Student Services

WSU Tri-Cities Career Services offers many opportunities for students to build and hone career soft skills. Students are always welcome to set up one-on-one appointments to go over their resumes, cover letters, or internship and job search. Professionals are available to help students prepare for interviews and provide career guidance. There are also many online resources available to students. Stop by Career Services in Floyd 140.

Looking for a job? Check out our job board…

Resume and Cover Letters

RESUMES, REFERENCES AND COVER LETTERS A strong, professional application packet is critical to your job search

Resumes

A resume is the one document that can either get you an interview or leave you out of one.  It is important that employers can easily obtain relevant and concise information, but with specific details.  Below are some general tips and examples:

Resume Guidelines 

Items to include: 

Header with your name, address, email (must be a professional email address), phone number, and personalized LinkedIn URL

Education 

Section headers such as: Experience, Volunteer Work, Leadership Roles, Honors and Distinctions, etc. 

Targeted bullet points (each starting with various action verbs) describing your accomplishments, as relates to the job description for the job you are applying for 

Formatting: 

1/2 or 1 inch margins on all sides 

10-12pt. font 

Professional style font (Times New Roman, Calibri, Helvetica, etc.) 

One page (unless you have two full pages of relevant information – Various Action Verbs) 

Single-spaced 

NO TEMPLATES! 

Sample Resume

References 

Typically, a reference sheet includes three to five professional references with contact information for each.  Professional references may include supervisors, coworkers, or professors.  Make sure to ask permission before listing the reference.  Provide the references with a copy of your resume, and alert them when to expect calls from employers. 

If the references will need to write a letter of recommendation, also ensure you give them at least a month’s notice, give them a specific deadline, and provide all directions needed to successfully complete the letter (Do they put it in a sealed envelope and give it to you?  Email it to someone?  Mail it themselves?) 

Cover Letters

This document provides the space for you to clearly articulate why you are the best person for this internship/job and how you meet all of the qualifications.  Make your cover letter interesting to read, concise (one page maximum), personable, and detailed.

Sample Cover Letter

Are you a veteran?

If you are a veteran student who wants to better understand how to translate your military experience into civilian skills, take a look at our Resume Writing for Veterans Guide.

Resume Writing for Veterans Guide (PDF)

Whether you’re having informal chats at a career fair or a formal, one-on-one interview, you need to prepare to represent yourself well.

BEFORE AN INTERVIEW OR CAREER FAIR

Research Companies and Interest

RESEARCH COMPANIES OF INTEREST

For each company that interests you, know the basics:

  • Products, services, customers, markets, etc.
  • Organizational structure and size
  • Mission, goals, and values
  • Positions offered/career paths and types of jobs
  • Locations of offices, headquarters, etc.
  • Marketing campaigns and competitors
  • CEO and other upper-level management

Look for background information in the following places:

  • Company websites
  • Company’s annual report and press releases
  • Professional journals, magazines, and other publications
Determine how you could fit

DETERMINE HOW YOU COULD FIT

  • If you are applying for a specific job, learn as much as you can about it.
  • Be able to articulate why you are interested in a specific company.
  • Match your qualifications to the company.

PREPARE AN ELEVATOR PITCH

Prepare a 30-second introduction for yourself. Include:

  • Your name
  • Your year in school and major/minor
  • Career goals or interests
  • What makes you unique (club involvement, leadership, work experiences, etc.)
  • End on a question specific to whom you are speaking with

Example for Creating a Winning 30 Second Elevator Pitch

  1. (Who are you?) Hello, my name is ______ (offer handshake)
  2. (Mention a link if you have one) ________ suggested I contact you.
  3. (Connect yourself to them by mentioning some personal information) I am a ______ studying _________. OR I am interested in ___________.
  4. (Schmooze a little – acknowledge that you know a bit about them or have a mutual interest) I see/understand that you ______. I admire what you have done with ____. The _____ with _______ is very interesting.
  5. (Ask a leading question) What can you tell me about ________? I would like to hear more about _________.
  6. Thank you for your time. (Get contact info!) Do you have a business card?  Here is my card.  (Offer your info) I would love to talk with you more about this.  This is great information.  May I contact you later?

ANTICIPATE QUESTIONS

  • Practice answering questions with a mock interviewer and/or yourself in the mirror
  • Prepare three or four stories/experiences that illustrate your past performance using the STAR approach:
  • Situation: Describe the specific situation that you were in. This can be from a previous job, a volunteer experience, or any relevant event.
  • Task: Describe the task you needed to accomplish. What was the goal?
  • Action: Describe the action you took and keep the focus on what you did.
  • Results: Explain the results you achieved. What happened? How did the event end? What did you accomplish? What did you learn?
  • Have two or three questions prepared to ask each representative individually.

