Welcome to the Kellstadt CMC Blog

The Kellstadt Career Management Center team will be posting regularly about job postings, employer meeting updates, alumni profiles, helpful articles, and much more. We will also share with you upcoming events and programs. If you have questions please send us an email us at cmc@depaul.edu.

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Learn Educate Discover: A New Way to Explore Career Options

With the fall quarter quickly approaching, there is no better time than the present to explore career options! Whether you have your ideal field narrowed down but are trying to decide a few nuances, or you’re torn between finance and accounting, the resource, Learn Educate Discover is a helpful, free virtual resource for clarifying and exploring your career options. Learn Educate Discover provides dozens of podcasts covering different individual’s perspectives on their career path, giving listeners an insider lens into a particular career that they are considering. From Business Strategy, to Management Consulting, Consumer Insights in CPG, or Venture Capital, this resource provides business students with a variety of insights into different career paths.

Beyond the career path themed podcast, you will also find advice for growing your network, advancing your career by moving up not out, salary research information, and information on careers in startups and innovation. Podcasts and web resources through Learn Educate Discover make exploring your career convenient, and can be a great first step to research your chosen career path.  If you here or read something that sparks an idea for a career pivot, a great next step would be making an appointment to discuss career strategy with a CMC Career Specialist. Give us a call at (312) 362-8272 or shoot us an email at cmc@depaul.edu.

Getting Past the ATS: A Job Seeker’s Guide

The current recruiting process isn’t perfect, and I have heard frustration on both the job hunters’ and recruiters’ side. One could spend hours applying to jobs online, only to receive automated emails as response that their application was received, and then radio silence after that. A recruiter could receive thousands of applications for a given position, and there aren’t enough hours in the day to screen that many candidates.  As a means to answer that problem, ATS or Applicant Tracking Systems are commonplace in the job search. They act as an automated first step when a candidate applies for a position; screening a candidate’s resume, cover letter, and other application materials for key words, skills, titles, and experiences that the employer selects for a given position.  While this process aides the initial problem of volume that recruiters face, it can be difficult for a candidate to ensure that their resume makes it into human hands for consideration. To avoid becoming one of those discouraged candidates, consider the following tips when beginning a job search:

1). Quality over Quantity: A big red flag that a job seeker is about to experience application burnout and feeling discouraged is when I hear that they have applied to hundreds of positions in a short amount of time. While it might seem like the more positions you apply to, the better, it is most often not the case. By taking advantage of “one step apply” features on sites like LinkedIn or CareerBuilder, the candidate often is spending little to no time deciding if this position is a good fit for them, or reflecting on what experiences and skills they have that prepared them well for it. By skipping the step of taking the time to personalize your application materials, and to evaluate if this is even an opportunity you are interested in anyways, you are ending up in a quantity over quality situation. It might initially feel productive to apply to that many positions, but the return on investment isn’t high in this scenario. Instead, developing a target list of employers and job searching strategically will be a better use of your time, and will likely result in a much better job fit.

2). Keywords: Although there is no way for you as the job seeker to know exactly what each keyword an ATS uses, one can still pay attention to clues. Do you see a certain skill mentioned a few times in the position? How about looking at the LinkedIn profile for someone who is currently in that role…what sorts of skills and experiences do they have? Are the skills and experiences you see through doing that research as well as on the posting mentioned in your resume? Taking the time to customize your resume for emphasizing certain skills and experiences you have as relevant to a certain position will definitely help you get past the initial ATS screen. One important word of caution: Make sure you are always authentic in your portrayal of skills. It won’t do you any good to include “Advanced skills in Excel” when you’ve never used a pivot table in your life. Instead, emphasize and showcase the skills you feel are strengths that are also relevant to the positon at hand. Make sure you are including examples of when you demonstrated skills, rather than only listing the skills without context. Additionally, if your resume uses abbreviations, it may be a good idea to also include what the abbreviation stands for incase the ATS uses abbreviations or full phrases.

3). Keep your formatting simple: While you may think fancy formatting and design will help your resume stand out, it will likely just trip up the ATS. Make sure to use standard fonts like Calibri, Arial, Times New Roman, etc. Additionally, using traditional black and white formatting, without symbols or pictures, will help ensure the ATS picks up on your great content. Formatting elements such as tables, and a two-column alignment can also sometimes cause an ATS difficulty.

Just in time…

Graduation is coming up quickly, and it seems like Spring Quarter came and went so fast. If you are looking for upcoming events to interact with employers on campus, check out the Just in Time fair on June 2nd. This event is on the Lincoln Park Campus (and it is university-wide, not specific to Kellstadt) from 11-2pm, and the dress is business professional. Be sure to check out the employers that are coming to this event on Handshake to see who is of interest to you.

