Celebrate the holiday and land a job over break

by Jill RossiterGuest Columnist

So you’re heading home for a well-earned break and time to celebrate the holidays with family and friends.

But along with the cookies and presents may come many questions from your folks. Questions like, “How’s the job search coming?” or, “Do you have an internship lined up for summer?” or the dreaded, “Have you figured out what you want to do with your life yet?”

These are tough questions. Don’t be caught unprepared. Christmas break is the perfect time to get your job or internship search organized. Here are some suggested activities for your break:

Sharpen your resume. Be prepared to tweak it to fit whatever job or company interests you. For help with resume and cover letter writing, go to www.simpson.edu/career. You will find multiple examples of resumes and great advice on job search. Send your resume and cover letter drafts to [email protected] for critique.

Clean up your “online footprint.” Everything out there is a reflection on you. And yes, more than half of hiring managers will Google prospective candidates at some point during the process. If there is anything raunchy or “less than professional” (i.e. bad language, bad photo) on your Facebook profile, Web site or Twitter account, now is the time to clean it up. Forty-six percent of HR professionals say they have eliminated candidates based on what they have found online. While you’re at it, create a professional profile on LinkedIn, another tool for your job search.

Research jobs and companies that interest you. Check out the JoBulletin and links at www.simpson.edu/career for full-time and internship openings. Search the Web sites of your target companies to research them and their open positions. Go to http://www.jobprofiles.org/library/jobsearch/100_twitter_feeds_for_job_search.htm for Twitter feeds to help you land a job. Also check out TwitterJobSearch.

Attend the 2010 Iowa Career Expo on Thursday, Jan. 7 from 10:00am-3:00pm at Hy-Vee Hall in downtown Des Moines. For more info go to http://ci.shrm.org.

Get out and talk to people! Over 80% of jobs are filled through various forms of networking, face-to-face or by phone. Let friends and family know what you are looking for. When you make a contact, request an “informational interview.” Ask questions, seek advice, ask for referrals and offer information. Be positive, professional, inquisitive and engaging, and you will be amazed at how many people will want to help.

In January, make an appointment with Career Services to discuss your internship or job search. Check out our workshops and events. Schedule a practice interview. Let us help you get on track to the career of your dreams.

Happy Holidays!

Jill Rossiter is the Director of Career Services. Contact her at [email protected]