• 20 ways to rock your resume

    April 29, 2016 by
    Resume with pen on table closeup courtesy of Shutterstock.com

    Casper1774 Studio/Shutterstock.com

    Another week without attention paid to your resume. You are applying for jobs that match your education and skills; you have a nicely formatted document; and you have outlined your work experience very well with bolded headings and bullet points like you were told to do. You’re qualified but just can’t manage to get that call for an interview. Could there be that many people more qualified than you? Maybe not. There may be some flaws in your resume you have not realized.

    Here are 20 tips that can improve your resume.

    Make sure you are emphasizing results, not responsibilities

    It’s a common error; job seekers are trying very hard to list all of their responsibilities for each position. Their thinking, of course, is the more responsibilities, the more qualified they will be. What is more important to employers is the results, what job seekers have actually accomplished.

    Take a look at the responsibilities you have listed for each position. Can you list any quantifiable results? Did your re-organization save the department $50,000 a year? Sometimes, you may think results will be hard to provide. For example, perhaps you took over a department that had no baseline data to work with to show improvement. And maybe the improvement was qualitative rather than quantitative. Take employee morale, for instance. You know you improved it when you took over that department. But how was the improvement measured? Maybe there was much lower turnover or maybe the rate of absenteeism dropped significantly. These are important figures to have. Never leave a position without gathering figures that support your results.

    A lot of space was spent on this item. Why? Because it is the one thing employers say is usually missing from a resume.

    Target skills/background for each position

    This is the primary reason why you need to tweak each resume for every job opening. If you have background in training, administration, HR, and sales/sales management, and are applying for jobs that focus on one of those, then focus your resume in that direction. Spend far more space on that focus area than on others. Generic resumes don’t really work anymore.

    Re-visit keywords for each position

    Change out your keywords based upon two things: the job description and the company’s website. Sometimes, reading through the company’s home page and the “about us” page will give you more keywords to include. And keywords that relate to the position should be placed as close to the top of the resume as possible and included in your cover letter.

    Include a summary section

    A statement of your career goals at the beginning of your resume is not advisable. Companies don’t care about your goals; they care about what you “bring to the table.” Switch that out for a short summary of your skills and experience that relate to the position, with four to five sentences only.

    Use standard software

    Microsoft Word or a PDF version of your resume should be the only programs used to submit resumes. Scanning will probably not recognize any other programs, and you will never know your resume was unreadable.

    Business woman unhappy with resumes of applicants and throwing them on the table courtesy of Shutterstock.com

    Milles Studio/Shutterstock.com

    Aim for one page

    Edit, edit, edit. Take out anything superfluous, reduce sentences to phrases, and remove some of your contact information. Employers don’t need your address and don’t include references unless specifically asked to do so. If you are able to edit the resume to one page, that is ideal. But NEVER go beyond two pages unless you are preparing a CV.

    Do not lie

    Not about anything. Of course, you want to try to avoid resume mistakes, and of course you want to present yourself in the best light. Exaggerating or giving yourself a job title you did not actually have are big risks. These things can be discovered when references and/or social media are reviewed. Focus on your skills and qualifications completely but honestly.

    Use action verbs

    They are so much stronger. If you don’t know the difference, here is an example:

    1. Responsible for implementing budget reduction by 10% without loss of productivity

    2. Reduced budget by 10% without loss of productivity

    The second phrase is strong and active. (P.S.: Never use “I”)

    Visual appeal is a must

    You’ve seen enough resume templates to understand what visual appeal is. The best font now is probably Arial, 12-14 point. The reason for this is there’s good, natural spacing between lines that are not complete and enough white space between bulleted points. Your final resume should have sub-headings in bold (e.g., each position), and a larger font to separate sections of the document. The goal is to make it scannable, not just by a computer program (applicant tracking systems), but by humans, too. No one wants to search for your information.

    Be clear about job titles

    So long as you are not exaggerating, use a job title that will make clear what you did at a previous organization. Sometimes, organizations have internal titles that mean nothing on the outside. So, if you were a “Level II Tech Support,” change that out to “Systems Analyst,” if that was what your position really entailed.

    Be really brief

    Do not use full sentences unless you are crafting a CV (These are prose documents). Brief phrases only, please. Remember – scannable.

