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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!

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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 13, 2016 by

Basing your job search on company growth

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College students preparing to enter the workforce must consider jobs based on information that extends beyond the description of available positions, including company growth. By considering the characteristics of prospective employers, job seekers can make decisions that can improve their chances of having long, successful careers.

For many college graduates, getting involved with a growing enterprise represents an opportunity to share the benefits of company growth. Employers that currently experience growth and expect it to continue in the future often promote employees from within to fill vacant positions. The move controls recruiting and hiring costs, and gives employees opportunities for professional growth.

Company growth ranks as one of the most important factors in the job search. Although the stability of mature companies that have stopped growing might seem attractive, they could limit career development for new college graduates. Younger companies might bring a degree of uncertainty and increased responsibilities to the table, but they also bring an opportunity for new employees to quickly grow in their profession.

Expanding product lines

Companies that signal growth through the expanded product lines give prospective employees reasons to believe they can grow with the enterprise. Nike, an established company, once experienced periods of growth as the company extended its brand from shoes to clothing, accessories, and electronics. College graduates who see a company expanding in a similar way can expect to gain valuable experience in business and brand development during an extensive career with the same employer. After gaining work experience with such a firm, employees can market their skills and experience to other companies that want to grow.

Growth through acquisition

Growing companies may choose to buy other firms as a pathway to growth. Professionals working for businesses expanding this way can find themselves at the top of the overarching corporate structure. Such a situation exposes employees to diverse business models and organizational structures, as they assimilate new firms into the company. Good performance in positions of high responsibility gives workers a path to higher pay and promotions.

Blue Coat, a growing player in the cloud security market, provided a good example of growth through acquisition when the firm bought Elastica, a startup provider of software that can detect the inappropriate use of cloud-based applications. The company adds innovative technology to the acquiring firm, as well as the responsibility to create synergy with the combined company. Qualified job candidates might consider working for such a company because the business could continue to fuel its growth by buying other companies.

Market expansion

Companies with existing products that seek to grow by entering new markets need well-educated job candidates to fill positions within the growing organization. Graduates who choose to join a firm with a demonstrated pattern of market expansion can expect to have a long-term pathway to career development, as they learn how to deal with markets regionally, nationally, and globally markets. As their employer grows, workers can expect to assume new responsibilities that increase their value to the firm and possible future employers. Although many companies such as Netflix have entered different countries to pursue growth, smaller companies might grow by expanding into different regions of the same country. For example, Express Employment Professionals began as a small staffing firm in Oklahoma and has since grown by expanding into hundreds of markets around the USA.

A study referenced by Forbes.com showed companies that promote employees from within outperform those that fill positions with external hires. College graduates willing to join a business during its early stages might at first accept a lower wage, but the increased chances of promotion within the firm can compensate for any initial loss.

If you’re looking for more job search tips, visit the College Recruiter blog and follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube.

Cameron Johnson, guest writer

Cameron Johnson, guest writer

Cameron Johnson is a BYU Alumni and business consultant. Since graduating from college in 2013, he has conducted case studies on both social media optimization and non-profit marketing. Cameron has also had the opportunity to speak at international marketing conferences and was recently recognized as one of the world’s top 100 advertising experts to follow on social media.

Posted May 06, 2016 by

Working for a startup after college

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Everyone is nervous heading into their last year of college (except for those going to grad school, that is). It’s time recent graduates prove to themselves, and probably to their parents, that all of this was worth it; they can get entry-level jobs, get out on their own, support themselves, and start on a career path. It is probably their family’s hope that grads will conduct their job search seriously, and look at companies/organizations that promise a bright future. They’ve attended their first job fair, passed out their resumes, spoken with corporate recruiters, and some seemed interested. But something doesn’t “feel” right in their gut. There’s no excitement about all of this.

As recent graduates reflect on why they lack excitement, their minds go to the concept of a “corporate” environment with everyone playing their roles, a pretty large bureaucracy, policies, set work hours; “a single cog in a very large machine you will be,” as Yoda would say. Then there’s the office politics grads studied about in those business courses. Somehow, it doesn’t seem right. They’re thinking about their future success, which doesn’t include what the “big boys” offer. Recent grads need to look elsewhere.

