The Dreaded Cover Letter

December 6, 2012

Have to write a cover letter. Use them as an enhancement to your resume! See this quick video by Brian Smith for

What to Include in a Cover Letter

A good cover letter may be as important as a well-crafted resume when applying for a job. This video will show you what information to include in your cover letter.

Don’t Reiterate Your Resume

A cover letter is a requirement for most jobs, so it’s crucial to have one that is well written. Firstly, when you write your cover letter, don’t reiterate your resume. Your cover letter should tell us about who you are. At the top of your cover letter should be a section including all of your contact info. Following the contact info insert the salutation of the person you’re trying to reach.

Cover Letter Body

The body of the cover letter is broken down into three paragraphs. The first should be an intro paragraph saying why you’re applying to the job. The second paragraph lets the employer know what you have to offer them. The third and final paragraph is your conclusion. After the closing paragraph, you will finish the letter with your signature.

Thanks for watching. To learn more, visit us at



Facebook – Self-esteem Booster. But is there a downside to all this social networking?

December 6, 2012

In Columbia Business School’s Columbia Ideas at Work, November 30, 2012 issue, Ken Wilcox explores the double edged sword of online social networks and give us something to think about.

Facebook Friend or Enemy?

Online social networks enhance users’ self-esteem — and lower self-control.
Today, individuals have grown accustomed to sharing intimate details about their lives online — weddings, graduations, and new jobs are all fair game for publicizing through social networks like Facebook.

“But there hasn’t been a lot of research on how using a social network affects consumer behavior, particularly its effects on how people feel about themselves and the decisions they make offline,” said Professor Keith Wilcox.

Wilcox and Andrew Stephen (PhD ’10), of the University of Pittsburgh, conducted a series of experiments to explore how social network use affects consumer behavior. In one experiment, they told users to browse either Facebook or for five minutes, then gave them a snack choice of either a cookie or a granola bar. They found that the more Facebook users focused on people they reported to be very close friends — rather than acquaintances or strangers (people they didn’t even know offline) — the more likely they were to choose the cookie more often than those who just browsed CNN. In another instance, users participated in an auction for a new iPad after browsing. Those who had focused more on close friends while browsing Facebook again displayed less self-control, as evidenced by higher bids on the iPad compared to those who browsed CNN. In addition, when users browsed Facebook and were instructed to share information with close friends instead of distant connections, they reported levels of higher self-esteem after browsing.

“People try to put their best faces forward on social networks and browsing for as little as five minutes can enhance users’ self-esteem and make them feel better about themselves,” Wilcox says. “The downside is that it results in an overinflated ego and manifests itself in negative behaviors.”

To further test the connection between social network use, higher self-esteem, and lower self-control, the researchers also conducted an online survey with more than 500 people nationwide. The survey results were consistent with their findings on self-control in the lab experiments — users who focused more on close friends than acquaintances in their networks had higher BMIs, were more likely to engage in binge eating, and had higher credit card debt and lower credit scores. The more time people spent browsing Facebook, the less discipline they displayed in their offline decisions.

However, Wilcox cautions that the potential negatives shouldn’t outweigh the positive benefits of engaging in online social networks. “Social network use can help people feel better about themselves, enhance their social capital, and help them build relationships,” Wilcox says. “The more people are aware of these negative tendencies, the more likely they are to counteract them.”

This research may also be applicable to advertisers, who have struggled with low click-through rates on Facebook ads versus higher click-through rates for ads on other sites like Google. “If people feel higher self-esteem and less disciplined while browsing a social network, advertisers might need to appeal to these users in a different way than they would on Google, for instance,” Wilcox explains. This creates a starting point for future research, he says, on the basis that consumers use social networks to fulfill a variety of social needs. Those needs include self-expression and self-presentation — some of the same needs that underlie decisions to purchase luxury brands and affect how consumers respond to messages promoting image versus quality.

On a broader note, Wilcox stresses the importance of recognizing how behavior rules differ online versus offline; in the real world, people tend to be more modest with close friends than with distant friends. But online, those social norms do not necessarily apply, he says. “If everyone on Facebook is sharing their accomplishments, it just seems natural to do the same thing — particularly with the people you’re closest to. But users should be aware that the high self-esteem they feel from sharing online can have a dark side.”

And that effect may not be limited to Facebook — Wilcox says it could hold true for any social network where people are focused on presenting a positive self-image. “Although LinkedIn is primarily used to develop one’s career, the heart of the network is about presenting a positive image to others,” he says. “And while some Twitter users focus on sharing news and other non-personal information, many also use it as a form of self-promotion.”

Keith Wilcox is an assistant professor of marketing at Columbia Business School.

Read the Research

Stephen, Andrew, and Keith Wilcox

“Are Close Friends the Enemy? Online Social Networks, Self-Esteem, and Self-Control.” Working paper, Columbia Business School, 2012.

