• Work abroad: Why recent college grads should conduct a global job search

    May 09, 2017 by

     

    Jobs that require travel or allow recent college grads to work abroad can help build cultural awareness, strengthen one’s ability to navigate through dynamic environments, and cultivate a level of agility, which is required by most employers today, says Ayana Pilgrim-Brown, assistant director of career competencies at the Center for Student Professional Development within Temple University’s Fox School of Business.

    It’s no secret working abroad can help recent college grads land that first job. That’s why recent college grads seeking frequent travel to exotic locations, should explore options as tour guides, travel consultants, and within the airline industry, says Pilgrim-Brown. For a business student who wants to solidify his or her status as a global business professional, jobs in consulting, supply chain management, and sales offer the chance to travel to vast locations throughout the world. New graduates who aspire to make a difference in the world should consider non-profits and non-governmental organizations. There are several pathways in the areas of development and humanitarian assistance, adds Pilgrim-Brown. And for the multilingual applicant, there are solid prospects using language skills as a TEFL instructor, translator, or interpreter.

    “Job seekers should do their due diligence to make sure these opportunities are formalized and in writing with agreeable terms of employment,” says Pilgrim-Brown.

    Rustic Pathways is a non-profit organization that facilitates educational experiences for students through travel and philanthropy.

    “Traveling equips recent college grads with a unique and necessary skill set that will help them create successful careers,” said Chris Stakich, CEO of Rustic Pathways. In fact, Stakich is quick to credit how traveling throughout the world for work the first four years of his career helped build professional skills necessary to become CEO.

    “Most of my success has been a result of living out of a bag for the first four years of my career,” he says.

    In addition to service opportunities–such as working with Peace Corps, or with a multinational organization or large employer, or through a non-profit–there are more opportunities than ever for recent college grads to work abroad, and get paid to travel. There are also training opportunities, such as the Rustic Pathways Leader Corp program, which are designed for recent college grads looking to make the transition from college to career.

    Traveling for work, and working abroad, teaches these important soft skills that employers covet, says Stakich:

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  • Onboarding new employees starts before first day on job

    May 02, 2017 by

     

    A new employee who is not onboarded the right way is going to have difficulty finding a sense of belonging inside an organization, says Scott Redfearn, executive vice president of global HR at Protiviti, a global business consulting and internal audit firm.

    “Employees who don’t have a meaningful career experience aren’t going to last, and they will not perform to their full potential,” says Redfearn.

    The reality is, the process for onboarding new employees starts well before the new hire’s first day on the job. Successful companies know this, and set up a series of touchpoints and check-ins to ensure new hires feel welcome, and are prepared, before the first day on the job.

    This is especially important for the recent college grad embarking on their first journey into the real world. The process for onboarding new employees is the employer’s opportunity to make a great first impression, and show recent college grads their company is a good place to work, and that they will be given an opportunity to grow and succeed.

    “Employers should realize that some recent college grads are still in the process of understanding the difference between their initial dreams and reality,” says Max Dubroff, an HR consultant and former adjunct professor with the University of Phoenix who taught Masters level courses on management and organizational behavior.

    “They may have thought for years that they would get into one of the best-known companies, but even if your company doesn’t make those best places to work lists, or even if it isn’t a Fortune 500 organization, you have the opportunity to show them the value of a good/great job in a good/great organization.”

    Onboarding should engage new employees before the first day on the job

    At Protiviti, new campus hires start the onboarding process months before their actual start date, because in many cases a student will accept a job offer during the fall semester, but not actually start until after graduation the following May, says Redfearn. These new hires are also assigned a peer advisor who meets with them before they start and new hires are even invited to holiday parties, community service activities, and other office events where they can meet their future co-workers.

    “Once candidates accept an offer, we begin integrating them right away,” says Redfearn. “During this time, we communicate often through email, webinars, social media, and in person.”

    Before a new employee walks through the door for the first time, employers should have already share the organization’s history, vision, and mission.

    “Insight into the company’s purpose and plan for success will help immerse new employees into the workplace culture more quickly,” says Deb LaMere, Vice President of Employee Experience at Ceridian, a human capital management firm.

