Getting Your Foot in the Door: A How-To

Marc Goldman, Executive Director of the YU Career Center, on the Basics of Career-Building

By November, students know what to expect from the academic semester: midterms are just around the corner, research papers are in progress and spring courses are starting to fall into place. But whether it’s their first year on campus or last before graduation, many have questions about what comes next. How do you choose a major? Find an internship? Select a graduate program? Reach out to your dream job? Below, Marc Goldman, executive director of the Yeshiva University Career Center, tackles some of the most common questions students have about building their careers—and how the Career Center can help every step of the way.     

Marc Goldman, Executive Director, Career CenterWhen’s the best time to reach out to the Career Center: when I first arrive on campus, after I know what field I want to go into, or when I find a job that I want to apply for?

All of the above are possibilities. I encourage students in their first semester on campus to become familiar with the Career Center services, resources and events. It is a good strategy to make a connection with a counselor in the office early to have that support and guidance throughout your entire YU experience. The Career Center helps students with major and career exploration and decision-making, internship and job searching, resume and cover letter writing, practice interviewing, networking, and graduate and professional school applying. We are here for students from the beginning of their education through graduation and beyond.

What should I do if I don’t know what I want to do after college?

You can make an appointment with a Career Center counselor online. The counselor can offer different career assessments to develop a picture of your interests, skills and values.  We also offer dozens of panels and programs each year with alumni and employers informing students about various career paths and how to get into them.  If you prefer a more one-on-one interaction, a counselor can use YU InfoLink to refer you to one of nearly 400 volunteers willing to offer an informational interview, some advice and possibly a job shadow experience.  In addition, the YU Career Center website has an extensive list of materials and resource links, especially the Vault Career Insider, providing a wealth of information about a plethora of career options.

What are the best job hunting tools out there right now?

The best tools can vary greatly depending upon the career field of choice.  However, all students need to take a look at LinkedIn.  Even at the start of your YU education, starting a LinkedIn profile is a good idea.  It really has become a top networking tool for students and professionals alike.  Whether you’re exploring careers, seeking advice, or looking for jobs and internships, LinkedIn can be quite helpful.  Not only are there thousands upon thousands of networking contacts, but also there are professionally affiliated member groups, job listings and alumni search functions.  The Career Center will be holding LinkedIn profile review walk-in hours on December 2 on both campuses.

Twitter has also become a very popular job search resource—it allows job seekers to follow companies or organizations of interest, join chats about and moderated by specific employers, and receive job listing feeds, all on their mobile devices.

Lastly, the Career Center website links to many general and field-specific job and internship search sites.  We even have a new Experiential Learning page on the site, referencing various ways to gain valuable experience through YU offices, departments, and programs.

What’s the best way to make sure I get the most out of a Career Fair?

Make sure to do the preparation work.  Meet with a counselor for a resume review and have it ready to go for the fair.  Conduct some basic research on the participating employers, so conversations with them go well.  Practice the personal pitch and be comfortable with it before approaching that first employer.  For the vast majority of career fairs, wear professional attire, aka a business suit, to make the most polished impression possible, and be well groomed and confident.  Don’t forget to ask for business cards and send thank you notes following the fair.  This semester, the Career Center already had two successful fairs: our annual Accounting Fair and our first Finance, Actuarial, Consulting, and Technology (FACT) Fair.  Our next fair is the Nonprofit and Year-of-Service Fair on November 19 at 8:30pm in Yagoda Commons on the Beren Campus.