Career Center M30

Now and Later

Questions?

  • Career Center
    202-885-1804
    Fax: 202-885-1861
    careercenter@american.edu
    Butler Pavilion, Room 5th Floor

    Monday 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
    Tuesday 9:00 am - 8:00 pm
    Wednesday 9:00 am - 8:00 pm
    Thursday 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
    Friday 9:00 am - 5:00 pm

    Fernando, Gihan S
    Executive Director-Career Center

Mailing Address
Now and Later

Seniors

Whatever you want to do, wherever you want to go, we're here to help. To start, we'll send you a weekly "Now and Later" e-mail with tips to guide you through the career planning process. 

See tips below from past weeks, and subscribe to the Now and Later e-mail if you're not currently receiving it.

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Tips from August 25

NOW

Settle in this week and make time to ask friends and classmates about the exciting places they worked and traveled this summer.

Help us help you. Take 30 seconds to complete a short questionnaire and enter to win a $200 gift card from Apple.

LATER

Be inspired by your peers. Check out our Intern Blog and Intern Maps to see where other AU students have interned and read about their experiences.

Ponder all the possibilities for your future while relaxing in our Career Resource Library. You'll find us on the fifth floor of Butler Pavilion.

Tips from September 1

NOW

It’s Labor Day weekend and that means BIG SALES! Shop now for a new interview suit to impress graduate school recruiters or employers.

Claim your title: senior. Log into AU CareerWeb and update your profile so you can apply for AU-exclusive internships and jobs.

LATER

Skim through our Events Calendar and RSVP to attend a career-building event. There are several fellowship information sessions, on-campus interviews, and professional panel discussions coming up soon.

Learn why federal government employee satisfaction is at an all-time high, and see which federal agencies top the new list of Best Places to Work in the Federal Government.

Tips from September 8

NOW

Enhance your internship experience this fall by earning academic credit. Follow these steps to meet the September 13 registration deadline.

Pause and think about what makes you happy. Let these passions shape your career plans.

LATER

Gain insights from Washington College of Law experts on law school admissions and career trends in the legal field. Participate in this panel discussion on September 16th.

Pop into the Career Center at any point on September 21st and find activities and resources designed specifically for you. Don't miss our Career Spree for Seniors.

Tips from September 15

NOW

Enter to win a $200 Apple gift card by answering three quick questions. Respond by 5:00 p.m. on Friday, September 17th.

Review lists of graduate and law schools participating in local fairs this month, and consider attending the 2010 Law School Fair at GWU on Monday, September 20th; QS World Graduate School Tour on Thursday, September 23rd; and the Idealist.org Graduate Degree Fair for the Public Good on Thursday, September 30th.

LATER

Satisfy your sweet tooth with Now and Later candy and fortune cookies! Simply stop by the Career Center between 9 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, September 21st.

Update your resume in anticipation of our Job and Internship Fair. For another set of eyes on it, meet with a career advisor during drop-ins or at the Resume Station on September 28th.

Tips from September 22

NOW

Relax outdoors and enjoy the fleeting warm weather with friends!

Develop your game plan for AU's Job and Internship Fair by reviewing the Employer Directory and researching organizations of interest before the fair on September 29th.

Later

Discover why SOC career advisor Minna Morse uses multiple F-words to define "networking" but insists it's not a dirty word. Read Minna's blog post now.

If more school is in your future, register in advance for the GRE, GMAT, LSAT, or MCAT and prepare to take the exam in October or November.

Tips from October 6

NOW

Focus on your mid-terms. Employers value solid academic performance.

If you attended last week’s Job and Internship Fair, follow up with employers whom you met. Thank them for their advice or referral and be sure to pass along your resume, especially if you said you would.

LATER

Follow these simple steps to create a strong LinkedIn profile and begin building your professional network online.

Seek out volunteer opportunities to fuel your passion and gain worthwhile experience.

Tips from October 13

NOW

Reserve your seat for an eye-opening discussion and book signing with US News & World Report personal finance columnist Kimberly Palmer. on October 20, 6:30 to 8:00 p.m., in the Butler Boardroom.

Enjoy fall break! You’ve earned some R & R.

LATER

Prepare your elevator pitch and practice, practice, practice before you have to introduce yourself in a professional situation. Offer your name, background, and career aspirations—all in 30 seconds or less.