    Sharing this type of information can be done through a portal that new hires can access before they officially start, or simply direct them to any relevant public content from the company website or blog that addresses the organization’s values, says LaMere.

    How important are these steps? Robert Half Finance & Accounting research shows new hires have less than three months to prove themselves in a new job. Many recent college grads are looking for guidance, and good employers provide that through a strong onboarding program.

    Doing little things provide big value. For example, Steve Saah Director of Permanent Placement Services with Robert Half, encourages employers to send a welcome letter to a candidate immediately upon acceptance of the job offer. Consider including some kind of company ‘swag’ with the letter, if it’s available.

    “This gives them a warm welcome and gets them excited to start in their new role,” says Saah. “It also reinforces that the candidate made the right decision in accepting the offer.”

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  • Coding bootcamps provide students with chance for a career reboot

    November 08, 2016 by
    Group of young business students working together on computers in office. Coding bootcamps provide a unique learning opportunity.

    Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

    Job seekers who are looking for change should consider this unique opportunity that provides steady career growth–in a sector where there is a shortage of workers. The opportunity? Coding bootcamps.

    Coding bootcamps are short – but intense – training opportunities focusing on teaching students in-demand technical skills. They are offered across the country.

    According to a recent report, 73% of coding bootcamp graduates surveyed were employed in a full-time job requiring the skills learned at bootcamp, with an average salary increase of 64%. Roughly half of the jobs in the top income quartile — defined as those paying $57,000 or more per year — are in occupations that commonly require applicants to have at least some coding knowledge or skill.

    Grand Circus, a technology learning institute in the heart of downtown Detroit, offers a variety of 10-week coding bootcamps that teach skills that prepare students for today’s information technology job market. Coding bootcamps have risen in popularity and are available for students throughout the United States, Canada, and other part of the world, all with different requirements, costs and training. To learn more about coding bootcamps, review this list of the best coding bootcamps in the world, or this comprehensive guide and complete coding bootcamp school list.

    Coding bootcamps fill skills gap

    “Coding bootcamps have become incredibly effective in filling some of the skills gap America is facing,” says Jennifer Cline, Senior Marketing Manager, Grand Circus. “As new technologies emerge, colleges unfortunately can’t keep up with the ever-changing demands of the industry.”

    The Grand Circus program teaches students the practical knowledge needed to launch a career in technology by focusing on both the technical and soft skills that employers are looking for. Students learn how to build functional applications and websites while developing the skills and resources to effectively find a career and work well on a team.

    Employers are noticing – 92 percent of Grand Circus grads get hired within 90 days of graduation with an average starting salary of $48,000. Each Grand Circus bootcamp costs $7,500. In Detroit alone, employers like Quicken Loans, Fathead, TitleSource and Domino’s Pizza are hungry for .NET (C#) programmers for enterprise development. Grand Circus is also one of 10 Google for Entrepreneurs tech hubs in North America, serving as a platform for start-ups and established organizations to connect. Grand Circus has also partnered with Microsoft Ventures and Amazon Web Services to provide entrepreneurs with the tools and resources they’ll need to be successful and build world-class companies.

    “One of the cool things about our coding bootcamp programs is that we’re nimble enough to change our curriculum based on the needs of today’s job market,” says Cline. “We work with more than 80 companies that hire our students. These close partnerships with tech companies allow us to constantly evaluate our curriculum while also introducing our students to some of the industry’s best opportunities.”

    In-turn, students also get support from these hiring partners. These employers host students at their offices and let them see the inner workings of an IT department, contribute to career or informational panel discussions, and provide mentoring and feedback to students.

    Coding bootcamps teach more than tech skills

    But coding bootcamps do more than just teach code and tech skills. Coding bootcamps teach students how to work in small groups – something that’s a must in the technology sector, as much of the work is project or group based and collaboration between team members is crucial. Coding bootcamps teach students problem solving, analytical, and communication/interpersonal skills – which are all important when relaying results of that project work to management. A previous background in coding, or experience in IT is not necessary. Many students are also seeking a career change, and attend coding bootcamps to shift careers.

    Learning code makes you a needed asset in today’s industry, says David Gilcher, lead resource manager at Kavaliro, a woman-owned and minority-owned firm employing more than 300 IT professionals, management, and administrative staff around the country.

