• How do I find a great, paid internship?

    November 07, 2018 by

    College Recruiter believes that every student and recent graduate deserves a great career. And a great stepping stone to a great career is often a great internship. But students are often frustrated by how to find an internship and, when they do find one of interest, how to apply, get interviewed, and get hired.

    If you try to do everything all at once, it can be overwhelming. I like to break the process down into manageable, bite-sized pieces.

    1. Don’t procrastinate. To use another cliche, early bird gets the worm. While I trust that you’d rather land a great internship than a great worm, the cliche is too well known and understood for me to pass up. Some internships, particularly those with non-profits and governmental agencies, have strict and sometimes very early deadlines. Looking for next summer? You might need to apply in November. As of the writing of this blog article on November 5, 2018, College Recruiter already had 1,795 internships advertised on its site and it is still a couple of months from January when employers start to get aggressive with advertising their internship opportunities.
    2. Complete your CIV analysis. What’s a CIV, you ask? Competencies, interests, and values. Grab a piece of paper and draw two lines down it to divide the paper into three columns. Write competencies at the top of the first column, interests at the top of the second, and values at the top of the third. Now, under competencies, write down everything that other people would say you’re good at. In the second column, write down everything that you find to be interesting, In the third column, write down everything that you care about. Now look for themes. What are you good at that also interests you and which you care about? Those themes are where you should focus your career search.
    3. Network. Many and probably most people think that networking is all about asking other for help. Wrong. It is about asking them how you can help them. That will build good karma and inevitably you’ll find that some — not all — will reciprocate by asking how they can help you. Take them up on the offer. Tell them about your CIV, where you want your career to start, and ask them for the names of two people you should talk with. Keep repeating that. After a few rounds of people referring you to people who refer you to people, you’ll likely run across someone who will decline to give you the two names, not because they’re a jerk but because they want to hire you. Bingo.
    4. Job search sites. Almost every college career service office has a career website, but the vast majority of jobs which are of interest to students and recent graduates are never posted to those sites. Why? Most employers don’t know about them and they can be hard and time consuming to use. So, use those sites but don’t stop there. Also use job search sites like College Recruiter, which typically has about a million part-time, seasonal, internship, and entry-level jobs advertised on its site. Did I tell you that College Recruiter already has 1,795 internships advertised on its site? Oh, yeah, I did. Did you search them yet?
    5. Attend career fairs. Quite frankly, I’m not a huge fan because the expectations of the employers are often poorly aligned with those of the students. Employer representatives typically attend career fairs because they’re coerced by their bosses, their career service office partners, or both. Their disinterest shows, and they make it worse by refusing to accept paper resumes and telling you to go to their career sites if you want to apply. You could have done that from home, right? But they’re great places to network (see #3) and learn what it is really like to work for a company if you happen to run across a representative who likes to talk and maybe isn’t as discrete as they should be.
    6. Search and apply to jobs. Seems kind of obvious, right? But you’d be amazed at how many candidates don’t apply to enough jobs, apply to the wrong ones, or do a terrible job of applying the ones they are qualified for. If you’re an elite student at an elite school or otherwise have some exceptional qualities, aim high by applying to the most sought-after internships, such as 20 top internships listed below. For everyone else, and that’s almost everyone, the hard truth is that you’re just going to have to try harder. But, if it helps, remember the joke about what you call a doctor who graduates at the bottom of their class from a third-rate medical school. The answer is doctor. Most employers for most jobs feel the same way about interns and new grads. They care far more that you went to college than your major. They care far more about your major than your school. And they care far more about your school than your grades or whether you had a sexy internship or just successfully completed an internship, preferably for them.
    7. Create a job. Whether it’s a gig employment opportunity driving folks around or doing their grocery shopping for them or starting a small business in college like I did, don’t discount this option. But if you find yourself uttering, “I just need a good idea”, move on. The good idea is the least of your problems. Executing that good idea is FAR harder and FAR less exciting.
    8. Get experience. The entire point of an internship program for the employer is to convert those interns into permanent hires upon graduation. If they don’t, their internship program is a failure. Similarly, the entire point of interning is to get an offer to become a permanent employee upon graduation and then to accept that offer. If you don’t, your internship was a failure. Well, maybe not a complete failure, but not as much of a success as it should have been.

