ARTICLES, BLOGS & VIDEOS

The latest news, trends and information to help you with your recruiting efforts.

Posted July 16, 2016 by

10 most tricky HR questions for students

Interview photo by StockUnlimited.com

Photo by StockUnlimited.com

You know what the problem is when you graduate and start the interviewing process? You have perhaps half a dozen, perhaps twice that number of interviews under your belt. The people sitting there behind those big desks staring at you steely-eyed? They have done hundreds. That means they know the tricks, they know the strategies, and they know how to make you stumble. If you want to stand a chance at beating them at their own game, you have to be prepared.

Why should I hire you?

This one catches people a lot. They are afraid they will either come across as too arrogant or that they will not push themselves enough. The thing is that is not really what the question is about, and both those traps can be easily avoided if you realize that.

This is not about you telling them how amazing you are. This is about you showing how much you know about them (which is everybody’s favorite topic). So show them that you know what the position entails and what skills will be required. After you have done that you can modestly admit that you have those skills (preferably with a few examples of where you’ve used those skills as showing is always better than telling).

Why is there a gap in your work history?

You have been unemployed for six months because you needed some time to chill out and get your priorities sorted. Or you spent some time living on a beach seeing if it is really true your skin turns green when you drink too many mojitos. Or you lived in your parents’ basements and played video games. Fantastic! You do not necessarily want to tell them that though.

Instead, talk about how you used that time to make yourself a better person. Talk about freelancing work you did, social outreach, or how you spent your time searching for the perfect job (which is obviously the one you are interviewing for right now). Put a positive spin on things by showing how much you grew as a person.

You have been fired from your last job. How did it make you feel?

You have to demonstrate that you can take a blow without becoming either angry or resentful. So even if you are, burry that deep and instead tell them about how you used this as an opportunity to improve yourself so that nothing like this can ever happen to you again.

What is your biggest weakness?

A nasty question! There is no doubt about it. You better prepare to meet this one every so often, because a lot of HR managers have this one in their repertoire and like to throw it out there to see how you react.

The right way to go is to remember that strengths and weaknesses can be different sides of the same coin. So if you have a weakness, admit it and then explain to them how in some situations it can be a strength. Alternatively, take your greatest strength and admit when it might actually be a weakness. That way you show you understand yourself.

Have you ever had a bad experience with an employer?

This one is as much to see how you handle being put on the spot as to see if you will be honest. Remember, everybody is bound to have bad experiences occasionally. We are all human. So they are not going to believe you when you say ‘no, never.’ Instead think of something that did go wrong then admit that it was at least partially your fault and explain how you learned from it and how you will be better next time. That shows both humility and wisdom.

Do not bag on your previous employer! That will raise all sorts of red flags. Yes, it they might be bad people, but this person sitting opposite you will not have a better impression of you if you decide to tell them that.

Frustrated businesswoman screaming photo by StockUnlimited.com

Photo by StockUnlimited.com

Tell about a day when you messed up at work

Another one of those situations where you have to be honest and admit you have done something wrong. After all, nobody is perfect, and if you are not willing to admit you have screwed up you can wave the job you are interviewing for good-bye. Just like with the last question the trick here is to show what you have learned.

How would you deliver bad news to a colleague?

Here is your opportunity to demonstrate empathy and your ability to deal with a stressful situation in a grownup manner. So do not suggest you would send them a text or first let everybody in the office know so that you can all have a laugh. Instead, show them how diplomatic you are.

Will you be out to take my job?

Okay, here you can lie. ‘No’ is the correct answer. ‘I doubt I could do it as well as you’ is a good follow up.

How did you prepare for this interview?

Here is where you demonstrate that you care enough about the job to actually have researched the position (you did research the position didn’t you?). So tell them how you went to the website and read this that and the other. Here you get to show off some of the things you learned, including talking a little bit about the industry as well as what their company specifically does.

Where would you really like to work?

‘Here’ is the right answer. Now you can be a bit honest and suggest that you want to ultimately move into another area in the company, but whatever you do, do not say another company name! That is a fantastic way to close the door on any opportunity to work there.

