• What was your first job and what did you like about it?

    October 31, 2008 by

    I first worked at a place called Popes in a small town, I was a stock boy. My favorite part of the job was assembling things such as bicycles and furniture.

    — Submitted by A. E. from Coats, North Carolina, United States through the CollegeRecruiter.com Career Blog Application on Facebook.com.

  • Networking Help From Your Friends

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    Here’s a brilliant quote from a brilliant scientist, Linus Pauling: “The best way to have a good idea is to have lots of ideas.” And here’s a rough corollary for your job search: The best way to find a good job is to have lots of networking conversations.
    In other words, the more people you talk to, the faster you’ll get hired.
    That’s not an opinion. It’s what I’ve observed after helping thousands of people find jobs since 1996. You might even call it scientific evidence.
    To prove my theory, that more conversations produce more job leads, I performed an experiment on myself.
    Here’s the experiment: I called up two of my best-connected friends — people who know lots of other people — and asked them how they found their last three jobs. What did they say?
    1) Terry from Royal Oak, Mich. “How did I find my last three jobs? Let’s see. The job I have now at an online retailer, I found out about from an employment web site,” he said. “For my last job, I was hired after networking internally with a vice president at the Fortune 500 company where I was working. I ended up being relocated from Minneapolis to Memphis.
    “And before that, I was hired for a new position, again, after networking internally. That time it was with a director.”
    Summary: Terry’s current job was found through an online posting. The previous two came from networking where he worked — they were internal moves.
    2) Jennifer from Minneapolis, Minn. “Right now, I’m a freelancer in public relations. The projects I get are generally from referrals from past clients where I used to work full-time,” she said.
    “I got my last position by following a former co-worker to another company where she had been hired. She referred me in over there. “Two jobs ago, I was hired after getting a directory of every ad agency in Minneapolis (this was in the 1990s), mailing each of them a resume, and then calling every one to follow up.”
    Summary: Most of Jennifer’s projects in her freelance position now, and the last full-time job she had, came through referrals (a more useful, accurate term than networking, by the way).
    Two jobs ago, she was hired after contacting employers directly and following up by phone — the human touch. How quaint. How pre-Facebook. And how effective.
    NowThese stories can help you find a job faster in two ways. First, I’ve just given you an excuse to call the most-connected people you know and start a conversation.
    All you have to do is pick up the phone and ask them how they found their last three jobs. Do you think you might get one referral to a potential employer by calling two successful friends, as I did? How about five friends? Second, you’re going to gain new insights into job hunting that can re-energize your search.
    Example: I had forgotten about the power of internal networking until talking to Terry. If I were working now, I would first exhaust all internal options before looking outside for jobs; that’s obvious. But what about my friends at other companies? I would ask them to talk to their managers about openings that might suit me, because employee referrals count for a lot. And Terry helped me remember all that.
    The recurring theme throughout this experiment can be summed up in one word: referrals.
    By not burning bridges after leaving school or taking a new job, and by maintaining relationships with friends, you can have more conversations with more people who can point you to more job openings.
    Having more conversations — that sounds like a simple way to find a job, doesn’t it? But don’t tell me you knew that. Tell me how well you’re doing it now.
    Kevin Donlin is Creator of TheSimpleJobSearch.com. Since 1996, he has provided job-search help to more than 20,000 people. Author of 3 books, Kevin has been interviewed by The New York Times, Fox News, CBS Radio and others. His latest product, The Simple Job Search System, is available at https://www.collegerecruiter.com/guaranteed-resumes.php
    Article courtesy of the Recruiting Blogswap, a content exchange service sponsored by CollegeRecruiter.com, a leading site for college students looking for internships and recent graduates seeking entry-level jobs and other career opportunities.

  • Internships & the Current Job Market

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    Getting an internship in today’s job market is one way to get experience even though some employers are cutting back on the hiring process. Mike Profita, Skidmore College’s Director of Career Services says, “Employers will continue to be selective which means they are likely to hire graduates with more experience, higher levels of motivation, and a focused interest in their industry.” Continue reading about internships
    Thumbnail image for Penny Loretto.jpg Article by, Penny Loretto, a career counselor at a small liberal arts college in upstate New York, has her own private career counseling practice, Career Choice, and is About.com’s Guide to Internships.

  • The Value of Networking

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    [Last] weekend I assisted in a networking workshop for parents’ weekend. It was an informative workshop given by an alumna of our college who had previously worked in retail and then went on to work in professional recruiting. She provided some valuable tips for students and illustrated how they can begin tapping into a network of college alumni to assist them in their own career development. Many colleges have alumni that offer career advice, expertise, and provide a better understanding of the career field in which they work. This is an invaluable resource that many students don’t take advantage of while still a student in college. Continue reading about networking while still in college …
    Thumbnail image for Penny Loretto.jpg Article by, Penny Loretto, a career counselor at a small liberal arts college in upstate New York, has her own private career counseling practice, Career Choice, and is About.com’s Guide to Internships.

  • Personal Brands Are Measured by the Quality of Their Work

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    An interview by Dan Schawbel
    Today, I spoke with Sramana Mitra, who is a Forbes columnist, blogger and author. She become well known because of her blog, which led her to new and exciting opportunities. Haven’t we heard that before ;). We spoke about very interesting topics, including the basics of hard work, web 3.0, examples of successful entrepreneurs and tips that any entrepreneur can use.
    Many entrepreneurs now are looking to make a quick hit, yet I believe there is no “overnight success.” What is your opinion on the amount of work, commitment, teamwork and determination involved with being an entrepreneur? Is patience really a virtue?
    I don’t believe in overnight success either. I wrote a piece in 2001, right when the dot com bubble had crashed, called Greatness and the Gold Rush, in which I had said that luck is not a repeatable event. If you are seeking overnight success, you have to bank on luck to a great extent. While luck plays an enormous role in the lives of entrepreneurs, you cannot build anything consequential with luck alone. Thus, all those other elements you mention become important. Leadership, most of all. Work ethic. Conviction. And yes, patience. Patience is an enormous virtue in entrepreneurship. It brings you staying power.

