The goal of an interview is to clearly and effectively communicate your fit for a role and within an organization. While this may feel difficult to do there is a simple science to interviewing successfully. A successful interview begins with preparing adequately and the right way. If you have an interview coming up or are hoping for one and feel overwhelmed a best practice is to phase your interview preparation in 3 main steps
STEP 1: Understand the organization and role you are applying for
STEP 2: Reflect on your fit with the organization. After doing this, sketch responses to common interview questions. The resource attached below will serve as a guide to preparing compelling responses to any experience based interview questions that come up.
STEP 3: Get comfortable sharing your stories and experiences through mock interviews
While you prepare, use the Interview checklist on page 10 of the resource attached below to ensure you are taking the right steps not just before, but during and after each interview.
The goal of a cover letter is to add context to the skills you have highlighted in your CV and demonstrate your understanding of the organization.
Cover letters are your opportunity to:
Introduce yourself to your prospective employer
Expand upon your resume, highlighting the most relevant experience
Give an excellent example of your writing skills and attention to detail
Give the organization a sense of your passion, ambition and commitment to their vision
The idea of starting a cover letter can be intimidating so to get started, we recommend you use the resource attached below for a guide to start structuring your cover letter and identifying the best way to describe your fit.
A resume is a document that highlights your key achievements, skills and experiences tailored to a specific professional opportunity. The primary job of a resume is to get you an interview. Essentially, it is your personal highlight reel and an opportunity to show your attention-to-detail. You may have heard the terms CV and resume used interchangeably in the past but what you need to submit depends on the type of opportunity you are applying for. A CV is often used for academic purposes (e.g applying for research oriented graduate programs) while a resume is used for professional jobs and internships. A CV details the projects you have done over the course of your career and will also include references. Thus a CV tends to be a much longer document, unlike the resume where your qualifications needs to be communicated in 1-2 pages (1 page if you are still in university).
Thus, if you are applying for professional opportunities, what you need is a 1 page resume. If you are in the early stages of building a resume or trying to improve the one you have, use the documents attached below, as a guide to the following:
Essential elements of a resume and what is optional
The right format to use and how to present your resume
Your ACN Bio is what determines if an employer would take a look at your resume. Thus while you invest good time in your resume you must realize that your bio determines if all that effort would be worth it.
Your professional bio is the very first thing that the employer will see about you – even before they see your CV and as we all know, first impressions really count. When we receive your application documents for either a job or an internship, we will send them along to the partner organization by email and we will introduce you with the bio that you enter on your ACN profile. Therefore, this bio is also important because recruiters will ask about this. You can use your ACN bio as your LinkedIn professional bio. A sample LinkedIn profile to model yours off is of ALA graduate is that of Bradley Opere.
A career center is an organized set of tools, resources and individuals with defined roles that work towards providing professional development support for students in an academic institution. The goal of a career center is to foster a continued awareness of and preparedness for success in the world of work students will most likely have to navigate after completing their academic programs.
While career centers will look different in every university or institution, there are common elements that are fundamental to building one and best practices in delivering optimal services to students. The resource attached below provides a guide to navigating this process in 6 steps.
Peer Coaches are a select group of students who assume career development roles for their fellow students on their respective campuses. Peer coaches help their fellow students navigate college life and post-college planning. They are a great resource to review students professional documents and providing constructive feedback. Peer coaches can also assist with mock interviews and with executing university career events. Aside from their functional roles, the proximity of peer coaches to students and their approachability makes them ambassadors for the career center of each university. They bridge the gap between the career center and the student body by fostering a better of understanding of students needs and promoting the career services available to students.
Due to their functional and strategic value to the career center, recruiting and training peer coaches is a fundamental practice in deepening the impact of a career center. The attached resource provides a guide to starting and managing a peer program as it details:
The qualities of a good peer coach
The soft and hard skills a peer coach needs to hone
The role of the Career Center is to empower students to discover and pursue a path to a fulfilling career, so they can make their own unique marks on the world. One of the core tenets of a career center is the one on one career coaching services provided to students.
The goal of one-on-one advising is to provide university students with the support they need to take the right transition steps in each year of University. While every student will have a unique path, it is important to provide a compass that allows them navigate each year in the university in preparation for a successful transition into the workplace. The resource attached below describes 3 fundamental stages students need to go through to navigate this transition and how through one on one advising you can coach students through these different stages.
Building a network of employers and organizations is an essential foundation of building a career support center. The process of doing this is gradual and may not even yield results in the short term. Employer relationships often result in job and internship placement opportunities, mentors for students and even help universities better shape their curriculum to help students cultivate the skillsets they will need in their professional fields of interest.
Engaging employers is a deliberate process and rooted in the practice of building mutually beneficial relationships. However the first few steps can seem daunting and unclear. To start, you will need to have a good scope of what organizations you want to initiate a relationship with and the best means to approach that. The attached document “Employer Engagement Toolkit” provides a guide on how to do that. When you begin to have those conversations and need ideas of different ways to engage “ACN guide to engaging employers” details steps and strategies to further engagements with employers.