• Entry level business jobs: Your business major isn’t a shoo-in.

    September 27, 2017 by

     

    Business is the most popular major on college campuses today. Many students believe a business degree gives them the best shot at employment and a successful career, but according to the Washington Post, many employers disagree. Below we provide a list of entry level business jobs, but first, business majors should read what you are probably lacking and how to make yourself more employable. Continue Reading

  • 10 most tricky HR questions for students

    July 16, 2016 by
    Interview photo by StockUnlimited.com

    Photo by StockUnlimited.com

    You know what the problem is when you graduate and start the interviewing process? You have perhaps half a dozen, perhaps twice that number of interviews under your belt. The people sitting there behind those big desks staring at you steely-eyed? They have done hundreds. That means they know the tricks, they know the strategies, and they know how to make you stumble. If you want to stand a chance at beating them at their own game, you have to be prepared.

    Why should I hire you?

    This one catches people a lot. They are afraid they will either come across as too arrogant or that they will not push themselves enough. The thing is that is not really what the question is about, and both those traps can be easily avoided if you realize that.

    This is not about you telling them how amazing you are. This is about you showing how much you know about them (which is everybody’s favorite topic). So show them that you know what the position entails and what skills will be required. After you have done that you can modestly admit that you have those skills (preferably with a few examples of where you’ve used those skills as showing is always better than telling).

    Why is there a gap in your work history?

    You have been unemployed for six months because you needed some time to chill out and get your priorities sorted. Or you spent some time living on a beach seeing if it is really true your skin turns green when you drink too many mojitos. Or you lived in your parents’ basements and played video games. Fantastic! You do not necessarily want to tell them that though.

    Instead, talk about how you used that time to make yourself a better person. Talk about freelancing work you did, social outreach, or how you spent your time searching for the perfect job (which is obviously the one you are interviewing for right now). Put a positive spin on things by showing how much you grew as a person.

    You have been fired from your last job. How did it make you feel?

    You have to demonstrate that you can take a blow without becoming either angry or resentful. So even if you are, burry that deep and instead tell them about how you used this as an opportunity to improve yourself so that nothing like this can ever happen to you again.

    What is your biggest weakness?

    A nasty question! There is no doubt about it. You better prepare to meet this one every so often, because a lot of HR managers have this one in their repertoire and like to throw it out there to see how you react.

    The right way to go is to remember that strengths and weaknesses can be different sides of the same coin. So if you have a weakness, admit it and then explain to them how in some situations it can be a strength. Alternatively, take your greatest strength and admit when it might actually be a weakness. That way you show you understand yourself.

    Have you ever had a bad experience with an employer?

    This one is as much to see how you handle being put on the spot as to see if you will be honest. Remember, everybody is bound to have bad experiences occasionally. We are all human. So they are not going to believe you when you say ‘no, never.’ Instead think of something that did go wrong then admit that it was at least partially your fault and explain how you learned from it and how you will be better next time. That shows both humility and wisdom.

    Do not bag on your previous employer! That will raise all sorts of red flags. Yes, it they might be bad people, but this person sitting opposite you will not have a better impression of you if you decide to tell them that.

    Frustrated businesswoman screaming photo by StockUnlimited.com

    Photo by StockUnlimited.com

    Tell about a day when you messed up at work

    Another one of those situations where you have to be honest and admit you have done something wrong. After all, nobody is perfect, and if you are not willing to admit you have screwed up you can wave the job you are interviewing for good-bye. Just like with the last question the trick here is to show what you have learned.

    How would you deliver bad news to a colleague?

    Here is your opportunity to demonstrate empathy and your ability to deal with a stressful situation in a grownup manner. So do not suggest you would send them a text or first let everybody in the office know so that you can all have a laugh. Instead, show them how diplomatic you are.

    Will you be out to take my job?

    Okay, here you can lie. ‘No’ is the correct answer. ‘I doubt I could do it as well as you’ is a good follow up.

