Keep Your Job Search Game Strong With These Tips [INFOGRAPHIC]

9 09 2014

We’ve welcomed a few new players to the job search field. Today’s job seekers have more resources to help draw out the Xs and Os than ever before. The wealth of online resources and social platforms can help you break free from getting caught up in zone defense and look out on all sides. Social networking, employee referrals, and even mobile devices are now helping job seekers bolt past the competition and score their dream jobs.

The infographic below — compiled by CareerShift, a comprehensive job hunting and career management solution — shares six new trends impacting job seekers. It’s time to ante up and use these game-changing trends to help you score big on the job field.

Some stats to note:

  • 94% of recruiters use or plan to use social media in recruiting efforts
  • 78% of recruiters hire through social media
  • 72% of active job seekers use mobile devices in their job search
  • Employee referrals account for 40% of all hires

Check out the full infographic below and develop your playbook with these game-changing trends in mind.


What do you think? What are some other game-changing trends in today’s job market?

7 Embarrassing Meeting Dilemmas & How to Resolve Them

2 09 2014


client sweating

From time to time, we all find ourselves facing embarrassing meeting dilemmas. Even if you have spent weeks preparing for a meeting, there is still a risk of the unexpected happening. The best way to deal with embarrassment is to keep calm, laugh it off with everyone and carry on. To help you succeed, here are 7 of the most embarrassing meeting dilemmas and how to deal with them.




  1. Unable to login to guest Wi-Fi

If you are unable to login to your client’s Wi-Fi, our first suggestion is to let them know. They may have a tech support employee on-site, who can provide you with assistance. Alternatively you could try using the hotspot on your phone (if you have one) or logging into a hotspot service like BT Fon. Whilst the connection won’t be as speedy as your client’s, it’ll enable you to get the meeting done with minimal disruption and embarrassment.

  1. Corrupted presentation

It can be a real pain when you insert your USB into the projector, only to find that your PowerPoint presentation has corrupted. You could save yourself a lot of embarrassment by printing off paper copies of the slides prior to the meeting. If however you have not adequately prepared for this unforeseen dilemma, keep calm and think how you can change the approach of your meeting, whilst still getting the points across. You never know, a more informal / chatty meeting may end up being more productive anyway.

  1. Can’t find their office

If you cannot find the client’s office, we would first advise you to give them a call and let them know. It is far less embarrassing to ask for directions than turn up late. If by the end of the phone call you have forgotten the directions and can’t ask again, use Google Maps or another map app on your smartphone. If there is any chance of you being late, make sure you phone ahead and inform your client and apologise profoundly when you eventually arrive.

  1. You have met them before but are unsure where

It can be really embarrassing when you feel like you know their face from somewhere, but cannot pinpoint where or when you met them. To avoid further embarrassment, we recommend keeping it to yourself, rather than asking them if you’ve met before. This will prevent you from 1) embarrassing them 2) delving into an informal and inappropriate conversation and 3) becoming further embarrassed when you realise you haven’t actually met them before.

If they recognise you and bring it up, just go along with it and say it’s good to see them again. If it turns out you’re old friends, you can have a laugh about it later!

  1. Phone goes off

It is polite to turn your phone off in a meeting to show them that they have your full attention. If for one reason or another you forget to put your phone on silent and you receive a call, apologise immediately and end the call.

It will help if you have set up an automated message on your smartphone that can be sent to your caller to explain you are in a meeting and will ring them back afterwards. Whilst you will feel embarrassed that you interrupted the meeting with an incoming phone call, at least it’ll make you look in demand!

  1. Forget your wallet and can’t pay the bill

One of the most embarrassing meeting situations you can get yourself into is forgetting your wallet at a lunch meeting, leaving you unable to pay the bill. The key is not to panic. Think about how you can handle the situation without having to resort to asking them to pay for you. Excuse yourself from the table and speak to one of the waiters to find out if they would accept a PayPal or bank transfer that you can carry out using an app on your smartphone. Alternatively, if you know your debit or credit card details or could phone someone back at your office to read them to you, ask your waiter if you can pay that way instead.

