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RIT Office of Career Services posts articles related focused on careers or job search strategies.Gretchen
Updated: 1 hour 17 min ago

Make the Most of Winter Break

Fri, 12/21/2018 - 11:14am
Make the Most of Winter Break
It’s that time of year, where everyone is either enjoying or recovering from the holidays! While we do want you to enjoy time with family and friends, we’d like you to squeeze in a little work that’ll help you find a co-op or full-time job.
» Take time to complete your profile in Handshake. (Handshake is our main source of job postings for RIT students). It also suggests potential jobs based on your profile.
You can find these suggestions by looking under the tab “For You”. Select “Jobs” from the navigation, and you can see various ways to filter jobs as well as popular searches done by their major. [More Handshake information]

» The more variety of job sources, the better. Check other quality job search sites including, Glassdoor, Chegg (formerly, and Our website has a list of sites our career services coordinators have recommended, by major.
» Winter break is a good time to update a resume -- include additional skills, experience, or project work, from fall semester.
» Update or create a LinkedIn profile. Connecting with alumni via LinkedIn is a great strategy. Search for “Rochester Institute of Technology” then click on the “See Alumni” button.

Results can be refined in a number of ways: where they live, where they work, what they do, what they studied. Be sure to craft a personal note when sending a request to connect. LinkedIn is also a great way to research companies, or uncover job openings.
» Holiday gatherings are a great time to talk with family and friends about a current co-op or full-time job search. You should ask them if they have any connections that can lead to informational interviews, networking opportunities, or job leads. You never know who might be able to help.
» Practice telling your story: Now is a great time to prepare for tough interview questions like “Tell me about yourself,” “What are your weaknesses,” and “Tell me about a time when…” Review possible interview questions and strategies for successful interviewing.
Try getting feedback on your answers from friends and family. Many students find that building a career portfolio – a collection of work samples, class projects, transcripts, letters of recommendations, and more - will provide useful visual cues during an interview.
» Looking for a spring co-op? You should apply to as many jobs posted on Handshake as they can. There are still open co-op positions. Employers continue to contact us with opportunities into January! Spring-summer double block? Students still have time to find a co-op. Most students can start as late as February, work through August and still have the position count as a double block. Take the time to follow up on your resume submissions.
Each student at RIT has a career services coordinator assigned to them – even though the campus is quiet during the break, we are here holding down the fort! Our office closes December 21st and re-opens January 2nd. You should reach out of us if you have any questions or concerns about your job search; we are happy to help.

Enjoy your time with friends and family – Happy New Year from your friends at the Office of Career Services and Co-op!

Tips to Prepare for the Career Fair!

Mon, 10/01/2018 - 2:17pm
The University Wide Fall Career Fair is this Wednesday!

We thought it would be great to gather some last minute tips from your Career Services Coordinators. First and foremost, we know the Career Fair can be intimidating, but remember the employers were once in your shoes – they are not there to scare you. Take a deep breath, be yourself, know your information and everything will be fine!
Preparing the Fair:
  1. Preparation is key!
  2. Research companies - Use the Career Fair Plus App (Career Fair Plus web version: along with Handshake to research the companies you are interested in.
  3. Practice your micro-pitch… Practice makes perfect.
  4. Plan an attack strategy – make a list of 10 companies you’d like to visit and a list of five for back-ups in case the lines are too long.
  5. Be open-minded to companies that are unfamiliar. They may have great opportunities you didn’t know existed.
  6. Bring a small portfolio of projects you’ve completed – pictures, short writing samples, etc.
Getting ready the day of the Fair:
  1. When you look good, you feel good, so look the part:
    • Dress for the job you want – think about the industry you are going into and what attire is appropriate.
    • Wear comfortable shoes – it’s a long day on your feet.
    • Wear dark socks with your dark shoes.
  2. Personal hygiene is important:
    • Wear deodorant
    • Brush your teeth
    • Iron your clothes
    • Want to wear perfume or cologne? A little goes a long way.
  3. Wear your club/organization golf shirt – it’s a great conversation starter that can help break the ice with an employer.
At the Fair:
  1. Know what you want and be brave!
  2. Don’t talk to your favorite company first - talk with others on your list to practice and get the nerves out.
  3. Make eye contact.
  4. Take breaks during the fair - take a few minutes to sit down, drink some water and reorganize yourself.
  5. Connect with the alumni at companies you are interested in – they know exactly what you are going through.
    • If you see a Tiger sticker on their shirt – they are RIT alumni.
  6. Refresh your memory before you shake their hand - look at the Career Fair Plus App and your notes while waiting in line.
  7. Brag about yourself - be confident in yourself and show them how awesome you really are.
  8. Don’t forget to smile!

Did you know you can hear a tiger’s roar from at least two miles away? You are an RIT Tiger for a reason – each and every student is smart and capable of working a Career Fair and getting a job. On the day of the Career Fair know your value and the skills you can bring to the table – we are all there to see you succeed, so let’s hear your roar.  

