How to Stay Sane During the Summer Job Search

By: Gracie Covarrubias, DePaul University organizational and multicultural communication major ’18 and Career Center communications assistant

Summertime is arguably the best time of the year—longer days, plenty of free time, exciting opportunities for growth; the list of ways to fill your summer is endless. One item that never seems to escape our summer to-do lists, however, is landing that perfect job. Let’s face it, with the stress, spreadsheets and never-ending interviews, sometimes the summer job search can feel like a full-time job itself. But who says the job search can’t be fun? Check out these four tips that’ll help keep you sane during your summer job search.

Network, network, network

Check out Meetup to find fun networking events near you, specific to your industry and interests. No matter where you’re spending the summer, it’s important to dedicate some of your time to meeting people and making quality connections—remember, people hire people!

Informational interviews

Informational interviews are an exceptional way to get your foot in the door with a company you want to work for. Check out DePaul’s Alumni Sharing Knowledge network to learn more about connecting with alumni, or ASK mentors, that share similar career aspirations or have connections to companies you’re looking to seek employment with. ASK mentors can provide informational interviews, which can give you a better sense of the work they do and the company or field they work in. If you aren’t finding a connection through ASK, head on over to LinkedIn and search through DePaul alumni in your intended field.

Leverage the Career Center

Whether you’re at DePaul for another year (or two…or three) or a recent grad, the Career Center can be a key player in helping you during your summer job or internship search. Come in and chat with a peer career advisor to get your resume reviewed or schedule a meeting with your career advisor to talk strategies for the job search. Recent graduates, don’t forget, you have access to Career Center resources for one year after graduation. The Career Center is open throughout the summer from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and is bustling with people excited to help you land that dream job!

Make this summer the summer that you land that job you’ve been dreaming of. Don’t forget, you’ve got a network of Blue Demons excited to support you in your journey beyond DePaul.

Connect with professors

It sounds simple enough, but we often forget that professors, especially at DePaul, aren’t solely educators—they are skilled professionals who spent years establishing themselves in their respective industries. Your favorite professor has a wide breadth of knowledge on your field and a network of professionals they are more than willing to connect you with. Summer is a great time to reconnect and touch base with professors who have made an impact on you in your collegiate career. Use this time to not only solidify these connections, but to also catch up with them and see if they have any colleagues that would be willing to help you with the job hunt.

Just-in-Time Tips for the Just in Time Job Fair

Every year in June, the Career Center hosts the Just in Time Job Fair, an event for students to learn about job and internship opportunities—or, in the case of graduating seniors, immediate full-time gigs. Employers from multiple industries will be seeking applicants with various majors and levels of experience, so it’s a great opportunity for anybody who is seeking employment as the academic year comes to a close.

Given that this particular fair is an ideal fit for just about everyone, it’s even more important that you prepare in advance as to increase your chances of standing out.

Here are four key tips for maximizing your job fair experience and wowing recruiters.

Research Companies in Advance

Prior to every major job fair, a list of organizations that will be in attendance—along with company bios and open position descriptions—is available on Handshake. The day of the fair, this information is also available on our CareerFair+ app and in a physical program you can pick up at the registration table. Even with this information at their fingertips, some job seekers will walk up to employers and ask questions like, “Who are you and what are you hiring for?” Given that the answers to these questions and others like them are available in advance, it can make a job seeker seem unprepared and make for a weak first impression.

Before speaking with any employer, take some time to review the company bio and have a basic understanding of the types of positions they are hiring for. Better yet, consider researching the company website, as this will allow you to gather even more background. With more information and talking points under your belt, you will feel more confident approaching representatives, and ultimately it will lead to stronger conversations at the fair.

Bottom line: An intro like, “In researching the company website, I noticed that you seek applicants with x, y, and z experience. I’d love to share with you how my experiences position me as an ideal match with what you are looking for,” will stand out more than, “So what exactly does your company do?”

