Use your time effectively and craft your personal pitch

Whether you’re graduating or still seeking an internship, check out Miriam Salpeter’s 10 Tips for New Grads Hoping to Score a Job. She provides good advice on how to use your careertips13-150x150time effectively both in applying to jobs and delivering your personal pitch.

For best results, apply to those jobs that best match your skills and interests. Use sites such as LinkedIn to learn more about the companies to which you are applying and the skills your desired position requires. You will then be able to better personalize and tailor each application and cover letter to the specific role you seek to fill.

Consider joining the Career Services LinkedIn Group and attending networking events to have conversations with those who can potentially refer you to an opportunity. When networking—and also during interviews—be sure to concisely tell the person what you’ve done and accomplished, what your interests are, and how these relate to your desired position. Practice focusing in on your most important and revealing interests and keep “your talking points down to a 30-second pitch.” Check out Arnie Fertig’s 7 Key Elements of a Great Personal Branding Statement for some tips on how to effectively communicate your pitch.

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.

Alumni Conversations: Greg Clow ’81, Editor at Top-Ten-Apps.com

 

Position: Editor at Top-Ten-Apps.com,  an iPhone app discovery email newsletter

Short description of what you do: I work on web development, app discovery and review, social network integration, analytics, email marketing, creative direction, art direction, and copywriting.

Degree at Dartmouth: Visual studies

1. Did you pursue any further education or training?

I took night classes from a San Francisco-based advertising school. All other training was done on the job.

2. Describe the path from your time at Dartmouth to your current activity.

I went from working in advertising in New York to advertising in Boston, and then I moved on to San Francisco. Eventually I moved from advertising to online marketing.

3. What activities/groups/events did you participate in while on campus?

I was a member of the squash team and Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity. I also skiied, worked on the snow sculpture design for Winter Carnival in 1980, designed Dartmouth Film Society posters, participated in the New England Art Show, and designed the Winter Carnival poster for four years. 

4. How do you translate your Dartmouth education and/or major to your career?

All my coworkers went to art school and had a four to six-year head start on me…. That was a sobering realization. However, in the field of creative advertising, the ability to call on my liberal arts background, and to reference pieces of societal and historical information that my colleagues did not have, helped a great deal. I also found it far easier to present ideas to business leaders because I was relating to them on a level playing field.

5. Do you have any advice for current students who are interested in the arts, both academically and personally? 

As I see it, there are three directions to take after Dartmouth as an artist:

1) You have the means, or a benefactor, with which to follow your creativity unencumbered by the necessity of income,

2) You choose a second career, and creating visual art becomes a second career or hobby, or

3) You go into marketing or advertising.

I chose the third path. As a piece of advice to artists in today’s digital world: Today it is so easy for non-artists to create beautiful things, that the fruits of our labor have become commodities. Photographers know this best. While the few truly great in the industry welcome the competition and claim that it will just “up the game,” for those just entering the field, the competition to just get a start is daunting. Why pay a professional photographer when I can just use my iPhone? Why hire an artist to create the art for a billboard when I can use Photoshop and stock photography at a fraction of the cost?

The smart way forward for today’s graduate is to find a way to use digital capabilities to expand the touch of your creativity — printmakers learned this. Make an engraving once, make a hundred prints, number them and sell them. One piece of art and a hundred copies = greater income and greater exposure. Today’s graduate has to look to multipliers in order to make an impact.

Intern Stories: Catherine Treyz ’13 on NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams

Position: Summer Intern at NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams
Location: New York City
Description of what you did: I was a broadcast intern at Nightly News during Summer 2012, where I worked directly with producers on news and feature pieces for the evening newscast.
Major at Dartmouth: English with concentrations on popular culture and British literature

1. What was the most satisfying about your work?

From the first day, I was relieved to realize that my internship would be different from those portrayed on television sitcoms — there were no coffee runs. Immediately, I became an active member of the newsroom team and was often responsible for meeting the same daily deadlines as producers, designers, writers, and reporters. During the first week, I was trained by media professionals on how to use specific video editing and logging programs. I further developed those skills throughout my internship, editing videos for NBCNews.com and previewing footage for news and Olympics pieces.

Although I was completing basic production tasks, it was truly awesome seeing even seconds of footage I logged and highlighted for producers appear on the national evening newscast. Luckily for me, as an Olympics aficionado, many of my assignments were completed in preparation for the London 2012 Summer Games. I also assisted producers and crew on a couple of on-location shoots, including a day spent in the Bronx filming the New York Yankees at their HOPE Week charity events. At the end of the summer, I was hired as a “runner” for NBC and MSNBC at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina, where the hands-on production experiences continued. Overall, I was introduced to the truly multi-faceted field that is news media. The career options are endless.

