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Posted July 25, 2016 by

10 digital skills to help you land an amazing job

Young photographer at the studio doing some retouching photo by StockUnlimited.com

Photo by StockUnlimited.com

The digital age arrives with many benefits. Our lives are faster, online, and the information is easily accessible at the click of a button. However, you cannot be left behind, and you need to keep up with technology because it might end up replacing you if you don’t. In fact, it’s already happening. Many jobs that have been a staple of society in the past 100 years are slowly being given to automatons.

Those are the jobs that require little social interaction and are based on pure demand or logical thinking. A human employee in simple services can be replaced by a few buttons. We’re moving forward, and many already believe that the younger generation needs to make sure their digital skills are sharp in order to fit into the future. How do you defeat this robotization of services and jobs? Learn to be the one who controls and creates them.

It does not mean you necessarily have to learn how to build robots, but it means that you need to understand what sort of skills and talents future employees expect from you. Digital skills are certainly among them because they will play a major role in shaping the future. Your concern should be to belong among those who participate, instead of those who just watch, and here’s what you should definitely know to land a great job.

1. SEO (Search Engine Optimization)

Even though SEO has been around for quite a while, it’s not known to many who have had no handle in creating or taking care of a website. However, keep in mind that skills using it are required by around 14% of companies in the digital industry, and that number is expected to grow. It’s an essential tool used to optimize a website in order for it to generate traffic and conversation. It’s an imperative skill for many jobs and one that will definitely impress employers in the industry.

2. Coding (HTML5 or JavaScript)

It may sound like a no-brainer, but coding is a major part of web browsing, especially in an age where websites are becoming more interactive. Numerous tech giants have switched to HTML5, dropping previous languages in order to create a better and seamless internet experience. The same applies to JavaScript, which works greatest with animation and making interaction an easy process. They’re tools that will be used in the future and some highly recommended for those interested in the field.

3. PPC (Pay-Per-Click)

In essence, it’s a very simple method that companies are looking for regarding marketing. It implies increasing a specific website’s traffic by buying ads on search engines that make potential customers click on it. However, you need to hone your skills in identifying promising keywords, creating a compelling ad, and measure the results. These will be excellent skills to have if you’re aiming to submit a winning job application at a tech titan in the industry.

4. Analytics

It’s not enough to implement digital strategies. Analytics are crucial and highly sought-after by employers because it means you are comfortable with analyzing and evaluating how those techniques are progressing. You need to be able to compare them constantly with others and provide excellent insight. It’s an incredible skill that will certainly land you a job. Everyone is looking to get better.

5. Android or iOS Development

Smartphones are taking over, and learning either one of these two platforms will look great on your resume. They have tremendous potential for the future because they are not going anywhere. You could find an amazing job if you master at least one of them.

6. PaaS (Platform as a Service)

Cloud software is everywhere, and many believe that they will ultimately become the quintessential platform for companies. PaaS is a tool that will help you develop these web applications that will no longer require customers to download sizeable programs on their hard drives. It’s a builder of accessibility.

7. Personal branding

Through the use of social media, you can create an excellent personal brand that will land you a fantastic job. You only need to learn how to do it. It implies understanding the use of all social media platforms, including Facebook, LinkedIn, websites, blogs, and everything else to create a beneficial image of yourself.

8. Writing online content

Everything is on the internet, and the ability to create quality content is highly sought-after. If you combine it with SEO and a few marketing skills, you could reach for a high-paying digital marketing job. It’s important to know how to flow between platforms, and manage your content for every situation.

9. Web design and creating websites

There are numerous tools out there to use, and mastering a majority of them will certainly make you desired on the job market. All you need is a bit of coding, tremendous amounts of creativity, and the patience to actually learn all the tools. Everyone and everything needs a website. Be the one who creates them, and you will be needed as well.

10. Image and video editing

Online digital media is in full force, so there will always be a need for someone who has extensive skills of image and video editing. Be it for advertising, marketing, or basically any industry, these are very valuable skills to learn. They look impressive on your resume, and every company needs someone with these abilities. If you truly want to impress them, grab the Adobe collection and master it.

We have moved fast into the future, and our steps need to be quick in order to keep up. Basic knowledge of Microsoft Office is now not something employers require, but something they expect. Focus on the most advanced tools that will set you apart from the crowd of millennials still stuck behind technology.

Want more information about how to integrate technology into your career? Visit our blog and follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.

Amanda Wilks, guest writer

Amanda Wilks, guest writer

Amanda Wilks is a digital marketing intern and a part-time writer, passionate about social media and personal branding. She loves helping individuals create unique online identities and achieve their much-desired professional acclaim.

