Frequently Asked Questions

20274hpr.jpg To better assist you, our Frequently Asked Questions section has been broken up in to several categories.  Please choose one below. 

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Cat Career Tracks

How do I sign up for Cat Career Tracks?

You will have access to Cat Career Tracks once you have registered for classes.  Within a week, you will receive an email from us with instructions on how to access your account. 

What if my username and/or password doesn't work?

If you cannot log into Cat Career Tracks, please call the Career Services office at (906) 227-2800.

How do I change my password?

On your Cat Career Tracks dashboard, click on “My Profile” and then on “Profile Summary”.  There will be a link on that page to change your password.  If you have forgotten your password, there will be a link on the Cat Career Tracks login page to reset your password.

How do I search for jobs and internships?

On the Cat Career Tracks dashboard, click on “Job Search”.  On the Job List page, select the filters you would like to search by and then click on the “Update Search” button.   

I keep typing in the same search each time I log in. Can I save this search?

Yes, you can.  Once you have selected all the filters you want, click on the “Save Search” link at the top of the Job List page.  A pop-up box will appear.  Name your search and if you want updates on this search emailed to you, check the “Email Me Daily Updates” box.  Then save the search.  To view your saved searches, click on the “My Saved Searches” link on the Job List page. 

I have not attended Orientation yet, but would like to start my job search. Where can I find job postings?

You will not have access to any of the jobs posted in Cat Career Tracks until you have attended Orientation and registered for classes.  Until then, you can utilize websites such as Indeed, Snagajob, or Michigan Works! to look for off-campus jobs.  Many local businesses will advertise open positions on their Facebook or Twitter pages. 

How do I upload my resume and other documents?

Click on the “My Profile” link on your Cat Career Tracks dashboard.  There you will see links for resumes, cover letters and additional documents.  Click on whichever one you would like to upload.

Can I save a job to look at later?

Yes, you can.  Click on the star to the right of a job posting.  This will add it to your job Hotlist.  To view your Hotlist, click on “Job Search” on your dashboard then click on “Hotlist”.

How can I see what employers will be interviewing on-campus?

Click on “Interviews” on your Cat Career Tracks dashboard.  Here, you will be able to see a list of employer who are currently interviewing for jobs.  You can also select filters to search for something specific. 

Where can I see a list of upcoming job fairs, workshops and information sessions?

You will find links to upcoming workshops, job fairs and company information sessions under “Events” on your Cat Career Tracks dashboard.

Can I see what events I have registered for and jobs I have applied for?

Within your Cat Career Tracks account, there is a “Signup” list on both the Workshops and Company Events pages.  This is where you will see any events you have registered to attend.  Under “Job Search”, you will see the “Applications” link.  Here is where you will see any jobs you have applied for.

Can employers log in and see my profile?

Yes, they can but only if you have allowed employer viewing in your profile settings.  To do this, go to the “Additional Info” section of your profile.  Click on the pencil icon next to “Allow Employer Viewing” to edit this option.  If you select “yes”, employers will be able to view your profile and resume if you have uploaded one to your profile.   

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Student Employment

How do I find/apply for a job on-campus or off-campus?

Cat Career Tracks allows you to easily search through jobs, 24/7.  To log in and get started, log in to you MyNMU account and click on the Cat Career Tracks link under the Student Resources tab.

For the convenience of NMU students searching for employment on-campus, applications are available to download and print.  After finding a job that you are interested in via Cat Career Tracks, use the link below to obtain the appropriate application. These applications are also available in the Cat Career Tracks Document Library.

Note: Do not return completed applications to the Career Services Office, unless specifically requested to do so.  Turn applications in directly to the office or department that is hiring.  If you are not sure which form to use, consult the specific job posting or contact the department that posted the job in which you are interested. If you would like to work in a specific department but do not see a job posted, contact the department to inquire if they are hiring. 

Some applications are available in two formats: Adobe Acrobat (PDF) and Rich Text.  If unsure of which to use, see information below for differences. You must fill out a separate application form for each position for which you are applying. 

