• Video interviewing: best practices for employers [video]

    June 05, 2017 by

     

    Recruiters who spend precious time on the time-consuming administrative task of scheduling telephone interviews should seriously be looking at video interview software. College Recruiter recently spoke with Martin Edmondson, CEO of Gradcore, about the trend in asynchronous video interviewing. Gradcore is based in the UK and helps employers understand colleges and their graduates, and they help the graduates understand potential employers. Here, Edmondson provides tips for employers who are considering using video in their interview and hiring process. He has seen this trend on the rise and believes employers can save time and otherwise benefit by implementing video interviews.

    Edmondson is part of College Recruiter’s  Panel of Experts, which is a group of experts around the country who regularly provide top notch advice for both talent acquisition professionals and entry level job seekers.

    Scroll down to watch the video of our conversation with Edmondson about how to best use video interviewing in your hiring process.

     

    More employers are conducting video interviews to save time.

    More employers are using video interviews, and the opposite trend is true for telephone interviews. Edmondson says he is “seeing a big growth, especially in UK and Europe, around asynchronous video, particularly that second phase of the interview that replaces telephone interviews.”

    In fact, a recent survey by the Association of Graduate Recruiters (the national body in the UK for student and graduate recruitment), showed that in the last year alone usage has gone from 29% to 43% of graduate recruiters using video interviews as a selection tool.

    They are not meant to be the first or final stage of interviewing. A video interview should be used in the middle of the process, especially for employers who have high volume of student or grad recruitment. A video can give a good picture of a candidate at that stage.

    Video interviewing saves time and is a trend

    Source: AGR Annual Survey 2016

    Edmondson adds, “There isa wide range of providers of asynchronous video interviews out there. Many of them carry the same functionality, but with the intense competition in the field there is a constant flow of innovation to improve the technology. The initial battle for market share led to low pricing,  but there is growing differentiation in product and pricing.”

    Pros and cons of an asynchronous video interview

    First, the pros. An asynchronous video brings the advantage of efficiency, much greater flexibility for both the candidate and the recruiter, and it cuts down the overall process time. This improves candidate experience and saves time and money for the recruiter.  In addition, Edmondson adds, “video interviews are really useful for multinational organizations recruiting internationally.”

    “They are best deployed when looking to reduce a large pool of applicants down in a short space of time whilst still using a robust process.” In the middle stage of the process, when  you still have a big pot of candidates to get through, an asynchronous video interview gives you pretty good picture of someone without being too time consuming.

    Recruiters are used to using telephone interviews, where they can lose days just scheduling them. However, with an asynchronous video interview, you “literally just get your question into the system, send it off to 500 or 1,000 graduates, and you give them 48 hours to respond. They come back with their responses that they film themselves. You can then send it out to the recruitment team to review. So it’s very efficient.”

    Edmondson says there is one disadvantage. “They have some drawbacks in comparison to telephone interviews as they don’t allow as much drilling into answers, but the other benefits tend to outweigh this.” That’s why he says it’s meant for  a middle stage, not a final interview. The quality of results from video interviews, adds Edmondson, “as with telephone interviews, is down to the quality and experience of the assessors rather than the medium.”

    How video interviews impact bias in the hiring process

    An asynchronous video can, on one hand, reduce bias because it is structured and remains a standard in the hiring process that is unchanged for every candidate, as opposed to the bias that is introduced by “winging it” with small talk, for example. On the other hand, introducing a video in the middle of the hiring process may introduce new bias because now the recruiter can see the candidate’s face.

    “Bias is in the hands of the person watching the video,” says Edmondson. “If you’ve got well-trained recruiters watching, who are conscious of bias, then you shouldn’t have a problem. If you distribute it to managers who aren’t as well trained in bias, then you may have some more issues.” That is to say, it is the organization’s responsibility to manage and control bias more generally in their interview process, be that through video interviews, face to face interviews or any other form.

    “When reviewing video interviews you should use the same fair and robust principles you apply in any interview or assessment center context. You should ideally use assessors with an experience and a clear understanding of bias, and score consistently with clear behavioral indicators.”

    To control for bias, the video interview offers another advantage in that they are recorded. “So if you have a concern or if a candidate raised a concern, you can just go back and rewatch it to see if the candidate was reviewed fairly.”

    Considerations while reviewing a video interview

    “When reviewing video interviews you should use the same fair and robust principles you apply in any interview or assessment center context. You should ideally use assessors with an experience and a clear understanding of bias, and score consistently with clear behavioral indicators.”

    Another consideration is background interruptions, and recruiters may decide to expect some level of interruptions as just par for the course. “The flexibility of the medium allows them to record day and night, but does mean you sometimes get unexpected interruptions from a friend or parent inadvertently appearing in the back of shot.”

    Videos allow interviewers to take into account how the candidate is communicating. However, Edmondson warns of coming advancements in assessing communication. Video interviews may soon be subject to assessing candidates using biometrics, facial expressions, “but for me,” adds Edmondson, “that gets slightly dangerous” and needs more exploration.