Posted July 15, 2016 by

Using career services’ budget to connect college students

Hand holding money photo by StockUnlimited.com

Photo by StockUnlimited.com

College career services offices are designed to help prepare college students create career paths. Whether helping college students continue their education or finding internships and entry-level jobs, these offices have the resources and tools students need for succeeding in the job search. The career services professionals on college campuses can even share their personal experiences to give students a better idea of what to expect in the real world.

However, while having resources, tools, and professional advice is nice, how can career services offices improve to attract more college students? Nichole Lefelhoc, Director of the Career Center at Mansfield University, discusses how these offices can center their budgets around collaboration and creativity to connect students with career services offices and other events.

“Collaboration and creativity are the name of the game when it comes to ensuring our budget can be utilized in such a way that we are reaching the greatest number of college students. In a time of shrinking operating budgets, we focus our efforts on developing strong relationships with departments across campus and pool resources to have the greatest impact on students. We have also found a great amount of success in collaborating with student organizations to co-sponsor events. The student group will conduct much of the marketing of an event, as well as fund refreshments, and the career center will organize the content and/or guest speakers.

Another area of potential collaboration is with employers. Many employers are seeking ways to brand their organizations on college campuses, and career centers are seeking ways to connect their students with internship and employment opportunities. One such example was a “Fall Fest” sponsored by an employer. We organized pumpkin decorating, s’mores, hot chocolate, and a fire pit. Turnout at the event was tremendous and offered an opportunity to not only brand the employer, but also market the services of our career center. The event came at no expense to our office.”

For college career services offices looking for more advice, check out College Recruiter’s blog and follow us on LinkedIn, YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook.

Nichole Lefelhoc, Director of the Career Center at Mansfield University

Nichole Lefelhoc, Director of the Career Center at Mansfield University

Nichole Lefelhoc is the Director of the Career Center at Mansfield University. Nichole helps prepare college students for success after graduation and in their chosen careers. She has a responsibility to make sure the career center offers the appropriate services and resources for this to happen. This could mean anything from career exploration, professional image, and resumes/cover letters to internships, job searching, interviewing, and graduate school.

Posted May 16, 2016 by

Improving your writing and getting career prospects

Woman writing photo by StockUnlimited.com

Photo by StockUnlimited.com

You may be able to walk the talk, but can you write it?

It’s no big secret that writing skills factor in greatly when it comes to getting and keeping a job, especially in such a competitive market. In a study conducted by Grammarly, out of 100 native English speakers’ LinkedIn profiles, those with fewer grammatical errors had more promotions and held higher positions in their respective companies.

With this in mind, it’s no wonder writing is a crucial communication tool for those in the workforce. In order to be fully able to convey your ideas, you need to articulate them clearly to other people. Writing often serves as the medium we relate ideas with, whether sending and responding to an email or updating our resumes for future employers.

Despite this overwhelming piece of evidence, not everyone pays attention to improving their writing. Do you want to remain stagnant in your job, or do you want to grow and get career prospects? Here are a few tips on how to become a better writer in the workforce:

1. Be a wide reader

You are what you read. There are numerous benefits linked to reading, and among the most notable would be improved writing skills.

In order to be great, you need to take inspiration from those who already are. Train your brain to tune into good writing practices by reading extensively. Others’ writing styles can certainly influence your own if you read them enough. Take time to sit back with a book, a well-written blog entry, or even browse through the news at least once a day. Aside from being able to unwind after or before the stressful day ahead, you’ll also be able to acquire new knowledge.

This tip is especially helpful if you’re in the creative industry, where creative and powerful writing is the main tool of the trade, but it can also be beneficial for simple business writing. Noting some common trends in your favorite writers like style, grammar, and tone go a long way in helping to develop your own voice. You also learn new things in the process, which you can incorporate in the other areas of your life.

2. Read your work backwards

It sounds silly at first, but it’s effective in weeding out any grammatical errors you’ve missed in your last work email. Give it a shot, and it could save you from an embarrassing typo.

Our minds are programmed to autocorrect any minor errors they encounter. Remember those online tests that ask you to spot the “the” in a sentence? You may have been one of the majority who filtered out the extra “the”, in which case this second tip can come in handy to avoid any similar grammatical slip-ups.

Start from the last word of your composition up to the first word you’ve written. Since you’re no longer operating in the context of the content, your focus stays on the form of the text. If you’re already aware of what errors you’re on the lookout for, you’ll be able to spot any repetitive words, misplaced punctuation, and faulty spacing. Note this only works on a structural level, and not if you’re looking for something else like content relevance and fact-checking.

3. Turn spell check on

This doesn’t necessarily improve your skill, but it’s an easy fix if you’re in a hurry to compose an error-free report you’ll be delivering to your bosses the next day. Ruby Hardman, an editor from ResumesPlanet shared: “We can’t always be on top of our writing game, and having technology on our side helps in taking some of the load off our shoulders.”

