Five Tips from Career Development

Finding a job often becomes a tricky balancing act of knowing where to go, who to talk to, what to say, and dozens of other elements that seem to vary on a case-by-case basis. But it’s not an impossible task, either – just ask Carol Catto, Team Manager of Full Sail’s Career Development Department. Carol’s job is to assist Full Sail grads with job searches, and she was able to share five tips that can help make job hunting just a little more bearable.

#1: If You Only Have One Resume, You’re Doing It Wrong

We all know that resumes and cover letters are key, but many graduates don’t customize when they should. “It’s important to customize your resume for the industry or specific job that you’re applying for,” Carol says. “There should be certain keywords that you include, and your tone should also match the language of the job description. Career Development has a lot of samples that we share with students and grads, and we’re always there to help revamp them, change things up, and make sure that they’re hitting all the marks.”

#2: Do Your Research Before Your Interview

“It’s really important to do research on a company before you interview with them,” says Carol. “Know who you’re interviewing with, what they do, and what their product is. You may not know all of the details of what the title you’re applying for may entail, but you should still know about the company as much as you can.”

Enthusiasm is also key. “A lot of times, people will think that they have to hold back their enthusiasm in order to appear professional,” Carol continues. “I’m amazed at how many employers we have who tell us that a grad came in and didn’t seem that enthusiastic about the job opportunity.” So don’t be afraid to show a little personality!

#3: Answer Your Phone

This might seem obvious, but Carol says that she encounters this issue enough to warrant a mention. “So many students and graduates won’t answer calls from phone numbers they don’t know,” she says. “But you never know when opportunity is going to come knocking. So don’t be afraid to answer the phone when you are looking for a job.”

#4: Be Aware of Your Digital Footprint (And Don’t Track Mud in the House)

Look, your birthday party might have been a grand old time that you’ll likely never forget, but think twice before posting those Animal House moments on your Facebook wall for all to see. “Employers know how to use Google,” Carol says. “And they can check out your Facebook and Twitter profiles, so it’s not a bad idea to set those to private.”

On the other hand, your digital footprint can help you as well. Social networks like Linkedin allow you to upload your resume, samples of your work, and your portfolio, and can be a wonderful way to show the extension of what you’re capable of professionally.

#5: Don’t Fear the Internship

“We all want to get paid right out of the gate, but an internship can be a great way to get your foot in the door – especially if you’re coming right out of school,” says Carol.

Many internships are part-time, and can allow you to continue your job-search while you gain valuable experience that will only strengthen your resume. “It’s very important to be open to all opportunities that may come your way,” Carol says. “Especially if it’s a company that can give you an extension to your education, take you further, and make your knowledge more valuable to employers.”

And remember — Full Sail’s Career Development Department is there to help you not just immediately after graduation, but throughout your entire career. Visit them in Building 110 or call 407.679.0100.

What are some of your job-search tips? Have you found a practice or habit that’s helped you in the past? Let us know in the comments section.