Graduates need to consider working for a startup. Now their parents and some of their friends might think they’re a bit nuts. There’s no job security, as 50% of all startups fail within five years, and then where will they be? Mom may be wringing her hands. However, this isn’t their parents’ world anymore, and there are large advantages to taking this path right now in their lives when they have no obligations other than to themselves.

Flexibility and continuous learning

Most start-ups do not have “pigeon-hole” jobs. They will demand everyone pitch in when and where it is needed. Graduates may have a “job title,” but that will not mean a great deal. They’ll have a skill others may not, but they will be required to learn everyone’s job and everyone will be required to learn some of their job. This environment means continuous learning.

What’s the other great thing? Grads will be forced out of their “comfort zone” into exciting challenges; things can change on a dime, and they will need to change with them. If graduates really enjoy risks and challenges, they’ll love it.

Discover new talents

With all of the emphasis on pitching in, group decision-making, and problem-solving, recent grads may find they have creative talents and current skills they never knew or nurtured. They will be far more well-rounded in what they know and what they can do.

Learn how to budget

Pay is generally not the best for those who join startups. In fact, no one joins a startup for the salary. Graduates will often have to continue living like poor students, but they know how to do it. They’ll stretch those dollars, shop at thrift stores, and eat Ramen noodles sometimes. So what? Grads will also learn how to budget and be frugal.

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Work with passionate people

Enthusiasm is contagious, and that is one of the great things about startups. Everyone comes to work excited about the day and their projects. Everyone shares in each other’s successes (and pumps each other up when there are failures). Grads, too, will be excited about getting up every morning and getting to work; many people in the corporate world would love to have that feeling.

Learn entrepreneurship

Forecasters predict small businesses will be more a wave of the future than large corporations. Why? First, corporations continue to expand globally and set up headquarters in other countries. Second, people no longer trust large corporations like they used to. These giants have taken big tumbles in recent years and no longer provide job security to their employees. It is the small business that is trending now. Working for a startup gives employees valuable experience in becoming small business owners at some point, if they should choose to head in that direction.

Push through failure

Most startups have their failures. The good ones with resilient employees move forward, learning from the failure but never losing the enthusiasm for what they are doing. It’s good to experience failure when young; it is a wonderful teacher. If that startup goes “belly up,” think of all the lessons employees have learned in the meantime.

Potentially invest or be given a stake

A lot of startups value their original people, and founders will give those people a stake in the company. Many people became millionaires because they started out with Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, or Mark Zuckerberg. Having a stake in a company at a young age is a great thing.

Love the Culture

Flexible hours are a big plus. Value is not based upon the number of hours worked. It is based on what employees produce. They may work several 18 hour-long days, only to sleep in late for several days after that and only put in four hours or so.

Dress is a big factor for many job seekers. If they love a jeans and flip-flop environment, taking their dogs to work, letting their hair grow, or sporting a tattoo, they will find the startup environment is where they want to be.

Choosing the right startup

Startups come in all different stages of development. Choosing one should be based on job seekers’ level of risk tolerance, their investigation of the founder(s), and their passions for the product(s) or services being developed. Nothing is carved in stone; if one idea doesn’t work out, there are many others to try.

Need career advice as a recent graduate? Go to our blog and follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube.

Rick Riddle, guest writer

Rick Riddle, guest writer

Rick Riddle is passionate about the self-development process and wants to share his experience with more people via his articles. He believes self-sufficiency and discipline lead to great results. Follow him on Twitter.

Posted April 11, 2016 by

10 job interview questions you shouldn’t ask

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Congratulations! You’ve landed an entry-level job interview. Now, it is time to prepare for the big day, which includes creating some interview questions to ask if you get the chance. Keep in mind, though, there are questions college students and recent graduates should not ask their potential employers during interviews.

1. How much does the job pay?

Asking about salary in an interview tells the interviewer you’re more concerned with money than the actual job. I’m not saying money isn’t important, but save this discussion for after you have received a job offer.

2. How many days of vacation do I get?

It’s not wise for job seekers to ask about vacation time before landing entry-level jobs. Focusing on time off without a job offer leaves an impression that you lack commitment to work.