    “We are finding more roles seeking out prospective candidates with development skills even if the role doesn’t require them daily,” says Gilcher.

    Infrastructure and data are two fields where scripting skills are necessary because it includes handling automation, integration, reporting, and analytics. Gilcher has clients seeking accountants with some scripting skills with Excel, utilizing development languages including VBA, Python, and JavaScript.

    “A grasp of these development skills, regardless of career field, will set job seekers apart from the competition,” says Gilcher.

    Gilcher says most employers they work with are seeking recent college graduates or boot camp graduates with skills in ASP.NET, PHP, Java, JavaScript, C#, C++, Swift, and Ruby on Rails. But in IT, the skill sets are always changing. Those who continue to learn new skills will progress the furthest in IT careers.

    “As more clients seek mobile, big data and automation solutions, new development languages will evolve or be replaced with others,” says Gilcher.

    Students who attend coding bootcamps often have a diverse and varied background. Grand Circus bootcamps – and many others across the country – are open to students of all backgrounds and experiences, not just college students, and not just for those with a college degree.

    “We’ve trained teachers, nurses, finance managers, baristas and so many other professionals to become effective developers, and then we help them land the job of their dreams,” says Cline. “Most grads go on to be junior-level developers, and take the skills we’ve provided to grow their careers long term.”

    Employers are able to attend a Student Demo Day at Grand Circus, to get a first-hand look at projects/work completed by Grand Circus students using the coding skills learned at bootcamp. Employers know coding bootcamp graduates are getting specific training in the in-demand programming languages, says Gilcher.

    “Coding bootcamps can be a great source of finding new talent,” says Gilcher.

    Networking opportunities created at coding boot camp

    Students attending coding bootcamps should focus on relationship building with instructors and classmates. These are all valuable networking contacts. Those classmates may have future openings at their companies and contact colleagues met at coding bootcamp. They may progress to manager or executive level roles, and seek to hire professionals they developed relationships with at coding bootcamp. Or, they may someday launch a startup, and seek that hard-working, talented IT professional met at coding bootcamp.

    “For those that are attending coding bootcamps, I recommend they maintain solid relationships with those they meet there because those are going to be the people that know hiring managers or will become hiring managers,” says Gilcher.

    Coding bootcamps can provide a new career path for students, and certified, trained, ready-to-work job seekers for employers.

    “It’s really a win-win for both parties,” says Cline. “We’re helping students find fulfilling careers while also providing talent that allows local companies to grow.”

    Seeking careers in information technology? Register with College Recruiter to get the latest jobs emailed to you! And don’t forget to follow us on TwitterLinkedInFacebook, and YouTube.

  • 10 tips for college grads who complete an internship without a job offer

    September 06, 2016 by
    Person pointing at job search

    Person pointing at job search. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

    Many recent college graduates head into a summer internship hoping they secure full-time employment with that company once the internship is completed. But, for a variety of reasons, it doesn’t always work out that way.

    Now what? How do recent college graduates and entry-level job seekers move forward in the job search when they don’t secure a full-time job from an internship?

    With confidence, because they just gained the invaluable on-the-job training employers covet.

    Because, for recent college graduates, the number one goal of any internship should be to gain work experience in a professional business setting, says Bob LaBombard, CEO of GradStaff, a company that serves as a career matchmaker for recent college graduates, and companies that are looking to fill entry-level jobs.

    While larger companies tend use their internship programs as a way to evaluate interns for employment in a subsequent year, small and medium employers are more likely to hire interns to accomplish specific goals, like completing a well-defined project or to cover staff for the summer vacation season, says LaBombard. Not getting hired full-time is in no way indicative of an interns performance on the job.

    “Either way, internships are a great way for students to apply their skills in meaningful work, and learn how to receive feedback and apply coaching tips from supervisors,” says LaBombard. “Even if an internship does not result in a full-time job offer, the experience should help interns better define their value proposition to employers by gaining a more focused appreciation for the core skills they possess, and how they have been successfully applied in the workplace.”

    So what should job seekers who completed an internship without a full-time job do next? Start by registering as a job seeker with College Recruiter. We’ll send you new job leads tailored to your interests and preferences and save you the trouble of searching for them on a regular basis.