    Finally, Edmondson advises that employers considers cultural differences if their organizations operate in multiple countries. There are lot of different suppliers out there, so get a feel for the demos. It’s possible that videos may not be considered totally appropriate in certain areas. If that’s the case, consider not using them at all, or introducing them gradually. If certain candidates can’t access he media for any reason, you have to work around that too.

    Video interviews shouldn’t be used in isolation, and are really at their best in the mid stages of a large scale selection process.

    Watch College Recruiter’s discussion with Martin Edmondson from Gradcore, about how employers can use video interviews:

     

    Keep informed of recruiting best practices by staying connected with College Recruiter on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube. Hiring soon? Would it make sense to have a brief conversation about your hiring needs? Consider College Recruiter’s advertising solutions, or email sales@collegerecruiter.com.

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

    May 11, 2017 by

     

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

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

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

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

    Continue Reading

  • How recent college grads can ace the second job interview

    April 27, 2017 by

     

    Almost every job interview boils down to three key questions in the mind of the interviewer, says Steve Koppi, Executive Director of the Worcester Polytechnic Institute (Worcester, Mass) Career Development Center.

    1. Can this candidate do the job
    2. Will this candidate do the job, and
    3. How will this candidate fit in or get along with others?

    “These same principles apply to second round interviews,” says Koppi. “The good news is that you have cleared at least that first hurdle. The employer believes you, the candidate, can do the job, and you have the skills and knowledge they are seeking in a new hire.”

    Thao Nelson, Senior Associate Director of Undergraduate Career Services at the Indiana University Kelly School of Business, is also a former recruiter. She invited recent college grads to a second job interview when they convinced Nelson of these three things in the first interview:

    1. That they can do the job and provided strong, impactful, and relevant examples
    2. They really wanted to work for her company.
    3. That they were likable, and she or others on the team would enjoy working with them.

    A job seeker who makes it to a second job interview has demonstrated they have the background, core aptitudes, and transferable skills to do the job, says Cheryl Goodman, Talent Development Manager with Alexander Mann Solution’s, a talent acquisition and management firm with clients in 80 countries. Goodman is based in Cleveland, Ohio and heads up Alexander Mann Solution’s new graduate recruitment program.

    In the second interview recent college grads are “being assessed for long-term potential to thrive within the culture and contribute to the company,” says Goodman. “It’s about ROI, too, because the company will be investing in your career launch and professional development, so they are looking to be sure that’s a wise investment.”

    What to expect in a second interview

    A candidate who makes it to a second interview can expect to be presented with scenario-based questions, such as how they would respond to certain situations and why, says Goodman.

    Continue Reading

  • Ask Matt: The best job interview questions to ask employers

    April 13, 2017 by

     

    Dear Matt: Do you have any interview tips? I always read about how important it is for recent college grads to ask the right interview questions during a job interview, but, I never know what job interview questions to ask. Can you provide a list of these interview questions and what employers want recent college grads and entry-level job seekers to ask?

    Matt: I will say this, I wish I had a list of job interview questions to ask when I was interviewing for entry-level jobs. Because it certainly would have not only helped me ask the right interview questions, it would have also helped with interview preparation, and confidence.

    Good news! There is a great, extended list of the best job interview questions to ask employers listed below, featuring outstanding advice from recruiters from corporate America, and career management leaders from two of the top business schools in the country.

    The reality is, if you are confident, and prepared, going into an interview, you can relax, be yourself, and shine.

    But many job seekers, especially recent college grads, are shy or timid when going into those first job interviews. I was one of them, and looking back at those early interviews, I never did ask the right questions, because I wasn’t prepared to ask the right questions. That makes a huge difference in how employers view you, and your potential to succeed in the job and fit in with the team.

    “Not asking questions can signal lack of interest, and a missed opportunity to sell yourself,” says Susie Clarke, director of Undergraduate Career Services at Indiana’s Kelley School of Business. “It is important to remember that an interview is a two way street and they expect you will have questions, so show them you are prepared and interested in their position.”

    Corinne M. Snell, Ed.D., the Assistant Dean of Student Professional Development at Fox School of Business at Temple University, agrees. Prior to her current role, Snell worked in corporate America, working in college relations roles for Campbell’s Soup Company, Siemens Health Services, and Lutron Electronics.

    “A certain level of spontaneity is expected in any job interview, but candidates should have a list of questions prepared in advance,” said Snell. “The worst thing one can do is indicate he/she has no questions or say something like, “Um, I think we already covered everything.”

    One of the biggest things a college student or recent graduate needs to remember is that just as much as the recruiter or hiring manager is interviewing them, they are also interviewing the potential employer, says Justin Bischoff, Talent Acquisition Advisor at Buffalo Wild Wings, a casual dining restaurant and sports bar franchise.

    “Ask questions about the things that matter to you,” says Bischoff. “These should be things that you feel will make you stay with an employer long term.”

