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Posted February 25, 2020 by

Ask the Experts: I’m trying to find a job for after graduation in another state but my career service office isn’t being helpful.

Question:

Graduation is fast approaching and I’m stressing out as I don’t have a job yet. My career service office is focused on jobs from local employers and so isn’t of much help as I attend an out-of-state school and want to move home after graduation to be close to friends and family. I’ve applied to dozens of jobs but after weeks I’ve heard back from only a few and those were automated responses confirming my applications. No interviews. No emails from recruiters. No job offers. Help! I love my parents, but I don’t want to share a room with my little sister again.

First Answer:

Maybe it’s time to expand the way you are searching for a job. It sounds like you’ve been applying online to various companies and you’ve also visited career services. Those are two great starts. But I would consider adding a third type of job search–asking your parents, their friends, their contacts, and anyone else you know in your hometown that can help. The best way to find a job is through old-fashioned “word of mouth.” Start with your parents. Do they know anyone in the field of your dreams? If so, reach out to that person and ask him or her to meet you for an informational interview–to learn more about the field. While you’re there, ask for 5 additional contacts in the field. Reach out to them and ask to meet for coffee. Tell them you will be in town from such-and-such a date till such-and-such a date. Go on the informational interviews (promise each person you will only use 15 minutes of his or her time). In this way you begin to have a true network of people who are thinking about you and looking for opportunities for you. It’s called the “hidden job market.” This job market knows of jobs before they are advertised online. Using this approach helps you avoid competing against hundreds of grads for the same position. It also gives you an advantage because you hear about the job earlier. I hope this helps, and good luck!

Vicky Oliver, author of 301 Smart Answers to Tough Interview Questions (Sourcebooks, 2005) and Power Sales Words: How to Write It, Say It, and Sell It with Sizzle (Sourcebooks, 2006)

Second Answer:

 Keep in mind that most job openings aren’t advertised because a lot of businesses prefer to hire from within the company or through word of mouth. If you’re coming in from off the street, you could be out of luck.  Instead of working harder, work smarter. Use online resources and business trade publications, such as The Wall Street JournalForbes, and Fast Company to target desirable companies in your home area. Then, prepare to infiltrate these companies by making the transition from outsider to insider. Here’s how:

  • Get to know individuals already employed at your target company who are in a position to hire you. 
  • Apply for an internship position that will land you inside the company and provide you with an opportunity to build your skill portfolio.
  • Secure referrals from anyone you know in your chosen field—either people with years of experience behind them, such as old professors and your parents’ friends, or recent graduates who will have sympathy for your plight and might also be more familiar with a company’s lower-level job openings.

Using a combination of these approaches, you are much more likely to gain access to unadvertised job openings in the companies you desire. However, it probably won’t happen overnight. Be persistent and don’t resort to laziness, even if you’re not seeing immediate results. Keep your expectations realistic and remind yourself of the end goal every day. Above all, don’t doubt your own abilities. Ignore all of the folks who tell you that the market sucks and that you should take any available job, even if it’s not what you want or need. Learn to take rejection with a grain of salt—it’s all part of the process. If you take the right action patiently and efficiently, an opportunity will come along that’s a good fit for your skillset.

— Alexandra Levit, author of They Don’t Teach Corporate in College.

Third Answer:

While it likely doesn’t feel like it, this may be a great opportunity. Chances are this will by no means be the last time you’re looking for a job – according to the US Department of Labor, on average college grads will hold 10-14 different jobs between the time they’re 18-38. Right now you have the benefit of resources in your midst that can help. So use them and learn how the process works. Start out by getting clear on what you’re looking for:

  • What skills do you want to use, which do you want to learn? 
  • What are the values important to you and that you’ll be looking for in an employer? 
  • What types of things do you love to do – and what about them do you enjoy? If you love playing video games you might be hard-pressed to find someone to pay you to play but when you identify that you’re drawn to the graphics or to the storytelling, now you’ve got some ideas to work with. 

Just because career services doesn’t have lots of prospects in your geography, it makes sense to consult them on your resume, your cover letter and your applications. They are likely to help you on improving your chances of getting a response to blind outreach. While you’re there, ask to get connected to alumni in the area you’re going to. Having an internal referral makes it anywhere from 3-14 times more likely to get the job, so tap into this group – whether for networking to learn more about an industry and organizations within it, or once you’ve earned it, for help in getting an interview. 

