Find Your Future, Then Reach Out to Them

 

No matter what your career goal, LinkedIn “Find Alumni” should be your next step in starting a conversation about your future.

 

LinkedIn is a helpful tool in connecting with peers and acquaintances in your current field to endorse you, keep connected and maintain an online resume – but there’s also a way to show your ambition by directly reaching out to the person YOU want to be.

 

If you’ve never tried the “Find Alumni” tool, it’s a great way to search for connections in your potential industry and conduct informational interviews to gather knowledge on positions, advice on getting the job and likely making an important connection. I took advantage of this feature and made a connection with someone who is key in assisting my success for the future. After reaching out and having a very informative conversation, we’ve kept in touch and I now have a genuine mentor in the top company I dream to be employed by.

 

The next steps will show you how this can be a beneficial tool for you to use.

 

  1. Narrow Your Search

The first step in using this tool is to be direct in your keywords. If you have a specific company you strive to work for, type that into the “Search This Set” area. It may not be likely there’s someone with the exact company you’re considering, if this is the case, you can type in a general occupation such as: engineering, journalism, teaching, etc…to broaden your search. There are also options to type in your university and location if you prefer to search under those terms. This will not only search your connections, but secondary connections as well – so there’s a great deal of options.

 

  1. Searching for “The One”

After your list has been narrowed, dig a little deeper to find that one (or more) alumni that has the most in common with what’s parallel to your future. If someone is working at a company that you are most interested in, that’s who you should reach out to for conversation – even if it isn’t the exact job you’re looking to get into. In conversation, this person will most likely have co-workers in the position you’re interested in and connect you for future conversations. It’s also important to reach out to other connections in the industry that do not directly work for a business you have initially looked at – opportunities are endless and a company you haven’t heard of, could very well surprise you.

 

  1. “Link” Up with the Future

Here’s the part most people are timid about – reaching out to a connection. Ambition is always impressive – that paired with your eagerness to learn should be your motivation to get the conversation started. Connecting by messaging the alumni shows your passion for the field and your interest in hearing their story. Set a place and time — then make it happen!

 

  1. We Need to Talk

Once a conversation is set, make sure to have a list of questions with you as you’re speaking with your connection. Starting the conversation should be easy – there’s a reason you connected whether you went to the same school, know the same person or live in the same area. It’s important to be confident and eager (but not overly of either) when asking questions. Express your interests, seek advice, find out their story and how they got to where they are and ask to keep in touch – this is key to creating opportunity for future conversations. Also, be sure to write a thank you (message or email depending if you’ve received contact information) to this person to show that their time was valuable to you.

 

No matter what your industry, the “Find Alumni” tool will be helpful to your future. Getting into an industry is certainly about what you know – but often it’s more about who you know. Take ahold of your future by taking advantage of this tool.

 

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Lets make some decisions–The guide to being Undecided

To all my Undecided scholars out there–this post is for you. Whether you’re switching majors every other week or pursuing a major you don’t really care about, don’t worry, we’re all still trying to figure it out. I know it might seem like everyone knows what their next move is, especially being here at Cal, but trust me, it’s all a part of being a college kid.

So if you’re still trying to figure it out, the first thing you should do is this: take a deep breath. I know it seems super stressful every time registration time comes around or when a random friend you met at a club once posts on facebook about another internship, but all you need to do is take a deep breath. You have time. You’ll find your internship and you’ll find your path.

Alright, now that you’ve calmed down a little bit, we can get down to the nitty gritty.

While academic advisors and friends and parents and family and cousins are all valid options to ask for help, going to the Career Center will break it down to a science for you. There are tests you can take and counselors you can talk to at the Career Counseling Library that will show you which jobs you are the most compatible with. Setting up an appointment at the Career Center will get you a 30 minute session with an experienced counselor who will be able to connect you to some very helpful resources.

Among these resources includes Vault, a huge textbook of insider information on different occupations, career fairs happening on campus, handshake, the go to resource for berkeley students, and a whole lot more.

Once you’ve gone to the Career Center, you’ll hopefully feel a lot better, but chances are you’ll still have a lot to figure out on your own. So what’s next?

Linkedin will be your best friend. Get to know it as best as you can because the Cal alumni network is vast and you’re going to want to take advantage of it. Connect with people in the jobs or majors you’re possibly interested in and 9 times out of 10 they’ll be happy to answer a couple questions you have about their path. The Career Center can give you great tips on how to approach that conversation.