The last thing you want to do is ask your client to pay for you, as not only is it embarrassing, but it will also make you look forgetful and unorganised.

  1. Client is surprised by the price you quote

Discussing quotes in person is one of those things that many people dread doing. There is always a risk that they will be one of those people that say they’re unhappy upfront, rather than taking the quote away for consideration and sending an email back later. If they do appear to be taken back by the price you’ve quoted them, have a breakdown of the costs to hand.

When people get embarrassed they often get defensive. Try to keep calm – you don’t need to justify your costs if the client is pushing their luck. If however they genuinely seem surprised by your prices and you want their business, you may want to consider enquiring about their budget and seeing if there is a way you can tailor your product or services to meet it. Handling the situation with grace and going the extra mile for your client will go a long way in gaining their loyalty and repeat business.

Image credits: mitopencourseware, marsmet473a and danielmoyle

 ****For this post, Campus to Career thanks Nick Williams!!****

About the author: Nick is a training assistant at Acuity Training in Guildford, Surrey. Acuity offer chairing meetings training as well as technical training such as advanced AutoCAD courses.

An Open Career Letter to Gen Z From Gen Y

26 08 2014

We’ve all heard about Generation Y or the Millennial generation, but what do you know about Gen Z? They’re a lot more different than you’d think. This week, we have a guest blogger who’d like to speak directly to them. Be sure to check out the links in the article – there are some fantastic resources regarding Gen Z research.

Without further adieu…

An Open Career Letter to Gen Z from Gen Y

Dear Gen Z,

Although we are all a part of the “Millennial cohort,” we are inevitably going to make our own and unique imprints on the world. While us Gen Y’ers have Mark Zuckerberg and Pete Cashmore, you have Adora Svitak and Logan Laplante. At approximately 90 million strong, we stand to bring needed change, whether desired or not by our predecessor generations.

Having been witness to some of the most catastrophic events in history, including 9/11, The Great Recession, the War On Terrorism and more school shootings than I care to mention, you have developed coping mechanisms and a resourcefulness that will undoubtedly play a large role in your mark on our world and in our workforce. However, there are a few things you should really consider as you make your way into the “real world.”

It’s getting better, but it’s still competitive out here. You have to work really hard to land that dream job. Whether it’s working for yourself, one of the big tech companies, or a small business, you have to prove yourself just like everyone else has.

With four in five of you believing you’re more driven than your peers, and having early pressure from your parents to start getting professional experience, I’d say you’re well on your way to being able to land that dream job sooner than later.

generation._ZBe mindful of your strengths and weaknesses. You grew up in a digital world, and this is a huge strength that will bring you a lot of leverage in the workforce. However, although you can multi-task better than any other generation, increasing rates of ADHD diagnosis tells us that it wouldn’t hurt to slow down every once in awhile and take a step away from your devices.

It’s not your fault — you’ve always had things delivered at lightning speed, but you will be in situations where you have to slow down and truly understand what’s happening. You must cultivate these situational awareness skills to become a truly well-rounded professional.

Keep realistic expectations, but continue to dream big. A New York-based research firm, Sparks & Honey, asked high school and college students what they wanted to do when they graduated. It turns out that 61 percent of high school students said they want to be entrepreneurs rather than employees and 76 percent wish their hobby would turn into a full-time job.

You’ve grown up in an evolving education system with classroom diversity and you don’t see color, race or ethnicity like older generations do. You also grew up with more people in your household, which gave you the chance to learn humility and sharing at an early age. As you begin to enter the workforce, set your expectations at a realistic level and remember the humility and collaborative spirit you’ve cultivated throughout your life, but never quit dreaming big.