    Next, consider these tips from Bill Driscoll, district president for Accountemps, and Tel Ganesan, Board Chairman of Kyyba, Inc., a global IT, engineering and professional staff augmentation company, and Managing Partner of Kyyba Ventures. Both have experience working with recent college graduates who have completed internship programs. They help answer the question:

    My internship is over, now what:

    1. Be flexible: College graduates looking to land their first jobs need to be flexible, proactive and creative. Consider volunteer assignments or temporary work as a way to continue to gain additional experience and build your skill set, says Driscoll.

    2. Network: Online and off. Many companies don’t advertise open positions, so networking plays an important role in finding out about hidden job opportunities. “Tell everyone you know that you are looking for a job, whether in-person at industry association events, or using professional networking websites,” says Driscoll. “You’d be surprised at who might be able to help.”

    3. Use college career center/alumni resources: College career centers usually welcome recent grads and can help in your job search. You also might be able to connect with other alumni who can provide advice. These resources are often underutilized by recent college grads who don’t go back to their college/alumni career center seeking assistance. They are ready to help you – even now that you graduated. Learn more about how to use your college career center in the job search.

    4. Don’t overlook your online image: Applicants need to actively monitor and maintain their professional reputations online. Keep a clean online profile. Future employers are watching.

    5. Initiate contact: Research companies you would like to work for and ask for an informational interview to learn more about the organization. “It also can help employers get to know you so you’re top of mind when that company has a vacant position,” says Driscoll.

    6. Meet with a recruiter: Staffing executives can be your eyes and ears in the job market. Recruiters also provide useful feedback on your resume and interview skills, and help you locate full-time and temporary jobs.

    7. Ask for references: Before your last day, ask your manager, and/or co-workers if they will be references. Professional references can sometimes hold more value than a supervisor from a work study program, or college professor (but those are both viable references if need be).

    8. Update your cover letter and resume: Did you track your achievements and successes at the internship? Be sure to update this information on your resume and put it at the top of your resume, right under education. “Highlight any unique activities you partook in that may set you apart from the competition,” says Ganesan. Include project work and results, being a part of a team, technical/computer skills learned/used, and any other success story.

    9. Apply for more than a handful of ideal jobs: Set target companies or jobs, but be flexible in your search. “Consider numerous possibilities, especially when you’re just starting off,” says Ganesan.

    10. Use your social network: Use your social media network, as well as family and friends, to find a personal connection at particular companies. “That individual may be able to assist in securing an interview or simply provide advice and insight into the organization,” says Ganesan.

    Don’t view the completion of an internship without a job as the end. View it as a new start, and a new beginning to a job search that is now backed by real world internship experience – something every employer craves.

    For more tips on how to secure a job after your internship is completed, and other job search and career advice, visit our blog and connect with us on LinkedInTwitter, Facebook, and YouTube.

  • The power of networking

    June 22, 2016 by

     

    Photo by StockUnlimited.com

    Photo by StockUnlimited.com

    Kenneth Heinzel’s 33 years of experience shine through in his recently published book, Private Notes From a Headhunter: Proven Job Search and Interviewing Techniques for College Students and Recent Grads. Throughout the job search process, Heinzel suggests that job seekers never underestimate the power of networking and your network. Ever. Your personal network and support group are two key elements of a successful job search.

    Your personal network includes people who can provide you with leads that result in your getting an interview or job. Your support group should include friends or associates who are also currently looking for work. Meeting with your support group on a regular basis allows you to share contacts, research information, and discuss what worked or didn’t work in a job search or an interview.

    “Many, if not most, of the jobs that you land in your career will come from information and contacts discovered in your own personal network,” says Heinzel.

     

    Heinzel also touches on the role recruiters and career professionals play in getting job seekers interviews and jobs. Remember these tips: Never ever pay a recruiter for anything. Almost all legitimate recruiters are paid by the client (the hiring company) in the form of a fee that is based on a retainer (fee paid in advance), or on contingency (fee paid after successful placement). If you are working with a career coach, employment agency or career marketer, Heinzel’s advice is to never pay more than $500 for those services. Before paying for services, check to see if these services are available for free through an organization like College Recruiter, which offers a free resume editing service. If you must pay, pay only for three things, says Heinzel:

    1. Help in improving your interviewing skills
    2. Your resume (especially if you’re not used to writing resumes or your writing skills are shaky)
    3. Contact names.

