By Sam Kunz
I don’t mean to be an alarmist, but the end of the semester is right around the corner. Spring 2014 will soon be in the books. As you are scrambling to wrap up papers and projects, it might be hard to see past that first week of May. Rest assured, however, summer is indeed coming. So when you take a break from cramming for those finals, it might be a good opportunity to review your plans for the summer one more time.
If you haven’t landed your summer job yet, it’s not too late. The Career Center has loads of tools to help you build and refine your resume or cover letters. We also have up to date listings of available jobs and internships. If you need a little help working on your resume, call to make an appointment for a half hour resume review session with one of our counselors. Or just feel free to stop by to use our library.
Summer break is also a great time to explore your career options by getting some experience. If you have a summer job lined up, and you won’t be able to commit the hours needed for a formal internship, why not consider job shadowing? A job shadow can provide clear insight into the inner workings of a career often without a long term obligation. Shadowing experiences can be flexible, ranging from a few hours to a few days. That said, always treat them with the professional respect you would bring to a job interview.
There are many ways to arrange a job shadow. The Career Center has hundreds of connections via the Maine Mentor program, and we would be happy to help you find a meaningful connection with a UMaine alum. Also your friends and family are great resources. Ask them if they know of someone who works in your field of interest. This could also be a great time to use your network of Facebook contacts, too. Post a simple and clear message that you are looking for a job shadow experience in a particular field and would appreciate any leads or connections.
A more direct route would be to contact the HR department of local companies and businesses you are interested in and ask about their policies on shadowing. Start with a call, but be prepared to follow up with a professional letter formally requesting the job shadow. And no matter what the outcome is, don’t forget the ever important thank you letter, even for just considering your request. Granted, the goal of a job shadow is to provide you with experience and insight. However, the experience of landing the shadow can be just as valuable as you hone your professional soft skills. Those, as they say, are priceless!
If you need any help with researching possible shadowing opportunities, drafting letters, or anything else related to your job search, you can always find us on the third floor of Memorial Union. Our office will be staffed all summer, so don’t hesitate to call or stop by.
Now go hit the books!
By Sam Kunz
Spring break is right around the corner and that means rest, relaxation, and recharging. But it is also a great time to hone and focus your career search tools. Wisely investing some time over spring break can help you get a leg up on finding that summer job, internship, or simply be better prepared for when opportunity decides to knock on your door.
Going home? This is a great chance to network and set up summer internships or jobs. Also you can use this time to explore possible careers by contacting companies or businesses that interest you. Their human resources office is a good place to start if you are looking for an informational interview or a job shadow. Our own Maine Mentor Program is a fantastic opportunity to connect with UMaine alumni who are now professionals in hundreds of career fields. And don’t be fooled by the name, Maine Mentors are not only here in Maine. We currently have mentors in over 39 states!
Maybe this should be filed under “late notice,” but there are many companies that offer week long internships during typical spring break weeks. Usually the applications need to be submitted several months in advance, however the actual deadline depends on the company. But keep this in mind for future breaks. In fact, why not research possible internship programs for next spring over this break?
Juniors (or sophomores), are you thinking about grad school? This is a great time to explore graduate schools and programs that you are considering attending. It wasn’t that long ago you were visiting campuses looking for the right fit for your undergrad education. It’s kind of the same now, except that you are a little older and wiser. Before you contact the graduate school admissions office, plan out the questions you need answered to help you determine if the program is a good “fit” for you, gain a little insight on applying, and then get on campus! Applications won’t be due for quite some time (usually December or January), but remember any work you do now will help out when those deadlines come around the same time as you’re preparing for finals.
Are you participating in Alternative Spring Break or doing some other volunteer work? Just remember that volunteering isn’t only good for the community, the world, and your soul… it’s great for your resume, too! Don’t sell yourself short. Sure, employers want to know about your education and work experience, but they also want to know a little more about you. This shows that you value community, have drive, and aren’t afraid to step out of your comfort zone. You can read more about the growing relevance of volunteerism on your resumé in this New York Times article.
