Career Coaches

With the end goal of the grant to see grads employed, NISGTC utilized career planning strategies. Career and success coaches were a huge part of that plan. Their capacity to provide individual attention to students was a unique aspect of the grant and they played an integral role in ensuring success of our students. They helped expand and enhance career pathways as a vehicle to increase and accelerate credential completion. Career coaches also provided extra support in a student's job search and placement.

Soon after students were recruited as participants in the NISGTC program, they were contacted by a coach. During this initial conversation the coach learned about the students’ goals, then provided program and scheduling advice to help accelerate their completion of credentials.

Coaches used a mix of constant face-to-face meetings with students and follow-up phone calls and emails to offer tutoring, especially when a faculty member contacted them with academic concerns about particular students. Coaches utilized an “intrusive advising” approach that had them contacting students periodically during each semester to see how they were doing in their courses and personal lives and to ask if they needed any assistance. Throughout the consortium, coaches employed emails, social media, and posters to encourage all NISGTC participants to attend career events. Coaches organized IT job fairs, speed interviewing and mock interviews with IT employers, employer panel discussions, and hall visits for students to meet with employers between classes.

Less visible but just as important, coaches constantly funneled the resumes of qualified completers to employers who had expressed interest in hiring NISGTC participants. When students neared completion of their programs, coaches offered job-search, resume-writing and cover-letter-writing assistance; they also continued follow-up to verify employment. During the course of the grant, career coaches from across all partner colleges impacted 3,800+ students.

Writing and distributing of resumes have been an important part of the job search. Resumes are definitely here to stay, whether they are hard copies or electronic. You may ask yourself, why are resumes so important? The reason is that this is usually the first thing an employer sees when they are working on hiring a new candidate. You definitely want to look great on paper because this could be your ticket to getting an interview. A resume can either get you an interview or not.

Today's resumes must be employer-centered. They should tell employers what you have done, can do, and what you will do for them once you are a part of their team. Will you be an asset? The increasing use of technology to scan resumes for keywords means more and more applicants need to develop an effective electronic version of their resume not only so it can be read by human-beings but so it can also be read by computers.

See presentation highlights from a resume workshop here.

Interviewing is essential when you are trying to land the job of a lifetime. Whether you are trying to dress to impress, to presenting a positive attitude to the interviewees, you must be prepared. An interview is selling yourself to the people who you are hoping will give you a chance to prove yourself and help you grow in your chosen career.

See presentation highlights from an interview workshop here.

LinkedIn has been said to be the Social Media for adults. Business leaders use it to research potential interviewees, recruiters use it to find potential candidates and business professionals use it as a mobile resume and place to network. Are you on LinkedIn yet?

See presentation highlights from a LinkedIn workshop here.