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

Posted June 25, 2016 by

The #1 student job search mistake

As an Associate Career Services Director for the University of Michigan and the CEO of Break into Tech, I’ve had the privilege to work with hundreds of students during the job search while trying to launch their careers. And it’s an area I’m particularly proud to support, having leveraged my own student experience to land roles at Apple, LinkedIn, and startups.

Photo by StockUnlimited.com

Photo by StockUnlimited.com

But the one thing that shocks me time and again is that 95% of students make the same mistake when it comes to landing a job. And no, it’s not a bad resume, or a poorly written cover letter or even weak interview skills. Instead, it’s that most basic trait:

Humility.

Yes, humility.

Now, I know what you’re thinking. “Huh? How hard could it be to act humble?”

But here’s the real deal. That same confidence is a handicap. Because it blinds students to just how hard it is to stay humble in a world where everyone always has to be on, to constantly present their best self.

As evidence, allow me to submit my experience as a Michigan alum working at LinkedIn:

  • Every single day during application season, I’d received at least one email from a current student who wanted to work in Silicon Valley
  • Usually, those emails started out: “Dear Jeremy, I’m XXX and I’d really like to work at LinkedIn…”
  • Eventually I’d get on the phone with these students, and they’d spend the first 15 minutes of the call telling me about themselves, and the last 15 minutes asking me if I could help them get a job.
  • Then, I’d never hear from them again.

On the other hand, about 2-3 times a year, the sequence would go very differently:

  • I’d get an email from a student well before application season that said: “Dear Jeremy, As a a Michigan student, I was so excited to come across your profile today. I can’t tell you how inspiring it was to find someone who’s walked your path. I know you must be really busy, but would you ever have a few minutes to share your story with me?”
  • When I got on the phone with them, we’d spend 15 minutes talking about my experience, followed by 15 minutes of them asking me for my advice about really tricky career questions.
  • Then they’d follow-up the next month to wish me a happy holiday or update me on campus. And they’d continue to do that each month with cool articles they found or little tidbits of school news.
  • Then, only when application season finally rolled around, would they ever ask for support during the application process.

And sure enough, about 2-3 times a year, I’d write an internal recommendation for a student, basically guaranteeing them an interview.

Now, any guesses which students I went to bat for?

Hopefully that illuminates two things about the job search:

BUT

  • You’ve got to network in the right way – the humble way.

Which means no:

  • Waiting until application season to reach out – you need to build relationships in advance; not at the last second.
  • Focusing all the attention on yourself – you need to build a real relationship; not just a transaction.
  • One shot networking – you need to build a relationship over time, not in a single phone call. This aids your job search.

So consider yourself warned. Yes, humility is critical to your job search success. But don’t assume it’s going to be easy. Instead, make it a priority and work hard at it. And then you can avoid the biggest mistake that’s trapped so many others!

Jeremy Schifeling, CEO of Break Into Tech

Jeremy Schifeling, CEO of Break Into Tech

Need more help networking and figuring out how to build great relationships on your way to finding a great entry-level job? College Recruiter can help. Keep reading our blog and follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.

Jeremy Schifeling is the Founder + Chief Nerd at Break into Tech, a site for anyone who wants to land an awesome tech job, no matter their background. Get a free guide to the seven ultimate secrets that took Jeremy from school to Silicon Valley!

Posted September 12, 2014 by

Starting to Search for Jobs, College Students? 6 Difference Making Trends You Should Know

When searching for jobs, college students need to be aware of these six difference making trends from an infographic in the following post.

Have you built a professional presence on social media? Do you have a personal website to display your passion and expertise? Do you frequently use mobile devices to keep up with your job search, potential employers and personal branding? This infographic by job hunting and career management site CareerShift shares information on the impact

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Posted August 28, 2014 by

Recruiters, Trying to Find the Best Candidates for a Small Business? 7 Tips to Attract Them

Recruiters who are looking to hire the best candidates for a small business can get seven tips to help attract them in the following post.

Finding and hiring the right people is easier said than done, but it’s an important part of owning a small business. Training and processing new employees is expensive, so managing turnover and improving employee retention is an excellent way to keep tabs on your bottom line. Here are seven strategies you can employ to make

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Posted August 27, 2014 by

Why Are Employee Referrals the Most Fruitful Way to Hire

Portrait of multi-cultural office standing in a lobby

Portrait of multi-cultural office standing in a lobby. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

Employee Referral is a simple internal recruitment method to interview and hire more employees through the referrals provided by their existing employees. The employees simply forward the résumé of a family member or friend who is looking for employment to the hiring department of the organisation. If their referral is selected, the employees receive a referral bonus. Employee referrals are few of the most cost effective ways of employee recruitment and the best means to build man power required by the organisation. With the growing number of dissatisfied employees and increased workforce attrition, it is becoming more and more essential for companies to hire quality employees that will stay and contribute to the business workflow. Listed below are the various benefits of employee referral schemes. (more…)

Posted May 28, 2014 by

New to Searching for Recent Graduate Jobs? Avoid Hurting Yourself by Making These 9 Mistakes

For new grads entering the workforce, keep in mind that any little flaw can cost you in your search for recent graduate jobs.  In the following post, learn nine mistakes to avoid so that you don’t hurt your employment chances.

Your first “real” job search (as a newly-minted young professional) is quite a learning experience. So many options; so little time! You can’t wait to hear those magic words: “You’re hired”. You don’t want to make job search mistakes that will extend your job search. But, you may not be clear on exactly what to

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Posted March 26, 2014 by

Networking to Land an Entry Level Job? One Strategy that Just Might Work

If you’re looking for an entry level job by networking, the following post talks about one strategy that could make the difference.

Job searching be much easier if you already knew plenty of colleagues who could tell you if their workplace is awesome — or awful. And put in a good word for you. But you don’t know people at every company… because most of us don’t network as much as we should. Your challenge: get your foot

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Posted March 28, 2013 by

80% of Job Openings Are Unadvertised

Job postings

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

I was recently quoted by the Wall Street Journal as saying that 80 percent of job openings are unadvertised. Several people have contacted me to ask where I got that number. Some believe that only 70 percent of job openings are unadvertised. So where did I get 80 percent from?

As well stated on the Jobfully blog, the number bounces around a bit year-to-year and even month-to-month depending upon the state of the labor market and is indirectly reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics in their monthly Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS). The survey reports these numbers: (more…)

Posted March 19, 2013 by

Job Boards Aren’t Dead. They’re Evolving.

Mark Mehler and Gerry Crispin of CareerXroads

Mark Mehler and Gerry Crispin of CareerXroads

Mark Mehler and Gerry Crispin of CareerXroads just released their Annual Sources of Hire (SOH) Study, which is one of the most referenced and authoritative snapshots of how large, highly-competitive, high-profile firms define and measure the talent supply chain.

The SOH report is a glimpse of where employees – actual hires – were found. This data is important to organizations as they look to find and hire new employees. It is equally important to job candidates as they seek the most effective channels to a new job.

Interesting findings from this year’s study include: (more…)

Posted April 27, 2012 by

4 Job Hunting Tips for Recent College Grads

· You may have more experience than you realize – While recent college grads are likely to highlight internships and part-time jobs on their resumes, they may not know that many employers will consider volunteer work (53 percent), class work (33 percent), managing activities for sororities or fraternities (26 percent) and sports (20 percent) as relevant experience. One-in-ten employers (12 percent) would also consider social media (personal or school-related blogs, social networking pages) to qualify as relevant experience.

· Expand your network of contacts online and offline – The number one way employers recruit recent college grads is through employee referrals (49 percent) followed by postings on online job sites (42 percent). (more…)