ARTICLES, BLOGS & VIDEOS

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

Posted June 28, 2006 by

uh… CONGRATULATIONS!!

My very good, and very smart, friend, graduated from Harvard a year ago. She then moved to Manhatten and has been working for an investment banking firm. She enjoys finance, but cannot stand her job! Everyday I listen to her trials and tribulations of not being challenged, not getting along with her coworkers, not enjoying her group, not being interested in where she was placed against her wishes. I think to myself, see–this is exactly why I don’t have a “real job” yet. Sure, she makes good money, and looks really good on paper, but she has a miserable existence! In the meantime, she had been interviewing with other firms with the hope of landing a spot in a place more suited to her needs and desires. I am very supportive and know she will be brillant whereever she goes. She finally found her dream job (for now) and completed the interview process. She thought she totally bombed, but ended up with a fabulous offer which she excepted several days later. We will soon be on our way to the West Coast for a new and hopefully, but most likely, better job (I’m am going with her the first week to help her get acclimated).
She decided to wait until she received her bonus to tell her firm she would be leaving and that they could all… you know what. But the funniest thing happened. The other day, I get an elated phone call from my friend telling me she was just fired! “Oh,” I say. She goes on to tell me that they called her in for a chit chat only to tell her they noticed things weren’t exactly working out and that she has two options–make a substantial effort to improve (she had pretty much stopped caring- being that her new job was already landed), or accept a package for leaving. Of course, she takes the latter–six figure bonus, two months worth of paychecks, and assistance finding a new job. “CONGRATULATIONS!” And Bon voyage! Off to the West Coast with a very nice parting gift. SUCKERS!
The real world is so full of $hit.

Posted June 28, 2006 by

Interview Butterflies

Right now I’m out of town and I got an email from my mom last night telling me that a magazine company called to set up an interview. As I was lying in bed thinking about it, I started getting the gitters. I was playing through my mind how the interview would go. What would I wear? And what kind of questions would they ask me. Once a friend told me that the interviewer asked him what super power he would have if he could choose. I tried to think about it and came up with a super power brain, but that sounded pretty lame. So now I”m just hoping that they don’t ask any questions like that; I’m not super quick with witty responses. I think I’m going to have to read up on how to survive interviews. Eeek.

Posted June 28, 2006 by

We think you’re nice

Most people that I interview are nice people. Some of them are incredibly nice. More than likely, you are a nice person and I am an optimist: I think most people are pretty nice people. Granted that I’ve had an interview with a jerk or two and while it can be fun to make those guys sweat, it is pretty useless otherwise. But here is the problem with “being nice”:
Nice doesn’t get you the job.
How mean! Being nice isn’t a job skill though. It isn’t portable equity nor is it remarkable. Being nice in an interview is like wearing nice clothes and not smelling bad. It is expected of you and it is really a matter of respect and being polite (which isn’t the same as being nice by the way).
While I wish I could hire every nice person I interviewed, I can’t. And while I don’t particularly like the part of the job where I tell nice people that they aren’t going to be employed with us, it is necessary so I deal with it. Even if I say no, I probably still think you’re nice. So when a candidate (or hiring manager or the co-worker that referred him or her) uses this as a reason why I should hire them, I laugh a little to myself. While being nice is…well, nice…it isn’t a job skill and nobody will hire you for it.

Posted June 28, 2006 by

The Biggest Concerns of Hiring Managers

It seems as though many hiring managers have concerns regarding certain employees who they put reputations on the line for. These employees have the potential to succeed, but do not want to follow the company rules, and want to do things their way. They come in from day one wanting to make a splash, but instead are unproductive in the workplace. One problem for hiring managers is that these type of workers make everyone else uncomfortable, which can lead to a loss of good employees. Some of you who have jobs may be looking for another one for this exact reason. Another problem this causes for employers is the negative effect on relationships not just inside the company, but outside of it as well, such as with vendors. Due to the actions of one troublsome employee, the entire company may suffer a great loss. Sellers may not want to associate with a business whose employees make it difficult to do their job.
Has anyone ever heard the phrase “fit the personalilty of our company”? Well, more hiring managers are putting more emphasis on the attitude of potential employees and not just their skills. I think this is important to do because who wants to deal with someone’s nasty attitude even if he or she is a very productive worker. So, remember, when an employer takes a chance on you, don’t make him or her regret it. After all you represent the employer and the company you work for, as we do now for Mr. Steven Rothberg and CollegeRecruiter.com.