    Do you apply for jobs but never hear back from an actual person?

    Remember, Heinzel points out, HR’s number one job is to protect the company. They act as the screener for almost all incoming resumes. If someone in HR doesn’t feel that your resume is what they are looking for or if the resume screening software determines that your resume doesn’t have enough of the keywords found in the online job description, it won’t advance to the next step in the application process.

    Picture this possible scenario, says Heinzel: The screener is an HR staffer and not feeling well that day, and even if he sees that you are marginally qualified, because he is a Cal grad and you graduated from Stanford… well, so long, buddy.

    Remember, there are hundreds to thousands of resumes coming in, so the majority of HR’s time is spent eliminating candidates, says Heinzel.

    The hiring manager is the one with the power to interview and hire you, not HR. So what do you do?

    Get to the hiring manager – a direct contact responsible for hiring for the position for which you are applying. Networking with the right people at companies is important. This can be difficult unless you have a contact within the target company.

    Heinzel provides encouragement and educates readers on the importance of being persistent but gracious. Getting an interview and getting a job is hard work.

    “Looking for work is a full-time job in itself,” says Heinzel. “If you’re not putting in at least six hours a day in related job search activities, you’re not doing the job you’re supposed to be doing right now, until you find a better one.”

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

    Kenneth A. Heinzel

    Kenneth A. Heinzel

    About Ken Heinzel
    Ken Heinzel, author of  Private Notes From a Headhunter: Proven Job Search and Interviewing Techniques for College Students and Recent Grads taught marketing and business management at Sonoma State University in Northern California from 2000 to 2009. Prior to teaching at SSU, professor Heinzel was an Executive Recruiter (Headhunter), in the high-tech industry. He placed scores of candidates over a ten-year period in San Francisco and Silicon Valley. In addition, he was an executive and sales manager in corporate America for twenty years at large corporations, such as Xerox and Ameritech. He and his editor/wife Inese live in Santa Rosa, California.

  • 3 social media tips for job search success

    April 07, 2016 by
    Resume profile personal job career recruitment concept courtesy of Shutterstock.com

    Rawpixel.com/Shutterstock.com

    Social media can benefit college students and recent graduates searching for internships and entry-level jobs. In order to get the most out of their search using social sites, students and grads must first understand how to use them. We have some help for job seekers in this area.

    Kristen Zierau, Director of Executive Recruiting at JMJ Phillip Executive Search, offers the following tips to help college students and recent grads obtain job search success with social media.

    1. “When I speak with college career services departments, I give the advice that job applicants really need to clean up their profiles online. There are programs called scrappers that will pull college students and recent graduates’ posts on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, etc. and post them on their own sites. The bad thing about this is while candidates may clean up their profiles now, another site could be hanging onto their information for years. If job seekers show photos themselves doing wild or crazy things (or maybe sometimes illegal things), it’s likely someone will find this social media post. The same concept applies to political views. Students and grads can find the devoted Bernie or Trump supporter on LinkedIn pretty easily as they are often spamming LinkedIn with their viewpoints and political “expertise.” They will also find out many of those supporters haven’t landed jobs since graduating in the summer of 2015, so be careful and keep viewpoints private unless job seekers can do it under a seemingly untraceable alias.

    2. When searching for jobs on social media, college students and graduates cannot treat it like a casual message to a friend. Don’t use shorthand writing. Make sure the grammar is correct and everything sounds professional. Let’s face it; college grads need to sound like they actually graduated from college!

    3. Pinging hiring managers directly on LinkedIn is a good start; do this six to 12+ months before graduation. Follow them on Twitter and other social media sources, and engage with them once in a while but not too often; it can be considered annoying. If possible, send a link back to the hiring managers showing agreement with their post; that will help keep a job seeker’s name on their minds. For example, if college students and recent graduates see a post about management from them, maybe send the hiring manager a relevant link to a Harvard Business Review article on management showing they are paying attention.”

