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Posted April 07, 2016 by

3 social media tips for job search success

Resume profile personal job career recruitment concept courtesy of Shutterstock.com

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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 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 December 04, 2013 by

Writing Resumes for Recent College Graduate Jobs? Speak the Language of Your Potential Employer

When writing resumes for recent college graduate jobs, it’s important that they speak the language of potential employers in order for them to perceive the value of candidates.  In the following post, learn how to obtain this language for your resume so that employers will want to read it.

According to The Ladders, “Hiring authorities are trained to match your background with their open position.” That means they are looking quickly to see if what’s on your resume matches up to their needs. That means they are looking for signs that you speak the language they do. Today, too many resumes are focused

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Posted November 15, 2012 by

Retail Workers, Consumers Upset With Thanksgiving Day Hours

John Challenger of Challenger, Gray & Christmas

John Challenger of Challenger, Gray & Christmas

Facing increased competition from online retailers, a growing number of brick-and-mortar stores, including Target, Sears and Walmart, have announced that they will begin Black Friday sales on the Thursday of Thanksgiving, with some stores opening as early as 8pm, a time many employees might otherwise spend with family.  The move, according to one workplace authority, is likely to pay off for both retailers and job seekers, but warns there is the risk of negative fallout in the form of decreased employee morale and consumer backlash.

“Retailers are under immense pressure to get the holiday shopping season off to a strong start.  It is the busiest time of the year for them and Black Friday is so named because it is the day when most retailers’ sales move ‘into the black’ for the year.  As big box chains face growing competition from discounters like Target and Walmart, not to mention the fierce competition from online retailers like Amazon.com, they are all compelled to find whatever edge they can to get shoppers into their stores,” said John A. Challenger, chief executive officer of global outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc. (more…)