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Career Services

Student Resources

Connect with a Career Coach

Career coaches can help you explore possibilities, discover your strengths and reach your career goals, wherever you are in your college journey. If you are unsure about your next steps in your educational or career journey, a Career coach has the expertise and tools to help you navigate your career pathway. 

Advising from a Career coach includes:

  • Engaging in career conversations early and often that foster growth, promote career exploration and support the articulation of your knowledge, skills and abilities
  • Helping you to set career goals, gain industry-relevant experience and cultivate career-readiness skills
  • Offer training in how to confidently present yourself in professional settings
  • Assist in transitioning educational experiences to career pathways

Set up a career coaching appointment to get started by emailing careerservices@aims.edu. Telephone and Zoom conferencing appointments are available to students who cannot come to campus. 

Email Disability Access Services to request accommodations for any Career Services appointments.

Resources Available

Sign up with Career Services to identify your interests, aptitudes and strengths and use the below tools to explore career options and begin your job search. 

  • Identify your aptitudes, interests and strengths that reveal how you work, think and understand information and tasks
  • Helps you describe who you are with confidence
  • Discover occupations that align with your results

Connect with Career Services to sign up for YouScience!

Researching career options gives you valuable insight into occupations so you can understand which careers might satisfy you, what qualities you need to bring to the table and whether the career can sustain the life you want to lead.

Job information includes:

  • daily tasks
  • skills and abilities
  • work environment
  • required education and credentials
  • work styles and values
  • projected growth

Search specific careers for an overview at My Next Move.

Find detailed career information and outlook for hundreds of occupations in the Occupational Outlook Handbook.

View video interviews from professionals giving advice to job hunters and speaking about their career experiences at Candid Career.

Connect your major to potential careers at What Can I Do With This Major?

Get Advice from a Career Expert

Job Searching 101, brought to you by Candid Career.

Job Search Tips

Looking for a new job can be overwhelming and time-consuming. Here are some ways you can make your search more successful:

Search for Relevant Positions or Companies

If you have a career goal in mind and are just looking for a short- term job, why not look for positions that will give you valuable experience and set you up to reach your career goal? Look for positions that use some of the same skills your career goal requires, are in a company related to your career goal, or put you in close contact with people who are already working in that career.

Use Alternative Words

Use synonyms of your terms to broaden the results. Sometimes the same position will go by multiple titles, so play around with your search terms to find the whole scope of available positions. If you aren’t sure what other titles to search, you can view alternative position titles at My Next Move.

You can also search generic relevant terms like "math" or "customer service" or search skills you've already mastered to discover jobs that use that skill. Databases will often match your search using terms found in job descriptions, not just the title.

Do Your Research

Before you apply to a company, make sure you check out the "Values," "Mission," "Purpose," or "Goals" web pages. This will give you more information about how the company might suit you and help you develop your cover letter.

Apply on the Company's Site

If you’re interested in a specific company, you can search for jobs directly on its website. Most company websites have a "Career," "Jobs," or "Employment Opportunities" section at the top or bottom of the home page where they post open positions. Applying on the company's site is also generally a good idea to avoid any potential scam job postings.

Use Niche Job Boards

Research jobs on boards for a specific career field and/or location. You can find job boards for working in higher education, city, state or federal jobs, working in other career fields and more.

Connect with Career Services for more tips and assistance in the job search process.

Job Search Links

 

Prepare to Apply for Jobs

Before you begin applying for jobs, you will need to build your resume and cover letter. Review the resources below and if you need help, make an appointment with a career coach by emailing careerservices@aims.edu.

A resume is a formal document that highlights your education, work experience, knowledge, skills and abilities. Resumes should be well thought out and customized for each individual position you apply for. You should update your resume often to keep track of your achievements and experiences. Be honest about your skills and experience and do not embellish. 

Employers want to know what you have to offer in the first 10-15 lines of your resume (about six seconds of reading), so show your strongest skills first.

Tailor your resume for each job application but have a "master" resume, where you keep track of all of your experiences and accomplishments.

