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Posted August 19, 2016 by

Networking isn’t all about you

Business photo by StockUnlimited.com

Photo by StockUnlimited.com

How do you handle networking opportunities? Is it a one-way or a two-way street? The mistake you can easily make is that networking is all about you. Because you’re so focused on landing an internship or an entry-level job, no one else seems to matter. Having that perspective is a mistake.

Networking is about communicating with professionals or other job seekers and building relationships with them. If you’re not just talking but taking the time to listen to someone else, you can learn valuable information to benefit your career. Michael Moradian, Executive Director of HonorSociety.org, explains why networking isn’t all about you and offers good networking tips.

“We live in a culture obsessed with personal branding, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. The problem occurs when the only thing professionals focus on is themselves. Don’t attend networking events to tell your story alone; focus on listening, as well. After all, networking should be a dialogue, not a monologue.

It all comes down to authenticity. Are you joining professional groups and meeting people to only serve your career and to be the loudest, most talkative person in the room? If so, you will get nowhere fast.

Show a genuine interest in meeting new people, sharing ideas, asking questions, and developing strong relationships. Nobody wants to associate with selfish, egotistical blowhards who try controlling every conversation.

Being authentic also requires gratitude. Many young professionals forget to thank whoever takes time to talk to them. Express how much you appreciate each person’s time and energy. This leaves them with a positive impression of you and solves another common networking mistake, which is failing to follow-up.

Most people assume their contacts will seek them out on their own. Don’t leave it to chance. Instead, be proactive, and connect online and schedule follow ups with a simple email or a request for a lunch meeting. Take charge, be humble, and maintain a level of professionalism.”

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

Michael Moradian, Executive Director of HonorSociety.org

Michael Moradian, Executive Director of HonorSociety.org

Michael Moradian is the Executive Director of HonorSociety.org, an honor society that recognizes academic achievement and provides valuable resources and tools to its members. Connect with Michael and HonorSociety.org on Twitter at @HonorSocietyorg.

Posted May 16, 2016 by

Improving your writing and getting career prospects

Woman writing photo by StockUnlimited.com

Photo by StockUnlimited.com

You may be able to walk the talk, but can you write it?

It’s no big secret that writing skills factor in greatly when it comes to getting and keeping a job, especially in such a competitive market. In a study conducted by Grammarly, out of 100 native English speakers’ LinkedIn profiles, those with fewer grammatical errors had more promotions and held higher positions in their respective companies.

With this in mind, it’s no wonder writing is a crucial communication tool for those in the workforce. In order to be fully able to convey your ideas, you need to articulate them clearly to other people. Writing often serves as the medium we relate ideas with, whether sending and responding to an email or updating our resumes for future employers.

Despite this overwhelming piece of evidence, not everyone pays attention to improving their writing. Do you want to remain stagnant in your job, or do you want to grow and get career prospects? Here are a few tips on how to become a better writer in the workforce:

1. Be a wide reader

You are what you read. There are numerous benefits linked to reading, and among the most notable would be improved writing skills.

In order to be great, you need to take inspiration from those who already are. Train your brain to tune into good writing practices by reading extensively. Others’ writing styles can certainly influence your own if you read them enough. Take time to sit back with a book, a well-written blog entry, or even browse through the news at least once a day. Aside from being able to unwind after or before the stressful day ahead, you’ll also be able to acquire new knowledge.

This tip is especially helpful if you’re in the creative industry, where creative and powerful writing is the main tool of the trade, but it can also be beneficial for simple business writing. Noting some common trends in your favorite writers like style, grammar, and tone go a long way in helping to develop your own voice. You also learn new things in the process, which you can incorporate in the other areas of your life.

2. Read your work backwards

It sounds silly at first, but it’s effective in weeding out any grammatical errors you’ve missed in your last work email. Give it a shot, and it could save you from an embarrassing typo.

