Interview Attire: Dress to Impress!

Interview coming up? Scouring the internet searching for help?

Look no further. Or, at least, stop googling “Business Casual Attire [insert gender here].” We rolled up our sleeves, did some research, and checked with the experts. We spoke with a future CPA, a Hope College Education professor, and an Ad Agency Account Planner to learn their tips and tricks for interview attire. Here’s what we learned:

For an accounting interview (as well as healthcare interviews) you’re “selling your credibility,” so you want to project an image of professionalism and dependability. Our Career Advisor and experienced CPA Morgan recommends a suit for both men and women. Women should make sure their skirts fall at or below the knee. Conservative and neutral colors are the safest bet, and avoid anything that could be considered trendy or flashy.

Accounting and Healthcare:

accounting female attire accounting male attire

In education interviews (as well as most corporate settings, law offices, and engineering firms), a suit is still the clear choice for men. Depending on the specific job, colored or conservatively patterned ties can be acceptable, as can dress pants and a sport coat or sweater. For women, a suit is still a good choice, but a conservative dress or a pencil skirt with non-matching blazer are viable alternatives. Just like in accounting and healthcare, sticking to conservative colors and avoiding trendy pieces will help establish credibility and won’t distract potential employers from your skills.

Education, Engineering, Business, or Law:

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In the agency world (as in any creative profession) our Account Planner Ross emphasized being “memorable,” and appearing “professional without looking corporate.” His recommendations for men included dark wash jeans with a blazer and no tie, or chinos with a unique patterned shirt (remember not to cross the line from statement to novelty). For women, he said to keep it “a step above business casual” while “tastefully letting your personality come through.” He recommends staple business wardrobe items — pencil skirts, blouses, blazers, sheath dresses — in unusual colors or patterns. Ross told us that creative offices typically want to see if you’re “a culture fit,” and honestly stated “if you don’t look the part, you won’t get the call back.”

Agencies and Creative Fields:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAcreative male attire

White House Black Market, Chico’s, Men’s Warehouse, and Joseph A. Bank are great places for both women’s and men’s interview apparel, so be sure to check out these local stores for some great options!

Overall, remember to research the field you are pursuing. If you’re uncertain about what to wear, ask a contact in Human Resources, or call us at the Career Development Center and we’d be happy to help you (616-395-7950). Make sure your outfits fits well, and get your clothing tailored as needed. Professionalism is key; just be sure to do your research and know about specific expectations in your industry.

Now go forth and get hired!

Special thanks to our experts: Morgan (CPA), Nancy (Education), and Ross (Advertising).

Jobs, Resumes, and Interviews, Oh My!

 

Having trouble finding jobs, internships, and volunteer opportunities that pertain to your area of interest? Looking for resume assistance or interview help? Jobstop is an excellent resource for exploring multiple careers, learning about different organizations, and improving your resume and interview skills.

Jobstop is an online tool open to students and alumni that can help connect users with different organizations and career opportunities. After creating an account, you can click on the “Job Search” tab to explore hundreds of opportunities that could help you develop your career exploration process. To tailor your search, click the “Advanced Search” button, located to the right of the green “Search” button, and fill in some of the categories to specify your search. Be sure to clear out the “Post Date” box to optimize your search results. Add any positions that interest you to your Favorites, where you can access them with ease as you continue to select and search for jobs.

You can also upload your resume to Jobstop for online resume reviews, conducted by our CDC staff members and Career Advisors. We will offer helpful suggestions for how to improve your resume, and then eventually upload it to Jobstop so employers can easily view your experiences and qualifications. It’s a great asset that can help you reach the next step of the job search process!

Jobstop also has an awesome feature called Interview Stream, through which you can practice your interviewing skills through a video interview. The Interview Stream link, located on the lower left side of the page, provides typical interview questions and records you as you answer them. When you finish, you can review your answers by watching yourself on the recording. It’s like a mock interview in the comfort of your own room!

Jobstop is a super helpful website with so much to offer students during your time here at Hope. If you have any questions about Jobstop, please feel free to call us at 616-395-7950 or stop by our office, located in the first floor of Anderson- Werkman. Get started with Jobstop today!

Join Our CDC Team!

