Using Your Grad Enthusiasm to Find Your First Promising Job

14 06 2017

When you graduate from college, you enter a whole new world. It’s fun. The opportunities are practically limitless. Where will you head to? Whatever you want to be, you can become. However, you’ll have to go through a real struggle before you get there.

The moment you start searching for your first job, you’ll realize you were overly optimistic. During periods of labor market weaknesses (we’re still recovering from the Great Recession), the young workforce faces a disproportionate increase in unemployment. Currently, the unemployment rate for college graduates is 5.6%. Many of the employed ones (12.6% of them, to be precise) are underemployed.

Does this mean it’s impossible to get that ideal first job you were dreaming of? Wait, where did your enthusiasm go? That initial enthusiasm you have when you graduate from college is your factor of attraction.

Grad Enthusiasm Article

You’re Young, Smart, and Promising! Use Your Enthusiasm to Get into the Job Market!

If you start looking through job ads, you’ll notice most of them prefer experience. The entry-level positions are meant for applicants with no experience, but you feel like you’re overqualified for them. The lack of experience is a serious drawback when you compete on the job market. But let’s see: what makes you better than an older candidate with experience competing for the same position?

  • Your knowledge is fresh. You just took many exams and wrote outstanding projects. The academic writing standards are much higher today. If you’re a great writer, you can highlight that fact in the resume.
  • You have no fear of challenges. You know the real world is full of them. You know that college didn’t prepare you for all of them. You’re ready to face what you need to face and stay persistent through the challenges. A potential employer clearly sees that advantage in young applicants.
  • You can fully commit yourself to the job. Chances are, you still don’t have a family. Most recent graduates don’t have family plans in near future. This may seem discriminating, but employers would gladly accept such a candidate over someone who cannot stay overtime because they have a baby at home.

How to Show Your Enthusiasm and Get That First Job

  1. Start Your Search Right Away

If you still haven’t started searching for a job, you should start doing it before you lose your initial enthusiasm. Now is the right time to start sending applications! If you really need a vacation, don’t make it longer than a month.

  1. Highlight Your Skills and Knowledge

Since you don’t have much experience to brag with, you’ll have to balance the resume out. You can do that by writing a functional resume that highlights your skills and knowledge.

Maybe you don’t have any work experience, but you do have life experiences. Share details about your internships and volunteering activities. Employers are excited to see such experiences in a resume. They prove a candidate is a well-rounded person with interests and commitment.

  1. Meet as Many People as Possible

Tell everyone you just graduated and you’re open for opportunities. Show people you want to work and the opportunities will come to you.

  1. Nail the Cover Letter!

Where do you show your enthusiasm? The cover letter gives you that chance! Unlike the resume, it’s written in first person. It allows you to include details that don’t fit in the resume. Write about your interests and show your enthusiasm to work for this particular company.

Useful Tools for Career Search

You don’t know where to start searching for a job? Here are few tools for you to check out:

  • LinkedIn – If you still don’t have a profile, do it now! Start making connections. You can use the platform to search for open positions.
  • Indeed – A classic job search engine that leads you to localized results.
  • CareerBuilder – Craft a great resume and upload it. The platform will pair you with the right opportunities.

You’re at a turning point in your life. You’ll be under a lot of stress to get that first job, but don’t lose your enthusiasm. It’s exactly what makes you attractive to employers.

****For this post, Campus to Career thanks Chris Richardson!!****

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About: Chris Richardson is a journalist and editor at EssayGeeks.co.uk. He is fond of traveling, sports, and playing the guitar. Chris finds his inspiration in writing. Meet him on on Facebook and Google+.

 





The Do’s & Don’t’s of Presenting

16 05 2017

The presentation is a procedure where you represent your product or project in a speech, lecture or demonstration in order to educate your audience. For some, the anxiety level is high when you hear about giving presentations in front of people while some find it an easy calling. In other words, some freak out and some don’t! Before heading for a presentation, it’s important to loosen your nerves. Take a deep breath and begin. Concentrate on a specific object in the room to help you release your stress.

As a presenter, you have to be fully immersed in the topic in order to captivate the audience. Audience satisfaction is the goal of the presentation’s success. There’s a saying (some call it the “global rule” that the first impression is the last impression. Keep your presentation interactive and communicate with proper eye contact.

