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

Posted January 01, 2016 by

Connecting the dots: Creating a 2016 career action plan

Most college students make a list and check it twice before leaving campus during finals week. Catch up on countless hours of missed sleep during fall semester? Check. Hang out with hometown friends and reminisce about old times? Check. Curl up in Dad’s crusty old recliner and watch every episode of “The Big Bang Theory” aired since 2007? Check.

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

There may be other items that make the list but rank lower in priority because, let’s face it, they’re simply not as fun to complete—obtain seasonal employment, complete the FAFSA online for the upcoming academic year, fill out grad school applications, stop by the local architect’s office to ask about a summer internship opportunity, etc. The list could literally go on FOR-EV-ER, as The Sandlot’s Squints puts it.

Realistically, many students head back to campus in January without having completed the lower-ranking, future-focused tasks. This doesn’t seem like a big deal in January; the entire spring semester lies before you like a blank notebook. Sounds simple, right?

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

But a blank piece of paper gets you nowhere in terms of a future career or internship (and certainly generates little cash flow). And most people, not just college students, tend to put off today what can be done tomorrow. Unfortunately, employers and recruiters don’t feel your procrastination pain. They only care if you’re the smartest and best if you’ve actually applied on time and filled their needs for openings.

While you still have time and aren’t stressed by the pressure of spring courses, pour a cup of coffee, prepare to brainstorm, and draft a simple 4-step blueprint for action.

1. Accept your limitations and lower your expectations. This might sound like odd advice, but it will keep you from dropping the career-planning ball altogether. Most of us think more highly of ourselves than we ought; this causes us to set ridiculously high expectations and goals (AKA perfectionism). It’s been said that it’s unrealistic to plan more than 90 days out, so don’t do it. If you do, you’re setting yourself up for failure before you’ve begun. Eat that elephant one bite at a time.

2.Identify a few (3 to 5) key career-related goals that matter to you. These goals need to be directly related to obtaining an entry-level job after graduation or an internship during the summer of 2016. Perhaps you’re not interested in an internship but are interested in obtaining part-time employment during the summer that relates to your academic major or minor. Regardless, you might need help with this step. Who can help?

a) 
College Recruiter’s blog. Keep reading this month and follow our blog (via email, Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn). During January, you’ll read about nothing but information related to helping college students plan for and obtain entry-level jobs after graduation and internships during the summer.   b) Your career services office on campus.

Let’s pretend your goal is to work for Target Corporation in entry-level management near Houston, Texas, and  you plan to graduate in May 2016. This is a pretty specific goal (which is good—the more narrow your focus, the easier it is to set goals and action steps).

Some career-related goals might be:

  • Develop a more polished resume (your current resume was drafted when applying for college three years ago and hasn’t been updated since) and learn how to write a great cover letter.
  • Improve phone/online interview skills since you live three states away from Texas and will most likely interview over the phone or online.
  • Learn how to convey your “campus life” experiences as transferable skills during interviews since you’ve only held one part-time job and feel insecure about your lack of real-world experience.

(Spoiler alert: Stay tuned to our blog this month to learn about all this and more.)

3. Define action steps necessary to help you attain your 3-5 goals. This step’s crucial; goals are simply idealistic dreams unless you take steps to realize them.

Let’s stick with our hypothetical you who hopes to work in entry-level management for Target Corporation near Houston, Texas, after graduating in May 2016. Here are some suggested action steps:

  • Update existing resume with part-time job, volunteer experience, campus involvement, and coursework relevant to future employment.
  • Submit resume to College Recruiter’s free resume review service (yep, FREE) and to campus career services office.
  • Follow College Recruiter’s blog this month for posts related to interview skills. Search College Recruiter’s blog for past articles and webinars related to interview skills.
  • Attend mock interviews and career fairs on campus—these are free and afford you valuable practice.
  • Work on revising your resume to reflect transferable skills and to reframe the way you think about your own skills, too.
  • Search for job openings with Target Corporation near Houston, Texas, on College Recruiter’s website after registering. Registering first is important because College Recruiter sends you new postings (saving you time and effort).

4. Get busy. Blueprints look impressive hanging on the wall, but they’re much more impressive when framed inside the buildings built by the very architects who drafted them in the first place.

