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June 6, 2003

Student Career Development

By Melisa Steffans, Assistant Director, Career Development Center

In addition to being a great resume builder, a career-related summer job helps you make contacts, can lead to a full-time job, and enables you to put what you learn in the classroom to the test. The Career Development Center (CDC) has some ideas to help you find that rewarding summer job experience.

Impress employers by your initiative in seeking the best job to prepare you for future career opportunities. Even if you don't need the extra money, look into volunteering your skills to help build your resume!

Keep in mind that most job seekers will have a degree and many will have experience -- you don't want to be left out. In addition to being a great resume builder, a career-related summer job helps you make contacts, can lead to a full-time job, and enables you to put what you learn in the classroom to the test.

The Career Development Center (CDC) has some ideas to help you find that rewarding summer job experience:

1. Begin your self assessment
What do you like to do? What are you good at doing? What do you look for in a job? Let the CDC help you determine your interests, skills and values so you can begin identifying careers that would fit best.

2. Identify a position
Now that you know what you want to do, the next step is finding the perfect job. There are many ways to go about a job search. You might want to start in the Career Resource Center (CRC) in MP 212 with the Summer Job Binders containing up-to-date job listings. Then, from the CDC Web site, you can search job banks by clicking on "students" and then "career Web sites." Internet job banks are a great resource especially if you are interested in relocating.

Another tool is the newspaper, where you to search local want ads (don't forget about searching large city newspapers online or in the library). And finally, one of the best ways to find out about jobs is through networking with people you already know in the field.

3. Conduct thorough research
Utilize the CRC to help you research position descriptions, company information and industry news. This information can help you write a targeted resume and demonstrate your preparedness during the interview. Job shadowing and informational interviewing are also great ways to learn about a particular work environment and career, while building networking skills and making great contacts.

4. Develop a cover letter and resume
With your research complete you are prepared to write an outstanding cover letter and resume. Don't forget to target both documents to the specific company and position for which you are applying. Make an appointment with a Career Specialist for your cover letter and resume critique today!

5. Apply for the job
This step is very important. Make sure you read the application thoroughly and fill out or answer every question completely, honestly and accurately.

6. Practice for the interview
This is often one of the most intimidating phases of the job search process, but it does not have to be. Take advantage of your friends at the CDC. Let us help you fine-tune your interviewing skills. Sign up for a mock interview today and be on your way to learning how to impress recruiters.

7. Start your new job!
Congratulations! You have accepted the job and you are on your way to developing your career. Remember to honor your job commitments and enjoy your new position!

For more information, contact the CDC at (410) 455-2216, Math/Psychology 204careers@umbc.edu. Visit the CDC Web site at www.careers.umbc.edu.

Posted by dwinds1 at June 6, 2003 12:00 AM