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Posted May 23, 2016 by

5 tips to manage a stress-free online job search

Women laptop photo by StockUnlimited.com

Photo by StockUnlimited.com

Today, most job searches are conducted online. Although some parts of the country will still focus on more personable job searches, the majority of young Americans will be searching for their first entry-level jobs on computers. Online job searches are both convenient and troublesome. Recent graduates no longer have to go to an employment agency’s office or endlessly drop in on various professionals in order to gain employment in a company; rather they can conduct all of their employment research from the comfort of their own homes. On the other hand, potential entry-level employees can be difficult to distinguish from one another because their résumés tend to look similar. On paper, new grads can appear to be one and the same, but in person their different skills, interests, and personalities can shine through. For many employers, the right personality is just as valuable as qualifications on paper. So how can recent grads manage their online job search without becoming entirely overwhelmed?

1) Focus the job search

New grads who have obtained broad degrees such as in business or communications will be able to apply to a diverse range of jobs. However, applying to several different jobs in several different subfields can become stressful very quickly. Job seekers are encouraged to focus their searches on a particular job title (and similar positions) during their online searches. They should start with a subfield they feel passionate about because their excitement for the position (or lack thereof) will shine through and give them a better chance of achieving interviews.

2) Supplement with in-person contacts and connections

Although online job searches are convenient, they are not always successful if conducted without the help of in-person contacts. Former professors and alumni connections are an essential part of a first time job search, and they can provide introductions and tips that can be extremely valuable. An online resume can easily go from the middle of the pile to the top with an introduction or recommendation coming from someone already within the company.

3) Pick a time of day to call it quits

At some point, job seekers have to call it quits, at least for that day. In many cases, recent grads are searching for a job late in the evening after coming home from their part-time college jobs. Job seekers don’t do a great job of proofreading or checking for important details late at night and often send out applications they later wish they could have taken a second look at. The late hours of the evening also come with varying degrees of mental fatigue that result from a full day’s work. Even if job seekers are a few minutes away from finishing an important application, they’re encouraged to proofread the next morning with fresh eyes.

4) Go the extra mile

Because most current applicants don’t reach out in person or on the phone, those who do will get more attention. If there is a number for an HR Manager or department head, applicants should give them a call and introduce themselves or ask any pertinent questions regarding the position. Instead of following up with just an email, follow up with a personable phone call. Applicants who are giving an interview are encouraged to send a handwritten thank-you note that will make them stand out from the crowd.

5) Put a little piece of your personality in each cover letter

Because the hiring manager only learns about applicants from a couple pieces of paper, it’s important their personalities shine through. Most applicants write one cover letter and gear it towards each position. However, an applicant’s skills and passion tend to become apparent when each cover letter is written from scratch. Additionally, it’s important that job seekers write their cover letters at a time of day when they have a lot of energy and enthusiasm. It’s also a great idea to ask another person to proofread a cover letter and make sure that it’s personable, professional, and easy to read.

For more help with your online job search, make you way to our blog and follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube.

Robyn Scott, guest writer

Robyn Scott, guest writer

Robyn Scott, a guest writer for College Recruiter, is a private tutor with TutorNerds LLC. She has a BA from the University of California, Irvine, and a MA from the University of Southampton, UK.

Posted May 11, 2016 by

How to conduct a successful informational interview

Photo by StockUnlimited.com

Photo by StockUnlimited.com

Interviewing is hard. And stressful – especially for the recent college graduate or entry-level job seeker who has limited experience in an interview setting. To gain more experience, and to expand your professional relationships, consider conducting an informational interview. The purpose of an informational interview is to gather information and meet someone who is in a role or company you aspire to be in. It’s not a job interview – the person conducting the informational interview (you) should be the one asking the questions.

“Informational interviews are a good way to get the answers you need to make career choices,” says Bill Driscoll, the New England District President of Accountemps, a division of Robert Half, and the world’s first and largest specialized staffing service for temporary accounting, finance and bookkeeping professionals. “Asking experienced professionals who have specialized expertise about their role and what it involves can give you real-world insights.”

In fact, 36 percent of chief financial officers (CFOs) polled said these meetings are becoming more common, with nearly one-third (31 percent) receiving informational interview requests at least once a month. Job seekers should take note – 84 percent of executives said when someone impresses them in a meeting, it’s likely they will alert that person to job openings at the company.

Although informational interviews are not intended solely to seek a certain position in a company, it can set you up for consideration of future roles if you make a good impression. It could also lead to referrals to other contacts or job openings.

Informational interview etiquette guidelines

There are some basic etiquette guidelines to follow when requesting an informational interview, says Driscoll:

  • First, narrow down who you would ask for an informational interview. Create a list of companies you would like to work for, identify career paths that would suit your strengths and interests, and consider which industries interest you. Once you’ve identified these key factors, do some online research to choose the correct contact to interview.
  • Email is a good introductory mode of communication. Keep it simple – be concise but friendly. Briefly go over your background, state the reason you are reaching out to them, and request a meeting or phone call. Be sure to include why you want to meet that person in particular.
  • Look to your professional network to make an introduction. Seeing a message from a familiar name may increase your chance of getting a response.
  • LinkedIn can help you identify contacts and send messages. Keep in mind that people don’t necessarily log on to LinkedIn each day or check their messages on the site, so you might not get a quick response.
  • A phone call is another option to reach an informational interview candidate. Be prepared with what you’ll say in case you get a hold of the person or their voicemail.

