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Career Services Manual - Rose-Hulman

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Career Services Manual
Career Services & Employer Relations
Develop Your Career with Us
I’ve been a part of Lutron for 5 years.
Jamie McMahon (Electrical Engineering Major)
Design and Development Engineer
At Lutron, we’ve been designing and manufacturing
energy-saving light control solutions since 1961.
Our success depends on your success. Join Lutron’s
Innovation Leadership Program and you’ll develop
the skills and knowledge needed to win in the world
of innovation.
В©2013 Lutron Electronics Co., Inc. | P/N 368-2717 REV G
Immediately join an engineering development team
Hone innovation and product design skills
Receive formal mentor support
Collaborate regularly with business unit managers
and directors
Acquire real-world experience through field assignments
Foster relationships with Lutron’s global customers
Key opportunities include:
Engineering—Electrical, Mechanical,
Computer, Software,
Industrial, Architectural
Science—Physics, Chemistry, Math
Opportunities are also available in sales leadership and
field engineering leadership—hiring all majors.
Dynamic keypad in Black
To learn more about how you
can be a part of our future visit
Table of Contents
Career Services & Employer Relations
Who We Are, What We Do пїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅ 2
Get F.I.T. for Your Job SearchпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅ 2
How to Get Started пїЅ пїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅ 3
Special Worksheet Section
Evaluating Yourself......................................................... 4
Your 60-Second Commercial.............................................. 5
Tapping the Hidden Job Market пїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅ 6
eRecruiting Basics пїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅ 6
The Resume пїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅ 7-12
12 Common Resume MistakesпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅ 8
Resume Action WordsпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅ 8
Sample Resumes пїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅ 8-10
Expand Your Resume’s Focus������������������������������������������� 11
The Scannable Resume пїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅ 12
The Cover Letter пїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅ 12-13
Sample Letters пїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅ 13-15
The Thank-You Letter пїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅ 14
The Acceptance Letter пїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅ 14
The Refusal Letter .пїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅ 14
The Letter of Application пїЅ пїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅ 14
Letters of Inquiry пїЅ пїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅ 15
Interviews .пїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅ 16-19
Questions пїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅ 18
The Site Visit/Interview: One Step Closer пїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅ 19
Techniques пїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅ 20-24
Networking пїЅ пїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅ 22-23
Career FairsпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅ 23-24
Email Correspondence пїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅ 24
Selling Brand “You” in the Interview�������������������������������������� 25-28
Your Bragging RightsпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅ 25-28
Qualities Desired in New College GraduatesпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅ 26-27
Advice From the ExpertsпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅ 28
International Students and the Job SearchпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅ 29
Is Graduate School Right for You?пїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅ 30
Advertiser IndexпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅпїЅ 32
Terre Haute, Indiana
Career Services &
Employer Relations
Career Services Center
Hulman Union
Career Services & Employer Relations
Alison Fell
Scott Tieken
Dawn Miller
Elaine Lee
The Career Services & Employer Relations office has 6 full-time staff members
who are here to help you with every step of the career planning process.
Finding a job is not easy. It takes a lot of time, and a tremendous amount of
Our offices are located in the upper level of the Hulman Union Building; no
appointment necessary — just drop by whenever we are open!
In this Manual, you will see a few of the main services and programs that will be
vital to your search for a job or graduate school. Some of those services include:
4 I ndividual job search and graduate school guidance as well as career
4 Individual assistance with resume and cover letter writing
4 Individual advice on interview techniques and preparation
4 eRecruiting: our online job posting and campus interview system
✥ L ast year about 90% of Rose-Hulman students found jobs through
on-campus recruiting and networking (nationwide only 24% find jobs this
✥ L ess than 20% of all jobs are actually listed in a want ad somewhere. The
other 80% are found through NETWORKING
Don’t despair! If you follow the instructions in this step-by-step Manual, you
will be prepared to conduct a comprehensive job search. And that means:
4 F all, Winter and Spring Career Fairs, as well as an annual Graduate
School Fair
4 Y ou have the Fundamentals down. You know what kind of job you want
and what you have to offer. You can write effective resumes and cover
4 N etworking assistance, including contact information for alumni and
company recruiters
4 Y ou know how to perform Interviews. You can sell yourself in person
and have practiced interview skills.
4 Free phone and fax services
4 Y ou are using sound Techniques to find and apply for positions. You are
uncovering the hidden job market and using our eRecruiting online job
search system.
All of our services are free, and all of us are committed to helping you succeed,
so visit us early and often!
2  Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology
Remember, the average time to find a job is 4-6 MONTHS. So the time to start
How to Get Started
The key to maximizing the results of your job search is ORGANIZATION.
Here is a 4-Year Plan of career-related activities while you are a student.
• Visit the Career Services Office
• Establish a profile on eRecruiting
• Create a resume, have it reviewed and upload it to eRecruiting
• Attend at least the Fall Career Fair
• Find a good summer job which will enable you to:
в—†Build confidence and skills
в—†Gain maturity
в—†Develop strong work ethic
в—† Earn money!
V isit the Career Services office
Update your eRecruiting account
Update your resume, get it reviewed
A ttend employer-sponsored events to network with company
Attend all three Career Fairs
Become familiar with our website
Get involved! Join a club, professional organization or extracurricular
Start searching for an internship related to your major
At the very least, look for a position where you can receive technical skills
• P repare and send letters/make phone calls to companies/contacts on
“target” list; follow up with employers
• Take the GRE, apply to graduate school
• Attend Graduate School Fair
• Attend all three Career Fairs
• Write or call alumni and other contacts
• Begin contacting referrals
• Prepare for and schedule second interviews if invited by employers
• U se Winter break to follow up with previous contacts and continue
contacting prospective employers
• Discuss progress with Career Services staff member
• Continue campus interviewing
• Continue networking
• Report offers to Career Services
• Arrange meetings with prospective employers
• Continue follow-up with previous contacts
• Discuss job offers with Career Services
• Accept offer
• Report acceptance to Career Services Office
U pdate your eRecruiting profile
Have your resume reviewed and upload it to eRecruiting
Meet with Career Services to help you create a job search strategy
A ttend employer-sponsored events to network with company
Attend all three Career Fairs
Obtain an internship in your preferred career field
Create and/or expand your professional network
Stay involved in school organizations to help sharpen your “soft” skills
If you are considering graduate school, talk with your faculty advisor and
begin exploring possible programs of study
Attend the Graduate School Fair if you are considering this path
U pdate profile on eRecruiting
Develop Job Search Plan
Draft resume; have it critiqued by Career Services staff
Make a list of companies/contacts for targeted phone/mail campaign.
Meet with Career Services
Practice interviews and consider scheduling a mock interview
Interview with companies through Career Services Office
Infinite Possibilities are within your REACH.
Imagine working for an innovative organization that will
take you from a new grad to a manufacturing management
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Right from the start, you’ll experience challenging work
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contact your Career Services Center or email your resume
to [email protected] EOE, M/F/D/V   3
В© 2012 NAS
(Media: delete copyright notice)
Evaluating Yourself
AN IMPORTANT PART of deciding what you want to do is first understanding yourself. Selfevaluation will help you analyze what is important in the work you choose and the kind of
employer for whom you will work. Answer each question honestly. There are no “right” or
“wrong” answers.
What do you do best? Are these activities related to people, things, or data? _______
Do you communicate better orally or in writing? _________________________________
Do you consider yourself a leader of a team or group? ____________________________
Do you see yourself as an active participant in a group or team? __________________
Do you prefer to work by yourself? ______________________________________________
Do you prefer working under supervision? _______________________________________
Do you work well under pressure? ______________________________________________
Does working under pressure cause you anxiety? ________________________________
Do you like taking responsibility? _______________________________________________
Would you rather follow directions? _____________________________________________
Do you enjoy new projects and activities? _______________________________________
Do you prefer to follow a regular routine? ________________________________________
Rank the following things in order of importance to you when thinking about a job:
q  Career Advancement
q Prestige of Employer
q Location
q Salary
q  People (Boss and Colleagues)
q Type of Work
14.Do you prefer to work a regular 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. schedule
or an irregular schedule? _______________________________________________________
15.Would you like a job with a lot of travel,
a moderate amount, or a small amount? _________________________________________
What kind of work environment do you prefer?
q  Indoors q  Urban Setting
q  Outdoors q  Suburban Setting
q  Rural Setting
What size of organization would you like to work for? _____________________________
Are you willing to move? _______________________________________________________
Do you prefer to work for a nonprofit or for-profit organization? ___________________
Are there other factors to consider? ______________________________________________
Adapted with permission from the Office of Career Services at Rutgers University, New Brunswick Campus.
4  Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology
Your 60-Second Commercial
USE THE FOLLOWING guidelines to develop an introduction when meeting employers
during interviews, career days, and other networking events. Your goal is to create a positive and lasting impression in a brief amount of time.
Step 1: Research the Employer
1. Preview the list of organizations participating in the event and plan a strategy for the day. Put
together an “A” list and a “B” list of employers you want to target. Contact your career services
office to see what employers may be recruiting on campus.
2. Research all the employers on your “A” list. Look for current facts about each employer, including
new products, services or acquisitions.
3. Write down some key facts about the employer:
(a)  _____________________________________________________________________________________________
(b)  _____________________________________________________________________________________________
4. Review job descriptions pertinent to your major for employer requirements. Note specific knowledge, skills, and abilities they seek. List academic or employment experiences and activities where
you demonstrated these skills.
The employer is seeking:
My qualifications and selling points:
(a)  _________________________________________   (a) _______________________________________________
(b)  _________________________________________   (b) _______________________________________________
(c)  _________________________________________   (c) _______________________________________________
5. Review the employer’s mission statement and look for key words that indicate the personal qualities
the organization values in its employees. List 2 or 3 of your personal qualities that closely match.
My personal qualities:
(a) ________________________  (b) _______________________  (c) ________________________
Step 2: Develop Your Introduction
Review the sample below. Using the information above, prepare and practice a brief 60-second
commercial or introduction to use when meeting employer representatives.
Hello, my name is __________. I am currently a junior, majoring in economics and working
part-time as a supervisor at Campus Information Services. This role has enhanced my
communication, management, and leadership skills. In addition, I had an internship over the
summer with ABC Company where I worked in a team environment on a variety of marketing
and website development projects. I recently read an article about your company’s plans for
business growth in the Northeast, and I’m interested in learning more.
Practice your introduction with a friend or career counselor so it sounds conversational rather than
rehearsed. You may want to break your opening remarks into two or three segments rather than
delivering it all at once. Good luck with your all-important first impression!
Adapted with permission from the Office of Career Services at Rutgers University, New Brunswick Campus.   5
Tapping the Hidden Job Market
Your off-campus job search should neither begin nor end with the help wanted ads.
Studies have shown that only 15 percent of available jobs are ever advertised. It
takes much more than merely perusing the classifieds. By employing a number of
methods, you constantly increase your chances of landing a job. Some techniques
you might use:
Networking. Probably the most effective way to meet potential employers and
learn about possible jobs is to tap into your personal network of contacts. You
might think it’s too early to have professional contacts, but think about everyone
you know—family members and their friends/co-workers, professors, past
employers, neighbors and even your dentist. Don’t be afraid to inform them of
your career interests and let them know that you are looking for work. They will
likely be happy to help you and refer you to any professionals they think can be of
Informational interviewing. This approach allows you to learn more about
your field by setting up interviews with professionals. The purpose of these interviews is to meet professionals, gather career information and investigate career
options, get advice on job search techniques and get referrals to other professionals. When setting up these interviews, either by phone or letter, make it clear to
the employer that you have no job expectations and are seeking information only.