    Perfect grammar and spelling

    Don’t rely only on grammar and spell-check programs. They will not recognize incorrect numbers or words that are wrong but are still words. And, in some instances misspellings will not be caught either. If you are really good in this area, read your resume backwards, and you will catch misspellings; read it forward line-by-line. If you are not highly skilled, get someone who is.

    Avoid gimmicks

    Having your resume hand-delivered by FedEx or courier is not appreciated, and, in fact, is a bit of a turnoff. Just don’t do it. Submit your resume according to the instructions on the job posting.

    Graphics should fit the company culture

    It is more acceptable today to use some color and graphics than in the past, but these resumes are best suited for younger, more progressive organizations. Tailor color and graphics based upon the culture of the company. If you are not sure, check the website. As a general rule, banks, financial, and educational/scientific institutions are conservative; tech and marketing companies are more progressive. For creative positions, graphics are certainly suitable.

    Never state salary

    Never include past salaries in your work experience. And absolutely never include your salary or benefit requirements for a new position. Epic fail if you do.

    Don’t address negatives

    If you were fired or laid off, never state this in your resume. That is the stuff for discussion during an interview. And don’t lie about it either; be as honest as possible, and never “trash” a former boss or company.

    Add links

    Long before submitting resumes, it will be important to have a professional online presence. Include the link to your LinkedIn profile and, if warranted, a website with a portfolio of your work and/or accomplishments. If you have been a guest blogger on relevant sites, provide links to those posts too.

    Update consistently

    It is often advised when you start a new position, you begin updating your resume. This is because you want to be sure to remember all of your accomplishments if and when you decide to make another career move, or if, for any reason, your employment is terminated (companies do close). Keep your resume updated all the time.

    No tag lines

    Lines such as “References available upon request,” are not necessary and just take up space. Leave them out. If you are asked for references or links to things during an interview, you can provide them at that time.

    Do not abbreviate

    The only abbreviation you can use is “U.S.” Otherwise, spell everything out. Even abbreviations for schools attended may not be known by employers. The rule for acronyms is the same; spell them out.

    This article provides a good checklist for job seekers, whether they are crafting their first resumes ever or if they are veterans with several previous resumes under their belts. Sometimes, it’s the little things that can make a difference.

    Need assistance with your resume for your job search? Get a free resume critique on College Recruiter. Also, come to our blog and follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube.

    Kerry Creaswood, guest writer

    Kerry Creaswood, guest writer

    Kerry Creaswood is a young and ambitious writer from Savannah, Georgia. She is fond of various forms of art and thinks everything we can imagine is real. To find more about Kerry, check her Twitter.

  • 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

  • Narrowing your candidate pool

    March 30, 2016 by

    When recruiting college students and recent grads, it’s important to narrow your candidate pool as you go through the college recruiting process.

    This article and accompanying three videos, hosted by College Recruiter’s Content Manager, Bethany Wallace, feature The WorkPlace Group experts Dr. Domniki Demetriadou, Partner and Director of Assessment Services, and Dr. Steven Lindner, Executive Partner. The videos are part of a 15-video series featuring The WorkPlace Group experts.


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

    Employers can become overwhelmed by the number of candidates in the candidate pool, depending on the size of the employer and number of internships and entry-level jobs available. The process of narrowing down the pool typically begins with resume review.

    Individuals apply in numerous ways: resume books, walk-in applicants, job boards, career fairs, on-campus interviews, etc. Regardless of how candidates apply, resumes must be reviewed. WPG uses a resume checklist which is scientifically constructed. Reviewing resumes objectively allows employers to make clear inferences about candidates’ qualifications.

    In high volume situation, particularly for employers with large college recruiting programs, WPG recommends using a web screen to narrow the candidate pool. The web screen allows employers to quickly qualify or disqualify candidates. Next, employers conduct either a phone screen or video-based interviews. This step helps the recruiters get to know the candidates on a deeper level.

    After conducting these screening steps, the employer would interview the candidate face-to-face: either an OCI (on-campus interview) or an interview on site at the employer location. This would help the employer to decide whether to hire or not hire the individual and to decide whether to conduct background checks, drug screenings, and other necessary paperwork.


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

    The qualities employers should be looking for when recruiting candidates can vary depending on the organization and the job function/position. The WorkPlace Group develops an ideal candidate profile featuring the requirements for the position and nice-to-haves when working with employers. Employers should also consider what learning objectives they want to set for each position—what do they want student interns to learn? By working through this process before interviewing candidates, employers can eliminate the problem of hiring the wrong candidates for positions.