Turn spell check on so you can automatically spot mistakes without having to painstakingly go through your work word per word. Don’t take this to mean you can let your guard down. In fact, this should give you time to focus on other aspects of your writing. If you’re writing up a resume, take the time to organize the details of it. If you’re writing a speech for a presentation, use it to focus on your tone and fine-tuning your content to the audience you’re presenting to.

Just remember that spell check isn’t perfect, either. There will be some errors it will miss and some idioms it may misinterpret. In that case, always have a dictionary ready to counter-check the results. Sometimes you’ll still have to do the heavy lifting in refining your work, but it will all pay off with a thriving career, and improved communication between yourself and other people.

Get on it write away!

Writing is an often overlooked skill that plays a huge, though subtle, role in leveraging your career. In his article on Harvard Business Review, iFixit’s Kyle Wiens openly declared he wasn’t too keen on hiring people with poor grammar, precisely because they don’t make good employees. According to Wiens, these job seekers lack the critical thinking and orientation to detail that efficient workers and leaders possess.

In order to project the right image to your employer, make sure to be on top of your writing game immediately. Read the right things to absorb some of their influence, proofread your work extensively, and if you’re in a rush, spell check is always a safe option. Just make sure to scan and countercheck for any missed marks.

So what are you waiting for? Become a better writer, and increase your chances of moving up in your industry today.

For more tips to improve your job search and build a career, head over to our blog and follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube.

Paige Donahue, guest writer

Paige Donahue, guest writer

Paige Donahue is an editor and blogger from Pennsylvania. She is a traveler and a collector of some sort – coins, comic books, and stories. You can connect with her via Twitter.

Posted April 04, 2016 by

Using social media in your job search

Photo of Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Linkedin, Whatsapp, and Instagram homepage on a monitor screen courtesy of Shutterstock.com

Gil C/Shutterstock.com

College students and recent graduates who are passionate about social networking should consider finding internships or entry-level jobs via social media. In order to secure one of these opportunities, they must know what it takes to get one. Diane Domeyer-Kock, Executive Director of The Creative Group, shares tips college students and recent grads should apply when searching for jobs and internships via social media.

“Competing for a social media internship or an entry-level job can be difficult because many candidates are on a level playing field; they haven’t yet acquired the skills or work experience that will make them stand out. But there are steps college students and recent grads can take to increase their chances of landing an internship or job:

Start the search early. Research companies of interest, work with your university career center, scour job boards, and reach out to members of personal and professional networks to uncover leads well before the school year ends.

Get marketing materials in order. Nail down your personal brand and apply it consistently across all channels, including your resume, social media profiles, and portfolio or website. Consider the look, feel, and content.

Polish your online presence. A strong digital presence consistent with other promotional tools can be a big career asset, attracting the attention of prospective employers. Make sure the information posted online showcases your expertise, passion for social media, and ability to communicate effectively. That means pushing out interesting content and engaging with contacts consistently.

Demonstrate strong social skills. Work teams communicate in many different ways today: via email, instant messaging, social media, conference calls, and in-person meetings. Show you know how to collaborate effectively and professionally both online and off.”

Looking for more information on social media for your job search? Check out our blog and learn more on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube.

Photo of Diane Domeyer-Kock

Diane Domeyer-Kock, Executive Director of The Creative Group

Diane Domeyer-Kock is Executive Director of The Creative Group (TCG), a specialized staffing service placing interactive, design, marketing, advertising, and public relations professionals. When she’s not managing operations for TCG’s locations across North America or speaking and Tweeting about career and workplace trends, you can find her on a bike or spending time with her husband, five kids, and grandchildren.

Posted March 19, 2016 by

6 part-time jobs for college students in 2016

Looking for part-time job message courtesy of Shutterstock.com

Constantin Stanciu/Shutterstock.com

Are you a college student who needs a little bit of extra money? Sometimes, students can find a work-study position or other type of on-campus job, but those are sometimes few and far between, especially at colleges with large student bodies. If students haven’t found jobs on campus they like, it’s time to look elsewhere. Fortunately, there are a number of great part-time jobs out there college students are ideally suited for. Here are six highly remunerative part-time jobs college students may be interested in.

1. Non-profit charity fundraiser

Charities are always looking for young people to help them out, especially in the fundraising department. This type of job often entails manning donation tables at various events, which means college students are going to be talking to a lot of people. They’ll need to be able to memorize facts about the charity and who it helps, be personable, and be able to smile and chat for hours. It’s not a job for introverts, but for those who are outgoing and want to gain experience working for nonprofits, it’s a great option. It also pays well—students can make up to $30/hour!

2. Social media assistant

Everyone is on some form of social media these days, but not everyone has mastered it. Some small business owners don’t even have time to really develop their social media because they’re so busy handling everything else, and they don’t have the money to hire someone full-time. However, many can budget money for a part-time social media assistant. If college students love Facebook, Twitter, and other platforms and don’t mind putting in the time to learn how to truly harness these sites for a business, then this is a great job for them. It can pay as much as $21/hour.

