ARTICLES, BLOGS & VIDEOS

The latest news, trends and information to help you with your recruiting efforts.

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

Posted April 01, 2020 by

Despite Covid-19, these employers are hiring students and recent grads

Coronavirus, also known as Covid-19, is shutting down the U.S. economy. Federal and state governments are essentially creating a parallel economy by providing individuals and businesses with enough income that, hopefully, economic disaster for them and for all of us may be avoided.

What is particularly stressful about this public health crisis is that no one knows when it will relent and the business world will get back to full speed. What magnifies that for college students and recent graduates is the timing: spring is when most students begin part-time, seasonal, and internship jobs and recent graduates begin their entry-level careers. At College Recruiter, we fear that this could quickly become the worst hiring season for new college graduates since the 2008–2009 Great Recession.

As we emerged from the Great Recession, employment numbers for students and recent graduates slowly improved until they became amongst the best in modern history. It was starting to become unusual when a student or recent graduate who networked and applied to advertised jobs well (two different things) had difficulty finding an opportunity in their chosen career paths. To be clear, many were unable to find those opportunities, even if they searched well, but the percentage who were unable to find opportunities in their chosen career paths had declined from being commonplace in 2008 and 2009 to unusual in 2019 and the beginning of 2020.

Today, however, we’re only three months into the Covid-19 pandemic and the employment numbers are devastating. Employers are scrambling to try to figure out how to adapt their internship and recent graduate hiring programs to remote (virtual) work when possible.

The news, quite frankly, is mostly bad for most employers and employees, but that does not mean that there is a complete lack of good news. Some employers are hiring and some of those have greatly ramped up hiring. Some noteworthy examples, in no particular order, are:

Posted March 31, 2020 by

Ask the Experts: Start date for employment delayed due to Covid-19

Question:

I was about to start a new job but my employer is telling me that I can’t until after COVID-19 is resolved. Do I wait around for them? What if it takes them a lot longer to bring me on than I can afford? What if they never bring me on and terminate my employment before I even start? What if I go to work for someone else and then this employer wants me to start?

First Answer:

Congratulations on your new job.

My initial question is: what is the rest of their employee population doing? Presumably, most people are working remotely. I would approach the hiring manager and ask if you can do the same.

Layout a specific strategy for how you will ramp up, taking the responsibility for introducing yourself to people, learning the organization’s technical tools, and understanding what and how your boss would like to receive in terms of work product. If there’s an onboarding system you can access online, so much the better. 

It’s unlikely that anyone new will hire you until the COVID crisis subsides, so I would do your best to work with your new employer. Even if you didn’t already sign a contract with a specific start date (which gives you more leverage), hopefully, the organization will be sensitive to your situation.

— Alexandra Levit, author of They Don’t Teach Corporate in College

Second Answer:

To all of these questions I would ask one in return: What do we know for certain about how COVID-19 will impact us next week?

The answer to that is simple, nothing is certain when it comes to COVID-19. With this uncertainty looming over, when starting a new job you need to try to get as much clarity as possible on the current opportunity while creating a contingency plan.

To get clarity, reach out to the employer and ask if there is an opportunity to begin work remotely, or part-time while the company navigates COVID-19. This will allow you to potentially begin work and show flexibility with the downside of it being at partial hours or pay. As COVID-19 could continue on for many more weeks also establish a set a timeline, either bi-weekly or monthly, for employment status check-ins with HR or management.

What I can say with certainty is that you want to keep this employment option open as COVID-19 is effecting employment rates and making the market extremely competitive. While you are maintaining regular check-ins and showcasing adaptability to your potential new job, continue to build your virtual network, apply for new roles, and build new skills. This will ensure that if you have to pivot due to the employer ultimately terminating the offer or taking too long to officially hire you, that you will be ahead of the game.

If you are a university student and this opportunity was for your summer job, begin thinking of a back-up plan now, as there are only so many summers you get during your university career. Back-ups can include online summer courses, pursuing a remote internship, and if the internship market is saturated looking to international internships completed remotely, or, developing a new skill by completing an online course in project management, foreign language, software system or more.  

