January 26, 2016 by Bethany Wallace
If you’re like one third to one half of the U.S. population who consider themselves introverted, discussing professional networking events—whether career fairs, meet and greet hours held at conferences, or even happy hour with coworkers or potential employers—induces slightly sweaty palms. Networking events are often referred to as “shmoozy events” because of the negative connotations associated with networking.
Done the right way, professional networking doesn’t have to be socially awkward; you don’t have to push yourself on others or worry about saying exactly the right thing at just the right time in order to land a job or get a raise. It is important to remember, though, that first impressions are made within the first seven seconds of meeting someone. That’s a powerful statistic and one that sticks; the primacy effect (the tendency to remember what we notice first, whether it proves accurate or not) has lasting impact on our brains.
This brief video provides college students and recent grads with simple, easy tips to implement at networking events. These tips are especially helpful if you’re a networking newbie, about to graduate and begin networking as part of your efforts to find your first full-time job.
If the video is not playing or displaying properly click here.
1. Eat prior to arrival.
While light to heavy hors d’oeuvres are often served at most networking events, it’s never a good idea to arrive on an empty stomach. Be sure that the snack you choose isn’t heavy on onions or garlic-laden, though; you don’t want to carry offensive odors to your networking event.
Arriving without an empty stomach will help you feel calm and mentally alert. You will be more able to focus on potential employers, build connections, and enjoy yourself if you’re not hungry.
2. Dress conservatively.
Dress codes are all over the place for networking events. Play it safe and stay conservative, wearing business attire. You can’t really go wrong with a well-fitting business suit. If you want to dress it up, wear a brighter shirt or tie than you might normally wear, but don’t go crazy. Networking events aren’t the time to pull out your new sequined dress or to dress down either, thinking it’s more about socializing. Remember, you’re ultimately there to build professional connections; these connections might assist you in your job or internship search now or later.
Smiling is the easiest way to let people know you’re approachable. If you’re introverted, intimidated, or simply not excited about the event, smiling is a great “fake it til you make it” strategy for making the most of networking events. You’re already there, so why not have a good time?
4. Go hands-free.
Keep one hand free at all times. If you must eat a quick snack, put down your drink in order to eat. Best case scenario, though, you will watch this video and read this article before you begin attending networking events, and you can adhere to tip #1 (eat prior to arrival). When you eat prior to arrival, you’ll find yourself able to more easily shake hands, exchange business cards, and carry a bottle of water because not carrying a plate of food.
5. Prepare an elevator pitch.
At professional networking events, you’re most likely going to introduce yourself and be asked the question, “So what do you do?” repeatedly. An elevator pitch answers this question and then some. Your elevator pitch—if pitched properly, that is—communicates who you are (in terms of education and work history), what you do (related to jobs and careers), what you want to do, and why. It’s important that potential future employers understand that you have specific goals—that’s an admirable quality, one most employers seek in candidates.
Your elevator pitch should last no longer than 30 seconds (stay focused) and should end with a question. That question shouldn’t be, “How can you help me?” Even though we’re all seeking help from others in the job search process, the question should be focused on your new contact. Is your contact the CEO of a company? Ask him how he began his career in the business world. Ending with a question lets the other person know that you are not self-centered; networking is a two-way street, and getting to know your connections is vital to successful networking.
If your new contacts or potential employers want to get to know you further after you give your spiel, they’ll follow up with questions. On the front end, keep it short and sweet.
6. Talk less; listen more.
As the saying goes, you have two ears and one mouth for a reason. As Dale Carnegie said in How to Win Friends and Influence People, “Talk to someone about themselves, and they’ll listen for hours.” General managers consistently rank listening as one of the top skills in the workplace, too. It matters, and people value you when you do it well.
7. Give and receive contact information.
Prepare business cards before beginning your job search or internship search. You can purchase very affordable business cards online from a variety of vendors or use a business card template available for free online. You definitely don’t want to arrive at networking events empty-handed, though.
When someone asks for your business card, it’s proper etiquette to ask for theirs as well (and vice versa). Don’t make it your goal, though, to procure as many business cards at networking events as possible. There’s no point in this behavior. Unless you actually established an initial connection with a real person at a networking event, a business card is just a piece of paper.
If possible, wear pants or a skirt with pockets or carry a small purse. You need a place to keep the business cards you gather. You might think of the whole “exchanging business cards” process as old-fashioned, but it’s still being done, and if you don’t bring cards to networking events, you’re the one who’ll be left out.