    How did you prepare for this interview?

    Here is where you demonstrate that you care enough about the job to actually have researched the position (you did research the position didn’t you?). So tell them how you went to the website and read this that and the other. Here you get to show off some of the things you learned, including talking a little bit about the industry as well as what their company specifically does.

    Where would you really like to work?

    ‘Here’ is the right answer. Now you can be a bit honest and suggest that you want to ultimately move into another area in the company, but whatever you do, do not say another company name! That is a fantastic way to close the door on any opportunity to work there.

    Last words

    The most important thing to remember is that there will be other interviews and however many ‘no’s you get you only want one ‘yes’, so don’t get too stressed out. You will get there in the end. After that, you will have to go through the hard work of keeping the job. That is not exactly easy either, but at this moment, that probably feels more like a ‘wish I had that problem’ problem.

    Need more interview tips? Visit our blog and connect with us on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube.

    Dante Munnis, guest writer

    Dante Munnis, guest writer

    Dante Munnis is a blogger and idea maker from Stockholm who is interested in self-development, web related topics, and success issues. He shares ideas for students living a better life and building habits that stick. To get strategies for boosting your mental and physical performance, you can get in touch with Dante via Twitter.

     

  • 4 ways sophomores can take advantage of career services

    July 12, 2016 by

    It’s your sophomore year of college. You’re feeling pretty comfortable with the whole college thing—a little too comfortable, maybe. It’s easy to get in a rut your sophomore year and forget about your long-term career goals while you go to classes and hang out with friends.

    Don’t let this happen to you. Before you move back to campus this fall, make it a point to commit to setting the four following goals for yourself, suggested by College Recruiter’s Content Manager, Bethany Wallace, in this short video about how to take full advantage of career services during your sophomore year of college.


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

    1. Declare your major.

    Actually, this really isn’t an option at most colleges and universities; you’re required to declare a major course of study by the time you earn 60 credit hours. The important thing is to declare the best major for you and to do a little prep work in advance. Before declaring your major, be sure you have taken skill/interest inventories available through career services, visited with trusted advisors (not just your assigned advisor, but also your faculty members, unofficial mentors, parents (if you actually get along with them), and people who work in career fields you’re considering). Do a little homework and research about the career fields you’re considering, too. Use the salary calculator on our website—how much can you potentially earn in your chosen career fields? Even though you can’t predict what the job market and economy will look like in two or three years, it’s better to crunch numbers hypothetically than not at all. Remember that above all, you must take full responsibility for your career plan because it’s YOUR career plan.

    2. Work.

    Whether you volunteer or work in a paid position (internship, co-op position, part-time job, full-time job during the summer, whatever), gain some work experience you can list on your resume during your sophomore year. This is crucial, and it may take some time, so don’t wait until two weeks before summer break to begin looking. As Chris Czarnik of Fox Valley Technical College says, “Finding a bad job is easy, but finding a great job takes work.” Preferably, attempt to gain experience in your chosen career field or tied to your major field of study. Seek help in career services with this, and don’t overlook CollegeRecruiter.com as a helpful source in the job search process. We make finding a great job much easier.

    3. Create a true resume.

    If you created a solid draft of a resume or a working resume during your first year of college, that’s a great start. Your sophomore year is the time to convert the draft into a solid working resume which you can continually revise as you gain experience throughout your college career. You’re going to apply for jobs, internships, and volunteer opportunities during your sophomore year, so you definitely want to have a great working resume on hand. Seek help from career services to develop your resume, and don’t forget to take advantage of the free resume editing tool on our website.

    4. Attend the career fair on your campus hosted by career services.

    Make it a goal to visit face-to-face with at least three actual recruiters during the career fair. Ask for their business cards and try to remember at least one important fact about the companies they represent. Invite the representatives/recruiters after the career fair to connect with you on Twitter or LinkedIn after the career fair. It’s not too soon to begin considering which employers you might want to work for when you graduate. If you meet an employer you feel you genuinely connect with, ask for an informational interview during the career fair or at a later time. That employer might plan to return to campus to conduct on-campus interviews, or the employer may be able to do the interview online or over the phone as well. The employer might even invite you to conduct a site visit. These are great opportunities to build relationships with potential future employers!