Polish tools to market yourself to recruiters, networking contacts, grad school admissions reps, and others. Such materials include your resume, cover letters, e-mail address, voicemail greeting, online profiles, and website or blog.

Tips from October 20

NOW

Continue to master your area of study and push yourself to do new things that help broaden your skills and abilities.

Carve out time next week to participate in any number of Federal Careers Week events. Topics range from intelligence and international development to humanities and the environment.

LATER

Stay informed about organizations and industries that interest you by reading relevant blogs, magazines, newspapers, Twitter feeds, and other forms of media.

If you’re struggling to build your professional network, start with people you already know. Quickly jot down names of relatives, family friends, friends and classmates, professors, AU staff, internship and volunteering contacts, and others with whom you’ve worked over the years.

Tips from October 27

NOW

Seize the opportunity to network with dozens of alumni and employers right here on campus. RSVP for next Thursday’s SPA Student-Alumni Networking Reception and check our calendar for upcoming info sessions and panel discussions. (Note: receptions for CAS, SIS, and SOC are confirmed for April, February, and March, respectively.)

Do at least one thing every week during the months of November and December to advance your career. Activities can range from clarifying your goals and talking with people you admire to applying online for positions that interest you.

LATER

Think about your post-graduation finances. What is truly necessary and what can you skimp on in order to pay down debt or save for the future?

Google yourself and make sure the results reflect the image you want to project.

Tips from November 3

NOW

If hoping to teach English abroad next year, talk with merit awards advisor Chris Swanson about the benefits, eligibility requirements, and application steps for an English Teaching Assistantship in France, Spain, Austria, Korea, or beyond. Attend an information session on Tuesday, Nov. 9, from 2 to 3 p.m. in McKinley 155 or Monday, Nov. 15, from 4 to 5 p.m. in McKinley 155.

Start searching or continue your efforts to land an internship for spring 2011. Research from the National Association of Colleges and Employers shows that candidates with substantive internship experience are more likely than those without to receive a job offer as well as a higher salary.

LATER

Watch this video and learn how to avoid common cover letter pitfalls.

Determine how important job location is to you and plan your search accordingly. The more places you consider, the wider your net and the more opportunities you may find.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

NOW

Do your best in any job or internship you hold. As a recruiter from PricewaterhouseCoopers once said, “Always perform for the job or work you want, even if it’s not the job or work you currently have.”

Strengthen your negotiation skills so that you’re ready to talk salary when the time comes. RSVP for Thursday’s Salary Negotiation Simulation, facilitated by the AU Negotiation Project, and check out more negotiation tips from the Career Center.

LATER

There is no situation too small to ask a career advisor for guidance or reassurance. For quick feedback, talk with an advisor during drop-in hours Monday through Thursday.

Forget photocopying! Hundreds of books are now circulating from our Career Resource Library so swing by when it’s convenient for you and check out books such as “Gradspot.com’s Guide to Life After College.”

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

NOW

Pursue opportunities to hone the five most important skills/qualities that employers seek in new college grads.

  1. Verbal communication skills
  2. Strong work ethic
  3. Teamwork skills
  4. Analytical skills
  5. Initiative

LATER

When preparing your resume and cover letters, emphasize the following factors, which are known to influence employers' hiring decisions, especially when considering two equally qualified candidates.

  • Major
  • Relevant internship experience
  • Leadership positions
  • High GPA (3.0 or above)
  • Extracurricular activities
  • Volunteer work

The National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) just published these lists and other findings in its Job Outlook 2011 report. To learn more about NACE's annual study and other survey results, e-mail us at careercenter@american.edu.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

NOW

As you make your holiday wish list, consider adding some of these interview essentials:

  • Tailored suit (black, gray, navy blue, or a subtle pattern such as pinstripe)
  • Crisp collared shirt (or a silk camisole for women)
  • Silk tie with subtle colors or pattern for men, and classy accessories for women
  • Polished dress shoes
  • Leather bag or padfolio

LATER

Continue to perfect your professional image. Prepare to speak with confidence by utilizing our virtual interview tool.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

NOW

Learning to manage stress will pay off in the classroom and on the job, so find ways to relax and recharge in between finals.

Nurture relationships in your professional network by sending an e-mail, e-card, or handwritten note to anyone who has recently supported you. The semester’s end and the holiday season are both good times to give thanks.

