Karin Vacakis: Showcasing You For the Future

This week Her Campus interviewed the lovely, hardworking Karin Vacakis. She currently works to help other students build the written documents essential in displaying one's credentials for future opportunies! We all understand the frustration and anxiety that goes into building the portfolios future employers will read through. But Vacakis works to relax those nerves, consolidate past experiences into an organized presentation, boost students' confidence, and overall make this process easier. Read on to learn about Karin's experience and helpful advice.
 
 
 
Major: English, Criminology and Criminal Justice minor
Year: 4th/senior
 
Her Campus: Do you have any jobs?
Karin Vacakis: I’m a Peer Career Advisor (PCA) at Career Services in the College of Arts and Sciences
 
HC: What responsibilities does this job involve?
KV: I meet one-on-one with students and recent grads to help them along the process of finding an internship or job. I mostly review resumes and cover letters to give people feedback about ways that they can make their experiences and skills really stand out to potential employers. I also help people with questions they might have about job search strategies, like finding job postings, attending career fairs, and contacting prospective employers. 
 
 
HC: In what ways has it helped you?
KV: This job has helped me so much with my own job search and resume. Since I am graduating this year, I was unsure about where, when, and how to start planning for my life after college. Being a PCA really opened my eyes to all of the resources students at OSU have available to them, which I had overlooked every year before. I also learned how to look critically at my resume and improve my bullet-point writing especially. 
 
HC: What do you think is the most difficult task?
KV: The most difficult task for me is figuring out with students how to tailor their resume to their career goals. Many people come in with great experiences on their resumes, but they don’t realize how the skills they used in these jobs relate to the jobs they want to apply for. For example, I met with one student who had recently changed his major from Engineering to International Studies and was looking for an internship involving international relations. He had an amazing internship the previous summer doing engineering for a company in Israel, but his bullet points were all describing his engineering tasks! So we talked about eliminating some engineering-focused bullet points and replacing them with the specifics of working with an international company in a different country. It can be hard to eliminate things from your resume, but sometimes it will really help you get the job you want.
 
HC: What is your favorite aspect about your role?
KV: My favorite part about my role is definitely seeing all of the really cool and impressive stuff other students have done! Everyone has their own amazing and unique experiences. Also, a lot of people come in really worried and stressed and so I love seeing people get excited about all of the possibilities they have in front of them after I’ve helped them fix the concerns they came in with.
 
HC: What do you hope to gain from this role?
KV: I hope to learn even more about the best way to continue my own job search in the coming months. Also, I hope to continue getting experience doing career counseling because that’s what I hope to do after graduation!
 
HC: What is your advice for people worried about their resume and future opportunities?
KV: My advice for people worried about their resume is: 
1. Brag about yourself on your resume! Your resume is definitely not the place to be humble. Show potential employers how great you are. Your retail job where you had access to a key to open or lock up at night? That shows that you gained and kept your employer’s trust. That’s a big accomplishment! Try to focus less on tasks and duties and more on accomplishments.
2. Be specific! If you gave tours, how many people were on those tours? If you did research, what will be the impact of your research? If you wrote reports for your boss, why did you do it? Your bullet points should be able to answer those types of questions, so that potential employers aren’t left guessing why or how you did something.
3. Use the resources available to you! I never knew how many free services I had access to as a student, so definitely take advantage of those while you can. This is probably the most important advice I have to give: you’re not alone!