Friday, July 25, 2014


So, what exactly do employers wish more grads knew? According to the Chegg study, hiring managers felt that grads were most lacking in organization, leadership, personal finance skills and “street smarts.” Let’s explore these four skills, and one more I consider crucial. Today we will hit on the first one:
This is the topic I absolutely must add to any list of what employers wish Millennials learned in college. According to a 2013 study by the Association of American Colleges and Universities, 80 percent of employers said colleges should focus more on written and oral communication. No matter what the industry or job function you’re in, you will need to talk to people and send emails.
Mostly due to the rise in email, texting, instant messaging and other electronic communications, today’s grads are much more casual, unfocused and imprecise in their writing and speaking. This doesn’t mean they’re dumb or lazy; it usually means they haven’t been taught how to communicate in a professional way.
While it irritates many employers to have to offer basic writing classes to new hires, this is a simple and painless solution to the problem of Millennials’ weak writing and speaking skills. (On the positive side, employers rarely have to offer Millennials classes on basic technology and software programs.) 
So folks, let's make sure we all focus on our communication skills. Take pride in communicating effectively with everyone in your life; not just your employer. It goes a long way! 

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Doing Good Looks Good!

Top 5 Reasons to Volunteer: Do Good!

#5: Volunteers gain professional experience - Resume Builder!

You can test out a career and enhance your resume. To put it simply: doing good looks good. It should not be your main reason, but it sure helps sometimes when you are applying for a job!

#4: It brings people together = Networking Opportunity.

As a volunteer you assist in uniting people from diverse backgrounds to work toward a common goal. And, it is an opportunity to do some networking! This might be the best way to get your foot in the door at a company.

#3: It promotes personal growth and self esteem.

Understanding community needs helps foster empathy and self-efficacy. This really will help you clarify your own values, interests and career goals.

#2: You get a chance to give back.

People like to support community resources that they use themselves or that benefit people they care about. Give back and feel good.

#1: You make a difference.

Can you truly say that making other happy and improving quality of life, is not reason enough??

If you are looking for a volunteer opportunity, check out They even have virtual volunteer opportunities!
And, we encourage you to volunteer for the Big Event at IPFW. Join hundreds of Mastodons at over 50 not-for-profit agencies in one BIG day of community service.

So, remember....DO GOOD!

Monday, July 7, 2014

Are you Professionally Ready?

There is now a professional readiness certificate that most Indiana college students can obtain while in school.  It's called the INdorsed Career Ready Graduate Certificate.  Currently there are 32 Indiana colleges that offer this certificate.  Click HERE to see if your college offers the certificate.

This statewide standard is used by Indiana colleges and universities to certify students’ preparation for professional work in several competency areas: professional identity, experience and skills. The certification provides consistency for core competencies while allowing flexibility for individual programs. Additionally, it offers students and employers an excellent benchmark for career readiness as they engage in the recruiting process.  Upon completion of the certificate, students are given the opportunity to submit their information for an online database.  Employers can recruit these career ready graduates HERE.

For IPFW students, please go to our website at for more information about how to get started and who to contact with questions.


There are 3 basic areas of competencies, with 2 sections in each area and suggested activities to complete each area and section.

Professional Identity area

Self Assessment: This section is required because often companies will ask you during an interview why you've chosen this given profession. Through the development of self assessment you will be able to answer this question in a way that demonstrates you thoroughly thought about your career choice.
Self Marketing: This section includes preparation of your resume and interviewing skills, plus one additional activity that will help to showcase you as a candidate and/or create a "brand" online image.

Professional Experience area

Professional Experiences: You should know by now that all companies are looking for college graduates
to have both a diploma and 1-3 internships throughout their college years. There are other ways to gain experience, like attending a professional conference, so get out there and develop yourself in the field/industry of your choice (which your determined in the Self-Assessment section).
Professional Practices: This additional section in the experiences area is focused on developing networking skills and experiences. Networking is the #1 way people find job opportunities because most jobs are found through the Hidden Job Market. Start connecting with alumni, through LinkedIn, or through your own personal connections.

Professional Skills area

Professional Skill Development: It's not enough to just show up to the internship and do what you're told. What new skills did you develop at the internship? If there are certain skills you want to use in the future, then request those responsibilities from your supervisor and find ways to develop them. Leadership, creativity, initiative, and communication skills are all top skills that companies seek.
Unique Selling Point: Have you ever heard the question in an interview, "why should we hire you?" or "what makes you stand out among the other candidates?" This section will help you identify your uniqueness that you can bring to a company and enable you to answer these questions with ease.  A unique selling point is a vast as snowflakes, as no one will be the same from student to student. Start by considering what you do really well, where you excel in the classroom, at work, on the sports field, etc. Once you determine your top strength then perform two activities that support it for the certificate. Some people start by evaluating their experiences and find a common theme to identify the unique selling point, too.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Four Resume Myths That Are Holding You Back

A good resume is critical in making a positive first impression to your future employer and there are a lot of opinions floating around about what makes a good resume. Consistently, when I work with our students and alumni, I notice they are hanging onto some ideas about resumes that are actually making it harder to put together a good resume. So, here are four common resume myths that may be holding you back.