Interviewing also familiarizes you to employers, and you may be remembered
when a company has a vacant position.
Temporary work. As more companies employ the services of temporary or
contract workers, new graduates are discovering that such work is a good opportunity to gain experience in their fields. Temporary workers can explore various jobs
and get an inside look at different companies without the commitment of a permanent job. Also, if a company decides to make a position permanent, these “temps”
already have made good impressions and often are given first consideration.
Electronic job search. One source of jobs may be as close as a personal
computer. Various online resume services let you input your resume into a database, which then can be accessed by companies searching for applicants who meet
their criteria. Companies also post job listings on Web sites to which students can
directly respond by sending their resumes and cover letters.
Persistence is the key to cracking the hidden job market. Attend meetings of
professional associations and become an active member. After you begin the
above processes, and your network base expands, your search will be made
easier. Employers will appreciate your resourcefulness—and view you as a viable
eRecruiting Basics
eRecruiting is the online recruiting system that Rose-Hulman uses to coordinate all
on-campus activities with companies and graduate schools. Make sure you know
how to use this system, and that your profile information is always kept up to date.
Feel free to visit Career Services to learn more about the system, or download the
more detailed instructions in the Help Section of your eRecruiting site.
You already have an account created for you in the system. Your username is
based on your school username followed by [email protected] ([email protected]). To create
a password, click the “forgot your password” link and follow the prompts. Upon
completion you may proceed to updating your profile.
It is important that you continually review your profile and documents in the
system to make sure you are always ready to be seen! Each quarter you should
update your GPA, your student status and upload a current resume. If you change
your major at any time, you should update that as well. You also have the ability to
upload cover letters and writing samples if a company should require those as part
of their application process. Be sure that your documents have specific names and
that you always designate your most current resume as your Primary Resume. Your
Primary Resume is the one that Career Services will send out if a company requests
resumes of available candidates.
When you search for jobs in the system, be sure to check the box that says to search
only jobs from your career center. This will return results for positions posted
6  Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology
specifically for RHIT students. You will be able to apply for a job based on the
criteria in your profile. If your major, GPA or year in school (your student status) do
not match the criteria for the job, you will be unable to apply. Therefore it is vital
for you to always keep this information up to date.
If you see a job that you wish to apply to, but a part of your profile
does not allow you to apply, be in contact with Career Services. We can
apply any student to any job, regardless of their criteria. In these cases, however,
you will need to write a cover letter explaining why you are applying to a job that
you do not meet the criteria for.
You will also get emails from the eRecruiting system notifying you of application
deadlines that you meet the criteria for. This is a service that the Career Services
office provides. Be sure to watch your email for these announcements and other
system announcements such as acceptance to sign up on company interview
Once you have accepted a full-time position and notified the Career Services office,
your account will be inactivated so that you do not get announcement emails and
your resume is not sent to companies looking for candidates.
If you have questions about the eRecruiting system or would like tips on how to
effectively use the system to identify job opportunities, visit the Career Services
office for some one-on-one help. No appointment is necessary.
Think of the job search process as a marketing project with YOU as the product and
your resume as your personal advertisement or marketing brochure. Your customer
is the employer. And what do employers want to buy on the job m
В­ arket? SKILLS.
For example, employers are looking for people who are cВ­reative and decisive,
can adapt to frequent change, are good leaders and team players, demonstrate
good work ethic, are good planners and organizers, can cope successfully with
difficult situations and have the technical background and interests that make the
applicant a good fit for their organization. So, analyze your skills and develop a
marketing theme that will show a potential employer how your skills will fill that
EMPLOYER’S NEEDS. Once you’ve developed that theme for your resume, you
can utilize that theme in other aspects of your job search—to introduce yourself
to networking contacts, in your cover letters and in interviews to convince the
employer that you are the best product on the В­market!
Education—Include degree discipline, expected date of graduation, grade
point average (IF it is 2.9/4.0 or higher) in bold letters, followed by college or
university, and location (city and state only). See example below:
Bachelor of Science, Chemical Engineering, May 2013 GPA 3.2/4.0
Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, Terre Haute, IN
If you attended more than one college, list them in reverse chronological order
(most recent first). Include high school ONLY if you are a freshman or a sophomore. Under each school list courses that would interest the employer and support
your job o­ bjective. It is not necessary to list every course you’ve taken!
Skills—List technical skills and other skills that will support your job objective
and fit the employer’s needs. For example you might include design or analytical
skills, foreign languages, laboratory skills, teamwork or leadership skills. Always
include your computer skills. Cite accomplishments and achievements that demonstrate these skills, here and in other sections of your resume.
Your resume, like a magazine ad, will be competing with 100s of others for an
employer’s attention. Therefore, your resume must be polished, easy to read
and let the “buyer” know what’s in it for them.
Keep in mind these guidelines/rules when developing your resume:
4 Keep it short and simple
4 Limit resume to one page
4 Use simple, everyday language
4 Be specific—give examples, stress accomplishments and achievements
4 NEVER use complete sentences. Use short phrases (12 words or
less) beginning with action verbs, such as “Created publicity campaign for blood drive”
4 DO NOT write in paragraphs
4 U se bullets ( • ) to separate one item from another and to guide the
reader’s eye to specific points
4 U se white space, italics and boldface type to guide the reader’s eye to
important information instead of using multiple fonts
4 Single space within sections
4 Use white or ivory paper and one inch margins all around (margins may
be slightly smaller to keep resume to one page)
4 Be absolutely sure that the resume is error-free (no typos, no
misspelled words) and easy to read.
4 If it looks sloppy, redo it
And here’s the information you should include on your resume:
Heading—Tell employers how to reach you. The first thing on your resume
should be your full name, centered at the top of the page, in bold type and in
a slightly larger font than the rest of the resume. Follow your name with your
В­complete mailing address and zip code, telephone number with area code and your
email address.
Job Objective—In one short phrase tell the employer what kind of work you
are looking for (e.g., “An entry level position in mechanical design,” “A ­position in
software development”). DO NOT use phrases that tell the employer what you want
them to do for you (e.g., “A position that will help me develop my skills in”).
Analyze your skills and develop a
marketing theme that will show a
potential employer how your skills
will fill that employer’s needs.
Experience—Include work and co-curricular experiences as well as significant
projects in reverse chronological order. On the first line, put name and lВ­ocation (city and
state only) of company or organization followed by dates of employment or participation.
List job title on the second line, then use the “3-­bullet” approach to describe your experience. The first bullet should include general duties and a brief description of the company.
The second bullet should be more specific about your daily responsibilities. Use the third
bullet to describe an accomplishment that you are proud of. See resumes on pages 8-10 or
our website for examples. Use short phrases beginning with action verbs to describe your
experiences (a list of suggested verbs is included with the sample resume on page 8). Use
present tense verbs for current jobs, past tense verbs for previous jobs. Don’t use personal
pronouns. Leave out phrases such as “Responsible for...” and “Duties included...” and the
headings “position,” “job title,” and “duties.” It is not necessary to describe less significant
work experiences such as waiter, file clerk, etc., unless you can describe your significant
accomplishments or the title does not aВ­ dequately describe the position or these were your
only jobs. Don’t overlook class projects or significant accomplishments and leadership roles
in volunteer or campus organizations.
Honors & Activities (optional)—Include all honors, academic
and other. If they are not self-explanatory, describe briefly, e.g., “Order of
Epsilon (academic honor society).” List activities not shown in the “experience”
section. Include the name of the organization and your role (“member,” “finance
committee chairman,” “secretary,” etc.). For significant activities, briefly describe
your accomplishments. Consider adding dates to provide context.
References—Prepare a second page for your references. Provide three
or four references; at least one, preferably two, from previous employers, the
remainder from faculty, your advisor or department head or others who are
familiar with your work habits. Do not use personal references. Include name,
title, address and phone number for each reference. Use the same header on
the reference page as you used on your resume.   7
8  Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology
& Exaggerated
& Poorly focused
& Poor design
& Hard to read
& Misleading
& Too short
& Wordy
& Vague
& Too long
& No “punch”
& Misspellings
& Poor grammar
Bachelor of Science Mechanical Engineering, May 20xx
Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, Terre Haute, IN
Status: Freshman
Related Courses: Drafting and AutoCad (high school), statics, introduction to design
Highland High School, Salt Lake City, UT
Graduated May 20xx with honors    3.9/4.0 GPA
National Merit Scholar, National Honor Society, Salutatorian
Education: Skills: Highland High School, Salt Lake City, UT
Prom Committee Chair
• Organized and motivated committee of 8 classmates to raise $2,000 for the Senior Prom
• Planned and executed successful evening with over 400 in attendance
Activities: Highland High School, Student body president, raised $5,000 for new scoreboard
Chi Omega, finance committee
Drama Club, member
Habitat for Humanity, member
Rose-Hulman Women’s Volleyball Team
Honors: Edsel Ford Scholarship for Innovation in Design - awarded by Ford Motor Co. for
best science fair project
Earl Greef Memorial Scholarship
Attended American Youth Leadership Conference
Westinghouse Science Talent Search finalist
Experience: Granger Lawn Care Service, Granger, UT
Summers xx-xx
• Sold lawn care services door-to-door
• Hired and supervised three employees in mowing and caring for 15 n­ eighbors’ lawns
• Netted $1,500 after costs in three months with 100% return customers the ­
following summer
Windows, Cadkey, Microsoft Word & Excel, HTML, Java
Fluent in German
Soldering, familiar with operation of lathes and milling machines
Communication skills demonstrated through leadership activities
Summer internship related to the mechanical engineering field
Objective: Jennifer P. Edwards
5500 Wabash Avenue, Box 0001
Terre Haute, IN 47803
(812) 877-8511
[email protected]
“­experience “ and the “activities” sections of the resume. Note the use of the “accomplishment statement”
and “three-bullet” approaches in describing experience.
SAMPLE FRESHMAN RESUME— Accomplishments are included in both the   9
Co-op or intern position in the field of Chemical Engineering
Cultor Food Science, Terre Haute, IN 5/xx-8/xx
Engineering Intern
•Performed water balance for entire plant which solved the problem of inconsistent
meter readings
•Proposed ideas to cut wastes by over $350,000 per year (ideas currently being implemented)
Work Experience:
Pi Mu Epsilon (Mathematics honorary), member
American Institute of Chemical Engineers, member
Special Olympics, volunteer
Intramural sports: soccer, basketball, softball
Honors & Activities:
McDonald’s, Liverpool, NY
Crew Chief
• Trained all new employees
• Proposed and executed numerous successful ideas to improve restaurant operations
•Recognized as “Employee of the Month” four times for success in streamlining
restaurant operations
Koch Materials, Inc., Terre Haute, IN Lab Technician
• Performed quality tests on liquid asphalt samples
• Mixed asphalt and binder to yield optimum strength
• Tested and recycled asphalt for stability and usability
Other Qualifications:
Classes in Mass and Energy Balances and Physical Chemistry
Consulting Engineering Program
Skilled with Windows (2000, XP), Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint
Bachelor of Science Chemical Engineering, May 20xx
Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, Terre Haute, IN
3.3/4.0 current G.P.A.
Education: Summary: Current sophomore at top engineering college nationally, Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology in
Terre Haute, Indiana, with a chemical engineering major. As an energetic intern, would apply strong
teamwork, communication, and work ethic to problem solving, as done in the past with previous
intern experience, and with various extracurricular clubs and jobs. Specific interests and strengths
include mass transfer, chemical process safety, and process optimization. Continually developing
skills through Consulting Engineering Program and on-going academic studies.