8. Call them by name.
When introduced to someone new at a professional networking event, call that person by name throughout the event. Not only will this help you remember the person’s name later, but it will also make that person feel recognized and provide a personal touch (give that person warm fuzzies), and there’s nothing wrong with that.
9. Follow up.
You don’t need to come home after networking events and immediately search for your new contacts on LinkedIn or Twitter, sending invitations like a stalker. Connecting on social media is part of networking, but following up has many layers. It’s not a one-size-fits-all strategy. Think carefully about each of your brand new contacts and how you might best connect with them individually before sending a mass email to 20 potential employers with your resume, references, and electronic portfolio attached.
Remember, networking—whether online or offline—is about building connections which hopefully last for a lifetime. These relationships are just like the other relationships you invest in; relationships require work, and relationships are about give and take. Those same principles apply to professional networking.
For more Tuesday Tips, follow College Recruiter’s blog and follow us on YouTube, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. Stick with College Recruiter as we help you connect the dots on your path to career success and introduce you to great jobs, internships, and careers. Begin your search and apply today!
January 25, 2016 by Bethany Wallace
Today’s college students and recent graduates, members of Generation Y (Millennials) and Generation Z, prefer that recruiters communicate with them on their terms. But what are those terms? How can recruiters and talent acquisition professionals best meet today’s college students where they are?
In this 9-minute video, Steven Rothberg, President and Founder of College Recruiter, offers expert advice and insight into today’s college students’ communication preferences and how employers might best communicate with these candidates on their terms for best results in recruitment efforts.
If the video is not playing or displaying properly click here.
Since approximately 1/3 of today’s workforce is comprised of Gen Y members, it’s important for recruiters and talent acquisition leaders to understand and adapt to this generation’s learning styles and communication preferences.
It is no longer sufficient for employers to engage with college students and graduates through print media or even websites. Today’s college students and recent grads expect employers to utilize blogs, video, and social media in college recruiting efforts. Rothberg states that, “If a picture is worth a thousand words, a video is worth a thousand pictures.”
In addition to offering practical suggestions for incorporating video into college recruitment efforts, Rothberg also suggests that recruiters consider host virtual career events to conserve time and cost, particularly when recruiting on smaller campuses or in remote locations.
Rothberg places particular emphasis on recruiters’ need to connect with Gen Y candidates by ensuring that their websites and online job applications are compatible with mobile devices. With over 90% of college students using smartphones, it’s imperative that employers maintain mobile compatibility. Technology like responsive design enables companies’ websites to adapt to mobile devices’ screen sizes. This is imperative since mobile devices are linked to about 60% of internet traffic.
Since many of today’s college students and recent graduates prefer accessing employers’ websites via mobile devices, recruiters must attempt to create mobile-friendly job applications. Rothberg suggests allowing candidates to apply for positions without uploading resumes and asking for resumes later since most of today’s college students and recent graduates apply from mobile devices and don’t keep copies of their resumes on their smartphones. Rothberg also discusses specific ways College Recruiter tailors banner ad campaigns to today’s college students and recent graduates’ communication preferences.
In 10 years, today’s college students and recent graduates will make up 75% of the workforce. For this reason, it’s crucial for recruiters to adapt to today’s technology rather than expecting students and grads to adapt to old-fashioned modes of operation.
At College Recruiter, we believe every student and recent graduate deserves a great career and are committed to creating a quality candidate and recruiter experience. Our interactive media solutions connect students and graduates to great careers. Let College Recruiter assist you in the recruiting process.
January 21, 2016 by Bethany Wallace
When preparing to enter the workforce after college graduation, and when preparing for internship application season, many students appreciate pointers from true experts. Two members of the recruiting team from the New England Center for Children (NECC), Laura Schnaible, Recruiting Specialist, and Kaitlyn Maloney, Human Resources Coordinator, share some of their top tips for soon-to-be grads and internship candidates preparing for the job search process.
What are your 3 top tips for new college graduates about how to prepare for the job search process in January if they plan to graduate in May?
- Students should have an updated current resume targeting specific fields/industries, if they are able to research organizations ahead of time and have a specific one for that company.
- Dress appropriately for colleges fairs, interviews, etc. Lean more on the conservative side.
- Make use of career services at your college/university. They can help direct you when it comes to resumes, career events, job opportunities, and the appropriate ways to follow up with potential employers.
If students want to work for The New England Center for Children as a summer intern, when should they apply? Please describe the application process.
Our internship program is very competitive, and we strongly recommend applying in January or prior within the fall semester, since an on-site interview is required. It is important to review the position information, and to reach out to the internship coordinator with your contact information and resume.
