• Ask Matt: How to respond to the 5 most basic interview questions

    May 11, 2017 by

     

    Dear Matt: I recently completed an interview, and realized, I wasn’t prepared to answer the most basic interview questions. I spent more time preparing for that odd, or unique question that may come up, and not enough time on the basics. What are some answers or responses to the most basic interview questions every recent job seeker should be sure to master before the next interview? 

    Preparation is key to a successful job interview. But when preparing for a job interview, many recent college grads focus on how they will answer the tough interview questions, instead of mastering how they will answer the most basic interview questions. While the former is important, the latter is crucial to a successful entry-level job interview.

    “As you prepare yourself for interviews, you may find yourself focusing solely on prep for the more complex interview questions,” says Jill O’Connell, VP of Talent Management at Cengage, an education and technology company that provides resources for the higher education, K12, professional, library, and workforce training markets worldwide. “You don’t want to be caught unprepared to answer the most basic questions.”

    What are the most basic job interview questions and what responses do employers want to hear? O’Connell and Michael Steinitz, Executive Director of Accountemps, a division of Robert Half, provide a list of five basic interview questions every recent college grad should master for interview success:

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  • 5 reasons recent college grads should consider work and travel jobs

    May 04, 2017 by

     

    Recent college grads seeking work and travel jobs can often do so by finding employment with a multinational organization that has offices throughout the world. So instead of taking a year off to travel the world after college graduation, why not find a job that allows one to travel for work – and get paid for it, while gaining valuable professional and personal experience?

    1. Work and travel jobs provide unique on the job experience.

    Traveling for work, or as part of a job, is a great way to see the world, while building important professional and life skills that will benefit individuals throughout the rest of their career.

    “Experience is the best teacher,” says Ilona Jurkiewicz, head of the Early Careers Program at Thomson Reuters, a multinational mass media and information firm. In her role with the Early Careers Program at Thomson Reuters, Jurkiewicz leads internal and external strategy for how Thomson Reuters  will attract, assess, develop, engage, retain, and flow early career talent. This spans everything from interns and apprentices to MBAs and PhDs.

    “You can read about business etiquette, cultural nuances in offices, or the pace of change in emerging markets all you want, but nothing beats seeing and feeling these things up front and center,” adds Jurkiewicz.

    2. Want to climb the corporate career ladder? You’ll need international business experience.

    Do you have aspirations to become a CEO (6 rules for women who want to become corporate leaders), or goals to someday earn a spot on the board of directors at a large, global organization? Then international business experience is a must. For many employers, access to the C-suite or senior level roles is prohibited for those who don’t have international or multinational experience.

    “Corporations need individuals with a global mindset leading the way,” said Jurkiewicz. “Aside from a long or short term assignment sponsored by the company or moving to another company, travel is a great way to get this type of experience and skillset. This will undoubtedly provide lifelong experiences if you apply the skills you learn, and know how to talk about it.”

    Additionally, many work and travel jobs tend to be client facing as the employee is often traveling to the site of the client. “This is also a fantastic double punch,” says Jurkiewicz. “Customer service experience is highly valued in every industry, and it’s helpful to get that earlier on. The more you understand a customer and how to serve them, the more likely you will make smart and insight driven business decisions.”

    Developing a strong understanding of how to do business across cultures, along with learning foreign language skills, is essential to international business success. Traveling to different countries can help build those all-important business and interpersonal skills to work with different business professionals/leaders in different countries. Doing it now, out of college, with less personal responsibilities (for most recent college grads), is the time to do it.

    It’s not now or never, but in some cases, if it’s not now, it’s never.

    “The older you get, the more responsibilities and roots you have,” says Jurkiewicz. “You buy a house and a car, and you have to figure out how to solve for that. Your partner has a job that doesn’t allow travel, so that becomes a factor you have to take into account. A pet requires constant home care and attention. Your parents begin aging and you worry about being closer. Earlier in your career, your life is less tethered and you are also likely more easy going and willing to forego the ‘perfect’ travel scenario because you want the opportunity more than all the fanfare that goes with it.”

    3. Traveling for work builds international business and networking skills.

    A job at a large, multinational company can provide recent college grads global work and travel job opportunities, whether it’s for business trips or projects, or permanent opportunities. A recent college grad could start in a U.S. branch of a multinational organization, and transfer to a global office at any point during their career. One example: A graduate of a United States public college got a job at a large financial services organization right after graduation. He spent a few years in the Minneapolis office of that firm, then transferred to a role in Russia, where he worked for five years before moving back to Minnesota for a different role with the same company. He met his wife at that job in Russia, and together they had two kids. He returned to Russia for a family vacation last summer. The experiences, personal and professional, are things he still talks about this day.