    The last video offers specific tips for narrowing the candidate pool.


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

    1) Focus on soft skills in interviews, not technical competencies, when interviewing interns and recent grads. Employers must remember that students are students, not polished professionals.

    2) Use situational questions, not behavioral interview questions. Ask “can do, not have done” type questions. Students won’t necessarily be able to draw upon past experience when answering interview questions, but they can explain what they might do hypothetically. They can demonstrate problem solving skills when answering situational questions.

    3) When hiring for technical roles, focus assessment at the right level. You can’t expect new grads to be experts in technical areas; you can expect them to have an appropriate level of skill based on their education and level of experience, though. Talk to them about their projects in particular classes to gain insight into their studies.

    Always be as rigorous and scientific as possible in the interview process.

     

    For more tips on college recruiting from The WorkPlace Group, subscribe to our YouTube channel and check out all 15 videos featuring experts Dr. Domniki Demetriadou and Dr. Steven Lindner.

    Follow our blog, and connect with us on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook.

    Dr. Steven Lindner, Executive Partner, WPG

    Dr. Steven Lindner, Executive Partner, WPG

    Dr. Steven Lindner is the executive partner of The WorkPlace Group®, a leading “think-tank” provider of recruitment services assisting companies ranging from small, fast growing businesses to multinational Fortune 500 companies. He is an expert in Talent Acquisition and Assessment, has appeared in many radio and TV interviews and a frequent presenter at HR conferences.  He writes weekly employment articles for the NY Daily News and holds a Ph.D. in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from Stevens Institute of Technology.

     

     

     

    Dr. Domniki Demetriadou, Partner and Director of Assessment Services, WPG

    Dr. Domniki Demetriadou, Partner and Director of Assessment Services, WPG

    Dr. Domniki Demetriadou, is a partner and director of assessment services of The WorkPlace Group®, a leading “think-tank” provider of recruitment services assisting companies ranging from small, fast growing businesses to multinational Fortune 500 companies.  Demetriadou is an expert in Talent Acquisition and Assessment, and a member of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) and the American National Standards Taskforce. She is a frequent presenter at HR conferences and has led many multinational recruiting programs. She holds a Ph.D. in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from The Graduate Center at Baruch College, CUNY.

     

  • 11 quick LinkedIn tips

    March 28, 2016 by
    Linkedin website on a computer screen courtesy of Shutterstock.com

    Ingvar Bjork/Shutterstock.com

    Did you know 87% of recruiters use LinkedIn to look for candidates? This means companies can find job seekers’ profiles and invite them for job interviews. For this to happen, though, job seekers need to make their profiles look appropriate. Adding their pictures and job titles is not enough anymore, as their LinkedIn profiles can be more important than their resumes. If job seekers want recruiters to visit their pages often and offer them great positions, here are some things they should consider.

    1. Recommendations

    Employers tend to pay a lot of attention not only to job seekers’ professional skills, but also to their corporate backgrounds. If applicants have proven to be excellent team workers at their previous jobs, they should seek recommendations from former bosses or colleagues. Ask some of them to write a couple of nice recommendations. Don’t exaggerate here, though. If applicants have had five jobs so far but have 15 recommendations, it might seem weird.

    2. Write a longer headline

    If you already have a job, but are open to new offerings, don’t just mention the company and your position there; it might be not enough to see what you do. Instead of writing, for example, “PR Manager at Example Company,” write “PR manager at Example Company: Helping big and small companies.”

    3. Have enough connections

    Having 50 connections on LinkedIn makes job seekers seem unfriendly, unprofessional, and unmotivated. Having 3000 contacts makes them look like they add everyone to their list of connections, and they don’t even care who’s there. Try to have a moderate number of connections, and you will be visible enough to make the network help your professional growth. Try to find all of your friends, former classmates, and colleagues if you’ve already worked somewhere.

    4. Write only true information

    We don’t want to lecture job seekers, but lying is unacceptable in the professional world. It concerns their LinkedIn profiles, too, particularly education and previous jobs. It is not only that recruiters can check everything, but it is also about ethics. Earning trust is an important step to professional success.

    5. Be brief

    No one likes to read lots of text, especially if it is not formatted correctly. Even if job seekers had tons of experience and they want to talk about it, they should organize it. Write a job title and describe your responsibilities point by point. Use headlines and short sentences; they are easier to comprehend.