 

Staff Member Megan Fisher and Career Advisors brainstorm about possible CDC events!Looking for an awesome job that will develop you personally and professionally as you work alongside an amazing staff? Apply for a Career Advisor position at the Career Development Center! Current Career Advisors Jessica White and Stephanie Eiler write about their experiences working in the CDC:

Jessica speaks to the CDC’s role in her college career, writing:

There are four major perks to working in this office. The first and most obvious perk is the professional knowledge you gain about planning events, editing resumes, networking, etc. Being able to help your peers better prepare for their life after college is also very fulfilling and another benefit to working here. The CDC professional staff also serve as terrific mentors. They provide excellent advice not only for careers, but for personal matters too (like how to cook spaghetti squash). Finally, the other Career Advisors on your team become your support group too. We have a really fun team and often times I view my co-workers in this office as being a part of my Hope College family. The Career Development Center is arguably the best on-campus office to work for and has definitely played a significant role in my Hope College experience. I would highly recommend applying to be a Career Advisor, come be a part of the family!

Stephanie also comments on her time spent working at the CDC, as she writes:

I have loved my time as a Career Advisor this year! I have gained so much useful and important knowledge from this role that will translate well when looking for jobs after Hope. Amy and Megan, our supervisors, really take the time to get to know you and want to help you grow personally as well as professionally. I would highly recommend this position for anyone who is wanting to learn more about themselves and how to grow as a young professional. Having the opportunities to manage various projects and assist with campus events is something I’ve really enjoyed doing.

Career Advisor Sarah Carpenter assists Hope College student with Drop-In resume reviews.

Applications for Career Advisor positions will be posted in Jobstop on Wednesday, February 17th. If you don’t have a Jobstop account or aren’t familiar with that website, here’s the link: Jobstop. Applications are due by 5:00pm Monday, February 29th. If you have any questions, call us at 616-395-7950.

Don’t miss out on applying for this great on-campus job with so many opportunities to offer!

Arts and Humanities Day

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Are you still trying to figure out what you would like to study while at Hope? Maybe you’ve declared an Art, Music, History, or Philosophy major, but you’re still not entirely sure what you want to do with it? Arts and Humanities Day is the perfect opportunity to learn more about any of these majors, as well as many others in the Arts and Humanities realm! Plus, you’ll have the chance to win free t-shirts and gift cards, watch live dance, music, and theatre performances, and eat delicious desserts!
Arts and Humanities Day will be held on Wednesday, February 3rd from 12:00pm-2:00pm in Maas Auditorium. Come learn more about all the opportunities the Arts and Humanities departments have to offer! Explore all the potential majors and minors, talk to upperclassmen from each department about their personal experiences, and chat with representatives from our very own Career Development Center about possible career paths in any of these professional fields!
Numerous departments and groups will be present, including:
  •  Art
  • Career Development Center
  • Dance
  • English
  • History
  • Mellon Scholars
  • Modern and Classical Languages
  • Music
  • Philosophy
  • Religion
  • Theatre
  • Women’s & Gender Studies
If you’re interested in stopping by, RSVP here!
Email madeline.scott@hope.edu if you have any questions.
Come and go as you please, and bring a friend!
We’ll see you there!

Internships Shouldn’t Scare You

Do you have an idea of what you would like your dream career to look like, but aren’t sure how to get there? Or maybe you have no idea what career you want, but are looking for ways to find out? Either way, having an internship is a great way to open doors for future opportunities! Often paid, they provide great ways to earn money while getting relevant experience in your intended career field while networking with potential employers. They will not only offer glimpses into what certain fields are actually like, but will also allow you to meet both friends and mentors at the same time while exploring your career.

Career Advisor Gaby Vazquez commented on her internship experience, saying,

“I had an internship in Grand Rapids last summer which is what helped me land my dream internship in Chicago the following summer.”

There are many ways to go about obtaining an internship. One great way is by attending internship fairs. Internship fairs generally consist of multiple employers setting up booths in a relaxed environment where students seeking internships can walk in with a pile of resumes and walk out with a pile of business cards.

Internship Fair
Maas Auditorium

These opportunities are not hard to find. In fact, there will be an internship fair here on campus on Thursday, February 4th from 3:30pm-5:00pm in Mass Auditorium. No registration is required, so students can drop by and jump in on the networking. Business casual is the expected dress code for this event. Come with a few printed copies of your resume to pass out to select employers, and don’t forget to prepare a couple questions to ask while networking with the professionals. We at the Career Development Center would love to help you with the preparation and follow-up processes, so stop by today and talk to us!

See you at the fair!

New Year, New Career!

If you’re like most college students, your Christmas break was likely filled with family and friends who lovingly asked questions like “So, what are you studying? What can you do with that major? What are you going to do after college?” targeting some undetermined and sometimes frightening topics. They can cause you to stand there, stammering to find an answer, and anxiously looking for a quick way to change the subject.

Luckily, those questions don’t have to be scary, and you can easily provide answers for all of them! Come to the Career Development Center (CDC). No matter where you find yourself in your career exploration process, we are here to help you.

Looking for a fun summer job? The CDC is hosting a Summer Camp Fair on January 20th, from 11:00am-2:00pm in Maas Auditorium. This is a great opportunity to network with numerous camps, located anywhere from right here in Holland, to Warwick, New York.

Hope College first-year student and devoted counselor at Covenant Harbor Bible Camp (which will be represented at the Fair) commented on her employment experience, saying,

“It doesn’t feel like a job to me. It’s an incredible way to spend your summer! It’s super rewarding, and you build a great community among your staff members.”

Come as you are, no resume needed! For more information about the event and a full list of the camps attending the fair, click on the following link: Summer Camp Fair Information

 

The CDC has also created an event discussing important steps during the transition between Hope and “The Real World” called From Hope to Hired. Kevin Deane from the Image Group will offer tips on finding a job, CDC Career Counselor Megan Fisher will discuss how to effectively network with people in your field, and CDC Director Dale Austin will highlight how to prepare for interviews.  The event will be held from 7:00pm-8:30pm in the Martha Miller Rotunda. No pre-registration or outside preparation is required. See you there!

Lastly, don’t forget to stop by and see us at our office, located on the first floor of the Anderson-Werkman building! Set up an appointment with our front desk, or call us at 616-395-7950. We also hold Drop-In Hours from 3:00pm-4:30pm every weekday for ten minute appointments and reviews.

We look forward to working with you this semester!

Steps to Exploring Out of State Careers

Is there a city you’ve always wanted to live in? A town that you can totally see yourself living and working in, but you have no idea how to make that happen? Starting a career in another state can be a scary yet exhilarating time. Being away from the security net of your home and school can offer a new found independence which can allow you to grow. Although it can be challenging, it can prove very beneficial.

Diving into it is made easier by the many wonderful resources that Hope College provides us. The Career Development Center (CDC) offers resources such as Job Stop, externships, and career fairs that enable us to tackle the challenge of finding a job.

The CDC offers numerous events for students to explore out of state opportunities for a variety of majors and interests. For a list of all the events the CDC will be hosting soon, follow this link: CDC Events. The CDC has also created a handout outlining suggestions for how to prepare for career fairs (which often can lead to out of state opportunities) which can be found here: Career Fair Handout

Although a lot of these resources initially connect you with in state opportunities, sometimes the companies you get to know in state also have offices out of state. Building relationships with them can be a great way to build your network, as they can put you in touch with all the right people in the state of your choice.

Keep in mind past connections, and use social media sites such as LinkedIn to get in touch with recruiters outside the state. Although may seem daunting at first, LinkedIn can really help your networking.

Internships can also open doors for out of state experiences. Hope graduate Abby Wilhelm of the class of 2015 is currently working as a Project Coordinator for an organization in Washington D.C. She commented on her out of state career exploration, offering a little advice for current students, saying

It was the professional and social connections I made during the Washington DC Honors Semester [while at Hope] that made it possible for me to return here after graduation. I could not have found housing, job opportunities, etc. if I had not had a a supportive network to reach out to at graduation. Taking advantage of internship experiences and networking relationships, especially ones that are fostered in new places and during your time at Hope, will make for an incredibly smooth transition into a new state and a new season!

There are many resources in the Career Development Center website to help improve your out of state career search, or you can also meet with a staff member.

Taking risks is a part of life, and although starting a career in a different state can seem unsettling, there is no better time to do it than when you are young. Being willing to fight for what you really want will set the tone for the rest of your career.

IES Internships Around the World!

Do you ever wish you could travel abroad, but school and internships always seem to be in the way? We have a solution for you! Jena Szatkowski, Assistant Director of the Career Development Center, recently visited Rome and Milan to hear about the IES (Institute for the International Education of Students) Internship program.

IES Abroad is a program that offers study abroad experiences for college students. IES Internships is a department within IES Abroad that has 12 different locations for students seeking internships to explore. Jena said the purpose of her trip overseas was to “have people who work with internships at universities feel comfortable and secure about sending students abroad and making sure they’re having valued internship experiences.”