Don’t underestimate the lasting impact you will have on the workforce. You grew up knowing the innovative and fun work environments of Facebook and Google, and will enter the workforce expecting that in your job. Generations before you fought for a healthier work-life balance, so now you have begun to tackle something else — 60 percent of you want to work for a company that stands for something bigger than itself and can truly make an impact. These expectations you are coming in with will most certainly change the way companies and the overall workforce functions.

You are an interesting and exciting generation, and one that I look forward to working with in the coming years. I believe we’ll learn a lot from each other and am excited to see you become the leaders you are innately meant to be. Just remember to step away from your devices every once in a while — you will still be able to change the world without them.


Michael and the rest of the “Y” generation

****For this great post, Campus to Career thanks Michael Dennis!!****

About the author: Michael Dennis is the CEO and founder of FindHire, an innovative job search community and hiring network. Connect with Michael and the FindHire team on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

LinkedIn: Let’s Get Personal

11 08 2014

make all connections meme

Every week, I receive (and send) connection requests through LinkedIn. What continues to surprise me is the fact that the large majority of those who wish to connect fail to personalize the message. Now, let me explain first that I’m not too caught up with this since there are so many new smartphone and tablet apps that simply don’t let the user provide any personalization, thus the “I’d like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn” standard messaging.

If you could hit the “easy” button and fire away simple connection requests without personalization, would you do it? Some say yes, but what are your results? Why are you really connecting?

Here’s the better question: What if you took 20 seconds to craft a quick note to provide the person you’re reaching out to with a frame of reference?

Put yourself in the shoes of the person receiving the connection request. For all intents and purposes, let’s just say they’re a recruiter for the most awesome company in the world and you want to work for them. You meet the recruiter at an event, perhaps a career fair. You exchange information and later go to LinkedIn to do a little research.

That little blue “connect” button is calling your name. Heck, LinkedIn even does most of the work for you. Instead of sending the boilerplate “I’d like to connect” blah-blah, you choose to stand out. Your connection request goes something like this:

Hi Kirk,

It was nice to meet you at the career fair today in San Francisco. Cool that you’re also a Cal grad! I’ve already applied online as directed to your awesome company. In the meantime, I’d like to connect with you here on LinkedIn. Let’s keep in touch!

Joe Smith

Now, if you were a recruiter and received tons of the basic boilerplate connection requests, wouldn’t this stand out to you?? It’s that simple.

What inspired me to write this post? These three great connection requests I received this week:

photo 1


photo 2

photo 3

Did I connect? You bet. Thanks for the added thought in your request!

Here are some other really great posts on LinkedIn:

Is Your LinkedIn Profile Awesome? by Career Sherpa

If You’re Not Linked In, You May Be Left Out

College Students: Are You Linked In? by Emily Bennington

Want to connect? You know what you have to do… :)

Career Change? What You Need To Know Before Making The Transition

30 07 2014


Circumstance in life evolve all the time. Some of these changes in life create an opportunity or need to change careers. This isn’t something that should be done impulsively, but should be heavily contemplated and considered. Here are some things to consider before actually making the change.

Change to What?

It goes without saying that the most important thing to consider is what type of career you want to consider. It’s important to never give up an existing job or career without a solid direction in which to head. It’s just a matter of deciding factors such as what you need, love doing, and where your talents lay.

Why is the Change Wanted Or Needed?

In order to prevent impulsive decision making, it is important for you to know why you are desiring of a career change. Do you feel stuck in your position? Do you wish to make a bigger difference and take on more responsibilities? There are many valid reasons to change careers, but sometimes, you may just be burned out or frustrated. A good vacation can resolve those feelings instead of a complete change of career.

What Are Your Life-Long Goals?

Every decision in your day should be part of a life long plan. The last thing you need to do is make a career change that is not consistent with long term goals. Why would you start a new career in the Midwest if you really want to live on the coast? Take a look at long term goals to narrow in on a career that fits for you.

