Thursday, May 26, 2016

Using Vault in Your Job Search

Over the past academic year, this blog has discussed the benefits of sites like LinkedIn and Careerealism, and for my last post as an intern here, I thought I’d shed some light on Vault.  You have free access to this valuable tool through Job Zone - find it on the main Job Zone menu once you login, on the right column.  This career intelligence website is geared toward employers and new or transitioning professionals seeking employment alike. It provides readers with comprehensive reviews of companies, job opening information, advice on resume composition and interviewing, and partners with colleges (RIT included) to assist any student, staff member, or alum in their career search. Additionally, Vault offers more than 100 career guidebooks that are focused on specific industries, periods in an individual’s career development, internship programs, managing finances, and more. They provide users with the tools for success, so in that same vein, here are some do’s and don’ts for utilizing Vault as an RIT alum: 

1.       DO start with general industry research, then delve deeper into your projected area of interest. For instance, the “Wealth Management” guidebook section offers guides on that general sector of employment, but also on hedge fund jobs, private equity, investment management, and venture capital positions. Once you know the facet of an industry in which you’d like to work, that guidebook will be the most helpful for you.
2.       DON’T overwhelm yourself with the amount of available information. For instance, in the “Resume” section of Vault, there are several blog posts regarding formatting, deciding what type of resume to create, putting resumes and cover letters together, etc. Try to zero in on what you truly need assistance with first. If you find that you require more information, rather than pouring over every blog post, search the website and gain specific insight that way.
3.       DO check the job board for available positions. Websites that are not affiliated with a university in some capacity may provide you with some job openings, but they may not be the safest place to look. The jobs on Vault are accompanied by rankings of their respective companies, as well as reviews from people who have worked there. You’ll find real and accredited positions that are updated daily.
4.       DON’T just apply for a full-time or internship position because it’s “trending” on the website. Sure, those internships are worth looking into, but if they do not engage your passions or interests, then popularity of the company should not be a prime reason to pursue them. Don’t, however, discount these positions either. RIT partners with relatively large companies with high-rankings and the high profile of a position that truly interests you should not be a deterrent.
5.       DO follow Vault on social media and subscribe to email updates. Getting the scoop on an industry, company, or position right at its release will give you a leg up if you decide to apply. Vault is on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Google+, and Pinterest. On the latter, for instance, they have one board devoted to snippets of advice from experts in various fields. A quick perusal of that site may provide you with just the career development advice that you need.
6.       DON’T discount the power of networking. Vault’s blog also goes into detail about expanding your professional network, identifying key players in your network, and how to maintain rapport with the people in it. “Networking” may sometimes seem like just a buzzword, but knowing how to strategically navigate through career development situations while being backed by a solid network can afford you more professional opportunities.

Want to learn more? Check out Vault’s website and whether you’re transitioning between careers or industries, a new graduate seeking employment, or are simply curious about the available rankings and reviews information, you’ll benefit from its partnership with RIT. 

Hayley Johnson, RIT Career Services Graduate Intern

Monday, January 11, 2016

Is 2016 Your Year to Advance Your Education?