The Adventures of Diana

Fri, 05/04/2018 - 9:37am
Who is Diana you may ask? Diana is the RIT Hot Wheelz car.      Sarah Burke, one of our Career Services Coordinators, is a very busy lady. Outside of the work she does for our office and her students, Sarah serves as the advisor for the Hot Wheelz team. The Hot Wheelz team is made up of 50 female students from multiple different year levels and different programs.
                This week Sarah and 20 team members traveled to New Hampshire to represent RIT Hot Wheelz at the Formula Hybrid Competition. Braving rain and cold temperature, Diana has made it through Pre-Tech and Mechanical Inspection thus far! Diana is proudly wearing the “Passing” sticker on her hood (pictured).
Tuesday afternoon was the Electrical Technical Inspection. This review took over 2 hours; two judges - a GM Engineer and head judge from BAE- look at and check every individual electrical connection. The judges found only 4 small things that need to be fixed.
Thursday brought new friends. The Hot Wheelz team befriended a team from RV College of Engineering in India (pictured). Thursday also brought along rain – in more ways than one. Diana needed to pass the Rain Test to move further along in the competition. For the Rain Test, Diana needed to sit under a sprinkler for 5 minutes, during which time nothing on the vehicle could fault. Ironically, it started raining about the same time Diana went under the sprinkler. After sitting under the sprinkler (and rain) for about 4 minutes, Diana passed, and is proudly wearing the “Rain Certified” sticker!
The Hot Wheelz team and the RV College of Engineering Ashwa RacingTeam.Diana wearing many of her passing stickers!
Diana will then be put through the Tilt Test – where they put the car on a lift that literally lifts it and tilts to about a 70-degree angle- then Noise Test, and finally Brake Test.  Sarah and the team feel confident on all of them but brakes – still having brake, steering and controller issues but they are working hard to fix those issues.
Both Sarah and the Hot Wheelz team are hard at work outside of the garage, too. In the midst of finals week, the team spends their evenings in the lobby working on papers, projects, and final exams. Several team members were even able to squeeze in interviews this week. Sarah has been busy connecting with alumni who have come to the competition to now judge the cars (pictured).  Sarah has also had time to meet with company representatives at GM, Ford, FCA (Chrysler) LG Chem, and BAE – all sponsors of the competition. 

L to R – Jennifer Smith ‘16/ME/Keurig, Missy Miller ‘17/IE/GM, Marty Schooping from GIS/CIMS, Sarah Burke, RIT Career Services, Maura Chmielowiec ‘16/ME/GM and Caitlin Babul ‘17/ME/GM.
Sarah has been missed this week by our office and students, but the Engineering team has been a great backup to Sarah, ensuring her students are well taken care of while she in New Hampshire with Hot Wheelz.

At the close of the competition, Diana came in 3rd overall!
We are so proud of the team and so happy Sarah was able to be there supporting them!

Handshake Helper Tip #4: Editing your Profile

Wed, 05/02/2018 - 12:21pm

Are you planning on graduating a little later than you thought? Well, check out Handshake Helper Tip #4! This Handshake tip will show you how to update your graduation date! 

 STEP 1) Click on the pen tool to be able to edit your information.
 STEP 2) Change the desired information.
STEP 3) Hit save and admire what you have just completed. 
Your Handshake account can be easily updated by clicking any of the pencil icons. 

#RITGrad #RITCareerServices

5 Tips for Post Graduation

Wed, 05/02/2018 - 12:21pm

With graduation right around the corner, what are your plans?

Here are 5 tips for post-graduation:

1. Be patient 
As a new employee at a company its easy to get caught up with a fast paced,
energetic lifestyle. But sometimes you need to just slow down and learn. Use your
new status to watch and observe new lessons about your work environment,
communication styles, and the different dynamics seen throughout your
office. Don’t feel bad about not having everything figured out—you’ve got time.

2. Take Risks
Do things out of your comfort zone. Being open minded allows you to learn
something new on a regular basis. Expanding your knowledge is an ability that
keeps society growing in positive ways! Use your newcomer status to observe
and soak up on-the- job lessons about your work environment, interpersonal
dynamics, decision-making, and communication styles. Don’t feel bad about not
having everything figured out—you’ve got time.

3. Seek Guidance 
Finding a mentor and working alongside them can be beneficial for when you
might not know exactly what to do. As a newcomer it’s easy to be scared to ask
questions or contribute to a conversation but when you seek guidance from
someone whose been in your shoes, it'll allow you to contribute to your
company correctly.

4. Education is only the beginning
Now that you've completed your 4+ years of higher education,
learning/studying is never over. You’ll be learning to budget, to hunt for the perfect
apartment, to cook for yourself, or even negotiate a job offer, the list of the new
lessons is infinite.

5. The Office of Career Services and Co-op is here for you
Even as an RIT alumni, remember the Office of Career Services and Cooperative
Education is here to assist you. Whether it’s finding a new career path, updating
your resume or discussing other options in your field – we are here for you.

Over the course of these next few days while you're studying for finals, make sure
you are prepped and ready to go for the real world! If you need to schedule a
meeting with your advisor, we are here over the summer! Also, make sure to keep checking Handshake to see any upcoming events or to find a summer or fall

Lastly, for all the graduating seniors, DON'T FORGET to fill out the Final Destination
Survey online (link below)! We love to see where our students are going and the
information you provide allows us to provide better advice to students still at RIT.


Handshake Helper Tip #3: Student Reviews

Wed, 03/21/2018 - 2:55pm

ANNOUNCEMENT: Handshake is now offering a new feature allowing students to view and review the various companies.

What are Reviews?  

Student Reviews allow students to tell their stories about their past internships that will be posted on to the company's profile page in Handshake.  

Why complete a Student Review?

  • It allows students to EXPLORE CAREERS by giving them a more authentic look into a company from their peers. 
  • Allows other students to GIVE and RECIEVE advice about the various companies and the roles they might be interested in. 
  • GAIN INSIGHT into the companies culture, mentorship, and learning, which is often harder to gauge because of the lack of information. 

Why Student Reviews are also beneficial for employers? 

