Tag: tips

Transferable Resume Skills

Summer is coming, and students are searching and applying for internships and jobs. This is also the time that many students realize they need a resume! Drafting a resume for the first time can be frustrating if, like a lot of students, you do not have much related job experience. Do not despair! Here is a little known fact: the skills you gain outside of class can often be included on your resume.

When you’re thinking about what you have to offer a company, keep in mind what you have done in your extracurricular activities. Here are some skills that you may not have realized you have or didn’t think were worth mentioning:

Leadership:

  • One quality that employers are always looking for is leadership potential.
  • Clubs and organizations on campus are wonderful opportunities to gain leadership experience before you graduate.
  • If you have held an officer or manager position in student government, Greek life, sports teams, or any organization on campus, you have experience leading a group of your peers.
  • You can offer them not just leadership potential but leadership experience.

Teamwork:

  • Being a part of a sports team or other student group requires that you learn to work with the people around you.
  • Whether you are planning a fundraising event, strategizing for the game next Friday, or designing the set for a performance, you have to be able to communicate effectively and know when to compromise.
  • Being able to successfully work as part of a team is invaluable in the work place.

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Job and Internship Application Tips

Life after Lawrence can be scary, whether we’re talking about after graduation or just following Spring Term. Below is some advice to help you secure a position that you’re happy with once you leave campus.

Set goals. No, I don’t just mean the obvious goal of getting job. When you’re searching for a position it’s important to have quantifiable, defined goals so you can stay on the right track. This may mean that you want to check a certain number job-posting websites per day or send out so many resumes to employers per week. Taking these steps and keeping track of what you’ve done can also help keep you from feeling discouraged.

Pay attention to quality over quantity. While it’s important to get your resume out to a fair number of prospective employers, remember that it is also vital to send documents that you’re proud of – as these are the first introduction to you that employers will get. This means that should tweak your resume and cover letter a little bit so that they are relevant to each position for which you apply.

Follow up with employers you’ve contacted. Once you’ve updated your documents and sent them out, be sure to follow up on them a week or two later if you haven’t heard much in response. Doing so can show employers that you really are interested in the position you applied for and can keep you on their radar if your resume was accidently pushed to the bottom of the stack.

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Avoid the Spring Slump

It is a lovely day. The sun is shining, the birds are singing, the green grass on the quad is calling to you – and you are stuck inside. While it’s nice that campus is finally thawing out, the warmer weather can make it especially difficult to find the desire to stay on top of your school work. Compounded with the added excitement about your summer plans or even life after Lawrence, Spring Term can be especially difficult time during which to maintain your motivation.

But do not fret! Here are some ways to keep your productivity in high-gear through mid-June (and beyond).

1. Break the seal of hesitation. Sometimes the hardest step in a project is getting started. Often, rather than actually writing a draft of that term paper or working on that big piece, it is easier to keep planning – which can cause you to get caught up in the “pre-work” process. Rather than getting bogged down in the preparations, remember that the earlier you start your new project the sooner you can start getting feedback and revising your work. Doing so can help you end up with the strongest finished produt possible.

2. Continue working (at least a little) everyday. One of the great things about being an upperclassman (or even a Spring-Term freshman) is that you have more control over your schedule, meaning you may have figured out a way to have big blocks of time without classes. While this new schedule may be liberating, it may also enable you to feel a little too comfortable not working on certain days. Get used to getting stuff done and you will not get in the habit of doing nothing during all of your time between classes.

3. Develop a routine. Part of being able to work on your project each day is making sure you have time set aside to do so. While routines may seem monotonous, they can allow you to get in a rhythm that can foster increased productivity. Also, if you get in the habit of maintaining a work schedule, it will not feel so jarring when project deadlines have crept up and you have to buckle down.

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Tips for a Productive Spring Break

It’s finally here! You’ve counted down the days and now, at long last, you’re headed home to sit on the couch and think about absolutely nothing for the next week.

While your rest and relaxation is definitely well deserved, if you find yourself a bit bored 4 or 5 days into the break, here are some productive steps you can take to get yourself ready for Spring term and whatever comes next.

1. Search the internet for jobs and internships. Sure, looking at applications is a lot less hilarious than videos of cats running into walls. But, you’re bored anyway, so why not put your internet-searching skills to good use to find some good options and take the time you really should on your applications?

2. Ditto for scholarships. If you have plans lined up for this summer or after graduation, exercise your essay-writing skills to get yourself some moolah. Finding and working on applications are tedious jobs, so use this extra time to get as much done as you can. Plus, your reward for a couple of days of work might be a few thousand dollars – which is a pretty sweet pay off.

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Requesting Letters of Recommendation

Article slightly modified from here.

1. Ask someone who knows you well and who will be able to discuss in specific detail what distinguishes you and why you are a strong candidate.

Be sure to ask: “Do you feel you know me and my abilities well enough to write a strong letter of recommendation for this application?” You’ve now given the professor the opportunity to decline gracefully. If the answer is “no,” don’t push. This inquiry may be done via email-if you already have an established relationship with the potential recommender.

2. Request letters well in advance of the application deadline. Two to four weeks is often adequate, but it is often helpful to consult with the recommender to see how much time they prefer. Doing so is especially important for letters for major fellowships and for letters that need to be written over the summer.

3. Schedule an appointment with your recommenders to discuss the position/scholarship/school, its selection criteria, your most recent and commendable activities, and to suggest what each letter-writer might emphasize. (You may want to let your recommenders know who your other recommenders are, so that they can write letters that complement rather than repeat one another.)

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