• Keeping it old school on social media

    March 01, 2016 by

    Even in the digital age, there’s something warm and fuzzy about throwing it back to the good old days and keeping it old school when using social media. Maybe this seems ironic, but it makes a lot of sense; whether you’re searching for jobs, networking professionally, or connecting with friends, it helps to apply the same communication skills you use when interacting face to face to your online communication via social media. Recruiters and talent acquisition leaders—your future bosses—are looking for employees who exhibit great communication skills. If you can apply the following five tips to your use of social media, you’ll definitely improve your odds of landing internships and entry-level jobs.

    This Tuesday Tip video, featuring Bethany Wallace, Content Manager for College Recruiter, offers five suggestions for college students and recent grads for using social media old school style.


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

    1. If you can’t show Grandma, don’t show anybody.

    When using social media platforms, particularly platforms which are image-heavy like Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat, avoid posting photos (or posting comments or status updates) containing images or words you wouldn’t show or share with your grandma. If your grandma is a hipster, this rule doesn’t apply to you. Think about the stereotypical grandma who might be offended at the notion of seeing her grandson’s photos of a wild party. That’s the grandma we’re referencing here.

    If that mild-mannered, conservative grandma wouldn’t want to see it or read about it, chances are your potential employers don’t want to see it or read about it either. So don’t share it on social media. Remember that just because you think you have your privacy settings locked down doesn’t mean they’re truly secure. Your friends can always tag you in photos. Facebook is publicly traded. And your friends and contacts can also take screen shots of what you post before you realize you need to delete the scandalous content. So play it safe and follow the grandma rule, particularly prior to and during your job search.

    2. No phones allowed.

    If you’re a traditional college student, your parents can probably tell you lots of stories about what it was like to attend parties and other college functions sans cell phones. Most wild college functions were never documented; the only records that exist of the crazy things that happened at sorority houses in the 80s and 90s live in the memories of the people who attended.

    Take notes from the old folks on this one. The benefit to turning off your cell phones at the door of functions with your friends is that you won’t wind up posting any scandalous photos on social media, only to regret those posts later. It might seem fun to share the photos now, but when you begin searching for a job or internship, and employers Google you and find said photos, you’ll wish you’d followed the “no phones allowed” rule once in a while. You might want to suggest to your friends that they follow suit and turn off their phones, too. Who knows? Maybe you’ll find that you have more fun when you aren’t worried about taking selfies or being caught doing something silly.

    3. Pay attention; you’re creating a brand.

    When sharing, posting, liking, or communicating in any way with your contacts on social media, remember that you’re creating a brand for yourself. As The Police so aptly put it, “I’ll be watching you.” Your contacts—particularly recruiters and potential employers—are watching you. People often pay more attention to your online activity than what you might think. Be sure that you mindfully interact online and treat others with courtesy and kindness. Portray the image of yourself you want others to see. Brand yourself intentionally because if you don’t, you’re still creating a brand; it will just be a personal brand you’ve created haphazardly.

    When you interact through social media, commenting thoughtfully on photos and status updates also lets your contacts know that you care about their content. This helps build genuine relationships. This is another way to apply old school communication principles to your online interactions.

    4. Request a meeting with professional contacts.

    After you’ve interacted with a professional contact online for a while, don’t be afraid to make the suggestion that you meet face to face, to ask for your contact’s phone number, or to request a Skype visit. Taking the next step toward more personal face-to-face interaction is always preferable because it gives you the opportunity to get to know your contact better. Professionals—whether employers or mentors—understand that you are networking in order to gain understanding about your career field and to seek job opportunities. Make your intentions clear when requesting a visit. If you are attempting to learn more about the career field, tell your contact that. If you want to learn about the company your contact works for, state that when you request to meet for coffee.

    Most people are open to this type of request if they have time in their schedules. Even if they can’t meet face to face, they can often visit over the phone or online. Moving from social media, like Facebook messaging or direct messaging on Twitter, to a phone call, is a positive step toward building a lasting professional relationship.

    5. “As offline, so online.”

    This tip comes straight from marketing guru Samantha Hartley, owner of Enlightened Marketing. In the world of social media and electronic communication, people tend to interact more abruptly and to leave their manners at the door. This is a major faux pas if you want to maintain healthy professional relationships with your friends, professional contacts, and coworkers (and land jobs in the future).

    Remember that when interacting on social media and through email, it’s just as important to treat people with courtesy, respect, and kindness as it is offline (face to face). As offline, so online.

