The Graduation Checklist

April 23, 2012

by Jenn Sheehan

I loved college, though I was ready for something new after four years at a small liberal arts university on a secluded campus. Being the first in my family to graduate from college, however, I was at a total loss as to how to prepare for and what to do once the day came. Between my independent study, thesis, extra class and graduating in the midst of a recession, I avoided thinking about life after graduation my last semester, but, looking back, there were many things I could have done to prepare and make taking the next step easier once graduation day arrived.

Now that I’ve had a few years to find my way, I’d like to share a list of smart things you can do now to prepare for graduation and beyond. Though it may seem scary and sad to leave school and move into the real world, your future will be exciting, bright and just as fun!

To view this article in its entirety, please click here.

Interested in other articles about things you can do to prepare for graduation, and life after college.  Check out these other Graduation Checklist resources:

The 10 Best Job Hunting Apps to Get You Hired

April 16, 2012

Looking for a Job? There’s an App for That!
By Dawn Dugan, contributing writer

Today’s tsunami of technology means savvy job seekers have jumped on the app wagon in an effort to give themselves the leading edge in the job search process. Mobile apps allow job seekers to search discreetly for positions — anytime, anywhere — and respond to postings quickly. There are apps that help with career planning, organize the job search process, alert job seekers to compatible positions, and can even upload and send resumes to recruiters.

This article explores the 10 mobile apps (in no particular order) every job seeker should know about.

Who Gets Promoted, Who Doesn’t & Why

April 9, 2012

10 Things You’d Better Do if You Want to Get Ahead
By Wendy Ryan and Aaron Gouveia, contributing writers

If you’re a fast-tracker striving for career advancement like a heat-seeking missile then this is a podcast you can’t afford to miss. On this week’s episode of Salary Talk, Aaron flies solo in this interview with Donald Asher, author of “Who Gets Promoted, Who Doesn’t and Why” and “Cracking the Hidden Job Market,” who deals exclusively with career professionals who aren’t happy unless they’re earning a promotion every 12-18 months. You’ll find out why raises aren’t about past performance, being indispensable isn’t a good thing and discover why talent is a distant second to timing. Asher’s insight into the corporate culture of raises and promotions could have you earning more in no time.

To view or listen to the entire podcast please click here.

Class of 2012: More Jobs, Bigger Paychecks

April 5, 2012


This year’s college graduates are being offered more jobs and fatter paychecks.

Meanwhile, they have more jobs to choose from. Employers expect to hire 10.2% more graduates this year than they did last year, according to NACE’s survey of 160 employers.

These employers have posted 15,767 job openings for college graduates this year — up about 10% from the 14,341 that were posted for the Class of 2011 and more than triple the mere 5,174 job postings for the Class of 2010.

Remarkable hiring stories
But the competition is steep, with employers reporting that they have received nearly 33 applications for every job posting, up from 21 applications per posting last year.

The major in highest demand is engineering, with 69% of employers in that field saying they are hiring graduates. Business majors are next on the list, with 63% of employers hiring. Accounting, Computer Science and Economics are also among the top five most-desired majors.

Members of the Class of 2012 are being offered median starting salaries of $42,569 — up 4.5% from last year, a new report from the National Association of Colleges and Employers shows.

How Your Job Search Is Like March Madness

March 26, 2012

by Kevin Flynn, Director of Recruitment and Candidate Services

Another season of March Madness is upon us. Since I’ve spent the majority of the last week either watching tournament games or interviewing candidates, I’ve started thinking how the March Madness is a lot like a job search.

What can jobseekers learn from March Madness? Here are a few thoughts:

You’re up against a large playing field. In the NCAA, 68 teams compete in the tournament. In today’s nonprofit job market, there may be up to 500 candidates applying to one job (depending on the level and functional area of the position). In the same way Gonzaga, Creighton and VCU have come out of nowhere to take the tournament by storm in recent years, there are amazingly talented candidates flooding the market today, and it’s not just the traditional profiles. These are talented for-profit leaders looking for “Encore Careers” in the nonprofit sector, or graduates of the new crop of amazing nonprofit-focused MBA programs that have taken off over the past few years. Add the fact that there are fewer AmeriCorps positions for recent college graduates, and fewer retirement age professionals actually retiring, and you’re looking at a pretty large – not to mention diverse and competitive – playing field.

The best teams have great coaches. It starts with the X’s and O’s. When the players are on the court, they’re listening to the direction of a head coach and a couple assistants- they’re NOT going around to every fan in the stadium asking them for their advice on the next play. In your job search, seek out a couple experts to be your coaches. These should be people with a depth of experience with the current job market and hiring trends in the sector. Everyone will have an opinion on your job search, but soliciting advice from this dozens of people will slow you down and leave your head spinning. Cultivate as many fans and supporters as possible (they’re VERY important) . These are folks that can introduce you to the right people, put in a good word on your behalf and cheer you on when the going gets tough. However when it comes to the hard skills of planning and navigating a strategic job search, focus on finding 1 or 2 experts to be your coaches. If you’re looking for some professional coaching in your own search, check out our Commongood Careers’ advising services. Learn more here.