I want to work in a specific department, but they don't have any jobs posted. Can I still apply for a position?

A list of individuals who hire students for each department, is found at NMU Departmental Contacts. For each department, the contact name, address, phone number and e-mail address are listed.

How many hours a week can I work?

Per NMU policy, you can work up to 20 hours per week on campus during the regular academic year (this includes University breaks - Thanksgiving, winter break, spring break, and exam week). In the summer, student employees will be restricted to 20 hours of work per week while they are enrolled in classes at least half-time (6 credits undergraduate; 4 credits graduate). Students who are not enrolled for summer classes (or are below half-time), but are pre-registered for the following fall semester may work up to 40 hours per week. You should consider the amount of your work study award (if you have one) when determining your weekly work schedule if you want to spread your award out over the entire academic year. 

How much will I make at a part-time job?

Wages differ with each position. Michigan's minimum wage is currently $8.90 per hour (as of January 1, 2017).

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The Work Study Program

What is work study?

Work study is a type of financial aid where students work as student employees in order to receive money.  You are paid for the number of hours you work.  Work study is either federally-funded or state-funded, subsidizing a portion of the student's wages.  In order to qualify for work study, you must complete and submit the appropriate financial aid forms, which are available in the Financial Aid Office, 2107 C.B. Hedgcock. Students are considered for work study based on financial need only. Questions regarding financial aid should be directed to the Financial Aid Office at 227-2327.

I have been awarded work study as part of my financial aid package. What do I do now?

When you apply for a job, make sure that you indicate on your application form that you qualify for work study. When an employer enters you onto the computer system to get paid, your work study award will be applied.

Do I get a paycheck for working or does the money just go right towards my student account?

Work study funds are intended to help offset your educational and living expenses, but the money is not credited to your student account. You will receive a paycheck each pay period you work and it's up to you to apply it to your expenses. All paychecks are based on your hourly wage and the number of hours you worked that pay period.

How do I find a work study job on campus?

Cat Career Tracks allows you to easily search through jobs, 24/7.  To get started, first log in to your MyNMU account.  Click on Cat Career Tracks under the Student Resources tab. 

For the convenience of NMU students searching for employment on-campus, applications are available to download and print.  After finding a job that you are interested in via Cat Career Tracks, use the link below to obtain the appropriate application. These applications are also available in the Cat Career Tracks Resource Library.

Note: Do not return completed applications to the Career Services Office, unless specifically requested to do so.  Turn applications in directly to the office or department that is hiring.  If you are not sure which form to use, consult the specific job posting or contact the department that posted the job in which you are interested. If you would like to work in a specific department but do not see a job posted, contact the department to inquire if they are hiring. 

Some applications are available in two formats: Adobe Acrobat (PDF) and Rich Text.  If unsure of which to use, see information below for differences. You must fill out a separate application form for each position for which you are applying. 

How many hours a week can I work?

Per NMU policy, you can work up to 20 hours per week on campus during the regular academic year (this includes University breaks - Thanksgiving, winter break, spring break, and exam week). In the summer, student employees will be restricted to 20 hours of work per week while they are enrolled in classes at least half-time (6 credits undergraduate; 4 credits graduate). Students who are not enrolled for summer classes (or are below half-time), but are pre-registered for the following fall semester may work up to 40 hours per week. You should consider the amount of your work study award (if you have one) when determining your weekly work schedule if you want to spread your award out over the entire academic year. 

What happens if I use all my work study funds before the end of the academic year?

Once you reach your work study award level, your employer will be responsible for paying 100 percent of your wages after that point. Due to budgetary constraints, some departments can't afford to pay 100 percent of the student's wages and may have to release you from the department. Others may continue to employ you for the remainder of the academic year. If you are concerned about this, you should work with your employer to develop a schedule that allows you to spread your work study award throughout the entire academic year at the same or reduced number of hours per pay period.

I have two jobs on campus. Do both of them draw from my work study funds?