How to prepare for an informational interview

Research the company and person you are meeting. Informational interviews tend to be short, so use the opportunity to ask the questions you genuinely want answered. Come prepared with your list of questions. Things you might want to ask are:

  • How did you get started in this industry/company/career path?
  • What is a typical day like?
  • What are the most important skills required in this role/industry?
  • How did you get your job?
  • Can you name some industry associations that I should join?
  • What do you like most about your company?

Dress professionally for your informational interview – just like you would for a job interview.

“Remember this is a business meeting and the way you dress can say a lot about you,” says Driscoll.

Go into an informational interview with a clear understanding that this is a chance to learn about a career, industry and company, to expand your professional relationships and to become better prepared for future interviews. Just don’t expect it to always lead to a job or job interview with that company.

“An informational interview is a great way to meet someone who can make hiring decisions, but don’t get discouraged if it doesn’t lead to a job interview,” says Driscoll. “The point is to learn and establish an important business relationship.”

When the informational interview is done, don’t forget to show gratitude. Always mail a handwritten thank-you note after an interview and keep your new contact updated on your job search and career progress.

Need career advice as a recent graduate? Go to our blog and follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube.

 

Bill Driscoll, Accountemps

Bill Driscoll, New England District President of Accountemps

Bill Driscoll is the New England District President of Accountemps, a division of Robert Half, and is based in the company’s Boston office. Bill oversees professional staffing services for Robert Half’s 23 offices throughout Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine, Connecticut, Rhode Island and portions of New York. Bill is considered a local and national expert on recruiting practices, hiring and job search trends, and other workplace issues.

Ready to begin your job search? Start at College Recruiter today!

Posted February 06, 2015 by

7 Simple Steps to a ‘Smashing’ Job Interview

Jimmy Sweeney

Jimmy Sweeney, President of CareerJimmy

You’ve probably heard the sage advice about what not to do in order to ace an interview that could lead to the job you want. Most people are well intended. They hope for the best for you and for themselves. However, what most of us need and want are solid tips or steps for what to do to have a winning interview.

That’s the point of this article––to offer you seven steps to take that will result in a smashing and successful job interview. After you’ve read them over, you may want to print out the list or put it into your mobile phone so you can refer to it often—even right before you enter the interview room. (more…)

Posted December 17, 2014 by

How to Prepare for a Successful Video Interview

Mark Feffer

Mark Feffer

Tools like Skype and Google Hangouts have made online video nearly as easy to use as Facebook. That’s leading more employers to replace some in-person meetings with video interviews. The advantages are obvious: Managers get the opportunity to have a conversation that feels a lot more personal than a telephone interview, without the time and expense that often come with an in-person visit.

Like any other interview, video conversations require preparation. Indeed, they need as much planning as a personal interview. Here are the things you need to consider. (more…)

Posted November 21, 2014 by

Best Interview Tips for Success

Woman shaking hands while having an interview in office

Woman shaking hands while having an interview in office. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

Job seekers often find it challenging to get the jobs they need because they are not prepared for interviews. An important aspect of getting a job is handling the interview effectively. The first step towards a successful interview is to be adequately prepared.

Be Fully Prepared

Preparing for an interview involves finding out information about the company. This type of information makes it possible for the job seeker to be aware of what the position requires. It also proves to the interviewer that you have made the effort to understand the needs of the company. (more…)

Posted November 13, 2014 by

Looking for Your Next Job While Networking? 3 Ways to Make the Most of Your Opportunities

Business woman touching virtual display. Business and technology concept

Business woman touching virtual display. Business and technology concept. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

Networking is an opportunity to meet new people who can potentially become contacts.  As a job seeker, networking gives you the chance to talk about your job search.  With the right contact(s), you can take another step in finding a new job.  So, when opportunities arise to network, how can you take advantage of them?  Consider these three ways to make the most of your opportunities. (more…)

Posted November 12, 2014 by

No Mistaking It: Job Search Sins that Will Ruin Your Interview

So, your entry level job interview is going great, and you feel confident about getting the job.  Then, what happens?  You make that costly mistake that leaves a negative impression with the interviewer.  While you might be a little bit nervous going into an interview, you do not want those nerves to get the best of you.  Do your best to avoid the following job search sins that will ruin your interview. (more…)

Posted November 04, 2014 by

Searching for Internships or Entry Level Jobs? Don’t Scare Aware Employers by Making These Mistakes

Even though Halloween is over, that doesn’t mean that job seekers are not making mistakes that will scare off potential employers.  If they expect to land internships or entry level jobs, job seekers can not afford to be careless or lazy.  Your first impression should be memorable, in the right way that is.  So, please for your sake and those who will be considering you for job opportunities, avoid making the following mistakes in your job search. (more…)

Posted August 21, 2014 by

5 Ways To Improve Your Post-Grad Job Search

Female university graduate looking back at graduation ceremony

Female university graduate looking back at graduation ceremony. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

The months proceeding graduation are nerve-wracking for any student. How to land that first real job is a feat made ever more imposing by the arrival of student loan bills. Maybe your parents begin reminding you that your education was an investment, and now it’s time that it pays off. So what do you do? Some resort to sending out thousands of resumes, or cold calling businesses for open positions. To avoid moving back in with your parents, or settling into the title of baccalaureate barista, here are some tips to make your post-grad job search a success. (more…)

Posted August 01, 2014 by

7 “Secrets” to Jumpstart Your Job Interview

Jimmy Sweeney

Jimmy Sweeney, President of CareerJimmy

If you’re serious about getting the job you want, you must play an active part in jumpstarting the interview. The following seven secret strategies will help you do that.

Secret #1: Polish Your Resume
Make no mistake about the importance of presenting a clean, clearly written resume that is spell-checked and proofread. Read it again. Review it again. Repeat the process again. And if you know someone with good editing skills, ask him or her to take a final look. (more…)