    Many large organizations have internal programs in place for employees who want to transfer to roles across the world, which in turn, helps employees make a more seamless transition to a new country.

    “Every colleague can be a potential partner or someone to help you assimilate into the location,” says Jurkiewicz. “You just need to be open to seeing them that way.”

    Multinational organizations also can provide access to global educational and training tools, either for business trips, or for permanent relocation. For example, Thomson Reuters subscribes to Culture Wizard, which allows employees to set up profiles of the employee’s home country and the country they are traveling to, to learn about the difference in culture, and business in those countries. “This helps professionals assimilate faster and avoid quirks or issues that can come up,” says Jurkiewicz.

    International companies invest in language courses for employees, ranging from Rosetta Stone to apps like DuoLingo. Others provide soft skills training and training on how to communicate in different settings and cultures. That type of training is invaluable, especially early in one’s career, because those additional skill sets can help them become more valuable to the organization, and in turn, help earn a promotion, or take on new responsibilities sooner in one’s career.

    4. Traveling for work develops important soft skills not taught in the classroom.

    But you don’t have to be an aspiring CEO or board member to benefit from a job that allows you to see the world for work. Studies of large companies report that one of the skills most often missing in new hires is resilience, says Jurkiewicz. Traveling – and being challenged daily in a new environment – builds resiliency, because it forces recent college grads how to survive and thrive outside their comfort zones.

    Traveling for work develops these additional soft skills, says Jurkiewicz:

    • The ability to develop new relationships: “Individuals who have developed strong networking and relationship building and management skills, and nurture new contacts through travels will likely be more successful – both right now, and in future jobs and opportunities,” says Jurkiewicz.
    • How to handle the unexpected: When you travel, you always have to be ready for the unknown. What if your luggage gets lost and you have a business meeting? What if your flight is delayed or you get re-routed? What if no one speaks English in the Airbnb you have booked? These are real world skills that require you to think on your feet and problem solve, and really enhances your ability to flex when the moment arises.
    • Self-Discipline: Travel for work requires you to be disciplined in managing a lot at once, including your personal life back home, your work life, and of course you as a person while always being in changing circumstances. It forces you to adapt to new routines and to be disciplined in how you use your time and ensure you don’t just get stuck in travel mode.
    • Long distance relationship: This may seem silly, but if you are in a long distance relationship and don’t need to be in one location all the time – then a job that requires a lot of travel is perfect. You never know, it might even lead you toward the location of your significant other.
    • Air Miles: Many companies let you keep your own air miles, so that means a perk for you as you can use them for personal reasons!

    5. Overseas work and travel jobs allows one to plan vacations around work trips

    In the U.S., vacation time is often limited, especially for recent college grads. By having a job that requires travel, you can often add on personal days to explore that location or adjacent cities/sites. It’s a built in vacation once the work is done.

    “This is a great way to maximize your time off and always feel like you have mini vacations or extended breaks,” says Jurkiewicz.

    It’s important to remember that not all work travel is glamorous, says Jurkiewicz.

    “Your personal relationships can really suffer from a lack of face time and consistency,” she says. “Your health can also suffer. Being on the road means not being able to control what you eat, or how you exercise, and the days can be long. You can also really suffer from jet lag which seems okay when the adrenaline is pumping, but you can crash very hard. It takes a lot of work to ensure you are able to take care of yourself while always on the road.”

    Traveling to other countries for work presents great opportunities for recent college grads. It can help develop professional skills that last a lifetime. And it can allow one to see parts of the world they may never have an opportunity to see if it wasn’t for that job. Recent college grads, now is the time to consider a job that allows you to travel for work. Use these tips to find success, and work and travel job that propels you to career success.

    For more tips on the benefits of traveling overseas for work, check out our blog and follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and don’t forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel.

     

  • Onboarding new employees starts before first day on job

    May 02, 2017 by

     

    new employee who is not onboarded the right way is going to have difficulty finding a sense of belonging inside an organization, says Scott Redfearn, executive vice president of global HR at Protiviti, a global business consulting and internal audit firm.

    “Employees who don’t have a meaningful career experience aren’t going to last, and they will not perform to their full potential,” says Redfearn.

    The reality is, the process for onboarding new employees starts well before the new hire’s first day on the job. Successful companies know this, and set up a series of touchpoints and check-ins to ensure new hires feel welcome, and are prepared, before the first day on the job.

