• 5 simple strategies for recent college grads struggling to save for retirement

    September 30, 2016 by
    save money words on a chalkboard illustrating back to school savings or instructions on how to save on your education costs

    Save money now, reap the rewards later. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

    We get it. You just graduated from college, and landed that first job. It’s an exciting time.

    It’s also expensive.

    You have your own apartment now, but rent is a lot higher when not living in that college town, or with fewer roommates to split the costs. Then there is that car payment and car insurance. And you are now paying for health insurance on your own for the first time. Wow, that is expensive, right? Suddenly, that salary you didn’t negotiate suddenly looks a lot smaller after taxes and deductions are taken out.

    And let’s not forget those dreaded student loans you are starting to pay back. Those are a real drain, literally and figuratively. Did you borrow money from mom and dad? It might be time to pay them back too. It’s tough. And now that you finally have a job and are making some money, you want to have some fun and spend a little extra, go on a vacation, or splurge on yourself.

    Save for retirement? Not now. There’s plenty of time, right? Yes, there is. But trust us, it’s never too soon for recent college grads and Millennials to focus on retirement. That may be the last thing an early-to-mid 20-something is thinking about, especially with so many other expenses.

    But…follow the wise advice of professionals.

    “With student loan debt and health care costs, many recent college graduates may think they need to defer or limit the amount they save for retirement until they have more money to put towards their retirement savings,” says Joe DeSilva, Senior Vice President/General Manager, ADP Retirement Services.

    ADP’s annual study on retirement savings trends shows that employees age 20-24 defer an average of 4.6 percent of their pay into a tax qualified retirement plan, while employees age 55 and older defer an average of 8.5 percent. Yet, the cost of waiting does not add up. Recent graduates should instead start saving as early as possible – even if it is just a small portion of income.

    “Being proactive today can reap big rewards tomorrow,” says DeSilva.

    Below are four steps recent college graduates can take today to set themselves up for the retirement they want tomorrow:

    1. Don’t wait to save until all your college loans are paid off: Save now to take advantage of compound earnings. If you wait even 10 years to start contributing to a retirement plan, you could miss out on many thousands of dollars in retirement savings.

    2. Actively plan your retirement: Even if a retirement plan is offered by your employer, only you can take charge of your future financial security. Ask your Human Resources department for help in deciphering your benefit options.

    3. Maximize your savings early in your career: Choose to have your employer automatically increase your retirement plan contribution every year.

    4. Establish good money management habits: Focus on saving, smart budgeting and planning for emergencies. In other words, live only within your means.

    While a recent college graduate isn’t likely to accept or move on from a job based on the retirement plan of the employee, it’s best to find an employer who at least offers a company match. That can help motivate recent college grads to start saving because it’s an easy way to start building your retirement base.

    “While they may have many decades before retirement, Millennials can benefit from employers who guide them in making smart retirement savings choices now, at the beginning of their careers,” says DeSilva.

    It’s never too early to start saving for retirement, even for recent college grads, entry-level employees and Millennials at all stages of their professional career.

    Want to learn more about how to save money for retirement while managing the start of your professional career? Then stay connected to College Recruiter by visiting our blog, and connect with us on LinkedInTwitterFacebook, and YouTube.

    Joe DeSilva, Senior Vice President/General Manager, ADP Retirement Services.

    Joe DeSilva, Senior Vice President/General Manager, ADP Retirement Services.

    About Joe DeSilva
    Joe DeSilva is Senior Vice President and General Manager of ADP’s Retirement Services business unit, which serves a national client base of small, medium and Fortune 500 businesses. He is responsible for setting the strategy and overseeing the day-to-day operations of the business, which includes Sales, Marketing, Product, Development, Service and Operations functions.

    The views expressed herein are those of the author, are intended for general information only and are not intended to provide investment, financial, tax or legal advice or a recommendation for any particular situation or plan.  ADP, LLC and its affiliates (ADP) do not endorse or recommend specific investment companies or products, financial advisors or service providers; engage or compensate any financial advisors to provide advice to plans or participants; offer financial, investment, tax or legal advice or management services; or serve in a fiduciary capacity with respect to retirement plans.  Nothing herein is intended to be, nor should be construed as, advice or a recommendation for a particular situation or plan.  Please consult with your own advisors for such advice.

     

  • Sport analytics careers: 5 skills college grads should master for career success

    September 13, 2016 by
    Young businesswoman explaining graph to business team

    Young businesswoman explaining graph to business team. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

    The field of sport analytics is growing, fast, and colleges, universities – and employers, are taking note. In fact, Syracuse University’s Falk College recently announced the development and 2017 launch of a new Bachelor of Science in Sport Analytics – the first undergraduate program of its kind in the country. The goal of the Syracuse University Sport Analytics program is to provide students with “a deep understandig of math, statistics, research methodology, sport economics, database management, finance, and computer programming integral to sport analytics. The degree also includes a mandatory foreign language requirement to prepare students for the global sport industry.”

