• Ask Matt: Why your resume isn’t getting noticed – and how to fix it

    March 09, 2017 by

    Dear Matt:  I’m a recent college graduate who is struggling to get interviews. I have sent in over 30 resumes and applications but haven’t received one call for an interview. What am I doing wrong?

    Matt: I still remember the very first resume I ever sent after graduating from college. I applied for a research position with a local business publication. I never got a call. And I know exactly why. In fact, I am 100 percent certain the person never read past the first sentence of my resume. Why?

    Because my opening statement included this language: “Seeking entry-level opportunity that will help me advance my career.”

    What’s wrong with that?

    Lots.

    First, it made it about me. I get it. You are excited. You worked hard to graduate from college and are now eager to start your career. But if you learn one thing from this article learn this:

    A resume is never about you!

    How so? Isn’t a resume my career biography? The document that tells employers why they should hire me?

    Wrong!

    Why?

    A resume is not about you. It’s also not a career biography. It’s a marketing document that quickly tells the employer that you may have the skills and background that fit their needs. For that research position, a more appropriate summary statement should have been:

    Recent college graduate with 3 years of award-winning college newspaper leadership experience seeking opportunity as research coordinator for business publication.

    In that summary I would have showed them:

    1. I had college newspaper experience.
    2. I had leadership experience (resume would show I worked as an assistant editor)
    3. I was part of a team that won a few college newspaper awards.
    4. And that I am directing this resume exactly to this position.

    The reality is this:

    A resume should show that you have skills, experiences and a background that would fit a specific job opening – their job opening! It’s about how you can help the next employer fill their needs and solve their problems. Their problem is they have a job opening. They need someone to fill it. That person, whether it’s you, or someone else, should use the resume to show the employer that you have the skills, achievements and combination of soft and hard skills that would entice them to bring you in for an interview. Then in the interview, the employer can learn more about you, see if you truly are who you say you are, and most of all, find out if you are the right fit for the position, with the team you would be working with, and within the company culture.

    The second thing to remember is this: The resume doesn’t get you hired. It does though, help you get you an interview.

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  • Beyond the hammer and hard hat: Don’t overlook unique career opportunities in construction industry

    October 18, 2016 by
    jobs in the construction industry

    Photo courtesy of Stockunlimited.com

    Are you an entry-level job seeker looking in accounting or finance, information technology, human resources, project management, engineering, customer service, or administration? Are you a woman or minority seeking an industry with career growth and upward mobility?

    Then look no further than a career in the construction industry. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts the construction industry to see an employment growth of 13.6 percent, or almost 520,000 new jobs by the year 2024. Companies across the country are seeking recent college grads to fill open positions, but old school stereotypes about the type of jobs and skills needed to succeed in the construction industry still exist – and that causes many recent college grads and entry-level job seekers to overlook careers in the construction industry.

    Tim Mayer, Director of Talent Acquisition for Kraus-Anderson Construction Company (KA), understands those challenges and stereotypes, and he and other industry professionals are working diligently to change the perception and awareness about opportunities in construction.

    Breaking down construction industry stereotypes

    Kraus Anderson has about 500 employees, is based in Minnesota, and has a wide variety of divisions, but is primarily known for its commercial building division. When recruiting for open positions, Mayer and team face many of the same stereotypes as other construction companies across the country.

    “The biggest misconception is one of men in hard hats swinging hammers and providing other labor,” says Mayer. “This is obviously a big part of what is needed in the industry, but also neglects the need for highly-educated and trained people in the construction and support roles listed above. In actuality, the construction industry is really a service industry with a focus on building and maintaining relationships.”

    Tips for recent college grads seeking a career in the construction industry

    Mayer says current college students and recent college grads seeking opportunities in the construction industry should research a company where they are interested in working at to find out about internships, and current job openings. The Kraus Anderson college recruiting program focuses on project and field engineer internships, and has also hired interns in accounting and HR role, pending on need. The company has developed relationships with about 13 colleges and universities to help fill internship roles throughout the company.