The best way to figure it out is by being open. Open to everything. Talk to real people in real jobs and do your research. It’ll take time, but trust me, you’ll figure it out. And if you’re still feeling lost, drop by the Career Center and we’ll be happy to answer any questions you have!

Your favorite peer advisor,

James Serrano

Phone Interview Time

 

Image result for person on phone

 

There will come a time when you are asked to do a phone interview. Some of you may have already done it, but it is always tricky on how to best prepare. Today’s post will include some tips and tricks on helping you nail that phone interview:

 

Practice Interviewing

Talking on the phone isn’t as easy as it seems. As with an in-person interview, practice can be helpful. Not only will this help you rehearse answers to common phone interview questions, but it will also help you realize if you have a lot of verbal ticks, fail to enunciate, or speak either too fast or too slow.

For practice, have a friend or family member conduct a mock interview and record it so you can see how you sound over the phone. Once you have a recording, you’ll be able to hear your “ums” and “uhs” and “okays” and then practice reducing them from your conversational speech. Listening to the recording will also help you pinpoint answers that you can improve.

Tips

  • Keep your resume in clear view, on the top of your desk, or tape it to the wall near the phone, so it’s at your fingertips when you need to answer questions.
  • Have a short list of your accomplishments available to review.
  • Have a pen and paper handy for note taking.
  • Be sure to be standing up. Laying down on your bed can bring feelings of laziness.
  • Study ahead of time of what you want to talk about as well as the company
  • Take your time. You aren’t going to be given 5min. You have time, so space out your answers, and don’t verbally spit everything out.
  • Remember to have some questions for the employer. By having questions, it can help express your interest in the position as well as keep the conversation thus having more time for them to get to know you.

 

I hope these tips help you in the long run! Remember that if you ever have questions or even want to practice you can do so at the Career Center!

-Jesus Sanchez

LinkedIn – Make One, Update One, Use One

Spring Semester is winding down, some of us have decided on our summer plans while some of us are still waiting to hear back. You may have come across LinkedIn as a potential source of jobs and wondered how it can help you. It’s just a digital version of your resume, right?

At it’s core, that is true, but it doesn’t paint the full picture. LinkedIn is a digital copy of your resume, but can be so much more. A LinkedIn profile is a way to brand yourself in a more dynamic way than a black and white 8.5×11” sheet of paper will ever be able to. You can upload a professional picture, write articles that the public can see, and there’s no limit to how you describe yourself, though you should try to be concise.

 

However, the real magic of LinkedIn is in recruiting. According to the Career Center, over 90% of recruiters use LinkedIn to evaluate potential applicants. That means that if you’re not on there, you’re discounting yourself from a world of possibilities. Here are three main advantages of using LinkedIn:

  1. Getting recruited:

You might not know it at the time, but LinkedIn is the single best traditional way to get a job. A recruiter can contact you, you can directly apply for a job, and you can reach out to recruiters yourself. Imagine you want to work at X Company. You don’t know anyone there, but you can do a quick LinkedIn search and see that one of your connections works there. Now you’re one step closer to getting in contact with that company.

  1. Searching for Alumni:

A lesser known feature of LinkedIn is the alumni search feature. If you type your university’s name, you will be brought to a page that allows you to sort alumni on LinkedIn based on work location, field, company, and other metrics you might want to use to find alumni in positions you might want to be in a few years from now. It’s a great way to human-ify organizations which can seem like black holes you drop your resume into.

  1. Connecting with Potential Mentors

With over 467 Million professionals on LinkedIn, you might wonder how you can harness this power to help you learn. Something that’s worked for me in the past has been sending connection requests (with short notes about how we are related) to people I aspire to be like. Then, I can ask to set up a coffee chat for an informational interview. This is extremely helpful when you’re exploring different career paths and trying to navigate which you think would be best for you

 

-Andrew Ansell
Peer Advisor

It’s Halftime!

spring break

 

We’re halfway there.  With spring break fast approaching—FINALLY!—it can seem like our time to save the semester is diminishing.  Midterms are lingering, projects are due, that eight-page essay that was weeks away is now due on Friday; it can all seem so overwhelming. How you utilize your time off can be a clear definition of the next month and a half—are you going to let the semester take control of you, or are you going to release your inner golden bear and take control of the semester?  Set aside a day of your break to utilize these tips and the semester is all yours!

 

Make a list of the little things that need to get done (that maybe you’ve been procrastinating) and GET THEM DONE!

