Column: Take advantage of Career Services

Logan Raschke

If you haven’t visited the Career Services website or scheduled an appointment with someone from the department, do it now.

Career Services facilitates workshops, events, job fairs, information for students who want to improve their resumes/cover letters and interviews with career advisers, to name a few resources.

Just Tuesday morning, I had a virtual session with Bobbi Kingery, director and master career counselor, and all my expectations were exceeded.

I wanted to set up a virtual meeting because I graduate in December and I need to start my job search.

Moreover, I have always had confidence issues with my work experience and skills, but they have gotten much worse since last semester. My insecurities started midway through last semester, but they festered and corroded my confidence when I was isolated during the pandemic.

I didn’t think I’d get into this sore subject during my virtual meeting, but I did. I feel a huge weight lifted from my shoulders now.

Kingery was so helpful and understanding. She helped me work through my insecurities and advised me on how to begin my job search.

During our virtual meeting, there were a few interesting things I learned that all students should keep in mind when they look for careers:

 

Use Indeed 

Indeed.com is a good site to mass search for job listings because it features ads that have been posted on other sites as well as its own.

Users can also broaden their career options by searching for keywords. For example, during one of my recent searches, I found promising leads after looking up the broad term “media” in my geographic area.

 

Don’t be scared to apply

Kingery said something important for students to remember is that it’s totally OK and actually recommended to apply for jobs that have some required skills/qualifications you don’t excel in.

For example, some job postings I found required applicants to have “excellent communication skills, both oral and written,” editing skills and deadline skills.

Well, I’ve got those down, but it also listed “video editing” as a necessary skill. While I do know how to shoot and edit video, I’m no master.

Kingery said to go ahead and apply anyway, if I wanted. During interviews, applicants discuss strengths and weaknesses. It’s impossible to find perfect candidates for anything; many skills can be learned quickly on the job too.

 

Adapt your cover letter

Kingery said a cover letter is a little piece of self-promotion. In cover letters, applicants explain why they’re writing to employers, how they found the job opportunity, a few reasons why they qualify for the job and a conclusion.

People should not use the same cover letter for every job opportunity. Each job is different, so use the same format, but edit the content with each application.

Also, don’t mention what you can’t do. Only focus on what you do well.

Career Services provides a standard cover letter template at https://www.eiu.edu/careers//covlet_template.pdf.

 

Logan Raschke is a senior journalism major. She can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected]