Personal preparation for the job search

Here is a summery from the session we had with Milbana, on personal preparation for the jobs search.

click here Preparing Yourself for the job Search



Networking involves making connections and maintaining relationships with people who support you throughout each phase of your career. Your network of contacts may help you to choose the right career, find rewarding opportunities, develop your skills, and achieve your goals

Networking may seem daunting, but start now by following these easy steps:

  • Make your passions and goals known to peers, relatives, and professors and ask for guidance or referrals.
  • Connect with thousands of alumni through social and professional networking sites including inCircle, Facebook, and LinkedIn.
  • Put yourself out there and meet new people at events on campus and throughout D.C.
  • Make yourself known by actively participating in on-campus organizations and professional associations related to your field.
  • Build relationships and gain relevant experience by volunteering with organizations that match your passions and career goals.
  • Stay in touch with former supervisors and colleagues.
  • Arrange informational interviews with professionals in your field and ask about what they do, how they got there and what advice they have.

Seven Secrets of Successful Networking

  1. Prepare an “elevator speech.” When introducing yourself, be prepared to share your academic and professional achievements and intended goals within 30 – 60 seconds.
  2. Act with confidence even if you feel shy or intimidated, and always speak passionately about your interests and accomplishments.
  3. Communicate in a warm and sincere way. Learn people’s names, make eye contact, and listen intently.
  4. Follow through with referrals, and always thank your contacts in writing for their time and assistance.
  5. Look for ways that you and your contacts can help each other, and build a reputation of being a resource for others.
  6. Create a system for tracking contact information and notes.
  7. Manage your “online image” and be cautious about what employers might find.

(Secrets shared by Career Center advisors and School of Communication Professor Chris Palmer)


LinkedIn is the world’s largest online professional networking site with more than 175 million members in over 200 countries and territories. It is a critical brand-building tool that allows you to:

  • Build and manage your professional presence.
  • Connect professionally with classmates, faculty, family, work or internship colleagues, and other key contacts.
  • Find new career opportunities.
  • Manage and maintain your list of professional contacts.

Most professionals use and take LinkedIn seriously. While an established presence on Facebook is good, a strong, polished presence on LinkedIn can set you apart in the job market. Learn how to network and build your online brand with LinkedIn.


Facebook is more than a social outlet; it is also an important career tool. According to a recent Jobvite poll, 44 percent of all social media job-seeking activity happens on Facebook. With this in mind and depending on your use, you may wish to keep your Facebook account public, private, or grant certain individuals access to certain sections.

Alternatively, you may consider creating a separate account for professional use. It is important to remember, however, that anything you post on Facebook could be visible to future employers, so be mindful of your content. Learn how to network and build your online brand with Facebook.


Twitter is a real-time information network that connects you to the latest stories, ideas, opinions, and news. If you are looking to obtain internships, full-time jobs, or networking opportunities you should use Twitter to improve your industry knowledge and social media marketing skills.

Active job seekers should follow a targeted list of companies on Twitter and send tweets regularly. A professional tweet should engage employers and industries of interest. Your professional tweets should include questions, address trending topics, and/or demonstrate your subject-matter knowledge and interest. Learn how to network and build your online brand with Twitter.

courtesy of American University.

Career Tips


How to Impress with your CV

It’s a fact that every vacancy is accompanied by, on average, 200 CVs of application with it. Assuming you’re one of these people, what makes you think you will stand out of the pack?

As the first point of communication with or employer, your CV plays a very influential role in getting you the job you’re interested in. And especially if the employer is spoiled for choice with hundreds and hundreds of CVs flowing his way, he/she is looking for the slightest flaw in your CV to help him/her save time. Some preliminary things you should do before even starting to right you CV.

  • Read: what you need to read is different writings on not just how to write good CVs but also on how to write the right CV for your industry. A person applying for an accountancy position is not expected to have the same tailoring for his/her CV as of an electric engineer’s CV. An artist shouldn’t have a purely back and white, plain looking CV, as a person applying for a CEO. A little part of himself/herself should shine out of his/her CV. After all a CV is naught but an Ad of your person. You should search and research to find out what kind of a CV will draw and keep an employer’s attention on yours.
  • Look at Other CVs: not everything you read might help you so your next step should be looking at samples of CVs with similar occupation and experience. This is no way intended to encourage copying. A copied CV is the worst kind there is as the employer will look at that as a flaw when he finds a similar one. Looking at other CVs will help you find features about the CVs that personally impress you and you think will impress the employer. Which features look appropriate, which ones look out of place, which parts do you fill are unnecessarily included, which important fact do you think has been omitted. Imagine yourself in the employer’s place and judge the CV, then you will be able to have a better understanding of what is good and what is not.
  • Make an Outline: make a list of all the things you want to include in your CV while you’re reading or surveying other CVs. This will help you to have all your thoughts gathered in one place and saves the time you will spend going back and forth from your readings and your CV. Check your list and take out ideas that might look awkward put together.
  • Read and Re-Read: After writing the CV, make sure to check for grammatical errors, spelling errors or other display errors. It might seem inconsequential to write an “a” as an “e”, just once. But when the employer is faced with hundreds of CVs, what on your part was unintentional will come off as carelessness and might to rejection. Besides reading it yourself, make your friends and your family read it and make comments on it. Since people are critical by nature they might see problems with it that you are not able to.

Courtesy of Ethiojobs