We are hiring

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The only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. -Steve Jobs

 

January is almost over and we hope that you have found a good rhythm for the rest of the semester.

Hiring season is here! We are super excited to let you know that the Career Development Center will be hiring for next fall.  You will have the opportunity to join our amazing team and become a Career Advisor, helping around the office in a variety of manners.

Here’s a mini checklist which can be used if you are interested in becoming a Career Advisor, looking for an internship in the summer, or any other job opportunity.

1.Resume

  • You should have a resume and it should be updated. Feel free to bring it to our drop-in hours to get yours looked over.
  • If you know where you are going to apply to, use keywords for that certain field. (Most of this can be found in the job description)
  • If you are applying to different places, always tweak your resume to suit each place and personalize your skills.

2. Cover letter

  • Think of cover letter and resume as a marriage. Your cover letter should highlight you beyond what’s on your resume, and give you the opportunity to expand on a few things that are on your resume.
  • Include information about the organization you are applying to. This shows them that you are intentional and care enough to do thorough research.
  • Make sure the font and header match the style of your resume (remember marriage!).

3. LinkedIn

  • Create a LinkedIn profile
  • Be active in your online presence, especially if you are interested in a company. Like what they post, comment on it and re-post it onto your page with an insightful comment
  • Have a good profile and concise bio that captures who you are, your interests and reflects the work you would want to do

4. Interview practice and networking

  • Networking is a great opportunity to get your foot in the door of an organization that you might be interested in. Knowing someone on the inside may give you a better chance than someone who does not
  • Interview practice is important. Getting more detailed information about the company and doing a mock interview can make you much more prepared and confident. This will show during your interview!

 

If you have not started on your resume, cover letter, have any work experience, or have any idea on where to start, no need to stress about it. All you have to do is walk down to the Career Development Center during drop-in hours, which are between 3:00-4:30 PM, Monday through Friday. You can have a 10 minute sit-down with a Career Advisor to get you started in the right direction.

If you are interested in becoming a Career Advisor, be on the lookout for the posting on Handshake for more information!

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:

engineering female attireengineering male attire

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).

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.

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!

Judge a Book by its Cover.

First impressions matter. Whether you’re applying for a year long internship, a summer job, or a potential future career position, it’s essential that you make a good impression on your potential employer.

There are several factors that contribute to making a good first impression, such as having an impressive resume, strong interviewing skills, and a well-prepared outlook and overall sense of confidence. One factor that you should always take into consideration is your wardrobe. Although this may seem frivolous and insignificant, the manner through which you present yourself with your clothing says a lot about who you are and how much you value this potential position. Career Advisor Hadley Roy knows a thing or two about this topic, and has offered five tips to help you make a great impression with how you dress.

1.) Be professional.

Wear office appropriate attire. No flip flops. No jeans. Nothing torn. Nothing dirty. Make sure your hair looks nice and avoid distracting jewelry or makeup. Also avoid wearing any strong perfume or cologne, as this can be distracting for your potential employers as well.

2.) Dress for the job you want.

This is partially an extension of tip one, but there’s more to it than just looking professional. Read up on the office culture, check out LinkedIn profiles of higher-ups at the company or organization. Use your attire to mirror the values you see the company projecting. If you’re applying for an accounting or engineering position, a dark suit and conservative tie are always a good choice. If you’re applying to be a copywriter or designer, maybe consider something a bit more adventurous. My go to is a black sheath dress with a colored blazer, but always keep it professional.

3.) When in doubt, ask Human Resources.

Seriously. Ask. Don’t show up in a gray suit if you should have been wearing khakis. Don’t show up in jeans if you should have had on slacks and a blazer. Ask.

4.) Make sure your footwear is up to standards.

That means a conservative heel (if you can’t walk four blocks in them, leave them in the closet) or professional flats for women and dress shoes for men. Even the most casual of offices don’t call for sneakers at an interview.

5.) Make sure you feel good in the clothes.

If that means getting something tailored, do it. It’s a little extra expense, but it is worth it. Clothes that don’t fit don’t make a good first impression.

For more information check out these links:

Forbes “How to Dress for Your Next Job Interview”

Forbes “What to Wear for a Job Interview”

Be sure to check out our Pinterest page for even more tips! CDC Pinterest

If you’re ever in doubt about how to dress for an interview or how to make a good impression, stop by the Career Development Center. We want to help you build upon this foundation of making a good first impression by helping you with the entire interview process, so stop by today or call us at 616-395-7950 and we’d be happy to talk to you.

Living and Working in Grand Rapids and Chicago: Networking 101

Living & Working in Grand Rapids!Living and Working in Chicago!

 

As you may know, two of the Career Development Center’s major events coming up–Living and Working in Grand Rapids (4/1) and Chicago (4/15)–networking is something that you should feel comfortable with. Well you are in luck because we have some networking tips just for you!

First, it is important to know that networking is a continual life long process. When you are networking, always look for the next step in gaining information about your field. Also, networking is not only limited to professionals in your field. You never know when a position you are interested in may come available at a company you might not have expected! Networking is the best way to find a job or internship!

Here are a list of some do’s and don’ts for networking:

DO:

  • Wear something with pockets, or carry a small bag so you have a place to stow business cards
  • Jot notes in a small notebook
  • Keep one hand free at all times to shake hands with people you meet
  • Dress professional, sharp and modest
  • Thank your network partners and keep in touch with them
  • Develop lasting relationships, not just contacts
  • Look for ways to help the people in your network
  • Ask two important questions: “What is your story?” and “What advice would you have for me as I consider entering this field?”

DON’T:

  • Brag or exaggerate the truth in your conversations
  • Spend too much time in unfocused conversation; respect and appreciate their time
  • Gossip or share inappropriately; stay professional and relevant
  • Allow your networking relationship to become one-sided
  • Ask personal questions or about money/salary
  • Ask for a job

We hope that these tips will help to make you feel comfortable in moving forward with expanding your network. Make a connection between yourself and the other person and follow up with them. Be sure to be genuine and sincere in your interactions and always thank your contacts for their time!

Lastly, there is still time to sign up for Living and Working in Chicago! This event is always well-attended and fun for students! Email fundaro@hope.edu to register!

 


If you would like to explore appropriate networking further or would like to possibly find some contacts who you may connect with in your field, call our office (616-395-7950) to make an Networking appointment with Joelle Fundaro! Be sure to keep in touch with your contacts!