Thursday, March 30, 2017

March Madness: Negotiating Your Offer

Well friends, it’s been a week since we started our journey in March Madness! I hope your brackets are going well and you will continue to strive for the final four! However, if you bracket is completely and absolutely messed up, I totally feel you. Even though you can’t really change or negotiate your bracket, you can negotiate your job offer! Taking the time to understand why and how you should negotiate your offer is very important in your professional development. Below are tips, need to knows, and what to do in regards to negotiating your job offer:
You got this!
Receiving a job offer is exciting, but can be stressful if you feel your expectations or worth is not met. If you feel you have a reason to request a higher salary or benefits, take the time to go through the process of negotiation. Be empowered to negotiate your offer if the facts are all there. Maybe last summer you interned for the same company who offered you a job. You may feel that is a benefit for the company, because you will need less training. This is a perfect example of thinking about what you bring to the table, and why you deserve to negotiate your offer. Do your back ground and qualifications go above the average in your credentials?

Remember that you do not always have to just negotiate your salary. In negotiating your offer, you can negotiate benefits, signing bonuses, time-off, relocation expenses, your start date, and more.

The Ball is in YOUR Court!
First you need to make sure you do your research. Does the company your offer is with do salary negotiations? If so, you need to be prepared to show evidence of that salary. Take the time to do some comparisons of the salaries relative to the cost of living in that area. As long as you do your research, the ball is in your court to share the reasons why you deserve this negotiation.
Use your Equipment!
Be sure to check out our Post-Graduation Report! This annual survey is from previous Virginia Tech graduates that can provide you with major-specific salary information. Data from over the past five years is available.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics can also be helpful in finding information on your industry on the topics of wages, earnings, and benefits. This resources is part of the U.S. Department of Labor. will also be a similar useful tool in finding a specific job in a specific location. can be useful tool as a salary calculator that you can take out your financial expenses and see if how doable your offered salary is for the area you will be in.
Still want to take some time to look at more resources? Feel free to check out the list of salary information resources on our website.

Pass the Ball
Once you feel that you are ready and prepared to negotiate your offer, there are a few things you need to keep in mind:
1.     Ask first! You want the company to know that you are thankful for their offer but would like to discuss compensation.
2.     Ask how the organization structures salary ranges and how your offer was determined.
3.     Present your case with numbers and facts.
4.     If you are told no, that is okay! Be okay with getting a decline if that happens, because you tried your best!
Teamwork for the WIN!
Know that you do not need to go through this process alone!

You can always make an appointment with an advisor to talk about job offers and negotiation. We are excited for you to go through the process of negotiating your salary and would love to help you along the way. You can also stop by the Smith Career Center for walk-in advising available Monday – Friday from 12-3pm to get a conversation started about your offer. Enjoy the negotiating process and feel empowered to take the next step! Good luck!

Thursday, March 23, 2017

March Madness: Interviewing

The smell of March Madness is in the air! I wish you all the best of luck on your brackets. I also want to wish you the best of luck on your upcoming interviews! As you watch your teams win (or lose), it’s als
o time to start preparing for interviewing! Below are tips, need to knows, and to do’s for your future interviews:

Make a Slam Dunk!
There are five different types of interviews to prepare for. These interviews may be a phone interview, video-chat interview, face-to-face interview, group interview, or a behavioral interview. Be sure you know what type of interview you are scheduled for and prepare from there.

Practice Makes Perfect
While you are preparing for your interview, take sometime to think about what you want to say. Reflect on your experiences and how they fit into the position. Feel free to make an appointment to participate in Career and Professional Development’s Mock Interview Program. After your mock interview, an advisor will sit with you to discuss your performance with you.

Finding the Right Jersey
Deciding what to wear can be difficult. If you are unsure of the dress code for the interview, make sure you ask beforehand. Typically in-person interviews will be business professional or business casual. You want a clean and conservative look. Once you know what will be appropriate for the event you will need to dress accordingly.

Foul Out
There are a couple of things that you need to make sure you do not do before and during your interview. Do not falsify your application or any answers to questions. Be sure that you don’t make negative comments about previous employers. If you choose to wear cologne or perfume, do so frugally.

Get that Lay-Up
Be sure to arrive 10 minutes prior to your interview. Be conscious with your answer, but also complete. Make sure that you address the interviewer by his/her title. Additionally, offer a firm handshake at the beginning and end of the interview. If your interview is over the phone or video-chat, but sure to find a quiet place where no one will interrupt you during the scheduled interview.

Make that Swish
Before your interview takes place, make sure you do your research. Your research should include information about the organization, about the position, about the people, and about the location. Remember that interviews are a two-way street! Your interviewer will come prepared with a variety of questions, but you should come with questions prepared as well.

Questions you may want to think about to prepare:
·      What are your long-term and short-term goals?
·      Why are you interested in this position, our organization, or this graduate program?
·      What led you to choose your major or field of study?

Questions you may want to ask:
·      What would an average day in the company look like?
·      Can you describe an ideal employee?
·      What are some of the skills and abilities necessary for someone to succeed in this job?

Grab the Win
Be sure to say thank you and send a follow up thank you note after the interview. This note can be handwritten, an email, or both. You want to express your gratitude towards the interviewer in taking the time to talk and get to know you.

Visit Career and Professional Development sooner rather than later! We are excited for you to go through the interviewing process and would love to help you along the way. Visit our website for more tips, as well as to check out those awesome resources. Additionally, feel free to stop by the Smith Career Center for walk-in advising in regards to preparing and practicing for your interview. We have walk-in advising available Monday – Friday from 12-3pm. Enjoy the interviewing process, because you never know where it is going to lead you. Good luck!

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Spring Break Bucket List: There's still time to do some of these!

