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Posted July 27, 2016 by

10 tips for college graduates seeking job search success

Businessman working from home on laptop courtesy of Shutterstock.com

Monkey Business Images/Shutterstock.com

College seniors and recent college graduates often enter the job market eager and excited about the possibilities of landing that first job. But many quickly find out job search success isn’t immediate and requires a lot of hard work.

But successful job seekers also quickly realize there are resources that can help: mentors, college career services departments, and professional contacts are willing to assist recent college graduates in their quest for job search success.

Below, we organized feedback from a variety of career services professionals and recruiting experts, all who offer job search and career advice for college seniors, recent college grads, and entry-level job seekers striving to achieve job search success. We’d like to offer our own secret: register 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.

1. Write down the best qualities of one job you would do for free

“Think about the one job you would do even if you weren’t being paid for doing it – the job you would do right now simply for the joy it brings you. Write it down. Then write down the qualities of this job. As you interview, be sure to ask questions that address the presence of these qualities. At the offer stage, be sure to assess the offers in terms of the presence or absence of these qualities.”

Steve Levy, Advisor at Day 100

2. Find a mentor

“The best tip that I could give college seniors is to be willing to ask questions. It can be intimidating to have peers with jobs already lined up and seemingly everything figured out. Don’t be afraid to admit what you don’t know about the job search. Ask for help with the process. Find a mentor or several mentors, and use their time wisely. Instead of asking for a simple resume review, bring your resume and 5 job descriptions and ask, “how could I strengthen my application for each of these roles?” or “If you were interviewing for these positions, how would you evaluate candidates?” Once you start asking deep-dive questions about resumes, jobs, and interviews, you will become an active, engaged candidate.”

Mike Caldwell, Director, Business Careers & Employer Development and College of William & Mary

3. Connect with your cover letter

“When writing your cover letter, make sure you’re talking about how well you fit with both the job description AND the company. There will likely be several candidates who have a strong background for the position. Once that has been established, the company will look at who will fit best into the company and its established culture. This is your opportunity to establish that connection early.”

Kelsey Lavigne, Career Services Specialist, University of Arkansas College of Engineering

4. Resume tip: Show don’t tell

“Show me; don’t tell me. I often say that evidence is worth more than a thousand words. When hiring, I am looking for someone who truly ‘walks the talk’—and a great way for candidates to demonstrate or prove their ability, passion, skills, and knowledge is by using a portfolio—which goes well beyond a static resume.”

Heather Hiles, is the CEO and founder of Pathbrite

5. Focus on people first

“When you get into your job — no matter what you’re doing or how much you like it — focus on people first. Get to know your coworkers and get to care about your coworkers. You have no idea what turn your career will take, and in five years this job may be a small blip on your resume. But what makes the job worth the time are the people you meet and the relationships you form.”

Sarah Greesonbach, Principal at B2B Content Studio, @AwYeahSarah

6. Be specific in your first job search

“Be open to other career path opportunities which may come your way, but in your initial search be specific. A narrow focus will keep you from wasting your time (and that of employers, recruiters, and hiring managers) by applying and interviewing for positions which really aren’t a good fit or what you want to be doing. Also, it’s okay to start at the beginning, though the pay and responsibility may be less than what you were hoping. Go in with the understanding and determination that as long as you do more than what you are paid to do, you will eventually end up being paid more for what you do, if not by your present employer, then its competitor.”

David Flake, Human Resources Director at State of Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism

7. Stay organized

“Start early and stay organized. Keep a log of applications you’ve completed, date, which copy of your resume you sent, and any contact information you have. Use that to follow up on jobs!”

Rebecca Warren, Career & Disability Services Coordinator, University of Arkansas Community College at Batesville

8. Utilize your college career services department

“Make use of the career services office at your college or university. The staff can direct you when it comes to resumes, career fairs, job opportunities, and the appropriate ways to follow up with potential employers.”

Kaitlyn Maloney, Human Resources Coordinator, New England Center for Children

9. Maintain a positive online image

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

Erin Vickers, Staffing Consultant, RightSourcing, Inc.

10. Always learn to grow as a professional

“Be gentle with yourself as you navigate the job market. You probably won’t land your dream job the first time around. However, if you understand that this process is a continuation of your learning and growth as both a professional and person you will be just fine.”

Janine Truitt, Chief Innovations Officer, Talent Think Innovations, LLC.

The job search is tough. Seek out help and assistance. Utilize these resources and tips to help succeed in your job search now and throughout your career.

For more job search success stories and tips, visit our blog and connect with us on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube.

Posted July 13, 2016 by

Career assessments: Valuable at all stages of one’s career

Job candidate reading assignment in assessment center

Completing a career assessment can help job seekers at all stages of their career.

A career assessment is a great way for college students to learn more about the type of career they could pursue, based on their personality, interests, goals, and aspirations. But career assessments can also be beneficial for college students completing an internship, new college grads, and entry-level employees looking to make that next step in their career.