Our minds are programmed to autocorrect any minor errors they encounter. Remember those online tests that ask you to spot the “the” in a sentence? You may have been one of the majority who filtered out the extra “the”, in which case this second tip can come in handy to avoid any similar grammatical slip-ups.

Start from the last word of your composition up to the first word you’ve written. Since you’re no longer operating in the context of the content, your focus stays on the form of the text. If you’re already aware of what errors you’re on the lookout for, you’ll be able to spot any repetitive words, misplaced punctuation, and faulty spacing. Note this only works on a structural level, and not if you’re looking for something else like content relevance and fact-checking.

3. Turn spell check on

This doesn’t necessarily improve your skill, but it’s an easy fix if you’re in a hurry to compose an error-free report you’ll be delivering to your bosses the next day. Ruby Hardman, an editor from ResumesPlanet shared: “We can’t always be on top of our writing game, and having technology on our side helps in taking some of the load off our shoulders.”

Turn spell check on so you can automatically spot mistakes without having to painstakingly go through your work word per word. Don’t take this to mean you can let your guard down. In fact, this should give you time to focus on other aspects of your writing. If you’re writing up a resume, take the time to organize the details of it. If you’re writing a speech for a presentation, use it to focus on your tone and fine-tuning your content to the audience you’re presenting to.

Just remember that spell check isn’t perfect, either. There will be some errors it will miss and some idioms it may misinterpret. In that case, always have a dictionary ready to counter-check the results. Sometimes you’ll still have to do the heavy lifting in refining your work, but it will all pay off with a thriving career, and improved communication between yourself and other people.

Get on it write away!

Writing is an often overlooked skill that plays a huge, though subtle, role in leveraging your career. In his article on Harvard Business Review, iFixit’s Kyle Wiens openly declared he wasn’t too keen on hiring people with poor grammar, precisely because they don’t make good employees. According to Wiens, these job seekers lack the critical thinking and orientation to detail that efficient workers and leaders possess.

In order to project the right image to your employer, make sure to be on top of your writing game immediately. Read the right things to absorb some of their influence, proofread your work extensively, and if you’re in a rush, spell check is always a safe option. Just make sure to scan and countercheck for any missed marks.

So what are you waiting for? Become a better writer, and increase your chances of moving up in your industry today.

For more tips to improve your job search and build a career, head over to our blog and follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube.

Paige Donahue, guest writer

Paige Donahue, guest writer

Paige Donahue is an editor and blogger from Pennsylvania. She is a traveler and a collector of some sort – coins, comic books, and stories. You can connect with her via Twitter.

Posted April 30, 2016 by

3 employment options for recent grads

Graduation male student with different careers to choose courtesy of Shutterstock.com

Tom Wang/Shutterstock.com

Considering the economy and technology are on the upswing, many recent grads start their careers while studying at college. And we are not talking about part-time at the campus café; college students often have jobs that bring them valuable professional experience, and ensure a tangible level of income. So when graduation day comes, college students are not a bunch of scared rookies but professionals with decent backgrounds in their fields. Nevertheless, there is still a question: what form of employment is worth the effort? Startups and freelancing look more attractive, yet they conceal many tricky pitfalls. As for good old full-time employment, it needs serious reshaping and improvement to attract young professionals. There are at least three employment options for recent grads, but which option is best?

It is all in the mindset

According to recent surveys, three out of five students expect they will be able to work remotely, and less than a half of 18-29 year olds employed are working full-time. It is not a crisis or an unexpected epidemic given that youth follow the elder generations; Gen Z (this is how sociologists and HR experts categorize people born in the mid to late 1990s through the 2010s) had a Millennials rise as a model to follow. The same surveys indicate about 30% of Gen Y started businesses while in college, and about 91% are considering changing their current jobs within three years. With this in mind, we can tell the younger generation has been raised in the spirit of freedom and solopreneurship, now demanding a different approach from HR departments and recruiters. Yet, the last say goes to employees, and here are things they should consider before accepting job offers and jump into their careers or solo businesses. Let’s take a look at each of the following three employment options for recent grads to consider.