    Interested in finding more tips for your social media job search? Visit our blog and follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube.

    Photo of Kristen Zierau

    Kristen Zierau, Director of Executive Recruiting at JMJ Phillip Executive Search

    A graduate of Michigan State University’s Business School, Ms. Kristen Zierau began her successful career with Target. As one of the fastest rising employees within the Target organization, she became an Executive Team Leader, making a name for herself in the hiring, training, and development of young talent in the retail sector. Prior to joining JMJ Phillip, Ms. Zierau also completed her MBA at Walsh College with honors. Ms. Zierau made a transition to the management consulting and executive search sector, which she is currently on the executive fast-track program at JMJ Phillip. Soon she will be leading Clarke-Caniff, a brand focusing on recruiting and executive search for the retail and hospitality sectors.

  • 4 secrets to job search success

    January 13, 2016 by
    Erin Vickers

    Erin Vickers, Staffing Consultant, RightSourcing, Inc.

    It’s tough to begin searching for your first full-time job as a college student, having worked as an intern, volunteer, or in part-time positions in the past. Transitioning to full-time job status is huge, and the interim evolutionary phase feels odd at times and requires some changes on your part.

    Expert staffing consulting Erin Vickers offers 4 helpful tips to ease the transition and aid the job search process.

    Establish your brand and keep it professional.

    Make sure you are reflecting your professional self. Search for your name online and see what comes back in the results. After all, you are selling yourself to potential employers, and you should present your best self. Keep your social media pages (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.) free from questionable posts and images.

    Create a professional email address if you do not already have one. Email addresses are free and easy to establish so there’s no excuse for not having one for professional interaction. Employers don’t want to message “foxymama@thisemail.com” or “hotdaddy@thatemail.com.”

    Remove questionable greetings, ringtones, ringback tones, etc., from your phone. Choose a standard voicemail greeting stating your full name, requesting callers to leave a message.

    Do not be a no call, no show to an interview whether it’s over the phone or in person. Period.

    Employers understand that other opportunities present themselves and are not offended (though maybe disappointed) when they hear “no” for whatever reason. Politely call or email your contact to let the company know you will not be attending the previously scheduled interview. You do not need to go into great detail about why you are canceling your appointment, but you do need to let your interviewer know you will not be there and thank them for their time and consideration.

    Remember the STAR or PAR acronym while giving answers in an interview.

    STAR stands for Situation/Task, Action, Result, while PAR stands for Problem, Action, Result. Many interviewers will ask you to “tell them about a time when….”  By integrating the STAR/PAR acronyms, you will be able to respond with a complete answer: you should describe a situation, task, or problem you faced, detail the action you took when resolving it, and then tell what resulted from your actions.

    Use and grow your network

    Andresr/Shutterstock.com

    Andresr/Shutterstock.com

    You want to do X.  You know or know of someone who does X.  Make the connection and see what transpires. Perhaps the connection will lead to a job, but it could also potentially become a mentor/mentee relationship that will assist with career guidance in your quest for a job or better job.  Also, having a LinkedIn profile connects you to a world of people with roles similar to the one you are probably seeking. Send a terse yet somewhat personal message to those with whom you want to connect: e.g. Hi ___, Looks like we have this person, group, skill, etc. in common.  I’d like to connect with you.

    Want more secrets to connecting the dots on your path to career success? Follow College Recruiter on Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter or start searching for jobs on our website today.

    Erin Vickers, Staffing Consultant at RightSourcing, Inc., has spent more than 16 years in various recruiting roles in a variety of industries. Her experience includes full-lifecycle recruiting for nationally-known telecommunications carriers and a third-party administrator. Additionally, she has supported several staffing initiatives for an international chemical company and a widely-renowned insurance company. She has placed candidates in accounting, engineering, executive, financial, marketing, and other professional positions as well as various customer service and technician-type roles. As a Staffing Consultant, she has piloted an on-site recruiting program in support of an exclusive client’s needs.  Her passion is to strategically assist her client in operating an efficient organization by providing top talent.  Erin graduated from Lyon College (Batesville, AR) with a Bachelor of Arts degree in French. In her spare time, she enjoys listening to live music, traveling, and spending time with her two spoiled rescue dogs.

