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

Posted May 01, 2018 by

Aptitude and attitude isn’t enough: Interview with Randy Pennington about hiring for altitude

 

Randy Pennington, owner of Pennington Performance Group, has been talking recently about the need to hire for “altitude,” in addition to aptitude and attitude. We interviewed him to find out more. Pennington is an expert in helping organizations build cultures focused on positive results in a world of uncertainty, relationships, and accountability. He will be a speaker at SHRM 2018, presenting a mega session titled “The Six Competencies You Need to Remain Relevant in a World of Disruption and Change.” Here we share takeaways from our conversation about recruiting and developing employees, including entry-level, to increase your organization’s altitude.

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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.

Posted April 11, 2016 by

10 job interview questions you shouldn’t ask

Bad job interview - concept courtesy of Shutterstock.com

Eviled/Shutterstock.com

Congratulations! You’ve landed an entry-level job interview. Now, it is time to prepare for the big day, which includes creating some interview questions to ask if you get the chance. Keep in mind, though, there are questions college students and recent graduates should not ask their potential employers during interviews.

1. How much does the job pay?

Asking about salary in an interview tells the interviewer you’re more concerned with money than the actual job. I’m not saying money isn’t important, but save this discussion for after you have received a job offer.

2. How many days of vacation do I get?

It’s not wise for job seekers to ask about vacation time before landing entry-level jobs. Focusing on time off without a job offer leaves an impression that you lack commitment to work.

3. Can I take time off during exams?

This question might indicate to employers that college students have trouble handling multiple responsibilities, or that school is more important than work. Even though school work is a priority for students, employers are considering what is important to them.

4. Can I use social media at work?

It’s probably obvious to most (if not all) of you why job seekers shouldn’t ask this question. Interviewers would feel you’re more concerned with your Facebook friends and Twitter followers than succeeding at the position you’ve applied for.

Businessman working from home on laptop courtesy of Shutterstock.com

Monkey Business Images/Shutterstock.com

5. Can I work from home?

Asking this question can leave an interviewer wondering if you have an issue with coming to work regularly. Wait until proving yourself for a while on a new job before requesting to work from home.

6. What kind of job is this?

Please don’t ask this question. If you do, you might as well walk out of the interview. The interviewer expects you to know what kind of job you’ve applied for. You can find this information in the job posting and on the company website.

7. When will I get promoted?

Asking this question makes the assumption that a job seeker has won the position, which won’t impress the interviewer. Remember, you need to get the job first so concentrate on that. With a good attitude and hard work, you may eventually earn a promotion.

8. Do you want my references?

The interviewer is concerned about you, not anyone else. It’s great you have references but save them for later, and focus on nailing the interview.

9. Are there any background checks?

Asking potential employers about background checks raises a red flag in their minds that you have something to hide. If you’re sure of yourself as a job candidate, a background check or drug screen won’t bother you.

10. Did I get the job?

While I’m sure you can’t wait to find out if you got the job, avoid asking if you did in the interview. Unless you’re told otherwise, follow up to learn the employer’s decision. Don’t follow up too soon. It’s okay to ask the employer at the end of the interview about the timeline for filling the position—this lets you know how long to wait before calling to check on your status as an applicant.

In a nutshell, job seekers should wait until after they receive employment offers before asking questions related to issues primarily benefiting themselves.

Are you looking for more information to help you in your job search? Come over to our blog and follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube.

Posted February 05, 2016 by

Addressing low grades during interviews

Photo of Joe Flanagan

Joe Flanagan, guest writer

According to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, or OECD, there’s a crisis in the USA with only 46% of students finishing college. Whether you have dropped out or graduated with low grades you are not alone. Interviews can be a nerve-wracking experience, particularly your very first one, but if you are leaving college with low grades, the prospect of interviews can seem even more daunting. It is important to remember that despite low grades, you have still been invited for an interview, so the employer is interested in you. If you are worried about explaining your low grades, these tips can help you deal with this without it becoming a major issue. (more…)

Posted January 29, 2016 by

Preparing for the corporate world – A guide for college students

Photo of Barney Whistance

Barney Whistance, guest writer

As graduation draws near, anxiety along with trepidation of getting a decent job seems to take over. Why not save yourself from impending doom by being prepared beforehand and present yourself in the best possible manner for recruiters to hire you? Opportunities are endless, but it is up to you how you avail them. We hope to guide you to pave your career path and minimize the imminent danger lingering around the horizon of not doing justice to your years of academics and hard work. Formulating an effective job search strategy will bring you in close proximity to recruiters, searching ardently for a potential candidate and increase your chances of getting hired. (more…)

Posted December 09, 2015 by

Entrepreneurial mindsets: Make your business a success

man's hand writing think Like an entrepreneur with black marker on visual screen

Man’s hand writing Think Like an Entrepreneur with black marker on visual screen. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

A positive attitude on achieving wealth and making money in an honest fashion is one of the best ways to start a journey towards becoming rich. History is littered with people who became millionaires and billionaires from humble beginnings. People can become rich by gambling or taking advantage of the property market; however, there are many other things you can do to become wealthy. (more…)

Posted December 08, 2015 by

Common job interview questions and their answers

view of a young woman during a job interview

View of a young woman during a job interview. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

An interview is generally a meeting between a potential employer and a job candidate. In certain cases, multiple people will interview you simultaneously. This is usually the case when applying for a high level position or when the competition for a certain job is really tough. No matter the type of interview, the interview itself is an achievement to pat yourself on the back for without getting carried away. In today’s job market, getting an interview is not always the easiest thing to do. (more…)

Posted August 06, 2015 by

Getting that Entry Level Job – What You Need to Know

job search written in search bar on virtual screen

Job Search written in search bar on virtual screen. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

Your first job out of college – you are ready! As you begin your senior year, it is time to begin that search, and you really can’t start too early. The job market still is not all that great for college grads, but it is better, and certainly far better than it is for high school grads. Still, the market is hugely competitive, so you need to commit to job search activities on a regular basis. Here are some things you really need to know as you begin to look for that entry level position. (more…)

Posted August 04, 2015 by

Ten Tips For A Successful Graduate Year

Caroline Schmidt

Caroline Schmidt

For many graduates across the world, graduation signifies both the end of something and the beginning of something. For many it is the ultimate progression they have been longing for. A chance to step forward from what feels like a lifetime of learning and finally into a career. Here are some essential tips for your graduate job search success. (more…)