    So, back to the top internship programs. What are they? I thought you’d never ask:

    1. Google
    2. Apple
    3. Microsoft
    4. Tesla
    5. Facebook
    6. Goldman Sachs
    7. Amazon
    8. J.P. Morgan
    9. SpaceX
    10. The Walt Disney Company
    11. Nike
    12. Morgan Stanley
    13. IBM
    14. Deloitte
    15. Berkshire Hathaway
    16. Intel
    17. ESPN
    18. Mercedes-Benz
    19. The Boston Consulting Group
    20. Spotify

    — Source: Vault

     

     

  • [video] Why employers value recent college grads with foreign language skills

    November 15, 2016 by

     

    Fluency or competency in a foreign language is a coveted skill that employers value. That’s no surprise in today’s global economy. However, the reasons employers value recent college grads who have foreign language skills may be a surprise. Yes, it’s a must for certain positions where employers work directly with others who speak foreign languages to conduct business. But that’s not the only reason.

    Learning a language demonstrates initiative and passion for self-improvement

    “I have hired people who were not as well-qualified as other candidates because they knew another language, even if that language was not specifically needed in my organization,” says B. Max Dubroff, an HR Consultant at Einfluss, LLC, an HR advisory firm, in Albuquerque, NM.

    Why? Because learning a foreign language demonstrates initiative and passion for self-improvement. And if one can learn a foreign language, they can surely learn an organization’s language, which for many workplaces, is full of slang, acronyms, and alternate definitions, says Dubroff.

    Related: How traveling abroad after college can help land your first job

    “Throughout my career, language has helped me make and strengthen relationships,” says Dubroff, who is conversant in German and learning Spanish. Dubroff retired from the U.S. Air Force, having specialized in security, law enforcement, and anti-terrorism. He is the former Chairman of a non-profit board and a former Commissioner. His education includes a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and a Master’s in Human Resources and he has earned senior-level certifications in Human Resources from HRCI and SHRM.

    “I have never had a job where language was required, but I have always had everyday events that benefited from this understanding,” says Dubroff. “I was twice selected for awesome opportunities in the Air Force and my understanding of German was a factor in me being chosen over other very well-qualified people.”

    Mastery of a foreign language can also be an indicator of leadership capability and style, adds Dubroff. “In many ways, language is the study of interactions; if you value language, you are also more likely to value other people,” says Dubroff.

    You stand out among peers if you have other language skills

    foreign language skills helps you stand out and get hiredRecent college grads with foreign language skills often stand out among peers with similar skill sets, experiences, and degrees. While it may not be listed in a job ad, the value of fluency in foreign languages can be a “signal” factor for a candidate as they are compared to others with similar experience and college preparation, says Bettyjo Bouchey, an Associate Professor and Program Director of Undergraduate Business Programs at National Louis University in Chicago, IL.

    “If there is a direct need for a company, foreign language skills could be the deciding factor in a screening process,” says Bouchey. “Without a direct need, however, it is a signal to a future employer that this candidate has an interest and sensitivity to multicultural issues and is interested in developing themselves outside of their primary vocational aspiration. It is a signal of a well-rounded prospective employee; someone that is interesting.”

    Bouchey, who is also a career coach, advises students and recent college grads to highlight these types of signals in their cover letters and on a resume understanding this foreign language skill, or signal, can set them apart from those that do not possess them.

    “As someone who has recruited and hired hundreds of employees over the years and also one who researches employer selection processes, signals vary by recruiter, but this is one that catches someone’s eye and sometimes that is all you need to get your foot in the door,” says Bouchey.

    Need more proof? See a host of reasons why employers are attracted to language skills

    Auburn University’s Department of Foreign Languages and Literature lists Twenty-five Reasons to Study Foreign Languages. Among them is this fact: Four out of five new jobs in the US are created as a result of foreign trade. This list includes these additional traits that are attractive to employers:

    • Foreign Language study creates more positive attitudes and less prejudice toward people who are different.
    • Analytical skills improve when students study a foreign language.
    • Business skills plus foreign language skills make an employee more valuable in the marketplace.
    • Your marketable skills in the global economy are improved if you master another language.
    • Foreign language study enhances one’s opportunities in government, business, medicine, law, technology, military, industry, marketing, etc.

    According to the OfficeTeam 2017 Salary Guide, professionals can earn up to 12 percent more for U.S. administrative jobs if they have expert multilingual abilities. Spanish is typically the most requested language, but fluency in others can be requested depending on location.

