As we approach the last few weeks of the school year, students are beginning to look toward future plans, and for most graduating seniors this means focusing on their careers.
Luckily, The University of Texas at Austin’s Liberal Arts Career Services (LACS) are available for all liberal arts students to take advantage of. Since the College of Liberal Arts is home to a wide array of students with varying majors, it is important for undergraduates to identify their passions and skillset in order to successfully stand out to future employers.
Tatem Oldham, interim director of LACS, gives important advice for those looking to secure their future careers:
Flip the Script and Network
It can get annoying when people constantly ask you, “What are you going to do when you graduate?” However, try thinking about that question as a networking opportunity. Even if you don’t know exactly what you want to do yet, letting people know what you’re thinking of in a broad sense (“I’m thinking of human resources” or “I know I want to live in Houston and do something that helps people”) will encourage them to keep an eye out for opportunities for you. Networking is the way most people find jobs, so don’t be afraid to ask your network for help!
Flip the Script and Network
Customize your resume and cover letter for each job to which you apply. It takes more time, but it increases the likelihood of getting an interview. It’s very obvious when you send the same cover letter everywhere and it makes employers think you’re aren’t that interested in their opportunity.
Beat the Bots
Use the keywords listed in the qualifications section of the job posting on your resume. Many organizations now use software to screen resumes before an actual person reviews them. If the keywords on your resume don’t match the job posting sufficiently, a real person will never even read it. Using the appropriate keywords will help you beat the bots.
Interviewing can be anxiety-provoking for students, so mock interviews can help students prepare for the big day. When you schedule a mock interview, you include the job posting to which you applied and our career coaches customize questions based on what we expect the recruiter or hiring manager to ask during your real interview. Think of a mock interview as a dress rehearsal for your real interview; you get to practice answering questions like “Tell me about yourself” under similar conditions. Afterward, the career coach gives you feedback on what you did well and ways to improve before your real interview.
Make Sure They Remember You
After your interview, be sure to send a thank you note and reiterate your interest in the position.
For those interested, all of LACS’ career guidance are still available online. Coaching sessions, mock interviews and advising will take place via Zoom or on the phone. To schedule an appointment, students can register online with their BTT Gateway account. LACS is also continuing to review resumes, cover letters and personal statements via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information on events such as upcoming virtual career fairs and workshops, visit the Liberal Arts Career Services page to stay informed.