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Thursday, June 22, 2017

How to Practice for an Interview

Need to brush up on your interview skills? Just follow these tips and practice them:

1. Practice in the mirror. When you're at home, pretend you're in an interview and maintain eye contact with yourself in the mirror.

2. Schedule a mock interview at C-102. You will be evaluated on your interviewing skills, etiquette, and presentation. The interview will be tailored to the position you are applying to and will be like an actual interview when you walk in. You can also set up mock interviews with friends. 

3. Learn about interview questions. Get familiar with commonly asked questions and your responses to them. 

Some examples of commonly asked questions interviews are: 
  • Tell me about yourself
  • What are your greatest strengths? Weaknesses?
  • Why do you feel you'll be successful in this position?
  • Where do you see yourself in five years?
  • Describe a time when you were faced with a stressful situation that demonstrated your coping skills. 
A good place to look for most commonly asked interview questions is from The Interview Guys at 

This website provides various, detailed tips for interviewing according to the position you are applying for.

You can also watch their video tutorials to prepare for interviews at: 

4. Ask other people. People who you know well will tell you their opinion on your strengths and weaknesses. Other people can also give you insight jobs from their experience.

5. Develop a "personal pitch." Know what you are going to say about your educational background, work skills, desired position, and why you are interested the job position. Preparation and prior research on the company may be necessary to develop this. 

If you need more help with your interview skills, go to the Career Center at C-102 and you'll get tips on what to improve. Remember, practice makes perfect! 

-Amanda Blando

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Determining Your Levels of Competency on Your Resume

When it comes to your job experiences and skills, you have different levels of competencies. You may have more experience with customer service but have little understanding about working with a cash register, and that's okay. When you are creating your resume, you're tailoring it to your skills by highlighting your skills and your competency in certain areas.

With your qualifications and skills, there are three levels of competency:
  • Competent
  • More competent
  • Very competent

1. Competent

Competent means you have average knowledge in a specific area. You don't have to be an expert, you just have to know the basics of how something works. You may be relatively new to this area and have more to learn. Phrases you can use to describe you are competent in an area are:
  • Basic knowledge of...
  • Familiarity with..
  • Understanding of...
  • Experience in...
Example: Familiarity with (POS) Point of Sales terminals

2. More Competent

More Competent means you have more than average knowledge in a specific area. You are not yet an expert, but you have gained more experience and knowledge since you began working in that area. Phrases you can use to describe you are more competent in an area are: 
  • Solid understanding of...
  • Proficient in...
  • In-depth knowledge of....
  • Three years experience in...
Example: Proficient in Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Internet Research

3. Very Competent

Very Competent means you excel in a specific area of work and have had a lot of experience. You have a strong skill set and have a lot of knowledge in a certain area. 
  • Highly skilled in...
  • Successful experience in...
  • Extensive background in....
  • Effective in...
Example: Extensive background in working independently and in a team-based environment. 

Hopefully this has helped you gain a better understanding of your skills on your resume!

This was meant to help you highlight your strengths and identify your weaknesses in the work area.

If you need any feedback on your resume, go to the Career Development Center at C-102!

-Amanda Blando

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Tips for a Successful Job Interview

Research- The very first thing to do before you even start practicing for the interview is to research the company you’re going to interview with. The employer expects you to talk about the following: how did you hear about this opening, why you want to work here, and what do you know about the company. That’s just the beginning, so you want to make sure you make a great impression on the employer.  This can be achieved by knowing about the company. You can go the company’s website and read the section “About Us”, the Facebook page, or Twitter profile.  These are the things that will give you an idea of what the company is actually about and what they’re expecting from you.


Practice-  It’s one of the most crucial things that must be done in order to ace an interview. You will never get a job if you don’t rehearse for an interview. No matter how smart you are, you always have to prep.  One of the best ways to prepare your responses is creating a list of job requirements and matching them to your experience. This way you’ll be able to highlight your experience as well as provide evidence.

In addition, be prepared to answer questions that are not job related because an interviewer might use this strategy to analyze your confidence. So you definitely should prepare your responses for things like the following: What is one of my weaknesses and how am I working on it?  What do I do in a difficult situation? Do I let things go even if there is a need for change, or do I take initiatives to fix something?  How am I capable of doing that?


Get Ready Ahead of Time- You should never wait for the last minute to have your interview  outfit ready. You should lay out a professional outfit as soon as possible so you won’t be as worried the day before the interview. You must proofread your resume ahead of time because that way you’ll be able to fix the errors, as well as add your most recent experiences. You definitely need to bring multiple copies of your resume, a pen, and a notepad to the interview.


 Punctuality- Arriving a few minutes early to the interview is the key. You never know if the traffic is packed, if there’s an accident on your way or if the building for the interview room is very far away.  You definitely should allow yourself a little extra time to get to the destination, and that way won’t be facing any hassle. You can freshen up prior to the interview, and give yourself a little review. That way you can also kill the nervousness. Arrive early at the location and be ready.  At the end, thank the interviewer and make sure you have everything you need to leave a positive impression on the interviewer for the purpose of getting the job.  


