Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Summer and Full-Time Job Resources from CAPS

If you haven't heard already, the economy is in crisis right now, and that means that more students than ever are thinking about their summer plans and their plans for post-graduation. We're well into internship season right now, but if you're still making plans, or if you're still not sure how to start making plans, we have good news - CAPS is offering a wide range of workshops this spring to help students find opportunities for the summer and beyond.

Here's a snapshot of what's coming up (be sure to check the CAPS calendar for updated dates, times and locations for all of these programs):

March 4, Time TBD, Ida Noyes Hall
Use Your Spring Break to Find a Valuable Summer Experience, Part I: Spring break might be for laying out on the beach. It's also for making connections and finding out more about summer opportunities.
(Part II will be planned for after spring break, to help students turn the connections you make over spring break into an internship.)

April 2, Time TBD, Ida Noyes Hall
Finding Summer Opportunities: No, April is not too late to start looking for a summer internship, research position or other opportunity. Attend this workshop to learn more about places to look for internship postings, preparing your application materials, and landing that position.

April 9, Time TBD, Ida Noyes Hall
CAPS Stimulus Package: Job Searching in a Weak Economy: Yes, the economy is weak. No, this does not mean there are not any jobs available - but the search is more challenging that in year past. Attend this workshop for tips to continue your job search, even when it feels like there aren't any jobs out there.

April 20, Time TBD, Ida Noyes Hall
Recession Job Search Strategies: Where are the jobs? Attend this workshop to learn more about searching for full-time positions when the economy is struggling. The job search is changing, and you need to adapt your skills to find those hidden opportunities.

May 12, Time TBD, Ida Noyes Hall
Finding Summer Opportunities: It's still not too late - in fact, it's never too late to look for a summer opportunity. Attend this workshop to learn more about "just in time" opportunities and conducting an internship search this spring.

May 19, Time TBD, Ida Noyes Hall
For 3rd years: Strategizing for the Full time job Search — What to expect and look for next year. This one is self-explanatory. If you're a third year, and you're planning to look for a full-time job next year, attend this workshop. It's never too early to start planning your job search strategy.

Questions about any of these programs? Contact CAPS at (773) 702 - 7040. Ideas for other workshops or programs we should be offering? Post them here.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Tips from the "Internship Queen"

Today's post provides some tips, courtesy of the "internship queen" - Lauren Berger was recently profiled by Chicago Public Radio about her internship web page, and why internships are more important than ever.

Here is some of her advice:

1. When applying to internships, it’s important to have all the materials together and prepared. Your resume only needs to be one page long, currently updated and it can’t have nothing on it. A lot of times, the problem with freshmen and sophomores is they have no experience, but they need to know they have had experiences, they just need to look at small experiences–volunteering with their families, high school activities–and pick out the important tasks they have learned.

2. Before interviewing–and even before you apply–go online and find out the company’s mission statement. Find out if it’s something you want to be involved with, and tie that into your answers at your interview: make it clear you understand the company’s mission and you want to help work on the goals the company is trying to achieve.

3. When interviewing, go in there with a sense of passion and excitement for what you’re doing.

Having trouble finding internships to apply for, let alone showing passion and excitement in your interview? Use CAPS resources to find opportunities that interest you - the next Metcalf deadline is this Thursday, February 19. Make sure you're checking the list of opportunities and upcoming deadlines, and applying via Chicago Career Connection. There are also hundreds of other non-Metcalf internship opportunities in Chicago Career Connection right now - log into the "Jobs" tab and search by keyword, location or industry.

Still not finding what you're interested in? Come into CAPS and meet with a staff member to talk about what type of internship your looking for, where you've been applying and where you need some help. You can call (773) 702 - 7040 to schedule an appointment, or come to walk-in hours.

To read the complete article about Ms. Berger and her internship kingdom, click here.

Questions, ideas, frustrations about the internship search? Post them to the CAPS blog here.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Job Search Tips for a Tough Economy

A recent article in the New York Times profiled the increasing number of white-collar professionals who are out of work and seeking employment. These are professionals with advanced degrees, and years of work experience in corporate settings, who have faced recent lay-offs and job loss. The CAPS' Blog isn't highlighting these folks to worry you - but some of the techniques that these more experience job seekers are using are also applicable to students who are conducting their first full-time job searches this winter and spring. Here are a few tips from the article:

1. Start Early: it's always been true that the average job search can take up to six months from start to finish. It's not as simple as submitting a few resumes and then waiting for the offers to roll in. This is even more true during these tough economic times. Referring to one of the job search support groups profiled in this article, the NYT states, "...seven of nine members have been out of steady work for six months or longer; the other two are approaching the six-month mark." The bottom line: give yourself enough time to network with alumni and employers and apply for jobs that interest you. If you aren't sure where to start in your search, come into CAPS and develop a strategy with one of our staff members.

2. Keep Track of Your Efforts: The professionals profiles in this article keep serious logs of the number of positions they've applied to, the number of follow-up phone calls they've made and the number of hours they spent searching for positions. You should follow the same model - keep a spreadsheet or a running list of the positions you've applied for and when you submitted your applications. And don't be afraid to follow up, via phone or email. A job search is a lot like taking on another course - you have to put in the time and complete your "homework" day after day.

3. Stay Positive: One of the least desirable qualities that employers look for in a potential employee is a negative attitude. We're not saying it's easy - because we know it's not. When you've applied to position after position and haven't made much progress, it can be hard to continue with your search - but it's also important to focus on what else is going on in your life right now. The article states, "Nevertheless, the group’s sessions are intentionally businesslike and upbeat. Griping and self-pity are discouraged. Meetings begin with members reporting two highlights from their job search — even if they are hard to name — as well as two activities they did besides looking for work." If you can remain upbeat during your search, your positive attitude will shine in interviews and make an impression on potential employers.

4. Ask for Help: This isn't in the NYT article, but it is relevant for University of Chicago students and alumni. Come into CAPS; reach out to your parents' friends; contact alumni who are working in organizations that you're interested in. No man or woman is an island, and the key to a successful job search is talking to as many people as possible and getting your name (and resume) out there. We'll say it again: if you're not sure how to start this process, come into CAPS and meet with a staff member who will help you put together a game plan.

Ready for an appointment with CAPS? Call (773) 702 - 7040 to schedule one.

Comments, ideas, frustrations or suggestions regarding you job search? Post them here.