    “Bilingual or multilingual skills are a plus in many industries, especially for public- and customer-facing positions,” says Brandi Britton, district president of OfficeTeam.

    As organizations become more global, language ability is crucial to recent college grads seeking to advance in their career. Since organizations can’t foresee every project or program, they usually track employees’ language ability so they have people to choose from, if needed.  This opportunity could open doors for an unforeseen opportunity.  For example, company X is considering a potential partnership with a firm in France, so they consider employees who know French to add to the core team of experts, says Dubroff. Another recognized benefit in the global economy is the heightened awareness and understanding of culture that accompanies language ability.  This can be a key differentiator for a company to stand out among its competition (marketing, sales, and service).

    Related: 5 reasons why recent college grads should consider work and travel jobs

    “The reason I respect my favorite IT Director so much is not just because of his understanding of technology; rather, it is more because of his deep understanding of people and culture, which comes from mastery of three languages,” says Dubroff.

    When interviewing, be ready to prove your skills

    Prove language skills in an interview

    Dutch text on laptop: “Spending time with family”

    But if you have fluency or basic knowledge of a language, be prepared to prove it. That person conducting an interview may speak the same language and test job seekers during an interview.

    “If you say you know a language, I will test you,” says Dubroff. “If I don’t know the language, I will find another employee for you to talk with. If you say you are studying a language, I will seek details.  I will ask how you are studying it and what you are doing to master it.”

    Dubroff has interviewed several people who claimed to be fluent in German, so he suddenly changed from speaking English to German. “This not only helps me understand the level of their language ability, it also helps me learn how the person responds to unexpected change in a moderately stressful situation,” says Dubroff.

    TIP: Get more expert and free career advice by staying connected with College Recruiter. Check out all kinds of videos and articles in our LinkedIn group, follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube.

    How should recent college grads list and reference language skills on a resume, cover letter, job application and/or during an interview? Don’t just list a language, list a way understanding this foreign language has helped develop a skill set or solve a business problem. Think: What did I gain from that language experience that in general is going to make me a better worker? Show that in your application material. On a resume, language skills fit well in the list of key skills. It is best to describe the level of capability without overstating it. A person who says they are “fluent” but has never used it outside the classroom loses credibility, says Dubroff.

    Good descriptors include “native” and “bilingual” at the high end, “professional working proficiency” or “conversant” in the middle, and “elementary” or “novice” for beginners.

    Employers value foreign language skills. Recent college grads should be sure to use that to their advantage when applying for internships and jobs.

    Seeking a career where foreign language skills can make an impact? Register with College Recruiter to get the latest jobs emailed to you! And don’t forget to follow us on TwitterLinkedInFacebook, and YouTube.

     

  • How to market military experience on a resume and cover letter

    October 05, 2016 by

    Recent college grads and entry-level job seekers with military experience can set themselves apart from other job seekers because they have experience beyond the classroom that employers covet.

    But the only way to do that is to create a resume and cover letter that highlights how military experience translates to the professional world.

    It’s easier said than done, and takes practice, patience, and persistence. Recent college grads should reach out to their college career services department for resume and cover letter writing assistance, as they are skilled at helping veteran students and grads market their resume and cover letter. Continue Reading

  • How self-underestimation leads to job interview failure

    August 29, 2016 by
    Photo by StockUnlimited.com

    Photo by StockUnlimited.com

    People are notorious for underestimating their skills and abilities, and it happens for a variety of reasons. It’s a part of human nature to hesitate, to compare, and to have a fear of imperfection. Everyone faces these challenges on a daily basis. And when it comes to the job interview, every candidate knows there’s a crowd of other applicants who might be much better, which can cause panic. This feeling is a destructive force that can lead to a lack of confidence and low self-esteem. But there are also lots of things you can do to stay confident.

    The greatest weapon against self-underestimation is good preparation. When you know what you’re going to say and how you’re going to behave in a job interview, self-underestimation will be greatly reduced.

     

     

    Here’s what you need to do:

    Be active

    One of the most important things your potential employer wants to see is your record of engagement and activities. Besides studying, listing part-time jobs or freelance work is a plus. A huge plus is also going to be any other kind of engagement – running a blog, working as a tutor, starting a book club, volunteering, and so on. Focus especially on the activities that relate directly to the job for which you’re applying. Thanks to this information, you’ll prove to be an active and enthusiastic person, which is very desirable for any job position.