                                                                                                                   ~Zeenib Younis



Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Internships - Make the Most of Them

Around 75% of college students are working in an internship. This means three out of your four friends have an internship.  What about the last one? Oh, he or she might already have a full time job. How can you make yourself stand out from such a massive amount of students or increase your opportunity to get a full time job through an internship?
            First of all, take the internship as seriously as possible. Your attitude decides what you can get from the internship. Some internships are low-paid or unpaid, so, some people will not pay enough attention to it or even play around.  If you’re like that, I highly recommend you leave the internships for other, more dedicated people.  An internship can provide young workers the opportunity to build skills for their resumes or meet people who are working in their preferred industry, regardless of whether its paid.  If you take the internship seriously and decide to learn from it, I believe you can earn much in the future.   See it as a long-term investment. There is a famous rule: “1.01^365 = 37.78, 0.99^365 = 0.025”, which means if we work a little more in the internship every day, we can get huge return back, and if we work a little less every day, we will lose tremendously in the future.
            Secondly, try to do everything on time. Show up on time in the morning, arrive for meetings before they begin, and complete tasks by their deadlines. Ryan, an executive in  municipal government, says “Always be on time. Summer internships are for a short, defined period of time, so give it 100%. Be willing to get to the office early.”  Being on time seems insignificant. But, if you can be strictly regimented with it, there will be no problem for you to handle multiple tasks simultaneously. Being an intern is not always about the hard or great stuff you can accomplish, but how well you can keep accomplishing the insignificant stuff that you are assigned.
            Thirdly, ask questions.  Embrace questions when you are learning. Often, your colleagues will be willing to help you solve it, so don’t be hesitant to ask. If you have a meeting with your superior, you should think of thoughtful questions in advance, which can demonstrate you have prepared for the meeting and respect his or her time.   If you have a meeting with senior colleagues, you should spend time on looking for some questions they miss.  Don’t just accept things at face value; asking a question is not only  good feedback for the company, but also an effective improvement of yourself.
            Last but not least, build up professional relationships.  We have discussed above, an internship provides you an opportunity to meet people who work in the same or similar field. The career network is invisible wealth. It not only represents your ability, but also can open your eyes. Internship usually don’t last long, so make good use of time to create your circle.
            The internship could be less meaningful, if you just do what you expect. However, it could be valuable, if you can go above and beyond. The more effort you make, the more return you can get back.
                                                                                                                     ~Jaden Jiang

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Get Involved!

Looking to get involved in your community?  Here are a list of volunteer/service opportunities that you can participate in the NYC area:

Description: After-school tutors volunteer once a week to provide homework help and lead workshops on kid-friendly topics like writing scary stories.
Location: 372 Fifth Ave between 5th and 6th Street, Park Slope, Brooklyn
Phone No: (718) 499 - 9884
Ali Forney Center
Description: Teach at-risk LGBT youth résumé building and other essential skills during the center’s employment-placement program. 
Location: 224 West 35th St, 15th Floor
Phone No: (212) 222 - 3427

New York Needs YouDescription: Mentor Coaches collaborate one-on-one with students on projects like résumé-writing and interviewing, while Career Coaches serve on workshop panels, fill in for Mentor Coaches or give informational interviews. Have more than 15 years of professional experience in your field? Apply to be a Life Coach - they pitch in for a single session or on a periodic basis, sharing their advanced knowledge with larger groups. Location: 589 Eighth Ave between 38th and 39th Street Phone No: (212) 571 - 0202Website:

Bushwick School for Music
Description: Each Sunday, volunteers and tweens and teens looking to rawk - take over Bushwick DIY fave Silent Barn for rehearsal sessions. The six-week course ends with a big show and even a recording session in a pro studio.
Location: 603 Bushwick Ave, Brooklyn New York

Women in Need
Description: WiN encompasses 10 shelters in the five boroughs, providing housing to mothers as well as about 2,600 children each night. Domestic violence counseling and drug and alcohol treatment programs are also available.
Phone No: (212) 695 - 4758

Bowery Mission
Description: Founded in 1879 on the original Skid Row, this venerable organization aims to transform the lives of homeless people caught in the cycle of poverty. In addition to providing the immediate needs of food, shelter and clothing, the Mission also offers recovery programs and a free medical clinic.
Phone No: 227 Bowery between Rivington and Stanton Street
Phone No: (212) 674 - 3456

Build It Green! NYCDescription: Nonprofit program BIG!NYC takes basic recycling to new lengths, reducing city waste by selling low-cost, salvaged and surplus building material like scaffolding, tiling, panels and shutters, which would otherwise get dumped in a landfill. Keeping New York’s carbon footprint to a minimum is no easy task, but BIG!NYC holds volunteer days at which you can pitch in at one of the organization’s warehouses in Astoria and Gowanus. Tasks include breaking down materials, painting, sorting, inventory tagging, basic warehouse organization and some light retail duties. As an added perk, the group has been known to reward hard work with a pizza lunch or complimentary goody bag. Queens location: 3-17 26th Ave between 3rd and 4th Street, Astoria, Queens Phone No: (718) 777 - 0132 Brooklyn location: 69 9th St at Gowanus Canal, Gowanus, Brooklyn Phone No: (718) 725 - 8925Website:
Animal Haven
Description: Volunteers assist with a number of daily tasks, including feeding, handling and bathing the animals.
Location: 251 Centre St between Broome and Grand Street
Phone No: (212) 274 - 8511

NYU Langone Medical CenterDescription: The East Side institution regularly employs 1,000 volunteers to fill an array of positions, including acting as liaisons to patient visitors in the emergency department or post-anesthesia care unit. If you’re especially good with kids, you can also play with youngsters as a pediatric-patient recreation helper. Location: 400 E 34th St at First Ave Phone: (212) 263 - 6100Website:

Medicare Rights CenterDescription: Help seniors and people with disabilities obtain access to Medicare. Manning the national help line, which requires a four-day training stint and basic computer skills. Though people of all backgrounds are welcome to staff the phones, bilingual Spanish-English speakers are especially in demand. Other opportunities include assisting with administrative work, information technology, graphic design or marketing and communications materials at the office. Shifts are a minimum two to four hours per week, but the time slots are only on weekdays. Phone No: (800) 333 - 4114 Website: