The Untried Source

When advising students about searching for jobs there is one source that I always recommend, especially if they wan to move to an area they are not in or not familiar with. This resource is the Chamber of Commerce. The majority of cities and regions have a chamber of commerce and a website to promote their membership. It is the membership of a chamber of commerce which will benefit the job hunter.

For example, say you are a recent graduate and you know you want to move to Seattle, Washington. You have some ideas about what type of work you want to do but do not know different companies or jobs available. You look on the large places like and other huge job search places but you are still lost. But where else do you look for jobs? This is when I suggest the Chamber of Commerce for the region. The chamber will have a membership list of the different organization in the area.

For finding those Chamber of Commerce websites Google or another search engine is a great resource. But remember if you have a metro area you will have multiple offices to use. So go to the US Chamber of Commerce. It lists the different offices throughout the country (


Be Wary of Online Job Hunting

In today’s job market many employers and potential employees do the search for candidates/jobs over the Internet. It has made life simpler for the honest human resources personnel because they can post the job in minutes and get responses within hours. Life made simpler.

But while the Internet makes life simpler for the job hunter and the human resources guru it has also made it simpler for the more criminal minded. Identity theft is now becoming common among the online job hunt networks. Places where you post your resumes and others can post illegitimate jobs hoping to catch you unawares. So be careful about what you place on the World Wide Web and take special precaution about which jobs you apply for.

Here are some tips to make the online job hunt safer for you and your identity:

  1. On your resume never post sensitive materials such as your social security (and never give this number out to anyone over the Internet) and too much personal contact information.
  2. Research the company you are applying to before you give them ANY sensitive information. Make sure they are real.
  3. In job announcements check the authenticity of it: does it have spelling errors or invalid phone or fax numbers.

These were just a few tips to help you remain safe in the online job hunt. Check out this article for more advice remaining safe.

You have 6 Months Until Graduation, Now what?

Among the college population there are several thousand of you entering into your final semester at the College of Charleston, but do you have any idea what you are going to be doing after May? If not, the Career Center can help you with determining your post graduation plans. Below I have listed several options available for the new or about to be new graduate.

1. Full-Time Employment

This is the most common option new graduates seek after graduation (also the option most parents like). The Career Center offers several resources to help you find full-time employment. First, check out CISTERNonline our job search database. Second, FutureQuest which is the Spring Career Fair (Feb 20) with nearly a hundred companies on-campus to recruit students. And last one of our best resources is the staff of the Career Center. We can sit down with you and help you with the job search process.

2. A Gap Year Experience

If you want to wait a while before entering into the ‘real’ world, but want to have a meaningful experience then a gap year may be what you need. Travel the world, teach in a foreign country, work for a non-profit or other meaningful experiences. Check out our gap year page for more ideas and information, click here.

3. Graduate/Medical/Law School

This is another option many students choose after graduation. I will note that many application deadlines for graduate schools have passed by this point. If you are interested in graduate school, Click Here for more information about finding programs, admission tests, and more.


Can you think of other options for the post-graduation experience? Share them!

The Top 10 Ways to Bomb a Job Interview

10. You do not send a Thank You note after the interview.

A great way to emphasize your enthusiasm for the position and to subtly remind the interviewer of you otherwise they may forget. For tips on writing a thank you note click here.

9. You dress in causal clothes (flip flops, tennis shoes, jeans, etc.)


Remember this is a job interview not a day at the beach or a shopping excursion. Dress the part you want to be hired for. The interviewer needs to be able to picture you in their company.

8. You do not ask questions.

By asking questions about the position, office atmosphere, company culture and other details you are showing the interviewer that you are interested in them. They won’t hire someone who does not show enthusiasm for the position and company. Click here for our interview guide which includes sample questions you can ask the interviewer.

7. Your attention wanders during the interview (staring out the window or playing with your rings).

This is another way to show an interviewer your lack of enthusiasm if your attention wanders. Give the interviewer good strong eye contact when you are talking to them and when you are listening to what they say.

6. You show up late for the interview without calling and explaining your tardiness.

When preparing for an interview you should build enough time prior to the interview that you can make it on time. Think about possible delays you could have and leave time to compensate. And if something happens and you are going to be late call ahead and tell them!

5. You fidget so much you distract the interviewer with your acrobatics.

It is understandable if you are nervous during the interview, but try to control the impulse to fidget. You want the interviewer to concentrate on your words not your tapping foot or swirling chair.

4. You answer your cell phone/you bring your cell phone to interview.

Big No-No! Don’t even bring your phone to the interview. Remember the interview is all about the company not all about you. They call the shots and may become annoyed and unimpressed if you answer your phone or if it even rings during the interview.

3. You speak negatively about previous supervisors or employers.

If you speak badly about your previous employer what is stopping you from speaking badly about a new employer? This is a hint into your personality that the employer may not like. Give them a positive impression. If you did not like your previous employer simply state that you had different styles but both of you worked well together.

2. You ask about pay and other benefits before they offer you the position.

Another big no-no. You want to leave the interview with the impression that you want the job because you enjoy the work and company not because of the pay check.

1. You do not know what position you are interviewing for or anything about the company.

You may say this is a hard thing to do but I have seen a student before who did not know which position they were interviewing for and knew nothing of the company. Do your research and know every little detail about the position and the company plus by doing your research you can develop questions to ask the interviewer.


Job vs. Career

Job: Do the work, make the money, no real love or passion—can’t wait for the end of the day

Career: Loves the work, money not the only driving force, thrives in the position, has a real passion for the work

Which one would you want to do? The decision should be clear. Most people would want a career in this instance. Can you imagine doing a job that you really do not like for the next thirty years? No. So when you are thinking about different careers you want to go into, think about something you will have a passion for (just like choosing a major). Remember whatever your decision you will most likely be doing this for quite some time so pick something you will enjoy.

But how can you know what you will have a passion for? There are several ways to discover a career you will feel strongly about.

First, do your research. Try to get all the facts about the career including typical work days, settings, requirements, growth etc. By having this knowledge you can weigh them against your values to determine if the career is a serious contender. The Career Center has a lot of books that can give you an overview of hundreds of different careers. Our web resources can also provide you with information on a particular career.

Second, think about shadowing or talking to a professional. This experience entails you following around a professional in the field for a few hours or more. You will get to watch what they do plus have the opportunity to grill them about their position. For shadowing opportunities check out the Career Mentor Network on CISTERNonline or talk with our Internship Coordinator.

After you have a few careers narrowed down another option is completing an internship in that field. While completing an internship you will do the same kinds of tasks you would if you did that full time without having to be there full time. Check out CISTERNonline, your major’s department, or come by our office. We have a lot of different resources you can use to locate an Internship. Plus, an internship will look great to potential full time employers by showing them that you have experience.

So do you want a job or a career?



Education Career Fair

Next week the Career Center will be hosting the Education Career Fair in the Stern Student Center Ballroom. This is a great opportunity for anybody who is interested in a career in education. And remember, you do not have to be an education major to attend the fair. School systems from all over South Carolina, Georgia, and North Carolina will be attending.

Below are a few of the different school systems attending.

  • Charleston County Schools
  • Clayton County Schools (Georgia)
  • Greenville County Schools
  • Lancaster County Schools (N. Carolina)
  • Richmond County BOE (Georgia
  • Southern Teachers Agency
  • Winston-Salem-Forsyth County Schools (N. Carolina)

For a complete list of participating schools and more details check log into CISTERNonline and click on Career Fairs.

Career Fairs at the College of Charleston are open only to students and alumni of the College. 

Careers Beyond the Border

In the last hundred years or so the world has changed so much. Now it takes just seconds to converse with someone in another country versus weeks. And traveling between the borders is a common occurrence. We now live in a global community where we can and do actively participate in the world outside our borders. Because of this global view more and more people are choosing to study and work abroad. But where do you find these opportunities to explore the world? The study abroad experience is easy. Check out the Center for International Education where they have a lot of different learning opportunities around the world.

Finding a career or just a summer job abroad may be a little more challenging. Looking for a position locally is hard enough, but add in the distance factor (thousands of miles) it becomes even more challenging to locate and obtain those positions. There are a lot of different resources you can use to help you with the Career Beyond the Border dilemma. But take caution on setting all your hopes and dreams on landing your first job abroad.

“Every year, the Career Center sees numerous students who have studied or traveled abroad, and who want to continue to gain international experiences through working abroad after graduation. The reality is that finding an international job is a very challenging task, and professional jobs overseas are not generally available to entry-level applicants. However, there are opportunities and programs available for upcoming and recent graduates for work abroad experiences. Many of these programs have application deadlines well in advance of your graduation date, and some require fees for processing paperwork for visas, so if working abroad after graduation is one of your goals, it is important that you begin to explore programs and application requirements as soon as possible.” –Linda Robinson, Full Time Job Coordinator at the Career Center

Some things to try to help boost your resume in order to gain a Career Beyond the Border:

  • Rack up the time spent abroad—the more experience you have in other countries will benefit you—think more than just one semester
  • Hone your foreign language skills—what company will want to hire you if you cannot speak the language of the country you will be working in?
  • Try to get an internship working abroad or try a service organization in another country to gain experience

Check out the links on the Career Center’s website for more help on locating information about working abroad (

Also look at Making the Difference a website devoted to federal jobs in international relations. You may not work immediately in another country but these will give you the exposure that is essential to you and your career goals.

Do you have any advice for other students seeking experience in other countries?