• What to do with my degree: Psychology jobs and salaries

    October 17, 2017 by

     

    Psychology is one of the most popular college majors. What kinds of psychology jobs are out there for you if you have an undergraduate degree? Dr. Stewart Shankman, Ph.D. spoke with us about how he prepares his students for their careers, and where he sees them succeed after college. Dr. Shankman is a professor of Psychology at the University of Illinois, Chicago.

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  • Jobs for felons and other criminal backgrounds: Tips for students and grads

    October 12, 2017 by

     

    College graduation should be one of the most exciting days of your life, but it can seem like a nearly impossible task to find jobs for felons, or if you have any kind of criminal record. Don’t be discouraged. While a majority of employers perform background checks on potential hires, you can take steps to prevent previous mistakes from holding you back as you enter the job market.

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  • How entry-level assistant jobs can lead to long-term career success

    June 15, 2017 by

     

    Recent college grads seeking the opportunity to develop a wide variety of job related skills can do so by pursuing entry-level assistant jobs.

    That’s what Amanda Ponzar did in her first job as an administrative assistant.

    “It taught me business skills, computer skills, organization, project management, and how to work with others,” said Ponzar, who is now the Chief Marketing Officer of Community Health Charities, an Alexandria, VA-based non-profit federation that raises awareness and funds through workplace campaigns and strategic partnerships.

    From that job, Ponzar moved to a marketing assistant role with the Franklin Mint, a worldwide provider of fine art and collectibles.

    “I learned about marketing and advertising, and demonstrated curiosity, competence, dependability, and initiative, so I was soon asked to edit management letters and collateral marketing materials, and then was recommended by my colleagues for a copywriter job at The Franklin Mint’s in-house ad agency,” said Ponzar.

    That is when Ponzar’s career took off. She moved into advertising copywriter and marketing management roles, went back to school to earn a Master’s Degree in advertising and marketing, and is now a CMO of a non-profit.

    She credits her varied experiences as an assistant for her career growth and success.

    “I wouldn’t be where I am today without those first entry-level jobs as an assistant that helped me define my career path,” said Ponzar.

    College students, and recent college grads should consider assistant jobs as a way to get their foot in a door at a company they would like to work with, or to build important job skills. While most college grads don’t get a degree aspiring to be an assistant, think long-term. Assistant jobs help provide a paycheck to start paying off school loans or debt (and help achieve financial independence to not live at home), and/or provide real world experience and a chance to build important job skills. In addition, it’s a great opportunity for the recent college grad considering grad school to gain work experience before taking the next step of their career. Many assistants could also work with companies as they pursue advanced educational opportunities – and maybe the employer will also help pay for it through tuition reimbursement programs. Building a variety of marketable skills is important, and assistant jobs provide a great opportunity to do just that.

    Assistants have unique opportunities to be exposed to all facets of a business, says Brandi Britton, District President of OfficeTeam, a leader in the placement of highly skilled office and administrative professionals into administrative assistant and front office jobs. Assistant jobs are in demand at small and large companies, non-profits, startups, Fortune 500 and Silicon Valley firms. Companies like Google, Facebook, and other leading tech firms all succeed because of good assistants.

    “Entry-level assistant can learn valuable technology skills from constant exposure to Microsoft Office, enterprise resource planning, database management and customer relationship management software,” says Britton. “You may even build experience with social media tools since administrative staff are often tasked with monitoring and managing their company’s accounts.”

    Recent college grads seeking assistant jobs, whether it be an administrative assistant, marketing assistant, office assistant, personal assistant or executive assistant (which often do take more advanced skills), can also learn these important career skills, says Britton:

    • Time and project management: Assistants often have to keep on top of executives’ schedules as well as project timelines. Let’s not forget that assignments come their way from every direction. That’s why assistants are masters of time and project management, organization, multitasking and adaptability.
    • Continual learning opportunities: You become well-rounded because you’re able to work on a variety of tasks – everything from event coordination to presentation decks. Once you figure out the types of projects you like most, you can hone your skills and consider moving on to a more specialized role in the organization.
    • Budget and negotiation: When you frequently speak with vendors and make purchases on behalf of the company, you quickly become skilled at budgeting and negotiation.
    • Verbal and written communication skills: Assistants are in constant contact with any number of internal and external contacts. If you’re in the role long enough, you’ll develop strong verbal and written communication skills.
    • Specialized skills based on organization/industry: Being an assistant in a specific department or industry exposes you to the day-to-day operations and provides insight into that area’s lingo, processes and technology.
    • Inside company knowledge: You gain knowledge into colleagues’ work styles and the corporate culture, which gives you an advantage at the company if you hope to advance there.

