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Alumni: Career Services

Armstrong is committed to helping alumni succeed in their careers throughout their lives. Whether you are looking for that first job or ready for a career change, Armstrong's Office of Career Services has a team of professional career counselors offering resume assistance, interview training, and career counseling. 

In partnership with the Alumni Office, Career Services also presents several helpful career development programs throughout the year. Join our combined LinkedIn group, Armstrong Alumni Career Network, for ongoing connections and the latest news about our career programming.

Finance Friday Resources

Tips for Managing Your Resources After Retirement 

Job Hunters Resources

Job hunting guide

Tips On Interviewing

(April 26, 2013) Armstrong’s new Job Hunters Group series started with a lively seminar for alumni and students on April 23. Led by Catherine Kostilnik ’82 ’89, the session explored new trends in interviewing. Kostilnik, who also serves on the Alumni Association Board of Directors, is president of the Center for Community Studies, which assists non-profit organizations, school systems, and other governmental entities with applied research, program evaluation, training, fund raising, organizational development, and grant writing. She presents at national conferences, primarily around program evaluation and organizational development.

Attendees also benefited from a presentation by student Calyn Molencamp, who shared her research about how to handle an interview via Skype.

The Job Hunters Group is free and open to all Armstrong alumni and students.

Here are some of the highlights of Kostilnik’s tips from the first session:

  • If asked about salary, answer “I’d like to make as much as possible, but what is the range.”
  • Research the company before the interview.
  • Get your own business cards.
  • Send a simple, classy thank-you within a day or two.
  • When asked about your weakness, answer with an opportunity for growth.
  • If you don’t have enough professional references, list people who know your character.
  • Be able to demonstrate the skills you list on your resume and have samples ready.
  • Make sure your appearance and conversation don’t give them a reason not to hire you.
  • The interviewer is looking not just for skills, but for whether you fit in with people who are already there.
  • Your references need to be able to say you are dependable, skilled, and work well with others.
  • Choose references that include a relevant colleague and your most recent past supervisor.
  • Even straight out of school you need to find a way to make your experience relevant to the job description.
  • The first question will likely be, “tell me about yourself.” Make your answer relevant. Be prepared.
  • Show up dressed like the person who owns the company.
Tips On Etiquette

(June 3, 2013) In Part 2 of our Job Hunters Group, Armstrong MBA recipient Jermaine Whirl ’10 shared his insights on Job Search Etiquette, including what you need to know about your future employers and how to appropriately set yourself apart.

The Job Hunters Group is free and open to all Armstrong alumni and students. These sessions are led by alumni who are experts on these topics.

Here are some of Whirl's tips:

  • Clearly define and customize your job search. Match your skill set to the job description.
  • Clearly customize your job search for individual firms.
  • Stay away from generic cover letters and resume.
  • Gather information on what’s going on within the industry; trends for growth or shrinkage
  • Understand regional pay differences and cost of living while job searching.
  • Set yourself apart from your competition with double major, additional credentials, appropriate networking
  • Stay professional in all correspondences.
  • Utilize memo format for emails!
  • Read & Re-Read all correspondences before hitting the send button. (Spelling/Grammar Check)
  • Use Ms., Mr. or Dr. only; unless you can confirm other titles: Captain, Professor, etc…
  • Have an updated signature within your email (contact phone, email, linked-in website)
  • Be careful of specific quotes (religious, political, etc…) in your signature
  • Provide the information the employer has requested, e.g. cover letter, references, application, etc.
  • Mention specific people, events, or other artifacts about the organization.
  • Coach your references.

Perhaps even more importantly, Whirl offered a list of things to avoid doing during your job search:

  • Don’t be a PEST!
  • Don’t seem desperate.
  • Don’t call; unless requested!
  • Don’t send continuous emails!
  • Don’t bribe interviewers
  • Don’t over commit
  • Don’t guarantee anything
  • Don’t send additional materials unless requested
How Personality Affects Your Search

(July 3, 2013) The ongoing Job Hunters Group series heard from Armstrong's new Assistant Director of Career Services Allison Lyon on June 17, who explored how personality impacts your job search. Here are a few of her tips for job seekers:

  • Did you know that your personality closely ties to the success you may have within a specific job? Your personality can be a factor of whether you are a "good fit" for various companies and organizations.
  • It is imperative that a job seeker not only looks for a job where he or she has a good skill set, but also an environment where he or she will be happy based on his or her personality.
  • It is imperative to be self aware about who you are as an individual so you can "sell" yourself during an interview.
  • There is no such things as a "bad" personality trait! For example, some may say that being an introvert means you are not able to interact with others. This is not true; however, the real idea is that this individual has a different means for communication and tends to reflect before thinking! Therefore, it's all how you sell yourself to the employer and what strengths your personality can bring to a business.

If you would like to learn more about your personality and how that can make you marketable in the job search process, remember that the services provided by Armstrong's Career Services are free to you as an alum. Call and schedule an appointment at 912-344-2563 to go through the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator with a career counselor today.

 

Tips On Evaluating Your Opportunities

(July 10, 2013) Our Job Hunters series continued last week with a seminar led by Julie Gerbsch ’09. The topic was Evaluating Your Opportunities, which focused both on how to decide which opportunities to pursue and whether to accept a job offer. Here are some of the tips from the evening:

  • Temp jobs can help you get on the inside of company so you can know what is available there and whether you would like to work there.
  • You should fill out applications at your temp placements.
  • Talk to people at your temp placements to build your network.
  • Be open minded as you're listening to possible opportunities...only a small percentage of people get their jobs by responding to a traditional ad.
  • It is easier to find a job if you already have one, even if you are working only part time.
  • O*net Online is a great web resource to give you details about the skills, knowledge, etc. you need for specific types of jobs.
  • O*net also tells you what kind of tasks you'll do in each job and what you can expect to earn.
  • Candid Career will give you positive and negative insights about jobs from people in those careers.
  • Avoid bringing up salary on first interview.
  • Remember a job is about more than just salary, consider quality of life, growth opportunities, etc.
  • Use your instincts and judgment to determine if a job offer is right for you.
  • Know what your "deal breakers" are. Write down what you must have ahead of time and use that list to objectively evaluate offers later.
  • In addition to salary, consider your responsibilities, schedule, work environment, benefits, leave, retirement, profit sharing, parking/transportation, childcare, flex scheduling, and other elements that might be important to you.
  • Ask yourself if the job fits your long-term career or personal goals, if the company's values match yours, and if the job fits your lifestyle.
  • Remember better benefits can mean lower salary.
  • Salary.com shows comprehensive salary and benefits for different jobs AND cost of living for different locales.

 

Tips On Applying to Federal Jobs

Federal Job Guide

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