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

Posted June 14, 2016 by

7 ways to make a good impression during business dinners

Attending business dinners and professional networking events often brings on anxiety for many people, particularly college students and recent grads. It should! It’s not something most people do on a regular basis, and it requires a special skill-set. How do you remember which fork is which? Should you place your napkin next to your plate or in your chair when you stand up to shake someone’s hand? And what if you take a bite of something disgusting and need to spit it out—oh geez!?!

The possibilities for embarrassing moments at business dinners are seemingly endless.

If that weren’t enough, you’re most likely attending business dinners for specific purposes. You’re either attending to network with coworkers, supervisors, or potential employers, or you’re attending as part of the interview process. Either way, you’re under pressure to demonstrate your best table manners.

This short video, hosted by College Recruiter’s Content Manager, Bethany Wallace, suggests seven quick ways to make a good impression during business dinners.


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1.Skip the alcohol.

If offered alcohol, consider passing for multiple reasons. Drinking in the company of coworkers, supervisors, and potential employers can be dangerous. If you’re underage, it’s a clear no-no. If you’re of legal drinking age, it’s still questionable because you may inadvertently consume more alcohol than intended and wind up singing karaoke in the bar next door to the restaurant with your future boss watching. Need I say more?

A good general rule to apply to business dinners is “all things in moderation.” Don’t eat too quickly. Don’t order the most expensive thing on the menu, but don’t order the cheapest item either. Don’t fill up six plates on the buffet. Don’t hog the conversation; listen as much as you talk.

2. Don’t comment on food.

When possible, stick to pleasant, neutral topics of conversation like family, weather, weekend plans, and hobbies. Avoid commenting on what you’re currently eating; it’s considered rude. You should also avoid discussing religion and politics, but of course, take the lead of your host and/or supervisor to an extent. If your boss engages you in political banter, you might follow her lead, but remember to tread lightly. What you say can and may be used against you at work!

3. Try to avoid being picky or whiny.

Unless you have a legitimate food allergy and receive items which may trigger an allergic reaction, don’t make demands or send your plate back. If you behave in a picky, demanding manner, this behavior says something about you and not about the restaurant or wait staff.

4. Attend career services’ etiquette dinners.

When you have the opportunity as a college student, attend etiquette dinners hosted by career services offices. These events might seem boring while you’re in college, but after you attend your first business dinner, you’ll wish you’d attend them. You’ll learn the ins and outs of formal business dinners. Sure, you can look these tricks of the trade up online and Google infographics on how to set a formal dining table, but there’s no teacher like experience. If in doubt, work your way from the outside in with flatware and take the lead of your fellow diners who seem experienced and comfortable, particularly your supervisors and potential employers. Perhaps the greatest mistake you can make is to appear really flustered and to allow your nerves to keep you from making conversation with those around you.

5. Treat servers well.

Be kind to the restaurant staff. There’s nothing which speaks more loudly than snobbish behavior toward servers and wait staff. Remember, what you say and don’t say—your non-verbal skills—speak loudly to your employers and future employers. Soft skills truly matter, so be kind and courteous to everyone around you.

6. Don’t chew with your mouth open!

This one is common sense. Don’t chew and speak simultaneously. It’s just plain gross.

Whatever you need to say can wait until you’ve swallowed your food—promise.

On that note, the best way to obtain great table manners is to practice them on a daily basis, so consider chewing with your mouth closed every day, even when you’re eating alone. If you don’t, you might find yourself smacking your pizza with your mouth wide open while sitting across from your potential boss. And you know that won’t impress her.

7. Say thank you.

As always, an attitude of gratitude always makes a great impression on others. Say thank you to your hosts, servers, to people who open the door for you, and to others who extend kindness to you during the meal. Again, it reflects well on you and your soft skills when you treat others well.

Need more networking tips to help you obtain a great internship or entry-level job? Keep reading our blog and follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube.

Posted June 13, 2016 by

Top 9 excuses for not attending a job interview

 

Oh no! Something has gone horribly wrong and now you can’t attend the job interview! What can you possibly say to the company to make them give you another chance? Well, whatever you are going to say, may I suggest that you say it as early as possible? Call in a timely fashion. This will show them you respect them and their time. This is vital if you want to make certain that you’ll get another chance. (more…)

Posted May 24, 2016 by

How to have a great first day at work, Part 2

Starting your first full-time, entry-level job can be intimidating. Don’t let your nerves overcome you on your first day at work. If you missed it, be sure to check out Part 1 of this series.

