Social Media: Friend or Foe?

(As published in the Ticker,

By Samantha Bendernagel, Peer for Career

We live in a world where the most fundamental tasks, such as conversing, paying bills, shopping, and even dating now take place online. Therefore it‘s no surprise that technology also plays a huge role in the job search and recruiting process. But while maintaining a presence online is essential in certain fields, we always need to be mindful of the image we create of ourselves. Recruiters may check our Facebook nowadays, so before leaving anything up to the discretion of our followers, we should ask ourselves, “Do I want potential employers viewing this?”  One inappropriate picture or tweet could be the deciding factor that prevents us from obtaining an internship or job, so why take the risk?

For those who bask in the self-expression that is social media, do not panic! There are ways to successfully utilize social networking websites, such as LinkedIn, to build a respectable reputation as well as form professional relationships with potential employers and colleagues.  For example, you can demonstrate an interest in your field by being a member of industry associations and sharing related news with the community.  You can also post your attendance at club events that relate to your major.  So that you can obtain more information, the Starr Career Development Center is holding workshops on October 2nd that focus on creating a professional social media presence.  The takeaway is simply this: social media can both benefit and inhibit us based on how we utilize it, so think before you type and mind your privacy settings.

Projects: The Best-Kept Secret in Resume Enhancement

(As originally published in the Ticker,

By Lisa Huang, Peer for Career


A well-rounded resume aims to showcase a diverse range of skills across a number of different experiences. Students often take this into consideration while developing their work experience or leadership category. However, often overlooked is the projects category, which can also add a great deal of value to your resume.

Students who are looking for their first positions in their future career field or have sufficient resume space will certainly benefit from adding projects to their resume. Examples of skills highlighted here can include industry knowledge, teamwork, and presentation skills. These are three key skill sets that contribute to success in any industry. The first (industry knowledge) can also be the most difficult to obtain as a student. With the projects category, a case competition or class company presentation you worked on develops transferable skills by which to highlight your understanding of the field. Additionally, the projects section can showcase how well you work with others and your experience in effectively communicating information to a large group.

Interview Skills 101: The Importance of Small Talk

(As originally published in the Ticker, 9/22/2014)

By Anum Afzaal – Peer for Career

Many of us feel nervous at the prospect of speaking to someone we have never met before, especially an interviewer. This anxiety can often make it difficult for us to have an effective conversation, negatively affecting our first impression given to the interviewer. To mitigate these worries, we can use the art of small talk.

Small talk is more important than we may think, especially during interviews. On one hand, if utilized correctly, it can positively affect our first impression. It’s one of the easiest ways to alleviate anxiety and calm our nerves at the beginning of an interview.

Small talk does not have to be complicated. It’s best to keep it simple by asking about the interviewer’s day, commute, or weekend. The interviewer knows we are there for a specific purpose, but being able to make friendly conversation at the start of the interview demonstrates that we have good social skills and can communicate effectively.

On the other hand, if utilized incorrectly, small talk can also negatively impact our initial impression given to the interviewer. It’s important to keep the conversation short and light, while avoiding the discussion of controversial or personal topics.

Finally, remember that the person across the interview table is just that, a person! Engaging them in light conversation will not only perk up their mood and allow them to think of us in a positive light, but also reduce any anxieties we may have felt at the start of the interview.














Getting the Most out of OCR

(As originally published in the Ticker, 9/15/2014)

By Alina Nesterenko, Peer for Career

On-campus recruitment is here! Here are some things to remember during this time so you can maximize your chances of landing a job.

1. Start by making sure your resume is as close to perfect as possible. Have your resume reviewed by the Starr Career Development Center as well as mentors or professionals in your field. New opportunities constantly come up on Starr Search, so get in the habit of checking the site regularly. Once you have submitted your resume into the resume drop, track your interview status on Starr Search.

2. At the same time, make sure you are preparing for interviews by doing company research, following the industry news, and thinking of insightful questions to ask your interviewer. You should also utilize a new mock interview module located on the left side of the Starr Search login page, and schedule a mock interview at SCDC.

3. Finally, use your network! Find out about the company’s culture and the interview process from friends and colleagues. These resources will help you know what to expect for the on-campus interview.