    The use of analytics in sport became popular with the release of the 2003 book Moneyball by Michael Lewis, which showed how Oakland Athletics General Manager Billy Beane used analytics, statistics, and data to assemble and develop a cash-strapped baseball team. In 2011, a movie by the same name was released, bringing the use of sport analytics to the big screen and to the attention of sports fans everywhere. Today, sports enthusiasts are focusing on sport analytica careers as a way to gain employment with the NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL, WNBA, MLS, and other professional or minor league sports franchises, or businesses within the sports industry. The College Recruiter profile titled Sports analytics careers: Recent college grad discusses keys to success, provided an insight into what it takes to succeed in sport analytics careers. In addition, it’s no secret employers in all industries, in and outside the world of sports, are using analytics to recruit and hire college students and recent college grads. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the sport industry generated just under $500 billion in 2014-15 – making it the fifth largest economic sector in the U.S. economy. BLS data also revealed that jobs within the field of “data analyst” are growing at a rate of 27 percent per year – which is more than double the 11 percent national job growth average.

    But when talking to Rodney Paul, a Syracuse University Sports Economics Professor and Sports Analytics Program Director who, along with Syracuse University Professor Michael Veley, researched and designed the curriculum for the Syracuse University Sport Analytics bachelor’s degree program, one thing stands out:

    The focus of the program isn’t all about sports.

    “To use a sports analogy, we want to develop a true 5-tool player,” says Paul. “We want graduates of our sport analytics program to be well-versed in a wide variety of core competencies relative to what is needed to succeed in a career in sport analytics.”

    Those five key skills that the Syracuse University Sport analytics program will focus on include:

    Mathematics: At some point, it became acceptable for high school and college students to stop challenging themselves with math, says Paul. That’s because math is hard, and requires strong analytical skills. But those who relish the challenges of math, and the analytical and critical thinking skills required to succeed in math, are on the right path to a successful career in sport analytics. “Math is difficult,” says Paul. “But the more you understand math, the more you can learn, and challenge yourself, the deeper one can dive into sport analytics.”

    Computer/Information Technology Systems: Programming skills, knowing how to code, database management – proficiency in these areas and other industry technology/software programs is crucial. This is always evolving and will continue to change, but knowing the basics of key industry programs is a must. Showing one can apply these technical skills, and learn new skills/programs on an ongoing basis is going to be important for ongoing career growth.

    Business Economics: A strong business acumen, and understanding of economics, and how it applies to sports is important.

    Communication: Soft skills are important in the field of sport analytics. Professionals must have strong interpersonal, and communication skills to work within a team, with a diverse group of co-workers, clients, vendors, or colleagues. Being able to communicate data, analytics, and the theories behind sport analytics to co-workers, clients, prospects, senior management, and members of your team are integral to career success. This is true in any industry, sport analytics included.

    Foreign Language: Sport analytics careers are available worldwide. Think about this, Paul says: The KHL (Kontinental Hockey League) is widely known as “the Russian professional hockey league.” But, in reality, the 29 teams are based in Belarus, China, Croatia, Finland, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Russia, and Slovakia, and expansion to other countries is likely. Major League Baseball has a large presence in Latin America. The NBA brand is exploding in China. The NFL is playing games in Europe. The NHL has a worldwide presence. Soccer? It always has been an international game.

    “Sport industry executives repeatedly tell us that students who are bilingual are highly sought after, especially in growth areas including South America, China and India,” said Falk College Dean Diane Lyden Murphy.

    The core curriculum of the Syracuse Sport Analytics program includes a focus on principles of research methodology, sport economics, database management, finance, computer mathematics, statistics and economics. Upon graduation, students will be prepared to think conceptually and analytically while applying these principles to real issues in sport organizations. The Syracuse Sport Analytics program prepares students for a variety of different possible analytics career paths on the player evaluation side, business side, or both, says Paul.

    “Sports is the central part of all this and what ties students together,” says Paul, “but developing these skill sets is what is needed to launch a successful career in sport analytics.”

    Sport analytics careers are growing at a rapid rate. Master these five key skills to get ahead in the fast-growing field of sport analytics. Want to learn more about trends in sport analytics careers? Stay connected to College Recruiter by visiting our blog, and connect with us on LinkedInTwitterFacebook, and YouTube.

    Rodney Paul, Sports economist and program director for the Syracuse University Sport Analytics bachelors degree program.

    Rodney Paul, Syracuse University

    Rodney Paul, is a Syracuse University Sports Economics Professor and Sports Analytics Program Director who, along with Syracuse University Professor Michael Veley, researched and designed the curriculum for the Syracuse University Sport Analytics bachelor’s degree program.

  • Analytics, data changing way employers recruit, hire college graduates

    September 02, 2016 by
    Business training at office

    Employers are using analytics to make hiring decisions. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

    Workforce analytics are transforming human capital strategy, said Mark Schmit, Ph.D., SHRM-SCP, executive director of the SHRM Foundation. That’s why it’s more important than ever for employers to understand how analytics and data will drive recruiting and hiring decisions. Schmit’s comments were part of the Society of Human Resource Management’s release of the Use of Workforce Analytics for Competitive Advantage Report in June of 2016.

