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Posted August 19, 2019 by

After the Interview: What Not to Do

As Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers sang, “The waiting is the hardest part.” (If you don’t know who Tom Petty is, stop reading now and go listen to some of his music!) While a job interview can be very stressful, waiting to hear back can be even harder. If you prepared for the job interview and answered the questions to the best of your ability, you’ve done everything you can, and now it’s out of your control. Or is it?

Even if you aced the interview, you could jeopardize your chances of getting the job by:

Apologizing or “correcting” your responses.

It’s human nature to replay the job interview in your mind. But, obsessing over what you might have said differently or wishing you could take back a comment is a waste of time and energy. A more productive idea is to write down things that you’d like to do differently in the next job interview or examples you want to include. However, never include an apology or correction in your thank you letter or follow-up communication. Chances are, the interviewer didn’t even notice the “error” you made or the remark you wish you hadn’t, so why point it out? Second guessing yourself shows a lack of confidence.

Harassing the hiring manager.

It’s standard practice to send a thank you letter within 24-48 hours of the job interview. Once you’ve done that, don’t communicate until the date the hiring manager told you they’d be in touch. Unless you have a very urgent question or something major comes up, there’s no reason for you to contact the hiring manager.

Should you email or call to let him or her know that you’re still very interested in the job? No. What about a quick note to ask about the status? Again, no. Hiring managers are inundated with messages already. Don’t reach out again until a few days after the date he or she told you that you’d be hearing from them.

Posting anything about the interview on social media.

If you had a great job interview, it can be tempting to share your excitement about the opportunity or experience on social media. You might even think it’s cool to tag the company. However, you don’t know what the company’s social media policy is, so by posting you might be violating their standards unknowingly. Play it safe and keep your thoughts private, and brag to your friends and family offline.

Ghosting the hiring manager.

If you accept another job offer or you’ve decided you don’t want this job for any reason, send an email to the hiring manager to let him or her know. Thank the hiring manager for his or her time and the job interview, then explain that you’ve chosen to pursue another opportunity. The hiring manager will appreciate that you took the time to keep him or her informed and will remember your good manners. The business world is smaller than you think, so it’s very possible that you’ll cross paths again at some point, so don’t risk burning bridges.

Finally, don’t stop your job search or quit your job, no matter how well the job interview went. Nothing is official until you receive a formal job offer and sign a contract. Even if the hiring manager hints that the job is yours, another candidate may come along who is a better fit, or the manager’s manager may decide that you’re not right for the job. Any number of scenarios could occur.

It can be hard to be patient, especially if the job you interviewed for is an opportunity you’re really excited about. But, remember, patience is a virtue and proper etiquette is important.

(This article is based on “What Not to do After a Job Interview,” by Ashira Prossack, Forbes, July 2019)

Posted July 07, 2016 by

How to network in the workplace

Two businessmen talking and smiling photo by StockUnlimited.com

Photo by StockUnlimited.com

Congratulations on landing your new entry-level job or internship! Perhaps you landed it through networking. If so, that means you understood how to approach interacting with family, friends, and/or recruiting and talent acquisition professionals during your job search.

Now it’s time to transition from networking to find a job to networking in the workplace. This is an opportunity to demonstrate your skills and qualities and learn from established employees who can help you along the way. Vickie Cox-Lanyon, Director of Career Services and LEEP Center Adviser at Clark University, explains how new hires should approach networking in the workplace.

“The first step is to establish yourself as a hard-working, competent, young professional. Making a good first impression in your new role will get your colleagues’ attention and increase the likelihood they will be willing to assist in your career development. At the same time, you need to assimilate into the culture of your organization and begin to create collegial working relationships. If you begin networking too early, it may appear you are too focused on your future rather than your current role.

Once you have established yourself, identify someone one level above you whose position or career path you’re interested in. Start with people you already know. Your goal is to secure an informational interview where you ask questions about the professional’s career trajectory and solicit advice on your potential goals. People generally like to talk about themselves and like to give advice, so you should get a positive response as long as you are polite and professional.

