Career Road Map Journey #4

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Journey # 4: Who I Am

Each of your Career Road Map Journeys should have helped to solidify your career choices. Once those choices are solidified, you should have no problem articulating to a prospective employer your qualifications, credentials, as well as your long term career goals.

Professional Brand Identity

In Journey #3 you started to create your own Personal Brand Identity, but is that brand identity communicating your strengths, qualifications and accomplishments? Then talk to employers, alumni, and supervisors. See what they think about you and your future, and then use that to get hooked up to the right job or future opportunity.

  • Have you “Googled” yourself lately? Make sure you are cleaning up your digital dirt.
  • Use this guide to Evaluate Your Social Media Presence.
  • Watch Linkedin.com’s Graduate Guide this step by step guide that will show you the value of building and managing your professional reputation online.
  • Contact a Career Advisement Team member to get assistance on building your Linkedin.com profile.
  • Join the LinkedIn Purdue University Alumni group and any other professional affiliations that might be linked to your career field choice.
  • Still confused? Check out this infographic that explains How Linkedin Works.

Informational Interviewing

Informational Interviews involve talking to people about their careers and what they do in their jobs. Conducing an informational interview is about gathering information about an industry or occupation, not about asking for a job. Find out how much you know about your preferred career choice/occupation by completing an informational interview (academic, industry, non-profit, or government) based on your interests. If you need assistance finding a person to interview, contact the Career Advisement Team, or explore their LinkedIn or Facebook contacts. It’s pretty easy to find someone to talk to. It’s always best if you can get a hold of someone local and talk to them face to face. And they can always go with a friend which makes it even more fun. To make it easier, here’s an Informational Interview Questionnaire.

There’s also a section on informational interviews on the job search video here.

Consider the following questions:

  • What did you learn or confirm about the career you discussed?
  • What questions did you ask that provided the best information for you?
  • What additional information do you need to better prepare for a career?

Create a Job Search Plan

Next create a job search plan based on where you are in your academic program. The job search plan could be for an internship, seasonal employment or your first full time professional job. You must complete the following activities:

  • Watch this 4 minute video on job search
  • Create a Word document that lists 3-5 job search engines that are specific to your employment opportunity of interest.
  • You will seek out 3-5 examples of internships, seasonal employment, or full time professional openings that are similar to your area of interest. You will copy and paste these job postings into a Word document.
  • You will then scan the job postings for key words that are listed in the job posting as desired characteristics, qualifications or educational requirements.
  • Remember when you did the internet research about the occupations that interested you in Journey #1? The research that you saved in a file folder should include certain key words that are specific to your occupation of interest. Does your resume include those same key words? Remember, most applicant tracking systems are set up so that hiring managers can search for resumes based on key words. Linkedin.com is set up this way too!
  • Do your research by identifying 3-5 companies where their industry aligns with your occupational interests. Complete Company Profile Worksheet to assist you in your job search planning.
  • Need to do more research and preparation? Check out Glassdoor.com.  Glassdoor is a free jobs and career community that offers an inside look at companies from the employees that work there. It is like a free insiders tour.

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Interview Preparation

Being able to communicate your qualifications, experience and abilities is a critical step in becoming career ready. You will learn how important it is to prepare for an interview:

  • Watch the 5-minute video on interviewing techniques (introduction to the S.T.A.R. behavioral method)
  • Write down 3-4 examples that you might use in an interview using the S.T.A.R. method.
  • Read the Optimal Resume Interviewing Module Tutorial then practice a minimum of 10 questions using the Online Career Center’s Interview Prep program.
  • Now it is time to reflect on what you have learned by recording yourself:
    • What did you learn about your body language, presentation (voice, eye contact, fidgeting, movement, comfort, etc.)
    • What did you learn about preparing for questions using the S.T.A.R. method?
    • Do you need to practice further ? Contact the Career Advisement Team to schedule a Mock Interview.
    • Go talk to an Advisor, Counselor, Parent, Friend, etc. and ask about their experience in interviewing. Ask them to practice with you. Ask how you might improve. Want that job or internship? A few hours of practice makes all the difference in the world. Find out their feedback by asking:
      • Did I sound funny to you?
      • Did I say “like” every other word? Did I say “umm” a lot?
      • Did I say look at their shoes when you talk to others?
      • Did you seem to know what employers would ask during interviews?