    The report stated: “For HR practitioners, it will be increasingly important to understand analytics and to be able to present the findings to senior executives. In a data-driven world, organizations will establish specialist HR teams and recruit data-oriented personnel.” In that same report, Schmit highlighted a 2015 Economist Intelligence Unit survey that found 82 percent of organizations recognize the importance of talent-related data in managing recruitment, retention, and turnover, and increasingly see workforce analytics “as a critical tool to shape future business strategy.”

    That’s no secret to Ian Cook, Head of Workforce Solutions at Visier, a company that develops cloud-based applications that enable HR professionals to answer workforce strategy questions.

    “If you don’t dive into analytics, then you are increasing the likelihood that your competitor will be able to scoop up all the great talent that you need,” says Cook.

    College Recruiter has been using analytics and data for years, providing employers with specific and organized reports to help achieve their recruiting and hiring goals. Active in industry organizations and events, the team at College Recruiter helps employers identify strategies that leads to  success recruiting and hiring recent college graduates and entry-level employees.

    Remember this: Analytics aren’t just used to make decisions on executives. Forward-thinking organizations are already using analytics and data to drive campus recruiting efforts and to recruit and hire recent college graduates and entry-level job seekers. For example, Visier delivers a workforce intelligence solution that makes the management of data, the formulation of analysis, and the sharing of business insights simple. And it can be customized. If campus recruiting is important to your organization, analytics and data can be used to identify which schools deliver graduate hires that stay with the organization the longest, and that progress upward in the organization.

    “We understand that campus hiring is a unique process and have analytic content specifically related to this type of hiring,” says Cook. “We enable organizations to track the true costs of their campus work and then relate this back to the successful – and not so successful – hires that come through this channel.”

    Cook points out that it is becoming more common knowledge for employers to move away from hiring from specific schools and to instead look more broadly at the profile of the individual. Cook knows of some organizations that did a longitudinal study of the performance of their graduate hires. They found that work experience prior to and during school time, athletic achievement, and extracurricular activities, such as committees or volunteering, were more predictive of a future good hire than the specific school or the candidates grade point average (GPA).

    “This completely changed their approach to campus recruiting,” says Cook. “Previously, they over-spent to chase the students with the top GPA’s from the best schools. Now, they would source more broadly, and reduce the weight given to school and GPA in their overall selection process. This has increased their retention of graduate hires and reduced the overall cost of their campus recruitment program.”

    The SHRM report also noted that “Organizations wanting to exploit ‘big data’ to gain a competitive advantage are setting up small specialist teams of data analysts, training their existing staff in the use of big data, and recruiting college graduates with skills in workforce analytics.”

    Employers should focus on finding recent college graduates with a background in analytics, perhaps through an internship, and start implementing analytics as an important part of their recruiting and hiring plans.

    Data, and more specifically, analytics, should be seen as a decision support mechanism, says Cook. “No analysis can remove the need for a decision, nor replace the human judgement within the decision,” he says. “However, analytics has been shown to improve the speed and quality of the human decision-making process such that substantial business value is gained.”

    And, the benefit of analytics over intuition or ‘gut-instinct’ is the removal of bias, indecision, and all the other factors that are known to cloud human judgement.

    “This is no longer a nice to have,” says Cook. “Everyone knows the game has changed, and if you are not using analytics to play the best you can then you will be left behind.”

    For more advice and tips on how employers are using analytics to drive hiring decisions, stay connected to College Recruiter. Check out our blog and follow us on LinkedIn, TwitterFacebook, and don’t forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel.

    Ian Cook of Visier

    Ian Cook of Visier

    About Ian Cook
    Ian Cook heads up the workforce domain for Visier, which develops cloud-based applications that enable HR professionals to answer workforce strategy questions. Ian has been involved in driving forward the datafication of HR and is a speaker and blogger on the subject. Prior to Visier, Ian built Canada’s leading source of HR benchmark data. His expertise has also been developed through years of international experience solving strategic HR problems for brands in the Fortune 500 and FTSE 100.

  • Sports analytics careers: Recent college grad discusses keys to success

    August 31, 2016 by
    Group of analysts reviewing data

    Group of analysts reviewing data. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

    It’s no secret that analytics and data are driving, and changing, the world of sports, at all levels. From high school to college, and the pros, individuals, organizations, and teams are using analytics to drive decisions on and off the field. The rapid rise in the use of sports analytics led to the creation of the popular MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference, called “a forum for industry professionals, students, and fans to discuss the increasing role of analytics in the sports industry.”

    The growth of sports analytics has also prompted Syracuse University to launch the first-ever sports analytics bachelor’s degree program in the United States. Launching in the Spring of 2017, the Syracuse University sports analytics bachelor’s degree program will focus on computer programming, statistics, math, and of course, sports.