Start a company

Starting your own company is rather challenging, though many examples have proven it to be successful. The idea is to push your passion into profit and convince others that your business is worth all the efforts.

Startup advantages:

– Working for yourself
– Creating great financial opportunities
– Implementing your own ideas
– Great life experience

Startup disadvantages:

– Tough competition
– Investments needed
– Lack of “job security”
– Startup is riskier and more costly

Understand that starting your own business calls for an award-winning concept necessary to enter the entrepreneurial world. Those who choose to make such a living should be patient, as niche startups are likely to bear fruit no sooner than 12 months after launch.

Freelancing

Freelancing is actually quite similar to starting your own business. On the one hand, it comes rather risky though you do not have to invest. On the other hand, you are free to follow your commitments with passion and drive.

Freelancing advantages:

– Benefit from flexible hours (Sleep until noon, if you like. No one will ever bother you unless the project deadline is approaching)
– Take control of your customers and tasks (Choose whom you are going to work with and opt for the most appealing tasks)
– Keep all the profits (You are the boss. You don’t have to split the profit or pay salaries, yet be aware of taxation and other expenses)
– Stay wherever you want (Freelancing is perfect for a travelling enthusiast)

Freelancing disadvantages:

– Lack of steady workloads (At some point, you can suffer from the lack of orders unless you’ve managed to create a solid customer base)
– Insecurity (There are numerous occasions when freelancers are not paid or become victims of fraud)
– You pay for yourself (No social package or any other benefits provided by the employer. You’re the boss, remember?)

Full-time job

The most influential thing about a full-time job is a contract and guaranteed salary in addition to employer’s benefits, a workplace provided, and more. However, the current economic situation will hardly provide you with total job and financial security, while being hopeless in enabling your professional development.

Full-time advantages:

– Steady salary (Your monthly payment is guaranteed)
– Governmental and social securities (Your contact is protected by social and economic policies)
– Constant workload (You will never witness a lack of tasks and duties)

Full-time disadvantages:

– Heavy workload (Too much work is not good for you. It results in stress and health problems in addition to a lack of personal time)
– Lack of professional development (You can stick to a routine without the slightest chance to develop your skills)
– Not enough salary (You will hardly find employees who are satisfied with their monthly salaries. Always keep in mind that every employer is eager to cut down on expenses. Salary is a key point in the list of expenses)

Each working arrangement comes with pros and cons. The best way to make up your mind is to consider every point we have discussed. No matter what you choose, get pleasure from what you are doing and never hesitate to make a crucial step and change your life for the better.

Need more advice regarding employment options? Search for jobs with College Recruiter and check out our blog. Follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube.

Justine Thomas, guest writer

Justine Thomas, guest writer

Justine Thomas is a blogger and freelance writer. Her main interests are foreign languages, psychology, and fitness. Currently, she is working at educational company, Edubirdie.com, as a consulting editor.

Posted April 02, 2016 by

How to avoid 5 common study slip-ups

Female college student studying in a library courtesy of Shutterstock.com

michaeljung/Shutterstock.com

Highly effective students know how to study. They pace themselves and don’t save all of their studying for the last minute. They also know how to take notes along the way to make their studying more efficient. Cramming and other last-minute study techniques can leave them exhausted, and incapable of performing well on test day. Use these ideas to improve your study system, and get a better grade this time around.

1. Avoid cramming

If you absolutely have to cram before a test, try to take breaks. Sleep is important for learning, so find a few hours to sleep after a long study session, and you’ll be better able to think clearly during the test. Research shows the first sleep cycle lasts about three hours. After that, we dip in and out every one and a half hours. Try to sleep from three to four and a half hours before your test.

2. Create a habit

Studying at the same time every day allows students to study better for their tests and make time for important assignments. Pick a time when you are unlikely to be disturbed and aim for the same time each day. You’ll get a better study session, and your brain will start to become used to your study routine.

