Resumes, Interviews and Life
Heather R. Heizer
Determine your goals
"If you don’t know where you are going,
you’ll probably end up........someplace else.”
What are your goals?
Whatever your main goal is at each step,
1) keep it in mind,
2) do everything you can to achieve it, and
3) do not detract from it.
•Success isn't a result of spontaneous combustion.
You must set yourself on fire. —Arnold H. Glasow
Resumes- Useful Resources
Resumes for Dummies
Resumes for Environmental Careers
Resumes for Science Careers
Most Valuable Resources are:
-They can look over your resume and make helpful suggestions
-Make sure you get an okay from them about references and/or
letters of recommendation etc….
2) Academic Advising Center - 140 Miller Student Center -
Where do I begin?
Make a list of all your activities
(include the ones you might deem unimportant):
1) part-time jobs including work study
2) events from your college
3) short-term projects (lab classes:techniques)
4) training (EMT, life guard, etc…)
5) research projects you have participated in * Sr. Sem.
6) term papers or documents
7) presentations made at school or work (Poster Session)
Emphasize your recent education or training! Consider
your schoolwork as the equivalent of work-Why?
Requires self-discipline and a variety of tasks similar
to a working environment.
Include other activities such as volunteer work, clubs,
organizations, events, etc.
Don’ts on Your Resume:
Don’t tell an employer what you want out of the job.
(Employers want to know what you can do for them)
Don’t be intimidated by experience required! (Use your youth
to your advantage say things like “willing to work evenings”
or “able to travel or relocate”) -this appeals to employers
Don’t misrepresent yourself or put down false information
Check your grammar and spelling
-Name and Contact information easily seen and legible
-Highlight your best skills and/or attributes
-Institution and Degree received (GPA optional)
-Work experience (highlight skills in this section)
-The resume should be a work in progress it should be updated
regularly . (There is always room for improvement!!)
-Have friends and family look over it, they can give you
insight into things you might have neglected to mention. Have
them look for grammar and spelling errors!
-Take it to a mentor or the Career Center!!! -Free Help!
Looking for a Job to Apply For:
1) Online - Our best resource especially if looking in another area:
Denver Post, Science Jobs, Science Careers, Monster Jobs, USAJobs
(Another excellent place is University or Hospital websites.)
2) Newspaper (Also online)
3) Word of mouth -Mingle!
The cover letter can help your resume get noticed!
Sample Cover Letter
Things to Know:
1) Allows you time to sell yourself
2) Be concise (break up paragraphs)
3) Be professional -But don’t forget to be yourself
4) Try to address the people you will be working with
5) Demonstrate what you can do for the employer
6) Be creative if you can but do not go over board.
7) Proofread, proofread, proofread….
Cover Letter Continued:
Mention job for which you are applying.
Tailor letter for each position with specifics:
why consider you/your accomplishments
what distinguishes you from the rest of the pack
why you are interested
Names of references (if requested)
*Do not exceed 1 page.
Sample Interview Questions:
•Are you passionate about your work? What do you think about when you
wake up at 3AM? Once it is established that you are insane and in love with
your science, are you socially balanced and aware? Pippa Marrack
•What do you want to do with your life? What are your long-term aspirations?
•Why do you want this job? Jonathan Sprent
•Where do you see yourself in 5 years/the future? Roberta Pelanda
•Do you like teaching? How do you differentiate yourself from other
applicants? Laurel Lenz
•Discriminating questions: Age, Race, Family, Marital status. Some
questions are illegal in a job interview. Again- think ahead.
Keep records of
the date that you mailed your application
the dates of any correspondence
notes/info from correspondence
Follow up the most important applications with a phone call/email
within a week of sending. During this correspondence, ask when
the applications will be reviewed.
Always clarify any confusion or follow up with an email clarifying
any information that you submitted that might be confusing. An
email restating what you heard in a phone call is a worthwhile
confirmation, and a good opportunity to communicate your
enthusiasm or concerns.
Before the Interview:
It starts with your email and phone communications.
Practice what you will say
-Ask friends and others to quiz you or talk to yourself in the
-Think of questions you might ask (don’t be caught off
Do your homework
-Get your itinerary, read work of people you will be talking
with, list questions and point of discussion for each (it is
fine to look at your notes while you are there).
-Be able to articulate why it would be a good place for you
and what you could contribute there.
-What would you like each person you talk with to know
about you or your work? Be ready to tell them.
Uncomfortable, for everyone
What to Wear:
Business casual = Science professional
We faculty search committee members can remember only a few things.
So I remember interviewing people wearing white socks and fishnet
stockings, and that used up my limited storage capacity.
Matthew Shapiro, Economics Professor
First interview: Obvious??
Don’t drink too much
Think before you speak
People are watching! Don’t sabotage yourself by
Mistake -being rude (to a secretary or the chair)
Mistake -trashing anyone
Mistake –you become uninterested in this position, so
you let it show. People you talk with form a lasting
opinion of you.
After the Interview:
Write Thank You notes!
When: Within 24 hours.
Who: chairman, the head of the search committee, those
that went out of their way for you, use your discretion
What: specifics about visit, follow up on items you
mentioned in your interview (manuscripts, references,
-keep all informed
-ask for extension only if you need it, refuse as
promptly as possible
Get advisors’ input
Make a list of pros and cons
Things to do before the
first day of work:
-Make sure you can do calculations that you will use
-Review old notes or books
-Read up on subject manner which you will be involved with
-The day before make sure to rest
Transition into Real Life:
Some Helpful Books to Read:
-Quarterlife Crisis: The Unique Challenges of
Life in Your Twenties by Alexandra Robbins, Abby Wilner
-What should I do with my Life? Po Bronson
-Heather (email: firstname.lastname@example.org)