    Try to keep it conversational, says Bischoff. For example, if you’re interested in sales, ask something such as “earlier in our interview you mentioned that one of the main focuses of this role is to drive sales in the restaurant, can you tell me a little more about that?”

    Asking about the culture of the organization and development programs also impresses employers, says Bischoff.

    “I am also impressed by a candidate who has done their research on the organization and the position prior to the interview,” says Bischoff. “By asking questions on matters that are truly important to you about what you have learned, you are able to showcase the time and effort you’re putting into joining the organization’s team.”

    Snell puts it bluntly, saying “Job seekers need to prepare for that moment when the employer turns the table and asks ‘what questions do you have for me?'”

    That’s what impresses today’s corporate recruiter, says Asma Anees, a Talent Advisor with Blue Cross, a Minnesota healthcare provider. She leads college relations at Blue Cross and is one of the first persons to interview/phone screen recent college grads and entry-level employees who interview with the company.

    Anees suggest job seekers break down interview questions into four categories, focusing on asking about:

    • The position/job
    • Evaluation
    • Training
    • About the company

    Anees provides these job interview question and answer tips:

    The position/job
    Job seekers who ask about the challenges of the position stand out, says Anees. Employers like candidates who want to be challenged, and who want to know about what it takes to succeed in that role. “It helps me understand their willingness to take on certain duties,” says Anees.

    Evaluation
    Anees likes it when job seekers ask job interview questions such as “What are the performance expectations or how will I be evaluated?”

    “These students have received grades for everything they do for the last however many years,” says Anees. “These Millennials want to know where they stand, and I can appreciate that. It tells me they want to perform well and be rewarded for it.”

    Training
    Good question to ask: Will there be any training or mentorship for this role? Anees says job seekers who want to pursue professional development opportunities stand out to her.

    Company
    Job seekers who are curious about the business, strategic plan, how the company makes a difference, and if the company is growing, are “all great questions,” says Anees. “It tells me they care for the well-being of the organization and their future.”

    Snell provides these sample job interview questions to ask employers:

    1. Questions related to the position:

    • What are the key qualities necessary for someone to excel in this role?
    • What are your expectations for this role during the first 30, 60 and 90 days?
    • What is the typical career path for someone in this position?

    2. Questions related to the company?

    • How would you describe the company culture (or values)?
    • What do you like best about working for this company?

    3. Questions related to the industry (these should vary from industry to industry):

    • What recent changes has the company made to product packaging?
    • How has industry consolidation affected the company?
    • How does the economy affect company sales?
    • What percentage of revenues does the company invest in R&D?
    • How is the company challenged by government regulations?

    4. Questions related to the hiring process:

    • What are the next steps in the interview process?
    • When do you expect to make a decision?

    “The likelihood of having sufficient time to ask a multitude of questions is slim, so the candidate needs to be prepared and have several questions ready,” says Snell. “Interviewing is a two-way street and employers do expect job seekers to be prepared with thoughtful, insightful questions.”

    Remember this though – thoughtful and insightful do not revolve around asking how much vacation time one gets, salary, or benefits. In time, that information will be discussed.

    Some of the best job interview questions to ask employers, says Clarke, include:

    1. Would you please tell me about yourself and your career path?
    Yes – job seekers should ask the person conducting the interview this. This will allow you to learn more about the employer, what this person likes about the company, and could create a common interest to make the follow-up connection stronger. “It is all about building relationships and showing genuine interest is important,” says Clarke.

    2. What are the reasons you stay with this company, or why did you recently join the company?
    Their response will typically tell you a lot about the work environment/culture of the company. “For many college students and recent college grads, the company culture is an important criteria when making their decision,” says Clarke.

    3. What skills or characteristics have led to your success here?
    This is an opportunity for you then to highlight your strength that relates to one of these skills if you have not already.

    4. I have learned a lot today and even more excited about this opportunity, so is there anything else I could provide or questions I can address about my ability to do this job?
    “This shows that you want the job and want to eliminate any concern that they might still have,” says Clarke.

    When the interview is near completion, and if the employer has not covered this already, Clarke says you should always ask: What are the next steps in the interview process?

    “This is important, so you know what to expect and when to follow-up if you have not heard back from them,” says Clarke.

    Asking the right questions during your interview can impact your chances of landing the job, says Bischoff.

    “When a candidate asks thought-provoking questions, it shows that they have solid communication skills, are genuinely interested in the opportunity, and are looking to make a long-term investment,” says Bischoff. Ultimately, asking the right questions makes that interview and the candidate memorable when it comes time for a hiring decision.”

    Dara Warn, Chief Outcomes Officer, Penn Foster Education Group, says that asking questions about how the company onboards new employees can impress employers:

    How does the company onboard new employees? Can you talk about what that process looks like?
    Why this question: By asking this question, the job candidate is demonstrating their interest in the company culture and its commitment to employees and their career path and setting them up for success from the outset. “The first several months in a new job are a key period in building the relationship between employee and employer, and the candidate wants to know that the company is a place they can grow and mature,” says Warn. “In our work with employer partners, we’ve helped design mentor programs, where new employees develop and strengthen workplace and interpersonal skills.”