3. Study locations

The place where students study is important. If they find they study best in the library, they should make a habit of getting out of their dorms or apartments, and getting to the library first thing. Make home a safe place from school work, and find places outside of it to work hard and for preparation. This way, home can become a place to relax, unwind, and have some fun.

4. Set specific goals

If you’re working toward a master’s in higher education, your goals should be specific and relate not only to your coursework, but your future career. Create lesson plans to start building the skills to become a teacher. Conduct mock lectures when teaching the material you’re learning in school to an imaginary classroom. This will not only show what you haven’t learned, but will prepare you to become a more effective educator. The same goes if you plan to intern as a scientist in the lab or research assistant. Come up with appropriate scenarios and hands-on study that prepare you for your future career and still help you learn the material.

5. Don’t procrastinate

Treat studying like a job. The most important thing to remember is students don’t have to be in the mood for studying. Studying is a process, and they may have some good days and some bad days. It’s okay to have a bad study session. Don’t let your mood affect whether you’re going to study. Push through and make your habits stick, and the rest is easy.

If you’re going for a long study session, start with the most difficult subjects first. Move on to the easier subjects when fatigue becomes a factor. Remember to take frequent breaks, and eat foods high in protein and carbs to sustain your energy levels and to prevent dips in energy.

If you’re looking for more study tips, go to the College Recruiter blog and follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Twitter.

Photo of Brooke Chaplan

Brooke Chaplan, guest writer

Brooke Chaplan is a freelance writer and blogger. She lives and works out of her home in Los Lunas, New Mexico. She loves the outdoors and spends most her time hiking, biking, and gardening. For more information, contact Brooke via Twitter @BrookeChaplan.

Posted February 12, 2016 by

Interview questions recruiters can ask job candidates

Every company has its own interview process designed to learn more about job candidates. How college students and recent graduates answer questions from an interviewer can make or break their chances of landing entry-level jobs. Recruiters and hiring managers can ask candidates a variety of interview questions during the hiring process. Dennis Theodorou, Executive Search Expert and Vice President of Operations at JMJ Phillip Executive Search, discusses his company’s interview process and offers questions recruiters may ask candidates in general.

Job applicant answering interview questions courtesy of Shutterstock.com

Africa Studio/Shutterstock.com

“December and May are peak hiring times for the majority of employers, and that allows us to hire directly out of several of the top-ranked colleges. In a strong hiring year, well over 100 recent graduates are interviewed, and we’ll hire as many as 10. Some of the top qualities we’re searching for when hiring for any one of our workforce and recruiting companies are listed below.

We consider our first interview a fairly easy process; the first round interview focuses more on general knowledge, passions, goals in life, etc., and that allows the job candidate to be less anxious and communicate freely. The second interview, which some have dubbed “the beat down session,” is where we dive into behavioral economics and reasons why people do the things they do. What we’re seeking from college graduates at this point in the interview process is whether or not they will fit into our culture naturally.

Employers want to know if the job candidate can operate autonomously. As a college graduate, can you honestly work well within a team when needed? Are you motivated? Are you a hustler in your work ethics? Are you naturally curious and willing to learn something new every day? How well do you deal with adversity? Do you have the ability to develop customer service skills in order to deal with client? These are questions employers should ask to really understand who they’re hiring. For some of our positions, we look for signs and ask if they possess the business acumen and creativity to develop and contribute to profitable ideas. We may be hiring a college student, but one who has the skills and qualities of a professional ready to take on the workforce!”

Interested in learning more about interview questions, go to College Recruiter’s blog and follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Twitter.

Mr. Dennis Theodorou has more than 15 years of operational excellence and executive experience across multiple industries including: executive search, supply chain, manufacturing, retail and hospitality. Mr. Theodorou graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Supply Chain Management from the leading supply chain management college in the world: Michigan State University. He has continued his education through graduate-level course work at Harvard University. As a development agent for Subway, he managed and led an entire region of store locations including the management of self-owned stores, franchise development, real estate and area management. As a national expert in hiring, he has hired more than 700 employees over his entire career span and works hand-in-hand with companies to help on board top talent. Currently as Vice President of JMJ Phillip, he manages a portfolio of executive recruiting and employment service brands, spanning multiple locations and across nearly all verticals.

