3 C’s: FREE Job Seeker Resources

27 07 2010

We all need a little simplicity in the job search, right?  While some have really figured this out, many websites and resources have brought more complexity than simplicity.  Let’s call it “simplexity”.  I took this idea and broke down job seeker resources into three basic categories: Career Services, Corporate, and Community.  It doesn’t have to be crazy complicated.  Instead, bring the simplicity back you’re your job search.  Without further ado, lease find the 3 C’s of FREE Job Seeker Resources below. 

Career Services

  • Most college students have no idea of the services they provide.  I know that I didn’t discover Career Services until it was too late.  NACE (National Association of Colleges & Employers) recently surveyed over 13,000 graduating seniors regarding Career Services.   Resume help was rated in the top percentile, with interview preparation ranking in the lowest.  Here’s the full story:  Top 5 Career Services.  Take the time to discover what they can help you with in your career search. You’re already paying for it with tuition and fees, so use it!

Corporate

  • There’s a lot that can be learned from the corporate side of things.  Whether it’s a corporate recruiters on campus leading an information session about their company, corporate blogs, or company websites (yes, there are some good ones out there), it’s a great way to learn about common entry-level positions, the history, culture and how you’d fit within the company.   It’s all about doing your homework, here.  If you want the inside look, check out Glassdoor.com.  It’s a free site that provides insight into salary, interviews, job seeker and employee reviews and more.  Help the recruiter help you.  Learn about the company BEFORE you approach their booth at a career fair. 

Community (traditional & online)

  • Face to face networking can sound scary, but there’s a ton of value in this.  That’s why I’m putting face to face above online networking.  Each can complement each other, but if you can, I would suggest networking as much as you can in person.  It’s easy to do through campus or community organizations such as Young Professionals Network or something similar.   Meet new people in the community – they may be able to help you.  Go with a plan in mind, though.  Don’t just toss out business cards left and right.  Know why you’re connecting and don’t make it all about you.  Ask how YOU can help.
  • Social media like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn are popular social networks that have millions of job seekers, recruiters, and HR professionals participating.  It’s a great way to learn more about them, build your personal brand (increasing Search Engine Optimization, or SEO), and build your credibility within the network.  Another great social network is Brazen Careerist.   Also, don’t underestimate the power of blogs (like Campus to Career) to help you in the job search, mature as a professional, and maintain your personal brand.  Here are some of my favorite job search/HR blogs: Keppie Careers, Pongo Resume, Real Career Management, Ms. Career Girl, and new to the blog scene, Mr. Career Guy.  Check out the Blogroll on the right side of the page for more recommendations.
  • Don’t stop networking just because you found (or didn’t find) a job.  Use this opportunity to build your reputation and pay it forward, helping those that may find themselves in the same situation that you were recently in.

Everyone takes a different approach in the job search.  I would encourage you to use all the resources that are available to you (especially the ones that are FREE).  

I wish you the best in your job search.   If I can help with anything, please let me know.  Just click the “Let’s Connect” tab at the top of the page.  I’m easy to find.  🙂  As always, thanks for reading.

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Paying It Forward (v.6)

23 07 2010

This week, to help compliment #FollowFriday on Twitter, I’d like to give you a little more detail on my recommendations. If you’re not already participating in #FF, it’s a great way to pay it forward, thank someone who’s been helpful this week, or simply recommend them for others to follow.

Here are some of my #FF recommendations:

@PongoResume: PongoResume (www.pongoresume.com) has been a delight to work with (unpaid) regarding guest posting. This week, my post went live and I’ve had a great response. The people I’ve had the opportunity to work with have been fantastic (Jen Capenito – @JenCapenito and Rick Saia). I’m not exactly promoting their services, but rather the information that they share. Check out their blog (and my post) for great tips for job seekers. Here’s my guest post: 5 Reasons Why Athletes Make Great Employees.

@JenGresham: Jen started something very cool this past Sunday, called #SubscribeSunday. The purpose of this is to provide an opportunity for network members to share blogs that they’ve found helpful and interesting with others. It’s a great concept. If you’re looking for some new information, check out #SubscribeSunday on Twitter. I’ll be participating.

@HRMargo: Margo Rose has started an incredible movement on Twitter called #HireFriday. Each Friday, job seekers have the opportunity to post their information into the stream with LinkedIn profile links and qualifications. As I’m a huge advocate of helping those who need help, #HireFriday gives me a chance to retweet the job seeker’s information to my network. Recruiters, if you’re looking for talent, here’s a great way to have it come to you!

That’s all the detail for this week. Thanks for reading and keep paying it forward!

PS. If you’re unfamiliar with hashtags (the “#” symbol), here’s a great resource on Mashable: http://bit.ly/P2XCa





5 Effective Steps for Easy Onboarding

20 07 2010

Last week, I had the opportunity to sit down with over 40 corporate recruiters from more than 30 companies that are Fortune 500, 100, and privately held. Some of the top recruiting forces in the nation, possibly the world, participated in conversation around the topics of hiring trends, employer branding, and onboarding, to name a few. Each company approached onboarding a little differently, but there seemed to be an underlying theme with everyone’s strategy.