    This is especially important for the recent college grad embarking on their first journey into the real world. The process for onboarding new employees is the employer’s opportunity to make a great first impression, and show recent college grads their company is a good place to work, and that they will be given an opportunity to grow and succeed.

    “Employers should realize that some recent college grads are still in the process of understanding the difference between their initial dreams and reality,” says Max Dubroff, an HR consultant and former adjunct professor with the University of Phoenix who taught Masters level courses on management and organizational behavior.

    “They may have thought for years that they would get into one of the best-known companies, but even if your company doesn’t make those best places to work lists, or even if it isn’t a Fortune 500 organization, you have the opportunity to show them the value of a good/great job in a good/great organization.”

    Onboarding should engage new employees before the first day on the job

    At Protiviti, new campus hires start the onboarding process months before their actual start date, because in many cases a student will accept a job offer during the fall semester, but not actually start until after graduation the following May, says Redfearn. These new hires are also assigned a peer advisor who meets with them before they start and new hires are even invited to holiday parties, community service activities, and other office events where they can meet their future co-workers.

    “Once candidates accept an offer, we begin integrating them right away,” says Redfearn. “During this time, we communicate often through email, webinars, social media, and in person.”

    Before a new employee walks through the door for the first time, employers should have already share the organization’s history, vision, and mission.

    “Insight into the company’s purpose and plan for success will help immerse new employees into the workplace culture more quickly,” says Deb LaMere, Vice President of Employee Experience at Ceridian, a human capital management firm.

    Sharing this type of information can be done through a portal that new hires can access before they officially start, or simply direct them to any relevant public content from the company website or blog that addresses the organization’s values, says LaMere.

    How important are these steps? Robert Half Finance & Accounting research shows new hires have less than three months to prove themselves in a new job. Many recent college grads are looking for guidance, and good employers provide that through a strong onboarding program.

    Doing little things provide big value. For example, Steve Saah Director of Permanent Placement Services with Robert Half, encourages employers to send a welcome letter to a candidate immediately upon acceptance of the job offer. Consider including some kind of company ‘swag’ with the letter, if it’s available.

    “This gives them a warm welcome and gets them excited to start in their new role,” says Saah. “It also reinforces that the candidate made the right decision in accepting the offer.”

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  • An entry level job seeker’s guide to interview outfits

    April 11, 2017 by

     

    The saying you only get one chance to make a first impression really holds true in today’s job market, says Melissa Wagner, Career Services Advisor for Rasmussen College. Your interview outfit is a big part of the first impression you make at a potential employer.

    “An interview is the candidate’s opportunity to sell the employer that they’re the right fit for the position,” says Wagner. “So it’s important that candidates bring their best game to the playing field.”

    Jama Thurman,  Counseling and Career Services manager at Hodges University, agrees.

    “Your interview attire and professional appearance can make or break you when meeting a prospective employer,” says Thurman. “First impressions are important.”

    While half (50%) of senior managers surveyed by OfficeTeam said employees wear less formal clothing than they did 5 years ago, and many companies are allowing workers to dress more casually in the office, you should choose apparel that’s a couple notches up for job interviews, says Brandi Britton, District President for OfficeTeam, a staffing firm specializing in placing highly skilled professionals into administrative jobs.

    “Job seekers should research the firm before the interview to get a sense of what’s appropriate to wear to the meeting,” says Britton. “This may include visiting the company to observe what current employees are wearing, tapping their network for advice, looking online for articles that discuss the company’s culture, or asking the recruiter or company’s HR representative for guidance.”

    Like the interview itself, dressing for success takes planning and preparation.

    “If you buy something new, wear it a few times before your meeting to make sure it fits well and you feel confident in it,” says Britton. “Pay attention to the less visible – but no less important – aspects of your appearance, like your shoes, socks and accessories. Make sure your outfit is free of wrinkles and stains, your hair and nails are well-groomed, and your shoes are polished.”

    Employers are not only judging how interviewees respond to questions, they also judge their professional demeanor and appearance – to make sure they are a fit for the company culture, or when meeting with clients (if applicable).

    “Do some research on the company and during an initial phone interview make sure to ask about the company culture and environment; including the dress code,” says Wagner. “As a representative of the company, your appearance is part of the full package when you’re out in the community, meeting clients, and working with customers.  And with competition for jobs tight, you only get one chance to make a good first impression. Not only does your appearance help give you that professional polish that will impress the employer, but when you look and feel good, it can help give you additional confidence.”

