couple sentences referring to the interview shows you were
Don't become discouraged. Rejection is part of the job process.
"It is impossible to get a job in a day -- it takes time, resources
and a clear definition of what the student is looking for," Venturini
"The earlier you begin the job search process, the easier it will
be to transition to the working world."
TOP MISTAKES MADE ON JOB INTERVIEWS
1. Research the company -- knowing information about the company and
its goals shows you want a career, not just any job.
2. Dress appropriately -- conservative is best. Don't look like your
going to a party.
3. Communication skills -- just answer the question. Don't ramble on
4. Timeliness -- show up at the interview 10 minutes ahead. Figure out
where you are going the day before the interview.
5. Thank you note -- write and send a thank you note.
6. Give interviewer a firm handshake.
7. Avoid messy hair or overpowering perfume or cologne.
8. Don't take cell phones and pagers to the interview
9. Don't talk bad about your previous employer -- even if your previous
boss was a jerk, turn it into a positive experience.
10. Appear genuine. A good resume and professional attire will make
a small impression if the person is not sincere.