• The best and worst career advice your parents ever gave you

    July 29, 2016 by

    It is only natural that you will seek your parents’ advice when you are getting ready to start your own career. After college, this is the source of many widely-awaken nights and several concerns and you should be able to rely on your folks for guidance on this matter.

    And you are very likely to follow what they tell you, especially if they are successful people. But, the thing is that sometimes they might mislead you just out of trying to keep you away from frustration and disappointment. Or, in other cases, they might not know your industry of choice well enough to understand its particularities.

    Photo courtesy of StockUnlimited.com

    Photo courtesy of StockUnlimited.com

    So here is a curated list of the best and worst career advice that parents have given to their children. This way, you can prepare yourself to identify better when you should follow their lead and when a thank you and a smile should be the end of it.

    # The Worst

    So, let’s start with three pieces of advice where parents got it all wrong then.

    You must get a degree.”

    Most parents still think that if you don’t get a degree from a university, you are ruined for life. That you will never be able to get a good job or even to provide for yourself, as the best opportunities are available only for those with a wall full of certifications.

    But, while it can be true for some careers, which require specific qualifications and licences, such as medical doctors and law professional, it isn’t mandatory for everybody.

    There are many companies out there happy to contract talents that have never been to any university but who have proved themselves as capable of doing the job better than their competitors. And this is because a large number of these businesses are owned and run by people who also have no degree, for starters.

    Of course, you need to develop several skills so to be employable, but most of them can be acquired and improved through technical courses, workshops, e-learning, and even self-taught.

    Plus, there isn’t anything stopping you from becoming an entrepreneur yourself, and you won’t need any certification for it.

    A job exists to pay your bills. You don’t have to enjoy it.”

    You will spend from eight to who-knows-how-many hours in your job in the future. And the day has only 24 hours, and you will be asleep through other 8 hours, plus all other mandatory things you must do, such as eating, commuting and having a shower.

    So, yes, you might not need to be absolutely in love with your job, but you must like it enough so to avoid that it will turn your life into a nightmare. Something has to attract you about what you are doing, from your daily tasks to your colleagues and boss, or you won’t be able to cope with it.

    You can do anything you want.”

    Unfortunately, this isn’t true. It is lovely to hear that but we all know that there are some skills that we just don’t seem able to learn them the right way.

    You might dream with the idea of becoming a surgeon, but you know you have never managed to cut a piece of paper following a straight line, for example. Or you wish to become a professor, but get bored when trying to write a 20-page assignment.

    So, yes, you can learn enough to become an average professional, but if you want to stand out from the crowd and be successful in your career, you will have to identify your strengths and choose a path where they can be improved and bring you proper results.

    # The Best

    Now that we survived all those bad ideas, let’s have a look at three pieces of advice from parents that you should really take into consideration from now on.

    You have to work hard to get what you want.”

    Nothing could be more true than it. The time when you used to lie down on the sofa and ask money to your parents is long gone, as you probably already noticed. And it won’t get any better.

    So if you want anything in life, you will have to work for it and hard. You will have to put it as your top priority, get your time organised, make sure that you know what you want, and be persistent about it, even if the challenges start to seem too overwhelming to you at some stage.

    Don’t lose your integrity.”

    No matter what you are aiming for, you should never lose your integrity. If nothing else, it will guarantee that you sleep well at night with a clean consciousness.

    It is very easy to think that bending some rules, or even ignoring them altogether, is a fair way to get a job or a promotion. That is a dog-eat-dog world, and if you don’t do it, someone else will do it anyway. So you protect and look after yourself first.

    But while this is understandable, it is a resource that can backfire quite often. If you lie about your skills, for example, you know that you will be unmasked sooner or later. If you do anything morally or criminally wrong so to protect yourself or your job (or somebody else in your job), you will get yourself in trouble at some stage.

    And the price you will pay for it certainly won’t be worthwhile.

    A job doesn’t define the person you are.”

    So, yes, you prioritize your career above everything in the beginning, even relationships and family, and this is OK. But, it doesn’t mean that, if you fail, you will have failed as a person as well.

    A job is just part of what you do in life, and there are so many variables gravitating around it that you can’t be accountable for everything that goes wrong there. For starters, it is also a responsibility of your boss to make sure that you get your work done correctly, not only yours.

    You might be a much better professional in another company, or maybe in another career. There is nothing wrong in making changes. Also, you shouldn’t take criticism personally – what is being said is about the task, not about you as a person, remember it.

    To Sum Up

    Our parents certainly are the first people we should look for advice when we are trying to start a career for ourselves. They have been there, they know us well, and want the best for us, so they will support us in our journey to the best they can.

    On the other hand, exactly because of it, be ready to understand that some of their suggestions might be just wrong or not suit your needs or of the path that you chose. So learn to listen to everything, and then to evaluate what you will do or not with the information you got from your parents.

     Want more great career advice? Follow College Recruiter on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube.

    Patrick Cole, guest writer

    Patrick Cole, guest writer

    About Patrick Cole, the author:

    Patrick Cole is an entrepreneur and freelancer. He is also a contributing blogger for several websites. Patrick loves self-education and rock music. Connect with Patrick via Facebook, Google+ and Twitter

  • 10 career mistakes to avoid

    June 26, 2016 by
    Photo by StockUnlimited.com

    Photo by StockUnlimited.com

    One of your top goals is to have a happy and successful life.

    Your career is the key to achieving this goal.

    You’ve got a nice degree, have a lovely smile and are ready to work, but there’s one more thing that could stop you from realizing your dreams:

    Mistakes.

    Some mistakes could harm or even end your career. You have to recognize and avoid them at all costs if you really want to have a successful life.

    There are 10 career defining mistakes.

    1. Dressing badly at work

    Research tells us that what we wear affects how we think. How we dress also affects how other people perceive us.

    Sure, you deserve to get the respect you think you deserve and get people to listen to you. People should respect you because you know what you’re talking about.

    So why should you wear expensive socks to get people to respect you?

    Let me tell you a story.

    One day I was on a bus headed to my friend’s house. It’s been a long time since I went to the neighborhood so I wasn’t so sure which stop to get off at. I was constantly looking out at the window, and the gentleman sitting beside me could not help but notice it.

