Frequently Asked Questions
- How do I make an appointment to see a counselor?
- What type of workshops do you offer and when are they scheduled?
- Will my session with the career counselor be confidential?
- How do I deal with stress?
- Where can I access the Internet if I don't have it at home?
- Where are you located and what is your telephone number?
- Who can use career services?
Résumé and Cover Letter
- What should I say in a cover letter?
- How do I write a resume?
- Do I have to send out a cover letter every time I send out my resume?
- What questions do employers ask you on an interview?
- Where can I practice interviewing?
- Are thank-you notes necessary after interviews?
Employers and Employment
- What are the different jobs I can pursue in my field?
- How do I get work experience if I have been just going to school?
- How do I use the Internet to search for a job?
- How do I research employers?
- How do I find a part time job?
- How do I find a full time job?
- Do recruiters ever come to Lehman College?
- Does Lehman College have a Job Fair?
- How will I know if there will be a job available in my field when I graduate?
- How do I go about working for the government?
- What do employers looks for?
- What are references and why do I need them?
Career Related Topics
- Where can I find information on various majors and careers?
- How can I learn what skills I have?
- How do I know if I will have the necessary skills to get a job when I graduate?
- Are computer skills necessary?
- How do I learn more about myself and my interests and skills?
- What can I do if I have a low GPA?
Visit the Career Service Center at Shuster 254 or call 718 960-8366 for an appointment.
The Career Center conducts a variety of workshops including:
Deciding on a major Resume and cover letter writing Job search strategies and the internet Job interviewing skills Internships
Personal information that you reveal to a counselor is kept strictly confidential. Information, however, relating to your academic life at Lehman college may be discussed with other professionals at Lehman in order to help you better.
First you must recognize stress:
Stress symptoms include exhaustion, increase or loss of appetite, headaches, crying, sleeplessness, and over sleeping and sexual dysfunction. Escape through alcohol, drugs, or other compulsive behaviors may indicate stress. You may feel alarm, frustration or feelings of just not caring. Below are some suggestions as to how to deal with stress. Look around and see if there is something you can change or control in the situation.
- Don't overwhelm yourself. Handle one thing at a time.
- Try to be positive. "The glass is half full rather than half empty."
- Select how you react to things. Lighten up. Go with the flow. This too shall pass.
- Reduce the number of events you go to. For example, family events, parties, and date.
- Avoid extreme reactions. Why hate when you can dislike? Why feel depressed when you can just feel sad or disappointed?
- Set realistic goals for yourself.
- Work off the stress with physical activity.
- Do something for others. Get your mind off your problems.
- Talk to a good friend about what is bothering you. Sometimes it reduces the pressure and somebody else may give you an idea you hadn't thought of.
- Learn what relaxes you and do that.
- If you are still feeling stress after doing some of the above suggestions, visit a Lehman counselor located in the Old Gym Building or call 718-960-8761.
The Career Lab has computers with Internet connections for your use. Using the Internet can help you find out more about your major and possible career paths within it and also help you explore other career areas if you are not sure which major to choice. If you are not sure how to best use the Internet, you can sign up for an Job Search and Internet Workshop.
The Career Service Center is located in Shuster Hall 254 and the Career Library and Lab is located in Shuster Hall 229. Call 718 960-8366 for an appointment or to get information.
Any student attending Lehman College can use the Career Services Center and its facilities. Also Alumni and Alumnae can use our services.
Many students at Lehman College find themselves asking this question. You are not alone. This is not a simple question to answer. The process of finding out what you should major in has a number of steps.
- Focusing. Identify your most important values, interests, skills and abilities. Discover who YOU are and what you want to achieve in your life. Knowing more about yourself can lead you to consider majors which better fit with who you are as a person. The Career Center has a special software program called FOCUS 2 which can help you do this as well as counselors who can assist you in interpreting the results.
- Exploring. Gathering information about the educational and occupational options available to you is essential. Talk with advisors, teachers, friends and people in the field that you think you might be interested in. The Internet and the on-line Dictionary of Occupational Titles and the Occupational Outlook Handbook can also help learn about different occupations. Also click on "Exploring Major" on the "student" screen to learn about "What can I do with this major."
- Evaluating. Once you gather the information you have to consider what you have and weigh the consequences of each option. The counselors at the Career Services Center can help you
- Choosing. Now you have to consider the majors offered by Lehman and choose one that you think may contain your values, interests, skills and abilities and possible future career opportunities.
- Reevaluate. From time to time it is helpful to review your decision and evaluate if you are still satisfied. You may want to speak to a Career Counselor.
With your college degree in any major you can begin developing a career in many different fields provided that you develop your communication and writing skills, be flexible, willing to learn and start at an entry level position. Doing an Internet search in your major may give you ideas.
