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Posted July 27, 2016 by

10 tips for college graduates seeking job search success

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College seniors and recent college graduates often enter the job market eager and excited about the possibilities of landing that first job. But many quickly find out job search success isn’t immediate and requires a lot of hard work.

But successful job seekers also quickly realize there are resources that can help: mentors, college career services departments, and professional contacts are willing to assist recent college graduates in their quest for job search success.

Below, we organized feedback from a variety of career services professionals and recruiting experts, all who offer job search and career advice for college seniors, recent college grads, and entry-level job seekers striving to achieve job search success. We’d like to offer our own secret: register as a job seeker with College Recruiter. We’ll send you new job leads tailored to your interests and preferences and save you the trouble of searching for them on a regular basis.

1. Write down the best qualities of one job you would do for free

“Think about the one job you would do even if you weren’t being paid for doing it – the job you would do right now simply for the joy it brings you. Write it down. Then write down the qualities of this job. As you interview, be sure to ask questions that address the presence of these qualities. At the offer stage, be sure to assess the offers in terms of the presence or absence of these qualities.”

Steve Levy, Advisor at Day 100

2. Find a mentor

“The best tip that I could give college seniors is to be willing to ask questions. It can be intimidating to have peers with jobs already lined up and seemingly everything figured out. Don’t be afraid to admit what you don’t know about the job search. Ask for help with the process. Find a mentor or several mentors, and use their time wisely. Instead of asking for a simple resume review, bring your resume and 5 job descriptions and ask, “how could I strengthen my application for each of these roles?” or “If you were interviewing for these positions, how would you evaluate candidates?” Once you start asking deep-dive questions about resumes, jobs, and interviews, you will become an active, engaged candidate.”

Mike Caldwell, Director, Business Careers & Employer Development and College of William & Mary

3. Connect with your cover letter

“When writing your cover letter, make sure you’re talking about how well you fit with both the job description AND the company. There will likely be several candidates who have a strong background for the position. Once that has been established, the company will look at who will fit best into the company and its established culture. This is your opportunity to establish that connection early.”

Kelsey Lavigne, Career Services Specialist, University of Arkansas College of Engineering

4. Resume tip: Show don’t tell

“Show me; don’t tell me. I often say that evidence is worth more than a thousand words. When hiring, I am looking for someone who truly ‘walks the talk’—and a great way for candidates to demonstrate or prove their ability, passion, skills, and knowledge is by using a portfolio—which goes well beyond a static resume.”

Heather Hiles, is the CEO and founder of Pathbrite

5. Focus on people first

“When you get into your job — no matter what you’re doing or how much you like it — focus on people first. Get to know your coworkers and get to care about your coworkers. You have no idea what turn your career will take, and in five years this job may be a small blip on your resume. But what makes the job worth the time are the people you meet and the relationships you form.”

Sarah Greesonbach, Principal at B2B Content Studio, @AwYeahSarah

6. Be specific in your first job search

“Be open to other career path opportunities which may come your way, but in your initial search be specific. A narrow focus will keep you from wasting your time (and that of employers, recruiters, and hiring managers) by applying and interviewing for positions which really aren’t a good fit or what you want to be doing. Also, it’s okay to start at the beginning, though the pay and responsibility may be less than what you were hoping. Go in with the understanding and determination that as long as you do more than what you are paid to do, you will eventually end up being paid more for what you do, if not by your present employer, then its competitor.”

David Flake, Human Resources Director at State of Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism

7. Stay organized

“Start early and stay organized. Keep a log of applications you’ve completed, date, which copy of your resume you sent, and any contact information you have. Use that to follow up on jobs!”

Rebecca Warren, Career & Disability Services Coordinator, University of Arkansas Community College at Batesville

8. Utilize your college career services department

“Make use of the career services office at your college or university. The staff can direct you when it comes to resumes, career fairs, job opportunities, and the appropriate ways to follow up with potential employers.”