    Answer typical questions in advance

    Every employer asks a set of fairly typical questions. These often include the following: Why should we hire you? What are your greatest professional achievements? Where do you see yourself in five years? What are your strengths and weaknesses? They are rather simple and repetitive, and yet candidates tend to stumble when answering these questions. You have a chance to practice at home, so make the most of it. Ask your parent or friend to help. For half an hour, your parent or friend plays the part of “employer” and asks you those typical questions, and you answer them. Act as if you were in a real job interview and try to memorize what you would say to answer an employer’s questions.

    Learn more about the position

    Don’t forget to read the job description carefully and learn more information about the company to which you’re applying. Your employer will likely ask you what you know about the company. Your aim is to not get caught off-balance. Some people, especially when nervous, find it difficult to collect their thoughts, and as a result they get stuck. In order to avoid an awkward moment, research the company – there’s obviously a company website with all the information you’ll need to sound intelligent and articulate.

    Work on your cover letter and resume

    Make your cover letter and resume stunning so they stand out from others. In fact, these two items constitute a potential employer’s first impression of you, and it makes sense to do your best. Take care to avoid the following common mistakes:

    • There are lots of templates for cover letters and resumes available online, but using them without making changes is a bad idea. Recruiters receive dozens of cover letters and resumes that seem nearly identical. How can they choose the best one if all of them are equally ordinary? And what if employers check for plagiarism? I doubt they will want to hire someone who cuts corners and doesn’t bother to write a decent original resume and cover letter.
    • Don’t write the same information in both your resume and cover letters. These two papers should complement the image you introduce to the potential employer. Respect your employer’s time and don’t repeat yourself. Including irrelevant information is also no good.
    • Don’t make your cover letter too long or too short. Just find a happy medium. If you’re a recent graduate without much employment history, neither document should be longer than one page.
    • Check your cover letter and resume for mistakes and typos. Sometimes it happens that you don’t find errors within your text. For this reason, ask your friend to proofread your writing. In addition, you should also run your cover letter and resume through an automated spell checker.

    Confidence comes with practice, and your confidence in the job interview can only be gained if you prepare yourself and go to a few of them. Remember that recruiters are not your enemies, and you don’t need to resist them – you’re just going to have a nice talk to find out if you’re the right person for the position. You’ll see there’s no need to overly dramatize the process!

    Rose Scott, guest writer

    Rose Scott, guest writer

    Need more job search and job interview assistance? Check out our great salary calculator and free resume editing tool. Don’t forget to follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube.
    Rose Scott is a literature teacher who aims at improving education. A lifelong dreamer, she finds her inspiration in pep-talks with meaningful people whose enthusiasm is contagious. Outside of her teaching pursuits, she cannot imagine her life without writing. It is something more than just a hobby. Writing is her passion. Rose will be glad to meet you on her Twitter:@roserose_sc

  • Back-to-school free resume critique

    August 26, 2016 by
    Resume writing tips written on notebook courtesy of Shutterstock.com

    kenary820/Shutterstock.com

    College and university students who are starting their fall semesters know that right after Labor Day the frenzy of on-campus recruiting begins. There’s a little bit of a breather from mid-November until the beginning of January and then the frenzy continues through March.

    When was the last time someone with training reviewed your resume and made specific recommendations to you for how it could be better? Are you missing keywords that employers will find when they’re searching a database? Is your language active instead of passive? Do you have specific accomplishments listed? Are your career goals spelled out clearly? Continue Reading

  • What makes job seekers highly effective: Part 2

    July 06, 2016 by

    When job seekers find immediate success, what are they doing right? How are they standing out from the rest of the applicants who earn interviews?

    Those job seeker secrets to success were discussed in detail as part of the Successful Job Seekers Research portion of the 2016 Job Preparedness Indicator Study. The survey was conducted in March 2015 by the Career Advisory Board (CAB) established by DeVry University. As part of the research, over 500 job seekers were surveyed and the key findings and data from the research are highlighted in the accompanying video featuring Steven Rothberg, founder of College Recruiter, moderating a discussion with Alexandra Levit, a consultant, speaker, and workplace expert who has written six career advice books, and was formerly a nationally syndicated career columnist for the Wall Street Journal, and Madeleine Slutsky of DeVry University. The interview and discussion takes place from Google’s Chicago offices during the NACE 2016 Conference in June.

