Friday, March 13, 2009

Career Success Strategies

By Russell Booth

On Monday, February 9 there was a program called “Career Success Strategies…Your Link to the Future,” which took place in the Busch Student Center at Rutgers University. The meeting attracted about seventy students. The host of the event was Toi K. Tyson, the assistant director of Rutgers Career Services career and interview center. Tyson presented a very professional PowerPoint presentation that shows students how to build a resume, do well in interviews, and be prepared for the real world.

Tyson began the meeting with information regarding Career Services and their mission, which she said is to help prepare students and alumni for applying to internships and life beyond Rutgers. It also helps to develop academic and career interests, as well as short and long-term career goals through individual counseling and group counseling. Some other services include “Resume critique hours, alumni career network, career/job search seminars, and assessment testing.” Tyson told the audience that it is very important to establish a game plan, gain experience, and seek out leadership activities. During this point of the presentation she presented a website called, which is an occupational website where anyone can seek jobs based on their personal set of skills or search for a specific company. Tyson told the audience that these are the kinds of websites that are important for students to use in order to network.

Once a student finds a company they wish to work for, they need to have the required skills to get the job. According to Tyson, some of the skills that employers look for are “Critical thinking, problem solving, written and verbal communication, presentation skills, creativity, resourcefulness, and community and pride.” She explained that the purpose of the resume is to introduce yourself to employers and to promote your skills, abilities, and accomplishments. Think of things that are expected of you and things that enhance your resume. Tyson also provided handouts to the audience, a page that showed two resumes. One resume was the standard kind, while the other was a plain text/electronic resume. Tyson said these two are the ideal resumes that students should work to create. She mentioned that it was very important to have an electronic resume just in case an employer wants you to send it online. She also showed a slide about things you should not do on your resume. Some of the resume no-no’s, she emphasized: Don’t list a reference section, don’t include dates available, don’t use first person references, don’t include personal information, and never send out a document without getting it critiqued.

The last part of her presentation focused on creating a strategy and things to do after you have been hired. Networking, she said, is a very important strategy. She had audience members practice this by getting up and introducing themselves to other members of the audience. The objective of the presentation was to inform students on methods that would increase the chances of getting an internship. The skills taught the meeting can be used when interviewing for jobs. When asked about the meeting, 20-year-old youth counselor Jason Stafford stated, “It was real informative and has potential to be very effective and beneficial for people who implement it properly.” Jason said he learned a great deal about applying for an internship and tips on how to do well in an interview. The meeting was well received by the audience.

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