Monday, February 10, 2014

Don't Wait Until the Last Minute...

A student called this morning. He was frantic. He has an interview tomorrow and he’s not ready. He wanted to schedule a mock interview. We didn’t have any appointment times available. None.
That disappointed student stayed in my head. So, I want to remind you – don’t wait until the last minute. Schedule an appointment with one of our counselors early your final semester to go over your job search plan, as well as your resume, cover letter and reference page. Schedule a mock interview so you have opportunity to practice your interviewing skills before an employer calls to schedule an interview with you.
You leave too much to chance if you wait until the last minute. Employers are in control of whether or not they want to talk with you or even read your resume. But, you can be in control of presenting the best “you” possible. And, that takes some time. The clock is ticking. Don’t wait. 

Monday, February 3, 2014

Are you ready to graduate and start earning big bucks?

Are you ready to graduate and start earning those big bucks? If so, there are probably a few things you want to know regarding salaries for new grads.

The market drives wages--how much demand is there for people in your field? You are competing with other graduating students from many colleges and universities in addition to Wichita State. You may also be competing with experienced people who have lost their positions due to downsizing of their organizations. Salaries also vary greatly by geographic area.

Do your research before you interview. Our website provides links to several sources of information. ( The information from our Graduating Student Survey is a good place to start.

If an employer asks your salary requirements, you can say “negotiable”. You can also ask what their salary range is for the position. Or, it is appropriate to say “I hope to be paid commensurate with the requirements of the job.”

If you strongly believe you are worth more money than an employer offers you, tell them you are very interested in the position and ask courteously if they are open to negotiation.

Many organizations do not allow very much, if any room for negotiation when they make offers to new graduates. However, sometimes they may be able to offer a sign-on bonus in lieu of a higher salary offer. A sign-on bonus is a lump sum of money the employers pays you when you begin your job. It is an advantage to the employer because it doesn’t increase your base salary, on which your potential raise(s) will be based. And, it may be a fair tradeoff to you because you undoubtedly have expenses to pay as you graduate.

Remember benefits may add on as much as an additional 30% to the employer’s cost for your compensation. Perhaps you can negotiate something other than salary such as, flexible hours, working from home one day per week, vacation time or other paid time off, stock options, insurance benefits, tuition reimbursement for a graduate degree, additional training.

If you attempt to negotiate your salary, it is very important to be prepared to point out why and how you are worth more money than the original offer. It is not enough to say “I need a higher salary.”

Always be respectful when dealing with employers. If you attempt to negotiate salary and are unsuccessful, decide if the opportunity and experience you will get are appealing enough for you to accept the offer proposed. It may just be worth it to start at a lower salary than you might hope for in order to get in with a desirable organization.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Welcome Back, Shockers!

As I drove into campus this morning, I saw lots of you. Traditional, returning adult, international. Sporting a Packer sweatshirt, lots of Shocker sweatshirts (of course), a few suits. Laden with backpacks, messenger bags, clutching just a couple of textbooks close to your chest.

As you hurried across campus, I didn’t have time to see the expressions on many faces but, I hope you’re excited. Excited about your instructors, the other students you will meet in your classes, and what you will learn. I hope you’re optimistic about how much your eyes will be opened to new material and the rewards you will earn based on your effort.

Most of all I hope you’re committed to learn and meet new people – and expand your world beyond what it is this morning.

I hope to meet some of you. And, help you with information and decisions about majors, career fields, jobs.

What a great time in your life this is. You may not realize this until a few years down the road. But, I know. I have my years as a college student to look back on and be thankful for. My education at Wichita State totally changed my life. It can do the same for you.     

