How to Explore & Land Your Dream Job

Todd Herrmann ’85, in his workshop for senior students, discussed both the importance of using technology to network, as well as the importance of simply saying hello, introducing oneself and offering a handshake. “The human interaction is what all success is based on,” he said.

He urged seniors to contact promising contacts — particularly alumni and parents who’ve said they’re interested in helping Bowdoin students — and ask about their jobs, careers and companies.

Herrmann directed seniors to the Bowdoin Career Advisory Network, which includes all the alumni who have agreed to respond to Bowdoin students’ requests for information. The network also exists on LinkedIn, and Herrman counseled students to create LinkedIn accounts, if they don’t have one already, and join the group. Within the LinkedIn BCAN network, students, alumni and parents can also join  sub-groups for different industries, such as consulting, education and government.

To prepare for interviews, Herrmann recommended students come up with a story, preferably a memorable story, that illustrates every part of the resume, as well as stories that show resiliency, creativity, leadership, sustained efforts. Many of these traits are ones interviewers will be trying to see in their job candidates. He told them to come up answers for typical interview questions, such as “Tell me about a time you failed,” or “tell me about a time you had to overcome an obstacle to achieve a goal.” And, Herrmann said, “Don’t answer questions with ‘ah’ or ‘um.’ Practice six times and you’ll be broken of the habit.”

After being in touch with someone to chat about professional prospects or their company, Herrmann brought it down to the basics again. “Follow up with a thank you note,” he said. “They go miles.”