Have you hired an intern who later became a star employee? Please share your internship success story with us.
We have hired many full and part-time interns as employees. We pride ourselves on being a company that promotes within, and we have had numerous interns turn into staff who grow into supervisory positions, complete on-site Master’s programs, and truly become leaders at the organization.
For more tips from recruiting experts, follow College Recruiter’s blog and follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. Stick with College Recruiter this month as we help you connect the dots on your path to career success.
In 2007, like most employees at The New England Center for Children (NECC®), Kaitlyn and Laura began their careers as teachers in the residential program for students who have a moderate to severe diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder. Kaitlyn received her undergraduate degree in Criminal Justice and Psychology at Westfield State University, and Laura attended Valparaiso University, receiving her degree in Business Administration and Psychology. During their years at NECC, both have taken advantage of the significant graduate school tuition reimbursement benefit; Kaitlyn received her Master’s of Education with a concentration in Mental Health Counseling from Cambridge College, and Laura received her Master’s of Science in Education with a concentration in Severe Special Needs from Simmons College (one of NECC’s on-site graduate programs). After working in the residential program, and at NECC’s second school facility in Abu Dhabi, Kaitlyn joined the Human Resources Recruitment Department in 2014 as a Human Resources Coordinator, and has the main focus of creating relationships with numerous college and university programs within the Northeast. Laura has been in the Recruiting Specialist role for seven years and focuses on building long-reaching partnerships with programs throughout the United States and Canada. Both work daily meeting college students in person and guiding them toward the many internship and career opportunities at NECC.
For those interested in learning more about internships, career opportunities, and the numerous benefits NECC offers, please visit www.necc.org.
January 01, 2016 by Bethany Wallace
Most college students make a list and check it twice before leaving campus during finals week. Catch up on countless hours of missed sleep during fall semester? Check. Hang out with hometown friends and reminisce about old times? Check. Curl up in Dad’s crusty old recliner and watch every episode of “The Big Bang Theory” aired since 2007? Check.
There may be other items that make the list but rank lower in priority because, let’s face it, they’re simply not as fun to complete—obtain seasonal employment, complete the FAFSA online for the upcoming academic year, fill out grad school applications, stop by the local architect’s office to ask about a summer internship opportunity, etc. The list could literally go on FOR-EV-ER, as The Sandlot’s Squints puts it.
Realistically, many students head back to campus in January without having completed the lower-ranking, future-focused tasks. This doesn’t seem like a big deal in January; the entire spring semester lies before you like a blank notebook. Sounds simple, right?
But a blank piece of paper gets you nowhere in terms of a future career or internship (and certainly generates little cash flow). And most people, not just college students, tend to put off today what can be done tomorrow. Unfortunately, employers and recruiters don’t feel your procrastination pain. They only care if you’re the smartest and best if you’ve actually applied on time and filled their needs for openings.
While you still have time and aren’t stressed by the pressure of spring courses, pour a cup of coffee, prepare to brainstorm, and draft a simple 4-step blueprint for action.
1. Accept your limitations and lower your expectations. This might sound like odd advice, but it will keep you from dropping the career-planning ball altogether. Most of us think more highly of ourselves than we ought; this causes us to set ridiculously high expectations and goals (AKA perfectionism). It’s been said that it’s unrealistic to plan more than 90 days out, so don’t do it. If you do, you’re setting yourself up for failure before you’ve begun. Eat that elephant one bite at a time.
2.Identify a few (3 to 5) key career-related goals that matter to you. These goals need to be directly related to obtaining an entry-level job after graduation or an internship during the summer of 2016. Perhaps you’re not interested in an internship but are interested in obtaining part-time employment during the summer that relates to your academic major or minor. Regardless, you might need help with this step. Who can help?
a) College Recruiter’s blog. Keep reading this month and follow our blog (via email, Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn). During January, you’ll read about nothing but information related to helping college students plan for and obtain entry-level jobs after graduation and internships during the summer. b) Your career services office on campus.
Let’s pretend your goal is to work for Target Corporation in entry-level management near Houston, Texas, and you plan to graduate in May 2016. This is a pretty specific goal (which is good—the more narrow your focus, the easier it is to set goals and action steps).
Some career-related goals might be:
- Develop a more polished resume (your current resume was drafted when applying for college three years ago and hasn’t been updated since) and learn how to write a great cover letter.
- Improve phone/online interview skills since you live three states away from Texas and will most likely interview over the phone or online.
