I've been thinking about what to write to you all today and decided to use some inspiration from my friend and colleague, executive coach, Elizabeth Hope Derby. In Elizabeth's recent newsletter, she discusses her kickboxing experience and uses the kickboxing metaphor ultimately to describe how many of us "stretch a little bit harder, jump two inches higher. [Who] share this desire to push beyond our limits and savor the satisfaction of a really good stretch." This is how I view our majors, as people, who stretch. But, beware stretchers, as Elizabeth warns in her newsletter through personal narrative, there is a point at which we may push "past 'stretched' to 'stretched too thin.'" Elizabeth suggests "marry[ing] the ambition of your brain with the intelligence of your body."
I want all of our majors to keep this in mind as you begin the semester next week. You will have myriad commitments in addition to the most important, your academic coursework, and there will be times when it may be useful to examine how "stretched" you are and if you need to rebalance. Below this blog are resources to help prevent and mitigate stretching-too-thin. Now, having said that, I'm sharing below my many recommendations to prepare for your career exploration and job search this academic year. There is a lot! However you approach reading this list and taking action, keep in mind the stretch and stretching-too-thin. There's a lot listed below and you may want to pace yourself rather than take from the buffet all in one pass.
1 - Update your resume, Handshake profile, LInkedIn profile with any summer experiences you have had and have these critiqued by VMOCK and career counselors:
- Research (your own, work-related, or from a class)
- Classes that are relevant to the work you are pursuing, (include UVA, community college, Coursera, LinkedIn Learning, etc.)
- Work experience - include all of your accomplishments and responsibilities on a general resume, and then draw from them as you customize your resumes by industry and job function before submitting
- Personal accomplishments in a Skills and Interests section - If you trained for a marathon, taught yourself guitar, learned a language, etc, this is information to include in a resume (See me or UVA Career Center to discuss further)
- Update your GPA
- Click here for resume and cover letter samples and review the UVA Hoos Career Guide for more
2 - Handshake (Take these action steps, at the very least):
- Update your work preferences by industry, job function, and geographic location. This allows alerts from the ECO and from employers
- Determine if you'd like your profile viewable by employers
- Take the On Grounds Interview (OGI) survey to be sure you are eligible to attend employer and alumni office hours, and apply for jobs by employers recruiting on Grounds
- Review events and jobs by date to prepare yourself for upcoming relevant programs
3 - Self-Assessment:
- Take the PathwayU assessment if you're looking for direction about how your interests intersect with careers
- Read the ECO Industry Overviews for introductory exposure to typical career paths for economics majors
- ECO Self-assessment webpage
4 - Job Applications and Interviews:
- Familiarize yourself with recruiting calendar for the employers that interest you (pages 46-47 in the Hoos Career Guide)
- Familiarize yourself with the types of application materials (resumes, cover letters, assessments, interviews) that are used in your sector/industries/job functions of interest
- HireVue is a virtual job application platform. Many employers use this or other similar video assessments as screening tools
- Pymetrics is a personality assessment many employers ask applicants to submit; there are many other types. Don't stress over these!
- VMock - an AI tool to help you prep your resume and your elevator pitch and perfect your LInkedIn profile
- Visit job boards
And if you want more....check out the ECO's suggested timeline of activities here.