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

Posted July 12, 2016 by

4 ways sophomores can take advantage of career services

It’s your sophomore year of college. You’re feeling pretty comfortable with the whole college thing—a little too comfortable, maybe. It’s easy to get in a rut your sophomore year and forget about your long-term career goals while you go to classes and hang out with friends.

Don’t let this happen to you. Before you move back to campus this fall, make it a point to commit to setting the four following goals for yourself, suggested by College Recruiter’s Content Manager, Bethany Wallace, in this short video about how to take full advantage of career services during your sophomore year of college.


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1. Declare your major.

Actually, this really isn’t an option at most colleges and universities; you’re required to declare a major course of study by the time you earn 60 credit hours. The important thing is to declare the best major for you and to do a little prep work in advance. Before declaring your major, be sure you have taken skill/interest inventories available through career services, visited with trusted advisors (not just your assigned advisor, but also your faculty members, unofficial mentors, parents (if you actually get along with them), and people who work in career fields you’re considering). Do a little homework and research about the career fields you’re considering, too. Use the salary calculator on our website—how much can you potentially earn in your chosen career fields? Even though you can’t predict what the job market and economy will look like in two or three years, it’s better to crunch numbers hypothetically than not at all. Remember that above all, you must take full responsibility for your career plan because it’s YOUR career plan.

2. Work.

Whether you volunteer or work in a paid position (internship, co-op position, part-time job, full-time job during the summer, whatever), gain some work experience you can list on your resume during your sophomore year. This is crucial, and it may take some time, so don’t wait until two weeks before summer break to begin looking. As Chris Czarnik of Fox Valley Technical College says, “Finding a bad job is easy, but finding a great job takes work.” Preferably, attempt to gain experience in your chosen career field or tied to your major field of study. Seek help in career services with this, and don’t overlook CollegeRecruiter.com as a helpful source in the job search process. We make finding a great job much easier.

3. Create a true resume.

If you created a solid draft of a resume or a working resume during your first year of college, that’s a great start. Your sophomore year is the time to convert the draft into a solid working resume which you can continually revise as you gain experience throughout your college career. You’re going to apply for jobs, internships, and volunteer opportunities during your sophomore year, so you definitely want to have a great working resume on hand. Seek help from career services to develop your resume, and don’t forget to take advantage of the free resume editing tool on our website.

4. Attend the career fair on your campus hosted by career services.

Make it a goal to visit face-to-face with at least three actual recruiters during the career fair. Ask for their business cards and try to remember at least one important fact about the companies they represent. Invite the representatives/recruiters after the career fair to connect with you on Twitter or LinkedIn after the career fair. It’s not too soon to begin considering which employers you might want to work for when you graduate. If you meet an employer you feel you genuinely connect with, ask for an informational interview during the career fair or at a later time. That employer might plan to return to campus to conduct on-campus interviews, or the employer may be able to do the interview online or over the phone as well. The employer might even invite you to conduct a site visit. These are great opportunities to build relationships with potential future employers!

For more suggestions about how to create a solid career plan, follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.

 

 

Posted June 21, 2016 by

8 networking tips for college students

It’s easy to believe networking is something you can wait to worry about when you begin your job search. This is a classic mistake college students make, though, and one you can’t really afford. For one thing, you’re really building relationships and making impressions people already, whether you intend to or not. You might as well mindfully build positive relationships, make good impressions, and consciously network with people right now. You never know—the connections you make as a sophomore in college could be the connections you need to land an amazing internship your junior year or an even better entry-level management position after college.

Soak in these eight networking tips in this quick video by Bethany Wallace, Content Manager for College Recruiter, and you’ll be networking like a pro when you return to campus this fall.


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1.Look around you.

It’s easy as a college student to stay in your own zone and to focus on studying, dating, and obsessing about your own life. Get out of that zone and smile, greet those around you, and make an effort to meet at least two or three new people on campus per week. On college campuses, you have access to hundreds or thousands of helpful people who you could network with—faculty members, staff members, career services employees, advisors, classmates, and many more. Even if you choose to live off campus, you can make the most of your time on campus before and after class—and even during class when working on team projects—by building great relationships with people.

2. Get off campus regularly and out of the campus bubble.

If you want to secure a part-time job or internship while you’re in college, this is key. Visit the Chamber of Commerce, Kiwanis Club, and other local professional organizations. You’ll not only learn about the community by joining or attending community functions and meetings, but you’ll have the chance to network with local professionals and leaders, too.

3. Get involved on campus.

Select at least two campus organizations to join as a college student. Try to join organizations with a mission or purpose which matches your lifelong goals or career pursuits. While hanging out with your friends is beneficial to your social life, it’s even better to hang out with friends who share a common career goal while you accomplish something together.

4. Take advantage of your parents’ friends and your friends’ parents.

Old people can be pretty helpful in connecting you to people who know lots of other people, own companies, manage teams, etc. Never show up at your friend’s house and breeze by his parents on the way to the pool. Always be polite and conversational. If your friend’s parents ask you what you’re doing in school, what you’re majoring in, and what your goals are, stop and have that conversation. It might be the most important conversation you have all summer.

5. Take advantage of career services on campus.

Never in your life will you have access to the myriad of free career services and events as you do as a college student. After graduation, you’ll most likely have to pay for these services via career coaches. Career services offices host helpful events year-round like career fairs, etiquette dinners, and mock interviews. Career services professionals typically have great connections to employers and can help you find internships and entry-level job opportunities. You should also take advantage of free online services like the chance to register to search for jobs at CollegeRecruiter.com.

