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Resumes and Curricula Vitae
A CV is a document similar to a resume in that it provides an overview of your professional and educational experiences. The difference between the two documents primarily lies in the content and purpose. CV content may include publications, presentations, research, honors, and other relevant information. A CV is typically developed for application for international jobs, graduate programs, and teaching or research positions in a university or research setting.
Resumes highlight qualifications for employment including education, experience, skills, and other relevant information. A resume is used by an employer to determine potential interview candidates for specific opportunities.
Resume and Curriculum Vitae Tips
- Tailor each resume or CV towards a specific opportunity
- Utilize accomplishment statements to describe responsibilities, scope of tasks, skills, and results of an activity
- Review the document and make sure it is free from spelling or grammatical errors to ensure a positive impression
- Schedule an appointment with Career Services for a resume or CV review to have someone proofread your document to make sure it flows well and double check no spelling or grammatical errors were missed
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A cover letter serves as the introduction to your resume. It is specific to each position and demonstrates interest in a particular employer or job. It should include expanded information from the resume and should not repeat things. Because it is often the first contact with a prospective employer, it should be concise, well-written, and demonstrate effective communication. The cover letter typically consists of three parts: introduction, body, and closing. Within these three parts, include your interest in the organization, highlight your qualifications for the position, demonstrate how your career goals align with the opportunity, and note the benefits you can provide the employer.
Cover Letter Tips
- Proofread the cover letter to ensure no spelling or grammar errors
- Personalize each letter, make every attempt to address each letter to a specific individual
- Highlight relevant qualifications
- Limit the cover letter to one page, be concise and compelling
- Avoid overusing the word “I”
- Vary writing style, try to offset long sentences with short ones
- Sign the cover letter
- Use font and format that match your resume to make a consistent application package
Internship and Job Search
The internship and job search process takes planning and persistence. There are multiple methods to search for openings including networking with employers, reviewing postings on online job search sites, attending career fair events, and utilizing professional organizations' career websites.
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Internship and Job Search Tips
- Research employers and opportunities
- Develop an action plan and set aside time each week to review/apply for positions
- Create application materials tailored to specific opportunities and update online profiles
- Network with industry professionals
- Prepare for professional interviews
- Research salary information for specific geographic areas
Career fairs are a great opportunity to meet and network with potential employers. Recruiters are available to discuss the organization, services, products, and employment needs. Before attending a career fair, research the organizations attending the event, choose professional dress, print copies of your updated resume, and prepare an elevator pitch. During the career fair, share your elevator pitch with recruiters, ask questions to the employers, and request business cards to use to follow-up about open opportunities. After the event, send a thank you note to employers or connect with recruiters on LinkedIn within 24 hours of the career fair.
A job interview is a conversation between an applicant and employer. Many employers ask behavioral-based interview questions that focus on experiences, knowledge, and skills. They are job-related and based on the belief that past behaviors predict future performance.
The SAR method is a structured manner of responding to a behavioral-based interview question by discussing the specific situation, action, and results. It is important to tell the story and give relevant examples. Be as specific as possible at all times, without rambling or including too much information.
Situation: Describe a specific event or situation, not a generalized description of things in the past. Give enough detail to provide understanding of the situation for the interviewer. This situation can be from a previous job, volunteer experience, or any relevant event.
Action: Describe the actions completed to address the situation. Use the word “I,” not “we” when describing actions.
Result: Describe the outcome of actions related to the situation.
Identify your skills, strengths, and experience in relation to an employer's needs. Use examples from education, work, or activities to support your skills.
Sample Interview Questions
- Tell me about yourself.
- Why are you interested in this position and why do you want to work for this organization?
- What are your major strengths and weaknesses?
- What are your short-term and long-term goals?
- Why should I hire you?
Prepare questions to ask the interviewer. You want to evaluate the organization and the opportunities provided by this position. The questions that you ask convey interest and enthusiasm; if you fail to ask anything of the interviewer, they might assume you are not particularly interested in the job or the organization.
Sample Questions to Ask the Employer
- Can you tell me more about the day-to-day responsibilities of this position?
- How does the organization train new employees?
- How does this position contribute to the organization’s goals, productivity, or profits?
- In your opinion, what is the most important contribution that this organization expects from its employees?
Career Services and Big Interview have teamed together to bring UW-Eau Claire students an innovative learning tool that will enhance your job interviewing skills and develop an edge over the competition. Big Interview is an online system that combines training AND practice to help improve your interview technique. Big Interview’s mock interview system is available to use with a webcam, smartphone, or tablet. Create an account for Big Interview at: uwec.biginterview.com/.
Personal Branding and Networking
Networking is an importance aspect of the career planning and jobs search process. Networking consists of connecting with professionals in a field of interest. It is a strategic piece in developing as a professional and in learning about opportunities.
Tips for Networking
- Be professional and keep the tone of your communication polite, avoiding the use of slang, contractions, or informal greetings such as "hey" or "hi"
- Proofread your writing and make sure it is free from spelling or grammatical errors to ensure a positive impression
- Be clear and make sure you are expressing your ideas plainly and that you explicitly state the reason for your communication
- Conduct research before communicating with a professional so that you know who you are talking to and that you can tailor your message to them
- Utilize LinkedIn and Handshake to message alumni, employers, and other industry professional
An informational interview can provide you with the opportunity to:
- Learn about an occupation, including skills required, to help you in your decision making
- Develop your communications skills and self-confidence in talking with professional people in a low-pressure meeting environment
- Learn the occupational “buzzwords” unique to the career field of your choice
- Gain valuable networking contacts to utilize when you are doing your actual job search
- Develop basic skills similar to a targeted job search, which you will be conducting later
Search the Blugolds CAN (Career Alumni Network) where Alumni share their story to help you imagine the life you can lead after UW-Eau Claire! You can browse alumni profiles, connect with alumni, and get your career-related questions answered.
The ideal time to negotiate a salary is after a job offer has been presented by the employer. If you are asked about salary prior to securing the job, politely deflect until you have a job offer. Tell the employer that you would like to know more about the responsibilities and the challenges of the job prior to discussing salary. Explain that you are open, based upon the position and the overall compensation package. If you are still pressed for a number, present a wage range based on research of market salary for the area using websites like salary.com and payscale.com.
Salary Negotiation Tips
- Determine a salary range and indicate your minimum acceptable salary at the bottom of the range.
- Take time to review and consider the offer.
- Be professional and persuasive. Make suggestions with confidence.
- Explain how your experience fits with the employer’s needs, demonstrate how you will contribute to the company, and base your negotiation on salary/wage research.
- Do not burn bridges. If you want to decline an offer, act in a polite and professional manner.
- Never lie about past salary and/or wages.
- Consider the value of benefits and perks in your salary expectations, such as bonuses, tuition reimbursement, health insurance, paid time off, telecommuting options, and promotion potential.