    Another good question, says Warn, is asking “How does your company encourage its employees to collaborate/work as a team, and demonstrate integrity and initiative?”   
    Why this question: This question coming from a candidate demonstrates that he/she already possesses some “soft skills” that are typically learned and honed once in the workforce. This student may have graduated from an institution that offers soft skills (or “power skills”) training in the form of a standalone program and is already ahead of the curve when it comes to developing these critical work/life skills.

    Good questions will show that you have researched the position, company, and even highlight some of your strengths. “This signals to the employer that you are very interested and enthusiastic about the opportunity,” says Clarke.

    Show enthusiasm and interest when wrapping up the interview.

    “I appreciate when candidates take the last couple of minutes to reiterate their interest and why their skills and abilities would make an impact to the team,” says Anees. “Don’t forget to smile and a firm handshake.”

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

    Matt Krumrie CollegeRecruiter.com

    Matt Krumrie is a contributing writer for CollegeRecruiter.com

    About Ask Matt on CollegeRecruiter.com
    Ask Matt is a new monthly career advice column that offers tips and advice to recent college grads and entry-level job seekers. Have a question? Need job search or career advice? Email your question to Matt Krumrie for use in a future column.

  • 5 Ways to wow your interviewer and show you’ll be a highly engaged employee

    April 07, 2017 by

    In today’s hyper-competitive business environment, businesses have identified the “secret sauce” for better overall performance. Highly engaged employees. The candidate who lands the job is the one who shows that they will be highly engaged at work.

    Highly engaged employees always give 110%. They volunteer for new and challenging assignments. They’re always looking for ways to improve on past performance and they consider their success and the company’s success to be one in the same.

    “A highly engaged workforce means the difference between a company that outperforms its competitors and one that fails to grow.” – Gallup, The Engaged Workplace 2017

    Employers love highly engaged employees because they have a positive impact on a number of important business metrics. Because they go the extra mile for their customers, they drive up customer satisfaction and NPS scores, known to be accurate leading indicators of strong financial performance. They tend to stay with an organization longer, lowering attrition and recruiting costs and adding value with every day they stay with an organization. Highly engaged employees also communicate and collaborate well, helping to break down silos and increase cooperation between departments. They also project success and confidence into the marketplace, bolstering your employer brand and helping to advertise the quality of your company’s workforce.

    Knowing all this, you can see why employers would seek to hire someone they knew was going to be highly engaged every time, if given the choice.

    So how should you present yourself in an interview to demonstrate that you will be your prospective employers’ next highly engaged employee?

    1. Be Prepared!

    Engaged employees go the extra mile and make sure to show up to meetings and assignments prepared, having done their homework and knowing what the situation requires. You can show your potential to perform like this by demonstrating it as an interviewee.

    Research the company’s needs. What are their biggest challenges and opportunities? Who are their top competitors? Visit Glassdoor, LinkedIn, Hoovers, and the company’s website. Read some of the content they have posted in their resources section and on their blog. You should be able to ascertain what their key messages are and then be able to speak their language in the interview.

    Make sure you prepare a few examples of how you have addressed a particular challenge in the past, the solution you came up with, and the results you achieved. Bonus points if you can relate these stories back to the specific challenges you might face in the job you are interviewing for and which your prospective employer is facing.

    2. Be Well

    Health and wellness is one of the most important but often overlooked aspects of employee engagement. To consistently perform at the highest level, both body and mind need to be running like a well-oiled machine. This isn’t rocket science, but you would be surprised how many people, especially those many would consider high-performing are actually doing themselves a disservice by not getting enough sleep, or not making the time for exercise. We all lead busy lives, but it has been proven that getting 7-8 hours of sleep per night and at least 30 minutes of exercise a day makes a huge difference in both daily performance and overall health.

    With that mind, be sure to get a good night’s sleep before your interview and, if possible, try to fit in a good workout as close to the interview as possible. If you can’t do that at least take a brisk walk or do some light calisthenics. It will get your heart pumping, help remove any pre-interview stress and put you in the right frame of mind to be limber in both body and mind. And lastly, don’t forget to eat. Not anything too filling that will end up lowering your energy as you try to digest a huge meal, but make sure have a nutritious breakfast that will help contribute to your mental acuity.

    3. Ask Questions

    Engaged employees are not afraid to ask questions and have the confidence to do so, knowing that a questioning mind is a sign of curiosity, which drives innovation. Critical thinking and an analytical mindset are two extremely important qualities of high performing employees. Today’s employers don’t just want unquestioning automatons, they want employees who will add to their company’s knowledge base and help bolster a culture of innovation.

    As you are preparing for your interview by reviewing the company website, looking into their competition and reviewing recent their media coverage, be sure to write down questions that occur to you. Be prepared when you walk into the interview with 5-10 questions about company strategy, competitive landscape, product or market positioning, etc. Also, don’t forget to ask about the corporate culture and values. If you don’t share that company’s values, even if you do end up getting hired, chances are you are not going to be engaged at work and the marriage isn’t going to last long.