The Cost of Change

Any type of move or change in life usually has a financial cost involved. For a career change, that cost may come in several forms. You may need to relocate and incur moving and relocation costs. Also, career changes may require pay cuts as some industries have different pay scales that other do. More training and education may also be required to get the job you want.

What Does the Prospective Industry Offer?

Before deciding on a new career, you must be certain about the future prospects of a new career. You would not want to consider employment as a copy writer with a newspaper when most news is being absorbed by customers online. Writing for online articles or blogs may be the direction you want to pursue. Know what the industry has to offer and be willing to make changes as needed.

Will Additional Education Be Required?

A new career may require additional education. As an example, someone employed in commercial real estate can find an interest in business. If this is the case, the degree they have may be transferable. For someone interested in something more specific like civil engineering, without an engineering degree, opportunities for employment are slimmer. A professional with a master’s degree in civil engineering has even more options for work and salary.

Career changes can be useful in revitalizing your life and your career. It is important to carefully consider the options and ramifications before actually initiating the change. Most people change careers several times in their life. It is important to make it count.

Informational credit to Ohio University, which offers a master’s degree in civil engineering. For more information, visit


****For this great post, Campus to Career thanks Anita Ginsburg!!****

Anita G.About the author: Anita Ginsburg is a freelance writer from Denver, CO and often writes about education, business and finance. A mother of two, she enjoys traveling with her family when she isn’t writing.

How to Find Your Alumni Mentor

15 07 2014

The word Mentor in magazine letters on a notice board

Seventy percent of jobs are found through networking, according to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Whether you’re searching for an internship or trying to land your first job, your network is your best resource for finding opportunities.

A great way to amp up your networking efforts? Take advantage of your alumni networks and enlist an alumni mentor. Alumni are an excellent resource during your job search because you already have a common interest established — you both graduated from the same school. And an alumni mentor can serve as a resource during your job search and a guide to your industry.

Here are some tips to kick off your search for your alumni mentor:

1. Search your university’s career website

Nearly every college or university has a career website that contains a database of employers and alumni. For example, colleges and universities such as American University, University of Michigan, and UCLA have alumni mentoring programs within their career websites that connect college students and job seekers with alumni.

You can search your school’s career site based on career interests and industries. This can lead you to connections with alumni working in similar fields as you.

2. Use LinkedIn to your advantage

LinkedIn is another awesome resource for finding an alumni mentor. Most universities have an alumni group established for students. In addition, you can probably find specific alumni groups depending on your major, industry, or geographical area.

For example, if you’re a graduate of your marketing program, look for alumni groups within this department on LinkedIn. Chances are you’ll find a LinkedIn group specifically for marketing alumni of your college or professional organizations related to your major.

3. Send networking emails

After you’ve done some research and located a few professionals you’d like to contact about mentorship, it’s time to send some emails.

When writing networking emails, be genuine, concise, and considerate with your message. Remember, some of these individuals are very busy, so you want to write an email that gets read.

In your email, explain how you’re an alum of the same school with a degree in a similar career path. After you establish the connection, explain that you’d like to ask a few questions about their experience.

4. Schedule a meeting

During your conversations with alumni, make sure to request to meet in-person or chat over the phone. This is your opportunity to pick the alum’s brain and establish a genuine connection.

Once you’re ready to chat with an alum of your program, here are some good questions to ask:

  • What do you like/dislike about your job and why?
  • How did you decide this was the right field for you?
  • How did you get noticed by employers during your entry-level job search?
  • What are some related jobs I should research?

Finding an alumni mentor is one of the best things you can do for your career. Not only is this person a great resource for advice and tips, but they can also be easily located. Hopefully these tips will help you find you an alumni who can take your career to the next level.

Do you have an alumni mentor? How did you develop the relationship?

val-mattaAbout the author: Val Matta is the vice president of business development at CareerShift, a comprehensive job hunting and career management solution for companies, outplacement firms, job seekers and university career centers. Connect with Val and CareerShift onLinkedIn.