3. Can I take time off during exams?

This question might indicate to employers that college students have trouble handling multiple responsibilities, or that school is more important than work. Even though school work is a priority for students, employers are considering what is important to them.

4. Can I use social media at work?

It’s probably obvious to most (if not all) of you why job seekers shouldn’t ask this question. Interviewers would feel you’re more concerned with your Facebook friends and Twitter followers than succeeding at the position you’ve applied for.

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5. Can I work from home?

Asking this question can leave an interviewer wondering if you have an issue with coming to work regularly. Wait until proving yourself for a while on a new job before requesting to work from home.

6. What kind of job is this?

Please don’t ask this question. If you do, you might as well walk out of the interview. The interviewer expects you to know what kind of job you’ve applied for. You can find this information in the job posting and on the company website.

7. When will I get promoted?

Asking this question makes the assumption that a job seeker has won the position, which won’t impress the interviewer. Remember, you need to get the job first so concentrate on that. With a good attitude and hard work, you may eventually earn a promotion.

8. Do you want my references?

The interviewer is concerned about you, not anyone else. It’s great you have references but save them for later, and focus on nailing the interview.

9. Are there any background checks?

Asking potential employers about background checks raises a red flag in their minds that you have something to hide. If you’re sure of yourself as a job candidate, a background check or drug screen won’t bother you.

10. Did I get the job?

While I’m sure you can’t wait to find out if you got the job, avoid asking if you did in the interview. Unless you’re told otherwise, follow up to learn the employer’s decision. Don’t follow up too soon. It’s okay to ask the employer at the end of the interview about the timeline for filling the position—this lets you know how long to wait before calling to check on your status as an applicant.

In a nutshell, job seekers should wait until after they receive employment offers before asking questions related to issues primarily benefiting themselves.

Are you looking for more information to help you in your job search? Come over to our blog and follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube.

Posted March 19, 2016 by

6 part-time jobs for college students in 2016

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Are you a college student who needs a little bit of extra money? Sometimes, students can find a work-study position or other type of on-campus job, but those are sometimes few and far between, especially at colleges with large student bodies. If students haven’t found jobs on campus they like, it’s time to look elsewhere. Fortunately, there are a number of great part-time jobs out there college students are ideally suited for. Here are six highly remunerative part-time jobs college students may be interested in.

1. Non-profit charity fundraiser

Charities are always looking for young people to help them out, especially in the fundraising department. This type of job often entails manning donation tables at various events, which means college students are going to be talking to a lot of people. They’ll need to be able to memorize facts about the charity and who it helps, be personable, and be able to smile and chat for hours. It’s not a job for introverts, but for those who are outgoing and want to gain experience working for nonprofits, it’s a great option. It also pays well—students can make up to $30/hour!

2. Social media assistant

Everyone is on some form of social media these days, but not everyone has mastered it. Some small business owners don’t even have time to really develop their social media because they’re so busy handling everything else, and they don’t have the money to hire someone full-time. However, many can budget money for a part-time social media assistant. If college students love Facebook, Twitter, and other platforms and don’t mind putting in the time to learn how to truly harness these sites for a business, then this is a great job for them. It can pay as much as $21/hour.

3. Academic tutor

If college students are peculiarly sharp in one particular subject area, they might want to offer their services as academic tutors to other students. Sometimes, these jobs are available through the university, but there’s nothing stopping them from doing private tutoring. Students will need to be sure they thoroughly understand the subject, and know how to explain it to others. They will be able to set their own rate and schedule, which is nice, but there’s no guarantee being a tutor will be steady work. Tutors make anything from $15 to $30 a tutoring session, but the rate and the length of each session has to be negotiated.

4. Freelance content writer

Many websites, blogs, and online publications are in need of content, and while some do have writers on staff, many look to freelance writers for new content. College students can find a number of these jobs online, and many don’t require much experience in writing, as long as they can show them a few well-written sample articles. Their pay will be negotiated on a case-by-case basis. Sometimes, students will be paid per word, while other clients may want to set a flat rate per article. On the upside, they’ll be able to work when they want and can do so from home.

