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How to Interview

By Cayla Lomax, Peer Advisor

With Expo ending and summer slowly approaching  many of us have been gearing up for interviews for upcoming jobs or summer internships (or may have already landed the job!).  During this time of frenzy here are a few tips to keep in mind when trying to put your best foot forward for the interview.

Before I go in to the nitty gritty of this article, I do want to mention one key point. According the website The Balance, “the key to effective interviewing is to project confidence, stay positive, and be able to share examples of your workplace skills and your qualifications for the job”. This quote really encompasses the what your main focus point should be when interviewing: Confidence, Positivity, Reliability, and Experience.

I’ve gathered the following tips from The Balance, The Muse, and Live Career:

1.Research the Company and Position

Success in an interview is dependent on solid knowledge of the company and position you’re applying for. You want to know the background of the company, obviously, as well as what the position entails, but don’t neglect researching the company culture and mission statements. By getting a sense of “who” the company is,  you can better structure your answers to fit the what they are looking for and become a more attractive candidate. Find as many resources as you can such as friends, contacts, Google, Glassdoor, press releases, company’s social media, etc. to better your knowledge about the company.

 

2.Anticipate Interview Questions

First and foremost, you should prepare and practice your response to the typical job interview questions, such as the “Tell me about yourself” question, which though seemingly simple, can trip up those who are not prepared. You also want to ask the hiring manager what type of interview to expect – different firms use different types of interviews, so it’s best to be prepared for anything that’ll come your way. Your main goal when answering interview questions is to come up with answers that are detailed, yet concise, that focus on specific examples or accomplishments.

 

3.Be Aware of Body Language

Though the content of your answers in incredibly important, employers will also be focusing on what is unsaid – that is, your body language. You want to make sure you have eye contact, good (yet comfortable) posture, and smile and nod occasionally to show that you’re actively listening and engaged. You want to avoid slouching, fidgeting with your chair, or playing with a pen or your hair.

 

4.The Follow Up

Common courtesy and politeness go far when interviewing. Generally you should send your thank you note or email within 24 hours of your interview.

 

With these tips you should be well prepared for any interview that comes your way. Good luck Canes!

Career Expo Craze!

By Morgan Henry, Peer Advisor

Get Hyped for Spring Career Expo 2018!

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The University of Miami’s Spring Career Expo is Wednesday, February 21st from 1-5pm at the Watsco Center. This event will feature over 100 companies that are eager to make connections with both students and alumni from UM. It’s a great way for you to make connections to strengthen your personal network, discover different potential career paths, as well as continue to develop yourself professionally. With all these benefits on the line, it’s important to stay on top of things and budget yourself enough time to have a great Expo experience.

  1. Use Toppel! Whether your resume needs tweaking or you want to start from scratch, Toppel Career Center has great resources to help you out. Walk-in Advising is Monday through Friday from 9AM to 4:30PM, so be sure to stop by in the dates leading up to Expo. We can also help you develop the perfect elevator pitch!
  2. Research the Companies. After you register for Spring Expo using your Handshake account, there’s a great feature that lets you see a list of every company that’s attending the fair. Go through, pick out your favorites, and learn more about them. Prepare some questions for the company representatives and stand out from the other hundreds of students that will attend.
  3. Make a Strategy. Whether this is your first Expo or you’re a seasoned vet, it never hurts to have a bit of networking practice. MAXIMUS will be coming to Toppel as Expo time nears to give students valuable input on what networking means and how play to your strengths within this setting (February 20th, 5:30pm). Make sure to register for this event using Handshake!

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Remember, there are so many resources out there that want to help you! Take advantage of them, and give yourself plenty of time to prepare. See you at Spring Expo 2018!

Good Luck, Canes!

Dressing the Part to Rock the Interview

By Kara Davis, Peer Advisor

Congratulations! You scored an interview for the job of your dreams, but what are you going to wear?! Proper business attire can make or break your chances of being offered that position.  Since you’re going for an interview, it is safer to go with business professional rather than business casual.  What’s the difference? Business casual is often worn in a casual office setting, but is still considered appropriate for the workplace. This includes khakis or slacks and casual button-down shirts for men and a skirt or pants with a dress shirt or a dress for women.  Typically, business casual does not include jeans, flip flops, or tank tops.

Business professional is exactly as it sounds, professional. For men, this is usually a dark-colored suit with a tie and dress shoes. For women, business professional can include either a dress with a blazer or a suit with pants or knee-length skirt; shoes can either be closed-toe heels or closed-toe flats. Wearing business professional attire to your interview will be a benefit to your future employer’s first impression of you. Are you worried that you don’t have the right items to put together your professional look? Come to Toppel and make use of Sebastian’s Closet! Here you can borrow various items of professional clothing for FREE. It’s better to be dressed for success than under dressed without your dream job!

Good luck, Canes!

Communication & Job Searching

By Kiera Adams, Peer Advisor

We hope everyone had a great time at Expo last week! Expo having just passed means it’s about that time when recruiters are starting to reach out about jobs or internships. It’s always a question about how you should approach the next steps: Here are a couple of tips to guide you on how to follow up with employers!

First question is: when exactly should you follow up? When talking to a recruiter, it’s not a bad idea to ask at the end of the conversation what the next steps would be. From their answer, this should give you an idea of when you should except an answer. If they don’t give you a specific date, it’s recommended you wait a week or a week and a half before following up.

One tip to keep in mind is not to invade their personal space: Not just physical space, but also over the Internet. Don’t contact the employer asking if they made a decision the day after you speak with them. You want to show interest, but don’t want to seem like you are desperate.

Another question is what method should you use to follow up? Should you call or email? Employers don’t have the time to talk on the phone to every candidate especially with the quantity they meet at a career fair. Emails can be easier to keep track of and leaves a paper trail. Make sure when you are writing your emails that you say something that will remind the recruiter of your previous conversation. They hear from a lot of people so it can be difficult to keep track and remember people just from your name on the email signature.

 

Here are some do’s and don’ts from an article about this topic from LiveCareer:

Do be patient. The process often takes longer than the employer expects”

Don’t stop job-hunting, even if you feel confident that you will get a job offer.”

Do write individual thank you notes or letters to each person who interviewed you”

And finally:

Don’t place too much importance on one job or one interview; there will be other opportunities for you.“

Article: https://www.livecareer.com/quintessential/interview-follow-up-dos-donts

Hopefully these tips help you get to the next step in your job search! Good luck, Canes!

Why Career Expo?

By Sterlie Achille, Peer Advisor

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Career Expo will be the place NEXT WEEK on September 6th from 1pm to 5pm! Join us at the Watsco center to engage in an incredible chance to explore internship options, full-time job opportunities, and graduate programs. You absolutely DO NOT want to miss this event. There are several reasons why attending this career fair will be a great way to progress your job search.

1) Attending Career Expo allows you to meet directly with the hiring managers and or representatives who have an impact on hiring decisions. Career expo has nearly 100 registered employers that will be attending this year. These recruiters are from a variety of industries ranging from American Express, Carnival, Chewy, Maximus, Miami Heat, Stryker, Visa and so much more! What better way to learn which companies you might want to work for and which open positions would be most relevant to you, than in person?

2) Career Expo will be a less-formal setting to practice your elevator speech and get to know more about the company’s you are interested in. Even if you only get to communicate with them briefly, you will have the practice of talking about yourself and your strengths. Be bold. Take advantage of the fact that you can talk to a variety of people that could have a need for your skill set and experiences. You have so much to offer!

3) Attending this signature recruiting event would allow you to better align your resume with the company’s needs! Knowing what these companies are looking for sets you apart from the competition. So come join us and talk to employers, build your network (and your LinkedIn connections) and most importantly, practice your elevator speech! Make sure to come professionally dressed, bring your University of Miami Cane ID, and have at least 20 copies of your resume.

Are U  excited, yet!?

Workplace Etiquette

By Kim Wilks, Peer Advisor

The end of the semester is quickly approaching and this means that students will be moving into their full-time jobs and summer internships. Whether the position is short-term or long-term, you want to be sure to leave a good impression on everyone you encounter. Every day will be a networking opportunity. Keep a positive attitude and stay motivated. Here is a list of 10 professional etiquette tips to remember as you enter the workforce.

  1. When introducing yourself to someone for the first time say your full name and stand up. The higher-ranking person usually initiates the handshake. Handshakes are generally three seconds long. Keep a firm but comfortable grip.
  2. Maintain eye contact and good posture. Remain confident.
  3. Men nor women should not cross their legs.
  4. Arrive on time and be prepared! To be early is to be on time. This way you can do any last minute preparation that may be necessary.
  5. Respond to emails in a timely fashion. Address the person(s) receiving the email and say please and thank you. Check your grammar and watch your tone.
  6. Keep phone usage to a minimum and keep your phone on silent/ vibrate.
  7. It is usually better to be overdressed than underdressed. However, try to follow the dress code.
  8. Try your best to remember names, but admit if you have forgotten.
  9. Follow directions and ask questions if something is unclear.
  10. Avoid controversial topics with co-workers inside and outside of the workplace.

These ten tips are just some of the things to keep in mind as you enter “the real world.” Beyond all of this, remember to have fun and be yourself.  Take every day as a learning experience. Admit your wrongs and take responsibility. Then, move on and improve with every passing day. You’ll do great.

Good Luck Canes!

Last Minute Tips for Career Expo

By Tina Humphrey, Peer Advisor

Practice your Elevator Speech

Perfect practice makes perfect. The more you practice saying your name, major, what you are looking for in the company, and how you will make a contribution, the more confident you will be.

