GVSU Career Center

Career FAQs

Should my resume be just one page?
Should I send a cover letter?
Should I send references along with my resume?
How do I find an internship?
How can I connect with employers?
When should I begin my search?
Should I do an internship?
How do I prepare for an interview?
How do I access LakerJobs?
What if I don’t find any positions I am interested in on LakerJobs?
How can I see an advisor?

Still have questions?


Should my resume be just one page?

Employers like clear, concise documents.  You should try to format your resume so that you fit your information on one page.  Use the right side of the page for information like dates or some skill sets.  If you have been working in your field, and/or have a higher degree, it may be appropriate to develop a 2-page resume.  Make sure that your second page has a running head and that the page doesn’t break in the middle of a section.  If you are unsure if a one- or two-page resume will be best for you, come and see an advisor or attend a resume workshop.

 

 

Should I send a cover letter?

Always.  Send an introductory letter of interest, or cover letter, along with your resume even if the company didn’t ask for one.  If you don’t, chances are someone else that is applying will.  The only time it hurts to send a cover letter is if it has errors or is poorly written.  Use the letter to emphasize why you are interested in the position, and give specific examples of your qualifications as they fit the job description.  You can also send references on a separate page.

 

 

Should I send references along with my resume?

If the posting calls for references, then please do not forget to send them!  If it isn’t a requirement, you can still provide them as a courtesy.  Sending a reference page allows you to demonstrate that you have professional connections willing to recommend you as a candidate.

 

 

How do I find an internship?

The Career Center posts internship opportunities on LakerJobs as we receive them, but many companies that offer internships throughout the year never actually post a “position”.  Sometimes all you have to do is ask!  You should identify industries, types of companies, and then even come up with a list of specific organizations that interest you. Look on their websites for internship programs.  If you don’t see anything, give them a call or stop by (in your most professional attire with a resume on hand) and inquire about the possibility of interning for the company.  If you do need help identifying companies that best fit your career goals, meet with a career advisor or your internship advisor within your academic department to learn which companies GVSU students have interned with in previous semesters.  Also, see the next question:  How do I connect with employers?

 

 

How can I connect with employers?

Come to our events!  We hold a career fair with over 150 employers each semester, as well as several smaller field-specific events with employers throughout the year.  You should also create an account in LakerJobs to search the internship and job postings employers send to us.  LinkedIn.com is quickly becoming recognized by employers as a reputable way to find talent.  Create an online profile, and start connecting with GVSU alumni that have already walked the path you are on!

 

 

When should I begin my search?

First consider the size of the company or companies you are targeting. Larger companies tend to have longer and more complex hiring processes.  Some companies hire interns one year prior to the semester of the internship position.  A general rule for internships is to begin your search three months before you hope to begin the internship.  On average, a search for a full-time job takes from three months up to one year.  The timeframe depends again on the size of the company, the level of demand for your individual skill set or field/degree, and the geographic area you are targeting.

 

 

Should I do an internship?

YES! The number one thing employers look for is experience – proof that you can DO what you KNOW!  So don’t just sit in class – apply your skills and knowledge in an internship, co-op, practicum or even a volunteer setting or part-time job that relates to your degree.

 

 

How do I prepare for an interview?

  1. Most importantly, research and investigate the company! Use LinkedIn as well as the company’s website and any other resources you have.
  2. First impressions are important, so check out our CareerSpots videos on our website for “What to Wear”.
  3. Attend a workshop like the “Student to Professional Conference” or “How to Ace the Interview”.
  4. Check out “Interview Stream” through LakerJobs to see what kind of questions an employer may ask and what they are looking for in your response.
  5. Recall times in your recent history that you have succeeded or overcome challenges so that you have relevant stories and examples to tell in the interview.
  6. Finally, schedule a practice interview with a career advisor and get personalized feedback.

 

How do I access LakerJobs?

Visit www.gvsu.edu/lakerjobs and click on the "Student/Alumni Login" button.  You will need to know your GVSU issued network id and password to access the system (same as Blackboard login).  If you do not know this information or have any other trouble accessing LakerJobs, please contact the Career Center at 616-331-6708 or email careers@gvsu.edu.

 

 

What if I don’t find any positions I am interested in on LakerJobs?

Check often.  Positions are added daily!  In addition to LakerJobs, you should talk with your faculty and advisors to identify companies that best fit your career goals and target them by networking and checking out their website.  When using other job-search websites, make sure they are reputable in your area.  For example, a small business in West Michigan may be more likely to use Mlive.com or Careermatrix.com rather than a national site like Monster.com.

 

 

How can I see an advisor?

You can always make an appointment with a career advisor by calling 616-331-3311. Our office is open Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.  Or you can stop in for “Time for Ten” for a ten-minute consultation with an advisor. Advisors are available for “Time for Ten” on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays – while classes are in session – from  9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the Pew (downtown) campus or 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in Allendale.

 

 

Still have questions?

Send us an email or drop by our office for a walk-in appointment.  View our walk-in schedule.


 

 

Page last modified June 27, 2013