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Resource Center

Welcome to the Career Services Resource Center for Students! We hope you find the information on this page to be helpful as you start to research opportunities, build your LinkedIn profile, prepare job search materials, gear up for that big interview or think about applying to graduate or professional school. 

Outside Resources to Help You Explore Possibilities

 Take advantage of these tools to aid in your career development

Astrum U

Leveraging technology to help the #MuleNation find career success

 

Astrum U Banner Image

 

UCM will launch the AstrumU student application for all students in the Fall 2019 semester. AstrumU translates your educational journey at UCM into marketable skills that are in demand with employers. Students use AstrumU’s personalized tool to discover and prepare for career pathways based on their strengths and interests.

Students interested in joining a pilot group and testing the app can click here to sign up or visit ‘app.astrumu.com/student’ to create your UCM account.

AstrumU’s technology captures the soft skills, technical skills and experiences students gain in curricular and co-curricular activities on campus and in the community. Students have the opportunity to earn employer-funded incentives for completing career preparation activities.

AstrumU’s student application is a complementary tool UCM Career Services provides students. To find or post job and internship opportunities, please visit Handshake.

What Can I Do With a Major In...

This tool lets you explore what career options may be available to you by major. Simply follow the link to the exploration tool here to find out more about your discipline's projected career paths.

Focus

Deciding on your major can be a “puzzling” experience.  Focus is a comprehensive online career exploration program that can help you decide on a major and explore career options.  Focus is self-paced and interactive.  

You will discover several important “pieces” of the puzzle such as your interests, personality, values, skills and aspirations.  Focus will enable you to identify and explore options matching your personal attributes with an exhaustive major and career informational database. 

If you are creating a new user account, you will be asked to enter an access code. Your Access Code will be the word: MULES

New User Account

Existing User Account

Glassdoor

Glassdoor holds a growing database of millions of company reviews, CEO approval ratings, salary reports, interview reviews and questions, benefits reviews, office photos and more. Unlike other job sites, all of this information is shared by those who know the company best - the employees.

Occupational Outlook Handbook

The Occupational Outlook Handbook from the Bureau of Labor Statistics can help you find career information on duties, education and training, pay, and outlook for hundreds of occupations.

One AutoCoder

 Locate keywords in a position description to target your resume to employers using AutoCoder.

IBISWorld

IBISWorld is the United States' most comprehensive collection of Industry Market Research and Industry Risk Ratings.

ReferenceUSA

ReferenceUSA is perfect for all of your research and reference needs when it comes to relevant, comprehensive and up-to-date data.

Liquid Compass

Liquid Compass is the best resource to find healthcare jobs.

MOREAP

MOREAP is a job search data base for teaching positions within the state of Missouri. 

LinkedIn Resources

 Create a strong and professional online presence using LinkedIn

LinkedIn for Students

Learn about the resources and benefits of a LinkedIn profile and how to get started.

How to Write a Great LinkedIn Profile

The majority of hiring companies rely on social media for finding and researching job candidates, according to the latest surveys. For example, recruitment platform Jobvite found that 94% of U.S. companies perform social recruiting.

And where is that social recruiting happening? Most of it is going down on LinkedIn – 94% of the Jobvite survey respondents named LinkedIn as their dominant recruiting network.

What do these numbers mean to you, the job seeker?

It means you need to get your LinkedIn profile in order, and right quick.

A well-crafted LinkedIn profile allows you to provide something that no resume or cover letter can. It lets you showcase yourself in multiple dimensions, to paint a picture of yourself as a whole person, instead of just the typical resume’s collection of dates and buzzwords.

Part 1: Your Basic LinkedIn Profile

  • What's in a Name? When it comes to your name, it's best to keep it plain and simple to make it easier for potential employers to find you.
  • Headline Design for Success: Your headline is one of the most important portions of your LinkedIn profile. Not only is it an excellent place to include critical career-minded keywords, but it will show up frequently throughout key LinkedIn locations.
  • Make Your Summary the Focal Point of Your Profile: Just like the summary on the resume, the summary on your LinkedIn profile really gives users like you an opportunity to shine. This is your space to differentiate yourself from all the other computer programmers, accountants, marketers, and other professionals in the job market today.