Another goal of that conversation should be expanding your network by asking the professional for names of other professionals they can introduce you to. Etiquette is important in this process so remember that written communication should be formal and professional, and follow-up thank you notes are essential. Above all, be willing to listen and be open to the advice you receive.”

Need more help with networking? Learn more on our blog and follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube.

Vickie Cox-Lanyon, Director of Career Services / Graduate School Adviser and Assistant Director of the LEEP Center

Vickie Cox-Lanyon, Director of Career Services / Graduate School Adviser and Assistant Director of the LEEP Center

Vickie Cox-Lanyon is Director of Career Services / Graduate School Adviser and Assistant Director of the LEEP Center at Clark University. Cox-Lanyon provides career and academic guidance to students and alumni throughout their career development process. She has been in the field of career services since 1997 and is a member of the National Career Development Association, the National Association of Colleges and Employers, and the Liberal Arts Career Network, through which she participates in annual professional development activities. She holds a BA in Psychology from Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut and an MS in Psychology from the University of Rhode Island.

Posted June 14, 2016 by

7 ways to make a good impression during business dinners

Attending business dinners and professional networking events often brings on anxiety for many people, particularly college students and recent grads. It should! It’s not something most people do on a regular basis, and it requires a special skill-set. How do you remember which fork is which? Should you place your napkin next to your plate or in your chair when you stand up to shake someone’s hand? And what if you take a bite of something disgusting and need to spit it out—oh geez!?!

The possibilities for embarrassing moments at business dinners are seemingly endless.

If that weren’t enough, you’re most likely attending business dinners for specific purposes. You’re either attending to network with coworkers, supervisors, or potential employers, or you’re attending as part of the interview process. Either way, you’re under pressure to demonstrate your best table manners.

This short video, hosted by College Recruiter’s Content Manager, Bethany Wallace, suggests seven quick ways to make a good impression during business dinners.


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

1.Skip the alcohol.

If offered alcohol, consider passing for multiple reasons. Drinking in the company of coworkers, supervisors, and potential employers can be dangerous. If you’re underage, it’s a clear no-no. If you’re of legal drinking age, it’s still questionable because you may inadvertently consume more alcohol than intended and wind up singing karaoke in the bar next door to the restaurant with your future boss watching. Need I say more?

A good general rule to apply to business dinners is “all things in moderation.” Don’t eat too quickly. Don’t order the most expensive thing on the menu, but don’t order the cheapest item either. Don’t fill up six plates on the buffet. Don’t hog the conversation; listen as much as you talk.

2. Don’t comment on food.

When possible, stick to pleasant, neutral topics of conversation like family, weather, weekend plans, and hobbies. Avoid commenting on what you’re currently eating; it’s considered rude. You should also avoid discussing religion and politics, but of course, take the lead of your host and/or supervisor to an extent. If your boss engages you in political banter, you might follow her lead, but remember to tread lightly. What you say can and may be used against you at work!

3. Try to avoid being picky or whiny.

Unless you have a legitimate food allergy and receive items which may trigger an allergic reaction, don’t make demands or send your plate back. If you behave in a picky, demanding manner, this behavior says something about you and not about the restaurant or wait staff.

4. Attend career services’ etiquette dinners.

When you have the opportunity as a college student, attend etiquette dinners hosted by career services offices. These events might seem boring while you’re in college, but after you attend your first business dinner, you’ll wish you’d attend them. You’ll learn the ins and outs of formal business dinners. Sure, you can look these tricks of the trade up online and Google infographics on how to set a formal dining table, but there’s no teacher like experience. If in doubt, work your way from the outside in with flatware and take the lead of your fellow diners who seem experienced and comfortable, particularly your supervisors and potential employers. Perhaps the greatest mistake you can make is to appear really flustered and to allow your nerves to keep you from making conversation with those around you.

5. Treat servers well.

Be kind to the restaurant staff. There’s nothing which speaks more loudly than snobbish behavior toward servers and wait staff. Remember, what you say and don’t say—your non-verbal skills—speak loudly to your employers and future employers. Soft skills truly matter, so be kind and courteous to everyone around you.

6. Don’t chew with your mouth open!

This one is common sense. Don’t chew and speak simultaneously. It’s just plain gross.

Whatever you need to say can wait until you’ve swallowed your food—promise.

On that note, the best way to obtain great table manners is to practice them on a daily basis, so consider chewing with your mouth closed every day, even when you’re eating alone. If you don’t, you might find yourself smacking your pizza with your mouth wide open while sitting across from your potential boss. And you know that won’t impress her.

7. Say thank you.

As always, an attitude of gratitude always makes a great impression on others. Say thank you to your hosts, servers, to people who open the door for you, and to others who extend kindness to you during the meal. Again, it reflects well on you and your soft skills when you treat others well.

Need more networking tips to help you obtain a great internship or entry-level job? Keep reading our blog and follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube.

Posted May 11, 2016 by

How to conduct a successful informational interview

Photo by StockUnlimited.com

Photo by StockUnlimited.com

Interviewing is hard. And stressful – especially for the recent college graduate or entry-level job seeker who has limited experience in an interview setting. To gain more experience, and to expand your professional relationships, consider conducting an informational interview. The purpose of an informational interview is to gather information and meet someone who is in a role or company you aspire to be in. It’s not a job interview – the person conducting the informational interview (you) should be the one asking the questions.

“Informational interviews are a good way to get the answers you need to make career choices,” says Bill Driscoll, the New England District President of Accountemps, a division of Robert Half, and the world’s first and largest specialized staffing service for temporary accounting, finance and bookkeeping professionals. “Asking experienced professionals who have specialized expertise about their role and what it involves can give you real-world insights.”

In fact, 36 percent of chief financial officers (CFOs) polled said these meetings are becoming more common, with nearly one-third (31 percent) receiving informational interview requests at least once a month. Job seekers should take note – 84 percent of executives said when someone impresses them in a meeting, it’s likely they will alert that person to job openings at the company.

Although informational interviews are not intended solely to seek a certain position in a company, it can set you up for consideration of future roles if you make a good impression. It could also lead to referrals to other contacts or job openings.

Informational interview etiquette guidelines

There are some basic etiquette guidelines to follow when requesting an informational interview, says Driscoll:

  • First, narrow down who you would ask for an informational interview. Create a list of companies you would like to work for, identify career paths that would suit your strengths and interests, and consider which industries interest you. Once you’ve identified these key factors, do some online research to choose the correct contact to interview.
  • Email is a good introductory mode of communication. Keep it simple – be concise but friendly. Briefly go over your background, state the reason you are reaching out to them, and request a meeting or phone call. Be sure to include why you want to meet that person in particular.
  • Look to your professional network to make an introduction. Seeing a message from a familiar name may increase your chance of getting a response.
  • LinkedIn can help you identify contacts and send messages. Keep in mind that people don’t necessarily log on to LinkedIn each day or check their messages on the site, so you might not get a quick response.
  • A phone call is another option to reach an informational interview candidate. Be prepared with what you’ll say in case you get a hold of the person or their voicemail.

How to prepare for an informational interview

Research the company and person you are meeting. Informational interviews tend to be short, so use the opportunity to ask the questions you genuinely want answered. Come prepared with your list of questions. Things you might want to ask are:

  • How did you get started in this industry/company/career path?
  • What is a typical day like?
  • What are the most important skills required in this role/industry?
  • How did you get your job?
  • Can you name some industry associations that I should join?
  • What do you like most about your company?

Dress professionally for your informational interview – just like you would for a job interview.

“Remember this is a business meeting and the way you dress can say a lot about you,” says Driscoll.

Go into an informational interview with a clear understanding that this is a chance to learn about a career, industry and company, to expand your professional relationships and to become better prepared for future interviews. Just don’t expect it to always lead to a job or job interview with that company.

