ARTICLES, BLOGS & VIDEOS

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

Posted May 09, 2016 by

6 common mistakes grads make when searching for entry-level jobs

First Job word; business man touching on red tab virtual screen courtesy of Shutterstock.com

PhuShutter/Shutterstock.com

Recently, research from the Australian government shows how the shift from college education to full-time employment is becoming more challenging. Job prospects for young Australians are decreasing and on the other hand, recent graduates are making key mistakes when searching for entry-level jobs. Open Colleges, one of Australia’s leading online educators, has gathered information from a variety of recruiters to help recent graduates understand their mistakes when applying for entry-level jobs. Avoid these most common mistakes to avoid when searching for entry-level jobs.

1. Negative attitude towards work

Australian government research confirmed young people do not have enough of a positive attitude towards work. Recruiters recommend job seekers be more motivated and demonstrate enthusiasm to potential employers.

According to the study, young people need to be more responsible and reliable concerning their behavior and approach to their jobs. Recruiters suggest working with a business for a while, coming in to shifts, being punctual, and showing respect to colleagues, and customers or clients.

2. Think learning is over after college

Recruiters ask young professionals to be more open to learning when they start their first entry-level jobs. We all need to continue learning during our professional lives to stay updated with industry changes. But when starting a new job, it is especially important to have the right attitude towards learning because everything is new; employees will need to gain knowledge of the working process in their new companies and the different procedures to complete work correctly and in a timely manner. Your first employer is giving you an excellent opportunity to learn and gain valuable experience, so absorb as much as you can.

3. Underestimate the importance of previous work experience

Even though job seekers are applying for their first full-time entry-level jobs, having some related work experience will give them a competitive advantage. This may be some volunteer work done while still in school or some unpaid jobs during the summer. Don’t underestimate this experience; include it on your resume and tell your interviewers about it.

Studies are essential, but having first-hand experience shows employers that you have some practical skills and a better understanding of work responsibilities and professional work life.

4. Failure to make a good first impression

Whoever says his opinion is not influenced by the first impression is lying. In an interview, job seekers only have a few seconds to convince interviewers that they are the right candidates, so along with their studies, work experience, and the right attitude, their presentations during interviews will play an important role in their success in landing their first full-time jobs.

According to the research, recent graduates often dress inappropriately for work and have untidy hair, so recruiters recommend paying special attention to appearance. Not every company’s dress code is the same, so make sure to verify details about the company culture before an interview in order to dress appropriately.

5. Poor job search and application skills

When looking for their first jobs, Australian young professionals are making very common mistakes, according to research. These skills improve with time and practice, but a couple pieces of advice recruiters give are: make sure each application (resume and cover letter) is tailored to the position for which you are applying, and always double check your application’s spelling and grammar. Recruiters see these types of mistakes as a lack of attention to detail and unacceptable in today’s marketplace.

Recruiters also suggest job seekers approach employers directly after providing their resumes and personally following up with them.

6. Unrealistic work expectations

When applying for their first entry-level jobs after college, recent graduates need to understand they cannot “start at the top.” They have to make an effort to work their way up through the business.

Another common mistake is to expect high compensation. This will also come with time as employees gain experience and assume more responsibilities. The nature of the work they do may not be exactly what they want initially, but as long as workers are learning and doing something they like, they are on the right path.

Need more tips for your job search? Check out our blog and follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube.

Maria Onzain, guest writer

Maria Onzain, guest writer

Maria Onzain is a content marketing expert writing for Open Colleges about education, career, and productivity. She is passionate about all things digital, loves technology, social media, start-ups, travelling, and good food.

Posted May 06, 2016 by

Working for a startup after college

Startup business people working at modern office courtesy of Shutterstock.com

dotshock/Shutterstock.com

Everyone is nervous heading into their last year of college (except for those going to grad school, that is). It’s time recent graduates prove to themselves, and probably to their parents, that all of this was worth it; they can get entry-level jobs, get out on their own, support themselves, and start on a career path. It is probably their family’s hope that grads will conduct their job search seriously, and look at companies/organizations that promise a bright future. They’ve attended their first job fair, passed out their resumes, spoken with corporate recruiters, and some seemed interested. But something doesn’t “feel” right in their gut. There’s no excitement about all of this.

