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New year; new career opportunities

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It’s that time of year again: New Year’s resolutions! As you draft yours, does one or more involve advancing your career? Regardless of where you are in your professional path, the new Office of Career Development at the School of International Service (SIS) is here to assist current students and alumni at every stage of their careers.

“This time of the year is one of the best to think about jobs and internships because we tend to see a surge in the number of job listings we receive from employers, and an increase in student and alumni career advising appointments as well,” says David Fletcher, director of the SIS Office of Career Development.

“Moreover, the holiday vacation gives people down time to recharge at the end of the year and begin to invest in the search and application process.” Get a head start on your next job or internship in 2017 with these five tips from the SIS Office of Career Development.

1. Research

Begin exploring companies or organizations where you’d like to work in the future. Professional sites like LinkedIn, Glassdoor, and Indeed are useful resources to search new job offerings, gauge workplace culture, and read employer reviews. Beyond the web, research also includes people, too. Ask colleagues and friends about potential external and internal openings to broaden your range of opportunities. Need a starting point? Check out online resources from AU Career Center.

2. Reconnect

Holiday gatherings can be the perfect place to practice your elevator pitch and networking nuances, as well as build storytelling confidence—which will come in handy during job interviews—as you check in with friends and family. Make the time to catch up with former colleagues and connections while garnering tips, leads, and referrals in your industry of interest. Remember that the SIS Alumni Network is a built-in professional network for current students and alumni.

3. Review

Make a great first impression on potential employers with a resume or CV that not only reflects your professional experience, but also stands out from the competition. According to Business Insider, recruiters spend a mere six seconds, on average, reviewing a candidate’s resume before deciding whether or not to move forward with them. Now is the perfect time to sit down, open up your laptop, and review your resume for clarity, style, and structure. If you’re looking for inspiration, check out these "41 best resume templates ever". Better yet, the SIS Office of Career Development reopens on January 2 for in-person and remote appointments to help you in the writing and editing process.

4. Reflect

Take the holiday break to reflect on your 2016 accomplishments. What tasks, assignments, and projects went well? What came naturally or easy to you? What needs improvement? Think about what you would like to accomplish in 2017, and then draft specific, actionable goals in order to hit the ground running. Share your goals with your SIS career advisor to get informed, professional feedback. Graduate students have access to a concise career planning timeline from the SIS Office of Career Development to help develop goals and stay on track.

5. Register

Pursue your professional advancement in 2017 by registering for new educational and volunteer opportunities that align with your goals for the year. Being proactive in your industry and community not only build your professional skills, but your network as well. American University students can learn new skills and earn LinkedIn certificates by taking advantage of free access to via the AU portal.

Want more career tips for landing that dream job or internship? The new SIS Office of Career Development offers a comprehensive set of career tools and resources to help students and alumni set and achieve professional goals. Get started by visiting their website or making an appointment with a career advisor.