    In May of 2016 Zack Sims graduated from the University of Georgia with a double major in Digital and Broadcast Journalism and Statistics. He also earned a certificate from UGA’s sports media program, preparing him for a career in sports, or sports analytics. While at UGA Sims wrote for a few sports web sites, covered live events, and practiced analyzing sports data on his own. He was also a Division I athlete, participating in track and cross country. An informational interview helped Sims earn a sports analytics internship at Competitive Sports Analysis (CSA), an Atlanta, Georgia-based sports analytics company.

    Below, Sims talks to College Recruiter about how he landed his sports analytics internship, what he does as a sports analytics intern, the type of technical and soft skills needed to succeed in sports analytics careers, what he knows now that he wish he knew while in college – and much more:

    Informational interview led to sports analytics internship

    Sims was required to complete an informational interview with a sports industry professional as part of a sports media class at UGA.

    “I told my professor that I wanted to work in sports analytics, and he told me he had recently met a woman named Diane Bloodworth, who owned her own sports analytics company in Atlanta,” said Sims. “I interviewed with Diane and got an understanding for how she got into the industry. She told me to stay in touch, so I called her shortly before graduating and asked if she had any openings. She offered me an internship, and I started working shortly after.”

    Sports industry background

    During the informational interview, Sims was able to discuss how his previous work in sports prepared him for a sports analytics internship. In the summer of 2015 he served as the Broadcast Intern for the Sunbelt Collegiate Baseball League, where he did play-by-play and commentary, and wrote game stories. He also wrote for three different websites covering college football. During his time at UGA, he covered a multitude of sports (swimming, softball, basketball, baseball and more) for the UGA sports media program. Two of his assignments from that program got published in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and the Athens Banner-Herald.

    Day-to-day duties of a Sports analytics intern

    At CSA, Sims works as an analytics intern. CSA currently offers two products. scoutPRO is for fantasy football players. This product provide projections, access to a fantasy football expert, and insights into player data. CSA also offers scoutSMART, which is an analytics based recruiting software. It shows college football coaches how well a recruit will fit into their program. CSA currently only works in college and pro football. Its clients are fantasy football users (scoutPRO) and college football coaches (scoutSMART).

    Sims’ day-to-day duties go far beyond the job title, because CSA is a startup company. Sims said this internship has provided him with experience in a lot of different areas beyond sports and analytics. He uses math, business and communication skills on a daily basis. He helps with CSA marketing efforts, managing social media, and analyzing NFL data. He manages software databases and much more.

    When you work at a startup, you aren’t tied down to specific duties,” says Sims. “You really help in any way you can. I help manage our corporate website, run our Twitter accounts, head up our email marketing campaigns, manage the database for our scoutSMART, and create some visual analytics for our scoutPRO users. I’ve been able to work in so many areas during my internship.”

    Software skills crucial in sports analytics careers

    To succeed in a career in sports analytics, one must be able to have much more than a knowledge and interest in sports. They must be analytical, and be able to understand, learn, and use a variety of software programs, and have a variety of technical skills.

    Prior to this internship, Sims used Kaggle, a social media site for data analysts, to practice analyzing sports data. He primarily looked at Major League Baseball data on Kaggle. Now, at CSA, R, Tableau and Excel are the three main programs Sims uses for conducting data analysis.

    “They are great for breaking down large data sets and producing something meaningful,” says Sims. “I also use Constant Contact for managing our email marketing campaigns.”

    Coding/programming skills important in sports analytics careers

    “The one thing I wish I would have known was how important coding/programming is,” says Sims. “If you want to get into analytics, you really need to be proficient in a few programs. I was exposed to R and SAS while at UGA, but I didn’t really start learning them in-depth until I started teaching myself the last few months.”

    Sims expanded on the technical skills needed to succeed in a sports analytics career, saying “I think you need to know R (or SAS), Tableau, and SQL to land some bigger jobs in analytics. Each of these plays a very big role in any analytics job. The good thing is there are plenty of places on the internet where you can learn these tools (W3Schools, R for Everyone, Tableau Website, Kaggle).”

    Soft skills are crucial to sports analytics career success

    You can love sports, and be an analytics genius, but soft skills are still crucial to succeed in sports analytics careers.

    “I definitely think you need to be effective at communicating to work in analytics,” says Sims. “There are a lot of people who can break down data, but there aren’t many people who can do that and clearly explain what the data is telling them.”

    From college classroom to the real world

    Sims says the sports media and journalism classes he took at UGA helped prepare him for his internship.

    “These classes made it easy to tell a story from the data I work with,” says Sims. “I think my statistics classes taught me what to look for when analyzing data.”

    The future of sports analytics careers

    Since starting his internship and searching for jobs in sports analytics, Sims has noticed just how fast the field of sports analytics is growing: “I’ve learned the sports analytics market is growing like crazy,” he said. “There are so many opportunities emerging, and this should continue for the next couple of years. This excites me, because I know I can work my up in the industry.”

    Passion for sports important

    Most college students or recent college grads who pursue a career in sports analytics are likely going to have a passion for sports. And that is another valuable trait to showcase with employers, when interviewing for jobs in sports analytics.