Jena Szatkowski met Hope College student Fonon Nunghe for lunch while he's studying abroad in Milan.
Jena Szatkowski met Hope College student Fonon Nunghe for lunch while he’s studying abroad in Milan.

The IES Internships program has a great summer internship opportunity. The summer program is perfect for student athletes or students who just can’t fit studying abroad in during the academic school year because of work, classes, etc. The summer internship: 

  •     Lasts generally between 8-10 weeks 
  •     Starts in late May and goes to late July
  •     Consists of a 40 hour per week internship commitment, along with having an internship seminar (3 or 6 internship credits back to Hope)

 

If you are interested in studying abroad during the Fall or Spring semester, IES offers internship opportunities during the academic school year, which are generally 10-12 hours per week.

If you’re interested in studying abroad, we encourage you to contact Amy Otis-De Grau for more information. Take advantage of exploring this great travel opportunity!

Steps to a Successful Interview

Dale Austin conducting a mock interview.
Dale Austin conducting a mock interview.

How do you sell yourself to a company and answer difficult questions about yourself and your experiences? Interviews can be overwhelming, whether it’s for a full time job, internship, or on-campus role. However, interviews are also incredible opportunities to reflect on your strengths and unique abilities when applying your experiences to a given role. Most importantly though, an interview is a great chance to be yourself and have a conversation about how you may fit with an organization. Dale Austin, the director of Career Development, splits interviews into three pillars:

  • Practice the Process
    • Put in work ahead of time and understand the process. Know and understand the organization and role. Do your research and know the job description inside and out.
    • Schedule a mock interview with a staff member at the Career Development Center.
    • Use Interview Stream, an online resource that can be found through Jobstop. It’s an automated question and answer system that videotapes you through your webcam and allows you to re-watch your interview. You can also use Interview Stream on your phone if it has a camera. It’s a free system and there are various question sets, dependent on your major or area of interest! Simply login to Jobstop and you’ll find the Interview Stream icon on the left side of the webpage. Click here to login and get started with Interview Stream: Jobstop Login 
  • Have Confidence
    • When an employer realizes you’re confident in yourself and your abilities, seeing that you know you would be a great fit, he or she will make that connection. 
    • Know yourself and be authentic. Reflect on your background, values, and experiences to build a connection between you and the company.
  • Take Examples from your Experience
    • Understand how your experiences have shaped you. Be able to give concrete examples of how they apply to the role or organization.
    • Context, action steps, and results. Offer the context and background surrounding your experience, the steps involved, and the overall outcome.

Once you take the time to go through these three pillars and fully understand them, you will be in great shape to wow whatever organization with which you are interviewing! Lastly, don’t forget to send either a thank you note or email to follow up with an interview. If you’re looking to schedule a mock interview or want to learn more about interview prep, please call our office and schedule an appointment at (616) 395-7950, or stop in for a drop-in appointment between 3:00pm-4:30pm any weekday. We can’t wait to work with you!

Career Night!

On Tuesday, November 3rd, The Career Development Center hosted a game show-themed event called “Career Night” at Phelps Dining Hall! Everyone who played the game answered questions about the Career Development Center, winning various prizes donated by businesses in the greater Holland area. It was a lot of fun and a big success!

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Here is another team picking out which awesome prizes they want!
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Here’s one team checking out the prize table after winning!
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Here is a team with their prizes!

 

The Career Development Center is fully prepared to help Hope Students in their career exploration processes. From certain areas of professional development, to figuring out what a student’s future may hold, we are ready and willing to help guide you. You should check us out! We’re confident you’ll benefit from your visit!

Thank you again to the numerous businesses that made Career Night such a success. We could not have done this without your generosity.

Thank you to the City Delicatessen, Butch’s, Phelps Dining Hall, Pincushn’s, Full Circle, Biggby, Crust 54, Kilwin’s, Karla’s Place, The Tin Ceiling, Teerman’s, Spring Sweet, BAM!, New Holland Brewery, Mizu Sushi, JP’s Coffee and Espresso Bar, JB and Me, Glik’s Men’s Shop, The Good Earth Cafe, the Hope College Student Activities Committee (SAC), Urban Found, Sarafina, Downtown Dogs, Frances Jaye, Lemonjello’s Coffee, Crane’s in the City, Russ’ Restaurants, and 8th Street Grille.