A guest post by UNC-Chapel Hill graduate Courtney Miller.
Editor’s Note: This post is particularly relevant to UNC graduates and students. For those of you not familiar with UNC’s campus, UCS stands for University Career Services.
The UNC University Career Services Web site is a great tool to get your job search going. It has tons of resources that you might not have access to elsewhere. It is free for the first six months after graduation, so use it now! After that six-month period, you must pay $65 each year to access Career Services as a alum. I’m listing a few of the resources that I found helpful from UCS and how I used them.
- Job Postings. When you log in to UCS, click the “search jobs and internships” tab. Opportunities are posted daily, and some are exclusive to UNC students. Many allow you to apply through UCS by simply clicking a button that submits your resume directly to the employer. Some employers listed allow you to sign-up for on-campus interviews through UCS as well. One great feature is that the posting lists the contact information of actual people, allowing you to start an open and friendly dialogue with the hiring managers, which can increase your chances of landing a job.
- Counselor Advice. Aside from reviewing resumes, the counselors can provide advice on applying for jobs, networking, cover letters, proper job hunt protocol and etiquette, and long-term career planning. The career counselors I spoke with were readily available and gave helpful advice in career searching. They spent a great deal of time on the phone with me listening and offering advice specific to my situation and goals (Thanks to UNC Career Counselors Jay Eubank and Laura Lane!).
- Resume Building. Your resume is the most important marking piece you can use to further your career search. UCS provides access to Optimal Resume, a resume-building tool that will you create and format an effective resume. Once you create it, you can also publish an online version to show employers. Once you create your resume, schedule an appointment with a UNC career counselor for advice and tips on perfecting the tool. You can submit the resume online through University Career Services by logging in and clicking on the tab that says “resumes and cover letters.” A career counselor will review your resume and give you comments once you upload the document, but I would recommend going beyond that and scheduling an appointment to talk one-on-one.
- Research. Before you interview with an organization, do your homework. You can access WetFeet and Vault employer and industry information. These databases give you a company profile and have message boards available that list insider information – both can be useful for your interview. The link also includes access to salary information, a career networking mentor database (see earlier post on networking). E-leads is another resource that provides a database of jobs that companies generally or potentially have open for new grads as part of the an ongoing hiring process.
- Interview Skills. No matter how great you look on paper, your interview skills are crucial to landing a job. You can do mock interviews with UCS counselors to prepare for the real thing. UCS also allows you to do interviews via videostream and e-mail the interview to a counselor for review. Interview workshops also are offered on-site at UCS.
Now that I’ve described the basic features on UCS that will help you maximize the results of your career search, take a look for yourself. Also check out the other services that UCS offers, including events, career fairs, and a reference filing service.