Abdul Wali Khan University Mardan, Pakistan

Services of CDC

 

About C.D.C

The Career Development Centre (CDC) assist Students in deciding what job, training or career is right for them. The centre offers:

1.Resume & Cover Letter Writing Skills
Resume is a basic key to get you an interview. One of the most common reasons why Job Seekers are rejected is that their Resume fail to market them effectively. Resume is a kind of advertisement of your entire career life. It is a piece of paper which finds you job in the jobs market. An attractive resume can easily attract employer to offer you one-to-one interview. When looking for a job, you must prepare a good resume where you have the chance to convince the employer to employ you. In the resume is the written information about you and your skills and experiences. But what is not known to everyone is that there is another document that is of equal importance as the resume – that is the cover letter. Cover letter is the first document read by the employer so you must get their interest in the beginning of application. Create a unique, catchy, and honest cover letter. All resumes must contain at least three principle areas of information. These areas include contact information, education for students and in case of people who have work experience; their work experience should be mentioned. These are key sections of your resume, and they are non negotiable 

  • Contact Information
  • Education and Training
  • Work History

A great resume must be submitted together with a great cover letter. Here are simple steps to help you write a good cover letter for a resume.

a)Pre-writing stage
1) Before you start writing your cover letter, you must first complete or update your resume. The contents of your resume must coincide to the position you are interested on. Emphasize the strengths you have that would be an asset to your desired position.
2) Gather information about the organization or company you want to join. The information will not only give the impression that you are interested with their company but it will also help you during the interview. You must be well-informed about the company’s mission, what type of customer they serve, and the history.
3) Make an analysis about the job. Know the job description. Make a list of all the qualifications, skills, and experience that the employer may be looking for and check those that you possess.
4) Search for the name of the manager of the company. Use your connections and be resourceful. It’s an edge of an applicant if he knows the manager, his personality, and what he was looking for in an applicant.

b)Writing stage
1) Follow the correct format of the heading. Write your address 1 inch below the top of the page. Leave four lines before writing the date. Leave another four lines before writing the name of the contact person, his position, the company name, and the company address. Remember to write the name of the contact person instead of “To whom it may concern”.
2) Divide the body of your letter into three or four paragraphs.
a) The first paragraph must contain your reason why you are writing to them. Devise an introduction that would get the attention of the reader. It is not necessary to write the reason why you know of the position.
b) The second or third paragraph is a summary of your qualifications and experiences that is needed for the position. Use the information you have gathered about the company. Write the body such that the reader will grasps your desire to join them and help them achieve their goals. Convey that you have the skills and right attitude for the position.
3) The last paragraph must leave an impression that will persuade the employer to call you for an interview. Lead the employer to read your résumé. Make known that you are available for an interview. If you are confident, write the date that you will contact them to schedule a meeting to further discuss the job opportunity. Provide your email address and contact number and that you will be happy to get in touch with them. Do not forget your thank you message for their consideration and time.
4) Finish the letter with “Sincerely” or “Yours faithfully”. Then leave space for your signature before writing your name. Use a blue ink pen so that they will think that you have submitted an original copy. The last part in making your cover letter is proofreading. There should be no mistakes at all. Even a small typo or a punctuation error is not acceptable. A flawless cover letter shows that you really care about your application.

2.Interviewing: 

How would you express your knowledge, skills, experience and acumen in a specified field to the employer or a person interviewing you? A job interview is a process in which a potential employee is evaluated by an employer for prospective employment in their company, organization, or firm. During the process, the employer hopes to determine whether or not the applicant is suitable for the job.

Preparation for the interview plays a vital role in getting job. Here we have some tips for you.