    For more suggestions about how to create a solid career plan, follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.

     

     

  • Networking events on campus give students workplace preview

    July 10, 2016 by
    Hr. photo by StockUnlimited.com

    Photo by StockUnlimited.com

    Recruiters typically head to college campuses every fall. They will be looking for the best and brightest students with the potential to fill internships and entry-level jobs. However, other recruiters will not travel to schools or may limit travel because of the costs; they would prefer job seekers come to them, find candidates online, or may recruit through other means, such as through target email campaigns and banner ads.

    Recruiters who opt out of campus recruiting entirely might miss out on the face-to-face interaction with college students interested in learning more about specific employers. Attending at least some of the networking events on college campuses not only allows recruiters to make their presence known but also helps students gain a better understanding of the workplace. John Link, Assistant Director for Career Development at Webster University, highlights why recruiters and employers should visit college campuses.

    “I think it is important for recruiters to actively attend networking events on university and college campuses to assist with developing college students’ understanding of the working world, and begin identifying the marketable skills and abilities essential in that specific area of employment. Employers who attend networking events on university and college campuses have immediate access to college students from various economic and cultural backgrounds while connecting information to students about opportunities for the company or organization they are representing. This information can be helpful for short and long-term career goal setting and connecting students to professionals in the fields of work they are interested in.”

    For more advice on professional networking, check out our blog and follow us on LinkedIn, YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook.

    John Link, Assistant Director for Career Development at Webster University

    John Link, Assistant Director for Career Development at Webster University

    John Link is the Assistant Director for Career Development at Webster University in St. Louis, Missouri. An Indiana native, John spent time working at Indiana State University’s Career Center in career programming before making the move to St. Louis. Prior to working in higher education, John worked as an elementary teacher in Fayetteville, North Carolina, and served as an instructional coach to assist teachers in further developing their math and science teaching skills. John enjoys working in career development and helping define students’ career goals through personalized career coaching.

  • The art of writing a perfect resume

    July 09, 2016 by
    Laptop, student, boy photo by StockUnlimited.com

    Photo by StockUnlimited.com

    In the realm of job hunting, a resume is the best weapon to help you achieve your goal of landing a great job opportunity. Resumes showcase your skills and virtues in a concise and crisp manner. It helps you sell yourself and impresses your prospective employers. To flaunt your attributes and strengths, and focus on career highlights, your resume is the only document that catches the reader’s attention. To create the best resume, keep certain points in mind, as they will make your resume stand out from others.

    Your resume needs a summary statement that briefly summarizes your career and details the kind of work you have done. This summary statement will help recruiters understand your transferable skills and your background. You can resort to infographics as well to make your resume appear more appealing. Infographics give new appeal to your resume and make the information catchy. This helps recruiters see your highlights in a single glance, which improves your chances of being shortlisted as a job candidate.

    You must focus on a few other aspects as well to create the best resume. You must take care of the layout, font, and length of the resume. Do not make it too verbose, the font unreadable, and the length of the resume more than two pages. This will help your prospects focus on the job advertisement for the specific role. Keeping your resume concise and free of grammatical errors is a basic check that you must perform. The structure of the resume must mention your personal information and summary statement in a proper layout. So take care of all these points while creating your resume.

    The Art of Writing a Great Resume Template

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Source: https://www.template.net/

    Find more resume tips on the College Recruiter blog and follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube.

    Lisa Smith, guest writer

    Lisa Smith, guest writer

    Lisa Smith is a designer by profession, has love for creativity, and enjoys writing articles for almost all topics. Also, she is a regular contributor to Successstory.com, where you can find her favorite topics related to self-improvement and motivation.

