A Must Read for New Grads – Grads talk about Transition from College to Work World

July 1, 2014

What will the job be like? What should I be looking for in an interview? Will I like my job? Simply Hired talks to their own newly hired college graduates about their first year in the real world and this is what they have to say, including some advice to those still looking. Real World Advice from Real Grads

6 Job Search Tips to Land Your First Real Job

May 21, 2014

Our career center director, Denny Ciganovic, shares some sound advice in an article for The Collge Today, published by the College of Charleston.6 Job Search Tips to Land Your First Real Job

You really want a job? Think Opportunity.

May 8, 2014

Mike Rowe (of Dirty Jobs fame) and Cindy Leive (Editor in Chief of Glamour magazine) have some definitive advice on getting a job. When Mike Rowe is asked for advice on jobs from a young man who “want[s] a career that will always keep me happy, but can allow me to have a family and get some time to travel,” his response is summed up at the end of an email: “Stop looking for the “right” career, and start looking for a job. Any job. Forget about what you like. Focus on what’s available. Get yourself hired. Show up early. Stay late. Volunteer for the scut work. Become indispensable. You can always quit later, and be no worse off than you are today. But don’t waste another year looking for a career that doesn’t exist. And most of all, stop worrying about your happiness. Happiness does not come from a job. It comes from knowing what you truly value, and behaving in a way that’s consistent with those beliefs.” Well said Mike. And I would add “it’s not forever – its just a stepping stone.”

Cindy Leive’s recent article “Six Reasons Why I would Hire You” posted in Glamour’s states that interviewers will be impressed with the following six traits:
-You have done your homework about the company
-You have passions both professionally and personally about things you care about
-You look pulled together and look like you want the job in your appearance
-You can think on your feet—a “relax, I have this” attitude when something goes wrong
-You did not talk badly about your past employer
-You ask for the job…. “This position sounds perfect. I’d love to work here.”

What qualities are at work here? Stong work ethic, humility, and looking at a job as an opportunity.

After Getting the Job, Get Off to a Good Start

April 29, 2014

I’m following Aaron Hurst, CEO of Imperative and the founder of the Taproot Foundation and author of just released book, The Purpose Economy, and like what he has to say about after getting the job. I wanted to share his thoughts on 10 Tips for Starting a Job the Right Way.

How you start a job has a significant impact on your tenure and success at an organization. Too many people, in my experience, let their employer create the plan for their first month on the job. This is a mistake.

Take control of your success and path from day one and avoid seeing it as something others define for you. Your manager might have a plan, but you can have one too.

Starting on your first day, you can begin to do what workplace researchers Justin Berg, Jane Dutton and Amy Wrzesniewski call job crafting. It is the process of taking control of your own destiny and shaping your job to meet your needs and not just your employer’s.

Inspired by their research and my own personal experience, here are ten ideas for how to begin crafting your job from day one.

1.Track names. You will likely meet a lot of new people in the next month. As you meet each one, write down their name and a few things that stood out to you about them. This will help you build relationships quickly.

2.Get Advice. Ask someone for advice and then follow up on it immediately. Show them you are someone worth investing in as you will act on advice and are eager to learn.

3.Know the WHY. As you are trained, be sure to learn not just the HOW but also the WHY. With each task or project, take the time to understand its impact on the organization, the team and your customers/clients. Don’t start something until you are clear on the WHY.

4.Get Coffee. Set up coffee with one person per day for your first month. Be sure to pay and to spend the time understanding what they love about their job and the organization.

5.Create Visual Reminder. Develop your purpose statement or another visual cue and post it up your workspace to remind you of what matters for you in your work. If you don’t have one, you can create one for free at Imperative.com.

6.Find Energy Sources. Make a list of the people in the organization that give you energy when you meet with them and seek out opportunities to work with them.

7.Celebrate Others. Find a way to publicly celebrate the work of someone else on the team. It doesn’t have to be fireworks. It can just be a comment in a meeting or an email to the team.

8.End the Day on Right Note. At the end of each day, share with someone outside of work what you enjoyed from the day (e.g. spouse, roommate, etc.). What inspired you? What challenged you? What made you smile?

9.Give. Find someone you might mentor and take them to lunch. Learn about their dreams and aspirations.

10.Fight Autopilot. Perhaps most importantly, take a walk (ideally outside) at least once everyday to clear your head and make sure you don’t go on autopilot.

Not starting a new job? It is never too late to begin crafting your job to gain the meaning and engagement you need. As the cliche goes, today is the first day of the rest of your career.

Help Your References Help You

April 8, 2014

You had a great resume. You got the interview. Now you furnish your references. Will you get the job? Employers DO contact references and YOUR reference can make the difference between you and another candidate getting the job offer. Help your references help you:
1. Talk with potential references before the job search. The better you know your reference and he/she knows your goals and achievements, the better reference they can be for you. You want references who will enthusiastically endorse you for the job.
2. Use recent references who know your work experience and your work ethic. Ensure they’ve known you for a minimum of one year, and preferably longer. Employers are most likely to call more recent references. Using one or two former/present employer references and one or two academic references works well for recent graduates. Refrain from using family members, even if you have worked for them. They are automatically discounted as being subjective.
3. Use references that can articulate your transferrable skills. You may not have done the job you’re applying for, but a good communicator who knows you can demonstrate your strengths in a meaningful way to a potential employer.
4. Furnish your references with a recent resume. They may not recall how long you worked for them or what your background or other experiences are or even your major or degree. Whether or not they are writing a letter of recommendation, an updated resume will be helpful for them and beneficial for you.
5. Finally, remember that employers WILL contact references. Reference information needs to be updated. Check in with your references every time you have an interview set up to let them know they may be contacted. Ensure their contact information, title, company, etc. is correctly submitted to the employer, and that they have access to phone/and or email (travel, particularly international travel could affect their availability). When a candidate is a top contender following an interview and your references are not available by phone or email for several days, employers can and will move on to the next candidate.

Are you using the right words in your resume?

March 31, 2014

In “Hiring Managers Rank Best and Worst Words to Use in a Résumé in New CareerBuilder Survey” Ryan Hunt shares words recruiters and hiring managers look for in a resume. Preferred words are action verbs that are result driven while the adjectives of old leave too much to subjectivity. After reading the article, ensure your resume is proving your accomplishments.
ithttp://www.careerbuilder.com/share/aboutus/pressreleasesdetail.aspx?sd=3/13/2014&siteid=cbpr&sc_cmp1=cb_pr809_&id=pr809&ed=12/31/2014

New Year, New Resume

January 6, 2014

Time to refresh your resume? Our Career Center can help you take your everyday list of jobs and duties and turn it into a marketing tool that catches the employer’s attention. Robin Deshwan, writing for USNews Magazine in her Jan. 2, 2014 article, reinforces the tips we give our students and alumni: Resume writing tips for the new year

Holidays provide a great time to connect

December 17, 2013

Add three to five people to your connections over the holidays. Take advantage of the holiday family and social gatherings to learn what others are doing and tell them about your career interests. Kim Isaacs, Monster Resume Expert, gives some great tips in her article Networking Tips for the Holidays.Networking Tips for Holidays

Cover Letter Checklist

November 27, 2013

Employers read cover letters. Many pay more attention to the content and flavor of the letter than they do the resume, since so many resumes look similar. Do include a cover letter. When writing your cover letter, be sure to review Martin Yates’ simple check list, all the while keeping it to one page.Simple Checklist For Writing Effective Cover Letters