This video, hosted by College Recruiter’s Content Manager, Bethany Wallace, offers five more tips to help you shake off the first day jitters and prepare for your first day of work with confidence.


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1. Observe.

On your first day at work—or even within the first few weeks or months of a new position—spend more of your time observing and listening than you do talking, saying yes, and volunteering for every opportunity that comes your way. You will learn a lot about company culture, your coworkers, your supervisors, and your new position by observing. You can figure out which circle of work friends you want to align yourself with and which group of friends to join for happy hour. You’ll figure out how to fit in and how to avoid major communication pitfalls. And you’ll avoid getting in over your head by overfilling your plate with unnecessary commitments, too.

2. Say yes to lunch.

On your first day and within the first week of work, you may be invited to lunch by coworkers who are trying to make you feel welcome. In general, it’s a good idea to say yes. Going to lunch isn’t a huge commitment. It gives you an opportunity to network and to learn about the workplace in a less threatening and less formal environment. If you go to lunch with someone and determine you don’t necessarily click as friends outside of work, you haven’t lost anything or made a commitment to joining that person for lunch every day of the week. No harm, no foul.

3. Silence your cell phone.

You have to be responsible enough to remember to do this yourself; chances are, no one’s going to remind you, and there’s nothing more embarrassing than your phone buzzing or ringing during a team meeting, onboarding training session, or worse yet, an all-company meeting. Take it a step further and implement a personal policy of avoiding carrying your phone around with you during work. Sure, everyone needs to send an occasional personal text message or personal email. But for the most part, work while you’re at work, and tend to personal business when you’re not at work. This helps you to stay focused on doing a great job and learning the ropes of your new position, and it demonstrates respect for your coworkers when you’re communicating with them (rather than gazing at the screen on your phone).

4. Use names.

Referring to people by their names is a great idea throughout life for several reasons, but it’s particularly helpful when you start a new job. When you refer to coworkers by name, you make them feel more important. This is a basic networking tip. In addition, referring to people by name often softens the blow when you’re making requests, giving orders, sharing information, and sending emails which otherwise seem cold and impersonal. And lastly, referring to people by name helps you to remember who you’re talking to.

5. Say thank you.

When coworkers, supervisors, and others at your new company treat you with kindness and courtesy during the onboarding process, respond with gratitude. Say thank you if someone opens the door for you, gathers office supplies for you, sets up your computer, or invites you to lunch. You might even consider writing thank you cards or at least emails to individuals who go above and beyond to make you feel welcome during your first few weeks of work. Remember, you’re establishing long-term working relationships with people within your company, and what better way to do that than to demonstrate gratitude for their help and kindness.

For more onboarding tips, check out our onboarding YouTube playlist and follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and subscribe to our YouTube channel.

 

Posted March 29, 2016 by

How to brand yourself on social media

There’s a whole lot of buzz right now about how important it is to brand yourself on social media. Should you create a separate personal and professional brand? Should you invite employers to connect with you on social media, or keep all social media accounts strictly private, adding only friends and family to connect with you? Should you boycott social media altogether?

Whoa there, Tiger. Before you go rogue on us and refuse to interact with the world from this day forward, let’s take a step back and consider a balanced approach to branding.

Today’s Tuesday Tip offers tips on how to brand yourself on social media.


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1) Be consistent.

Consistency is king in relationship building. Why? Most people—healthy people—enjoy knowing what to expect from others; that makes them feel safe, comfortable, and relaxed. If people can typically expect you to behave in the same manner, with few exceptions, and your behavior is polite, courteous, and kind, people will enjoy being around you. They will most likely want to be around you in the future and accept your requests for appointments, phone calls, and other interactions. It’s important to brand yourself as someone who is consistent.

On the other hand, if you behave in an inconsistent manner—even on social media—and your comments run the gamut from thoughtful and kind to harsh and critical, your contacts/friends online may begin to shy away from interacting with you. Even if you have much to offer by way of expertise, you might find that your acquaintances are less likely to respond to your comments and invitations if you don’t behave in a consistent manner.