    He nicely asked where I was going and if I needed help. I told him where I was going, and he said I should exit in two stops. I thanked him.

    A few minutes later, another man sitting behind me said “Actually, you should get off at the next stop.”

    I thanked him and exited where he told me, ignoring the advice of the first guy.

    Now, you may want to ask me why I chose the second guy’s advice.

    As I walk away from the bus stop, I realized I ignored my seatmate’s advice because he was wearing sweatpants, had a dark stain on his T-shirt, and looked like he skipped showering that day. I realized that I chose the second guy’s advice because he wore a collared jacket, well-polished shoes, and designer glasses.

    When you dress well at work, people will notice you. Your superiors will notice you, and they would admire you for that. That would open up more opportunities for you.

    2. Expressing a rude and negative attitude at work

    Even if you’re a highly-talented employee but always express a bad and negative attitude at work, you’ll have a high mountain to climb to advance your career. Many managers hate working with employees who have bad attitudes because they decrease the team morale.

    According to studies from Leadership IQ, 87% of employees say that working with somebody with a bad attitude has actually made them want to change jobs. And as much as 89% of new hires who fail within 18 months actually failed because of attitudinal issues, not skills. Bad attitudes also include laziness, tardiness, inappropriate jokes, unresponsive to emails, etc. List all the bad and negative attitudes you have and make a consistent effort to overcome them.

    3. Not building good relationships with your colleagues

    Bad relationships are bound to happen from time to time. How you deal with them is the most important thing.

    Your colleagues are the keys to your happiness at work. If you’re not happy with your coworkers, then you’ll certainly be looking for work soon. I’m a big believer of the phrase “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” If you want your coworkers to be kind and respectful to you, then you have to be kind and respectful to them.

    Make sure you remember your coworkers’ names and address them by their names. It’s easy to say happy birthdays to your coworkers on Facebook when you rarely talk to them at work. Make sure you’re doing that important one-on-one conversation. Get on the phone and tell them “Happy Birthday.” Go an extra mile and surprise them with a gift. This little generosity will make you more likable at your workplace.

    4. Writing unprofessional emails to colleagues

    You know there are some unprofessional things you shouldn’t say to your colleagues in the workplace. The same is true for work emails.

    For example, it’s not appropriate to answer a colleague asking you how your job search is going inside your work email. Another example is when your colleague complains about other coworkers and says nasty things about them.

    These are discussions you shouldn’t allow inside your work email. I don’t think it’s good to allow it at all whether it’s your personal or work email. You should know that you don’t own your work email, your employer does. Your employer can monitor who you’re communicating with on your work email. You could be in trouble if you’re making inappropriate remarks about sensitive issues at your workplace.

    In addition to that, there are some email mistakes that can make you look really unprofessional.

    For example:

    • Using informal or curse words you’re not allowed to use at work
    • Rambling in your email instead of getting straight to the point
    • Forgetting to attach files when you say you’ve attached files
    • Spelling the person’s name wrong or using a different name to address the recipient

    These email mistakes may not look big to you, but they are serious mistakes that can prevent you from accelerating your career.

    5. Making career choices based on earnings

    The love of money could lead you down the wrong career path.

    I’m not saying “The love of money is the root of all evil.”

    You need money to do a lot of things. You probably need money to pay student loans, buy some nice outfits and keep the roof over your head. So you definitely need money. We all do.

    But when you choose a career or a job you don’t even enjoy based on your goal to make $90,000 per year, that’s when it becomes a problem. You need to ask yourself:

    Does your desire for money match your passion and skills? When you choose a job you’re less passionate about, you’ll be pushing yourself to get things done. And this would be visible in your performance. You should choose a job where you have the skills and abilities to get the job done.

    6. Not investing in yourself

    If you strip Larry Page of his assets and dump him on the street, I can assure you that he would be back living a comfortable life within a week.

    Larry Page has a ton of human capital.

    According to Wikipedia“Human capital is the stock of knowledge, habits, social and personality attributes, including creativity, embodied in the ability to perform labor so as to produce economic value.” In other words, human capital is a collection of resources—all the knowledge, talents, skills, abilities, experience, intelligence, training, judgment, and wisdom that are possessed by an individual. If you want to achieve a lot of success in your career, you need a lot of human capital. Focusing on building your human capital is a lot more productive than worrying about “job security.

    So how do you build your human capital?

    You build up your human capital by investing in yourself through:

    • Improving your skills
    • Acquiring complementary skills
    • Reading educational books
    • Starting healthy habits
    • Building your personal brand
    • Getting a mentor

    As you do these things, you’ll become irreplaceable in your organization. You’ll become the go-to person within your company. Many more people will start looking up to you. All these help you accelerate your career.

    But when you stop investing in yourself, you become stagnant. Your skills become obsolete.

    7. Not maintaining a healthy work-life balance

    A poor work-life balance is bad for both the employee (you) and the employer.

    People who have a poor work-life balance are more stressed and experience more family conflicts. They also tend to have both mental and physical problems. If your private life is suffering, it will negatively impact your professional life. Your private life comes first. When you experience more problems in your private life, your creativity, engagement and productivity at work will suffer.

    The only way to prevent this is to keep a work-life balance.

    This may not look like a career mistake to you, but it’s a mistake that can have adverse effects on your career. You should set work hours and stick to them. Don’t work during times when you should be with your family or have set aside times for tending to personal matters which are a priority to you.

    8. Not improving your communication skills

    “The most important single ingredient in the formula of success is knowing how to get along with people.”—Theodore Roosevelt

    The consequences of poor communication are great.

    For example, if your communication skills are poor, your message would be hard to understand, and this can lead to serious confusion among your colleagues.

    Too much information when it is not needed can also affect the concentration of the listener.

    Poor communication becomes more serious when you communicate with customers. If customers are not serviced in the right manner, it would reduce sales, thereby affecting business goals.

    Great communication skills help you do well at your job because you’ll be using these skills when requesting information, discussing problems, giving out instructions, and interacting with your colleagues. As a result of demonstrating good communication skills, you’ll enhance your professional image, build sound business relationships, and get more successful responses.

    You have to continue sharpening your communication skills if you want to get and stay at the top.

    How do you do that?

