By Zoe Bernardi, Staff Writer
The scariest thing after graduation is the job search. Resumes, cover letters and interviews make the whole process very stressful. Michelle Drucker from the Career and Employment Hub has tips for graduates taking on this daunting task.
The Career and Employment Hub website says they can help students with connecting majors to careers, coaching during career transitions, administering and interpreting career assessments, crafting a dynamic cover letter and resume, cultivating professional skills and developing job search strategies.
Drucker explained many steps for students to ensure they are doing their best. The first thing she stressed is the importance of networking. She stated that 85% of all jobs are found through networking. Networking is about making connections and knowing people that can help you learn about new opportunities. Some things that Drucker recommended for students to do is to use LinkedIn, an online platform for creating connections, talking to employers and sharing professional information about yourself.
Another tip was the use of business cards. “Having a physical thing to pass about is also networking,” Drucker said. Having a card with information on who you are and how to contact you is important to professional development.
Lastly, when it comes to networking, Drucker mentioned the relevance of having informational interviews. These interviews are used for students or those looking for jobs to talk to employers about the company, their field of work, and their own professional experience. “People love to talk about what they do,” Drucker said. Interviews help students get more information and show interest in that particular company.
The next step to getting a job is checking career boards. USM has their own career board, Career Connection, which can be found in the launchpad of MaineStreet with the blue cube icon. This tool has listings for companies looking to hire and can be filtered by full-time, part-time, internships or work-study positions. Other external career boards include Indeed, Glassdoor and for Maine jobs, Jobs In Maine.
She voiced the concern for how valuable a good cover letter and resume are. “You should constantly be tweaking your resume per job, highlighting skills that are useful for each job,” she said. According to Drucker, to spice up your cover letter you should share your knowledge about the company and have a deeper connection to where you hope in the future. Share your enthusiasm for this position, why you want to work here and why are you are a good fit. Finally, you should highlight what makes you stand out. Note personal skills that make you stand out, such as being multilingual.
Drucker discourages the use of photos, icons or fancy fonts. Many times these things don’t transfer well to employers. She recommends having someone proofread your resume and cover letter before submitting it.
A good tip Drucker mentioned is to send a letter after each interview that thanks them for their time, and mention something that was discussed during the meeting.
For more help, go down to the Career and Employment Hub. “Our passion is in the success of the student,” Drucker said. Their office is located in 231 Luther Bonney and is open from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. To book an appointment with a career advisor go to, careerhub.youcanbook.me. Alumni can use this service, as well.