     

  • 3 steps to a flawless phone interview

    January 12, 2016 by

    With travel costs skyrocketing and recruitment budgets shrinking, phone interviews and online interviews are becoming more common. If you’re a 2016 college graduate, and this news scares the pants off you, keep calm and read on.

    Relying solely on your words to carry you through an interview can feel a bit intimidating. Even traditional face-to-face interviews feel intimidating when you’re a newbie. With a little practice and lots of preparation, you’ll become a pro.

    For an overview of a simple 3-step process to a flawless phone interview, check out this quick 5-minute video by College Recruiter:

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

    1. Schedule the interview and set reminders.

    It’s helpful to schedule phone interviews because you won’t be sawing logs in your sleep when the phone rings and catches you off guard. You’ll be alert, prepared, and much more likely to perform well during phone interviews if you schedule them.

    Another important part of scheduling phone interviews is knowing who’s calling whom. If you’re calling your interviewer, set a reminder in your phone, and keep your phone charged and with you so you’ll hear the reminder/alarm. And don’t forget one other important thing—contact information for your interviewer. It’s best to have two ways to contact your interviewer in case one phone number doesn’t work that day or technology fails you. Obtain both your interviewer’s phone number and email address if possible.

    2. Prepare.

    There are several ways to prepare well for phone interviews. Let’s hit the high points.

    Above all, prepare for a phone interview the same way you’d prepare for any other interview—reviewing basic interview questions, researching the company, getting a good night’s sleep the night before, etc.

    Phone interviews are a different animal, though, than face-to-face interviews, so let’s focus on how to prepare specifically for phone interviews versus face-to-face interviews.

    Ensure you have all documentation and sources you might want to refer to during the phone interview on hand and available. This should include a copy of your resume, cover letter, digital portfolio, and company website. Be sure to send copies of said documents in advance as well (resume, cover letter, and portfolio link).

    Prepare a distraction-free zone. Schedule your call at a time and in a location free from as many sounds as possible, including children, friends, romantic partners, other students, coworkers, cars, etc. Even if you are great at zoning out and focusing on conversations, your interviewer might not be, and there’s no faster way to turn off a potential future employer than to schedule your phone interview and force your interviewer to try to compete for your attention or discern your voice from five others in the background. It’s also best to eliminate visual distractions from your sight. Give yourself the gift of focus during your phone interview.

    Keep a bottle or glass of water handy, but don’t consume too much. You can’t pause the interview for a restroom break, and you don’t want to cause yourself any discomfort which would distract you either. And by all means, don’t crunch and munch on snacks during your interview, chew gum, or eat candy. Noises like this are amplified over the phone, and you don’t want to come across like a chipmunk on the other end.

    3. Communicate as if face-to-face, but remember you’re not.

    When you smile, stand up, nod your head, and sit up straight, you sound more positive, energetic, and focused. This is probably the way you would carry yourself physically if you were interviewing face-to-face, so sit/stand this way while interviewing by phone, too. If you’re physically able, standing up while conducting a phone interview, at least periodically, is usually a good idea. It helps you maintain a higher energy level, and believe it or not, it’s conveyed in your voice tone.

    Tursk Aleksandra/Shutterstock.com

    Conduct yourself as if you’re face-to-face, smiling and doing all these little things (honing your non-verbal skills) while on the phone interview, but remember you’re not face-to-face—your interview can only hear your words and the tone of your voice. Be sure to annunciate clearly and use words you’re familiar with to avoid mispronounced words.

    If you follow these 3 simple steps—scheduling and setting reminders, preparing, and communicating as if face-to-face—your phone interview is bound to succeed.

    Continue preparing for your upcoming job or internship search by following our blog and following us on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn for updates and helpful tips. This month we’re focusing our efforts on helping college students connect the dots on the path to career success.

  • 5 tips for a successful Skype interview

    January 08, 2016 by
    Robyn Scott, guest writer

    Robyn Scott, guest writer

    Many companies are hiring for remote or part-time positions these days that require some creativity when it comes to the interview process. Many recent graduates will be conducting interviews via phone or Skype. It’s important that applicants keep a few things in mind when conducting a Skype interview so their professionalism and personality can shine through when they ask and answer questions about the position.

