First things first!

How do you know what your dream job is? What do you love Doing?

  • Creating/building things? Maybe engineering!
  • Clothes? Maybe design!
  • Socializing? Maybe communications or public relations!
  • Art? Maybe graphic design!
  • Math? Maybe accounting!
  • Travel? Maybe sales!

There are so many options. How do you get the choice job?

Gilly Hitchcock is president of recruiting firm FPCBangor. Reach her at

1. Build a great background. Be in charge of your destiny!

  • Any job you do whether it is working in a store or ice cream shop or mowing lawns, be the very best you can be. Every person you work for and with should be a future reference!
  • Volunteer in your community-build great relationships and show leadership skills.
  • Get an internship as a great resume builder!
  • If you think you might want to be an engineer then do a summer camp, consider engineering at the University of Maine. The benefits of the programs are limitless.
  • Meet college professors of engineering or other fields.
  • Find out how engineering is similar and different from science.
  • Explore the excitement of engineering design in a constructive competition.
  • Tour a Maine paper manufacturing facility to see how wood is converted to pulp and then to paper by applying engineering methods.
  • Learn what personal values are most important to you in making your career choice.
  • Enjoy working with other gifted students who, like you, are exploring their interests and capabilities.
  • Discuss engineering careers with practicing professionals.
  • Talk with UMaine engineering students about college and job experiences.
  • Discover time management demands of college life while participating in challenging projects and fun activities with fellow participants.
  • Experience four days of campus life.

2. Build a Great Resume!

  • Companies want to see what you have done-for work and education but they also want to see what you have done to become a great citizen and leader in your community.
  • Always be truthful, but try to put something unique into your resume. Maybe it is your volunteer work or maybe it is some associations you belong to or an award you have received or some standout athletic performance.
  • Companies know you will not have lots of relevant work experience directly out of school, but internships and co-ops count for a lot! The most important and unique criteria companies look for today is leadership skills and ability. That will set you apart from the pack!
  • Try to show your motivation and work ethic.
  • Begin your resume with some softer skill sets. For experienced candidates, we suggest you begin with a summary of skills or a professional summary, followed by three or four relevant bullets highlighting some accomplishments. For new graduates, we suggest something similar: Perhaps it will be highlighting some academic or athletic achievement. It should highlight a relevant experience, such as intern or co-op in the field you are applying for. And you could include some particular strengths such as communication skills and motivation or leadership skills related to an accomplishment. And include specific skills.

3. Be Unique!

  • Write thank you notes and send them through the mail. Wow!
  • Use the phone and make phone calls! Not just e-mails and texts. Be different!

4. Build Relationships!

  • Make friends who work in your field of interest. So many great jobs are landed by word of mouth!
  • Find mentors, people who may be in the job you aspire to and ask their advice. People generally really want to help younger people succeed and are flattered by their interest. Learn from them.
  • Join associations and clubs. Get out there and meet the people who are in the space you want to be in! Subscribe to industry publications and get to know the players.

Take a risk and step out there! Work in profession that you love! Always be able to look back and say what a great career I have had! ◾