    Alissa Carpenter founded Everything’s Not Ok and That’s OK Coaching after over a decade in higher education. She has advised Millennials and GenZ students at institutions such as The Wharton School and Penn State.

    “As a recent graduate, being a personal assistant can be beneficial to your long term career goals,” says Carpenter. “You have the unique opportunity to work on numerous tasks and learn transferrable skills. You are often on the front line and are able to build relationships and rapport that can provide valuable connections.”

    The three skills organizations believe millennials are lacking can be developed in a personal assistant role, says Carpenter, including:

    • Interpersonal skills: You will be working with people from various levels both in and outside of your organization. You will learn to ask appropriate questions to find the most effective way to complete your tasks at hand and build strategic working relationships.
    • Teamwork: In one of the key positions that is crucial to putting events and tasks together, you will learn how to delegate and how to work with people with varying personalities.
    • Communication skills: As a key point of contact you will quickly learn the most effective ways to communicate with individuals and how people like to receive communications.

    Utilizing a role as an assistant to get where you want to be later in one’s career can really be a asset to entry-level jobs seekers, says Lori Williams, Recruiting Coordinator for College Nannies, Sitters, and Tutors of Edmond, Oklahoma.

    “Not only does it help build credibility and experience on your resume, but the people you often meet in that role can be sourced as references in the future,” says Williams. “You can develop many skills in this role, including project management, event planning, client relations, and administrative duties. All of these skills are transferable into future roles in just about any industry. Being able to develop these skills on the ground floor will help you add a good section to your resume entitled skills or career highlights and you can translate these into the job description for future career goals.”

    Said Ponzar: “Never underestimate an assistant job as a way to get your foot in the door and show what you can do, learn about the company, develop relationships, and new skills.”

    Look for assistant jobs right now on College Recruiter! Want more tips and advice on how to build career and job skills? Then stay connected to College Recruiter by visiting our blog, and connect with us on LinkedInTwitterFacebook, and YouTube.

  • Spotlight on success: How AmeriCorps helps develop career skills

    May 24, 2017 by

    College students and recent college grads seeking service-oriented opportunities that also help build unique career skills can do so through AmeriCorps. AmeriCorps is a program of the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), an independent federal agency whose mission is to improve lives, strengthen communities, and foster civic engagement through service and volunteering.

    Career development opportunities through AmeriCorps

    That’s the type of career development Melissa Doodan is pursuing. Doodan wants to pursue a career in forestry and is working towards that goal as a Crew Leader through the Vermont Youth Conservation Corps (VYCC), a non-profit youth, leadership, service, conservation, and education organization that is a partner under the AmeriCorps umbrella of organizations.

    “Before I joined VYCC, I craved to learn practical skills and to obtain hands-on experience in the field,” said Doodan. “I knew that I wanted to work outdoors, but felt that I simply did not have the skills to do so.”

    Doodan credits her experience at VYCC with developing and advancing those skills, and with helping her learn “about the outdoors and how to work constructively with others,” she said, calling it an “incredible experience.”

    The skills someone gains through AmeriCorps depends entirely upon the organization with which they work, says Naomi Galimidi, Development Director, Vermont Youth Conservation Corps.

    There is more to gain than just experience, however. Minnesota Reading Corps and Minnesota Math Corps, strategic initiatives of ServeMinnesota, place AmeriCorps tutors in school settings to help children become proficient in reading by the end of third grade, and in math by the end of eighth grade. Lisa Winkler, Vice President of External Relations at ServeMinnesota, says one of the benefits of joining AmeriCorps is an education award. In addition to receiving a stipend throughout the year, “after completing your term of service, you receive a Segal AmeriCorps Education Award to repay qualified student loans or pay tuition. New grads who serve can invest in their future by putting their award toward higher education, increasing potential earnings and lowering their risk for unemployment. The education award makes it possible for AmeriCorps alums to pursue their passion or repay student loans faster.”

    Real world work environment

    AmeriCorps members benefit from gaining real experience in the professional world.  Winkler of Reading Corps and Math Corps says that in the case of their tutors, the real-world experience of being in a school and working directly with students can be very beneficial to someone going into a career in teaching or education.

    VYCC, headquartered on historic Vermont farmland, gives its service members a taste for a 9-5 workday. During the day, corps members are immersed in learning by doing projects that range from pulling invasive species along floodplains to the custom design and construction of composting toilets in state parks. This ensures opportunities that can accommodate a range of skill levels, says Galimidi.

    Serving with an AmeriCorps program “is far more than a service experience,” says Galimidi. Corps Members receive training and practice in a real world skill, for example with VYCC, “technical project skills such as carpentry or forestry, and interpersonal skills such as leadership and communication.”