    Read the first article in this series: What makes a job seeker highly effective, Part 1 and learn more in the video below:


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

    What criteria qualifies one as a successful job seeker? According to the 2016 Job Preparedness Indicator Study, this includes:

    A. Active job seekers who secured a job offer within six months of their first interview.
    B. Passive candidates who already had a job, were recruited, and accepted an offer within 6 months of being recruited.

    “That’s pretty successful,” says Levit. “If you’re able to get a new job within six months, you’re doing something right.”

    According to the study, the first thing successful job seekers do is target their job search to a specific company.

    “The conventional wisdom is that if you just send your resume out to as many people as possible, it’s a number game; eventually something will hit,” says Levit. “In fact, this is the opposite of what we found to be true.”

    According to the survey data, 51 percent of active job seekers applied to five or fewer positions, and 66 percent applied to 10 or fewer jobs.

    “The majority of our successful job seekers are really going after specific companies they want to work at,” says Levit.

    They also know that they are qualified for those jobs, before submitting applications, says Levit. The research showed that 90 percent of job seekers wanted to be at least 75 percent qualified before applying to a targeted company and job, meaning they fit at least seven out of the 10 requirements of the job description before applying. In addition, 41 percent wanted to be at least 90 percent qualified before applying – meaning they fit nine out of the 10 requirements of the job description before applying.

    Successful job seekers also customize their resume and job search, and do significant research before putting together their cover letter, resume, and online profile for their target company. The survey results showed that 67 percent of successful job seekers reached out to the company contact person, and 32 percent reached out to their network to get inside info on the target company before applying. In addition, 84 percent tailored their resume to the exact specifics of the job they were targeting, updating it for each job. Translation: A targeted resume is much more effective than a one-size-fits-all resume.

    “This is something the Career Advisory Board has been saying for years,” says Levit. “Yes, unfortunately, every resume has to be customized if you want to be taken seriously. That’s what successful job seekers are doing.”

    Hiring managers pick up a resume and are going to know, within 20 seconds, if the applicant is a good fit for the job, says Levit. That’s why it’s important to tailor/customize each resume for a specific job.

    The study also uncovered some surprising news for job seekers: Successful job seekers don’t necessarily consider job-seeking a full-time role.

    Levit said this: “I have to admit, this is counter to the advice I have always given, which has been ‘if you are in the job market and not currently employed, you should be treating your job search like a full-time job,’ meaning you are spending seven or eight hours a day on (the job search). That’s not what successful job seekers are doing.”

    The study showed that 47 percent of successful job seekers conducted job search activities a total of one to three hours a day and 45 percent spent less than an hour per day on the job search. This includes writing resumes, networking, searching for jobs, and researching companies, among other job search duties.

    “Whatever they are doing is effective and efficient,” says Levitt. “It’s not quantity, it’s quality.”

    The bottom line? Successful job seekers put together job searches that target a specific company and job, and write resumes and cover letters tailored to that specific job. They work to connect with people inside the organization for which they are applying, and doing all of this is helping them land jobs faster than those who are not conducting a specific, targeted job search.

    Watch the video to learn more about what makes a job seeker highly effective.

    For more advice for job seekers, check out our blog and follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and don’t forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel.

  • The #1 student job search mistake

    June 25, 2016 by

    As an Associate Career Services Director for the University of Michigan and the CEO of Break into Tech, I’ve had the privilege to work with hundreds of students during the job search while trying to launch their careers. And it’s an area I’m particularly proud to support, having leveraged my own student experience to land roles at Apple, LinkedIn, and startups.

    Photo by StockUnlimited.com

    Photo by StockUnlimited.com

    But the one thing that shocks me time and again is that 95% of students make the same mistake when it comes to landing a job. And no, it’s not a bad resume, or a poorly written cover letter or even weak interview skills. Instead, it’s that most basic trait:

    Humility.

    Yes, humility.

    Now, I know what you’re thinking. “Huh? How hard could it be to act humble?”

    But here’s the real deal. That same confidence is a handicap. Because it blinds students to just how hard it is to stay humble in a world where everyone always has to be on, to constantly present their best self.

    As evidence, allow me to submit my experience as a Michigan alum working at LinkedIn:

    • Every single day during application season, I’d received at least one email from a current student who wanted to work in Silicon Valley
    • Usually, those emails started out: “Dear Jeremy, I’m XXX and I’d really like to work at LinkedIn…”
    • Eventually I’d get on the phone with these students, and they’d spend the first 15 minutes of the call telling me about themselves, and the last 15 minutes asking me if I could help them get a job.
    • Then, I’d never hear from them again.