Practice Your Pitch

In addition to thinking about what types of questions to ask employers, you want to also prepare how to communicate your background and experiences. When an employer says, “Tell me a little about yourself,” what they’re really looking for is something closer to a 30-second pitch. What is that and how can you master it? Here are quick steps for creating your pitch:

  1. Begin with a current perspective (e.g. “I’m a junior at DePaul majoring in accounting…”).
  2. Then, share recent experiences (this could be a sentence or two about a past job or internship, a relevant course project, and/or involvement in student organizations).
  3. Finally, end with how these experiences and your future goals directly correlate with the company you’re speaking with.

Practice makes perfect, though. We will have Career Center representatives available the day of the fair to help you perfect your pitch.

Devise a Plan of Attack

Before stepping foot inside the fair, take some time to plan out not only which companies you want to speak with, but the order you want to speak to them in. This is important because you never want to start with a company you’re most passionate about. Instead, choose an employer you’re interested in, but whom you would also feel comfortable “warming up” with; this way, if your nerves get the best of you, there’s still time to make a strong impression with your “top” employers.

Another factor that might impact whom you speak with right away is traffic. Some companies will have a longer line of students than others, which may also mean that you have a limited amount of time to make an impression. If employers have smaller lines, this may mean that you can have a lengthier conversation, ask more questions, and ultimately make a stronger impression.

Collect Business Cards & Follow-up

Make sure to collect business cards from everyone you speak with, and send them a thank you email within 24-48 hours after the fair. Many applicants know to do this after a job interview, but neglect to do so following a career fair. Sending a brief thank you email is a great way to reiterate your interest in the company, as well as highlight any specific information that was shared that piqued your interest. Since a smaller portion of job seekers will think to do this, it can help you stand out even more following the fair.

Remember, take some time to research company representatives in advance, and consider stopping by the Career Center to have your resume reviewed beforehand. Before jumping into the fair, think about how you will communicate your experiences in a brief, 30-second pitch. And, if you want to practice your intro and networking tactics, visit a Career Center rep at the fair—they’ve got your back.

4 Opportunities to Mingle with Top Recruiters This Winter

By: Tara Golenberke, marketing professional in the education industry, and former digital media & marketing manager at the DePaul Career Center

If one of your goals this year is to build a more career-ready you, here are upcoming events that will help you gain exposure to recruiters, learn about open positions and get noticed from top professionals.

Go kick butt this winter.

Careers in Technology
January 25  |  5-7 p.m.  |  DePaul Center, DePaul Club, 11th floor

Interested in exploring career paths with professionals in the technology industry? At this event, you will have the opportunity to gain insights into the tech trade and its career paths, and participate in round table discussions with representatives from Microsoft, Razorfish, Intel Security, Citigroup and more. Get the details, here.

Winter Internship Fair
February 10  |  10 a.m.-2 p.m.  |  Lincoln Park Student Center, 120AB

All DePaul students and alumni are welcome to participate in this career fair. Recruiters from multiple industries will be seeking qualified candidates for internships in a variety of capacities. Don’t miss this opportunity to connect with representatives from Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, CME Group, Hyatt Hotels, US Foods and others. Plan ahead and learn more.

Education Fair Consortium
March 1  |  3-6 p.m.  |  Lincoln Park Student Center, 120AB

DePaul is teaming up with the University of Illinois at Chicago and Loyola University to bring employers, schools and districts to our campus; these employers are seeking teachers, administrators, advisors and counselors for current and future openings in all areas and levels of education. Visit the event in March, and start networking with top representatives in education. Learn more, here.

Creative Job & Internship Fair
March 7  |  3-6 p.m.  |  DePaul Center, Concourse Level

This mini career fair presents a unique opportunity to network and connect with creative industry professionals and recruiters. At this event, you will learn about current and future full-time, part-time and internship positions. Students majoring in animation, design, cinema, journalism, marketing and music, to name a few, are encouraged to attend. Discover which employers will be attending by visiting Handshake.


The DePaul Career Center hosts career-related events, workshops and fairs all year long. Keep an eye on Handshake and be the first to know about upcoming career events on campus, and around Chicago.