Part 2: Your LinkedIn Connections

  • Why are connections so critical on LinkedIn? It’s not just the first-level connections that are critical. It’s the additional connections you can make because of those people who know you and (hopefully) love you. Your primary connections serve as introductions to the people they know – to people and opportunities around the world and across industries.
  • LinkedIn Groups: Believe it or not, groups are one of the most important things going on LinkedIn these days.It’s not enough to simply be listed as a group member however. That won’t make you stand out. You need to be an active participant in groups in order to stand out as a leader in your industry. Active involvement in groups helps you make new primary connections, which, in turn, grows your exposure to people who are looking for employees with your skill set.
  • Striking Out on Your Own: While participating in groups is a great way to branch out and make new connections in your industry or related industries, starting your own group brings a deeper sense of gravitas to the situation.
  • Recommendations and Endorsements: Both recommendations and endorsements can strengthen your LinkedIn presence by offering third-party validation of your experience and strengths. This is another way in which a LinkedIn profile can offer much more than a resume can.

Retrieved from biginterview.com. For more information, click on the link to access more resources from Big Interview.

Using LinkedIn to Land a Job

LinkedIn, with its hundreds of millions of users, is the most popular social network for professionals today. According to LinkedIn, more than two new users join the network every second. That means it is so much more than a simple social or professional platform.

When used strategically, LinkedIn can be a powerful tool to aid you in your job search and to help you advance your career.

Part 1: Asking for and Receiving Fantastic LinkedIn Recommendations

The idea of requesting a recommendation on LinkedIn may very well make you almost as skittish as the prospect of a job interview.

On LinkedIn, though, it's worth going out of your comfort zone because recommendations serve as powerful testimonials to your hard work, dedication, and ultimate employability.

Part 2: Expanding Your Network Strategically

Building a bigger and better LinkedIn network is one of the most important things you can do to boost the value of LinkedIn in your job search. The more connections you have, especially industry-specific and relevant connections, the more seriously recruiters and hiring managers will take you as a player within your industry. That doesn’t mean you want to dive right in and start trying to connect with any and every one in your field. In fact, this approach could end up frustrating you with the entire LinkedIn process before you have the opportunity to enjoy the benefits.

  • Begin with people you know.
  • Invite people to connect.
  • Shift to people you want to know.
  • Attend real world networking events.
  • Use the "request introduction" feature
  • Consider joining "open networker" LinkedIn groups.

Part 3: Building a Presence in Industry Groups

If you’re serious about using LinkedIn to grow your career prospects, you must take advantage of the various industry-related groups the network has to offer. LinkedIn has made it easy to search for groups in your industry via the group directory. And that’s a good thing, since there are millions LinkedIn Groups. 

Part 4: Being Active About Posting Content and Updates

In the realm of academia, the familiar battle cry is “Publish or Perish.” On the internet, particularly in the realm of social networking, that particular anthem rings true too. Perhaps it's more like "Publish or fade into the background."

With LinkedIn, it’s easier than ever to publish. Your status updates and new content help to keep you top of mind with contacts who could refer you for open positions. 

You don’t have to go through laborious effort. What you must do, however, is find interesting details about your areas of interest and expertise to share with the masses.

It doesn’t even have to be your own work – at least not entirely. Take the latest news in your industry and turn it into a status update. 

Retrieved from biginterview.com. For more information, click on the link to access more resources from Big Interview.

Interviewing

Tips on How to Be Successful with the Interview Process

Take Advantage of Big Interview

Big Interview is a simple software for better interview skills. Big Interview's proven, step-by-step system combines expert video lessons and an interactive interview practice tool to help you land your dream job. Get started by going to ucmo.biginterview.com.

Use this guide to help you get started. 

 

Helpful Videos

Landing the Interview

How can you get an edge over the millions of other job seekers out there?

Research. Research can help you uncover hidden job opportunities and greatly improve your odds of acing the interview and landing the job. The key is to understand how to conduct company research and how to use the information that you find.