    To help college students and recent college grads prepare appropriate interview outfits, we’ve put together this guide breaking down how to dress for job interviews within specific industries including, finance jobs, administrative jobs, creative/marketing jobs, advertising and public relations agency jobs, legal jobs, IT jobs, trucking jobs, and for internships:

    How to dress for finance job interviews
    The dress code for finance and accounting departments is becoming increasingly more casual, though still business professional, according to the professionals at Robert Half. While a full suit and tie or skirt and jacket may not be necessary for a job interview, it is often better to err on the side of overdressing. “Every company has its own culture, so it’s always a good idea to do your homework as much as you can to determine the dress code for the role and company where you are interviewing,” says Britton. The general recommendation is dress slacks or a skirt with a button-down shirt and blazer. Men should wear ties. Continue Reading

  • Spotlight on success: How to succeed in a commission-based sales role

    April 06, 2017 by

     

    Name: Eric Leger
    City/state: Austin, Texas
    Current profession: Vice President – National Sales Training and Recruiting, Aflac
    Years with current company: 15
    College/University attended: Lubbock Christian University

    Recent college grads seeking opportunities to set their own schedule, earn unlimited income, and develop professional skills that last a lifetime, can do so by pursuing commission-based sales jobs.

    But it’s not easy for recent college grads to see the potential of a commission-based sales opportunity, especially when there are bills to pay, they have limited sales experience, and are afraid to take risks. Because in effect, a commission-based sales career is a risk. However, it’s a risk that comes with rewards that are not potentially offered through a traditional salaried, full-time job.

    “Commission-based sales opportunities are attractive for outgoing, motivated, competitive people who want a high degree of autonomy,” said Steven Rothberg, Founder of College Recruiter. “With risk comes greater reward, so if you perform well then you should make more money than a salaried employee doing similar work.”

    That’s what Eric Leger of Austin, Texas learned. Leger, like many new to sales, was once apprehensive about giving up the security of a bi-weekly paycheck provided through his career as a teacher and a coach. But he was also frustrated by the limited ability to earn more money to help support a family of five, as well as a lack of work-life balance, and reward for success.

    But that was 15 years ago, and now, Leger knows that his decision to switch to a commission-based sales opportunity was the best career move he ever made. Leger, who started out in field sales, moved up the company ladder and is now the Vice President of National Sales Training and Recruiting for Aflac, an insurance company that provides supplemental insurance for individuals and groups to help pay benefits that major medical insurance doesn’t cover.

    “First of all, I quickly learned that working in sales is an honorable profession,” said Leger. “I admit, going to work in a 100 percent commission role was a little bit intimidating, and as someone who was the breadwinner for a family of five, I wasn’t quite sure what I was getting into.”

    But Leger, like all Aflac field sales reps do when they start out, went through a dedicated 13-week training session, and through support and mentorship from local and regional sales directors, continuing education and training, found success as an independent contractor working in a 100-percent commission-based sales position.

    “For the first time in my life, I truly felt I was getting paid what I was worth,” said Leger. “I also enjoyed the opportunity to get out in the field, meet other business owners, and present our product to them, because I truly believed it added value to the businesses and clients we serve.”

    Finding the right product can make or break a commission-based sales career.

    “If you’re good at sales and selling a product that is desired by the marketplace, you can make really good money,” said Rothberg.

    Leger agrees, noting that he was motivated by Aflac’s strong reputation, and for the opportunity to work with business owners to sell a product that provided security to the many diverse business owners and clients.

    “Recent college graduates need to know choosing what product or service one sells plays a major role in job satisfaction and success,” he says. “The bottom line is, you have to be passionate about the product, and aligned with the right brand, and a brand that is in-demand,” says Leger.

    Recent college grads don’t need a previous sales background to succeed in commission sales jobs. So that means someone with a liberal arts degree, communications degree, business degree, marketing degree, or even a degree in education like Leger, can succeed with the right training and soft skills.

    These are the key soft skills sales professionals need to have or develop for success, says Leger:

    • Grit and resiliency
    • Goal-oriented
    • Strong work ethic
    • Persistence
    • Entrepreneurial spirit
    • Drive to work for themselves

    A typical day in a commission-based sales job involves prospecting, presenting and following up with clients through email, phone and face-to-face meetings. Depending on the company or role, there could be face-to-face team or individual sales meetings, or weekly sales conference calls. A good commission-based sales opportunity will provide support, coaching, ongoing training, and teach the art of selling. And handling rejection.