    You sharpen your communication skills by:

    • Striking up conversations with strangers
    • Reading good books
    • Listening to others
    • And engaging in more one-on-one conversations

    9. Not networking outside your company

    Your network is your net worth.

    Your network is your source of job opportunities, potential business partnerships and much more. Your network won’t only find your next job, but it will help you improve your current position.

    NETWORKING is the single most powerful marketing tactic to accelerate and sustain success for any individual or organization!”—Adam Small

    One of the biggest mistakes many people make is to network when they are only looking for a job. You can’t only rely on people you already know within your current workplace to help you land your dream job. You must always be networking outside of your company, and even your industry.

    For example, let’s say you’re a website designer; networking with other website designers alone would limit your opportunities. You should network outside your industry like in the Healthcare, Manufacturing, Agriculture and Energy sectors. People in these sectors could be good references. They could become customers. They might know someone who needs your service.

    LinkedIn is a very good place to start networking with people outside your industries.

    But your conversation with those people shouldn’t be limited to the web. Take it offline. Do face-to-face meetings with them. That’s how you expand your network and increase your chance of career success.

    10. Not serving your network

    The truth is the people in your network needs you as much as you need them.

    You can’t just expect people in your network to connect you with other people they know. You can’t just expect them to link you up with job opportunities without you giving them some value. You’ll appear selfish if you always expect people to do things for you but offer nothing in return.

    The best way to keep people interested in you is to serve them. When you diligently do something good for people, they will want to return the favor, though, your major aim of helping people shouldn’t be to get something in return. The more people you serve, the more your network grows, and the more your network grows, the more opportunities will come your way.

    Michael Akinlaby, guest writer

    Michael Akinlaby, guest writer

    Need more tips for making the best career choices? Visit our blog and follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube.

    Michael Akinlaby is a freelance writer and SEO Consultant. He’s the founder of RankRain, an internet marketing agency that specializes in content marketing and Search Engine. 

  • 10 summer internship opportunities for 2016

    June 11, 2016 by
    Photo by StockUnlimited.com

    Photo by StockUnlimited.com

    Do you imagine yourself with your own business or want to improve your skills? The best way to become a shark in any industry or business is to gain experience through a summer internship with top world companies and organizations.

    Internships in Europe or USA’s top companies can help you to get skills you never had before. After the program, you will return to your home country with a backpack full of knowledge and skills. In this article, we’ve collected a list of 10 summer internship opportunities in the U.S. and abroad for 2016-2017 that may catch your interest.

    U.S. Embassy in London and Paris – Internship in International Relations

    Generally, U.S. Embassy’s Internship in IR is an unpaid program. Nevertheless, they offer a Pamela Harriman Foreign Service Fellowship for students majoring in international affairs. This fellowship provides a $5000 grant to one intern at each U.S. embassy abroad. Start with interning at the U.S. Department of State, and you will have a chance to land the Fellowship. But don’t be upset if you didn’t get the grant; interning at the Embassy could give you a perfect ability to start your international career and gain positive experience in your field. This is not just an ability to work at the embassy; it’s a chance to become a part of something really important.

    The World Bank – Internships in Economics, Finance, and other related fields

    This summer internship program provides learning and first-hand experience to students and junior career professionals. Interns generally admit significant improvement of their skills and gain positive experience while working in a diverse environment. To be eligible, you must have an undergraduate degree and major in one of the following fields: economics, finance, education, social studies, or agriculture. Professional experience and fluency in foreign languages will be advantageous for your application. The Bank pays salaries to all interns and provides an allowance to travel expenses (on the individual basis). Located in Washington, D.C., the World Bank offers a training of four weeks minimum in duration.

    KONE – internships in IT, Engineering, Business and Law

    KONE is the global leader in the elevator and escalator industry and well-known for its solutions for modernization and maintenance of urban buildings. KONE offers various traineeships and internships in its units around the globe and can be an excellent starting point for entry-level professionals. The company looks for cooperation with senior students and gives the opportunity to write thesis assignments together with KONE’s professional mentors. This cooperation will complement your theoretical education and provide you with valuable industry insights.

    Goldman Sachs – Internship in Financial Markets

    Goldman Sachs provides you with an internship as a summer internship analyst. You can participate and intern almost everywhere you like as their offices are located all across the Europe, Asia, Australia and Africa. Despite that the program has no specific or strict requirements, any academic achievements would be advantageous for you. Interning in Goldman Sachs, you have a chance to get a full-time job position after you finish your summer internship.

    H&M – internships in Business, Engineering

    For those who love fashion, you may like this internship program. H&M offers an internship at their headquarters in Sweden. Participation can be a bit competitive, and you have to submit your application a year before you plan to intern. But imagine six weeks living abroad and working at one of the most successful companies in the modern world. That’s worth the effort, right?

    Projects Abroad– Internship in Journalism

    If you are looking for non-paid, but ultra useful, challenging yet really rewarding experience, you should try to participate at a Projects Abroad. This company offers two types of an internships: a Print journalism and a Broadcast placement. A Print journalism provides you with a job at a certain newspaper or magazine of a local community while a Broadcast placement will provide you with a job on the TV or a radio station. Together with hands-on industry experience, you get the opportunity to intern and travel the world – Projects Abroad has its offices in many countries, including Argentina, China, India, Jamaica, and Romania.

    KPMG – Internship in Finance

    This company looks for interns interested in finance and economics. The KPMG provides work with audit, advisory, and taxes in diverse spheres of business. The biggest advantage of this summer internship is that the corporation will cover all expenses of an intern, including flights and medical insurance. KPMG can become a perfect starting point for financial enthusiasts.

    IAESTE – internships in technical fields

    IAESTE is a worldwide company with many internship programs in engineering, computer sciences, architecture, and other technical fields. These internships are hosted in more than 80 countries around the world. There are no special requirements for candidates. However, if you know the local language, it will be much easier to adjust in a new environment. IAESTE internship gives its participants an opportunity to obtain new skills, get practical experience, and establish a vast network of potential partners.

    Deloitte – Internship in Business

    With Deloitte, you can intern in Brazil, China, Spain, Sweden, or Turkey. The internship opportunities are open to both freshman and senior students. Together with Deloitte professionals, all interns will explore peculiarities of the modern workplace and global markets and foster business relationships with leading experts in the industry. Note that prior to going abroad, the company will ask you attend a special two-weeks training session in your home country.

