THANKSGIVING AND THE RUMOR MILL
By Rebekah Hanley
Assistant Dean for Career Planning and Professional Development
Published in the November 15, 2011, Advisor
In my current role, I hear some of the wildest things from students, making my work interesting… and challenging. Well, ‘tis the season to express appreciation. I am thankful for my interesting – and challenging – professional life. I am also thankful for the Advisor, which gives me a platform to dispel some of the unsubstantiated rumors that are circulating around our community.
Rumor 1: There are no jobs/no one is hiring/applying is a waste of time.
On a daily basis, I hear about students and recent graduates who have recently secured summer and permanent positions.
Rumor 2: Only students in the top ten percent of their class get interviews and jobs through on-campus recruiting programs.
Some employers place great weight on grades. Others employers – including ones that come to campus – have different priorities. This year, students who rank significantly below the top ten percent of their class secured positions through our fall on-campus recruiting program.
Rumor 3: Attending networking events is a waste of time.
Some of your peers are securing positions only because they have made time to attend events and they have pushed themselves to engage in meaningful conversations with professionals at those events. One student recently observed, “If I have time to be on Facebook, I have time to attend the local bar function.” So true.
Rumor 4: The interview doesn’t matter; employers make decisions based on paper alone.
This fall, several employers have shared eye-opening stories with me about interviews gone bad – and potential job offers lost in the process. These include stories about awkward, overly scripted, and otherwise unnatural interviewing styles; absence of enthusiasm about the employer, the law, or anything else; and even revealing attire and heavy perfume.
Rumor 5: The Career Center only helps the top of the class; everyone else is on their own.
While only some students secure job offers directly through our on-campus recruiting programs, we help all students and graduates with their career planning and professional development.
That’s right. We serve everyone. For example, we offer counseling appointments, during which we discuss individualized strategies for searching, applying, and interviewing. We help students rethink, revise, and reformat resumes and cover letters in person, by email, and over the telephone. We also facilitate programs with educational and networking components. In addition, we maintain a job database and a resource library, and we even offer subsidies to help students finance their professional development efforts. Further, we reach out to employers to build goodwill and to create new professional opportunities for members of our community.
Happy Thanksgiving, and keep the rumors coming so that I may continue to combat them with true stories of success in professional development.