    “I think there are some major misconceptions about careers in the construction industry that I have seen proven wrong time and time again in my over five years in the construction industry,” says Mayer. “I think most people would be surprised to learn that construction is also a very well paying industry, with an entrepreneurial spirit, where development and increased responsibility are readily available to those willing to learn and stretch their skills.”

    Mayer is the prime example. He works in the construction industry, but he fills an important human resources leadership role in that industry. He received a B.A. in History from Saint John’s University in Collegeville, MN., and an M.A.in Human Resources and Industrial Relations from University of Minnesota’s Industrial Relations Center at the Carlson School of Management. Prior to KA, Mayer worked at Mortenson Construction, where he served as senior talent acquisition specialist.  He was also a senior professional recruiter for Manpower Professional.

    “Even though I have never built a project, I take great pride in pointing out landmark projects that the company has built,” says Mayer. “There is a real pride with the tangible and long lasting nature of our end products. The value of our work to society can never be underestimated as it is always visible.”

    Women and minorities encouraged to apply

    As for those seeking opportunities to wear the hard hat and swing a hammer – those opportunities are also available, and KA and other construction companies are working hard to attract more women into construction opportunities. There are many local and national organizations that partner with construction firms to help promote opportunities for women in construction and the trades. The National Association of Women in Construction is a network for professional women in the field of construction.  The Washington Women in Trades Association was created for women working in the trades to gather and share information. Tradeswomen, Inc., is one of California’s first organizations for women in the trades and one of its goals is to recruit more women into construction and related non-traditional trades. Just about every state has an organization that supports careers for women and minorities in construction and the trades. Kraus Anderson is active in sponsoring and partnering with women’s campus organizations, as well as growing their partnership with the Society of Women Engineers (SWE).

    “We have a variety of initiatives to continue to build diversity into our workforce with recruiting efforts targeted toward women, minorities, veterans, and others underrepresented in our field,” says Mayer. “These efforts not only target recent grads and experienced hires, but build deeper foundations through community involvement and support of organizations that reach students in elementary school to continue to build the notion that construction is a great field.”

    Mayer continued: “I think old stereotypes persist, because there was some truth to them for such a long time. We realize that different educational backgrounds, skill sets, approaches, and life perspectives bring great value to our ability to deliver projects now and into the future.”

    Soft skills crucial to success in construction industry

    What do recruiters look for when hiring recent college grads in the construction industry? Soft skills stand out, says Mayer.

    “Relationships are the cornerstone of our business, and because of that we seek candidates that can effectively communicate and coordinate/lead/manage large groups to foster these lasting relationships focused on solving problems,” says Mayer. “It is a given that a candidate needs to have a core set of construction skills to work in this industry, but the soft skills are the true differentiators that we seek. In today’s market, the candidates that have these skills are typically well taken care of and happy where they’re at. To get these candidates in the mix we are focusing on leveraging employee referrals and building a strong employment brand.”

    Recent college grads, don’t overlook careers in the construction industry. It’s a great place to build a career. Get a jump start on learning about careers in the construction industry by signing up for personalized construction industry job alerts here. We’ll send you new job leads tailored to your interests and preferences and save you the trouble of searching for them on a regular basis.

    For more job seeker tips and advice visit our blog and follow us on LinkedInFacebookTwitter, and YouTube.

     

    Featuring Tim Mayer, Kraus Anderson, on careers in the construction industry. Jobs in the construction industry.

    Tim Mayer is Director of Talent Acquisition for Kraus-Anderson Construction Company.

    About Tim Mayer
    Tim Mayer is Director of Talent Acquisition for Kraus-Anderson Construction Company (KA) where he is responsible for creating and leading the company’s end-to-end hiring strategy. Mayer is strategically implementing a proactive strategy to attract top talent for KA’s immediate needs and build a pipeline for future needs, as the company grows. He applies a big-picture approach to provide an excellent candidate experience, while recruiting managers, grooming company leaders and providing a seamless transition as long-time employees retire.