    4. Be Confident and Know Your Strengths

    Highly engaged employees know their areas of strength and how to apply those strengths to helping their company succeed. More and more companies today are moving towards strengths-based development and performance management to ensure that their employees are put in the best position to succeed on a personal level and to help the company succeed.

    With this in mind, go into your interview feeling confident of your strengths and prepared to highlight them through specific examples of how you have used your strengths in the past to contribute to the success of a team or organization that you were a part. We can’t all be good at everything, but we all have unique talents and skills that can add an important element to the mix. If you’re not sure what your strengths are, reflect on past experiences. When did you receive praise and why? When did you feel proud of your work and why?

    5. Be Yourself, Be Passionate

    Highly engaged employees are passionate about what they do. They have connected to their work on a level that allows them to put their whole selves into it and make it more than “just a job”. This goes back to values. If you connect with a company’s values – whether those values emphasize a culture of innovation, of corporate social responsibility, or competitiveness – if you can see yourself in that company’s values, you are going to be happier and more engaged as an employee. So don’t be afraid to be yourself and to show your enthusiasm and passion for whatever it is that reflects those shared values.

    If you follow these five tips, you should have no problem demonstrating you have the potential to be a highly engaged employee, and will nail your next interview. Soon you will be contributing your particular strengths to some lucky organization.

    Josh Danson at AchieversAbout Josh Danson: Josh is Director of Content Marketing at Achievers. An accomplished marketing and communications professional with more than 20 years’ experience in the fields of marketing and PR, Josh graduated from Kenyon College and lives in San Francisco with his wife and 9 year-old daughter. In addition to work and family, he is passionate about music, politics and fly fishing (not necessarily in that order). Twitter: @dansonshoes

  • Ready to climb the ladder in 2017? Here are 10 things recent college grads should do

    December 29, 2016 by

     

    No matter where one is at in their career, there are always things one can do to learn more, become more valuable, advance in their career, and become a go-to employer that people rely on.

    While you may not be where you want to be in your career now, it doesn’t mean you can’t get there in the future. One thing recent college graduates quickly find out is that, even though they finally secured that first job, there is still much work to be done to continue to advance in one’s career and climb the career ladder.

    So, what can you do in the next year to advance your career? Start by taking small steps that can lead to big improvements and changes. Do that by following these 10 things recent college grads should do to climb the career ladder in 2017:

    1. Find/consult with a mentor: Everyone could use a mentor – someone who can motivate, inspire and guide them in the early stages of their career. Find someone in your field, career path, or network who can be a mentor to you. Start by asking for an informational interview to learn more about their career. Then if you feel things are going in the right direction, explain your career goals and aspirations and ask if they would be interested in being a mentor. Many people would be flattered, and willing to help.
    2. Take a class: Even though you recently graduated from college, lifelong learning is essential to those who want to advance in their career. Take a class on Udemy or Coursera. Sign up for Lynda.com. Take an adult education class on a topic of interest, or register for a class – traditional or online – at a local college or university. Learning is lifelong, and getting in the habit of adding new skills throughout one’s career will pay off over time – in salary, and advancement opportunities.
    3. Do a social media audit: What does your online brand say about you? Google yourself – the next employer certainly will – what shows up? Review your social media profiles (LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, others) and check security settings and profiles and be sure they best represent you to an external audience. Seriously review comments, Tweets or photos and remove/edit anything that could hurt your professional reputation. For example, were you outspoken during the 2016 Presidential election, and perhaps commented, through Facebook, or on Twitter, about the Presidential race, Hillary Clinton, or Donald Trump? Those comments “live” in search engines, and others can find them. Don’t let social media comments, posts, pictures or shares damage your online brand.
    4. Consult with your campus career center: These people are here to help. Even after you graduate. Reach out to a campus career counselor for help with connecting to alumni, for job search assistance and resume writing guidance. Many people never take advantage of this opportunity. Why not reach out to a trained professional who can help?
    5. Complete a skills audit: Even if you aren’t looking for a job, search for jobs or job titles that may be of interest to you. What skills or requirements do these job applications ask for? Is there a skill (technology) or requirement lacking in your portfolio? In the year ahead, focus on how to develop or improve that skill, to become more attractive to an employer. Try and take on new projects at your current job, or find classes or training to help learn these important industry skills.
    6. Be a team player: You’re not going to be best friends with every co-worker. You’re not going to like every project or assignment. You may even sense conflict with other departments. But don’t mope, be difficult, or develop a bad attitude because of it. Why? Because someday that co-worker, manager, or person who seemed to be difficult on a project could work for a company where you want to work. What will they remember? Your negative attitude – if you let it. Be a team player at work, someone people go to for answers on projects, for assistance, and someone people can count on. Your co-workers will remember that, and will remember you if they are in a position to influence or assist you with your next job or step of your career.
    7. Update your resume: If that dream job opened up tomorrow would your resume be updated and ready for you to apply for the job? If that new networking contact asked for a resume to share with other industry contacts, would you be ready? Don’t delay. Updating your resume before you absolutely need it allows one to devote the time, attention and detail to perfect your resume. Even if you are completely happy in your career, updating one’s resume is a good way to help track new achievements and add any new skills to your resume. Better yet, updating a resume twice a year is ideal. At the end of each month write down your key successes and achievements, and at the six month mark, compile those accomplishments and update the resume. Then do it again at the end of year to make sure all is current and best represents the successes you have achieved at your job. If you don’t track it, you will forget it, and it won’t go on your resume, and your next employer will never know you did it.
    8. Attend an industry networking event: Attending networking events, or joining professional associations can open many doors. Make it a goal this year to attend at least one networking event or industry association event in your field in 2017. Why? Because networking always has been and always will be the key to climbing the career ladder.
    9. Create a backup plan: If you were fired or lost your job today, would you be ready tomorrow, both personally and professionally, for the challenge ahead? Figure out a way to save more money (perhaps through a part-time job?), be sure your resume is updated, and you would know what to do next, if suddenly without a job now.
    10. Be thankful: If you are employed, be thankful, even if you dislike the job, your manager, or career direction. Your current job, job title or situation doesn’t define you, or where you want to go. Keep adding new skills, taking on new projects, and learning. Because, the good news is, where you are now doesn’t mean it’s where you will be in six months, one year, three years and the rest of your career. Make 2017 a success by following the above tips and stay connected with College Recruiter to get job alerts, get career advice, and stay on top of trends and issues affecting both job seekers and employers.

