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No job? No internship? No problem?

As the end of the school year approaches students (and parents of the students) who have not yet secured a summer opportunity or full-time job may be starting to panic, but it is not too late! While many positions have already been filled, that doesn’t mean there aren’t opportunities still available. The job search process may need to be reframed at this time of year. Rachel Amos, assistant director for employer development and career counselor for the Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences, offers her advice on what to tell your student about looking for jobs during crunch time.

  1. “First, tell them to know what they are looking for. This is important so that they can cater their resume to those types of industries or jobs.”  A more general resume makes it difficult to stand out among other applicants.
  2. Second, “Tell them not to be deterred if they read a job description and think they can’t do it. No one has ever fit 100% of a job description. The skills they do have are more important.”
  3. “Be open to searching in creative ways. While TartanTRAK is a great resource for your student, they can use LinkedIn, their academic advisors, professors, career counselors, and the alumni network. There are more things to utilize than just jobs.com. Utilize all resources!”
  4. “Most importantly, students need to be able to articulate their strengths and to tell employers what they can offer, this could even be step one. If you don’t think you are valuable, people will agree.” Be confident and use confident language in your application materials.

Many students hit a mental road block while searching for a “perfect” job or internship, adding unnecessary stress. “The first job is not the last job.  It does not have to be your dream job as long as the role allows you to develop professionally,” says Amos. “Consider your options; it is not going to be perfect. It’s your first job out of college. Be open to the experience you will gain.”

There is no shame in continuing to look over the summer, there is no deadline. It doesn’t hurt to take a temporary role while continuing your search.  Those jobs help develop skills that can apply in many different careers. For example, providing good customer service in a stressful and hectic environment is useful in any industry.

Kevin Collins, assistant director and career consultant for the school of computer science, offers additional advice for students still seeking.

“If you did not attend some of the big job fairs, go back and look at the companies that attended and check their job postings. If there are companies you talked to and didn’t hear anything from- reconnect. Tell them you are still interested. Look at the stats on our website about where students went to work last year- jobs or internships- check those websites because they hired our people in past.”

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Last year the CPDC hosted the first “Final Countdown” event geared towards students who are still seeking in the final days before graduation/summer break. This year the event will take place the Thursday and Friday before graduation (May 15th and 16th). The CPDC will have career counselors available to check over cover letters and resumes, and to guide students of where to look to for opportunities.

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3 Comments

  1. Lee Zucker says:

    My daughter is finishing her freshmen year in mechanical engineering. She has not landed an internship yet so she is coming home to San Diego on Wednesday, 5/14. Is there any way she can meet with your office staff to receive some advices in letter and resume writings? She will have time to meet with your staff since her last final is on Saturday, 5/10.
    Thank you.

    • Lee: By all means, the CPDC is here to help your daughter. During class time, we offer drop-in appointments every afternoon from 1:00-4:00. As CMU is in Finals mode, I would ask your daughter to schedule an appointment. She can do this 24/7 by:
      1) Log onto http://www.cmu.edu/career
      2) Choose “Schedule an Appointment” from the left hand column
      3) She may be prompted to enter in her AndrewID if she is not already on the CMU intranet. On her next screen (homescreen to TartanTrak), she only needs to select “Request an Appointment” from the right hand side quicklink section.

      Once there, she has the ability to choose which counselor she would like to see, day and time she has available, and the system will show the counselor(s)’ availability. She then selects the time and day and can enter in some notes to help prep the staff member with whom she will be meeting (i.e: Internship Search, Review Resume, etc.).

      We hope to see your daughter before she heads home.

  2. Lee: By all means, the CPDC is here to help your daughter. During class time, we offer drop-in appointments every afternoon from 1:00-4:00. As CMU is in Finals mode, I would ask your daughter to schedule an appointment. She can do this 24/7 by:
    1) Log onto http://www.cmu.edu/career
    2) Choose “Schedule an Appointment” from the left hand column
    3) She may be prompted to enter in her AndrewID if she is not already on the CMU intranet. On her next screen (homescreen to TartanTrak), she only needs to select “Request an Appointment” from the right hand side quicklink section.

    Once there, she has the ability to choose which counselor she would like to see, day and time she has available, and the system will show the counselor(s)’ availability. She then selects the time and day and can enter in some notes to help prep the staff member with whom she will be meeting (i.e: Internship Search, Review Resume, etc.).

    We hope to see your daughter before she heads home.

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