2. What’s the best way to enter the broadcast journalism field? Any essential elements of preparation?

First, you have to like news. Whether you prefer broadcast over print is not important, because there are skills, like writing, that overlap in both fields. But your job will be variably different each day given the nature of news. You have to embrace that nature and you have to like that nature. Secondly, some experience, whether it’s through a campus publication or previous internship(s), in news or media is certainly a plus. It makes the adjustment to a professional newsroom easier and exciting. Also, there will be certain takeaways: You can apply the skills you learn when you return to work with your campus groups or in future jobs.

With that being said, it’s also very important to have an open mind and thick skin. Professional producers and editors take the time to show you how they start and finish a piece. They also talk with you and review your own work, offering suggestions and edits to a web piece you’ve spent hours working on. Take those moments as learning experiences. Some of the more interesting conversations I had with producers were about just two seconds of footage we were considering.

3. What advice would you give to others seeking internships in this field?

Be willing to try something different. For instance, if you’re interested in an editorial internship but get a media design or business one, don’t necessarily turn it down. Your interests can change — and that’s a good thing. Chances are good that you’ll likely experience editorial aspects in a business or design environment as well, or vice versa. It’s an interdisciplinary field.

4. How has Dartmouth supported you in your career development?

At this internship, I noticed my liberal arts background come into play. Because of Dartmouth’s curriculum requirements and liberal arts emphasis, I have taken courses in many departments. I incorporated skills and knowledge from classes in several departments into my daily duties. Dartmouth classes and experiences have pushed me to think deeply, act resourcefully, and ask important questions. In July, when the Aurora, Colorado shootings occurred, the Nightly office was quickly reacting to the breaking news and changing reports. My coursework in media research, statistics, public policy, anthropology, and literature helped me efficiently assist producers and communicate with others throughout the country.

As I approach graduation, I also realize how important resources like Rauner Special Collections and Jones Media Center are in pursuing my career path. There you learn valuable research methods and how to use similar and sometimes the same software media and production companies use.

5. Is there anything else you would like to add?

Interning at NBC was a wonderful experience. In fact, I was sad to leave on my last day! I definitely suggest browsing the NBC Universal career site if you’re interested in news, entertainment, sports, business, marketing, law, and, well, just about anything! I met interns from different departments and we all only had positive things to say about our internships. Take a look and apply!

How to Ace a Challenge-Based Interview

Have you ever been asked to do a sample project as part of a job interview? If you haven’t yet, chances are good that you may be asked to participate in a challenge-based interview in the future.

U.S. News & World Report career columnist Miriam Salpeter reports that the number of employers who are using challenge-based interview techniques is on the rise. In these types of interviews, you may be asked to create a plan to tackle a specific scenario.

Example: Let’s say you are interviewing for a position with a start-up company. They say, “We’ve produced a new beverage line of mint-flavored drinks that provide the same mental alertness as a cup of coffee — but without the side effects of insomnia. You have 48 hours to devise a marketing plan to pitch the product to your peers. We look forward to your presentation tomorrow.”

Challenge-based interviews are based on the same general concept as behavioral interviewing — that past behavior is often reflective of future behavior. So if you do well with your interview, they may assume you’ll also be a strong performer on the job.

Here are Salpeter’s five tips on how to tackle a project based interview. Notice that none of these tips require you to go to extreme measures. Instead, they focus on the importance of doing your research on the problem and potential solutions, creating materials that speak to the project’s goals, and demonstrating to the employer that you understand and are enthusiastic about what the job requires. (In other words, strategies you would normally use in the process of applying for a position!)

Do you have an interview in your future? Consider coming to Career Services for a Monday Mock interview. Contact our office at 6-2215 to schedule an appointment.

Think you have an idea about what the best careers are?

You may be surprised at some of the professions that made U.S. News’s list of the top 100 Best Jobs of 2013, which is topped off by Dentistry and includes nursing, software development, and physical therapy among its top 10.

In creating this Best Jobs list, U.S. News took into account and allotted different weights to factors such as 10-year growth volume, 10-year growth percentage, median salary, job prospects, employment rate, stress level, and work-life balance.

This weighting methodology ensures that all of the top picks are not necessarily the typical cash cows, as many lower-paying professions offer other qualities that are also important to consider in the job search process.

Want to figure out the career that’s going to work best for you? Engage in careful research and consider many factors including job location or necessary training and education—when deciding where to anchor your career.

If you haven’t done so before, check out the Majors to Careers section on the Career Services homepage.