“An informational interview is a great way to meet someone who can make hiring decisions, but don’t get discouraged if it doesn’t lead to a job interview,” says Driscoll. “The point is to learn and establish an important business relationship.”

When the informational interview is done, don’t forget to show gratitude. Always mail a handwritten thank-you note after an interview and keep your new contact updated on your job search and career progress.

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

 

Bill Driscoll, Accountemps

Bill Driscoll, New England District President of Accountemps

Bill Driscoll is the New England District President of Accountemps, a division of Robert Half, and is based in the company’s Boston office. Bill oversees professional staffing services for Robert Half’s 23 offices throughout Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine, Connecticut, Rhode Island and portions of New York. Bill is considered a local and national expert on recruiting practices, hiring and job search trends, and other workplace issues.

Ready to begin your job search? Start at College Recruiter today!

Posted January 26, 2016 by

How to make the most of professional networking events

If you’re like one third to one half of the U.S. population who consider themselves introverted, discussing professional networking events—whether career fairs, meet and greet hours held at conferences, or even happy hour with coworkers or potential employers—induces slightly sweaty palms. Networking events are often referred to as “shmoozy events” because of the negative connotations associated with networking.

Done the right way, professional networking doesn’t have to be socially awkward; you don’t have to push yourself on others or worry about saying exactly the right thing at just the right time in order to land a job or get a raise. It is important to remember, though, that first impressions are made within the first seven seconds of meeting someone. That’s a powerful statistic and one that sticks; the primacy effect (the tendency to remember what we notice first, whether it proves accurate or not) has lasting impact on our brains.

This brief video provides college students and recent grads with simple, easy tips to implement at networking events. These tips are especially helpful if you’re a networking newbie, about to graduate and begin networking as part of your efforts to find your first full-time job.


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

1. Eat prior to arrival.

While light to heavy hors d’oeuvres are often served at most networking events, it’s never a good idea to arrive on an empty stomach. Be sure that the snack you choose isn’t heavy on onions or garlic-laden, though; you don’t want to carry offensive odors to your networking event.

Arriving without an empty stomach will help you feel calm and mentally alert. You will be more able to focus on potential employers, build connections, and enjoy yourself if you’re not hungry.

2. Dress conservatively.

Dress codes are all over the place for networking events. Play it safe and stay conservative, wearing business attire. You can’t really go wrong with a well-fitting business suit. If you want to dress it up, wear a brighter shirt or tie than you might normally wear, but don’t go crazy. Networking events aren’t the time to pull out your new sequined dress or to dress down either, thinking it’s more about socializing. Remember, you’re ultimately there to build professional connections; these connections might assist you in your job or internship search now or later.

3. Smile!

Smiling is the easiest way to let people know you’re approachable. If you’re introverted, intimidated, or simply not excited about the event, smiling is a great “fake it til you make it” strategy for making the most of networking events. You’re already there, so why not have a good time?

4. Go hands-free.

Keep one hand free at all times. If you must eat a quick snack, put down your drink in order to eat. Best case scenario, though, you will watch this video and read this article before you begin attending networking events, and you can adhere to tip #1 (eat prior to arrival). When you eat prior to arrival, you’ll find yourself able to more easily shake hands, exchange business cards, and carry a bottle of water because not carrying a plate of food.

Businesspeople shaking hands at networking event

Minerva Studio/Shutterstock.com

5. Prepare an elevator pitch.

At professional networking events, you’re most likely going to introduce yourself and be asked the question, “So what do you do?” repeatedly. An elevator pitch answers this question and then some. Your elevator pitch—if pitched properly, that is—communicates who you are (in terms of education and work history), what you do (related to jobs and careers), what you want to do, and why. It’s important that potential future employers understand that you have specific goals—that’s an admirable quality, one most employers seek in candidates.

Your elevator pitch should last no longer than 30 seconds (stay focused) and should end with a question. That question shouldn’t be, “How can you help me?” Even though we’re all seeking help from others in the job search process, the question should be focused on your new contact. Is your contact the CEO of a company? Ask him how he began his career in the business world. Ending with a question lets the other person know that you are not self-centered; networking is a two-way street, and getting to know your connections is vital to successful networking.

If your new contacts or potential employers want to get to know you further after you give your spiel, they’ll follow up with questions. On the front end, keep it short and sweet.

6. Talk less; listen more.

As the saying goes, you have two ears and one mouth for a reason. As Dale Carnegie said in How to Win Friends and Influence People, “Talk to someone about themselves, and they’ll listen for hours.” General managers consistently rank listening as one of the top skills in the workplace, too. It matters, and people value you when you do it well.

7. Give and receive contact information.

Prepare business cards before beginning your job search or internship search. You can purchase very affordable business cards online from a variety of vendors or use a business card template available for free online. You definitely don’t want to arrive at networking events empty-handed, though.

When someone asks for your business card, it’s proper etiquette to ask for theirs as well (and vice versa). Don’t make it your goal, though, to procure as many business cards at networking events as possible. There’s no point in this behavior. Unless you actually established an initial connection with a real person at a networking event, a business card is just a piece of paper.

If possible, wear pants or a skirt with pockets or carry a small purse. You need a place to keep the business cards you gather. You might think of the whole “exchanging business cards” process as old-fashioned, but it’s still being done, and if you don’t bring cards to networking events, you’re the one who’ll be left out.

8. Call them by name.

When introduced to someone new at a professional networking event, call that person by name throughout the event. Not only will this help you remember the person’s name later, but it will also make that person feel recognized and provide a personal touch (give that person warm fuzzies), and there’s nothing wrong with that.

9. Follow up.

You don’t need to come home after networking events and immediately search for your new contacts on LinkedIn or Twitter, sending invitations like a stalker. Connecting on social media is part of networking, but following up has many layers. It’s not a one-size-fits-all strategy. Think carefully about each of your brand new contacts and how you might best connect with them individually before sending a mass email to 20 potential employers with your resume, references, and electronic portfolio attached.

Remember, networking—whether online or offline—is about building connections which hopefully last for a lifetime. These relationships are just like the other relationships you invest in; relationships require work, and relationships are about give and take. Those same principles apply to professional networking.

For more Tuesday Tips, follow College Recruiter’s blog and follow us on YouTube, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. Stick with College Recruiter as we help you connect the dots on your path to career success and introduce you to great jobs, internships, and careers. Begin your search and apply today!

 

 

 

Posted January 04, 2016 by

4 habits to drop before your job search

During January 2016, College Recruiter will publish content designed to assist college students seeking either entry-level jobs upon graduation or summer internships. For more information about January’s focus, check out “Connecting the dots: Creating a 2016 career action plan.

Guest articles published in January will cover various topics to assist students who are either about to graduate and search for their first full-time jobs or who are searching for summer internships.

Robyn Scott, guest writer

Robyn Scott, guest writer

1) Not being able to work as a team

In college, students are often competing with their peers for honors or accolades. Most college students absolutely dread group projects, feeling that it’s unfair that they will all be graded together. This is a habit new graduates should drop immediately upon commencement.

In the job market, employees will be expected to work as a team pretty much every day. Although there will be some independent work, for the most part, departments will be judged on what they can accomplish together. Companies are thinking about their bottom lines and want to make sure deadlines are met and profits are made. Remember, there is no grading in the workplace; however, there will be the opportunity to move up in the company or be asked to leave it altogether.

2) Not taking time to climb the ladder

In college, freshmen become sophomores and sophomores become juniors in one year. Climbing the ladder in college is automatic, and students go from being totally inexperienced to being the oldest and most experienced in about four years.

In the workplace, climbing the ladder will take longer. Automatic raises are no longer standard, and employees may not be able to move up the ranks due to internal circumstances within a company. Someone doing an absolutely fabulous job may not be promoted because there simply isn’t an open position, and these days a job well done generally just means maintaining employment.

Employees who want to move up within the company will have to practice patience, perseverance, and creative thinking. The reality is some companies just don’t like to promote within; thus, employees may consider moving on to a different company once they have two to five years of experience.

3) Deadlines will always stay the same

For the most part, college students can hold their professors to predetermined timelines. The syllabus provides a list of deadlines that are basically set in stone for the entire semester. If the professor has stated that a 15 page essay is due the 8th week of class, they can’t just come in one day and say it’s due tomorrow. Finals are always given during finals week.

Things will not be the same once students become employees. A company may say that a team project proposal is due two weeks from now, but the boss can come in on Monday and say that something needs to be presented tomorrow at 9 a.m. sharp. In the working world, there are tons of different factors affecting timelines and deadlines such as budgets, client needs, and other departments within a company. New employees will have to adjust to being extremely flexible with deadlines.

4) Casual etiquette

One of the great things about college is that students can show up in jeans and a wrinkled t-shirt with a giant cup of coffee in hand; as long as they participate and know what they’re talking about, they often won’t be judged any differently.

This is not so in an office environment. Although coffee will be flowing generously, employees need to follow standard workplace etiquette and show up looking professional and prepared. In addition to looking the part, new employees need to make sure they are prompt, interact professionally and politely with their coworkers and supervisors, respond to emails and phone calls within a 24 hour period (at the latest), and get along with different personality types.

In college, students can choose who they spend their time with; however, in the workplace, they simply have to get along with everybody on their team.

Robyn Scott is a private tutor with TutorNerds LLC. She has a BA from the University of California, Irvine, and a MA from the University of Southampton, UK.

Posted March 10, 2015 by

How to Find Your First Paid Job Overseas

Tradesman holding a globe and a wad of money

Tradesman holding a globe and a wad of money. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

If you just recently graduated college and want to find a job overseas, you should know what you are doing. Otherwise, if you don’t have a solid plan, you are not going to have an easy time landing a job in your dream location. With that being said, here are four tips on how to find your first paid job overseas. (more…)

Posted October 09, 2014 by

Prepare for the Interview in 3 Stages

Young businesswoman shaking hand of male candidate during job interview

Young businesswoman shaking hand of male candidate during job interview. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

Congratulations on landing a job interview!  Now, it is time to prepare for the big meeting.  Remember, this is your opportunity to make a great impression as a candidate, which could potentially lead to getting hired.  The more prepared you are for your interview, the more confident you will be.  Michelle Joseph, a talent acquisition expert and CEO of PeopleFoundry says, “It’s so important for job seekers to understand the people they want to work for. With the job market being so competitive, it is no longer enough to have a good attitude and strong resume, you need to be able to fit seamlessly into a company’s culture.”  She discusses preparing for the interview in three stages in the following post. (more…)

Posted August 26, 2014 by

High School Students, Want to Impress Recruiters with Your Emails? Tips to Remember

When writing their emails to professional contacts, such as recruiters, high school students should take them seriously.  The following post shares tips they should remember.

Featured: Featured Over the past year, we’ve had an increased interest in our site from high school students. This is great news, as it shows that young people are taking their future seriously and thinking about what they want to do with their life even before they get to college. It’s important that high

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Posted June 04, 2014 by

Job Interview “Etiquette” is KEY to Getting Hired

Jimmy Sweeney

Jimmy Sweeney, President of CareerJimmy

Paulette remembers her mother often reviewing the importance of good manners at the dinner table. “‘Use your napkin, chew quietly, listen when another is speaking and say thank you to the cook (Mom or my older sister Beth) before leaving the table.'” Paulette smiled as she recalled the ‘rules.’ “I didn’t appreciate it much till I lived on my own and took my first job.

“Manners are not only important at the dinner table,” she added, “but also during a job interview. I’ve been on both sides of the desk and I know how annoying it is when a job candidate jingles pocket change, chews gum—even quietly, and stares over the employer’s shoulder.” (more…)