    On the other hand, about 2-3 times a year, the sequence would go very differently:

    • I’d get an email from a student well before application season that said: “Dear Jeremy, As a a Michigan student, I was so excited to come across your profile today. I can’t tell you how inspiring it was to find someone who’s walked your path. I know you must be really busy, but would you ever have a few minutes to share your story with me?”
    • When I got on the phone with them, we’d spend 15 minutes talking about my experience, followed by 15 minutes of them asking me for my advice about really tricky career questions.
    • Then they’d follow-up the next month to wish me a happy holiday or update me on campus. And they’d continue to do that each month with cool articles they found or little tidbits of school news.
    • Then, only when application season finally rolled around, would they ever ask for support during the application process.

    And sure enough, about 2-3 times a year, I’d write an internal recommendation for a student, basically guaranteeing them an interview.

    Now, any guesses which students I went to bat for?

    Hopefully that illuminates two things about the job search:

    BUT

    • You’ve got to network in the right way – the humble way.

    Which means no:

    • Waiting until application season to reach out – you need to build relationships in advance; not at the last second.
    • Focusing all the attention on yourself – you need to build a real relationship; not just a transaction.
    • One shot networking – you need to build a relationship over time, not in a single phone call. This aids your job search.

    So consider yourself warned. Yes, humility is critical to your job search success. But don’t assume it’s going to be easy. Instead, make it a priority and work hard at it. And then you can avoid the biggest mistake that’s trapped so many others!

    Jeremy Schifeling, CEO of Break Into Tech

    Jeremy Schifeling, CEO of Break Into Tech

    Need more help networking and figuring out how to build great relationships on your way to finding a great entry-level job? College Recruiter can help. Keep reading our blog and follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.

    Jeremy Schifeling is the Founder + Chief Nerd at Break into Tech, a site for anyone who wants to land an awesome tech job, no matter their background. Get a free guide to the seven ultimate secrets that took Jeremy from school to Silicon Valley!

  • How to get a dream job even without experience

    June 20, 2016 by
    Dream, job, way photo by StockUnlimited.com

    Photo by StockUnlimited.com

    It’s intensely frustrating. You spend years getting further education, you work your butt off, you rack up extra debt, and afterwards no doors will open because ‘you lack experience’ or because university ‘didn’t teach you the skills you need.’ But how can you get experience if nobody will give you a job?

    Well fear not; there are actually ways to get that dream job after all, and that’s without first working 10 years at some entry-level position trying to make your mark. It just means working hard right now and showing everybody that you’ve got the mojo to pull it off.
    So are you ready to get noticed? Here’s what you’ve got to do.

    Do the time

    Despite what many young people think, the world doesn’t owe them anything. That means your dream job is not going to get thrown into your lap. If you want it, you’ve got to look for it, hunt for it, and when you found it, battle to get it. So make sure you don’t sit back and wait for something to happen.

    Instead, pursue every channel to get the job you want, be it social media, friends of the family, career counseling at university or the classifieds in the local newspaper (some people actually still use those). And apply to everything that sounds close to what you want. Even if you don’t end up wanting it, the experience from going to the interview can be just what you need to wow your future employers when you do land the right interview.

    Develop your soft skills

    One of the biggest problems employers have with fresh graduates is that they don’t have the soft skills necessary to actually get anywhere in the workplace. By soft skills I mean teamwork, communication, writing and problem-solving skills. An even bigger problem? Graduates think they’re actually very good at those things and therefore don’t take the time to become better at them. Don’t be like everybody else; accept that you’ve still got a lot to learn, then go out of your way to learn soft skills!

    Be confident but not arrogant

    There is another good reason besides soft skills that many people don’t like hiring recent graduates – and that’s because recent graduates often have a much higher estimation of what they’re capable of than what they’re actually capable of. They come swaggering into the workplace believing that they’ll show these business people a thing or two about how it’s done.

    The thing is, often they don’t know how it’s done. They’ve got too little work experience and often too much idealism. They’ve got a lot to learn but think too highly of themselves to realize this is so.

    Don’t be that person. Be respectful, accept that you’re still at the beginning of your life and that experience is valuable, but make it clear to your future employer that you’re smart enough to know what you know and driven enough to learn what you don’t. That will impress them.