    “I definitely think you need a passion for sports to be successful in this field,” says Sims. “When I’m trying to analyze data for our fantasy football users, it helps that I know what kind of metrics are important to them. I love football and I also play fantasy football, so it helps me know what our customers will want to see.”

    Being a well-rounded college graduate is valuable

    “I’m a believer that the more versatile your background is, the better,” says Sims. “Being passionate about sports is great, but if you can also break down data and draw important meaning from it, you can definitely find a job in sports analytics.”

    The importance of a sports analytics internship

    An internship is crucial to success.

    “It’s really hard to just land a sports analytics job when you come out of college, unless you’ve done a lot of work/projects on your own,” says Sims. “Internships are a stepping stone for you to get a job with a sports team, sports technology company, or other sports organization or business.”

    The future

    Sims would welcome the chance to stay at CSA once his internship is complete. He also still dreams of working in an analytics role for a professional sports team/organization, or sports media company. For now, he knows he’s getting some of the best on-the-job training he can to pursue his passion and dream of working in the fast-growing field of sports analytics. Sims calls working at CSA “a great experience,” adding that he “gets the freedom to explore projects that I might not get a large company.”

    Sports analytics careers are not the future, they are the present. Zack Sims is prepared to take the next step in his career. Current college students, recent college grads and entry-level job seekers can prepare for the next step in their career by staying connected to College Recruiter to learn about careers in sports analytics. To do so, visit our blog, and connect with us on LinkedIn, TwitterFacebook, and YouTube.

    Zack Sims

    Zack Sims

    About Zack Sims
    Zack Sims graduated from the University of Georgia in the srping of 2016 with a double major in Digital and Broadcast Journalism and Statistics. He also earned a certificate from UGA’s sports media program and was a member of the UGA track and cross country teams.

  • Will robots replace fast food workers?

    August 29, 2016 by
    Robot works with cloud computer. Technology concept

    Robot works with cloud computer. Technology concept. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

    I was recently asked by a journalist whether robots are likely to replace the cashiers, cooks, and others who are employed fast food restaurants. As with most things in life, the answer isn’t so black-and-white.

    Many of the students and some of the recent grads who use College Recruiter are employed by fast food restaurants. In fact, one of our employees was a “sandwich artist” at Subway prior to joining us.

    There’s no doubt that automation will continue to impact the number and types of jobs in fast food restaurants but I don’t buy the argument that digital ordering, kiosks, tablets, and other methods will replace human workers in fast food restaurants. Just look at banks. Have ATM’s reduced the need for human tellers? Absolutely. But have ATM’s come close to eliminating the need for human tellers? Absolutely not.

  • Why building great relationships with career services benefits employers

    August 18, 2016 by
    Photo courtesy of StockUnlimited.com

    Photo courtesy of StockUnlimited.com

    Employers and career services offices/college campuses each play important roles in the lives of college students and recent graduates. Employers can provide entry-level jobs and internship opportunities to students and graduates; the former can be their first real jobs and the latter offer them valuable work experience preparing them for those first real jobs. Career services offices and campuses guide college students not just academically but professionally also. Career services professionals can help with various parts of the job search such as writing resumes and cover letters, interview preparation, and networking. While recruiters are partners for employers in finding young, top talent to fill job openings, they are often not the only ones.

    Building great relationships with career service offices and campuses is a smart move for employers, recruiters, and hiring managers. If companies know the type of job candidates they need, and colleges have them, then it’s a win-win for both sides. Employers gain access to communicate directly with qualified candidates, and career services offices and campuses connect college students and recent graduates with internship and job opportunities. Deborah Pratt, Assistant Dean for Career and Professional Development at Whittier College, highlights her school’s relationship with Peace Corps.

    “There are several employers who come to mind that have built great working relationships with Whittier College’s Weingart Center for Career and Professional Development (CCPD), but the stand-out employer for the CCPD team is the Peace Corps.

    Peace Corps has a terrific talent acquisition approach which appeals to students and emerging professionals. Nick Leichliter and Tiffany Tai, the Peace Corps recruiters assigned to Whittier College, partnered with us to design customized on-campus recruiting sessions. The Peace Corps recruiting sessions included two employer meet-and-greet roundtables, coffee talks, one hiking session (with a Peace Corps dog), and two classroom presentations. Nick and Tiffany also provided one-on-one coaching to Whittier College students offering our students tips to succeed with the intensive Peace Corps application process. Peace Corps extra efforts paid off, and the organization received a record amount of resumes and attention at the annual Career and Internship Fair.

    Our partnership with Peace Corps continues to deepen. The CCPD’s goal for this year is to establish the Peace Corps Prep certificate under the auspices of the Whittier College Early Talent Identification Program.”

    Deborah Pratt, Assistant Dean of Whittier College's Weingart Center for Career and Professional Development

    Deborah Pratt, Assistant Dean of Whittier College’s Weingart Center for Career and Professional Development

    Employers, want more advice on recruiting? Reach out to College Recruiter for help and follow us on LinkedIn, YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook.

