UMass Boston News

Senior Career Day Answers Job Search Questions

Office of Communications | June 14, 2012
Picture of Assistant Director of Career Services and Internships Cathy Larson talking about resumes and cover letters


More than 50 Seniors Get Resume, Interview Advice at First Senior Career Day

What is the difference between personal and professional references? How do you get a job without any work experience? Should you create customized cover letters for your networking contacts? All those questions and more came up during the Office of Career Services and Internships’ first Senior Career Day on Tuesday.

More than 50 seniors attended workshops on creating a resume and cover letter, job search strategies, networking, interviewing skills, and social media.

“It’s just a great opportunity to connect students, get them all polished up and ready to start going into the workplace,” said Lori Dameron, a career specialist for the College of Science and Mathematics, who led the workshop on job search strategies.

Leilah Feinstein, who graduated with an anthropology degree earlier this month, said she came to Senior Career Day to learn how to write a good cover letter.

“I learned about the length, I learned about the content, and how it should be organized,” Feinstein said.

Cathy Larson, assistant director of Career Services and Internships, led the session on resumes and cover letters.

“If you want [employers] to read your cover letter, you want to make sure you put only the essential information in there,” Larson told the students.

Larson told the students about one employer who said the ideal cover letter was three short paragraphs.

“It told the employer, ‘Here’s who I am. This is the job I’m looking for. Here’s why I think I can do that job. Here’s how you contact me,’” Larson said.

Another hot topic was the resume, which Dameron called the “first line of defense.” Larson said students should tailor their resumes to a specific industry, use one page, and leave out the phrase “references are available upon request.” That’s a given, Larson said. Also important: consistent fonts, capitalization, and punctuation.
“I’ve seen resumes that look kind of like a ransom note,” Larson said.

Dameron said it is important for new or soon-to-be UMass Boston graduates to know that the Office of Career Services and Internships serves alumni as well as current students.

“There’s always a transition between being a student and going into the professional realm of work, and we want students to use our services,” Dameron said.

About UMass Boston
With a growing reputation for innovative research addressing complex urban issues, the University of Massachusetts Boston, metropolitan Boston’s only public university, offers its diverse student population both an intimate learning environment and the rich experience of a great American city. UMass Boston’s eight colleges and graduate schools serve nearly 16,000 students while engaging local, national, and international constituents through academic programs, research centers, and public service activities. To learn more about UMass Boston, visit www.umb.edu.

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