Resume Structure

  1. Heading
    a.  The heading is your contact information and should be consistent across all documents you submit to the company.
    b.  Provide your best contact number, professional email address and LinkedIn profile address. 
    c.  You do not need to include your home address.
  2. Skills & Qualification Statements
    a.  Capture the reviewer’s attention by highlighting your skills, abilities, knowledge and accomplishments. 
    b.  Align your skills with the required qualifications in the job posting.
  3. Experience
    a.  List jobs in reverse chronological order, with the most recent first. 
    b.  Include the organization's name, city, state, your title and start/end dates (month and year format). 
    c.  Showcase your job duties, and be sure to include your accomplishments, using language from the job description you are applying to explain how your prior experiences will transfer to the job you are applying for. 
    d.  Include internships and volunteer experience. 
    e.  Seasoned job seekers should list the last five jobs. If your experience is from 10 years or more ago, you do not need to include it unless it is directly relevant and the qualifications are not highlighted within your recent experience. 
  4. Education
    a.  List your highest degree first. 
    b.  Do not list your high school diploma. 
    c.  New graduates should list education right after the skills and qualifications statement. 
    d.  Seasoned job seekers should list education after experience.
    e.  You may also include honors, activities, professional memberships and certificates or licenses.
  5. References 
    a.  
    Always list references on a separate piece of paper and only provide when requested.

View a sample resume

Learn more resume tips from career experts and employers

Cover letters introduce who you are, explain why you are submitting your resume and establish a connection between you and the organization. Employers look to your resume to learn more about your story and why you are interested in working for their organization. Most employers will throw out your cover letter if it is not customized and if there are spelling errors. 

Highlight what you can offer, what you have accomplished and why you want to work there. Show specific examples of your qualifications and how those qualifications make you a better fit for the company and its culture.

Your resume should be customized to the position you are applying for and carefully proofread to ensure it doesn’t get passed over because of grammatical and spelling errors. 

Cover Letter Construction

Cover letters are formal letters and should include:

  1. Header (the same as your resume)
  2. Date
  3. Salutation (the greeting where you will specifically name the hiring committee or individuals who will be interviewing you)
  4. Body 
  5. Complimentary close (thanking them for their time)
  6. Signature line
  7. Enclosures (refers to additional documents included) 

View a sample cover letter

Learn more cover letter tips from career experts and employers

Prepare to Interview

Interviewing can be stressful, even for seasoned professionals. The best way to succeed and reduce stress is to be well-prepared. Follow these steps to properly prepare for an interview.

Answer these questions to help you articulate who you are and what you have to offer during an interview.

  1. What are your interests, skills, and abilities?
  2. What are your accomplishments and successes?
  3. What have you learned from failure?
  4. What are your professional goals?

 Get Advice from an Employer

Co-Founder, Virtual Interviewing Company, CoTrain, brought to you by CandidCareer.

It’s important to research a company or organization before you apply for a position so that you can:

  1. Determine if you would like to work for the organization.
  2. See how you would fit into the culture.
  3. Articulate how your skills, abilities, interests and values match their needs. 
  4. Learn about the organization's customers, products and services.
  5. Identify what questions you may want to ask during the interview.

Where to research?

  1. Organization's website
  2. Google
  3. Social media: LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, etc.
  4. Connect with current and former employees
  5. Read reviews for the company from customers and employees on Google, Indeed, Yelp, Glassdoor, etc.

What to research?

  1. Mission, vision and values
  2. Strategic plan or goals
  3. Products and/or services
  4. Competitors
  5. Recent news
  6. Reputation

Get Research Advice from a Career Expert:

Job Searching 101 brought to you by CandidCareer.
 

One of the best ways to prepare for an interview is to practice. Anticipate interview questions and write out your responses to those questions to reduce stress during an interview.

After you have written your responses, rehearse your responses out loud in front of a mirror or with a friend (ask for feedback).
Here are some potential interview questions. A quick internet search will provide more sample interview questions for your specific field.

  1. Tell us about yourself.
  2. Tell us what you know about our organization.
  3. Do you consider yourself successful? Why?
  4. Why do you want to work for this organization?
  5. Are you a team player?
  6. What motivates you to do a good job?
  7. Tell us about your ability to work under pressure.
  8. What experience do you have in this field?
  9. Tell us about a time when your values and the values of an organization did not align.
  10. How have you handled a disagreement with your supervisor/co-worker?
  11. Tell us about a time when you had to work with a difficult person.
  12. Tell us about a time you made a mistake.
  13. Describe a difficult decision you had to make.
  14. Tell us about one of your greatest successes.

Schedule a mock interview with a career coach by emailing careerservices@aims.edu or try the virtual interview platform, My Interview Prep, via the "my prep" tab within your Student Job Board account. 

Writing out your responses to potential interview questions takes time but it will help ensure you won’t forget to mention any of your talents, skills and abilities.

