Common Career Services Questions

Q: What is a portfolio?

A portfolio is a physical “show and tell” of organized documents that visually display your skills, accomplishments, education and work experience in document formats.

To get started, a binder or organization folder will do. The portfolio should be able to grow with your accomplishments, so you might want something with multiple pages for adding/removing documents.

A portfolio typically includes:

  • A résumé
  • Certificates that highlight specialized training in a course, topic or computer program
  • Diplomas or degrees
  • Honors and awards
  • Letters of recommendation that speak to your professional
  • Writing samples
  • A list of computer software you know how to use
  • Examples of work that you are proud of
  • Visuals that display your talents in creative ways
  • A list of references

Q: What’s a résumé?

A résumé is a summary of relevant job experience and education achievements which can be sent in digital or printed format to employers. Résumés are designed to display your background and skill set when seeking new employment, and should be created in file formats that have the ability to be opened on any computer.

Q: What should be in my résumé?

Within a résumé you should include:

  1. Your contact information.
  2. A personalized mission statement or objective - This brief, one sentence statement should be customized for each job you apply for, and express what you can contribute to the job.
  3. Work experience - Jobs you’ve previously worked along with 3 to 4 small, but specific, statements about what the job’s responsibilities were or accomplishments in the position.
  4. Education and training – Schools you’ve attended (including high schools, colleges or career training), year of graduation/completion year and Degrees, Diplomas and Certifications achieved.
  5. Things not to include in a résumé:

  • Personal hobbies
  • Marital status
  • Non-professional affiliations such as political or religious views (unless it directly relates to the job you’re applying to)
  • Multiple fonts
  • Anything that distracts the employer from reading your résumé

Q: How do I follow up with a company after I’ve interviewed with them?

Proper interview etiquette recommends you reach out to the person(s) you interviewed with and thank them for their time. There are various ways to show your appreciation for their time.

1. Write or email a personalized letter.

  • First, thank the person for meeting with you and extend your appreciation for their time.
  • Highlight something you discussed about the job. This can be an exciting feature of the job, or something you talked about which you found interesting.
  • Don’t forget to give them a telephone number or email address where you can be reached.

2. Give them time to respond to you.

  • The employer might be interviewing other people, or they’re just busy.
  • Be respectful of the employer's time, and don’t take it personally if they don’t call you back right away.

Q: What are some resources to find jobs?

The Internet has an abundance of websites that list jobs in every profession in every state. Finding a job online is easier than ever, as you can customize searches to find jobs in your area.

Search job websites where you can post your résumé so employers can find you. Indeed.com lists open positions that it gathers from a collection of major job boards. Other sites to visit include CareerBuilder.com, Monster.com and SimplyHired.com. Also, social media sites like Twitter and Facebook have access to a wide audience with job opportunities.

A Career Services representative would be happy to sit with you and show you how to navigate the Web to get the most out of your job search.

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