Last words

The most important thing to remember is that there will be other interviews and however many ‘no’s you get you only want one ‘yes’, so don’t get too stressed out. You will get there in the end. After that, you will have to go through the hard work of keeping the job. That is not exactly easy either, but at this moment, that probably feels more like a ‘wish I had that problem’ problem.

Need more interview tips? Visit our blog and connect with us on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube.

Dante Munnis, guest writer

Dante Munnis, guest writer

Dante Munnis is a blogger and idea maker from Stockholm who is interested in self-development, web related topics, and success issues. He shares ideas for students living a better life and building habits that stick. To get strategies for boosting your mental and physical performance, you can get in touch with Dante via Twitter.

 

Posted June 24, 2016 by

Using social media to network in college

Social media photo by StockUnlimited.com

Photo by StockUnlimited.com

While college students may use social media for personal reasons, they can also use it for their careers. Social media allows students to find the right contacts and engage with them, which helps students build a professional network. This network can be an asset connecting college students to internships or entry-level job opportunities. Chaim Shapiro, Assistant Director of Career Services at Touro College, discusses building a network and how to use social media effectively to do so.

“The best time to build your network is before you need it. College students need a strong network when searching for jobs or internships.

It can be very difficult for college students to connect with established professionals because usually those requests are for “one-way relationships” from which ONLY the students stand to gain. That means there are no reasons or motivation for professionals to accept the requests.

LinkedIn is, by far, the best professional research tool in social media. Students can use LinkedIn’s “Advanced Search” feature to identify top networking prospects in their fields.

Unfortunately, LinkedIn is NOT a great engagement tool. Connection requests are easy to deny, and meaningful conversations are rarely on LinkedIn Groups. Twitter conversations, on the other hand, are much more natural and organic. That’s why a multi modal approach utilizing Twitter is so effective.

After identifying prospects on LinkedIn, find and follow their Twitter accounts. Wait until they tweet about an area of mutual interest to respond with a tweet meant to catch their attention. The conversation doesn’t even need to be about a professional topic. A shared interest in sports, movies, etc., can be a great entree into a conversation!

Responding to a targeted Tweet provides the opportunity to build a genuine two-way relationship. After engaging your target and building credibility, take it to the personal level and invite them to meet for coffee to introduce yourself and demonstrate your professionalism in person.”

Need more networking advice? Come to our blog and follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube.

Chaim Shapiro, Assistant Director of Career Services at Touro College & award-winning social media consultant

Chaim Shapiro, Assistant Director of Career Services at Touro College & award-winning social media consultant

Chaim Shapiro, M.Ed. is the Assistant Director of Career Services at Touro College, a freelance writer, public speaker and social media consultant specializing in LinkedIn. He has presented his popular LinkedIn Workshop at National Conferences, Universities, Public Libraries and for communal organizations across the country. Chaim earned a Master’s Degree in College Student Personnel from Loyola University, Chicago, and also studied in the Institutional Leadership and Policy Studies Ph.D. program at the University of California, Riverside Graduate School of Education. He has more than 12 years of experience working in college administration.

Posted June 20, 2016 by

How to get a dream job even without experience

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.

Posted June 18, 2016 by

5 insurance facts for recent grads

Photo by StockUnlimited.com

Photo by StockUnlimited.com

When an individual is starting their career, it’s important to realize that life will throw many unexpected events on their way. This is something that happens to everyone. Having the right insurance can make getting past a difficult situation a lot easier. Financial experts agree there are a variety of insurance options available. There are also some types of insurance that are considered essential for dealing with unexpected things that can occur at any age.

1.    Individual Situation

It can be a challenge for a person starting a career to know what insurance they should purchase. Purchasing the right kinds of insurance should be determined by a person’s individual situation. A number of factors will determine this. It will involve employment benefits, age, lifestyle, and more. There are four different types of insurance experts recommend everyone have. They are health insurance, life insurance, long-term, and short-term disability insurance as well as homeowners/renters insurance.

