• Landing an internship at a major corporation

    July 30, 2016 by

    Should we stress out the importance of an internship? Probably not, no. You’re already here, which means that you’re probably aware of how significant experience as an intern is to your portfolio without us lecturing you about it, too. Everyone wants to obtain a master’s degree education level or to hire people with as much experience amassed as possible, and the best way to get this boulder off your chest is to make sure you play it safe and give them what they want.

    Photo by StockUnlimited.com

    Photo by StockUnlimited.com

    That said, you want to land an internship, but so does pretty much everyone else. How are you supposed to handle competition and stand out from the hundreds of applications that the hottest corporations at the moment need to go through at once? Here are some tips to make your resume shine.

    Take the initiative – Make one

    Make what? An internship program, of course. Let’s say you really want to intern at Big International Corporation X, you have your resume all written out, you’re ready to send it in and… surprise! It turns out that there was never a program like that to begin with. How is that possible? It seemed like such a natural inclusion that it’s almost surprising they don’t offer internship positions in the respective field.

    This is when you can go bold and prove your initiative prowess. Get in touch with the company – write them an e-mail, contact them on social media, and let them know that you have an idea for an internship program. Think it thoroughly before contacting them, though. This way you can offer detailed explanations and practical solutions, which are going to make you sound all the more capable, resourceful, and involved in the prosperity of the company.

    Create an interactive video

    Interactive resumes tend to be a surefire way to capture an employer’s attention. That’s because, even if all the applicants were to follow the same pattern and send in engaging applications, the only way that they can actually work is through personal charisma.

    Record a video introducing yourself and add on the screen links that redirect to other videos where you solely focus on one specific asset you want to expand on (for example, leadership skills). If you’re a developer, develop a mini-game where the player navigates a world filled with chunks of text from your resume. There are many directions you can follow, and the most important thing you need to do is exploit your personal talents and ace up your sleeve. If you’re a painter, paint the application!

    Build your resume out of Legos

    Welcome to the world of specifics. Today, we talk about Legos. They can be much more than sources of entertainment and deadly traps for clueless barefooted trespassers. Leah Bowman was a student at Northwestern University who managed to impress the company she applied to for an internship by sending them a resume in the shape of a Lego model.

    The crafting represented herself surrounded by the variety of skills she possessed, and it was paired with a cover letter which explained in further detail her assets and experience.

    Use apps to your advantage

    We know about LinkedIn, Twitter, or other forms of social media. Their usefulness resides in the name: social media. It seems obvious that platforms dedicated to human interaction could play a big role here. But what does an application via Snapchat or Vine sound like?

    If you have the possibility of emailing the resume to your desired company, include a link to a Vine where you creatively lay down your skills in six seconds. If you’re able to pull that off, surely there’s got to be a level of creativity in you that’s bound to spark some interest. Moreover, this is a way to showcase another really charming and sought-after trait – humor. Tell a story through images by using Snapchat and its colorful features and captions option. Just try to steer away from Tinder as we have no clue how that could prove useful… for now.

    The first step to landing an internship is to make your application stand out as well as possible. Small details, such as the title of the e-mail, the font, or the color of the page weigh a lot. If you want to take it a notch further and be sure that you nail that internship position, then just adopt one of the methods on this list.

    Karl Magnusson

    Karl Magnusson, guest writer

    Want more tips to help you land an internship or job at a major corporation? Keep visiting our blog and be sure to register as a job seeker on CollegeRecruiter.com, too. Follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube for regular job and internship updates.

    Karl Magnusson is a motivational writer and a career coach, with over five years of experience under his belt. He loves helping people identify their hidden talents and thrives on seeing his clients achieve professional acclaim.

  • The best and worst career advice your parents ever gave you

    July 29, 2016 by

    It is only natural that you will seek your parents’ advice when you are getting ready to start your own career. After college, this is the source of many widely-awaken nights and several concerns and you should be able to rely on your folks for guidance on this matter.

    And you are very likely to follow what they tell you, especially if they are successful people. But, the thing is that sometimes they might mislead you just out of trying to keep you away from frustration and disappointment. Or, in other cases, they might not know your industry of choice well enough to understand its particularities.

    Photo courtesy of StockUnlimited.com

    Photo courtesy of StockUnlimited.com

    So here is a curated list of the best and worst career advice that parents have given to their children. This way, you can prepare yourself to identify better when you should follow their lead and when a thank you and a smile should be the end of it.

    # The Worst

    So, let’s start with three pieces of advice where parents got it all wrong then.

    You must get a degree.”

    Most parents still think that if you don’t get a degree from a university, you are ruined for life. That you will never be able to get a good job or even to provide for yourself, as the best opportunities are available only for those with a wall full of certifications.

    But, while it can be true for some careers, which require specific qualifications and licences, such as medical doctors and law professional, it isn’t mandatory for everybody.

    There are many companies out there happy to contract talents that have never been to any university but who have proved themselves as capable of doing the job better than their competitors. And this is because a large number of these businesses are owned and run by people who also have no degree, for starters.

    Of course, you need to develop several skills so to be employable, but most of them can be acquired and improved through technical courses, workshops, e-learning, and even self-taught.

    Plus, there isn’t anything stopping you from becoming an entrepreneur yourself, and you won’t need any certification for it.

    A job exists to pay your bills. You don’t have to enjoy it.”

    You will spend from eight to who-knows-how-many hours in your job in the future. And the day has only 24 hours, and you will be asleep through other 8 hours, plus all other mandatory things you must do, such as eating, commuting and having a shower.

