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  • rsangeorge 9:47 pm on January 19, 2016 Permalink  

    Dealing Effectively with a Temp Agency – and What to Expect 

    Image result for temp hiring“A temp agency – are you kidding me?”  That’s the understandable reaction of many upcoming or new BAs when someone suggests  going to see a temp agency.  But for upcoming graduates or unemployed recent graduates, it may be one of a number of options to consider, especially if some of this applies to you…

    • You are very unclear about the career path you want to pursue, or even the employment sector that most interests you – government? non-profits? private sector? start your own enterprise?
    • You worked your way through school in a retail job, nannying, etc. – and this limited your opportunities to do internships.
    • You are facing financial pressures and need to start earning money asap, but working in a hardware store is not an appealing career path.

    (More …)

  • Anna Litman 7:07 pm on November 3, 2015 Permalink
    Tags: competencies, employer, ,   

    Skills Series: Skill #2 – Teamwork skills are Essential at the Modern Workplace 

    Our second blog in the series on the key skills that employers seek is about teamwork.  Most of the projects/tasks at the workplace, be it in the field of business, science, communication, arts, etc., are carried out nowadays by teams. Based on employers’ surveys, the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) has concluded that employers search for candidates who have the teamwork skills defined as the capacity to “Build collaborative relationships with colleagues and customers representing diverse cultures, races, ages, genders, religions, lifestyles, and viewpoints. The individual is able to work within a team structure, and can negotiate and manage conflict.”   What do you need to do to make sure that you are ready to be a productive and successful team member at your future workplace? How would you market your teamwork readiness to your potential employer? (More …)

  • Sue Gordon 8:15 pm on October 1, 2015 Permalink  

    The #1 Skill Employers want YOU to have… Oral Communication 

    This is the first in a series of blogs that will highlight the key skills that employers seek. Each month, an AU Career Advisor will share insights into each skill– how do you develop the skill while at AU, how do you demonstrate, and why is it important?  First up: Oral Communication.

    skills wordleMust have strong oral and written communication skills.”

    If you’ve searched for a job or internship, you’ve seen this requirement in one form or another. According to the American Association of Colleges and Universities (AAC&U), the ability to communicate orally is the number one competency sought by employers. So, what does it mean to have strong oral communication skills, and how does your degree prepare you to use oral communication skills in the workplace?  The good news is that your American University degree and campus experiences do develop this skill- whether you’ve majored in the liberal arts and sciences or business. (More …)

  • Anna Litman 10:19 pm on September 8, 2015 Permalink
    Tags: ,   

    Anna’s Pondering the Question of the Week Series, Fall 2015: Tweaking a graduate student resume 

    Greetings and welcome to the 2015-2016 academic year! As we all embark on our new academic and professional experiences, I’m resuming my blog series to reflect on most interesting, challenging or typical questions that students ask me during our individual appointments. I hope that this will help those who may have similar questions but haven’t had a chance to visit the Career Center yet. (More …)

  • rsangeorge 3:08 pm on August 21, 2015 Permalink  

    Writing a Knockout Cover Letter 

    The biggest challenge to overcome in landing the job or internship you want is the first level of applicant screening. Often this means getting a very bored, junior person to sit up and pay attention to the cover letter and resume you have sent in. Today we’re going to focus on cover letters.

    Most people will admit they have difficulty writing cover letters; what they usually mean is that they have a lot of trouble starting cover letters. Here’s a formula for overcoming the writer’s block and anxiety of doing cover letters. (More …)

  • John Nunno 1:11 pm on June 8, 2015 Permalink
    Tags: ,   

    2015 Summer Reading List for Your Career Development 

    Well, it’s finally here. After all of the late night study sessions, group projects, and scrambling to get papers in on time, summer is upon us! It is a time for rest, relaxation, and of course…reading! Everyone likes to read while they’re relaxing at the beach or at the pool after a long week (and it’s nice to be able to pick what YOU want to read instead of what is listed in a syllabus). If you want books that will stimulate your mind during the summer, consider these options found in the Career Center Library:

    Thrive: The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Life of Well-Being, Wisdom, and Wonder by Arianna Huffington

    The Defining Decade: Why Your Twenties Matter and How to Make the Most of Them Now by Meg Jay

    Work Simply: Embracing the Power of Your Personal Productivity Style by Carson Tate

    A More Beautiful Question: The Power of Inquiry to Spark Breakthrough Ideas by Warren Berger

    The Pathfinder: How to Choose or Change Your Career for a Lifetime of Satisfaction and Success by Nicholas Lore

    You can borrow these books from the Career Center Library for seven days and you can renew online with your MyAladdin account for an additional seven. Swing by the Career Center to check out our full collection or search for books here. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions about the Career Center Library! You can reach me via email at

  • John Nunno 6:44 pm on May 11, 2015 Permalink
    Tags: , ,   

    Online Resources for AU Alumni 

    Here’s a scenario: You just graduated from AU and are trying to land your first full-time job. You want to search for potential employers and you want to improve your interviewing skills. What do you do?

    Here’s another one: You graduated from AU 5 years ago, and you’re ready for a new job. You live in New York City, but you’re looking to relocate to San Francisco. How do you start the process?

    If you find yourself in one of these, or a similar scenario, then check out the Career Center’s online resources. AU alumni have access to all of the Career Center’s resources including Going Global, InterviewStream, and Vault Career Insider. Here’s how these resources can support your post-college career:

    • Going Global can help you identify opportunities in the US and internationally. Its US city guides(47 including Atlanta, Boston, New York, Los Angeles, Nashville, and Seattle) have city-specific job resources including online job sites, staffing agencies, and city career fairs. You can plan financially by using the cost of living information, and you can find professional networking groups. Going Global’s country guides (41 including Australia, Brazil, China, Japan, and the UK) have everything the US city guides have and more including information on work permits and visas, resume/CV guidelines, interviewing tips, and cultural advice.
    • You can use InterviewStream to practice interviewing before a job interview. It’s a helpful resource if you’re looking to improve your skills or looking for an interviewing refresher.
    • Vault Career Insider can help you research companies and industries. It’s helpful if you are exploring new career paths or researching potential employers within your field. You can also access Vault’s blog for news and insights on career topics.

    Learn more about these resources and access them here. If you’d like more information on AU’s career services for alumni click here. Feel free to contact me with any questions you have about Going Global, InterviewStream, and Vault! I can be reached via email at

  • Felicia Parks 4:35 pm on April 16, 2015 Permalink
    Tags: , Phone Interview   

    Interviewing with Employer By Phone? Here’s 9 Tips 

    Phone interview_studentAs the semester winds down, many students are anxiously awaiting a phone interview with an employer. Whether for an internship, part-time or full-time job, many are concerned that the phone eliminates their opportunity to be charismatic and impress the employer with their interpersonal skills. Since recruiters often use phone interviews as the first step to clarify the background of several candidates, those offered a particular day and time to chat should see it as a positive opportunity. While your Career Center Advisors are more than happy to help you prepare, there are several steps to ensure a successful phone interview. A quick summary of Laura DeCarlo’s “9 Keys to Telephone Job Interview Success”  are listed below, however, you can read the full article on Job-Hunt-org.

    1. Know whether you can take the call when it comes, i.e. schedule when you won’t be interrupted or lose service on your cell phone.
    2. Have the documentation you need at your fingertips – this includes the job description, your resume and the application you submitted to the employer
    3. Know answers to the common interview questions. Be sure to tell a complete story and refrain from brief responses
    4. Smile while on the phone! Placing a mirror in front of you is a big help.
    5. If you have a web portfolio or a complete LinkedIn profile, then be sure to direct the interview to it.
    6. Focus on your language and voice – which includes voice intonation and speaking positively
    7. Avoid selfish questions during the interview. Asking about salary is too early at this point
    8. Don’t hang up without asking for the next step plus contact information.  This will reduce anxiety about the next call or email you should receive.
    9. Say thank you, but write a thank you note and either email it or send it through the mail

    American University students and alumni can schedule a mock interview with their Career Advisor through the AppointmentPlus website.  Also consider practicing from the comfort of your room with InterviewStream.

