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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.”

Want to learn more about networking mistakes? Head to our blog and follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube.

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 June 23, 2016 by

Being honest and engaged during the onboarding process

Smiling graduate student with diploma photo by StockUnlimited.com

Photo by StockUnlimited.com

As recent college graduates and entry-level job candidates prepare to enter the workforce, they should prepare for the onboarding process. New hires should stay focused and take notes during the onboarding process to get the most out of it. Andre Lavoie, CEO and Co-Founder of ClearCompany, shares his best advice for recent grads and entry-level job candidates while onboarding.

“The best advice I can give recent grads and entry-level candidates is to be honest and stay engaged. Onboarding requires plenty of attention, focus, and an ability to retain information in a short amount of time.

Recent grads and candidates engage in this process to learn their expectations, gain a deeper understanding of their companies and their employers, meet their team, and see how they can succeed in their new roles. It’s exciting, not a chore, so direct energy in the best way by sitting up straight and staying interactive.

Take your own notes and actively listen. Continue taking notes while performing tasks. These notes will be helpful because you can review them after training to increase your knowledge. They will also inform some well thought out questions and feedback.

When trainers ask for feedback, share your thoughts. When you don’t understand something about a process or task, ask questions. Many new hires are nervous and don’t feel comfortable speaking up, but allowing fear to stand in the way is incredibly detrimental to your training and your relationship with your employer.

The bottom line of onboarding is to set expectations, train employees on processes, and build a trusting relationship. Communication and engagement are crucial.”

Want to help recent grads and entry-level job candidates in the onboarding process? Get some assistance and follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube.

Andre Lavoie, CEO and Co-Founder of ClearCompany

Andre Lavoie, CEO and Co-Founder of ClearCompany

Andre Lavoie is the CEO of ClearCompany, the first talent alignment platform that bridges the gap between talent management and business strategy by contextualizing employees’ work around a company’s vision and goals. You can connect with him and the ClearCompany team on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.

Posted June 06, 2016 by

Why employees should put extra effort into impressing the boss

Woman raising her hand to ask question photo by StockUnlimited.com

Photo by StockUnlimited.com

At the very beginning of your career, you may be faced with the fact that all the knowledge and the diplomas in the world will not be enough to save you if you are on your boss’s bad side. You will end up watching from your cubicle how other people are getting promoted, while you are sitting there and doing the same things you have done on your first day at work.

You see, when people graduate they are full of confidence and hope, and that is not a bad thing, but books and tests are just the basics that should be upgraded with experience and interpersonal relationships. One of the people who can affect your professional growth the most is your boss, and you should do your best to make that relationship productive and mutually beneficial.

Learning from your boss

One of the main reasons why you should have a good relationship your boss is the opportunity to learn from someone who is in a position you would love to be in the future. If you are constantly giving your maximum with work tasks and showing consistency and dedication, you will have the right to participate in some important conversations and find out many valuable things, not only about the company you are working in, but also about the road to success.

Self-improving

At first, your motivation may be just to impress your boss, but as time goes on, your dedication and efforts will grow to become habits and make your career success even more certain. Showing up to work early and taking initiative might seem like “sucking up” to your boss to other employees and to you yourself, but actually, when you think about it, there is nothing wrong with these actions. On the contrary, they showcase you as a well-educated and ambitious man/woman.

You are the image of your boss

… and vice versa. A good boss surrounds himself with competent people, and if you show to be anything other but that, you will not only make your boss look bad, but also create a negative image about yourself, which can impact your position in the firm, and even future employment opportunities. If you on the other hand, do your best to make your boss succeed, you will show that you are a great employee worthy of going up the corporate ladder.

Improving your current job

If you want to love the job you are doing, you have to make it a job you can love. The best, and possibly the only way to do so, is to make your boss fond of you. If you are consistently productive and assigning for the difficult tasks, you will have a more pleasant relationship with your boss, which will make your working hours less stressful. Beyond that, you will get better assignments and maybe become the right-hand-man/woman.

Getting promoted

The ultimate goal of every employee would never even be considered without a long process of impressing the boss. After all, your boss is the one handling the decisions about transfer of the employees to a better job. If you notice he is giving you some extra projects and work, accept it with enthusiasm, because this can be a part of grooming you for higher jobs, and eventually even his position. So, make sure you are on his radar by struggling to get new challenges and more recognition, instead of struggling to get your work done.