Jillian Low, Director of University Partnerships for CRCC Asia

Third Answer:

This is a difficult response in a challenging time for anyone to receive. No doubt disappointing, deflating and demotivating. That said, the employer may be saving you some disappointment down the line when you’ve got less opportunity to pivot. Most of the ‘what if’s’ won’t be able to be answered for some time so now is a good time to add to the eggs in your basket. 

Since this employer thinks highly enough of you to want to employ you, consider following up to see what projects you might be able to work on remotely in the near term. If they don’t have any at the ready, suggest some that might be of interest to them based on what you already know of the industry. It’s also a good time for back-up options to pursue jobs with other employers. That might mean reaching out to career services to set up interviews, or doing so on your own, with the employers who are still recruiting. It might mean finding some micro-internships on sites like Parker Dewey. It may also be a good time to take a step back and read some of the many prognosticators out there talking about what COVID 19 is likely to mean for the job market 3, 6, 9 months from now and see which industries are expected to benefit. Do any new interests or ideas emerge?

Of course, it’s never a bad time to network and letting folks know of your current status would make sense. Remember that everyone is going through a lot of uncertainty so starting off your network outreach with a ‘how are things for you’ rather than ‘here’s what I need from you’ is likely to get a far better response.

Pam Baker, Founder and CEO of Journeous

Fourth Answer:

Do I wait around for them? What if it takes them a lot longer to bring me on than I can afford? Considering the current situation, having any opportunity at a possible job is a chance many people would love to have.

In my opinion, I would definitely weigh my options. It depends on your current situation and if you can afford to have your future employer turn you down after weeks or months of waiting.

If this employer terminates your contract before you even begin, then they made a more decision to even begin the hiring process when they didn’t have the resources to follow through. 

In my last thoughts, I would encourage you too always have multiple job offers and opportunities on the table so you remain the power position. It’s frustrating as a job seeker when you put all your eggs in one basket and that basket doesn’t turn out successful.

Lorenz Esposito, Digital Marketer at Potentialpark

Fifth Answer:

In my opinion, the best course of action is to try to get an assurance from your new employer that your job offer is solid and won’t be rescinded.  I would try to get it in writing. Be polite about your request, and simply explain that you are a bit anxious due to the outbreak of covid 19 and you’re dotting your i’s and crossing your t’s.

If your employer writes you that the job offer is solid, I would take him at his word. If your employer won’t put it in writing, then I think it’s fair for you to try to secure another job.

These are uncertain times, and we are all navigating through them. If you go work for someone else, the best way to possibly keep the door open at the first employer is to write a heartfelt note that due to financial circumstances, you felt it prudent to take another job and that you hope he understands.

— Vicky Oliver, author of 301 Smart Answers to Tough Interview Questions (Sourcebooks, 2005) and Bad Bosses, Crazy Coworkers & Other Office Idiots (Sourcebooks 2008).

Posted March 25, 2020 by

U.S. government is hiring interns for virtual work

Across the country, Covid-19 (coronavirus) has made hundreds of thousands of college and university students unsure about their summer internships. Some accepted internships and aren’t sure if they have one to go to. Others were trying to find one, and are now finding that process to be even more difficult.

Fortunately, one very large employer has not changed its plans, in part because its internship program was built from the ground up to be virtual. That employer? Uncle Sam a/k/a the U.S. federal government.

Through the Virtual Student Federal Service (VSFS) program, students can work on projects that advance the work of government on multiple fronts. Projects include helping counter violent extremism, strengthening human rights monitoring, developing virtual programs, engaging in digital communications, mapping, economic and political reporting, data analysis, graphic design, and app building.

According to VSFS, the program is accommodating and flexible. “Through VSFS, students can intern from wherever they are – from dorm rooms to libraries to coffee shops, or anywhere in the world with a broadband or Internet connection. Students set their own schedules too – working on projects on a timetable that fits their life.”

Students can also choose projects from a wide variety of agencies – more than 40 federal agencies. But no need to apply 40 times. Instead, students apply to their top three choices anytime in July. Interviews are conducted in August. Offers are extended in early September.

If you’re hired as an eIntern, you’ll work on your project for 10 hours a week from September through May and some schools will even provide you with course credit.