    Follow these tips in 2017, and you could make great strides in your career development that will continue to have a positive effect not only next year, but in 2018, 2019 and throughout your career. Start now to succeed later.

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

  • Ask Matt: 8 things college seniors should do now to land a job before graduation [video]

    December 22, 2016 by

     

    Dear Matt: I’m heading into the home stretch of my senior year of college, and have one semester left until graduation. A few classmates have already secured jobs that they will start soon after graduation. It made me realize that I too, should start the job search now. What tips do you have for college seniors who want to try and secure a job before graduation? What are those who get hired now doing to stand out and impress employers? Please share any tips and advice you can so I can start a job search and hopefully get hired before graduation! 

    Matt: The senior year can be challenging for college students. And, for many, simply graduating is a major accomplishment. But the excitement of earning a college degree can quickly fade when there is no internship or job lined up after graduating. The reality is, most college seniors graduate without a job lined up. At the same time, there are also many who do graduate with a job lined up.

    So how do they do it? What’s the secret to securing a job before graduation? What can college seniors do today to pay off tomorrow?

    First, don’t panic, says Beth Hendler-Grunt, President of Next Great Step, a company that advises college students and recent grads on how to achieve career success.

    “Your classmates may be telling you about the great job offer they secured upon graduation, and you may feel like the only one without your career figured out,” says Hendler-Grunt.

    But there’s no need to worry.

    “Most college students do not know what they are doing after they receive their diploma,” says Hendler-Grunt.

    To secure a job before graduation it’s going to take hard work, diligence, and some outside-the-box thinking.

    Start by assessing what you want to do after graduation, and then learn what you truly need to do to make it happen. Follow these tips from Hendler-Grunt: Continue Reading

  • The pros and cons of video resumes

    December 13, 2016 by

    Are you a recent college grad looking to get ahead of the competition by creating a video resume? Be cautious before thinking a video resume is the golden ticket to landing an interview, or getting a job.

    That’s because even in today’s digital world, success on the job hunt still often depends heavily on an old-school document, according to The Creative Group (TCG), a company that specializes in connecting interactive, design, marketing, advertising and public relations talent with the best companies on a project, contract-to-hire, and full-time basis.

    Nearly eight in 10 executives surveyed by TCG said they prefer receiving traditional resumes in Word or PDF format over video or infographic resumes. Some employers won’t even accept video resumes and in the TCG survey, released in May of 2016, only three percent of executives indicated they prefer video resumes over traditional resumes.

    That’s no surprise to Tom Thomson, managing partner of Sanford Rose Associates, a recruitment firm in Nashville. “The recruiters I discussed this with do not want video resumes,” says Thomson. Here is why, he says:

    • Recruiters and hiring managers see these as highly produced marketing pieces.
    • Most people are not comfortable or feel natural in front of a camera. “You may not want this to be the first impression a potential employer has of you,” says Thomson.
    • It can easily be used to discriminate against highly qualified candidates based on their appearance.

    Arlene Vernon, a Twin Cities-based HR consultant, agrees. “When you see the person on a video, there’s an increased risk of discrimination from a legal perspective, because you can see race/ethnicity before you get to hear about their skills/background.”

    Time is also a drawback of video resumes.

    “I can scan a resume to see whether I like the candidate in five to ten seconds,” says Vernon. “I don’t have time to watch a video. I might do it after seeing a resume I’m interested in, to learn more about the person, and see their presentation skills. But I don’t think the convenience of a ‘paper’ resume will disappear.”