    6. Students can mention all the jobs they’ve had

    Surely, when you are a big boss with 10 jobs behind, you can skip some of the gigs you’ve had such as pizza delivery or tutoring in college. However, college students or recent graduates might want to add at least some things to their work experience. Besides, most students do something during their college years. If they managed to study and freelance at the same time, they should mentions that. If students helped their professors grade papers, they can write about that too. Don’t leave a page blank; add at least something.

    7. Choose the right picture for your profile

    Don’t pick an Instagram-style photo or a cute picture with your pets; post casual photos on Facebook or elsewhere. Low-quality pictures are also not the best choice. Think of how you want potential employers to see you. The photo should be a recent, high-quality photograph where one can clearly see your face. You can also add a background picture; the best choice would be either a picture from some conference you participated in or some nature pic.

    8. Write about your main skills, not all of them

    We all know you are a talented person. However, if you are trying for an accountant job, recruiters probably don’t need to know you are a good cook. At the top of your LinkedIn page, your potential employer or recruiters need to see those skills suitable for them. Also, don’t mention the skills you don’t want to use in your next job. If you are tired of your current work where you need to design, for example, exclude this skill from your profile.

    9. Add a decent email address

    If your personal email address is [email protected] or something like that, you probably want to get a new one. You must have had a laugh creating it, but now it is time to be more professional and to use your own name for your email address.

    10. Don’t mention your age

    Although all the companies say age discrimination doesn’t exist, that is not true. They always consider age when hiring. So, try not to mention it.

    11. Make sure all is correct

    Making mistakes in a LinkedIn profile is a no-no. Pay attention not only to grammar and spelling, but to style and formatting. Everything should be clear and understandable. Style should be formal and professional.

    Try to look at your text as an objective reader, or better yet, show it to someone. Ask a friend, colleague, or professor to read it and correct the mistakes you might have missed.

    A LinkedIn profile is much more important now than it was a couple of years ago. More and more professionals, companies, and headhunters create accounts and use them actively every day. Job seekers probably want to look equally experienced and professional on their pages, so spend enough time creating them and don’t be lazy.

    Looking for more LinkedIn tips for your job search? Turn to our blog and follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Twitter.

    Photo of William Sarto

    William Sarto, guest writer

    William Sarto is a marketer and content strategist working at the freelance writing board – gohunters.com. He shares his knowledge and experience in his articles based on current marketing trends and also provides actionable tips for students willing to build successful business careers. He is passionate about all new techniques and methods appearing in digital marketing. Working in one of the most fast changing industries requires many skills from young specialists, so if you have any questions feel free to contact Will @ twitter, Google+

  • 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.

  • Women’s role and leadership in technology

    February 27, 2016 by
    Ruoting Jia, author & Rutgers University freshman

    Ruoting Jia, author & Rutgers University freshman

    The workforce in technology, or in any academic discipline related to it—such as the  STEM field (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics)—is mainly dominated by males. Even though technology has become quite relevant to people’s daily lives in the 21st Century and its job positions are in fairly high demand, women seem like they are driven out of this field because they are considered “unrelated” to or are not fit for technology.

    In order to gain a better perspective on the subject from someone who is a great role model in the field of computer science and to deeply analyze the hidden reasons for the gender gap in the computing workforce, I interviewed Mrs. Faith Rothberg who is a CEO of College Recruiter, a recruitment media company used by college students and recent graduates to find careers. Mrs. Rothberg has a strong educational background in both technology and business; she holds a bachelor’s degree in Information Technology and a Master’s degree in Business Administration. She is really passionate about her career, and she is willing to encourage teenage girls to participate in technology. She is also an active leader who has had conversation with elementary school girls about engagement in STEM fields, has volunteered at various organizations in middle schools and highs school, has spoken at the ceremony of Aspiration Award in Computing (an award for women), and has offered summer internships to one of the honorees.

    I asked Mrs. Rothberg why there are few women in the field of technology. She responded, “In some areas of the country, the education systems, even the teachers, professionals, or the parents assume that boys are going to be good at those things, and girls are not due to the stereotypical culture.”

    Are girls really not as good at STEM-related tasks as boys are? Such stereotypes are beginning to be questioned and confronted by the public.

