2012’s Top 20 Posts on Your Career

21 12 2012

Top202012 has been a fantastic year for Campus to Career.  I’ve learned a lot through successes and failures this year.  Opening up this blog to select guests throughout the community has added a lot of value, both to me as a blogger and hopefully, to you as a reader.  I thought I’d share with you Campus to Career’s top 20 posts of the year.  Each is unique, bringing you a wide variety of tools to use in the job search or in your current career.  Listed in order of reader popularity, they are:

1. Co-Op vs. Internship: What’s the Difference?   – Have you ever wondered what makes a co-op different from an internship?  Check out this article to learn what sets them apart and which is the best fit for you.

2. Smile & the World Smiles with You    – Smile.  Just smile.  It’s good for your health and your career.

3. Quality vs. Quantity: 3 Points to Consider – Lessons learned from childhood that still resonate to this day!

4. 10 Simple Ways to Succeed in Your New Career – Starting a new job soon?  Here are 10 easy ways for you to launch your career on the right foot.

5. Lessons on Failure from Wile E. Coyote  – He’s still chasing the Roadrunner, but there’s a lesson in there. Click the title to read how Saturday morning cartoons do more than entertain.

6. Recovering From a Screw-Up at Work – Oops. You screwed up. So what? Don’t let it be the death of your career. Learn how to recover like a boss.

7. Everything I Needed to Know I Learned in…College? You’re probably thinking, “wait, I thought that was kindergarten?” Yes, but there are some great things you’re going to learn in college that will propel you into your dream job.

8. 5 Things Every Young Professional Should Know Before Hitting 30 – 5 things. That’s it. Zach Buckley provides some great insight into what exactly we need to do before we hit the big 3-0.

9. [INFOGRAPHIC] How an Applicant Tracking System Reads Your Resume – Where does your resume end up once submitted online? The recruiter’s desk? A black hole? Learn how the system analyzes the content on your resume.

10. Leverage Life by Maximizing Efficiency – Maximize efficiency, get more done. Simple enough.

11. Internship Advice from Vanilla Ice – Stop, collaborate and listen.  Seriously, though…there’s a career lesson in there.

12. 5 Reasons Why Athletes Make Great Employees – Why leave your participation in team sports or the fact that you’re an athlete off your resume? Read this article to learn how you can use your athletic involvement to position yourself for success.

13. 5 Things to Leave Off Your Resume – Drop ’em like they’re hot.

14. Top 4 Career Choice Tips for New Grads – Graduated or will soon? There are 4 choices you’re going to have to make. Check out this great post from Annie Favreau from Inside Jobs.

15. Goal Setting: Possible Dreams – If you can dream it, you can achieve it.

16. Landing Your Dream Job: Part 2 – The Phone Interview – Dogs barking in the distance? Annoying roommate practicing with their garage band? You might want to re-think where you take the phone interview. Click the link for a few more tips.

17. Career Services – Gaining Value for FREE (Part 2) – Not using Career Services on campus as a student?  You’re probably missing out! Take advantage of the free services…you’ll be glad you did!

18. Teamwork According to The Smurfs – What can little blue men (and a woman, sorry Smurfette) teach us about teamwork? More than you think.

19. 3 Strategies for Staying Positive during Your Job Search – You’ve applied everywhere. No one has called you. No emails in the inbox. You’re starting to freak out. Read this article to learn 3 ways to keep positive.

20. Branding Lessons from MTV – Remember when MTV actually showed music videos?  Seriously…they did.  Snooki wasn’t even a bad daydream in some director’s head at that point. Learn what MTV has to teach us about branding.

What is YOUR favorite post on Campus to Career?  Let me know.  I really value your opinion and insight.  That’s how this blog has evolved and how its able to bring you fresh content every week.  Blogs, Facebook and Twitter aren’t broadcast platforms to me.  They’re about building relationships and engaging in conversation.  So, let me know what you think.  Let’s make 2013 even better!

Thanks for reading!

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Creating a Dynamic Digital Visual Portfolio to Land a Job

11 12 2012

By Nicole Henneman

Word on keyboardThe Internet experience continues to become more and more visual, making it easier to create a professional-quality portfolio of all of your digital artistic efforts. Loading times for Web pages keep getting faster, and efficient video streaming makes for a better viewing experience. Monitors, laptop screens and tablet faces feature better and better resolution, resulting in better visual quality.