    Prepare for the interview

    There are some tricky questions interviewers can’t ask you, and if you haven’t prepared then they may stump you. So take time to prepare. Not only that, but make sure you know the names of the people you’re going to interview with, as well as whatever basic facts you can find online. People will be impressed if you are well-informed. It shows that you care, that you’re a good researcher, that you’re proactive and that you’re willing to invest effort to get what you want.

    Show off your expertise

    If you want the dream job, you’ve got to show that your skill set is much greater than your limited CV gives you credit for. So you’ve got to show off your expertise. This can be done in multiple ways–by getting an endorsement from somebody who matters in the industry or one of your professors, for instance, but probably the best way is to actually start working in the field. So either start freelancing while you’re still in college, or otherwise start blogging and build up a reputation as somebody who knows what they’re talking about.

    Be passionate

    Read books and articles in your field, understand theory as best you can, know who the players are, and when you get around to writing your cover letter, show them how much you care. Now don’t be a gushing ninny. You’ve got to be professional, but you still have to demonstrate to them that even though you don’t have as much experience as everybody else in the field, you’ve got more than enough passion to make up for it.

    Be a protagonist

    You’ve got to take responsibility for your actions or your lack thereof. It won’t be easy to jump the cue. It will, in fact, take a lot of hard work, so you’ve got to prepare for that. That said, it is possible so long as you take the time to be do what you’ve got to do and show that you’re a cut above the rest.

    And if it goes wrong, own it, learn what you can from it and get back up again. Then push on. That’s the only way it’s going to work. You’ve got to be the hero of your own story, because otherwise you’re the victim. And who hires the victim?

    Jonathan Emmen, guest writer

    Jonathan Emmen, guest writer

    Jonathan Emmen is a student and an inspired blogger from Copenhagen. His passion is writing, and he finds inspiration in traveling, books, and movies. You can follow him on @JonnyEmmen or you can also follow him on Kinja.

  • 5 tips to manage a stress-free online job search

    May 23, 2016 by
    Women laptop photo by StockUnlimited.com

    Photo by StockUnlimited.com

    Today, most job searches are conducted online. Although some parts of the country will still focus on more personable job searches, the majority of young Americans will be searching for their first entry-level jobs on computers. Online job searches are both convenient and troublesome. Recent graduates no longer have to go to an employment agency’s office or endlessly drop in on various professionals in order to gain employment in a company; rather they can conduct all of their employment research from the comfort of their own homes. On the other hand, potential entry-level employees can be difficult to distinguish from one another because their résumés tend to look similar. On paper, new grads can appear to be one and the same, but in person their different skills, interests, and personalities can shine through. For many employers, the right personality is just as valuable as qualifications on paper. So how can recent grads manage their online job search without becoming entirely overwhelmed?

    1) Focus the job search

    New grads who have obtained broad degrees such as in business or communications will be able to apply to a diverse range of jobs. However, applying to several different jobs in several different subfields can become stressful very quickly. Job seekers are encouraged to focus their searches on a particular job title (and similar positions) during their online searches. They should start with a subfield they feel passionate about because their excitement for the position (or lack thereof) will shine through and give them a better chance of achieving interviews.

    2) Supplement with in-person contacts and connections

    Although online job searches are convenient, they are not always successful if conducted without the help of in-person contacts. Former professors and alumni connections are an essential part of a first time job search, and they can provide introductions and tips that can be extremely valuable. An online resume can easily go from the middle of the pile to the top with an introduction or recommendation coming from someone already within the company.

    3) Pick a time of day to call it quits

    At some point, job seekers have to call it quits, at least for that day. In many cases, recent grads are searching for a job late in the evening after coming home from their part-time college jobs. Job seekers don’t do a great job of proofreading or checking for important details late at night and often send out applications they later wish they could have taken a second look at. The late hours of the evening also come with varying degrees of mental fatigue that result from a full day’s work. Even if job seekers are a few minutes away from finishing an important application, they’re encouraged to proofread the next morning with fresh eyes.

    4) Go the extra mile

    Because most current applicants don’t reach out in person or on the phone, those who do will get more attention. If there is a number for an HR Manager or department head, applicants should give them a call and introduce themselves or ask any pertinent questions regarding the position. Instead of following up with just an email, follow up with a personable phone call. Applicants who are giving an interview are encouraged to send a handwritten thank-you note that will make them stand out from the crowd.