Questions that interviewers may ask you 

  • Tell me about yourself.
  • What is your most important accomplishment to date?
  • What motivates you?
  • Why should I hire you?
  • Tell me about some of your recent goals and what you did to achieve them?
  • What do you see yourself doing five years from now?
  • What major problem have you had to deal with recently?
  • What is your greatest strength?
  • What is your greatest weakness?
  • If I were to ask one of your professors or a boss to describe you, what would they say?

Questions that you might ask your interviewers

  • What do you like best about your job?
  • What do you like best about this company?
  • What is the most important quality you are looking for in a candidate for this position?
  • What are your expectations for the person you hire?
  • What do you see as the main priorities of this position?
  • What do you see as the main challenges for this position?
  • Do you offer a training program? If so, can you explain it?
  • What are the advancement opportunities for this position and the typical time frame for advancement?
  • What makes this company/organization different from others?
  • What would a typical day be like in this position?
  • Where do you see the company headed in the next 3–5 years?
  • Can you explain your organizational structure?
  • How would you describe your corporate culture?
  • I’m excited about this position. What are the next steps in the hiring process?
  • What is your timeline for making this hiring decision?

 

FOLLOW UP AND THANK YOU CARDS

Send the interviewer an email or handwritten thank-you card within 48 hours. Doing so solidifies your interest in the position, demonstrates your professionalism, and distinguishes you from other candidates.

  • Use an appropriate “business-style” card
  • Send the card so the employer receives it within two or three days
  • Thank the recruiter for their time and prompt consideration
  • Don’t talk about yourself (except to briefly mention something important you forgot to say in person)
  • Write in a professional and formal manner—no slang or abbreviations
  • Keep it simple and brief
  • Address the card to the specific individual you talked to using Mr. or Ms.
  • If you met multiple people, write to each of them an individual card
  • Have someone proofread your cards to avoid errors

Internships provide hands on experience to students in all grade levels. They help students add experience to their resume in addition to helping them find out whether their intended career path is the best choice for them. Beginning freshman year, students should be working to get an internship to get the hands on experience to help them achieve their career goals upon graduating from WSU Tri-Cities.

Where to find internships

Handshake is the system WSU uses to house all internship opportunities. Local organizations who work directly with WSU Tri-Cities will post their opportunities through Handshake.

Internships.com hosts opportunities all around the world for students.

ANRinterns.com ANR works directly with the Department of Energy, Hanford, Mission Support Alliance, and the CH2MHILL internship programs.

Check the employers where you are interested in working. Many employers often have their own internship programs.

Internship for college credit

Many degree programs require an internship or practicum as a graduation requirement. Check with your academic advisor to inquire about your degree requirements.

Things to keep in mind:

  • There is a cost associated with internship credit. Students pay a per credit cost if they are below 10 credits or above 18 credits. If a student is between 10-18 credits, the cost is combined with the general tuition cost.
  • There may be additional assignments required by your program if receiving credit.
  • These credits may help with degree completion.
  • Internships may give you first hand experience for your future career.

Paid internships

Not all internships are required to be paid. There are paid and unpaid internship opportunities available. The state of Washington does have requirements to determine whether an internship does not have to be paid.

Tips and advice

Before applying, set up an appointment with career services to get your resume and cover letter updated. Never done a resume or want a resume overhaul?  Check out resume coloring book , a free resume service for students.

Practice for the interview. Career services can help students develop answers to those hard interview questions.

Check often for new internship opportunities. While it may seem most internships are spring semester or summer semester, internships are actually offered year around. Career services is open throughout the summer and is always available to help students with those last minute questions.

Dress for success. Even if your internship may be working in a warehouse, for the interview you always want to bring your best foot forward. Business professional is always encouraged with interviews.

After your interview, do not forget to write a thank you letter. A quick thank you email or a handwritten note may put you one step above other candidates.

Have Questions?

Contact Kristine Cody, Career and Internship Coordinator, at tricities.careers@wsu.edu 

  • WSU partners with Handshake to connect students and employers together.  It is an online employment resource for students and alumni. First, set up an account and let the job and internship hunt begin. Many employers will use Handshake to recruit students.
  • Stuck in the job hunt and not sure where to start? Connect with the career services and schedule an appointment to get one-on-one career coaching.
  • Checkout Handshake account setup tutorial here: https://support.joinhandshake.com/hc/en-us/sections/204202108-Account-Setup

Career services offers personal one-on-one career coaching to any current student of WSU Tri-Cities. Services are free, comprehensive and confidential. While we can accommodate some drop-in appointments, most will be seen by scheduled appointment. You may also consider checking out myMajors,  to see if your current major best fits your interests. To schedule an appointment, simply:

  • Email a request tricities.careers@wsu.edu
  • Call our office at 509-372-7600, or
  • Visit us in Floyd 140

What do you say when the interviewer asks, “What is your greatest weakness?” or “Tell me about yourself.” There are positive ways to answer these and other difficult questions that avoid the pitfalls into which many fall.

We can prepare you with interview strategies and then put you through a mock interview to practice your skills!

Get your resume and cover
letter reviewed today!