    So, yes, you might not need to be absolutely in love with your job, but you must like it enough so to avoid that it will turn your life into a nightmare. Something has to attract you about what you are doing, from your daily tasks to your colleagues and boss, or you won’t be able to cope with it.

    You can do anything you want.”

    Unfortunately, this isn’t true. It is lovely to hear that but we all know that there are some skills that we just don’t seem able to learn them the right way.

    You might dream with the idea of becoming a surgeon, but you know you have never managed to cut a piece of paper following a straight line, for example. Or you wish to become a professor, but get bored when trying to write a 20-page assignment.

    So, yes, you can learn enough to become an average professional, but if you want to stand out from the crowd and be successful in your career, you will have to identify your strengths and choose a path where they can be improved and bring you proper results.

    # The Best

    Now that we survived all those bad ideas, let’s have a look at three pieces of advice from parents that you should really take into consideration from now on.

    You have to work hard to get what you want.”

    Nothing could be more true than it. The time when you used to lie down on the sofa and ask money to your parents is long gone, as you probably already noticed. And it won’t get any better.

    So if you want anything in life, you will have to work for it and hard. You will have to put it as your top priority, get your time organised, make sure that you know what you want, and be persistent about it, even if the challenges start to seem too overwhelming to you at some stage.

    Don’t lose your integrity.”

    No matter what you are aiming for, you should never lose your integrity. If nothing else, it will guarantee that you sleep well at night with a clean consciousness.

    It is very easy to think that bending some rules, or even ignoring them altogether, is a fair way to get a job or a promotion. That is a dog-eat-dog world, and if you don’t do it, someone else will do it anyway. So you protect and look after yourself first.

    But while this is understandable, it is a resource that can backfire quite often. If you lie about your skills, for example, you know that you will be unmasked sooner or later. If you do anything morally or criminally wrong so to protect yourself or your job (or somebody else in your job), you will get yourself in trouble at some stage.

    And the price you will pay for it certainly won’t be worthwhile.

    A job doesn’t define the person you are.”

    So, yes, you prioritize your career above everything in the beginning, even relationships and family, and this is OK. But, it doesn’t mean that, if you fail, you will have failed as a person as well.

    A job is just part of what you do in life, and there are so many variables gravitating around it that you can’t be accountable for everything that goes wrong there. For starters, it is also a responsibility of your boss to make sure that you get your work done correctly, not only yours.

    You might be a much better professional in another company, or maybe in another career. There is nothing wrong in making changes. Also, you shouldn’t take criticism personally – what is being said is about the task, not about you as a person, remember it.

    To Sum Up

    Our parents certainly are the first people we should look for advice when we are trying to start a career for ourselves. They have been there, they know us well, and want the best for us, so they will support us in our journey to the best they can.

    On the other hand, exactly because of it, be ready to understand that some of their suggestions might be just wrong or not suit your needs or of the path that you chose. So learn to listen to everything, and then to evaluate what you will do or not with the information you got from your parents.

     Want more great career advice? Follow College Recruiter on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube.

    Patrick Cole, guest writer

    Patrick Cole, guest writer

    About Patrick Cole, the author:

    Patrick Cole is an entrepreneur and freelancer. He is also a contributing blogger for several websites. Patrick loves self-education and rock music. Connect with Patrick via Facebook, Google+ and Twitter

  • 10 tips for college graduates seeking job search success

    July 27, 2016 by
    Businessman working from home on laptop courtesy of Shutterstock.com

    Monkey Business Images/Shutterstock.com

    College seniors and recent college graduates often enter the job market eager and excited about the possibilities of landing that first job. But many quickly find out job search success isn’t immediate and requires a lot of hard work.

    But successful job seekers also quickly realize there are resources that can help: mentors, college career services departments, and professional contacts are willing to assist recent college graduates in their quest for job search success.

    Below, we organized feedback from a variety of career services professionals and recruiting experts, all who offer job search and career advice for college seniors, recent college grads, and entry-level job seekers striving to achieve job search success. We’d like to offer our own secret: register as a job seeker with College Recruiter. We’ll send you new job leads tailored to your interests and preferences and save you the trouble of searching for them on a regular basis.

    1. Write down the best qualities of one job you would do for free

    “Think about the one job you would do even if you weren’t being paid for doing it – the job you would do right now simply for the joy it brings you. Write it down. Then write down the qualities of this job. As you interview, be sure to ask questions that address the presence of these qualities. At the offer stage, be sure to assess the offers in terms of the presence or absence of these qualities.”

    Steve Levy, Advisor at Day 100

    2. Find a mentor

    “The best tip that I could give college seniors is to be willing to ask questions. It can be intimidating to have peers with jobs already lined up and seemingly everything figured out. Don’t be afraid to admit what you don’t know about the job search. Ask for help with the process. Find a mentor or several mentors, and use their time wisely. Instead of asking for a simple resume review, bring your resume and 5 job descriptions and ask, “how could I strengthen my application for each of these roles?” or “If you were interviewing for these positions, how would you evaluate candidates?” Once you start asking deep-dive questions about resumes, jobs, and interviews, you will become an active, engaged candidate.”

    Mike Caldwell, Director, Business Careers & Employer Development and College of William & Mary

    3. Connect with your cover letter

    “When writing your cover letter, make sure you’re talking about how well you fit with both the job description AND the company. There will likely be several candidates who have a strong background for the position. Once that has been established, the company will look at who will fit best into the company and its established culture. This is your opportunity to establish that connection early.”

