By Anastasia Maragos
Last Wednesday, members of the Communications Career Center team spoke about what how students can prepare themselves for the real world beyond AU. Julie Beyer and Felicia Parks discussed the best way for students to show off their marketable skills to potential employers.
As a Freshman, I at first felt intimidated about thinking of life after college. But after thinking about it the skills you need to make a successful career land are pretty simple and easy. Here are eight important tips offered from the Career Center ladies to help you get the job.
- PRACTICE your handshake. A handshake is your first impression to any potential employer. Practice making a firm grip, shaking 2-3 times and most important work on making good eye contact.
- PERFECT your elevator pitch by telling a story. The counselors discussed that networking opportunities lie everywhere from the literal elevator to a street corner. Your elevator pitch should include your name (first and last), your year in college, major, collegiate institution, your relevant experiences and most importantly what you want for your future. The future refers to the position you are seeking. Make sure to keep good eye contact and show enthusiasm. The pitch should be NO longer than 30 seconds so get practicing!
- WORK on your resume and keep in mind the top six desired skills: oral communication, written communication, collaboration and teamwork, critical thinking/problem solving, ethical judgement, and quantitative and technical skills.
- SELL your transferable skills in a resume by following the STAR format. STAR stands for Situation/Task, Action (Skills), Result (Outcome). Frame your internship and job experiences in this format to show that you are competent and can think on your feet making you a prime candidate for a job.
- SEEK out opportunities to develop your skills. Some suggested opportunities include on-campus clubs, leadership positions, internships and even studying abroad! By working on your skills you can diversify your resume and be ready to handle the fast-paced life of the work world.
- BE observant and aware in the world. Ms. Parks stated that students should avoid being on their phones in places like elevators because the world can present you with many opportunities to network not just with employers but also with peers. Get your eyes off the screen and LOOK UP!
- When it comes time for job offers DO NOT be afraid to negotiate. Discussing benefits like salary or healthcare for young people new to the work world can be daunting. Do your research and if you find that components of your offer should be tweaked, don’t be afraid to ask. Make sure your alterations to the offer are reasonable and said in a courteous manner.
As a Freshman this event made job preparation seem less daunting. The event gave me some easy tools to practice personal skills for networking. I felt the discussion on transferrable skills made me realize that even in my first year of college in class or in a club I’ve started to develop skills that will serve me well when I’m looking for a job. Overall, I the event made me realize that preparing for the world outside of American University isn’t as hard as I thought. Adulting isn’t so bad after all!
If you were unable to make the event or would like more information about templates for resumes, cover letters or even to make an appointment go to the career center website. Good luck and happy adulting!