To those of you who attended the Green Government Jobs panel discussion yesterday, I thank you for making it such a successful event and commend you for being forward thinking as you approach graduation. I believe that each of us has a calling, and though you may have discovered yesterday that public service is not for you, I am grateful to have helped you narrow it down either way by providing this opportunity. My hope is that you felt inspired by our incredible guests; whether it be just to fierce-ify your resume (both grammatically and experientially), to fight like hell for the highest possible GPA, or to make a positive and lasting impression.
Much like the recipe for the perfect cookie, all of the ingredients need to be in place.
· High GPA: the higher the better. Commit today to raising it as high as mathematically possible. Struggling with a class? Find a tutor and/or set up a study group. When's the last time you visited your professor during office hours? Get in there. Say hello. Let him or her know about your determination to succeed in that class. You'd be amazed how far this can take you. And if the only thing that comes from this is a better letter of recommendation, that's super great too.
· Experience: the more the better. This doesn't include just paid jobs you've worked, it includes volunteer experience, research, membership in organizations/clubs, etc. There are SO many incredible local opportunities for service. Get involved. It'll look great on your resume, but it'll feel even better. This is a big area of interest to me, and I'm happy to be a resource for you.
· Make nice with an English professor: you're going to want your resume proofread. You may be the perfect candidate for the career you've been dreaming of, but poor grammar and spelling may instantly take you out of the running. If you struggle in this area, know that it's very ok to reach out. People enjoy helping those who help themselves, especially when it's appreciated. Send a thank you card. Handwritten cards make a much bigger impression than an email, however, if an email address is all you have, use it. Maybe you'll even email to ask for a physical address.
· Sense of humor and realness: be relatable. While humor is generally not appropriate in a resume, a light twist in the cover letter may work for you. When you're fortunate enough to speak with someone on the phone or in person, a giggle is golden. It's easy to go overboard here, so keep it appropriate and light.
These are just the cookie basics, your sugar, flour, eggs, and butter, so to speak. It's up to you to add the chocolate chips, cranberries, peanut butter, or whatever else will give someone the true taste of who you are. Now that the oven is pre-heated, get to baking!
As a woman nearing 30, it wasn't easy going back to school. I had several careers, some glamorous and some far from, but I hadn't found the one thing that just felt right. Can you imagine looking forward to sitting in traffic on the 405? I do, because it means that I'm either starting or ending a day of enforcing the laws that are in place to protect our fragile ecosystems. I do, because it means that it's another day of doing something that my nephews can be proud of. To me, that's a better benefit than the stellar health plan, vacation time, opportunities for individual development, and yes, even better than the gym membership reimbursement.
Find what drives you and ready the engine. I wish each of you the very best and great success. Please feel free to reach me with any questions you may have.
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