New Year, New Focus: 5 Career Resolutions to Make This Year

By: Gracie Covarrubias, DePaul University organizational and multicultural communication major ’18 and Career Center communications assistant

The New Year brings the promise of a fresh start—a new landscape to grow and develop as a person. It’s no secret that every year we all make resolutions that we end up losing track of about a month into the year. Here at the Career Center, we believe that the best resolutions are those related to career development. Don’t want to set unrealistic goals this year? We’ve got you covered.

Check out our top five New Year’s resolutions, and start building a more career-ready you.

Come to the Career Center at least once a quarter

The Career Center is a hub for good vibes, motivation and career support. As a general rule of thumb, you should make the effort to expose yourself to the people, advisors and ideas circulating within this office. This year, we’re challenging you to come in just once a quarter to get your resume reviewed, chat with peer career advisors (PCAPs) or check in with your advisor. A visit to the Career Center usually takes up no more than an hour of your day.

Network with your professors

It’s important that each quarter you take the time to reach out to your professors. Give a basic intro of yourself and ask them if they’d be open to meeting with you to share insights beyond what is discussed in class. Professors are people, too; they’re successful in their field and they’ve got a backpack full of knowledge they’d be happy to share with you if you simply ask. Connecting with professors is important not only for networking purposes, but also for attaining letters of recommendation and—if you’re lucky—you could even gain a mentor.

Connect with an ASK mentor

Since we are on the topic of mentorship, you can never have too many mentors. DePaul’s mentorship program, Alumni Sharing Knowledge (ASK), is the perfect way to connect with alumni in your field of interest. In a matter of minutes, you can connect with alumni right on Handshake whose work interests you. Once you’ve found an alumnus you’re interested in chatting with, you can send them a message requesting a time to talk, and then you can begin building a relationship with them.

Seek out informational interviews

An informational interview is essentially a meeting in which you chat with someone whose job interests you; it’s a way for you to gather a better understanding of their day-to-day responsibilities, the culture of their place of employment and their professional background. Informational interviews are a great way to get your toes wet and begin exploring different jobs that may be of interest to you. If you aren’t specifically looking for a mentorship relationship, but still want to gain insight from alumni, you can set up informational interviews with alumni through ASK as well. This year, make it your goal to set up at least one informational interview each quarter!

Go to at least one job fair, networking event or workshop each quarter

The Career Center hosts a myriad of career events each quarter that cater to all majors, interests and experience levels. These events exist to help you hone in and further develop your career and personal development skills, and to connect you with employers. You can kick off this resolution by attending our Winter Job and Internship Fair on Friday, February 10th from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Can’t make the fair? Check out a complete list of our events on Handshake!

The 2017-year is full of endless possibilities, and these five resolutions are a sure-fire way to help you develop your career journey. If you need any help with accomplishing resolutions, be sure to stop by the Career Center!

In Between Netflix Binges: Making the Most of Winter Break

By: Gracie Covarrubias, DePaul University organizational and multicultural communication major ’18 and Career Center communications assistant

Among the many perks of DePaul’s quarter system is the six-week winter break; an opportune time to fast track career success by revamping your personal brand and tying up career-related loose ends you’ve put off all quarter. With that said, we’ve compiled a list of four simple things you can do this break—in between rounds of Netflix and holiday get-togethers—to maximize your free time.

Polish your LinkedIn profile

Being a LinkedIn superstar is a title not many can claim. There’s always something to be added, edited or endorsed. As a general rule of thumb, when it comes to LinkedIn, if you initiate, others will reciprocate. For example, if you go through your connection list and begin endorsing your peers for the skills you know they possess, they are likely to respond by endorsing you in return. The same goes for recommendations; if you’re not already connected with previous and current employers and coworkers, connect with them and write a recommendation on their behalf based on the work experiences you’ve shared. Get into the holiday spirit by giving as much warranted praise as you can on LinkedIn, there’s no doubt it’ll come back to you.

Visit the Career Center

Just because school is out for winter break doesn’t mean that the Career Center is; in fact, the Career Center operates from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, throughout break. In one simple visit you can chat with peer career advisors (PCAPS) to get your resume looked at or you can meet with your advisor to discuss upcoming job opportunities and go over job and internship search strategies. Won’t be in the city over break? No problem, PCAPS are available for online resume reviews. Plus, the Career Center website offers a unique online chat forum to connect with PCAPS.