There are many good reasons why it's worth doing your due diligence in the company research department.

Here are just a few of them:

#1) Research can help you find the right contacts to land more interviews.

#2) You’ll understand which are the top companies are in your industries and fields of interest, which companies are hiring, and what types of job openings they have. Research can open up a world of opportunities beyond the standard job boards that everybody's checking.

#3) Once it's interview time, knowing the facts about the company and the industry will reduce your job interview anxiety and make you seem more confident to your interviewer.

#4) You'll know how to answer that infamous interview question: “Why Do You Want to Work Here?” in a way that makes you sound smart, interested, and well-informed.

#5) You'll be prepared to make the right decision about whether or not a specific company is a good match for your career goals and personal expectations.

Retrieved from biginterview.com. For more information, click on the link to access more resources from Big Interview.

Prepping for the Interview

Why Interview Prep is Incredibly Important

The most qualified candidate doesn't always get the job. In addition to the right qualifications and background, you'll need solid interviewing skills in order to compete in today's job market.

You Stay True to Yourself

That doesn't mean you have to become someone you're not -- a schmoozer, a con artist, or a kiss-up. You don't have to change your personality to interview well.

You just have to learn how to present yourself in the best possible way for each interview and how to eliminate nerves, building your confidence to allow your natural personality to shine through.

It's a Life-Skill

Job interviewing is an essential life skill. The average person holds 5-15 different jobs during his adult life.

In fact, according to numbers from Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, 27 percent of the population with four-year college degrees or better have held between eight and 10 jobs between the ages of 18 and 42.  

Change is a constant and the workforce keeps revolving. You never know when the perfect opportunity will appear. Don't you want to be ready?

Other Important Benefits

The skills you develop in becoming a great interviewer will also serve you throughout your career. Interviewing helps you hone your presentation and communication proficiency, your ability to think on your feet, and your talents of persuasion.

Practice is essential, but it's also important to have the right information about how to research, prepare, and present yourself.

Retrieved from biginterview.com 

Guide to Interviewing
Guide to Interviewing for Education Majors

Guide to Professional Dress

Retrieved from biginterview.com. For more information, click on the link to access more resources from Big Interview.

During the Interview

 You are finally ready to walk into that big interview. You should feel confident and just on edge enough to be on your game.

You’ve made a good first impression with your clothing and your physical presence, and now you need to establish rapport with that person across the table.

You must try to form a connection with each interviewer in the process. First of all, it's good for both of you if you can make the interview a pleasant experience and find some common ground to discuss.

Second, you want the interviewer to see how he could work and collaborate with you on the job. Beyond job qualifications and experiences, the final factor in many hiring decisions is: Can I see myself working with this person?

You won't have natural chemistry with everyone and some people may be impossible to fully win over.

If you remind the hiring manager of the brother-in-law he despises, there may be little you can do to make him your new best friend.

However, there are some techniques that will greatly improve your chances of forming a bond:

#1) Don't use a first name

  • unless/until requested by the interviewer (they almost always will).

#2) Greetings should be formal

  • Greetings help you gauge the interviewer's preferred level of formality and personality. The dialogue will generally become more conversational after that.
  • Smile and show that you're happy to be there. Respond warmly to any small talk. Don't be afraid to reveal a bit of your personality.

Interviewer: Did you find the place okay?

You: Yes, I actually worked right down the street when I was at Company X and Romano's is still one of my favorite restaurants.

If your interviewer is quiet and unwelcoming, you can try to warm him up with a bit of professional chit chat.

You: These offices are beautiful. I love the view of the river.

Interviewer: Oh, yes. It is quite nice, isn't it?

OR

You: It looks like it's quite a busy day here today. I really appreciate your taking time to meet with me.

Interviewer: It's always hectic around here! Thanks for coming in.

#3) Look for things that you may have in common with the interviewer

  • Your pre-interview research using LinkedIn and other sources may reveal shared references like a common alma mater, membership in a professional organization, time spent working in another city, or interest in a particular hobby or charity.
  • Avoid making assumptions based on appearance and remark only on information volunteered.