So you get the idea. It’s break, but make the most of it! The Career Center will be open our regular hours over break, so if you are staying in the area come on up and see us! We would be glad to go over your resumé, cover letter, or help you plan to make the most of your time off!
Otherwise, have a great break and check back soon for our next blog post!
Here are some more great examples of professional dress from
UMaine Student Government leaders.
Major: Political Science, Honors College
Position on Senate: Senator, President’s Cabinet
Campus Involvement: All Maine Women, Dirigo Tour Guide, Student Ambassador
Position on Senate: Senator
Campus Involvement: Sigma Phi Epsilon, Bioengineering Club, Intramural Soccer
Image Description: prof dress2
We visited the General Student Senate meeting on Tuesday and found great examples of professional dress from some of the fantastic student leaders on campus. Every week we will be posting a few new looks in order to share how students on campus are interpreting professional dress.
UMaine Student Government (from left to right)
Corey Lynn Morton
Major: Anthropology, Pre-Med, Honors College
Position on Senate: Senior Senator, Services Committee Chair
Campus Involvement: All Maine Women, Panhellenic Council, Alpha Omicron Pi, Alternative Breaks
Major: Mechanical Engineering
Position on Senate: Vice President of the Student Body and President of the General Student Senate
Campus Involvement: Sigma Phi Epsilon
Major: Business Management
Position on Senate: Vice President for Student Organizations
Campus Involvement: Senior Skulls, Class of 2014 Council
Image Description: profdress
Another story from an employer. The company was getting ready to tender an offer to a young man who just graduated from college. The last step in the process was a quick check of his Facebook page.
On the Facebook page, he was bragging about his third DUI. The offer was never offered.
“Never” is not completely accurate — the offer went to the next candidate, whose Facebook page checked out.
If you are going to be on Facebook, what positive things can you do while growing your career?
Show you can communicate in complete sentences.
Have pictures with friends who don’t have beers in their hands.
Stay out of politics — unless you plan to spend the rest of your life in politics.
Wear clothes. Not swimsuits.
Let some of the activities on your resume be reflected in your Facebook content.
The most important part: don’t put everything out there. A little mystery makes a person interesting. When you publish everything you do, think and feel, your mystery is history.
Culture and Manners Institute
Image Description: Walk in Hours Flyer landscape
Image Description: Open House Flyer - Photoshop File - Portland Maine 9.23
Image Description: Albin Randall Bennett CPAs OpenHouse Invite 10 2 14
The Etiquette Tip of the Week often covers name recall, but what happens when someone keeps mispronouncing your name? Should you correct him/her? How many times?
Believe me, I get this. With a name like Callista, I get called, Alyssa, Carissa, Colesta, Calleesta, Clarissa, Clarice (a perfectly nice name ruined by Silence of the Lambs). In high school, a gym teacher repeatedly called me, “Castella.” (After a while I said, “Just call me Stella.”)
I try to assist people by saying, “It sounds like ‘ballistic.”
The worst thing people can do is make up a nickname that is convenient for them. “How ’bout if I just call you, Cal?” or “Callie?” Sometimes they don’t even ask. Please don’t assume Catherine is “Cathy,” or Margaret is “Maggie” or Andrew is “Andy” or “Drew.”
I have to confess, there are times I am the perpetrator and not the victim. A few weeks ago, I was at an upscale dinner where the woman across from me was introduced to me as “Judith.” In the first question out of my mouth, I called her, “Ruth.”
If someone keeps mispronouncing your name or calling you by the wrong name, correct them twice. After that, forget it. They are not going to get your name.
If someone you meet has a complicated name, ask them to repeat it — again and again, until you get it. Write it down phonetically if you have to. Most people will be pleased you made the effort.
Culture and Manners Institute