Onboarding, or “on-boarding”, is a business management term used for the process of helping new employees become productive members of an organization. In general, onboarding can be defined as the process of acquiring, accommodating, assimilating and accelerating new users into a system, culture or methodology. Some may call it New Hire Orientation, but it’s so much more!

As I listened to each company’s approach, I put together a short list of ways to get the most out of the onboarding process. Five ways, to be exact – important to both the employer and employee.

1. Communicate, communicate, communicate! For some, the onboarding process can last up to 9 months as the student graduates from college, transitioning into the workforce. Keep communicating with them on a regular basis. Notify the manager that that the candidate has accepted the offer. Ask them to reach out and start building the relationship. Don’t just drop them off at New Hire Orientation, saying goodbye and good luck.

2. Get the forms out of the way and orient more in “orientation”. Nobody likes spending their first week filling out forms for HR. You hired the person because you want them to work for you, right? They can’t do that if they’re filling out W-2’s, direct deposit paperwork, or if they’re worried about where to park on campus. If they’re not worrying about whether or not their check will be sent to the black hole, they’ll pay more attention to the training.

3. Provide alternative training opportunities. We’re in the 21st century. Nearly everyone has a computer (or two or three) and we know how to use it. If we have the opportunity to complete some of the training (operative word is “some”) ahead of our official start date. Let us get past the basic training, coming to our first day on the job prepared.

4. Mentor me. Assign mentors to all new hires to help with personal and professional development. It’s a great opportunity for both the mentor and mentee! New hires can learn from the experience of their mentors. Mentors can gather fresh, innovative insight from new hires (sometimes referred to as “reverse mentorship”). Whatever way you look at it, there’s a benefit! Mentorships don’t always have to be all about the job. Feel free to ask your mentor/mentee about life, their experience, or advice. If you don’t ask, you’ll never know!

5. Connect. It’s that simple. Help new hires connect with special interest groups, affinity networks, and those that have just finished the training program. It’s a great way to show them that there’s a place for everyone in your organization, allowing them to network with others who have been successful. Find optional ways to connect your employees during and after work hours. You’d be amazed at the rapport that is built over a cup of coffee when it’s not all about work.

Feel free to add your comments below. If you have a 6th, 7th or 8th way to make onboarding easier, let me know! It’s a collaborative effort.

As always, thanks for reading.





To Lead or Follow? Both!

13 07 2010

The root of the word “leader” is “lead”, which means to go before or with to show the way; conduct or escort.  When we think of leaders, certain people come to mind for both good and bad reasons.  People like Abraham Lincoln, Eleanor Roosevelt, Margaret Thatcher, and Gen. George S. Patton are recognized as some of history’s most famous and influential leaders.  We also know who some of the most infamous and influential leaders (mostly dictators) are as well. 

A follower is defined as a person who accepts another as a guide or leader; accepts the authority of or give allegiance to, to conform to, comply with, or act in accordance with; obey: (to follow orders; to follow advice) or to imitate or copy; use as an exemplar (They follow the latest fads.).

They’re both equally important!  To become a great leader, you need followers.  Being a follower and part of the support network is crucial to the success of the leader.  Here are some quick tips on maximizing your potential as both a leader and a follower.

Embrace change.  As a leader, it’s important to embrace change.  Change is really the only constant.  Simply doing what worked in the past won’t take you to a new level of business or innovation.  Change is scary, but if you take it one step at a time, you’ll be more adaptable and able to use your flexibility to get ahead.  Job seekers – this applies to you as well as those of you that are gainfully employed. 

Accept feedback.  Want to know how you’re really doing?  Ask!  Asking for feedback on your leadership or the support that you provide is something that typically isn’t given too much thought.  If you’re doing a good job, people will tell you, right?  Don’t wait for something to go horribly wrong (believe me – they’ll let you know) to ask for constructive criticism.  When you get the feedback, resist the urge to get defensive.  You’ve put some hard work into the job search, your résumé or that special project.  Take a deep breath, go for a walk, or listen to music to calm you down and clear your head.  I’ve found that yard work (shh…don’t tell my wife) gives me time to not only think about feedback received, but also provides an atmosphere for creative thinking. 

Be authentic.  Be yourself.  Sounds cliché, but it works!  Authenticity goes a long way in the grand scheme of things.  Know what your goals are, what your personal brand is, and don’t be afraid to just be yourself.  Transparency is incredibly important, as is genuine authenticity.  If you say you’ll follow up, do it!  Be true to your word.  Not only will this build your personal brand, it will help build a positive reputation with your co-workers, peers, supervisor, friends and family. 