  • Student Reviews will help employers ENGAGE all students.
  • Tell your BRAND STORY by activating former interns as brand ambassadors.
  • Get FEEDBACK by giving companies access to more thoughtful reviews written by students from all backgrounds and will be moderated by Handshake! 
So, it's safe to say Student Reviews are a win/win for both employers and students. Go to your Handshake profile today to fill out or view your reviews today! 
If you're looking for a job or even an internship make sure to be updating your Handshake profile and meeting with your Career Counselors! 
Also, look out for the great events we have planned for you! You can find more information on our social media accounts: 
Instagram: @RITCareers Facebook: @RITCareerservicesTwitter: @RITCareers 

Handshake Helper Tip #2

Wed, 02/28/2018 - 12:50pm

Co-ops Recommended By Your Career Center
Did you notice this new box on Handshake’s 'For You' page? Go ahead and use it to see the co-op/internship postings that your Career Services Coordinator suggests you check out. This collection is based on major and the co-op label that we add to jobs. It is a great way to get quick a quick list and use it to favorite jobs you want to apply to. 
But, remember, the very best way to get co-op job results is to use the following “Filters”: Major, and Labels (ex: co-op - summer, co-op – summer/fall, co-op - fall ). Further filter those results any way you’d like with Industry, Key Words, Location, and any of the other options.

Click on the Link below to learn more about Handshake on our website! 

30 Career Conversation Starters

Thu, 02/22/2018 - 5:01pm

Here are some suggested questions to help you have a productive career conversation at a networking event or informational interview. You also might like to review these prompts and consider how you would respond to these questions. This will help you reflect on your goals and set plans for the future!

Identifying Personal Choices and Preferences 

1. What activities are you particularly engaged with right now?2. Tell me about what you enjoy most in your current role3. Tell me about the achievements that mean the most to you.4. Why did you choose this area of work?5. What is the next major challenge you would like to take up?6. Choose 5 words that describe how you feel about coming to work. 

Skills and Knowledge

7. What do you think you have done really well over the past few months/year?8. What skills have you developed and what new knowledge attained in the past few months/year?9. How would you describe your strengths as a project/team member or manager?10. What additional skills and knowledge would assist you to meet the expectations of your role?11. What strategies do you implement to manage those competing priorities of your role?

Influencing Others

12. Have you had any feedback from others on the things you do well or could do better?13. How do you let others know what you are achieving?14. How do you promote your need for resources?15. How do you find out about relationships at your organization that may assist you?

Career Goals

16. Which areas would you like to develop in and why?17. What goals do you have for your future?18. What are you doing now or need to do in order to achieve these goals?19. How can I help you?

Other Questions 

20. What has motivated or inspired you lately?21. Does what you do feed your passion? Why or why not?22. Is there anything blocking you from progressing in your role?23. Who do you admire? Why?24. As a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?25. What superpowers do you have? What superpowers would you like to have?26. If you were CEO of the company, what is the first thing you would do?27. What hobbies are you engaged with right now?28. What 3 things that would help you increase your productivity?29. What you get stuck, what is your process for getting unstuck?30. What part of the day brings you the most energy and focus?
We hope these questions will help you to establish relationships with your contacts, clarify goals, and even open doors of opportunity. Let us know in the comments: What is the best career question you have ever been asked? 

Adapted by Janine Rowe, Rochester Institute of Technology Office of Career Services and Co-op from Professional Development Starter Questions for Career Conversations, University of South Australia and Career Development Discussion Starters, Association of American Medical Colleges


Mon, 01/08/2018 - 11:40am
Handshake Helper is here
to help you make the
most of Handshake

Saved Searches and Search Alerts! 

As you know Handshake is the career platform where we post jobs for students and alumni (plus more). But did you know that you have the ability to not only save your job searches in Handshake, but also to customize and receive job alert notifications when new jobs matching your search criteria are added?  (Note: When saving a search, please be aware that you are not saving your search results. You are saving your search criteria).  
First, Create Your Search:1. Select Jobs from the top menu bar.2. You will see on the left of the screen a list of filters you can use to create the criteria for your search. Filters include items such as location, employment type, major, labels (co-op terms), etc.  Select the criteria for your search. You’ll want to save this search if you think this is one you’d like to perform again in the future, or you want to receive alerts when more jobs like this are posted.  Remember, by saving your search you are saving the criteria for the search, not the data the search yielded. The jobs meeting the criteria of your saved search could easily change from day to day.
To Save Your Search:1. Select the Create Search Alert button under Saved Searches (on top left side of page)  2. You have saved your search! This search is viewable by you alone; no one else has access to it.Note: If you save a search that does not have a keyword, Handshake will default to naming the search according the date you saved it. If you would like, you are also able to edit the title of the search, or edit the notification settings for the alerts.
To Create an Alert:Select the pencil icon next to the saved search Here, you can rename your search, and choose how and when you'd like to be notified when new jobs are posted that match this job search
So, there you have it! We hope you find these Handshake tips "handy"!

Co-op Search Suggestions During Break

Wed, 01/03/2018 - 6:34pm

It’s that time of year, where everyone’s recovering from the holidays! While we do want you to continue to enjoy time with family and friends, we’d like you to fit in a little work that’ll help you and more information on finding a Co-op:
Search Suggestions:

» Take time to complete your profile in Handshake. Handshake suggests potential co-ops based on your profile. Find these matches by looking under the tab “For You”.
» Update your resume to include additional skills or progression in your labs and projects, from your most recent semester. Be sure your resume has an objective statement that includes co-op and availability.
» Check other job search sites including:,,, and Our website has list of sites recommended by major.
» Use a variety of keyword search terms for your industry. Search on “intern” as well as “co-op” to get the best results. You can also include a location in your search.
» Connect with alumni via LinkedIn. Search for “Rochester Institute of Technology” then click on the “See Alumni” button. Be sure to craft a personal note when sending a request to connect.
» LinkedIn is often your best source of company information when researching (Sometimes much better than the company’s own site).
» Network with your family and friends by asking for contacts or job leads.

Spring Search Suggestions:
» Apply to as many jobs posted on Handshake as you can. There are still open positions. Employers continue to contact us with open positions into January! Handshake search tips available.
» Spring-summer double term? You still have A LOT of time to nd a co-op. You can start as late as February, work through August and still have the position count as a double block.
With that being said, take this free time you have but also take action that will help you reach your goals! These tips can be applied to every field so be sure to share with your friends !