- Learn how to convey your “campus life” experiences as transferable skills during interviews since you’ve only held one part-time job and feel insecure about your lack of real-world experience.
(Spoiler alert: Stay tuned to our blog this month to learn about all this and more.)
3. Define action steps necessary to help you attain your 3-5 goals. This step’s crucial; goals are simply idealistic dreams unless you take steps to realize them.
Let’s stick with our hypothetical you who hopes to work in entry-level management for Target Corporation near Houston, Texas, after graduating in May 2016. Here are some suggested action steps:
- Update existing resume with part-time job, volunteer experience, campus involvement, and coursework relevant to future employment.
- Submit resume to College Recruiter’s free resume review service (yep, FREE) and to campus career services office.
- Follow College Recruiter’s blog this month for posts related to interview skills. Search College Recruiter’s blog for past articles and webinars related to interview skills.
- Attend mock interviews and career fairs on campus—these are free and afford you valuable practice.
- Work on revising your resume to reflect transferable skills and to reframe the way you think about your own skills, too.
- Search for job openings with Target Corporation near Houston, Texas, on College Recruiter’s website after registering. Registering first is important because College Recruiter sends you new postings (saving you time and effort).
4. Get busy. Blueprints look impressive hanging on the wall, but they’re much more impressive when framed inside the buildings built by the very architects who drafted them in the first place.
Developing an action plan is tough brain work—but the real work kicks in when you crawl out of the comfy recliner (even though you have three more days of winter break) and begin implementing your plan.
The payoff may not be immediate, but pretty soon you’ll see results—the empty page will fill with a pretty cool image you created by simply connecting the dots by taking action all semester.
October 05, 2015 by Katrina Gerhardt
Entry-level jobs and internships must be filled. Most of the time these positions are filled by college students looking for experience in the workforce. Most students, when wandering around career fairs, don’t know what they are looking for so they hand out resumes to companies that sound interesting. This webinar helps students get the most out of career fairs and helps students feel welcome into the workforce.
In this recorded webinar, Andrea McEwen Henderson (https://www.linkedin.com/in/andreamcewen), former National Account Manager for College Recruiter, hosts Kevin George (https://www.linkedin.com/in/kevinngeorge), CEO and Co-Founder of HireCampus, who will explain how to effectively capture information at recruiting events.
- The importance of campus recruiting events
- The point of organizing student information at events
- The right data points to collect at recruiting events
- Is there a line between too much data and too little data?
- How important is following up?
- The importance of speed in following up
- Is there value in engaging employees to contribute to follow up?
- How important is it to have information in real-time?
- How do I reconcile event information with our prospect channels?
- What does event level detail tell me?
If the video is not playing or displaying properly click here.
How important are events for recruiting on campus?
These events on campus are very important to recruiting. Companies lose great opportunities to hire students into the workforce when they do not go to those events. As a result of these missed opportunities the company’s competitor will have a better pick of students who want to work for them.
What is the point of organizing student information at events?
Just going to campus recruiting events will not help you understand which schools may be the best place for you to recruit. If, instead, you go and gather information about the students you talk to and keep it organized, it will be much clearer where you are most effective.
What are the right data points to collect at recruiting events?
One of the most basic data points to gather is contact information. To take it a step further, you’re going to want to know their area of interest. Understanding the needs of the company will help you find the right data points, and what schools are the best fit for you.
Is there a line between too much data and too little data?
There is a very fine line between too much data and too little data. Regardless of what type of event you are attending, the more data you gather the longer it takes. You don’t want to create a bottle neck or frustrate students by asking for 25 data points. You definitely want to stick to the core, essential information like contact information, graduation date, major, and area of interest.
How important is following up?
Following up is one of the most important steps in recruiting. You want to build relationships with these students so they feel a positive connection to your company. Most students are learning what the culture is like at different companies and by sending them an email with a hello and a thank you will help them feel more at ease.
How much does speed matter?
Speed is an important aspect of following up. If you send an email to a student a week after the event, it won’t be as relevant to them as if you did it the same day. Sending emails at frequent intervals can also help build that relationship with students. You are going to be offering competitive packages to these students, who no doubt have had multiple offers. The thing that will set you apart from the others is going to be the culture. If you follow up and are consistently emailing them, you will stand apart from the others and the student will feel warm about working at your company.
Is there value in engaging employees to contribute to follow up?
Having employees engaged and creating this culture of recruitment in a business is the most important thing you can do when approaching campus. The campus recruiter who speaks to many students, most at different schools and different fields of interest, will not provide the same level of connection as an employee who went to that school and can relate to the student’s position. They can give the students that, “Hey, I was in your shoes, and I did the internship, and this is where I am today, and this is why it was such a good experience for me.” That connection will give the students a deeper understanding of your company and set you apart from competitors.