Posted October 07, 2015 by

3 tips for recruiting and hiring a diverse workforce

Diversity is an important topic in today’s workforce. Employers recognize that recruiting and hiring people with unique perspectives and ideas helps them grow.

To help explore these issues, College Recruiter recently hosted a College Recruiting Bootcamp on LGBT and other diversity hiring issues on Tuesday, September 29, at the Twilio headquarters in San Francisco.

College Recruiter has been publishing the opinions from a number of talent acquisition and recruiting leaders about why and how employers should diversify their workforces. Employers should keep in mind these three tips for creating a diverse workforce, shared by Val Matta, Vice President of Business Development at CareerShift. (more…)

Posted October 05, 2015 by

Lack of focus on inclusion leads to retention problems in the workplace

Diversity in the workplace offers unique perspectives and ideas to help a business succeed. Just because diversity exists doesn’t mean inclusion does. If employees believe they are not treated fairly and can’t contribute to a company, they will work somewhere else. Employers who emphasize diversity should also remember to actively focus on inclusion.

To help explore these issues, College Recruiter recently hosted a College Recruiting Bootcamp on LGBT and other diversity hiring issues on Tuesday, September 29, at the Twilio headquarters in San Francisco.

College Recruiter has been publishing the opinions from a number of talent acquisition and recruiting leaders about why and how employers should diversify their workforces. Steve Humerickhouse, Executive Director of the Forum on Workplace Inclusion at Opus College of Business, explains the types of problems which can exist in a diverse workforce setting which doesn’t emphasize inclusion. (more…)

Posted September 21, 2015 by

Differentiating Between Diversity and Inclusion

The workforce is filled with people from all walks of life. Employers hear about diversity and inclusion, and choose to either embrace it or ignore it. Perhaps employers who choose the latter need more information about diversity and inclusion. For example, how can they differentiate each idea?

To help explore these issues, College Recruiter is hosting a College Recruiting Bootcamp on LGBT and other diversity hiring issues on Tuesday, September 29th at the Twilio headquarters in San Francisco. Join us.

Prior to that event, we’ll publish the opinions from a number of talent acquisition and recruiting leaders about why and how employers should diversify their workforces. In today’s article, Anne Fishman differentiates between diversity and inclusion. (more…)

Posted September 18, 2015 by

What is a Diverse and Inclusive Workplace?

Companies who value differences and new ideas appreciate diversity and inclusion. These concepts show acceptance of people for who they are, while creating a work environment where employees feel appreciated. It is important for employers to realize that diversity and inclusion are different parts in building a workplace where everyone matters.

To help explore these issues, College Recruiter is hosting a College Recruiting Bootcamp on LGBT and other diversity hiring issues on Tuesday, September 29th at the Twilio headquarters in San Francisco. Join us.

Prior to that event, we’ll publish the opinions from a number of talent acquisition and recruiting leaders about why and how employers should diversify their workforces. In today’s article, Beth Zoller discusses what it means to have a diverse and inclusive workplace. (more…)

Posted September 17, 2015 by

Benefits of Being Yourself at Work

A diverse workforce merges different ideas and points of view. By hiring employees with diverse backgrounds who feel comfortable with themselves, employers create a more inclusive work environment for all employees.

To help explore these issues, College Recruiter is hosting a College Recruiting Bootcamp on LGBT and other diversity hiring issues on Tuesday, September 29th at the Twilio headquarters in San Francisco. Join us.

Prior to that event, we’ll publish the opinions from a number of talent acquisition and recruiting leaders about why and how employers should diversify their workforces. In today’s article, Dr. Darren Pierre of the University of Chicago discusses a couple of benefits to being yourself at work. (more…)