3. Academic tutor

If college students are peculiarly sharp in one particular subject area, they might want to offer their services as academic tutors to other students. Sometimes, these jobs are available through the university, but there’s nothing stopping them from doing private tutoring. Students will need to be sure they thoroughly understand the subject, and know how to explain it to others. They will be able to set their own rate and schedule, which is nice, but there’s no guarantee being a tutor will be steady work. Tutors make anything from $15 to $30 a tutoring session, but the rate and the length of each session has to be negotiated.

4. Freelance content writer

Many websites, blogs, and online publications are in need of content, and while some do have writers on staff, many look to freelance writers for new content. College students can find a number of these jobs online, and many don’t require much experience in writing, as long as they can show them a few well-written sample articles. Their pay will be negotiated on a case-by-case basis. Sometimes, students will be paid per word, while other clients may want to set a flat rate per article. On the upside, they’ll be able to work when they want and can do so from home.

Receptionist wearing a headset and glasses smiling courtesy of Shutterstock.com

CJM Grafx/Shutterstock.com

5. Office assistant

It may not sound glamorous, but being an office assistant is a good, steady job for college students. Students get to see first-hand how an office environment works, and the skills they develop can be useful in their own careers. Here are some of the tasks they may do as an office assistant:

• Answer the phones

• Do filing and organization

• Do light computer work

• Schedule appointments

• Assist employees with various tasks as needed

Students’ duties may vary depending on where they work, but those listed are fairly common. Through the job, they may learn about various computer problems, organizational methods, and more. During off-job hours, students can easily stay connected with their customers via cloud phone systems. If they get office assistant jobs at a business in their fields, they may even be able to turn their part-time gigs into full-time jobs when they graduate.

6. Guest services coordinator

A guest services coordinator assists customers with all of their needs. They may do returns, help customers find products, or do special orders in a retail setting. However, guest services can be found in many different industries. Some may actually do more office work, while others may work in support roles. No matter what industry students are working in, however, they’ll be dealing with customers, so this is another job in which being a people person is a must. It’s possible to make as much as $21 in one of these positions.

Want to learn more about different jobs, visit College Recruiter’s blog and follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Twitter.

Photo of Sandra Lambert

Sandra Lambert, guest writer

Sandra Lambert is a CISCO certified computer networking specialist. She has a keen interest in writing about her knowledge and experiences. She writes about technology as well as about business. She has also developed interest in public speaking. You can follow her on Google+ and Twitter.

Posted January 28, 2016 by
Posted November 03, 2015 by

How to write better emails and cover letters

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Melinda Osteen

Because there are so many people looking for jobs, standing out is quite difficult these days. The hiring environment has changed, and candidates have to persuade employers without even meeting them in person.

The internet has interfered with the job market, too, and now the main tools of job seekers are resumes and cover letters. The basic rules of successful submissions are the same as the ones for traditional paper writing – no mistakes at all, clear structure, uniqueness, originality, and 100% professionalism. Along with these, there are other aspects that must be taken into consideration when applying online for a job. (more…)

Posted August 12, 2015 by

Getting Started on That Research Paper

piles of books open with a computer. Working on a research paper.

Piles of books open with a computer. Working on a research paper. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

No one really loves writing research papers – well, maybe a few do when it’s on a topic they really love! For the most part, however, students dread them when they appear on course syllabi, try to carve out the time to do the research and the writing, and often find themselves pushing those deadlines as tightly as they can, because they really don’t like the work. During my work with Researchpaperz.org I learned a lot of crucial waypoints that makes research paper writing easier.

Sometimes the worst part about research paper writing is just the first step – identifying and refining that topic! Once you have that, you at least have a focus for your research! So, here you will find some tips for getting this project off the ground and getting through each step of the production process! (more…)

Posted June 24, 2015 by

5 Awesome Ways to Jump-Start Your Business after MBA

Group of business people in a meeting seated grouped around a table having a discussion with focus to a smiling man at the head of the table

Group of business people in a meeting seated grouped around a table having a discussion with focus to a smiling man at the head of the table. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

If you have completed your MBA and want to start your own business, then one important question might pop up in your mind is “How to jump-start my business?” There are some tips that (if stringently followed) enhance the effectiveness of your business operation. When it comes to advice on how to operate your business most effectively, it seems as though everyone you know has an answer, not to mention the thousands of articles circulating the Internet offering numerous tips and information on how best to make your business successful. While some advice might actually work for you, other tips certainly won’t apply, so how do you know which advice to take and which advice to ignore. The answer is to listen to the advice and tips that work for most, regardless of industry or type of business. (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…)