As you get started, here are some do’s and don’t’s on presenting, created by Walkerstone.

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3 Steps Towards a Perfect Resume

9 05 2017

Job hunting can be extraordinarily exhausting. It can be especially taxing when you feel like you’re not getting much response. Submitting your resume to dozens of employers week after week can feel like you’re fishing without a hook. However, one of the most effective things you can do to get a bite from potential employers is to spruce up your resume and cover letter. Let’s take a look at exactly what it takes to get the sparkling resume you’ve been dreaming of.

3 steps to a perfect resume

Cover Letter

Cover letters are truly commonplace in the job-seeking world these days. As such, it’s important to make sure that yours stands out. Essentially, what you want in a cover letter is a little bit more detail about who you are, what experience you have, and why you’re a great candidate.

Since this page should go before your resume, it is a first look into what type of employee you are and what professional experience you have. As a result, it can be quite easy to go overboard and provide the recruiter with too much information or irrelevant information. To avoid this, keep a few things in mind while writing your letter.

Keep your cover letter at a page long if you can. All of your job history, schooling, and references should be included in your resume, so you don’t have to go into detail about those topics in your cover letter. This is a great opportunity to tell your employer just a little bit about yourself. You might have some hidden talents that you practice as hobbies or you might want to explain your career goals or just expand on some awesome opportunities you’ve been able to be a part of in the past. Just make sure that you keep it short, concise, and to the point. If it doesn’t have a direct correlation with the potential employer hiring you, it doesn’t need to be in your cover letter.

References & Recommendations

Asking someone to be a reference or offer their personal recommendation for you as a spectacular employee is a tricky business. However, there is definitely a right and wrong way to do it. Namely, who you choose and why you choose them. Just because your good friend will say good things about you doesn’t necessarily mean you should put them on your resume.

Try to choose a reference that has worked with you in some sort of professional capacity. Ideal candidates for this task would be previous/current managers, teachers/professors, or other professional mentors. Let’s put it this way, putting down your parents or best friend from elementary school can come across as a bit childish. There are people in your life that know you have done great things and will go on to accomplish much more. It’s okay to let someone brag about you.

In addition, you shouldn’t need too many references. A good middle ground is about three references and/or recommendations. Unless they are going to list particularly amazing accomplishments of yours, I wouldn’t go above five. That just creates more work and research for your potential employer. Lastly, choose people that don’t all know you in the same way. For example, choosing three managers from the same job is not the way to go. Choosing one teacher, one manager, and one volunteer manager would be a great setup. They will all have unique things to say about their experience with you.

Once you decide on the best people for the job, you really need to make sure you have their permission before you let people give them a call or assume that they will explicitly recommend you for a position. Get in contact with that person and ask for the recommendation based on your previous professional interaction. Keep the request short and sweet. If they get back to you in a timely manner (probably a couple of days) then they are a good reference and will be responsive when potential employers give them a call. If they don’t respond or take too long, thank them for their time and move on.

Design

There are tons of fancy templates available on the web, but don’t be coaxed by all the frills you see on the page. Remember, your potential employer is probably looking at tons of these every single day. Keeping the page as de-cluttered and sleek as possible is the best plan of action.

Stick with simple black font on a white page. Obnoxious colors and themes are sure to turn off recruiters quickly. This doesn’t mean that you have to stick to New Times Roman size 10 or anything like that. There are plenty of downloadable fonts that look crisp, but also modern instead of dated and tacky. Try out a few before you decide on just one.

Your resume is simply to list your accomplishments. Again, try to make yours look as clean as possible. If you have additional information that you think is crucial for the recruiter to read, put it in the cover letter. Try not to expand too much on job details, personal reasons for starting or leaving school or a job etc. If there is information that the potential employer is curious about, it can be discussed in the interview. Although, you should feel confident that they have all the necessary professional information right in front of them already.

Creating the perfect resume takes years of experience. Don’t get discouraged if you feel like you have to make changes from time to time. As you grow in life and professionally, so will your ability to market yourself effectively to potential employers. It’s okay to ask for help from time to time. Co-workers and mentors can usually give you some insight into what a great resume looks like. However, take pride in your own style, accomplishments, and creativity. Making your resume your own is exactly what will attract the perfect employer. Good luck!