  • How to network in the workplace

    July 07, 2016 by
    Two businessmen talking and smiling photo by StockUnlimited.com

    Photo by StockUnlimited.com

    Congratulations on landing your new entry-level job or internship! Perhaps you landed it through networking. If so, that means you understood how to approach interacting with family, friends, and/or recruiting and talent acquisition professionals during your job search.

    Now it’s time to transition from networking to find a job to networking in the workplace. This is an opportunity to demonstrate your skills and qualities and learn from established employees who can help you along the way. Vickie Cox-Lanyon, Director of Career Services and LEEP Center Adviser at Clark University, explains how new hires should approach networking in the workplace.

    “The first step is to establish yourself as a hard-working, competent, young professional. Making a good first impression in your new role will get your colleagues’ attention and increase the likelihood they will be willing to assist in your career development. At the same time, you need to assimilate into the culture of your organization and begin to create collegial working relationships. If you begin networking too early, it may appear you are too focused on your future rather than your current role.

    Once you have established yourself, identify someone one level above you whose position or career path you’re interested in. Start with people you already know. Your goal is to secure an informational interview where you ask questions about the professional’s career trajectory and solicit advice on your potential goals. People generally like to talk about themselves and like to give advice, so you should get a positive response as long as you are polite and professional.

    Another goal of that conversation should be expanding your network by asking the professional for names of other professionals they can introduce you to. Etiquette is important in this process so remember that written communication should be formal and professional, and follow-up thank you notes are essential. Above all, be willing to listen and be open to the advice you receive.”

    Need more help with networking? Learn more on our blog and follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube.

    Vickie Cox-Lanyon, Director of Career Services / Graduate School Adviser and Assistant Director of the LEEP Center

    Vickie Cox-Lanyon, Director of Career Services / Graduate School Adviser and Assistant Director of the LEEP Center

    Vickie Cox-Lanyon is Director of Career Services / Graduate School Adviser and Assistant Director of the LEEP Center at Clark University. Cox-Lanyon provides career and academic guidance to students and alumni throughout their career development process. She has been in the field of career services since 1997 and is a member of the National Career Development Association, the National Association of Colleges and Employers, and the Liberal Arts Career Network, through which she participates in annual professional development activities. She holds a BA in Psychology from Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut and an MS in Psychology from the University of Rhode Island.

  • 5 ways first-year college students can take advantage of career services

    July 05, 2016 by

    If you’re gearing up for college as a first-year college student, you’re probably super excited. And nervous. And overwhelmed by a large to-do list… Pack, meet your roommate, scope out the best parking spots, locate your classes, and find decent restaurants near campus. And of course you’ll want to buy your books, meet your academic advisor, and stop by career services during your first semester on campus.

    Career services—what? You’ve only just begun taking college courses—career services is for seniors, right? Wrong. The worst thing you can do is wait until you’re a senior in college to reach out to career services for help.

    This short video, hosted by College Recruiter’s Content Manager, Bethany Wallace, lists five ways first-year college students can take advantage of career services.


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

    1.Get to know career services professionals during your first year on campus.

    They’re your greatest allies in your job search. They’ll help you find great opportunities to gain experience, including part-time and full-time jobs, volunteer opportunities, internships and externships. You can begin learning about these opportunities as a first-year college student.

    “Career services professionals are there to help guide and ease your career search. The cost is free, and the things you gain are priceless!” claims Xiaoying Chen, Human Resources Coordinator and former career services professional.

    2. Take skill/interest inventories (free via career services).

    The skill and interest inventories provided by career services are much more in depth and offer way better feedback than the 10-question surveys you might have taken online via social media in the past. There’s a reason career services offices pay for access to these assessment tools; as a college student, you have access to take the assessments at no cost, so why not take advantage of this opportunity to learn about your personality, work style, skills and abilities, and interests? The more you learn about yourself and the better you understand yourself, the more likely you are to choose a degree path/major that suits you well.