Remember the analogy used in the video embedded in this article of Madonna and Britney Spears. Madonna maintained a consistent marketing message or brand out of the gate. Her fans (and haters) knew what to expect from her from day one. This was never true of Britney Spears (or Miley Cyrus, for that matter). Deep down, most people really like knowing what to expect of others, particularly those we have relationships with.

2)  Be kind.

Golden rule, people. Simply treat others as you want to be treated, or as my career mentor Samantha Hartley says, and as I mentioned in a recent Tuesday Tip video, “as offline, so online.” Treat others well face-to-face (with kindness, courtesy, politeness, encouragement, positivity, humor, etc.). Interactions on social media should be no different, right? When you brand yourself on social media, ensure that you leave people with a positive feeling after they interact with you.

3) Be strategic.

Be strategic when you brand yourself. Put some thought into choosing what you post because it matters; it can affect your employment opportunities.

Who are you on your best day? Are you reliable, caring, outgoing, considerate, and on time? This is the best you to portray on social media. This is how to brand yourself on social media.

If you have difficulty figuring out who you are in terms of your career path and how to brand yourself, you’re not alone. Branding yourself is a lifelong process; you simply get started while you’re in college, and you continue working on it throughout your career. If you need help determining how to word your headline on LinkedIn, sections of your resume, or even where you’re heading in terms of your career path, visit with your career services specialists on campus. Take free career assessments on campus. It’s never too late!

For more tips on using social media in your job search, follow our blog and subscribe to our YouTube channel. Follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter.

Posted March 01, 2016 by

Keeping it old school on social media

Even in the digital age, there’s something warm and fuzzy about throwing it back to the good old days and keeping it old school when using social media. Maybe this seems ironic, but it makes a lot of sense; whether you’re searching for jobs, networking professionally, or connecting with friends, it helps to apply the same communication skills you use when interacting face to face to your online communication via social media. Recruiters and talent acquisition leaders—your future bosses—are looking for employees who exhibit great communication skills. If you can apply the following five tips to your use of social media, you’ll definitely improve your odds of landing internships and entry-level jobs.

This Tuesday Tip video, featuring Bethany Wallace, Content Manager for College Recruiter, offers five suggestions for college students and recent grads for using social media old school style.


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1. If you can’t show Grandma, don’t show anybody.

When using social media platforms, particularly platforms which are image-heavy like Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat, avoid posting photos (or posting comments or status updates) containing images or words you wouldn’t show or share with your grandma. If your grandma is a hipster, this rule doesn’t apply to you. Think about the stereotypical grandma who might be offended at the notion of seeing her grandson’s photos of a wild party. That’s the grandma we’re referencing here.

If that mild-mannered, conservative grandma wouldn’t want to see it or read about it, chances are your potential employers don’t want to see it or read about it either. So don’t share it on social media. Remember that just because you think you have your privacy settings locked down doesn’t mean they’re truly secure. Your friends can always tag you in photos. Facebook is publicly traded. And your friends and contacts can also take screen shots of what you post before you realize you need to delete the scandalous content. So play it safe and follow the grandma rule, particularly prior to and during your job search.

2. No phones allowed.

If you’re a traditional college student, your parents can probably tell you lots of stories about what it was like to attend parties and other college functions sans cell phones. Most wild college functions were never documented; the only records that exist of the crazy things that happened at sorority houses in the 80s and 90s live in the memories of the people who attended.

Take notes from the old folks on this one. The benefit to turning off your cell phones at the door of functions with your friends is that you won’t wind up posting any scandalous photos on social media, only to regret those posts later. It might seem fun to share the photos now, but when you begin searching for a job or internship, and employers Google you and find said photos, you’ll wish you’d followed the “no phones allowed” rule once in a while. You might want to suggest to your friends that they follow suit and turn off their phones, too. Who knows? Maybe you’ll find that you have more fun when you aren’t worried about taking selfies or being caught doing something silly.

3. Pay attention; you’re creating a brand.

When sharing, posting, liking, or communicating in any way with your contacts on social media, remember that you’re creating a brand for yourself. As The Police so aptly put it, “I’ll be watching you.” Your contacts—particularly recruiters and potential employers—are watching you. People often pay more attention to your online activity than what you might think. Be sure that you mindfully interact online and treat others with courtesy and kindness. Portray the image of yourself you want others to see. Brand yourself intentionally because if you don’t, you’re still creating a brand; it will just be a personal brand you’ve created haphazardly.

