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

Posted August 09, 2016 by

Common networking mistakes to avoid

Dishonesty, moral dilemma, liar photo by StockUnlimited.com

Photo by StockUnlimited.com

As college students and recent graduates enter the workforce, they will likely meet people who can assist them with their job searches. When these opportunities arise, job seekers be prepared to take advantage of them. While some job seekers may not be the most outgoing in terms of personality, they can still be effective when networking. However, if students and grads don’t understand how to network, they can hurt their chances of building important relationships that can advance their careers. So as job seekers attend networking events, they must be mindful of what not to do. Mike Summers, Director of Employer Relations at Wake Forest University, highlights common networking mistakes to avoid.

“Blindly reaching out without knowing basic information about a person, the kind of details usually found through a quick Google or LinkedIn search, is a red flag signaling a bad start to the networking experience. A wishful connection will be less likely to engage if college students or prospective hires don’t bring any background knowledge to the table.

Expecting a networking connection will “tell me what to do.” Before reaching out, know the information you want. It’s helpful to have an informal script handy. “My name is Sue Smith; I’m a business major and art history minor interested in an entry-level job working in the cosmetic industry in New York. I’m hoping to secure a summer internship. Could you share with me how you got into the industry and any suggestions or recommendations you might have?”

Thinking the number of connections matters. Networking is about relationships, not numbers. Targeted outreach to people who share common interests makes networking effective. Two people may connect in an unlimited number of ways, such as graduating from the same school, being from the same hometown, choosing a similar academic path, or by an interest in a particular career. Whatever it is, a real connection matters.

The first outreach is inappropriate or unprofessional. Treat networking opportunities as professional conversations. It’s easier to move from formal to casual than vice-versa. Having good manners and dressing appropriately (which is very different if you’re interested in a career in journalism versus a career on Wall Street) is critical in creating the first impression that builds your reputation.”

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Mike Summers, Director of Employer Relations at Wake Forest University

Mike Summers, Director of Employer Relations at Wake Forest University

With more than 25 years of experience in the private sector, nearly half assisting organizations with recruiting, interviewing, and hiring top talent, Mike Summers, Director of Employer Relations at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, has an insider’s understanding of what employers are seeking and helping students and recent grads showcase their academic skills and personal experiences. Wake Forest’s one, university-wide employer relations team means Summers has experience with and supports the employment search for students in all academic areas, teaching and empowering them to articulate the value of their education for today’s employers.

Posted July 08, 2016 by

Hiring managers value first impressions and referrals

Friendly woman in business formal outfit photo by StockUnlimited.com

Photo by StockUnlimited.com

When attending your next career networking event, remember that hiring managers are watching your every move from the moment you enter the door until the second they begin networking with another job seeker. You can separate yourself from the competition by making the right first impression with recruiters. In addition, you should tell potential employers if you know someone at the particular company or organization. Referrals improve your chances of getting a foot in the door because a current employee can vouch for you, which hiring managers will respect. Internal referrals—referrals made by employees working within the organization—are the best kind of referrals to obtain. Never pass up an opportunity to mention people you know who work for an organization, particularly if you have genuine relationships with those individuals. This isn’t name dropping; it’s networking.

Eden Chen, Co-Founder of Fishermen Labs, shares his opinions on networking to find jobs and how networking influences hiring managers.

“Networking is the best way to find a job no matter what industry you are in. Those of us in hiring positions are constantly receiving resumes from recruiters and job applicants, and it’s really impossible for us to sift through the good resumes from the bad ones. When either meeting someone personally who impresses us or getting introduced to someone through a trusted friend, we’re much more willing to look at a resume and contact the applicant, and we also have social pressure to do so.”

Find more networking tips on our blog and follow us on LinkedIn, YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook.

Eden Chen, Co-Founder of Fishermen Labs

Eden Chen, Co-Founder of Fishermen Labs

Eden Chen is the Co-Founder of Fishermen Labs, one of the fastest growing software development agencies in the US. Eden is a serial entrepreneur and heads up various other startups including Knife and Fox (design agency), Ctrl Collective (co-working), Glo Bible (app with 3 million+ downloads), Zolo Studios (game studio), and Dev Crew (international software development).

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 May 09, 2016 by

6 common mistakes grads make when searching for entry-level jobs

First Job word; business man touching on red tab virtual screen courtesy of Shutterstock.com

PhuShutter/Shutterstock.com

Recently, research from the Australian government shows how the shift from college education to full-time employment is becoming more challenging. Job prospects for young Australians are decreasing and on the other hand, recent graduates are making key mistakes when searching for entry-level jobs. Open Colleges, one of Australia’s leading online educators, has gathered information from a variety of recruiters to help recent graduates understand their mistakes when applying for entry-level jobs. Avoid these most common mistakes to avoid when searching for entry-level jobs.

1. Negative attitude towards work

Australian government research confirmed young people do not have enough of a positive attitude towards work. Recruiters recommend job seekers be more motivated and demonstrate enthusiasm to potential employers.

According to the study, young people need to be more responsible and reliable concerning their behavior and approach to their jobs. Recruiters suggest working with a business for a while, coming in to shifts, being punctual, and showing respect to colleagues, and customers or clients.