Developing an action plan is tough brain work—but the real work kicks in when you crawl out of the comfy recliner (even though you have three more days of winter break) and begin implementing your plan.

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

The payoff may not be immediate, but pretty soon you’ll see results—the empty page will fill with a pretty cool image you created by simply connecting the dots by taking action all semester.

 

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 July 29, 2015 by

Health Insurance Options for College Graduates

Brandon Cruz

Brandon Cruz, President of GoHealth Insurance

Graduating from college is an exciting time that is full of new experiences. While embarking on the post-college journey, it’s important for new graduates to consider how they intend to obtain health insurance. The good news is that today’s young adults may have more options than in the past. Consider six different ways for college graduates to get covered. (more…)

Posted June 04, 2015 by

How to Handle Life After Graduation

Graduation: Student excited about diploma and graduating

Graduation: Student excited about diploma and graduating. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

So you raced through the last four years—acing tests, tackling internships, and having some fun along the way. It was all for this moment, now you proudly hold your college diploma in your hands. Go ahead and celebrate, you deserve it! But when you wake up tomorrow, will you know what you’re going to do with your life?

There can be some tough situations after college for which you may not be prepared. But that’s okay, you’ll get there.

Here’s a quick guide to help you navigate the post-grad landscape so you can make educated decisions on the things that will impact the rest of your life. (more…)

Posted May 01, 2015 by

Make Yourself More Employable Upon Graduation – 6 Things You Can Do Right Now

Portrait of two happy graduating students. Isolated over white background.

Portrait of two happy graduating students. Isolated over white background. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

Yes, it’s a tough job market; yes, the statistics say that the jobs are just not there the way they used to be. But a certain percentage of college grads do land jobs in their career areas. Sometimes it is because they are in high-demand, low-supply fields; in a few cases, they have contacts through a parent or other relative. But there are grads who land those jobs because they have taken some critical steps before graduation that just make them more attractive to employers. Here are 6 steps for you. (more…)

Posted January 30, 2015 by

Classroom to Career: Six Steps You Must Take to Get a Rewarding Job

Woman searching newspaper classified ads

Woman searching newspaper classified ads. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

With many students working hard towards getting their degree, some don’t anticipate how difficult it may be to find a job, even with an education. As college grads enter the workforce, they may accept another position until the right one comes along. Following these six steps can help you find a rewarding job after college: (more…)

Posted December 08, 2014 by

Where Do Your Hires Come From?

Congratulations, you're hired! says manager to selected candidate

Congratulations, you’re hired! says manager to selected candidate. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

For the past decade, Gerry Crispin and Mark Mehler of CareerXroads have surveyed thousands of employers about where their hires originated. This reliable study (you can get your copy here) consistently points to three top sources:

  1. Referrals;
  2. Employer career sites; and
  3. Job boards.

(more…)

Posted December 04, 2014 by

Less is More in Recruiting

Recruitment concept on blue background with world map and social icons

Recruitment concept on blue background with world map and social icons. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

Have you ever noticed how recruiting ‘experts’ and ‘pundits’ tell you that – more is better?

It isn’t. What’s the use of getting hundreds of applicants if they aren’t high quality? When you’re on the line for filling your organization’s open positions, you need quality applicants that meet your needs – not dozens of ‘poor fits’.  Wouldn’t you rather get 20 applications and have 10 of them be good fits than get 200 applications and have 12 of them be good fits? (more…)

Posted December 03, 2014 by

Not Every Employer has the Brand of Google

Highway signpost with Employer Branding wording

Highway signpost with Employer Branding wording. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

There are a few companies out there that every candidate knows – Google, Facebook, IBM, Microsoft, and so on.

Then there are the rest of us. Our organizations provide as good of a work environment as the ‘big boys’ – maybe better! But if candidates don’t know who we are, our hiring efforts become more challenging. (more…)

Posted October 20, 2014 by

College to Real World: 4 Upgrades for Your New Life

Young man moving into new home, sitting on couch

Young man moving into new home, sitting on couch. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

You’re braving a new world—a world far different from dorm-living, lecture halls, and pre-paid meal plans. It’s called the real world and you’re not alone. More than 67 percent of college grads ages 18 to 34 are living on their own, according to a 2014 Gallup study. If you’re looking to furnish your new home and upgrade the old with new, consider these four must-haves for starting a life out on your own. (more…)