When you interact through social media, commenting thoughtfully on photos and status updates also lets your contacts know that you care about their content. This helps build genuine relationships. This is another way to apply old school communication principles to your online interactions.

4. Request a meeting with professional contacts.

After you’ve interacted with a professional contact online for a while, don’t be afraid to make the suggestion that you meet face to face, to ask for your contact’s phone number, or to request a Skype visit. Taking the next step toward more personal face-to-face interaction is always preferable because it gives you the opportunity to get to know your contact better. Professionals—whether employers or mentors—understand that you are networking in order to gain understanding about your career field and to seek job opportunities. Make your intentions clear when requesting a visit. If you are attempting to learn more about the career field, tell your contact that. If you want to learn about the company your contact works for, state that when you request to meet for coffee.

Most people are open to this type of request if they have time in their schedules. Even if they can’t meet face to face, they can often visit over the phone or online. Moving from social media, like Facebook messaging or direct messaging on Twitter, to a phone call, is a positive step toward building a lasting professional relationship.

5. “As offline, so online.”

This tip comes straight from marketing guru Samantha Hartley, owner of Enlightened Marketing. In the world of social media and electronic communication, people tend to interact more abruptly and to leave their manners at the door. This is a major faux pas if you want to maintain healthy professional relationships with your friends, professional contacts, and coworkers (and land jobs in the future).

Remember that when interacting on social media and through email, it’s just as important to treat people with courtesy, respect, and kindness as it is offline (face to face). As offline, so online.

For more Tuesday Tips and suggestions about using social media effectively in your job search, follow our blog, subscribe to our YouTube channel, and follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.

 

Posted October 19, 2015 by

Beyond the text: Communication and Gen Z – Part three: Interacting in the workplace

Part 3 of the webinar series Beyond the text: Communication and Gen Z, “Interacting in the Workplace” explains the vital role of communication in the modern workplace and prepares college students and recent graduates to adapt from the college setting to the business environment. Part 3 of this webinar will make the process of transitioning from college to the workplace a smoother one as students and graduates understand the importance of quality communication and gain practical tips and insights. (more…)

Posted August 05, 2015 by

Job Interview Questions YOU Should Ask…

Jimmy Sweeney

Jimmy Sweeney, President of CareerJimmy

The phone call Jason waited for finally came! He’d been invited for an interview for the job he’d wanted—sales manager for an educational publishing company. Suddenly his nerves were on edge. He knew how to dress for the occasion but he was concerned about the questions he had on his list—the ones to ask and the ones to avoid.

His buddy Wes had reviewed the questions he might hear from the hiring manager so he felt pretty confident about those. But he also realized this would be a two-way interview. Jason wanted to be sure that he got his questions answered too. After all, he might decide against this company if it didn’t seem right for him once he actually talked with the hiring manager and learned more about the company. He was not desperate for the job—just eager! (more…)

Posted March 04, 2015 by

“Tighten Up” Your Resume Cover Letter

Jimmy Sweeney

Jimmy Sweeney, President of CareerJimmy

Of the many thousands of job search cover letters that cross the desks of hiring managers each month, hundreds are sent directly to the gallows! They’re tossed, forgotten, and shredded. What a sad state of affairs and such a waste of paper, print, and personality. Many receive barely a glance, let alone a full reading. Why?

The writing is pompous, pitiful, and pathetic! The job searchers who create such cover letters try hard to impress a potential employer but instead do just the opposite.

But you don’t have to be among this crowd. You can take a moment to put these five steps into action before you write your next cover letter. (more…)

Posted July 29, 2014 by

About to Accept an Entry Level Job Offer? 5 Things to Do First

While you might be excited about receiving an entry level job offer, make sure to do these five things first in the following post before accepting the position.

After a challenging job search, you finally received the call you’ve been waiting for! Your interviewers liked the potential they saw in you, and a few days after your final meeting, they picked up the phone to tell you the good news: You’re the one they want. They’d like to

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Posted April 12, 2013 by

What Exactly Does New Fed Data Show About Pay for Low-Skill …

The following post lists 10 of the most common entry level jobs in the United States and what they say about employment.

Seven of the 10 largest occupations in the U.S. pay well below the national average annual pay of $45000, according to new data released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Of course, once you find out which jobs we’re …

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What Exactly Does New Fed Data Show About Pay for Low-Skill …