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The latest news, trends and information to help you with your recruiting efforts.

Posted August 02, 2016 by

Graduating in 2017? 3 job search tips you can use right now.

Photo courtesy of StockUnlimited.com

Photo courtesy of StockUnlimited.com

Despite the soaring temperatures, the fall semester is just around the corner. If you plan to graduate in the upcoming academic year, anticipation (or apprehension) for planning your job search is probably sinking in. Commencement is a date in the distant future, and it feels reasonable to hold your job search until you can actually work full-time, right?

In truth, now is the best time to begin planning your strategy for locating a great employer and opportunity. Following are just a few strategies to gain a jump on your job-search competitors.

  1. Begin by finishing strong.

    Chances are you are currently wrapping up a summer job, volunteer experience, or internship. Now is the ideal time to close this experience by delivering quality work. Connect with your supervisor to schedule a feedback discussion and ask if there will be full-time openings available post-graduation. Also ask if he or she will offer a strong recommendation if contacted. Networking, interning, and building strong references will significantly impact your first job search and beyond.
  2. Employers are identifying talent earlier; help them find you.Recruiting cycles have changed over the past five years. As the economy has picked up, highly skilled applicants (top talent) can be in short supply. Employers are looking for the best possible talent for the job, which is impossible if a competitor has already hired away the best candidates. For many majors, fall is the ideal time to devote the most energy to your job search. Visit your career center immediately when you return to campus for the fall. Carve out time to visit career fairs and employer information sessions to connect with as many recruiters as possible. If employers in your field are not recruiting in the fall, use this time to talk with faculty, parents, and anyone else who may be willing to make a networking introduction. Finally, attend community events, or tackle a fall volunteer project. The connections and skills gained will be valuable for your job search.
  1. Give yourself time to practice and prepare.If you participate in sports, theater, music, or writing, you have probably put in a significant amount of practice time. Similarly, consider putting some significant preparation time into your job search. Start drafting resumes, scheduling mock interviews, and researching employers as soon as possible. Your second or third interview will probably be a lot more relaxed than your first. In addition, pretty much everyone will have suggestions for your first resume draft. Start building your job search skills now.
Mike Caldwell, Director of Business Careers and Employer Development, William & Mary

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

Want more great job search suggestions before you really dig in and begin searching for jobs? Follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube for a steady stream of tips and job postings.

About Mike Caldwell, the author: 

Mike Caldwell serves as the Director of Business Careers and Employer Development at the Cohen Career Center for the College of William & Mary.  He has held leadership roles in local, regional, and national college recruiting organizations including the American Association for Employment in Education and the Utah Association of Career Educators. 

Posted January 01, 2016 by

Connecting the dots: Creating a 2016 career action plan

Most college students make a list and check it twice before leaving campus during finals week. Catch up on countless hours of missed sleep during fall semester? Check. Hang out with hometown friends and reminisce about old times? Check. Curl up in Dad’s crusty old recliner and watch every episode of “The Big Bang Theory” aired since 2007? Check.

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

There may be other items that make the list but rank lower in priority because, let’s face it, they’re simply not as fun to complete—obtain seasonal employment, complete the FAFSA online for the upcoming academic year, fill out grad school applications, stop by the local architect’s office to ask about a summer internship opportunity, etc. The list could literally go on FOR-EV-ER, as The Sandlot’s Squints puts it.

Realistically, many students head back to campus in January without having completed the lower-ranking, future-focused tasks. This doesn’t seem like a big deal in January; the entire spring semester lies before you like a blank notebook. Sounds simple, right?

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

But a blank piece of paper gets you nowhere in terms of a future career or internship (and certainly generates little cash flow). And most people, not just college students, tend to put off today what can be done tomorrow. Unfortunately, employers and recruiters don’t feel your procrastination pain. They only care if you’re the smartest and best if you’ve actually applied on time and filled their needs for openings.

While you still have time and aren’t stressed by the pressure of spring courses, pour a cup of coffee, prepare to brainstorm, and draft a simple 4-step blueprint for action.

1. Accept your limitations and lower your expectations. This might sound like odd advice, but it will keep you from dropping the career-planning ball altogether. Most of us think more highly of ourselves than we ought; this causes us to set ridiculously high expectations and goals (AKA perfectionism). It’s been said that it’s unrealistic to plan more than 90 days out, so don’t do it. If you do, you’re setting yourself up for failure before you’ve begun. Eat that elephant one bite at a time.

2.Identify a few (3 to 5) key career-related goals that matter to you. These goals need to be directly related to obtaining an entry-level job after graduation or an internship during the summer of 2016. Perhaps you’re not interested in an internship but are interested in obtaining part-time employment during the summer that relates to your academic major or minor. Regardless, you might need help with this step. Who can help?

a) 
College Recruiter’s blog. Keep reading this month and follow our blog (via email, Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn). During January, you’ll read about nothing but information related to helping college students plan for and obtain entry-level jobs after graduation and internships during the summer.   b) Your career services office on campus.

Let’s pretend your goal is to work for Target Corporation in entry-level management near Houston, Texas, and  you plan to graduate in May 2016. This is a pretty specific goal (which is good—the more narrow your focus, the easier it is to set goals and action steps).

Some career-related goals might be:

  • Develop a more polished resume (your current resume was drafted when applying for college three years ago and hasn’t been updated since) and learn how to write a great cover letter.
  • Improve phone/online interview skills since you live three states away from Texas and will most likely interview over the phone or online.
  • Learn how to convey your “campus life” experiences as transferable skills during interviews since you’ve only held one part-time job and feel insecure about your lack of real-world experience.

