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What I Thought I Knew About Job Searching…

The best advice I can give a person on career related topics doesn’t come from job experience. I do not know enough about work to be of any help in that area. What I have had a little experience with is a career course. I have learned how to make a pretty good resume and tailor a cover letter to a specific company. Could I say that eight weeks ago, not a chance! That all changed when I walked into HPER-P301(Job Search Strategies in Kinesiology). I signed up for the job search strategies course assuming it would be something just to take. I thought that I didn’t really need to learn anything. “How hard is it to write a resume?” You just talk about the past experience you have had, what you did, and where you went to school. I spent the first 4 weeks of class thinking this. I came and left without really paying attention. Then I got my resume and cover letter assignment back. I received a 50% on the project. That’s when it all started to hit me, maybe I didn’t really know as much as I thought I did. I did think that maybe my teacher was just being abnormally critical of my work. So I took it to several of the brothers in my fraternity who had gone through internships and used resumes before. I wanted to get their feedback. They asked me how critical I wanted them to be, and I asked them to react the way they would if they were the employer looking to hire someone. All of them immediately threw my resume in the garbage can. That was the moment I really realized that I knew nothing about this.

I spent the next day or two getting more feedback from them. I wanted to know why it was so bad. Their feedback was extremely helpful, but I knew my P301 instructor was the one who really knew about job search materials, so I scheduled a meeting with her. She sat me down in her office, opened up my assignment and asked, “What do you want to know about?” I looked back and said, “Everything”. So we started at the beginning and worked through the whole thing. I thought writing a resume was only about putting down on a piece of paper what I had done in my past jobs. Instead, through class, I learned that people are looking for the skills I took away from past experiences rather than of a list of everywhere I have ever worked. They want to see what I did, why I did it and what resulted from my skills and actions. Basically, I needed to tell them exactly what I could bring to the job. Sure I talked to customers in my jobs, but I had to ask myself, what that accomplished?

The one thing I can tell people is that acting the way I did at the start of the class will not get you anywhere. I walked into the room thinking I had nothing to learn. I just wanted to get it over with. If I could tell someone who is going into that class what I wish someone would have told me, it would be that keeping an open mind is something you’re going to need to do not only in this class and the job search process, but in life. If you walk into a new job thinking you know everything there is to know about what you do, then you’re not going to be as good as you could be. If I had gone into HPER-P301 (Job Search Strategies in Kinesiology) looking at it the way I do now, there is no telling where I might be with my application materials.

The course will soon be over, but I know I have a lot more to learn. In a way the class helped me to prepare for more than just getting a job. It helped me learn what I need to do to keep that job. I have to be willing to pay attention, put in the extra work, and not be satisfied with what I know. Even though the assignment is done, I have continued to ask for help. Why should I be happy with what I have? You should always want to strive for something better.


Jordan Johnson is a Sophomore double majoring in Exercise Science and Health Fitness Specialist with a minor in business. He hopes to get a job in medical sales after graduating, but is still exploring graduate school options. He took Job Search Strategies in Kinesiology (HPER-P301) during the first eight week session of the Fall 2012 semester and recommends it to other students as a helpful step in the job hunt process.

Job Search Strategies in Kinesiology (HPER-P301) is a one credit, eight week course offered every eight weeks in which all aspects of the job search process are covered. Students learn how to:

-Successfully locate full-time and internship opportunities in their fields of interest
-Customize application materials (resume, cover letter, and references) to a specific position
-Convey their skills and prove their qualifications in an interview setting
-Evaluate and negotiate job offers
-Navigate the transition into graduate school, internships, or their first full-time positions

Students at all levels can benefit greatly from the course, but it is particularly helpful for Juniors and Seniors. For more information, please contact the instructor, Sarah Myers at shm@indiana.edu.

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Categories: Career Advice Careers Internships

IUSPH Career Services

Job opportunities for Indiana University School of Public Health-Bloomington majors are diverse and expanding as the emphasis on living a healthy lifestyle grows around the world. Career Services experts in each of our academic departments will provide one-on-one counseling and career building opportunities throughout your academic career, from choosing the right major to developing a strategy to find a job. They can assist you with:

•career counseling
•internships
•job placement
•volunteer opportunities
•resume and cover letter preparation
•interview skills
•networking
•graduate school preparation

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