If you are anxious about the career fair setting, and want to know how to prepare, please schedule an appointment to meet with a Career Adviser at the CMC (312) 362-8272

Spring Cleaning: Quick Tips For Sprucing Up Your Resume

It’s that time of year again, and as we start to think of ways to refresh and regenerate, what a better place to start than our resumes! Especially if it has been a few months, even a year since you’ve last updated, there are likely many new projects, experiences, and achievements that you will want to include. Your resume is a document that blends both storytelling and marketing into one finely tuned package, so making sure you are using that space wisely is important.

Things to keep in mind while updating:

1). Quantify:  Adding those specific details like the amount of money or percentage of time you saved your employer goes a long way in showing the impact you had while working there. This information is especially crucial to update frequently, because the longer you wait to add in that information, the more challenging it will be (and sometimes impossible to get the exact numbers/data if you no longer work there). You are much more likely to be able to include more specific and accurate information if you update your resume frequently.

2). Consistency: Double check your formatting for consistency throughout, and maybe even have a second or third pair of eyes check this for you (such as a CMC Career Adviser). Little details can easily get thrown out of place, and while it might not seem like a big deal, consistency on your resume shows to an employer that you are detail oriented and that you took the time to proofread. Your resume is your first impression, and you don’t want to appear sloppy in your first impression to anyone.

3). Note Job Descriptions for Key Words: I would recommend having a document where you list common skills, words, and phrases you come across as you search postings for jobs you are interested in. Compare that document to your resume, and see where the gaps and similarities are. For example, you may include “Created marketing materials through using Photoshop to promote _____ campaign” on your resume, but a lot of the postings you are interested in mention looking for list specifics such as “campaign management” “business to business” and “direct marketing.” Perhaps you do have that exact experience in those areas, but the employer won’t be able to know that because your resume wasn’t picked up by their ATS (Automatic Tracking System).

Happy resume updating! Remember that there are great resume visuals and guides available to you on Handshake under the Resources tab.


On Sourcing Employers: Database Deep Dive

Why create a target list or source employers? Many students that I meet with have their sights set on the Big 4, or well-known names that have a large marketing presence. They think they already know exactly who they want to work for.  Unfortunately, by only approaching the job search from this name-brand perspective, you may be overlooking a great deal of opportunity. According to “The 2-Hour Job Search,” 99% of overall employers have fewer than one hundred employees (Dalton, 16)! That’s an exponential amount of untapped opportunities to explore in the job search.

There are a few methods of sourcing employers, but one that utilizes key university resources that you have access to as a DePaul KGSB student are university library databases. I met with my fellow Career Specialist, Enrique Guerrero, to learn from DePaul University Librarian Brian DeHart about these databases, and what to keep in mind while searching. I often advise students to think of their job search as a research project…they already have the skills for this over the years of school (especially as a graduate student!) and utilizing databases to create a target list is one of the most research-project-esq tactics! We discussed the following three in depth:

  1. LexisNexis: As a grad student, you probably have familiarity with this resource, but you may not have known that you can create a company list with this! To access this resource, click on “Create a Company List via LexisNexis.”  Here, you will be able to search by various information including company size, sales/revenue, NAICS code or SIC code. In case you didn’t know, NAICS and SIC codes were derived by the federal government to categorize employers. NAICS is the newer version, but using one or the other to select the industry in which you want to search employers for will be helpful in your database search.
  2. Business Source Complete: Business Source Complete is a division of the EBSCO database that focuses on current company profiles, and a SWOT analysis from the market research firm MarketLine. This will be a helpful resource in researching employers and learning more about what they’re up to.
  3. Reference USA: Reference USA will allow you to perform similar functions to creating an employer list through LexisNexis. Advantages of this resource over LexisNexis: it connects directly to Indeed, so while you’re creating your employer list, you will simultaneously be able to see if an employer is hiring at the time. Also, it is connected through the Yellow Pages, so you will have greater access to the super small businesses, if that is what you are looking for. Disadvantages over LexisNexis: There is so much data and it is difficult to tell how up-to-date it is, so you may find employers that are no longer in business.

Whichever resource you choose, make sure you do your research in the job search! If you have any questions about making an employer list in your job search, schedule a career advising appointment with CMC.

To learn more about how to use databases and how to effectively utilize them to build your employer list, save the date for in an interactive and informative upcoming workshop presented by the CMC,  “Kellstadt Build Series: Developing a Target List” on May 4th from 4:30-5:30 in the DePaul Center room 5800.

Additionally, if you have any questions about how to use databases and university library resources, you can schedule an appointment to meet with DePaul Librarian Brian DeHart.