UC Virtual Career Series Can Help You

Saturday, February 9, 2019

The UC Virtual Career Series is a new collaboration between the University of California Office of the President (UCOP) and the UC Alumni Association that “is designed to provide UC alumni with the insights, information, and connections to launch, grow and expand your career opportunities.” A new webinar is offered every month that addresses a career-related issue—from leveraging your UC network to getting the most out of your advanced degree. Although the series is designed to support UC alumni, these webinars are free to UC students, and relevant to the career concerns that you may have.

The first edition of the UC Virtual Career Series is “Navigating the Job Search: Tips from Recruiters and Hiring Managers.” The webinar was composed of UC alumni panelists working as professional recruiters. They offered their advice to help applicants optimize their job search.

The alumni panelists consisted of:

Brett Fisher, MBA (UCLA ‘00), the Founder and Managing Director, Brett Fisher Group - Search Consultants

Brigitte Kearney (UC Riverside ‘02), Recruiting Manager, Tesla

Dorian Mastrogany (UC Davis '10), Manager of Recruitment, Summit Public Schools

The session was moderated by Jorge Ancona (UCLA ‘93).

This article summarizes several tips that were shared during the webinar. Even if you are not planning on searching for a job any time soon, this advice can be helpful as you prepare for applying to internships, residency, fellowships, and other professional opportunities. The full webinar can be viewed here.

Creating a competitive application

Brett Fisher,Founder and Managing Director of Brett Fisher Group - Search Consultants, stated that while there are certain aspects of the job search process that are out of your control, focus on the aspects that you can control. One aspect of the job search process that is in your control is your application.

Brigitte Kearney, Recruiting Manager at Tesla, discussed how a recruiter can take approximately 5 to 7 seconds---yes seconds---reviewing your resume. Because of that, it is important for an employer to quickly see success. Several tips include creating concise bullets that demonstrate your accomplishments, and quantifying your experience to show your impact on a team.

In addition to utilizing your application to demonstrate your impact, tailor your resume and cover letter. When applicants do not pull language from the job posting or do not include relevant experiences, it can result in the perception that the applicant is not interested in the position. In discussing how an applicant can stand out during the application process, Dorian Mastrogany, Manager of Recruitment, Summit Public Schools,stated that she takes note of when applicants callout how their values are aligned with her organization, and articulate why a position fits with their personal vision or career pathway.

Succeeding in the Interview

Mr. Fisher discussed how he has received feedback from his clients that job candidates are unprepared during the interview process. There are several ways to prepare for the interview including practicing interview questions, and researching the employer beforehand. Before the interview, consider asking who is on the interview committee. Through researching members of the committee, you can effectively tailor your responses to their questions.

During the interview, ask follow up questions to show that you are passionate about the company and the role. Ms. Kearney mentioned that when applicants do not ask questions during the interview, it raises red flags. Finally, sending a thank you email after the interview helps an applicant stand out. Ms. Mastrogany stated that when applicants send a thank you email, she notes it in their application to show that they are great at follow through and relationship building.

Leveraging Your Network—Including Your UC Network!

All of the panelists discussed the importance of networking—whether during the career exploration process or the job search. Ms. Mastrogany discussed how career changers can utilize informational interviews (which isjust another name for a conversation you have with someone else to learn more about their professional experience) to explore whether a particular career matches their skills and interests.

During the job search process, use social media platforms like LinkedIn to determine if any members of your network have connections to organizations where you have applied. If so, send a clear and concise email to that person to let them know that you applied to the position and why you are a good fit. They can then forward that message to the right person at their organization.

Finally, find ways to leverage your UC network! For example, when contacting employers that have a connection to your alma mater, Ms. Kearney recommended that applicants highlight their UC connection. As a University of California-Riverside alum, she discussed her excitement when receiving applications from UC Riverside graduates!

Next Steps for UCSF Students and Postdocs

As a UCSF student or postdoc, or recent alum, the Office of Career and Professional Development can support you on many of the topics discussed during the panel—from strategies to approach alums during the career exploration process to creating an effective resume for your dream position. More information about our services, programs, and resources can be found here.

Finally, consider joining UCSF Connect, UCSF’s official online networking platform, to expand your network. OCPD and Alumni Relations have teamed up to help UCSF students and postdocs connect with alumni who are willing to share their valuable insight and experience through this powerful tool. We started a program called Coffee with an Alum where we are giving gift cards to the first 25 students or postdocs who meet up with an alum using UCSF Connect and post a selfie (with the alum's permission!) to social media!More information about UCSF Connect, and the Coffee with an Alum program can found here, as well as our Networking Using UCSF Connect program on Wednesday, February 13 from noon-1:00.