Enjoy the rest of your break & Happy New Year from your friends at the Office of Career Services and Co-op!

Shake Hands With Your Future

Fri, 09/29/2017 - 4:34pm
You know how important a handshake can be in the professional world. Here’s one Handshake you really want to know about. The new university platform for recruiting students.

Our office has recently made the switch from RIT Job Zone to Handshake! It is a platform that allows students, employers, and career centers to interact and gain opportunities for experience more efficiently than ever before. It grants student access to equal opportunities in the working world.

How can Students use it?
• Students can create their profile, fill it to the brim with information on their experiences, coursework and more.
• They can search for co-op, internship and full-time opportunities and interact with over 200,000 employers.
• The more a student fills their profile and uses Handshake, the more they will get out of it.

It works just like Spotify or Netflix, the more things you listen to or watch, the more suggestions you receive. The more skills, interests and experiences you put on your Handshake profile, the more opportunities they will suggest to you!

How can Alumni use it?
• Alumni of RIT can use Handshake just the same as a current student!
• Perhaps you want to find a new job or make a career change, you’ll have access to Handshake and its fantastic opportunities even after graduating from RIT!

How can Employers use it?
• Connect with and recruit from over 400 universities. This allows you to increase your breadth and scope of opportunities to students. (There are over 8,000,000 students on Handshake.)
• You can post your open positions across dozens of schools…FOR FREE!
• You can filter potential hires to see who best fits your positions.
• Easy to manage – you have one account where you can set up recruiting events or interviews, register for career fairs and set up your own events.
• You can even contact potential candidates directly through Handshake.

For more information, please visit our site:

Written by
Taylor Lincoln, RIT Office of Career Services

April is Autism Awareness and Acceptance Month!

Thu, 04/06/2017 - 3:21pm
Many of us already know someone on the Autism Spectrum: US Census Bureau estimates that 7
million Americans are closely related to someone on the Spectrum, and there are about 7 million people worldwide on the Autism Spectrum.

Being on the Autism Spectrum can impact an individual’s journey toward employment, especially when competing against others in interviewing and networking settings. The unemployment rate for individuals on the Autism Spectrum is 42% - higher than other types of disabilities.

All of us can take action to advocate for individuals on the Spectrum in the workplace, and many individuals find April, Autism Awareness Month, and natural time to engage in education and advocacy at their places of employment. We also encourage you to Celebrate Neurodiversity – which means to recognize and celebrate the benefits that different ways of thinking, such as those associated with Autism Spectrum Disorders or ADHD, offer to the workplace!

Here are some suggested activities for you and your workplace:
  1. Education: Become informed on the benefits of hiring individuals on the Spectrum and steps that your organization can take to become more ASD-inclusive. Our video, Hiring on the Spectrum, is a great place to start. Visit our Recruiting students with disabilities page or Spectrum Support Program page for more information. You can also download our Hiring on the Spectrum Employer Guide to Autism Spectrum Disorders. We offer training for employers to training on how to make their recruiting, training, and managing processes inclusive to employees on the Autism Spectrum.
  2. Community Engagement:  Support ASD organizations by becoming a corporate sponsor or designating them the beneficiary of corporate fundraising efforts. Volunteer for or attend local events ASD-related as a group. AutismUp is a Rochester-based organization; a list of organizations by state is available here.
  3. Connect with Individuals: Lend your expertise to job-seekers on the Spectrum. RIT Career Services regularly holds networking events for students on the Autism Spectrum to connect with professionals and is always looking for mentors. Consider hosting a group of job seekers on the Autism Spectrum to your organization for a tour and networking session.
    Contact Janine at for more information, and follow along on Twitter: #AcceptanceIs.
 Want your own “Celebrate Neurodiversity” swag to display in the workplace? Contact Janine at

Advice from Students: Career Fair and Job Search

Fri, 02/24/2017 - 8:10pm

On Wednesday, February 22nd, six Saunders College of Business student panelists shared their advice on how to work career fairs and job searches. Though the panel was organized for SCB and COLA students, their tips can be helpful for anyone who feels intimidated or unsure about their career experience, so we wanted to share them with you.

Make yourself stand out.
Know your story. To stand out, it's all about spinning your story. What do you want to tell employers about yourself that would make you different?
Tell them how you're going to apply your experience to your next job. Tell them why you want to work for their company. Show them your ambition and why you can be a valuable asset.
Show your unique aspects. Every person is different, and it's important to share what that is about yourself that will make you memorable.

Your appearance should be professional. Instead of wearing a vibrant shirt, Jacob recommends keeping it crisp and clean with a white shirt (maybe checkered) with a powerful tie.
Wear minimal makeup and avoid overbearing perfumes and colognes.
Very important: wear comfortable shoes for career fair! If you don't, eventually you will end up focusing more on the pain in your feet than the recruiters that you waited in line to talk to.
All of this together shows you took time to make sure you look good, and in turn, increases your confidence.
Have a good resume. Get your resume reviewed by peers or by career advisors. Remove any mistakes in spelling or grammar.Mila printed her resume on nice paper, and a recruiter showed it off to her colleagues saying, "See? Business students know how to do it right." You don't necessarily have to print it on nice paper, but taking that extra step can go a long way.
Be as prepared as you can be.
Research companies ahead of time. Ethan regrets not doing so the first time he attended a career fair. Now, he highly suggests that you apply for a position at the company beforehand. This gives you more to talk about with the recruiter.

Set your expectations for what you are looking for. Advocate for yourself. If you don't get anything out of career fair, use it as an opportunity to gain experience in networking and practicing your elevator pitch. Jacob reminds us that, "if you're doing what you love, you will be successful."

