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Posted December 29, 2016 by

Ready to climb the ladder in 2017? Here are 10 things recent college grads should do

 

No matter where one is at in their career, there are always things one can do to learn more, become more valuable, advance in their career, and become a go-to employer that people rely on.

While you may not be where you want to be in your career now, it doesn’t mean you can’t get there in the future. One thing recent college graduates quickly find out is that, even though they finally secured that first job, there is still much work to be done to continue to advance in one’s career and climb the career ladder.

So, what can you do in the next year to advance your career? Start by taking small steps that can lead to big improvements and changes. Do that by following these 10 things recent college grads should do to climb the career ladder in 2017:

  1. Find/consult with a mentor: Everyone could use a mentor – someone who can motivate, inspire and guide them in the early stages of their career. Find someone in your field, career path, or network who can be a mentor to you. Start by asking for an informational interview to learn more about their career. Then if you feel things are going in the right direction, explain your career goals and aspirations and ask if they would be interested in being a mentor. Many people would be flattered, and willing to help.
  2. Take a class: Even though you recently graduated from college, lifelong learning is essential to those who want to advance in their career. Take a class on Udemy or Coursera. Sign up for Lynda.com. Take an adult education class on a topic of interest, or register for a class – traditional or online – at a local college or university. Learning is lifelong, and getting in the habit of adding new skills throughout one’s career will pay off over time – in salary, and advancement opportunities.
  3. Do a social media audit: What does your online brand say about you? Google yourself – the next employer certainly will – what shows up? Review your social media profiles (LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, others) and check security settings and profiles and be sure they best represent you to an external audience. Seriously review comments, Tweets or photos and remove/edit anything that could hurt your professional reputation. For example, were you outspoken during the 2016 Presidential election, and perhaps commented, through Facebook, or on Twitter, about the Presidential race, Hillary Clinton, or Donald Trump? Those comments “live” in search engines, and others can find them. Don’t let social media comments, posts, pictures or shares damage your online brand.
  4. Consult with your campus career center: These people are here to help. Even after you graduate. Reach out to a campus career counselor for help with connecting to alumni, for job search assistance and resume writing guidance. Many people never take advantage of this opportunity. Why not reach out to a trained professional who can help?
  5. Complete a skills audit: Even if you aren’t looking for a job, search for jobs or job titles that may be of interest to you. What skills or requirements do these job applications ask for? Is there a skill (technology) or requirement lacking in your portfolio? In the year ahead, focus on how to develop or improve that skill, to become more attractive to an employer. Try and take on new projects at your current job, or find classes or training to help learn these important industry skills.
  6. Be a team player: You’re not going to be best friends with every co-worker. You’re not going to like every project or assignment. You may even sense conflict with other departments. But don’t mope, be difficult, or develop a bad attitude because of it. Why? Because someday that co-worker, manager, or person who seemed to be difficult on a project could work for a company where you want to work. What will they remember? Your negative attitude – if you let it. Be a team player at work, someone people go to for answers on projects, for assistance, and someone people can count on. Your co-workers will remember that, and will remember you if they are in a position to influence or assist you with your next job or step of your career.
  7. Update your resume: If that dream job opened up tomorrow would your resume be updated and ready for you to apply for the job? If that new networking contact asked for a resume to share with other industry contacts, would you be ready? Don’t delay. Updating your resume before you absolutely need it allows one to devote the time, attention and detail to perfect your resume. Even if you are completely happy in your career, updating one’s resume is a good way to help track new achievements and add any new skills to your resume. Better yet, updating a resume twice a year is ideal. At the end of each month write down your key successes and achievements, and at the six month mark, compile those accomplishments and update the resume. Then do it again at the end of year to make sure all is current and best represents the successes you have achieved at your job. If you don’t track it, you will forget it, and it won’t go on your resume, and your next employer will never know you did it.
  8. Attend an industry networking event: Attending networking events, or joining professional associations can open many doors. Make it a goal this year to attend at least one networking event or industry association event in your field in 2017. Why? Because networking always has been and always will be the key to climbing the career ladder.
  9. Create a backup plan: If you were fired or lost your job today, would you be ready tomorrow, both personally and professionally, for the challenge ahead? Figure out a way to save more money (perhaps through a part-time job?), be sure your resume is updated, and you would know what to do next, if suddenly without a job now.
  10. Be thankful: If you are employed, be thankful, even if you dislike the job, your manager, or career direction. Your current job, job title or situation doesn’t define you, or where you want to go. Keep adding new skills, taking on new projects, and learning. Because, the good news is, where you are now doesn’t mean it’s where you will be in six months, one year, three years and the rest of your career. Make 2017 a success by following the above tips and stay connected with College Recruiter to get job alerts, get career advice, and stay on top of trends and issues affecting both job seekers and employers.