 Job Interview Tips

Know the company
• Find out as much ad you can about the position, the company and its needs, so you can show how your background meets those needs. Telephone the receptionist and ask for copies of company brochures. Be friendly and professional on the phone when you go and pick up those brochures. (A receptionist who takes a liking to you can be one of your most important allies in getting the job). Whenever possible, get a copy of the company’s annual report. Research the company at your local library and on the internet

Know yourself
• Mentally review the skills and character traits you have that will help the company’s bottom line. Think in terms of the value you can add to the position and the company

Know your job history
• Mentally review your past achievements and be prepared to describe your work experience in detail. Gather letters of reference and samples of your work to present to the interviewer as proof of your past accomplishments. Practice describing your experience in terms of your responsibilities and accomplishments at each job.

Know the questions
• You can almost bet on being asked “Tell me about yourself”. Approach this from the employer’s point of view. Ask yourself “ If I were hiring someone for this position, what would I want to know? Then answer those questions and be ready for tough ones, too. Think of the worst questions you could be asked about your experience and abilities, then prepare positive responses.

Prepare questions of your own
• Employers are as interested in your question s as they are in your answers. And they’ll react favorably if you ask intelligent questions about the company and the industry.

Ask the following questions
• Who would I report to?
• Where does this position fit in the company as a whole?
• Is there any problem in this job currently with waste/accuracy/meeting quotas etc?
• What will the first project are that I will be working on?
• What will it take to be successful in this position?
• What training will be provided (Only if training is essential!)?
• If I perform well, what will the future career path of this position be”
• Express your sincere interest and say “ I am very pleased with the prospect of working for your organization”
• What will the next step in the process be (Schedule 2nd interview, offer etc)?
• What is the largest problem facing your staff now?
• Thank you for the opportunity to meet with you. I look forward to speaking to you shortly.

Get the Big Picture
Visualize the entire interview, from start to finish. See yourself as performing with style and confidence. How will the interview end? Will you get a job offer or be called back for a second interview? How much salary do you want? What kind of benefits? The research you did in step 1 will give you an idea of what to expect. Be ready for any eventuality

Make a good First Impression
The outcome of the interview will depend largely on the impression you make during the first five minutes. To succeed, you must project a professional, competent and enthusiastic image. Your aim is to convince the interviewer that you would be an asset to the company. Keep the following in mind:

Do’s And Don’t’s
• Arrive 15 minutes prior to your interview, allow extra time for traffic, parking and slow elevators.
• Switch your cell phone off or leave it in the car
• Use a firm handshake
• Maintain good eye contact throughout the meeting interview
• Stand straight, moving confidently and sit slightly forward in your chair
• Listen very carefully to understand the questions
• Answer in the present tense
• Speak clearly, audible, using business language (refrain from using slang)
• State reason for leaving as “better prospects” or “better challenges”
• Use the clients surname about 4times during the interview
• Answer all the questions honestly and directly without deviating
• Answer questions with ‘YES” or ‘NO” and explain wherever possible
• Sell your expertise to the client by providing examples of your past accomplishments.
• Do not indicates/show that you are desperate for more money or the job
• Don’t put a price on your head by discussing money under any circumstances. Our trained Account Manager will negotiate the best deal on your behalf. If the client asks about money then say “with regard to my experience. Skills and knowledge, I am open to a market related salary for what I am worth”.
• If the client asks you why he/she should employ you then don’t say you are hard working, honest and loyal. The client would automatically expect that of you at your level. Rather say Based on my skills, knowledge and experience, I can effectively do …….. and state the benefit to the employer.
• Use positive words like: Ability, discipline, results, success, focus, drive potential, generate,
lead or motivate
• Give personal characteristics as a weakness and strength – something that can help the
interviewer achieve results
• Don’t say to the interviewer that you would like his/her job in the next couple of years
• Don’t read documents on the interviewer’s desk
• Don’t criticize the current company you are with or any person working at the company
• Don’t smoke during the interview even if you are invited to do so
• Don’t chew gum

Dress Code
• Your clothing should be appropriate for the position you’re seeking. Attire must fit well within the office and be immaculate. If you don’t know what the typical attire at the company is, here are some examples:

 

Men – The Appropriate attire is:
• Dark blue/ black suit
• Clean, pressed shirt
• Conservative tie, cartoon characters or very contrasting colors are not recommended
• Black shoes – polished, dark socks (white socks are not recommended)

