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Over the past two weeks my email inbox has been flooded by the promise of Free Shipping and 50% sales from every retailer that I’ve even blinked at over the past year. I’ve received magazines in the mail that have created a stack about 2 feet high on my coffee table.

It’s that time of year- the time to buy lots of “stuff”… or maybe the idealist in me would say… the time to GIVE! And therefore the University Career Services office decided to get into the spirit and create our own…

Career Services Ultimate Gift Guide:

Be a Career Mentor: If you’re looking for a priceless gift that is meaningful for you and those you help- become a Career Mentor. No matter where you are in your career (less than 4 months of full-time work experience – 30 years or more) you can offer current students advice just by sharing your career story. If you are a Northwestern Alum one of the best ways to be a Career Mentor is to register for the Northwestern CareerNet. Learn more at http://alumni.northwestern.edu/careers

Review a Friend’s Resume: If you’ve perfected your resume and have gained knowledge about content as well as design of this important document, why not share that gift by helping a friend or colleague. Of course, I’ll put a plug in for referring a friend to University Career Services for the final review. But know that you too have vital information to share. Need resume samples please find them within our Career Guide that you can download at http://www.northwestern.edu/careers/students/resources/index.html

Perform a Mock Interview: If you have a friend who is getting ready for an interview. Offer to help them, by doing a mock interview. Ask the following key questions to find out if they are ready for a basic first round interview:

  • Tell me about yourself
  • Why are you interested in this company/position?
  • What do you know about our company?
  • What do you have to offer that separates you from the other applicants? or Why should we hire you?

Just allowing your friend to verbalize the answers to these questions will help them realize if they need to do more research and prepare more. For other mock interview assistance call UCS at 847-491-3700.

Offer to Help with Networking: Lastly, one of the greatest gifts you can give is entry into your network. If you know someone who might be a great connection for a friend or colleague- share that information. Ask your network to welcome a new member. If you’ve interned somewhere before, contact your past supervisor and ask if they are looking for interns this summer. If they say yes, ask if you can recommend some of your friends for this summer’s openings.

Of course there are so many other gifts you can give… resume paper, portfolios, interviewing attire, but I think you’ll agree the non-materialistic gifts are the best when it comes to giving a gift of Career Development!