Perfect Your Knowledge

Have at least one to two facts ready about each company’s booth you are planning on visiting. Career Expo’s are for you to network with the company. Per Vault, employers are looking for students who interested in their companies. “I think that the thing that I look for is whether they first ask me about SecondMarket, or they already know about it,” says Sarah Robinson. She’s the recruitment coordinator for the investment trading company, and the “resume keeper” after fairs. “I usually take notes on resumes of people who stand out,” she says. “I definitely put my two cents in about how they made an impact on me, how I think they’d be a culture fit, how I think the candidate would contribute to second market.”

Prepare your Suit

Here’s a guide below on what to wear:

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Follow Up

Most of the companies at a career Fair recommend sending a thank you/follow up email with an electronic copy of your resume to whomever you spoke to at the fair. If you didn’t get a card, try emailing through the company’s web site, especially if it’s a small company.

Here are great samples of “thank you” and follow up emails.

https://www.hofstra.edu/pdf/studentaffairs/studentservices/career/zarbcar/zarbcar-thankyou-note-tips.pdf

https://www.thebalance.com/job-fair-follow-up-2060750

Good Luck Canes!

 

Crawl to NYC

By Jessica Sublette, Graduate Assistant, Career Education

Let’s Crawl. No, not on the floor as if you’re looking for an earring you dropped. Besides that would take you long time to crawl from the University of Miami to NYC…No I’m talking about a Career Crawl.

The University of Miami Toppel Career Center is proud to announce our FOURTH Career Crawl and this time we are headed to New York City! Here’s what you need to know:

Who: UM sophomores and juniors with a 2.4 or higher GPA and in good standing with the university

What: New York City Career Crawl

When: Monday, March 13 – Thursday, March 16, 2017 (spring break week)

Where: New York City!!

Why: Interested in exploring career opportunities in media and branding? Eager to connect with UM alumni and employers in the New York City area? Apply now to join the Toppel Career Center in this week-long immersion experience that will give you the opportunity to explore career paths in media outlets and brand strategy and development, visit New York City area employers on site, meet UM alumni from a variety of New York organizations and industries, and discover what it’s really like to live and work in New York.

How: For more information and application instructions: https://miami.joinhandshake.com/events/34619

Application Deadline: Wednesday, January 25, 2017 at 5pm

 

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Professional Dining Etiquette Basics

By Jake Ducharme, Peer Advisor

Where things are:

Above is the general set up of a formal dinner. The number of glasses and utensils varies but the rest is relatively constant. An important thing to remember is to start with the outermost utensil and work your way inward.

Table Manners:

TURN YOUR CELL PHONE OFF

Seating

When you arrive be mindful that your host may have seating arrangements in place. If the meal is honoring somebody wait for them to sit before you sit. Once seated, practice good posture and remain upright in the chair without your back against the chair. Additionally, when eating, remain upright and don’t lean over your plate

Napkin

Unfold napkin in one smooth motion without shaking and immediately place it in your lap after being seated

Utensils

  • Hold your fork in your left hand, tines downward.
  • Hold your knife in your right hand, an inch or two above the plate.
  • Extend your index finger along the top of the blade.
  • Use your fork to spear and lift food to your mouth.
  • When you are not actively using your knife, but it has food on it, you should rest it on your plate with the sharp edge facing toward you; this symbolizes that you are peaceful and non-aggressive.
  • If your knife is not needed, it remains on the table.

Dinner Conversation

FOUR KEYS TO CONVERSATION: STOP, LOOK, LISTEN, AND WATCH

  • “stop” – do not speak without stopping to think about what you are about to say;
  • “look” – pay attention to the expression of the person with whom you are talking;
  • “listen” – listening is the most important conversational skill.
  • “watch” – keep your eyes on whomever you are talking with.

 

Small Talk

Many times you will be engaged in small talk with a variety of people. The best way to be prepared for small talk is to be up to date on current events. Other appropriate topics include work, hobbies, family, pop culture etc. Keep the conversation light and don’t bring up controversial topics. Those may include religious beliefs, politics, financial situation, illness, divorce or an affair, someone’s weight, height, shoe size, age or mental health, harmful gossip, and racial, ethnic or sexually oriented jokes.

 

Remember F.O.R.M. for conversation safety:

Family

Occupation

Recreation

Motivation

 

Be Prepared for Business Meals

Execute proper table manners as well as:

  • Be sure of the date and time of your meal
  • If you are unsure of the location of the restaurant scope it out before hand
  • Dress well. Over dressing is better than under
  • Arrive 10-15 minutes early
  • Wait to discuss business
  • Follow up and send a thank you note after the meal

 

Always remember: TURN YOUR PHONE OFF

Good Luck Canes!

 

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