    However, a statistical report named By the Numbers from National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT) has shown that 57% of professional occupations in the U.S. workforce are held by women, with 26% of professional computing occupations in both 2013 and 2014 U.S workforce held by women. Among this female workforce, 3% were African American women, 5% were Asian women, and 2% were Hispanic women. 24% of Chief Information Officer (CIO) positions at Fortune 100 companies were held by women in 2012, and only 6% of those positions in 2014.

    In 2013, 56% of Advanced Placement (AP) test-takers were female, but only 46% of AP Calculus test-takers were female. Only 19% of AP Computer Science female test-takers were female. From the year 2000 to 2012, there was a 64% decline in the number of first-year undergraduate women interested in majoring in computer science (1). According to the SAT score report on the math portion from American Enterprise Institute (AEI), statistics have shown that from the year 1972-2013, there persists a huge gender gap in math because high school boys have an average SAT math test score that is 32 points higher than girls.  Moreover, the male-female ratio on the SAT math test is above 1 with the score that is higher than 580 points, and the ratio is below 1 with the score than is lower than 580 points; this suggests that more boys scored higher than 580 points on the math portion than girls, and more girls received a score that is below 580 points than boys did (Perry). Based on these statistics, society starts to question girls’ capabilities in the STEM field–are girls really inherently less intelligent than boys?

    Education

    One of the primary reasons which leads to this unbalanced data is the education system in technology, especially early education in elementary and secondary schools, which has not fully developed yet. Rothberg mentioned education in technology in our interview as well; she said that “technology until recently wasn’t taught young enough, and actually it’s still not taught young enough. I think we should be really teaching about computers and technology in elementary school.”

    One of the most notable incidences in the Department of Computer Science in many research universities is that incoming freshmen leave the department after taking the Introduction to Computer Science course after their first semester because even though these are introductory level courses, they are still really difficult for these students who have not had any coding experience prior to entering the program. This is preparatory work that should be taught and learned in early education in order to be prepared for further advanced upper-level study (Wilson et al. 26).

    Tracing back to early education, there are not many high schools or middle schools offering AP Computer Science or regular basic programming courses to their students. The chance that they will major in computer science without knowing the concept of the subject and what computer scientists do is quite minimal. Moreover, children in elementary schools are much less being exposed to programming; thus, even fewer children frame an interest in coding because learning how to code is like learning a new language. The earlier you start, the better you will be.

    Therefore, with limited knowledge and skill to succeed in the so-called “easiest” course in college, it is easy to understand why there are fewer students going into the profession.

    Another vital factor is that since the professions in technology are considered well-paid, there are fewer trained and experienced AP Computer Science teachers who would rather focus on computer system development or start their own technology businesses than teach students. By knowing the importance of having an instructor in the field that requires a lot of advanced skills and logical thinking, this also limits students’ opportunities to exceed in the field.

    Stereotypes

    Faith Rothberg, CEO of College Recruiter

    Faith Rothberg, CEO of College Recruiter

    Although having limited educational resources is an obstacle for both males and females, women are more likely to opt themselves out of the field while men are trying to work on getting themselves into the field. Rothberg states that “in some area of the country, educational systems, even the teachers, the professionals, or the parents assume that boys are going to be good at those things, and girls are not.”

    Those old stereotypes hold women back from technology and are the subconscious assumptions and negative stereotypes towards women’s role in the STEM field which shape people’s misconceptions and misunderstandings about the computer science major and its workforce.

    Computer scientists are considered “geeks” in the society who have the stereotypical physical traits like “wearing glasses, pale, thin, unattractive” (Cheryan et al. 5). They are viewed as people who are less active in social life and who are lacking interactive skills when it comes to communication and collaboration. People describe them as solely scientific and “obsessed with computers” that they work on (Cheryan et al. 10). Aside from that, their characters are defined as unattractive, nerdy, and socially introverted, which women will unlikely be.

    “What happens now is that by the time young girls get to middle school and high school,” Rothberg said, “they see themselves as not smart as boys, so they are away from technology.” A lot of the girls who are studying computer science “come from families of computer scientists and engineers” (Stross), because their families understand the importance and responsibilities in the field, especially technology, are highly demanded in the 21st century. Unlike other families without computer scientists or engineers, the stereotypes restrict the encouragement and support from family members of young girls. Therefore, the more this stereotypical idea is added to women from a social aspect, the fewer women will enter into the field of technology.