    “You have to realize that rejection or saying no is not personal, it’s just part of business,” says Leger.

    Many entry-level sales jobs require employees to work on-site. Other commission-based sales job, like Aflac, hire independent contractors who can work from wherever they want, including their own home, or through a local or regional office if it fits. The flexibility, upward mobility, income potential, and ability to operate like a small business owner through a career in sales can be an attractive career opportunity for the right person.

    “A career in sales is extremely exciting,” says Leger. “It’s one of the only true opportunities to truly earn what one is worth, and many recent college grads are attracted to the opportunities because of the mobility and flexibility. Learning the art of selling teaches skills that transfer to any industry, so it’s a great way to launch a career.”

    Want more information on how to succeed in a career in sales? Stay connected to College Recruiter for more advice and tips like this. Start by registering with College Recruiter to have job alerts emailed to you. Then visit our blog, and connect with us on LinkedInTwitterFacebook, and YouTube.

     

    Eric Leger, Vice President - National Sales Training and Recruiting, Aflac

    Eric Leger, Vice President – National Sales Training and Recruiting, Aflac

    Eric Leger is Vice President, National Sales Training and Recruiting for Aflac, an insurance company that provides supplemental insurance for individuals and groups to help pay benefits that major medical insurance doesn’t cover. Leger was a former teacher and coach who, 15 years ago, switched careers and started in a commission-based field sales rep role for Aflac. Leger is currently responsible for recruiting, training and leadership development of Aflac’s U.S. sales force.

  • The job seeker’s guide to identifying and avoiding job search scams

    March 16, 2017 by

     

    Fake email addresses. Copycat web sites. Requests for personal information before a job is offered. Interviews conducted only via instant messaging. Promises of salary that are too good to be true. Requests to submit payment to move to the next step of the job search.

    These are just a few of the dirty tactics scumbags use to try and scam job seekers, including inexperienced job seekers like recent college grads and entry-level job seekers. The threat is real, and like any online or cyber threat, the people conducting the fraudulent activity are often trying to gather information to steal one’s identity or money.

    The team at College Recruiter takes the threat of job search scams and fake job postings seriously, and has implemented a multi-step process that identifies and blocks the vast majority of identity thieves and other scammers from ever posting a job to College Recruiter. In fact, every single job advertisement placed on College Recruiter goes through an in-depth verification process to prove the job posting is legitimate, and all ads are verified through actual contact with a human with the employer posting the job ad – something not every job board can claim.

    “Here at College Recruiter, we take these fraudulent attempts very seriously and work daily to ensure all the jobs that are posted on our web site are from verified employers to protect our job seekers from applying, interviewing, and becoming victims of identity theft,” says Dani Bennett, Sales and Client Services Manager at College Recruiter.

    In the article Rise of Recruitment Scams Hurt Both Job Seekers and Employers Alike, the team at  global outplacement and executive coaching firm Challenger, Gray, & Christmas identified some recent and unfortunately, popular job search scams. What may be surprising to many is that these scams don’t just target small companies. Here are some examples:

    1. Scammers created a false ad for Rio Tinto, one of the world’s largest metals and mining corporations. When a job seeker responded, the person who received the email asked for additional personal information, such as tax files, driver’s license, and birth certificate. Scammers then used this information to open credit cards and bank accounts. The messages from these so-called recruiters sound legitimate. In the Rio Tinto case, the recruitment email included an application with the company’s name and logo.

    Remember, anyone can set up a fake web site or email account, for example through free email providers like Gmail, Yahoo!, or Hotmail. College Recruiter, however, will not accept any job postings that use a free email provider to receive job applications.

    1. In another incident in Houston, scammers set up an actual interview, via Google hangout, using the name of a reputable company, and then offered a position. The scammers then asked the job seeker to move around large sums of money, in this scenario, up to $3,000. To carry this out, they sent fraudulent checks made out to the job seeker to start a home office, then asked the job seeker to forward that money to a third party vendor.

    “Any time a company asks you to pay or hold money for them, you should immediately see red flags,” said John A. Challenger, CEO of Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc. “A credible employer would never ask their employees to move money through their personal accounts. That’s why companies have accounting departments.”

    1. In July, Shell Oil, one of America’s largest oil and natural gas producers with over 22,000 employees, posted a notice on its careers site warning job seekers that scammers were using the Shell name and logo to recruit for positions.