To find these opportunities, search CollegeRecruiter.com in July. Best of luck!


Julie Ann Sowash of Disability Solutions

Posted March 21, 2020 by

Faith Rothberg of College Recruiter and Julie Ann Sowash of Disability Solutions Selected by NACE to Deliver Presentation on How Programmatic and CPC Impact-Diversity and Inclusion

Minneapolis, MN (March 20, 2020) — Job search site, College Recruiter, announced today that its chief executive officer, Faith Rothberg, will deliver a presentation at the 2020 National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) annual conference in Minneapolis with Julie Ann Sowash, Executive Director of Disability Solutions.

NACE is an American nonprofit professional association for college career services, recruiting practitioners, and others who wish to hire the college educated. It boasts a membership of more than 8,100 college career services professionals at nearly 2,000 colleges and universities nationwide, more than 3,100 university relations and recruiting professionals, and the business affiliates like College Recruiter that serve this community.

This year’s conference will be held at the Minneapolis Convention Center from June 2nd through 5th. Approximately 2,500 career service, recruiting, and others typically attend these annual conferences.

“I was thrilled to be notified by NACE that the proposal that we submitted was accepted by their annual conference selection committee,” said Rothberg of College Recruiter. “We felt that the proposal would likely be of interest to them and the attendees to the conference as inclusion is a core value for NACE. We admire their passion to foster and support individual and organizational diversity and inclusion to advance equity in all facets of the Association.”

According to Sowash of Diversity Solutions, “Our plan is for Faith to begin the presentation with an introduction to how programmatic and cost-per-click advertising work. Attendees will see how an employer might use one and not the other, but they typically work together. I’ll then discuss how they may undermine diversity and inclusion efforts by steering advertising budgets to the job search site or other media property that offers the lowest pricing, which is often very different from delivering the diverse – candidates employers are seeking.” Instead of just identifying the problem, Faith and Julie will – recommend a solution that is simple to implement and will, we hope, be adopted by employers seeking diverse candidates including recent graduates and talent with disabilities.

About College Recruiter

College Recruiter believes that every student and recent graduate deserves a great career. Our customers are primarily Fortune 1,000 companies, government agencies, and other organizations who want to hire dozens or even hundreds of students and recent graduates of all one-, two-, and four-year colleges and universities for part-time, seasonal, internship, and entry-level jobs. For more information, call 952.848.2211, email Sales@CollegeRecruiter.com, or visit www.CollegeRecruiter.com.

About Disability Solutions Disability Solutions works with employers to help strengthen their workforce through diversity and inclusion. We partner with top companies to deliver people and business-driven outcomes by developing recruiting and engagement strategies for the disability community – delivering custom solutions in outreach, recruiting, talent management, retention and compliance. For more information, call 203.203.6220., email Info@DisabilityTalent.org, or visit www.DisabilityTalent.org.

Posted March 19, 2020 by

Resources for students, grads searching for remote work due to COVID-19

The rapidly escalating coronavirus pandemic is creating havoc in the lives of almost everyone worldwide. Estimates regarding the number of people laid off or whose employment will be terminated vary widely but, yesterday, the Secretary of the U.S. Treasury Department said that we could see an unemployment rate of 20 percent if we don’t flatten the curve.

If you or someone you know has lost their job or are nervous that your upcoming internship or other job offer won’t be available when you’re ready to start, then here are some resources:

Resources for Remote Work: 

  • Standuply’s list of 330 remote work tools
  • Skillcrush’s list of skills needed for successfully working from home
  • The Muse’s advice on how to find home-based jobs
  • Zapier’s article on how to find work-from-home jobs
  • An article written before the COVID-19 pandemic about the state of remote work
  • List of 25 sites that are good for finding remote work
  • A similar list of 18 sites which are good for finding home-based employment
  • A shorter but still good list for places to find telecommuting jobs
  • A list of 25 companies that hire virtual employees
  • Workplaceless, which is a professional development organization for remote work, they help universities and businesses understand how to best learn, grow and lead remotely
  • And, of course, College Recruiter, which currently has almost 10,000 job posting ads from employers who are trying to hire students and recent graduates who want to work from home

We’re all in this together. Let’s flatten that curve!