Follow these tips in 2017, and you could make great strides in your career development that will continue to have a positive effect not only next year, but in 2018, 2019 and throughout your career. Start now to succeed later.

Want more career and job search advice? Stay connected to College Recruiter by visiting our blog, and connect with us on LinkedInTwitterFacebook, and YouTube.

Posted April 21, 2016 by

Reviewing job candidates’ social media profiles

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Andrey_Popov/Shutterstock.com

As college recruiters review job candidates’ social media profiles, they will find things they like and others not so much. These profiles tell recruiters not only whether or not candidates are qualified for specific jobs, but also if they are the right fit for their companies. Brandi Britton, District President of OfficeTeam, shares tips on what recruiters should look for when reviewing candidates’ social media profiles.

– “Many recruiters and HR professionals perform online searches of job candidates’ social media profiles to learn more about them, including their industry involvement.

– It may be a red flag to some recruiters if they can’t find candidates’ LinkedIn profiles or anything else about them online.

– A good gauge of candidates’ online activity is how often they update their profiles and if they post useful advice or comments on articles on LinkedIn and industry forums.

– In certain fields or positions, a greater emphasis is placed on digital activity. For example, many companies today rely on creative professionals to help build their firms’ online image, so they want to see that prospective hires have done the same for themselves.

– Negative comments, especially about former employers or colleagues, can cause recruiters to question a job seeker’s professionalism. There may also be concerns that this job seeker’s improper language/behavior will continue in the workplace.

– Employers may form conclusions about people’s personalities or whether they will fit in with the company’s culture based on online remarks.

– Pictures showing candidates in an unflattering light may also deter recruiters from pursuing candidates.

– Recruiters should look to get a sense of candidates’ capabilities through their online profiles. For example, check for information about candidates’ work history and key accomplishments.

– It may be helpful to check if candidates incorporated key industry terms that describe skills and specialties recruiters are looking for.

– Employers may also look for red flags like inconsistencies made on applicants’ resumes that would deter them from considering candidates.

– Keep in mind that looking up candidates online definitely has some risks. Information on the Internet isn’t always accurate; it’s hard to be sure what recruiters find relates to particular candidates and not others with the same name.”

At College Recruiter, we believe every student and recent graduate deserves a great career. We are committed to creating a quality candidate and recruiter experience. Our interactive media solutions connect students and graduates to excellent entry-level jobs and internships. Why not let College Recruiter assist you in the recruiting process? Be sure to follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, and Facebook for more information about the best practices in college recruiting.

Brandi Britton, District President for OfficeTeam

Brandi Britton, District President for OfficeTeam

Brandi Britton is a District President for OfficeTeam, the nation’s leading staffing service specializing in the temporary placement of highly skilled administrative and office support professionals. OfficeTeam has more than 300 locations worldwide and places tens of thousands of highly skilled candidates each year into positions ranging from executive and administrative assistant to receptionist and customer service representative.

Posted April 07, 2016 by

3 social media tips for job search success

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Rawpixel.com/Shutterstock.com

Social media can benefit college students and recent graduates searching for internships and entry-level jobs. In order to get the most out of their search using social sites, students and grads must first understand how to use them. We have some help for job seekers in this area.

Kristen Zierau, Director of Executive Recruiting at JMJ Phillip Executive Search, offers the following tips to help college students and recent grads obtain job search success with social media.

1. “When I speak with college career services departments, I give the advice that job applicants really need to clean up their profiles online. There are programs called scrappers that will pull college students and recent graduates’ posts on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, etc. and post them on their own sites. The bad thing about this is while candidates may clean up their profiles now, another site could be hanging onto their information for years. If job seekers show photos themselves doing wild or crazy things (or maybe sometimes illegal things), it’s likely someone will find this social media post. The same concept applies to political views. Students and grads can find the devoted Bernie or Trump supporter on LinkedIn pretty easily as they are often spamming LinkedIn with their viewpoints and political “expertise.” They will also find out many of those supporters haven’t landed jobs since graduating in the summer of 2015, so be careful and keep viewpoints private unless job seekers can do it under a seemingly untraceable alias.

