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Career Day Prep for graduate students

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Written by Ramiro Rodriguez

Posted on 02 February 2014

Because Career Day is centered more around internships and full time hiring of undergraduates, it is highly recommended by the Career Center that graduate students looking for internships and full time positions make a larger effort by researching companies with potential openings and networking with them. These two things can reduce the frustration that can be introduced in the job search as a graduate student.

One initial step in the job search is the use of DiggerNet. Jobs and internships can be found by searching by major and degree type. DiggerNet allows for the uploading of documents to employers and is used to schedule interviews. It can also be used to find information sessions on companies and workshops. It is strongly recommended when apply for a job or interview through DiggerNet that an application is also filed on the company's corporate website if possible before meeting with a recruiter at Career Day.

To prepare for Career Day, in addition to applying for jobs and internships, one should make a listing of all the employers to talk to with additional notes on each company and desired position. At Career Day after introductions with company recruiters, it is important to gather contact information so the recruiter can be followed up with an email with both a resume and the reasons why one is deserving of a position with the company. Follow-up emails are important because they both remind the recruiter of the previous day's meeting as well as establish a contact at a company.

At Career Day, because of the limited amount of time with recruiters, it becomes necessary to prepare in advance a 30 second introduction. This introduction starts with eye contact and a firm handshake and is followed up with the student's degree and type of research, goals and interests specific to the company and position sought, achievements, any relevant research, and should be ended with a request to be interviewed.

The job search does not end at Career Day, however it is continued through the process of networking. Expanding one's personal network can lead to knowing someone in a prospective company, and eventually an interview and hiring. Networking can be done at virtually any time, including at Career Day. A personal network can be expanded at professional association conferences, hobby and sports events, information sessions, and even by cold calling companies looking for someone to talk to related to the position you are looking for. The efficiency of networking is increased by using networking tools such as LinkedIn and ResearchGate which can be used to connect directly to colleagues, new connections, professional associations, as well as companies.

A strong LinkedIn profile is one that is arranged in the same way as a resume, has a strong and concise headline, and is full of descriptions of coursework and past projects. In addition to having a profile that has good descriptions, LinkedIn has to be active to be effective. This means starting conversations with alumni working in industry, recruiters, and industry leaders. It can also be used to have discussions with groups with similar career interests which is something companies watch for.

In short, the lower amount of companies actively looking for graduate students for internships and jobs, while frustrating, can be overcome through effort. This effort comes in the form of researching companies to know what specifically skills and research can add value to a company being looked for for a job as well as networking to know what opportunities can be found outside of companies actively looking to fill specific positions from Mines.