The reason is simple: “Learning about oneself is an ongoing, lifelong search,” says Stephanie P. Kennedy, co-founder of My College Planning Team (MCPT), a Downers Grove, Illinois-based company that provides college students and families with a variety of financial and academic/career planning resources.

There are a variety of popular career assessments that have value at all stages of one’s college and professional career. The staff at My College Planning Team uses a combination of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® and the Holland Code Test. They also use and favor the YouScience assessment, an assessment that helps students reveal their paths to education and career success.

Taking a career assessment can be of value, but taking a career assessment and working with a college career counselor, career coach, or other career services professional to expand on those results can add real value.

“Self-assessment based largely on what the computer program identifies you as can be misleading, frustrating, and downright false,” says Kennedy. “Career counselors and educational consultants are trained to interpret these assessments and are skilled in presenting them in a customized manner.”

The team at MCPT excels in working with students who may want to learn more about how to get the most out of an assessment.

“While the assessment tools are efficient and highly respected in our field, the value of those assessments comes from our customized processing of the results with each person,” says Kennedy.

It’s never too late to take a career assessment. And it’s even more beneficial to complete a career assessment and get further analysis and guidance by partnering with a career professional who can help you plan your career based on the results of these assessments. Like Kennedy said, learning is lifelong. A thorough career assessment with a qualified counselor can be very helpful.

“For most people, the task of career exploration will not end with high school graduation, or with college graduation,” says Kennedy. “The tools of career assessment can aid you in your career exploration and decisions throughout your lifetime.”

For more tips on career assessments and other job search advice, stay connected by following College Recruiter on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.

Stephanie Kennedy, co-founder of My College Planning Team

Stephanie Kennedy, co-founder of My College Planning Team

Stephanie Kennedy is co-founder of My College Planning Team. She holds a M.S. in Counseling and College Student Development. A former admissions counselor, her team now helps students identify their passions and find the colleges that are the best fit academically, socially, and with career focus. Kennedy has worked at the University of Miami, Northeastern University, Texas A&M University, Stonehill College, and others. She has read hundreds of college applications and assisted thousands of students in their college adjustment and educational path. With her hands-on perspective, she guides students and families in a successful college search that goes far beyond the acceptance letter.

 

Posted June 23, 2016 by

Being honest and engaged during the onboarding process

Smiling graduate student with diploma photo by StockUnlimited.com

Photo by StockUnlimited.com

As recent college graduates and entry-level job candidates prepare to enter the workforce, they should prepare for the onboarding process. New hires should stay focused and take notes during the onboarding process to get the most out of it. Andre Lavoie, CEO and Co-Founder of ClearCompany, shares his best advice for recent grads and entry-level job candidates while onboarding.

“The best advice I can give recent grads and entry-level candidates is to be honest and stay engaged. Onboarding requires plenty of attention, focus, and an ability to retain information in a short amount of time.

Recent grads and candidates engage in this process to learn their expectations, gain a deeper understanding of their companies and their employers, meet their team, and see how they can succeed in their new roles. It’s exciting, not a chore, so direct energy in the best way by sitting up straight and staying interactive.

Take your own notes and actively listen. Continue taking notes while performing tasks. These notes will be helpful because you can review them after training to increase your knowledge. They will also inform some well thought out questions and feedback.

When trainers ask for feedback, share your thoughts. When you don’t understand something about a process or task, ask questions. Many new hires are nervous and don’t feel comfortable speaking up, but allowing fear to stand in the way is incredibly detrimental to your training and your relationship with your employer.

The bottom line of onboarding is to set expectations, train employees on processes, and build a trusting relationship. Communication and engagement are crucial.”

Want to help recent grads and entry-level job candidates in the onboarding process? Get some assistance and follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube.

Andre Lavoie, CEO and Co-Founder of ClearCompany

Andre Lavoie, CEO and Co-Founder of ClearCompany

Andre Lavoie is the CEO of ClearCompany, the first talent alignment platform that bridges the gap between talent management and business strategy by contextualizing employees’ work around a company’s vision and goals. You can connect with him and the ClearCompany team on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.

Posted February 12, 2016 by

Interview questions recruiters can ask job candidates

Every company has its own interview process designed to learn more about job candidates. How college students and recent graduates answer questions from an interviewer can make or break their chances of landing entry-level jobs. Recruiters and hiring managers can ask candidates a variety of interview questions during the hiring process. Dennis Theodorou, Executive Search Expert and Vice President of Operations at JMJ Phillip Executive Search, discusses his company’s interview process and offers questions recruiters may ask candidates in general.

Job applicant answering interview questions courtesy of Shutterstock.com

Africa Studio/Shutterstock.com

“December and May are peak hiring times for the majority of employers, and that allows us to hire directly out of several of the top-ranked colleges. In a strong hiring year, well over 100 recent graduates are interviewed, and we’ll hire as many as 10. Some of the top qualities we’re searching for when hiring for any one of our workforce and recruiting companies are listed below.