    Be sure to take skill/interest inventories as a first-year college student because at most colleges and universities, you have to declare a major course of study by the end of your sophomore year (or when you have earned 60 credit hours).

    3. Begin networking and branding yourself.

    These two long-term activities—or ways of life, really—go hand in hand. If you’re showing people who you are in your best light (what branding is all about), building great relationships (networking) is much more natural and easier.

    Stop by your career services office on campus to ask about ways you can begin networking with employers right away. Career services offices typically host meet-and-greet events to allow students and employers to connect. They also host career fairs on campus and on-campus interviews and informational interviews. Some career services offices even partner with employers to provide site visits to allow students to see what employers do on a daily basis. Be open to suggestions made by your career services professionals and take advantage of opportunities to get to know employers. The sooner you begin branding yourself as someone who’s eager to learn, the better off you’ll be when you begin applying for internships and jobs.

    4. Get involved on campus.

    It’s easy to put your head down, study hard, and focus on grades and nothing else during your first year of college. It’s just as easy to do the opposite and do nothing but party your first year of college. Neither of those are really good options in the long run. If possible, keep your grades up but don’t avoid interacting with people either.

    Join at least one or two organizations with a genuine purpose. Ideally the organizations you join provide you with opportunities to learn or grow in ways you can develop technical or soft skills which you can later list on your resume. Look for opportunities to work as part of a team, opportunities to lead, opportunities to solve problems, and opportunities to put the academic lessons learned in the classroom to use in a creative way outside of the classroom.

    5. Create a draft of a resume or at least a running list (to be converted into a resume later).

    Ideally, you should create a draft of a resume, even if it’s rather sketchy and thrown together during your first year of college. Just get started!

    If you don’t actually lay out your resume in resume format, at least create a running list of your activities, honors and awards, skills, campus involvement, and work and volunteer experience. Keeping up with what you have done and are doing is crucial. Keep this list in Microsoft Word or Google Docs and in the cloud; don’t keep it on a device which can be stolen, damaged, or lost. When you’re ready to create your first real resume, your list will be retrievable.

    For more tips to help you get on the right track to career success, stay connected by following us on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.

  • 4 beautiful truths of networking

    July 01, 2016 by

    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.

  • 10 career mistakes to avoid

    June 26, 2016 by
    Photo by StockUnlimited.com

    Photo by StockUnlimited.com

    One of your top goals is to have a happy and successful life.

    Your career is the key to achieving this goal.

    You’ve got a nice degree, have a lovely smile and are ready to work, but there’s one more thing that could stop you from realizing your dreams:

    Mistakes.

    Some mistakes could harm or even end your career. You have to recognize and avoid them at all costs if you really want to have a successful life.

    There are 10 career defining mistakes.

    1. Dressing badly at work

    Research tells us that what we wear affects how we think. How we dress also affects how other people perceive us.

    Sure, you deserve to get the respect you think you deserve and get people to listen to you. People should respect you because you know what you’re talking about.

    So why should you wear expensive socks to get people to respect you?

    Let me tell you a story.

    One day I was on a bus headed to my friend’s house. It’s been a long time since I went to the neighborhood so I wasn’t so sure which stop to get off at. I was constantly looking out at the window, and the gentleman sitting beside me could not help but notice it.

    He nicely asked where I was going and if I needed help. I told him where I was going, and he said I should exit in two stops. I thanked him.

    A few minutes later, another man sitting behind me said “Actually, you should get off at the next stop.”

    I thanked him and exited where he told me, ignoring the advice of the first guy.

    Now, you may want to ask me why I chose the second guy’s advice.

    As I walk away from the bus stop, I realized I ignored my seatmate’s advice because he was wearing sweatpants, had a dark stain on his T-shirt, and looked like he skipped showering that day. I realized that I chose the second guy’s advice because he wore a collared jacket, well-polished shoes, and designer glasses.