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5. Office assistant

It may not sound glamorous, but being an office assistant is a good, steady job for college students. Students get to see first-hand how an office environment works, and the skills they develop can be useful in their own careers. Here are some of the tasks they may do as an office assistant:

• Answer the phones

• Do filing and organization

• Do light computer work

• Schedule appointments

• Assist employees with various tasks as needed

Students’ duties may vary depending on where they work, but those listed are fairly common. Through the job, they may learn about various computer problems, organizational methods, and more. During off-job hours, students can easily stay connected with their customers via cloud phone systems. If they get office assistant jobs at a business in their fields, they may even be able to turn their part-time gigs into full-time jobs when they graduate.

6. Guest services coordinator

A guest services coordinator assists customers with all of their needs. They may do returns, help customers find products, or do special orders in a retail setting. However, guest services can be found in many different industries. Some may actually do more office work, while others may work in support roles. No matter what industry students are working in, however, they’ll be dealing with customers, so this is another job in which being a people person is a must. It’s possible to make as much as $21 in one of these positions.

Want to learn more about different jobs, visit College Recruiter’s blog and follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Twitter.

Photo of Sandra Lambert

Sandra Lambert, guest writer

Sandra Lambert is a CISCO certified computer networking specialist. She has a keen interest in writing about her knowledge and experiences. She writes about technology as well as about business. She has also developed interest in public speaking. You can follow her on Google+ and Twitter.

Posted August 28, 2015 by

Why Working from Home is Good for Employees and Employers

Adaptability and flexibility are two primary requirements for the majority of roles today. The ability to change job location and hours of work can be a condition of employment in most contracts. In recent years, many corporations have started to implement telecommuting strategies, whereby employees work from home or in remote locations. Incredibly, 36% of workers would choose the option of working from home ahead of a pay rise, while 46% of companies that have introduced telework state that it has reduced attrition. (more…)

Posted August 27, 2015 by

Top 5 Highest Paying College Majors

Male student holding cash and pointing with finger isolated on white background

Male student holding cash and pointing with finger isolated on white background. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

Choosing a college major is one of the most critical decisions of our lives. A lot of things have to be taken into consideration, the main ones being whether the major you’re opting for is of your interest, its value in the job market, etc. The most important thing, however, is deciding whether its pay will be worth the gruesome academics and mind-boggling digits of your tuition fee. One may argue that living a truly satisfactory life requires doing something you love, regardless of how much it pays you, but let’s face it, who doesn’t want financial stability?

But careers which pay you well initially require payment. These require sheer determination and hard work & usually have a high tuition fee. Here is a list of the five highest paying college majors: (more…)

Posted August 03, 2015 by

Understand the Career Prospects after Completing an Executive MBA

Catherina Thomas

Catherina Thomas

There is no doubt that the much coveted Masters degree in Business Administration, that is, the MBA is a degree which can completely change your life, granting you access to higher rungs of the ladder, and a whole new administrative expertise to spearhead projects with. There are various different MBA courses available, one of which is the Executive MBA degree.

It is a graduate level degree, with the distinguishing factor being that one needs 3-5 years professional experience to apply for the course, and also that he would not need to quit his day job to accommodate the course into his schedule. It is a highly specialized course, targeted at managers and administrators who wish to enrich their careers. You could learn more about PGDM and other courses too, but an EMBA is one of the best options to give a boost to your career.

Career Prospects after the Executive MBA (more…)

Posted March 17, 2015 by

Thinking of a New Career Path? Here’s How You Can Build One in Debt Consolidation

Consolidate debt 3d words help assistance combining financial bills

Consolidate debt 3d words help assistance combining financial bills. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

It really is helping people

Whether you are looking to work for a non-profit organization or one that is for profit, what you will be doing as a debt consolidator is to help people realize financial freedom, perhaps for the first time in their lives. So it is a great choice if you love helping people.

Getting down to business

However, beyond the warm fuzzy feelings of helping financially troubled people, there is the business side of things that you have to be aware of, and prepared for, if you really want to get into this career. (more…)

Posted March 17, 2015 by

You Want to Make America Healthier. Here Are 4 Career Options.

Healthcare professional promoting healthy eating, focus on fruit

Healthcare professional promoting healthy eating, focus on fruit. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

Is making a difference during your workday important to you? Do you have questions about which career is right for you? Take a look at these four careers that give you the chance to make America healthier — and earn a healthy paycheck while you do it. (more…)