ARTICLES, BLOGS & VIDEOS

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

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 14, 2016 by

10 reasons how becoming a personal assistant can benefit your career

 

With the standard paths to fame and fortune well-trodden, it is important to be on the lookout for new ways to make a buck and your mark. One surprising way to do so is to become a personal assistant.

Here are 10 reasons why.

1. Personal assistants learn how the best in the business do what they do

How many of us start off doing something and then six months or a year down the line say to ourselves, “I wish I’d known about that when I started out.” Well, had you been a personal assistant, you would have probably known, as you can look on over the shoulders of the best in the business. You can’t put a value on that.

2. The pay is surprisingly good

That’s not to say the pay is bad; it isn’t. A mid-range PA can make about $60,000 a year. Are you even better? Well, then it can go up to between $80,000-120,000. Now, you won’t be buying any yachts for that money, but you won’t be going hungry either.

3. You get to say, “You know who I work for?”

And besides, you’re going to get quite a few of the perks of being rich without being rich anyway, provided you know how to name drop. Want to have dinner in a Michele star restaurant but don’t have reservations? Come right this way, sir. Want to buy that new Chanel bag? I just happen to have one behind the counter. The benefits can be truly tremendous.

4. Personal assistants go to interesting and exciting places

For example, if your boss travels, often you’ll get to go along. And that can take you to some pretty amazing places (and have you staying at some nice hotels). Don’t like to travel? Select a boss who stays in one place! You get to choose who you’ll work for.

Also read: 5 reasons why recent college grads should consider work and travel jobs

5. You can qualify with any educational background

Now in many different occupations, you can’t get in the door without the right degree. Quite often, job seekers absolutely need a college education. That does not necessarily have to be the case in PAing, however. Just as long as you’ve got a good head on your shoulders, you can get far.

Search for entry-level personal assistant jobs now!

6. You can use it to jump start your career into another line of work

You can even use being a personal assistant to pass some of the lower rungs of the career ladder, as you demonstrate what you’re capable of to somebody who can actually make the hiring decisions.

7. Personal assistants rub shoulders with the movers and shakers

Even if your boss doesn’t hire you, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to impress people. After all, you’re going to be meeting other important people and taking their calls. If you know how to impress people, you’ll be able to leverage that into a better position somewhere down the line.

Also read Networking: A Definitive Guide for Students and Grads to Succeed in the Job Search

8. Your days will vary immensely

Also, your days as a personal assistant will rarely be boring. You’ll get a huge amount of different activities thrown on your plate and be left to tackle them as best you can. Of course, you’ll have to adjust your day to fit the schedule of your boss, but if you can live with that, the world is your oyster.

9. You’re a gatekeeper

There is a certain satisfaction in knowing that people have to get past you to speak to your boss. The smart ones will know that and make certain to go out of their way and be nice to you. And the others? Oh I’m sorry, I don’t know how we just got disconnected for the third time in a row! There must be something wrong with the telephone system!

10. You get to learn from other people’s mistakes

Most importantly, a personal assistant gets to see what other people do wrong in high power situations and make certain you don’t do the same. That can be incredibly valuable down the line when you’re trying to do your own thing – or when you sell the book rights, of course.

Now being a PA isn’t for everybody. You’ve got to tolerate negative attitudes from others when they’re having their bad days, and some of us weren’t made to get coffee. For those of us willing to take a humility pill and play second fiddle for a few years, however, it’s a fantastic opportunity to learn and get a glimpse in a different world.

Ready to find a personal assistant job today? Search on College Recruiter!

Looking for more information to boost your job search? Follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube.

Luisa Brenton, guest writer

Luisa Brenton, guest writer

Luisa Brenton is a lifestyle blogger. You can find more of her posts at TrustMyPaper. She was born in Italy, graduated from The St. Louis School of Milan, and went to Chicago to pursue higher education at the Chicago’s Public Research University. Luisa is interested in modern literature. She is fond of journalism as well.

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 March 28, 2016 by

11 quick LinkedIn tips

Linkedin website on a computer screen courtesy of Shutterstock.com

Ingvar Bjork/Shutterstock.com

Did you know 87% of recruiters use LinkedIn to look for candidates? This means companies can find job seekers’ profiles and invite them for job interviews. For this to happen, though, job seekers need to make their profiles look appropriate. Adding their pictures and job titles is not enough anymore, as their LinkedIn profiles can be more important than their resumes. If job seekers want recruiters to visit their pages often and offer them great positions, here are some things they should consider.

1. Recommendations

Employers tend to pay a lot of attention not only to job seekers’ professional skills, but also to their corporate backgrounds. If applicants have proven to be excellent team workers at their previous jobs, they should seek recommendations from former bosses or colleagues. Ask some of them to write a couple of nice recommendations. Don’t exaggerate here, though. If applicants have had five jobs so far but have 15 recommendations, it might seem weird.

2. Write a longer headline

If you already have a job, but are open to new offerings, don’t just mention the company and your position there; it might be not enough to see what you do. Instead of writing, for example, “PR Manager at Example Company,” write “PR manager at Example Company: Helping big and small companies.”

3. Have enough connections

Having 50 connections on LinkedIn makes job seekers seem unfriendly, unprofessional, and unmotivated. Having 3000 contacts makes them look like they add everyone to their list of connections, and they don’t even care who’s there. Try to have a moderate number of connections, and you will be visible enough to make the network help your professional growth. Try to find all of your friends, former classmates, and colleagues if you’ve already worked somewhere.

4. Write only true information

We don’t want to lecture job seekers, but lying is unacceptable in the professional world. It concerns their LinkedIn profiles, too, particularly education and previous jobs. It is not only that recruiters can check everything, but it is also about ethics. Earning trust is an important step to professional success.