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  • You’ve Written Your Resume, Now Maximize Its Results

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    Article Provided by JIST Publishing
    By now you get it: If you want to land interviews–let alone a job offer–you need a stellar resume. Fortunately, you already have one and are fairly certain it’s strong enough to put you a step ahead of the competition.
    Not so fast. Sure you’ve got a knock-out resume, but do you actually know how to use it? Unfortunately, most job seekers don’t, according to career coach Katy Piotrowski.
    “Nine out of 10 job seekers do very little with their resumes, hoping that their dream employer will come looking for them. Just like a hammer, a resume is a tool that can help you get the job done. But if the hammer sits in a toolbox unused, it’s worthless. Your resume, sitting on your desk or in your computer, will do little for you unless it lands in the hands of decision makers,” Piotrowski writes in her recently-released book The Career Coward’s Guide to Resumes (JIST © 2008). Continue reading about maximizing your resume’s results …
    Article by Selena Dehne and courtesy of JIST Publishing

  • Watch out for your favorite career options

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    Make sure your eyes are open when making a career decision. It’s a long proven fact: we tend to disregard information that contradicts our perceptions or biases, and we welcome information that supports them. This prejudice exists whether you are choosing a career or trading in high-risk derivatives. See former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan’s Congressional testimony last week.
    Translated for the person choosing a career: watch out for your favorite career options, especially if you have little negative information about them. Avoiding the tendency to shut out contradictory information by following an eyes-open process to making a good career decision. We give you the tools for this process (all science based), including a Decision Balance Sheet and a real life example.
    As I wrote before about negative career information, no career option is perfect. You just need to be prepared to deal with the “cons,” as well as celebrate the “pros.”
    If only our financial gurus would make good decisions!
    Article by, Juliet Wehr Jones, J.D. and courtesy of Career Key, striving to help all people make the best career choices, worldwide.

  • Employees Feeling the Glass is Half Empty

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    Trust and confidence key factors
    What do employees around the world think about their organizations – their management, products, markets, and the odds of employment survival in these uncertain times? Valuable insights can sometimes be gained by looking at those who respond most negatively about their workplaces and environments. Looking at the negative responses, the Kenexa Research Institute (KRI) explored the results from a group of more than 16,000 workers, from 12 countries.
    Employee confidence has two contributing factors as defined by Kenexa researchers: organizational and personal confidence. Organizational confidence is defined as employees having confidence in their organization’s future, believing their organizations are managed effectively, feeling that the products/services are of high quality and sought after, that the organization is competitive and that the industry in which the organization is operating is robust and healthy.
    Personal confidence is defined as employees feeling there is a promising future for them at their organization, that they won’t be laid off, feeling the organization is helping them develop the skills they need in the future, believing other organizations are hiring people with similar skills and experience, and feeling that if they left their current employer they could find a similar job utilizing their skills and paying at least similarly to their current position.

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  • How to Master Search Engines for Personal Branding Prosperity

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    Today, I spoke with Mike Moran, who is a SEO/SEM expert, author, speaker and employee. As many of you know, through my posts on Google being the centerpiece for your personal brand, this topic is extremely important. In the interview, we go over some basic fundamentals, key terms, and strategies for success, so that you rank high for your name and maintain it. In the age of Google, if you don’t show up for your name, someone else can. It’s time to learn more about marketing your personal brand in bits and bytes, with the goal of showing up first!
    A lot of people don’t know the difference between SEO (search engine optimization) and SEM (search engine marketing). What are your definitions and how do they differ?
    I call SEO the techniques you use to influence organic (natural) search rankings, while SEM covers both organic and paid search. To me, any company with a Web site should be working on SEO. If you are spending time and money to create and maintain your site, why wouldn’t you make the effort for more people to see what you did? Paid search is a different matter-many companies can return more than they spend with paid search, but many others can’t.
    In our book, Bill Hunt and I show search marketers how to place a monetary value on each visitor that search brings the their Web sites, so that they can tell whether the money spent on paid search brings a return worth the investment.

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  • Who Do You Think You Are Fooling?

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    Every once in awhile someone tells me what they want done with their resume and I just shake my head in wonder. I am referring to folks who think that with a little sleight of hand they can fool recruiters into thinking that their work experience, employers, or education are something other than what their resume says it is. The truth? You are nuts if you think you can really fool recruiters.
    Here are some examples:
    Example A
    One client who had never worked in “Green Energy” in her life wanted her resume to include a list 10 or 15 seminars she attended (she wasn’t a speaker, mind you, just an attendee) that were related to green energy. Her rationale? She figured that if she kept the seminars on the resume that recruiters would consider her qualified for positions in green energy. Her real problem? Her job is in sales but she couldn’t tell me any of her sales goals/quotas over the past few years — but she wanted her resume to claim that she exceeded quota every year.
    It seemed to me that she was trying to perform a magical illusion and try to focus recruiters away from the fact that there was no substance to her resume. She didn’t want readers to focus on the fact that she had no numbers to back up her claims of sales excellence — she wanted them to focus on her supposed expertise in green energy. What she didn’t realize is that recruiters have seen every magic trick in the book and are very alert to a resume that lacks substance.
    I pointed out that (a) if you are a sales person and you list “exceeded quota” on your resume you can bet that any recruiter will ask the obvious question, “What was your quota and by how much did you exceed it?” and (b) No recruiter will think that a list of seminars you attended in a field other than your own makes you qualified for a career change.

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