    Gap Medics Ltd – internship in Medicine and Dental fields

    It’s not a paid summer internship, but it is a unique opportunity to gain perfect experience. This is a big international company that provides students of medicine and dental majors with an opportunity to improve their critical and soft skills while travelling in one of the most beautiful parts of our world. You can become an intern in Croatia, Poland, and Thailand or in the Caribbean. The Gap Medics Ltd offers programs in Spanish and English that enables more students to have practice in their field. Also, during the internship, you will be able to address all your issues or questions to company’s support team that operates 24/7.

    Hope this information will help you find a perfect internship for the summer. The business world has many opportunities for you to improve your skills and intern abroad during the summer; just believe in yourself.

    Emma Rundle, guest writer

    Emma Rundle, guest writer

    Searching for a summer internship right now? Check out the internships posted on College Recruiter.com and register to have new job postings sent directly to you. Be sure to follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, and YouTube as well.

    Emma Rundle is a student, blogger and freelance writer for Eduzaurus. In Emma’s opinion, one of the primary goals in life is helping people, especially students.

  • What kind of degrees can be pursued online?

    May 21, 2016 by
    Learn photo by StockUnlimited.com

    Photo by StockUnlimited.com

    The availability of online colleges has increased drastically even just over the last 10 years, and with that change, the degree offerings have also become more widespread. Today, students can find almost any degree level or major offered through an online institution. With a little effort and commitment, they can find a career path that works for them and take them where they want to go. So, consider all of the possibilities offered today when it comes to online degrees.

    Certification levels

    Previously, the certification levels provided through online colleges were limited, but today, students can find degrees at any level to meet their needs. Here’s an overview of certifications and degrees available at most colleges and universities.

    •Certification: Many professional fields require ongoing certification to keep a license up-to-date. Fortunately, there are many certification program options, including those in medicine, education, counseling, and even business.

    •Associate Degree: Two-year associate degree programs are a good choice for many career options, and online institutions typically offer a wide variety of programs at this level.

    •Bachelor’s Degree: These four-year degrees are among the most popular online degree programs. Most online schools offer the widest variety of bachelor’s degree programs.

    •Master’s Degree: These options used to be much less common, but students can now find online programs to obtain an MBA, MS, M.Ed., or MA.

    •Doctoral Degree: This level of degree is still the rarest to be found on the internet; however, even doctorate degrees are increasingly offered online today. There are a variety of options ranging from business to education and even theology.

    Majors

    Many students believe they’ll be limited in their major choice if they choose to opt for an online program, but that simply isn’t the case. Online colleges offer a wide range of major options, including those in humanities, fine arts, business, finance, technology, science, health, medicine, education, and even law and criminal justice.

    Specialized degrees

    Today’s online colleges are even equipped to offer a wide range of specialized degree programs, such as a board certified behavior analyst program that can teach students to see the big picture. These degrees require specific preparation and advanced techniques that make them perfect candidates for an individualized online program. To pursue endorsement through a program like the behavior analyst certification, students are often required to complete specific prerequisites prior to applying for the program to ensure their success.

    There are more online degree options available today than ever before. Online colleges offer programs at all different certification levels, as well as degree programs in various subjects. The possibilities are unlimited.

    Are you thinking about going back to school? Find college majors with top entry-level jobs and go to our blog. Also, follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube.

    Rachelle Wilber, guest writer

    Rachelle Wilber, guest writer

    Rachelle Wilber is a freelance writer living in the San Diego, California area. She graduated from San Diego State University with her Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Media Studies. She tries to find an interest in all topics and themes, which prompts her writing. When she isn’t on her porch writing in the sun, you can find her shopping, at the beach, or at the gym. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook: @RachelleWilber; https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100009221637700

  • 10 reasons to become a personal assistant

    May 14, 2016 by
    Personal assistant with boss on the move courtesy of Shutterstock.com

    El Nariz/Shutterstock.com

    With the standard paths to fame and fortune well-trodden, it is important to be on the lookout for new ways to make a buck and your mark. One surprising way to do so is to become a personal assistant.

    Here are 10 reasons why.

    1. You get to learn how the best in the business do what they do

    How many of us start off doing something and then six months or a year down the line say to ourselves, “I wish I’d known about that when I started out.” Well, had you been a personal assistant, you would have probably known, as you can look on over the shoulders of the best in the business. You can’t put a value on that.

    2. The pay is surprisingly good

    That’s not to say the pay is bad; it isn’t. A mid-range PA can make about $60,000 a year. Are you even better? Well, then it can go up to between $80,000-120,000. Now, you won’t be buying any yachts for that money, but you won’t be going hungry either.

    3. You get to say, “You know who I work for?”

    And besides, you’re going to get quite a few of the perks of being rich without being rich anyway, provided you know how to name drop. Want to have dinner in a Michele star restaurant but don’t have reservations? Come right this way, sir. Want to buy that new Chanel bag? I just happen to have one behind the counter. The benefits can be truly tremendous.

    4. You get to go to interesting and exciting places

    For example, if your boss travels, often you’ll get to go along. And that can take you to some pretty amazing places (and have you staying at some nice hotels). Don’t like to travel? Select a boss who stays in one place! You get to choose who you’ll work for.

    5. You can come into it from any educational background

    Now in many different occupations, you can’t get in the door without the right degree. Quite often, job seekers absolutely need a college education. That does not necessarily have to be the case in PAing, however. Just as long as you’ve got a good head on your shoulders, you can get far.

    6. You can use it to jump start your career into another line of work

    You can even use being a personal assistant to pass some of the lower rungs of the career ladder, as you demonstrate what you’re capable of to somebody who can actually make the hiring decisions.

    7. You get to rub shoulders with the movers and shakers

    Even if your boss doesn’t hire you, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to impress people. After all, you’re going to be meeting other important people and taking their calls. If you know how to impress people, you’ll be able to leverage that into a better position somewhere down the line.

    8. Your days will vary immensely

    Also, your days as a personal assistant will rarely be boring. You’ll get a huge amount of different activities thrown on your plate and be left to tackle them as best you can. Of course, you’ll have to adjust your day to fit the schedule of your boss, but if you can live with that, the world is your oyster.