 

Women – The Appropriate attire is:
• Professional business suit
• Closed shoes with pantyhose
• No noisy or excess jewelry
• Manicured nails – neat and tidy
• Clean hair, styled conservatively
• Avoid excessive perfume

 

Conduct the interview
Have your own agenda and know where the interview should be heading. This will give you confidence and help you move from one area of questioning to the next. Remember. Most interviewers are as uncomfortable as you are. They just want the position to be filled as fast as possible. If you can put the interviewer at ease by helping things move smoothly, you’ll improve your chances of being hired. Remember the following:

  • Enthusiasm and eye contact. Show your enthusiasm by making eye contact and keeping an interested expression. Nod and gesture in moderation, excessive body movements can distract and annoy the interviewer.
  • Listening skills. Listen carefully and ask questions to probe deeper into what the interviewer is telling you. Most interviewers are delightfully surprised by a question such as “how could I help you solve the problem you’ve described?”
  • Communication skills. Good grammar and articulate speech are essential. If this is an area where you’re weak, work on it. Practice on your family, practice in front of a mirror, record your voice, take classes – do whatever it takes to become a more effective communicator.
  • Negative statements about previous jobs or employers. NEVER make them. Instead, be diplomatic. No matter how bad your last job or boss was, there’s probably something good you learned from the experience. Emphasize the positive – with a smile.

 

Questions You Should Ask

  • As the interview draws to a close, the interviewer typically will offer the appli­cant an opportunity to ask questions. This is your chance to clarify any outstand­ing issues concerning the job, what is expected, etc. The interview process is a two-way communication event. You are being evaluated; at the same time, you should be evaluating the employer and position. You must acquire information that will help you decide whether or not to accept the job if it is offered, and to determine appropriate compensation.
  • The questions you ask – another mechanism for the interviewer to evaluate you – reflect your own level of communication. Keep the focus on the job and the organization. Avoid questions concerning salary, unless asked. Following are some sample questions that you may wish to use:

1 What objectives would you like the hired person to accomplish during the first year?
2 How would you describe the corporate culture of the organization?
3 Why is this position open?
4 Where does this position fit in the overall organizational structure?
5 What is the largest single challenge facing your staff this year?
6 How would my performance be evaluated?
7 What opportunities exist for growth or advancement?
8 Could you tell me about the people reporting to me?
9 What are your computer resources for this position?

Illegal Questions

  • Federal and State legislation protects the rights of employment applicants from discrimination based on age, race, color, religion, national origin, physical handicap, and sexual orientation. Most employers are trained in these areas and, in general, you should not encounter violations.
  • You may, however, be asked questions that, while technically not illegal, are clearly inappropriate. Such questions may be considered discriminatory, al­though the burden of proof will be on you.
  • During an interview, the employer is permitted to ask only those questions that are job-related. For a position involving a certain amount of lifting, it would be unacceptable for the interviewer to ask, “Are you physically handicapped?” A more proper question would be, “Do you have any physical limitations in lifting 50 pounds?”
  • If you are asked these types of questions, you may ask the interviewer to restate the question as it relates to the job. For example, a good reply to “Do you have any children?” might be, “I know this job requires some travel and this will not be a problem.”

After the Interview

  • You should always follow up the interview with a “thank you” note. Keep it brief, mention that you are interested in the position (if you are), and note that you hope to hear from the employer soon.
  • If you are in the midst of interviews, be sure that your telephone answering ma­chine or voice mail not only is available, but that it responds with an appropri­ate message. Cute jingles, loud music, etc. may be viewed adversely by certain employers.
  • If everything went well in the first interview, you more than likely will be called back for a second. This follow-up interview typically will involve either the hir­ing manager or someone more directly related to the position. Questions will be more technical in nature, especially if the position requires higher-level skills or experiences. Prepare yourself accordingly.

CDC AWKUM will prepare you by arranging mock interviews to face the real situation at the interview time. Our counsellor will give you important tips to prepare you for the desired job interview.