As recent graduates reflect on why they lack excitement, their minds go to the concept of a “corporate” environment with everyone playing their roles, a pretty large bureaucracy, policies, set work hours; “a single cog in a very large machine you will be,” as Yoda would say. Then there’s the office politics grads studied about in those business courses. Somehow, it doesn’t seem right. They’re thinking about their future success, which doesn’t include what the “big boys” offer. Recent grads need to look elsewhere.

Graduates need to consider working for a startup. Now their parents and some of their friends might think they’re a bit nuts. There’s no job security, as 50% of all startups fail within five years, and then where will they be? Mom may be wringing her hands. However, this isn’t their parents’ world anymore, and there are large advantages to taking this path right now in their lives when they have no obligations other than to themselves.

Flexibility and continuous learning

Most start-ups do not have “pigeon-hole” jobs. They will demand everyone pitch in when and where it is needed. Graduates may have a “job title,” but that will not mean a great deal. They’ll have a skill others may not, but they will be required to learn everyone’s job and everyone will be required to learn some of their job. This environment means continuous learning.

What’s the other great thing? Grads will be forced out of their “comfort zone” into exciting challenges; things can change on a dime, and they will need to change with them. If graduates really enjoy risks and challenges, they’ll love it.

Discover new talents

With all of the emphasis on pitching in, group decision-making, and problem-solving, recent grads may find they have creative talents and current skills they never knew or nurtured. They will be far more well-rounded in what they know and what they can do.

Learn how to budget

Pay is generally not the best for those who join startups. In fact, no one joins a startup for the salary. Graduates will often have to continue living like poor students, but they know how to do it. They’ll stretch those dollars, shop at thrift stores, and eat Ramen noodles sometimes. So what? Grads will also learn how to budget and be frugal.

Business people cheering with arms raised courtesy of Shutterstock.com

pikselstock/Shutterstock.com

Work with passionate people

Enthusiasm is contagious, and that is one of the great things about startups. Everyone comes to work excited about the day and their projects. Everyone shares in each other’s successes (and pumps each other up when there are failures). Grads, too, will be excited about getting up every morning and getting to work; many people in the corporate world would love to have that feeling.

Learn entrepreneurship

Forecasters predict small businesses will be more a wave of the future than large corporations. Why? First, corporations continue to expand globally and set up headquarters in other countries. Second, people no longer trust large corporations like they used to. These giants have taken big tumbles in recent years and no longer provide job security to their employees. It is the small business that is trending now. Working for a startup gives employees valuable experience in becoming small business owners at some point, if they should choose to head in that direction.

Push through failure

Most startups have their failures. The good ones with resilient employees move forward, learning from the failure but never losing the enthusiasm for what they are doing. It’s good to experience failure when young; it is a wonderful teacher. If that startup goes “belly up,” think of all the lessons employees have learned in the meantime.

Potentially invest or be given a stake

A lot of startups value their original people, and founders will give those people a stake in the company. Many people became millionaires because they started out with Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, or Mark Zuckerberg. Having a stake in a company at a young age is a great thing.

Love the Culture

Flexible hours are a big plus. Value is not based upon the number of hours worked. It is based on what employees produce. They may work several 18 hour-long days, only to sleep in late for several days after that and only put in four hours or so.

Dress is a big factor for many job seekers. If they love a jeans and flip-flop environment, taking their dogs to work, letting their hair grow, or sporting a tattoo, they will find the startup environment is where they want to be.

Choosing the right startup

Startups come in all different stages of development. Choosing one should be based on job seekers’ level of risk tolerance, their investigation of the founder(s), and their passions for the product(s) or services being developed. Nothing is carved in stone; if one idea doesn’t work out, there are many others to try.

Need career advice as a recent graduate? Go to our blog and follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube.

Rick Riddle, guest writer

Rick Riddle, guest writer

Rick Riddle is passionate about the self-development process and wants to share his experience with more people via his articles. He believes self-sufficiency and discipline lead to great results. Follow him on Twitter.

