Students using SAS: Tips for landing your dream job

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I recently had the pleasure of attending WUSS 2011.  One of the highlights of the conference was a session for a group of student scholars which featured a job panel. The panel consisted of hiring managers, recruiters and VP’s.  The session focused on helping students be successful in getting a job.  The panel shared their insights on everything from resumes, conducting job searches, to interviewing.  Students were very engaged in the discussion as many are nearing graduation and getting a job is a top priority.  Getting a group of experts to share the best strategies for getting a job with such openness is not something that happens every day.  If you were unable to attend WUSS 2011, here are some of the key points that were shared.

Resumes

  • Perception and attention to detail – the first impression the hiring manager will have of you is based upon your resume, make sure it reflects why you should be considered for the job to which you applied
  • No spelling errors – errors indicate a lack of attention to detail
  • Proper formatting and content – the purpose of the resume is to get you the interview, not to tell the complete story - save that for the interview
  • Internships are critical – this shows initiative
  • Certifications - make sure to list the certifications you have earned
  • Awards also count – if you have been recognized make sure to include this as it shows you can perform and deliver quality results

Job searches

  • Networking is the most likely method by which you will get a job – the volume of applicants is high and if you know someone who can get your resume in front of the right person, then it is a good strategy to use
  • Conferences – the job panel was held at a SAS user group conference and everyone at the conference was a SAS user, which means the attendees were from companies that hire people with SAS skills, making conferences a great place to network and learn at the same time
  • Social media – using social media such as LinkedIn is a great way to find jobs and connect with people in that industry as well as the people in hiring positions
  • Job fairs and career centers – most schools hold job fairs or have a career placement center and can help with resume writing, job searches, and may even have placement programs or internship opportunities so leverage these resources

Interviews

  • Don’t be late – it shows a lack of attention to detail and preparedness
  • Dress for success – dress to reflect the way you wish to be perceived
  • Do a mock interview and prepare for the worst question – whatever you dread being asked, prepare for how you will respond and take the conversation in a positive direction
  • Take notes – bring something to write on, if needed you will be prepared which shows you plan ahead
  • Ask questions – interviews should be two professionals having a conversation, not you trying to get the “right” answer
  • Do your homework – questions should be interesting to both parties and help maintain the conversation and should not be “so what does this company do?”
  • Final question – ask if you’ve answered everything and if so, how does the interviewer feel about your qualifications and fit for the role
  • Thank the interviewer for their time and reiterate two key points and a call to action

Final thoughts

  • Send a thank you
  • Know about the company
  • Be confident and know your worth and relevance to the role

These are just some of the key points from the discussion.  Graduation is an important milestone as it marks the beginning of your career journey. Use these insights to help you prepare and navigate the world of job searching. Get ready to put those SAS skills to work!

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Julie Petlick

SAS Student Programs Manager

Julie Petlick works in the SAS Education Division as part of the Global Academic Program team. Julie is responsible for the SAS Student Program and is dedicated to supporting teaching and learning.

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