Job-Hunting Tips from AAP's Career Services
Hopkins Happenings talked with Colleen Connolly McCusker, associate director of career services for Advanced Academic Programs at the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences about tips for students seeking jobs. Here are her Top 10 tips:
1. Make an appointment for career services help. Connolly McCusker is based in Washington, D.C., but comes to the Montgomery County campus two Thursdays each month. Email her to schedule an appointment. Career services can help with resumes, cover letters, negotiation strategies, mock interviews and general career counseling.
2. Read the career services newsletter for information on career-related events, jobs, internships and fellowships. AAP students receive the newsletter electronically every Friday during the academic year, and every other Friday during the summer.
3. Check out the Virtual Career Network at advancedcareersjhu.org. Find plenty of resources for careers in many fields, including biotechnology.
4. Don’t rely on a generic resume. Tailor the resume to the job you are seeking. Highlight the job description and make sure keywords appear in your resume. Do the same for your cover letter, but remember your resume needs to stand alone.
5. Make connections as early as possible. Use the AAP networking community, the Hopkins community and LinkedIn. On LinkedIn, connect with professional groups. On Twitter, consider following employers you are interested in. Respond to people’s blogs and Tweets. Go to networking events and build relationships. If you are looking for a career in biotechnology, go to BioBuzz. Go to events where employers are present.
6. If you are making a transition to a new career, double your efforts. Take on extra projects where you can demonstrate your skills. Consider doing pro-bono work and internships. You can’t rely on your resume as much, so strong relationships are even more important. Don’t wait until the last semester to launch your job search.
7. Clean up your online presence. Take a fresh look at your Facebook page. Present a professional image. Reconsider whether you want pictures of your children, pictures of parties and pictures of alcohol on your page.
8. Consider developing your own website. Include your resume and portfolio. Include a picture of yourself receiving an award. Include poster presentations, papers you have written and citations. Make sure the website looks professional.
9. Don’t rely on big job boards such as monster.com especially if you are looking for a job at a smaller company. Check out niche, industry-specific websites. Go to company websites too.
10. Remember that any conversation can turn into a job interview. Take informational interviews seriously. Bring your resume and portfolio, be prepared to talk about why you are interested in the company, why you are qualified and the contributions you can make. Know the company. Be ready to market yourself at a moment’s notice.