It depends. Working with your supervisors, you can designate both jobs as work study. If this is the case, remember to inform both supervisors so they can help you monitor how quickly you are using your work study award. Or, you can work one job as work study and the other as regular student employment, being careful not to exceed the 20 hours-per-week limit between both jobs.

Am I guaranteed a work study position each year?

Because work study is part of your financial aid package, you will need to submit the necessary financial aid paperwork each year in order to determine your level of financial need. Contact the Financial Aid Office at 906-227-2327 to determine the deadlines for submitting financial aid paperwork. Having a work study award does not guarantee you a job on-campus.

Can my work study funds be applied to an off-campus job?

The off-campus work study program at NMU has provided some students the opportunity to apply their work study awards to off-campus jobs through a limited number of community service organizations. When such jobs are available, they will be posted in the Cat Career Tracks system.

Can I still work on campus if I don't qualify for work study?

Absolutely. While some departments require student applicants to have work study, many do not. The job listings will indicate whether or not work study is required, and you can apply for any position that doesn't require work study.  Check the  Cat Career Tracks system frequently for newly posted positions.

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Career Development, Resumes, and Interviews

Where can I look for full-time positions after I graduate?

Full-time positions are posted in Cat Career Tracks. You can do a search for jobs, look at employer information, see which employers are attending upcoming job fairs, and much more! We also have a list of resources and helpful career websites

Where can I get ideas for creating a resume and cover letter?

Career Services has developed a Career Development Guide. The guide includes such information as hints for success, job search timeline, resume/cover letter information and samples, letters of application/thank you letters, interviewing information and dress. There is also a lot of information (career website, sample resumes by major, etc.) in the Documents Library in Cat Career Tracks. You can also meet with either the director or the assistant director of Career Services for assistance in creating/reviewing your resume. For sample resumes by major, key rules for resumes, and a general resume outline, click here.

Can someone review my resume with me?

Yes! To set up an appointment for resume review, call the office at 227-2800. You will then be asked to provide your resume 24 hours prior to your appointment (e-mail is fine). This gives them a chance to look over your resume before your arrive.

Can I have a resume that's longer than one page?

This is probably the most often asked question regarding resumes. While a one-page resume is best, two pages are acceptable so long as the information you include relates to your skills and abilities and indicates to the reader that you are qualified for the position for which you have applied. Do your best to keep your resume to one page, but know that two pages are acceptable in most situations.

Should I print my resume on both sides to save paper?

No. If you have a resume that is more than one page, it's best to print each page separately and then staple the pages together, so they don't get lost on the reader's desk.

What color paper is best?

Remember, it's the quality of the information you include in your resume that will help get you the interview, not the color of paper. Use good quality, heavyweight, white paper. Recruiters are busy people and they are rarely impressed by the color of paper used in the documents they read. If you feel that you absolutely must use colored paper, use the lightest color available.

I've heard that some people are scanning their picture onto their resume so employers can place a name with a face when they meet candidates at a job fair. Is this a good idea?

Absolutely not! Putting your picture on your resume does little more than allow the reader to make judgments (positive or negative) about you based on physical characteristics. Such judgment by an employer has nothing to do with your ability to do the job for which you've applied and it's illegal.

Should I list personal information about me on my resume?

If you mean characteristics like height, weight, etc., no. This type of information has nothing to do with your qualifications.

If you mean a list of your interests and activities--it depends. If there is room on your resume, it can't hurt to list a few interests so you can tell the recruiter a little about you. Doing so may indicate to the employer that you're a good fit for her/his company.  Don't go overboard--two or three is the maximum.

How many references should I have?

Generally, three to five references are enough. Each of your references should be thoroughly familiar with your academic preparation and your work history.  Give each of your references a copy of your resume.  It is polite to notify your references when you have applied for a specific job and you anticipate your references may be called.

Do I need to have my references supply a letter of recommendation for each job I apply for?