For a list of growing fields with projected increases in hiring and growth, check out Rick Newman’s 10 Businesses That Will Boom in 2020.

We also recommend MyNextMove.org, a site sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor, to get additional suggestions on employment projections, training requirements and jobs by area of interest.

 

 

Tips for Peer-to-Peer Leadership

Ever found — or find — yourself in charge of supervising your peers?

While leading a team can be a rewarding experience,  it can also feel awkward when you’re in the course of doing it –especially if you’re suddenly your best friend’s boss or applying for jobs.

Fortunately, there’s a wealth of advice and resources online that advise how to lead. Check out these suggestions from Rachel Farrell’s “23 Traits of Good Leaders.” Farrell has rounded up advice from a number of different experts. Must-have skills and attributes include self-awareness, collaboration, focus, integrity and compassion.

For additional advice, check out this video from Robert Wendover:

(Hat tip to our colleague Justin Einhorn ’14 for contributions to this piece.)

Want to Work for an Innovative Organization?

Every year, Fast Company publishes a ranking of “The World’s 50 Most Innovative Companies.” This year’s list is hot off the presses.

Check out the full list of companies and organizations here. Note the diversity of industry sectors represented — from high tech and entertainment to healthcare and education.

As always, Career Services staff can help you if you have any questions about how to research and prepare for potential opportunities.

Luke Antal ’07: Research Employers for Cover Letters & Interviews.

Recently we interviewed Luke Antal ’07, Sr. V.P. of Finance & Operations for Pavé Life; an e-commerce company that facilitates the sale of tickets for high-end cultural events.  Luke provided us with many words of wisdom which we will be highlighting over the next few weeks.  As the December interim period begins Luke highlighted the importance of employer research in creating compelling cover letters and preparing for interviews.

LA: … at Pavé Life over the last year, we have relied heavily on Dartmouth interns to help our company here. So, this summer here, we had 5 or 6 ‘13s intern here.  And so over the summer and this fall, those guys with advice “How are you best prepared for interviews and job applications?” What I told them is what I learned at school and what I know from the hiring side; is that you need to; obviously … put your work in on your resume.  Everybody does that, it’s standard.  Where you need to really shine is on the cover letter and put the extra time into networking and talking with folks to get a feel for what’s important in the mind of the company. I know what helped me get the job at IGS is that I did that. They really value their collegial atmosphere at IGS;  I referenced that in my cover letter and I referenced that in my job interviews and that helped them understand that I had done my research and that I would be a good culture fit. And then from the hiring side, you know assuming that the resume is a qualified resume, what differentiates job applicants is really the cover letter.  You can learn a lot from seeing somebody write, and seeing how they understand that a cover letter is meant to describe things that can’t be found on a resume; it’s meant to augment the resume, not just reference it and repeat what can already be found in two seconds by looking at it. So I really put a lot of emphasis on the cover letter.  … the last step that I don’t think a lot of people do but I think is most important, is actually doing that preparation face-to-face with a friend or somebody who can be sitting across the table from you to try to mimic what it’s going to be like in the interview; if that’s possible.  It’s not effective enough to just rehearse in your head or write down your answers in a Word document, it’s not effective enough to speak them out loud in front of a mirror.  The only really effective way is to do it face to face with somebody, because at that point you realize “Wow! I am saying UHM a lot”; or “I don’t have a good answer for that question”; or “I need to focus on my eye contact”.  You really have to go the full nine yards in the interview prep as far as the face to face stuff goes.

CS:  We actually now do Mock Interviews in our office with staff.  We do have the Tuck students help us with the finance and consulting interviews because they have the work experience. But it’s been really helpful and well received here. 

LA: Great!

CS:  that’s great advice. And it sounds like researching the employer and knowing what is important to the employer is key to that, too.

LA:  Yes! You have to research what the employer wants to hear.  … So, research what is going to perk their ears up when they hear you say it and surprise them if (you)  know that about (their) company, that’s what employers are going to remember once you leave the room.

The December break is a perfect time to reach out to alumni and to put that extra effort into researching the employers that interest you.  Research includes the workplace dynamics/culture, as well as what tasks they assign interns and entry-level workers, and put that information into the cover letter.  Rashelle, an intern at Career Services, also listened to Luke speak and reflected:  “Use the cover letter to convey that you know the company’s objectives and projects as well as the culture and how you would fit in”.

Please note:  Luke and his firm, Pavé Life, are seeking spring and summer marketing interns; interested students should view the internship description in DartBoard and apply by Jan. 15, 2013.

Andrew Kintner ’05, Jamie Gumpper ’06, Luke Antal ’07