    For more Tuesday Tips and suggestions about using social media effectively in your job search, follow our blog, subscribe to our YouTube channel, and follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.

     

  • Creating a reference page for your resume

    February 02, 2016 by

    The job search involves multiple steps. One of the first steps involved is creating a reference page. The step prior to this is writing a basic resume. You will edit, tailor, and tweak your resume each time you apply for specific positions. Next you’ll want to create a separate reference page.

    How do you select people to serve as references? How do you create and maintain a reference page?

    Check out College Recruiter’s four-minute video about creating a reference page for your resume.


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

    1. Create a separate reference page

    Be sure to indicate to potential employers who will review your resume that you have a reference page available. At the bottom of your resume, type “references available upon request.” Creating a separate reference page is helpful for a few reasons. It saves space on your resume, and when employers choose to pursue you further in the hiring process and want to check references, they must contact you to obtain a copy of your references. This allows you time to quickly call or email your references; your references are then better prepared to provide positive, clear answers about your qualifications for employment.

    Type your reference page using the same font and format as your resume; you want to ensure that employers easily recognize that your reference page matches up with your resume if the two pages become separated. For this reason, you’ll also want to include the same or similar header at the top of your reference page listing your contact information (name, address, phone number, and email address).

    2. Ask first

    Always ask people before listing them as references; when people are prepared for reference checks, they can provide glowing reviews of you without feeling flustered. They are also more likely to serve as a reference in the future if you treat them with courtesy and respect by asking for permission to list them as references on the front end.

    3. Hesitation means no

    If people hesitate to say yes when you ask for permission to list them as references, do not list them as references, even if they eventually give you permission. There’s some reason for their hesitation. You don’t want to take any chances on one of your references giving you anything less than a stellar review; there are many times when employers checking references pick up on tone of voice or implied hints dropped by references over the phone or even in emails. Don’t let one bad reference check cause you to miss out on a great job opportunity. Move on and ask someone else to serve as a reference for you.

    4. Go above and beyond

    Employee Reference Check Form courtesy of Shutterstock.com

    Sinseeho/Shutterstock.com

    Try to provide more than the minimum number of references required. Most employers request at least three references; list five to seven instead. When human resources professionals, hiring managers, or recruiters check your references and need quick responses, this provides them with more than enough people to call or email, and if they don’t hear back from the first three people on the list, they can call one or two of your other references instead.

    5. Provide variety

    When selecting your references, provide potential employers with variety. Think about offering recruiters a broad overview of your qualifications, including your work history, educational background, and volunteer and extracurricular involvement. Include references like coworkers, supervisors, former professors, students you partnered with on major projects, fellow volunteers, directors of non-profit organizations who managed fundraisers you participated in, etc. The longer the relationship you’ve had with your references, the better; one of the questions employers might ask of your references is how long they have known you.

    6. Clear communicators

    Select references who will not only speak highly of you but who will also speak clearly and concisely about you, and preferably in an upbeat manner. Your favorite former college professor might be the nicest guy in the world, but if he’s extremely soft-spoken and stammers most of the time, you might consider finding another former professor to ask to serve as a reference. Remember that about 80% of employers check references, with about 16% checking references prior to the interview. Be sure you select references who will serve as cheerleaders for you prior to your arrival at the interview.

    7. Titles don’t always impress

    Avoid listing references simply because their job titles look impressive on your reference page; instead think about what your references will have to say about you. Can they provide real, concrete examples about the ways you’ve demonstrated your skills and abilities? If not, why are you listing them on your reference page? Remember that recruiters and hiring managers want to know if you’re a good fit for the open position. If your references can’t provide information to reassure employers that you’re the best candidate for the job opening, find references who can. Be sure your references know the real you.

    8. Maintain and update

    Keep your reference page updated with current contact information. Don’t make it tough on employers to check your references; they might give up if they run into snags when checking your references and move on to the next candidate in line for the job.

    9. Say thanks

    Lastly, be sure to thank your references each time you obtain an interview or land a job. You never know the difference your references’ reviews can make in your job search. Your references serve as part of your network of supporters, and maintaining positive connections with your network always pays off.

    For more Tuesday Tips and job search secrets, follow College Recruiter’s blog and follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube.