Bring a padfolio with you. This gives you a place to collect business cards and take notes on what recruiters are saying.

Practice to minimize your margin for mess up. Set up mock interviews. Look up potential questions and rehearse your answers. Employers want to see how you approach a question, not necessarily what your answer is. No one knows everything, but how you approach a problem is what makes you different from the next.
Oksana recommended "Breaking into Wall Street" for finance students, which walks you through tons of questions you may be asked.

Have a strategy for career fair.
Avoid large companies with long lines, such as Google or Apple. These companies are always crowded during career fair, but they're also always on campus with information sessions or tables. Take advantage of speaking with smaller companies at the fair, and take time to attend other events with larger companies.

But at the same time, don't ignore large companies with smaller tables. These companies offer unique opportunities to students, and you may never know if it is right for you.

People with the tiger badge are RIT alumni. If you approach a recruiter with the tiger, it's another topic to bring up and talk about.

Be empathetic with recruiters. Alison emphasized this point, because it is a good first step in establishing a personal relationship. She mentioned saying things like, "I know you had a long day, but I just want a few minutes to talk to you about..." You can also offer them a bottle of water from the volunteer table.

Mention your major to recruiters, especially if it is different from the usual major they may be recruiting for. They might have a separate line for you.
For example, if you are an MIS student who wants to talk to an engineering company, the long line might just be engineering students looking to speak to their recruiter while the business recruiter has no line at all.

They might not be recruiting your major at career fair, but that doesn't mean they're not recruiting it at all. Oftentimes, employers sends recruiters only for specific majors at RIT. Ask if there is someone you can contact at the company that might be hiring for your field. Of course, still do your research beforehand about the company and the jobs they offer.

Follow up with recruiters.
You want to send a thank you email within 24 hours of meeting them. Use the contact information on their business card or ask your career coordinator for their email. All recruiters are required to register as well, and many have allowed us to share their information with students upon request.

Mention something unique from your conversation. This is why it is important to take mental or physical notes. This gives you something to bring up in that email for them to recall.

So many people don't do this, so take the time to show you really care about maintaining a relationship with them.

Volunteer for career fair.
Take the time to help out. This may sound strange, but volunteering can also put you at an advantage with employers. Ben has volunteered in the past, and he always enjoys being able to speak with recruiters before the rush. It's more casual and personal, which makes it more memorable.
Be aggressive.
Find what you want to do, and use that to do your job search. Many companies don't care what your major is. They want to see how you can fill in the gaps they have in their company. Frame conversations in ways that show how you can contribute to their company, and how what you know and what you do can benefit them.

If you want it, go and get it. Set a goal and don't stop until you get it. It takes a lot of hard work to get what you want. No one is going to hand it to you.

Remember, it doesn't stop when you get a job or when you graduate. There may be setbacks along the way, but if you continue to work towards your goals, you will get it in the end.

Reach out to those in your desired field.
Set up meetings or phone calls with people in a company or field you want to work in. Cold calling shows people that you are willing to take risks to get what you want.
But here are a few do's and don'ts of this strategy:
Do: Focus on building a relationship. It may start with you asking them a lot of questions, but aim to make it a conversation. In the long run, this makes them feel more comfortable hiring someone that they know.
Don't: Do not ask them for a job or make it blatantly obvious that you are looking for one. This will cause them to feel like they wasted their time if they don't have a job to offer you. Don't ask them how much they make or salary unless they bring it up first. It gives off the impression that you are only in it for the money.

Network with classmates, join clubs, and go to meetings and events. Speak to the people around you, because you will never know who you can develop a relationship with. Alison was able to set up an interview with Southwest Airlines after meeting a classmate who worked for them at an event. Having an employee recommend you to HR helps you stand out in the process. Remember, you are still responsible for your own interview and the rest of the hiring process, but this is a great push to start with.

Optimize your LinkedIn.
Make sure you are updating your LinkedIn. This is a platform many employers use to see what you are doing. Continuously keeping it up to date gives them something to look at and also puts you higher in search results for recruiters.

Constantly connect with people. Network as much as you can. Connect with people you worked with or know. Build relationships with those you want to work with. Use the platform to contact them and set up that phone call or interview. Remember to always include a personal message with the invitation! Connecting with people through mobile with not allow you to do this, so aim to send connection requests only through desktop.

Share articles. Keep interacting. This shows your interests and values. It shows that you are invested in your field and are passionate about the topic. Share, like, and comment on posts that spark your interest. If an employer sees that you shared an article they also enjoyed, it builds a relationship before you even started talking to them.

The job search process is difficult and is never easy, but don't give up on it. Even if you are not successful the first few times around, keep pushing towards your goal, and you will reach it.

Thank you to our wonderful panelists for sharing their advice!

Have questions for our panelists? Connect with them on LinkedIn:

Oksana Tymkiv (Finance)
Alison Schrmerhorn (New Media Marketing and MIS)

Don't Take the Job Yet: Job Scams Warning

Mon, 02/20/2017 - 1:30pm

The FBI recently released a public service announcement, warning college students of employment scams that have resulted in financial loss to the students involved.

Through online job postings, applicants will receive an email from the employer about a check for them to deposit into their personal banking account. Then, the student is instructed to keep a portion as their pay and transfer the rest to a different account to cover the cost for supplies or other expenses. However, eventually, the bank will confirm that the check was counterfeit.

This is one common form of job scams that has affected RIT students. This has happened not only for job postings, but also housing and other employment-related transactions.

RIT Information Security and Public Safety are working to find scams and report them to the RIT community as they occur.

Jobs posted on RIT Job Zone are filtered and vetted before becoming available to students and alumni to apply. It is important, however, to always be cautious of postings available online.

If you believe you have received a similar email, contact RIT Public Safety at (585)475-2873.