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

Posted March 17, 2020 by

Ask the Experts: I can’t find a job related to my college major. What should I do?

First Answer:

In the old days, circa 15 years ago, most employers understood that a liberal arts education meant a broad-based curriculum that did not prepare students for any one particular career.

Liberal arts instructions are not trade schools. A liberal arts education teaches students how to think critically, solve problems, and come up with compelling arguments. A liberal arts school teaches students how to be curious and also how to be lifelong learners.

If you can’t find a job related to your major, don’t panic. You may want to re-tool your resume and your online profile to reflect the skills you have learned in college. When you approach your job search in a skills-based way, you’ll find more pathways are open to you.

Be sure to also discuss your career aspirations with your college career services office. Always run your resume by as many people as you possibly can, and don’t be afraid to fine-tune it for a particular position.

Vicky Oliver, author of 301 Smart Answers to Tough Interview Questions (Sourcebooks, 2005) and Power Sales Words (How to Write It, Say It, and Sell It with Sizzle) (Sourcebooks, 2006). 

Second Answer:

Perhaps you’ve already considered this, but do you even want a job related to your college major? Many and perhaps most young adults enter a college or university, are pressured into selecting a major, and pick something that their friends and family will approve of or which aligns well with the student’s skills but do not align well with their interests or values.

College Recruiter recommends that candidates first complete a CIV analysis: what are your competencies, interests, and values? What are you good at, what do you like to do, and what is important to you? Grab a legal pad and put at the top of the first page the word competencies. Then, without regard to your major or anything else, just list everything you’re good at. Some will be career-related, most may not. Repeat for interests and values. Now lay those sheets side-by-side. Look for similarities. Focus on those. That’s your career path.

If you’re like many young adults, your CIV analysis will reveal that your career path does not line up well with your major. If that’s the case, do NOT kick yourself over your educational decisions. Education is always a good thing. If nothing else, your education taught you how to think. And that skill is, amazingly, in very short supply.

— Steven Rothberg, President and Founder of College Recruiter

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

Posted March 10, 2020 by

Why are community college enrollment numbers declining?

Community college enrollments declined last year by approximately 3.4 percent, which is a staggeringly high number if repeated year after year after year. Why? The reasons are numerous. Allow me to address just a few.

Yes, birthrate 18 years ago was smaller than 19 years ago and that was smaller than 20 years ago. However, those differences were relatively minor at 4,060,000 then 4,030,000 then 4,020,000.

Tuition continues to increase, although some states and schools are now offering free tuition. But the vast majority of schools still charge and charge substantially more than they did 10, 20, or 30 years ago. Some students are simply being priced out. 

The Trump Administration’s immigration policies have greatly reduced the number of visitors, students, workers, and immigrants to the country and not just those whose status is illegal. At College Recruiter, we’ve heard story after story after story of students who received student visas in 2015 and 2016 in a few months and are now waiting more than a year to get their visas so they can complete their education. And these are people who have already been in the country. The wait times for those who have not yet been a student here can be even longer. An MBA admissions director for one of the premiere schools in the country told me that the average wait time for her international students is 14-months, which is more than four times what it was under previous administrations. 

Not often discussed is increased competition for higher education dollars. Until a few years ago, if you wanted to go into software development, your typical choices were to try to find a job without a degree, invest two years in getting an Associate’s degree from a community college, or invest four-years in getting a Bachelor’s degree. In the past few years, enrollment in bootcamps has skyrocketed with hundreds of thousands attending these schools and graduating with certificates and jobs within weeks. The cost per day is far higher, but the total cost is far lower and the placement rates are often excellent.

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

Posted March 03, 2020 by

What do employers want to see on the resumes of students applying to jobs?

If you’re like most job seekers and at or near the beginning of your job search, then you’re most likely struggling with your resume. And you’re probably struggling to reconcile inconsistent advice you’re receiving from some (make sure it is only one page!) with others (length doesn’t matter since we’ve entered the digital age!).

