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Posted August 09, 2016 by

Common networking mistakes to avoid

Dishonesty, moral dilemma, liar photo by StockUnlimited.com

Photo by StockUnlimited.com

As college students and recent graduates enter the workforce, they will likely meet people who can assist them with their job searches. When these opportunities arise, job seekers be prepared to take advantage of them. While some job seekers may not be the most outgoing in terms of personality, they can still be effective when networking. However, if students and grads don’t understand how to network, they can hurt their chances of building important relationships that can advance their careers. So as job seekers attend networking events, they must be mindful of what not to do. Mike Summers, Director of Employer Relations at Wake Forest University, highlights common networking mistakes to avoid.

“Blindly reaching out without knowing basic information about a person, the kind of details usually found through a quick Google or LinkedIn search, is a red flag signaling a bad start to the networking experience. A wishful connection will be less likely to engage if college students or prospective hires don’t bring any background knowledge to the table.

Expecting a networking connection will “tell me what to do.” Before reaching out, know the information you want. It’s helpful to have an informal script handy. “My name is Sue Smith; I’m a business major and art history minor interested in an entry-level job working in the cosmetic industry in New York. I’m hoping to secure a summer internship. Could you share with me how you got into the industry and any suggestions or recommendations you might have?”

Thinking the number of connections matters. Networking is about relationships, not numbers. Targeted outreach to people who share common interests makes networking effective. Two people may connect in an unlimited number of ways, such as graduating from the same school, being from the same hometown, choosing a similar academic path, or by an interest in a particular career. Whatever it is, a real connection matters.

The first outreach is inappropriate or unprofessional. Treat networking opportunities as professional conversations. It’s easier to move from formal to casual than vice-versa. Having good manners and dressing appropriately (which is very different if you’re interested in a career in journalism versus a career on Wall Street) is critical in creating the first impression that builds your reputation.”

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Mike Summers, Director of Employer Relations at Wake Forest University

Mike Summers, Director of Employer Relations at Wake Forest University

With more than 25 years of experience in the private sector, nearly half assisting organizations with recruiting, interviewing, and hiring top talent, Mike Summers, Director of Employer Relations at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, has an insider’s understanding of what employers are seeking and helping students and recent grads showcase their academic skills and personal experiences. Wake Forest’s one, university-wide employer relations team means Summers has experience with and supports the employment search for students in all academic areas, teaching and empowering them to articulate the value of their education for today’s employers.

Posted June 06, 2016 by

Why employees should put extra effort into impressing the boss

Woman raising her hand to ask question photo by StockUnlimited.com

Photo by StockUnlimited.com

At the very beginning of your career, you may be faced with the fact that all the knowledge and the diplomas in the world will not be enough to save you if you are on your boss’s bad side. You will end up watching from your cubicle how other people are getting promoted, while you are sitting there and doing the same things you have done on your first day at work.

You see, when people graduate they are full of confidence and hope, and that is not a bad thing, but books and tests are just the basics that should be upgraded with experience and interpersonal relationships. One of the people who can affect your professional growth the most is your boss, and you should do your best to make that relationship productive and mutually beneficial.

Learning from your boss

One of the main reasons why you should have a good relationship your boss is the opportunity to learn from someone who is in a position you would love to be in the future. If you are constantly giving your maximum with work tasks and showing consistency and dedication, you will have the right to participate in some important conversations and find out many valuable things, not only about the company you are working in, but also about the road to success.

Self-improving

At first, your motivation may be just to impress your boss, but as time goes on, your dedication and efforts will grow to become habits and make your career success even more certain. Showing up to work early and taking initiative might seem like “sucking up” to your boss to other employees and to you yourself, but actually, when you think about it, there is nothing wrong with these actions. On the contrary, they showcase you as a well-educated and ambitious man/woman.

You are the image of your boss

… and vice versa. A good boss surrounds himself with competent people, and if you show to be anything other but that, you will not only make your boss look bad, but also create a negative image about yourself, which can impact your position in the firm, and even future employment opportunities. If you on the other hand, do your best to make your boss succeed, you will show that you are a great employee worthy of going up the corporate ladder.

Improving your current job

If you want to love the job you are doing, you have to make it a job you can love. The best, and possibly the only way to do so, is to make your boss fond of you. If you are consistently productive and assigning for the difficult tasks, you will have a more pleasant relationship with your boss, which will make your working hours less stressful. Beyond that, you will get better assignments and maybe become the right-hand-man/woman.

Getting promoted

The ultimate goal of every employee would never even be considered without a long process of impressing the boss. After all, your boss is the one handling the decisions about transfer of the employees to a better job. If you notice he is giving you some extra projects and work, accept it with enthusiasm, because this can be a part of grooming you for higher jobs, and eventually even his position. So, make sure you are on his radar by struggling to get new challenges and more recognition, instead of struggling to get your work done.