    Kelsey Lavigne, Career Services Specialist, University of Arkansas College of Engineering

    4. Resume tip: Show don’t tell

    “Show me; don’t tell me. I often say that evidence is worth more than a thousand words. When hiring, I am looking for someone who truly ‘walks the talk’—and a great way for candidates to demonstrate or prove their ability, passion, skills, and knowledge is by using a portfolio—which goes well beyond a static resume.”

    Heather Hiles, is the CEO and founder of Pathbrite

    5. Focus on people first

    “When you get into your job — no matter what you’re doing or how much you like it — focus on people first. Get to know your coworkers and get to care about your coworkers. You have no idea what turn your career will take, and in five years this job may be a small blip on your resume. But what makes the job worth the time are the people you meet and the relationships you form.”

    Sarah Greesonbach, Principal at B2B Content Studio, @AwYeahSarah

    6. Be specific in your first job search

    “Be open to other career path opportunities which may come your way, but in your initial search be specific. A narrow focus will keep you from wasting your time (and that of employers, recruiters, and hiring managers) by applying and interviewing for positions which really aren’t a good fit or what you want to be doing. Also, it’s okay to start at the beginning, though the pay and responsibility may be less than what you were hoping. Go in with the understanding and determination that as long as you do more than what you are paid to do, you will eventually end up being paid more for what you do, if not by your present employer, then its competitor.”

    David Flake, Human Resources Director at State of Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism

    7. Stay organized

    “Start early and stay organized. Keep a log of applications you’ve completed, date, which copy of your resume you sent, and any contact information you have. Use that to follow up on jobs!”

    Rebecca Warren, Career & Disability Services Coordinator, University of Arkansas Community College at Batesville

    8. Utilize your college career services department

    “Make use of the career services office at your college or university. The staff can direct you when it comes to resumes, career fairs, job opportunities, and the appropriate ways to follow up with potential employers.”

    Kaitlyn Maloney, Human Resources Coordinator, New England Center for Children

    9. Maintain a positive online image

    “Make sure you are reflecting your professional self. Search for your name online. See what comes back in the results. Remember you’re selling yourself to potential employers, and you should present your best self. Keep social media pages (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn) free from questionable posts and images.”

    Erin Vickers, Staffing Consultant, RightSourcing, Inc.

    10. Always learn to grow as a professional

    “Be gentle with yourself as you navigate the job market. You probably won’t land your dream job the first time around. However, if you understand that this process is a continuation of your learning and growth as both a professional and person you will be just fine.”

    Janine Truitt, Chief Innovations Officer, Talent Think Innovations, LLC.

    The job search is tough. Seek out help and assistance. Utilize these resources and tips to help succeed in your job search now and throughout your career.

    For more job search success stories and tips, visit our blog and connect with us on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube.

  • 6 ways college seniors should take advantage of career services

    July 26, 2016 by

    You have arrived—it’s your senior year of college. Woo hoo! You have one year to complete of your collegiate journey. You should definitely celebrate. After you celebrate, prepare yourself for a year of job search and career preparation. While your senior year will definitely be fun, it’s also hard work. You’re in the home stretch before beginning your first full-time, entry-level job. And that means you need to take full advantage of the help provided to you by career services employees on campus. This short video, hosted by College Recruiter’s Content Manager, Bethany Wallace, lists six ways to take advantage of career services to make the most of your senior year so you can land a great job upon graduation.


    If the video is not playing or displaying properly click here.

    In no particular order, don’t neglect any of these important to-do’s your senior year, and seek the assistance of career services staff along the way.

    1. Apply for grad school.

    If you’re remotely interested in attending graduate school within the next five years, take grad school entrance exams and be sure to check out deadlines for applications for financial aid, assistantships, and other forms of financial aid at the grad schools of your choice. There’s nothing worse than missing a deadline and having to wait a semester or entire year to reapply. Be diligent and keep deadlines marked on a calendar you actually monitor regularly.

    2. Apply for jobs.

    Begin applying for entry-level jobs unless you’re definitely applying for graduate school and don’t plan on working at all. When should you apply? It depends on the career field and employer, but a good rule of thumb is to begin applying about six months prior to graduation. As long as your resume clearly states your expected date of graduation, employers will understand that you won’t be available to start working until after graduation.

    The hiring process takes time. The interview process takes time. It takes employers longer than you’d like to review resumes! Don’t wait until three weeks before graduation to start searching for jobs and then feel disappointed when you have only landed one job interview by July.

    3. Get your resume/cover letter in shape.

    Ensure that your resume and cover letter are in great shape. These documents will open doors for interviews for you. Clearly list on your resume your expected date of graduation. Ensure that you’ve listed all work experience (internships, job shadowing, part-time work experience, and volunteer experience). Ask your career services professionals to review your resume at least once. Utilize the free resume editing tool on our website. Take these steps and then start applying for jobs.

    4. Attend career fairs and follow up afterward.

    Definitely attend all career fairs—not just the one on your campus but others as well. Career services staff know about these opportunities. Ask them!

    Continue great networking practices. Send invitations to LinkedIn and Twitter after career fairs and thank you cards after interviews. If someone in your network shares a job lead with you, thank them personally and return the favor in the future if you’re able. Following up with employers/recruiters is a huge step you can’t afford to skip in the hiring process.

