Sunday, September 14, 2014

The Dos and Don'ts of Acing a Job Fair

Job fair season is upon us again!  Don't let another semester pass you by without attending a job fair.  Career Services brings hundreds of employers to campus each semester to recruit Bobcats.  Each time you miss an employer networking opportunity, you miss the possibility of meeting your future employer.

Follow the below job fair dos and don'ts and you will be on your way to landing a great summer internship or even your first full-time position upon graduation.

Job Fair Dos:

Prepare for the event.
  The best way to stand out among the hundreds of other students at a job fair is to be prepared!  This means researching who will be at the job fair prior to the event and knowing which organizations you would like to speak with the most.  Career Services makes this easy by providing you a list of employers prior to the job fair under the "Events & Fairs" tab on our website.  Once you have identified organizations you may be interested in woking for, learn what the organization does, its mission statement, and its key operational locations.  This step will impress employers and help you get your resume to the top of the stack.  

Speaking of resume, it is important to print several copies of your polished resume to the job fair to provide employers.  Part of being prepared is having your contact information and work history ready for employers to review.  If you are in need of a quick resume review, submit your resume to our 48-Hour Online Resume Critique.

Dress professionally.  It can be difficult to dress business professional for a job fair when you know you will be in class all day, but this component is crucial.  It demonstrates to the employer that you are serious about your job search, and respect the time the recruiters are spending at Texas State.  Although you may not be ruled out by wearing your jeans and t-shirt, it will make it difficult for employers to remember you among the other individuals with similar jeans and t-shirts.  You can always bring a change of clothes for after the fair.

Know your elevator speech.  Now that you are prepared for the fair and in a nicely pressed professional outfit, you are ready to talk with employers.  Well, at least that is the goal.  It is important that you know how you will introduce yourself to the recruiters and what you have to offer.  The best way to do this is practice.  Practice your hand shake, introduction, and elevator speech.  By elevator speech I mean a brief explanation on how your education and experience make you a perfect fit for their organization.  This does not mean you use the same pitch for every organization, but rather personalize your pitch to the needs of each organization.  If you have never practiced an elevator speech, setup an appointment with Career Services to get yourself prepared.

Get contact information.  You want to be sure to collect business cards from the individuals you speak with.  It is not uncommon for recruiters to spend multiple days a week at different institutions, and it could be weeks before you hear from them, if at all.  By collecting contact information, you are preparing yourself for the next step.

Follow-up.  Following up with the individuals you connect with may be the most important piece of the puzzle.  As stated above, recruiters meet so many individuals on any given day, and you want to be sure to stay in their thoughts as they fill positions.  Simply follow-up the fair with an email to the recruiters you met thanking them for their time and restating your interest in their organization.  Be sure to include a brief statement about the conversation you had to help trigger their memory on who you are.
Job Fair Don'ts:

Walk around aimlessly.  Although it may be nerve racking to walk up to an employer's table, it is important to look as though you are on a mission.  By walking around aimlessly, you are demonstrating to the recruiters that you are not prepared for the event and confused on what it is you are looking for.  If you are having trouble finding a particular employer's booth, grab a Career Services staff member to help you.

Look for freebies.  Job fairs are known for having  a great deal of free stuff, often known as swag.  Even though it is tempting to walk around collecting all the cool water bottles, bags, and t-shirts, it's not the purpose of the fair.

Wear sunglasses or ear phones.  Sunglasses and ear phones are both easy to slip into your pocket or book bag.  Take a few seconds before you walk into the job fair to ensure you are displaying a professional image and attitude. 

Ask the famous "What is it that your organization does?" question.  Although this question seems like a great ice breaker, it is often perceived by employers as being unprepared.  One of the easiest ways to stand out to employers at job fairs is to let them know you are aware about what their organization does and how your skills align with their mission.  This is an easy step to take to get ahead of other job seekers.

Leave before obtaining any helpful resources.  You have made it a point to go to the job fair, now make it a point to obtain helpful information about possible employment opportunities.  Even if you only approach two or three employers, at least you were able to practice your communication skills and gain confidence. 

Execute these job fair dos and avoid the don'ts and you will have a successful job fair season.  Be sure to contact our office with any questions you may have!  You can reach us by phone at 512-245-2645, and email at

For more dos and don't, check out these tips from The Careerists.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Kickoff Your Semester with these Campus Resources

We are gearing up for the fall semester and excited to have our campus full of Bobcats again!  Before you arrive to campus and get overwhelmed with all the things to do and opportunities to explore, check out the resources below!  We believe you will find these resources helpful whether you are new to campus or entering your last semester.  This is no where close to all the resources and offices at Texas State designed to help you be successful, but just a few to get you started.  Please explore the Texas State website for a full comprehensive list of resources.

Career Services is a great place to discover career options, obtain job search help, connect with employers, explore graduate and professional school, and more!  We host up to 9 career and job fairs each semester, which means an abundance of employers are brought to campus on a regular basis.  

