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Posted November 15, 2017 by

Professional networking: A definitive guide for students and grads to succeed in the job search

 

We put together our most popular content about professional networking and developed a one-stop guide with everything you need to know about networking as a student or recent college grad. The guide includes tips about:

  1. Where to start and how much time to spend networking
  2. The best elevator pitch and a formula for a successful informational interview
  3. Professional networking tips for college seniors to find a job by graduation
  4. The number one networking tip for introverts
  5. Benefits of joining a professional association
  6. Networking mistakes
  7. How to engage authentically

(more…)

Posted September 20, 2017 by

Job openings are more open to some than others: A guide for entry level job seekers to combat bias

 

With limited professional experience, it’s hard to know how to act when an employer is considering you for a role at their organization. We believe strongly in fair hiring practices. While employers can find plenty of advice for reducing bias in their hiring practices, job seekers should also be prepared to fight bias. Here we provide six tips for entry level job seekers who are nervous that their chances at job openings might be lower, due to bias against their gender, race, ethnicity, ability or other dimension of their identity.

1. “They’ll see me for my skills, right?” Um, yes… But realize that bias exists.

(more…)

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 August 16, 2016 by

Absence of genuine networking discourages job seekers

Business photo by StockUnlimited.com

Photo by StockUnlimited.com

As recruiters and hiring managers search for top talent, it is important they understand how to approach potential job candidates. Employers should think about treating candidates the way they would want to be treated when searching for internships or entry-level jobs. Recruiters and hiring managers can’t assume just because they arrive on college campuses that they will make connections. Taking time to speak with college students who attend networking events shows sincere interest in them and create a favorable impression of an employer. Michael Moradian, Executive Director of HonorSociety.org, explains the importance of connecting with candidates in a genuine manner.

“Networking is a way to build professional relationships on a personal level. But many recruiters fail to connect with potential candidates in a meaningful way. Communication is the most important tool in a recruiter’s toolkit. If you can’t explain expectations and describe opportunities in a clear, straightforward way, candidates will go elsewhere. Job seekers aren’t interested in vague, unclear information. They want to know if an opportunity is right for them so help them see if they can fit into the role.

It’s easy to spot common offenders when you’re at networking events. Keep an eye out for card spammers, people who throw their business cards around attempting to reach as many people as possible in a short amount of time. This is not just unprofessional; it’s also offensive.

You can’t build relationships by skimming the surface and trying to get your information in as many pockets as possible. Why would I want to build a trusting relationship with you when you can’t seem to take the time to fully engage with me?

Instead, start a conversation and express a genuine interest in connecting. Being inauthentic and focusing only on the result is off-putting. Don’t force anything; sometimes, there just isn’t a fit. Express what you can offer and how you can help potential candidates.

Follow-up if you sense some interest, but don’t be pushy. There is a human side to business, and talented candidates appreciate when they are treated as a person, not a commodity.”

Want more networking tips? Make your way to our blog and follow us on LinkedIn, YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook.

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 July 19, 2016 by

5 ways juniors can take advantage of career services

It’s finally your junior year of college. You’re more than halfway finished with your undergraduate courses. Woohoo!

You can certainly breathe a sigh of relief and feel a sense of accomplishment, but you have some serious career-related tasks to accomplish this year. Most college students don’t simply land a great job after graduating. It’s a step-by-step process which requires you to do your part in collaboration with your career services office on campus. As Patricia Niemann, Career Development Consultant, puts it, “career development is the bridge that you will travel from your educational environment to future career opportunities.”

This short video, hosted by College Recruiter’s Content Manager, Bethany Wallace, lists six ways juniors in college can take advantage of career services to get ahead in the job search game.


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

1. Ensure that you’ve written a super solid resume and cover letter.

Now is the time to edit and update your resume with the help of your career services office on campus and to create a basic cover letter if you didn’t do so during your sophomore year. Career services will be glad to help you do this. Most career services offices even host special resume workshops and events, or you can set up a one-on-one resume appointment. No matter what approach you take, get it done. Don’t wait until the day before a job or internship interview. Creating or editing a resume takes time, even for a professional.