2.    Health Insurance

In many cases, people starting a career could be just one serious illness away from disaster. According to a study done by Harvard University, 62 percent of all bankruptcies in the United States were a result of health related issues. Over 75 percent had some form of medical insurance. If a person has health insurance through their employer, they may want to consider the best plan offered. The key to getting the best possible health insurance is for a person to do research and know all of their options. Sometimes the least expensive health insurance is not always the best deal. Even with rising high co-payments and deductibles, health insurance is still something people must have. A minimal health insurance policy is still better than not having any type coverage.

3.    Life Insurance

According to an article in US News, people don’t often think of purchasing life insurance until after they’re married and have children. The reality is a younger person will be able to purchase a life insurance policy at a very low rate. This policy will grow in value over time. These types of life insurance policies can be adjusted as a person gets married and has children. This is the time when a person’s death could cause a financial burden to those who depend on them. If a person is unmarried and does not have children, it is also important they purchase life insurance. There is a good chance they will leave behind debts such as student loans, credit card bills, auto loans that must be paid. Without life insurance, these debts will become the responsibility of family members.

4.    Disability Insurance

This is the type of insurance people starting a career believe they may not need. Nobody who becomes injured or disabled on the job believed it would happen to them. According to statistics from the Social Security Administration (SSA) approximately 30 percent of individuals entering the workforce eventually become disabled. These are disabilities that make it impossible for a person to work until their retirement age. Workers with the best health insurance, generous savings, and good life insurance are not completely prepared to become disabled. Health insurance will cover medical bills and hospitalization. It’s common for employers to provide their employees with both short-term and long-term disability insurance coverage. If a person is an independent contractor or owns their own business, they can get this type of coverage from a private insurer.

5.    Homeowners/Renters Insurance


When a person is starting their career, they may need to rent a place to live. There are some leases that require a person to have renters insurance. This type of insurance will cover a person coming into a rental unit and getting injured. It can also cover a person’s things that might be stolen. Should a renter make a mistake and cause damage to the rental unit, this type of insurance may cover the damage. Should a person own a home and have a mortgage, the lender will probably require them to purchase and maintain homeowners insurance. In many cases, failure to pay a premium may be reported to the lender. Homeowners insurance is designed to cover the destruction of a structure, its contents. It can also protect a homeowner if someone is injured on their property and much more.

Michael Rogers, guest writer

Michael Rogers, Operations Director of US Insurance Agents

Do you need help making other major life decisions as a recent grad? Keep reading our blog for more tips and follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.

 Michael Rogers is the Operations Director of USInsuranceAgents.com. With over five years of experience and knowledge in the insurance industry, Michael contributes his level of expertise as a leader and an agent to educate and secure coverage for thousands of clients.

 

Posted June 16, 2016 by

Networking tips for college students and recent grads

Businessman and businesswoman chatting in the office pantry photo by StockUnlimited.com

Photo by StockUnlimited.com

To improve their chances of landing entry-level jobs, college students and recent graduates should engage in networking. Professional networking often includes but is not limited to talking to and building relationships with the right people who can advance their careers. Students and recent grads also have to think about branding themselves personally and professionally. Networking is a long process, and students should begin early. So how can job seekers network successfully? Bruce Harpham, Founder of Projectmanagementhacks.com, shares two networking tips for college students and recent graduates.

Join a professional association to explore a career interest. For example, the Project Management Institute is great if you are interested in project management or the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Institute if you are interested in finance. For the best results, attend an event and then ask to meet one-on-one with an association leader. Many professional associations have free or low cost fees for students. Spending three to four hours per month attending networking events and talking with an industry leader is worth 10 hours of online job search.

Prepare for coffee networking meetings. Come prepared with three to five specific questions written in a notebook to ask professionals about their careers. Make sure none of the questions are answerable with a two minute Google search. Putting 15 minutes of preparation time into developing good questions means you will gather better information and create more effective relationships. I still follow this practice today and it regularly impresses the people I meet.”

