Common Application

4. Strategies for Success

Learning to present yourself professionally is an important leadership skill. The Office of Life Planning suggests you try some of these techniques to improve your communication and presentation. Contact the office directly for one-on-one resume reviews, interviewing techniques and self-assessment inventories.

Step 1: Know Yourself

The Office of Life Planning has many resources to help you with self-assessment, including, personal vocational counseling, and a variety of assessment tools that will help you better understand and communicate your personality, skills, interests and work-related values. Call 565-6031 for an appointment.

Step 2: Know the Job

Research the organization, department, office that you are considering applying to. What skills, strengths, experiences will contribute lo their success? Read the job description carefully and think about how you fit the requirements. Unsure of how to start your research? Conduct an information interview with someone from the department or office.

Step 3: Shape Your Resume to the Position

An effective resume is not a generic document but is custom made for a particular position and reader. The more you know about the job (see above) the more you will know about how to craft your resume. A good resume communicates: “I know what you are looking for in the way of skills, experiences, qualities, etc., and here they are.” Be sure and have several people read your resume for content and errors (there can’t be any!).

Step 4: Prepare for the Interview
Get the Successful Interviewing handout from our office (third floor of the library) and go through the 50 interview questions at the end of this handout which will help you answer any question an interviewer may ask. Our office offers interviewing skills workshops throughout the year, and we are available for “mock interviews,” which is probably the most useful preparation possible. The best advice we can give: practice, practice, practice!

Step 5: Follow Up

After an interview, set yourself apart from the other candidates by doing the following: Send a personalized hand written thank you cord to your interviewer. lf there is more than one interviewer, you may send one to each individual or send one and address it to both.

If you haven’t heard after a week (unless they specify that it will take them longer), call and inquire where they are in their process and ask if you con provide other materials to help facilitate the process.

The Office of Life Planning is here to help you in any aspect of the application process. Call for an appointment at 565-6031 or visit us on the third floor of the Library.