If you are still in the career exploration phase, don't fear, Personalized Academic and Career Exploration (PACE) is here!  Call 512.245.PACE (7223) to setup an appointment to kick-start your journey to finding the perfect career for you.

Office of Disability Services (ODS)

ODS is here on campus to ensure that every student with a disability receives equal access to all university related programming.  You do not have to have a visible disability to utilize this office.  ODS welcomes all students who disclose a disability, and is determined to assist with your experiences both in and outside the classroom across campus, from academic support to campus accessibility. 

Office of Student Diversity and Inclusion (SDI)

SDI ensures that underrepresented students have both cultural and personal support throughout their time at Texas State.  This office provides a variety of empowerment groups so that everyone feels that they have a home on campus to connect with peers.  Aside from the empowerment groups there are a variety of scholarship and funding opportunities, and one cannot forget the annual conference, Equality University, that SDI hosts with nationally known keynote speakers.

Writing Center

Don't let your writing intensive courses get you down, the Writing Center will reopen for the fall semester!  It's easy to setup an appointment online, or ask a quick question by tweeting @txstwc.

Student Learning Assistance Center (SLAC)

It does not matter if it is your first semester on campus or your last semester before graduation, academic demands can be stressful.  SLAC is an academic support program that offers a variety of tutoring services.  Whether you learn better in a group, individually, or online, SLAC has resources for you!  Aside from tutoring, SLAC offers specialized workshops free of charge to students in regards to study skills, test preparation, and anxiety management.

Counseling Center

The Counseling Center is designed to assist our Bobcats with acquiring the skills, attitudes, values, and knowledge needed to succeed academically and personally.  This center provides both group and individual counseling services.

Student Involvement @ LBJSC

Student Involvement has over 300 student organizations to become a part of.  If you do not find an organization that fits your interests, you can always start your own.  Aside from joining a student organization, there are an abundance of volunteer and civic engagement opportunities to explore.

If you will not be living on-campus, Student Involvement offers off-campus initiatives just for you! Texas State wants you to feel connected to the campus and the community, so learn how you can get involved!

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

HIRE ME! 5 tips for landing a job after Texas State

1.  Get your resume and cover letter polished

On average, employers spend about 6 seconds looking at a resume.  Does your resume currently display your top skills clearly and effectively?  If not, you are probably not giving yourself enough credit.  This makes you start to second guess your abilities, but stop, because it is NOT YOU!  Learning how to effectively translate your skills to a one page document can be tough, but doable.

If you have a copy of your resume and a general cover letter saved to your desktop that you send to every job posting you find interesting, then it is time for an update.  Most individuals do not realize that employers look for specific skills and traits.  Those particular skills and traits are not a secret, employers typically state what they are looking for in the job description and qualifications.  It is up to you to adjust your resume and cover letter to appeal to the qualifications an employer is looking for.

 STAND OUT among the hundreds of applicants!

2.  Establish an online presence 

What comes up when you Google your name?  If nothing pops up, that is not always a good thing.  In an era where technology is utilized in almost every industry, employers seek individuals that are proficient in navigating various social media tools, with the ability to sustain a positive online presence.  Navigating various social media tools does not mean you check Facebook 10 times a day and post a tweet for every move you make, it means that you are creating a brand for yourself and your abilities.

Some ways to build a positive online presence include:
  • Creating a LinkedIn account and updating it regularly 
  • Clearing out all inappropriate pictures from all social media sites
  • Regularly post articles or blogs regarding your industry of interest and current trends 
  • Build your professional network by reaching out to alumni from your field 

3.  Be willing to start at the bottom

Started from the bottom now we're here.
Sometimes it can be difficult throwing out the idea that you will land your dream job upon graduation.  You worked hard throughout college and joined all the right organizations, why shouldn't you be able to reach your goals right off the bat?  However, this is not always the case, and it does not mean you are doing something wrong.  The job market is tough, and will only grow tougher the more individuals pursue higher education.  But there is no shame in taking an internship at the company you aspire to work for or becoming the Administrative Assistant of the organization you would like to direct one day.  Networking and trust are two important concepts to keep in mind while working your way to where you would like to be.  Now remember, you do not have to stay at the bottom, but be open to start there and make your way to the top. 

This is all part of the journey, so try to enjoy it!


4.  Join a professional group or Alumni Association 


Joining professional organizations within your field allows you to connect with some of the top recruiters and employers within the industry.  I know it has been crammed into your head that is is all about who you know, but this is not 100% true.  In fact, it is not good enough to know people unless they know who you are.  So making an impression is an added pressure to networking.  Professional organizations make networking opportunities more easily accessible.

Alumni also like to network with fellow Bobcats to recruit for their organizations and companies.  So getting tapped into the Alumni Association is another great way to get connected.  To find out more, click here


5.  Use Texas State Career Services 


Once a Bobcat, always a Bobcat!  Career Services is here to help you no matter what stage of the job search you are in!  We are located on the 5th floor of the LBJ Student Center, so stop by or call our office at 512-245-2645!

For more tips, check out the CAREEREALISM blog post that inspired these tips.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Summer Volunteer Opportunities

What is on your agenda for summer?  Whatever it is, we hope you have reserved some time to build your resume.  There are multiple ways to build your resume this summer, including gaining practical experience through an internship or volunteering, to name a few.  Below is a list of volunteer opportunities to help get you started on the latter.  Volunteering is a great way to build your professional network and gain experience in a field that interests you!  Employers love seeing your enthusiasm for your field through volunteer initiatives. 
Career Services is open throughout the summer to assist you!  Contact our office with questions at 512-245-2645.
-Texas Advocacy Project
Mission: Texas Advocacy Project provides free legal services statewide to victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking. 
Where: Austin 
-Colorado River Alliance
Mission: Advocates for the Texas Colorado River, believing that a healthy, flowing river is imperative to the long-term well-being of the communities through which it runs. 
Where: Austin 
-City of Austin
Mission: Place educational "No Dumping - Drains to Creek" markers on storm drains to help protect water quality in our creeks and river.
Where: Austin
-Caritas of Austin
Mission: Caritas provides a service continuum for those experiencing poverty that begins with a safety net and links them to resources to achieve self-sufficiency.
Where: Austin 
-Austin Eastside Community Connection
Mission: ECC involves students from Austin area colleges and universities in every aspect of the center’s operations to improve the quality of life of East Austin residents.
Where: Austin
-Keep Austin Fed
Mission: Sharing healthy nutrition with our hungry neighbors by keeping surplus food out of the waste stream. 
Where: Austin
-The Arc of Capital Area
Mission: Committed to empowering Central Texans with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families through compassionate case management and innovative programs.
Where: Austin 
-Texas Land Conservancy
Mission: A diverse and expanding network of protected natural areas throughout Texas supported by a community of Texans who share a commitment to enhancing the quality of life through conservation.  
Where: Austin
-Urban Roots
Mission: Urban Roots is a youth development organization that uses sustainable agriculture to transform the lives of young people and increase access to healthy food in Austin.
Where: Austin
Mission: We restore hope and healing through expert treatment to children and their families who have been traumatized by abuse. 
Where: San Antonio
-San Antonio Youth Literacy
Mission: Promotes literacy of at-risk youth.
Where: San Antonio 
-Daisy Cares
Mission: To provide pet food, medical care to needy pets, and reduce animal abuse through public education and awareness.
Where: San Antonio
-Friends of the Buda Library
Mission: Dedicated to meeting the needs of a diverse and rapidly growing community supporting our library in sustaining, expanding and improving excellent staff services, library collections, computers, furnishings, and library staff training.
Where: Buda
-Friends of the San Marcos Public Library
Mission: Dedicated to strengthening the San Marcos Library through fundraising, volunteer work and advocacy.
-Habitat for Humanity San Marcos
Mission: Teams build houses for impoverished families.
Where: San Marcos
-Hands of Hope
Mission: Provides education in subjects such as math, English and Bible study, as well as career-readiness training for women of all ages in Hays County.
Where: San Marcos
-Hays-Caldwell Women's Shelter
Mission: To create an environment where violence and abuse are not tolerated in the communities the organization serves.
Where: San Marcos 
-Keep San Marcos Beautiful
Mission: Strives to educate and engage San Marcos residents and visitors to take responsibility for improving the community environment.
Where: San Marcos 
-San Marcos Greenbelt Alliance
Mission: Creating an interconnected system of parks and natural areas in and around San Marcos. 
Where: San Marcos
-San Marcos River Foundation
Mission: Protects public access and preserves the flow, purity and natural beauty of the San Marcos River, its watershed and estuaries
Where: San Marcos 
-United Way of Hays County
Mission: Advances the common good by investing in and developing programs that address Hays County’s critical needs in education, income/financial stability and health.
Where: San Marcos
-Hill Country Alliance
Mission: HCA is a passionate community caring for the unique features, spring-fed streams, heritage ranch lands, spectacular beauty and culture of the Texas Hill Country for the benefit of future generations.

-Bat Conservation International
Mission: To conserve the world’s bats and their ecosystems to ensure a healthy planet. 
Where: Austin 
-Active Life
Mission: A social change nonprofit working to organize and accelerate the movement to make healthy living the norm.
Where: Austin 
-Boys and Girls Clubs
Mission: Offers programs and services to promote and enhance the development of boys and girls by instilling a sense of competence, usefulness, belonging and influence.
Where: Austin
-Capital Area Foodbank of Texas
Mission: The largest hunger-relief charity in Central Texas providing food and grocery products, nutrition education and social services outreach.
Where: Austin
-Central Texas Trail Tamers
Mission: A group of volunteers who donate labor to lessen the burdens of government for projects that enhance public use and protection of environmentally sensitive parks and preserves.
Where: Austin 
-College Forward
Mission: Provides access and completion services to motivated, economically disadvantaged students to help them transition to college.
Where: Austin 
-Lone Star Chapter Sierra Club
Mission: Aims to provide education and advocacy for protecting the environment.
Where: Austin