    1) Technical issues

    The first thing to think about when doing to a Skype interview is any technical issues that might occur. First, make sure to get the interviewer’s Skype name prior to the day of the interview and give them yours as well. If you’ve been using a Skype name such as “luv2chill,” which would be appropriate for a college student, it might be time to go ahead and download a new version of Skype with a professional nickname such as “firstname_lastname”. Make sure your internet connection is excellent and Skype with somebody out of town for a few minutes to check your connection speed. There’s nothing more frustrating than having Skype drop the call several times during the interview. It’s also a good idea to have a viable backup plan if Skype isn’t working. Make sure your cell phone is charged and offer to finish the interview by phone if things aren’t working out. Lastly, have a good sense of humor about any technical issues on either end. If the person interviewing you feels comfortable that you can make things work in a difficult situation, it speaks to your abilities as a potential employee.

    2)  Lighting and background

    When being interviewed via Skype it’s critical to take a look at lighting and background. Many people look eager and fresh faced in real life but may look completely washed out on a little computer screen. It’s important not to look tired or worn out during an interview and also a good idea to deal with this ahead of time. Set up your Skype camera and play around with the lighting in the room you will be using for your interview. Make sure the lighting is even and the background is neutral. The reality is you may be using Skype in your bedroom as this may be the only private place for many new graduates. However, you don’t want the person interviewing you to see your personal items. You can put up a screen or move your desk around until you get a basic neutral background.

    3)  Formal vs. informal

    Andrey Popov/Shutterstock.com

    It’s difficult to determine if a Skype interview will be more or less formal than an in-person interview. Some employers look at a Skype interview as a more casual and convenient way of getting to know someone, whereas other employers view it as the only way they can get in touch with a remote employee who will be working in their home office in another state. Applicants can play off of the vibe given from the hiring manager. Be prepared to have a professional interview similar to an in-person interview in a corporate office when you start. However, if the hiring manager is more relaxed and casual, it’s okay to have a more informal chat and let them get to know your personality.

    4)  Keep the conversation flowing

    Applicants should be able to keep the conversation flowing over Skype. They won’t have the same social cues they would in an in-person interview because it’ll be difficult to read the interviewer’s body language. Additionally, technical issues including voice and video can make it difficult to have a fluid discussion. Rather than having several awkward pauses practice a few mock interviews over Skype with a friend and figure out professional but friendly ways to fill the conversation. For example, if you’re in your home office in Florida, and the corporate headquarters are in Illinois, chat about the local office, weather, or any kind of small talk that pertains to the job. The point is to keep the interviewer at ease as they may be just as nervous as the applicant.

    5)  Create a professional environment

    It’s important to create a professional environment inside and out. This means that in addition to looking the part, the surrounding should be appropriate for an interview. Applicants are encouraged to find a quiet setting where they will be entirely uninterrupted by classmates or roommates. The more professional the environment, the more likely the applicant is to display sophistication to an employer and to obtain the position.

    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. 

    This month, College Recruiter will publish guest articles and other content to assist college students seeking entry-level jobs after graduation or summer internships. Check out “Connecting the dots: Creating a 2016 career action plan.

     

     

  • Hiring managers offer 11 tips for new college grads

    January 05, 2016 by

    Throughout January 2016, College Recruiter is publishing content designed to help college students seeking entry-level jobs upon graduation or summer internships. Learn more about January’s focus by checking out “Connecting the dots: Creating a 2016 career action plan.

    Guest articles published in January cover different topics to help students who are about to graduate and search for their first full-time jobs or who are looking to secure summer internships.

    julie ellis

    Julie Ellis

    This is the big one. As a new or soon-to-be grad, or even someone looking at graduation in a year, you are about to embark upon the real thing – finding a “real” job in a “real” career field. You haven’t done this before, but that should not frighten you. College has been full of new experiences, and you did just fine. Look upon this whole process as an exciting adventure that you will prepare well for. And that’s the key – getting prepared. To do that, you might want to consider what actual hiring managers say you need to do to obtain interviews and ultimately land the job. Here are 11 tips straight from their mouths, so listen up. Continue Reading