For learn more on how to identify these scams, visit our Job Scams information page.

How to Pick a Major

Wed, 02/08/2017 - 4:36pm
graphic with majors on sign postPicking a major can seem like a daunting task at times. Selecting an academic program is a big commitment and can feel overwhelming to even the most confident student. We recommend weighing several factors before making your choice, including exploring your interests, researching related occupations, and reviewing degree opportunities.
Exploring your Interests. Personal interests and passions drive major choice for many. To gather clues about what majors might be a good fit for you, reflect on the following questions:1) Think about why you decided to come to RIT in the first place.2) What about this campus do you enjoy being a part of, what kind of clubs intrigue you?3) What websites, apps, magazines, and books do you enjoy most? What do you like about them?4) Which classes did you enjoy the most in high school?5) Which topics do you enjoy discussing with others?If you find yourself struggling to identify interests in connection with majors you can do a self-guided interest assessment or make an appointment with a career counselor by calling 585-475-2301. You also may find our Career group, Break Through the Career Clutter: An Exploration Workshop Series helpful!
Be curious and do some research!  Allow yourself to be curious about any major! Keep in mind that committing to a major is not committing to a specific occupation. There are many occupations that can fall under the umbrella of a single major. If you want to explore all of the occupations associated with a given major What Can I Do With This Major?  is a great place to start. Once you have an idea of the occupations available for majors you are interested in, you can research average starting salaries, job outlook, work environment, important skill sets, and more at resources like Occupational Outlook Handbook and ONet Online. Informational interviews are an excellent way to increase your knowledge about a specific major or occupation. These interviews can be with a professional in the field you are thinking about entering or with a student or faculty/staff member associated with the major you are exploring.
Unsure? If you are unsure whether your current major is a perfect fit or not, that is okay! Sometimes learning more about your major can help clarify things. Various types of support are available to any student considering changing their major. Meeting with a career counselor is a good place to start. We can help you clarify your thoughts and review your options. You also might like to attend Thinking of Changing your Major?  Workshop series. Remember, it’s never too late to explore your options and start planning for your future!
graphic dream job sign
Explore alternatives! If there is something you are interested in learning more about that you are not learning through your major, explore a minor or immersion in that subject area. RIT has a lot of options, so explore them all! Dual degrees, double majors, and combined degrees (such as a BS/MS) are good options for some students. See your academic advisor for assistance navigating academic requirements and making sure you stay on track.

By Amanda Dunn
Career Counselor Intern
RIT Office of Career Services and Cooperative Education

One of LinkedIn's Best Features: The Alumni Tool

Thu, 01/26/2017 - 10:17am
One of the VERY best features of LinkedIn is your ability to easily identify and connect with alumni in LinkedIn.

With LinkedIn's latest user interface makeover, that feature (which used to appear on your own LinkedIn account under My Network/Find Alumni) has moved. Now you can find it by visiting any official University LinkedIn page and filter results from there.

The Rochester Institute University page gives you the opportunity to gain career insights on well over 100,000 alumni. Filter alumni by dates they attended, where they live, where they work, what they do, what they studied, what they are skilled at and how you are connected. Can you see how this can help you build a network of contacts that would be meaningful to you? Here's an example, I just located four potential new contacts in Greater Atlanta area (Where They Live), currently at GE (Where They Work), involved in Mechanical Engineering (What They Do). So if I want advice about a potential move to Atlanta or what is like to work for GE, I might reach out and make a connection. After all, Tigers will help Tigers.

So take advantage of this great tool to learn about career paths, companies that hire RIT alumni, or just to find a contact in a city you plan to move too -- the list of possibilities is endless!

by Gretchen E. Burruto, Assistant Director for Web and Social Media
RIT Office of Career Services and Cooperative Education

LinkedIn Students: A Student Perspective

Wed, 10/19/2016 - 10:53am

You may have seen this slide floating around in your colleges, and if you didn't already know, RIT started collaborating with LinkedIn for the LinkedIn Students app. It gives students an easy guide for their career exploration.

Let me start by introducing myself. My name is Sundy and I work as the Student Social Media Manager for RIT Career Services and Cooperative Education. I am a third year New Media Marketing major here at RIT. I have been using the LinkedIn Students app for about a month now, and here are my thoughts.

When I started using LinkedIn Students, I didn't really expect much out of it. I have had a LinkedIn profile set up for a while now and I know of all the different features it has to offer, such as LinkedIn Jobs, career articles, and most important, the networking. Yet, even though I knew they were there, I never really used them. I didn't go on LinkedIn as often as I should, and most of the time my profile was just sitting there. I was never really sure how to truly optimize my profile to assist me in my professional career.

I know for a fact that I'm not the only one who felt this way. It's easy to set up a LinkedIn profile, but the difficult part is actually using it. Every individual is unique. We each have our unique majors, talents, and dream careers, so how we approach our career journeys should be unique to each of us.

So how do we accommodate for that?

Now we have LinkedIn Students.

They know that we're all different. That's why each day you get personalized cards that they think you will find helpful. Not only do they suggest possible career paths you might want to explore, but they also offer the right people to connect with. The more you save in "My Stuff," the more accurate each day's cards will be in aligning with what you may be looking for in your career journey.
You get five cards a day, each completely different from yesterday's cards.

The first is the Roles Card, which shows you detailed information about roles held by an alum with the same major. For example, I may consider becoming a Public Relations Specialist. General information and a brief description can be seen on the card. If you click on it, you can see the full description of what the role entails.
Included in this description are:

- Median salary,
- What they do,
- Alumni who have this role,
- Top companies for this role,
- Top Skills for this role, and
- Similar roles to check out.

These role suggestions are usually jobs held by recent RIT graduates who have similar backgrounds. If you're interested in the role, you can tap the star at the bottom to save it to "My Stuff."