Photos, graphics and videos are now a key component of the online experience, making Web surfing more rich and enjoyable. From social media to search engine results, the visual component of browsing the Internet makes it both visceral and personal. This visual appeal is spilling over into every area of the Web experience, and it looks like the world of online job resumes could be next.

Going Beyond the Traditional Resume

The resume is generally regarded as the most-important tool in a job applicant’s toolbox. Up until now, the resume has been fairly straightforward in both function and style. It is a reliable yet cookie-cutter staple to help job seekers present themselves to prospective employers in an accepted and predictable way. In recent years, the refinement of word processing and a wider variety of font styles has allowed job seekers to be somewhat more creative and expressive with their resumes.

Enter the visual portfolio, and the resume now seems poised to make a quantum leap. What was once exclusive to Web-design and computer-programming majors can now be executed by a job seeker with any background. Never before have job seekers had the opportunity to paint such a complete and creative picture of themselves. Visual portfolios allow the opportunity to make highly personal statements within one’s resume, and both users and employers are finding it a refreshing departure from the world of the plain-vanilla, traditional resume.

Pathbrite

One of the emerging leaders in the field of the online visual portfolio is Pathbrite. This tool allows users to set themselves apart from their peers by showing potential recruiters what is unique about them. Users can include photos and videos of themselves, as well as favorite Web pages, articles and personal writing. They can even include pieces of code and design projects. The result is a rich, nuanced and multi-media presentation of a job applicant. Pathbrite also strives to keep its interface very user-friendly, so that, in their words, “it’s impossible to make a portfolio that looks bad.”

About.me

Another online portfolio option is About.me. Like Pathbrite, its focus is to enable users to create a personal profile page that points viewers to their content around the Web. However, About.me also helps users to understand how many people have viewed their profile and how they’re browsing it. The website allows users to effectively pull together all of their social media profiles into one cohesive online identity.

LinkedIn

LinkedIn has been around for awhile and has been considered a straightforward virtual-networking tool. Basically, it’s a way to circulate your business card online. However, LinkedIn now offers users the ability to create an online visual portfolio, which has enhanced the networking process exponentially. LinkedIn now combines their name recognition and trusted brand with the capacity to create a dynamic, creative online portfolio.

An appealing feature of the online visual portfolio is that it is customizable and easy to change, which allows it to evolve in tandem with the user. People are able to show many different dimensions of themselves, taking expression via the resume to a whole new level. The net result will likely be better hiring matches in the workplace — a win-win for both parties.

About the author: Fairly new to the world of social media, Nicole was a web designer who became fascinated with the world of Twitter and sharing media. Her blog articles focus on how social media can leverage a site’s page rank.





The Web’s Best Career Advice – Weekly Roundup v.2

6 12 2012

roundupToughen up.  That’s the advice given in this week’s guest post by Deborah Brown-Volker.  Everything is challenging at the beginning.

Think the title of “leader” is only earned through a person’s tenure?  Think again.  Forbes writer Erika Anderson explains how you can be seen as a leader at any point in your career.  Click here to read the full article.

Last week, the world said farewell to legendary thought leader and motivational speaker, Zig Ziglar.  Zig’s advice has guided me and millions of others to find their true happiness.  One of my favorite quotes of his is “When you set goals, something inside of you says, ‘Let’s go, let’s go,’ and ceilings start to move up.” Check out Kevin Kruse’s post, Zig Ziglar: 10 Quotes That Can Change Your Life.

Polishing up your resume? Need a little help to make it unbeatable?  Here are some great tips from a top recruiter.  Your resume should be part of your interview toolkit.  Find out what else should be included in your kit here.

You have your resume ready, the interview toolkit is complete.  Now what?  Glassdoor.com’s guest blogger, Heather Huhman has some great advice for you.  Here are 6 Things Hiring Managers Don’t Want in a Candidate.  Here’s another great article outlining what NOT to do: How to Scare Away the Interviewer.

Last, but not least, check out this great article from CareerBliss.com: Getting Defensive at Work is Holding You Back.  Excellent tips for any point in your career!

As always, Campus to Career will continue to bring you relevant content to help you find your dream job that aligns with your passion or help you improve yourself professionally at your current job (if you’ve already found your passion.)  Be sure to watch www.campus-to-career.com, subscribe via email (FREE) or follow me on Twitter (@kbaumann or @campustocareer) and Facebook.