    9. You’re a gatekeeper

    There is a certain satisfaction in knowing that people have to get past you to speak to your boss. The smart ones will know that and make certain to go out of their way and be nice to you. And the others? Oh I’m sorry, I don’t know how we just got disconnected for the third time in a row! There must be something wrong with the telephone system!

    10. You get to learn from other people’s mistakes

    Most importantly, a personal assistant gets to see what other people do wrong in high power situations and make certain you don’t do the same. That can be incredibly valuable down the line when you’re trying to do your own thing – or when you sell the book rights, of course.

    Now being a PA isn’t for everybody. You’ve got to tolerate negative attitudes from others when they’re having their bad days, and some of us weren’t made to get coffee. For those of us willing to take a humility pill and play second fiddle for a few years, however, it’s a fantastic opportunity to learn and get a glimpse in a different world.

    Looking for more information to boost your job search, visit the College Recruiter blog and follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube.

    Luisa Brenton, guest writer

    Luisa Brenton, guest writer

    Luisa Brenton is a lifestyle blogger. You can find more of her posts at TrustMyPaper. She was born in Italy, graduated from The St. Louis School of Milan, and went to Chicago to pursue higher education at the Chicago’s Public Research University. Luisa is interested in modern literature. She is fond of journalism as well.

  • 5 resume writing tips for recent graduates

    April 09, 2016 by
    Resume writing tips written on notebook courtesy of Shutterstock.com

    kenary820/Shutterstock.com

    Irrespective of the profession, when it comes to finding a suitable job, candidates need well written resumes to present themselves as the most suitable candidates in front of prospective employers. The document provides brief information about education, skills, and prior work experience candidates may possess. It is equally important for job seekers without making any discrimination on the basis of education, skills, experiences, and the nature of the job. It is necessary for individuals searching for senior positions or entry-level vacancies.

    People have several misconceptions about resume writing, about including and excluding things, and formatting. Such misconceptions can be easily rectified after observing templates available on the web. But the real battle starts when new college graduates or individuals lacking the relevant job experience are writing resumes to brand themselves to employers. Nearly all new graduates start complaining that their resumes fail to create the right impression and are unable to help them to get a job interview call. 90% of the applicants think they are not being selected due to possessing zero or limited experience.

    Although education and level of expertise matters to get good jobs with high status and to some extent, it is also a requirement for entry-level jobs. Obviously, no one will hire job seekers with inadequate and irrelevant education. Recent graduates might be experiencing the same situation. Despite possessing the relevant education and internship experiences, if grads are experiencing the same situation, they will actually need to recheck their resumes to know what they are missing.

    Here are a few simple resume writing tips recent graduates have to keep in mind while creating their resumes to get internships or entry-level jobs in their relevant career fields.

    1. Start with your personal information

    Carefully, start by adding personal information like your full name, contact number, address, and an email address you check on a regular basis. Avoid misspelling these credentials, as they can be mistyped more frequently.

    2. Write an effective objective statement

    The career objective section is crucially important, and it should be added just after the contact credentials. In addition to placing it correctly, the objective must be very concise, covering the key components like the position you are applying for, the profession, and the most relevant skills. It enables your resume to stand out among the hundreds and thousands of resumes an employer might be sifting through.

    3. Sensibly add educational information

    Being recent graduates, the education section on their resumes is extremely important. Some candidates might not possess internship experience, and all they have are their degrees and certifications. Recruiters usually short-list candidates for entry-level and internship positions on the basis of their educational qualifications. Therefore, candidates must be very careful while adding and organizing educational information on their resumes. Start by adding the most recent degree and also mention the net GPA if it is three or more; don’t add the GPA if it is less than three. It’s better to mention the GPA of particular major if it is high enough. Don’t add unnecessary information about high school; instead, concentrate on current activities, work experiences, and accomplishments during college.

    4. Consider adding the link of your professional profile

    Although recent graduates are not classifying themselves into professional groups, they shouldn’t hesitate to create professional profiles on any of the suitable websites like LinkedIn. Grads are in the process of starting careers as professionals and should not underestimate themselves. Adding their professional profile links or portfolio links, in case they have made them during or after college, will portray a positive image of graduates’ personalities. It reveals they are eager to become professionals, and possess an innate love for specific career fields.

    5. Use action verbs over pronouns

    Don’t use first person or second person to describe yourself in a resume. Refrain using “I” or “me”. Also avoid using your name to talk about yourself in third person like “Anna is a fresh graduate” or “she is willing to join.” The best way to illustrate skills and accomplishments is using a few action verbs like created, developed, or managed under the heading of the department where someone might have worked. They give a natural tone to job seekers’ documents. Recruiters are well aware that candidates applying for entry-level jobs either don’t have work experience or that they lack the experience required to a vital job.

    After considering these simple tips and tricks, recent graduates will be able to write effective resumes to obtain desirable entry-level jobs according to their educational qualifications.

    For more resume writing tips to benefit your job search, check out College Recruiter’s blog and follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Twitter.

    Photo of Jenessa Baxter

    Jenessa Baxter, guest writer

    Author Bio: Jenessa Baxter is a Digital Marketer for Ultimate Recruitment Agency in Dubai. She writes about HR recruitment tips, leadership, HR management, and career consulting. Follow her on twitter @iamjenessabax

  • Online portfolios: Using blogs to demonstrate college success

    March 26, 2016 by
    How to start a successful blog today note on laptop courtesy of Shutterstock.com

    Aysezgicmeli/Shutterstock.com

    For some college students, graduation day is coming soon. Okay, there may be a few more months, but after Spring Break, graduation is just around the corner. Time flies when students are having fun with those studies, doesn’t it?

    The post-graduation period is a time for job searching, especially if college students have loans knocking at their doors. Today, we are going to discuss a tool (blog software) and method (blogging your portfolio) that should help students in the following ways:

    • Remind them of just how wonderful they are.

    • Remind them of what they have accomplished.

    • Remind college students of what they are capable of accomplishing.

    • Provide an online resource for future recruiters and hiring authorities to see the details of what students have done → their online portfolios. Provide them with an opportunity to start (or continue) networking. This may be students’ way “in” to the companies of their choices simply because someone who faithfully reads their blogs works at a company where they want to work.

