Emailing is an essential but deceptively difficult form of communication in a professional environment. Tone, content, length, and effective use of language are factors that can determine whether the email will be well-received by the sender. This week, we have two resources for your consideration.
Are you a job seeker? Advice for emailing during the job search:
Many times, job seekers feel like they lack direction or sense of purpose as they navigate the process of finding positions and applying for jobs. To gain direction and hold oneself accountable, developing personal standards about how to approach the job search can be a valuable exercise.
This year, if you are seeking new employment, we encourage you to resolve to stay true to a solid approach consistently over a period of time. Write your own framework for successfully engaging in a job search, or adopt some of the ideas below:
2017 Job Seekers’ Resolutions
IDENTIFY POSITIONS AND APPLY FOR JOBS
I will apply for positions for which I am clearly qualified (5 per week if I’m actively searching).
I will meet three people per week who are working in or recruiting for a field in which I want to work, through events, informational interviews, and other means such as virtual meetings (via LinkedIn, phone calls, emails, etc.).
I will edit my own resume as if I were a recruiter or hiring manager for the position I am seeking, improving its content and format accordingly.
I will practice answering interview questions and internalize answers that are specific, informative, and relevant.
I will consider the process of securing a job to be a full-time job in itself and will prioritize it in terms of time, resources, and organization.
If I become discouraged, I will share my concerns with trusted friends, colleagues, or faculty rather than giving up.
I will acknowledge if I am struggling to present myself professionally in networking, resume building, or interviewing, and I will ask for assistance.
If I am not employed, I will volunteer with a nonprofit.
I will educate myself on key subject matter related to my chosen profession and will converse with others and/or teach others about my field of expertise.
I will educate myself on the barriers to entering my desired profession and determine how to close the gaps between what I can currently contribute within that field and what I will need to do to gain entry into the field.
Although the computer science department may not be UD’s largest, their Programming Team successfully competed against other much larger schools at the recent Association for Computing Machinery’s ICPC South Central USA Regional Programming Contest last fall. The group received a University of Dallas Experience Award to help offset the cost of attending the contest.
A group of nine UD students competed in teams of three to solve eleven problems as quickly as possible. Faculty Advisor Dr. Rob Hochberg was very pleased with the team’s success. “Our teams finished 21, 22 and 40 out of the 68 teams in our region, which consists of Texas, Oklahoma and Louisiana,” he said. “But, comparing apples to apples, they finished 4, 5 and 10 out of the 23 teams that come from undergraduate institutions.”
Competitions like this one have lasting effects beyond the recognition that goes along with placing well. Katherine Beine, a senior computer science major, said that working on a team helps to teach communication skills. “It helps you learn to communicate about problems and how to solve them,” she said. Peter Lieblang, a freshman attending his first competition, agreed: “It was good to listen to the juniors and seniors and see how they approach solving problems.” Sophomore computer science major Jack Baumann said that preparing for the competition helped him gain other skills as well. “It involves a lot of team cooperation and time management,” he said.
Another benefit of competing is the practical experience. Sophomore Michael Bolot said that the hands-on experience is invaluable. “There’s a big difference between knowing how to do something and actually doing it,” he said.
That kind of practical experience can pay dividends down the road. According to Hochberg, the ability to solve problems in high-pressure situations like the ACM ICPC is something potential employers are looking for. “By participating on our programming team, our students gain experience and practice with interesting problems that are not covered in our standard coursework,” he said. “This practice makes them better programmers, and gives them valuable experience that employers and graduate schools really value.”
UDE awards are designed to encourage students to engage in experiential learning and academically driven growth opportunities so they will be able to present themselves professionally in pursuit of their vocational goals. These opportunities could include presenting research at scholarly or professional conferences or participating in prestigious competitions, festivals, selective auditions, or exhibitions. For more information on University of Dallas Experience awards, click here.
College of Business Newsletter Notes from the OPCD: Gaining Traction in Your Search
Some of you are currently job hunting and are concerned that, in spite of your best efforts, you are not being contacted for interviews. If you are applying each week for 5-10 positions for which you are qualified without any results, the culprit is probably your resume and cover letter.
We have some great resources on our website, and you should also dedicate some time researching and applying suggestions found in the links embedded in this article from askamanager.org: If You’re Not Getting Interviews, Read This. Building relevance with efficiency and interest is the key to a strong resume or cover letter. Feel free to contact Amy Young at email@example.com if you would like a quick review of a draft you plan to submit to a potential employer.