Have you read a great article recently that you’d like to share here?  Leave a comment below or email me directly at kirk.baumann@att.net.  Have a great week!





5 Things That Will Get Your Resume Read

11 09 2012

There is a lot of advice out there regarding résumés, both on campus and off.  I’ve seen a lot of résumés during my 10 years in the profession and have heard my fair share of complaints and critiques from recruiters, hiring managers and career services.  As most students have returned to campus for the fall semester, I thought it would be good to revisit some of the things that could get your résumé noticed in a good way.  It’s one thing for your résumé to be different; another to be good.

For more Résumé Essentials, click here.

I’ll never rip apart someone’s résumé, offering my two cents as an industry professional.  Why?  That person probably worked hard to create or update their résumé.  You see, most are good.  In today’s market, good isn’t good enough anymore.  So I’d like to focus on taking your résumé from good to great.

Here are five things that can help get your résumé noticed by a recruiter or hiring manager:

Format.  There are thousands of free templates out there for you to use.  Research sample résumés for the industry you’re interested in (there are differences) and tweak your format as needed.  My boss said something to me recently that resonated well.  She said, “Don’t put yourself into a box if you don’t have to.”  Now, she was referring to something else, but it translates well here.  Feel free to edit sections and headers to fit your purpose.  If you don’t have “work experience” think about other types of experience, such as leadership experience, volunteer experience, etc.  Keep your résumé in a format that is consistent with industry norms.  In a world where everyone has to be different, you might be thinking this is bad advice.  Trust me, it isn’t.  If your résumé is easy to follow and has the right KPIs (Key Performance Indicators,) it can take you a long way.

Fun fact: A simple Google search for “great résumés” returns over 590 million results!

Quantification.  One thing that I see that is consistently lacking on most résumés is quantification.  I don’t want to see your job description, duties, or applied skills.  I want to see accomplishments, leadership, and results.  All too often, candidates focus on their current job duties versus what they’re actually doing or did in that position.  Here’s an example: You might see “responsible for supervising shift employees.”  As a reader, I don’t get much information from that statement.  Rather than the generic statement, focus on things like HOW MANY people you supervised/trained.  WHAT was the OUTCOME of your customer service?

Results.  Your results can’t speak for themselves if you don’t give them a voice.  What I mean by that is that you can’t expect the reader aka recruiter to know what you’ve accomplished with a generic statement.  Focus on the WHAT.  What was the IMPACT?  Did you increase sales or participation?  If so, by how much? ?  Numbers and percentages speak volumes here.  Don’t be afraid to toot your horn a little!

Leadership.   What sets you apart from the competition?  How are you any different than the thousands of applicants companies receive on a daily basis?  Think about those two questions.  Have an answer?  I do.  It’s all about leadership!  Are you leading a team?  If so, how?  What are you doing as a leader?  Do you learn from failure as well as success?  Recruiters today are looking for leadership qualities as they seek top talent.  Involvement in athletics, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, church groups, SIFE, military, etc. can show that you are dedicated, work well with a team as well as on your own, can make on-the-spot decisions in challenging situations, and can communicate this effectively to your team and superiors.

Want to know what to leave OFF your résumé? Click here for the top five.

Relevance.  The age-old dilemma: how many pages should my résumé be?  Ask this one question and you’ll get a variety of answers, depending on who you ask!  Personally, I think that if you have less than 10 years of experience, one page is more than enough space.  Remember, it’s all about relevant experience, not everything you’ve ever done in your entire life (remove things like high school education, irrelevant coursework, etc. to make some room.)  Keep in mind that thousands of résumés come across the desks of recruiters.  They don’t have a lot of time to read your entire life’s history.  In fact, the average recruiter skims a typical resume in six seconds.  Will yours get a second look?  What about Page 2?

My last piece of advice is this:  Your résumé is a living document.  Keep it updated as you gain new experience.  It’s a good practice to revisit your résumé every six months just to keep the content relevant and fresh (even if you’re not looking for a new job.)  You can never be too prepared, right?

Did I leave anything out?  Something you’d like to add?  This is YOUR chance!  I welcome your insight, feedback and opinion.  Please leave a comment below.  I’d love to hear from you.  As always, thanks for reading.





You Don’t Like My Resume? But Why??