#4) Be enthusiastic about the job offered

  • This is not the time to play hard to get. However, keep it professional.
  • Carrying on too much about how you really, really want this job could make your interviewer uncomfortable.

#5) Don't make them guess

  • If you are a low-key person with a dry sense of humor, that’s okay, but don’t make the interviewer guess at whether you are sincere or kidding.
  • The standard question: “Tell me about yourself” offers you an opportunity to set the tone of the interview.
  • Prepare a response that provides a high-level overview of why you're a great fit for the position and reveals a bit about your personality too.

#6) Don’t offer unsolicited opinions

  • ...or advice about the company's weaknesses or recent negative press. 
  • Avoid condescending comments and don't ask questions about potentially sensitive topics during the early interview rounds.

#7) Be Interesting

  • We’ve said it before, but we’ll reiterate: Tell memorable stories. Stories are great ways to build rapport, as long as they reflect your strengths and have a valid point in relation to the job you are seeking. 
  • Stories that position you as a team player in a successful project are particularly effective.

#8) Asking smart questions

  • ...is one way of showing your interest and enthusiasm. Good questions can also draw out the interviewer and help you get to know him.
  • Ask the interviewer how he perceives the ideal candidate for this job. Ask what he likes best about his job or working for the company. 

Retrieved from biginterview.com. For more information, click on the link to access more resources from Big Interview.

After the Interview

A heartfelt thank-you note can leave a lasting positive impression.

During the job interview process, thank-you notes are NOT just niceties. Sending a thank-you note after the job interview has become an accepted—and expected— practice for job seekers.

That thank-you note is your opportunity to remind the interviewer of your interest, reiterate your qualifications and fill in any details you neglected to mention in the interview. 

If you neglect to promptly follow up with a thank you, you risk portraying yourself as uninterested, impolite, or just plain sloppy. Because your smart competitors will be relaying their appreciation, you also risk negative comparisons.

Retrieved from biginterview.com. For more information, click on the link to access more resources from Big Interview.

Guide to Writing a Thank You

Negotiating Your Offer

You did it.  You interviewed like a champ, you followed up, and you got the job offer. Congratulations!

But wait. Your work isn't done yet. Now you must negotiate your compensation, your perks and your start date.

Where do you go from here? Will you blow it, come across as greedy, if you ask for too much? Will you sell yourself short if you ask for too little? Many applicants simply accept the first offer for fear of jeopardizing it. Often, they leave money and perks on the table.

Now you finally have some real power. They want you. They selected you over all of the other candidates. You have some leverage to ask for what you want.

The first rule is that you don't play the numbers game until the time is right. Do whatever you can to avoid being the first person to name a number.

Early in the interviewing process, both you and the employer will likely try to determine if there's a match in terms of compensation. If you speak first with a recruiter, she may provide a salary range and will likely ask you how much you're making and how much you want to make in your next position.

When asked to name your price early in the process, your first response should be deflection. You don't want to price yourself too low or too high before you know the company's position. The best answer is, "For the right opportunity, I would be open to considering any competitive offer." 

Do what you can to find out the company's salary range for this position and the going market rate for similar positions. If the recruiter won't give up the information, conduct some research through your network.

Sites like Salary.com, Payscale.com, and Glassdoor.com also provide information on average compensation and even salaries for specific jobs at specific companies. This will help you set some parameters around what you're worth.

For some companies, there is little or no negotiating room beyond the set salary range and benefit package. 

Retrieved from biginterview.com. For more information, click on the link to access more resources from Big Interview.

When to Negotiate

The company that wants to hire you has also done its research and knows what their competitors are paying. You should know this, too, so that you'll know whether their offer is competitive and fair.

The conventional wisdom is that the hirer will open with a offer fifteen or twenty percent below what is budgeted to allow room to negotiate. Always let the hirer make the initial offer and take it from there. 

If you've done your research, you'll know if the offer is generous or stingy. If the number seems less than competitive, you should feel free to counter. Can you name a number that would satisfy? Counter with a number slightly above what would make you happy. The end game is bartering until you reach a number both sides can live with.

