« July 2007 | Main | October 2007 »

Getting to Know Your Internship and Job Resources - Part 1

This is the first of many blogs in which I plan to share with you resources for your internship or job search. I'm going to start with the obvious ones today... things that SI has to offer and a few other resources here on UM's campus.

The most obvious Job and Internship Resources offered by SI is iTrack. iTrack is an online job posting board for jobs and internships, locally, nationally, and occasionally globally. By the time a MSI student graduates, chances are they have signed up for iTrack. I recommend that if you aren't familiar with iTrack (and I guarantee that you don't know all the little perks that it has to offer unless I've shown them to you personally), then you should definitely check out a blog that I wrote earlier this year on how to get the most out of iTrack: iTrack -- How Great It Is!

As I wrote this current blog, I checked iTrack to see exactly what iTrack had to offer you. Quantitatively, this is what there is:
3276 Registered Employers
3700 Registered Employer Contacts
379 Job Postings
232 Multi-School Postings
11 Scheduled Information Sessions

Not to shabby, huh? What those numbers don't show is that we've posted 2115 jobs since SI Careers adopted iTrack in 2006! That's a lot of jobs. That's about 17 potential jobs per student being posted!

You may be wondering where those jobs come from? SI Careers contracts iTrack (aka Nacelink) from a software vendor called Symplicity. Nacelink is a national job search board that hundreds of different schools use. That's where the Nacelink jobs come in. Employers have the choice of posting jobs with SI exclusively or through Nacelink to multiple schools. We get to choose which jobs go on the Nacelink job listings and the SI-only job listings. So, employers post jobs on iTrack. We also seek out jobs from listservs, job boards, and company websites that we think would be interesting to you and add them to iTrack and invite the employers to further a recruiting relationship with us.

Some features that you should definitely be taking advantage of in iTrack are the SI Job Postings, the Search Agent, and the Archived Employer Information/Job Postings (its easy to look back and see what jobs were posted this time last year – or what internships in the past spring – to see what you should be planning on being posted again this year or to drum up a new contact).

The UM Career Center is a career resource also available to all SI students. You can also sign up for their job board, the Career Center Connector, to look for internships and jobs. The Career Center also contracts with Nacelink, so the format of the system looks pretty close to iTrack, but the jobs and some of the individual functionalities are different.

For a fee of $75, you can also sign up to use the Ross Business School's iMpact recruiting system. If you are interested in learning more about this resource, please email me at kkowatch@umich.edu. Ross has many on-campus company presentations that you are welcome to attend free of charge; it is taking part in their on-campus recruitment that requires the fee.

Other school's recruitment boards (Engineering, Law, etc) are not open to students other than their own, but you can always attend the career fairs offered by these schools. Watch your SI email for information on these events and if there is something that you are searching for specifically let me know and I'll help you find it.

Next week, I'll talk about the Student-Alumni Network that SI hosts and also the University Alumni Network. Have a great weekend! ~ Kelly

Posted by kkowatch on September 28, 2007 at 01:01 PM | Comments (0)

ARM Students Field Trip: 2007 Chicago Archives Fair

2007 Chicago Archives Fair
Saturday, October 20, 2007
Newberry Library, 60 West Walton, Chicago, IL 60610
10:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

The Chicago Archives Fair introduces students, educators, historians, and genealogists to primary source materials preserved for use in area museums, libraries, universities, historical societies, and associations. College and university students looking for research seminar paper topicsand elementary and high school students seeking ideas for Chicago Metro History Fair research projects are especially welcome. Researchers will be able to talk to archivists about their collections, schedule research visits, learn about the online Chicago Area Archivists Repository Guide, and hear expert tips about archival research.

Participating Repositories: American Academy of Pediatrics, American College of Surgeons, American Medical Association, Chicago Public Library Special Collections, DePaul University, Evanston History Center, Frances Willard Historical Association, Illinois Labor History Society, Illinois State Archives, Japanese American Service Committee Legacy Center, National Archives and Records Administration, Newberry Library, Northwestern University, Roosevelt University, Rush University Medical Center, Schaumburg Township District Library, Special Collection Research Center - University of Chicago, Southeast Chicago Historical Society, University of Illinois at Chicago, Women and Leadership Archives - Gannon Center, Wood Library - Museum of Anesthesiology

This event is free and open to the public. No prior registration is necessary. Co-sponsored by the Chicago Area Archivists (CAA) and the Chicago Metro History Education Center.