27 07 2012

By Ana Thames

Most of us send a resume to many employers at the same time; the surprising thing is that hardly one employer replies among all of them!  After being rejected, a person’s first reaction would be something like, “what? You don’t like my resume? But why??”

Firstly, you have to calm yourself down. You will not be able carefully analyze what went wrong. The only thing that is wrong is probably wrong with the resume. The recruiters have rejected the resume outright. So, carefully analyze it and make amends. However, do not press the panic button if the resume has been rejected once or twice.  Unless it is being consistently rejected, there is absolutely no need panic!

If rejections have become the norm, then you need to take a closer look into your resume.  Something may be seriously wrong if it is receiving rejections on a regular basis. Sometimes, there aren’t many major problems, just a few things that are wrong that are causing all the problems. One simple mistake that we can point out is formatting errors. Many candidates even fail to thoroughly read their own resume. This puts them at the risk of making silly errors. Check that the font size and format of the resume is consistent. Keep all the data aligned to the left side as this is the universally accepted pattern. Font size is also important. Font size can vary throughout your resume.  Here’s a tip: Use a bolder size for important information.

Next, check for spelling and grammatical errors. Recruiters tend to reject resumes that have improper spelling and grammar. It is one of the most common mistakes on resumes.  Have a third person look at the resume – they’ll likely spot such errors. Once these are corrected, there will be a lesser chance that your resume will be rejected.

It is quite common that people send resumes to the wrong addresses or for the completely wrong profile. This is one of the major reasons why many resumes get rejected. Be sure to keep your resume updated.

Editor’s note: The lesson here?  Prepare, proofread, keep calm and carry on.  Don’t get discouraged if your resume has been rejected.  It will probably happen!  Instead, learn from the rejection, make your resume stronger by listing accomplishments, ensuring that it’s error-free, and providing evidence of results

About the author: Ana Thames is a career counselor and loves writing. It’s her hobby and passion. You can view career tips with resume samples and interview tips here.





Congratulations! Now What??

15 05 2012

It’s graduation season.  Droves of eager 20-something college seniors are lining up in their caps and gowns, ready for pomp and circumstance.  In the good old days, graduating with a degree meant that you most likely had a job waiting on you.  Employers were hungry for new talent, providing most graduates with multiple offers to entertain upon graduation.  Unfortunately, the good old days have come and gone.  This isn’t a post about the doom and gloom of today’s job market – you’ll find plenty of those out there.  No, this is a post to help you figure out what to do after graduation because odds are, you’re still looking for your first career out of college.

Congratulations!  Now what??

Update your résumé.  Now that you’re done with your formal education (for now, anyway,) it’s time to make sure everything is updated.  Still have your dorm address listed as your permanent residence?  You might want to change that.  Email address still john.doe@university.edu?  Some universities are moving towards an email system that will allow you to keep your email address as an alumnus, but to be safe, consider nailing down john.doe@gmail.com or any of the other free accounts out there.  Why?  You don’t want an employer to be emailing your school email and get a bounce-back with an undeliverable status.  Believe me, it’s usually a signal to move on – most won’t investigate further.  The easier you make it for recruiters, the better!  BONUS TIP: Update the verb tense to reflect past experience on your résumé.  Also make sure to update the dates of experience.  Detail is important!

Update (or create) your LinkedIn profile.  Why is this separate from the first point on résumés?  Because LinkedIn is NOT your résumé online.  It’s an extension.  Use LinkedIn to add work samples (Box.net), presentations (SlideShare,) recommendations from peers and supervisors, and connect with others in your industry.  LinkedIn remains THE place for recruiters as they seek top talent (after Google search.)  Make sure your profile is updated.  Here’s a great article that helps you make the most of LinkedIn: If You’Re Not Linked In, You Might Be Left Out.

Keep networking.  Regardless if you have a job or don’t have a job, keep networking.  Let people know you’re still looking.  Help others first.  How do you do this?  Just ask.  Instead of rambling all about what you’re qualified to do, the jobs you’ve applied to, and the skills you possess, ask how you can help your network.  Why do this?  It’s the right thing to do – you shouldn’t have ulterior motive.  However, paying it forward always comes full circle.  That person you just helped will help someone else, who will help someone, who will help someone…see where I’m going with this?  BONUS TIP:  Reach out from time to time, via LinkedIn, email, or phone call and just ask what you can do to help.  Don’t wait until you need something.