1. You need to use a 'fancy' format.

Students often come in asking if there is a resume template that they should be using. We actually discourage using templates. First off, there are some resume templates that are so common employers have seen them a million times before. Secondly, templates often use tables, which I personally find difficult to edit and work with. Sometimes, templates even include section titles you can’t edit or boxes that are limited to only holding so much information. If you can use bolding, italics, bullet points or underling, you can set up your own resume. We have over 100 samples on our website:
 2. It can only be one page.

One page is often preferable and definitely suggested for new college freshmen or those with little work experience related to their prospective careers. But, if you find you’re reducing your font to 8pt size or going down to ¼” margins, you may want to go on to a second page. In fact, if you have extensive work experience or have an advanced degree, a two-page resume may be expected.

3. You need to list every job you’ve ever had.

Listing every single job you’ve ever had may actually hurt, not help your chances. In fact, hiring managers can find all of that information overwhelming. That job you had for three months bagging groceries two years ago, may make you look like a job hopper, especially if you’ve held longer term employment since then. Also, if you have work experience over ten years old, you want to be selective about using it. If it’s really relevant to the job you’re applying for, go ahead and list it. If not, it might just be aging you.•

4. You only need one.

It might be more convenient for you to only have one resume, but, it may not help your future employer. A resume targeted to the specific industry you are looking to get hired in will let the employer see your most relevant qualifications right away. Also, employers want to feel like you want that job in particular, like it's somehow special and a customized resume sends that message. This means that if you are applying for jobs in multiple industries, you will need multiple resumes.•

Monday, June 23, 2014

Graduate School

There are many reasons to pursue graduate education once you’ve completed your bachelor’s degree. Some of the best reasons to enroll in a graduate program are the love of a particular subject and the desire to study it in depth or the need for an advanced degree to enter the profession of your choice.

Applying to graduate school can certainly be stressful. In order to cut back on the stress of this next step, it’s a good idea to begin seriously considering graduate school at least a year before you would enroll. Application deadlines vary, and it is important to know a particular institution’s deadline well in advance. Generally, the deadlines fall between January and March. Applications by those requesting financial support
(scholarships/assistantships) always have earlier deadlines. Some schools have rolling admissions, meaning that they accept students throughout the year and may not have a particular deadline. To find deadline information, search the institution’s website. Most include this information and many institutions now expect you to apply online. Colleges and universities usually require specific graduate admissions tests, and departments sometimes have their own requirements as well.

For more information about graduate programs, go to or For a list of graduate programs at IPFW, go to

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Summer Externships


(noun): A supervised experience done outside of the classroom with the purpose of immersing oneself into a company and/or industry environment.

Summer Externships

IPFW Career Services offers externships on a year-round basis, for current degree-seeking IPFW students. We are currently accepting applications for IPFW students to complete a summer externship.

Summer Externships are more flexible than during the school year, as less students are taking classes.  A requirement of the program is that the student MUST devote 2-5 full work-days with the chosen employer.  There is more information about our participating companies and what the extern can expect during the job immersion, under the "Externship Sites" tab at

This is considered a professional experience and IPFW Career Services has the highest expecations of all the applicants from the application, to the interview, to the business etiquette expectations while at the company. Since this is a competitive experience, it is not a guarantee that every student will be offered an externship. Offers are typically not made for a few reasons, like the student didn't take the interview seriously, the employer is only able to host a 1-2 students but 5 applied, and if the student is developmentally beyond the purpose of an externship.  This means that if a student has already completed an internship in the same area, then the externship will go to a student with less experience.

Externships are seen as a springboard into internships, and are meant to help students discern between various industries and/or confirm their career choice.  If you are an IPFW sophomore or junior, this is a perfect opportunity for you to gain exposure prior to getting an internship your senior year.  Externships can even go on your resume under relevant experience or in the education section.

If you are an IPFW student and want to do an externship this summer with one of the following companies, then log into your JobZone account and apply to the IPFW Externships job posting, #716992.

2014 Participating Companies

  • Allen County Adult Probation
  • Allen County Department of Health
  • Allen County Superior Court
  • ARAMARK Sports & Entertainment
  • Aunt Millie's Bakeries
  • Boy Scouts of America
  • Diskey Sign Company
  • Fort Wayne Museum of Art
  • Fort Wayne Parks and Recreation
  • Fort Wayne Youtheatre
  • IPFW Alumni Relations
  • IPFW Athletics
  • IPFW Career Services
  • IPFW Helmke Library
  • IPFW Human Resources
  • IPFW Military Student Services
  • IPFW Office of Diversity & Multicultural Affairs
  • IPFW Special Events
  • IVY Tech Community College, Student Support Services
  • UPS
  • Windsong Pictures
  • YMCA Youth Services
If you are a local company and want to host IPFW students for an externship, please complete our registration form at