    Besides the obvious problem for job seekers, the toll these scams can take on a company’s reputation is huge, says Challenger. Most employers don’t know these fraudulent job postings are out there until they are contacted by job seekers who have figured out it’s a scam and contacted the legit company directly. By then, the company reputation is already damaged with those job seekers.

    “From a recruitment perspective, once a company’s brand has been associated with these fraudulent ads, it may be difficult to attract the talent needed when a position becomes available,” says Challenger.

    College Recruiter Founder Steven Rothberg added, “Some job boards, like College Recruiter, have formalized, proactive, anti-fraud measures in place, but many job boards are more reactive and rely upon their users to complain about fraudulent postings before the job board takes any action.”

    Not only do cyber criminals post fake job ads, unethical recruiters also post fake job ads, often on sites where they can post free job ads. Why would they do that? To act like they are “well-connected” and have a long list of candidates to choose from. A recruiter may submit these resumes to the employer for which they are hiring for, to show activity – which employers value when working with recruiters – and that they have an active pipeline of candidates, when they have no intentions of responding to, interviewing, or hiring these employees.

    How can a job seeker spot a fraudulent job posting, or job search scam? Follow these tips from the Better Business Bureau of Minnesota and North Dakota:

    Continue Reading

  • Ask Matt: Why your resume isn’t getting noticed – and how to fix it

    March 09, 2017 by

    Dear Matt:  I’m a recent college graduate who is struggling to get interviews. I have sent in over 30 resumes and applications but haven’t received one call for an interview. What am I doing wrong?

    Matt: I still remember the very first resume I ever sent after graduating from college. I applied for a research position with a local business publication. I never got a call. And I know exactly why. In fact, I am 100 percent certain the person never read past the first sentence of my resume. Why?

    Because my opening statement included this language: “Seeking entry-level opportunity that will help me advance my career.”

    What’s wrong with that?

    Lots.

    First, it made it about me. I get it. You are excited. You worked hard to graduate from college and are now eager to start your career. But if you learn one thing from this article learn this:

    A resume is never about you!

    How so? Isn’t a resume my career biography? The document that tells employers why they should hire me?

    Wrong!

    Why?

    A resume is not about you. It’s also not a career biography. It’s a marketing document that quickly tells the employer that you may have the skills and background that fit their needs. For that research position, a more appropriate summary statement should have been:

    Recent college graduate with 3 years of award-winning college newspaper leadership experience seeking opportunity as research coordinator for business publication.

    In that summary I would have showed them:

    1. I had college newspaper experience.
    2. I had leadership experience (resume would show I worked as an assistant editor)
    3. I was part of a team that won a few college newspaper awards.
    4. And that I am directing this resume exactly to this position.

    The reality is this:

    A resume should show that you have skills, experiences and a background that would fit a specific job opening – their job opening! It’s about how you can help the next employer fill their needs and solve their problems. Their problem is they have a job opening. They need someone to fill it. That person, whether it’s you, or someone else, should use the resume to show the employer that you have the skills, achievements and combination of soft and hard skills that would entice them to bring you in for an interview. Then in the interview, the employer can learn more about you, see if you truly are who you say you are, and most of all, find out if you are the right fit for the position, with the team you would be working with, and within the company culture.

    The second thing to remember is this: The resume doesn’t get you hired. It does though, help you get you an interview.

    Continue Reading

  • Truck driving jobs: Career tips, salary information and industry insight

    February 28, 2017 by

     

    Looking for truck driving jobs? There’s plenty of opportunity.

    The American Trucking Association reports a shortage of 48,000 drivers.

    “The trucking industry is similar to other skilled trades that have difficulty attracting young men and women,” says Ellen Voie, President/CEO of The Women in Trucking Association, a non-profit organization with the mission to encourage the employment of women in the trucking industry, promote their accomplishments, and minimize obstacles faced by women working in the industry. “From electrician to welder to diesel technician, these jobs do not seem to be attractive to the next generation.”

    Women in trucking

    Truck driving jobs were attractive to Abby Langan, however. Langan made a successful career change and is now thriving as an over-the-road truck driver for Schneider, a transportation and logistics company that has a fleet of 10,000 trucks and delivers almost 19,400 loads of merchandise and materials per day. Its customers include two-thirds of Fortune 500 companies. Langan’s story is unique – and inspirational for both men and women seeking truck driving jobs – or a career change in general.

    Langan has two associates degrees and was about to attend a four-year college when she landed a job as an internet marketing manager for an automotive dealership. She was highly successful – speaking at conferences, publishing articles and eventually landing a senior-level job that she thought was her dream job. But that life wasn’t for her.