Then tap into your own network – if you’re going back to your home town, chances are you know folks who can help. Do you know people who you volunteered with or through a past summer job? Can friends’ parents provide some useful insight into opportunities? Remember – networking is a two-way street. When people help you, commit to paying it forward. You might not know how right away but actively working to help those who help you is the best way to build a lasting network that not only grows over time, will be there when you need it, but will also be your champion if they’re asked about you. 

Remember that you’re likely to do the job search again, and again, and again. Take note of what helps you and what doesn’t. And remember to make the most of the journey and stay curious along the way. You may be awfully surprised at what you’ll find.

— Pam Baker, CEO of Journeous

Fourth Answer:

Here are some things you can do, without delay, to find a great job “back home”, if your college is remote:

  • Resume: Make sure your resume focuses on job or internship accomplishments related to your major
  • LinkedIn: Get help doing your profile. If you college is not helping with this, get a career coach; you can work remotely with most. LinkedIn is THE way most companies and organizations find talent like you. Use your home city — since that’s where you want to be starting your career — not your college city, so local companies there can find you more easily. – On LinkedIn, follow companies in your target city and sign up for job alerts from them.
  • Create Google alerts for news about job titles your after and company names you’re after.
  • Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, others: Follow target companies here so you’ll see any news and job postings they put here.
  • Create a job search business card: Your name, phone number, email address, LinkedIn address, possible titles or major-related work topics. You don’t yet have an official title nor a company you’re working for but having a card is a serious sign of professionalism. Keep it simple, and get them printed for you; don’t print them on your home printer on that flimsy paper. Few things make you feel more like a professional than giving someone your business card!
  • Network! About 60%-80% of jobs are found this way, a statistic I see proven true over and over again with my clients of all ages. Ask about your desired companies when you talk with friends, family, neighbors in your home city, fellow students, Internship supervisors, faculty, and business people at any business gatherings in your home city. Ask them who they know in your target companies, and ask if you can speak with these people — not to ask about immediate openings, but to learn more about what they do and who they know. If they detect your interest is in THEM, they will help you! So start developing a database of contacts and keep it fresh.
  • Subscribe to the online business publications in your home city to see which companies are growing, which ones are fading, who’s expanding, who’s adding buildings (and thus, people).
  • Google “Best Companies to Work For” in the local business press there, and learn what you can about these companies and organizations. Why not work for a great company!
  • Join professional organizations in your major, in your target city. There are engineering societies, biology clubs, Public Relations groups, Sales and Marketing groups, Operations…you name it. College senior memberships / new grad memberships are usually much less expensive than a full membership yet you get all the membership privileges.
  • Join professional groups on LinkedIn to see what people in your future career are discussing today.
  • Keep checking in with people on your networking database or they will forget you.
  • Do practice interviews on campus or with a coach, in person or via video conferencing.
  • Check with your college’s Alumni Office for earlier graduates who are in your target city. They’ll enjoy meeting you and will want to help.

— Joanne Meehl, founder of TheJobSearchQueen.com.

Fifth Answer:

The strategy of pushing out mass mailings is a very passive and never ends with a positive result. SO you must become more proactive quickly.  First, don’t make assumptions about career service offices.  Unless you are going to a regional state university the majority of career professionals have connections beyond the immediate area of the institution.  So first get an appointment with career staff and go over your job search strategy – it is not focused.  Second use the resources available to you.  First really check your institution’s employment portal – this will require some research skills.  You will find opportunities back in your home region – but you cannot simply drop them a resume.  You need to reach out to them – best to ditch the spring break plans and head home for some informational interviews. Next, since you are probably not the only student from your home region to come to this institution, use your institution’s LinkedIn  alumni site (or People Grove or whatever alumni software they have) and see who from your institution resides in the area.  Make connections with alums who are doing the kinds of things you are interested in.  Again use information interview to collect the information you need to target prospective employers.  Nest, you should have friends from high school who still live in the area or are returning from college themselves.  Connect with them in LinkedIn or Facebook or however and learn from them who they are connecting with.  Finally, ask your parents, relatives and mentors at home to suggest folks you can talk to.