2. When searching for jobs on social media, college students and graduates cannot treat it like a casual message to a friend. Don’t use shorthand writing. Make sure the grammar is correct and everything sounds professional. Let’s face it; college grads need to sound like they actually graduated from college!

3. Pinging hiring managers directly on LinkedIn is a good start; do this six to 12+ months before graduation. Follow them on Twitter and other social media sources, and engage with them once in a while but not too often; it can be considered annoying. If possible, send a link back to the hiring managers showing agreement with their post; that will help keep a job seeker’s name on their minds. For example, if college students and recent graduates see a post about management from them, maybe send the hiring manager a relevant link to a Harvard Business Review article on management showing they are paying attention.”

Interested in finding more tips for your social media job search? Visit our blog and follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube.

Photo of Kristen Zierau

Kristen Zierau, Director of Executive Recruiting at JMJ Phillip Executive Search

A graduate of Michigan State University’s Business School, Ms. Kristen Zierau began her successful career with Target. As one of the fastest rising employees within the Target organization, she became an Executive Team Leader, making a name for herself in the hiring, training, and development of young talent in the retail sector. Prior to joining JMJ Phillip, Ms. Zierau also completed her MBA at Walsh College with honors. Ms. Zierau made a transition to the management consulting and executive search sector, which she is currently on the executive fast-track program at JMJ Phillip. Soon she will be leading Clarke-Caniff, a brand focusing on recruiting and executive search for the retail and hospitality sectors.

Posted April 04, 2016 by

Using social media in your job search

Photo of Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Linkedin, Whatsapp, and Instagram homepage on a monitor screen courtesy of Shutterstock.com

Gil C/Shutterstock.com

College students and recent graduates who are passionate about social networking should consider finding internships or entry-level jobs via social media. In order to secure one of these opportunities, they must know what it takes to get one. Diane Domeyer-Kock, Executive Director of The Creative Group, shares tips college students and recent grads should apply when searching for jobs and internships via social media.

“Competing for a social media internship or an entry-level job can be difficult because many candidates are on a level playing field; they haven’t yet acquired the skills or work experience that will make them stand out. But there are steps college students and recent grads can take to increase their chances of landing an internship or job:

Start the search early. Research companies of interest, work with your university career center, scour job boards, and reach out to members of personal and professional networks to uncover leads well before the school year ends.

Get marketing materials in order. Nail down your personal brand and apply it consistently across all channels, including your resume, social media profiles, and portfolio or website. Consider the look, feel, and content.

Polish your online presence. A strong digital presence consistent with other promotional tools can be a big career asset, attracting the attention of prospective employers. Make sure the information posted online showcases your expertise, passion for social media, and ability to communicate effectively. That means pushing out interesting content and engaging with contacts consistently.

Demonstrate strong social skills. Work teams communicate in many different ways today: via email, instant messaging, social media, conference calls, and in-person meetings. Show you know how to collaborate effectively and professionally both online and off.”

Looking for more information on social media for your job search? Check out our blog and learn more on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube.

Photo of Diane Domeyer-Kock

Diane Domeyer-Kock, Executive Director of The Creative Group

Diane Domeyer-Kock is Executive Director of The Creative Group (TCG), a specialized staffing service placing interactive, design, marketing, advertising, and public relations professionals. When she’s not managing operations for TCG’s locations across North America or speaking and Tweeting about career and workplace trends, you can find her on a bike or spending time with her husband, five kids, and grandchildren.

Posted March 21, 2016 by

Social media showcases job seekers’ skills

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While many college students embrace social media for personal use, it also serves a professional purpose. Using social media websites such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and others help job seekers create a brand for themselves based on who they are and what they can offer employers. With recruiters and hiring managers using social media to find job candidates, showcasing relevant skills is important for all job seekers, including college students and recent graduates.

• Create a personal brand – Your personal brand represents who you are and what you have to offer. It is what separates you from everyone else. Recruiters need to know if potential candidates have a brand that fits their company culture.