    “The fancy office, leather chair and large desk didn’t matter anymore,” said Langan. “I knew there had to be more to life than spending it inside the same four walls and talking to the same people every day.”

    Langan has logged over 31,000 miles on the road in 14 months with Schneider.

    “Being a truck driver allows you enjoy the freedom of the open road and the ability to see the country – and get paid for it,” said Mike Norder, Director of Marketing at Schneider. “The transportation industry plays a critical role in the economy. Truck drivers are in demand nationwide.”

    In addition to a wide variety of truck driving jobs, women are also working in the industry in roles as dispatchers, managers and safety directors.

    Truck driving salaries

    Continue Reading

  • 10 Time Management Skills Every New Manager Needs to Master

    January 31, 2017 by

     

    Becoming a first-time manager can be tough. New managers are often pulled in many directions, and it can seem like the to-do list never ends. But if you ask any successful manager how they manage it all, it’s likely they will say the key is this:

    Successful time-management.

    Poor time management skills can result in missed deadlines, dissatisfied clients, and even increased overtime costs.  Not only do today’s managers today need to focus on ensuring they are managing their time well, but they should also help their employees do the same.

    To help improve performance, Chris Rush, Division Vice President of Strategy, ADP® Small Business Services offer these top 10 time-management techniques new managers can share with employees:

    1. Plan and set goals: Work with employees to set daily, weekly, and monthly goals. For each goal, agree to a timeline for completion and break the goal down into small, manageable assignments. Consider providing employees with task management tools, such as online calendars, project management programs, or a simple to-do list.
    2. Prioritize: Help employees prioritize their responsibilities based on customer benefit and urgency and encourage them to complete tasks starting with those with the highest priority This process requires effective communication to ensure that priorities are properly aligned with company goals.
    3. Organize: Every minute lost because of a misplaced tool, or document is a minute that could have been spent completing a task. Emphasize the importance of an organized work space to help maximize efficiency.
    4. Streamline: Evaluate processes and procedures regularly to ensure efficiency. Managers should have regular discussions with employees to get their insight on more efficient methods for completing their job responsibilities.
    5. Delegate: Proper delegation can ensure the right tasks are assigned to the right people. But, there is more to delegating than simply assigning a task. Explain job duties thoroughly, work with employees to develop a plan for completing the task, monitor progress, and provide the resources and support necessary to reach assigned goals. Most important, share your own knowledge if you, yourself, have done the job before. They will appreciate that personal “shared learning.”
    6. Dedicate time for less pleasant work: It’s human nature to sometimes procrastinate, especially when a difficult or undesirable assignment presents itself. To help employees stay focused, break large projects into smaller parts and schedule specific time (such as the beginning of the workday) for the larger or more unpleasant projects.
    7. Manage communications: For employees on a tight deadline, answering phone calls and emails can be distracting. Consider establishing guidelines for responding to these types of communications. For example, when employees are on a tight deadline, ask them to check voicemail and email at set intervals and respond to urgent communications first. All other communications can be put on hold until after important projects have been completed.
    8. Avoid interruptions: Whenever possible, schedule important job duties for a part of the day when there are fewer disruptions. For example, if an employee is the first one in the office in the morning, this may be a good time to work on assignments that require more concentration. Also, remind employees that interruptions are inevitable, and for planning purposes, they should allow a little extra time for unexpected interruptions.
    9. Schedule tasks for peak performance: If possible, physically or mentally demanding work should be scheduled for when workers are at peak performance. This may vary depending on each employee. Encourage employees to consider when they have the most energy and suggest that, if possible, they to focus on bigger or more important projects during those times.
    10. Help ensure proper balance: No matter how well employees manage their time at work, they are unlikely to perform at their best if they return to work each day stressed or lacking energy. Provide employees with regular rest breaks throughout the day and be aware of applicable state meal and rest break requirements. Consider a wellness program that encourages healthy habits and encourage employees to use their vacation time.

    “Effective time management is important for any business and can be especially important for new managers working with employees that often have multiple responsibilities,” says Rush. “As a manager, it is your responsibility to provide your employees with the training and tools they need to optimize their performance.”

    Use these ten tips to do just that.

    Want more time management tips and other career advice? Stay connected to College Recruiter by visiting our blog, and connect with us on LinkedInTwitterFacebook, and YouTube.

  • Disciplining and terminating employees: A guide for first-time managers

    January 26, 2017 by

     

    For many managers, especially first-time managers, giving candid, constructive feedback is the toughest part of their jobs.