Visit the CAA website for more information and to download a free flyer: http://www.vandercook.edu/archives/CAAarchivesmonth.htm

Posted by kkowatch on September 26, 2007 at 09:45 AM | Comments (0)

LIS Students -- Looking for a Mentor?

I came across the following on a couple of the LIS listservs that I subscribe to. This mentoring opportunity comes from the New Members Round Table (NMRT) divison of ALA. Although the deadline is posted as September 21, they are still accepting applications. ~Kelly

Looking for a Mentor ? We Can Help!

Have you been a librarian for 5 years or less? Do you sometimes feel you have professional questions to ask and no one to direct them to? Do you find yourself wondering, in the midst of hardcore budget season, or in that massive collection development strategy meeting...What the heck are they talking about? Well, through NMRT's Mentoring Committee, help has arrived! Here's your chance to meet a new librarian ally, and to have someone to ask about all those questions you can't really ask!

The NMRT Mentoring Committee will pair up "newbie librarians" with "seasoned vets" as part of our Career Mentoring program that will last from October to July. Conference attendance is not required. Membership in ALA is required, and NMRT membership is encouraged. Applications are due September 21. *** STILL ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS

If you are interested in additional information or would like to be paired with a mentor, please complete the online application at http://www.ala.org/ala/nmrt/comm/careerMentoringApplication.htm

Veronica L. C. Stevenson-Moudamane; MSLS , MA
Crystal Renfro
2007-2008 Co-Chairs NMRT Mentoring Committee

Posted by kkowatch on September 25, 2007 at 02:02 PM | Comments (0)

Career Fulfillment Obstacles and CV Writing Tips

So it’s Friday and, boy, am I ready for the weekend! I'm sure that all of you are ready for a weekend too now that its three full weeks into the term. You're immersed in readings, project meetings, and possibly have a few bags or boxes still to unpack after moving to the area or returning from your internships.

This blog is going to have a couple of different topics. The first part is an introduction to a series that I plan on writing about throughout this fall term. I have about 25 different resources that I am going to discuss and point out to you that you can be utilizing for your job or internship search. To kick this series off, I want to share with you some information on career fulfillment obstacles.

Way back when I got my masters degree and was also immersed in readings, group projects and multiple packing’s and unpacking’s, I had to study student development and career development theories and do research, write papers and also do my own job search. During this time, I came across some great research that explains why many people have difficulties obtaining career fulfillment. (I bet that most of you readers out there never even knew that there are theories on student development and career development -- but it's true, there are!)

Kinnier and Krubmoltz (1984) found from their research, six major obstacles that people are challenged by in their own career satisfaction. These six obstacles are:
1. People acquire inaccurate information or maladaptive beliefs about themselves and the world. They often operate under presuppositions they have never examined. (For example, you want to be an archivist because you read The Archivist and it sounded really cool. But is it a good fit for you and your personality?)
2. People are uncertain about their own priorities. They feel unclear or conflicted about what they really want to value. (Ex: You want to make money and do something good for the world and travel two months a year – what’s most important to you really?)
3. People are unaware of their own abilities and interests and how their skills and preferences are related to the occupational structure of society. (Ex: People say that you are good at something, but what careers fit that skill?)
4. Although a wealth of occupational information is available (probably too much!), people find it difficult to ask pertinent questions, to motivate themselves to find answers, to penetrate the overwhelming mass of material, and to distinguish biased information from facts. (Ex: Informational Interviews are the key to a job search and to discovering if a job is what you really think it is – but rarely do people take the steps to set them up, ask the right questions, and reflect productively)
5. People generally do not have a systemic method for making career-related decision. They often make decision haphazardly.
6. People find that obtaining a job is a lonely, frustrating task for which they are ill prepared. (No need to explain these last two!)

(Source: Student Services: A Handbook for the Professional by Susan R. Komives, Dudley B. Woodward, Jr., and Associates, 2003, pg. 499-500)

I bet most of us just thought that it was the application process that was keeping us from the dream job (and that's a whole other blog topic -- or even a dissertation on game theory and interviewing!)

It would be really great if we would all think about these things when we ask ourselves, what sort of job do we want when we leave SI? What questions do I need to ask? I think one of the biggest issues that people have is that they romanticize jobs. I know of one miserable SI student who thought they wanted to be an archivist until they realized that they were going to be alone much of the day. I can relate -- a dream job of mine was to be a writer, but when I came to the conclusion that spending a day at a computer all alone with only my imagination and my kitchen cupboard, I would easily go insane, write nothing, and probably eat more than I never needed!

So, while you are thinking about your choices here at SI and taking in all of this information that our great information school provides, ask yourself, what do I actually know about the career that I think I want to go into? What sort of environment do I want to work in? What have I like and disliked about my past jobs – how do those things relate to what I think I want to do when I graduate?

Share with me your thoughts – and thought processes on your career decision making. I would also be interested in talking through some of these challenges with anyone that wants to discuss their decision making thus far – or to come up with a plan to overcome these obstacles – now and even later in life.

In the next few months, you are going to be seeing lots of blog topics that should help you overcome these obstacles.

Now, for another resource that I wanted to share with you that I came across today:

The Chronicle of Higher Education posts articles daily on the academic job search. The CV Doctor Returns by Julie Miller Vick and Jennifer S. Furlong may be a great resource for you if you have a Curriculum Vitae that needs a little bit of help. In this article, Miller Vick and Furlong provide some great advice that transcends to resume writing. See the Extend Entry for a text-version of this article or click on the link above to view the article and a CV with comments.

With the arrival of fall comes the renewal of the academic hiring season and the avalanche of questions about how to organize a CV.

So we have once again donned our CV Doctor coats to help readers put together a document that demonstrates their record and their potential -- in a way that is clear and appealing without being gimmicky.

Since 1999, we have asked readers to send in their vitas to be selected for an online critique. We try to focus on different fields each year. This year, we chose to evaluate three faculty CV's: one for a Ph.D. in the social sciences, one in the biomedical sciences, and one for an M.F.A. seeking to return to teaching. We also selected the CV of a midlevel manager in information-technology administration looking to move up the ranks at a major research university. (continued...)

We hope that seeing what they did right and wrong, as well reading our recommendations, will help those of you going on the market this year. But in reviewing the dozens of CV's we received, we also spotted several recurring problems that we would like to highlight here:

If you include a profile of your work on your CV, it should be short. A profile is a brief summary of your skills, not a detailed, two-page list.
A word about CV length and what information to include: If you have attended 100 workshops on some kind of technology don't list them all. Use the word "Selected" and list the most relevant ones.
If you had another career before getting your Ph.D., mention it only briefly. Generally speaking, you are being evaluated for what you can offer in your new field, not for your former career in sales. Discuss a former career in detail only if it is practically related to your field. For example, an architect now working on a Ph.D. in architecture should include some information about his or her professional career.
If you would like to include a description of a current book-length project or a dissertation abstract in your job application, those should be separate documents from your CV. Such descriptions involve too much text to be part of the CV. As a rule, avoid including paragraph-length text of any kind on your CV. Save it for your cover letters, or for your research and teaching statements.
Radical mixing of information doesn't work. For example, if you are a candidate for an administrative position, your CV should not mention in the same section that you were director of admissions and coordinator of cheerleading.
Don't forget to include a "References" section in your application with the names, titles, and contact information of those who will be writing letters on your behalf.
As usual, some otherwise well-designed CV's faltered due to mistakes that could be prevented with a little extra proofreading. Here are a few such dos and don'ts:

Omit zip codes (except in your own contact information and that of your references) and birthdates.
If you share an e-mail account with your spouse or partner, please don't use it in your career correspondence. It's easy enough to open up a separate account for your professional interactions and looks much more professional than johnandsuzie@provider.com.
Avoid weird graphics.
A 20-page CV is too long -- no matter how accomplished you are.
Don't list every award you have ever received. A section called "Selected Awards and Honors" is more effective.
Avoid using justified margins on both sides of the page because you can end up with some odd spacing.
Don't boldface information in a random way. It only confuses the reader and looks messy. Be consistent.
If you've changed your name, explain that -- briefly.
Spell curriculum vitae correctly.
Do not include course numbers when you list classes you have taught. Those numbers vary from institution to institution.
Don't use acronyms until after you have written out the title in full on first reference.
If you need more help, we recommend consulting previous columns of The CV Doctor. (View them using the archive menu on the top right of this page.)

We would also like to note that we received CV's from people at institutions that we know have very capable career-services offices who can give excellent feedback. When seeking career advice, try your Ph.D.-granting institution first. Even if you have moved away from the university, its career counselors may be able to help you.

Posted by kkowatch on September 21, 2007 at 12:33 PM | Comments (0)

Students Join the SI Careers Blog

This term, we will be having several current SI students join me as guest writers on the SI Careers Blog. You can see below the first of a three part series by Pieter Kleymeer. Keep an eye out for other SI Students who will be writing about their summer internship experiences, job searches, or whatever else they want to share.

