Book of the Month: How to Win Friends & Influence People

By Lori Moss Bielek – UB Career Coach

Book written by Dale Carnegie

This month’s book is related to the third phase of the UB Career Cycle — Communicate Your Brand. In this classic best-selling book, Dale Carnegie encourages readers to think of ways that they can be more successful in developing positive relationships with others. Using his guidelines, you can seek to improve your ability to influence others’ behavior and get them to support your personal or professional goals.

One of the main themes of the book is that in order to win over others, you need to get to know them. In a nutshell, here are the six ways that Carnegie proposes to get people to like you:

  • Principle 1: Become genuinely interested in other people.
  • Principle 2: Smile.
  • Principle 3: Remember that a person’s name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language.
  • Principle 4: Be a good listener. Encourage others to talk about themselves.
  • Principle 5: Talk in terms of the other person’s interests.
  • Principle 6: Make the other person feel important—and do it sincerely.

How could you use these principles in building and communicating your personal brand?Do you think these principles can be used when networking with others? Attending career fairs? Writing cover letters?

One tip for using the first principle is to remember to show genuine interest in a company and/or that particular position when writing a cover letter.  This will demonstrate to the employer that you are interested in them and not just seeking a paycheck.

Another big theme in the book is to avoid arguments and to not criticize others.  Instead, Carnegie recommends that you seek to praise others:

“Praise is like sunlight to the warm human spirit; we cannot flower and grow without it. And yet, while most of us are only too ready to apply to others the cold wind of criticism, we are somehow reluctant to give our fellow the warm sunshine of praise.”

Carnegie argues that no one wins in an argument.  Even if you are right, the other person is left unhappy and this harms the relationship.

Check out the book for a multitude of personal anecdotes and stories that illustrate several situations when Carnegie’s tips and learned wisdom have been useful to others.

Do you agree with Carnegie’s principles? Why or why not? Please comment below.

CIA Site Visit: A Student Perspective

(Below is an account of a student’s experience at a site visit to the CIA Headquarters in April 2016.)
Dear Fellow UB Students & Staff:

My name is Gina Torres, and I am a junior at the University of Baltimore pursuing a major in Criminal Justice and a minor in Victim Studies. On Friday April 22, 2016, I had the amazing opportunity to visit the CIA Headquarters in Langley, Virginia. To make things even more memorable, all of us who attended were the first students from the University of Baltimore to visit Headquarters. I was asked by Charles Jennings, Associate Director for Employer Relations at the UB Career and Professional Development Center, to write about my experience there, and since I love to write, I happily accepted. The Mission of the Central Intelligence Agency is to “preempt threats and further US national security objectives by: collecting intelligence that matters, producing objective all-source analysis, conducting effective covert action as directed by the President, and safeguarding the secrets that help keep our Nation safe”.  An interesting fact that was shared with us by one of the analysts is that there are jobs for any field in which you are interested.  Examples of available positions/focus areas include: analysts, business, IT & Security, Directorate of Operations (Clandestine Service), Language, Science, Engineering and Technology Positions.

Immediately upon arrival, we were given our visitor’s badge; the feeling of having that badged clipped to my cardigan made me feel important, as if I was a part of something big. We toured the facility and learned about the interesting history of the CIA.  Our tour guide, Fernando, was a retired CIA Officer who had been recruited to return to the CIA to give tours such as the one that we were receiving. Fernando was seriously the coolest guy ever!  Although he had a serious tone throughout his presentation, he had a sense of humor as well. There was an immediate connection between the two of us, probably due to the fact that we were both from Bayamon, Puerto Rico. One of the highlights from the tour that I will never forget will be when we came across an exact replica of a model. The second I laid my eyes on it, I knew what it was. I had seen the movie Zero Dark Thirty too many times to NOT know what it was…a model of the compound where Osama Bin Laden hid away for almost a decade.  It was an exact replica of the model that the CIA had made to present to President Barack Obama about Bin Laden’s whereabouts. Having the opportunity to see that in person is an experience that I will never forget.  It was amazing how detailed it was; not one thing was missing. We were also shown one of the many guns that was owned by Bin Laden in a display. Next to the gun was an actual Al Qaeda training manual owned by him. Being able to see those items was truly an intense experience.

I have always had dreams to work for the federal government (FBI or DEA). Before this trip, I had no idea if I would fit into this agency, even after stopping by the CIA visibility table, attending the information sessions and interviewing with one of the recruiting agents (all on campus). After the visit to CIA Headquarters, I realized that I could see myself pursuing career either as an analyst or a target officer.  Maya from Zero Dark Thirty was a target officer, and I was always inspired by how bad-ass she was. Although it was a movie, it was based on real events. Before I left Headquarters, I made sure that I walked to the seal, which is where new officers are inducted. Will I ever get to stand on that seal again? Maybe, maybe not. I don’t know where I will be a year and a half from now much less two or three. This trip inspired me to continue to keep doing what I am doing, working hard in school and to better myself physically and mentally to reach my goals. Nothing is going to stop me. No challenge or obstacle will ever be too big to get in the way of me achieving everything that I have, am, and will be working for.

Demystifying Cover Letters

By: Brittany Walker, Graduate Assistant, Career and Professional Development Center
In Celebration of International Career Development Month

What is it?  

Aren’t cover letters obsolete? What do they convey to employers that the resume can’t? Worry no more! Your guide to demystifying the relevance of a cover letter is here! Here are three important tips to remember when you’re prompted to create a cover letter for a position or you’re proactive in sending one to employers to complement your resume.

Three types of Cover Letters

All cover letters are not created equal. From communicating your interest in a position to requesting career advice, a cover letter’s intent and purpose range much like a resume. It is crucial that as an applicant, your cover letter’s structure best reflect your professional goal. There are three notable types of cover letters: letters of application, letters of inquiry, and networking letters. Letters of application are written as a result of a job posting in which the applicant is specifically expressing desire for that position. Letters of inquiry are used to express one’s interest in a position that has not been publicized on the company’s website or job board. Lastly, networking letters are used to ask for job search advice or potential employment opportunities.

Celebrate the Company

The cover letter is not only an opportunity to demonstrate why you’re an excellent candidate for the position, it’s also a time to prove that you’ve done your research. Be sure to compliment the company on a recent innovation or effective strategy that you’ve seen being implemented. Even mentioning some of their recent news or updates can demonstrate your interest in not only the position but the well-being of the business.

Universal Cover Letters Don’t Exist!

Cover letters are designed to be as specific as possible in relation to a job posting or an employer. They should include the hiring manager’s information as well as the company’s formal address. Be sure to make connections between your skills, talents, and abilities and what the position requires to illustrate how you’re a perfect fit!

Watch: The Cover Letter

CV (Curriculum Vitae) vs. Resume, What’s the Difference?

By: Brittany Walker, Graduate Assistant for Career Development
In Celebration of International Update Your Resume Month

Many find themselves at odds when presented with the task of creating a CV – otherwise known as a Curriculum Vitae. As if perfecting a resume isn’t challenging enough, a CV appears to be a completely different animal when communicating one’s accomplishments. Three major differences between a CV and resume are found below.

 

Curriculum Vitae

Resume

Length Length depends on experience of individual. Should include comprehensive overview of publications, posters, presentations, and projects. Generally should be no more than two pages. To include most relevant information pertaining to the position sought.
Intent Academic-focused. Used  by those seeking grants, fellowships, graduate school admission and/or in the medicine or research field. Industry-focused. Tailored towards individuals seeking positions within their desired industry or within the non-profit, federal, or public sector.
Format Education section fixed at beginning of document. Includes in-depth summary about academic or research accomplishments; may include teaching/research interests, academic service, and dissertation/thesis. Industry experience may eventually replace educations position near top of document.  Information given most relevant to stated professional goal or objective.

Both documents appear in reverse chronological order and contain similar sections such as professional memberships/affiliations, awards and honors, and professional experience. However, CVs are given more flexibility in length due to its exhaustive nature. Employers requesting a CV are prepared to understand the applicant’s rich educational background and all experiences that lead to their desire to seek a new academic opportunity.

Watch: Make Your Resume Pop

Book of the Month: What Color is Your Parachute – A Practical Manual for Job-Hunters and Career-Changers

By: Lakeisha Mathews, CPRW, CPCC, GCDF

Explore the World of Work is the second phase of the UB Career Cycle.  In this phase of the cycle, students are encouraged to conduct research of the marketplace, gain knowledge about their preferred industry and gain experience.  This month’s book, What Color is Your Parachute is a New York Times best seller and a great book to read while working on your exploration of the world of work.  The author, Richard Bolles, provides job seekers with a robust set of tools, tips, and strategies to land their next job opportunity including how to choose a career, dealing with career barriers, developing a resume, conducting a successful job interview and making a career change.  The heart of the book is the Flower Activity which helps job seekers assess their interests and preferred company culture.

Flower Exercise.png

Below is a top ten list of insightful tips provided in What Color is Your Parachute:

  1. You may have 3 -5 careers in your lifetime and you will go job hunting every 1 – 3 years (pg. 18)
  1. Five worst ways to look for a job: using the internet, mailing out resumes randomly, answering ads in journals, answering newspaper ads and using private employment agencies. (pg. 11)
  1. Five best ways to hunt for a job: asking for job leads, directly contacting an employer; conducting outreach to contacts, participating in a job search groups, and doing a life0chaingin job-hunt. (pg. 14)
  1. Viewing every person you know and meet as a contact. (pg. 74)
  1. Never speaking badly about your previous employers during an interview. (pg. 91)
  1. Understanding that a degree alone will not get you a job. (pg. 183)
  1. Ask yourself: What skills do you most enjoy using; where do you want to use those skills; and how do you find jobs that use your favorite skills in your favorite field? (pg. 252)
  1. Have a plan “B”. (pg. 346)
  1. How can you use your talents to help solve societal ills and community issues? (pg. 360)
  1. Take a career assessment or test. (pg. 161)

 

 

 

 

Is your resume demonstrating your BEST assets?

By: Lori Moss Bielek

Many people create a resume with a list of their previous job tasks.  I challenge you to make your resume work for you by highlighting your accomplishments.

Let me give you an example of a task statement:

  • Planned events for the office

And how it can be improved with an accomplishment statement:

  • Raised $10,000 by selling out tickets to a 100-person charity event

Here is another job task:

  • Assumed manager duties

and see it transformed into an accomplishment statement:

  • Supervised a staff of 7 employees and increased morale and productivity with monthly professional development initiatives

Can you see the difference?

Most employers receive several more resumes for a job posting than they could possibly hire.  What makes you stand out?  Why should they hire you? Don’t simply tell them, show them. Check out the Career Center’s resource on accomplishment statements for more guidance on how to create your own polished resume.

After all, you have more to offer than a list of tasks — you have strengths, skills, education and experiences that make you a strong candidate.  So prove it by demonstrating your accomplishments!

The Resume – Conventionally Subjective

By: Anthony Moreira

I’d like to refer to the resume as something that is “conventionally subjective”.

I’ve had the fortune of working with clients and students who’ve been asked to “apply online” or “send me your resume” in order to be considered for a position.  This is the traditional aspect of the career process that allows you to communicate your brand (See the UB Career Cycle) to prospective viewers.

However, it’s very subjective in the sense that there is not one boilerplate template for your resume; different industries, different experiences and different objectives can be combined in a myriad of ways to create a strong resume.

My Point?

The resume belongs to you! It is a platform to communicate your Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities (KSAs), as well as to create intrigue for viewers to advance you to the next step in the recruiting process.

As such there are a few principles that I encourage students to consider when developing their resumes

  1. Focus on accomplishments- How are/were you measured on the job? What makes/made you successful on the job? Think about that across the number of jobs/volunteer/extracurricular activities you’ve had, as well as the length of time.
  2. Don’t worry about the format of the resume at the beginning stages of development. Simply, type experiences and accomplishments on a separate page – “get it all out and put it on paper”. Let this be a master document for quick and ready access.
  3. Pay attention to repeating action verbs! You can only “assist” or “facilitate” so many times. Include a diversity of action verbs helps paint a more dynamic, yet accurate (and truthful) vision of your work experience.

Please be sure to consider the effort, timeliness, and energy given to your resume as you continue to communicate your brand. However, don’t forget that is a component of the career development process.

Sources: Resume Magic by Susan Whitcomb