Objective: Current Address:Home Address:
1234 Wallace Avenue 222 Magnolia Street
Terre Haute, IN 47802
Liverpool, NY 20202
(812) 234-0000
(315) 555-5555
[email protected]
Steve’s resume lists course work and computer skills in the “Other Qualifications” section. Two addresses
are provided to ensure that an employer will be able to reach him during school or at home, during breaks.
“Honors” and “Activities” are combined into one section. A “summary” is used to present an overall picture of
his skills and abilities.
Sample Resume##1
Bachelor of Science Computer Engineering, May 20xx
GPA 3.0/4.0
Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, Terre Haute, IN
Phone Operator
9/xx - Present
Tau Beta Pi (Engineering honorary)
Dean’s List 5/6 quarters
Presidential Scholarship
Honors: Activities:
Society of Women Engineers, Vice President
Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Treasurer
Intramural Basketball
Photo editor for Rose Thorn (school newspaper)
Class Project for Computer Architecture
Winter xx-xx
• Designed and implemented a 16-bit RISC processor using Logic Works and Verilog
• Increased the speed of the processor’s ALU
Experience: A. MORONI, INC., Carrollton, TX
Ultrasound Data Analysis Technician
Summer xx
• Designed defect C-scanning standard for Cu Targets
• Collected data for quality control gauge study of C-Scanning process
• Responsible for handling $8,000 Targets while performing gauge study
Computer • Programming experience in Visual C++, HTML, Java, MPS, Skills:
Assembly and VHDL
• MATLAB, Maple, Cadkey, Working Model, Labview, WonderWare, Logic Works, Verilog,
• Excel, Lotus 123 and other spreadsheets, word processors,
• Unix environment and Windows 2000/XP operating systems
A summer position in hardware design or computer programming
Objective: Jennifer Junior
5500 Wabash Avenue, Box 0001
Terre Haute, IN 47803
(812) 877-8511
[email protected]
Jennifer has used boldface, italics and ALL CAPS selectively to highlight information and make this resume
easier to read. Jennifer has little degree-related experience, so she has used a class project as experience. Since the “phone operator” job title is self-explanatory, no detail is required. Sample Resume #2
10  Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology
Design engineering position that will utilize my hardware and software skills and experience
Honors & Activities: Dean’s List 11 quarters
Pi Mu Epsilon (Mathematics honorary), member
American Society of Mechanical Engineers, member
General Mills, Inc., Toledo, OH
Engineering Intern
• Successfully redesigned a cereal packaging line
• Provided line sketches, equipment recommendations
• Designed equipment interface, configured automated scales, and ­
recommended line-flow alterations that decreased cycle time by 10%
Experience: Digital Audio Disc Corp., Terre Haute, IN
Design Project Team Leader
• Supervised senior design team in the successful completion of a ­
precision measurement project for a CD manufacturer
• Compiled, drafted and presented a detailed technical report on findings and recommendations
AutoMed Inc., Indianapolis, IN
Engineering Intern
• Developed software for emerging-growth medical instrumentation firm
• Used SEI software development model to outline system
specifications, create code, and ensure quality
• Produced 6,000 line program 3 weeks ahead of deadline and met ­
customer requirements on startup
Education: Bachelor of Science, Electrical Engineering, minor in Computer
Science, May 20xx
Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, Terre Haute, IN
GPA 3.4/4.0
Related courses: Systems Programming in C, Artificial Intelligence, Theory of Computation
Programming skills in the following languages: ADA, C, C++, Fortran, Skills:
SQL, Pascal, Windows 2000/XP, VAX Assembly, HTML
Objective: Current Address: After May 30, 20xx
2901 Franklin Street
2125 So. 1800 East
Terre Haute, IN 47803
Salt Lake City, UT 84107
(812) 877-1511(801) 277-5944
Permanent Address:
2160 Greentree Road
Pittsburgh, PA 15212
(412) 256-5688
Bachelor of Science, Computer Science, May 20xx GPA 3.33/4.00
Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, Terre Haute, IN
Kauffman Foundation Entrepreneurial Internship Program, Summer 19xx & 19xx
International Science & Engineering Fair: four years participation,
2nd place senior year in high school
Keystone Science/Engineering Fair: four years participation,
1st place physical division senior year
First Place, American Society of Computing Machinery Programming Contest
Field Robotics Center, Carnegie-Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA
REU Intern
Summer, 19xx
• Assisted in the development of a prototype robot, Houdini
• Developed and tested the mechanical systems and hydraulic assemblies
Honors: •
Software Testing Intern
Summer, 20xx
• Designed, executed, and documented a testing scheme for a robotic welding platform
• Wrote robotic control code, debugged electrical/electronic systems
• Test results are now being used to upgrade and further develop current systems
Experience: CYBO Robots, Indianapolis, IN
Software Development Intern
Summer, 20xx
• Researched, designed, and implemented a new robot move database which
was “generic, expandable, and flexible”
• Used MAPLE for circular interpolation, representation, and translation prototyping
• Code currently being used in new controller to be shipped to Caterpillar
October 1999
• Custom circuit board fabrication, computer interfacing, 8052 single board computers
• Robotic gantry cranes, remote exploration vehicles, all home-built
• Voice and screen menu driven control, robot control program APIs
• 2-D ultrasonic area mapping and robotic vehicle location through wireless data links
• 3-D computer simulation/virtual reality with a Nintendo Power Glove
Skills: Computers
• C,Visual/Turbo C++, Maple, Matlab, Glut, OpenGL, Ada, BASIC, LISP, CadKey, AutoCAD, Pro/Engineer, and LogicWorks
• Wrote programs now in use at Inland Steel Bar Company for metallurgical ­ calculations
Education: Objective: Full-time position in the field of computer science with emphasis on both hardware and software
School Address:
5500 Wabash Avenue, Box 19887
Terre Haute, IN 47803
(812) 877-1511 [email protected]
Leo N. Bize
Leo has used a skill summary to present his extensive skills and experience, especially in the robotics field, that
may not be captured in his work experience.
This resume uses the “3 bullet” approach on the AutoMed and General Mills experiences. Paul used his senior project as experience, too.
[email protected]
Sample Resume #2
Sample Resume #1
Expand Your Resume’s Focus
The traditional sections of resume writing—heading, objective, education and
experience—are without question the foundation of your resume. As you focus
on them, however, it is possible to get tunnel vision and think only about the
skills you have developed through your day-to-day work.
  • Have you studied abroad or traveled extensively?
Your actual experience has been much broader, and this list will help you
explore your extended skills and experiences.
Article adapted by Nancy J. Mellem from “Brainstorming for the Resume”,
written by Veronica Rahim, Career Services Consultant, Center for Career
Opportunities, for Purdue University’s 2011-2012 Career Planning Handbook.
  • Have you conducted undergraduate research?
  • Are you a mentor or tutor?
  • Have you started an organization?
  • Are you a member or officer in a professional
  • Have you made a presentation at a conference?
  • Have you been a panelist in a conference break
out session?
  • Are you a published author in your field?
  • Have you served as a military officer, noncommissioned officer, or within an ROTC
  • Do you hold any career-related certifications?
How about any certifications with transferable
  • Have you won any competitions related to your
  • Were you, or are you still, a Resident Assistant?
  • Have you earned a promotion?
     - Did you complete a specific project to
achieve the promotion?
     - Was it based on attaining a specific
skill set?
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More companies are now requesting “scannable” resumes. Instead of being read
by a human, the resume is scanned with an OCR (optical character recognition)
scanner and stored as a text image.
Your cover letter may well be the first contact that you make with a potential
employer. If it is well written it will lead the employer to the second part of your
application, your resume. If the cover letter is not well written, your resume may
end up in a discard heap without ever being read. Think of your cover letter as
an advertisement emphasizing your most attractive features. Since your cover
letter is likely to be one of several received for a particular position (some large
companies receive 1,000,000 or more resumes each year!), it is essential that it
be well written and to the point. Don’t include the details of your entire work and
school history. The best way to set yourself apart is to highlight one or two of your
accomplishments or abilities that show you are a better-than-average candidate.
When a position becomes available, a keyword search is done to identify candidates with the skills defined in the job description. Keywords are nouns or
noun-based phrases that describe your skills and accomplishments. Keywords for
a computer programmer might include C++, Pascal, Ada, DOS, Windows, HTML,
online applications, information systems management. Resumes with the most
matches are the ones likely to win the interview sweepstakes.
If you want your resume to be selected, it is essential that you understand the
requirements of the job for which you wish to be considered and that the keywords
(or buzzwords or skill words) that apply to that position appear frequently on your
resume. They can appear in your objective, course descriptions, skills listings, and
in descriptions of your projects and work experiences. You might also include a
“keyword summary” section on your resume. It should follow your objective and
include keywords (and their synonyms) that apply to the type of work that you are
The format for your scannable resume may be slightly different than the resume
you have prepared for the human reader. Many of the elements that you used to
draw the human reader’s attention will have to be eliminated from the scannable
resume. OCR scanners aren’t very bright. They can’t read the bullets, italics and
underlined words you used to emphasize your accomplishments. And bold, shading
and fancy fonts are likely to create confusion. Use the following tips when formatting your resume:
If using the postal service, your cover letter should be no more than four short
paragraphs on one page. Use 81вЃ„ 2 x 11 inch white or ivory paper, 1-inch margins
and block style paragraphs. You don’t need expensive stationery. Standard, inexpensive office paper (20 lb. bond) is acceptable. Again, avoid mottled or granite
papers, as they do not copy or fax clearly. Send your cover letter in a business
mailing envelope. Unless your handwriting is EXTREMELY neat and legible, either
type your envelope or print it from your computer (no dot matrix printers, please).
Address your envelope using the full name and title of the contact person to whom
you addressed your cover letter.
If using email, type the letter in the body of the message beginning with the salutation. Then, attach your resume to the email.
4 Use capital letters to emphasize important points.
4 If you must use horizontal or vertical lines on your resume, be sure that
there is at least 1⁄ 4 ” space between the line and text.
4 Use lots of white space.
4 Use standard, easy-to-read fonts like Times New Roman, Courier, Arial or
4 Use 10 to 14 point font size. Don’t use compressed fonts or compressed
4 Avoid punctuation as much as possible.
4 Don’t worry if your resume is two or even three pages long. The computer
doesn’t care as long as the text is easily scanned.
4 Use plain white or light colored paper— mottled or granite papers will
В­confuse the scanner.
Most scanner programs will use “artificial intelligence” to extract important
В­information and store it in a database. To avoid confusion, the first text on your
resume should be your name, followed by your address, phone number and email
address, with each element appearing on a separate line.
When you mail your resume, you should avoid stapling and mail it flat in a large
If you are faxing a resume that will be scanned, be sure to set the fax machine on
“fine” mode instead of “standard” mode. It will take longer to fax your resume,
but you will increase the likelihood that the faxed resume will be scannable when it
reaches its destination. Play it safe, though, and send a hard copy of your resume
as well.
12  Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology
Follow these basic guidelines when developing the content of your cover letter:
Return address—Your return address should be printed in the upper righthand corner approximately 4 inches from the right edge.
Date—The date should be on the line below the last line of your address and
should be written out, e.g., September 29, 2013.
Addressee—ALWAYS use the full name and the proper title of the addressee in
your cover letter. Two lines below the date list the full name of the addressee. The
next line should contain the addressee’s full formal business title. Write out the full
name of the company on the third line. This should be followed by the address of
the company, which generally takes two lines.
Salutation—The salutation should be typed two lines below the address. Begin
with Dear Mr. or Dear Ms. followed by the last name of the addressee and a colon,
e.g., “Dear Mr. Jones:”. NEVER use the first name of the addressee in your salutation. In cases where you must use a general salutation, “Dear Hiring Manager”
or “Good Morning” are stronger than “To Whom It May Concern” or “Dear Sir or
Madam.” DO NOT use the old standards “Gentlemen” or “Dear Sirs.”