5. Be brief

No one likes to read lots of text, especially if it is not formatted correctly. Even if job seekers had tons of experience and they want to talk about it, they should organize it. Write a job title and describe your responsibilities point by point. Use headlines and short sentences; they are easier to comprehend.

6. Students can mention all the jobs they’ve had

Surely, when you are a big boss with 10 jobs behind, you can skip some of the gigs you’ve had such as pizza delivery or tutoring in college. However, college students or recent graduates might want to add at least some things to their work experience. Besides, most students do something during their college years. If they managed to study and freelance at the same time, they should mentions that. If students helped their professors grade papers, they can write about that too. Don’t leave a page blank; add at least something.

7. Choose the right picture for your profile

Don’t pick an Instagram-style photo or a cute picture with your pets; post casual photos on Facebook or elsewhere. Low-quality pictures are also not the best choice. Think of how you want potential employers to see you. The photo should be a recent, high-quality photograph where one can clearly see your face. You can also add a background picture; the best choice would be either a picture from some conference you participated in or some nature pic.

8. Write about your main skills, not all of them

We all know you are a talented person. However, if you are trying for an accountant job, recruiters probably don’t need to know you are a good cook. At the top of your LinkedIn page, your potential employer or recruiters need to see those skills suitable for them. Also, don’t mention the skills you don’t want to use in your next job. If you are tired of your current work where you need to design, for example, exclude this skill from your profile.

9. Add a decent email address

If your personal email address is dirtykitten@email.com or something like that, you probably want to get a new one. You must have had a laugh creating it, but now it is time to be more professional and to use your own name for your email address.

10. Don’t mention your age

Although all the companies say age discrimination doesn’t exist, that is not true. They always consider age when hiring. So, try not to mention it.

11. Make sure all is correct

Making mistakes in a LinkedIn profile is a no-no. Pay attention not only to grammar and spelling, but to style and formatting. Everything should be clear and understandable. Style should be formal and professional.

Try to look at your text as an objective reader, or better yet, show it to someone. Ask a friend, colleague, or professor to read it and correct the mistakes you might have missed.

A LinkedIn profile is much more important now than it was a couple of years ago. More and more professionals, companies, and headhunters create accounts and use them actively every day. Job seekers probably want to look equally experienced and professional on their pages, so spend enough time creating them and don’t be lazy.

Looking for more LinkedIn tips for your job search? Turn to our blog and follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Twitter.

Photo of William Sarto

William Sarto, guest writer

William Sarto is a marketer and content strategist working at the freelance writing board – gohunters.com. He shares his knowledge and experience in his articles based on current marketing trends and also provides actionable tips for students willing to build successful business careers. He is passionate about all new techniques and methods appearing in digital marketing. Working in one of the most fast changing industries requires many skills from young specialists, so if you have any questions feel free to contact Will @ twitter, Google+

Posted February 05, 2016 by

Addressing low grades during interviews

Photo of Joe Flanagan

Joe Flanagan, guest writer

According to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, or OECD, there’s a crisis in the USA with only 46% of students finishing college. Whether you have dropped out or graduated with low grades you are not alone. Interviews can be a nerve-wracking experience, particularly your very first one, but if you are leaving college with low grades, the prospect of interviews can seem even more daunting. It is important to remember that despite low grades, you have still been invited for an interview, so the employer is interested in you. If you are worried about explaining your low grades, these tips can help you deal with this without it becoming a major issue. (more…)

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 October 29, 2015 by

How to avoid these 9 most common LinkedIn profile picture mistakes

Creating your LinkedIn profile allows you to include a picture but not just any picture. Choose a photo that reflects a professional image. In today’s world, most hiring managers and recruiters will review your social media profiles before inviting you to an interview, and they want to see you. While choosing a picture seems like an easy task, Part 2 of this three-part webinar series, How to avoid these 9 most common LinkedIn profile picture mistakes, discusses the don’ts when selecting your profile photo. This webinar also includes tips and advice related to LinkedIn and profile pictures. (more…)

Posted September 18, 2015 by

What’s the difference between diversity and inclusion?

 

We hear the words diversity and inclusion often and might think they are one and the same. While they do go together, diversity and inclusion each have their own meanings. Understanding the difference helps job seekers decide the type of company to work for and helps employers build a more open-minded culture. In today’s article, Joan Kingsley discusses what is the difference between diversity and inclusion. (more…)

Posted August 18, 2015 by

Four things to do after your job interview

job applicant having interview. handshake while job interviewing

Job applicant having interview. Handshake while job interviewing. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

Getting to the interview stage of your job application is an achievement on its own. In today’s competitive world, everything does not come the easy way and same goes for the job. Especially during the number crunching economic times, it is terrifyingly difficult to find a decent white collar job. This is why an interview chance is one of the best opportunities you can grab, more so if you are a fresh graduate looking to find a good job. When you reach to the interview stage, there are several things you must do the right way if you wish to have any solid chance of consideration after the interview session. (more…)

Posted August 05, 2015 by

6 Terrible Mistakes Employees Often Make That Cost Their Promotion

female boss yelling at employee at work

Female boss yelling at employee at work. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

Who does not want to get a promotion? Every one of us strives at our workplaces to get promoted or to find a better job. Why don’t all of us get a promotion that easily? It is probably because not all of us know what it takes for earning one. Career development is not something that people are taught in schools. That is one reason why many people are bad at using the right career development strategy. Even if you have the right skills, people fail in getting a promotion because of this problem.

But, you would stand a better chance of getting a promotion at your work now; all you need to do is to be aware of what is going wrong. Take a look at the following 6 most common mistakes that can cost you the promotion: (more…)