 

2. Gain work experience in your field of study.

It doesn’t matter if the experience is paid or unpaid. It doesn’t matter if you work five or 20 hours per week. It simply matters that you gain work experience in your field of study or as closely related to your field of study as possible. Are you majoring in criminal justice? Contact your local police department to ask about opportunities there. Is there a battered women’s shelter or sexual assault center in your area? Perhaps you could serve as a volunteer victim’s advocate. The possibilities are endless, but you have to take initiative. Working with career services is priceless. It’s the job of a career services professional to keep in touch with local employers and to serve as a liaison with organizations like these. Let your career services professionals work as advocates for you. Why do all the hard work yourself if you don’t have to? Don’t overlook sites like CollegeRecruiter.com, either. We can help. When you register, you tell us what you’re looking for, and we send you new job postings related only to your search criteria.

 

3. Up your networking game.

During your first and second years of college, it might have been enough to simply keep your social media sites clean of inappropriate content and to occasionally add new contacts. That’s not going to cut it your last two years of undergraduate study.

Start reaching out to alumni and chatting with employers via discussion boards online. Dedicate at least 30 minutes to these activities per week. Up your game online, and you’ll be surprised how many connections you’ll gain and what types of opportunities may surface as a result. Each time you attend an event with employers present, retain business cards and invite those employers (recruiters, hiring managers, and others) to connect with you on Twitter, LinkedIn, and other professional networking sites. If they don’t accept your invitations, don’t take it personally. If they do connect with you, send a personal message thanking them for adding you. Don’t harass employers online or send annoying messages, but don’t be afraid to like their posts or comment on content they share in a thoughtful and insightful manner.

 

4. Acquire better soft skills.

Ask career services professionals for opportunities to improve your soft skills. Seek feedback from your career services staff on where your strengths and weaknesses lie in terms of soft skills. Are you great at communicating in writing but poor at communicating face-to-face? You might need to practice interview questions with a career services member before conducting on-campus interviews with employers. Are you a strong leader but not so great at teamwork? Find ways to get involved in organizations requiring you to collaborate with others on campus.

 

5. Take grad school entrance practice exams.

If you plan on attending graduate school after you graduate from college, it’s a good idea to take practice exams for the GRE, MCAT, and other entrance exams for graduate schools during your junior year. Most of these are offered at no cost and can be found online. Career services offices often offer assistance in pointing students to these exams or to study guides on many campuses.

 

Lastly, and this is a bonus tip: don’t just attend the career fair your junior year of college.

The career fair is a great event—and a must—but challenge yourself to attend at least two other events sponsored by career services as well. Ask your career services office which events are most important on your campus. Is it the etiquette dinner, on-campus interviews, mock interviews, or other key events? Each campus has its own key events, so don’t assume you know which matter most without asking.

Want more help finding ways to guarantee career success? Follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube.

 

Posted July 08, 2016 by

Hiring managers value first impressions and referrals

Friendly woman in business formal outfit photo by StockUnlimited.com

Photo by StockUnlimited.com

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

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

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

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

Eden Chen, Co-Founder of Fishermen Labs

Eden Chen, Co-Founder of Fishermen Labs

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

Posted July 03, 2016 by

Networking tips for introverted job seekers

Woman with glasses covering her mouth with a document photo by StockUnlimited.com

Photo by StockUnlimited.com

While being shy is not a crime, it is something job seekers need to overcome to network. For introverted college students and recent graduates, networking might seem impossible or intimidating when trying to find internships or entry-level jobs. However, that doesn’t mean introverts can’t interact well with people. Knowing what to do ahead of time and practicing it can make introverted job seekers more comfortable when networking. The more confident they are networking, the better their chances of learning about job opportunities, including those in the hidden job market. Peter Margaritis, Chief Edutainment Officer of The Accidental Accountant, shares networking tips to help introverts with their job search.