Use the STARL Technique to frame your responses:

S = Situation: What was the situation? Who was involved? What was the timeframe?
T = Task: What needed to be done? What were the challenges? What were the expectations?
A = Action: What steps did you take? Who assisted you? Why did you take those steps?
R = Results: Explain the results. Provide accomplishments.
L = Lesson Learned: Discuss what the experience taught you. How are you different now because of the experience? What would you do differently?

Schedule time with a career coach to help you write out your responses to interview questions by emailing careerservices@aims.edu. 

Get Interview Advice from a Career Expert

The Reverse Interview, brought to you by CandidCareer.

Identify the top five tasks or qualifications that were listed in the job description. Using the STARL Technique, write down how you fulfill or satisfy each. Bring these responses with you to the interview for reference.

Schedule time with a career coach to help you match your experience with the job listing by emailing careerservices@aims.edu.

Get Interview Advice from a Career Expert:

 

How to Ace Behavioral Interviews, brought to you by CandidCareer.
 

At the end of most interviews, you will be asked if you have any questions and you should have relevant questions prepared. 

This is an opportunity to see if the organization and the position are right for you. It also demonstrates your interest in the organization and that you took time to research.

Sample questions:

  • Would you please share with me what a typical day looks like for this position?
  • How does this position contribute to meeting the organization's mission/goals?
  • Is this a new position, or am I replacing someone?
  • What are the expectations for this position during the (days, months, first-year)?
  • Can you describe the culture of the company?
  • Why do you like working here?
  • What is the first task that will need to be completed or addressed?
  • What is the next step? 

Get Question Advice from an Employer:

The Reverse Interview, brought to you by CandidCareer.

Deciding what to wear can be as stressful as the interview itself, so prepare by choosing your outfit in advance. Go for the conservative business style and clothing should be cleaned, pressed and fit well. Try on the outfit before the interview so you know you will be comfortable in it. 

Get Attire Advice from a Career Expert:

Dress for Success: Gender Inclusive, brought to you by CandidCareer.

  • Bottoms
    • Black, grey, or navy dress pants
  • Top
    • Buttoned-down dress shirt
    • Tie
    • Suit jacket
    • Blouse 
    • Sweater set
  • Shoes
    • Dress shoes that match pants
    • Cleaned
    • Polished
  • Grooming - good hygiene is important
    • Hair - washed, styled, polished
    • Facial hair - trimmed
    • Accessories - minimal
    • Avoid strong smelling cologne or perfume
    • Avoid smoking or eating before an interview
       

To ease the stress on interview day, find the location in advance so you can see traffic conditions, identify parking and find the building without being rushed. This helps you anticipate the time to the location to ensure you show up on time. 

Get Interview Advice from a Career Expert:

How to Ace Your Face-to-Face, brought to you by CandidCareer.

The night before the interview, gather what you may need for the interview, such as:

  • Portfolio with pen and paper
  • Job description
  • Copy of submitted application packet
  • Master resume for reference
  • Resumes to distribute
  • Questions to ask
  • Official transcripts
  • Sample work
  • References

Get Advice from a Career Expert:

How to Ace Your Face-to-Face, brought to you by CandidCareer.

You are Interview Ready!

The Interview

Congratulations! It's interview day! You are ready because you have practiced and prepared.

Remember, the company called you because it is interested in hiring you. You are qualified for the position.

The interview is the opportunity to see if you will fit in and for you to see if you would like to work there.

  • Arrive no more than 15 minutes early. Arriving any sooner may disrupt the interview schedule, compel staff to entertain you, and increase your nervousness as you wait
  • Greet everyone with a smile and a great handshake. Be courteous and wait to be seated. Maintain good posture and make eye contact when answering questions. Breathe. Be yourself.
  • Write the names and titles of the interview committee. Also, get the names of anyone else that helped you - the person who greeted you, the person who gave a tour, etc. These are people you will want to thank, after your interview.

After the Interview

Within 24 hours, send a thank you note.

Thank you notes can be handwritten or sent via email. Delivery method selected will depend on the timeline. 

Thank you notes should reiterate your skills, how you fit with the company and position, and your desire for the job. Be gracious and genuine. 

Get Career Ready

Employers want to hire college students and recent graduates who know how to articulate and use their talents, strengths, skills and interests. These individuals are Career Ready.

Being Career Ready starts with developing these skills while you are a student at Aims. 