     

  • Choosing your career Part Three: Bringing it all together

    April 16, 2008 by

    In the previous two posts, we discussed the importance of planning and preparation to your career. In this post we will continue that train of thought with a few words about how to apply our new found knowledge.
    By knowing what our life and career goals are at the beginning of our educational journey and recognizing the boundaries that our chosen area of residence places upon us, we can best decide how to pursue the career we want and find both entry level jobs and internships in this field.
    It is possible to bring your career to exactly where you want it to go but those points must be taken into consideration and held to closely, just as the navigator onboard a sailing vessel must pay careful attention to his charts and instruments.
    When you have decided what you want your career to do for you and researching the market for that career has proven that it is, indeed, a good choice, then it is time to choose the best school and education opportunities that you can obtain. Choose courses that will allow you for the higher salary of specialized careers without excluding you from more general entry level career opportunities. Having a major study in one field and a minor study in a related field can be a valuable asset if you can handle this level of academic pressure.
    While attending school, locating an entry level job or internship opportunity, such as those found on the Entry Level Job and Internship Pages at CollegeRecruiter.com, may also prove very valuable because it allows you to gain on the job work experience that employers value greatly, thus improving your odds of successfully steering your career in the direction you want it to go after college. Come aboard, Captain. Your ship is waiting.

  • Choosing your career Part One: Knowing where you want to be

    by

    Going into college without direction is like setting sail in a ship with no rudder or steering mechanisms. You may eventually get to where you intended to go but the odds are very slim and, if you did happen to reach that destination, it is not very likely that your path would have been the most direct route possible. Understanding this point before going off to college gives you the ability to install that necessary direction, effectively putting a rudder on the ship of your career.
    By planning and carefully ascertaining what things are important to you in both your entry level job and internships, as well as your long term career goals, you can do much to effectively steer your career path in the direction you want it to go.
    Start this process by asking yourself where do I want to be, both in my career and my life, ten, twenty and even thirty years after graduation? By understanding what you want from life, you can plan a career that will coincide with those goals.
    For instance, if you are wanting to stay near your hometown and community, you might choose a career that will sufficiently meet your financial obligations and will coincide with specific goals of the area, such as civil engineering or plant management. If you tend more towards the idea of seeing a larger portion of the globe, look towards careers which will allow this freedom of movement and offer opportunities for entry level jobs and internships with globally known companies thus opening the door for relocation as a part of your job.
    Additionally, take your personal goals into account. Do you plan to raise a family early in life? Perhaps a career that offers entry level jobs with a good measure of stability and excellent benefits might be better suited to your needs than a higher paid job that requires weeks of time spent away from home. Do you plan to remain free of the encumbrances of family life until you are well settled in your career? Then a more lucrative entry level position that requires vast amounts of dedication and personal input in exchange for higher pay may help you to realize this goal faster or an internship at lower pay may help you to gain valuable work experience and on the job training that will further your career while you are financially able to support yourself without the extra expense of additional family members.
    Knowing the answers to these questions gives you a direction for choosing your career but more is needed. In the next post, we will discuss another point that will help you steer your ship of career success in line with your needs.

  • Finding an entry level web design job

    April 05, 2008 by

    The Internet has become a powerful tool for both the individual and big businesses to compete side by side upon a more level playing field. For those with the proper skill sets that combine one or more areas of expertise, entry level jobs are both abundant and profitable. One such entry level job that is in huge demand at this time is that of the Internet marketer. That being said, how does one go about finding an entry level web design job?
    Entry level web design jobs are available from many major areas of the Internet as the brick and mortar companies are quickly learning the value of a powerful Internet presence. Recognizing the need for their businesses to evolve if they want to remain into the future, businesses are developing their Internet presence and they want to be sure this is done in a manner that will guarantee their future success.
    By checking entry level job finding resources, such as the Entry Level and Internship Job Search Page at CollegeRecruiter.com, you can find hundreds of entry level career opportunities in the field of web design. With sites such as the one mentioned above and their customizable methods of searching the records, you can customize the experience to your own personal needs and preferences. Within a few clicks of the mouse, you could find just the entry level web design job you have been looking for.
    When you have found the entry level web design job you are interested in, simply use the provided contact information to forward your resume to the prospective employer. By taking the time in advance to put together a strong resume and a portfolio of your work, you can illustrate your skills to prospective employers and make yourself more desirable as a potential employee. If you have skills in the field of Internet web design, an entry level web design job may be waiting for you.