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by Vault Careers | November 11, 2011


1. Network Your Way Through School - Your professors are experts in their fields. Invest time into developing relationships with them—attend office hours, seek out research assistant opportunities, keep up with their scholarship, be engaged during their classes, get involved in clubs and associations that they oversee, volunteer to help them with projects, etc. Once you have established a connection, seek your professor’s advice on paving your career path.

2. Turning an Internship Into a Full-Time Job - The best way to get noticed is to show your employer that you can be relied upon to work hard until the job is done.  Keep that presence by attending any company events and reaching out to superiors for more work and opportunities.  Be remembered for all the right reasons so they will remember you when it comes to hiring a new employee. 

3. Stay Focused During the Job Search - The best way to stay focused on your goals is to just dive in and get started.  One thing leads to another and before you know it, you've edited your resume, wrote out cover letters, filled in job applications and applied for various positions.  To help, it might be important to put together a checklist covering the tasks you need to accomplish that day. 

4. Tailor Your Resume to the Job You Want - Lay out all your work experience and then determine what fits and what doesn’t. Unless, somehow, your experience working as a barista translates perfectly to a career as an IT consultant, it doesn’t make sense to include that position in your resume. However, your supervisory role at Starbucks and the fact that you oversaw a staff of 12, and handled X amount of dollars, might make you a perfect fit as a manager at XYZ company.

5. Be Precise In Your Cover Letter - A well-written cover letter should include information about how the job seeker found out about the position, for example, "John Doe suggested I contact you," or "I am applying to the position of X through a listing on your website." If a candidate knows the exact name of the hiring manager, the cover letter should always be addressed directly to that person.

6. Maintain a Professional Image on Social Media - According to a Vault survey, 60% of recruiters think candidates should take steps to hide their personal pictures and only 51% of jobseekers say they actually do. But why post them in the first place? Pictures of you drinking or scantily clothed could make you a risk in a recruiter’s eyes.

7.  Leverage Your Network - Don’t just send out one resume after another without rhyme or reason.  Look at your network of contacts; reach out to past contacts that might be able to offer you a fresh perspective in your job search.

8.  Ask the Right Questions - When a company asks “Do you have any questions,” make it about the interviewer and ask, “What do you love most about your job and the company?” The question highlights your desire to learn the details that might be missing from the company website. When the interviewer starts talking about their career, you may notice that they have held several positions, which would allow you to ask questions, such as, “So, is there a lot of room for growth?” Demonstrate your ambition while also building a bond between you and the interviewer.

9.  Don’t Blink First in a Salary Negotiation - Do not let your need for a job lead to a lowball offer. Wait until company broaches the subject of salary as they offer you the job.  At that point, you can be assured that the company was impressed with your abilities and want you on their staff. You now have the power to negotiate. 

10.  Be Respectful at Work - Take time to learn about how the company operates, what processes it uses, what roles people fill and how their positions interact with yours. Figure out where you fit, rather than trying to mold the company to how you operate. Of course, taking initiative and brainstorming ways to better the company are great career-building steps, but make sure that you don’t overstep your bounds the minute you walk through the door.

11. Never Take Success for Granted – Initial success is not a promise of future success.  You need to continue to grow and evolve as a worker.  Always believe you can do better and strive to do more, because there is always someone else waiting in the wings to take your spot. 

--Contains Tips from Blogs by Jon Minners and Mary Kate Sheridan (Portions Contributed by Brafton)


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