One of the greatest things about going to the University of Notre Dame is having access to so many awesome advising resources. Two of the best resources that our school has to offer are the career and interview centers. These centers deal with getting each student set up with great job opportunities in the future. Their list of services includes arranging real and mock interviews, reviewing résumés, and holding job information sessions, among many other things. Many a day, I have traveled into the career center to seek advice and/or take advantages of the many services they have to offer. After my recent series of job sessions, career fairs and interviews, however, I have come to realize that there is still some advice that the career and interview centers fail to consistently relay to students of ND. I’ve learned a fair amount by going through the internship-seeking process, and I’ve chosen two great tips that will hopefully help you too!
1) YOU MUST: Bring your résumé to everything. Everything. Now I know this sounds obvious at first, but trust me you’ll be surprised when you find yourself questioning whether or not to bring your résumé along with you to certain events. Well, I’m telling you to stop questioning yourself and let this action become second nature to you. By “everything” I am referring to any event that even remotely seems to be academic or job-oriented. If you are going for an eighth round interview (do those even exist?), bring your résumé. If you are signing up for a group on campus, bring your résumé. If you’re carrying a purse or backpack – BRING YOUR RÉSUMÉ! Last year, I interviewed to become a member of the Student-Athlete Advisory Council (SAAC). I knew I wouldn’t need my résumé, but at the last minute I picked it up anyways. At the end of the interview, one of the members asked me if I had a résumé in the works or if I had visited the career center. I let him know that I not only visited the career center to get my paperwork in order, but that I actually had the finished product with me. The whole board was shocked and let me know that I was the first person who they had interviewed who had come in so incredibly prepared. It was the cherry on top of a great interview, and when I got my acceptance call from the head of the board, he told me that the decision was a no brainer. That’s one of a grouping of great experiences I’ve had because I keep my résumé with me. Hence why you should too!
2) It’s better to be overdressed than underdressed. This one can be a real toughie, but I’ve come to the conclusion that dressing a little bit classier than the rest of your competitors is hands-down better than not looking up to par. The other day, I went to an event for a clothing company I was interested in interviewing for. The event said casual, and a career center rep sent out an email informing me and the other interviewees that it would be nice to be wearing a piece of clothing from the brand. I figured that the brand item wouldn’t be that important so long as we looked like we would fit in. I did, however, manage to venture out to the mall and purchase a couple of shirts although I had not originally planned to. I paired one shirt with some clean cut dark wash skinny jeans and a pair of crisp white Keds, just to be dressed on the upper end of informality. The minute I walked into the event, I was relieved in both my decision to buy the shirt as well as my decision to dress nicely. Not only was virtually EVERYONE wearing something by the brand, but numerous brand reps and other interviewees also complimented me. I really made a great first impression, and if you follow this advice then I’m sure you will too!
Stand out! But let’s not get all Elle Woods here, we’re impressively Irish afterall.