    • Give students practice in many contemporary skills, like blogging, marketing, social media marketing, time management, team management, and many more. These skills may also be added to resumes, especially if they have been consistent with their portfolio blogs, over time, and built up a following (i.e. subscriber base).

    It is helpful to keep in mind many times the reason companies hire “entry-level” candidates is two-fold:

    • College students fill entry-level jobs, and the cost of employment (including salary) is lower than more experienced candidates; and

    • The company can train students into what they want them to be as their employees. Many times, more experienced candidates are less trainable and more “set in their ways.” Or, at least that may be the view of the human resources department and may thwart the hiring of more experienced employees. This is an advantage for students, as recent college graduates.

    Even though we are using the term “entry-level” and it may not sound glamorous, students are actually in an enviable position. There are many of us who are disqualified because we are “over-qualified,” even if we are willing to be trainable and moldable. So students are in an excellent position for their job search!

    What we are suggesting here is college students add a bit of an edge to their credentials. That is, building a blog that displays what they have accomplished in a contemporary manner. It is like a “living resume,” played out by way of bite-size blog posts pleasing to read and ingest.

    It may not be likely the CEO of the company where students want to work will look at the blog, but the idea is they are getting their names, credentials, and authority out there. They have a place to send people when they really want to get a feel for what students are about and more importantly, what they have accomplished.

    Starting the blogging process

    The thought of starting a blog can be both tempting and daunting. However, it is very doable, and after all the hard work college students have put into acquiring their degrees, it should appear very easy. Why? Students are accomplished, and the process is much easier when students know what they need to do.

    There is a helpful article on “onblastblog.com” that walks students through a day-by-day process, with the goal of helping them understand what to know before starting a blog. It is a helpful process, even if it isn’t college-centric. The article should help to take the “scary” part of starting a blog out of the equation. Also, since this article is more about the college portfolio portion, that resource may help students with the blogging basics, if they are not already familiar with the blogging process. I highly recommend they “study up” on that process so what I am sharing here makes more sense in the context of their online portfolios.

    Reminder: There are some basics to setting up a blog like choosing a domain, choosing the software (I recommend WordPress), going through the settings, etc. That is where the link above is helpful for going through those basics. There are also some wonderful articles on the Internet. Students can find them through a simple “Google Search.” We are going to move forward with the assumption they have the basics set up and are ready to move on with the content (blog posts).

    The graphics for a blog portfolio

    We wouldn’t be complete if we didn’t talk a little bit about the graphics for college students’ online blog portfolios. Of course, one of the key aspects is to include a nice headshot of themselves. Possibly, students want to include some action shots (i.e. graduation; working with something that fires up their passion; etc.). Be creative! Find high quality photos representing who they are and where they are going in life.

    In addition to the images of students, there is also a need for a graphic appeal to their sites. One possibility, especially if students want to develop the branding component of their portfolios (the brand of “you”), is to hire a professional. It can be expensive but is something they should consider if they want to ensure they are using the most effective graphics for their online portfolios.

    There is a new way of soliciting graphic design examples from the professionals. It is call crowd-sourcing, and it is done by groups like Designhill.com. The idea is to take the heavy lifting and hard work out of students’ efforts to come up with a description of what they are looking for in a design and sort of present it as a design contest to a bunch of professional designers.

    By doing it that way, the heavy lifting is done by the graphic designers, as they vie to get students’ attention with their wonderful design skills. They peruse all of the designs, and choose the one that appeals to students. That way, students are not spending all their time (and money) going through multiple iterations with one designer, only to possibly be disappointed with the final outcome.

    Fortunately, I had the opportunity to interview the co-founder of just such a company, and he explains it much better than me, in this interview. Watch as Rahul Aggarwal, co-founder of Designhill, explains the concept of crowd-sourcing the graphic design process:

    If the video is not playing or displaying properly click here.

    Turning a blog into a college portfolio blog

    Now it is time to discuss blogging in the context of being a recent graduate. Ideally, if college students are reading this, and they haven’t yet graduated, it is a great time to start the blogging process. Of course, they wouldn’t want the blogging to interfere with the time they need for their college studies (or social and relaxation time). The reason it is a great time is it 1) gives students time to network prior to graduation; and 2) gives them time to write articles about their experiences with their projects, while it is fresh in their minds.

    Fresh in your mind also creates that sense of “real person,” transparency, and engagement → all very popular in our culture.

    For college students who graduated some time ago, this doesn’t leave them out of the game. I have been blogging for years, and I am just now starting to re-purpose my essays into blog posts on my site at Tech-Audit.com. Many of the articles on that site were inspired by experiences in corporate America, but also, many of them were inspired by knowledge gained during my college studies. Now, the next step is to re-purpose my essays.

    Process overview

    Like I mentioned, I am getting ready to add some of my essays and papers to my blog. Students can set up their blogs to indicate (i.e. in the tag line) this is a portfolio. That way, readers will expect that is what they are reading, records of students’ projects and accomplishments from college. This gives an audience a chance to feel like they are being included in something special.

    In my case, I set up a professional blog on the topic of finance and technology and where they intersect. I am about to embark on including my essays into the blog. It is possible, since my current degree is I/O Psychology the blog will morph into a bit of a different topic. That is okay. Today, there are so many options to make modifications on our blogs; the sky is the limit.

    It may not be ideal to change the name or tagline, as it would be recommended we stick with the original intent of the blog (and that is what students are likely to read in the “how to blog” type articles), but in this case, we are sort of defining our path as we go. Also, loyal readers will become interested in what YOU have to say because this blog is more personal about students own paths and accomplishments, so an audience is less likely to care if they change the tagline later. When viewers get attached to a blog about a certain topic or company, it is a little different. In those cases, the audience may not be as attached to the person and may become be more bothered by a tag line change. Fortunately, this is a blog about and by students, so they have more leeway.

    So, here is my process, as an example for you…
    I’m looking through the essays I wrote in one of my favorite classes, “Social Psychology.” I found one titled “Group Cohesion.” Ok, that sounds interesting.