2. Think learning is over after college

Recruiters ask young professionals to be more open to learning when they start their first entry-level jobs. We all need to continue learning during our professional lives to stay updated with industry changes. But when starting a new job, it is especially important to have the right attitude towards learning because everything is new; employees will need to gain knowledge of the working process in their new companies and the different procedures to complete work correctly and in a timely manner. Your first employer is giving you an excellent opportunity to learn and gain valuable experience, so absorb as much as you can.

3. Underestimate the importance of previous work experience

Even though job seekers are applying for their first full-time entry-level jobs, having some related work experience will give them a competitive advantage. This may be some volunteer work done while still in school or some unpaid jobs during the summer. Don’t underestimate this experience; include it on your resume and tell your interviewers about it.

Studies are essential, but having first-hand experience shows employers that you have some practical skills and a better understanding of work responsibilities and professional work life.

4. Failure to make a good first impression

Whoever says his opinion is not influenced by the first impression is lying. In an interview, job seekers only have a few seconds to convince interviewers that they are the right candidates, so along with their studies, work experience, and the right attitude, their presentations during interviews will play an important role in their success in landing their first full-time jobs.

According to the research, recent graduates often dress inappropriately for work and have untidy hair, so recruiters recommend paying special attention to appearance. Not every company’s dress code is the same, so make sure to verify details about the company culture before an interview in order to dress appropriately.

5. Poor job search and application skills

When looking for their first jobs, Australian young professionals are making very common mistakes, according to research. These skills improve with time and practice, but a couple pieces of advice recruiters give are: make sure each application (resume and cover letter) is tailored to the position for which you are applying, and always double check your application’s spelling and grammar. Recruiters see these types of mistakes as a lack of attention to detail and unacceptable in today’s marketplace.

Recruiters also suggest job seekers approach employers directly after providing their resumes and personally following up with them.

6. Unrealistic work expectations

When applying for their first entry-level jobs after college, recent graduates need to understand they cannot “start at the top.” They have to make an effort to work their way up through the business.

Another common mistake is to expect high compensation. This will also come with time as employees gain experience and assume more responsibilities. The nature of the work they do may not be exactly what they want initially, but as long as workers are learning and doing something they like, they are on the right path.

Need more tips for your job search? Check out our blog and follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube.

Maria Onzain, guest writer

Maria Onzain, guest writer

Maria Onzain is a content marketing expert writing for Open Colleges about education, career, and productivity. She is passionate about all things digital, loves technology, social media, start-ups, travelling, and good food.

Posted January 28, 2016 by
Posted November 03, 2015 by

How to write better emails and cover letters

melinda osteen photo

Melinda Osteen

Because there are so many people looking for jobs, standing out is quite difficult these days. The hiring environment has changed, and candidates have to persuade employers without even meeting them in person.

The internet has interfered with the job market, too, and now the main tools of job seekers are resumes and cover letters. The basic rules of successful submissions are the same as the ones for traditional paper writing – no mistakes at all, clear structure, uniqueness, originality, and 100% professionalism. Along with these, there are other aspects that must be taken into consideration when applying online for a job. (more…)

Posted August 13, 2015 by

10 tips to successfully handle your telephonic interview

Hasibuddin Ahmed

Hasibuddin Ahmed

It might be a shocking revelation but do you know that more than 50% of the total applicants for a job get rejected over the phone. Yeah, that is a lot of numbers for just a simple phone call, one may think. But that’s where most of the applicants go wrong, deeming it as a simple phone call. It is the starting of your life’s most important journey if you are a fresh graduate looking for a job. Instead of going on a job application frenzy all over the top job sites available, here are some tips you should keep in mind once you get a chance for an interview call. (more…)

Posted May 29, 2015 by

Job Search: Tips on What You Should and Should Not Do

When looking for a new job, you want to make the right first impression.  This is because there are likely many other job seekers competing for the opportunities you are interested in, meaning you must stand out.  As a job seeker, take the approach that everything counts.  So, what are some things to keep in mind?  The following post offers job search tips on what you should and should not do. (more…)

Posted May 18, 2015 by

Guidance For Recruiter in Finding Job During Recession

Human resource concept: Job interview

Human resource concept: Job interview. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

Finding a job is difficult. And in a recession period; more difficult and frustrated. For one single vacancy in any organization there are 1000 candidates. This makes it more challenging for any student or qualified person to find the job in need. There is a theory to impress a recruiter to get the job and beat those thousands.

The job interview begins from the moment that you are called to attend an appointment and success will depend largely on the degree of preparation you have for it. Thorough interview preparation should be a golden rule for anyone interested in a job candidate. (more…)

Posted May 15, 2015 by

10 Behaviors That Are Sabotaging Your Job Hunt

Sarah Landrum photo

Sarah Landrum

So you’re on the hunt for the perfect job. You’ve written the perfect resume, spruced up your cover letter, and brought your A game to the interviews. But no one has offered you a position. What’s going wrong?

More likely than not, you’re making one small – but fatal – error. When applying to job after job after job, it’s easy to miss the small thing that’s turning employers away from you. We’ve collected some of the most common reasons for not being hired, so you can tune up your own techniques accordingly. (more…)