    Workforce

    Women have historically chosen lower-paying yet fulfilling jobs, whereas their male counterparts, who are considered family providers, choose high-paying careers, such as computer science and engineering (Larson). This has become socially acceptable that men’s jobs are inventive and creative; however, women’s jobs are caring. When children are very young, toys, such as vehicles and Legos, seem to be designed for boys. However, girls often have dolls with a whole set of house settings, which give them a wrong perspective to girls that taking care of dolls and organizing house are all they are meant to do.

    Also, the feeling of isolation or ostracism is a common frustration among women in technology. Since men are dominating the technological workforce, some women do not feel comfortable working in a gender-biased working environment. This is even drawing out more women from this field; therefore, the ratio of male-female is increasingly growing.

    Another persisting factor that Rothberg mentioned is that unequal salary difference between female workers and male workers who have the same skills and abilities in the workforce. Their salaries are similar at the entry level positions regardless of gender. However, when it gets to higher positions with more experience and knowledge, gender and income disparity start to emerge, where men are paid more than women for the same type of jobs.

    People focus too much on who are they working with instead of the work itself. However, “sometimes it doesn’t matter what gender you are at all. It’s just who knows what about a part of the business, and we share our knowledge about the industry.” Rothberg has worked as an IT analyst among a lot of male colleagues. She said she felt pretty comfortable working with them, and male colleagues “truly respect your opinion because it is a little bit different than what many of them are saying. It’s great to all agree on stuff, but it’s nice to throw out different challenges at each other, so I think they find that helpful too.” In order to create a welcoming working environment for women in male-dominated field, the spirit of the companies should focus on problem-solving and interacting and collaborating with coworkers, rather than paying much attention of the fact of gender disparity.

    Leadership

    Another reason for low representation of women in technology is the lack of female role models in this field. Computing is a particularly taxing field. Women may find it to be an inhospitable discipline and may choose to focus their education and career goals toward other fields where due to the lack of support and guidance from other women.

    A study that conducted by Ph.D. students from Syracuse University shows that there are surprisingly fewer mentoring programs when approaching to the higher level of education. Unlike undergraduate students who are required to take courses from a variety of academic disciplines, “graduate students are often plugged into their own specialized studies and have little contact with others outside their department” (Bhatia, Priest Amati 4). With a small number of female graduate students, they can be isolated and have less access to social networks than their male peers.

    Rothberg said that “anyone can be a leader in any part of their lives. All it takes is their own energy and passion and communicating with other people.” She brought up an interesting point which is being a CEO doesn’t mean being a leader, though she does consider herself a leader. As long as women are passionate and confident about what they are doing, they could become a leader and a role model in any way for other women, and help them to achieve more accomplishments in their area. Female leaders show strength and power to other female peers towards their gender abilities, and being a role model will encourage others to persist their interests that restricted by gender gap; for instance, Rothberg has recently shown her female influences in this highly male dominated field by being one of the board members of a conference.

    Genetics

    Rothberg brought up that there exists a difference between the genetics and brain functions of male brains and female brains. She said, “One thing that maybe more women have than man is EQ, or emotional intelligence, the ability to sense what’s going on with different people and that it’s part of my female identity.”

    A study that was conducted by a researcher at the University of Pennsylvania shows that “the average women’s brains were highly connected across the left and right hemispheres, in contrast to men’s brains, where the connections were typically stronger between the front and back regions” (Sample). Since the left of the brain is more for logical thinking, and the right of the brain is for “more intuitive thinking, women are more intuitive and emotional than men are.” Moreover, male and female brains showed few differences in connectivity up to the age of 13 but became more differentiated in the age between 14 and 17 years old (Sample). Computer science is a field that requires a lot of logical thinking skills and accurate analyzing skills.

    However, at the beginning of the evolution of computers, most of the first pioneers of computing were women. They worked and found the mathematical foundations and mechanical computing algorithms. According to the history, the capabilities and creativity of women are predominately proved by the achievements of these women pioneers (Zimmermann).

    As Rothberg agreed, “From the ability standpoint, they [middle school and high school students] start off very similar and continue to excel definitely at the same pace.” Although genetics forms people’s brain structures differently, which may affect our performances in STEM field, the efforts we put in will have a significantly larger influence on improving our thinking and abilities from a long term.