    Congratulations and best of luck!

    Phone interview_employer

  • emily 5:24 pm on March 24, 2015 Permalink
    Tags: , ,   

    Here’s My Card 

    Love it or hate it, there is almost no way to avoid it in DC. The business card. It’s a networking staple and an easy way to stay in contact with people. Having your own is a great way to show initiative and professionalism during your job or internship search.

    How to get started on creating one of your own:

    The essential information to include is your name, email, phone number, and your basic education information. Additional information, like your Twitter handle or other social media account, can be included, but be careful. If your social media account or blog is original and professional (articles, photos, videos, etc.) and you want to showcase your work, then go ahead. But if your accounts are full of selfies and cat videos, better to leave them off.

    For your education information you can include American University, your school, and your class year (ex. Class of 2015). An extra title that indicates your professional interest is a great addition as well, for example “Student Videographer”, “Future Educator”, or “Marketing Professional”.

    Today it is simpler than ever to create your very own business card. Here are some fast and cheap sources:

    DeLong Lithographics – Get the American University business card, logo and all. This is a fast way to get cards with easy instructions. It is also a good option if you want a professional card with the university’s logo front and center.

    UPS AU Campus Location – The UPS store on campus offer business card printing services that include templates with the AU logo. – Prices depend on paper quality and some additional fees, but prices start at $16 for 100 cards. – Another online resource for business cards. Prices start at $19.99 for double-sided cards.

    This is an opportunity to be creative, have fun with creating a professional business card. Are there other resources for business cards that you have used? Share in the comments section below.

  • John Nunno 4:14 pm on March 19, 2015 Permalink
    Tags: , , ,   

    Get a Second Chance on these Career Center Library Books of the Week 

    There are over 20 million books written on career related topics. Okay I made that number up, but when you are browsing Amazon it does feel that way. The Career Center does not have 20 million books (it’s more like 400), but the books it does span a wide range of career topics. You can find anything from how to write a cover letter to how to use social media to find jobs. To help you navigate the jungle of career related books, each week the Career Center highlights a “Book of the Week” from its own library.

    Here’s the recap of the Career Center Library’s Book of the Week from the fall semester. Remember, any of these books can be checked out from the Career Center for seven days and renewed for an additional seven. Click the link to the library record to learn more about the book!

    10 Things Employers Want You to Learn in College by Bill Coplin

    The Start-Up of You  by Reid Hoffman (Cofounder of LinkedIn) and Ben Casnocha

    The Defining Decade by Meg Jay

    College Majors Handbook with Real Career Paths  by Neeta Fogg

    The Pathfinder: How to Choose or Change Your Career  by Nicholas Lore

    Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg (Chief Operating Officer of Facebook)

    Mrs. Moneypenny’s Career Advice for Ambitious Women  by Mrs. Moneypenny with Heather McGregor

    Women Lead: Career Perspectives from Workplace Leaders  edited by Tracey Wilen-Daugenti, Courtney Vien, and Caroline Molina-Ray

    Social Networking for Career Success  by Miriam Salpeter

    101 Great Answers to the Toughest Interview Questions  by Ron Fry

    Who’s Got Your Back?  by Keith Ferrazzi

    Power Verbs for Job Seekers  by Michael Lawrence Faulkner and Michelle Faulkner- Lunsford

    I’m in a Job Search, Now What? by Kristen Jacoway

    If you have any career-related books you would like to see added to the Career Center Library then send your suggestion to Follow the Career Center on Twitter (@AUCareerCenter) to see the latest Book of the Week as well as Career Center events and career advice!

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