Focus on the Fundamentals


Birds eye view of desk
Photograph 047 by Lauren Mancke,

Does the Job Search have you stressed? Take note from UVM alum Josh Brown and focus on the fundamentals throughout the process.

Josh writes: It’s all about the fundamentals. While it is a cliché, paying attention to the basics can make a world of difference. I want to share some thoughts about key fundamentals during a job search.

Details– Proofread and Proofread Again

Sounds obvious, right? You might have a résumé and LinkedIn profile with strong credentials and glowing references, but a single typo or grammatical error can hinder your chances. I would suggest having someone proofread your documents for you once you think they’re perfect. Keep the résumé to one page and keep your spacing consistent.

Cover Letters

For cover letters, make sure you have the correct spelling and title of the person you’re contacting. If you can’t find them on LinkedIn, call the company and ask. Try to incorporate key words in the job listing. Don’t oversell yourself. You are new to the workforce and companies will see right through an exaggerated cover letter or résumé. Be ready to provide references so you’re not scrambling if you are asked. Get a nice pen to sign your cover letter.

Thank You Notes

Nobody handwrites cards anymore. When you do, it will be recognized and memorable. It’s much more personable than an email. Keep it short and sweet. Get some cool stamps for the envelope. Use the nice pen you bought to sign your cover letter.


I’m partial towards this as it’s part of my company name. Never stop networking. It’s a lifelong endeavor and there’s a certain finesse to it that can’t be taught, but improves the more you do it. When it comes to a job search, there’s a fine line between being persistent and pestering. If you contact somebody and they don’t get back to you, give it two weeks, minimum. Keep connecting with people through the UVM alumni network. Networking can help you find job opportunities that aren’t listed or get a valuable introduction. Manage your expectations. Have faith in yourself. Be polite. Be patient.

We’re all People

Common sense, right? Use a firm handshake, make eye contact, listen to the person interviewing you, take your time with thoughtful answers and relax. You got this!

–Josh Brown ‘92, Co-Founder/President of Capacitor Design Network

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