    When you dress well at work, people will notice you. Your superiors will notice you, and they would admire you for that. That would open up more opportunities for you.

    2. Expressing a rude and negative attitude at work

    Even if you’re a highly-talented employee but always express a bad and negative attitude at work, you’ll have a high mountain to climb to advance your career. Many managers hate working with employees who have bad attitudes because they decrease the team morale.

    According to studies from Leadership IQ, 87% of employees say that working with somebody with a bad attitude has actually made them want to change jobs. And as much as 89% of new hires who fail within 18 months actually failed because of attitudinal issues, not skills. Bad attitudes also include laziness, tardiness, inappropriate jokes, unresponsive to emails, etc. List all the bad and negative attitudes you have and make a consistent effort to overcome them.

    3. Not building good relationships with your colleagues

    Bad relationships are bound to happen from time to time. How you deal with them is the most important thing.

    Your colleagues are the keys to your happiness at work. If you’re not happy with your coworkers, then you’ll certainly be looking for work soon. I’m a big believer of the phrase “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” If you want your coworkers to be kind and respectful to you, then you have to be kind and respectful to them.

    Make sure you remember your coworkers’ names and address them by their names. It’s easy to say happy birthdays to your coworkers on Facebook when you rarely talk to them at work. Make sure you’re doing that important one-on-one conversation. Get on the phone and tell them “Happy Birthday.” Go an extra mile and surprise them with a gift. This little generosity will make you more likable at your workplace.

    4. Writing unprofessional emails to colleagues

    You know there are some unprofessional things you shouldn’t say to your colleagues in the workplace. The same is true for work emails.

    For example, it’s not appropriate to answer a colleague asking you how your job search is going inside your work email. Another example is when your colleague complains about other coworkers and says nasty things about them.

    These are discussions you shouldn’t allow inside your work email. I don’t think it’s good to allow it at all whether it’s your personal or work email. You should know that you don’t own your work email, your employer does. Your employer can monitor who you’re communicating with on your work email. You could be in trouble if you’re making inappropriate remarks about sensitive issues at your workplace.

    In addition to that, there are some email mistakes that can make you look really unprofessional.

    For example:

    • Using informal or curse words you’re not allowed to use at work
    • Rambling in your email instead of getting straight to the point
    • Forgetting to attach files when you say you’ve attached files
    • Spelling the person’s name wrong or using a different name to address the recipient

    These email mistakes may not look big to you, but they are serious mistakes that can prevent you from accelerating your career.

    5. Making career choices based on earnings

    The love of money could lead you down the wrong career path.

    I’m not saying “The love of money is the root of all evil.”

    You need money to do a lot of things. You probably need money to pay student loans, buy some nice outfits and keep the roof over your head. So you definitely need money. We all do.

    But when you choose a career or a job you don’t even enjoy based on your goal to make $90,000 per year, that’s when it becomes a problem. You need to ask yourself:

    Does your desire for money match your passion and skills? When you choose a job you’re less passionate about, you’ll be pushing yourself to get things done. And this would be visible in your performance. You should choose a job where you have the skills and abilities to get the job done.

    6. Not investing in yourself

    If you strip Larry Page of his assets and dump him on the street, I can assure you that he would be back living a comfortable life within a week.

    Larry Page has a ton of human capital.

    According to Wikipedia“Human capital is the stock of knowledge, habits, social and personality attributes, including creativity, embodied in the ability to perform labor so as to produce economic value.” In other words, human capital is a collection of resources—all the knowledge, talents, skills, abilities, experience, intelligence, training, judgment, and wisdom that are possessed by an individual. If you want to achieve a lot of success in your career, you need a lot of human capital. Focusing on building your human capital is a lot more productive than worrying about “job security.

    So how do you build your human capital?

    You build up your human capital by investing in yourself through:

    • Improving your skills
    • Acquiring complementary skills
    • Reading educational books
    • Starting healthy habits
    • Building your personal brand
    • Getting a mentor

    As you do these things, you’ll become irreplaceable in your organization. You’ll become the go-to person within your company. Many more people will start looking up to you. All these help you accelerate your career.