    Let’s take a look at this essay that earned a grade of 100%, and then you tell me:

    Group cohesion

    For research to have scientific merit, one of the components needs to be the analysis of future implications. In other words, what is the outcome of this research? As a part of that analysis, questions like, “How does this research affect the scientific community, or a specific group, or the subject of the research?” may be asked.

    Ok, I am yawning, even though I wrote it. It was great for the class, but will people read it on the blog? Honestly, I’m not sure I would read it! So, let’s revise it a bit:

    Why group cohesion is so important

    Research often plays an important part in understanding how we relate to one another, even how we relate to each other in social media. While we may not want to spend all of our time studying research expertly performed by scientists, it is helpful to consult what has been studied.

    One reason quality research is so important is it analyzes future implications. In other words, if done correctly, it helps to identify what the outcome of the research is. After all, how important is the research if it doesn’t help us to apply it to what we are doing and help us to improve our skills?

    Ok, it might still bore us a little, but college students can start to see how they can take their academic work and play with it, mold it, and make it into something interesting. It is possible, if students truly enjoy writing, they may end up with a completely different blog post when they are done.

    Remember those APA formatted references at the end? I suggest students find a link to the resource (journal), even if it is a link that requires payment and use that inside their articles (instead of the “References” section). Why do I suggest that? Many times readers are confused and steer away from their posts because they don’t know what to do with the “References” section. It is easier for readers to understand a link in the middle of the article and helps them feel more comfortable. Students can still write a final paragraph thanking the researchers of the journal articles they consulted, but they want to ensure it is written in a personable enough manner that readers are not scared off and away from their blogs.

    Don’t forget how to format those articles with proper APA formatting. College students never know when they will have the opportunity to be published in the peer-reviewed journal. That is worth retaining those skills they have learned in college!

    Note to the non-writers:
    If students detest blogging, there is still a place for them. What I described above was how to blog their essays. They are certainly welcome to just paste the essay “as is,” and let people know they are reading students’ essays (see note at the end of this article regarding the university and any policy concerns). That is ok. It is about managing expectations, and letting your readers know what they will find on the site/blog/portfolio.

    University student receiving award courtesy of Shutterstock.com

    Volt Collection/Shutterstock.com

    Those accomplishments

    We didn’t forget about the accomplishments! Sometimes, those are the easiest because college students can insert an image of themselves receiving an award, or a snap of the award itself, or whatever the accomplishment is. Maybe they have a video. It can be uploaded to YouTube and inserted into a blog post with a description of the accomplishment. Again, don’t forget to consult the “how to blog” expert articles for more details and tips on how to do this.

    After blogging everything possible about the portfolio

    Yay! Congrats to you!

    Keep in mind college students may feel like they have blogged everything they can think of as far as accomplishments and school papers, essays, etc., but… They are accomplishing things every day! The path of accomplishment is not over yet. So, there is no reason why students cannot continue to write about their current accomplishments and insights as they come to them. In fact, I dare say they have become experts in other areas, even beyond what they learned in college by the time they’ve reached this point.

    Granted, students may not feel like they are writers, and they have had it with writing. I can’t assume just because I love writing that means students love writing, now can I? That is ok, too. In that case, they want to package up their blogs as if they are literally that online portfolio of what they have accomplished in their degrees.

    Promoting a portfolio

    College students will want to include the link on their LinkedIn profiles. There are options to insert external links, and that is a great place to insert the link to their blogs/portfolios. If students have opted to keep it as just a portfolio, then list it as a portfolio. If they have opted for it to be a continuing blog, then list it as a professional blog.

    Now it’s time to get started

    Do students have ideas coming to mind? Initially, they can almost copy/paste their work from college. Please do keep in mind any plagiarism rules that may exist in college. If they are currently attending college that may be a concern; ensure writing on students’ blogs doesn’t flag a “TurnItIn” alert that affects their current studies. Students will definitely want to check with their universities if they are current students and have these concerns.

    I hope college students have seen this is not the impossible task. If they start something like the blog set-up, and are not entirely sure they “did it right” or they want their portfolios to always look that way, they do have the option to change it easily without impacting the content they have entered. This allows students to get started today and tweak it as they go.

    Isn’t that really the way life works? We have to get off our duff to get going and get it done, but we can fine-tune our process as we experience more life lessons along the way. It doesn’t stop at college graduation. We have the opportunity to continue the learning process and impart that to others, as we go through life. Now, let’s share it, shall we?

    Looking for additional job search tips for college students and recent graduates? Go to our blog and follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube.

    Photo of Deborah Anderson

    Deborah Anderson, guest writer

    By Deborah Anderson

    http://www.Tech-Audit.com

    @techauditcom and @socialwebcafe

    Deborah Anderson is on her way to finishing her doctorate in I/O Psychology. Along the way, she has served as Chief Technology Officer in the financial industry (in Beverly Hills), Director of Marketing in the health industry, Host of an iHeart Radio marketing talk show, and even a #1 Jazz Singer (Deborah E). From this background, she shares insights to help others overcome their challenges and succeed in their personal and professional lives.

  • What is career counseling

    March 05, 2016 by
    Photo of Veranda Hillard-Charleston

    Veranda Hillard-Charleston, guest writer

    Do people believe their current career trajectories feel like a hopeless game of grasping at straws? Maybe they’ve been thinking, “I don’t know what I want to do with my life” or “I don’t know what jobs I can get with my major/degree.” Having a long list of “I don’t knows” in the career department certainly doesn’t lead to increased life satisfaction. Luckily, there’s a solution: career counseling.

    What is career counseling?

    Career counseling is a goal-oriented process targeted at helping people gain better insight about themselves and what they want out of their careers, education, and lives.

    According to Boise State University, the counseling element is one-step in a lifelong process of career development. Therefore, the object of career counseling is not to guide people in making better career decisions today. Instead, the focus of this process is to equip people with the self-knowledge and expertise needed to improve their careers and life decisions over their lifespan.

    A career counselor is generally a master’s level professional with a background in career development theory, counseling methods, assessments, and employment information and resources. A professional will hold a confidential session with people to identify their unique values, interests, skills, career-related strengths and weaknesses, and personal goals in order to determine which resources they require and which course of action is most appropriate in helping them achieve these goals.

    A career counselor can even help people separate their own career-related goals from those of others, such as parents, teachers, and friends who may be pressuring them to choose a specific career path.