3. Internship Program: 

 An internship, a period for putting knowledge into practice in order to complete a course, must be the subject of an agreement between the employer and the establishment running this course. An intern can start internship after completion of the course as well. 
Career Development Centre will help students to transfer their theoretical concepts into practical work. Internship provides work experience to new a graduate which is a key in getting permanent job because no employer likes to take a risk to hire fresh graduates.
In today’s fast paced world, education needs its practical application; it has to be more than just book study. Career prospects need to hit the ground running and be well acclimatized to their chosen career path. Therefore internship is necessary to gain practical knowledge and is resourceful in different ways: 

  • Internships help individuals to combine theory with practical work experience.
  • Internships help in developing professional work habits.
  • Internship provides an understanding of corporate cultures.
  • Gives an opportunity to analyze international business settings.
  • It offers platforms to compare differences in work styles.

Internships are of short span with the main focus on getting practical knowledge to secure a job and taking what’s learned in the classroom and applying it to the real world. 

Internship Criteria
Final year students are eligible for internships.
Students need to be registered with the CDC to qualify for the internships.

4. Career Counseling

If you're in a rut and are not sure of what to do for a living, perhaps career counseling may be in order. By investing in a career counseling session, you'll be able to learn which professions might be suitable and hopefully more interesting to you. There's nothing worse than working at a job you don't enjoy. Visiting a career counselor is a positive step towards satisfaction. Those who partake in career counseling sessions will first have to take an aptitude test to see which profession is right for them. They may be surprised to learn that their original career plan doesn't suit them at all. In fact, many who choose career counseling end up employed in a field that is the exact opposite of what they originally had in mind. There’s more to career counseling than placement tests, however. Career counselors critique resumes, suggest the best and most efficient methods of searching for employment, help strengthen negotiation skills, assist in getting better saary and promotion packages and generally steer you in the right direction. Since they have a reputation to protect, it's in their best interest to have a high customer satisfaction rate. Teenagers who participate in career counseling classes and workshops benefit the most. Not only will they learn which careers they are most suited for, but they will also learn which jobs pay the most and even which companies to avoid. Through career counseling they will learn about trends in different industries as well as projected future trends. Students, who are happy with their suggested career choices, and the required courses for that career, tend to do better in high school and college. Society as a whole benefits when people are happy in their careers. Stress due to unhappiness in the workplace dissipates as do incidents of domestic violence. Happy workers are also productive workers. Many business leaders now send promising employees to receive career counseling to determine where they would be the happiest, and subsequently do the most good, within their companies. Career Counseling can benefit the economy as well. Those who are happy with their jobs are less likely to become unemployed. This means there's a lower turnover rate among businesses that encourage career counseling for their employees. If you're not happy at your present place of employment, but aren't sure of what it is you'd like to do, you might consider career counseling. Chances are, you'll leave the session with a new, positive outlook.

Career Counseling for you

In Career Counseling we:

  • Focus on you. We’re here for you and what’s important to you. We can help you with a wide range of issues ranging from broad career exploration to specific plans for reaching your internship, job, or higher education goals.
  • Are confidential, safe, and supportive. We respect your privacy, your values, and your uniqueness.
  • Need you to participate. In order to make progress you need to be an active participant. We can advise you about appropriate action steps but you must be the one to act.
  • Recommend career information resources. Career Counselors have a breadth of knowledge about a variety of career fields, but our main expertise lies in the career planning process. Instead of telling you details about careers, we can help you find the resources to get the information you need.
  • Recommend tactics and strategies for finding a job or internship. We talk with you about ways you can discover job or internship opportunities but we cannot provide you a ready-made list of open positions that fit your exact situation.