Some people would love to spend their days at work unnoticed to avoid conflicts and critiques, but by doing so, they are also avoiding praises and opportunities. Do not be one of those people and fight your way up to the top, in a struggle where impressing your boss is your best chance to succeed.

In search of more career advice? Come to our blog and follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube.

Nate Vickery, guest writer

Nate Vickery, guest writer

Nate Vickery is a marketing manager and a blogger. He is also the editor-in-chief at BizzMarkBlog.

Posted January 20, 2015 by

How to Get the Most Out of a Career Fair This Spring

A road sign indicating Career Fair

A road sign indicating Career Fair. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

Career fairs are full of opportunities for your first “real world” job – the one that will, hopefully at least, launch your career. For many students, it’s the first opportunity they have to speak directly with recruiters and potential employers, and that can make it a daunting task. Making it even more challenging? These fairs are competitive, with hundreds, if not thousands, of talented millennial job seekers vying for positions.

In order to land your dream job at a career fair this spring, you’re going to need to stand out. Here are five tips for getting the most out of a career fair – and hopefully getting the job. (more…)

Posted September 10, 2014 by

Are You a Recent Graduate Who Wants to Build Connections While Searching for Jobs? 20 Networking Tips to Practice

As a recent graduate searching for jobs, making connections with other people can help you.  Try practicing these 20 networking tips found in the following post.

Regardless of how much emphasis there is on the importance of networking, people tend to overlook its value. Especially when you’re not looking for a job or you’ve landed a job out of pure luck, you may think networking isn’t worth your time. Well, here’s a reality check for you: Networking is the

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Posted August 22, 2014 by

6 Superb Tips On Effective Communication With Millennials

Young relaxed successful businessman in the city

Young relaxed successful businessman in the city. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

For those who do not know, Millennial, also termed as Gen Y, is the generation that is age between 17 and 33 or the ones who were born between 1976 and 2001. It is the new version of the generation X genes currently dominating the workplace, making their moves in an aggressive yet efficient way.

One of the biggest problems with this generation is communication. In order to communicate with them and convey your message in a proper manner, you must know that exactly what factors can help you convey your message in an effective manner.

Hence, following are a few important tips that can help you keep your communication with the millennials smooth and successful. (more…)

Posted July 29, 2014 by

One Reflection of What Business School is Like

Group of students in business school

Group of students in business school. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

For anyone considering going to business school, one student shares what his experience has been like so far in the following post.

I recently completed my first year at Booth and felt compelled to share my experiences and advice through a follow-up post to: To Anyone Considering an MBA (more…)

Posted July 29, 2014 by

Are You a Recent Graduate Searching for Jobs on LinkedIn? Connect with Alumni Using These 5 Tips

As a recent graduate now searching for jobs, using LinkedIn to network with alumni could help you establish connections beneficial to your career.  In the following post, learn five tips to connect with alumni on the site.

The university I attended was large, but a few years removed from college I still feel a common bond and sense of purpose whenever I meet a fellow alum. For students and grads, those alumni connections provide even more value: alumni connections are an important resource that will accelerate your networking, learning and career opportunities:

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Posted June 10, 2014 by

Networking for Entry Level Jobs, College Students? Keep These 6 Words in Mind

For college students who are out there networking for entry level jobs, there are six words to remember for this part of the job search.  Learn what they are in the following post.

In nearly all professional settings, including networking, there are six words demonstrate maturity, selflessness and a natural curiosity. They prove you can set yourself aside and be genuinely interested in another person’s life, work or passions. You know, authenticity. And perhaps through these six words, you’ll find new ways to connect

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Posted April 02, 2014 by

Interviewing for an Entry Level Job? Don’t Make These 3 Assumptions About the Interviewer

Going into your interview for an entry level job, you don’t want to take anything or anyone for granted.  In the following post, learn three assumptions you should not make about your interviewer.

Many job seekers feel they’re not very experienced at interviewing. They feel like the employer has the upper hand. The truth is… most interviewers don’t know how to interview either. Don’t be discouraged by that! Check out the following interview situations. Expect them to arise and, knowing they might happen, you’ll be prepared.

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Posted January 29, 2014 by

Want a Winning Strategy When Searching for Recent College Graduate Jobs? 5 Tips that Can Make a Difference

If you’re looking for a new strategy when searching for recent college graduate jobs, the following post offers one, along with five tips to boost your job search.

Whatever your job search situation, you’ll have much better results if you focus your energy on what will get real results… rather than sporadically applying to every job you find and hoping for the best. Check out these 5 tips to help you craft a better job search strategy that works to help you find a job faster…

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