Lean on LinkedIn – LinkedIn is a networking website for professionals. College students can highlight their skills and areas of expertise, as well as connect on LinkedIn groups based on their career fields. Through connections on the site, you can express their interests in career fields, and learn more about career fields and job opportunities. Another way to show passion for an industry is to write about it. Providing original and unique content demonstrates to recruiters and hiring managers how knowledgeable you are in specific areas.

Use Facebook and Twitter – For job seekers who like keeping up with the latest news in their industries, Facebook and Twitter might interest them. On Facebook, you can participate in groups relevant to your career field and learn more about potential employers who are searching for the best job candidates. On Twitter, while there aren’t groups, you can use hashtags with keywords industry insiders will notice, and stay up-to-date with companies. You can also participate in discussions hosted by companies on Twitter, retweet content posted by companies’ Twitter handles, and reply to Tweets by companies with thoughtful comments to gain positive attention by those employers.

Build an online portfolio – Social media profiles give job seekers an opportunity to build online portfolios. Similar to a resume, job seekers should highlight skills and accomplishments relevant their career fields. Consider including articles, photos, and videos for the portfolio.

More than anything else, hiring managers want to know candidates can do the job. Your school, major, GPA, and class projects help hiring managers determine that, so showcasing your accomplishments with related work experience will give you a big leg up on the competition. Use LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, and even Facebook to demonstrate qualifications, as many recruiters will Google candidates’ names if they’re interested in hiring you. Be sure that when recruiters search for you online, they find nothing but positive results.

Need more tips on social media related to your job search? Follow our blog and follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube for career tips and motivation.

At College Recruiter, we believe every student and recent grad deserves a great career. We work to create a quality candidate and recruiter experience. Our interactive media solutions connect students and grads to great careers.

Posted July 09, 2015 by

Five background investigation checks crucial to eradicate CV lies

Verify word under magnifying glass and related terms like prove, justify, confirm, attest, clarify, authenticate, document, inspect and check

Verify word under magnifying glass and related terms like prove, justify, confirm, attest, clarify, authenticate, document, inspect and check. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

We call lying as human nature simply as it is a natural instinct that we are all born with. However, how and to what extent can it get developed depends on the conditions, situations and the urge to survive. In the recruiting world, it is found evidently on resumes. But there is a problem for every solution as summarized by the quote:

“You may tell the greatest lies and wear a brilliant disguise, but you can’t escape the eyes of the one who sees right through you” -Tom Robbins

This is the sole purpose of Back ground screening companies. No matter what the situation, when companies outsource them this important task, a good and effective one will accomplish it very well. (more…)

Posted April 09, 2015 by

Screening Candidates via Social Media

Social media isolated over a white background - 3D text

Social media isolated over a white background – 3D text. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

Social media is an extra weapon of recruiters to screen candidates. It would be hasty not to take advantage of this effective opportunity which is free, despite the fact that it is a bit time consuming. Social media is an effective device. At the point when employers recruit and interview candidates, social media can give significant information to help hiring professionals make their decisions. It’s vital however to choose if the reward is more prominent than the risk, and if so take measures to decrease the risks involved. (more…)

Posted March 30, 2015 by

Why You Should Clean Up Your Social Media Profiles – and How to Do It.

Lisa Green photo

Lisa Green

The growth of social media has turned our focus online and made digital friendships, statuses and profiles just as valid as ones that exist in “real life.” Though there are countless advantages to a fleshed-out online presence, there are also real and unfortunate downsides, particularly to those who are on the hunt for a new career. (more…)

Posted September 05, 2013 by

Pump up your social resume and your job prospects

The phrase "Social Media" in cloud form in the sky

The phrase “Social Media” in cloud form in the sky. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

Let’s pretend for a moment you just got out of a job interview you aced. You wore the right clothes, gave the right answers and overall wowed them with your professional demeanor.

Then you leave the room and the hiring manager goes to his favorite search engine where he finds a video of you twerking Miley Cyrus style and wearing a t-shirt that says “I Love Ganja.” Suddenly you don’t seem like such a great job candidate, do you?

Ouch.

Even if you haven’t made obvious online gaffes such as posting wild party photos, you still might be making mistakes that could cost you a job. That’s why you need to spend as much time optimizing your social resume as you do your paper one. (more…)