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  • Jennifer Carignan 2:11 pm on June 13, 2011 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , spreadsheet   

    An organized job and internship search 

    If you’re knee-deep in a job or internship search, you know that keeping track of the positions you’ve applied for can be a challenge. But with just a little extra effort, it doesn’t have to be that way!

    One way to keep yourself organized is to create a simple Excel spreadsheet. Here is an example (click on the image for more detail):

    This spreadsheet allows you to quickly see a complete list of your applications as well as any updates for each position. If you like more detail, additional columns could include the names, titles and contact information of anyone in the organization you’ve spoken to; links to the appropriate job or internship description; or more specific detail about any follow-up interactions you’ve had regarding the position. You might also link the text in the “application materials” column to the resume, cover letter, writing sample or other document you submitted for the position.

    This is only one way to keep track of your job or internship applications. What other methods do you use to stay organized?

  • Jennifer Carignan 8:44 pm on May 9, 2011 Permalink
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    So, you’ve graduated from AU 

    Congratulations! You’ve received your degree and can now proudly call yourself an AU alum.

    Although you’re moving on to new opportunities, graduation doesn’t mark the end of your relationship with the AU Career Center. Whether you’re searching for a position or you’ve found a place to start your new career, it’s worth remembering the resources at your fingertips.

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  • Jennifer Carignan 2:01 pm on April 19, 2011 Permalink
    Tags: , Leadership Library, ,   

    Finding contacts with The Leadership Library 

    In previous blog posts, AU career advisors have written extensively about LinkedIn as a great source for finding and developing professional connections. Another helpful tool at your disposal is The Leadership Library, a directory of professionals in government (federal, state and local), on the Hill and in nonprofits and corporate organizations. Much like LinkedIn, The Leadership Library offers an easy way to find professionals working in organizations or careers of interest to you.

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  • Jennifer Carignan 1:57 pm on April 11, 2011 Permalink
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    Career wisdom from AU alums 

    Students who attended the “Exploring Law-Related Careers” panel on April 6 were treated to great conversation and career advice from four AU alums. I’ve summarized some of their bits of wisdom below. As you’ll notice, these tips apply to a wide range of careers.

    • Try new things. Whether it’s pursuing an internship, volunteering with an organization or meeting new people in the community, find ways to get outside your comfort zone. You might find that trying new things will lead you down a career path that you never considered.
    • Network, network, network. A common theme on this blog, networking is absolutely critical to finding career opportunities in DC and beyond. Faculty, staff, alumni and even your peers can be great sources of information. Start networking today by striking up a conversation with a classmate or joining LinkedIn.
    • Use DC as your classroom. AU offers a great number of events for students, but that shouldn’t stop you from experiencing other opportunities in the city. Attend professional events, lectures and social gatherings to meet new people outside of the AU community. Sign up for the DC LinkTank listserv for a comprehensive list of events each week.
    • Develop professional skills while you’re still in school. The panel identified three skills that are critical to a successful career and yet are lacking in many candidates: writing, research and relationship building. Each of these skills can be developed while you’re here at AU, through researching and writing papers, leading organizations, holding an internship or job, or through a myriad of other ways.
    • Stay positive! It may take many applications and interviews before you find the right job for you. You are not alone. What will separate you from other candidates is keeping a positive attitude throughout the job search process. How might you find ways to stay positive while searching for work?
  • Jennifer Carignan 2:10 pm on March 14, 2011 Permalink
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    Strategizing the Job & Internship Fair 

    The countdown to the Spring 2011 Job and Internship Fair is on, and now is the time to start preparing your strategy.

    If you’ve attended the fair before, you know that it’s easy to wander aimlessly among the various employer booths in Bender Arena. While this can be good for general information gathering, it’s probably not the most efficient approach to meeting employers that you most want to work for.

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  • Jennifer Carignan 5:36 pm on March 2, 2011 Permalink
    Tags: , , , social policy   

    NYT: More College Graduates Take Public Service Jobs 

    An interesting article in the March 2 edition of The New York Times highlights two recent graduates working in jobs related to public service. What I really like about the piece is the way that these two young people have fused their academic backgrounds and personal passions to develop successful careers in nonprofit organizations, places they never thought they’d end up.

    What are you passionate about? How might you use the skills you’ve gained at AU to make a difference?

  • Jennifer Carignan 2:34 pm on February 14, 2011 Permalink
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    Choosing a great writing sample 

    Many students visit the Career Center with concerns about selecting a writing sample for their job or internship application. The goal of this post is to answer some of the more general questions we receive on this topic.

    Solid writing skills are important in almost all jobs and internships. Writing samples allow an employer to judge your ability to convey a message on paper, and they should be taken very seriously.

    Overall, there are four major areas to keep in mind when picking a writing sample.

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  • Jennifer Carignan 2:47 pm on February 3, 2011 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , webinar   

    Two Webinars – Working for the Federal Government 

    The Career Center is excited to offer two upcoming webinars on federal jobs and internships to AU students and alums. These webinars will be hosted on February 8 and 16, by the Partnership for Public Service, a nonprofit committed to inspiring a new generation of Americans to serve in government.

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  • Jennifer Carignan 5:27 pm on January 18, 2011 Permalink
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    Finding keywords: an easy trick 

    One of the best ways to get noticed by a hiring official is to tailor your application with keywords from the job announcement you’re applying to. Using these terms in your resume and cover letter can show that you’ve closely read the announcement and have the necessary experience and skills to do the job well.

    Using keywords in a resume is a particularly smart approach when you’re applying to government positions. When faced with (sometimes) hundreds of applications, hiring officials will gravitate toward applicants who clearly possess the skills needed to succeed.

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  • Jennifer Carignan 7:15 pm on January 3, 2011 Permalink
    Tags: , , goals, , resolutions,   

    2011 Career Resolutions 

    Happy new year! As we all know, this is a convenient time to make new personal resolutions. If you’re like me, you’ve started to hit the gym again and you’re more likely to share delicious baked goods with your roommate.

    The new year is also a great time to think about your professional goals. Whether you’re a freshman deciding on internships or an alum starting a new career, use this time to think about where you are in your career and what steps you need to take to bring it to the next level.

    (More …)

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