Some people would love to spend their days at work unnoticed to avoid conflicts and critiques, but by doing so, they are also avoiding praises and opportunities. Do not be one of those people and fight your way up to the top, in a struggle where impressing your boss is your best chance to succeed.

In search of more career advice? Come to our blog and follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube.

Nate Vickery, guest writer

Nate Vickery, guest writer

Nate Vickery is a marketing manager and a blogger. He is also the editor-in-chief at BizzMarkBlog.

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 May 12, 2016 by

10 soft skills employers expect of recent graduates

Background concept wordcloud illustration of soft skills glowing light courtesy of Shutterstock.com

Kheng Guan Toh/Shutterstock.com

Are you ready to find your dream job as soon as you graduate? Then, it’s high time to draw a detailed plan with soft skills required for the workplace. This will help you stand out from other candidates and be a perfect fit for the position of your choice.

To successfully accomplish the task, college graduates can analyze requirements for current vacancy announcements, make use of LinkedIn or Branded.me profiles of people with a great experience, and study analytical articles on the labor market to always stay updated.

It’s not a secret, though, that plenty of online sources post about top soft skills potential employers want in their candidates’ CVs or resumes. So, why not focus on them to make your preparation for obtaining a good entry-level job a bit easier? Here’s what is highly demanded by most of the recruiters:

1 – Lifelong learners

Recent grads can hardly boast of knowing everything about the work they will perform daily. It’s quite natural when something is learned along the way. Sometimes employers prefer young, enthusiastic graduates over highly experienced professionals, since the former tend to learn and absorb new information more eagerly and are ready to develop a learning habit. The latter instead are quite often more stubborn and unlikely to reach a compromise, which can hinder team effectiveness. Additionally, lifelong learners are supposed to know how to obtain and process information to solve the problems they haven’t faced before.

2 – Team players

Teamwork is not only about collective responsibility for every team player’s actions. It’s also about communicating your message to others and achieving that goal with the help of knowledge and each employee’s efforts. Effective team performance depends much on the correct management and delegation of tasks. In contrast to past expectations for team players, modern employers are looking for those who will be proactive and suggest creative solutions. Initiative is strongly encouraged.

3 – Effective time managers and schedulers

Chaos brings no positive effect. To show high productivity and performance, it’s crucial to hone time management and prioritization skills. These two skills rank high on most employers’ lists of soft skills. For that, managers and schedulers need to negotiate deadlines and schedule tasks appropriately. Should tasks be equally urgent, they’d better discuss which one to take first together with their reporters. When using electronic or paper planners, think of short breaks that need to be made between tasks, divide time-consuming tasks into several subtasks, and leave about 10 or 15% of time for coping with emergencies and contingencies. Set reminders well in advance, and review to-do lists daily.

4 – Good listeners and masters of convincing people

Being a good listener doesn’t mean you should keep silent while somebody else is expressing his or her thoughts, so that you can further move on to your statements. The point is to really listen and hear other team players and choose the best solutions working together. Another important thing is to know how to make everyone understand what you mean. In other words, you should learn to use simple and concise statements, speaking with confidence to all people in the company regardless of their seniority.

Problem solver words on business cards courtesy of Shutterstock.com

iQoncept/Shutterstock.com

5 – Problem solvers

At the top of most top list of soft skills is “problem solving skills.” The first step to successful problem solving is to clearly understand what the problem is and what caused it. The next step is to carefully consider interests of others and list all suitable solutions. The final step is to evaluate suggested options by listing their advantages and disadvantages, and then choose the one that has the most pluses. To be an efficient problem solver, you need to get rid of fear. By focusing more on tackling the problem, you will be able to do it with ease.

6 – Company fan

Being a company fan means to be knowledgeable about your employer’s industry. Understanding what key benefits the company gives to its customers or clients, how the process of decision-making is organized, what main competitors the company has, etc. are among the things job seekers should learn before a job interview.

7 – Data analyzer

If you work with people with analytical mindsets, you are a lucky person. This allows you to quickly gather, assess, and analyze new information, selecting only the things you will need at work. This soft skill is highly required for making future plans or prognoses, and creating recommendations for others to follow. This skill is also helpful when you need to analyze your successes or failures, which is very important for your progress.

