Category: Interviewing

Networking with Alumni

The Lawrence alumni network is one of the university’s greatest assets. Unfortunately, it also seems to be one of the best-kept secrets. I say “unfortunately” because it shouldn’t be a secret! We have alumni in almost any field and location you can think of. This provides an amazing resource for current students who would like to learn more about a specific industry or hear how past LU students have used their liberal arts degree.

Okay, you might be thinking, I agree having an active alumni network is great, but how do I get in touch with alumni that are doing something I’m interested in?

There are two primary ways of getting in touch with alumni: reaching out via email, or meeting face-to-face at an alumni networking reception or similar event hosted by Lawrence.

Here are some tips that will help make your alumni interactions successful in each situation:

Continue reading Networking with Alumni

How to Master Your Skype or Phone Interview

When living within the Lawrence Bubble, it can be difficult to get away from campus for interviews. If you can’t meet someone face-to-face, interviewing via Skype or phone may be your best option. Here are some tips to help you ace these interviews.

General Phone & Skype Tips

  • Be succinct. It’s hard to pick up on non-verbal cues in these situations. Don’t babble and stop yourself when you’ve answered the question completely.
  • Get rid of distractions. Make sure that you’re in a secure, quiet place where you won’t be interrupted. Lock your door or put a sign on the outside to let your roommates know you are not to bothered during that time.
  • Don’t sound sleepy. Wake up an hour before your interview. People can tell if you just woke up and it sounds unprofessional. Call a friend and talk for a few minutes to get your voice ready.

Skype Interviews

  • Avoid technical difficulties. Double – no, triple check your Internet connection before your interview begins. Make sure that your speakers and microphone work. Call a friend on Skype and do a sound and picture check.
  • Know proper web cam etiquette. Look at the camera and not the screen so that you are making eye contact. Sit up straight. Don’t sit too close to the camera. Use the camera to check out what you look like on screen before the call so you know how they’ll view you.

Continue reading How to Master Your Skype or Phone Interview

Employers and Social Media

You may have seen the recent Associated Press article about employers asking for job candidates’ Facebook usernames and passwords (if not, you can read it here). According to the article, employers are taking the process of vetting job applicants one step further than just checking out their online profiles and now may want to be able to look at candidates’ accounts from the inside.

Facebook responded to this article by posting a note explaining that the practice of sharing or soliciting profile passwords is a violation of Facebook’s Statement of Rights and Responsibilities, and that they do not think asking prospective employees to provide their passwords “is the right thing to do” (see the note here).

But isn’t the information on social networking sites fair game to employers? Not at all, according to many groups, including government officials and the ACLU, who have responded to the news of this practice with outrage. They say that using this information is a violation of applicants’ privacy and that asking for it during the application process may be coercive.

Continue reading Employers and Social Media

Informational Interviews

Conducting informational interviews can be a helpful step for students to take when they want to learn more about a career area of interest or to increase their contacts within a field.

How do you arrange an informational interview?

There are lots of places to look for people who are willing to talk with you. Lawrence alumni are very willing to participate in an informational interview. The LU Career Center can connect students with alums through the Alumni database. They can help you search for alums by major, geographic location or employer. You can also ask professors if they have contacts in their discipline or you can try contacting organizations that employ people with similar career interests.

There are basically three ways of making contact with people: telephoning, writing a letter or email, or by referral. Whichever method you choose, make sure to explain the purpose of requesting an interview and remember this is not an opportunity to ask for a job or internship. Rather, it should be considered an opportunity to gather information and to speak to a professional in a field of interest to you for 20 to 30 minutes (but don’t be surprised if the interview lasts longer). Continue reading Informational Interviews

Summer Prep: Get Ready for Internship and Employment Opportunities

Summer Prep: Get Ready for Internship and Employment Opportunities

If you find yourself cut off from campus resources, unemployed, or just plain bored this summer, you may feel as if there is nothing you can do to help increase your chances of getting that ideal job or internship in the future. In reality, the summer is a great time to start getting materials together and for making sure you are well prepared when job or internship opportunities present themselves. Here are a few tips to help you get ready for the application process:

– Identify your current educational and professional goals. Doing this can help you determine what you hope to get from an internship or job, and may help to guide your search for positions in the future.

– Get working on your résumé. Check out the Career Center’s website at http://www.lawrence.edu/dept/student_dean/career/resume/ for written information and watch the video at http://www.lawrence.edu/dept/student_dean/career/video/pages/resume_video.shtml. And, even if you are not sure about how to perfectly format a résumé or what exactly to include, creating of list of your experiences and what you learned from each can be extremely useful when you put together a more formal version of your résumé in the future. Continue reading Summer Prep: Get Ready for Internship and Employment Opportunities