Carolina VonKampen

Editor. Reader. Writer.

Tag: teaser

Your Career Column: How to Rock an Interview

I’m not going to lie to you: Interviews are scary.

Even worse, interviews don’t get easier. In fact, based on my experiences, they only get harder as the stakes get higher. Interviewing for my first job at a movie theater in high school was nerve-wracking to be sure, but there wasn’t quite as much at stake as there was when I interviewed via Skype for my first editorial internship and managed to get diagnosed with pneumonia hours prior to the call. And once you get into interviews for actual jobs—not just internships—you better be ready to sweat it out and try to not get sick in the hours before it.

I’ve interviewed various ways for internships and jobs in the past few years, from Skype conversations to phone calls to emails to driving four hours round-trip for an in-office interview.  Read my interview tips in my column with The Sower: “Your Career Column: How to Rock an Interview.”

Your Career Column: What Do I Put on My Resume?

Oh, how I wish there was an easy, cookie-cutter answer to the question, “What do I put on my resume?” I can tell you for certain to include your name, contact info, education and relevant work experience, but beyond that, you’re going to have to do some Googling.

That’s because what to include on your resume varies by what type of job you’re applying for and what industry it’s in. It’s like how you use different writing style guides for papers in different academic departments: English papers use MLA, history papers require Chicago and psychology papers work with APA. Similarly, various career fields will want you to highlight or emphasize particular aspects of your professional development.

And just like each professor has different requirements on a class syllabus about attendance, participation, late assignments, etc., each employer has slightly different requirements and job descriptions. A one-size-fits-all approach won’t work when it comes to crafting your resume—figure out what each employer is looking for and tailor your resume to those expectations.

Read my tips for creating a customized resume in my latest Your Career Column for The Sower, “What Do I Put on My Resume?”

Your Career Column: Building Your Personal Professional Website

First of all, what is a personal professional website? It’s basically a website about your professional goals and accomplishments. This could include a portfolio of your work, whether that’s descriptions of your teaching philosophies and classroom experiences, links to articles or poetry you’ve written, descriptions of career-related projects you’ve developed and completed, or collections of your artwork or photography. Your personal professional site could also double as a blog if you want to write regularly about a certain topic.

If you’re worried that you don’t have enough to show off, your personal professional website can just be a more detailed version of your resume or LinkedIn profile. For example, when I created my first professional website, I made pages for each section you’d put on a resume: skills, education, work experiences and more. On each page, I went into detail about projects I’d worked on, what I learned from my classes, etc. I also included links to samples of my work, such as blog posts I’d written and social media accounts I had started. My goal was to show future employers what I was passionate about and show them how my education and experiences made me a great candidate to work with. Continue reading

Your Career Column: No-Stress Guide to Filling Out a LinkedIn Profile

LinkedIn can be intimidating. It’s one thing to throw a Twitter or Instagram profile together; it’s quite different to create what is essentially an online resume. The pressure of putting together a perfect profile seems daunting, but I promise it’s not hard.

The benefits of filling out your LinkedIn profile definitely outweigh the nervousness you’ll feel by taking a tangible step toward your career. Filling out a LinkedIn profile makes it easier to create your resume, research jobs to apply for, connect with people in your field and attract the attention of employers looking for the perfect candidate.

Block off half an hour to an hour to sit down with your computer and follow these steps to create your LinkedIn profile. And remember, if you get stuck on something, just Google it and you’ll find plenty of professional advice on crafting LinkedIn profiles. Read the rest of my “Your Career Column: No-Stress Guide to Filling Out a LinkedIn Profile” with The Sower.

Why Studying Abroad Is Great for Your Future Career

If I’m being honest, classroom time was one of the least valuable experiences I had while studying abroad.

I know, I know; that’s a terrible thing to say, but it’s true: It’s the experiences that take you outside the classroom that make studying abroad…well, studying abroad. You can take classes anywhere in the world, but it’s going out and exploring new place that you’re in that makes studying abroad such a rewarding experience.

But that also means that the experiences you have outside the classroom while you’re studying abroad are hard to quantify. It’s easy to show how your internship or classes line up with specific skills employers are looking for, such as proofreading, implementing a nutrition plan or entering data into a spreadsheet. Figuring out how to include study abroad on your resume is harder because the skills you develop while studying abroad are soft skills. Continue reading

How to Get the Most Out of Your Sigma Tau Delta Social Media Takeover

sigma tau delta social media takeover

This is the face of someone who was emotionally unprepared to have her photo taken during a Sigma Tau Delta social media takeover. Read my blog post for tips on how to prepare your fellow members so they aren’t anxiety-ridden by thinking about photos being taken of them throughout your entire event.

Sigma Tau Delta offers an awesome opportunity for chapter members hosting chapter events—a social media takeover. I hosted a Sigma Tau Delta social media takeover for my chapter’s annual Christmas party in December 2016, and our chapter really enjoyed the opportunity. It was a great way to draw attention to the event, get followers and engagement on social media, spread the love for English language and literature, and interact with members worldwide.

So, if you have a chapter event coming up that you’d like to share with Sigma Tau Delta members, read more about my tips and tricks for running a successful Sigma Tau Delta social media takeover on my blog post on WORDY by Nature, the official blog of Sigma Tau Delta. Continue reading

Your Career Column: Don’t Wish Away Your College Years

At this time last year, I slumped in my chair across from my wonderful advisor, Dr. Haley, complaining that I just wasn’t feeling college—I wanted to be in the workforce already. I didn’t like my classes, I didn’t like living on campus and I desperately wanted to start my career.

I had just come off of a semester abroad in Europe with a flexible schedule and plenty of time to wander, followed by a summer of four (four!!!) internships in publishing. I was used to getting up early, working in the office for one of my internships, going to a coffee shop to work on the other three internships and hanging out with my boyfriend nearly every day. I felt productive and professional over the summer; I dressed up for work, I worked on projects that I genuinely enjoyed and I ultimately chose which internships and opportunities to accept.

And then I was thrown back into my final year at Concordia.

Read more of my latest career advice column for The Sower about my regrettable case of senioritis and why I’m urging you not to wish wish away your college years.

How We Make A Costco Membership Worth It For A 2-Person Household

As a newlywed couple living 22 miles from the nearest Costco, my husband and I weren’t about to cough up $60 for a Costco membership despite the allure of lower prices on groceries and gas. But when my mother in law generously gifted us the money to pay for the membership, we figured we had nothing to lose.

Once we drove out to Costco and got our membership set up, I realized there were some downsides. We didn’t have to pay for our membership, but we feel obliged to use it. But to use the membership to our advantage, we had to figure out some solutions to a few problems.

Luckily, after two trips, we figured out some ways to make Costco work for us.

Read the full article here.

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