How important is it to have information in real-time?
The challenge with gathering information and looking at it in real time is being able to make decisions that could improve your current semester, not necessarily the one ahead. What I mean by that, to give an example, is to be able to look at a pipeline in real time and say, “Hey, we met 400 students from University A, but we’ve only seen 15 applications come through so far. Why don’t we send out an email to all the students we met so far just to make them aware that the application is open? For all we know maybe it’s buried on the school board. Maybe students are having trouble finding it, or maybe there is a technical error we don’t know about.” Understanding where you are in the process and where the pipeline is can inspire you to make some simple decisions that could have a big impact on how many people you end up hiring.
How do I reconcile event information with our prospect channels?
Events are not the only places you will meet with students. It’s important to have the same data for each encounter so you can compare different prospects and decide who should be interviewed. Communication between the team and the top will help with these decisions and how to make the different encounters count.
What does event level detail tell me?
Event level detail will help you understand how effective different events are and where the greatest return on investment is. If you are not getting down to that level of detail, it can be really difficult to determine if a career fair at NYU or an information session at Columbia is a better way of getting students interested.
July 18, 2015 by Libby Rothberg
College Recruiter, the leading niche job board used by recent college graduates to find entry-level jobs and students to find internships, chose Loyola University as one of 12 winners of its 2015 Hidden Gem Index for being one of the best colleges and universities for employers who want to hire high quality graduates who majored in business.
College Recruiter used its custom research product to generate the rankings. The modeling for this hidden gem school project was to identify schools which featured high SAT/ACT scores for entering students, high average starting salaries for the regions in which the schools were locates, a high percentage of graduates working in their chosen field of study, and a majority of the graduating class available for recruitment by employers.
Andrea McEwen Henderson, National Account Manager for College Recruiter, hosts in today’s webinar Hassan Akmal, who joined Loyola as Director of Business Career Services. Who in May 2014 after a very successful five-year career as a Visionary, Career Thought Leader, and Director of Career Services at multiple locations in both New York and Southern California, and Wren Donofrio, Assistant Director of Business Career Services: Employer Outreach & Relations. Who has over 6 years of higher education experience and leads our Project Enhance- leveraging and connecting our employer outreach and recruiting strategy with a qualitative, quantitative and robust client management focus that benefits the university at-large.
July 15, 2015 by Libby Rothberg
“There’s this thing called the Internet.” And in 1995, with that remark, a career service office director forever changed the future of the business out of which College Recruiter would emerge.
The clock was ticking on the 1950’s era products and approach of students picking up magazines, pulling annual reports from filing cabinets, and even sitting across a table in an on-campus interview room. Today, some 20 years later, it is hard for the recent grads and students we serve to relate to a time when all college recruiting was very physical, very local, and very expensive. What will tomorrow bring and how will those changes impact career services, employers, and job seekers?
July 14, 2015 by Libby Rothberg
The Arkansas Association of Colleges and Employers Conference was held on June 11-12, 2015 at the Holiday Inn & Convention Center in Springdale, Arkansas. The theme of the conference was: How people, technology, and economics are driving the future of recruiting. The AACE Conference annually attracts over 100 decision-makers from colleges, universities and employers, representing the entire state of Arkansas, as well as government and private organizations. AACE is the only statewide professional association that provides businesses and career services professionals the opportunity to engage, connect and collaborate in order to place or find the talent they need quickly and economically. Their mission is to provide resources for the career planning and employment of Arkansas’ college educated workforce.
July 07, 2015 by Libby Rothberg
President of College Recruiter niche job board Steven Rothberg recently interviewed president of Job Search Intelligence Paul Hill at the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) 2015 annual conference in Anaheim, California. In the interview, Steven and Paul discussed the Hidden Gem Index awards used by College Recruiter to recognize which colleges and universities are best for employers based upon the quality and availability for hire of the students.
Steven and Paul discussed how the schools were selected to receive the awards:
June 03, 2015 by William Frierson
An internship is an important part of getting ahead when you graduate as it adds valuable and practical work experience to your resume. Here are five ways you can use to find a valuable internship for you.
1) Talk to your professors. Most professors have great contacts with the corporate world either through their own work or their research. Professors can help you figure out what internship is best for you and put you in touch with the right people in human resources. They can also add great references to your applications giving you an edge over other applicants. Continue Reading