    Conclusion

    With the acknowledgment of the lack of women in technology, the society should take actions to solve this problem. Our society needs diversity, especially in technology field which is essentially needed and highly demanded in other areas as well. Thus, institutions should make technology or its related fields more appealing and welcoming for women, and increases female-focused networking events, mentoring opportunities, and on-campus community building. As women themselves, they should step out of their comfort zones to stand up and speak for themselves, to make initiatives, to strive for opportunities, to be confident what who they are and what they are doing, and to help and guide other women to make this group strong and intelligent.

     

    For more information about careers in STEM and technology and to apply for internships and entry-level positions, visit our website to register and begin searching for positions today. Be sure to follow us on YouTube, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.

     

    About the author:

    Ruoting Jia is a freshman at Rutgers University–New Brunswick, studying in Computer Science and Mathematics. She is an honors graduate of Mayo High School in Rochester, Minnesota, and a 2015 Minnesota winner of NCWIT Award for Aspirations in Computing. She would like to pursue a career in the field of software development. 

     

    References

    Bhatia, Shobha, and Jill Priest Amati. “‘if these Women can do it, I can do it, Too’: Building Women Engineering Leaders through Graduate Peer Mentoring.” Leadership & Management in Engineering 10.4 (2010): 174. Print.

    “By the Numbers.” National Center for Women & Information Technology. NCWIT, 3 Apr. 2015. Web. 8 Dec. 2015.

    Cheryan, Sapna, et al. “The stereotypical Computer Scientist: Gendered Media Representations as a Barrier to Inclusion for women.” Sex Roles 69 (201e): 58-71. Print

    Larson, Slena. “Why So Few Women Are Studying Computer Science”. ReadWrite. 2 September 2014. Web. 9 Dec 2015.

    Perry, Mark J. “2013 SAT Test Results Show That a Huge Math Gender Gap Persists with a 32-point Advantage for High School Boys – AEI.” AEI. AEI, 26 Sept. 2013. Web. 1 Dec. 2015.

    Rothberg, Faith. “Women in Computer Science.” Online interview. 25 Oct. 2015.

    Sample, Ian. “Male and Female Brains Wired Differently, Scans Reveal.” TheGuardian. Squarespace, 2 Dec. 2013. Web. 9 Dec. 2015.

    Stross, Randall. “What Has Driven Women Out of Computer Science?” The New York Times. The New York Times, 15 Nov. 2008. Web. 9 Dec. 2015.

    Wilson, Cameron et al. Running on Empty: The Failure to Teach K-12 Computer Science in the Digital Age. New York: Association for Computing Machinery. Print.

    Zimmermann, Kim Ann. “History of Computers: A Brief Timeline.” LiveScience. N.p., 8 Sept. 2015. Web. 9 Dec. 2015.

     

     

  • Balancing academics and work as a college student

    February 13, 2016 by
    Photo of Anthony Taylor

    Anthony Taylor, guest writer

    Students go off to college, but it’s not the rosy life they see in the movies. There are bills to pay, tuition to afford, books to buy, and honestly, balancing finances at a young age is hard. Studying in college and concentrating on getting good grades is tough enough without throwing in a job into the mix. But the money has to flow in to either support the family or to support getting an education. Whatever the reason, here are a few tips to help college students juggle their working and studying lives.

    1. Find a job with flexible hours: Let’s face it; students are in college now. There will be coursework and assignments with tight deadlines, and studying should always be a priority. An education will serve as the building blocks for the future so students shouldn’t push it in the backburner. They should find jobs where they can easily accommodate their studies, too, so neither one suffers. These jobs could be within the college campus, as those kinds of jobs understand the balance between work and study, and they can help college students manage their homework.

    2. Manage time wisely: With so much on the line, it is wise to have a good time management schedule. College students should know where they spend their time. Many successful people plan nearly each moment of their day to get the most out of their 24 hours. Many times we end up wasting time and not realizing it when we could be putting it to good use. Use lunch breaks to catch up on math homework, or grab a few hours of work during a long lunch break in college. Those few hours can add up during the week. Students need to keep checking in to see if they’re on track per their schedules to know they’re not overcommitting themselves or falling short of their goals. If students know they function better in the mornings, they should get evening jobs so they can do coursework or assignments when they’re fresh and vice versa.

