• Middle management: How new managers gain company wide trust and respect

    January 10, 2017 by

     

    For many first-time managers, it can be hard to gain professional respect from a more experienced management team and other senior leaders. It can be discouraging to attend leadership meetings, management training, or be involved in the decision-making process and feel like you don’t have a voice.

    Gaining trust as a manager can take time, but it doesn’t mean new managers need to wait, or feel like they have to gain approval from more experienced leaders to start building trust, and credibility within an organization. While the first goal should be to lead your new team and be the best manager you can be, it’s never too early to focus on how to become a manager who can influence others within the organization.

    Be accountable

    To gain that trust, respect, and a strong reputation, start by being accountable, says Greg Bustin, author of Accountability: The Key to Driving a High-Performance Culture. Bustin has dedicated his career to working with CEOs and the leadership teams of companies on this crucial topic of accountability. During the last six years, he has interviewed and surveyed more than 5,000 executives around the world – from companies that include, but are not limited to, Marriott, Container Store, Ernst & Young, Sony, Herman Miller, Nucor, and Southwest Airlines – to understand how high-performing corporations successfully create and sustain a culture of purpose, trust, and fulfillment.

    “Lack of accountability is the single greatest obstacle facing even the most experienced leaders,” says Bustin. “It saps morale, drains profits, and disenfranchises employees—and can shift your team into crisis mode on a daily basis.”

    Bustin also created the highly popular best and worst in workplace accountability survey, and offers these five tips for new managers looking to make an impact in the organization:

    Continue Reading

  • How to thrive in your new job when a bad manager cramps your style

    January 05, 2017 by

     

    Congratulations on landing that first job out of college. The hard work has paid off.

    Now welcome to the real world. A world where bad managers can quickly turn fun, exciting new jobs into a recent college grad’s worst nightmare.

    “Getting a job one loves is a wonderful accomplishment for recent college graduates,” says Laura Poisson, President of ClearRock, Inc., a Boston-based career transition, outplacement, leadership development, and executive coaching firm. “However, having to deal with a bad manager can make that new job a nightmare. It is often hard, especially for a younger person or someone who is new to a company, to determine the best way to deal with a difficult boss.”

    LaSalle Network, a national staffing and recruiting firm, recently published a survey of more than 1,000 people on their experiences with bad bosses. The survey findings showed that 84% of respondents have had a bad boss, and 43% of respondents quit the company because of the bad boss. In addition, the survey found that 59% of respondents would have stayed if given the opportunity to report to someone else. According to the survey, these were the main characteristics that respondents attributed to bad bosses:

    • Only notices negatives, never the positives (56%)
    • Are narcissistic; only care about themselves, not their staff (45%)
    • Clueless; never know what is going on and/or are forgetful (44%)
    • Absent; they are never there (31%)

    If you have a manager that’s cramping your style, think things through before approaching your manager, HR, or other co-workers. Why?

    There may be things you don’t realize, but that matter. For example, consider this:

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  • Key managerial skills recent college grads should master to be successful

    January 03, 2017 by

     

    To become a manager, one must show an employer they possess a wide variety of skills. Leadership skills are crucial. So is the ability to communicate, handle adversity, and deal with diverse personalities and skill sets.

    A first-time manager must also develop strong critical thinking, analytical, and problem-solving skills to be successful, says Sylvia R.J. Scott, Founder of Girls’ C.E.O. Connection™ (Girl’s Creating Enterprising Organizations), a for-profit social enterprise dedicated to engaging and equipping high school girls as entrepreneurs. They also must show the company can trust them, which is why they were hired as a manager.

    “A manager is the one with the ability to plan, direct and coordinate the operations of a business, division, department or operations,” says Scott. “To be a first-time manager as a recent graduate shows the company trusts the person and believes in his or hers capabilities and ability to help grow the company.”

    In February Scott is speaking to a group of college women, primarily seniors, at the University of Colorado, about what it takes for first-time managers to succeed. She will focus on these eight skills, traits and attributes of a successful first-time manager:

    1. Know and understand your company culture.
    2. Know the parameters of your particular position. That includes how much leeway you have on decision making.
    3. Ask questions and get clarity even if you think you understand. As a manager you don’t have time for you and/or your staff to make mistakes.
    4. Expect the best-not perfection from your staff. Praise them when it is appropriate. If there are issues face them immediately.
    5. Learn each person’s strengths and weaknesses. Play on their strengths, not their weaknesses.
    6. Control your emotions, tongue, and actions. Avoid gossip, even after hours or with colleagues. Take a break if someone is pushing your buttons. Watch the tone of your emails when responding to challenges, and watch the tone of your voice.
    7. Always use proper English, grammar and spelling when writing any type of communication, even an email. They need to be as clearly written as any other business communication.
    8. Find a mentor within the company and then one outside your company that knows the ropes of being a manager and what is needed to excel.

    Continue Reading

  • Ready to climb the ladder in 2017? Here are 10 things recent college grads should do

    December 29, 2016 by

     

    No matter where one is at in their career, there are always things one can do to learn more, become more valuable, advance in their career, and become a go-to employer that people rely on.

    While you may not be where you want to be in your career now, it doesn’t mean you can’t get there in the future. One thing recent college graduates quickly find out is that, even though they finally secured that first job, there is still much work to be done to continue to advance in one’s career and climb the career ladder.

    So, what can you do in the next year to advance your career? Start by taking small steps that can lead to big improvements and changes. Do that by following these 10 things recent college grads should do to climb the career ladder in 2017:

    1. Find/consult with a mentor: Everyone could use a mentor – someone who can motivate, inspire and guide them in the early stages of their career. Find someone in your field, career path, or network who can be a mentor to you. Start by asking for an informational interview to learn more about their career. Then if you feel things are going in the right direction, explain your career goals and aspirations and ask if they would be interested in being a mentor. Many people would be flattered, and willing to help.
    2. Take a class: Even though you recently graduated from college, lifelong learning is essential to those who want to advance in their career. Take a class on Udemy or Coursera. Sign up for Lynda.com. Take an adult education class on a topic of interest, or register for a class – traditional or online – at a local college or university. Learning is lifelong, and getting in the habit of adding new skills throughout one’s career will pay off over time – in salary, and advancement opportunities.
    3. Do a social media audit: What does your online brand say about you? Google yourself – the next employer certainly will – what shows up? Review your social media profiles (LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, others) and check security settings and profiles and be sure they best represent you to an external audience. Seriously review comments, Tweets or photos and remove/edit anything that could hurt your professional reputation. For example, were you outspoken during the 2016 Presidential election, and perhaps commented, through Facebook, or on Twitter, about the Presidential race, Hillary Clinton, or Donald Trump? Those comments “live” in search engines, and others can find them. Don’t let social media comments, posts, pictures or shares damage your online brand.
    4. Consult with your campus career center: These people are here to help. Even after you graduate. Reach out to a campus career counselor for help with connecting to alumni, for job search assistance and resume writing guidance. Many people never take advantage of this opportunity. Why not reach out to a trained professional who can help?
    5. Complete a skills audit: Even if you aren’t looking for a job, search for jobs or job titles that may be of interest to you. What skills or requirements do these job applications ask for? Is there a skill (technology) or requirement lacking in your portfolio? In the year ahead, focus on how to develop or improve that skill, to become more attractive to an employer. Try and take on new projects at your current job, or find classes or training to help learn these important industry skills.
    6. Be a team player: You’re not going to be best friends with every co-worker. You’re not going to like every project or assignment. You may even sense conflict with other departments. But don’t mope, be difficult, or develop a bad attitude because of it. Why? Because someday that co-worker, manager, or person who seemed to be difficult on a project could work for a company where you want to work. What will they remember? Your negative attitude – if you let it. Be a team player at work, someone people go to for answers on projects, for assistance, and someone people can count on. Your co-workers will remember that, and will remember you if they are in a position to influence or assist you with your next job or step of your career.
    7. Update your resume: If that dream job opened up tomorrow would your resume be updated and ready for you to apply for the job? If that new networking contact asked for a resume to share with other industry contacts, would you be ready? Don’t delay. Updating your resume before you absolutely need it allows one to devote the time, attention and detail to perfect your resume. Even if you are completely happy in your career, updating one’s resume is a good way to help track new achievements and add any new skills to your resume. Better yet, updating a resume twice a year is ideal. At the end of each month write down your key successes and achievements, and at the six month mark, compile those accomplishments and update the resume. Then do it again at the end of year to make sure all is current and best represents the successes you have achieved at your job. If you don’t track it, you will forget it, and it won’t go on your resume, and your next employer will never know you did it.
    8. Attend an industry networking event: Attending networking events, or joining professional associations can open many doors. Make it a goal this year to attend at least one networking event or industry association event in your field in 2017. Why? Because networking always has been and always will be the key to climbing the career ladder.
    9. Create a backup plan: If you were fired or lost your job today, would you be ready tomorrow, both personally and professionally, for the challenge ahead? Figure out a way to save more money (perhaps through a part-time job?), be sure your resume is updated, and you would know what to do next, if suddenly without a job now.
    10. Be thankful: If you are employed, be thankful, even if you dislike the job, your manager, or career direction. Your current job, job title or situation doesn’t define you, or where you want to go. Keep adding new skills, taking on new projects, and learning. Because, the good news is, where you are now doesn’t mean it’s where you will be in six months, one year, three years and the rest of your career. Make 2017 a success by following the above tips and stay connected with College Recruiter to get job alerts, get career advice, and stay on top of trends and issues affecting both job seekers and employers.

    Follow these tips in 2017, and you could make great strides in your career development that will continue to have a positive effect not only next year, but in 2018, 2019 and throughout your career. Start now to succeed later.

    Want more career and job search advice? Stay connected to College Recruiter by visiting our blog, and connect with us on LinkedInTwitterFacebook, and YouTube.

  • 6 rules for women who want to become corporate leaders

    December 20, 2016 by

    Many recent college grads head into the job search just hoping to land that first job to start their career. Others graduate from college with a clear goal in mind: To become a corporate leader, company president, CEO, or major industry influencer.

    If the latter fits your career aspirations, and you are a female seeking to climb the corporate ladder to career success, then follow the lead from Melissa Greenwell, author of Money On The Table: How to Increase Profits Through Gender-Balanced Leadership (Greenleaf Book Group, January 2017).  Greenwell is Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of national retailer The Finish Line, Inc., and a certified executive coach who helps women and men understand how they can leverage natural strengths to identify and make behavioral changes that help them succeed as senior leaders.

    Greenwell’s book, Money on the Table, includes several stories from women who didn’t follow a corporate path and leveraged their passion and leadership skills to build their own businesses.

    “When you are someone that others follow or look to for help, you will stand out from the crowd,” says Greenwell. “You won’t need to push your way through.”

    To get started on the path to career success, and to become an influential female leader, follow these tips and advice from Greenwell:

    1. Be the best team player one can be: The first thing a recent grad should do, beyond mastering their subject matter, is to learn how to be the best team player they can be. Help others, volunteer for assignments, and make the extra effort to move projects or initiatives forward that will enable the organization to be successful. “When leaders see you working for the good of the organization, they will notice,” says Greenwell. “This is the behavior they want to see in their future leaders.” Pay close attention to the best leaders in the organization. Ask one to mentor you. Make it known that you want to earn a position in leadership. Continue Reading

  • Four ways recent college grads benefit from completing Massive Open Online Courses

    December 15, 2016 by

    Looking for unique ways to add skills and complete classes to advance your career? Then consider completing a Massive Open Online Couse. Also known as a MOOC.

    According to Techtarget.com, Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC), are “free Web-based distance learning programs designed for the participation of large numbers of geographically dispersed students. A MOOC may be patterned on a college or university course or may be less structured. Although MOOCs don’t always offer academic credits, they provide education that may enable certification, employment or further studies.”

    Why should recent college grad consider completing a Massive Open Online Courses?

    Because lifelong learning is essential to career success, and that’s exactly what Massive Open Online Courses provide. Through a MOOC, college students, recent college grads, and adult learners are able to take free classes to improve their foreign language skills, add additional tech/software skills, and/or learn about machine learning or artificial intelligence. Students can complete a MOOC to complement their current major or area of study, to learn how to start their own business, or to add critical skills to a resume. There is no limit to the course topic a MOOC can cover, and there is no limit to the location of the students completing a MOOC. As MOOCs evolve, the completion of these courses are becoming more respected by employers, and some MOOC programs offer, for a small fee, certifications and badges upon completion, which bolster the credibility of these courses.

    “Taking courses online can open doors to opportunities you never thought of,” said Gelena Sachs, Director of People Operations for Udemy, the world’s largest destination for online courses. “Finding a full-time job that aligns with a major or degree, right out of college, can be the ultimate challenge for many grads. Online learning allows job seekers to further expand their skills and broaden the landscape of opportunities.”

    One Udemy student, Alexa, moved to New York after graduating to pursue her dream job of working in an art gallery, but had to take another job in the meantime to pay the bills. She took courses through Udemy to learn about marketing and transformed the job she thought she’d settled for into a different kind of opportunity she never knew she wanted.

    Here’s another example: Social media continues to transform industries, while the tools themselves continue to evolve. Social media careers are hot, and constantly evolving. According to Altimeter’s recent Social Business Survey, 41% of enterprise marketing teams say ‘social education and training to build new skills’ is a top priority. To meet this growing demand from employers, Hootsuite Academy offers online video-based training on social media skills and strategy at a great post-graduation price point: Free.

    “Even with a diploma in hand, graduates should never stop honing their skills,” says Cameron Ugernac, Senior Director of Community and Education, Hootsuite, a leading social media management platform.

    Continue Reading

  • The pros and cons of video resumes

    December 13, 2016 by

    Are you a recent college grad looking to get ahead of the competition by creating a video resume? Be cautious before thinking a video resume is the golden ticket to landing an interview, or getting a job.

    That’s because even in today’s digital world, success on the job hunt still often depends heavily on an old-school document, according to The Creative Group (TCG), a company that specializes in connecting interactive, design, marketing, advertising and public relations talent with the best companies on a project, contract-to-hire, and full-time basis.

    Nearly eight in 10 executives surveyed by TCG said they prefer receiving traditional resumes in Word or PDF format over video or infographic resumes. Some employers won’t even accept video resumes and in the TCG survey, released in May of 2016, only three percent of executives indicated they prefer video resumes over traditional resumes.

    That’s no surprise to Tom Thomson, managing partner of Sanford Rose Associates, a recruitment firm in Nashville. “The recruiters I discussed this with do not want video resumes,” says Thomson. Here is why, he says:

    • Recruiters and hiring managers see these as highly produced marketing pieces.
    • Most people are not comfortable or feel natural in front of a camera. “You may not want this to be the first impression a potential employer has of you,” says Thomson.
    • It can easily be used to discriminate against highly qualified candidates based on their appearance.

    Arlene Vernon, a Twin Cities-based HR consultant, agrees. “When you see the person on a video, there’s an increased risk of discrimination from a legal perspective, because you can see race/ethnicity before you get to hear about their skills/background.”

    Time is also a drawback of video resumes.

    “I can scan a resume to see whether I like the candidate in five to ten seconds,” says Vernon. “I don’t have time to watch a video. I might do it after seeing a resume I’m interested in, to learn more about the person, and see their presentation skills. But I don’t think the convenience of a ‘paper’ resume will disappear.”

    That being said, there are instances when a video resume may be requested, or used to help stand out from the competition, says Diane Domeyer, executive director of The Creative Group.

    “If you’re applying for a job that requires multimedia or presentation skills, a short, one minute video resume that highlights key skills and accomplishments can be effective and set you apart from the competition,” says Domeyer. “If you have creative skills, you can even put together an animated short about why you’d make a good addition to the team. That said, always have a traditional resume ready in case one is requested.”

    According to the team at SparkHire, a company that provides video interviewing, resume and technology solutions: “Video resumes are a way for candidates to go beyond traditional methods of applying, such as submitting only a resume, cover letter, and work samples. Lasting typically 60 seconds, these videos are your shot to make the best first impression to an employer. A video resume lets the employer literally see you and hear your case (via your communication skills, personality and charisma) as the best candidate for the job – all before the interview takes place.”

    When to use a video resume

    Before you make a video resume and hit the upload button, think carefully about whether it will help or hurt your chances of getting a job interview, says the experts from Robert Half Technology. Professionals in the following industries are likely to see the most success with a video resume:

    • Marketing, advertising and public relations: If you’re applying for a job that requires killer presentation skills, a video resume can help you show off your abilities and professional polish.
    • Public speaking: When applying for jobs that require a lot of public speaking — for example, in sales or training — you can use a video resume not only to introduce yourself but also to include clips of yourself in action.
    • Multimedia: For professionals who create multimedia content, a video resume can be one more way to demonstrate your editing or motion graphics skills.
    • Broadcast: Candidates for jobs as newscasters, television hosts or film professionals have long used video show reels, mailing out old-school VHS tapes of their best clips years before the Internet came along. If this is your field, consider starting your show reel with a video resume to introduce yourself.

    When to avoid video resumes

    Of course, there are times when it’s best to stick to a traditional resume, according to Robert Half Technology:

    • You’re not comfortable on camera: People who are shy may want to reconsider a video resume. One big goal of this format is to show employers your personality. If you tend to get nervous or clam up as soon as a camera turns on, you obviously won’t achieve this objective.
    • The employer asks for a standard resume: A job posting might have a very specific application process, for example, or require job candidates to paste their resumes and cover letters in an online form.
    • A video resume won’t help you sell yourself: For many job seekers, a video resume simply won’t add much value. If you’re applying for a position as an accountant, for instance, employers will probably find it easier and more convenient to review your skills and work experience on paper (or, in a PDF or Word document, to be more accurate).
    • You prefer to remain private: Even though it’s possible to make your video private, you’re still putting details of your life on the Internet, and there’s a chance your video resume gets wider distribution than you anticipated. As always, make sure that what you post is something you won’t later regret.

    There are pros and cons of video resumes. Recent college grads should be careful when creating one, and make sure it’s right for your industry or job application before sending one.

    Are you ready to take your job search to the next level? Register with College Recruiter to get the latest jobs emailed to you! And don’t forget to follow us on TwitterLinkedInFacebook, and YouTube.

  • The #1 networking tip for recent college grads who are introverts

    December 08, 2016 by

    Are you a recent college grad and self-proclaimed introvert? No worries – the solution every young professional should follow is here.

    In fact, this may be the most effective – and beneficial, way to successfully network. Especially for introverts.

    And this method is a great way for recent college grads to learn how to feel comfortable and communicate in a group setting, become involved in a professional networking or industry association, and add important experiences to a resume. And because of the role they will take on, they will absolutely communicate with others, including those who are putting on the networking event, or attending the event.

    What is the No. 1 way to networking success for the recent college graduate who is an introvert?

    Volunteering!

    “We always encourage introverts to volunteer at a networking events/conferences,” says Robin Darmon, Director of Career Services at the University of San Diego. “This provides the introvert with a purpose and provides an opportunity to make meaningful connections with professionals.”

    Think about it: Volunteering at a network event provides numerous developmental opportunities, including these specific roles: Continue Reading

  • Reference checking: Secrets employers won’t tell recent college graduates revealed

    December 06, 2016 by
    Business woman unhappy with resumes of applicants and throwing them on the table courtesy of Shutterstock.com

    Milles Studio/Shutterstock.com

    References – job seekers submitting them – and employers checking them – seems like a simple process. Unfortunately for the recent college grad embarking on that first or second job, the reference checking process is anything but simple, and clear.

    Why? Because just because a job seeker submits a list of references, it doesn’t mean those are the references employers will contact. In fact, the days of providing three references to employers and expecting those to be the only sources employers check with are long gone, says Chris Dardis, VP of HR Search and Consulting for Versique, a Minneapolis-based search firm. Many employers may not even check the references job seekers submit, and it’s perfectly legal, because a prospective employer does not require permission to check any references. Employers are also relying on new tools and tactics to research potential candidates’ backgrounds.

    “Social media sites such as LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter are the first place hiring managers tend to explore candidate information,” says Dardis. “Whether you think it’s right or wrong, potential candidates need to be aware of the brand they are displaying on the Internet.”

    Jeff Shane, spokesperson for Allison & Taylor Inc., an employment verification and reference checking firm, agrees.

    “Don’t assume that employers will only check with human resources or your former supervisor for reference purposes,” says Shane. “Employers are increasingly scrutinizing less-traditional references such as peers and co-workers.”

    Employers also use tools like Checkster, to conduct the legwork on reference check gathering, says Dardis. Checkster is a tool that provides hiring managers with quantifiable data on the hire-ability of the potential candidate. Employers also use their own network and conduct what is known as “backdoor reference checks.” Hiring managers learn about the candidate’s previous employers, identify where they have connections and call around within their network to simply inquire about their reputation – all of this being done without the candidates knowledge.

    “These days, it doesn’t necessarily matter what your official references are saying,” says Dardis. “What matters is the kind of reputation you are leaving in the marketplace.”

    So how can recent college grads be sure they are providing references the right way, and that backdoor reference checks won’t hurt them? Follow these tips from Lynne Martin, Executive Director of San Francisco-based Students Rising Above, an award-winning nonprofit that helps low-income, first-generation students get into – and more importantly graduate – college The organization also offers their free, online College2Careers Hub which offers personalized assistance via online advisors that provide real-time answers and support on such themes as reference advice.

    Continue Reading

  • How recent college grads use gamification to stand out in the job search

    December 01, 2016 by
    Startup business people working at modern office courtesy of Shutterstock.com

    dotshock/Shutterstock.com

    Employers are constantly looking for new ways to recruit and assess new talent and hires. The standard method of asking candidates to submit a resume and go through an interview process works for some employers – but not for others.

    Because of that employers are now using gamification to recruit and assess recent college grads.

    “Today’s employers face the challenge of recruiting and hiring recent college grads and Millennials, the largest generational demographic in the American workforce,” says John Findlay, co-founder of Launchfire, a digital engagement shop that turns boring content and mandatory training materials into a fun, easy-to-digest, game-based learning experience. “Many companies are finding that using game-based learning and gamification, which integrate points, badges, competition and role-playing, can be used to effectively attract and assess candidates.”

    When using “games” as a recruitment tool, employers are looking to assess problem solving, creative and critical thinking skills, says John Reed, senior executive director for Robert Half Technology. Although they are meant to be engaging and somewhat entertaining, recent college grads must treat these games as carefully as one would any actual professional assignment.

    Large employers such as Google, Microsoft, Deloitte, PwC, Cisco, Domino’s Pizza, and Marriott International are among the many employers using gamification as part of their recruiting strategies.

    “If you’re hoping to gain employment with the organization, you should take all gamification exercises seriously and remember that this is all part of the interview process,” says Reed. “Don’t lose sight of the fact that it’s a professional reflection of you and this is, most times, your first impression with hiring managers and you want to put your best work out there.”

    Some colleges and universities are already introducing gamification to its students in hopes of better preparing them for the job search, and for real-life gamification-focused recruitment processes. Kaplan University uses gamification as a way to better prepare students and recent college graduates for the job market. Kaplan University has a main campus in Davenport, Iowa and headquarters in Chicago, and serves 42,000 online and campus-based students.

    “Career Development doesn’t just happen, it’s an ongoing process of building skills and abilities and we’re utilizing gamification as a way to reinforce and reward career development with our students,” says Jennifer Lasaster, Vice President of Employer and Career Services at Kaplan University.

    Kaplan University students are invited to participate in an internal CareerNetwork that was built with a video game developer and includes badges and quests for students who build and receive critiques on resumes and social media profiles, read field-related and career related articles, practice interviewing, review, and apply for jobs. Students are introduced to Kaplan’s CareerNetwork through classroom interactions and begin to accumulate points and badges throughout their time as a student, and can continue to do so after graduation.

    The team at Kaplan has also built a feature for students to compete against each other in a resume showdown that will premier in 2017. In that scenario, Kaplan partners with an employer who shares a job description. Students are then encouraged to submit their resumes for that job. Five resumes are then selected for competition. Personal information is blocked out and the recruiter provides feedback to students on how and why one resume is declared the winner.

    “This teaches students the importance of customizing their resume for each job, and that a quality job search is much more valuable than just taking one resume and sending it to various employers,” says Lasaster. “It’s also a great way for employers to receive resumes and feel like they are making a difference by teaching students what they need to do to apply for jobs at their company.”

    “We’re using gamification as a way to better prepare our students for the real world,” added Lasaster.

    The reality is, whether or not one is involved in a gamification-based recruiting process, recent college grads should still treat the job search like a game, says John-Paul Hatala, Ph.D., Director, Research and Development for SnagPad, a tool that enables career professionals and the job seekers they support to learn about and manage job search activity in a visual and strategic way.

    “The most important challenge job seekers face today is conducting a strategic job search,” says Hatala. “In order to win this game, the idea is to think of it as going from step-to-step in the typical hiring cycle. The length of the cycle depends on the type of job/industry.”

    For example, if a recent college grad is looking at an entry-level position, the cycle might be eight weeks until interview or job offer, says Hatala. So if a job seeker has applied to a job but hasn’t heard back in four weeks, move on to focus on the next opportunity.

    “The more cycles you get involved in, the greater your chances of getting an interview or hired,” says Hatala. “This way you can stay realistic about your chances of a getting a particular job and move on to the next. This will help maintain a level of motivation that is necessary for a job search.”

    Many projects that can be used during the gamification process are based on actual business issues or reflect what a new hires responsibilities will entail. Findlay points out two ways recent college grads can use gamification to their advantage in the recruiting process:

    1. Experience a “Real” Work Culture: Do you ever wish you could experience a company’s culture before you even take the time to apply for the position? Many companies are using simulations to allow prospects to live a week in the job. This not only allows the candidate to better understand the role and their job responsibilities, but helps sets realistic expectations about what they could expect in the position. That way if candidates don’t like the experience, they don’t have to apply, saving everyone time.
    2. Is this position for me? New college grads often think they are interested and qualified for one position when in reality, another type of position may be a better fit. Game simulations can be used to introduce candidates to positions that they may not have otherwise considered. This not only shows candidates the wide variety positions that could fit their skill set but gives applicants a realistic preview of what the work really looks.

    “Use this opportunity to analyze the kinds of projects you’ll potentially be working on and be honest with yourself about whether or not these are aligned with your goals, strengths and desired career path,” says Reed. “While you should be presenting your best work, you should also evaluate whether or not the work is something you’d enjoy long term.”

    While you’re the one being assessed for a role, this is also your chance to get deeper insights into the organization.

    “Before you get to the in-person interview, the gamification process will let you choose whether or not you’d like to move forward with the process,” says Reed. “Take the time to get a feel for the culture and organizational goals of the company and use this opportunity to make a sound decision about next steps.”

    Game on!

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