In Career Counseling we are not:

  • Always a quick solution to your problems. We cannot provide you with a list of employers, graduate school programs, or jobs that are a fit for you. We can point you toward resources for you to develop your own unique lists.
  • Predictive or omniscient. We cannot tell you what career path is best for you or what you should do, nor do we have a "test" that will do so. We can discuss strategies for exploring your options and making informed decisions.
  • Academic advisers. You need to meet with your department or college advisors for advice about your coursework.
  • A job placement service. The Career Centre provides many opportunities for you to connect with employers in person and online. We do not have a hidden database of jobs or internships for our clients and we cannot make referrals for you.
  • A resume writing service. Instead we will help you develop and revise your own resumes and cover letters.

5. Job Search

Job Search is process of seeking job or employment, that involves chain of processes .In order to compete in today’s job market a person needs to have ample information about the job market and whether the job is according to a person’s interest or not . Therefore it requires thorough information about yourself and the latest job market.

Organize your search
A job search is composed of many parts so that organization is critical to eventual success. Before commencing your search in earnest, organize your space to maximize focus and productivity. Designate space in your home or apartment as a “job search office”, which can be a corner in the hall or a desk in your working room. The “office” needs to be separate from areas of high activity such as the TV in the living room which can lead to disruption. Be disciplined by creating a job search schedule and adhering to it. Finding a job is a full time job in and of itself and needs to be treated as such. For example, set a time to begin each day, when to take breaks and when to stop. Alert family and friends of your schedule and ask that they respect your privacy. Enlist their support by discussing the progress of your search and asking for their input.
If you have a laptop and cell phone, you might also consider setting up a quasi-office in the nearest library, many of which have a wireless Internet connection at no charge. This
method can serve three primary purposes:
1) it allows you to work in a quiet environment so you can focus on your search;
2) it provides the “feel” of a commute as you have an outside destination (important for those who are not currently employed); and
3) it can relieve the sense of isolation you may feel by staying inside a room or curtained-off area during the day. By going out to the library or perhaps even a small office you rent for the duration of your job search you are acting “as if” you are working. There is a saying that by behaving “as if” an event has already occurred in our lives, we are much likely to make it happen. A successful job search truly is all about mind-set! We will provide you tips on various aspects of successful job search. Most of the principles discussed are universal in nature, although industry specific examples are inserted where appropriate. Use the tips as jumping-off points for commencing your
search.

6. Letter of Recommendation (LOR)

If you need to secure a good position in the work force or be admitted to a school of higher learning, you will probably need one or more letters of recommendation. Both employers and admissions boards need to know as much as possible about an applicant to determine his or her ability to perform adequately. Letters of recommendation provide information from a former employer or a credible associate who has been personally involved with the candidate. This outside source provides a valuable record of the candidate's previous experience and can testify to his or her skills and abilities. An effective letter of recommendation:

  • verifies experience
  • confirms competence
  • builds credibility
  • bolsters confidence

The information contained in a letter of recommendation depends on the type of letter and its intended audience. Information is often different for a letter written for an academic admissions board than one written for a prospective employer.

7. Career Library

More than 300 books are available in Career Services to assist AWKUM students in their career journey. Major-related information, Job Search, Resume Writing, Negotiation, Communication skills, Salary Negotiation and Industry Information books are available. Students can use these books as reference material in their Career Development Process. If you want to become members, please contact CDC Department

8. Career - Development Workshops
In order to build better Careers, training modules are organized at various Colleges and Schools to help graduates and students learn managerial skills, interviewing techniques, Resume’ editing and confidence building. Our office conducts workshops to enhance student career development and aid in achieving career targets.

9. Career/ Job Fairs
A job fair is also referred commonly as a career fair or career expo. It is a fair or exposition for employers, recruiters and schools to meet with prospective job seekers. In the University setting, job fairs are commonly used for entry level job recruiting. Often sponsored by career centres, job fairs provide a convenient location for students to meet employers and perform first interviews. Online job fairs offer the same convenience online. Job fairs are good places to meet many company representatives from corporations of all industries and sizes during a short period of time. Every job fair has a set of similar, basic elements or processes that require your attention. Job fair networking can be generally described as the process of interacting with, obtaining contact details of, and getting to know corporate recruiters.

 

 

 

 


 
 
 
 
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