“Tip 1: Smile and have a positive attitude, which is displayed by projecting inviting body language, a.k.a. don’t cross your arms over your chest.

Tip 2: Ask the other person questions first after you introduce yourself to reduce the level of your nervousness. Ask questions like, where do you work and what role do you play in the organization? These are just some easy questions to start the conversation.

Tip 3: Don’t sit with or follow your network at an event. Break away and meet someone new.”

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

Peter Margaritis, Chief Edutainment Officer of The Accidental Accountant

Peter Margaritis, Chief Edutainment Officer of The Accidental Accountant

Peter A. Margaritis, CPA, is a speaker, educator, trainer, humorist, and self-proclaimed Chief “Edutainment” Officer for The Accidental Accountant™. Partnering with the Business Learning Institute, his firm helps accountants and other business leaders to increase their profitability by strengthening their business success skills and improving morale through better communication. He is a member of the Ohio Society of CPAs, Georgia Society of CPAs, National Speakers Association, and the American Institute of CPAs. Peter is also the author of Improv Is No Joke: Using Improvisation to Create Positive Results in Leadership and Life. www.theaccidentalaccountant.com

Posted July 01, 2016 by

4 beautiful truths of networking

Networking is an essential skill we must all hone in life. It is a trait that takes practice and patience. Due to the variety of different personality types, networking does come more naturally to some rather than others. So with a few tips and practice, anyone can learn to network in a more effective manner. In this short video, college student Macie Brooke Edgewater shares four beautiful truths of networking to help anyone become a little more comfortable with networking.


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

 

  1. In social networking, always be your authentic self. We all have certain traits that are uniquely us that can contribute to building a repertoire. If you have a tendency toward joking around people, use that natural skill to your advantage, and make them laugh. Let your new contact see the side of you that can adapt to the conversation. If you tend to have a more serious approach, exposing that side of your personality up front, will give your new relationship a solid foundation to build upon, as well.
  2. Kindness goes a long way. Be kind to everyone you meet. A smile, a nod, a simple hello can be a potentially fantastic start to a brand new relationship. Yes, some of us are a bit introverted, but getting out of your comfort zone and practicing these simple greetings will help you practice and it will also open up the door for more opportunities to socialize. Make the effort to be outgoing. It becomes easier over time.
  3. Make sure you listen to the conversation you’re participating in. People truly enjoy telling their story, so let them.
  4. When you find yourself at a loss for words, or shyness kicks in, ask one of four questions to get the conversation flowing again. Who, where, what, and why can start an entirely new conversation. Never get offended. If you find that you have made a new contact and they have not responded to your last effort to converse, do not take it personally. We are a very busy society, and we must remember that other people’s time is just as valuable as our own.

Need more networking tips? Visit our blog and follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. 

Macie Brooke Edgewater is a psychology major at UACCB and is currently pursuing her degree in order to work as a high school counselor. She enjoys the outdoors, reading, writing, training dogs, and music of the metal persuasion. Concerts are a favorite pastime. She is well versed in many trades but especially enjoys interviewing bands.

Posted June 25, 2016 by

The #1 student job search mistake

As an Associate Career Services Director for the University of Michigan and the CEO of Break into Tech, I’ve had the privilege to work with hundreds of students during the job search while trying to launch their careers. And it’s an area I’m particularly proud to support, having leveraged my own student experience to land roles at Apple, LinkedIn, and startups.

Photo by StockUnlimited.com

Photo by StockUnlimited.com

But the one thing that shocks me time and again is that 95% of students make the same mistake when it comes to landing a job. And no, it’s not a bad resume, or a poorly written cover letter or even weak interview skills. Instead, it’s that most basic trait:

Humility.

Yes, humility.

Now, I know what you’re thinking. “Huh? How hard could it be to act humble?”

But here’s the real deal. That same confidence is a handicap. Because it blinds students to just how hard it is to stay humble in a world where everyone always has to be on, to constantly present their best self.