(Spoiler alert: Stay tuned to our blog this month to learn about all this and more.)

3. Define action steps necessary to help you attain your 3-5 goals. This step’s crucial; goals are simply idealistic dreams unless you take steps to realize them.

Let’s stick with our hypothetical you who hopes to work in entry-level management for Target Corporation near Houston, Texas, after graduating in May 2016. Here are some suggested action steps:

  • Update existing resume with part-time job, volunteer experience, campus involvement, and coursework relevant to future employment.
  • Submit resume to College Recruiter’s free resume review service (yep, FREE) and to campus career services office.
  • Follow College Recruiter’s blog this month for posts related to interview skills. Search College Recruiter’s blog for past articles and webinars related to interview skills.
  • Attend mock interviews and career fairs on campus—these are free and afford you valuable practice.
  • Work on revising your resume to reflect transferable skills and to reframe the way you think about your own skills, too.
  • Search for job openings with Target Corporation near Houston, Texas, on College Recruiter’s website after registering. Registering first is important because College Recruiter sends you new postings (saving you time and effort).

4. Get busy. Blueprints look impressive hanging on the wall, but they’re much more impressive when framed inside the buildings built by the very architects who drafted them in the first place.

Developing an action plan is tough brain work—but the real work kicks in when you crawl out of the comfy recliner (even though you have three more days of winter break) and begin implementing your plan.

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

The payoff may not be immediate, but pretty soon you’ll see results—the empty page will fill with a pretty cool image you created by simply connecting the dots by taking action all semester.

 

Posted August 21, 2014 by

Internship or Summer Job? 3 Tips to Help You Make the Decision.

Thoughtful man

Thoughtful man. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

This summer may be flying past, but if you’re about to begin the last year of your high school career or if you’re already in college and you’re getting ready for the semester just ahead, you’ll need to start making next summer’s plan before long. And you’ll probably face a seasonal question that’s been haunting students for generations: should you look for summer work behind a retail counter or in a restaurant kitchen? Or should you skip wage labor and prioritize experience by taking a low-paying (or non-paying) summer internship? Here are a few considerations that may influence your decision. (more…)

Posted June 20, 2014 by

Did You Find an Internship or Summer Job? Your Performance Can Affect a Future Job Search

Congratulations on your search to find an internship or summer job!  Now that you have found a position, you must prove yourself to your boss.  The following post explains that your performance could impact another job search in the future.

We are in the midst of summer. A lot of students are working. Many are in jobs that are not internships in their potential future field. Plain and simple, millions are working to sock away some money. So let’s say you have ‘a job.’ You don’t love it. Maybe you don’t even like it. It

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Posted June 11, 2014 by

Why Finding an Internship Might be More Important to Employers than the Degree You Have

While getting a college degree should be respected, it might not be a bad idea to consider finding an internship this summer to boost your chances of employment.  Learn more in the following post.

As many students head home for summer, they are faced with an age-old decision: what will they do with their free time? Most will take on a summer job, while others may stay on campus to attend summer classes. Others, according to a recent study, will do the best

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Posted July 02, 2013 by

3 Summer Jobs for College Students that Could Lead to Permanent Employment

Working during the summer is a great way to gain some real world experience.  The following post has three summer jobs for college students that may lead them to permanent employment.

Summer is a great time for budding entrepreneurs to pull in a little extra cash while developing their business skills in real-world settings. But you don’t have to give up this income stream just because you’re heading off to college. In fact, there are plenty of different ways aspiring entrepreneurs can turn a

Read the article:

3 Ways to Turn a Summer Gig Into Long-Term Work

Posted June 26, 2013 by

Summer Activities that Make a College Student Resume Look Good

Leslie Anglesey

Leslie Anglesey

Being a college student is a full-time job in itself and many students look forward to the summer as a time to take some much-needed time off. Working to earn money for school, traveling or spending time with family and friends may be on the agenda, but which activities can be added to a resume to make a student a stellar job candidate after graduation? Here are some ways of spending time out of class that can make a learner go to the top of the pile: (more…)

Posted June 03, 2013 by

6 Ways NOT to Dress for a Summer Job Interview

Vicky Oliver

Vicky Oliver

Young people make delightful employees. They’re full of energy, fresh ideas, and they’re generally positive and enthusiastic. But sometimes they don’t have a clear idea about office etiquette and what managers expect in the way of attire and presentation.

To put it bluntly, they walk into summer job interviews wearing “fashion don’ts” that could actually undermine their chances of landing a job.

Don’t let this happen to you! Here are a few tips on how NOT to dress for that summer job interview. (more…)

Posted May 17, 2013 by

Searching for Summer Jobs for College Students? Consider These 4 Options.

Are you on a break this summer from college and looking for some work experience?  Think about four jobs for college students (as well as other job seekers) found in the following post.

Use your talent to serve the American public! The IRS has a variety of career opportunities and is seeking bright people like you. Learn more here: http://jobs.irs.gov. This summer, many job seekers will flock to job boards, attend countless networking events and scour through their contact lists to find the perfect position. No matter if you’re. . .

See the article here:

4 Lucrative Job Alternatives to Consider This Summer

Posted May 15, 2013 by

Tips for New Grads: How to “Network” When you’ve Never Held a Professional Job

Networking2If you intend to graduate this spring (or you already have), then you’re probably in the midst of your first serious professional job search. And no matter how long you’ve been on the hunt, you’ve probably had no less than a dozen well-meaning experts offer the same basic advice about relying on your “network”. “Use your network!” These people will tell you, sometimes with excessive energy. “Your network will get you a job faster than even the best resume ever can!” (more…)