    Do I need career counseling?

    Whether they’re freshmen in college or five years post-graduate, college students and recent graduates can benefit from the services of a career counselor. Since career development is a lifelong process – and people’s interests and skills are steadily changing – the earlier they gain insight about themselves and learn how to make career-related decisions, the better. If job seekers’ current dialogue is filled with “I don’t knows,” career counseling is a smart choice for them.

    Possible career counseling for bank credit presentation of important issues courtesy of Shutterstock.com

    frechtoch/Shutterstock.com

    Maximizing from the counseling experience

    So college students and recent graduates made the choice to get career counseling and scheduled an appointment. Their part is done, right? Wrong. A common misconception about career counseling is people show up, and an expert tells them exactly what career choices are best for them. In truth, career counseling is not a one-sided, quick solution to academic or career dilemmas. Consider the following:

    • Job seekers are not simply there to receive. The counseling experience requires participation. An honest examination of job seekers is vital for the career counselor to guide them in the right direction. Together, they might uncover their career interests, but they must take action to continue down the right path.

    • People must narrow down their goals. Coming in with a broad desire to “Figure out what they want in life” just won’t cut it. A clear-cut objective is necessary so each session has structure and both parties can tell when their work together is complete.

    • Job seekers have to continue the career development process beyond counseling. A good career counselor can help them define their interests and values, identify goals, and provide resources and strategies for reaching these goals. Still, the important work is done by job seekers. They have to actually use these resources to pinpoint internships or job opportunities appealing to them and constantly consider how different opportunities match their interests, values, and skills.

    Career counseling offers people a safe and confidential place to explore their career passions and identify areas in which they are experiencing difficulty. It is a collaborative relationship – the client and the counselor work together to discover the client’s true career goals and work to overcome any obstacles. However, the client must be devoted to career development and willing to do the work to truly benefit from the experience.

    If you want more career advice, go to College Recruiter’s blog and follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Twitter.

    Veranda Hillard-Charleston is Chief Contributor for MastersinPsychologyGuide.com. She received her Master’s Degree in Clinical Psychology from Northwestern State University of Louisiana. Veranda has more than five years of experience as a trained mental health professional.

  • 2015 employment market for recent grads and students

    November 05, 2015 by

    This webinar, 2015 employment market for recent grads and students, addresses the various job markets which impact today’s college and university students and recent graduates, how students and grads find employment, their frustrations, and some ideas for how employers, career services, and other stakeholders can improve the current system.

    Today’s webinar features College Recruiter’s President and Founder, Steven Rothberg. The webinar is moderated by former National Account Manager for College Recruiter, Andrea McEwen-Henderson.

    Key takeaways:

    There is no such thing as the job market for students and recent graduates. There are as many different markets as there are majors, schools, geographic areas, diversity characteristics, and other factors.

    The job markets have improved dramatically since the Great Recession, but only a small percentage of recent graduates are employed within their chosen fields within six months of graduation.

    The perception amongst many is that almost all graduates find their jobs through their career services offices, but the data shows quite the opposite.

    Basic needs such as compensation and job security rank at the top of factors considered by students and recent graduates when evaluating job opportunities, yet few employers disclose compensation, and even fewer provide job security.

    There are many ways employers, career services, and other stakeholders can improve the current system.

    If the video is not playing or displaying properly click here.

    Questions:

    1. I recently read that Ernst & Young is no longer recruiting at college campuses and now doesn’t care about the majors and GPA’s of the students it is interviewing. Is that true?

    Ernst & Young is still interviewing on college campuses, but based on research done in the United Kingdom, the company has followed the data and is not going to limit interviews to students from certain majors and with certain GPA’s. This is great news for liberal arts majors and for students whose GPA’s fall just below the old GPA cut-off.

    1. Most employers do not have the resources to wine­-and­-dine career services, professors, and college administrators and to spend days on-campus interviewing potential interns. What are some options available to them?

    If it’s June or July, set up an appointment with the career services director and diligently follow her directions. Employers often look for shortcuts in college recruiting, but there are none. It is a strategic process. You have to invest properly. If you’re running behind, use a niche job board like College Recruiter, or host an unconventional recruiting event and invite candidates via social media.

    1. There’s a debate within our company about whether we should ramp up our efforts to hire military veterans or continue to focus on hiring students and recent graduates. Which do you think is a better way to recruit future leaders?

    Military and college recruiting efforts are not mutually exclusive, but there are some aspects that do not overlap. For example, many military servicemen and women have gone on to earn college degrees. This is a sweet spot for recruiters, and corporate recruiting efforts can often find candidates who meet both criteria.

    1. My campus used to have 5,000 students, but we’ve grown to 15,000 over the past 10 years. I’m still the only paid staff person in the career service office, although I do have a few students who work part-time. How do I get the budget to hire people so we can actually have time to provide career counseling services to the students?

    Growth is wonderful, but lack of budget is a huge challenge to overcome. Make the business case for an increase in budget by looking at the impact you have on alumni giving. If you provide employment opportunities, and your alumni prosper, you should request more funds. Career services should align themselves closely with alumni and development offices.

    1. I keep hearing from politicians that a college education is a waste of money. Is it?

    Absolutely not. The unemployment rate for college graduates is two to three times below average. The same politicians who claim that college is unnecessary are relying on their own college degrees to argue these points. We’re in the information age, and if we can’t properly educate our youth, we will be left behind.

     

    Steven Rothberg is the president and founder of College Recruiter, the leading niche job board used by recent graduates searching for entry-level jobs and students hunting for internships. Steven founded the company in 1991 as a publisher of campus maps and employment magazines. Steven grew up in Winnipeg, Canada, moved south to Minneapolis for the weather, is married to the CEO of College Recruiter, and has three young kids and the world’s most mellow dog.

     

  • Six Ways You Can Increase Your Chances Of Getting Your Dream Job

    August 03, 2015 by
    Green road sign with a blue sky gradient background.

    Green road sign with a blue sky gradient background. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

    Getting your dream job, whether it’s being a software developer for Apple or a sketch artist for Disney, can be difficult these days, considering the economic realities the world faces. Nonetheless, you can increase your chances of getting your desired career position with these six simple, but powerful methods. Continue Reading