Please note: The Career Center will be closed during the holidays, from December 23rd to January 1st. Regular office hours will resume Monday, January 2nd.

Build a digital portfolio

Admit it, free time during break usually means extra screen time. Well, what better way to maximize your favorite online platforms than by developing a digital portfolio? You get that screen time you desire, all while doing something majorly productive—win-win, right? If you’re willing to invest a bit of time upfront to build your digital portfolio, you’ll see long-term payoff. Register for a personal site with WordPress or Wix, for example, and start organizing a comprehensive list of your work for potential employers. Check out Career Advisor Michael Elias’ beginners guide to crafting digital portfolios for more tips.

Take personality assessments

Looking for a productive alternative to BuzzFeed quizzes this break? Take a crack at common personality assessments that are actually used in the workplace. One of the more well known assessments utilized by human resources gurus is the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI). A condensed version of the assessment can be found at 16Personalities. Other popular alternatives include Gallup’s StrengthsQuest and Marston’s DISC Assessment. Spend some time this break identifying your key strengths and personality traits. Remember, the more you understand yourself, the easier it is to convey to potential employers what you bring to the table.

Regardless of what you’re up to this break, be sure to squeeze in time for career development! Stop by the Career Center for more tips and tricks on curating the most productive break possible.

 

4 Chicago Meetups That Need to Be on Your Radar

By: Gracie Covarrubias, DePaul University organizational and multicultural communication major ’18 and Career Center communications assistant

Chicago is a hub for creativity, innovative conversations, and collaborative efforts amongst the most inventive minds in the city. With that said, Chicago’s best and brightest have come together in a variety of different ways and spaces to make knowledge, ideas and connections not only accessible, but engaging and entertaining. Check out this list of the top four monthly meetups that should be on your radar this year!

Coffee and Conversations

Cost: Free

Coffee and Conversations (C&C) is the brainchild of DePaul adjunct and consulting guru, Levi Baer. This Chicago-based group of entrepreneurs and innovators meet on Saturday mornings once a month to partake in collaborative conversations and learn about community-wide projects. C&C unites professionals across all fields including, health and wellness, event planning, photography, fashion, nonprofits, education, business, and tech. The exciting conversations take place at a new location each month in an effort to explore the wide range of businesses in the Chicago area. Stop by to learn from Chicago’s driven network of young entrepreneurs.

Publicity Club of Chicago Luncheons

Cost: $25

The Publicity Club of Chicago (PCC) is recognized for the connections and resources it provides Chicago’s leading public relations professionals. This group hosts monthly luncheons at Maggiano’s Little Italy where they moderate a panel of communications aficionados ranging from broadcast assignment editors to successful crisis PR professionals. These luncheons provide a space for PR lovers, both established and aspiring, to engage in critical conversations surrounding industry trends and innovative PR strategy. Visit their website for more info on their upcoming events.

CreativeMornings

Cost: Free

CreativeMornings is a meetup that provides out-of-the-box minds with a space to connect and share ideas. CreativeMornings began in 2008 with Tina Roth Eisenberg’s dream of hosting an accessible event for New York’s creative community. This dream snowballed and is now a reality in over 100 cities worldwide. Chicago’s local chapter hosts a CreativeMornings once a month on Fridays to help celebrate the overflowing talent in the city. Revamp your Friday mornings and attend one of their meetings.

Mac and Cheese Productions: Idea Potluck

Cost: $10

Mac & Cheese Productions is a consulting movement spearheaded by Saya Hillman, a community-building expert. Mac & Cheese Productions offers a variety of consulting services to companies and individuals, but beyond consulting, idea sharing is at the top of their to-do list. As a result, the “Idea Potluck” was born. This potluck is made up of ideas rather than food, and it brings together Chicago’s most hilarious, brilliant and visionary citizens and invites them to share wisdom for just 6 minutes at a time. Idea Potluck presenters have ranged from documentary filmmakers and love coaches to Chicago Tribune columnists. This Idea Potluck is a must see event year-round.