    3. Have family support: This goes without saying; without a support system, college students will find it very hard to adjust both lives alone. Students should inform their managers at work, friends, or family to support them in this decision, and help them both personally and professionally. This kind of support will help students infinitely when they feel the pressure is too much, or they need help with managing homework.

    4. Know what they want: College students should choose jobs wisely if they can. Students should think about how what they do now could benefit them in the future. Remember, everything can be added to their portfolios. If working in a store, think of inventory – managing time and stock. All of this could and should be interpreted as work experience, and this could boost entry into the working world by gaining experience, references, professional growth, and of course, the money.

    5. Be creative in getting homework done: By having a job, college students are effectively cutting down on their study hours. Students must be smart about juggling their time, and try listening to lectures while working. They should also keep their managers in the loop so they get that support system. This way, students can learn, revise, and perhaps even do homework during work hours, which don’t require much brain activity like sorting mail, etc.

    6. Take a mental break: It is important to have some time out from studies. Always having studies/ homework on the mind will stress students out, especially if they know they can’t do it during work hours. Allow a study free zone while at work. Know there is nothing students can do about it, so they should give themselves permission to relax. Many times we block ourselves, and take on more stress over things we cannot control. Those moments students are not thinking about studies could benefit them in the long run. This way, they can approach their assignments with a fresh mind.

    Smiling college students holding hands at graduation courtesy of Shutterstock.com

    Rawpixel.com/Shutterstock.com

    7. Stay focused on the end goal: The end goal should be graduating. Many times, once students start working, they find it hard to stay focused on education. It becomes easy to forget about studies and think about short term benefits, such as getting paid. This spending power lets many people forget about graduating. College students must find ways to motivate themselves. Keep pictures of graduates at their ceremonies or photos of people who managed to reach the pinnacle of their careers to have an aim and a goal to reach.

    8. Research on future courses: Students should find courses relevant to them and their future interests. Don’t choose a random course because friends are taking it, or because somebody else has a strong opinion about it. Students need to discover what they are passionate about and what they see themselves doing in the future. Doing some research on courses will help them achieve their future goals.

    9. Be smart financially: Money can flow through college students’ fingers like water if they’re not careful. Keep track on spending and where the money has to be allocated. If there are bills to pay, keep that money aside, or pay off debts before doing anything else. This helps students become more financially independent. This not involves their weekly paycheck, but also their tuition. Most colleges have hefty fees so be sure to enroll in a program where there are future benefits. Don’t get a job and go into debt due to careless spending, as this will cause a downward spiral.

    10. Be passionate: Happiness can only come from within. College students should be passionate about the courses they will be taking; passion will get them through tough times. If students truly do something they love, they will excel in it. Be happy at the workplace. Find a job that is mentally stimulating or has a good work team. This makes a huge difference in students’ mental health and happiness, and when they’re young and balancing their work and study lives, this is very important.

    The balance for managing studies and work can be a fine line, and one that should be carefully monitored so college students don’t end up suffering by their decision to work. This has become a recent trend, as many young students have bills to pay, and this enables them to gain work experience while also getting homework help and inspiration from their coworkers or family.

    Need more tips for college students, check out College Recruiter’s blog and follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Twitter.

    Anthony Taylor is a writer, student and editor on student’s writing website. He loves reading, writing motivational stories and spending the time with his family. You can follow him on Twitter and Google+ for more interesting stories.

  • Job candidates: How to find them

    February 08, 2016 by
    Choosing amongst job candidates courtesy of Shutterstock.com

    aslysun/Shutterstock.com

    Organizations often overlook having an open house or another face-to-face meeting as a relatively inexpensive way to hire multiple people for one or more roles. The best candidates do not apply for jobs simply because they’re open to taking new jobs, and they happen to be qualified for jobs recruiters want filled. College students and recent graduates are far more likely to be interested in applying, interviewing, accepting job offers, and staying with a company for years if they understand the organization, the work environment, and the team they’d be working with from the beginning of the process. Continue Reading

  • 4 vital steps to earning a post-college job

    January 15, 2016 by
    ryan de la rosa

    Ryan De La Rosa, guest writer

    While college is, for many, the highlight of their pre-30s lives, it becomes the slow sinking in of reality, and what follows are the challenges of true adulthood. This is in part due to unforeseen situations that take us and sweep us off our feet. One of those things is the career we end up in. Here are four techniques that can help track down the job you deserve after college graduation. Continue Reading

  • 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.