     

  • How to make the most of professional networking events

    January 26, 2016 by

    If you’re like one third to one half of the U.S. population who consider themselves introverted, discussing professional networking events—whether career fairs, meet and greet hours held at conferences, or even happy hour with coworkers or potential employers—induces slightly sweaty palms. Networking events are often referred to as “shmoozy events” because of the negative connotations associated with networking.

    Done the right way, professional networking doesn’t have to be socially awkward; you don’t have to push yourself on others or worry about saying exactly the right thing at just the right time in order to land a job or get a raise. It is important to remember, though, that first impressions are made within the first seven seconds of meeting someone. That’s a powerful statistic and one that sticks; the primacy effect (the tendency to remember what we notice first, whether it proves accurate or not) has lasting impact on our brains.

    This brief video provides college students and recent grads with simple, easy tips to implement at networking events. These tips are especially helpful if you’re a networking newbie, about to graduate and begin networking as part of your efforts to find your first full-time job.


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

    1. Eat prior to arrival.

    While light to heavy hors d’oeuvres are often served at most networking events, it’s never a good idea to arrive on an empty stomach. Be sure that the snack you choose isn’t heavy on onions or garlic-laden, though; you don’t want to carry offensive odors to your networking event.

    Arriving without an empty stomach will help you feel calm and mentally alert. You will be more able to focus on potential employers, build connections, and enjoy yourself if you’re not hungry.

    2. Dress conservatively.

    Dress codes are all over the place for networking events. Play it safe and stay conservative, wearing business attire. You can’t really go wrong with a well-fitting business suit. If you want to dress it up, wear a brighter shirt or tie than you might normally wear, but don’t go crazy. Networking events aren’t the time to pull out your new sequined dress or to dress down either, thinking it’s more about socializing. Remember, you’re ultimately there to build professional connections; these connections might assist you in your job or internship search now or later.

    3. Smile!

    Smiling is the easiest way to let people know you’re approachable. If you’re introverted, intimidated, or simply not excited about the event, smiling is a great “fake it til you make it” strategy for making the most of networking events. You’re already there, so why not have a good time?

    4. Go hands-free.

    Keep one hand free at all times. If you must eat a quick snack, put down your drink in order to eat. Best case scenario, though, you will watch this video and read this article before you begin attending networking events, and you can adhere to tip #1 (eat prior to arrival). When you eat prior to arrival, you’ll find yourself able to more easily shake hands, exchange business cards, and carry a bottle of water because not carrying a plate of food.

    Businesspeople shaking hands at networking event

    Minerva Studio/Shutterstock.com

    5. Prepare an elevator pitch.

    At professional networking events, you’re most likely going to introduce yourself and be asked the question, “So what do you do?” repeatedly. An elevator pitch answers this question and then some. Your elevator pitch—if pitched properly, that is—communicates who you are (in terms of education and work history), what you do (related to jobs and careers), what you want to do, and why. It’s important that potential future employers understand that you have specific goals—that’s an admirable quality, one most employers seek in candidates.

    Your elevator pitch should last no longer than 30 seconds (stay focused) and should end with a question. That question shouldn’t be, “How can you help me?” Even though we’re all seeking help from others in the job search process, the question should be focused on your new contact. Is your contact the CEO of a company? Ask him how he began his career in the business world. Ending with a question lets the other person know that you are not self-centered; networking is a two-way street, and getting to know your connections is vital to successful networking.

    If your new contacts or potential employers want to get to know you further after you give your spiel, they’ll follow up with questions. On the front end, keep it short and sweet.

    6. Talk less; listen more.

    As the saying goes, you have two ears and one mouth for a reason. As Dale Carnegie said in How to Win Friends and Influence People, “Talk to someone about themselves, and they’ll listen for hours.” General managers consistently rank listening as one of the top skills in the workplace, too. It matters, and people value you when you do it well.

    7. Give and receive contact information.

    Prepare business cards before beginning your job search or internship search. You can purchase very affordable business cards online from a variety of vendors or use a business card template available for free online. You definitely don’t want to arrive at networking events empty-handed, though.

    When someone asks for your business card, it’s proper etiquette to ask for theirs as well (and vice versa). Don’t make it your goal, though, to procure as many business cards at networking events as possible. There’s no point in this behavior. Unless you actually established an initial connection with a real person at a networking event, a business card is just a piece of paper.

    If possible, wear pants or a skirt with pockets or carry a small purse. You need a place to keep the business cards you gather. You might think of the whole “exchanging business cards” process as old-fashioned, but it’s still being done, and if you don’t bring cards to networking events, you’re the one who’ll be left out.