    Career skills developed through AmeriCorps

    Service with AmeriCorps helps new grads build skills transferrable to any future workplace. Winkler points to skills like “adaptability, time management, and an ability to incorporate feedback to improve.” AmeriCorps members also have many opportunities to connect to their community and build their professional network, which is essential for any entry level professional. “They learn to communicate,” says Winkler, “and build relationships with people of diverse backgrounds.”

    In addition, Galimidi said that past AmeriCorps members have reported the development of these important career skills:

    • How to build something from the ground up
    • How to manage stress
    • How to find joy in work
    • How to put in extra effort
    • How to take initiative
    • How to understand others’ needs, experiences, and feelings
    • How to appreciate different viewpoints
    • How to see themselves as leaders and teachers
    • How to be less impulsive
    • How to maintain a positive attitude
    • How to listen
    • How to work closely with others
    • How to help others resolve conflict
    • How to understand that effective leaders inspire and create an environment where others can grow.
    • How to build confidence in sharing ideas, solving problems, adapting to new situations.
    • How to demonstrate confidence through eye contact, a strong handshake, and initiating conversations.

    Report: Employers covet problem solving skills

    These are all important, and crucial skills valuable in today’s workplace – no matter what type of job or career one pursues. In fact, according to the National Association of Colleges and Employers Job Outlook 2017 report, a college grads ability to work as part of a team is the top skill employers covet (78 percent of survey respondents indicated as the No. 1 skill). Other top skills were problem solving, communication (both written and verbal), and a strong work ethic. These are all gained through the various AmeriCorps experiences available to pursue.

    “Supportive relationships create conditions for all members to try new things, rely on one another, share power, and expose one another to new ideas and experiences,” says Galimidi.

    STEM opportunities through AmeriCorps

    One of the misconceptions of AmeriCorps is that opportunities are only available for those seeking outdoors-related careers. However in 2016 the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), the federal agency that administers AmeriCorps, announced major expansions of STEM AmeriCorps that will support STEM mentoring opportunities for young people. STEM jobs – Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math, are in-demand, and job seekers with those skills will be sought-after by employers seeking skilled/trained workers.

    Minnesota Math Corps tutors, for example, work toward filling that skills gap. Math tutors work with students grades four through eight who are falling behind in math.

    In addition, some non-profit organizations in Silicon Valley have partnered with AmeriCorps for technology-driven service opportunities. In the article How AmeriCorps Works to Get You the JobBen Duda, Co-Executive Director at AmeriCorps Alums, a community of engaged citizens and civic leaders who either work or previously worked with AmeriCorps, said working with AmeriCorps helped develop career skills such as project management, facilitation, and community engagement. Most important, working with AmeriCorps develops transferable skills for any career path.

    “There are hundreds of jobs out there, and it’s incredibly exciting to see how AmeriCorps alums are utilizing their service experiences to succeed in a diverse array of careers,” said Duda.

    Serving with AmeriCorps helps people work in challenging and structured, informal experiential learning opportunities, be that outdoor physical work, a school or other setting. Clear expectations are set, and participants gain a sense of accomplishment, while having a safe place to try new things and learn from mistakes.

    After AmeriCorps: Professional opportunities await

    “AmeriCorps is an investment of your time and passion, but it’s also an investment in yourself,” says Winkler. Discovering your true calling and being pointed in the right direction can be the greatest benefit.

    An AmeriCorps service position can provide a foot in the right door. For example, members of VYCC work closely with representatives from state and federal agencies including the US Forest Service, US Fish and Wildlife Service, National Park Service, Vermont Agency of Natural Resources, and Vermont Agency of Transportation.

    Ken Brown worked for VYCC in 2007 as a park manager at North Hero State Park. Today, Ken applies his passion for recreational management as Regional Trails Coordinator for Vermont Department of Forests, Parks, and Recreation.

    Tutors with Reading Corps and Math Corps have said that their service helped them land a job in the same school district after their service, according to Winkler. For tutors who don’t pursue a teaching career, the skills they gain can benefit them no matter what career they choose. “Tutors who use service as a gap year between undergraduate and grad school have furthered their education in medicine, science, education, social work and counseling, among other fields.” Winkler says they find Reading Corps and Math Corps tutors in a wide variety of professions after their service.

    Doodan hopes to launch her forestry career, using VYCC as a first step. She – and thousands of other young, aspiring professionals – are on the right path, thanks to skills learned through the many diverse AmeriCorps programs.

    Ready to search for AmeriCorps positions? Search on CollegeRecruier.com today! Want more career advice and job search tips? Stay connected to College Recruiter by visiting our blog, and connect with us on LinkedInTwitterFacebook, and YouTube.

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

    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?  Continue Reading

  • 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. Continue Reading

  • Onboarding new employees starts before first day on job

    May 02, 2017 by

     

    A 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. Continue Reading

  • 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.” 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