Category: Employer

Information for Employers interested in getting involved on Michigan Tech’s campus.

Tips for Job Postings

While working with our students and alumni, we constantly reinforce the idea of a single-page resume for our students.  The purpose of this exercise is to reflect on experiences, prioritize, and highlight the items that are the most important.  As a company, you want to give this same level of consideration to your job postings.

In many cases, the Human Resources “Performance Appraisal” form lists a variety of attributes used to rate employees to help identify areas for improvement and personnel development.  These lists are often checklists that are shared between multiple job descriptions because “must work well within a team environment” is a requirement for everyone that works at a company.  An enumeration of tasks to be performed on a job are a great way to “score” someone during an annual performance review, but it is a terrible way to help someone your organization’s work culture or even what the job entails.

Most companies will have a well-written “About Us” section on the company website that describes what the company strives to achieve.  The thing that is most often missing in job postings is the part that helps job applicants understand how their role helps advance the larger purpose.  Remember that this job posting is essentially the advertisement about why a choosing a to work for your company will make a difference in the world, the company, and the prospective employee’s career.

Take some time to be creative!  Describe not the job duties but how this function helps advance the depth and breadth of your company’s efforts to build better products and improve the world!  Perhaps the easiest test is to ask yourself, does this job sound exciting and would I understand the higher purpose being served by my participation in this role?  Emphasize your work culture.  Here is an example:

“Our company is building a team who shares the values of xxx, embraces collaborative efforts to develop creative solutions, values the unique skill sets of others, recognizes challenges but focuses on developing solutions, appreciates diversity in thought and background of fellow team members, and strives to be a contributor rather than an observer.”

Just like reviewing resumes, you may only get 60 seconds and can only make a first impression once!


How do you decide on a Career?

Everyone has an option on where you should work and what you should do.  In many cases, these opinions are offered as “advice” based upon this person’s life experiences and biases.

The single biggest decision that a high school student makes is their choice of a College, University, or Trade School.  Throughout their years in Higher Education, a student has a world of opportunities and choices to make.  A significant decision is a choice of industry to begin a career path.

The job search process (Internet research, applying for jobs, formal interviews, etc.) helps companies identify employees that might fit with their company, but it doesn’t help students decide what career is right for them.  In the absence of any formal program, students often make their decision based upon information from their informal network of friends and family acquaintances.  While this helps students feel comfortable with the decision, these criteria may not be the facts that the company wants to highlight.

As the Career Fair has grown, students are seeing an increase in not only the number of companies recruiting, but also the diversity of industries represented.  This adds to the challenge of making an informed choice.

At Michigan Tech, we have decided to make this process a bit more informal and exploratory while allowing students to get data directly from the companies.  Our solution?  Campus-wide “Industry Days”.

Companies are invited to participate in an informal “expo” style event filled with hands-on, interactive events.  Students and corporate representatives are much more relaxed in this setting.  The Industry focused events help students get a “30,000 foot” explanation of the career opportunities within industries, while providing students a glimpse of the future direction of the industry, allowing them to consider where their career path might take them in that industry.  Some students are surprised by different opportunities available in an industry or sector they would not have considered otherwise.

For the Fall of 2014, we had days focused around the Steel Industry, Petroleum Industry, and Railroad Industry.  Response from companies has been extremely positive.  The spring will also include more career explorations and more opportunities to interact and engage with companies.

In the past, students treated their first job as the end of their career search. Today, a career is a journey. Our graduating students from the millennial generation are looking for diverse career options, not wanting to get ‘stuck’ in one career that becomes routine, but treating each career assignment as an opportunity to build their skill set to take on their next challenge. Industry days provides students a chance to map out their career journey.


The GOOD habit of telling others “Thank you!”

“Tis the Season” of course refers to the holidays and all that goes with: gift giving, give receiving, a time to be jolly, happy, & merry, time to gather with family and friends, time to eat until you bust (and it won’t be broccoli for most of us!)

It’s also a time for being thankful or grateful. We know you’ll say “thank you” and write thank you notes for your  gifts, and we hope you’ll have time to reflect, internally, for all your blessings, and we also hope you’ll also consider saying, “thank you” to many others no matter what the season.

It’s also a time for new beginnings, as many of us will make resolutions for the New Year – some to stop bad habits and some to start good habits. We want to encourage you to make your spirit of gratefulness one of the good habits you add to 2015. And, actually, saying, “thank you” more often, is a great habit.

We know you like to be appreciated – everyone does! Will you make it a habit to be mindful about when good things happens to you or for you, most times, someone has helped make that happen.  Tell them how much you appreciate them – even if it’s their job.

An email thank you is great, but a handwritten thank you note is the bomb!  Here are 5 quick hints to writing a great thank you note:

  1. Write out the recipient’s name –  start with the traditional, “Dear Jane or Joe or Aunt Bertha or Uncle Sam or…you get the picture.
  2. Don’t worry about your sentence structure or spelling or grammar – just write it from your heart. Sometimes sweating the form keeps us from even starting. “Just Do It”
  3. Simply start with exactly what you’re grateful for – “I’m writing to thank you for…
  4. Then tell them how their gift or action or thoughtfulness made you feel – how you’ll use it, how has it made a positive impact on your everyday life, or even just how it made you feel.
  5. Be sure to use a personal sign-off: “Love” for close family and friends, but consider, “All my best” or “Best regards” or “Fondly Yours” or even just “Yours,” for others.

A thoughtful thank you note is a wonderful way expression of personal and professional etiquette and kindness and will become part of your brand. It’ll make someone feel great, you feel great, and it’s just the right thing to do.

Happy Holidays Everyone!


What Makes a Successful Career Fair?


Michigan Tech has a proud tradition of Career Fairs that are well organized and filled with both companies and well-prepared students.  In order for a Career Fair to be successful, it is imperative that there is a good turnout of both students and employers.

Preparation for an exam always improves performance!  Career Services offers students a variety of ways to get prepared for their future career through offering networking opportunities, practice interviews, resume assistance, and individual counseling.  These experiences are enhanced by our corporate partners who volunteer their time to help our students.

Our Fall Career Fair was record-setting in terms of company attendance.  The atmosphere was electric and the buzz on campus was palpable.  A detailed analysis of the registered companies reveals some interesting information.2014F Michigan Tech Career Fair Company Breakdown

Many of the companies in attendance were new to our Career Fair.  61 companies (almost 18%) of the companies have not been to campus since 2010 or have never been to campus before.

Feedback from our students and employers continues to enhance the career fair experience.  In the spirit of continuous improvement, we hope to make each Career Fair better than the last.  With more events to help increase student preparation and career awareness, we hope you will find that the Michigan Tech Career Fair is the best place to meet your next employees.