1st Paragraph— State clearly and concisely what position you wish to be
considered for and state your academic status. If responding to an ad, say where
and when the ad appeared.
Example:I am a senior in mechanical engineering at Rose-Hulman
Institute of Technology, and I am interested in the manufacturing engineering position that was advertised in the
Serendipity Times on April 25.
2nd Paragraph—Describe what you could contribute to this company and
show how your qualifications would benefit this firm. If you’re responding to a
classified ad, discuss specifically how your background relates to the position
requirements. Remember to keep it short and be careful not to simply restate
what’s in your resume.
Example:Having majored in mechanical engineering at Rose-Hulman
Institute of Technology, where I also did extensive design on the
solar powered vehicle project, I am confident that I can make an
immediate contribution as an automotive engineer.
Example:In addition to my degree in computer science, I have experience
in development of C and C++ programs for embedded systems
using both Motorola and Intel processors.
3rd Paragraph—Describe your interest in this company. Subtly emphasize
your knowledge about them (results of your research) and your familiarity with the
industry. Be sure to present yourself as eager to work for this cВ­ ompany.
Example:I am confident that with my initiative and strong technical background, I can contribute to your company’s success in making
the transition to infrared technology.
Final Paragraph—Request an interview. Include your phone number and
the hours you can be reached, or mention that you will follow up with a phone call
within the next several days to arrange an interview at a mutually convenient time.
Example:I would like to interview with you at your earliest convenience.
I can be reached at (123) 456-7890 between 3:30 p.m. and 6:00 p.m.
Cover Letter Layout
City, State, ZIP
Name of Contact
Title of Contact
Company Name
Company Address
Dear Ms./Mr.______________ :
Immediately explain why you are writing this letter. State your
academic status.
Describe what you can do for this company, how hiring you would be
of benefit to the firm. Don’t elaborate on what you hope to gain from
this experience—the hiring manager is interested in what you can do for
the company, not what you would like them to do for you.
Describe your interest in this company. Emphasize your knowledge of
the company and the industry using the information you have gained
from your research. Be subtle but be sure to let the company know how
eager you are to work for them.
Refer the reader to your enclosed resume. Indicate your desire for an
interview. Close the letter with a statement that encourages further action.
Your Signature
Enc. Resume
Your Name
Sample Cover Letter
City, State, ZIP
Name of Contact
Title of Contact
Company Name
Company Address
Dear Ms./Mr.______________ :
I am a junior electrical engineering student at Rose-Hulman Institute of
Technology. I will be completing my current coursework at the end of
May and am writing to inquire about summer employment opportunities
at Miffco Electronics.
Closing—The closing should be two lines below the final paragraph and aligned
with the date. Don’t get fancy—a simple “Sincerely” will suffice. Four lines below,
type your full name as it appears on your resume. Sign your name in black ink
above your typed name.
I have completed several courses in computer applications and programming
which have provided me with the qualifications necessary to produce
electronic controls for automotive applications. I am familiar with C,
C++ and Motorola HC11 controllers as well as their application in
embedded systems. I am extremely interested in the automotive industry,
and would like to learn more about Miffco Electronic’s operation.
Enclosure Line—If you are enclosing a resume or other materials, add an
enclosure line two spaces below your name, flush left.
In addition to the knowledge and skills that I have developed from my
coursework, I would also bring other valuable skills to the table such
as creativity, the ability to work alone or as a productive member of a
team, and the desire to make a positive contribution to your company.
Example: Enc. resume
When do you send a cover letter? Anytime you are sending a resume to a company.
You may have situations where you are sending a letter without a resume, but a
resume should always be accompanied by a cover letter. See sample cover letters
on this page or on our website.
I have attached my resume for your review. I would appreciate the
opportunity to meet with you to discuss my qualification for employment
at Miffco. If you need additional information or have questions, I can be
reached at 812-123-4567 or by email at [email protected],
and I will also follow up by phone later this week.
Your Signature
Your Name
Enc. Resume   13
A well-written and professional thank-you letter is one of the most important
steps in a comprehensive job search. Send a thank-you letter as a follow-up to
any communication (interview, phone conversation, written reply, etc.) with an
employer or networking contact. This is the time to express your appreciation,
re-emphasize your strong qualifications, reiterate your interest in the position and
the company, or provide additional information that will convince an employer that
you are the best candidate for the job.
Never use form letters—make sure the letter contains some reference to your
experience with the individual who will receive the letter. If you interview
with more than one person, send appropriate, original thank-you letters to
each interviewer. See sample thank-you letter to the right.
At the end of your job search, when you have accepted a position, send an acceptance letter. This letter confirms your acceptance of the position as well as specific
details about salary, starting date, and other arrangements. An acceptance letter
generally follows a telephone or personal conversation in which the details of the
offer and terms of employment are discussed. See sample acceptance letter to the
You’ve ended your job search. You’ve analyzed all your options, you’ve made a
choice and accepted a position. You’ve called and accepted the offer, written your
acceptance letter and gotten a confirmation from your chosen company. You’re
done—right? WRONG!
Now it’s time to write refusal letters to all the other companies who have made an
offer of employment. Let the companies whose offers you are refusing know as
early as possible. Remember, finding the right candidate takes time. If you don’t
accept their offer, they will need to continue the search process with the alternates.
Give them time to continue their candidate search early, while other qualified
candidates are still available.
Your refusal letter should:
4Courteously thank the employer for their time, the interview, the offer and
any special accommodations or considerations
4Let them know that you have accepted another offer and are no longer
4Include hopes of working with them in the future
See the sample refusal letter on the next page.
Some companies may send out surveys to candidates that refuse their offers.
This is an attempt to assess the effectiveness of their recruiting practices and the
­competitiveness of their offers. If you don’t think it’s any of their business, don’t
fill out the survey or, if there are things you think they need to know, but feel
uncomfortable telling them, fill it out but don’t identify yourself.
Use a letter of application when applying for a specific employment opportunity.
Be sure you mention the specific position and where you saw it advertised. Briefly
summarize your qualifications as they relate to the position. Telegraph your eagerness to work for this firm. Promote yourself in a way that the reader will want to
turn the page and read your resume! See sample on next page.
14  Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology
Thank-You Letter
Street Address
City, State ZIP
Mr. George Thompson
Human Resource Manager
WOW Chemical U.S.A.
P.O. Box 1776
Hurrah, MI 48707
Dear Mr. Thompson:
I enjoyed meeting with you on March 12 to discuss opportunities for
chemical engineers at WOW Chemical. I was very impressed by the
project team work demonstrated by your engineering staff as well as
WOW’s commitment to environmental and safety issues. I also
appreciated the opportunity to learn more about new research and
technology in which WOW is involved.
I would like to reiterate my strong interest in the production engineering
position and in working with you and the others in the Saran Films
Technology Center. As I mentioned in my interview, my internship
experience provided me an excellent foundation in polymers research
and design and environmental affairs.
Thank you again for your time. I look forward to hearing from you in
the near future.
Jane Doe
Jane Doe
Acceptance Letter
Street Address
City, State ZIP
Ms. Opal Slate
Director of Engineering Operations
Bedrock International Corp.
P. O. Box YYY
Flintstone, CA 01010
Dear Ms. Slate:
I am pleased to accept your offer for the position of Avionics Systems
Engineering Intern at Bedrock International at a starting salary of
I am looking forward to starting work on June 1. I understand that this
is contingent upon my passing a routine physical exam. I am proceeding
with the necessary arrangements.
Please let me know if you need additional information. I sincerely
appreciate the personal time and attention you have given me
throughout the process.
John Smith
John Smith
Letter of Application
Refusal Letter
Street Address
City, State ZIP
Mr. B. D. Luck
Human Resource Manager
Chance Electronics
1000 Winner Ave.
Las Vegas, NV 77777
I would like to thank you for offering me the position of Digital Signal
Processing Engineer at Chance Electronics. I especially appreciate the
time you took to answer all of my questions and the effort you and your
staff made to accommodate my schedule in the interview process.
I was impressed by you and your staff and the work that Chance
Electronics is doing in the electronic communications field. However, I
have accepted another position that more closely fits my present needs.
Thank you again for your time and the opportunity to learn more about
the technology and business outlook at Chance Electronics. I wish you
success in your future endeavors and am sorry that I cannot join your
team at this time.
Street Address
City, State, ZIP
Ms. Elaine Collins
Employment Manager
American Aircraft, Inc.
32 Airline Drive
Airport, MO 00747
Dear Ms. Collins:
Dear Mr. Luck:
John Doe
John Doe
I am writing to apply for the Structural Dynamics Engineering position recently
advertised in the Rose-Hulman Career Services Office. I will be completing my
Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering at Rose-Hulman in May 20xx.
During my co-op assignment at Patriot Electric’s Aircraft Division, I was
involved in the design of a new airfoil for an Air Force jet. As an outcome of
the research I completed for my senior project, I presented a technical paper
and co-authored a publication on flight path dynamics. I am also experienced at
writing specifications and reviewing contractor proposals.
I found these experiences to be extremely valuable and interesting and am
committed to continuing my career in the aircraft industry. I am especially interested in working for a company like American Aircraft, whose innovative designs
have had such a dramatic impact on the industry.
My resume is enclosed for your review. I will contact you in two weeks to follow
up. In the meantime, I can be reached at 987-555-6543 if you need additional information. I
look forward to discussing my qualifications with you in person and am available
for an interview at your convenience. Thank you for your consideration.
Your Signature
Your Name
Enc. Resume
Letter of Inquiry #1
Letter of Inquiry #2
Use a letter of inquiry when you have an interest in a particular company or organization and would like to inquire into available employment opportunities. Be sure to
state that you are a student at Rose-Hulman, your status and the type of employment
you are seeking (permanent, summer, co-op, etc.) in the first paragraph.
This letter is designed to convince the smaller companies around your home town
that hiring a summer intern (you) is a good idea even if they don’t have a full-blown
Summer Internship Program. Notice the applicant takes responsibility for follow-up in
this letter. Be sure to call at least two weeks in advance to set up an appointment.
Street Address
City, State, ZIP
Street Address
City, State, ZIP
Mr. Art Broady
Human Resources Manager
Miffco Electronics Corporation
One Corporate Center
Bunky, Louisiana 12345
Mr. Werlin G. Dervish
Vice President, Engineering
Pivotal Systems
535 Middlebury Parkway
Central Valley, CA 94000
Dear Mr. Broady:
Dear Mr. Dervish,
I am a senior electrical engineering student at Rose-Hulman. I will be graduating
in May and am inquiring about summer employment opportunities at Miffco
I am a sophomore mechanical Engineering major at Rose-Hulman Institute of
Technology in Terre Haute, Indiana. I plan to be living at home in Northern California
this summer and I believe I could be of assistance to you. It seems that most busy
engineers have a list of “back burner” projects, which they just do not have time to
complete. I would be happy to take care of some of those projects for you this summer!
I have completed several courses in computer applications and programming,
which have provided me with the qualifications necessary to produce electronic
controls for automotive applications. I am familiar with C, C++ and Motorola
HC11 controllers as well as their application in embedded systems. I am extremely
interested in the automotive industry and would like to learn more about Miffco
Electronics’ operation.
I have enclosed my resume for your review. I would appreciate the opportunity to
meet with you to discuss my qualification for employment at Miffco. I understand
that you will be attending Rose-Hulman’s annual career fair in October. I look
forward to discussing employment opportunities with you at that time. If you need
additional information, I can be reached at 812-123-4567.
