Humphreys University Articles
How does career counseling work at Humphreys University?
I remember about 15 years ago when a friend of mine was talking about wanting to work at Borders Bookstore. Remember Borders? They told her she needed to apply online, so she did. The 90- page application (yes, 90) was more of a psychological exam than anything. You would think she was going to work for the FBI! This was in stark contrast to when I applied to work at B. Dalton Bookstore back in the 80s. I walked in the bookstore in Weberstown Mall, filled out the paper application, was interviewed the next day and hired. Very simple. Ah, those were the days!
Getting a job nowadays is a lot of hard work! I mean the process of getting a job. Let’s face it- it is intimidating how things are done now. We need all the help we can get! Humphreys provides that help to its students.
Humphreys is a unique institution because we really get to know our students. From the moment they walk in the door, we try to get to know their interests, strengths and weaknesses. We have the advantage of really taking the time to learn what they are all about. This helps when they start looking for a job.
The days of going door-to-door asking for a job are over. We sit down with the student and go over some of the websites where they should be looking for jobs. Many of our students are looking for government jobs, so we lead them to the various city, county, state, and federal websites. I also show them indeed.com, my particular favorite. Indeed is so easy to navigate!
One thing that students usually want help with is their resume. Creating a good resume can be challenging. The age of the Internet has made this easier but also more difficult. There are SO many resume examples on the Internet that it can be overwhelming. And the pressure to produce the most fantastic document is real. That is where we step in. We sit down with the student and go over a resume they have already put together- or we create a new one from scratch. Because we know our students, the process is fairly simple. Oftentimes they think that a resume has to be super sophisticated- almost complicated. They soon realize that is not necessarily the case. We help them to highlight their strengths so the employer will take notice.
In the age of LinkedIn and high-power networking, it is important to know how to “behave” on the Internet. I like to be frank with my students and tell them to check their Facebook or Instagram accounts and clean them up. If you have pictures of your family at Disneyland- great. That is a good image to have on the screen. If you have shots of you and your buddies partying- not so good. Employers will check your social media presence to find out who you really are. You do not want to come off as a party animal or as self-obsessed. Changing you profile picture every day is not a good look- nor is a selfie as your profile picture. We also talk to them about which social media to be on. Not everybody needs a LinkedIn account. You can get a job without being uber-connected. It all depends. What you can and must do, is keep the social media profiles you have clean.
Another component of career guidance is interview practice. I usually give students a handbook to look over and study. They come back to me later and I interview them. Of particular importance is how to answer sticky questions the interviewer might ask. I give a list of possible questions and appropriate answers, and we practice. This helps them to relax, knowing they can be confident in their responses.
The best preparation the students have is their education at Humphreys. We focus on writing, speaking, and critical thinking skills, so students graduate with a polish. I just have the pleasure of making sure the world sees this!
Julie Walker is an Admissions and Career Counselor. She works on the Modesto campus and has been working at Humphreys University in the administrative and faculty sides for almost two decades.