8 – Tech-savvy person

This means not only knowing how to create, delete, or remove presentations or surf the Internet proficiently. Being tech-savvy means knowing what tools and programs are used by the specialist you want to become. For example, if you want to become a web designer, you will need to master such programs as Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, or Indesign.

9 – Critical thinker

If you have a chance to join a series of workshops on how to become a good critical thinker, jump at the chance! These practical lessons will teach you how to criticize somebody else wisely by finding a strong argument and how to accept criticism of your work. Being a critical thinker is essential for improving your communication skills and professional growth too. Critical thinking ranks high on the list of soft skills regardless of your job title or position.

10 – Curious mind

Being curious means to never be afraid of asking questions. Though, it doesn’t mean you should behave like a chattering box, annoying other employees with your never-ending questions. You should ask questions when you don’t know the answers so your work won’t be done slowly. You must use proper discernment to ask questions of the right person (your manager or mentors) at the right time (one on one and in quiet settings, and preferably not during the last five minutes of meetings).

A few final tips

Taking an active part in extra-curricular activities and voluntary projects can also help job seekers develop a set of useful skills for their future jobs. By establishing friendly relationships with people, you increase your chances of getting what you need. Who knows, maybe some of your peers or instructors will recommend you as a highly promising hire one day.

Need more help with your job search? Head over to our blog and follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube.

Nancy Lin, guest writer

Nancy Lin, guest writer

Nancy Lin is a student of Rockhurst University and enthusiastic freelance writer who enthuses about rock music, writing, and classic English literature. Feel free to contact her at Twitter or Google+.

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 May 07, 2016 by

4 ways college students can stay creative

Concentrated college student drawing picture at the college courtesy of Shutterstock.com

wavebreakmedia/Shutterstock.com

College is a place where students get prepared for their professional lives. it is because of this that every teacher and course instructor puts extra effort in training their students.

Due to late night study sessions, tons of assignments, and class presentations, students feel tired and lose their creativity.

As a result, college students experience a drastic decline to their overall academic results.

Being a student counselor and motivational speaker, it is my responsibility to guide students, and I simply love this job. I am extremely passionate in helping students through proven techniques and effective advice.

Similarly, I have narrowed down a couple of striking ways for students that will surely help them stay creative throughout their four-year degree programs.

I am pretty sure after implementing these ways mentioned below, students will be able stay ahead of the competition.

So, let’s get started…

1. Go out for a morning walk

Apart from hectic study schedules, college students should focus on their mental and physical health as well. This way, they will not only be able to boost their energy but will also get ready to take on any challenge quite easily.

For this, the best thing students can do is go for a morning walk without taking a single day off. Somehow, if there is no park available in their locality, then go to the gym.

The gym is an incredible place where students can get several types of machines to train their bodies and minds for rest of the day.

I strongly believe after practicing this habit for a few days that students will feel a positive change to their study approaches.

2. Create a study planner and stick to it

Studying without an actionable planner is like chasing a big total in the game of cricket without calculating the pitch condition.

If college students desperately want to attain tremendous results without compromising their creativity, then they definitely need to come up with a sensible study schedule. This way, students will understand their capabilities to maximize them accordingly.

To create a study planner, I would suggest students follow a very traditional approach. I actually mean instead of taking help from technology, grab a pen with a piece of paper and write down all their intended tasks on it.

It is truly a remarkable way that will keep students updated on their priority tasks.

3. Watch motivational videos and stories

If college students always want to keep themselves energized, they should watch as many motivational videos as possible. It is a golden trick that will enhance their thinking capabilities and make them stronger enough to deal with any type of situation.

Furthermore, if they love reading, then students should go to their nearest book shop and buy one or two famous motivational books. Once they start reading them, they will learn different styles and tricks to handle pressure.

4. Plot short intervals between study sessions

College students don’t need to treat themselves like robots. Instead, they should utilize their brains according to their strength and limitations.

A majority of students believe non-stop studying for a longer period of time can be the right strategy to accomplish the ultimate goal. But to be honest, it is not an appropriate way.

If students believe in quality, they should give their brains considerable breaks. When studying, make sure to take a couple of valuable short intervals to rejuvenate the mind.