****For this post, Campus to Career thanks Trisha Miller!!****





How to Win a Recruiter’s Heart & Mind

28 03 2017

A very common, and often accepted piece of wisdom in the world of recruiting is that you should follow your gut.

Some of the most respected minds in HR and recruiting advice using intuition to help guide who they hire.

At the same time, there is a real, measurable skills crunch out there. There are more jobs going unfilled in the U.S. than ever before, and it’s because there’s a lack of workers with the right skills to fill them.  

Many recruiters believe strongly in using their hearts – their intuition – to make hiring decisions, but at the same time, they’re having to use their minds to evaluate who has the right skills for important positions.

Want to land your dream job? The one that everyone’s going to apply for the second it comes up? You’ll need to prove you have the skills and pass the intuition test with recruiters and hiring managers.

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Winning a Recruiter’s Heart

Is it possible to win over someone’s intuition? Can you intentionally give someone a good gut feeling about you?

I believe you can.

According to studies on the job interview process, most interviewers make a snap judgment the moment they see you about what kind of candidate you’ll be, and then spend the rest of the interview confirming that judgment and ignoring things that don’t agree with it.

I know, that sounds terribly unfair.

The good news is that there’s a lot you can do about this. The main take away is that the first impression is the impression.

Now, you can bet that if we make snap judgments during interviews, we make them throughout the hiring process.

For example, recruiters spend just 6 seconds looking at resumes.

So first impression matters at every stage of the hiring process, and you can expect it to be even more important if you’re after a desirable job.

Here’s a checklist to go through at each stage of the process to make sure you make the right impression.

The Resume

Generally speaking, recruiters and hiring managers check resumes for sloppiness, usually in the form of glaring typos and grammar errors. Here are a few steps you can take to make sure your resume is error-free.

  • Run it through a spell-checker.

  • Read the entire resume out loud to yourself (it’s one of the best ways to catch errors).

  • Have a friend read through it.

  • Look for these common grammar mistakes.

The Phone Interview

Phone interviews are generally used by recruiters and hiring managers for screening. A few tips to keep you from getting screened.

  • Don’t talk negatively about previous jobs or bosses.

  • Don’t talk about money too much.

  • But be prepared to answer questions about expected salary – know what the going rate is, and why you’re asking for your rate if it’s different.

  • Make it clear that this is the only type of role you’re interested in doing.

The Face-to-Face Interview

You’ve come so far! Don’t blow it in the final phase.

  • If you’re not early, you’re late. Be 15 minutes early, minimum.

  • Use a couple of those extra minutes for a final appearance check.

  • Use a couple minutes to take a short walk once you’ve arrived. It’ll help calm your nerves.

  • Use the bathroom one last time.

  • Smile and be friendly to everyone you meet.

Winning a Recruiter’s Mind

As I mentioned, employers are having a terrible time finding candidates with the skills they need.

The problem has gotten so bad that the time to fill a position is at 27 days, the longest ever.

I talk to recruiters and hiring managers every day at Betterteam, and they almost always mention the lack of qualified people applying to jobs.

I worry that companies get so used to unqualified people applying for jobs that they just expect them to be unqualified, and so miss great hires because they passed by the qualifications they were looking for during the whole 6 seconds they spent with the resume.

So, here’s a quick checklist to help make sure you don’t get passed over for a job you are qualified for.

The Resume

Make it so they’d notice your qualifications even if your resume blew by during a hurricane.

  • Pay close attention to how the employer writes the job ad. Reuse the language they use to describe qualifications in your resume.

  • Make sure the format is easy to read, and that qualifications are bolded and bullet pointed.

The Phone Interview

They’re going to do an initial check to be sure you’ve got the skills.

  • Be ready to talk about specific projects you completed from beginning to end.

  • Know what success looks like for the position, as well as common mistakes people make.

  • Be ready to give specific numbers, i.e. exactly how much you grew sales by in the first quarter.

The Face-to-Face Interview

Almost there! They probably think you’re qualified at this point, but just to be sure…

  • Be ready with specific examples of what you’ve accomplished in previous roles.