Posted September 04, 2015 by

How to create a good impression at the job interview?

young candidate having an interview with his employer

Young candidate having an interview with his employer. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

There are a number of things that play a significant role in passing a job interview; one of them is your impression. Know that your impression can either get you selected or rejected for a job. Therefore, you must create a good impression of yourself on the recruiters. Follow the guide below to know how to create a good impression at the job interview: (more…)

Posted August 03, 2015 by

Aspects of Starting an Automobile Career

portrait of an auto mechanic at work on a car in his garage

Portrait of an auto mechanic at work on a car in his garage. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

If you are passionate about cars, there are various job opportunities in the automobile industry that are worth considering. From being a skilled technician to designing, the world of automobiles has a lot to offer.

Technicians and Mechanics

  • For individuals who are interested in addressing problems that affect vehicles and fixing them, becoming a technician is the ideal choice. Technicians and mechanics are responsible for working on different types of automobiles and repairs.

(more…)

Posted July 31, 2015 by

Staying Productive While Working from Home

Sarah Landrum photo

Sarah Landrum

Working from home is an excellent opportunity. It allows you the flexibility and freedom to create your own schedule, the ability to work when it suits you and provides a level of comfort that can be hard to find elsewhere.

It’s also not a walk in the park. Ask anyone who works from home, or who has worked from home at some point in their professional career, and they’ll echo a similar statement: working from home is great, but finding the motivation to be productive and to avoid distractions can be a challenge.

Looking to branch out and try something new? Want to give working from home a chance? That’s great. Follow the tips below for staying productive while working from home. (more…)

Posted May 13, 2015 by

6 Steps for a SUPER Successful Salary Negotiation

Jimmy Sweeney

Jimmy Sweeney, President of CareerJimmy

Brenda’s stomach twisted. She’d never negotiated anything in her entire life. But now at age 35 she would face the topic of pay when she returned for a second interview for a job she really wanted as Medical Center Operations Director of a local medical center. She had all the job requirements: a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Administration, experience in the field, and a diplomatic and clear communication style.

Brenda found some useful tips online to help her over the hump of speaking up for herself and pointing out her credentials, which should put her in a favorable position for the salary she wanted.

You can apply the same, regardless of the job you’re looking for. (more…)

Posted April 16, 2015 by

Own the Room at Your Next Networking Event as a Student, Intern and Recent Graduate

Networking Event words on a wall calendar to remind you of the day or date for a business meeting, celebration, conference or seminar

Networking Event words on a wall calendar to remind you of the day or date for a business meeting, celebration, conference or seminar. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

We live in a busy world, and college students are no exception. Today’s young adults have hectic schedules and are often times running between classes, work, extracurricular activities and social time with friends. It may seem tough to fit one more thing into this schedule, however, it is important to make time for networking as well. Networking will help you to gain experience now and will be beneficial in the long run for your career. As a student, intern or recent graduate, it can be intimidating to stand in a room full of unfamiliar faces that have more professional experience than you do. Here are a few quick tips to help you own the room and stand out like a pro at your next networking event. (more…)

Posted March 10, 2015 by

5 Social Skills to Move From College Life to Business Life

Executive Impressions logoLeaving the comfort of college life and entering into the fast-moving, competitive corporate world can be alluring and at the same time, really unnerving. I remember when I started my first “real job”, like every other recent graduate I had a lot of technical knowledge but when it came to attending business meetings, networking events, or simply interacting with other professionals in the office, there were a lot of situations that were unfamiliar to me and to be honest, a little intimidating.

Now with 10 years of international corporate experience and a wealth of knowledge in business etiquette, I want to share with you my top 5 business etiquette tips that can really distinguish you from the competition. (more…)

Posted February 17, 2015 by

How to Find a Real Estate Broker to Work For

Collage symbolizing the real estate business. Elements of the business.

Collage symbolizing the real estate business. Elements of the business. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

If you are in school and want to work for a real estate broker, you need to consider your options, think of your needs and take your time to choose the right company. When doing so, you can get the most out of the experience. In fact, if you are wise you will sit down and come up with a list of things you want. With this in mind, here are five tips on how to find a real estate broker to work for. (more…)

Posted January 22, 2015 by

Tips for Staying Positive During Job Interviews

Portrait of happy female candidate gesturing thumbs up with interviewers in background

Portrait of happy female candidate gesturing thumbs up with interviewers in background. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

Staying positive during a job interview is essential. No one wants to hire someone that seems to be miserable or unsure of their skills. You’ve scoured the Internet to find job opportunities and conduct your job search, now you need to stay focused and nail the interview.

If you freeze during an interview, the following tips will help you to stay positive. (more…)