As evidence, allow me to submit my experience as a Michigan alum working at LinkedIn:

  • Every single day during application season, I’d received at least one email from a current student who wanted to work in Silicon Valley
  • Usually, those emails started out: “Dear Jeremy, I’m XXX and I’d really like to work at LinkedIn…”
  • Eventually I’d get on the phone with these students, and they’d spend the first 15 minutes of the call telling me about themselves, and the last 15 minutes asking me if I could help them get a job.
  • Then, I’d never hear from them again.

On the other hand, about 2-3 times a year, the sequence would go very differently:

  • I’d get an email from a student well before application season that said: “Dear Jeremy, As a a Michigan student, I was so excited to come across your profile today. I can’t tell you how inspiring it was to find someone who’s walked your path. I know you must be really busy, but would you ever have a few minutes to share your story with me?”
  • When I got on the phone with them, we’d spend 15 minutes talking about my experience, followed by 15 minutes of them asking me for my advice about really tricky career questions.
  • Then they’d follow-up the next month to wish me a happy holiday or update me on campus. And they’d continue to do that each month with cool articles they found or little tidbits of school news.
  • Then, only when application season finally rolled around, would they ever ask for support during the application process.

And sure enough, about 2-3 times a year, I’d write an internal recommendation for a student, basically guaranteeing them an interview.

Now, any guesses which students I went to bat for?

Hopefully that illuminates two things about the job search:

BUT

  • You’ve got to network in the right way – the humble way.

Which means no:

  • Waiting until application season to reach out – you need to build relationships in advance; not at the last second.
  • Focusing all the attention on yourself – you need to build a real relationship; not just a transaction.
  • One shot networking – you need to build a relationship over time, not in a single phone call. This aids your job search.

So consider yourself warned. Yes, humility is critical to your job search success. But don’t assume it’s going to be easy. Instead, make it a priority and work hard at it. And then you can avoid the biggest mistake that’s trapped so many others!

Jeremy Schifeling, CEO of Break Into Tech

Jeremy Schifeling, CEO of Break Into Tech

Need more help networking and figuring out how to build great relationships on your way to finding a great entry-level job? College Recruiter can help. Keep reading our blog and follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.

Jeremy Schifeling is the Founder + Chief Nerd at Break into Tech, a site for anyone who wants to land an awesome tech job, no matter their background. Get a free guide to the seven ultimate secrets that took Jeremy from school to Silicon Valley!

Posted June 16, 2016 by

Networking tips for college students and recent grads

Businessman and businesswoman chatting in the office pantry photo by StockUnlimited.com

Photo by StockUnlimited.com

To improve their chances of landing entry-level jobs, college students and recent graduates should engage in networking. Professional networking often includes but is not limited to talking to and building relationships with the right people who can advance their careers. Students and recent grads also have to think about branding themselves personally and professionally. Networking is a long process, and students should begin early. So how can job seekers network successfully? Bruce Harpham, Founder of Projectmanagementhacks.com, shares two networking tips for college students and recent graduates.

Join a professional association to explore a career interest. For example, the Project Management Institute is great if you are interested in project management or the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Institute if you are interested in finance. For the best results, attend an event and then ask to meet one-on-one with an association leader. Many professional associations have free or low cost fees for students. Spending three to four hours per month attending networking events and talking with an industry leader is worth 10 hours of online job search.

Prepare for coffee networking meetings. Come prepared with three to five specific questions written in a notebook to ask professionals about their careers. Make sure none of the questions are answerable with a two minute Google search. Putting 15 minutes of preparation time into developing good questions means you will gather better information and create more effective relationships. I still follow this practice today and it regularly impresses the people I meet.”

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

Bruce Harpham, Founder of Projectmanagementhacks.com

Bruce Harpham, Founder of Projectmanagementhacks.com

Bruce Harpham is the Founder of Projectmanagementhacks.com, a career development resource, and freelance writer. Bruce’s writing has appeared in CIO, InfoWorld, CSO, ProjectManagement.com, and other publications. Bruce lives in Toronto, Canada.