Posted June 28, 2006 by

SWACE Conference Report from New Orleans – Part II

It is day two of the Southwest Association of Colleges and Employers (SWACE) conference in New Orleans. Attendees are happy, excited, and yet also uneasy. They’re happy to see each other and to have the opportunity to attend such a wonderfully put on conference. They’re excited about the material that they’re about to learn (perhaps even a few of them feel that way about my presentation on blogging and podcasting this afternoon). But they’re uneasy because the conference is in New Orleans.
The informal walking tour that a few colleagues and I took last night into the French Quarter revealed little visible damage remaining from Katrina (unlike my drive yesterday through the devastated St. Bernard’s Parish) but the number of people in the bars, souvineer shops, and on the streets was far fewer than in previous years. The garbage on the streets and the amount of construction seemed higher than in previous years. The consensus was that this city is coming back, but even in the least damaged areas, there is still so much to be done.
This morning a group of 27 of us took a guided tour of the American sector (downtown) and French Quarter. Our local guide was wonderful and quite colorful. He provided us with a lot of interesting information and, as all good guides too, quite a lot of trivia. At the end of his 1.5 hour tour, he told us that we were the first large group that he’s led since Katrina, which was almost 10 months ago. In addition to the damage this city took from the storm, it is also suffering from the damage caused by the drop-off in tourism.
New Orleans is a great city. It has survived and come back to prosper through hurricanes, fires, and other natural disasters. I hope and pray that this time will be no different. But for anyone who assumes that most of the damage has been repaired simply because we’re approaching the one year anniversary of Katrina, think again. Come down here and see for yourself. Get out of the downtown and French Quarter and into the areas such as St. Bernard’s Parish. See what is really happening. See how entire neighborhoods are virtually deserted and the only people who are living in them are living in FEMA trailers. How long will those trailers survive before they fall apart? And who would want to live on a block where every other home is deserted and infested with mold and wildlife?
Wendy’s is paying $11 per hour here and they add a $125 bonus for every week that you stay on the job. You simply cannot find enough people to do the work that needs to be done and with the neighborhoods in the condition they are, you have to wonder how the employers here are ever going to be able to entice the talent they will need in order to rebuild this majestic city.

Posted June 28, 2006 by

The dreaded cold calling

So if networking and informational interviewing are the best ways to find jobs, how do you identify people to network with? Perhaps you aren’t as outgoing as some people, and the very thought of introducing yourself to random people you meet scares the jeepers out of you. Start with your parents, your friends, your parents’ friends, and your friends’ parents (they’re usually unintimidating, right?). Do they know anyone doing ______? Then turn to your hairdresser, pastor, professor, and even the person next to you in the check-out line (I’ve seen it work!). Depending upon how much effort you are will to put in (and yes, it does take effort), there are opportunities for networking virtually everywhere you go.
If all else fails, start cold-calling people to ask for career advice (which is usually the most intimidating part). Use your school’s alumni office; they often have great contacts. Check out the professional associations on the fields you are trying to break into; they often have directories, or lists of their officers to get names. We’re not calling these people to say, “Hi, I’m Joe, do you have a job opening at your organization?” We’re calling to say, “Hi, I’m Joe, and I’m exploring different career options available. I’m really interested in the ________ field and the work you do at _________. I was wondering if you have 15-20 minutes sometime when I could call back or stop in to ask you a few questions about your job and how people get into the field.” If they say they’re busy, ask if there’s someone else they know of who might have some time. Like I said before, it can take some effort (it can be scary!), but can really pay off, and you can really enjoy meeting people and learning more about them.
Most college students (and to a certain extent, recent graduates) have a wonderful trump card that they can use when contacting others for informational interviews. It’s called, “I’m a student at….” Seriously, it can work wonders on some people. Even better, I used to teach a job searching course where one of the assignments was to conduct an informational interview. Come on, how many people would turn down a student, much less if it’s for a class. It worked great! We even had several students secure internships and jobs through this “assignment.”
Will you get turned down from some people you contact? Absolutely! People are busy, and finding an extra 15-30 minutes to sit down with someone can be tough. But be flexible and persistent, and you just might find someone who is willing to share their wealth of expertise with you and help you in your career.