But mechanics like whether to stay away from columns because some employer career sites are powered by applicant tracking systems (ATS) that can’t properly read column-based documents are well-covered by many other articles on College Recruiter and, quite frankly, many other high-quality career sites. What gets far less attention are what employers want to see on resumes when employers are looking for proof that their candidates have certain soft or hard skills.

First, it is worth emphasizing that virtually every medium- and large-sized employer uses an ATS and that means that the recruiter likely won’t see your resume at all unless it includes the same keywords that they happen to use when searching for candidates who they think would be best suited to the role they’re trying to fill. Every employer is different and every recruiter is different, so generalizing is futile. They’re going to search differently and so you’re going to want to think from their standpoint as much as you can. If you were a recruiter working for the company you’re applying to and trying to fill that open seat, what keywords would you most likely use when searching through a virtual stack of similar resumes?

Want an example? Let’s say that College Recruiter was looking to hire a full-stack developer and we’d love to find someone who has a demonstrated ability to work from home, is a good communicator, and works hard. We wouldn’t just search “full-stack developer” when searching through the applicants to that job posting. All of the applicants should have the skillset because they’re all applying to that job, but where the differences might be between the candidates would be those whose resumes indicate they worked from home, are good communicators, and work hard. You’ll want to come up with keywords to describe each of those and make sure you work them into your resume. When describing your past work experience, make good use of acronyms and synonyms in order to help with this task. For example, it is great that your previous job was “home-based” but in the description also indicate that you “worked from home” as the latter will be a better keyword match for a recruiter searching for resumes with “work from home” as a keyword phrase.

So, when it comes to searching resumes of students who are applying to part-time, seasonal, internship, and entry-level jobs, what attributes or keywords are recruiters most likely to want to see? According to a recent survey of mostly large employers by the National Association of Colleges and Employers:

  1. Problem-solving skills – 91.2%
  2. Ability to work in a team – 86.3%
  3. Strong work ethic – 80.4%
  4. Analytical/quantitative skills – 79.4%
  5. Communication skills (written) – 77.5%
  6. Leadership – 72.5%
  7. Communication skills (verbal) – 69.6%
  8. Initiative – 69.6%
  9. Detail-oriented – 67.6%
  10. Technical skills – 65.7%
  11. Flexibility/adaptability – 62.7%
  12. Interpersonal skills (relates well to others) – 62.7%
  13. Computer skills – 54.9%
  14. Organizational ability – 47.1%
  15. Strategic planning skills – 45.1%
  16. Friendly/outgoing personality – 29.4%
  17. Entrepreneurial skills/risk-taker – 24.5%
  18. Tactfulness – 24.5%
  19. Creativity – 23.5%
  20. Fluency in a foreign language – 2.9%

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

Posted February 28, 2020 by

Why are students demanding paid internships and higher wages for entry-level jobs?

A week doesn’t go by without an employer that College Recruiter works with or who I’m connected with in some way questioning why students aren’t interested in their unpaid internships, or their entry-level jobs that pay $12.00 an hour. Invariably, the conversation includes the phrase, “back in my day”.

The reason, quite simply, is that the 99 percent of students who weren’t fortunate enough to be born into wealth simply need the money to eat, pay rent, and afford other necessities. Yes, I get that when you went to school in 1979 that you worked hard (and part-time) as a waiter and paid for your own college and living expenses and graduated with no debt. But do you get that the same job now pays only a fraction of what it did four decades ago and the cost of housing, health care, transportation, and college are exponentially larger than they were when Carter was still president?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics Consumer Price Index (CPI) and the Bureau of Economic Analysis’s Personal Consumption Expenditures Price Index (PCE), a student working as a part-time waiter today needs to earn $34.20 an hour based on a 30-hour workweek in order to have the same spending power as you did in 1979 if you were making about $10 per hour. As eyebrow-raising as that may be, the reality is actually worse.

Using the CPI and PCE essentially assumes that what someone would buy in 2020 is the same as what a similarly situated person would buy in 1979. But spending habits, like our tastes in fashion, change. If you attended the University of Minnesota (go Gophers!) in 1979 and your lifestyle was that of an average student, the $10 per hour you made in wages plus tips might have been sufficient to cover your costs. But an average student today lives in a nicer apartment, has to cover more of their healthcare costs, is more likely to use cars as their primary means of transportation because mass transit hasn’t kept up with the growth of the Twin Cities metro, and college, well, don’t even get me started (yet) on the horrendously increased cost of college.