    But when you stop investing in yourself, you become stagnant. Your skills become obsolete.

    7. Not maintaining a healthy work-life balance

    A poor work-life balance is bad for both the employee (you) and the employer.

    People who have a poor work-life balance are more stressed and experience more family conflicts. They also tend to have both mental and physical problems. If your private life is suffering, it will negatively impact your professional life. Your private life comes first. When you experience more problems in your private life, your creativity, engagement and productivity at work will suffer.

    The only way to prevent this is to keep a work-life balance.

    This may not look like a career mistake to you, but it’s a mistake that can have adverse effects on your career. You should set work hours and stick to them. Don’t work during times when you should be with your family or have set aside times for tending to personal matters which are a priority to you.

    8. Not improving your communication skills

    “The most important single ingredient in the formula of success is knowing how to get along with people.”—Theodore Roosevelt

    The consequences of poor communication are great.

    For example, if your communication skills are poor, your message would be hard to understand, and this can lead to serious confusion among your colleagues.

    Too much information when it is not needed can also affect the concentration of the listener.

    Poor communication becomes more serious when you communicate with customers. If customers are not serviced in the right manner, it would reduce sales, thereby affecting business goals.

    Great communication skills help you do well at your job because you’ll be using these skills when requesting information, discussing problems, giving out instructions, and interacting with your colleagues. As a result of demonstrating good communication skills, you’ll enhance your professional image, build sound business relationships, and get more successful responses.

    You have to continue sharpening your communication skills if you want to get and stay at the top.

    How do you do that?

    You sharpen your communication skills by:

    • Striking up conversations with strangers
    • Reading good books
    • Listening to others
    • And engaging in more one-on-one conversations

    9. Not networking outside your company

    Your network is your net worth.

    Your network is your source of job opportunities, potential business partnerships and much more. Your network won’t only find your next job, but it will help you improve your current position.

    NETWORKING is the single most powerful marketing tactic to accelerate and sustain success for any individual or organization!”—Adam Small

    One of the biggest mistakes many people make is to network when they are only looking for a job. You can’t only rely on people you already know within your current workplace to help you land your dream job. You must always be networking outside of your company, and even your industry.

    For example, let’s say you’re a website designer; networking with other website designers alone would limit your opportunities. You should network outside your industry like in the Healthcare, Manufacturing, Agriculture and Energy sectors. People in these sectors could be good references. They could become customers. They might know someone who needs your service.

    LinkedIn is a very good place to start networking with people outside your industries.

    But your conversation with those people shouldn’t be limited to the web. Take it offline. Do face-to-face meetings with them. That’s how you expand your network and increase your chance of career success.

    10. Not serving your network

    The truth is the people in your network needs you as much as you need them.

    You can’t just expect people in your network to connect you with other people they know. You can’t just expect them to link you up with job opportunities without you giving them some value. You’ll appear selfish if you always expect people to do things for you but offer nothing in return.

    The best way to keep people interested in you is to serve them. When you diligently do something good for people, they will want to return the favor, though, your major aim of helping people shouldn’t be to get something in return. The more people you serve, the more your network grows, and the more your network grows, the more opportunities will come your way.

    Michael Akinlaby, guest writer

    Michael Akinlaby, guest writer

    Need more tips for making the best career choices? Visit our blog and follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube.

    Michael Akinlaby is a freelance writer and SEO Consultant. He’s the founder of RankRain, an internet marketing agency that specializes in content marketing and Search Engine. 

  • How to get a dream job even without experience

    June 20, 2016 by
    Dream, job, way photo by StockUnlimited.com

    Photo by StockUnlimited.com

    It’s intensely frustrating. You spend years getting further education, you work your butt off, you rack up extra debt, and afterwards no doors will open because ‘you lack experience’ or because university ‘didn’t teach you the skills you need.’ But how can you get experience if nobody will give you a job?

