Career

Many of you might be thinking that it’s time to get out into the real world and gain some hands-on experience.  There are tons of internships, co-ops, and full-time job openings out there.  However, you might also be thinking that the job search will be stressful, tedious, and/or time-consuming.  That might be true.  HOWEVER!  We’re at Georgia Tech!  We can do that!  (AND I AM ALSO DOING THAT!)

Basically, what I’m trying to say is that members of BROS have gone through the exact same process, and with the right resources and tips, this entire process can be simplified down to optimize your time!

Throughout the year, I’ll be adding tips from my personal experiences and resources that I’ve found extremely helpful in writing cover letters and resumes, approaching company representatives at career fairs and info sessions, interviewing, and many other topics!  If you still have questions or suggestions for what else you’d like to see, please feel free to contact me at winniechengg@gatech.edu.

 

How to Optimize Your Job Search:

  1. Know important dates and deadlines.  Nothing you do will be important if it isn’t on time.  This is why the GT BROS Google Calendar exists!  Keep track of any workshops, info sessions, career fairs, and other events that could help you improve and land that position later on!
  2. Stay organized.  Make a folder (physical and/or digital) for all of your career-related materials.  This is to keep track of resumes, handouts, brochures, business cards, etc.
  3. Suit up!  Make sure you have business attire available at all times — now is the time to grab it from home or go shopping!  You never know when an opportunity will come up.  You should also buy a padholder/padfolio (like this one) so you can put your resumes somewhere fancy.  Impressions matter.
  4. Outline your past.  Think back to ALL of your experiences, skills, and accomplishments gained from school, work, volunteer opportunities, etc. and WRITE THEM DOWN!  Map everything out chronologically with dates; it’ll help a lot when you’re writing your resume!  If you’re a freshman, you can include your high school education and experiences for now, but make sure any mention of high school is off once you get into your second year.
  5. Learn how to write an effective resume and cover letter.  To stand out against hundreds and thousands of applicants, you need to use engaging and ACTIVE (not passive) verbs to explain why you are the best person for the job.  Resumes should also be organized either chronologically or by significance.  You might or even should have multiple resumes and cover letters if you want to gear it towards a specific type of job or company.  In any case, give yourself credit where you deserve it.  If you want professional critique by companies, check out Resume Blitz, which is offered by Career Services every so often!
  6. Don’t dismiss opportunities.  Apply for anything and everything that sounds interesting, especially if it will be your first experience.  Beggers can’t be choosers, and you can’t assume what the experience might be like without learning more about it.  If you use CareerBuzz, you definitely don’t have an excuse; it’s the difference of clicking a button.
  7. Assert yourself at career fairs and info sessions.  Company reps get tired at career fairs, too.  After hearing and talking to hundreds of people, they really need someone to spark their interests.  Otherwise, you’ll just be one of many, and they’ll tell you, “Great!  Thanks for coming out.  Just apply online.”  In preparation, practice with a friend or mirror or attend a mock career fair on campus.  Be sure to grab everybody’s contact information!
  8. Practice interviewing again and again.  Try to recall as many experiences as you can (hence why you wrote them all down).  Use the CAR/STAR technique: Context-Action-Result or Situation-Action-Result.  Be able to talk about your experiences in a logical and chronological order and explain the results or tangibles that came out of it.  Companies want to see that you made an impact.  Practice with a friend (and make sure they give good constructive criticism) or set up a mock interview with Career Services.
  9. Follow-up.  Companies will be sifting through a lot of people, and they won’t always respond quickly, so be sure to follow-up with an e-mail reminding them that you’re interested and eager to hear back.  Understand how their hiring processes work and what the usual timeline is like.  If you have a deadline to meet, don’t be afraid to be a little bit pushy, either.
  10. Weigh all of your options.  Finding a job is one of the hardest things you’ll do, but picking one at the end if you have multiple offers can be even harder!  Remember that if you’re looking for a full-time or co-op position, that’s a big commitment!  Consider what you want in the end, not just for the next semester or year.  If you’re looking for an internship, it isn’t as big of a deal, but it could still impact what you’re doing next.

Hopefully, by the end of this, you’ll come out with an internship, co-op, or full-time offer — or even offers!  If not, think about why.  Could you have tried harder or done more?  What could you improve on?  What else would you have liked to know about job searching?  (That’s something I would like to know, so please contact me if you have any additional questions or suggestions!)

 

General Resources:

Explore these websites to the fullest extent!  Some of the websites aren’t the easiest to navigate, but I promise there’s a lot of good advice on them if you click on every link.  They offer example resumes and cover letters to fit various people or situations and even talk about proper business attire, interviewing, accepting/declining offers, etc.  If you want to know more, Google is also your best friend!

 

GOOD LUCK!