LATER

Work some career goals into your New Year’s resolutions. Set specific, action-oriented career objectives that will carry you through graduation, and three months beyond for good measure.

Create job search agents in AU CareerWeb or on sites such as Indeed.com to automatically receive e-mail alerts about new postings that match your search criteria.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

NOW

The average job search ranges from three to six months, or longer in tight markets. To secure a job offer before or soon after graduation, dedicate ample time to job search activities throughout the spring semester.

Hone your writing and social media skills by blogging about your spring internship. Check out the AU Intern Blog's new home and e-mail Jessica Beasley to become a spring intern blogger.

LATER

Tune in to our new CareerSpots videos and gain sound advice in four minutes or less.

Where do you want to work? Help to shape the Career Center's employer engagement strategy by completing Universum's IDEAL Employer Survey.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

NOW

Soul Search--Understand what makes up your ideal career by reflecting on the following: 1) your top interests; 2) your key motivators; 3) the skills you want to employ; 4) ways you want to contribute or find purpose; 5) your best qualities; 6) your preferred work environment; 7) the activities you get the most enjoyment from; and 8) your desired salary and benefits. Then prioritize what's most important to you and brainstorm possibilities that match the elements of your ideal career.

Research--Gather facts about possible careers through Internet research and informational interviews, and test-drive them through internships and volunteer projects.

LATER (but not much later)

Job Search--Make your ideal career a reality by continually updating your resume (and portfolio if applicable), networking, identifying opportunities, building new credentials and experience, and presenting yourself well.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

NOW

Cross your fingers for a snow day tomorrow and consider ways to use some free time to advance your job search (e.g. perusing organizations' career Web pages, researching organizations on LinkedIn, submitting applications through AU CareerWeb, etc.)

Register for any number of SIS Career Week events appropriate for both SIS students and others interested in international careers. Attend a panel discussion, workshop, and/or reception focused on job searching, .

LATER

Business cards are becoming more popular among students, so demonstrate your professionalism by printing cards with your name, school, degree, and contact information. Create them yourself or order online from AU's recommended vendor.

Take full advantage of all Career Center offerings, not just job listings or resume critiques. Talk with your advisor about topics ranging from basic employer/industry research to more intensive activities such as interview preparation. And don't forget about all our print and multimedia resources available online and in the Career Resource Library.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

NOW

Join or become more active on LinkedIn. Learn "how to" at a live demonstration in the Career Center Library tomorrow at 3 p.m. and/or follow these pointers: build a 100% complete profile; display an appropriate photo; highlight all relevant experience; first connect with people you know and trust; join groups; and personalize every connection request.

Master e-mail etiquette before communicating with potential employers and other professional contacts. Address people you don't know as Mr., Ms., etc.; use proper grammar, spelling, and capitalization; strike a respectful tone; be clear and concise; respond to messages within 24 hours; and don't use a cute, suggestive, or otherwise inappropriate e-mail address.

LATER

Project confidence in professional situations, even if you feel awkward or inexperienced. Think about all your accomplishments--big and small-- and remember the adage "it's not bragging if it's true."

Spend time each week for the remainder of the semester (or each day if you're actively job hunting) on a task or activity that will advance your search. This may seem near impossible but actions can be as easy as reading a career advice blog or as involved as conducting an informational interview.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

NOW

As you prepare to step out on your own, consider how you will earn and spend money. If you need a starting point, use the following guidelines from Kiplinger to anticipate your post-graduation living expenses:

  • 30% on housing (maybe higher in the Washington Metropolitan Area but lower if split among roommates)
  • 10% on utilities and other housing expenditures (gas, electric, phone, Internet, renters insurance, etc.)
  • 15% on food (at home and away)
  • 10% on transportation (car loan, gas, parking, maintenance, public transit, etc.)
  • 10% on debt repayment (student loans and credit cards)
  • 10% on savings
  • 5% on clothing
  • 5% on entertainment
  • 5% on car insurance and miscellaneous personal expenses

LATER

Once you know what your living expenses may be, focus on how to cover them. Use these easy online tools and other free resources to manage your personal finances:

  • Salary.com to learn what your ideal position/industry may pay
  • PaycheckCity.com to learn what your actual take-home pay (net income) may be
  • Mint.com to build a budget, track your savings and expenditures, and achieve your goals