    Assistant Dean Deborah Pratt leads a dynamic team of career development professionals at Whittier College’s Weingart Center for Career and Professional Development. In this role, she drives the strategic vision and blueprint for the college to transition from a traditional career services business operation to a four-year career development college-wide approach and program.

  • 5 things recent grads must do when applying for jobs

    August 15, 2016 by
    Photo courtesy of StockUnlimited.com

    Photo courtesy of StockUnlimited.com

    Many recent graduates are looking for their first professional job now that graduation ceremonies have concluded. This is a scary yet exciting time in a young person’s life and there are tons of potential opportunities in front of them. However, it’s essential for job seekers to do a few things while applying for their first entry-level jobs. Some universities will have career centers that can point students in the right direction before they graduate while others will be left to search through their professional network to look for advice. The job application process can vary greatly from field to field, but either way there are a few universal things recent grads should do to ensure success when looking for jobs.

    1. A positive social media experience

    These days almost every person has a social media profile, or several, that can be a positive or negative representation of themselves. Recent graduates who do not yet have a LinkedIn profile should set one up straightaway and make sure they have a professional photo as well as a list of whatever they have done so far in their career. It’s absolutely okay to provide unpaid internships, volunteer experience, or extracurricular activities done while in college. Additionally, recent grads should make sure their Facebook and Twitter pages convey a professional representation of who they are as a person.

    2. Practice interview skills

    Most job seekers dread the thought of making a mistake at an interview. It’s one of the most nerve-wracking experiences a young person will have, and it doesn’t get much easier as time goes by. As a result, recent grads are encouraged to heavily practice their interview skills until they feel more at ease in the situation. There’s no way around it, the interviewer could decide to give the applicant a chance to start their dream career or pass their resume by. Although it’s great to practice interview skills with family and friends, students are also encouraged to seek the advice of a professional at their university’s career center who can give them constructive criticism. Another alternative is to have an informational interview with somebody in their potential field who can give them honest feedback about their performance.

    3. Answer tough questions with ease

    Complicated and unexpected questions can be very challenging to answer. Although students and recent grads can practice certain universally difficult questions, the reality is they will probably be caught off guard. Students should practice answering questions that may seem ridiculous or off base so they can control their reaction when it comes to the real deal. In many cases, the interviewer just wants to see how a potential employee will react as opposed to focusing on the specific answer to their question.

    4. Be (the best version of) yourself

    It’s really important for applicants to be themselves and let their genuine personality shine through. It’s important for the interviewer to know that the applicant is sincere and would be able to get along with other people in the office environment. However, it doesn’t hurt to be the best version of you. This means dressing nicely, being prompt, being flexible with the interviewer’s schedule, and setting aside the correct amount of time for the interview.

    5. Have a sense of humor about the job application process

    In addition to being pragmatic, recent grads are encouraged to maintain their sense of humor throughout the interview process. In the modern economy it’s quite possible that a highly qualified applicant won’t find and entry level position in their dream field right away. They may end up doing a second internship, working part-time in their field and moonlighting elsewhere, or they may have to keep the job they had when they were a student for a while. As long as students are improving as they go through the process they shouldn’t get too down on themselves. Eventually, most graduates find a good entry level position in their field but keeping a great sense of humor can keep spirits up during this transition.

    Robyn Scott, guest writer

    Robyn Scott, guest writer

    For more job search and interview tips, follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.

    About Robyn Scott, author: 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.

  • 3 events employers won’t want to miss on college campuses

    August 11, 2016 by
    Photo courtesy of StockUnlimited.com

    Photo courtesy of StockUnlimited.com

    Recruiters and hiring managers are constantly searching for top talent to fill job openings for employers. A lot of the talent employers need and want can potentially be found on college campuses. Recruiting on campus means taking time from their busy schedules unless employers reach out to companies like College Recruiter for help with creative advertising solutions. If companies decide to visit institutions of higher education face-to-face, what are the most important events for them to attend? For employers pondering this issue, Jennifer Donovan, Director of News and Media Relations at Michigan Technological University, shares three events recruiters and talent acquisition professionals should attend on her campus.

    • Fall and Spring Career Fairs, where thousands of students can meet employers, learn about their companies and career opportunities, and schedule one-on-one interviews with recruiters on the spot.  More than 500 employers attend Michigan Tech’s Career Fairs each year. This is pretty impressive, considering that we are about as remote as you can get, 500 miles north of Detroit and near no other big cities. Our dynamic Career Fairs probably account for Michigan Tech’s astounding 94 percent job placement rate within 6 months of graduation.
    • CareerFest/Industry Days, a series of industry-specific events in a tent in the middle of campus, including hands-on activities, demos, barbecues, lab tours. A very popular and well-attended one is Automotive Days. Others include Steel Days, Rail Days and Mining Days. CareerFest and Industry Days give employers a chance to zero in on the students who are particularly interested in their industry, to inform them and perhaps attract new interest in the field.
    • Design Expo, where student teams display and explain their year-long research projects, ranging from a micro-scale processor that can fix pacemakers in place to a dryer for small-scale hops growers. The projects are industry-sponsored and give the students a chance to work across disciplinary lines to solve real-world employer problems. Employers attending Design Expo could see what innovative problem-solvers Michigan Tech students are trained to be.”
    Jennifer Donovan, Director of News & Media Relations at Michigan Technological University

    Jennifer Donovan, Director of News & Media Relations at Michigan Technological University

    Looking for more advice on recruiting top talent? Visit the College Recruiter blog and follow us on LinkedIn, YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook.