    5. Sign up for on-campus interview opportunities.

    These events are key because they provide you with opportunities to network directly with employers without ever leaving campus. It doesn’t get much easier than that. But by all means, do NOT miss your interview or show up late. Arrive about 10 minutes early wearing a suit or other appropriate interview attire. Check with career services to see if they’re hosting an upcoming interview preparation workshop. For that matter, sign up for as many career services events as you can. You’re in the final hours, people. You can’t afford to reject assistance!

    6. Career services are free in college–take advantage of this while you can.

    Remember that once you graduate, unless your career services office extends services to alumni as well, you will no longer have access to free career services. You’ll have to hire a career coach or consultant, and that comes at a price—a rather high price in some cases.

    “As a college student, you have access to so many free career-related resources and events. You will never have this type of access to [free] career services and support at any other time in your career. Take this opportunity and use it,” encourages Grace Whiting, Career Advisor at Roosevelt University.

    Indulge yourself in career services and enjoy your senior year!

    For more career success and job search tips, follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.

     

  • 10 digital skills to help you land an amazing job

    July 25, 2016 by
    Young photographer at the studio doing some retouching photo by StockUnlimited.com

    Photo by StockUnlimited.com

    The digital age arrives with many benefits. Our lives are faster, online, and the information is easily accessible at the click of a button. However, you cannot be left behind, and you need to keep up with technology because it might end up replacing you if you don’t. In fact, it’s already happening. Many jobs that have been a staple of society in the past 100 years are slowly being given to automatons.

    Those are the jobs that require little social interaction and are based on pure demand or logical thinking. A human employee in simple services can be replaced by a few buttons. We’re moving forward, and many already believe that the younger generation needs to make sure their digital skills are sharp in order to fit into the future. How do you defeat this robotization of services and jobs? Learn to be the one who controls and creates them.

    It does not mean you necessarily have to learn how to build robots, but it means that you need to understand what sort of skills and talents future employees expect from you. Digital skills are certainly among them because they will play a major role in shaping the future. Your concern should be to belong among those who participate, instead of those who just watch, and here’s what you should definitely know to land a great job.

    1. SEO (Search Engine Optimization)

    Even though SEO has been around for quite a while, it’s not known to many who have had no handle in creating or taking care of a website. However, keep in mind that skills using it are required by around 14% of companies in the digital industry, and that number is expected to grow. It’s an essential tool used to optimize a website in order for it to generate traffic and conversation. It’s an imperative skill for many jobs and one that will definitely impress employers in the industry.

    2. Coding (HTML5 or JavaScript)

    It may sound like a no-brainer, but coding is a major part of web browsing, especially in an age where websites are becoming more interactive. Numerous tech giants have switched to HTML5, dropping previous languages in order to create a better and seamless internet experience. The same applies to JavaScript, which works greatest with animation and making interaction an easy process. They’re tools that will be used in the future and some highly recommended for those interested in the field.

    3. PPC (Pay-Per-Click)

    In essence, it’s a very simple method that companies are looking for regarding marketing. It implies increasing a specific website’s traffic by buying ads on search engines that make potential customers click on it. However, you need to hone your skills in identifying promising keywords, creating a compelling ad, and measure the results. These will be excellent skills to have if you’re aiming to submit a winning job application at a tech titan in the industry.

    4. Analytics

    It’s not enough to implement digital strategies. Analytics are crucial and highly sought-after by employers because it means you are comfortable with analyzing and evaluating how those techniques are progressing. You need to be able to compare them constantly with others and provide excellent insight. It’s an incredible skill that will certainly land you a job. Everyone is looking to get better.

    5. Android or iOS Development

    Smartphones are taking over, and learning either one of these two platforms will look great on your resume. They have tremendous potential for the future because they are not going anywhere. You could find an amazing job if you master at least one of them.

    6. PaaS (Platform as a Service)

    Cloud software is everywhere, and many believe that they will ultimately become the quintessential platform for companies. PaaS is a tool that will help you develop these web applications that will no longer require customers to download sizeable programs on their hard drives. It’s a builder of accessibility.

    7. Personal branding

    Through the use of social media, you can create an excellent personal brand that will land you a fantastic job. You only need to learn how to do it. It implies understanding the use of all social media platforms, including Facebook, LinkedIn, websites, blogs, and everything else to create a beneficial image of yourself.

    8. Writing online content

    Everything is on the internet, and the ability to create quality content is highly sought-after. If you combine it with SEO and a few marketing skills, you could reach for a high-paying digital marketing job. It’s important to know how to flow between platforms, and manage your content for every situation.

    9. Web design and creating websites

    There are numerous tools out there to use, and mastering a majority of them will certainly make you desired on the job market. All you need is a bit of coding, tremendous amounts of creativity, and the patience to actually learn all the tools. Everyone and everything needs a website. Be the one who creates them, and you will be needed as well.

    10. Image and video editing

    Online digital media is in full force, so there will always be a need for someone who has extensive skills of image and video editing. Be it for advertising, marketing, or basically any industry, these are very valuable skills to learn. They look impressive on your resume, and every company needs someone with these abilities. If you truly want to impress them, grab the Adobe collection and master it.

    We have moved fast into the future, and our steps need to be quick in order to keep up. Basic knowledge of Microsoft Office is now not something employers require, but something they expect. Focus on the most advanced tools that will set you apart from the crowd of millennials still stuck behind technology.

    Want more information about how to integrate technology into your career? Visit our blog and follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.