    That being said, there are instances when a video resume may be requested, or used to help stand out from the competition, says Diane Domeyer, executive director of The Creative Group.

    “If you’re applying for a job that requires multimedia or presentation skills, a short, one minute video resume that highlights key skills and accomplishments can be effective and set you apart from the competition,” says Domeyer. “If you have creative skills, you can even put together an animated short about why you’d make a good addition to the team. That said, always have a traditional resume ready in case one is requested.”

    According to the team at SparkHire, a company that provides video interviewing, resume and technology solutions: “Video resumes are a way for candidates to go beyond traditional methods of applying, such as submitting only a resume, cover letter, and work samples. Lasting typically 60 seconds, these videos are your shot to make the best first impression to an employer. A video resume lets the employer literally see you and hear your case (via your communication skills, personality and charisma) as the best candidate for the job – all before the interview takes place.”

    When to use a video resume

    Before you make a video resume and hit the upload button, think carefully about whether it will help or hurt your chances of getting a job interview, says the experts from Robert Half Technology. Professionals in the following industries are likely to see the most success with a video resume:

    • Marketing, advertising and public relations: If you’re applying for a job that requires killer presentation skills, a video resume can help you show off your abilities and professional polish.
    • Public speaking: When applying for jobs that require a lot of public speaking — for example, in sales or training — you can use a video resume not only to introduce yourself but also to include clips of yourself in action.
    • Multimedia: For professionals who create multimedia content, a video resume can be one more way to demonstrate your editing or motion graphics skills.
    • Broadcast: Candidates for jobs as newscasters, television hosts or film professionals have long used video show reels, mailing out old-school VHS tapes of their best clips years before the Internet came along. If this is your field, consider starting your show reel with a video resume to introduce yourself.

    When to avoid video resumes

    Of course, there are times when it’s best to stick to a traditional resume, according to Robert Half Technology:

    • You’re not comfortable on camera: People who are shy may want to reconsider a video resume. One big goal of this format is to show employers your personality. If you tend to get nervous or clam up as soon as a camera turns on, you obviously won’t achieve this objective.
    • The employer asks for a standard resume: A job posting might have a very specific application process, for example, or require job candidates to paste their resumes and cover letters in an online form.
    • A video resume won’t help you sell yourself: For many job seekers, a video resume simply won’t add much value. If you’re applying for a position as an accountant, for instance, employers will probably find it easier and more convenient to review your skills and work experience on paper (or, in a PDF or Word document, to be more accurate).
    • You prefer to remain private: Even though it’s possible to make your video private, you’re still putting details of your life on the Internet, and there’s a chance your video resume gets wider distribution than you anticipated. As always, make sure that what you post is something you won’t later regret.

    There are pros and cons of video resumes. Recent college grads should be careful when creating one, and make sure it’s right for your industry or job application before sending one.

    Are you ready to take your job search to the next level? Register with College Recruiter to get the latest jobs emailed to you! And don’t forget to follow us on TwitterLinkedInFacebook, and YouTube.

  • How employers should deal with helicopter parents

    December 09, 2016 by

    Parental involvement during the job application process is on the rise, as we are all well aware. For older generations, the ways parents get involved may seem shocking, but it does no good to just scoff. Employers should know how to respond to both candidates and parents when they get that phone call from a mom or dad.

    Feedback for candidates

    It is entirely possible that a candidate’s mom or dad is intervening without their child’s knowledge. This might be to the utter embarrassment of the candidate, but it is important for them to be aware. Brandi Britton is District President of  OfficeTeam. She says it’s important to “reinforce that behind-the-scenes parental involvement is totally fine, such as reviewing resumes, conducting mock interviews or offering networking contacts, but direct contact with companies is inappropriate.”

    After you’ve made it clear to candidates that you would rather not deal with their parents, make sure they know you are not going to discount them in the application process. This is important: an applicant’s skills are independent of their parents and you should not punish them for their parents’ behavior.

    Being proactive may be the best approach of all. Christy Hopkins of Fit Small Business suggests providing applicants with an FAQ that accompanies your confirmation of their application. Those FAQ may be exactly what a parent may want to know, like pay rate, number of hours, application timeline. If the applicant forwards it to mom or dad, hopefully you have just avoided that awkward phone call.

    Feedback for parents

    Have the same response prepared for every parent. This preparation saves you time and ensures objectivity. Hopkins suggests something along the lines of:  “Thank you so much for emailing/calling me to say hello. I appreciate how invested you are in your child’s success, and I can understand since I am a parent. However, in order to keep things fair for every applicant, I cannot talk about our selection process. Thank you very much for understanding.”

    If you are like many HR professionals, it is annoying to deal with parents. However, as recruitment marketing becomes more strategic, remember that each interaction with any stakeholder presents an opportunity. “Being approached by a job applicant’s parent, or indeed anyone closely connected to the candidate is an opportunity to build your employer brand,” says Kevin Mulcahy, author of The Future Workplace Experience.