    Jennifer Donovan is Director of News and Media Relations at Michigan Technological University, a STEM-focused state university on the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. She assigns, writes, and edits stories for the university’s news website and daily e-newsletter, Tech Today, and works with news media locally, nationally, and internationally to help them find expert sources and story ideas. In a previous life, she was a newspaper reporter and magazine writer. She lives in Houghton, Michigan, with her two cats.

     

  • Is a college degree worth it for Millennials?

    August 08, 2016 by
    Photo by StockUnlimited.com

    Photo by StockUnlimited.com

    In today’s global, competitive workforce—where Millennials are the largest generation to date—jobs are tough to find and competition is more than 10 times worse than before the last economic downturn in 2008. For the past eight years, evidence shows a stalling, declining economy with pockets of hope but mostly despair. A recent poll cited that college graduates and Millennials under the age of 35 are moving back in with their parents in the homes they grew up in at alarmingly increasing rates. Other recent findings include the following factors that can hinder a graduate’s job search: taking too long to graduate while others fill jobs; going on to graduate school and delaying a career start; not being able to afford to work for less in a career start due to heavy college loan debt.

    What is a newly minted college graduate to do? Is the college degree they hold in their hands worth it? Will they find a job? Will they make enough to pay off student loans and college debt while at the same time living independently from their parents?

     

    Welcome to the “new normal” of what is the big Millennial challenge: Finding jobs that pay well enough to satisfy debt while at the same time affording a lifestyle.

    In this brave, new world of global capitalism, government spending, and oversight, new regulations such as the new overtime mandate of paying salaried workers more for overtime…. graduates are in for a big wake up call! And more, older, qualified and more senior workers are standing in line for those jobs.

    Happy yet? Keep reading. The US economy is stalled. Unfortunately, the government has decided to make it their role to tell employers how to run their businesses. Small businesses—the county’s backbone of entrepreneurship—have become stressed and many have closed or re-shifted to allow for these regulations. Some economists are predicting layoffs over the next few quarters as a result of a stalled economy coupled with higher mandated wages. Additionally, technology is often replacing workers in the workforce adding to the “do less with more” theme in many business operations.

    Here are the top things you must do if you want employment in this US economy, and this includes being able to pay off debt:

    Get more than one job: It may take a career start for less money combined with a job waiting tables on nights and weekends to make enough money. There is no shame in this, and in fact, future recruiters and employers will react positively to those Millennials who demonstrate a good work ethic.

    Don’t expect it to be handed to you: Gone are the days of jobs awaiting. Employers want employees with “go get ‘em” work ethics. As an employer of Millennials, I am always looking for young talent willing to earn their way into my business.

    We don’t care about your yoga, essential oils or feelings at work: They call it work for a reason. While some larger companies (Google, Twitter, etc) have offered amenities and benefits attractive to Millennials, these jobs are often reserved for the top few. A recent news report cited high competition for these coveted jobs. Most businesses cannot afford to “cater” to a certain type of demographic like the Millennials.

    Communicate the old fashioned way: Look people in the eye, shake hands, talk persuasively, and send a hand-written thank you note. In a recent report by DC-based, NRF (National Retail Federation), communication skills place last on a list of training wants for Millennials. Placing first on the employer’s list? Communication skills. Millennials who understand what corporate recruiters are seeking will be those better able to get employed.

    Secure a job that you know you can achieve in and take it: Work hard to prove yourself. My friend, Patti Clauss, Sr. VP of Global Talent for Williams-Sonoma and related companies says to “follow my lead and communicate with me like I communicate with you. Stay put in your job long enough to learn something valuable and transferable,” says Clauss.

    Stay in your first job long enough, and work hard to generate results that are good enough to brag about: You must achieve results, get good feedback and move the ball down the field. Only then will people notice you and want to promote you or hire you away.

    Don’t be a quitter: The problem with Millennials is they don’t stay put long enough to learn enough to make them valuable to the next employer: Hopping around in jobs is not a career enhancing practice. Employers will take note of a graduate who has moved around more than once within a two to three year time frame. Nobody wants to invest in someone if they know they won’t stay long enough to add value.

    Reach out and engage with older, more established mentors in your job or career who can give you advice you won’t get anywhere else. Listen to those who have forged their paths before you and learn.

    Read the local paper and read blogs by those in your area of work.

    Know that your college degree is only as good as the paper it is on: While we believe a degree is a door opener, it is just that. What you do with it is what matters. A degree (or many) will not convince an employer to select you over others. We see many smart, degreed people out there looking for any job—often an entry level job.

