If You Are Graduating Sunday…A Short To-Do List

2009graduationaIf you’re receiving a diploma this weekend, here is a short to-do list from Career Services as we wish you well.

Take a deep breath, and enjoy/celebrate your accomplishment.

Congratulations for a job well done! If you find yourself saying, “I could have,” cast away the thought. There’s a lot you have done – and you have done well.

Move forward; always look through the front windshield, not the rearview mirror.  What has happened is in the past – opportunity is in the future.  When you are looking back you will miss the opportunities ahead. Grasp the opportunities and see where the paths will lead you!

Pack up your stuff before your family arrives – and save your graded papers!

It’s amazing how fast parents can transition from “I am so proud of you” to “I can’t believe you haven’t packed.”  When you pack, save your favorite papers that have faculty comments on them – you can use them later to remind professors of your work when you need recommendations for graduate school.

Get ready for the “real world.” (You’ve actually been there before.)

Not so long ago, Tom Brokaw shared the following words of wisdom on the green during Commencement:

You have been hearing all of your life about this moment – your first big step into what you have been called and told is the real world.  What, you may be asking yourself this morning, is this real life all about?  Ladies and gentlemen of the Class of 2005 at Dartmouth, it’s not college – it’s not high school… Real life is junior high.

The world you’re about to enter is filled with adolescent pettiness, pubescent rivalries, the insecurities of 13-year-olds and the false bravado of 14-year-olds.  Forty years from now, I guarantee it, you’ll still be making silly mistakes, you’ll have a temper tantrum, you’ll have your feelings hurt for some trivial slight, you’ll say something dumb and at least once a week you’ll wonder, “Will I ever grow up?”

You can change that.  In pursuit of passions, always be young.  In your relationship with others, always be a grown-up.  Set a standard and stay faithful to it.

Take the first step towards your future.

If you don’t know what you are doing post-graduation, one of the hardest things about graduating can be leaving Dartmouth without a firm knowledge of what’s next. It’s okay. Your next step doesn’t need to be perfect. You just need to make one. As Chinese Philosopher Lao Tzu (604 BC – 531 BC) said, “The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”

If you are 22, you have approximately 45 years before you are eligible to collect Social Security. That’s a very long time, and in that time it is quite likely that your interests will grow, evolve and change – just as they have at Dartmouth. That’s natural and okay. The hill winds will know your name here. There are thousands of Dartmouth alumni standing by to share their experiences with you. We are confident that you will find your way in the world – after all, we too are in awe of much that you have accomplished so far.

Congratulations – and good luck!

Stats on Job Hunting (& Why Networking is Important)

If you’re heading out into the full-time job market, this infographic provides a quick overview of why networking — and informational interviews — are so important. If you’d like to learn some new networking strategies, sign up for our LinkedIn workshop series on April 30 and May 7th. Learn more about these and other programs from our website — and please stop by for a Drop-In meeting with a career advisor, available Monday through Friday, 1:30 to 4:00 pm in Career Services.

Infographic courtesy of InterviewSuccessFormula.

Seven Mistakes to Avoid in Your Cover Letter Writing

It’s hard to believe that winter term will be off and running in a little over two weeks — the first deadline to submit your application for winter term on-campus interviews is Wednesday, January 15.

Want to start your search for internships and full-time jobs before you come back to campus? Here’s a list of seven mistakes to avoid in your cover letter courtesy of U.S. News and award-winning author Louise Kursmark.

We especially like the advice in this piece on why it’s always important to address your cover letter to a live person.

When applying for a position through our recruiting program: Be sure to check the contact information for each position listed in DartBoard to find the right person to address.

When applying for an internship or job at another organization, check the organization’s staff list or call to get the name of the proper contact. (It’s perfectly okay to say, “I’m a student at Dartmouth College and am preparing my application for _________ position. Is there a particular member of your organization that I should address in my cover letter?)

Here are two additional tips specifically for Dartmouth students:

  • If you’re searching for an internship in spring, fall or winter terms, educate the employer on the “D plan” and the dates when you will be available to work.
  • Do your homework on the employer. Go beyond saying you are interested in the organization because of “impressive” leadership or strong growth. Get specific by mentioning a program, award, or recent press release that shows you’ve done your homework on the opportunity.

As always, Career Services will offer extended Drop-In sessions in January to help you fine tune your cover letters should you have any additional questions. Enjoy your holiday!



What Employers Want

Every year, the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) puts out a study of the top skills and qualities employers want to see from college seniors.

This year’s study is out and the results may be surprising to you: Above all else employers seek candidates with:

  1. The ability to verbally communicate with persons inside and outside the organization and
  2. The ability to work in a team structure
  3. The ability to make decisions and solve problems

You can find the full study here.

The good news: All of the top three skills are benefits of a liberal arts education!

Seniors: Drop In to Get Set for Fall

Attention Seniors: Planning on submitting your resume for interviewing opportunities offered through On-Campus Recruiting come fall? Don’t miss Career Services extended drop-in hours on Friday, September 8, Monday September 10, and Tuesday September 11.

Drop-ins are available for resume or cover letter review on a first-come, first-serve basis from 10:00 am to 4 pm. Stop by.