    8. Call them by name.

    When introduced to someone new at a professional networking event, call that person by name throughout the event. Not only will this help you remember the person’s name later, but it will also make that person feel recognized and provide a personal touch (give that person warm fuzzies), and there’s nothing wrong with that.

    9. Follow up.

    You don’t need to come home after networking events and immediately search for your new contacts on LinkedIn or Twitter, sending invitations like a stalker. Connecting on social media is part of networking, but following up has many layers. It’s not a one-size-fits-all strategy. Think carefully about each of your brand new contacts and how you might best connect with them individually before sending a mass email to 20 potential employers with your resume, references, and electronic portfolio attached.

    Remember, networking—whether online or offline—is about building connections which hopefully last for a lifetime. These relationships are just like the other relationships you invest in; relationships require work, and relationships are about give and take. Those same principles apply to professional networking.

    For more Tuesday Tips, follow College Recruiter’s blog and follow us on YouTube, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. Stick with College Recruiter as we help you connect the dots on your path to career success and introduce you to great jobs, internships, and careers. Begin your search and apply today!

     

     

     

  • Recruiters’ quick tips for job seekers

    January 21, 2016 by
    Laura Schnaible, Recruiting Specialist, The New England Center for Children, Inc.

    Laura Schnaible, Recruiting Specialist, The New England Center for Children, Inc.

    When preparing to enter the workforce after college graduation, and when preparing for internship application season, many students appreciate pointers from true experts. Two members of the recruiting team from the New England Center for Children (NECC), Laura Schnaible, Recruiting Specialist, and Kaitlyn Maloney, Human Resources Coordinator, share some of their top tips for soon-to-be grads and internship candidates preparing for the job search process.

    What are your 3 top tips for new college graduates about how to prepare for the job search process in January if they plan to graduate in May? 

    1. Students should have an updated current resume targeting specific fields/industries, if they are able to research organizations ahead of time and have a specific one for that company.
    2. Dress appropriately for colleges fairs, interviews, etc.  Lean more on the conservative side.
    3. Make use of career services at your college/university. They can help direct you when it comes to resumes, career events, job opportunities, and the appropriate ways to follow up with potential employers.

    If students want to work for The New England Center for Children as a summer intern, when should they apply? Please describe the application process. 

    Our internship program is very competitive, and we strongly recommend applying in January or prior within the fall semester, since an on-site interview is required.  It is important to review the position information, and to reach out to the internship coordinator with your contact information and resume.

    Have you hired an intern who later became a star employee? Please share your internship success story with us. 

    Kaitlyn Maloney, Human Resources Coordinator-Recruiting, The New England Center for Children, Inc.

    Kaitlyn Maloney, Human Resources Coordinator-Recruiting, The New England Center for Children, Inc.

    We have hired many full and part-time interns as employees. We pride ourselves on being a company that promotes within, and we have had numerous interns turn into staff who grow into supervisory positions, complete on-site Master’s programs, and truly become leaders at the organization.

    For more tips from recruiting experts, follow College Recruiter’s blog and follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. Stick with College Recruiter this month as we help you connect the dots on your path to career success.

    In 2007, like most employees at The New England Center for Children (NECC®), Kaitlyn and Laura began their careers as teachers in the residential program for students who have a moderate to severe diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder.  Kaitlyn received her undergraduate degree in Criminal Justice and Psychology at Westfield State University, and Laura attended Valparaiso University, receiving her degree in Business Administration and Psychology.  During their years at NECC, both have taken advantage of the significant graduate school tuition reimbursement benefit; Kaitlyn received her Master’s of Education with a concentration in Mental Health Counseling from Cambridge College, and Laura received her Master’s of Science in Education with a concentration in Severe Special Needs from Simmons College (one of NECC’s on-site graduate programs).  After working in the residential program, and at NECC’s second school facility in Abu Dhabi, Kaitlyn joined the Human Resources Recruitment Department in 2014 as a Human Resources Coordinator, and has the main focus of creating relationships with numerous college and university programs within the Northeast.  Laura has been in the Recruiting Specialist role for seven years and focuses on building long-reaching partnerships with programs throughout the United States and Canada.  Both work daily meeting college students in person and guiding them toward the many internship and career opportunities at NECC.

    For those interested in learning more about internships, career opportunities, and the numerous benefits NECC offers, please visit www.necc.org.