If college students are studying to improve their creativity and knowledge, then the aforementioned ways will absolutely work for them.

For more tips to help college students, make your way to our blog and follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube.

John Bishop, guest writer

John Bishop, guest writer

John Bishop is a Student Counselor and Motivational Speaker at an academic coaching “Dissertation Help”. He has been serving in this academic coaching firm for the last five years. He writes for numerous career related websites too.

Posted May 05, 2016 by

Internships with small companies offer benefits

Interns Wanted / Internship concept courtesy of Shutterstock.com

Aysezgicmeli/Shutterstock.com

Many students place a higher value on “prestigious” internships at places like Goldman Sachs for finance, CNN for media, and Facebook for technology. While there is definitely value in interning for these firms, most of that value is derived from the perception of other people. I would encourage students to look smaller. I think experience working for small businesses and organizations can be the BIGGEST hidden gem in your college career. This played out in my own recruiting process. One of the best internships I had was with a small investment firm in Charlotte, North Carolina. The office consisted of only 15 people, and the internship was unpaid. However, I think I learned three years of skills and knowledge in my three months with the company. I have also seen this take place for other students I have interviewed on my podcast “Interns on Fire.” More often than not, students have a better experience interning for smaller organizations and here is why:

1. More responsibility: Since these companies are smaller, they lack the bureaucratic red tape that prevents interns from doing meaningful work. These companies are often competing against larger companies with 10% of the workforce. This translates to more meaningful work for interns.

2. More diversity: For many of the same reasons mentioned earlier, employees for these companies wear multiple hats. They have to coordinate events, answer customer calls, process orders, and manage key strategic initiatives. Since they work across different divisions, interns are more likely to do the same. Therefore, they will not be siloed into just one role or with just one task for their entire internships. Interns will likely get the opportunity to work across many different areas.

3. Better culture: Typically, smaller firms have better cultures and camaraderie. Because they are smaller, they tend to focus more on hiring people who are good culture fits. Hiring one bad egg does a lot more harm to a small organization than it does for a Fortune 500 company. Working for a smaller organization will give interns greater access to potential mentors and friends.

4. Ability to make an impact: Given that many small organizations have so much to accomplish with so few resources, they are often spread thin. In many cases, there have already identified a few valuable projects they just haven’t had the chance to work on yet. This leaves the door wide open for interns to come in and make an impact.

Don’t be afraid to go smaller. It can be the catalyst you need to jumpstart your college career. An internship with the right organization can be a game changer.

Interested in searching for internships? Check out our blog and follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube.

Carl Schlotman IV, guest writer

Carl Schlotman IV, guest writer

Carl Schlotman IV was born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio. Carl completed six internships in his collegiate career with world-class financial institutions such as: Bank of America, Merrill Lynch, and Goldman Sachs. After gaining experience with his internships and accepting a full-time offer with Wells Fargo Securities in Investment Banking upon graduation, Carl seeks to give back to younger students. He published his first book, Cash in Your Diploma, in April 2014.

Carl has spoken at several universities around the country to share his strategies and tactics for getting the job you want in the field of your choice, making the salary you desire. He also hosts a podcast highlighting the best student interns across the country, “Interns On Fire.”

Posted April 20, 2016 by

Training to interview entry-level job candidates

Young woman being interviewed for a job courtesy of Shutterstock.com

Piotr Marcinski/Shutterstock.com

Some hiring managers may believe they don’t need much preparation to interview candidates for entry-level jobs. However, getting the most value out of these interviews requires interviewers to understand what they are looking for in potential employees. Andre Lavoie, CEO and Co-Founder of ClearCompany, discusses the benefits of training hiring managers to interview candidates for entry-level jobs and offers advice for the hiring process.

“Entry-level jobs don’t get enough attention sometimes. They can provide value for any organization. A new hire who excels at an entry-level job wants to continue succeeding and, ideally, grow within your organization. By training hiring managers to interview entry-level candidates, employers can save their companies time and money, build their internal talent pipelines, and encourage internal talent mobility.

Hiring managers need to be equipped with the skills and knowledge to effectively find quality talent. When they evaluate entry-level job seekers, discerning their job skills can be difficult to do. Train hiring managers to ask the right questions to identify the crucial skills candidates possess and to accurately assess candidates’ soft skills and motivation.