How do I show it? 

Be objective and use reasoning to analyze issues. Anticipate problems, and make decisions supported by evidence or reasoning to overcome problems. Distinguish between fact and opinion by interpreting and using knowledge, facts, and data. Demonstrate originality and inventiveness.

How do I develop it? 

Participate in group projects or clubs, play Chess and other strategic games, create things, research, reflect on consequences and causes to problems, question basic assumptions, evaluate concepts, think for yourself and take college courses.

Get Advice from a Career Expert:

How to Use Critical Thinking, brought to you by CandidCareer.

How do I show it? 

Listen to others, share ideas and skills, communicate reasonably and patiently with others, encourage and support others, give and receive feedback and negotiate and manage conflict to reach a goal.

How do I develop it? 

Participate in group projects, student organizations, or clubs. Build working relationships with peers that represent diverse cultures, races, ages, genders, religions, lifestyles and viewpoints.

Get Advice from a Career Expert:

Working in a Team Setting, brought to you by CandidCareer.

How do I show it? 

Demonstrate effective work habits such as punctuality, working productively with others and time and workload management. Demonstrate integrity and ethical behavior by acting responsibly with the interests of the larger community in mind and learn from your mistakes. Understand the impact of non-verbal communication on professional work image.

How do I develop it? 

Start keeping yourself accountable. Attend class regularly and arrive on time, turn assignments in on time, and be considerate of others — including your instructor. Practice writing professional emails with clear salutations and formal writing. Think of how you want others to view you and practice the behaviors of that person.

Get Advice from an Employer:

Working in a Team Setting, brought to you by CandidCareer.

How do I show it?

Clearly express your ideas to others through speaking and writing. Understand your communication format, purpose and audience and adjust your message and method based on these factors

How do I develop it?

Take courses in English, Public Speaking, and Journalism and connect with a tutor and use the many resources at the Writing Center. Participate in discussions with people who have different ideas and experiences than you. Practice trying to persuade others, but remember that listening is equally important in communication.

Get Advice from a Career Expert:

Business Etiquette Part Two: Workplace and Communications, brought to you by CandidCareer.

How do I show it? 

Draw out the strengths of others to achieve common goals, and use your social skills to coach, develop, guide, motivate, organize, and delegate to others. Assess and manage the emotions of yourself and others. Be empathetic and humble.

How do I develop it? 

Participate in group projects, student organizations and clubs. Volunteer or work in a role where you are helping others (i.e. working with children, tutoring, etc.). Practice leading those around you by encouraging, coaching or organizing them.

Get Advice from an Employer:

The Qualities of a Strong Leader, brought to you by CandidCareer.

How do I show it? 

Be proficient in commonly used digital technologies (i.e. MS Office, Google Drive, etc.) and the technology used frequently in your desired field. Understand the impact of social media in the workplace, and know proper etiquette for online communication. Demonstrate openness and adaptability to new and emerging technologies.

How do I develop it? 

Research trends, watch videos, ask others, read about and practice with the technology you will use in your field. Take classes that require the use of technology, use the Learning Commons and reach out to instructors and peers for additional help understanding the technology.

Get Advice from an Employer:

Product Development Specialist, 3M Company, brought to you by CandidCareer.

How do I show it? 

Value, respect and learn from diverse cultures, races, ages, genders, sexual orientations and religions. Demonstrate openness and willingness to learn inclusiveness, sensitivity and respectful interactions with all people. Understand people’s differences, and see the value and richness that diversity brings to the success of an organization.

How do I develop it? 

Take Humanities classes and participate in group projects, student organizations and clubs. Attend cultural events and ask questions. Build relationships with people that represent diverse cultures, races, ages, genders, religions, lifestyles and viewpoints.

Get Advice from an Employer:

Director, LGBTQ Resource Center, Penn State University, brought to you by CandidCareer.

How do I show it? 

Commit to learning new skills and maintaining positive professional relationships. Know how to express the skills, strengths, knowledge and experiences relevant to your career goals, and identify areas necessary for professional growth. Explore job options, take the steps necessary to pursue opportunities and understand how to self-advocate for opportunities in the workplace.

How do I develop it? 

Schedule an appointment with a Career Coach to explore career options, develop and revise resumes and cover letters, prepare for interviews and more. Attend career events, job fairs, workshops, internships and take a career-related assessment.

Get Advice from a Career Expert:

Why use your Career Center?, brought to you by CandidCareer.