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

Bruce Harpham, Founder of Projectmanagementhacks.com

Bruce Harpham, Founder of Projectmanagementhacks.com

Bruce Harpham is the Founder of Projectmanagementhacks.com, a career development resource, and freelance writer. Bruce’s writing has appeared in CIO, InfoWorld, CSO, ProjectManagement.com, and other publications. Bruce lives in Toronto, Canada.

Posted June 11, 2016 by

10 summer internship opportunities for 2016

Photo by StockUnlimited.com

Photo by StockUnlimited.com

Do you imagine yourself with your own business or want to improve your skills? The best way to become a shark in any industry or business is to gain experience through a summer internship with top world companies and organizations.

Internships in Europe or USA’s top companies can help you to get skills you never had before. After the program, you will return to your home country with a backpack full of knowledge and skills. In this article, we’ve collected a list of 10 summer internship opportunities in the U.S. and abroad for 2016-2017 that may catch your interest.

U.S. Embassy in London and Paris – Internship in International Relations

Generally, U.S. Embassy’s Internship in IR is an unpaid program. Nevertheless, they offer a Pamela Harriman Foreign Service Fellowship for students majoring in international affairs. This fellowship provides a $5000 grant to one intern at each U.S. embassy abroad. Start with interning at the U.S. Department of State, and you will have a chance to land the Fellowship. But don’t be upset if you didn’t get the grant; interning at the Embassy could give you a perfect ability to start your international career and gain positive experience in your field. This is not just an ability to work at the embassy; it’s a chance to become a part of something really important.

The World Bank – Internships in Economics, Finance, and other related fields

This summer internship program provides learning and first-hand experience to students and junior career professionals. Interns generally admit significant improvement of their skills and gain positive experience while working in a diverse environment. To be eligible, you must have an undergraduate degree and major in one of the following fields: economics, finance, education, social studies, or agriculture. Professional experience and fluency in foreign languages will be advantageous for your application. The Bank pays salaries to all interns and provides an allowance to travel expenses (on the individual basis). Located in Washington, D.C., the World Bank offers a training of four weeks minimum in duration.

KONE – internships in IT, Engineering, Business and Law

KONE is the global leader in the elevator and escalator industry and well-known for its solutions for modernization and maintenance of urban buildings. KONE offers various traineeships and internships in its units around the globe and can be an excellent starting point for entry-level professionals. The company looks for cooperation with senior students and gives the opportunity to write thesis assignments together with KONE’s professional mentors. This cooperation will complement your theoretical education and provide you with valuable industry insights.

Goldman Sachs – Internship in Financial Markets

Goldman Sachs provides you with an internship as a summer internship analyst. You can participate and intern almost everywhere you like as their offices are located all across the Europe, Asia, Australia and Africa. Despite that the program has no specific or strict requirements, any academic achievements would be advantageous for you. Interning in Goldman Sachs, you have a chance to get a full-time job position after you finish your summer internship.

H&M – internships in Business, Engineering

For those who love fashion, you may like this internship program. H&M offers an internship at their headquarters in Sweden. Participation can be a bit competitive, and you have to submit your application a year before you plan to intern. But imagine six weeks living abroad and working at one of the most successful companies in the modern world. That’s worth the effort, right?

Projects Abroad– Internship in Journalism

If you are looking for non-paid, but ultra useful, challenging yet really rewarding experience, you should try to participate at a Projects Abroad. This company offers two types of an internships: a Print journalism and a Broadcast placement. A Print journalism provides you with a job at a certain newspaper or magazine of a local community while a Broadcast placement will provide you with a job on the TV or a radio station. Together with hands-on industry experience, you get the opportunity to intern and travel the world – Projects Abroad has its offices in many countries, including Argentina, China, India, Jamaica, and Romania.

KPMG – Internship in Finance

This company looks for interns interested in finance and economics. The KPMG provides work with audit, advisory, and taxes in diverse spheres of business. The biggest advantage of this summer internship is that the corporation will cover all expenses of an intern, including flights and medical insurance. KPMG can become a perfect starting point for financial enthusiasts.