    And that’s why disciplining and/or terminating employees is so difficult for recent college grads and entry-level managers, says Don Maruska, founder and CEO of three Silicon Valley companies author of How Great Decisions Get Made and Take Charge of Your Talent.

    “Many supervisors shy away from giving effective feedback because they fear how employees will react,” says Maruska, who earned his BA magna cum laude from Harvard and his MBA and JD from Stanford, and also previously led projects for McKinsey & Company, a trusted advisor and counselor to many of the world’s most influential businesses and institutions. “When they finally give the feedback, they often have built up such frustration that the feedback becomes an unproductive battle rather than a positive step forward.”

    Because many managers lack the proper training, preparation, or confidence disciplining or terminating an employee, they may ignore the situation. That’s the wrong approach.

    “Don’t let the sun set without giving feedback on any performance that isn’t on target,” says Maruska. “That may sound like a tough standard, but every day that goes by only makes the situation more difficult.”

    Tips for disciplining an employee

    Lois Barth, a human development expert, career/life coach, motivational speaker and author of the new book, Courage to Sparkle, says managers should look to educate and create consensus versus simply just disciplining an employee, or scolding them for poor performance or breaking company rules or policies that don’t quite warrant termination. When there is a situation when you have to discipline someone, focus on their behavior versus them as a person, says Barth.

    “As a manager, when you can call out their behavior versus their value as a human being, people will feel less defensive,” says Barth. “Instead of punishing the employee, use your authority as a leader to educate them on why that policy is in place. When people can wrap their mind around the why they are usually pretty good with the what.”

    Maruska provides this highly effective formula for providing feedback when disciplining employees that yields constructive results:

    Intention: State your intention clearly in terms that show what’s in it for the employee and the firm. For example, “Sam, I want you to be a productive and successful contributor to our team’s growth.”

    Observation: Describe what you observe in objective terms. Think through your feedback so that you can deliver it in ways that identify behavior rather than challenge the person’s worth. For example, “When the sales reports arrive after noon on Friday, our team can’t get the results out in time for the sales people to plan next week’s priorities.”

    Request: Make it simple, short, and direct. For example, “Sam, will you give me a plan for how you can reliably deliver the sales reports by noon each Friday?”

    Confirmation: Be clear about your agreement. For example, “I’ll look forward to your plan by the close of the day tomorrow. OK?”

    Tips for terminating an employee

    Terminating an employee can be stressful and nerve-wracking for first-time managers. Managers who have access to HR departments, or legal resources within their company should utilize those resources before terminating an employee. It may even be beneficial to have HR lead the meeting, and/or be present in the room during the meeting. HR can also provide the terminated employee with information on paperwork, issue the final paycheck if applicable, and provide any other legal, contractual information, or papers to sign. If it’s a small company, don’t hesitate to ask the company owner or other leadership to be in the room when terminating an employee. Eric Meyer, a partner in Philadelphia-based Dilworth Paxson LLP’s labor and employment group, recommends at least two people be present during any termination meeting. The reason, says Meyer, is so one person can take notes of what is said. If there is litigation, this will avoid a dispute about what was actually said.

    In some cases, a termination is obvious, and warrants nothing more than a straight-forward statement, simply saying “thank you for your work, but we have decided to terminate your employment.” Be prepared for the employee to be frustrated, especially if they don’t feel it’s warranted.

    If the conversation goes deeper, do not attack the individual.

    “Terminations get messy when the terminated employee feels that his or her self-worth is on the line,” says Maruska. “You need to separate performance from the person.”

    If feedback is given during a termination meeting, especially if an employee is let go through a layoff, or because the company is downsizing, highlight the strengths of the employee, and tell the employee you’d like to support them in their next step or opportunity. “This is not only more humane but also quicker and cheaper than making the termination a contest of wills,” says Maruska.

    And finally, practice before you go live with either a discipline or termination meeting. Being straightforward and clear can be a tough transition for recent college grads, especially new managers who are now managing friends, so find opportunities to practice giving feedback with another manager, colleague, or friend. Focus on your tone, body language, and non-verbal cues to come off polished and professional. Most of all, be confident in your delivery.

    Having difficult conversations is difficult. But it’s part of what it takes for millennials to be a good manager. Follow these tips and prepare now to succeed later when terminating or disciplining and employee.

    Want more management tips and career advice? Stay connected to College Recruiter by visiting our blog, and connect with us on LinkedInTwitterFacebook, and YouTube.