10 Ways to Use Social Media to Land Your Dream Job

4 07 2014

Social Media ComicSocial media is one of the most life-changing developments of the 21st century. It has impacted almost every aspect of our lives, including the way we connect, socialize, entertain, seek knowledge, promote personal and corporate brands, and seek jobs. Gone are the days when our job search was limited to scouring “help wanted” ads in newspapers and other print media, visiting placement agencies and applying through job sites.

Today, companies have developed an ecosystem around social media, which is central to their corporate branding and marketing activities. Manpower requirements are also met through social networking, which is comparatively hassle-free and less time-consuming. For example, if a company is looking for an efficient marketing manager or vice president for its organizational growth, then it is more likely to contact people working at similar companies in its social network.

Hiring managers often review individual profiles on professional networks such as LinkedIn before actually initiating the process of organized headhunting. The time wasted in screening heaps of resumes is minimized to a great extent, and what they get are genuine leads for the open position.

To stand out from the competition and increase your chances of getting your dream job through social media, you should follow these ten steps:

1. Keep your personal and professional accounts separate
Don’t make the common mistake of having one social networking account for both your job-hunting and socializing with family and friends. Keep a separate public account to network with potential employers and keep your personal account private, shared only with the close friends. Prospective employers are likely to snoop into your Facebook profile, and if it is not maintained professionally, it can work against you.

2. Shout out loud if you are looking for job
If you’re looking for a job, you should inform your friends and followers through your status updates on Facebook and Twitter. So, in case a friend of yours gets the inside scoop of a new opening in his company, he can in turn inform you before it goes public. Similarly, you can also change your LinkedIn profile headline to signal that you’re looking for a change. It will instantly inform your connections that you’re searching for a suitable opening.

3. Create an impressive LinkedIn profile
LinkedIn is the biggest global social network for professionals and it has the biggest database of companies, organizations and individuals. So, it’s important to create a professional LinkedIn profile to network with people in your target industry. Your LinkedIn profile is highly visible on search engines such as Google, which is a major advantage.

4. Use advanced features on LinkedIn
LinkedIn has many advanced features that can be used to make your profile highly visible globally. For example, you can add work samples, images of certifications, professional videos, recommendations and many other things. Apart from that, you can also benefit from LinkedIn job groups and the “Jobs” column. Get involved in different groups according to your interests and work profile, and share your knowledge with others for personal branding. Share your blogs in different LinkedIn groups, which will establish yourself as an authority in your field and could also attract hiring managers.

5. Make use of Twitter search
Twitter has many advanced features and powerful search capabilities. You can use hashtags to find people with similar interests. This way, you can multiply your social network beyond national boundaries.

6. Link to your social profiles on your resume
You can use the hyperlinks of your LinkedIn, Twitter and “” profile on your resume just below your name. It will not only make your resume look professional and social media-friendly, but will also help prospective hiring managers to know more about you, especially about your accomplishments and skills, which you can’t always mention in the limited space of your resume.

7. Stay informed
Keep yourself updated with the latest industry news and insights through social platforms and discussions; this will help significantly during interviews. For example, LinkedIn discussions are a great way to stay up-to-date on what’s happening around the globe in your industry.

8. Promote yourself through
This site will help you promote yourself through your professional profiles, blogs, videos, links, bios and maps.

9. Download job search apps on your smart phone
Apps like CareerBuilder, Monster and Indeed will deliver job openings directly to your smart phone, so that you can be among the first to respond.

10. Seek jobs through networks such as TweetMyJobs
Take advantage of prominent mobile and social job distribution networks such as TweetMyJobs to speed up your job search.

****For this guest post, Campus to Career thanks Aditya Singhal!!****

About the author: Aditya Singhal is the co-founder of, which is a leading online tutoring resource for college students. Adi and his team are currently creating a courseware platform for MBA students. They are also launching later this year an eBay style marketplace for assignments. Adi gives back to society by contributing a portion of the company’s revenue toward the education of poor students in India.


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