Now, I can hear some objections. “But I was poor and didn’t have all the luxuries these pampered kids have today! They’re choosing to go expensive schools and have fancy toys. That’s their problem!” Well, to an extent, that’s true. But before you starting point fingers like that, maybe look first into the mirror. What kind of a television did you have when you were in college? Did you have friends over to play videogames or watch a movie? If so, your TV was probably at least as good as those owned by your friends. Now, picture using that same TV today to watch anything. Hard to imagine, isn’t it? Would you think it reasonable to expect any of today’s students who are living the lifestyle you lived decades ago to use the same TV you did? Of course not. If your TV was even average as compared to those of your friends then, logically, you should agree that today’s student should have a TV that is average amongst their friends. And that means a large (but not enormous), flatscreen TV. At Best Buy, best selling televisions averaged $330 in 1994 and $280 today, so that appears to be a deflation of $50. But when you factor in inflation, they’re about the same price. So don’t start thinking that today’s student with a flatscreen TV is living the life of luxury, as they’re no more living that lifestyle than you were a few decades ago.

Prefer numbers instead of TV analogies? Let’s flashback to the era when Gen Xers like me were graduating from college. Let’s assume that you graduated in 1985 and so you’re about 52 years of age now. In that era, the median male worker needed only 30 weeks of income to afford a house, car, healthcare, and education. Some call this the Cost-of-Thriving Index (COTI). By 2018, that same lifestyle would require 52 weeks of income, an increased workload of 73 percent.

If we look at median expenses for male workers today (we use male because households with multiple people still tend to have more males working than females) and compare those expenses to those in 1985 for people with similar, average lifestyles, we find that the male worker in 1985 could easily afford housing, healthcare, transportation, and college costs, meaning they had plenty of room leftover for non-core items like clothing and even some discretionary items like entertainment. Today? That same lifestyle leaves the male short of cash even before non-core and discretionary items. Instead of it taking 30 weeks to cover all of these COTI costs in 1985, it takes 53 weeks to cover the equivalent costs in 2018.

So, the next time a younger Millennial or Gen Z worker passed on your unpaid internship or questions the $12.00 starting wage for your entry-level opportunity, maybe choose to advocate within your organization for higher wages. In other words, instead of pointing fingers, have a look in the mirror. The problem isn’t with the person you’re pointing at but, instead, with the person whose reflection is in the mirror.

Courtesy of Shutterstock

Posted February 25, 2020 by

How to negotiate a better salary during a job search

At College Recruiter, we recommend that candidates first get the job offer and then negotiate their compensation. To reverse that upsets many employers who forget that the primary reason that people work is to get money so they can live. Once you have the job offer, ask the recruiter what they are offering. The recruiter will likely want the candidate to first talk about their salary expectations but, when negotiating, it is almost always better for the other party to make the first offer.

If the candidate says they want $20 per hour, the employer will then know that they can hire the candidate for that amount or less. The employer may have been willing to pay $22, but few will tell the candidate that $20 isn’t enough and the employer instead will take the $20. That’s a form of wage theft, because the employer knows that the fair value for the candidate is $22 as that’s what the employer was prepared to pay, and yet the employer is going to pay them less than the fair value. 

Whether the candidate or employer makes the initial offer, College Recruiter recommends that the candidate finalize the hard compensation discussions, so they know what they will be paid on an hourly or salary basis, 401k matching, medical insurance, etc. At that point, then start to negotiate what we call soft benefits such as the ability to work at home one day a week; work four, 10-hour days during the summer;  a week of unpaid time-off between your current job and the new job; an extra week of vacation; etc.

To many employees, the idea of getting any of these soft benefits is worth a lot to them, and the employer can provide a lot of extra value to you by agreeing to these soft benefits, but you don’t want to give up your hard benefits like wages in order to get the soft benefits like extra vacation days. You want both.