If you would like to be a guest writer on the SI Careers Blog and have a great or interesting story to share about your summer internship or job search, let me know at kkowatch@umich.edu. I'd love to hear both the good and the bad, your struggles and successes! Job searching isn't easy for anyone and if you don't mind sharing your interviewing woes or the decision-making factors that went into your choosing an internship, we'd love to have you contribute to the blog. Thanks... Kelly

Posted by kkowatch on September 20, 2007 at 01:46 PM | Comments (0)

Resume Writing: Your Job Search Starts Here

Today SI Careers hosted a Resume Writing Panel and four SI students had their resume critiqued anonymously. One of the key things stated that people should take away from a panel such as today's is that you will get a variety of opinions no matter what when you have your resume critiqued by a variety of people. Resumes are like anything else in the world: football teams, food, cars, clothing, favorite colors: everyone’s opinion differs about what is best. But, in the end you should take the feedback that is given and only accept the comments that you agree with and are comfortable with, because the resume should be a reflection of who you are, not your resume reviewer.

Lynne Sebille-White, Assistant Director of Recruitment Services at the UM Career Center, shared with Joanna and I that the Career Center now has available a Resume Template Service for all UM students to utilize in creating a resume. Optimal Resume Builder has several different formats that you can choose from to help create a clean and professional looking resume. If you are having trouble formatting your resume and haven't even gotten to developing and tailoring the content yet, then this service is for you. If you try it out, let me know. I would love to see the results and hear what you think about it. You can also create cover letters and do mock interviews through Optimal.

Still on the resume writing note, MSN Careers recently published an article on Your Biggest Resume Mistakes (by Rosemary Haefner, Vice President of Human Resources for CareerBuilder.com). I thought I would highlight these mistakes (many of which are quite unbelievable and humorous!) and some of the positive things that you can do to make your job search a success.

Your Biggest Résumé Mistakes by Rosemary Haefner, Vice President of Human Resources for CareerBuilder.com

You formatted your résumé ingeniously. You bolded your name and sized it just enough so it will stand out from the masses. You've proofread, spell-checked and edited it to death. You've even included creative (and of course, vital) information about why you're the best candidate for the job -- but have you gone too far?

In a recent CareerBuilder.com survey, hiring managers and human resource professionals across the nation shared the most unusual résumé blunders they've come across in their careers. Top slip-ups from the survey included:

Applicant attached a letter from her mother.
Applicant specified that his availability was limited because Friday, Saturday and Sunday was "drinking time."
Applicant explained that he works well nude.
Applicant explained an arrest by stating, "We stole a pig, but it was a really small pig."
Applicant drew a picture of a car on the outside of the envelope and said it was the hiring manager's gift.
Applicant explained a gap in employment by saying it was because he was getting over the death of his cat for three months.

Employers do appreciate creativity in job applicants because rooting through piles of résumés often times can be a monotonous task. The key however is to balance that creativity with professionalism. You want to stand out as someone unique but also someone with applicable experience who can add value to the company.

While the goal of a creative résumé is to make a lasting impression, you want to make sure it's a good impression. Not sure what kind of impact your résumé has? Try getting your résumé professionally reviewed... for free. Job seekers can go to cbRésumé.com, upload their résumés, and receive instant feedback on how to improve their chances of being hired. Here are four sure-fire ways to ensure your résumé makes the right impression.

1. Your personal life is just that -- personal.
One candidate included that he spent summers on his family's yacht in Grand Cayman, while another included family medical history. Hiring managers don't need to know personal information such as your waistline measurement or where you spend your summer vacations. Instead, include information on activities that are business-related such as memberships in professional organizations and community service involvement.

2. Simple. Bold. Professional.
Using pale blue paper with teddy bears around the border (like one candidate did) isn't going to strike anyone as anything but weird. Three key ideas to keep in mind when formatting your résumé are: simple, bold and professional. Instead of flashy formatting and stationery with borders or graphics, create a clean and polished document on résumé paper with consistent formatting for headings and bullet points. To gain a hiring manager's attention, use strong action words such as 'achieved' and 'managed' instead of unconventional fonts or colored text.

3. One size does NOT fit all.
If you're applying for a sales position, it wouldn't make much sense to focus on your experience in an unrelated field like education or information technology. Not only should you play up achievements and experience specific to the job you're applying for, but also provide quantifiable results. For example, it's easy to say that you have experience in sales, but employers will take note if you say that you were responsible for a 10 percent growth in overall sales. Note: including a picture of you in a cheerleading uniform, as one applicant did, also doesn't make sense.