As you make these connections, research, research, research.  Find out what companies are growing the fastest,  What sectors of the economy in your home region have been expanding.  Go to the local Chamber of Commerce webpage, the regional economic development office – groups like these have information on hiring.  Through these sites you may find special career/employment events, information sessions.   Finally check to see if there is a young professional  club or a SHRM chapter in the area – go meet people, learn what they are doing.

In short, your current strategy will not work.  Employers do not come courting you even though you think they.  They want candidates with initiative – and the job search is one way to demonstrate this.  The job search is hard, requires planning, and solid research.   Best thing about doing this – when the economy eventually weakens and you have to find yourself looking for a new job – you will have the skill to do so.  Your class mates who seemed to have an easy time – career fair, interview, job – now have to really dig deep and hustle to find their next job.

Have fun, smile – patience.

Dr. Phil Gardner, Director of the Collegiate Employment Research Institute at Michigan State University

Posted June 15, 2018 by

What can I do with an English degree?

 

Majoring in English and unsure of where to go after college? Vicky Oliver, author of 301 Smart Answers to Tough Interview Questions (Sourcebooks, 2005) has great advice for English students and grads. Having studied English herself, she knows firsthand how the degree is worth it and where it can take you. Here we hope her tips help you learn how to use your degree and unique experiences to get you the job of your dreams.

(more…)

Posted November 28, 2017 by

What to do in an interview, and 7 things NOT to do

 

Entry-level job seekers, if you are invited to a job interview, you’ll definitely want to prepare. We have lots of advice on the College Recruiter blog about what to do in an interview, what to say, and how to dress, but today we will go further and discuss what not do as well. Vicky Oliver, author of “301 Smart Answers to Tough Interview Questions” and other bestselling career books, has advice to avoid blowing your chance at the job. Here are seven things you should avoid: (more…)

Posted September 07, 2017 by

Online jobs for students and other tips to balance school and work

 

Balancing school and work is a game of time and money. First, you need to create a budget (this is easy) to figure out how many hours per week you have to work in order to pay your bills. Then, manage your priorities by thinking through how many hours you have each week and what you have to accomplish. If balancing everything  stresses you out, there are solutions. If you haven’t thought about online jobs for students, or about asking for a raise, we have tips for you below.

First, create a budget for yourself

The point is to know how many hours you have to be at work each week.

This is easy, really. (more…)

Posted April 05, 2017 by

Panel of Experts provides ongoing insight to College Recruiter

Growing your business or career

College Recruiter’s Panel of Experts brings together expert voices from around the country with insight around entry level talent acquisition—both from the employer’s perspective and the job seeker’s. Members of the panel have decades of experience in advising human resources or job seekers, and are recognized experts in their fields. They specialize in workforce solutions, best practices in diversity, university relations, internships, interviewing, resume writing, career development and more.

At College Recruiter we believe that every student and recent grad deserves a great career. We are excited to offer their deep insight to our readers and followers, who we believe will learn how to apply best practices to their own hiring approaches or job searches. Every month we will share a discussion with members of the Panel of Experts. Watch the videos, read the blog posts, and find all archived discussions on  LinkedIn for recruiters, LinkedIn for job seekers, Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube.

Members of the panel:

Martin EdmondsonMartin Edmondson, Chief Executive at Gradcore. At Gradcore, Martin specializes in graduate recruitment, employment and employability, with the aim of maximizing graduate potential for organisations, universities and places. Martin has a wide range of experience and skills, gained from working across the public, private and third sectors.

 

Marky Stein, Fortune 100 Career Consultant. Marky Stein career consultantMarky is the author of “Fearless Interviewing”, named the #1 interviewing book of the “100 Best Career Books of All Time” by onlinecollege.com. Her book “From Freshman to Fortune 500: 7 Secrets to Success for Grads, Undergrads and Career Changers” is due May 2017.

 

 

Alexandra Levit career consultantAlexandra Levit, Consultant for all things workplace. Alexandra Levit’s goal is to prepare organizations and their employees for meaningful careers in the future workplace. A former nationally syndicated columnist for the Wall Street Journal and writer for the New York Times, Fast Company, and Forbes, Alexandra has authored several books, including the international bestseller “They Don’t Teach Corporate in College.”