    It’s  not your job to teach them a lesson, but Joanie Connell at Flexible Work Solutions includes a scare tactic in her response to parents. She tells them, “We find that applicants whose parents call in are less serious about the job than applicants who contact us directly.” This response is fine as long as you are not actually discounting the candidates’ applications.

    Be fair

    While it may be tempting to take all this into account in your hiring decision, be careful. Presumably most candidates do not have their mom or dad calling you, so beware of introducing an additional measure that only applies to one or two candidates. However, if a candidate reacts badly to your feedback, that may tell you something about how they may behave as an employee.

    This may go without saying, but don’t take parents up on their attempts to influence your decisions. If they contact the hiring manager outside of HR, the manager should know to politely decline, noting the importance of privacy laws.

    Embrace the change!

    Enterprise is a company that embraces the relationship with parents during recruitment. They see that it builds a stronger relationships with candidates. They invite parents to interns’ final projects, and has a Bring your Parent to Work Day.

    Maybe parental involvement doesn’t have to be annoying. Recognize that Millennials’ relationships with their parents are just different than those of Baby Boomers. Not worse or better, but different. You may call it hand holding, but many of the changes that Millennials’ present can be good for all of us. For example, more positive feedback, more work-life balance, and perhaps a mentor are good things for all your employees, not just the twenty somethings.

  • Interview dress code: Common mistakes and tips for balancing professional with personal

    November 30, 2016 by

    dress code for workGuest writer Lisa Smith

    The cliché holds a lot of truth: the first impression really counts. This is why most people suggest that you dress up prim and proper for an interview. It should come as no surprise that your prospective employer starts gauging you from the time you step into the interview room.

    Many people botch up their interview just because they are unaware of the importance of interview dress code. There are a few common mistakes that you can avoid. Check out out some of the common interview dressing mistakes to ensure you don’t fall prey to these. Here is some advice to get ready for the big day:

    Fit is king:

    Before going for an interview, you spend a long time and effort in picking that perfect outfit. But what about the fit? The way your outfit fits can make a whole difference to your appearance. And this is what will gain you some precious points. If your clothes are too loose, you end up looking drab and careless. On the other hand, clothes that are too tight can make you look uncomfortable which can be misconstrued as nervousness or lack of self-confidence. So, first things first, make sure that the clothes you pick for your interview are fit you perfectly. If they don’t, take them to the tailor.

    Tone down the colors:

    Make sure you select the shades carefully. Bright colors like yellow or shocking pink are a total no-no as these tend to distract people’s gaze and are considered inappropriate. If you are thinking of going with prints and patterns, go for the subtle variety. Large prints and patterns give you a casual semblance which may not appeal to your interviewers.

    Rein in your hair:

    This can be tricky because hairstyle can be an important part of your culture. It is your choice how you want to balance professional conservatism with your personal expression. However, be aware that when it comes to an interview, your interviewer may consider some hairstyles to be a hint of non-seriousness, whether or not that is true.

    Shoes are important too:

    If you thought that you only need to pay attention to your clothes when getting ready for an interview, think again. Your shoes matter too. Though you may sit down across the table when interacting with your interviewer, he or she is bound to notice as you walk up to take your seat. Pick shoes that spell out a formal air. Men should go for leather oxfords or slip-ons. Women should stick to pumps or conservative platform heels.

    Take it easy with the perfume:

    There is no doubt that your choice of perfume speaks volumes about you. However, you don’t want to overwhelm your interviewer with its heady aroma. So, make sure that you spray only a couple of whiffs of your favorite perfume on your clothes, or skip it entirely. Heavy perfume wearers are usually frowned upon in the professional world.

     

    On the job: Balancing between personal and professional

    If you dress perfectly for your interview, you are bound to make a great first impression. This coupled with your smartness is sure to get you that much-coveted job. (Make sure to send a thank you email after an interview to the company, displaying your gratitude for the chance given to you.)

    However, once you get that job and join the company, you have to continue to strike that balance between your personal expression and professional dress code that you so carefully created for the interview. Not doing so may give out wrong messages and get you into the bad books of your employers.

    Understand the Dress Code:

    Each company has its own dress code. So, the smartest thing you can do is to understand the dress code that your organization follows. This could be quite different from the one that you are accustomed to. However, taking to this wholeheartedly is what will portray you as a smart and a quick learner. This will also be proof enough for your easy adaptability to changes.

    Creating your Own Style:

    While you need to follow the company dress code, you don’t have to be a clone of the other employees. Experiment with the dress code to create new looks which are perfect for the work environment. This is a great way to prove that you are brave enough to experiment and innovate without questioning the company policies.

    Keep your work style minimalistic yet smart. This is what will make your bosses and super bosses notice you. Your style speaks volumes about your thoughts and helps you to stand out in the crowd. So, take down this mantra and try to live up to it.

     

    lisa smithLisa is a designer by profession and writer by choice, she writes for almost all topics but design and Fashion are her favorites. Apart from these she also Volunteers at few Animal rescue centers. Connect with Lisa on LinkedIn.

     

     

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