    5) Put a little piece of your personality in each cover letter

    Because the hiring manager only learns about applicants from a couple pieces of paper, it’s important their personalities shine through. Most applicants write one cover letter and gear it towards each position. However, an applicant’s skills and passion tend to become apparent when each cover letter is written from scratch. Additionally, it’s important that job seekers write their cover letters at a time of day when they have a lot of energy and enthusiasm. It’s also a great idea to ask another person to proofread a cover letter and make sure that it’s personable, professional, and easy to read.

    For more help with your online job search, make you way to our blog and follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube.

    Robyn Scott, guest writer

    Robyn Scott, guest writer

    Robyn Scott, a guest writer for College Recruiter, is a private tutor with TutorNerds LLC. She has a BA from the University of California, Irvine, and a MA from the University of Southampton, UK.

  • 6 common mistakes grads make when searching for entry-level jobs

    May 09, 2016 by
    First Job word; business man touching on red tab virtual screen courtesy of Shutterstock.com

    PhuShutter/Shutterstock.com

    Recently, research from the Australian government shows how the shift from college education to full-time employment is becoming more challenging. Job prospects for young Australians are decreasing and on the other hand, recent graduates are making key mistakes when searching for entry-level jobs. Open Colleges, one of Australia’s leading online educators, has gathered information from a variety of recruiters to help recent graduates understand their mistakes when applying for entry-level jobs. Avoid these most common mistakes to avoid when searching for entry-level jobs.

    1. Negative attitude towards work

    Australian government research confirmed young people do not have enough of a positive attitude towards work. Recruiters recommend job seekers be more motivated and demonstrate enthusiasm to potential employers.

    According to the study, young people need to be more responsible and reliable concerning their behavior and approach to their jobs. Recruiters suggest working with a business for a while, coming in to shifts, being punctual, and showing respect to colleagues, and customers or clients.

    2. Think learning is over after college

    Recruiters ask young professionals to be more open to learning when they start their first entry-level jobs. We all need to continue learning during our professional lives to stay updated with industry changes. But when starting a new job, it is especially important to have the right attitude towards learning because everything is new; employees will need to gain knowledge of the working process in their new companies and the different procedures to complete work correctly and in a timely manner. Your first employer is giving you an excellent opportunity to learn and gain valuable experience, so absorb as much as you can.

    3. Underestimate the importance of previous work experience

    Even though job seekers are applying for their first full-time entry-level jobs, having some related work experience will give them a competitive advantage. This may be some volunteer work done while still in school or some unpaid jobs during the summer. Don’t underestimate this experience; include it on your resume and tell your interviewers about it.

    Studies are essential, but having first-hand experience shows employers that you have some practical skills and a better understanding of work responsibilities and professional work life.

    4. Failure to make a good first impression

    Whoever says his opinion is not influenced by the first impression is lying. In an interview, job seekers only have a few seconds to convince interviewers that they are the right candidates, so along with their studies, work experience, and the right attitude, their presentations during interviews will play an important role in their success in landing their first full-time jobs.

    According to the research, recent graduates often dress inappropriately for work and have untidy hair, so recruiters recommend paying special attention to appearance. Not every company’s dress code is the same, so make sure to verify details about the company culture before an interview in order to dress appropriately.

    5. Poor job search and application skills

    When looking for their first jobs, Australian young professionals are making very common mistakes, according to research. These skills improve with time and practice, but a couple pieces of advice recruiters give are: make sure each application (resume and cover letter) is tailored to the position for which you are applying, and always double check your application’s spelling and grammar. Recruiters see these types of mistakes as a lack of attention to detail and unacceptable in today’s marketplace.

    Recruiters also suggest job seekers approach employers directly after providing their resumes and personally following up with them.

    6. Unrealistic work expectations

    When applying for their first entry-level jobs after college, recent graduates need to understand they cannot “start at the top.” They have to make an effort to work their way up through the business.

    Another common mistake is to expect high compensation. This will also come with time as employees gain experience and assume more responsibilities. The nature of the work they do may not be exactly what they want initially, but as long as workers are learning and doing something they like, they are on the right path.

    Need more tips for your job search? Check out our blog and follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube.

    Maria Onzain, guest writer

    Maria Onzain, guest writer

    Maria Onzain is a content marketing expert writing for Open Colleges about education, career, and productivity. She is passionate about all things digital, loves technology, social media, start-ups, travelling, and good food.