 

Joanne Meehl career consultant

Joanne Meehl, MS, IJCDC, CPPA, Career Strategy Coach and President and primary Job Coach at Joanne Meehl Career Services. Joanne helps leaders market themselves for their next roles. She talks with hiring managers, internal and external recruiters, and HR directors about what they want. She translates this knowledge into guidance for her clients. She positions herself to her clients as a partner who gets her clients to decide and focus, see their own value, and communicate who they are in order to land the job they choose.  

 

Janine Truitt talent consultantJanine Truitt, Chief Innovations Officer at Talent Think Innovations. She is an entrepreneur, mentor, coach, speaker, blogger and brand influencer. She provides innovative, on-demand services, trainings, media and products that arm businesses with the timely knowledge and tools they need to succeed. She inspires individuals from the c-suite to stay-at-home moms to recognize and utilize their full potential by nudging them beyond their comfort zones and providing a practical way to achieve success.

 

Vicky Oliver career consultantVicky Oliver, Author of award-winning career development books. Her career advice has been featured in over 901 media outlets, including the New York Times Job Market section, Wall Street Journal, New York Post, and Esquire magazine. She has been interviewed on over 601 radio programs. Her first book, “301 Smart Answers to Tough Interview Questions” (Sourcebooks, 2005), is a national bestseller in its third U.S. printing.

 

Toni Newborn diversity managerToni Newborn, J.D., Diversity and Consulting Services Manager at City of St. Paul. She is currently serving as the Diversity and Consulting Services Manager for the City. In this role, she manages the consulting services division as well as create strategic plans to diversify the city’s work force from a racial equity lens.

 

 

 

Bruce Soltys, Head of Talent Acquisition Sourcing Strategies at Travelers.  He Bruce Soltys university recruitingLeads a team accountable for the design and delivery of the enterprise strategy for sourcing, attracting and recruiting a pool of diverse candidates through relationships with targeted colleges, universities, and student organizations across the country.

 

Jeff DunnJeff Dun campus relations manager at Intel, Campus Relations Manager for Intel Corporation.  Jeff has over 20 years of corporate recruiting experience.  He is a regular speaker on college campuses on successful job search strategies. He specializes in helping students with resume, networking, interviewing, LinkedIn and Branding strategies.

 

 

Robert Shindell

Robert Shindell is the President and CEO of Intern Bridge, a leading experiential education research and consulting firm. He has spent two decades in the career services and hiring space. He’s the principal investigator of the National Internship & Co-op Study, and is one of the most sought-after speakers and thought leaders in the country on internship management, entry-level hiring, and collegiate career services effectiveness.

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Posted June 03, 2016 by

How new OT laws affect compensation for recent grads, employers

New OT laws - compensation

Photo by StockUnlimited.com

Note: This is the third article in a series of articles focusing on the new overtime laws. Read the first two articles in this series – how the new overtime laws will affect interns and recent grads and how the new overtime laws will affect employers.

The DOL’s increase to the FLSA’s minimum compensation limits is a game changer for many companies, says Joe Kager, Managing Consultant and founder of the POE Group, a Tampa, Florida-based management consulting firm that advises companies on becoming great places to work by developing reward systems that attract, motivate, and retain employees.

Employers who have assigned an exempt status for jobs with compensation above the current minimum ($23,660), but below the new minimum of $47,475, will need to consider a variety of factors before the December 1, 2016, implementation date.

Effect on food service and hospitality management jobs

This will affect many lower level food service and hospitality management positions classified as exempt under the FLSA, says Kager. If the positions are to remain exempt, employers will need to raise compensation to the new minimum. This alternative may be appropriate for jobs that will be required to work substantial overtime. If a compensation increase to the new minimum is not feasible, employers will reclassify the positions as non-exempt and be required to pay overtime for hours worked over 40 in a week.

Deciding the appropriate action will entail a comparison of the two alternatives based on historic hours worked. This could have an additional effect on employees.

“There may be psychological issues to consider if employees have their positions changed from exempt to non-exempt, requiring good communication about the change,” says Kager. “This could be considered by some employees as a demotion.”