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Application Information for Employment

If you come to the On-Campus Job Fair, Thursday, January 16, 2014, in the RSC, 2nd floor, Lucas Room, you will want to come prepared to complete job applications. You may want to read through this information in order to save yourself stress on the date of the event.
 • You will need to provide your name, address, email address, phone number, social security number, eligibility to work in the U.S., and if you have been convicted of a felony within the past five years. 
 • Bring information regarding past employment including name, address, phone number of employer; your first and last date of work; your job title; your supervisor’s name and title; your rate of pay at start and termination; your reason for terminating. You will probably be expected to provide this information for your last three jobs.
 • You will also need information regarding your education. Come prepared to provide name and location of schools you attended; degrees/certifications/programs of study completed; graduation or completion date. The application may also ask for skills and qualifications including licenses, training, awards.
 • You will be expected to provide the name, job title, organization, address, email and phone number for three references. Be sure you ask these people if they are agreeable to being a reference for you before you give their information on your application. 
 • The application may also ask for your availability: when you could start the job and the days/hours you are available to work.  
 • Fill out the application neatly, completely and accurately. Make sure the name of the office with whom you are applying appears on the application form so you know where to return the application. WSU offices and departments will give different application instructions. Follow these instructions. Proofread your application before you turn it in. It would be a good idea to bring a pen with erasable ink and an eraser in order to most neatly make any corrections. Use blue or black ink. 
When you sign an employment application, you verify that all information you included is accurate and truthful. I cannot stress this point too strongly. Employers terminate employees for falsification of information on employment applications.
It is your responsibility to return the application(s) you complete to the appropriate office(s). Try to do so during the fair, but if this is not feasible, return to the appropriate office (not Career Services) as soon as possible, if not during the fair. 

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

You Can't Know Everything

I met with a graduating student today who said “Even though I learned a tremendous amount at WSU, I realize there is still a lot I don’t know.” He has a 3.96 gpa in Engineering, so undoubtedly he did learn a lot. But, he has the humility to also know there is still a lot left for him to learn.
Employers appreciate that attitude. They respect candidates who are confident but not arrogant. They were where you are at one point and they know they didn’t know everything – so neither can you. They expect a learning curve for new graduates.  

It pays to be humble. Good to remember when you meet employers and when you interview.  

“You shouldn't gloat about anything you've done; you ought to keep going and find something better to do.”  ~David Packard

Thursday, January 2, 2014

New Year Resolutions

New Year...New Year Resolutions

I don’t know about you, but the beginning of the new year always gives me hope. The opportunity to leave the old behind. To change direction. To move on to new beginnings.
Work, career, education are central to who we are and what we do with our lives. Perhaps one of your new beginnings involves your career.  A few guidelines to help you focus on career follow.

Discover who you are.  What are your top interests? Skills? Values?
  • Research what jobs would be a match for you and who you are.
  • Establish a plan of action to put yourself in a job suited to you. What can you put in place to help you get the job you want now and in the future? What organizations can you join? Where might you volunteer your time and talents? Who can you get to know? Who can you learn from?
Sound like big undertakings? They are! But, you’re not alone – call our office at 978-3435 and schedule an appointment with one of our Career Counselors today. We’re here to help.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Holiday Networking

Tis the season. . .for shopping, and caroling and spreading good cheer. And. . .if you’re in the job market, ‘tis the season’ for networking. For getting out there and talking to people. The hustle and bustle of the season, including holiday parties and festivities, provide perfect opportunities for “running into” friends and family you haven’t seen for awhile, as well as meeting new people.

Accept invitations to holiday gatherings. Introduce yourself and shake hands with people who may have forgotten you and people you’ve not met before. Spend a little time getting acquainted or reacquainted. Listen and show genuine interest in folks and in what is going on in their lives. And, when they ask “So, what do you do?” or “What are you doing now?” you can tell your story.

Don’t be so bold as to ask for jobs. Make your goal instead to build rapport. It is appropriate to ask if you can call later for advice or to hear more about a particular person or organization. Take time and make the effort to jot down names and titles of people you talk with so you can follow up with a note saying how nice it was to meet/talk with them.

Take the challenge. Meet new people this holiday season. You never know when you might make a new friend . . . or meet a future coworker or even a future boss.

Happy holidays!