Keep calm and carry on.  Whatever you do, make sure it gets you closer (even if it’s just a baby step) to your ultimate career goal.  Keep your goal in mind, but also keep calm.  Chances are you’re going to be searching for a job for a while out of college.  This can be very frustrating, but don’t let it get you down.  Stay focused on the end goal and remember, take time for yourself.  Surround yourself with friends and family who support your goals and let loose every once in a while.  The job search can drive a person insane – don’t let that happen.  Breathe, then keep moving toward your goal.

Congratulations on successfully completing your college education.  Whether it took 4 years or 40, I’m proud of you.  I know others are as well.  Hopefully, these tips will help you along the way as you land the job of your dreams.  You can do it.  Now, go get ‘em.





5 Things to Leave Off Your Resume

14 02 2012

It’s Valentine’s Day today, so in an effort to spend some well-deserved time with my sweetheart, this week’s post comes to you from a fan.   This blog, now in its fourth year of operation, has brought together some excellent job seeker tips and tools for you to use.  The best part?  They’re free.  If you’re interested in guest posting on Campus to Career, please email me your pitch at kirk.baumann@att.net.  All articles should be between 400-600 words in length, relate to the job search, social media, leadership or recruiting, and refrain from promoting links such as freeproducts[dot]com, etc.  Make sense?

Without further adieu, I give you this week’s guest post: 5 Things to Leave Off Your Resume:

Photo credit: Networkingnote

There are many career networking opportunities available for job seekers.  Networking opportunities prove useful however, at some point, you are going to be required to submit one of two documents.  The documents required will be a resume or Curriculum Vitae (A typed summary of your professional and educationalbackground).  Resumes and Curriculum Vitae are documents that should never be considered “finished.”  These two things should be continuously updated in order to properly display pertinent information about your professional and academic careers.  It is highly recommended that resumes contain no more than one page for sometimes, less is more and resume writing proves no exception.  There are certain things that you should leave off your resume.

The following are five suggestions for worthwhile exclusions:

Leave photos off your resume

Discrimination suits prove rampant in the field of Human Resources and employment services.  If someone presents a resume with a picture and that person is not hired, it leaves room to file a discrimination law suit claiming the person was not hired because their picture was not appealing.  Most company Human Resource departments will just throw resumes with pictures away or save them to avoid the discrimination issue altogether.

References Available on Request

This statement should NEVER appear on your resume. Hiring mangers know that you need reliable references during your job search.  Ensure that you have your “reference” list prepared upon request.  You want the list to be updated with the correct contact and professional information.  Do not forget to update your reference sheet before job hunting.  It could prove embarrassing if one of your professional references is contacted and they no longer work at the same company.  This can put uncertainty into the minds of hiring managers and could cause you to not get the job.

Unprofessional email address

Unprofessional email addresses should not be placed on resumes.  Email address such as notsodumbperson@gmail.com or likestoparT@yahoo.com will not impress a potential employer.  It is highly recommended before you start job searches that you create another email address. The address should include a basic first name [dot] last name. Yahoo and Gmail are popular email servers that offer free email accounts. These accounts allow for creating professional email addresses to use for job searches.

BONUS: Don’t forget about LinkedIn! Is your profile filled out? Click here for some great tips from career expert, Emily Bennington.

Posting every job you had since high school

All of us remember working at the local theatre or pizza shop during high school.  You should leave this point out of your resume.  It proves necessary to keep your job history accounted for, but you do not have to list every job you have held dating back to your high school years.  It is essential to determine what jobs in the past proves relevant to the job(s) you are applying for.   Re-read your resume and you should determine if the jobs listed fall into these two categories: Recent and relevant.  If a past-job does not qualify for these categories, leave it out.

Avoid boring and inadequate language

Phrases such as “detail-oriented” and “team player” are no longer phrases that can effectively promote you.  Instead, use terms that describe what makes you a team performer or how you pay attention to detail in making projects and company missions successful.  Keep in mind that the “verbiage” you place on your resume is what catches the attention of hiring managers.  Words do prove effective and can make the difference in obtaining an interview or a letter in the mail stating you are not qualified for the job.

BONUS: Click here for a great article from CareerBuilder regarding resume keywords.

About the author: Wilson Campbell is an HR expert, who specializes in team building and team building activities.  He is also an expert in troubleshooting the concerns and considerations of employees.