Enc. Resume
Your Signature
Your Name
The curriculum at Rose-Hulman is rigorous. It teaches problem-solving, teamwork
skills, and the value of hard work. I am skilled in AutoCAD v13 and able to learn
new software packages quickly. I can help you with your design and development
or production problems but will accept any other assignment that needs attention.
And I can arrive equipped with my own laptop computer if it is needed to
successfully complete my work at Pivotal Systems.
I look forward to exploring potential summer employment with Pivotal Systems. I
will be in town during the week of March 1 and would be available for an interview. I
will contact you before my arrival to arrange a time when we can meet.
Thank you for your consideration.
Enc. Resume
Your Signature
Your Name   15
Here we go! This is it — the big
event! A little nervous? It might help
to think of your first interview as
an audition. And if you want to be
В­successful, you will need to prepare
for the part, just as an actor prepares
for a role. You must look the part,
know your lines and, like an actor, if
you want to win the role, rehearse,
rehearse, rehearse.
You must dress for your interview role. This generally means looking and acting
businesslike. Many companies will indicate the preferred attire for an interview,
but if they do not, you should assume that the dress is Business. Here are some
• Business: this might also be called “church clothes”. It is the most formal and
conservative of dress. For men, a conservative suit, dress shirt and tie are appropriate. A nice pair of dark pants and a sport coat and tie might also work well.
Women should consider a fashionable pant or dress suit, or a conservative dress
and neutral stockings.
• Business-Casual: this is a more relaxed look, but is still somewhat “dressy”
in nature. Men might wear a nice pair of slacks and a dress shirt with or without
a tie (no jacket needed), while women may opt for nice slacks or a skirt and a
conservative blouse.
• Casual: even though the name implies casual attire, you should still err on the
side of being conservative. Either gender may opt for a nice pair of khakis or
pants and a nice shirt. Men do not need to wear a tie. Jeans and tennis shoes
should not be worn.
Hair should be neatly combed. Don’t use cologne or perfume and go easy on the
jewelry! Women, don’t overdo your makeup and, if you wear nail polish, use a
neutral shade. Don’t smoke, chew gum or eat during your interview. Remember,
The purpose of the interview is for the interviewer to obtain knowledge about
your skills, qualifications and “fitness” as an employee and for you to obtain
information about the company, the specific job and the company’s “fitness” as an
The interviewer, in addition to assessing your technical skills, will want to assess
personal skills and behaviors such as:
4 Planning & organizing abilities
4Impact 4Initiative/motivation
4Interpersonal skills
Before stepping into an interview, be sure to practice, practice, practice. A jobseeker going to a job interview without preparing is like an actor pВ­ erforming on
В­opening night without rehearsing.
To help with the interview process, keep the following ten rules in mind:
16  Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology
1.  Keep your answers brief and concise.
Unless asked to give more detail, limit your answers to two to three minutes per
question. Tape yourself and see how long it takes you to fully answer a question.
2.  Include concrete, quantifiable data.
Interviewees tend to talk in generalities. UnforВ­tunately, generalities often
fail to В­convince В­interВ­viewers that the applicant has assets. Include measurable
В­information and provide details about specific В­accomplishments when discussing
your strengths.
3.  Repeat your key strengths three times.
It’s essential that you comfortably and confidently articulate your strengths.
Explain how the strengths relate to the company’s or department’s goals and how
they might benefit the В­potential employer. If you repeat your strengths then they
will be remembered and—if supported with quantifiable accomplishments—they
will more likely be believed.
4.  Prepare five or more success stories.
In preparing for interviews, make a list of your skills and key assets. Then
reflect on past jobs and pick out one or two instances when you used those skills
5.  Put yourself on their team.
Ally yourself with the prospective employer by using the employer’s name and
products or ­services. For example, “As a member of __________, I would
carefully analyze the __________ and __________.” Show that you are
thinking like a member of the team and will fit in with the В­existing environment. Be
careful though not to say anything that would offend or be taken negatively. Your
research will help you in this area.
6.  Image is often as important as content.
What you look like and how you say something are just as important as what you
say. Studies have shown that 65 percent of the conveyed m
В­ essage is nonverbal;
gestures, physical aВ­ ppearance and attire are highly influential dВ­ uring job
7.  Ask questions.
The types of questions you ask and the way you ask them can make a tВ­ remendous
impression on the interviewer. Good questions require advance preparation. Just
as you plan how you would answer an interviewer’s questions, write out s­pecific
questions you want to ask. Then look for opportunities to ask them during the
interview. Don’t ask about benefits or salary. The i­nterview process is a two-way
street whereby you and the interviewer assess each other to dВ­ etermine if there is
an appropriate match.
8.  Maintain a conversational flow.
By consciously maintaining a conversational flow—a dialogue instead of a monologue—you will be perceived more positively. Use feedback ­questions at the end
of your answers and use body language and voice intonation to create a conversational interchange between you and the iВ­ nterviewer.
9.  Research the company, product lines and competitors.
Research will provide information to help you decide whether you’re interested in
the company and important data to refer to dВ­ uring the interview.
10.  Keep an interview journal.
As soon as possible, write a brief summary of what happened. Note any В­follow-up
action you should take and put it in your calendar. Review your В­presentation. Keep
a journal of your В­attitude and the way you answered the questions. Did you ask
questions to get the information you needed? What might you do dВ­ ifferently next
time? Prepare and send a brief thank-you letter. Restate your skills and stress what
you can do for the company.
“Ten Rules of Interviewing” written by Roseanne R. Bensley, Career Services, New
Mexico State University.
It is never a good idea to think you can “wing it” when it comes to answering
­q uestions about your experiences and yourself. It’s a good idea to sit down
and think of some “war stories” that will effectively demonstrate your strong
personal skills and characteristics. This is where you’ll become a S.T.A.R. The
best answers will tell an interviewer about your skills and abilities by describing
times when you’ve demonstrated those skills and abilities in the past. The answer
should include three parts: a description of the Situation or Task (the reason you
took a particular course of action), the Action (be sure it’s something specific
that you actually did) and the Result. Results, of course, should always reflect
success. Here’s an example of a “S.T.A.R.” response to an employer’s question
about a student’s less-than-impressive GPA:
Situation/Task—“I entered my sophomore year with a low GPA. I had always
done well in school, but I didn’t handle the transition to college well. I
knew that if I wanted to succeed, I had to develop better study habits and
manage my time better.”
Action—“I created a calendar and marked
the due dates for all of my assignments and tests. Then I set aside
certain hours each day for studying,
В­allowing more for peak times like midterms and finals. I made up my mind
not to change the plan until after the
first quarter grades so I could give it a
chance to work.”
Situation or Task
Result—“My grades improved immediAction   Result
ately; I used this system for the whole
year and earned a 3.1 while still
having time for other activities. My GPA has been strong ever since.”
Answering your interviewer’s questions with a S.T.A.R. will help you avoid long
rambling answers that tell nothing about your skills, abilities and strengths as
they relate to the position. Your interviewer will be positively impressed and
will have the kind of information that is needed to more objectively assess your
В­fitness for the position.
Think you need help? Want to practice your S.T.A.R.’s? Schedule a practice interview at the Career Services office. Details on how to sign up are on our website.
Occasionally during your interview process, a company may ask to conduct a
distance interview with you. You should prepare for these interviews in the same
way that you would prepare for an in-person interview. If you need a private
place to conduct a phone interview, contact Career Services to reserve one of our
interview rooms. Career Services can also help you set up interviews using Skype
or video conferencing in our offices.   17
1. Tell me about yourself. This question, simple as it sounds, causes more
interview grief than just about any other. This question is NOT an invitation to talk about your hometown, your family or your love for cats and
dogs. Use this as an opportunity to present your qualifications, skills,
strengths as they relate to the position, thus leading to the conclusion that
you are, indeed, the right person for the job.
2. Why did you choose Rose-Hulman?
3. Which courses and professors have you enjoyed the most? Why?
4. What are your short-term and long-term career goals?
5. Tell me about a time when you faced a difficult problem that you initially
failed to solve. How did you approach the problem the second time? What
did you do differently? Sometimes interviewers will ask questions about
negative experiences. Be sure to emphasize lessons learned from the
experience and how those lessons enabled you to handle similar situations successfully.
6. What percentage of your college expenses have you financed yourself?
7. Give me an example of a crisis situation and how you dealt with it.
8. Give me an example of a time you used your leadership skills. What was
the outcome?
9. What has been your greatest challenge thus far? How have you
attempted to meet that challenge?
10. Give me an example of a time when you failed. What did you learn from
the experience?
11. What are your strengths? This is strictly a job-related question. Describe
your strengths relative to the job you are seeking.
12. Your weaknesses? This is one of those trick questions you hear so much
about. Your weaknesses should be a strength in disguise. An example:
“I tend to be a real perfectionist. I really want every little thing to be just
right. And I usually want to add a few extras, even though they’re not
required. I don’t let that stop me from getting my class projects done on
time though, but it does take a few more late nights to do it.”
13. Why are you interested in my organization? Why this position? This is
where your research pays off. Give an answer that shows you were interested enough to find current information about the company.
14. What do you know about my organization? Ditto to question 13.
15. Give me an example of a situation in which you had to manage time effectively (or set priorities).
16. How do you handle rejection? Criticism?
17. Tell me about a situation when you had to be a good team player. Explain
your role on the team.
18. Which organizations have you participated in? What have you learned from
your involvement?
19. What have you learned from some of the jobs you’ve had? Under which
type of supervisor do you work best?
20. What are your plans for graduate study? Be careful how you answer this
question. Employers are looking for people who will stay in the job.
Hearing that you plan to work for a year or two and then leave to go to
graduate school can be a turn off. You might say something like “Well,
John, my plans are to continue my studies part-time while I work. What
are your company’s policies regarding continued education?”
21. What are your geographic preferences or limitations? Are you willing to
22. What two or three things are most important to you to have in your job?
18  Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology
23. What are your long-term goals? Where do you see yourself five years
from now? The answer is five years further along the career path that
leads from this position. As a serious candidate for the position, you
should know what that career path is. Have you done your research
on the company and the position? You might want to put the question
back to the interviewer. “Let me ask you, Joan, starting in this position,
if I do really well, where could I expect to be with XYZ company in five
24. How would your friends describe you? This is a variation on the “strengths
and weaknesses” questions.
25. What salary do you expect to receive? Avoid answering this question with
a specific figure. Be vague. Say you are looking for a competitive
salary. If you must use numbers, say something like “Oh, somewhere in the mid 30s.”
26. Why have you chosen this particular career field?
27. With which other organizations are you interviewing?
28. What questions do you have for me to answer? See question 13 and the
list below. Ask questions that show your interest in the company and the
29. Tell me about a difficult goal you have set for yourself.
30. Tell me about a tough group you had to get cooperation from. What was the
issue and how did you go about it?
31. What was the most difficult decision you’ve made in the last six months?
Explain how you went about making this decision.
32. What unpopular decision have you made recently? How did others respond?
33. Describe a time when you exceeded expectations (on a job, in a class).
What did you do to make this possible?
34. Why should I hire you for this position? Another variation on the
“strengths“ question. Describe your strengths, abilities and qualifications
as they relate to the position.
What kind of assignments might I expect the first six months on the job?
Would you describe a typical work day and the things I’d be doing?
Who are the people I’d be working with and what do they do?
What are the company’s policies on continued education?
If I am hired for this job, and perform well for a number of years, what
opportunities might this lead to?
How would I get feedback on my job performance, if hired?