    Amy Howell, Author and Founder of Howell Marketing Strategies, LLC

    Amy Howell, Author and Founder of Howell Marketing Strategies, LLC

    Times are so different and it is critical that Millennials get into high gear and work to get ahead. They must understand that getting a degree is just one quiver in their pack of arrows. Today, they must have many other weapons with which to compete.

    Amy D. Howell is founder and owner of Memphis PR firm, Howell Marketing Strategies, LLC, a mother of a college student, high school student and author of two books, “Women in High Gear,” and most recently “Students in High Gear.”

  • How to create ideal job postings to hire the right candidates

    August 05, 2016 by

     

    Photo courtesy of StockUnlimited.com

    Photo courtesy of StockUnlimited.com

    When writing job postings, you’re always trying to attract the best candidates for the job. You want to make sure whomever you hire is about as close to perfect as you can get.

    The only way to hire great people is to attract those same great people to apply. This is easier said than done. Most of the best candidates are working for other companies and not sitting around applying for jobs all day. Your job ad not only has to get them to apply, it has to get their attention in the first place.

    The good news, as you may have read at College Recruiter, is that although they’re not sitting around all day applying for jobs, 73% of current employees don’t mind looking for a new job while they’re still employed. Most of these people are young people, suggesting that they’re looking for something better.

    Keep this willingness to find new work at the forefront of your job description, and you’ll have more luck. Think about what your company can offer that other jobs can’t. Here are a few other things you can do that will help.

    Write an Advertisement

    Many employers will approach a job ad like they’re doing someone a favor. While this might be true of regular out-of-work job seekers, it’s not true if you’re looking for the right people. Employers often have a hard time finding these people.  If you approach this process with a me-first attitude, you’ll be missing out.

    Create a job advertisement like a sales pitch. Approach it like you do selling your product or service. Maybe even talk to your marketing team to see what they can come up with. You want people to see your ad and to act on it. It needs to be enticing, solve pain points, and have a clear call to action.

    Don’t just put up a bullet point list of duties and qualifications. Bullet points are easy to read; you just want to make sure they say something of value. If you’re just listing things, there’s nothing enticing about that. You’re asking people to uproot their lives, leave a solid paying job, and work for you. You must be convincing.

    Tips from Content Marketing

    Most companies know they need to create great content in order to get that content viewed by other people – why not put those tips to work with your job ad?

    • Subheadings. Make your job ad easy to read and something they can skim. You may not have a lot of time, so you’ll want to get your point across. Use subheadings and bullet points to illustrate various sections and key perks.
    • Length. Don’t go crazy writing the next great American novel. You’ll want to keep it at and easy to read length. Too long, and you’ll lose them. Too short, and you may not give them enough info.
    • Make it Sharable. Content marketers use this strategy very effectively to get their message out. Use it in job postings. Even if the gig isn’t for them, if it’s interesting enough, they’ll share it. Some companies now hire on social media for this reason.
    • Make it Interesting. Don’t just write a typical ad. Make it stand out. Make it different. All the things that make great content sharable – do it here. The more interesting, funny, or unusual the job ad, the more likely it will be shared and attract applicants.

    Company Culture

    It’s not just about salary anymore. It’s about the company itself. What does the company stand for? Are the hours flexible? What kind of perks exist? You’ll want to outline these in the ad. Talking about your company is key to getting someone to quit an existing job and work for you.

    People want to feel a connection with the company they work for. They don’t want to feel like a mindless drone. Work doesn’t always have to be fun, but if you have to do, wouldn’t you choose the place that most fit your lifestyle?

    If you’re looking to attract creative individuals, you’ll need to give them an environment they can thrive in. Ensure the company culture is built around this, illustrate it in your job ad, and you shouldn’t have a problem.

    Job Description and Title

    The job description is the meat of job postings/job ads. You’ll want to do your best to make the title and description stand out.

    • Be Specific. Let the potential applicants know exactly what the job is. Don’t sugar coat it. That’s what the rest of the ad is for.
    • Qualifications. Be clear about what’s required. If they can learn on the job, say so. If not, let them know that too. It’ll weed out poor applicants.
    • Type of Employment. Full time? Part time? Be clear upfront if you want to attract the right candidate.
    • Growth. Is there opportunity to move up the ladder? Throw it in there.
    • Salary and Benefits. This will help attract those people that are in your price range. Don’t be afraid to list this thinking it will scare people away. If it’s actually the salary range you’re offering, the people it scares away are out of your price range. Don’t waste your time.

    Finding the right candidate is all about attracting the right applicants. Be bold with your job ad. Be truthful. Don’t worry about scaring people away. They won’t be the right ones for you anyway.

    If your job ad reflects your company personality, you’ll have much better luck at finding the right people that will fit in.

    Do you need help filling part-time jobs, internships, or entry-level job openings within your company or organization? College Recruiter can help. We offer a variety of advertising solutions for employers and talent acquisition professionals. 

    Rick Riddle, guest writer

    Rick Riddle, guest writer

    About the author:

    Rick Riddle is a successful blogger whose articles aim to help readers with self-development, entrepreneurship and digital marketing. Connect with Rick on twitter and LinkedIn.