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Considering Graduate School?
The Princeton Review
, a web site dedicated to success at all educational levels. They offer advice, research information on grad schools, and career information for after school.
Use the Lexis-Nexis research database through Besse Library to search for information on graduate schools. Lexis-Nexis indexes U.S. News and World Report, which issues graduate school rankings yearly, and an extensive variety of other publications. Besse Library offers several other research databases to meet your needs.
Click here for a webcast on interview preparation.
The prospect of an interview can be intimidating; the best way to calm your nerves and to make a great impression on your potential employer is to be prepared. First, you should learn all you can about the company and position you are applying for; you should also practice answers to commonly asked interview questions.
Interview preparation is key to landing the job that you really want, even if you have a dynamite resume, if you do not present yourself effectively during the interview you will not receive a job offer. Employers are looking for candidates who can speak effectively and confidently convey their qualifications for the position. To help you practice, some of the most commonly asked interview questions are listed below:
Common Interview Questions and Answer Guidelines:
Tell me about yourself.
Write a script that conveys strengths and experiences you have that fit with the job description. Focus on details that the employer will be interested in, including your educational background and work or internship history. Close your statement with why you are interested in the current position.
Why do you want to work for this company?
The interviewer is listening for an answer that indicates you've given this some thought and are not sending out resumes just because there is an opening. For example, "I've selected key companies whose mission statements are in line with my values, where I know I could be excited about what the company does, and this company is very high on my list of desirable choices."
What made you choose this as your career path?
Give a realistic picture of what motivated you to choose this career, include ways that you believe you can contribute to the field and to the company.
What are your major strengths? In which areas do you believe you need improvment?
Assess your skills, they will be: Knowledge based (classes, experience) Transferable (communication, interpersonal, etc) Personal Traits (are you dependable, flexible, etc). Assess your weaknesses. Hint, select a trait that you need to work on and give a positive example of how you are attempting to overcome it.
What is the salary that are you expecting in this position?
Never answer this question with a dollar figure. Instead ask the employer what the expected salary range will be for a position of this type. Leave salary negotiations until after you have been extended a job offer.
Other Questions to Prepare for:
What accomplishment has given you the most satisfaction?
In your present position, what problems have you identified that had been previously overlooked?
Describe a recent group project. What was your role? Was the team successful?
Describe the most hectic day you have head in the past few months. How did you handle it?
What are the characteristics of your previous boss that you appreciated/frustrated with?
Tell me about a time when you had a lot of work due in a short time, how did you handle it?
How do you handle rejection (This question is especially common in sales positions)?
What motivates you?
How would you handle an unhappy customer?
You do not have to practice interviewing alone! If you would like to make an appointment for a mock interview call the us at 440-646-8322.
The resume is the initial professional portrait of yourself that a prospective employer sees. The goal of an effective resume is to receive an invitation to interview. Many people make the mistake of thinking that the resume will actually result in a job offer, but that is rarely the case. With most employers devoting no more than 30 to 45 seconds to review a resume, he or she will focus on key words that match the profile of what has already been determined to be the most appropriate candidate.
Preparing a resume can be an intimidating process, particularly if you are unsure of how to begin. Preparing yourself before you start writing is key to writing a successful resume. The first step is to evaluate the skills you have to offer an employer - the staff of the Office of Counseling and Career Services can help you evaluate your skills and aptitudes so that you can hone your career focus.
After you have developed a sense of your strongest skills and aptitudes it is time to start creating your resume content. Remember that a resume is a flexible document, and to have more success in obtaining interviews you should tailor your resume to each position you are applying for. This includes using key words from the job posting and highlighting your special skills that apply most directly to the job.
However, all resumes should have the following information:
- Contact Information: name, address, zip code, phone number with area code, email - if the address sounds professional, and a web address if you have an online portfolio of your work.
- Objective: should specifically address how would like to apply your education at the company to which you are applying.
- Education: in reverse chronological order with your most recent degree or experience first. GPA is optional if it enhances your qualifications. It is generally accepted to include your GPA if it is 3.0 or above. A high GPA can be especially relevant information for employers if you do not have extensive work experience. If you are applying for an internship it is acceptable to include a list of your relevant classes.
- Experience: should include paid full-time positions as well as part-time, volunteer, field experience, observation, internship, and cooperative education experience. For each position, list name of the organization, location (city and state), job title, and dates (month and year) of employment. There is no single correct order for the presentation of this information as long as you are consistent throughout the resume. Give a brief description of the skills and responsibilities for each position using a bulleted list - do not use long sentences or paragraphs.
- Leadership Activities/Affiliations: If you have been involved in Ursuline student organizations, clubs, student government, athletics, or social organizations include them here. This demonstrates to employers that you have developed important work-related skills such as management experience and the ability to work well with others. Include offices or other positions of leadership you have held and briefly describe the positions and related tasks. Do not use abbreviations.
- Honors and Awards: List the date and award title in reverse chronological order.
- Optional Sections: Additional Training, Presentations, Publications, Technological Skills
Sample Cover Letter
|2550 Lander Road
Pepper Pike, Ohio 44124
October, 25 2006
Ms. June Smith
Director of Human Resources
11159 Prospect Avenue
Cleveland, Ohio 44122
Dear Ms. Smith:
Opening Paragraph: (one to two sentences) Use a strong opener to get the attention of the recruiter. Then state which position you are applying for, how you heard of it, and that the position seems to be a fit for your education and experience.
Second Paragraph: (three to four sentences) Briefly mention the main skills that the position requires and highlight the specific experiences and accomplishments you have that directly relate to the requirements.
Closing Paragraph: (two to three sentences) Reaffirm that you are very interested in the position, and are confident that your experience is a match. State that you are looking forward to meeting with the employer to discuss your qualifications further and that you will contact him or her to follow up within a specific time frame. Thank the employer for their time.
(Hand Written Signature)
Ashley K. Student
Enclosure (If your resume is enclosed)
Adapted from Job Choices 2006 for Business and Liberal Arts Majors, Published by the National Association of Colleges and Employers
The staff of the Office of Counseling and Career Services is happy to meet with you and help you develop your cover letter, before you get bogged down or frustrated make an appointment!