It depends on the application instructions. Some companies want letters of reference, others simply want the contact information (name, title, address, phone number, and e-mail address) of your references. Read the instructions carefully to make sure you supply the correct information and documents.  Some organizations have policies limiting the content that can be given about a former employee, so you may want to secure a "to whom it may concern" letter of reference before leaving, if possible.

What information should I include in my cover letter?

Cover letters change depending on the position for which you're applying. As a general rule, your cover letter should address three areas--why you're writing, why you're qualified for the position and a simple closing statement.

I've posted my resume on a job-finding website and haven't had any luck. What am I doing wrong?

You are not doing anything wrong--unless you are relying on one site in order to find a job. While you may be very well qualified for the jobs in which you're interested, you are probably one of thousands (perhaps hundreds of thousands) of resumes on the job-finding site, and your document may simply blend with all of the others on that site.

To be successful in your search, it's best to use a mix of techniques (resume sites, attending job fairs, making contact with your network and visiting with staff in Career Services). The more techniques you use, the more successful you'll be.

I know a company has jobs available. Should I simply e-mail them my resume as an attachment?

The answer to this question depends on the instructions from the company. If the instructions indicate that they will accept your resume as an attachment, by all means--send it as an attachment. If, however, the instructions indicate a different method applicants should use (mailing the resume, faxing documents, incorporating resumes into the text of an e-mail message, etc.), follow those instructions to the letter.

Remember, under no circumstances should you send your resume as an attachment with no text in the actual e-mail message.  A blank message with a document attached will probably not be opened by the recipient. They may worry that you're sending them an infected file. Always include text in the body of any e-mail message you send.

What's the difference between a curriculum vitae (also known as a CV) and a resume?

A curriculum vitae, or CV, is typically used by individuals who are searching for career opportunities in higher education, research, academic studies or a related field. Resumes are typically used by individuals who are searching for employment in other fields. The major difference? A CV highlights experiences such as degrees earned, research completed, articles or books published, classes taught, presentations given, grants applied for and/or obtained and similar categories. Resumes highlight experiences related to more to the various jobs the individual has held. The two documents can be used interchangeably, but it's best to check with Career Services if you have questions.

How can I prepare for an interview?

Research the company and position for which you are applying. Know your resume. If you'd like to do a mock interview, call Career Services at 906-227-2800 to set up an appointment with a staff member.  There are helpful documents in the Resource Library in Cat Career Tracks that will help you prepare for an interview also.

What material should I bring to my interview?

It's usually not necessary to bring much to an interview. A few extra copies of your resume, something to write on (pad of paper) and something to write with is usually all you need. When in doubt, ask the person scheduling the interview.

How early should I show up for a scheduled interview?

Generally, arriving 10 minutes prior to your interview is appropriate. Doing so will give you time to relax, review your resume one more time and prepare for the interview.

I've heard that casual is in. Is it now appropriate to dress casually for an interview?

While a formal business suit is not required for all interviews, dressing like a professional (sport coat, tie, slacks, dress shoes if you're male and a blazer, blouse, slacks or knee-length skirt if you're female) is always preferable. Remember, an interview is your chance to present your professional presence. Make the most of that chance.

I know that I'm going to be interviewing with more than one person. Do I have to shake hands with each person in the room?

It depends on how many people will be taking part in the interview. If it's you and two interviewers, shaking hands with both of the interviewers is appropriate. If you're going to interview with a panel of six people, it will most likely be awkward to move down the line of people as you shake each hand.

How long should I wait after my interview before I contact the company to check on the status of my application?

This is a difficult question to answer. While you may be eager to find out how well you did and if you got the job, patience is required. As a general rule, waiting at least five business days after an interview before calling the company.

Can I send an e-mail message as a "thank you" when my interview is over?

While using e-mail to communicate with a potential employer is very convenient, electronic communications (including e-mail and instant messages) is still viewed in business as being casual.  For this reason, send a formally typed, one-page thank you letter after your interview. Doing so will reinforce your professional image.  A sample thank you letter is located in the Documents Library in Cat Career Tracks.

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