IAESTE – internships in technical fields

IAESTE is a worldwide company with many internship programs in engineering, computer sciences, architecture, and other technical fields. These internships are hosted in more than 80 countries around the world. There are no special requirements for candidates. However, if you know the local language, it will be much easier to adjust in a new environment. IAESTE internship gives its participants an opportunity to obtain new skills, get practical experience, and establish a vast network of potential partners.

Deloitte – Internship in Business

With Deloitte, you can intern in Brazil, China, Spain, Sweden, or Turkey. The internship opportunities are open to both freshman and senior students. Together with Deloitte professionals, all interns will explore peculiarities of the modern workplace and global markets and foster business relationships with leading experts in the industry. Note that prior to going abroad, the company will ask you attend a special two-weeks training session in your home country.

Gap Medics Ltd – internship in Medicine and Dental fields

It’s not a paid summer internship, but it is a unique opportunity to gain perfect experience. This is a big international company that provides students of medicine and dental majors with an opportunity to improve their critical and soft skills while travelling in one of the most beautiful parts of our world. You can become an intern in Croatia, Poland, and Thailand or in the Caribbean. The Gap Medics Ltd offers programs in Spanish and English that enables more students to have practice in their field. Also, during the internship, you will be able to address all your issues or questions to company’s support team that operates 24/7.

Hope this information will help you find a perfect internship for the summer. The business world has many opportunities for you to improve your skills and intern abroad during the summer; just believe in yourself.

Emma Rundle, guest writer

Emma Rundle, guest writer

Searching for a summer internship right now? Check out the internships posted on College Recruiter.com and register to have new job postings sent directly to you. Be sure to follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, and YouTube as well.

Emma Rundle is a student, blogger and freelance writer for Eduzaurus. In Emma’s opinion, one of the primary goals in life is helping people, especially students.

Posted June 10, 2016 by

Onboarding process can include background check

Recruitment photo by StockUnlimited.com

Photo by StockUnlimited.com

Before bringing new hires into their companies, employers might want to give each one a background check. These days, recruiters and hiring managers use social media as a tool to learn more about candidates, so take advantage of it and other helpful resources. After all, companies shouldn’t just hire quality employees but quality people. John Cass, Director of Marketing at OnSource, explains including a background check as part of its onboarding process.

“I work for OnSource, and we have a network of 15,000 people who conduct photo inspections for claims and underwriting purposes for insurance companies; the inspectors visit consumers and take photos of vehicles and property. The whole process for coming onboard as an inspector can take a few days. We require a background check, and if someone doesn’t have an existing background check, they will need to provide one to OnSource. We review the background check and then bring the applicants on board.”

If you need help developing your onboarding program, College Recruiter can help. Follow us on LinkedIn, YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook.

John Cass, Director of Marketing at OnSource

John Cass, Director of Marketing at OnSource

John Cass manages OnSource’s marketing efforts for clients and OnSource’s network development.

John has over 25 years of marketing and digital marketing experience. A pioneer in the content marketing industry, he has been responsible for directing and managing content marketing and social media campaigns. John is the author of Strategies and Tools for Corporate Blogging, published in 2007, and is a Founding Fellow of the Society for New Communications Research, Past President of the Boston Chapter of the American Marketing Association, and is the Co-Founder of the Boston Agile Marketing Meetup. He has worked at a number of technology brands including SDL and 48hourprint.com, was the Online Community Manager at Forrester Research, and has worked at several interactive and content agencies, including Pace Communications and Portent Interactive.

Posted May 23, 2016 by

5 tips to manage a stress-free online job search

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.

Posted May 16, 2016 by

Improving your writing and getting career prospects

Woman writing photo by StockUnlimited.com

Photo by StockUnlimited.com

You may be able to walk the talk, but can you write it?

It’s no big secret that writing skills factor in greatly when it comes to getting and keeping a job, especially in such a competitive market. In a study conducted by Grammarly, out of 100 native English speakers’ LinkedIn profiles, those with fewer grammatical errors had more promotions and held higher positions in their respective companies.