Check out our Spring Break Bucket List below. How many have of these you done so far? There is still time to mark some off! 

Keep Calm: Spring Break isn't over yet!

Spring break is half way over. Can you believe it?!

You may be thinking and dreaming of your plans to keep on sleeping, watching some Netflix, taking a walk outside, and avoiding homework as much as possible. Yes! We all look forward to a break to take some time for ourselves instead of running around from class to class.

In addition to treating yourself to a relaxing break, there are also some things you can do to boost your professional development!

After you have soaked up some sun...
Maybe you want to explore more what you can do with your major after graduation.

Take some time to check out two of our resources: CandidCareer and CareerSpots.
With CandidCareer, you can watch short interview videos from professionals working in the field. They will share their experiences and how they got to where they are today. CareerSpots allows you to watch 1-4 minute informational videos on professional topics of your choosing. Learn more about networking, interviewing, and more in your profession.

After you've spent time time with family and friends...
Maybe you want to do some research on what other Hokies have done in your major.

Do this research on our Post-Graduation and Survey Report! Here, you can see what graduates are doing after graduation, employment or graduate school, where they are working, how much they make and more. This will really be helpful in connecting you more with companies and employers who are hiring Hokies.

After you've binge watched your favorite Netflix show...
Maybe you want to connect with some people on LinkedIn?

LinkedIn is a professional social networking site connecting you to people, jobs, and even more opportunities. LinkedIn is the largest professional network with over 200 million members. In fact, 70% of jobs are found via networking and 85% of employers say a positive online presence influences hiring decisions. Now you have some time to upload your resume, connect with Hokies, follow some companies and learn more.

After you've slept in until 1 p.m. and realize you need to be productive somehow in this day...
Maybe you want to spend some time checking out Hokies4Hire and apply for a job or internship.

Hokies4Hire is a database specifically for Virginia Tech students that allows you to search for co-ops, internships or full-time positions. These positions have been posted by employers who are specifically looking to hire Hokies. On the database, you cane upload your resume, apply for jobs, and receive notices.

After you've finished putting your March Madness bracket together...
Maybe you want to follow up with some companies after applying/interviewing.

Following up is important to not only reiterate your interest in the position, but give appreciation to the company for their interest in you. This demonstrates your professionalism and your initiative. Taking the time to do so will be worth it in the end.


Stop by our office to see us! Monday through Friday we have 10 minute Walk-in Advising from 12-3 p.m. You can also call 540-231-6241 to make an appointment with a career advisor.

Enjoy your break, and be productive in your professional development. You deserve it!

Keep Calm: Boost your career!

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Let’s Explore our Global Experience!

“College is something you complete. Life is something you experience.”
–Jon Stewart, William and Mary 2004

This summer I had the incredible opportunity to co-lead a 3-week service trip to Peru. The trip was unlike anything I had ever experienced before. While in Peru, we served in the Amazon Rainforest for a conservation non-governmental organization (NGO), as well as in the remote community of Markuray in which we assisted in building a greenhouse.

I think about my experience in Peru on a daily basis. I remember the beautiful countryside and culture, the llamas and alpacas, and of course the food. I will never forget the day we embraced our fears and jumped right into the Las Piedras River in the Amazon Rainforest.

Most importantly, I will remember what I learned. My time in Peru taught me that in the end, you will not regret taking a leap, whether it is in a river in the Amazon, or building a relationship with those who don’t even speak the same language as you. No matter what, that leap will be worthwhile. There is nothing in this world that can stop you from meeting such remarkable people, trying new things, and making a difference. My experience in Peru shed everything that was clouding who I was and helped me to find my whole and raw self. I am more confident in my abilities and will continue to grow in my passion for service after graduation.

While abroad, I gained skills that I did not know I was capable of attaining, as well as ones that were tangible for my future endeavors. There are a variety of skills that you might have gained through your global experience. Those skills are highly desired by employers and should be highlighted on your resume. Some of those skills could include:

·      Teamwork skills and the ability to collaborate with others in a diverse setting
·      Ability to apply knowledge in a real world setting
·      An understanding of how global issues affect the future
·      Adapting to new situations and perform tasks that are unfamiliar


Be sure to take the time to reflect on the skills you gained after your experience, it will be most beneficial! Here is an example of a format for a resume in describing your experience:

Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering, Minor in Green Engineering
Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA
Overall GPA: 3.2             Expected: May 2015

Technical University of Denmark, Lyngby, Demark
June 2013 – July 2013
·      Completed summer unit operations lab
·      Conducted 7 experiments
·      Collaborated with students of various cultures to create and present on Danish Culture
·      Took excursions to world-leading chemical production site to see theories learned put into practice

Remember that your global experience can also be helpful and useful in writing your cover letter. Your global experience can also be a great talking point while you are in an interview. Remember to focus on specific examples, interactions, moments, people, or events during your time abroad. 

Global perspective is one of the six professional competencies that employers are looking for. In order to be best career ready, having a demonstration of these competencies can better prepare you for success in the workplace. Having that global perspective will allow you to appreciate, value, and learn more from other cultures to build collaborative relationships and communicate effectively. 

Some questions you may want to consider along your journey are:
·      What did you learn about yourself as a result of your international experience?
·      Why did you choose to study in (country name)? Why was it important to you?
·      Can you describe a time when you had to change your behavior to accommodate or adjust to different local conditions?

I hope you all consider a global experience during your time at Virginia Tech, because you never know where it will lead you or what you will learn about yourself! If you are interested in learning more about study abroad or service abroad, check out the Global Education Office and VT Engage's websites. 

Feel free to stop by the Smith Career Center for walk-in advising in regards to showcasing you global experiences in a professional setting. We have walk-in advising available Monday – Friday from 12-3. Hope to see you soon and around the world!