4. Two sets of eyes are better than one.
After you proofread your résumé a few times, ask someone else to review it. A second pair of eyes may be able to catch mistakes you missed and could provide a fresh perspective on how to improve your résumé.

Rosemary Haefner is the Vice President of Human Resources for CareerBuilder.com. She is an expert in recruitment trends and tactics, job seeker behavior, workplace issues, employee attitudes and HR initiatives.

Other great resources that I've found in my perusing of resume writing articles include:
Microsoft Resume Writing Tips: The Inside Track/Resume & Interview Tips
MSN: Is Your Résumé a Mess? by Kate Lorenz, CareerBuilder.com Editor

If you have quesitons or would like to individually discuss your resume, first year MSIs can contact Kelly at kkowatch@umich.edu or second year MSIs can contact Joanna Kroll at jckroll@umich.edu

Posted by kkowatch on September 18, 2007 at 02:41 PM | Comments (1)

internship series (3 parts) - overview

Over the next few weeks, I'm going to write a three-part series on an internship experience I had with a regional governmental organization in the Pacific Northwest of the US. To give you an idea of what to expect from this series, below is a quick overview of each part:

Part 1
I'll describe how I went about choosing the type of internship I wanted. This might be a no-brainer for some, but I began a long, introspective, and contemplative search period in the fall of my first year at SI because I was... confused. I'll cover my thinking through this period, my actual search process, and my end decision on an internship.

Part 2
In this section of the series I'll talk about my first days on the job this summer. I'll discuss some of the obstacles I encountered and how I circumvented them or dealt with them directly. This section will try to remain optimistic, so don't get too discouraged in the beginning.

Part 3
The final part of my series will be an attempt to answer the questions you may have for me: what did I learn; what SI skills applied to the work; what skills was I missing; and how does this inform my future plans at SI and beyond SI? I'll try to stay substantive here and less philosophical. After all, this was about 'practical engagement'.

If you're reading this blog entry, and have some questions of your own that don't appear to be covered, email me. Alternatively, you can comment after an entry and I'll do my best to respond.

Posted by pkleymee on September 18, 2007 at 02:08 PM | Comments (0)

Job Searching is like Homework!

So, August was a busy month and I took a bit of a hiatus from blogging! However, I’m back and I have a long list of topics to write about this fall to help you to prepare for your internship or job search. First off is about an online article that was sent to me about job searching.

A recent SI Alumnus – and former SI Careers Student Assistant -- sent SI Careers this article that they came across from a Recruiting Career Services Tips website. AskTheHeadhunter posted an article on how job searching is like homework. This is a fantastic metaphor that I love: you put time, energy, and effort into your homework and you get satisfactory results. We all know those rare and lucky people that skimmed through school barely studying and always getting A’s, but we all know that’s not the norm (and those people are not always the best job searchers or interviewers)! It’s not too often that a bad grade leads back to too much studying or too much preparation. The same rules go for job searching: the amount of time, effort, and energy that you put into your job or internship search will show in the results that you get, whether that be numerous offers or a higher offer from the one organization that you want to work for. If you wait until the last minute to apply to a job, your results are probably not going to be all that stellar, just like if you waited until the night before to write a research paper or study for a final exam.

Here’s my advice: If you are serious about your job or internship search, create a syllabus for your self that will provide you with goals to meet throughout the term. Set goals such as one informational interview per month, or one cover letter and tailored resume to be written per week. If you are able to lay out a plan – and actually follow it – just like you would for doing your weekly reading and homework for a class, then your efforts can be spread out over the term and you avoid that last minute frustration and anxiety of having to find a job or internship – right when you are also trying to take your exams and/or move and/or graduate and/or some other major life event that comes with the end of school.

Feel free to drop by my office (402WH) – or Joanna’s – to get some advice on what you should be doing during the next fifteen weeks. Job searching at SI is not always a piece of cake since the field is so unique. Luckily, we have so many resources that you can utilize to get better job search results, just like there are a variety of resources that you can use to get better grades or better your studying habits such as tutors, discussion groups, supplementary books and websites. If you've been reading this blog regularly, then you already have a good idea what these resources. However, if you're new the SI Career Services Blog, stop by and I’ll give you a list of what we have to offer. ~ Kelly

Posted by kkowatch on September 12, 2007 at 03:35 PM | Comments (0)