    Amanda Wilks, guest writer

    Amanda Wilks, guest writer

    Amanda Wilks is a digital marketing intern and a part-time writer, passionate about social media and personal branding. She loves helping individuals create unique online identities and achieve their much-desired professional acclaim.

  • 8 tips for beginners in career services

    July 22, 2016 by
    Photo courtesy of StockUnlimited.com

    Photo courtesy of StockUnlimited.com

    Beginning a new career is a challenge, no matter the field.  It is logical, then, to view starting a new job in career services as borderline daunting.  Landing a career where you help others develop their own careers?  Yikes!  But don’t sweat it.  If you’re a newbie to career services, take a deep breath and check out these helpful tips from someone who has recently stood in your shoes.

     

    That’s right.  I’m right there with you.  I have logged less than a year in career services – 10 months, actually – and I can tell you that it’s taken each day in those ten months for me to develop a clear picture of how I’d like the services this office provides to look in three years.  I’ve also come to realize that to remain effective and relevant, this office can’t stay the same forever but must change with the times and the students who walk through its doors.  I’ve learned so much in the last 10 months, and I’m content knowing that I have much more to learn and more opportunities to pursue within this office.  That being said, here are eight necessities I’ve embraced in taking on my new role in career services.  Good luck to you, and pay close attention to number one.
    1) Get excited! I mean it! Get. Excited. This is an amazing, dynamic field where each day you’ll have clients leaving your office happier than when they arrived and where your colleagues are always looking forward. Hope abounds. Potential is realized. You’re part of one of the most important services a college campus can provide, in my opinion, because you help the future drivers of our economy and leaders of our workforce develop the skills they’ll need to succeed in life beyond college. What an awesome space to occupy!

    2) Know your history. If you’re coming into a position previously occupied by another individual, be sure to network with that individual to determine the direction of the career center up to the point of your arrival – including the career center’s current strengths, challenges, and opportunities. Read last year’s annual report as well as those from two-three years prior. Knowing where you’re coming from helps you develop a map for where you’re trying to go.

    3) Know your target audience. This is perhaps the key to effective operation of a career center. Whether you serve Millennials, non-traditional students, students of a particular academic background, or any other group, knowledge of your target audience is an integral factor in developing student programming, opportunities, marketing efforts, and career coaching practices. A resource I’ve enjoyed for learning more about Millennials (my primary target audience) is Lindsey Pollak’s book, Becoming the Boss, though I’ve also learned from her presentations at the Kennan Summit 2015 and the NACE Conference keynote address.

    It’s important to note that there are more factors in identifying your target audience than generational attributes alone. For example, what percent of your students are first-generation? How many receive financial aid? How many are international students? How many are business majors? How many are from the state in which your institution operates? How have these things influenced your students’ career development thus far? All of these factors and more will help you create a clear picture of the human beings you’re going to help and how best to help them.

    4) Inventory your resources. Any good carpenter can tell you what tools he/she has, what they’re used for, and how to access them. The same can be said of any good career services professional. Upon entering your new role, you’ll want to ascertain what tools you already have at your disposal – a website? Social media accounts? Job boards? Support staff? Professional memberships? Established student programming events? How about colleagues in other departments with whom you can potentially collaborate on future planning or programming?

    This is something your predecessor can really help you with, but keep in mind that he/she is not your only resource. Support staff is always an EXCELLENT resource, particularly if they’ve been around a while. I am very lucky, for instance, to have come into a position where just 20 feet away sits the kindest, most professional administrative coordinator who has worked for the college for many years. Her knowledge of program and general institutional history comes in handy daily, and she is a wonderful sounding board.

    Make yourself a list of resources such as those listed above. Go through existing files on the network drives to which you have access. Once you determine what you have, you’re able to decide what you need.

    5) Prepare to partner. Career services professionals absolutely must partner with other departments on campus. Neglecting to do so will prohibit optimization of career center programming. In other words, you’ll be missing out, big time, and as a result, the students you’re hired to serve will as well. Collaboration spreads the workload and allows for use of resources your little office will not have on its own.

    Partnering is an expectation and, in my opinion, a gift. Embrace it. And keep in mind that partnering isn’t limited to institutional departments. While it’s great to partner with faculty, for example, to market a career fair to students, it’s also excellent to partner with student organizations to boost participation in career center programming. For example, before that very same career fair, you could partner with Greek Life to host an interactive workshop where students prepare for the fair. You’re effectively providing programming for a large, “captive audience,” while at the same time bolstering attendance for your upcoming fair. Plus, your visible connection with this group will encourage other student organizations to partner with your office, thereby boosting your reach. I could go on and on about partnering. Don’t limit your work to the confines of your office! Get out there, and I can promise you, you’ll be happy and effective!

    6) Attend a professional conference. The best ideas are often those you learn from colleagues, but your prospects are limited on campus. Professional conferences, such as the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) conference, allow for a meeting of the minds, where career services staff and professionals from the working world can share best practices, trends, and ideas. I attended the NACE conference in June and came home with ideas for events, new partnerships, assessment and reporting techniques, and several new contacts – including employers and other career services professionals with invaluable knowledge and expertise. State and regional-level professional conferences are wonderful resources as well. Look online to find appropriate events for you.

    7) Build your network(s). For a career services office to function successfully, the staff must have connections with employers, volunteer services organizations, graduate and professional school reps, other career services professionals – the list goes on. You want to develop a list of contacts you can access and refer to easily throughout your day. If this doesn’t exist upon your arrival, its development will be one of your top three priorities. You’ll refer to this document when you send invitations and save-the-dates for major events, such as career fairs, grad school expos, and student/alumni networking events.