How employers will classify recent college grads

Kager says the Poe Group has advised clients to classify new college graduates as non-exempt, assuming they will not initially exercise discretion and independent judgement required in the administrative exemption test. Most college graduates hired into professional positions under the FLSA exemption, whose compensation is generally above the $47,475 minimum, says Kager.

Dan Walter, President and CEO of Performensation, a management consulting firm that engages with leaders to create human capital strategy, compensation, and reward programs that drive firm performance, says he expects employers are going to be reactive to these new regulations.

Walter discussed the short and long-term impact of how the new overtime laws will affect recent college grads and employers.

Short-term impact of new overtime laws

“It is likely that there will be little, if any, change in the amount of jobs available for college students and recent grads in the near term,” says Walter.

Therefore, the short-term impact on companies, regardless of size, is that they will be required to do one or more of these things:

  • Raise pay: If they can afford to do so, employers will increase wages to people above the threshold in order to maintain exemption status.
  • Manage hours: Many companies won’t be able to effectively manage the time. The past trend is that nonexempt workers feel like they aren’t worth as much from the professional recognition standpoint. They may choose to leave their current position and be reclassified as non-exempt to a different company with the hope of feeling more valued.
  • Hire more: Some savvy companies will hire more nonexempt workers so fewer people will work overtime. This will likely occur in larger companies, who are disciplined and more experienced in forecasting and financial modeling. These companies will spend the time and money to make sure that the changes take place and are administered effectively.

“Companies will find that in some groups it will be more cost effective to hire additional staff instead of paying for the overtime,” says Walter. “College recruiting will likely fill these newly created jobs.”

Long-term impact of new overtime laws

The combined impact of the economy and regulation will cause downward pressure on the creation of new entry level jobs due to companies redesigning roles, technology automation of non-exempt duties, and potential offshoring where possible.

“This will occur despite the demographic shift in the workplace,” says Walter. “The retirement of the Baby Boomer generation will likely lead to a downward shift in consumer goods demand with a moderate uptick in services.

The long-term impact of the new overtime laws will focus around these changes, says Walter:

  • Redesign jobs: There will be a move to redesign jobs to meet the 40 hours per week and reassign certain duties of those jobs onto someone else that is exempt.
  • Automation: Companies will be pushed more to the automation of certain duties to offset overtime costs. There will be an increase in companies using technology to automate lower-waged jobs.
  • Increase in offshoring: The effects will continue to add additional pressure to offshoring where possible. Moving jobs out of the United States will cut company costs.

Walter provided analysis. “Now that the nonexempt employee population has increased significantly, it will be more critical that companies manage overtime expense and therefore the hours worked by these employees will need to be closely monitored. The employees with pay that is not near the threshold will have their hours restricted more. Conversely, those employees that are near the threshold will likely receive a pay increase to meet the new threshold and therefore their work hours will likely remain unchanged.”

Effects on management trainees

Walter uses a manager trainee as a simple example of this: If the manager trainee is near the threshold, he will find that the employer will increase their pay to meet the exemption. Therefore, employees that fall into this type of category will work the same amount of hours as in the past. However, for those manager trainees significantly below the threshold, they will find their hours reduced to manage the amount of overtime work.

New overtime laws and small businesses

The new law on overtime – anyone earning under $47,476 will be eligible for overtime – sounds great on paper, because it translates into a substantial raise for those working long hours, and that’s always a plus for the employee, says Vicky Oliver, a multi-best-selling author of five books, including 301 Smart Answers to Tough Interview Questions (Sourcebooks 2005), named in the top 10 list of “Best Books for HR Interview Prep,” and 301 Smart Answers to Tough Business Etiquette Questions.

But if the new law becomes cost-prohibitive for small businesses, look for some unanticipated side effects, such as businesses possibly “demoting” full-time staff positions to that of a part-time or freelance role in an effort to avoid the overtime rule.

“Small businesses are responsible for the majority of new jobs,” says Oliver, a sought-after speaker and seminar presenter. “As always, it will be interesting to see how this particular rule shakes out. Some employers may find that reducing hours to side-step paying overtime will require creating new part-time or full-time positions.”

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