9 job search items to complete over winter break

Career Services hopes you have a restful break and looks forward to working with you regarding your job search in 2015. If you’re graduating in the spring, here are nine items to work on over winter break that could help you land a job after graduation. And if you aren’t graduating? It’s never too early to start developing a job search plan.

1. Work on your resume. If you have one it’s time to update it. If you don’t, it’s time to create one. Utilize the CPCC Career Services Career Guide that contains helpful tips for creating a top-notch resume. Get your resume professionally critiqued by a career counselor when you return in January.

2. Start building your professional wardrobe, beginning with an interview suit. Put those gift cards you receive to good use. Take advantage of post-holiday sales. Check out the Career Services Pinterest page for great tips regarding professional dress.

3. Know some job options that can answer the question “what do you want to do?” If you’re unsure of what career options to pursue, it’s time to start exploring. Some great sites that can help you include Career Coach, the Occupational Outlook HandbookCFNC and What Can I Do With This Major.

4. Let people know what profession you’re planning to pursue. Holiday gatherings present great opportunities for networking. Being in the right place at the right time is a big job searching component. Practice an introductory speech that lets people know what you’re interested in.

5. Make sure your online presence is squeaky clean. Take the time to clean up your social media profiles. Employers check candidates’ sites before and during the interview process.

6. Register for EmploymeNC. EmploymeNC is Career Service’s online job board that lists full-time and part-time job opportunities for students and alumni. The first step in using the site is to upload a professional resume. Take advantage of this free online job board.

7. Save the date for the 2015 CPCC Career Fair. Mark your calendar for Thursday, March 5, 2015. CPCC hosts its annual job fair that day at the Grady Cole Center near Central campus. Many companies attend recruiting students and graduates for full-time, part-time and internship opportunities. Check the career fair link for future updates.

8. Develop strategies for your job search if it is a unique one. If elements to your background make your job search unique (having a disability, being an international student, having a criminal record, for example), start putting together a plan to implement your job search with these components in mind.

9. Plan to visit CPCC Career Services – virtually or in person – in 2015. The Career Services staff is ready to help make your job search a success.

10 tips for surviving final exam week

  As you prepare for final exam week, Career Services offers tips for making this stressful week the least stressful it can be.

 Manage your time wisely. Create a calendar listing the dates, times and locations for all of your final exams. Plan your studying accordingly. Remember that one exam might not require as much as study time as another.

 Avoid cramming. Stick to your study schedule to avoid cramming. Last minute studying doesn’t help retain information and only increases anxiety.

 Beware the ultimate distraction: social media. Okay, shutting down Facebook, Twitter or Instagram entirely during finals week isn’t going to happen. But pay close attention to how much of your study time you’re scrolling through your sites or texting friends. Study for dedicated smaller intervals (30-50 minutes) and check social media during a 10-minute study break.

Join a study group…or not. Study groups can be very beneficial but they’re also not for everyone. Decide if you’d benefit from joining or forming a study group. If the answer’s yes, be sure to find a quiet place to meet (the library). Avoid the study group becoming a social group.

Review, review, review. If review sessions are offered, attend them. If you can review previous exams, do it. Visit the professor during office hours or email to get answers to any questions and clarify what to expect on the final exam (content, format, etc.)

Take study breaks. You’re human. Your body and brain can’t go nonstop without breaks to refuel and re energize.

Remember to eat…healthy. It’s tempting to grab a candy bar from the vending machine. Instead, grab a granola bar, fruits, veggies and snacks that are high in protein. Make water your go-to drink rather than soda, coffee and energy drinks.

Exercise. If you have a normal exercise routine, stick to it as much as possible during finals week. But even a 10 minute walk will do wonders.

Sleep. Designate sleep time in your study schedule. Avoid all-nighters; you’ll be too tired to concentrate during the exam and will have trouble recalling information.

Relax. This is just a test. Think positively before the exam and once you’ve completed it, let it go.

On the day of the exam, be sure to do the following:

  • Eat breakfast
  • Arrive early (Check traffic reports and bus schedules before you leave. If you’re getting a ride with someone, confirm your transportation the day before).
  • Bring all necessary supplies (pencils, calculators, etc.)
  • Go to the bathroom before the test
  • Use all of your allotted time. Check your answers and proofread your essays.

You’ve worked hard this semester. Good luck next week on your finals!