    Well fear not; there are actually ways to get that dream job after all, and that’s without first working 10 years at some entry-level position trying to make your mark. It just means working hard right now and showing everybody that you’ve got the mojo to pull it off.
    So are you ready to get noticed? Here’s what you’ve got to do.

    Do the time

    Despite what many young people think, the world doesn’t owe them anything. That means your dream job is not going to get thrown into your lap. If you want it, you’ve got to look for it, hunt for it, and when you found it, battle to get it. So make sure you don’t sit back and wait for something to happen.

    Instead, pursue every channel to get the job you want, be it social media, friends of the family, career counseling at university or the classifieds in the local newspaper (some people actually still use those). And apply to everything that sounds close to what you want. Even if you don’t end up wanting it, the experience from going to the interview can be just what you need to wow your future employers when you do land the right interview.

    Develop your soft skills

    One of the biggest problems employers have with fresh graduates is that they don’t have the soft skills necessary to actually get anywhere in the workplace. By soft skills I mean teamwork, communication, writing and problem-solving skills. An even bigger problem? Graduates think they’re actually very good at those things and therefore don’t take the time to become better at them. Don’t be like everybody else; accept that you’ve still got a lot to learn, then go out of your way to learn soft skills!

    Be confident but not arrogant

    There is another good reason besides soft skills that many people don’t like hiring recent graduates – and that’s because recent graduates often have a much higher estimation of what they’re capable of than what they’re actually capable of. They come swaggering into the workplace believing that they’ll show these business people a thing or two about how it’s done.

    The thing is, often they don’t know how it’s done. They’ve got too little work experience and often too much idealism. They’ve got a lot to learn but think too highly of themselves to realize this is so.

    Don’t be that person. Be respectful, accept that you’re still at the beginning of your life and that experience is valuable, but make it clear to your future employer that you’re smart enough to know what you know and driven enough to learn what you don’t. That will impress them.

    Prepare for the interview

    There are some tricky questions interviewers can’t ask you, and if you haven’t prepared then they may stump you. So take time to prepare. Not only that, but make sure you know the names of the people you’re going to interview with, as well as whatever basic facts you can find online. People will be impressed if you are well-informed. It shows that you care, that you’re a good researcher, that you’re proactive and that you’re willing to invest effort to get what you want.

    Show off your expertise

    If you want the dream job, you’ve got to show that your skill set is much greater than your limited CV gives you credit for. So you’ve got to show off your expertise. This can be done in multiple ways–by getting an endorsement from somebody who matters in the industry or one of your professors, for instance, but probably the best way is to actually start working in the field. So either start freelancing while you’re still in college, or otherwise start blogging and build up a reputation as somebody who knows what they’re talking about.

    Be passionate

    Read books and articles in your field, understand theory as best you can, know who the players are, and when you get around to writing your cover letter, show them how much you care. Now don’t be a gushing ninny. You’ve got to be professional, but you still have to demonstrate to them that even though you don’t have as much experience as everybody else in the field, you’ve got more than enough passion to make up for it.

    Be a protagonist

    You’ve got to take responsibility for your actions or your lack thereof. It won’t be easy to jump the cue. It will, in fact, take a lot of hard work, so you’ve got to prepare for that. That said, it is possible so long as you take the time to be do what you’ve got to do and show that you’re a cut above the rest.

    And if it goes wrong, own it, learn what you can from it and get back up again. Then push on. That’s the only way it’s going to work. You’ve got to be the hero of your own story, because otherwise you’re the victim. And who hires the victim?

    Jonathan Emmen, guest writer

    Jonathan Emmen, guest writer

    Jonathan Emmen is a student and an inspired blogger from Copenhagen. His passion is writing, and he finds inspiration in traveling, books, and movies. You can follow him on @JonnyEmmen or you can also follow him on Kinja.