What Employers Want

There are qualities, attributes and abilities employers are looking for that may not appear on a job description. We call these “soft” skills. “Soft” skills are those skills that are not directly related to a career. They are personal qualities, habits and attitudes.

  • Communication skills (written and verbal)
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Critical thinking skills
  • Teamwork skills
  • Strong work ethic
  • Detail-oriented
  • Flexible
  • Adaptable

Adapted from Job Choices Magazine 2012


You only have one chance to make a first impression. Your resume gets you the interview and your interview gets you the job.

Before your interview

  • Create/update your resume (bring additional copies to your interview)
  • Develop a cover letter for each potential position
  • Contact your references and create a reference list
  • Secure letters of recommendation
  • Research companies and positions
  • Practice your interviewing skills
  • Generate specific questions that you wish to ask during your interview
  • Dress for success. Dress to your advantage and be conservative

During your interview

  • Be professional and greet the interviewer politely
  • Greet him and her with a firm handshake
  • Maintain good posture
  • Maintain good eye contact
  • Stress your strengths
  • Be confident and sincere
  • Ask for a business card
  • Use the interviewer’s name
  • Be conscious of facial expressions and gestures
  • Use appropriate grammar. Avoid using slang or acronyms
  • Thank the interviewer for his or her time

After your interview 

  • Send any information requested by the interviewer (references, transcripts, or other employment related documents)
  • Follow-up with a thank you note

Have you checked out Job Choices Magazine? This magazine provides you with information on a variety of material that will assist with your job search. Check out the “Interview Essentials” article for additional information on interviewing.

Job Choices Magazine – digital format, August 2012 http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nace/JobChoices0812/index.php

(there is also a free app in the App Store)


Cover Letter Tips

Written by Andrea Hanstedt
  • Always address your letter to a specific individual with his/her correct title and business address.
  • Tailor your letter to the needs of the company and requirements of the position.  Include specific examples or facts.
  • Organize your information for the reader; write clearly and simply.  Avoid jargon and overly complex sentences.
  • Use active voice and action verbs in your writing; vary sentence structure and length.
  • Be positive in content, tone, word choice and expectations.  Convey confidence; avoid “I hope, I think”.
  • Produce error-free, clean copy on laser printer.  Don’t depend on spell-check!
  • Use high-quality stationery and envelopes.
  • Keep the letter to one page.  Avoid repeating contents of resume; add new information.
  • Be timely.  Send your letter and resume as soon as you are aware of the potential opportunity.  Meet all stated deadlines.

Resume Reminders


Written by Andrea Hanstedt

  • Consider your audience and purpose.
  • Present name and contact information at the top of your resume.
  • Develop a specific focus.
  • Determine a resume format that best markets you: chronological, functional, combination, or targeted.
  • Present experience and education in reverse chronological order.
  • Avoid using personal pronouns (avoid using the word “I” on your resume).
  • Describe skills and achievements with specific, quantifiable details; begin each phrase with a descriptive action verb.
  • Be consistent with:
    • Verb tense
    • Spacing
    • Tab use
    • Information displays
    • Date displays
    • Font style
    • Font size
  • Limit your resume to one page (in most cases).
  • Specific reference names do not belong on your resume. References are presented as a separate document.
  • Be clear and concise; eliminate irrelevant and redundant information.
  • Use standard English, grammar, and spelling.
  • Laser print your resume on quality paper.
  • If you are emailing your resume, save and send as a PDF (this reduces computer compatibility issues).

Career Exploration

Written by Andrea Hanstedt

Your StrengthsQuest assessment can help you find out how your values, skills, interests and strengths relate to possible majors and careers. StrengthsQuest may have reinforced what you already know or you may have learned something new. Either way, your values, skills, interests and strengths play a key role in helping you find a career in your field of study.

Researching careers is an important and valuable part of career exploration.

Visit the Occupational Outlook Handbook to find out about responsibilities, educational requirements, and salaries for hundreds of careers. 

Visit O*Net to find out about skills that relate to specific careers.

See you Friday, October 12, 2012 at noon in Moln. 149 to discuss career exploration.


Written by Andrea Hanstedt

Assessments look at how your values, skills and interests relate to different majors and careers. Understanding what you value and what skills you possess can assist you in determining what major or career may be of interest to you. Even if you have already decided on a major, an assessment can confirm your choice (or give you a few new options).  

See you on Friday, October 5, 2012 at noon in Moln 149 we will be taking the StrengthsQuest assessment.

We offer several assessments in the Academic Advising and Career Center.  

Wisconsin Careers – Interest Profiler (O*Net Interest Profiler). This assessment is administered and interpreted by Marie Smith, Mita Banerjee, and Sherrie Manlove Heep.

StrengthsQuest Discover and develop your strengths in academics, career, and beyond. This assessment is administered and interpreted by Marie Smith and Don Duncan.

Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. Login using Skills One. This assessment is administered and interpreted by Marie Smith.


Strong Interest Inventory and iStartStrong, Login using Skills One. This assessment is administered and interpreted by Marie Smith.


I will be in Student Support Services on:

Wednesdays 1:00pm – 3:00pm


Fridays 1:30pm – 3:00pm and by appointment.


Andrea Hanstedt, Career Coach for the STEPS program

Major Mania

Written by Andrea Hanstedt

Wednesday, October 24, 2012 noon-1:00pm, Upper Main Place

Explore your options. Find out about majors, concentrations, minors, and certificates offered at UW-Parkside.

There are many majors offered at Parkside including:

Applied Health Sciences (BS)
Biological Sciences (BS)
Business Management (BS)
Chemistry (BS)
Communication (BA)
Computer Science (BS)
Criminal Justice (BA)
Digital Arts (BA) (Art Dept.)
Economics (BA)
English (BA)
Fitness Management (BS)
Geography (BA)
Geosciences (BS)
History (BA)
Humanities (BA)
Interdisciplinary Studies (BA)
International Studies (BA)
Management Information Systems (BS)
Mathematics (BS)
Molecular Biology and Bioinformatics (BS)
Music (BA)
Nursing (BSN, UW-M consortialprogram)
Philosophy (BA)
Physics (BS)
Political Science (BA)
Psychology (BS)
Sociology (BA)
Spanish (BA)
Sport Management (BS)
Studio Arts (BA)
Sustainable Management (BSSM)
Theatre Arts (BA)

For more information about academic programs visit http://www.uwp.edu/academics/

What should I wear to my interview?

Andrea HanstedtWritten by Andrea Hanstedt

Dress to impress –You only have one chance to make a first impression!

  • Always be sure to dress professionally. It is always better to be more conservative when you are unsure of what type of dress is appropriate.
  • When thinking about jewelry, remain conservative. Wearing a watch, single ring or small-sized earrings is appropriate for both males and females.
  • For men, typically it is most appropriate to wear a dark colored suit with a white shirt and conservative tie. Shoes should be leather and business-like. They should be well polished, in good condition and paired with dark socks.
  •  For women, a matching suit. This can be either a jacket and a matching skirt or a jacket and matching pants. The blouse should be light or pastel in color. Shoes should be close-toed and leather with a medium to low heel. Hosiery should be sheer.
  • Always practice good grooming! Be clean and neat!
  • Use cologne or perfume sparingly.
  • No backpacks. Carry your portfolio, resume or any other documents in a folder. For females, a small purse is appropriate.
  • Try to be comfortable. When what you are wearing is comfortable, you are more likely to be confident!

Adapted from Job Choices Magazine 2012

Spotlight: Andrea

My name is Andrea Hanstedt. I am the Career Coach for the Students To Engaged Professionals (STEPS) program through Student Support Services / TRIO. I am also an intern in the Academic Advising and Career Center.

I am working on acquiring my Masters of Arts in Counseling with an emphasis in Higher Education through Lakeland College. I received my undergraduate degree from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse in Education. I am certified to teach grades 1-9 and also have a minor in general science. I still maintain my passion for teaching and continue to use my teaching and counseling skills here at University of Wisconsin-Parkside!

I have been employed with Starbucks for the past six years and have come to love the customers and co-workers who make waking up at 4 a.m. tolerable! I have worked at several stores in Wisconsin but I am proud to say that the Third Ward Starbucks in Milwaukee feels the most like home.

While going to school in La Crosse I developed a love for outdoor activities such as hiking, running and biking. Since I have moved to Milwaukee, I continue to participate in these same activities on a regular basis. I am currently training to run a marathon and it continues to be quite the challenge! When I am not working or enjoying the outdoors you can find me at Milwaukee Brewer games. I have always been a passionate Brewer fan and I attend many games throughout the season.