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  • Prepare for A Career

Individuals can often further their career through strategic relationships and informal networks. In addition to the application submitted online, a job seeker’s digital footprint, personal brand, and interpersonal communication skills can make the difference between being hired, promoted, or dismissed.

This workshop gives a brief overview of the main pieces of preparing for work during our #healthyathome protocol.


LinkedIn is a digital social platform designed to assist companies and individuals in the career search, Business to business, and personal marketing. Two professionals join LinkedIn every second, and 20,000 companies in the US use LinkedIn for their recruitment (Source: The Economic Graph). According to LinkedIn, 85% of US companies plan to recruit using LinkedIn as a top source. Lastly, according to a 2019 article by LinkedIn, having a professional-looking headshot will get 14x more views.

For in-depth tips, tricks, and tutorials on building and maximizing a professional and effective LinkedIn Profile, earn your LinkedIn Badge on the Career Ready Training Moodle.

For those that do not have a Midway University login, following the steps below will help you create a LinkedIn profile that will attract recruiters and showcase talent and experience! You can also watch this video for tips on getting started!

  • Upload a professional-looking photo – clean background, good lighting, no additional figures in the photo (or cropped out of the photo)
  • Add professional and volunteer experience – include details that show accomplishments and awards, not just job descriptions
  • Create a summary that tells a story, tying together professional work history and future goals
  • Edit Headline to share strengths or express passion
  • Claim a customized URL
  • Input keywords relevant to the desired industry in Headline, Summary, Experience, Skills, and Recommendations
  • Watch this video to take the next step on your LinkedIn optimization!

In order to become and stay relevant:

  • Follow desired companies and interact appropriately*
  • Post regularly
  • Make new connections
*Appropriate interactions will include positive comments, liking or celebrating someone else’s post. You can also share someone’s post and include some additional details or tag colleagues/peers who may be interested in learning more!


Resumes are digital or print representations of the skills, abilities, and experiences an individual can offer a company. It is wise to maximize a resume with the most relevant information to aid the recruiter or hiring manager in making the decision to hire you. All resumes should contain the following five pieces:

  • Header – Include your name, city and state, phone number, email address, and customized LinkedIn URL
  • Professional Statement – Should be a short (1-3 sentence) summary of accomplishments and most pertinent details to the position.
  • Work Experience – Should be listed in reverse chronological order with the most recent job listed first
  • Education – After the second year of college, high school education should no longer appear on the resume
  • Skills – Must be relevant to the position being applied for

For more in-depth information on crafting the resume to pass Applicant Tracking Systems and be approved by recruiters, complete the Resume Building Course on the Career Ready Training Moodle.

Here are some tips to build your resume during a break! A break can be anything that causes a break in your professional experience- Gap Year, Covid-19, rearing children, etc. Here is a quick list of what to do during a break: Rest and reset, Write and optimize your resume, Build your digital presence, Learn a new skill, Grow your network, Research. Recruiters are saying that gaps in the resume don’t scare them, but they expect a good answer when they ask you about it!


Interviews are opportunities for an applicant to connect with the interviewer(s) and determine their fit for the company in which they are interviewing. Although interviews tend to cause anxiety in some, it is one of the best avenues to ensure company and culture fit for the interviewer and interviewee. There are three main types of interviews that are conducted: phone Interviews, in-person interviews, and virtual interviews. There are also various ways the potential employer could choose to conduct the interviews such as a 1-on-1 interview, panel interview, or group interview.

For All Interviews

Interviewees will normally be asked if they have any questions at the end of an interview. Always say yes, ask a thoughtful, pre-planned question, and then ask for clarification or further explanation of something mentioned during the interview. Always take a notebook and writing utensil to take notes during the entire interview process. Writing a few notes before you answer a question will fill the space better than saying, “Um.”

STAR Responses for Behavior-Based Interviews

Behavior-based interviewing is a common method interviewers use to determine how a candidate will respond to various scenarios. When preparing a response to a behavior-based interview question, formulate your response using the STAR method. STAR stands for:

  • Scenario – Explain the details behind the situations you are preparing to explain.
  • Task – Explain the situation that needs to be solved
  • Action – Detail the steps and actions you took to solve the problem or find a solution
  • Resolution – Tell the rest of the story! How did the situation get resolved, what were the outcomes?

There are many videos and resources to help you think through the Behavior-Based Interviewing and STAR response model. To be best prepared for the questions you may be asked, think about difficult situations you experience around communication break down, collaboration, customer service, leadership and working with people who are different than you.