The first paragraph should contain information on why you are writing this company. If you are responding to a specific job position, state the title of the position, where you saw the listing and the date of the listing, if relevant.
The second paragraph should point out your achievements and qualifications in this field especially those that meet the job description or requirements. Refer to your resume and mention just some of the ways your experience fits with the job description.
The next paragraph should tell why you are interested in working for this particular employer. Mention the employer by name!
he closing paragraph should pave the way for the interview by asking for an appointment.
Try writing a cover letter and bringing it to one of the workshops for review; or show it to a career counselor for feedback.
If you don't have a résumé, come to Career Services and pick up a résumé writing guide. Use one of the examples to help you compose your résumé. Make an appointment with a counselor to review it or come in during "Walk-in Résumé" times. If you have a résumé and want to improve it you can make an appointment to see one of the career counselors to review it.
If the ad or job description says send or fax your resume with a cover letter, then you should do that. As a rule of thumb though, if you are faxing your resume a cover letter is usually not needed; however, if you are mailing your resume, you should include a cover letter. If you need help composing one, you should attend one of the Resume/Cover Letter workshops given by the Career Services Center or use a cover letter model to compose one.
Every interview is different and therefore impossible to prepare the answer to every possible question. Preparing the answers to certain questions such as the following and learning about the company before the interview can be helpful.
- Tell me about yourself.
- What are your strengths and weaknesses?
- Why should I hire you?
You should attend an interview workshop or speak with a counselor to prepare for the interview process.
You can make an appointment to practice with a career counselor. You can also use the "Perfect Interview" program located in Shuster 229. Speak to the Lab Administrator on how to use it.
A good rule of thumb is to send one. It should be simple and to the point. You should try to refer to something that was discussed during the interview. Try writing one and then bring it to the Career Center for a counselor to review it.
Check out the website linked to your major as a start. This will help you see what are the different areas within your field. You can also search for others sites using a search engine. The Career Lab has Internet connections for your use. The Career Library has pamphlets and book, which could suggest possibilities.
There are many ways you can get work or job experience.
- Work-Study. The Lehman College Work-Study program provides a means of hiring motivated students where you can develop your skills and gain valuable experience. Work-study allows you to integrate your academic and practical skills both in and out of the classroom.
- Volunteering. This is a wonderful way to not only gain work experience but also to explore whether you would like to work in a particular profession. It often allows flexible work hours so that it doesn't conflict with your classes.
- Part-time Job. Getting a part-time job after school or on weekend can help you gain valuable experience and more confidence. You also have the benefit of being paid and perhaps feeling more independent.
- Internship. This experience will give you a head start on your career and allow you to use in the work situations some of the skills you learned in the classroom. An internship can thus round out your college experience and point to areas where you may want to investigate further.
The Internet has many sites where jobs are listed. Many of the major companies have job listing on their website and allow you to post your resume electronically. Government jobs-Federal, State and Local are also listed on the Internet. There are also many sites which just list jobs such as: www.monster.com, www.careerbuilder.com and www.monstertrack.com. If you are not familiar with using the Web to search for jobs, sign up for a Job Search and the Internet Workshop or schedule an appointment with a counselor. The Career Lab has many computers with web connections for your use. Click here for web resources.
Many companies have their own websites with valuable information, which you can use during your interview and help writing your cover letters. You should do a search to see if they are on-line. In addition www.hoovers.com has information on any publicly traded company. The library will have directories, which give information about many businesses, and also have newspaper and magazine articles about the companies which interests you. Don't forget that the Career Library has listings of hundreds of jobs in the New York metropolitan area for your review.
The bulletin board outside the Career Services Center and possibly your department's bulletin board, posts part-time jobs on a regular basis. In the Career Library you will find additional listings. Sometimes part-time jobs are advertised in store windows and in local neighborhood newspaper, which you might find in a supermarket. Also check out church, club and community bulletin boards for possible leads. Don't forget to ask your friends and relatives for word-of-mouth referrals. Remember seasonally some types of part-time jobs appear more frequently. For example, around the holiday season the department stores need extra help; during tax season, tax services need help; during the summer, parks and recreation facilities need help, etc. Anticipate your needs and apply early.
The Career Services Center bulletin board and Career Library have many listings. Also try your department for job leads. The newspapers and the Internet can help. Before going on a full time job search, make sure you are ready with, (1) a well-constructed resume; (2)a cover letter, and; (3) good interviewing skills. Attend some of the Career Center workshop or make an appointment with a career counselor.