Linked-In Etiquette for Job Searches

December 6, 2012

LinkedIn is a great asset when searching for a job, however there is some polite protocol that will make your job search more effective. Learn about LinkedIn Etiquette in this video from

Courtesy of by Christopher Berrien Linked In Etiquette for a Job Search

Two-Minute Career Advice Videos

December 6, 2012

Looking for quick answers to your career search questions? We’re going to be publishing some quick video clips, courtesy of JobSearch, a great career website for both experienced and new job searchers. While there are thousands of good articles worth taking the time to read (we have many relevant resources on our website: under the Student section as well), some of us just like quick blips of information. So look for our quick videos and remember: Holidays are a great time to network.

How to Write an Interests Section on a Resume

December 6, 2012  Tagged

How to Write a Resume Interests Section This quick tip video by Christopher Berrien from will help you decide if you want to include an “Interests” or similar section on your resume or combine it with something else, or not.

Including your interests in a resume is optional and should only be done if your interests align closely with the job. Get some information on how to write a resume interests section in this video

What Employers Want to See on a Resume

October 22, 2012  Tagged

What Employers Want to See On a Resume, article in NACE (National Association of Colleges and Employers), Oct. 4, 2012, contributed by Andrea Koncz.

Class of 2012: 60 Percent of Paid Interns Got Job Offers

August 6, 2012

From NACE (National Association of Colleges and Employers) Knowledge Center
Spotlight for Career Services Professionals

Paid interns have a distinct advantage in the job market, according to results of NACE’s 2012 Student Survey.

Overall, approximately 60 percent of 2012 college graduates who took part in paid internships received at least one job offer, according to the results of the survey.

The survey also found that unpaid interns fared only slightly better in getting job offers than graduates who had not taken part in an internship. Overall, 37 percent of unpaid interns received job offers; 36 percent of graduates with no internship experience received job offers.

The advantage of the paid internship is especially true among students performing internships in the for-profit sector: Among those interning for for-profit employers, 64 percent earned job offers compared to 38.3 percent of their unpaid peers. Pay status, however, also favors students in the nonprofit and government sectors. (See Figure 1.)

Although there are other factors that affect offer rate, the study also suggests that differences in the type of work undertaken by paid and unpaid interns contribute to the discrepancy in job offers. Paid interns spend more time than unpaid interns engaged in “real work,” and thus have the chance to gain more of the relevant work experience employers prize.

Results show that paid interns spent 42 percent of their time on professional duties (analysis and project management) and just 25 percent on clerical and non-essential functions; unpaid interns spent 31 percent of their time on clerical and non-essential work and 30 percent on professional tasks.

NACE’s 2012 Student Survey was conducted mid-January through April 30, 2012. Nearly 48,000 college students nationwide, including 15,715 seniors at the bachelor’s degree level, took part in the survey. A report based on results from graduating seniors will be available later this summer.

Planning a Career Change?

July 30, 2012

By Helen Burnett-Nichols,
From CareerVitality

While some people are fortunate enough to find their true calling on their first try, for others, finding the job that best matches their strengths, skills and interests may call for a career change – or several as they search for it.

Vancouver resident Fannie Smith made a successful change, with the help of careful planning. After working in the tourism industry for several years, she started questioning her career path, wondering if a more fulfilling profession was out there.

The journey towards her new career began while Smith was watching a wheelchair rugby game in 2010, when she decided her true interests lay in event management for disability sports. She then began to plan her career change. After a year-long transition involving a lot of time and energy, she is now thriving in her new role as high-performance coordinator with the Disabled Skiers Association of B.C.

If a new career area has piqued your interest and you are considering a move into a new job, sector or profession, those who have made the leap say there are a number of steps you can take to help you get there.

4 New Job Search Tools to Check Out in 2012

July 23, 2012

by Joshua Waldman | From

The year 2012 seems to be the year of innovation around the job search. They say great inventions come when people find a better way to solve a problem. Others say laziness is the mother of all invention. But I say that great innovations happen when millions of Americans are out of work and finding a job sucks.

So in honor of America’s comeback, here are four of my favorite innovations so far this year.

10 Things Grandma Wishes You Knew About Money

July 16, 2012

by Catey Hill, Contributor

Grandma and grandpa probably dish out advice on how to bake mouth-watering chocolate-chip cookies or how to change your own oil, but have they shared their wisdom on how to manage your money? If they’ve been mum so far, now’s your chance to get that advice (without a 25-minute phone call that first features a play-by-play of today’s shuffleboard tournament — we love you guys, but you sure can talk!).

Bankers Life and Casualty Company Center for a Secure Retirement released a survey showing what middle-income retirees say is their top financial advice for the younger generation. Here are the top 10 things retirees said they think we should know (and some of my thoughts below them).

Skip to toolbar