We consider our first interview a fairly easy process; the first round interview focuses more on general knowledge, passions, goals in life, etc., and that allows the job candidate to be less anxious and communicate freely. The second interview, which some have dubbed “the beat down session,” is where we dive into behavioral economics and reasons why people do the things they do. What we’re seeking from college graduates at this point in the interview process is whether or not they will fit into our culture naturally.

Employers want to know if the job candidate can operate autonomously. As a college graduate, can you honestly work well within a team when needed? Are you motivated? Are you a hustler in your work ethics? Are you naturally curious and willing to learn something new every day? How well do you deal with adversity? Do you have the ability to develop customer service skills in order to deal with client? These are questions employers should ask to really understand who they’re hiring. For some of our positions, we look for signs and ask if they possess the business acumen and creativity to develop and contribute to profitable ideas. We may be hiring a college student, but one who has the skills and qualities of a professional ready to take on the workforce!”

Interested in learning more about interview questions, go to College Recruiter’s blog and follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Twitter.

Mr. Dennis Theodorou has more than 15 years of operational excellence and executive experience across multiple industries including: executive search, supply chain, manufacturing, retail and hospitality. Mr. Theodorou graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Supply Chain Management from the leading supply chain management college in the world: Michigan State University. He has continued his education through graduate-level course work at Harvard University. As a development agent for Subway, he managed and led an entire region of store locations including the management of self-owned stores, franchise development, real estate and area management. As a national expert in hiring, he has hired more than 700 employees over his entire career span and works hand-in-hand with companies to help on board top talent. Currently as Vice President of JMJ Phillip, he manages a portfolio of executive recruiting and employment service brands, spanning multiple locations and across nearly all verticals.

Posted September 24, 2014 by

Advantages And Disadvantages Of Becoming An Entrepreneur After Graduating College

Young entrepreneur working in a cafe (soft focus)

Young entrepreneur working in a cafe (soft focus). Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

Being an entrepreneur is definitely something that a lot of people aspire to due to the fact that it is a great way to live life. People get in charge of their own lives so it is definitely a great feeling. We do have various advantages of becoming an entrepreneur but it is important to also realize that there are disadvantages. It is vital that we think about both. (more…)

Posted August 25, 2014 by

College Students, Want to Pay Less for a Higher Education that Will Help You Find Jobs in the Future? Try Online Learning

Getting a higher education can help college students find jobs in the future.  For anyone looking for a more affordable way to learn, online learning may be the answer according to the following post.

With college becoming extraordinarily expensive, many college prospects and their parents wondering if a post-high school education is really worth it. Sadly, many folks enrolled in higher education studies in hopes of bettering their life and their financial outlook, but ultimately ended up in a much deeper hole than before thanks to

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Posted August 20, 2014 by

Strategies for Finding a Job in Economic Downfall

Looking for a job written on a chalkboard at the office

Looking for a job written on a chalkboard at the office. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

We all know that it is tough for job seekers to find a job at the time of a recession. But it is also important for job seekers to learn some strategies that will land them on a preferred job especially at the time of economic collapse. According to a recent survey, unstable economies of many countries have affected a large number of college students that are looking for their first job. If you are a fresh college graduate and want to find a perfect job even in recession time, then you are at the right platform. Have a look at the experts provided strategies to find a job in an economic downfall. (more…)

Posted August 01, 2014 by

Are College Students Prepared to Get Jobs in Today’s Workforce?

College students searching for jobs may be hearing that they are not as prepared for employment in today’s workforce.  So, how do some students and employers feel?   The following post includes an infographic about the skills gap with their thoughts.

As shown in this compelling infographic, Internships.com and General Assembly have new data for those graduates entering the workforce; specifically, the skills employers are demanding as they hand-pick the best of available new talent. After reviewing the data, the question must be asked: Should colleges & universities be doing more to prepare their students for today’s workforce?

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Posted July 31, 2014 by

3 Tips to Graduate College Debt-Free (or Close to It)

Young male graduate in cap and gown holding piggy bank

Young male graduate in cap and gown holding piggy bank. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

The severity of the student loan debt crisis in the U.S. varies depending on whom you ask. The average 2013 college graduate left school with $29,400 in student loan debt, according to the Project On Student Debt. But a 2014 report by the Brookings Institute indicates that student loan debt is no more of a detriment to borrowers today than it was 25 years ago. One key finding from the same study is that the median amount of student loan debt for 20 to 40 year-olds is only $8,500, indicating the average is skewed by extreme outliers.

Either way, the best way to handle student loan debt and the effects thereof is to not accumulate any in the first place. These three tips will help you graduate with little to no debt. (more…)

Posted July 14, 2014 by

7 Qualities of College Students Who Will Find Jobs After Graduation

For college students looking to land jobs after graduation, having these seven qualities in the following post can boost their chances.

It’s summer. The time of year when recent college graduates frantically search for jobs in an economy still struggling; a scary time for many. And yet, there are a select few who are rising to the top of the job search heap. This group of college graduates are the college seniors who’ve

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