Yes they do. They come from major companies representing business, accounting firms; hospitals and social services institutions just to name a few. Check out the school bulletin boards, the Career Service Newsletter and read your school mail for notices. Periodically looks at the Events Calendar and What's News on this website.
Yes. About 40-50 companies come to our campus to see you. Check out the Campus and the Career Services Center bulletin boards and event calendar for information and read your mail from Lehman.
The Occupational Outlook Handbook can be a valuable source of information regarding future career trends. You can find a copy in the Career Library or at http:\\STATS.bls.gov/ocohome.htm.
There is so much information about this area that it would be better to just schedule an appointment to see a career counselor in order to pinpoint you career goals with a particular government agency. The Career Library has a Kiosk with a touch screen computer, which lists employment opportunities with the federal government. There are also websites devoted exclusively to government jobs. Most United States Federal Government agencies require you to be a U.S. citizen. Start with www.usajobs.gov for federal jobs.
Academic skills and some work experience can be very helpful. However, when employers are asked what they expect of entry-level college students they respond by saying they want the following:
- Someone who can read and write.
- Has a good attitude and is motivated.
- Is dependable and able to follow directions.
- Can be a team player.
- Is able to adapt to changing conditions.
- Has common sense.
- Get some experience in your field BEFORE graduating
When you go on an interview, the employer may want to know more about you and may want to verify what your said during the interview by talking to people who know about you and how you behave in a work or school setting. You would then be required to furnish the names, addresses and phone numbers of such individuals. These individuals would be called "references" and usually are persons who supervised you at work or teachers. If you plan to use someone as a reference, you should ask that person if it is okay BEFORE you give out his or her phone number. Only supply references for those people who will speak well of you.
You should consider doing an internship sometime in your junior year or at the beginning of your senior year. Read our internship page and then make an appointment to see Marisol Berrios, Internship Coordinator, to discuss the opportunities, which are available to you.
Internships are structured work situations within a company or organization, which allows you to gain valuable practical hands-on experience in your chosen field. If you are not sure about your chosen field, this experience can help you explore a career area or profession. Usually you can begin looking for an internship sometime during your junior year. Althoug a starting earlier would be okey. An internship is strongly recommended because it can make you look better to employers once you graduate. To apply for an internship visit the Career Service center to fill out an application.
The Career Library has many books and pamphlets, which can help you find out more about various careers. Newspaper article and magazines can also be a valuable source of information. Also Web sites linked to your major can give you additional information. Click on "Exploring Major" on the web site.
Think about the jobs you have had whether paid or unpaid and what you have been required to do. This may suggest to you some skills which you have. You can make an appointment with a Career Counselor and use the FOCUS 2 program in the Career Lab to help you.
Certain careers require specific knowledge and skills such as the sciences, accounting and the computer fields. In these areas you may want to check with your department. You can also look at job descriptions in your area of choice to see what requirements are being highlighted. You can then use the job descriptions as guidelines for what courses you should take and what skills you may still need to develop. Regardless of your field of choice it is most important that you develop your writing, speaking, interpersonal, critical thinking and team participation skills. These latter skills more than any others will help you get a job and keep it.
No matter which field you choose, you will find the computer there. It is, therefore, so important that you become computer literate. During your college years learn keyboarding MSWord, Excel, and PowerPoint so that you can generate your own letters and organize data. You may even consider taking a minor in Computer Applications.
You can sit down with yourself and think about the things you like to do during your free time, what your hobbies, what you like to talk about, what your favorite school subjects are, what you like to read, and what jobs you have had that you liked. All of these may give you insight into your interests and skills. Also the Career Center has DISCOVER a software program that can also help you. Sometimes discussing these issues with a Career Counselor can be helpful.
First, you have to consider why your GPA is low. If you have been studying and are still getting low grades, you should speak to your teachers as to why you are getting low grade. You may want to also consider your study habits and then get a book from the library on study skills. That's usually helpful.
If you are having personal or family problems, you may want to seek professional counseling to help you or maybe just talk to someone about your problems. Let you teachers know generally what is going on so that they can either give you an incomplete or suggest you withdraw from the course. The Career Counselors would be willing to try to help with your problem.
If you are having physical problems, which prevent you from coming to classes on a regular basis, you may consider taking a leave of absence for a semester or dropping the courses you are taking until you feel better. Again talk to your teachers. Don't wait.
If you need to work full time while going to college, you may consider taking fewer credits per semester. That may help improve your grades
If you are just not studying because you are having too much fun with you friends, you will have to change your behavior and your schedule and find more study time. Don't despair. Concentrate on studying more and getting better grades especially in your major. Don't try to just get by. Make a commitment to yourself. Go for excellence.
You should attend an interview workshop or speak with a counselor to prepare for the interview process.
Last modified: Feb 15, 2013