So, you’ve obtained a Bachelor’s degree. Perhaps you’ve started your career, perhaps you’re still hunting for a satisfying position, or perhaps you’re looking for a job change. Thinking about going back to school? RIT has you covered. Here are some reasons to acquire a Master’s degree (or even a PhD) from your alma mater, along with a brief overview of some of the programs we offer.
1.       Advance within your field. RIT awards Master’s degrees in programs such as design, visual communications, business, communications, mathematics, engineering, NTID, and more, hosting 70 in total. Let us say, for example, that you have a B.S. in computer science, and are looking into the M.S. program here. You can take courses within clusters having to do with robotics, cryptography, big data, and more, all culminating into a thesis or project and public presentation.  If you think this sounds similar to your undergraduate studies, you’re right: the layout of the programs are somewhat alike, but the materials studied allow you to advance current skills and move up in your current company, or potentially obtain a higher position even at entry level.
2.       Take advantage of the convenience factor. Most RIT graduate courses are taught in the late afternoon and evening. That way, you can enroll as a part-time or full-time student, and still work at your original or a new position during the day.  Additionally, adult and continuing education programs here allow transfer credits, offer certificates, and have partnered with the Yellow Ribbon Program. RIT faculty, staff, and fellow students make it possible to work and attend school simultaneously.
3.       Connect with company recruiters. As an alumnus, you are most likely aware of our career fairs. Although alumni are welcome to attend, it would not hurt to inform a potential employer of your Master’s candidacy and studies. It is optional for most Master’s students to complete a co-op, but researching what attending companies are looking for may ultimately lead you to see that they value a continuous pursuit of more training and education.
4.       RIT provides tuition benefits for employees of the college and for eligible family members. Do you or does someone in your family work for RIT? You could obtain a tuition waiver up to 100 percent! The majority of RIT graduate programs are 30 or more credits in total, so depending on your status as an employee, you could take between 6 and 12 credit hours per term with the benefits provided. Click this link to find out more about your eligibility to enroll in courses using the benefits.
5.       Increase the amount of research you engage in. RIT is heading in a more research-oriented direction, and with that comes a significant focus on graduate students and their work. Several programs end with a thesis or project, such as computer science mentioned above. For instance, RIT graduate Nate Fisk created the Rochester Cyber Safety and Ethics Initiative prior to his graduation, which explores and seeks to correct internet security concerns.  Sanjay Mathur sought to assist consulting companies with his project, Improving Customer Satisfaction in the Telecom Industry Through Improved Project Selection Methodologies. Wherever your interests lie, departments encourage passion projects and outside research, particularly at the graduate level.

Want to learn more? Check out all of our graduate programs on the web! 

By Hayley Johnson, RIT Career Services, Graduate Intern

Friday, November 6, 2015

Top Trends in Resume Writing

Hunting for the perfect position? Seeking to change careers entirely? Fresh out of your undergraduate or graduate studies? Consider these developments in the resume-composing realm to revamp your list of accomplishments.
1)      Digitization: You know about the importance of LinkedIn, the value of your presentation on social networking sites like Facebook, and that taking advantage of free cover letter and resume critiquing sessions. But have you considered the inclusion of videos, social media campaign examples, or mobile-friendly copies? Certain alum, of course, will know that a digital portfolio is often preferred for certain applications, and previous co-op experiences or passion projects will have helped with that. For others, however, if you are applying to more non-traditional industries, start-up companies, or even simply a general job posting, consider adding electronic elements that award your accomplishments a modern twist. An employer may rely on smartphone technology to view your resume, so ensuring that yours is accessible is also key. A recent article from Inc. notes that some companies are now using Instagram to engage in a process known as “purple squirrel hunting,” in which they pursue the most qualified candidates that may be already working, thus they would require less training. With you cooperative education experience, this could prove advantageous to the average job-seeking RIT graduate.
2)      Design: Innovation in resume formatting is certainly more applicable to some program graduates more than others, but it is nonetheless attractive and becoming increasingly popular. Consider adding colorful, but not too overpowering, images such as timelines that track accomplishments, charts that compare project growth, pictures that note where you hail from, photographs of major influencers, and the like. As long as text is still the main component, and there are not too many sections, infographics can add a unique element to a resume that extends beyond traditional templates found simply via popular search engines. Stick to a one-page limit, but lay out your profile in a more creative manner.
3)      Highlights: Facebook recently unveiled a new feature that attaches star icons to events such as starting a new position, a marriage, the birth of a child, et cetera, and these occasions are what one sees when scrolling through another user’s profile from years past. Why not do something similar with your resume? At each previous position, mention key projects that you assisted with or developed, and note your specific role(s) at any given point. Additionally, include awards received or other forms of recognition and promotion from whom you report. Achievements are just as important as job titles; what did you add to the organization that could transfer over to a different company?
Start over: This may sound intimidating, but imagine deleting everything in your resume and starting from scratch. Which successes can you remember that would highlight your assets? Which are less important or relevant? Starting from the beginning can allow for a completely new layout and order of accomplishments, stemming from a new mindset when switching career paths or simply looking for a different position. Ensure that you have a copy of the original resume to copy certain items from, but do not resort to sticking the exact outline use.

By Hayley Johnson, Graduate Intern, RIT Office of Career Services & Cooperative Education