    The key to harnessing the power of these connections is getting started. Create a LinkedIn account, if you don’t have one, and begin connecting with company recruiters, career services professionals, and your institution’s alumni group. If you’re like me and are the sole career services professional for your office, consider forming a board of advisors with ten or so alums and professionals whose networks and influence can help you locate campus speakers, boost alumni support of career development efforts, and discover new career opportunities for current students. Remember that your network isn’t limited to you. You have access to your colleagues’ connections as well as the ones you forge yourself. Many times asking for help or advice is the best way to establish a connection, so don’t be afraid to reach out.

    8) Keep records and get creative in reporting them. Most career services offices already keep track of how their programming is operating – how many students they reach, what the students are saying about their services, what types of services are used by which students, etc.; but this isn’t enough. Prospective students and their families want to see how your institution’s students are faring in the “real world” before making the financial commitment to attend. Along the same line, prospective donors and business partners like to see the impact of their donations of time and treasure. For these reasons, it’s imperative that career services professionals track current students’ and graduates’ experiential learning achievements and post-grad destinations (their first job or where they go to graduate or professional school) and share that information with other departments on campus. If your office isn’t currently pursuing this data, this is an effort you’ll want to initiate.

    Annette Castleberry, Co-Director of Career Services at Lyon College

    Annette Castleberry, Co-Director of Career Services at Lyon College

    For more great tips for building your career services program, follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.

     

    About the author, guest writer Annette Castleberry:

    Currently Co-Director of Career Services, Annette Castleberry is excited to be promoted to Director of Career Development at Lyon College beginning August 1, 2016.  You can connect with Annette and with the Lyon College Career Center on Facebook or www.lyon.edu.  

     

     

  • Social media helps students and graduates build relationships

    July 21, 2016 by
    Social, connection, laptop photo by StockUnlimited.com

    Photo by StockUnlimited.com

    Today, social media provides us with the chance to communicate personally and professionally. For college students and recent graduates who are more interested in the latter, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook are all popular platforms to market themselves. They are places to build valuable relationships with professionals, employers, and fellow job seekers. Andrea St. James, Director of the Career Development Center at Western New England University, discusses how students can establish relationships on social media sites, and Michaeline Shuman, Director of Career Development at Susquehanna University, shares how social media sites can connect students and recent grads to college alumni.

    “Social media works best as an initial contact or follow-up to solidify a new relationship. When connecting first (through social media), though, students should explain who they are. When you first pursue a connection, share how you are connected with the person (i.e. went to the same school, or common connections). Then share information about yourself that starts to put a face to a name, i.e. major, experience, direction, goals, and finally what you are looking to gather from that person.”

    “(Social media) is great for connecting students with their university’s alumni and asking them for advice. By asking for advice, alumni are put in a position to say yes rather than no. All professionals have stories about how they got into their current roles, strategies for students on the job market, etc. Once a rapport is developed, students can ask their new networking connections about job opportunities or additional resources.”

    Students and recent college graduates seeking opportunities to help build their professional network can connect with employers, career specialists and other motivated professionals through the many different social media channels College Recruiter uses to engage with both job seekers and employers. Check out our College Recruiter LinkedIn group, our College Recruiter LinkedIn page, and follow College Recruiter on Twitter. Also, don’t forget to leverage resources like the College Recruiter YouTube page, which offers additional career insight. When you find content you like, share that with your social media channels to help create discussion and engagement, which can help build your professional network and create those coveted relationships that can help students and recent college graduates advance in their career.

    While students can use social media to begin the networking process, they shouldn’t end there. Don’t be afraid to invite connections to connect face-to-face for coffee or lunch. Ask connections for an informational interview to learn more about your desired future careers. Take relationships to the next level.

    Using social media to network? Get more advice on our blog and don’t forget to follow us on our various social media channels, including Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube.

     

    Andrea St. James, Director of the Career Development Center at Western New England University

    Andrea St. James, Director of the Career Development Center at Western New England University

    Andrea St. James is Director of the Career Development Center at Western New England University in Springfield, Massachusetts, where she assists students and alumni with career planning, occupational exploration, job search strategies, and graduate school applications. She has a BSBA in Marketing and an MBA, both from Western New England University.

     

     

     

     

     

    Michaeline Shuman, Director of Career Development at Susquehanna University

    Michaeline Shuman, Director of Career Development at Susquehanna University

    Michaeline Shuman is Assistant Provost for Postgraduate Outcomes and Director of the Career Development Center at Susquehanna University in Selinsgrove, Pennsylvania, where she helps students identify internship and job opportunities through networking and preparation programs, on-campus recruiting programs, and career and graduate school advising. She received her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Social Work at Albright College and a Master of Science Degree in Education from Alfred University.

  • 5 ways juniors can take advantage of career services

    July 19, 2016 by

    It’s finally your junior year of college. You’re more than halfway finished with your undergraduate courses. Woohoo!

    You can certainly breathe a sigh of relief and feel a sense of accomplishment, but you have some serious career-related tasks to accomplish this year. Most college students don’t simply land a great job after graduating. It’s a step-by-step process which requires you to do your part in collaboration with your career services office on campus. As Patricia Niemann, Career Development Consultant, puts it, “career development is the bridge that you will travel from your educational environment to future career opportunities.”

    This short video, hosted by College Recruiter’s Content Manager, Bethany Wallace, lists six ways juniors in college can take advantage of career services to get ahead in the job search game.