My favorite card are the Articles Cards. It might sound boring and it may seem like the least relevant feature in finding a job after graduation, but the articles they suggest give you helpful advice to optimize your job search experience as well as push you to your fullest potential in your career. I've come across articles about being a leader (pictured), acing your interview, and motivating you through your job search process. My favorites so far have been "How to Stop Screening Yourself Out," "Resumes That I Can't Forget," and "3 Tips for Using Social Media to Jumpstart your Job Search."

These articles are not only written by career professionals, but also by students just like you and me.
Finding a job post-graduation is hard. These articles help you feel more informed and prepared for what is to come.
This is where it starts to become more specific. Company Cards, as the name would suggest, recommend companies who hire from RIT. Many of them you may recognize from the Career Fair and Job Zone, and are employing RIT alumni who graduated with your degree. As you continue to add companies you like to "My Stuff," these cards will become closer and closer to the kind of companies you will want to work for.

On the card, they list the name of the company, their industry (for example, Johnson & Johnson is in Hospital & Health Care), and the size of the company.

If you click on the card, you can view more company information, current alumni who work there, roles that match your profile description, and similar companies.

There are thousands of companies that are hiring across the country, and having to sift through them is difficult. This helps you easily narrow it down to match what you want to do.

LinkedIn is the best platform to get you connected to the people that will help you along your career journey, so this card is useful for anyone, anywhere on their career journey.

On LinkedIn Students, you get suggested new alumni you can reach out to in the Alumni Cards. You can view their profiles and learn more about what they do, use it as inspiration for your own profile, and of course, connect. Even if you are not looking for a job or co-op any time soon, networking early will help in the future when you are looking.

The recommendations are mostly based off of the roles that you have saved in "My Stuff." One of the first roles I saved was Online Marketing Manager. Baird Wilber (pictured) is a 2015 grad who currently works as a Digital Marketing Coordinator, which is perfect. I can connect with him and talk to him about what the role is like and understand whether or not it seems like the work I want to do.

Now, if you are looking for a full time position, the Jobs Cards offer specific job openings that you can apply to on LinkedIn Jobs. These are, again, companies that hire from RIT, and based on your major, your background, and your skills.

On the card they show the job title, company, and location. If you're interested, you can click on the card for more information about the company and the job, as well as apply. If the company is not quite the right fit, you can also see more jobs with this title. Tap on the star to save in "My Stuff" and view it later.

I have come across postings from very unique companies that I have never heard of before. When looking for job postings online, it gets overwhelming with the long extensive list of companies hiring for all these different positions. Viewing them individually, one per day, is a lot easier to process and filter through.

There is always more ways you can improve the career search. Extra Credit Cards offer suggestions on improving your profile, preparing resumes, and even helping a friend out.

Each day they give you five cards, but if you don't want to wait a whole 24 hours before getting new ones, you can always see more ideas immediately after flipping through the first five.

"My Stuff" is fairly straight forward, listing all of the content you have saved in the past all in one place.

The LinkedIn Students app has been really helpful is making the career exploration process less stressful. It makes it easier to digest the abundance of information that is available, and makes it less of a hassle to find what I'm looking for. If you were to do your job search outside of this app, it's relatively similar in that after searching through the large flux of information, you will find the positions that are right for you. At first, it may not be exactly what you had in mind, but eventually you will find the information you need and want. As you keep finding all these roles, companies, and jobs, you will be able to narrow it down. This just makes the process quicker and more efficient. It is a new app, and LinkedIn is continuously working to improve it and make it better.

(Please note this app is meant only for current students. If you are not a current student, it will adversely affect your profile.)

During the Career Fair

Tue, 09/27/2016 - 10:06am

Professionalism and Communication

Career fairs can be intimidating and overwhelming. The tips below will give you an idea of what to expect at the event, and how to get through it successfully.


What to Expect

  • A large room, with rows and rows of booths or tables of companies.
  • It will be crowded, with long lines at some tables, and loud. Be prepared to wait.
  • If you haven't pre-registered, student registration tables are usually located at the entrance to the fair. Here you will be asked to swipe your RIT ID, create a name tag.
  • At the RIT Fall & Spring University-Wide Fairs, many companies stay to conduct interviews the next day in the Field House.

What to Bring

  • Download the Career Fair Plus app on your phone and/or any notes you have on the companies. 
  • Copies of your resume, transcript and samples of your work, if appropriate. (Note: because of regulations, employers may need to track their applicants and for some companies the best first step is to apply through their web site.)
  • A pad of paper and pen, to take notes.
  • A padfolio or folder to carry your resumes and notes, and to store business cards and company literature.

Plan Your Strategy

  • Apply for positions or submit your resume ahead of time through the company's web site -- earn points by letting the recruiter know you have taken this initiative.
  • Plan to arrive early and stay late – this will enable you to meet with every company in which you’re interested.
  • After you check in, survey the layout of the fair, and prioritize the employers with whom you’d like to speak, identify the information you want to get from them, and specify goals you hope to achieve.
  • You may want to start by approaching organizations that have a lower priority, to get your feet wet and gain confidence before approaching your top choices.

Make a Good First Impression

  • Dress for success – interview attire is preferred. You should choose a conservative approach to your dress. Wear comfortable shoes, as you will be walking and standing for long periods of time. How you look will play a big part in determining employer interest. (Check out our Pinterest Dress for Success boards for good ideas).
  • Approach the employer, shake hands, smile, and introduce yourself. Remember to maintain eye contact. Be enthusiastic!
  • Be polite – don’t interrupt the employer reps or your fellow job-seekers, don’t monopolize the recruiter’s time.

Market Yourself

  • Be memorable – conversations may seem casual, but you are actually being evaluated. Be direct and visible so recruiters will remember you and what you said.
  • Start with your “60 second commercial” to introduce yourself. The goal is to connect your background to the organization’s needs.
  • You may only have a few minutes to market yourself and gain an interview, so make the most of your time. Be prepared to explain why you came to the company’s table, and what skills and qualifications you have to offer the company.
  • Be articulate, and show confidence in your voice. The room will be noisy, and you’ll need to speak clearly and avoid using filler words, such as “um,” “like,” “you know.”
  • As you leave each employer, learn what the next step in their process is and what, if anything, you should do to advance your candidacy.

More Career Fair Tips

  • Make sure you get the representative’s business card or contact information. Take time to make notes of your discussion after you finish speaking with each company, before you move on. Without notes, you may become confused if you’ve visited several companies in quick succession.
  • Explore all your options – speak with companies you may not have considered before.
  • Make the most of your wait in line – look the company up and read about the company while waiting.
  • Don’t just randomly hand out resumes – if you’re not interested in a company, don’t approach them. It would only be a waste of time for both of you.
  • Don’t be disappointed when you finally get your chance to talk with the recruiter and they encourage you apply through their site, rather than take your resume. Because of regulations, employers may need to track their applicants and for some companies the best first step is through their site.
  • If the company representative works in a different field than the one you’re interested in, do still talk with the company, being sure to leave with the contact information for the person responsible for hiring in that area; don’t be discouraged and walk away.
  • Network with your fellow job-seekers – share information about job leads, companies, and their recruiting strategies and styles.
  • Don’t expect to be offered a job at the career fair, but it is not uncommon to get offered an interview. Know your schedule, and schedule any interview you can attend. If you’re not interested in the company, do not take the interview.
  • Be polite at all times. The person you meet in the parking lot, elevator, hallway, or restroom may be a recruiter you’ll see later that day.
  • If you expect companies to call for an interview/follow-up, make sure you have a “serious” message on your voicemail.
  • Follow up with any lead you learn of during the fair.  
 For more information, visit How to Work a Career Fair.

Why I LIke the LInkedIn Student App

Wed, 08/31/2016 - 8:52am

By Manny Contomanolis, PhD and RIT Senior Associate Vice President and Director of Career Services

I like the new LinkedIn Student App! There – I said it!

It’s nearly impossible to be involved in college and university career services work today without a strong working knowledge of and appreciation for LinkedIn, and its growing power and influence in connecting job seekers with available opportunities of all kinds. Consequently, when the LinkedIn Student App was soft-launched in April, after having been piloted at three different universities – University of Central Florida, Arizona State University, and San Jose State University – I was surprised that there was not the initial enthusiasm for the new app that frankly I expected. I had questioning colleagues reach out to me to learn more about the app, often with a healthy dose of skepticism about LinkedIn’s real commitment to career services organizations and with concerns about the app’s usefulness given the other mobile applications already out there.

Despite various fits and starts in truly connecting with the career services community, I believe in LinkedIn. In fact, I am even more of a believer now that Microsoft has purchased LinkedIn. I believe that when the deal is actually completed not only will we see a stronger LinkedIn product line more closely integrated with Microsoft products but we will finally see LinkedIn make its enormous data set and related analytics more available to individual higher education institutions. I think LinkedIn has finally figured out career services organizations are truly important to their efforts and is working hard to move forward with renewed commitment.

So why do I like this app?

The LinkedIn Student App is like nothing else ever developed by LinkedIn. It is designed specifically for college students making the job search easier by breaking it down into smaller daily steps of career exploration and action.

[Read complete article on LinkedIn

4 Things to Expect From Your First Career Counseling Appointment

Thu, 08/18/2016 - 10:30am

Maybe the major you picked isn’t exactly what you had in mind. Maybe you want to learn more

about careers in your major. Maybe you are looking for some clarification for your academic, career, and life goals. Regardless of your reasons for coming to career counseling, you may be a bit nervous about your first appointment. Here is what you can expect:

#1: We will get to know each other

Your first career counseling appointment will be scheduled for one hour to allow for plenty of time to explore your background, goals, interests, skills, and more! This information allows us to develop a good understanding of your situation. Making plans for the future takes time; there is no pressure to make a decision after one appointment. Your counselor will ask questions to stimulate your thinking, provide encouragement, and suggest follow-up appointments and activities based on your goals.

#2 You’ll have a chance to ask your questions

Your career counseling appointment is a perfect time to address your questions and concerns. No question is off limits. If we don’t know the answer, we will do our best to put you in touch with someone who does!

#3 We won’t decide for you!

Career counseling will help you learn more about yourself, the decision-making process, and relevant information for careers of interest. We will listen to you and help you formulate action plans and goals, but the responsibility for career decisions lies with you.

#3 You might leave with (a little) homework

After your first appointment, we often give suggestions of research you can do to look into majors and careers that you are interested in, instructions to contact other helpful individuals or departments on campus, or career assessments to complete and review at a subsequent appointment.

A note about Confidentiality: Everything you say in your career counseling appointment is held in confidence, meaning the counselor cannot discuss it with other people. There may be instances where your counselor needs to share information with others: 1) At your request, we may share information with Career Services Coordinator to help you develop additional career or job search options., 2) If student divulges or is perceived as likely to commit any act of violence to self or others, the counselor must alert authorities as legally required, and 3) if a student reports being sexually assaulted, the counselor has a legal duty to make a report to RIT’s Title IX Coordinator.

Wait… come back! You may find that your interests and goals change and evolve with time. A return visit to your career counselor can help you continue to work toward your goals and get the information and resources you need to help you on your way.

Ready to make an appointment? Call us at 585-475-2301 or stop into the Bausch and Lomb Center, Office of Career Services.

By Janine Rowe, Career Counselor, Assistant Director for Disability Services