You must approach this negotiation with some diplomacy. After all, you want to get the best possible offer you can get without jeopardizing a "good enough" offer.

Make it clear that you remain very interested in the position throughout the negotiation. Don't be afraid to drop hints about other offers and possibilities. Let them know that you're an in-demand candidate and have other options. However, don't deliver an ultimatum unless you're fully prepared to follow through. It's also generally best to avoid revealing which other companies you are considering since this can tip your hand.

Even for companies without the ability to meet your salary demands, there may be room to negotiate. For the right candidate, they may be able to offer perks to make up for a lower-than-desired salary. Think about vacation time, office space, telecommuting privileges, training, and other criteria that could improve your quality of work life. You might also be able to negotiate a three-month or six-month review with an associated pay increase if you have met specific goals.  

#1) Get It In Writing

Once you've reached an agreement and accepted the offer, make sure you receive a written offer letter that includes all of the details that were negotiated.

Until you have the offer in writing, it's just talk. That means you should keep your other options open. Don't cancel other interviews or announce your new job to everybody you know. 

#2) Now Get to Work

Once you have the offer in writing and your start date scheduled, it's time to celebrate! Congratulations on your new job and your excellent interviewing performance.

You may be breathing a sigh of relief that you're done with the job interview process (for now). You've conquered the dragon.

Just remember that you never know when the next opportunity will come along. Now you'll be prepared. The communications and persuasion skills that you learned and developed during the interview process will also help you on the job.

Good luck in your new position. 

Retrieved from biginterview.com. For more information, click on the link to access more resources from Big Interview.

Applying to Graduate or Professional School

 Questions to Consider 

Are My Career Goals Well-Defined?

 A clear picture of what you want in your career will let you know whether an advanced degree will help you get there. Graduate school may not be for you, at least not now, if:
  • you have no idea what to do with your life;
  • you think you are not ready for “the real world”;
  • you struggled in many of your undergraduate classes; or
  • you loved undergraduate school and don’t want it to end

If any of these are true for you, invest some time and energy with the staff of the Career Services Center let us help you with self-assessment, career exploration and planning.

If you do know what you want, do the research to learn if a graduate degree will help you get there. While certain careers, such as doctors and lawyers, definitely require an advanced degree, many fields offer job opportunities at the undergraduate level. In some situations, having an advanced degree could actually hinder your job search if you have little or no job experience. Graduate degrees are also highly specialized; you will not earn an MBA and then work as a counselor or a physical therapist. Again, take the time to be certain of your desired career path first.

When is the Right Time for Graduate/Professional School?

 Some reasons to enter grad school right out of college:
  • you have academic momentum;
  • you have few obligations;
  • your career field may require an advanced degree.

Some reasons to work a few years before graduate school:

  • your work experience can provide greater clarity of your career goals;
  • you can save up money, and/or your employer may pay for graduate school;
  • your graduate program may require work experience
  • you will have a more mature outlook on school, work, and life.

Do I Have the Grades (and the Motivation) to Get in and Stay in?

Graduate programs have GPA and standardized test requirements (e.g., GRE, MCAT, GMAT, etc.) You can learn admissions requirements as you research the programs you are considering.  To persevere, most programs require a B average or higher to count toward graduation credit. Most also require a research thesis, internship experience, and/or a passing score on comprehensive exams in order to earn your degree.

Can I Afford Graduate/Professional School

Look at the costs of the graduate programs that interest you. Study the literature they send you and talk to their financial aid advisers to determine what combination of financial aid makes the program feasible for you. Be sure to also research the graduate assistantships they offer, which can help defray education costs. And if you are employed, find out if your employer offers an education reimbursement program.

Other Things to Consider

  • Timetable for application process
  • Required elements of each school’s application packet
  • Development of your personal essay / statement of purpose 
  • Your curriculum vitae / resume’ 
  • Faculty recommendation letters

Sample Documents

These will in part be determined by the individual requirements of the schools to which you are applying.

Guide to Taking the Right Steps for Graduate or Professional School
Guide to Writing a Curriculum Vitae
Guide to Writing a Personal Statement

Resources

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