Need to update your resume with that new project? Have to send a syllabus to your department to get a class to transfer? Just need to buy a new pencil case so your pencils don’t pull off another unwanted disappearing act?  Whatever it is you’ve been putting off, now is the time to cross them off of your to-do list.  With these incidentals off your plate, you’ll have no distractions to take away from the successful second half of the semester you are about to have.

Print a calendar.  Make a calendar. USE A CALENDAR!

Now that you’ve gotten the distractions out of the way.  Make a schedule that’ll help you be successful as you finish the semester—it’s time to win the game. Start out by listing every exam date and due date you know as of now.  Seeing this visually will give you a better sense of the importance of creating time for your assignments.  Now give yourself some personal due dates.  You may have to finish that history paper due on the 17th on the 6th in order to be successful on your second bio midterm at the end of the month.  Schedule your ideal timeline of studying/working on assignments, and feel free to write in your teacher’s office hours.  Whatever you add to this schedule, be sure to stick to it. Focusing and powering through those designated times are what’s going to get you the grade you want, and after all this hard work, the grade you deserve!

 

Follow through and finish strong—you got this Golden Bears!

 

Jimmy Napoli
Junior Mechanical Engineering Major
Peer Advisor

 

Can I Send the Same Resume to Every Job?

Writing resumes for every job seems tedious and unnecessary, but it’s important to do so you can get your dream job/internship. Here are some reasons why and how to make it easier for yourself.

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Why?

First off, each position requires different types of experiences and certain types of skills. Sending the same resume does not work to highlight certain aspects of your work experience that can help you standout. If you edit your resume to fit the company’s needs, it shows that you are not only qualified for it, but that you cared enough to edit it for that employer.

Second, employers search for keywords in resumes to match what they’re looking for in a potential employee. Editing your resume means you can put those keywords into your resume so that your resume will show up when they go through applications. On the other hand, make sure that the keyword applies to the position and that you actually did the work.

 

How?

We recommend that you keep a master resume handy. This will allow you have all of your positions ready to transfer to new resumes you have to create. From there you can just edit some of the bullet point to match the job application.

Also, look at the job description and read it very thoroughly. From there see how you can incorporate some of the language into your resume with similar words. This gives your resume a higher chance of being seen.

Lastly, of course don’t’ hesitate to come into the Career Center for advising on your resume and how to make it perfect for any position you are applying to.   

 

Good luck!

Angie Mejia 
Peer Advisor

 

Is Grad School Worth It?

The other day I was talking to my GSI about their experience so far in their PhD program. She told me that she had personally taken some time off after her undergrad and worked in a field related to her major. Others  I’ve talked to told me that they went to grad school right after they finished their bachelors.

This led me to think:

Do I have to go to graduate school right after my undergrad?

What program can lead me to the job I want?

Is Grad School worth it?

Is-Grad-School-Worth-It_small

There are several programs in Graduate school, but I will be focusing on M.A. and PhD.

Masters of Arts (M.A.)
Can allow specialization within a field.
The degree works especially well for those who have been working in a particular career for some time and hope to advance or gain new knowledge that will qualify them for a different position within their field.
It can also be an excellent method of changing careers.
For those who have been in the workforce and found that their career or undergraduate education are not leading them in the direction they would like to go, a master’s degree can allow them to start in a different direction by gaining new knowledge and skills.

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Can also be helpful outside the world of academia in today’s increasingly competitive job market.
Businesses are searching for extremely qualified people who have demonstrated intelligence, perseverance and the ability to learn.
A PhD can open doors.
One of the less tangible, though very important, aspects of getting a PhD consists in the ideal of creating knowledge.
PhD work requires original research that contributes new information to the field of study.
People interested in pursuing a PhD should love their studies and be excited by the prospect of meaningful contribution.

In the workforce there are pathways that would prefer one over the other and there are times when neither of those degrees aren’t necessarily needed but still help as there are some positions where experience related to the job account for a lot.

In many careers (science, law, medicine) a graduate degree is necessary to move beyond entry-level work. But for marketing, computer science and creative fields, experience and quality of work are more important than having an advanced degree.

Another key point would be to see if the job is something you truly like. I personally wanted to be a researcher and after an experience, I found that it wasn’t for me. If someone wants to be a lawyer, will he/she be comfortable with working 40+ hours a week readings documents and attending meetings? This is an example of a question you should ask yourself when deciding your next step in life.

These are some ideas I believe one should think about when considering graduate school. It is great that you want to further your education but it also important to see if it is an immediate thing to do or if you can take some time after college to focus on other things. To talk about these things more feel free to stop by the career center and discuss them with a counselor or peer advisor. 

Jesus Sanchez
Peer Advisor