Kaitlyn Maloney, Human Resources Coordinator, New England Center for Children

9. Maintain a positive online image

“Make sure you are reflecting your professional self. Search for your name online. See what comes back in the results. Remember you’re selling yourself to potential employers, and you should present your best self. Keep social media pages (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn) free from questionable posts and images.”

Erin Vickers, Staffing Consultant, RightSourcing, Inc.

10. Always learn to grow as a professional

“Be gentle with yourself as you navigate the job market. You probably won’t land your dream job the first time around. However, if you understand that this process is a continuation of your learning and growth as both a professional and person you will be just fine.”

Janine Truitt, Chief Innovations Officer, Talent Think Innovations, LLC.

The job search is tough. Seek out help and assistance. Utilize these resources and tips to help succeed in your job search now and throughout your career.

For more job search success stories and tips, visit our blog and connect with us on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube.

Posted April 26, 2016 by

[video] 5 tips for following up after job interviews

 

Just because your interview went well doesn’t mean you can rest. Following up after a job interview is absolutely important and affects your chances.

Imagine this scenario: You finish the interview. You stand up, straightening your new suit jacket. The recruiter smiles broadly and extends her hand.

“Thank you so much for your time today. You should definitely hear from us within the next two weeks about our hiring decision.”

It’s in the bag, you think to yourself while you shake hands with her, smiling and thanking her for the opportunity to interview with her company and colleagues. (more…)

Posted February 09, 2016 by

3 online networking tips

As a college student, you might be an expert at using social networking apps like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, and Whisper for connecting with friends and communicating about day-to-day life, but do you admittedly need guidance when it comes to networking online for professional reasons? It’s one thing to post pictures of your weekend adventures with your best friends—it’s another to reach out to your social network for assistance when conducting your first full-time job or internship search.

This brief video featuring Career and Disability Services Coordinator, Rebecca Warren, of the University of Arkansas Community College at Batesville, highlights three simple tips for making the most of social media when networking online for professional purposes.


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

1)      Clean up your social media pages, profiles, and online presence before becoming active in your job search.

Networking online via social media for professional purposes is a different animal than using social media for personal reasons.  Make sure everything you post (or have visible and set to “public”) is appropriate; would you feel comfortable with the content being seen by an employer or by someone listed as a job reference? If not, delete it. Delete statuses and posts including curse words and long rants, Tweets with awful grammar, and photos portraying you in a negative or scandalous light. The rule of thumb is to always yourself positively and professionally, particularly when conducting a job search. Don’t begin the online networking process until you’ve taken this first step.

2)      Let your existing network know you are preparing to begin a job search.

Let your contacts—friends, family, and other contacts you are already connected to online– know about your career field (which is probably related to your college major), where your interests lie, where you have completed internships, etc.  Be careful when reaching out; when networking online, you never want to demand assistance or seem pushy, arrogant, or nonchalant. When asking for assistance in your job search, attempt to come across as gracious and patient. Remember, your social media contacts are under no obligation to assist you—expressing gratitude for any act of support or assistance is always a good idea!

Your social network will grow based on the people your existing connections know.

Rebecca Warren, Career and Disability Services Coordinator, UACCB

Rebecca Warren, Career and Disability Services Coordinator, UACCB

“If your existing network online doesn’t know you’re conducting a job search, they can’t help you,” says Rebecca Warren.

If you build the support of your initial contacts, you already have many people cheering you on before you even begin.

3)      Connect online via social media with professional groups in your field.

Many professional organizations host pages or groups on social media platforms, including LinkedIn and Facebook, and some even host weekly online Twitter discussions. Connecting with professional organizations and getting involved in discussions requires effort on your part, but this work pays off. You never know when a member of a group might know about an unlisted job opening or an upcoming job opening within his organization. If you are regularly participating in online discussions and making intelligent contributions to discussions, the member may reach out to you about the job opening.

Networking online is similar to networking face-to-face; it’s an ongoing process, and it’s about relationships. Whether you’re using social media apps or participating in professional groups and discussion boards, simply treat people professionally and with common courtesies, and you’ll find your online network growing exponentially.

To begin practicing these three great tips for using social media to your advantage in your job search, visit College Recruiter on Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Twitter.