Advice Column 4/19/2021

“I want to apply for jobs but don’t know what i’m good at and don’t know where to even start.” -Anon
Dear Anon,
Looking for jobs is hard, especially during a pandemic and the overwhelming amount of a workload from the end of the semester. If you start early and get ahead of the rest of the crowd, there’s bound to be plentiful opportunities for you to start with.
You’ll want to get ahead by working on your resume and cover letter before anything else. This will give you a good glimpse into what sort of job you’re looking for and what qualities you possess that can later be looked for by employers. The self reflection of completing a resume is a great way to start your hunt and will eventually help in the long run when applying. 
If you are currently in the UNC Asheville area, the first area to search for a new job is via Handshake. This is a website you can use through the UNCA website to find any number of opportunities on campus, whether that be jobs, internships or positions of your interest. You’ll see a list of what qualities are needed for each position and what you’ll need to complete the application. The process itself is simple enough, and there’s always the opportunity to find more than what you originally were searching for at the start.
Once you’ve finished with all of your applications through Handshake, the next best place to start is via the Career Center page on the UNCA website. There’s a variety of roadmaps, workshops and events that you can take a look at and apply for, even if they are online. In the event that you need to contact someone for help about a specific issue with your resume or application, there are also career coaches through the website that will be able to help you.
It’s important to get a jumpstart on applications as soon as possible, and hopefully Handshake contains the perfect position you are looking for.
Best of luck to you,
The Blue Banner
“Do you have any job interview tips?” -Anon
Dear Anon,
As mentioned with the previous question’s response, your resume is incredibly pivotal in making a first impression for your interviewers. Making it something easy to look at graphically, while also making sure your personal information is pertinent enough to keep will make for a great resume for your interviewers to pick out of the many. The cover letter is also something that should be made in advance and there are loads of free websites available that can help with the layout.
You’ll want to do your research on what the position you are applying for entails and on the company that is interviewing you. This can create a solid foundation for what you are expecting, and can often lead to backing out if you feel the company isn’t fit for you.
Practice with your friends or a mentor of yours after looking up a few questions that are commonly asked in interviews. It especially helps to record yourself while practicing. This way, you can critique what needs to be fixed to prepare for the perfect responses. Just remember not to get too hard on yourself, because confidence is one of the most important qualities to have while going into an interview. 
When the time to interview actually rolls around and you enter the building of the place you wish to be hired at, treat everyone with the same respect you might of the interviewer or future boss. Even if it is the person holding open the door for you, this can mean the difference between a good and a bad first impression.
All of these tips may come across as common sense at first, but are necessary when preparing for something as important as an interview to your future. Don’t focus too hard on what comes next. Just take it one step at a time and let the interview pass with ease. 
Best of Luck,
The Blue Banner
“I’m kind of getting wary about summer coming up and going back home because i’m not looking forward to going back to my hometown. Is there anything I can do to get ready for going back?” -Anon
Dear Anon,
It is completely understandable that you’re feeling wary about returning back home after the freedom of living on your own in college. This is something that even seniors struggle with, because while it is financially less difficult and seems like the easy option, it can be hard to return to a family you don’t feel comfortable with. Rest assured that you can always return to campus in the fall, and the discomfort you’re feeling now is not forever.
While at home, it can help to keep yourself busy to avoid situations that include your family. Though it isn’t the best idea to ignore them outright, it is still an option to keep yourself away when you need space and there are a few ways to go about that.
Getting a job is the most obvious one, and will result in some earnings while you’re at it to prepare for the upcoming semester. Just remember not to overwork yourself, and to take breaks when needed. This is a difficult time for us all, and taking care of yourself should be the priority. 
Next, set boundaries for both yourself and your family life. If it isn’t possible to sit down and speak with your household to instill these boundaries, another great option is to leave notes or text messages about what you are up to and reminders that you are still alive and well if going out for the night. It’s important for you to get the independence you need, while also allowing those around you the awareness of what is going on in your life. 
Lastly, look forward to what lies ahead. You will be back in college soon enough and back to facing the independence you crave, which is something to get excited about. Sometimes all you need is that little push to keep you going.
Take care,
The Blue Banner