    If the video is not playing or displaying properly click here.

    1. Ensure that you’ve written a super solid resume and cover letter.

    Now is the time to edit and update your resume with the help of your career services office on campus and to create a basic cover letter if you didn’t do so during your sophomore year. Career services will be glad to help you do this. Most career services offices even host special resume workshops and events, or you can set up a one-on-one resume appointment. No matter what approach you take, get it done. Don’t wait until the day before a job or internship interview. Creating or editing a resume takes time, even for a professional.

     

    2. Gain work experience in your field of study.

    It doesn’t matter if the experience is paid or unpaid. It doesn’t matter if you work five or 20 hours per week. It simply matters that you gain work experience in your field of study or as closely related to your field of study as possible. Are you majoring in criminal justice? Contact your local police department to ask about opportunities there. Is there a battered women’s shelter or sexual assault center in your area? Perhaps you could serve as a volunteer victim’s advocate. The possibilities are endless, but you have to take initiative. Working with career services is priceless. It’s the job of a career services professional to keep in touch with local employers and to serve as a liaison with organizations like these. Let your career services professionals work as advocates for you. Why do all the hard work yourself if you don’t have to? Don’t overlook sites like CollegeRecruiter.com, either. We can help. When you register, you tell us what you’re looking for, and we send you new job postings related only to your search criteria.

     

    3. Up your networking game.

    During your first and second years of college, it might have been enough to simply keep your social media sites clean of inappropriate content and to occasionally add new contacts. That’s not going to cut it your last two years of undergraduate study.

    Start reaching out to alumni and chatting with employers via discussion boards online. Dedicate at least 30 minutes to these activities per week. Up your game online, and you’ll be surprised how many connections you’ll gain and what types of opportunities may surface as a result. Each time you attend an event with employers present, retain business cards and invite those employers (recruiters, hiring managers, and others) to connect with you on Twitter, LinkedIn, and other professional networking sites. If they don’t accept your invitations, don’t take it personally. If they do connect with you, send a personal message thanking them for adding you. Don’t harass employers online or send annoying messages, but don’t be afraid to like their posts or comment on content they share in a thoughtful and insightful manner.

     

    4. Acquire better soft skills.

    Ask career services professionals for opportunities to improve your soft skills. Seek feedback from your career services staff on where your strengths and weaknesses lie in terms of soft skills. Are you great at communicating in writing but poor at communicating face-to-face? You might need to practice interview questions with a career services member before conducting on-campus interviews with employers. Are you a strong leader but not so great at teamwork? Find ways to get involved in organizations requiring you to collaborate with others on campus.

     

    5. Take grad school entrance practice exams.

    If you plan on attending graduate school after you graduate from college, it’s a good idea to take practice exams for the GRE, MCAT, and other entrance exams for graduate schools during your junior year. Most of these are offered at no cost and can be found online. Career services offices often offer assistance in pointing students to these exams or to study guides on many campuses.

     

    Lastly, and this is a bonus tip: don’t just attend the career fair your junior year of college.

    The career fair is a great event—and a must—but challenge yourself to attend at least two other events sponsored by career services as well. Ask your career services office which events are most important on your campus. Is it the etiquette dinner, on-campus interviews, mock interviews, or other key events? Each campus has its own key events, so don’t assume you know which matter most without asking.

    Want more help finding ways to guarantee career success? Follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube.

     

  • 3 tips for getting the most out of part-time jobs

    July 18, 2016 by
    Retail, portrait, clipboard photo by StockUnlimited.com

    Photo by StockUnlimited.com

    As a college student, it can often feel like your part time job is purely for bringing in the cash you need to splash on your expenses and social activities. This, however, is not necessarily the case. The experience gained from working a part time job can be invaluable towards assisting with your selection of a future career, as well as contributing to landing your first full-time entry-level job later down the track.

    1. On-the-job experience

    As far as choosing a career goes, you may have already decided. Obviously you’ve enrolled in a college degree, and now it’s just a matter of time before you land your dream job and get started, right? Well, actually, using your choice of part time work to gain particular experience that will assist with your career selection is a good start. Sometimes when you gain on-the-job work experience in a particular field, you may actually change your mind about thinking it’s the perfect career for you.

    Part time jobs can be tricky to land, but if you are presented with choice, why not select one that’s closest to the type of job you’ll work once you’ve completed your degree? For example, work as a veterinary assistant while studying to become a vet. Use this opportunity to test the waters and see if you feel comfortable working in a similar environment in which you’ll soon be qualified.

    2. Future benefits

    As well as using your part time job as an opportunity to test if you enjoy a particular type of work, you can also leverage it to land yourself your first ‘real’ job sooner. The work experience you gain during college will be included on the resume you submit for prospective full-time jobs once qualified. An empty resume won’t impress a prospective employer, nor will having one that fails to contain any outstanding information.

    Separate yourself from future competition by using time worked in your part-time job to earn credit for future job applications. Accomplishments such as taking on higher duties, greater responsibility, winning awards, and being promoted will all look fantastic on your resume. Ask your manager if you can take on new work so you have the opportunity to learn different job skills and gain broader exposure to the work environment. You could also assist with designing a strategy to save the business money or increasing the level of customer satisfaction, for example.

    3. Expand your network

    Holding down a part-time job will also help you to expand your professional network. You’ll create connections and relationships with people that may be able to assist you with finding work at a later date. Your manager may be willing to provide a reference for you, or your colleague may recommend you to their employer at such time as they gain full-time work.

