Monday, December 15, 2014

Making the Most of Your Job Search During Intersession

With intersession right around the corner, you may be wondering if it is too early to start your job search for summer co-ops or full-time jobs after graduation. It is never too early to get started on your job search – and here are six ideas to help get you started. 

1. Update your resume and LinkedIn profile: They should reflect your most recent courses, GPA, labs, projects, co-op experiences, club participation and leadership, and other experiences that you accumulated during the Fall semester. View our resume guides for help constructing your resume and resume samples. Also, update your Job Zone profile to be sure all of your information is accurate and up to date. Also view our Guide to using LinkedIn and Checklist for a great student profile

2. Practice telling your story: Now is a great time to prepare for tough interview questions like “Tell me about yourself,” “What are your weaknesses,” and “Tell me about a time when…” Review possible interview questions here and review strategies for successful interviewing. Try getting feedback on your answers from friends and family. Many students find that building a career portfolio– a collection of work samples, class projects, transcripts, letters of recommendations, and more - will provide useful visual cues during an interview.

3. Ask for at least 3 referrals from friends and family: Holiday gatherings are a great time to talk with family and friends about your current co-op or full-time job search. You never know how they might be able to help. Ask your friends and family members if they have any connections to pursue informational interviews or networking opportunities. You can also outreach to our Career Coaches section of Job Zone to search for a mentor. 

4. Review Job Zone and other co-op/job search resources and develop a targeted list of 20 opportunities or employers
• Co-op and full-time job opportunities are posted daily on Job Zone. Set up a search agent to send you alerts when new jobs are posted. 
• Perhaps there is a company near your home that would be a perfect site for a co-op or full-time job. View their career webpages to find out more information about possible opportunities. You can also contact your Career Services Coordinator for help making your initial outreach. 
     • Explore RIT’s Career Resources for more opportunities, such as Vault Career GuidesGlassdoor, and job search resources by college/major

5. Volunteer: There are many volunteering opportunities over the holiday season, and it is a great opportunity to try something new and explore a cause that is close to your heart. Also, employers love a candidate who is involved in the community. Don’t forget to add your experience to your resume and LinkedIn profile! 

6. Learn something new: With your free time, you may be able to spend a day or two picking up a new skill. Check out online tutorials in business, software, web development and more on Lynda.comCoursera, or EdX. Check out the RIT Intersession class schedule to catch up or get ahead on required courses.

The Office of Career Services and Cooperative Education will be open throughout finals week, closing from Dec. 25- Jan. 2. We will re-open for counseling and advising appointments on Jan. 5. 

For an appointment, email your Career Services Coordinator or call us at 585-475-2301. 

Written by 
Janine Rowe, MSEd., NCC
Career Counselor 
RIT Office of Career Services

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Career Fair from a Senior's Perspective

Peter Ryan
October 1st, 2014 saw hundreds of students and scores of companies in the Gordon Field House for the annual Fall Career Fair. I've previously written about my preparation process for the Career Fair but I've never shared my experiences or what I do after the fair ends.

This fall I went to the fair with the goal of networking and meeting professionals in my industry. I utilized Office of Career Services and Cooperative Education resources to find company interest sessions and to find RIT alumni from the companies represented. Attending the interest sessions is always useful to me as I can take more time to have conversations and talk with the company's representatives. After the interest sessions I take time to update my career spreadsheet with company and job specific information. The spreadsheet allows me to keep my information organized and track my relationships with various companies and organizations. I'll then usually connect with the individuals I met at the fair on LinkedIn or send an email to thank them for their time and advice.

Again this year I volunteered as a "Wireless Wizard" assisting companies get online. This gave me the opportunity to enter the fair more than an hour prior to the start which meant that I could scope out where I wanted to go in-person and even meet with some of the company reps that I wanted to speak with. Once the fair started I followed my list and map to visit the booths I had previously designated as being interested in. As expected there were long lines for some of the more prominent and well-known companies so I had visited as many of the other booths on my list with smaller lines as I could. Due to class and other commitments I wasn't able to stay as long as I wanted to but when I left I was satisfied that I had a way of connecting with the companies that I wanted to.

After the fair ended I was treated to a dinner by my co-op employer, Symantec. It was great to see and catch up with my team and enjoy a nice meal. I was happy to hear that the division was doing well and that the work that I contributed to the projects I was tasked with were adding value to the company. The fair culminated with me getting asked to visit Boston, MA for an interview for a summer co-op. I am excited to see where that discussion takes me and I am thankful for the Career Fair for providing the opportunity.


Look out for Peter and more seniors in an upcoming campaign which will feature multiple seniors and their experience trying to plan for their post-graduation plans and careers.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

5 Tips for Making the Most of Your Co-op

Before You Leave

Your co-op may be winding down or you may be gearing up for a second term. In either case you have the opportunity to make a positive lasting impression on your employer that can be impactful for your career. Here are five tips on how to make the most of your experience:

1. Make connections and stay connected through LinkedIn

Be very, very vigilant about connecting on LinkedIn after every new face-to-face interaction. A short thank you or kind note to co-workers and supervisors will help to build a robust social network on LinkedIn. Every time you get a business card—assuming you still get paper business cards—enter the person’s information into your contacts and reach out to that person on LinkedIn. Also, asking for recommendations on LinkedIn is a great way to get the most out of your connections on the job.

2. Complete all of your projects

Make sure anything you have outstanding is completed and that you have returned all materials and proprietary information to your employer. Tie up loose ends neatly and make sure projects are submitted in a polished, professional manner.

3. Ask for feedback

Ask for a brief face to face meeting with your supervisor to go over your co-op evaluation and receive feedback on how you performed on the job. Asking for feedback will help you to grow professionally and shows you have an interest in the work you did.

4. Don’t forget your co-op work report!

Make sure you complete your co-op work report. Don’t get an ‘F’ on your transcript because you put off completing the report. Get it done before you leave the co-op. Check with your career services coordinator or look on your department website to see if you need to complete a report and how to submit it, and to whom.

5. Ask about the evaluation

Follow up with your supervisor to make sure they have received, completed and submitted their evaluation. The evaluation is part of your grade so it is critical that it be done. Don’t leave without following up on this as it is sometimes difficult to track people down once you have left. If they have not received it or it may have gone to the wrong person just call us! We can resend it.

6. Update your resume

While it’s fresh in your mind update your resume. Use your job description to highlight the various things you did. Add any accomplishments or new skills you’ve acquired.            

7.  Say ‘Thank You’

Saying thanks goes a long way. End on a positive note by thanking your supervisor as well as your co-workers for taking time to train, mentor and answer your questions.