Posted June 27, 2006 by

Finding the Right Connection through Associations

Recruiters and candidates alike are striving to essentially do the same thing — meet the right person to fill the bill. For candidates, they want to find the person who will point them in the direction of the career opportunity. On the other side of the coin is the recruiter who’s looking for the person who has the experience, expertise, education. Each of them goes “fishing” using the usual bait, the job board, the resume databanks. Those are great places to start. Those venues have a very valid purposefulness in their existence. But there are other places that prove to be even more effective for results. Personal contact at association meetings.

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Posted June 27, 2006 by

SWACE Conference Report from New Orleans

I arrived today in New Orleans for the annual Southwest Association of Colleges and Employers (SWACE) conference. The last time I was in this area was as a volunteer a couple of weeks after Katrina hit. At that time, you couldn’t get into New Orleans because the city was under water. Today, the water is gone but the devastation remains.
Seth Gardner of Nechama: Jewish Response from Disaster joined me for a delicious lunch at Elizabeth’s Restaurant (home of the soon-to-be-famous Praline Bacon) and then a tour of various parts of the metro, including St. Bernard’s Parish. Those of us who live outside of this area simply cannot comprehend the scale of the destruction and how much work remains to be done. Almost every home suffered extensive water damage and very few have been repaired. Nechama and other non-profit relief groups like it are making a huge difference in the lives of the people they touch, but there are far too many people who need such help and far too little help being offered.
Seth showed me the inside of a house that Nechama recently gutted so that it could be repaired by its ex-fisherman owner and we then went to a free medical and dental clinic run by Operation Blessing. That organization is all over the place down here. It receives its funding from Pat Robertson’s The 700 Club. Love them or hate the parent organization, their Operation Blessing people are doing tremendous work down here.
We then headed to downtown New Orleans so that he could drop me at my hotel, the InterContinental. The downtown area is dirty and a ton of construction is going on to repair the infrastructure, but there is no question that it is open for business and more than capable of hosting world class conferences again. Which bring me back to SWACE.
Tomorrow is the first day of the conference and I was fortunate enough to be included as a speaker. I’ll be talking about blogging and podcasting, two areas that are definitely my passion. I’ll share with the career service office professionals and employers who attend my thoughts on how they can best use podcasting and blogging to help students find rewarding employment. They’ll also get a sneak peak at one of the video podcasts that we’re about to go live with. Shhh. Don’t tell anyone.

Posted June 27, 2006 by

The Power of Networking

While I was in college, my professors repeatedly told me, “Make good connections!” Boy, were they right. No matter what field you are going into, it is good to know the right people because it gets your resume out there and hopefully into the hands of the right person. Remember the movie Pay it Forward. Think of networking like that. You talk to one person and send him your resume. He may be able to help you or not, but he can pass along your resume to others who pass it along to people that they know. The numbers get bigger and bigger. And soon, one person will be handed your resume by a referral and think that you are a perfect match…..and BOOM… you got a job. Networking is probably one of the most important parts of job seeking. Not only can you get your resume out or get a job, but you can learn directly from people in the field.

Posted June 27, 2006 by

Doing What I Love; Possible Job Opportunity

During my online job search I came across an ad for a new online news publication that would start up in July. They were searching for reporters of all kind, and were accepting applications. Well considering my passion is writing and I would love to have a job where I get to write, I applied to the company. I got a response, granted it looks to be an automated one, that my application was reviewed, they think that I would have a great opportunity working for them, and that they would like me to fill out a more specific detailed application. So, I filled out the application today and sent it. They said they would get back to me within 1-3 business days about the position.
I would really love a position as a sports reporter or literary critic; I love reading and sports almost as much as I love to write. However, any job where I get to write would be heaven for me. Plus, I’ve always been the kind of person who wants everyone to know what’s going on (somewhat like a gossip queen but not quite; I prefer to spread facts than rumors). I’m always the one in my group who asks, “did you read in the paper?” or “did you see that news story on TV?” I think it’s an injustice for people not to know what’s going on around them. However, the big problem is that so many people find the news boring and it’s hard to get them interested. That’s where I’d love to make the difference. I would love to make those people who find the news boring, more interested in the world around them.