What skills are considered most useful for success in the position I am
applying for?
I have noticed in the trade press that your firm has a terrific reputation in
marketing. What major insights about the marketing process might I gain
from this position?
I would really like to work for your firm. I think it’s a great company
and I am confident that I can do this job well. What’s the next step in the
Is there anything else you need to know about me that we haven’t had a
chance to discuss?
Never, never, never ask any questions about salary, vacations, holidays
with pay, sick days or benefits until you have the offer.
The Site Visit/Interview: One Step Closer
While on-campus screening interviews are important, on-site visits are where
jobs are won or lost. After an on-campus interview, strong candidates are usually
invited to visit the employer’s facility. Work with the employer to schedule the
on-site visit at a mutually convenient time. Sometimes employers will try to
arrange site visits for several candidates to take place at the same time, so there
may not be much flexibility…but you’ll never know if the employer is flexible
unless you ask.
1. An invitation to an on-site interview, often referred to as the “plant trip,” is
NOT a guarantee of a job offer. It is a chance to examine whether or not you
will be a good match for the job and for the organization.
2. If invited to a plant trip, respond promptly if you are sincerely interested in
this employer. Decline politely if you are not. Never go on a plant trip for
the sake of the trip. Document the name and phone number of the person
coordinating your trip. Verify who will be handling trip expenses. Most
medium- and large-size companies (as well as many smaller ones) will pay
your expenses, but others will not. This is very important, because expenses
are handled in various ways: 1) the employer may handle all expenses and
travel arrangeВ­ments; 2) you handle your expenses and arrangeВ­ments (the
employer may assist with this), and the employer will reimburse you later;
3) the employer may offer an on-site interview, but will not pay for your
Take note of how the employees
interact, and also assess the
physical work environment.
3. Know yourself and the type of job you are seeking with this employer. Don’t
say, “I am willing to consider ­anything you have.”
4. Thoroughly research the potential employer. Read annual reports, newspaper articles, trade journals, etc. Many companies have Web sites, where
you can read mission statements, find out about long-term goals, read
recent press releases, and view corporate photos. Don’t limit your research
only to company-controlled information. The Internet can be a valuable
investigative tool. You may uncover key information that may influence—
positively or negatively—your decision to pursue employment with a given
6. Bring extra money and a change of clothes. Also, have the names and phone
numbers of those who may be meeting you in case your plans change unexpectedly. Anything can happen and you need to be ready for emergencies.
7. Your role at the interview is to respond to questions, to ask your own questions and to observe. Be ready to meet people who are not part of your
formal agenda. Be courteous to everyone regardless of his or her position;
you never know who might be watching you and your actions once you
arrive in town.
8. Don’t forget your table manners. Plant trips may include several meals or
attendance at a reception the night before your “big day.” When ordering
food at a restaurant, В­follow the lead of the employer host. For example,
don’t order the three-pound lobster if everyone else is having a more
moderately priced entree. If you have the “dining jitters,” some authorities
suggest ordering food that is easy to handle, such as a boneless fish fillet or
chicken breast.
9. Many employers have a set salary range for entry-level positions and others
are more negotiable. Though salary should not be brought up until an offer
is extended, it is wise to know your worth in advance. In as much as you are
a potential employee, you also represent a valuable skills-set product. You
should know what kind of product you have created, its value and what the
company is willing to buy. Contact your В­campus career center to obtain more
information on salaries.
10. Soon after the site visit, record your impressions of your performance.
Review the business cards of those you met or write the information in your
notebook before leaving the facility. You should have the names, titles,
addresses and phone numbers of everyone who was involved in your interview so you can determine which individuals you may want to contact with
В­additional questions or follow-up information. A thank-you letter should
be written to the person(s) who will be making the hiring decision. Stay in
touch with the employer if you want to pursue a career with them.
A site visit is a two-way street. You are there to evaluate the employer and to
determine if your expectations are met for job content, company culture and
values, organizational structure, and lifestyles (both at work and leisure).
Take note of how the employees interact, and also assess the physical work
Just as any good salesperson would never leave a В­customer without attempting to
close the sale, you should never leave an interview without some sort of closure.
If you decide that the job is right for you, don’t be afraid to tell the employer that
you feel that there is a good fit and you are eager to join their team. The employer
is interested in hiring people who want to be associated with them and they will
never know of your interest if you don’t voice your opinion. Keep in mind that
although the employer has the final power to offer a job, your demeanor during
the entire i­nterviewing process—both on and off campus—also gives you a great
deal of power.
Written by Roseanne R. Bensley, Placement and Career Services, New Mexico State
5. Bring extra copies of your resume; copies of any paperwork you may have
forwarded to the employer; names, addresses, phone numbers and email
addresses of your references; an updated college transcript; a copy of
your best paper as a writing sample; a notebook; a black and/or blue pen
for filling out forms and applications; and names and addresses of past
employers.   19
There are many ways to look for a job, some of which are better than others. Presented below are some of the most popular ways, as well as helpful hints and pros and cons of
Scan want ads. Mail resume with
cover letter tailored to specific job
• Newspapers
• Journals
• Newsletters
• Trade magazines
• Cover letters
• Resumes
Involves minimal investment of time
in identifying companies. Resume and
cover letter are sent for actual job
Resume and cover letter will compete
with large number of others. Ads follow
job market; least effective in times of
economic downturn.
• Use as a meter on the job market in a
certain career field.
Respond to employment agency ads
• Business attire
in newspapers; check phone book for
names of agencies to contact.
Fee-paid jobs for graduates in technical fields or those with marketable
May be less help to non-technical/
inexperienced graduates. Be wary if
you, instead of the employer, have to
pay a fee.
• Identify agencies that ­specialize in
your field.
Search online job banks and company
websites. Submit resume online/post on
job boards.
• Access to the Web
Actual job openings. Many employers
use a wide variety of job listing services.
Many listings have free to low-cost
access. Worldwide geographic reach.
Competition is growing as use of the
• Use the Web frequently as information
Internet increases. Pay attention to
and sites change quickly.
multiple listings—one position posted on
• May need to conduct your search at
a few sites—to avoid applying multiple
times (early morning or late
at night).
Develop a good cover lВ­ etter tailored to
a specific type of job and the needs of
the company. Send letter with resume to
selected В­companies.
• List of well-researched companies
Better approach than the mass-mailing
method. Investment of time and effort
should merit stronger response from
Requires a significant investment of time • Try to find out who is in charge of the
in researching companies and writing
area in which you want to work; send
cover letters as well as following up with
your materials to that pВ­ erson. Great
method when used in conjunction with
Visit many companies.
Ask to see person in sВ­ pecific department.
Submit resume and
application, if possible.
• Business attire
Resume and application are on file with
the company.
Requires a great deal of time to make a
relatively small number of contacts.
Talk to everyone you know to develop a
list of possible cВ­ ontacts; ask for information on job/companies and to cВ­ irculate
your resume.
• List of contacts
Follow specific proВ­cedures to secure
on-campus В­interviews.
• Scheduling interviews
• Electronic resume
• Tailored cover letters
• Resumes
• Company address list
• Try to get your materials in as early
as possible.
• Make frequent contact with your counselor to obtain better service.
• Research the companies prior to your
visit. Ask for a specific person or ask
about a specific type of job.
• Resumes
• Resumes
• Business attire
• Employer literature
May learn of unadvertised openings.
A contact in itself is not enough to get you • Follow through on all leads.
May result in a courtesy interview. Often a job. You may exhaust all leads without
• Keep broadening your network of
results in a closer match of your interests landing a job. Quite time-consuming.
to a job.
One of the primary ways in which compa- May be less effective for nontechnical/
nies recruit for technical and business
nonbusiness candidates.
• Use the interview schedule as a way
to identify pВ­ ossible employers, even if
you don’t get to i­ nterview on campus
with those employers.
Another way to monitor the job market
and get
your qualifications to the attention of
• Use only in conjunction with other job
search strategies.
• Resumes
• Business attire
• Registration form
Register with one of the many national
supplied by service
referral sВ­ ervices. As jobs are listed by
employers, the data bank of registrants
is searched for matches. If your materials
match, they are sent to the employers.
20  Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology
May involve a fee. Often more helpful to
those in technical or specialized fields.
May not learn of the status of your
Adapted and reprinted with permission from Career Services, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA.
Networking is one of the most effective techniques of job searching. It is also
the most misunderstood and least comfortable. If you feel hesitant about
networking, you’re not alone. It may help to remember that networking is not a
manipulative tool, nor is it begging friends, family, acquaintances and strangers
for a job! Networking is letting people you know — personally and professionally — that you are looking for a job. It simply means asking them to keep you
in mind if they know of or hear of any openings that might fit your background.
It is also the best way to access the “hidden job market” — those jobs that are
available now or will be in the near future, but are never posted or advertised.
How do I get started?
The first step in networking is to make a list of contacts. Include family, friends,
high school teachers, Rose professors, professional contacts from summer jobs,
co-op experiences, or Career Fairs, and RHIT alumni. Your goal is not to get a job
from these cВ­ ontacts but to gather information, advice, and referrals from people
they know who might provide additional help or who may have a job. Make a list of
20 networking targets.
knows of anyone who might have a need for someone with your skills and qualifications. Keep going — ask if the contact knows anyone who knows anyone who
might have a need for someone with your qualifications. If the conversation is
going well, ask the contact if he/she has a few minutes to meet with you or if you
could schedule a time for an informational interview by phone. The conversation
might go something like this:
“ John Bridges? My name is Eleanor DeRosa and I’m a senior at RoseHulman. I got your name from Rose-Hulman Career Services. I’m
interested in a career in chemical engineering, and I’m working on
identifying professionals in my field who can help me develop an inside
perspective on the job market. I’m not looking for a job from you but
thought you would be a good source of advice, and I would really appreciate your assistance. Could I come in to meet with you, or phone you for
10-15 minutes, sometime during the next two weeks?”
When you call to request an informational interview, you should be prepared to
conduct the interview immediately. Have a script in your hand when you dial
the phone! Always use a relaxed, conversational tone but ask specific questions.
Here are some you can use:
4How did you get into this field? Where did you work before?
The next step is to call or write to request an informational interview. Make it clear
that you are not asking for a job but are seeking help on a personal level.
4What advice would you give someone just getting out of school who wants
to be successful in your field?
What do I say?
You might write a letter — see the sample below:
Many networking contacts are made by phone. When you call your networking
contact, introduce yourself with a 60-second pitch. At some point ask if the contact
4I have a copy of my resume. Could you look at it and let me know what you
4What can I expect a typical career path to be like in this field?
Street Address
City, State ZIP
Ms. Jane Adams
Director, Power Systems
Central Energy Corporation
100 Concentric Avenue
Median City, IA 54321
Dear Ms. Adams:
I am a senior at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology. Kevin Hewerdine,
Director of Career Services, suggested that I contact you. I am interested
in a career in the power industry and would appreciate your advice on the
job market in this field.
I would very much like the opportunity to meet with you. I will call you
next week to see if we might arrange an appointment that is convenient
for you. Thank you for your assistance.
To learn more,В visit
22  Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology
John Smith
John Smith
4From the research I’ve done so far, I’ve developed a list of companies in our
field that I am interested in. Can you tell me anything about them?
4Can you recommend anyone else for me to talk to?
Many employers use career fairs—both on and off campus—to promote their
opportunities and to pre-screen applicants. Career fairs come in all shapes and
sizes, from small community-sponsored events to giant regional career expositions
held at major convention centers.
4What are the names of a few companies in your area?
4What companies in your city are the growing companies I should contact?
How do I follow up?