6. Use social media strategically.

The time to begin building your reputation online through online branding is as a college student. 94% of employers admit to searching for candidates online before inviting them for face-to-face interviews. Unless you never plan on searching for jobs in your life, it’s too risky to post ridiculous, inappropriate content on social media throughout your college years and then suddenly hope that recruiters won’t find it or won’t care. They will.

7. Connect with alumni.

Alumni make great connections because they already have great jobs and typically care about helping students from their alma mater. Your institutional advancement office on campus can help you connect with alumni. Most colleges host events for alumni and often encourage students to attend, too. These events are great networking opportunities for college students. You can also reach out to alumni on social media.

8. Do good work.

Finally, the best way to ensure that your contacts will say good things about you and think of you when they hear of great job leads is to consistently do good work. Make great grades, earn awards, and excel in as many areas as you can. Treat people with courtesy, kindness, and consistency, and people will think of you when asked, “Do you know anyone who’s looking?”

Keep coming back for more networking tips, and follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube.

Posted May 10, 2016 by

How to select a career mentor

When you graduate from college, you lose daily, immediate access to some of your greatest mentors and teachers—faculty members, advisors, and career services professionals who have guided you through some of the best and most formative years of your life. When starting your first entry-level, full-time job, it’s important to begin seeking out a career mentor.

This five-minute video, created by College Recruiter’s Content Manager, Bethany Wallace, will help you select a quality career mentor.


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

There are at least two types of mentors you need to find, ideally, when you begin your first full-time, entry-level job. The first type of mentor you need to find is a workplace mentor. This mentor works for the same company or organization but has at least a few years of experience under her belt. She probably works for the same team or within the same division and can provide you with guidance related to company policies and procedures, the ins and outs about how to make coffee in the breakroom, and other important tips about surviving on a daily basis within your organization.

This video and article will help you select the other—and more important—type of mentor: a career mentor. A career mentor is a lifelong mentor; your career mentor has years of experience, preferably decades of experience, and works in your “dream career field.” A career mentor will provide career guidance and mentorship over the course of your career journey. When selecting a career mentor, be picky. You should spend at least a few months observing professionals and contemplating “fit” before asking someone to serve as your career mentor.

Here are a few tips to aid you in selecting your career mentor.

1. Look for elevator people.

Elevator people are defined as people who bring you up, while basement people bring you down. This trait is especially important in mentors. When you’re asking someone for advice and guidance, you don’t want to leave every conversation feeling controlled, manipulated, deflated, or picked apart. Not only does that type of relationship sound very unhealthy, but it’s also completely unproductive. Seek out a career mentor who lifts others up. Is the mentor you’re considering territorial with her ideas? Does she appear jealous when you discuss something you’re working on that’s exciting to you? Move on and consider option B.

2. Go for the “gel.”

Can you completely relax when talking to your career mentor? This doesn’t mean you need to think of your career mentor as a peer; she’s not. You should have a great amount of respect for your career mentor.  Competent communication is defined as communication that is both effective and appropriate. Of course you want to interact with your mentor with an appropriate level of respect; you won’t talk to your mentor about the party you hosted Saturday night or your conflict with your boyfriend. You discuss those matters with your personal friends.

But it is crucial to select a career mentor you “gel” with. Can you be honest about your career goals, or do you feel intimidated to discuss the future? Are you afraid your career mentor will laugh at your dreams? When you make mistakes at work (and don’t worry—every new entry-level employee makes mistakes), do you feel comfortable confessing those mistakes to your career mentor and seeking advice about how to overcome them? If not, you probably need to consider seeking out a new career mentor.

3. Find a great listener.

Motivational speakers may seem inspiring when you meet them, but remember when seeking a career mentor, you must find someone who can listen as much as she talks. You’re going to come up against obstacles over the course of your career journey, and it’s important that your career mentor listen well (without placing judgment). Only excellent listeners can offer excellent feedback and suggestions. Great career mentoring relationships tend to look alike—be sure yours matches up.

4. Reflect on your feelings.

Always reflect on your feelings after spending time with potential career mentors. Weigh pros and cons, make lists, and attempt to make a clear-headed decision before selecting a career mentor, certainly. But at the end of the day, relationships like this must be based at least partly on gut instinct. After going to lunch with your career mentor, do you feel better or worse? When you have a phone conversation, do you feel more positive or disheartened? Do you feel more motivated to go back to work and to try to reach your goals, or do you feel like taking the day off after talking to your mentor?

5. Don’t discount your feelings before you make the final decision about asking someone to serve as your mentor.

Lastly, when you decide to ask someone to serve as your career mentor, be gracious and grateful. Your career mentor is doing you a huge favor and will likely invest hours—if not days—of her life in yours. Mine has.

For more advice about starting your first full-time job off right, read our blog and follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube.

Posted July 02, 2014 by

Recent College Graduates, Need References for Jobs? Here is What You Should Know

Once they become serious candidates for jobs, recent college graduates might be asked for references.  The following post shares information they need to know when considering who their references will be.

At some juncture in the interview process you will need to provide references. By this time things are getting serious. Generally you are not asked to submit references until the employer is near the hiring decision and you have made it through most of the gauntlet. The last thing you want

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Posted July 01, 2014 by

Tips for Recent College Graduates Entering the Workforce

Group of smiling graduates

Group of smiling graduates. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

Now that graduation has come and gone, it is time for recent college graduates to look for jobs.  With stiff competition for employment opportunities, the challenge for graduates is to stand out from the crowd.  So how can they do this?

Here are five tips from Christy Palfy, a recruiting manager from Progressive Insurance. (more…)