Buzzer beaters do happen (but please focus on the high-percentage shots)! Yes, we’ve all sat in our driveways practicing the crazy half-court last-second shot pretending we’re Christian Laettner or Tate George or Bryce Drew. We’ve all also applied for some jobs we knew were a big stretch. Sure, go for that long shot now and then. If it looks like your dream job and your “One Shining Moment,” let it fly. Remember though: you need to be spending the majority of your time on creating the high-percentage opportunities- those that are a solid fit for your work experience and background. Also, keep in mind you can turn those long shots into layups by networking your way in the door, getting to know team members and having solid recommendations coming from inside and outside the organization.

There are always Cinderellas (and they never win it all!): Fans love a good Cinderella story of an up-and-comer team making it deep in the tournament. Remember Butler as an 8 seed facing VCU as an 11 seed in the final four last year? Well neither of them won a thing. Cinderallas advance, grab a lot of attention and have the fans pulling for them, but they almost never win it all. Same is true in the finalist stage of a job search. Hiring organizations will often fill out the group of finalists for a position with some candidates that are the exact target they’re looking for and 1 or 2 that represent a different or nontraditional candidate-model (maybe earlier in their career, maybe switching sectors, etc.). It’s a common practice. When push comes to shove, however, they’re usually going to hire the target candidate who presents less of a gamble. So does that mean the Cinderellas wasted their time and you should never apply to any position you’re not perfect for? Absolutely not. Every time you advance in an interview process you have the opportunity to impress the leadership at a hiring organization, and only good things can come from that. Maybe the next job that opens at that organization is a better fit for you. Maybe they recommend you for a similar role at a partner organization. Rather than being a waste of time, getting to the finalist stage can be a door-opener for your next opportunity. If you’re nontraditional, under-qualified, over-qualified, etc. for a particular role, remember: Cinderellas almost never win in the end, but ask Butler and VCU- it’s still great to be one.

Finally, every good player knows that it takes a lot of hard work to land on top. Just like making it to the Dance, a successful job search requires focus and perseverance, a winning attitude, and strong conviction. Have a solid game plan that starts with the X’s and O’s, surround yourself with good coaches, take high percentage shots, and, once in a while, trust yourself to sink a buzzer beater here and there.

7 Ways to Make Yourself Indispensable

March 19, 2012

7 Ways to Make Yourself Indispensable at Work
How to Make Sure You Keep Your Job During Layoffs
By Cathleen Carlos, contributing writer

As companies downsize and jobs are lost, many people wonder why they’re let go while other employees remain with the company. Although there are always many factors to consider — political, economic, etc. — it often comes down to being considered indispensable.

Having worked at several companies that have downsized in the past, I’ve learned these seven things that can help ensure your company is happy with your performance and holds onto you at all costs.

Top 10 Internship-Ready Majors

March 12, 2012


It’s that time of the year. 68 college basketball teams have made it to the NCAA Tournament – the “big dance.” Rankings, seedings, and brackets are top of mind.

But there’s another competition launching today, too – a competition for career readiness and ambition, for bragging rights based on majors. Today we released The “Top 10 Internship-Ready Majors,” based on a comprehensive list of college majors analyzed by our Ambition Index.

Which majors made the final cut? Click here to see the Top 10 ranking.

Once you check out where your major ranks, or (womp-womp) doesn’t rank, make the case on Facebook and Twitter – share why your major is the most deserving of a Top 10 ranking.

Top Workplace Trends for 2012

January 30, 2012

By Michelle V. Rafter

The old saying that the only constant is change aptly describes the American workplace in 2012.

As a new year begins, you may be in the same position at the same place you’ve worked for years. But the economy, technology and demographics are transforming how you get your job done.

Out: commuting, 9-to-5 schedules and standard-issue office computers.

In: telecommuting, more flexible hours and using your own laptop or smartphone for work.

Here’s more on those and other changes that could be coming to your workplace this year.

The 5 Hardest Jobs to Fill in 2012

January 3, 2012

By Keith Cline @ VentureFizz

While you’re planning your expansion, you’re going to find that talent is in short supply, especially in these five areas.

So, what are the most competitive areas for talent these days? Here’s a look.

Best Places to Work – Employees’ Choice Awards

December 19, 2011


Glassdoor is excited to announce our fourth annual Employees’ Choice Awards for Best Places to Work. Our Top 50 winners were selected by the people who know these companies best — their employees!

Click here to see the full list and learn more about each of the companies.

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