Always follow up immediately with a thank-you letter or email. If you haven’t
already sent a resume, send one with your thank-you letter requesting that they
keep you in mind if they hear of anything.
Most career fairs consist of booths and/or tables manned by recruiters and other
representatives from each organization. For on-campus events, some employers
also send alumni ­representatives. Large corporations and some g­ overnment agencies have staffs who work the career fair “circuit” nationwide.
An employer’s display area is also subject to wide variance. It could be a simple
table with a stack of brochures and business cards and a lone representative or an
elaborate multiВ­media extravaganza with interactive В­displays, videos, posters and a
team of recruiters.
Street Address
City, State ZIP
Mr. John Adams
Marketing Manager
Red Baron Utilities
1234 Snoopy Avenue
Lucy, MN 09876
Dear Mr. Adams:
I thank you for the time you spent with me last week. Your willingness
to share information with me is most appreciated.
Your perspective on the public utilities field was very helpful. I now
have a better idea of how to approach this market. I plan to follow up
this week on your suggestion to contact Peanuts Power Corporation.
It sounds like an interesting company.
Again, thank you for your assistance.
John Smith
John Smith
Send another letter a month or so later. Let your contact know that you followed up
on their advice and inform them of any new developments in your job search.
Keep a separate notebook or file for all your networking contacts. Include everyone’s name, address, phone, title and organization as well as dates and details of
all conversations and correspondence.
When you have found employment, notify everyone on your networking list,
thanking them again. Remember, you may soon be in a position to help them.
How do I identify Rose-Hulman alumni for networking?
Alumni database searches are available through the Career Services Office. Career
Services can provide you alumni lists based on geography, major, company title
and even extra-curricular involvement, such as Greek affiliations, athletics, clubs
and organizations.
The results will be returned to you in an Excel Spreadsheet via email.
Fashions and Accessories
Generally, the appropriate attire for career fair attendees is more relaxed than
what you’d wear to an actual job interview. In most cases, “business casual”
is the norm. If you’re unsure of the dress code ­( particularly for off-campus
events), it would be wise to err on the overdressed side—you’ll make a better
impression if you appear professional. Think of it as a dress rehearsal for your
real interviews!
Remember to bring copies of your resume (or resumes, if you have several
versions tailored to different career choices), a few pens and pencils (have
backups—they have a way of disappearing), a folder or portfolio and some sort
of note-taking device (paper or electronic pad). Keep track of the recruiters with
whom you speak and send follow-up notes to the ones who interest you. Don’t
bring your backpack; it’s cumbersome for you, it gets in the way of others and it
screams “student!” instead of “candidate!”
Stop, Look and Listen
Keep your eyes and ears open—there’s nothing wrong with subtly eavesdropping
on the questions asked and answers received by your fellow career fair attendees.
You might pick up some valuable information, in addition to witnessing some reallife career search “dos and don’ts.”   23
In order to maximize your career fair experience, you must be an active participant
and not just a browser. If all you do is stroll around, take company literature and
load up on the ubiquitous freebies, you really haven’t accomplished anything
worthwhile (unless you’re a collector of key chains, mousepads and pocket flashlights). It is essential to chat with the company representatives and ask meaningful
A Few Words About Career Fair Etiquette
Here’s a great bit of career fair advice from Stanford University’s Career Fair
2. If you have a real interest in an employer, find out the procedures required
to secure an interview. At some career fairs, initial screening interviews
may be done on the spot. Other times, the career fair is used to pre-screen
applicants for interviews to be В­conducted later (either on campus or at the
employer’s site).
 “Create a one-minute �commercial’ as a way to sell ­yourself to an employer.
This is a great way to introduce yourself. The goal is to connect your background
to the organization’s need. In one minute or less, you need to introduce yourself, demonstrate your knowledge of the company, express enthusiasm and
interest and relate your background to the company’s need.”
You’re a Prospector—Start Digging
The questions you ask at a career fair depend upon your goals. Are you interested
in finding out about a particular career field? Then ask generalized questions about
working within the industry. If you’re seeking career opportunities with a specific
employer, focus your questions on the aВ­ pplication and interview process, and ask
for specific information about that employer.
Fair Thee Well
By all means, try to attend at least one career fair before beginning your formal
job interviewing process. For new entrants into the professional career marketplace, this is a good way to make the transition into “self-marketing mode” without
the formality and possible intimidation of a one-on-one job interview. It’s an
opportunity that’s too valuable to miss.
1. Don’t interrupt the employer reps or your fellow job-seekers. If someone else
is monopolizing the employer’s time, try to make eye contact with the rep to let
him or her know that you’re interested in speaking. You may be doing a favor
by giving the recruiter an out. If all else fails, move to the next exhibit and plan
to come back later.
3. Sincerity always wins. Don’t lay it on too thick, but don’t be too blasé either.
Virtually all employers are looking for candidates with good В­communication
4. Don’t just drop your resume on employers’ display tables. Try to get it into a
person’s hands and at least say a few words. If the scene is too busy and you
can’t get a word in edgewise, jot a note on your resume to the effect of, “You
were so busy that we didn’t get a chance to meet. I’m very interested in talking
to you.” Look around the display for the recruiter’s business card (or at the very
least, write down his or her name and get some literature with the company’s
address) and send a follow-up note and another copy of your resume.
5. If you know ahead of time that one of your “dream companies” is a career fair
participant, do some prior research (at minimum, visit their website and, if
available, view their company DVD). A little advance preparation goes a long
way and can make you stand out among the masses of other attendees.
Email Correspondence
Making contact with companies and sending cover letters and resumes via email
is becoming more common place. As a job hunter, it is your responsibility to make
sure that your email correspondence is as polished as everything else!
Here are some tips to help you prepare well-written email correspondence:
Often, email is used in an informal fashion — such as when we write home to
mom and dad, or we send a quick note to a friend about our plans for the weekend.
When using email to correspond with companies however, you need to make sure
that your tone is not too relaxed and that you are not leaving anything open to
interpretation. Using a conversational style in email that is too informal will not
only make you appear unprofessional, but may also make you seem immature as
• Do not use slang or inappropriate wording in your email.
When sending cover letters via email, make sure the letter is well written and
follows the same style as the examples in this manual and on our website. You
should type the cover letter right into the body of your message, omitting the date
and address blocks. Simply start with your salutation and begin writing. If you are
sending your resume, you will add that as the attachment to your email.
When sending thank-you letters via email, craft it in much the same way, but
be sure to be specific so that the person receiving the email knows who you are.
Thank-you letters should be brief and succinct.
24  Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology
• Pay attention to your subject line. You want the subject to get their attention,
but it should be appropriate.
• Be careful not to use “leet speak” or emoticons either. This is business correspondence, not a chat session.
• Use a standard font for your email such as Times New Roman or Arial. The font
should be between 10 and 12 point in size.
• Avoid backgrounds or embedding graphics into the email.
• Be brief and succinct with your letter. It should be no longer than a letter that
would be printed out and mailed via the post office.
• Always proofread and spell check your email before you send it. Often your
cover letter is a company’s first impression of you.
If you are ever uncertain about whether you have written an appropriate email or
not, feel free to contact Career Services and let a staff member review your correspondence first.
Selling Brand “You” in the Interview
By Chris Enstrom
FOR THE MOST PART, modesty is an admirable trait.
But it’s of little use during a job interview. The purpose of
an interview is to find the best candidate for a p
В­ articular
job. Employers want to know about the knowledge,
skills, attributes, and experience that distinguish you
from other job candidates, and they won’t know what
makes you sВ­ pecial unless you tell them. However, most
employers won’t go out of their way to hire someone
who comes across as cocky or arrogant. So how do you
balance the two? How do you put your best foot forward
without seeming conceited and egotistical?
Your Bragging Rights
Photo В© Lasse Kristensen -   25
in New
By Businesses,
Industries and
Choose What to Talk About
  Start with the job posting and make a list of all the preferences
and requirements. Then try to match them with your own knowledge, skills, and experience. Make sure that you have examples
ready for as many of the preferences listed as possible. If leadership experience is preferred, scrutinize your past for examples
of it. If the job requires good teamwork skills, be prepared with
examples from your past. But also be prepared to talk about
things not listed specifically in the job posting. Find out all you
can about the В­company and the job you are interviewing for. If you
have certain experience or knowledge that you think would make
you do the job better, don’t hesitate to talk about it. The employer
is looking for the best candidate for the job. Looking beyond the
job posting could help separate you from other applicants.
Make sure that everything you discuss
is relevant to the job.
Energy, Drive, Enthusiasm aВ­ nd
  •  Hard-working, disciplined and
  •  Eager, professional and positive
  •  Strong self-motivation and high ­­
  •  Confident and assertive, yet
В­diplomatic and flexible
  •  Sincere and preserves integrity
  •  Ambitious and takes risks
  •  Uses common sense
Adapts Textbook Learning tВ­ o the
Working World
  •  Quick learner
  •  Asks questions
  •  Analytical; independent thinker
  •  Willing to continue education and
  •  Committed to excellence
  •  Open-minded, willing to try new
26  Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology
  It’s not easy to do, but you may have to leave out some of your
most impressive skills and achievements. Talking about skills,
accomplishments, or experience with no rВ­ elevance to the job
does not help the interviewer identify you as a strong job candidate, and could easily be interpreted as bragging.
  Many recent college graduates make the mistake of ­limiting
their discussion to their college coursework, or jobs they had
that are directly related to the one they are applying for. But this
is a mistake. “Students should be willing to talk about any type
of knowledge or skills that they have acquired that are relevant
to the job they are interviewing for,” says Micael Kemp, Director
of Career Services at the University of California, Santa Barbara.
Volunteer experience, leadership positions in a sorority or a
fraternity, extracurricular activities, and even work В­experience
at retail or fast-food jobs can be sources of ­information. “Many
students underplay work experience gained at places like
grocery stores or fast-food restaurants,” she continues. “But
employers deeply appreciate people who have gotten their
hands dirty and aren’t afraid to work hard.”
Story Time
  Reading off a list of knowledge, experience, and accomplish­
ments makes for a short and boring interview. Your job during
the interview is to keep the interviewer interested in what you are
saying. Many career advisors suggest that job candidates prepare
a reservoir of stories that they can pull from during the interview.
People are naturally drawn to stories. It’s why we read novels
and why we watch movies. Also, В­stories allow job candidates to
Qualities Desired... continued
With proper
preparation you
may not receive an
ovation—even better,
you may receive a
job offer!
Knowledge of Computers
  •  Established word processing,
spreadsheet, database and
В­presentation software skills
  •  Excellent computer literacy
Communications Skills
  •  Good writing skills
  •  Excellent oral communication
Photo В© Kaarsten -
  •  Listens well; compassionate and
  •  Excellent problem-solving and
В­analytical skills
  •  Creative and innovative
Leadership Skills
  •  Organizational skills and attention
to detail
  •  Accepts and handles
  •  Action-oriented and results-driven
  •  Loyal to employers
  •  Customer-focused
  •  Team-spirited; understands group
  •  Always willing to help others
show interviewers their skills and knowledge instead of just telling
them. “Interviewers need more than just your word that you have
a particular skill or attribute. They need specific examples, and
stories are a good way of providing that,” says Cynthia Redwine,
former Director of the Engineering Career Resource Center at the
University of Michigan, College of Engineering.
  Stories have the added benefit of being easy to remember—for
you, as you use a particular story to demonstrate your qualifications during the interview—and for the interviewer who must
access your skills and attributes after the interview is completed.
Demonstrating a particular job attribute through a story has
the added benefit of sounding less boastful than stating the
qualification directly. Saying that you are a good leader sounds
boastful; explaining how you led a team of volunteers during a
record food drive is admirable.