  • Know your industry – be able to talk about the best examples of people doing your job well, what direction it’s headed in, etc.

It really is a fantastic time to be looking for a job. If you can show employers that you’ve got the skills they need and make the right impression, you’ve got an excellent shot at landing an awesome job. If you’re looking for more job search advice, check out Betterteams’ list of job boards, by profession. Good luck!

****Campus to Career thanks Paul Peters for this insightful post!!****

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About the author: Paul Peters is content marketer and job ad writer with Betterteam. Before Betterteam he spent 6 years building an education startup, where he was was involved with many aspects of the business, including hiring and marketing. He lives in Whitefish, Montana.





LinkedIn Lacking Pizazz? 3 Ways to Spice Up Your Profile

21 03 2017

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It’s no secret that LinkedIn is the king when it comes to social and professional networking for businesses and professionals. Like all social media, it only serves its purpose when the information presented on it is complete and you remain active and update frequently. But a boring LinkedIn page can cause you to be overlooked just as much as an incomplete or messy one, so what can you do to add a little pizazz to your page? Here are three easy ways to professionally spice up your LinkedIn profile or business page.

Write Articles

Whether for your company or as a professional, writing articles to be posted on LinkedIn is a great way to spice up your profile because it demonstrates your professional knowledge of your field and shows that you are active and engaged with the community. Articles published on LinkedIn from your company might also be seen as more legitimate than if they had been posted on your blog. These articles can also showcase images that further add color to your page and catch the eyes of readers. Articles can be regarding just about anything to do with business or LinkedIn itself, but it’s almost always best to focus your subject matter on what you do professionally in a way that best represents the brand you are trying to cultivate.

Have a Business Page

If you run a business, having a profile page for it on LinkedIn like this one is about as important as having a page for it on Facebook. Like this ASEA LinkedIn page, you want to make it look professional and appealing, with your logo as the profile picture and eye-pleasing graphics for your background and header photos. Just like on a personal page, a business page needs to be kept active and updated with relative frequency. Give people a reason to follow you by posting humorous, interesting and engaging content, whether it’s pictures or articles. Graphics need to look professional, so hiring a professional designer to create them is likely what you need to do – DIY graphics rarely look nice enough and can tarnish your business’s image as slipshod.

TIP: If you prefer working with stock photos, here are 10 sites that don’t suck.

Craft a Compelling Headline and Summary

First impressions are everything. To get people hooked from the beginning on your page or profile, take the time to craft a compelling headline and summary that will tell others who you are, what your experience is and what you can do for them. The key is to keep it both short and sweet, while hitting on the main things you want your customers or clients to know about your business. When coming up with your headline, make sure that it says what you do, who you help and why you’re qualified. Summaries can include information such as how long you’ve been in business, what you do and for whom (be as specific and targeted as possible). Appeal to the people you want to attract by knowing what they’re looking for and explain what you can do for them. Just like with major search engines, include key words and phrases that companies or potential clients will search for.

There are any number of other things that can also serve to make your LinkedIn page stand out more, such as having a personalized public profile LinkedIn URL, recommendations from former clients and bosses, all of your professional information and a portfolio of your work. If you are not currently utilizing LinkedIn to its fullest, we’d recommend that you put some more time and effort into it to see just how useful an account can be for your career and your business.

Extra credit reading: 6 Tips for Getting More Out of LinkedIn

****For this post, Campus to Career thanks Emma Sturgis!!****

 

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About the author: Emma is a freelance writer currently living in Boston, MA. She writes most often on education and business. To see more from Emma, say hi on Twitter @EmmaSturgis2





18 Next-Level Résumé Tips

14 03 2017

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As you prepare to leave college and head into the world of work, you’ll have one thing on your mind: landing that dream job! Those first months after graduating can be a disheartening time. You may anticipate suffering knock-back after knock-back as you gradually acclimatize to the idea that you’re going to have to settle for less until you have a bit more experience. But you can improve your chances of getting a great position, or at least a nice leaping point, by sprucing up your CV in ways that we know make recruiters pay attention.