The best method for training, evaluating, and improving your hiring process is by looking at analytics. Quality of Hire is the perfect tool for seeing how well your hiring managers are recruiting. It considers performance and goal achievement, as well as retention rates.

This metric informs the overall quality fit for people joining the team and provides leadership with the tools necessary to see how well managers are hiring for company culture and performance. We access this metric through our own talent management platform to consistently evaluate and improve our processes to ensure we are building the best team possible.”

For more information on interviewing job candidates, go to the College Recruiter blog and follow us on LinkedIn, YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook.

Andre Lavoie, CEO and Co-Founder of ClearCompany

Andre Lavoie, CEO and Co-Founder of ClearCompany

Andre Lavoie is the CEO of ClearCompany, the first talent alignment platform that bridges the gap between talent management and business strategy by contextualizing employees’ work around a company’s vision and goals. You can connect with him and the ClearCompany team on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.

Posted March 05, 2016 by

What is career counseling

Photo of Veranda Hillard-Charleston

Veranda Hillard-Charleston, guest writer

Do people believe their current career trajectories feel like a hopeless game of grasping at straws? Maybe they’ve been thinking, “I don’t know what I want to do with my life” or “I don’t know what jobs I can get with my major/degree.” Having a long list of “I don’t knows” in the career department certainly doesn’t lead to increased life satisfaction. Luckily, there’s a solution: career counseling.

What is career counseling?

Career counseling is a goal-oriented process targeted at helping people gain better insight about themselves and what they want out of their careers, education, and lives.

According to Boise State University, the counseling element is one-step in a lifelong process of career development. Therefore, the object of career counseling is not to guide people in making better career decisions today. Instead, the focus of this process is to equip people with the self-knowledge and expertise needed to improve their careers and life decisions over their lifespan.

A career counselor is generally a master’s level professional with a background in career development theory, counseling methods, assessments, and employment information and resources. A professional will hold a confidential session with people to identify their unique values, interests, skills, career-related strengths and weaknesses, and personal goals in order to determine which resources they require and which course of action is most appropriate in helping them achieve these goals.

A career counselor can even help people separate their own career-related goals from those of others, such as parents, teachers, and friends who may be pressuring them to choose a specific career path.

Do I need career counseling?

Whether they’re freshmen in college or five years post-graduate, college students and recent graduates can benefit from the services of a career counselor. Since career development is a lifelong process – and people’s interests and skills are steadily changing – the earlier they gain insight about themselves and learn how to make career-related decisions, the better. If job seekers’ current dialogue is filled with “I don’t knows,” career counseling is a smart choice for them.

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Maximizing from the counseling experience

So college students and recent graduates made the choice to get career counseling and scheduled an appointment. Their part is done, right? Wrong. A common misconception about career counseling is people show up, and an expert tells them exactly what career choices are best for them. In truth, career counseling is not a one-sided, quick solution to academic or career dilemmas. Consider the following:

• Job seekers are not simply there to receive. The counseling experience requires participation. An honest examination of job seekers is vital for the career counselor to guide them in the right direction. Together, they might uncover their career interests, but they must take action to continue down the right path.

• People must narrow down their goals. Coming in with a broad desire to “Figure out what they want in life” just won’t cut it. A clear-cut objective is necessary so each session has structure and both parties can tell when their work together is complete.

• Job seekers have to continue the career development process beyond counseling. A good career counselor can help them define their interests and values, identify goals, and provide resources and strategies for reaching these goals. Still, the important work is done by job seekers. They have to actually use these resources to pinpoint internships or job opportunities appealing to them and constantly consider how different opportunities match their interests, values, and skills.

Career counseling offers people a safe and confidential place to explore their career passions and identify areas in which they are experiencing difficulty. It is a collaborative relationship – the client and the counselor work together to discover the client’s true career goals and work to overcome any obstacles. However, the client must be devoted to career development and willing to do the work to truly benefit from the experience.

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Veranda Hillard-Charleston is Chief Contributor for MastersinPsychologyGuide.com. She received her Master’s Degree in Clinical Psychology from Northwestern State University of Louisiana. Veranda has more than five years of experience as a trained mental health professional.