  Once you have created a list of job skills and requirements from
the job posting and your own research of the company and the
position, sit down and try to come up with stories to demonstrate
each. Of course, certain things cannot be demonstrated through
a story (a high GPA, or a certain degree or academic specialty),
but that information is already apparent to the interviewer from
continued on page 28
  •  Mature, poised and personable
  •  Diversity aware; treats others with
respect and dignity
Oriented to Growth
  •  Acceptance of an entry-level
­position; doesn’t view required
tasks as “menial”
  •  Academic excellence in field of
  •  Views the organization’s total
В­picture, not just one area of
  •  Willing to accomplish more than
Source: Recruiting Trends by L.
Patrick Scheetz, Ph.D., Collegiate
Employment Research Institute.
В©Michigan State University.   27
Advice From the Experts
Interviewing Tips From On-Campus Recruiters
Research organizations in advance of interviews—Since
most on-campus interviews are relatively short, it is
В­important that you use this time to sell yourself to an
employer. Don’t waste this opportunity by spending too
much time on issues that could have been answered by
surfing the company’s website and/or viewing its DVD.
Displaying your knowledge about a potential employer
will greatly enhance your chances of interview success.
Define your career goals and the opportunities you
want—One of the keys to making a successful sale is
В­product knowledge. In the case of job interviews, that
product is you. You need to perform a thorough self-В­
evaluation well in advance of your interviews. Know what
your strengths, weaknesses, skills and В­abilities are and be
В­prepared to В­discuss them during the interview.
Be enthusiastic and sincere during your interviews—It is
important for you to convey a genuine sense of interest
during the interview. You must appear eager and flexible,
but not too rehearsed. Don’t fixate on being nervous.
Even seasoned pros can have the “interview jitters.”
Above all, never be late for an interview appointment.
Be honest—Don’t claim interest in an employer if you
really do not intend to work for that organization. Don’t
lie on your resume or during the interview. While you
should never draw attention to your weaknesses, don’t
attempt to hide a shortcoming by being untruthful. Learn
how to deal with perceived (or real) weaknesses before
your interviews by talking to a campus career services
professional and/or reading books on job interviewing
Be realistic—Carefully evaluate what an employer has
to offer you…and what you have to offer the employer.
Don’t accept a position that isn’t suited to you “just
because you need a job.” Although most entry-level
salaries have been on the rise, do not set your starting
salary expectations too high. If a starting salary seems
inordinately low, but is for a position that you really
want, you might be able to arrange for an early salary
Some of this material is adapted from Recruiting Trends
by L. Patrick Scheetz, Ph.D., Collegiate Employment
Research Institute. В© Michigan State University.
continued from page 27
your resume. However, stories can be used in situations that at first might not be apparent. For example,
instead of simply stating that you are proficient with
a particular piece of software, you can tell the interviewer how you applied the software to accomplish
a particular task. Keep your stories short and to the
point. An interview is not a creative writing class.
There is no need to supply vivid descriptions or unrelated background information. In fact, many career
advisors suggest that students keep their stories
limited to one minute.
Final Advice
  Take time to prepare for the interview. Never walk
into an interview with the intention of “winging it”
no matter how qualified you think you are for the
position. If you are having trouble coming up with
stories or examples for the interview, make sure you
talk to friends, family members, coworkers, professors, and career advisors. Often those around us
can see skills and attributes that we do not.
28  Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology
  Students sometimes make the mistake of telling
employers about job-related knowledge or experience that they don’t have. While candor is an
admirable trait, such frankness is out of place in a
job interview. Employers don’t want to know why
you can’t do the job, but why you can do it.
  Employers want to hire people who are excited
and proud of the work that they have done. They
want to know that you will bring that same type of
proficiency and ­enthusiasm to their company. “You
have a responsibility during the interview—not
to brag, but to give the employer the best picture
you can of what they will get if they hire you,” says
Kemp. “It’s your responsibility to make sure they
get that information, whether or not they ask good
Written by Chris Enstrom, a freelance writer in
Nashville, Ind.
International Students and
the Job Search
Looking for a job is seldom easy for any student. For you, the international student,
the job search process can be especially confusing. You may lack an understanding
of U.S. employment regulations, or perhaps you are unaware of the impact your
career choice has on your job search. You may also be unsure about your role as
the job-seeker and the resources used by American employers to find candidates.
Are you accessible to employers through at least some of the above strategies? If
not, develop a plan to make sure your В­credentials are widely circulated. Notify as
many people as possible in your field about your job search.
The following is an overview of the issues most relevant to international students
in developing a job search strategy. Additional information about the employment
process and related topics can be found through your career center and on the
You can help the employer make an informed hiring decision if you:
As an international student, you should only obtain employment-related information from an experienced immigration attorney or your campus USCIS
representative. Advice from any other resource may be inaccurate. Once you have
decided to remain in the United States to work, contact the international student
services office or the office of human resources on your campus and make an
appointment with your USCIS representative. In addition to helping you fill out
necessary forms, the USCIS representative will inform you of the costs associated
with working in the United States.
Find out if your degree and skills-set are currently in demand in the U.S. job
market. An advanced degree, highly marketable skills or extensive experience will
all make your job search eВ­ asier. Find out what region of the United States holds
the majority of the jobs in your field; you may need to relocate in order to find
the job you want. Learn all you can about your targeted career field by talking to
professors, reading industry publications and attending professional meetings and
regional conferences.
It is the employer’s responsibility to find the right people for his or her company—
not to help you find a job. The interview is successful when both of you see a match
between the employer’s needs and your interest and ability to do the job.
The employer (through hiring managers, human resources staff or employment
agencies) will most likely use several resources to find workers, including:
• College recruiting
• Campus or community job fairs
• Posting jobs on the company website or on national job posting sites on the
• Posting jobs in major newspapers or trade publications
• Posting jobs with professional associations
• Provide a well-prepared resume that includes desirable skills and relevant
employment experiences.
• Clearly convey your interests and ability to do the job in an interview.
• Understand English when spoken to you and can effectively express your
thoughts in English.
It’s important to be able to positively promote yourself and talk with confidence
about your education, relevant skills and related experiences. Self-promotion
is rarely easy for anyone. But, it can be especially difficult for individuals from
В­cultures where talking about yourself is considered В­inappropriate. When interviewing in the United States, however, you are expected to be able to explain your
В­credentials and why you are suitable for the position.
Be sensitive to the interviewer’s verbal and nonverbal cues. Some international students may not realize when their accent is causing them to be
misunderstood. Interviewers are sometimes too embarrassed or impatient
to ask for clarification, so be on the lookout for nonverbal clues, such as
follow-up questions that don’t match your responses or sudden disinterest on
the part of the interviewer. Also, make sure you express proper nonverbal
В­c ommunication; always look directly at the employer in order to portray confidence and honesty.
If your English language skills need some work, get involved with campus and
community activities. These events will allow you to practice speaking English. The
more you use the language, the more proficient you will become. These activities
are also a great way to make nВ­ etworking contacts.
The career center can be a valuable resource in your job search. Be aware,
however, that some employers using the career ­center won’t interview students
who are not U.S. В­citizens. Though this may limit your ability to participate in some
campus interviews, there are numerous ways to В­benefit from the campus career
• Attend sessions on job search strategies and related ­topics.
• Work with the career services staff to develop your job search strategy.
• Attend campus career fairs and company information sessions to inquire
about employment opportunities and to practice your networking skills.
• Regional and national conferences
It’s a good idea to get advice from other international students who have successfully found employment in this country and to start your job search early. Create
and follow a detailed plan of action that will lead you to a great job you can write
home about.
• Employment agencies (“headhunters”)
Written by Rosita Smith.
• Resume searches on national online services
• Employee referrals   29
Is Graduate School Right for You?
At some point in your college career, you must decide what you would like to do
after graduation—and that includes whether or not to attend graduate school. If
you’re trying to determine whether graduate school is right for you, here are some
pointers to help you make an enlightened decision.
1.Should I consider going to graduate school?
Going to graduate school might be a good idea if you…
• want to be a professor, lawyer, doctor, investment banker or work in any
profession that requires a post-secondary education.
• w ish to develop additional expertise in a particular subject or field to
maximize your future earning potential and opportunities for career
• are deeply interested in a particular subject and wish to study it in-depth—
AND have the time and financial resources to devote to further education.
• Fellowships/Scholarships: A free education is always the best option. The
catch is you need a high GPA, good GRE/GMAT/LSAT/MCAT scores and the
commitment to search out every possible source of funding.
• T eaching/Research Assistantships: Many assistantships include tuition
waivers plus a monthly stipend. It’s a great way to get paid for earning an
• Employer Sponsorship: Did you know that some companies actually pay
for you to continue your education? The catch is they usually expect you
to continue working for them after you complete your degree so they can
recoup their investment.
4.What are the pros and cons of going to graduate school full-time
vs. part-time?
Benefits of attending graduate school full-time:
Going to graduate school might not be a good idea if you…
• you’ll be able to complete your degree sooner.
• are trying to delay your entry into the “real world” with real responsibilities
and real bills.
• you can totally commit your intellectual, physical and emotional energy to
your education.
• are clueless about your career goals.
• ideal if you want to make a dramatic career change.
• aren’t prepared to devote the time and hard work needed to succeed.
Benefits of attending graduate school part-time:
• want to stay in school longer to avoid a poor job market.
• work income helps pay for your education.
2.Is it better to work first or attend graduate school immediately
after I complete my undergraduate degree?
Work first if…
• you would like to get some real-world work experience before investing thousands of dollars in a graduate degree.
• the graduate school of your choice prefers work experience (most MBA and
some Ph.D. programs require this).
• you cannot afford to go to graduate school now, and you haven’t applied for
any scholarships, grants, fellowships and assistantships, which could pay for a
great deal of your education.
Go to graduate school now if…
• you are absolutely sure you want to be a college professor, doctor, lawyer,
etc., and need a graduate degree to pursue your dream job.
• you have been awarded grants, fellowships, scholarships or assistantships
that will help pay for your education.
• you can take a very manageable course load.
• you can juggle family responsibilities while completing your degree.
• allows you to work in the function/industry/career of your choice while
continuing your education.
• employer will often pay for part (or all) of your graduate degree.
5.Assuming I want to go to graduate school in the near future, what
should I do now?
a.Identify your true strengths, interests and values to help you discover what is
right for YOU—not your friends or parents.
b.Keep your grades up and sign up (and prepare) to take the required standardized tests.
c.Talk to faculty, friends and family who have gone to graduate school to get
their perspective about the differences between being an undergraduate and
a graduate student.
• you’re concerned that once you start earning real money, you won’t be able
to return to the lifestyle of a “poor” student.
d.Talk to faculty, friends and family who are in your targeted profession to get
a realistic sense of the career path and the challenges associated with the
work they do.
• your study habits and mental abilities are at their peak, and you worry
whether you’ll have the discipline (or motivation) to write papers and study
for exams in a few years.
e.Investigate creative ways to finance your education—by planning ahead you
may reduce your debt.
3.I am broke. How will I pay for tuition, books, fees and living
g.Investigate the admissions process and the current student body profile of
your targeted schools to evaluate your probability for admission.
• Family: You’ve likely borrowed from them in the past; maybe you’re lucky
enough for it to still be a viable option.
• Student Loans: Even if you’ve taken out loans in the past, another $50,000 $75,000 may be a sound “investment” in your future.
30  Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology
f.Research graduate schools to help you find a good match.
h.Have faith and APPLY! Remember, you can’t get in unless you apply.
Written by Roslyn J. Bradford.
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