    Working hard now will pay off in the future, as you present a resume and work experience that demonstrates your commitment to work and your enthusiasm to achieve beyond minimum expectations.

    Searching for a part-time job? Visit College Recruiter and follow our blog. Also, follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Twitter.

    Joe Flanagan, Senior Resume Consultant at Velvet Jobs

    Joe Flanagan, Senior Outplacement Consultant at Velvet Jobs

    Joe Flanagan is the Senior Outplacement Consultant at Velvet Jobs, offering outplacement services and a search facility for job seekers of all ages and industries. His expertise include resume writing, job search tips and hiring issues. When he’s not trying to improve the unemployment rate you can find him traveling the world and learning new languages.
  • 10 most tricky HR questions for students

    July 16, 2016 by
    Interview photo by StockUnlimited.com

    Photo by StockUnlimited.com

    You know what the problem is when you graduate and start the interviewing process? You have perhaps half a dozen, perhaps twice that number of interviews under your belt. The people sitting there behind those big desks staring at you steely-eyed? They have done hundreds. That means they know the tricks, they know the strategies, and they know how to make you stumble. If you want to stand a chance at beating them at their own game, you have to be prepared.

    Why should I hire you?

    This one catches people a lot. They are afraid they will either come across as too arrogant or that they will not push themselves enough. The thing is that is not really what the question is about, and both those traps can be easily avoided if you realize that.

    This is not about you telling them how amazing you are. This is about you showing how much you know about them (which is everybody’s favorite topic). So show them that you know what the position entails and what skills will be required. After you have done that you can modestly admit that you have those skills (preferably with a few examples of where you’ve used those skills as showing is always better than telling).

    Why is there a gap in your work history?

    You have been unemployed for six months because you needed some time to chill out and get your priorities sorted. Or you spent some time living on a beach seeing if it is really true your skin turns green when you drink too many mojitos. Or you lived in your parents’ basements and played video games. Fantastic! You do not necessarily want to tell them that though.

    Instead, talk about how you used that time to make yourself a better person. Talk about freelancing work you did, social outreach, or how you spent your time searching for the perfect job (which is obviously the one you are interviewing for right now). Put a positive spin on things by showing how much you grew as a person.

    You have been fired from your last job. How did it make you feel?

    You have to demonstrate that you can take a blow without becoming either angry or resentful. So even if you are, burry that deep and instead tell them about how you used this as an opportunity to improve yourself so that nothing like this can ever happen to you again.

    What is your biggest weakness?

    A nasty question! There is no doubt about it. You better prepare to meet this one every so often, because a lot of HR managers have this one in their repertoire and like to throw it out there to see how you react.

    The right way to go is to remember that strengths and weaknesses can be different sides of the same coin. So if you have a weakness, admit it and then explain to them how in some situations it can be a strength. Alternatively, take your greatest strength and admit when it might actually be a weakness. That way you show you understand yourself.

    Have you ever had a bad experience with an employer?

    This one is as much to see how you handle being put on the spot as to see if you will be honest. Remember, everybody is bound to have bad experiences occasionally. We are all human. So they are not going to believe you when you say ‘no, never.’ Instead think of something that did go wrong then admit that it was at least partially your fault and explain how you learned from it and how you will be better next time. That shows both humility and wisdom.

    Do not bag on your previous employer! That will raise all sorts of red flags. Yes, it they might be bad people, but this person sitting opposite you will not have a better impression of you if you decide to tell them that.

    Frustrated businesswoman screaming photo by StockUnlimited.com

    Photo by StockUnlimited.com

    Tell about a day when you messed up at work

    Another one of those situations where you have to be honest and admit you have done something wrong. After all, nobody is perfect, and if you are not willing to admit you have screwed up you can wave the job you are interviewing for good-bye. Just like with the last question the trick here is to show what you have learned.

    How would you deliver bad news to a colleague?

    Here is your opportunity to demonstrate empathy and your ability to deal with a stressful situation in a grownup manner. So do not suggest you would send them a text or first let everybody in the office know so that you can all have a laugh. Instead, show them how diplomatic you are.

    Will you be out to take my job?

    Okay, here you can lie. ‘No’ is the correct answer. ‘I doubt I could do it as well as you’ is a good follow up.

    How did you prepare for this interview?

    Here is where you demonstrate that you care enough about the job to actually have researched the position (you did research the position didn’t you?). So tell them how you went to the website and read this that and the other. Here you get to show off some of the things you learned, including talking a little bit about the industry as well as what their company specifically does.

    Where would you really like to work?

    ‘Here’ is the right answer. Now you can be a bit honest and suggest that you want to ultimately move into another area in the company, but whatever you do, do not say another company name! That is a fantastic way to close the door on any opportunity to work there.

    Last words

    The most important thing to remember is that there will be other interviews and however many ‘no’s you get you only want one ‘yes’, so don’t get too stressed out. You will get there in the end. After that, you will have to go through the hard work of keeping the job. That is not exactly easy either, but at this moment, that probably feels more like a ‘wish I had that problem’ problem.

    Need more interview tips? Visit our blog and connect with us on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube.

    Dante Munnis, guest writer

    Dante Munnis, guest writer

    Dante Munnis is a blogger and idea maker from Stockholm who is interested in self-development, web related topics, and success issues. He shares ideas for students living a better life and building habits that stick. To get strategies for boosting your mental and physical performance, you can get in touch with Dante via Twitter.