With this in mind, it’s no wonder writing is a crucial communication tool for those in the workforce. In order to be fully able to convey your ideas, you need to articulate them clearly to other people. Writing often serves as the medium we relate ideas with, whether sending and responding to an email or updating our resumes for future employers.

Despite this overwhelming piece of evidence, not everyone pays attention to improving their writing. Do you want to remain stagnant in your job, or do you want to grow and get career prospects? Here are a few tips on how to become a better writer in the workforce:

1. Be a wide reader

You are what you read. There are numerous benefits linked to reading, and among the most notable would be improved writing skills.

In order to be great, you need to take inspiration from those who already are. Train your brain to tune into good writing practices by reading extensively. Others’ writing styles can certainly influence your own if you read them enough. Take time to sit back with a book, a well-written blog entry, or even browse through the news at least once a day. Aside from being able to unwind after or before the stressful day ahead, you’ll also be able to acquire new knowledge.

This tip is especially helpful if you’re in the creative industry, where creative and powerful writing is the main tool of the trade, but it can also be beneficial for simple business writing. Noting some common trends in your favorite writers like style, grammar, and tone go a long way in helping to develop your own voice. You also learn new things in the process, which you can incorporate in the other areas of your life.

2. Read your work backwards

It sounds silly at first, but it’s effective in weeding out any grammatical errors you’ve missed in your last work email. Give it a shot, and it could save you from an embarrassing typo.

Our minds are programmed to autocorrect any minor errors they encounter. Remember those online tests that ask you to spot the “the” in a sentence? You may have been one of the majority who filtered out the extra “the”, in which case this second tip can come in handy to avoid any similar grammatical slip-ups.

Start from the last word of your composition up to the first word you’ve written. Since you’re no longer operating in the context of the content, your focus stays on the form of the text. If you’re already aware of what errors you’re on the lookout for, you’ll be able to spot any repetitive words, misplaced punctuation, and faulty spacing. Note this only works on a structural level, and not if you’re looking for something else like content relevance and fact-checking.

3. Turn spell check on

This doesn’t necessarily improve your skill, but it’s an easy fix if you’re in a hurry to compose an error-free report you’ll be delivering to your bosses the next day. Ruby Hardman, an editor from ResumesPlanet shared: “We can’t always be on top of our writing game, and having technology on our side helps in taking some of the load off our shoulders.”

Turn spell check on so you can automatically spot mistakes without having to painstakingly go through your work word per word. Don’t take this to mean you can let your guard down. In fact, this should give you time to focus on other aspects of your writing. If you’re writing up a resume, take the time to organize the details of it. If you’re writing a speech for a presentation, use it to focus on your tone and fine-tuning your content to the audience you’re presenting to.

Just remember that spell check isn’t perfect, either. There will be some errors it will miss and some idioms it may misinterpret. In that case, always have a dictionary ready to counter-check the results. Sometimes you’ll still have to do the heavy lifting in refining your work, but it will all pay off with a thriving career, and improved communication between yourself and other people.

Get on it write away!

Writing is an often overlooked skill that plays a huge, though subtle, role in leveraging your career. In his article on Harvard Business Review, iFixit’s Kyle Wiens openly declared he wasn’t too keen on hiring people with poor grammar, precisely because they don’t make good employees. According to Wiens, these job seekers lack the critical thinking and orientation to detail that efficient workers and leaders possess.

In order to project the right image to your employer, make sure to be on top of your writing game immediately. Read the right things to absorb some of their influence, proofread your work extensively, and if you’re in a rush, spell check is always a safe option. Just make sure to scan and countercheck for any missed marks.

So what are you waiting for? Become a better writer, and increase your chances of moving up in your industry today.

For more tips to improve your job search and build a career, head over to our blog and follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube.

Paige Donahue, guest writer

Paige Donahue, guest writer

Paige Donahue is an editor and blogger from Pennsylvania. She is a traveler and a collector of some sort – coins, comic books, and stories. You can connect with her via Twitter.

Posted May 09, 2016 by

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

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.