List your achievements and experience in reverse-chronological order, so as to grab their attention quickly – many recruiters will look at a résumé for less than ten seconds before moving on if they’re not interested. If you’re graduating for the first time, you might not have much experience to share yet – but you can convey what skills you have learnt in a succinct list of bullet points under your jobs, qualifications and extracurricular activities. Tailor these to each specific job to which you apply: go through their list of requirements, and see how you can promote personal examples under your own job or course descriptions. You may need to think laterally!

You can also make an impact by including a short but unique cover letter. This is your chance to get an edge over the 45% of applicants who won’t bother, and to address the hiring manager by name – a detail which you will of course research in advance, to show what a hot property you are.

For 18 simple tips on how to tweak your CV to perfection, check out this new infographic – it’s full of ways to make that résumé stand out, even if you don’t yet have the experience you feel you need.

****Big thanks to our friends at NeoMam Studios for the graphic!!****

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11 Simple Steps to Help Build New, Better Habits

21 02 2017

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Forming a new habit or behavior more conducive to getting what and where you want to go:

How is this accomplished and how long does it take? Building better habits is not an all-or-nothing process. Forming new patterns or habits may be gradual, little by little moving to a more positive and satisfying behavior.

Make small changes until a new pattern of attitudes and behavior is in place. You can also decide to stop a negative habit or attitude, like smoking, and go cold turkey and never smoke again.

New, more positive plans that you can implement with specific actions will take you closer and closer to the desired outcome and can be accomplished in a very short time. Once a decision is made, and acted on, you will reach a new, stable lifestyle.

Some helpful steps to adopt:

  1. Start simple: do not try to do everything in one day. Have a target that is attainable and keep at it for at least 30 days.
  1. Set your goals high, and break it down into small attainable steps. Losing 50 pounds may be overwhelming, but if you break it down to a smaller amount over a longer period of time then not only is it achievable, but easier to attain and maintain.
  1. Evaluate what knocks you off that new habit pattern. Strengthen and focus on the new habit.
  2. Establish relationships with people supportive of the new desired habit. Find role models. If you want to work out, establish relationships with people that go to the gym.
  1. Keep the desired habits or habit pattern actions in place for a minimum of 30-60 days. Easy changes will be incorporated quickly. Harder ones may take longer but do these daily.
  1. Schedule and follow through doing what you are committing to change. Create a strategy to apply consistently and improve your plan of action as results improve.
  1. Envision yourself having the end result. Keep reviewing and celebrating the benefits in your Journal.
  1. Review your Journal write-up, your game plan each morning, including the new habits. Track your progress.
  1. Put the new habit first, not last. If you want to start playing tennis, do not do it at the end of the day, rather do it when you are fresh and when you will benefit the most from doing so.
  1. Tell a friend or another about your new decision and invite their support. For example, I told my group of friends that I was writing a book. Each time I saw them I shared my progress as they asked about it. This kept me interested in a purpose for the book beyond myself, but envisioning the benefits for others as well. A purpose beyond mere self-benefits provides a greater-good purpose that means more value to all that are impacted.
  1. Determine what has to happen for you to know that you have a stable new habit by viewing your Journal entries progress feedback and acknowledge where you have achieved changed habits, and then define what is needed next to achieve the desired results!

How does one stay motivated?

What to do when:

There are moments where mood, fatigue, and lack of motivation, which are permitted, may create inconsistencies toward your desired goal and may cause your new habit to drop out.

Realize:

Minor setbacks are possible until a stable new habit is formulated and becomes a part of life. In order to motivate yourself and prevent set- backs, simply focus on your prior achievements and restore your purpose for change, and the benefits already achieved, and then re-commit with attention to consistency, no matter what happens in your life. Review negative thoughts and those folks with negative attitudes to avoid these. To have a more permanent change, you may ultimately have to change your environment and your schedule to match what works best for progress.

****For this great post, Campus to Career thanks Dr. Gerald J. Regni!!****

 

About the author: The above article is an excerpt from The Job Book: Find Yourself and a Job in 30 Days written by Dr. Gerald J. Regni and co-authored by Diane Phillips. The authors have worked out a simple to follow, user friendly road map that anyone can follow to find a career that fits, where one will follow his or her passion in easy steps. Start Your Career Finding Adventure Today! READ A LIFE CHANGING CHAPTER FOR FREE by visiting www.thejobbook.info.