Virtual Interviews

Virtual interviews in Zoom, Skype, Google Hangouts, and GoToMeeting have become the preferred method of interviewing in our current health and safety protocols. Check out this video for tips on looking your best on your virtual interview.

These interviews are a cost-effective way of interviewing potential candidates that are not near the employer. To best prepare for a virtual interview, check personal technology early to ensure there will be no disruptions once the interview has begun. Test camera angles and remember that the interviewers will most likely be viewing the interview on a large screen, so proximity to the camera will be an important factor. Ensure a distraction-free area for the interviewee and the interviewer – turn off all TVs and screens in view. Also, wear pants – you never know what could happen. And remember, if you are staring at the camera, the interviewers will feel like you are.

Phone Interviews

These typically serve as an initial interview or a screening interview. The main goal of this interview is to advance to the next stage. To ensure success in a phone interview, take the call in a quiet, distraction-free area in order to fully engage in the conversation. Smiles can be heard in a voice, so smile while speaking, and remember that hand gestures and other non-verbal communication techniques are ineffective, so carefully choose wording and pace of language.

In-Person Interviews

These interviews allow the interviewer and interviewees to test company, campus, and/or culture fit. Always arrive 7-15 minutes before the interview and wait patiently. Never spend waiting time on personal phones – make conversation with others in the room or find alternative ways stay engaged off personal technology. Before the interview, shake hands and distribute documents (resume, cover letter, references/ letters of recommendation) to everyone on the interview panel. During the interview, use good posture, eye contact, and appropriate non-verbal communication. Always shake hands before leaving.

1-on-1 Interviews

This interview type is very common and what most imagine when visualizing an interview. In a 1-on-1 interview, there is one interviewer and one interviewee. Be sure to maintain a comfortable amount of eye contact, and the interviewee should position their body facing the interviewer and maintain open posture.

Panel Interviews

This interview type is where there is one interviewee and two or more interviewers. In this type of interview, the interviewers will most likely take turns asking questions. Start by answering the question to the interviewer that asks but then gradually make eye contact and speak towards each of the interviewers. The interviewers will probably be taking notes and will not be practicing great eye contact; do not let this make you nervous – they are trying to record your awesomeness. Use a panel interviews to gain a sense of community and culture of the organization by observing the interactions among the panel.

Group Interviews

This interview format provides the opportunity for multiple interviewees to be interviewed at once by one or more interviewers. These interviews are most beneficial when many employees are being hired and when group cohesion is paramount to the success of a team. Don’t be too quiet in these interviews; potential employers need to see each interviewee’s ability to interact as a part of a group or team.

The Follow-Up

After every interview, the interviewee should follow up with a thank you note or email for all the interviewers. If the interviewee forgot some panelists, ensuring a thank you note goes to the main interviewer or the hiring manager is key. The follow up should arrive within 24 – 48 hours after the interview. If the interview was in-person and the decision is being expected to be made soon, upon leaving the interview, write a short letter and stick it in the closest mailbox. The follow-up letter should contain a sentence or two thanking the potential employer for their time and the information as well as a few sentences referencing information covered in the interview, including the interviewee’s strengths, and end with excitement about the position and asking to be hired.


An internship is a time-consuming yet valuable opportunity to dive deeply into a career field, industry, or company and fully experience the day-to-day pace of that position at that company. Internships legally must not replace the position of an employee and must provide more benefit to the intern than the host site. Internships can be completed for-credit or not-for-credit. If completing for academic credit, a student must get the internship approved by their advisor, register for the course, and get the internship approved by their faculty instructor. Internships are valuable learning experiences and could cause interns to choose or reject a career pathway. For more information on how to find an internship, contact the Career Services Office.


Networking is a necessary career development tool that provides job searchers and career builders the opportunity to meet and create meaningful interactions in order to grow in knowledge, skills, or connections. The most effective networkers are always curious, wanting to learn more about the people they are interacting with. Successful networkers are also looking for ways to provide benefit from the new connections they make. Check out the Connections page to begin networking with professionals and peers in the areas you are most interested!


Negotiation is a valuable piece in starting a career path. Statistics show that negotiating for a higher starting salary can result in large dividends by the end of the career cycle. In order to negotiate successfully, a job seeker must do extensive research on compensation for the role, individuals with similar expertise, and the company. There are various theories on which party should offer the first number in the negotiation, but one number that should never be shared is current pay (if the role is completely different and/or if the current pay is under market). However when filling out an online application, do not leave the space blank, you could enter 9999 or enter other numbers which look very obvious to not be your actual income.