There are more suggestions.  If you’re interested, check out The 21 Indispensable Qualities of a Leader: Becoming the Person Others Will Follow by John C. Maxwell.  I just finished this book and highly recommend it!  For other book recommendations on leadership, job seeking, and some general life lessons, check out the Reading List tab above.

As always, thanks for reading.  Please feel free to comment below and share this post with others!





3 Simple Rules to Stay On Top of Your Game

6 07 2010

It’s the summer.  Job seekers are facing dismal unemployment rates as the United States economy starts down the long road to improvement.  If you’re lucky enough to have a job, it’s likely that you’re constantly looking for ways to stay on top of your game.  Continuing professional development, working towards that promotion, or simply working to do your best every day, it’s tough to remain positive when the skies aren’t always sunny and the birds aren’t singing Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah.  I’ve done some thinking on this subject and think that it really comes down to three main points.  Sometimes, the best answer is the most simple.  I hope that these recommendations work for you.

Here are a few simple rules to help you stay on top of your game:

Keep your network informed and engaged.   Set aside a certain amount of time each week to do this.  I can’t say it enough – networking makes a difference!  Regardless of your situation, it’s a good idea to keep your network up to date.  Let them know how you’re doing.  If you’re employed, it’s a great way to update them on your progress.  If you’re still seeking employment, it’s a way to remind your network of this and the challenges you’re facing.  You never know how someone could help!  Students – if you’re interning this summer, you’re probably just about ready to meet with your sponsor or manager to update them on the progress of your assigned projects.  Don’t keep this progress update to just your manager.  Let your network in on it.  They want to know too!

Remember your roots.  It’s important to remember your beginnings.  We all start somewhere and couldn’t get to where we want to go without a good push.  Regardless of how successful you become, I’d encourage you to say thank you to the people that push you to be better and serve as a support network for your career.  It seems like a little thing, but it means a lot to hear a sincere thank you these days (it’s not that common). 

Learn and apply lessons.  Have you read a great book lately?  Did you see that awesome movie that came out on Friday?  Look a little deeper into the story and premise of the books you read and movies you watch.  Believe it or not, most times there is a moral to the story.  Take the lessons you learned or the theme and apply it to your career.  It could be anything from management to teamwork to leadership.  As entertaining as the movies are, there’s a great deal of insight to gain from this summer’s blockbusters.  Here’s what I learned from the new A-Team movie: Building Your Own A-Team.

So, whether you’re vacationing from school this summer, looking for a new job, or are already gainfully employed, these are three simple ways to stay on top of your game.  This isn’t meant to be a one-sized fits all approach, so if you have other suggestions or recommendations, I welcome your input!  Please leave a comment below.  As always, thanks for reading.





Paying It Forward (v.5)

2 07 2010

Are you paying it forward?  Twitter can help!  Follow Friday (http://mashable.com/followfri/) allows people to pay it forward, giving props and a Follow Friday recommendation to individuals they follow/are followed by.  It’s a great way to say, “Hey! Follow these people – they have great information to share!” 

Here are some great people you should be following for job seeking advice (in addition to me and the Campus to Career blog – @campustocareer & http://facebook.com/CampusToCareer) and a little inspiration:

Cindy Billington @cinag87 – Cindy is the Associate Director for Master’s Career Education & Advising at Texas A & M University.  A true asset to career services, Cindy has a passion for helping students succeed after graduation.  Cindy recently started a blog (on my Blogroll) called Real Career Management (http://realcareermanagement.wordpress.com).  It’s a great resource for all job seekers!

Angela Frizzell @angelafrizzell – Angela is a social media strategist who understands the function of social platforms in the marketing mix. In addition to her social media knowledge, Angela’s background includes writing, editing, marketing and research.  Angela is social media certified through Drury University graduate program.  Local to Springfield, MO, Angela has been a great resource and is always willing to help!

Dawn Bugni @DawnBugni – Dawn recently helped me out with a question that I had regarding social media statistics and demographics.  She’s also an expert on writing resumes, with more than 25 years of corporate customer service management.  Thanks for your help, Dawn!

Liberty Mutual Responsible Scholars @RespScholars – The official Twitter account for Liberty Mutual’s Responsible Scholar program, @RespScholars know the very meaning of paying it forward.  Providing great resources to their followers and retweeting the good stuff, they’re someone all job seekers should follow! Want to know more?  Check out www.responsiblescholars.com

Brent Peterson @InterviewAngel – Brent is the Founder of Interview Angel, Inc., which has the vision to help 100,000 people shine in job interviews.  I recently had the opportunity to meet Brent at the NACE annual conference in Orlando.  True to his word, Brent continues to help people every day through his blog and tweets!  His blog is www.interviewangel.com/blog

Have a recommendation of your own for #FollowFriday?  Let me know!  I’m always looking for new people with a unique perspective on career services, HR, recruiting, new media, and life in general.  I’d love to have your suggestions!  Please feel free to leave a comment below.  As always, thanks for reading Campus To Career!