Megan Wyett is currently a Resident Director at The University of Massachusetts- Amherst. Megan is entering her 5th year as a professional in Higher Education. When Megan entered college she had the goal of becoming a Special Education teacher.
I was able to have a Skype and phone (due to computer complications) conversation with Megan about the job search. Below are some things that she had to say about the questions I asked.
What should I do before I jump into the job search?
One idea that Megan had was to set up an excel sheet that has all of the information on the school- Name, Position, date you sent the application in, etc. This will help you prepare for the jobs that you are applying to. She also mentions putting TPE and The New C3 jobs in the excel sheet.
Megan also suggests that you figure out what you want to do. During her search, Megan used a map on her wall and put marks where she was applying to.
She also suggests utilizing LinkedIn and Twitter as resources to network.
Resumes & Cover Letters are tough to get just ‘right’, what are some pieces of advice you have for grads in the search process?
Cover letters should not be general. Don’t get caught up in all of the applying- make sure the you are sending the correct cover letter to the correct school.
It’s okay to have a different resume based on the job you are applying for. Make your resume functional based, not chronological.
Because everyone has their master opinions on how resumes and cover letter should be, Megan suggest that you limit yourself to three people. Too many people looking can be confusing and overwhelming in the process; do not lose your personality or style with your resume.
I’ve received word that I am up for an interview, so what should I be doing to help myself prepare for it?
During TPE and The New C3, keep in mind that you are ON the entire conference- bring your A game. Keep things straight and don’t push your own limits.
Keep the conversations fresh with each person you are interviewing with. Find different ways to use the same thing with everyone (EX: use challenge & support in a different way).
Before the interview get to know the people around you- the people you are competing with but don’t look at it as a competition.
On campus- what’s it all about?
The institutions plans your time- travel, interviews, meals, etc. You will get the itinerary when you get there but ask for it before.
If you are flying, fly in business casual clothing, just in case. Make sure to eat during your meals and make sure to stay hydrated. It’s a long day!
Prepare questions beforehand to ask the different groups. You are also going to be asked a lot of the same questions just in different ways from the different groups. Make sure to be consistent but fresh.
Describe some of the toughest situations you’ve faced in the job search.
Megan talked about the time when she forgot about an interview. She messed up and was not organized. She was upfront with them.
Mistakes happen and you have to be able to bounce back from them she said.
She wants to remind us searchers that people looking for housing are going to get hired first.
When you were going through your job search, what were some resources that you found helpful?
When she was searching, Social Media was not what it is like today.
Megan looked at school newspapers, resources on the school website to get information. She also looked at the different Student Organization site to learn about the student demographics.
Colleagues- don’t be afraid to talk to people you know, they might be able to connect you with someone at that institution.
Megan suggests having a job search buddy that is outside your graduate program. Connecting with someone else in the search might be helpful too.
What advice would you give to a graduate student who is in the job search?
- Don’t panic, don’t settle. You’ll find a job.
- Don’t feel the pressure from people in your cohort. Don’t compare yourself to others
- Enjoy your last semester- take those moments in.
- It’s going to be hard & stressful but take time to reflect, Take deep breaths.
I’d like to thank Megan for her time and help, not only to help me but to you my readers and fellow grad students.
Connect with Megan on TWITTER!