Introducing “Silicon Harbor”: Charleston, SC

June 18, 2012

By Shane Snow
From Fast Company

Despite being the 75th largest metro area in the U.S., Charleston is ranked in the top 10 fastest growing cities for software and Internet technology. Here’s why.

8 Things Graduates Should Know Before Joining the Workforce

June 4, 2012

By Yun Siang Long

The following career advice is what I believe to be the top eight things college graduates should know before joining the workforce. I am sure there are additional tips you can bring into the workforce but these are a great start to ensure you begin on the right foot.

1. Time Management

Time is finite. Once it is gone you cannot take it back. Once a deadline is missed there is no turning back. If you missed an assignment, you risk a lower grade. But in the working world it can mean losing a job project and the company having to incur financial losses. Learn time management skills and you end up being more productive, effective and efficient.

2. Do More, Talk Less

It’s far too easy to be convinced by people who say you can talk to impress people. And I do not deny that, but eventually your work has to be the proof that you are a good worker and you are dependable. You need to decide if you will do more and talk less or do less and talk more.

3. Being Present

Being present means two things to me. Firstly, it means be on time every time. This ranges from a small internal meeting to meeting your deadlines. It means being there when you are needed. Golden opportunities present themselves when you are present. Secondly, being present means focusing on what is the work that needs to be completed. It also means being mindful and fully aware of your surroundings.

4. Give Your Work a Routine

Develop some form of routine and be disciplined to stick to that routine. This is related to time management but goes beyond the time management that you do in the office. Have a routine for your life. Give yourself time – block off time for yourself to read or even do the chores like laundry, etc. Start to be more organized than when you were in college. Stick to this career advice even though it does not relate to career building. You will soon see the wisdom of it.

5. Be Nice

Learn to be authentic and avoid politics. Of course, sometimes it is tough not to get involved at all. But you can learn to avoid it and be real. Be authentic to your values. These are your anchors that hold you when people change and agendas change. Be nice to people regardless of rank and designation. Smile often. Say your “please” and “thank you.”

6. Compete With Yourself

Compete with no one else. Of course, no matter what is said and done, you will always be peeping at the next guy to see how he is doing in his career.

Sure, peep.

But don’t be overly affected by competition that you forget to look at yourself. Be the best you can be in this long cross country marathon, it is filled with detours and stops. When you focus too much on your competitors you may get lost. It’s one of those graduate career advice you need to experience to know what this truly means.

7. Create, Not Just Discover

Life is as much about creating as it is discovering. I hear far too often fresh graduates saying, “I need to discover myself.” But is life all about discovering yourself? It is and it is also not. Life is as much as creating the you, you want to be as it is in discovering the you that you are.

The truth is somewhere in between. So, when you get a job that is less than satisfactory for you, use it as a pedagogue to discover yourself. More importantly, use it to give you hints at creating the self you want to be.

8. Fun is in Learning

There is a lot of fun in learning. If you understand being present in my earlier advice, then you will know work life presents so much you can learn and be paid for it. Learn to love what you do and learn to love learning. Because the chance to do what you love maybe far and in between. When you find fun in learning then you will be constantly improving yourself. Learn to love books and all sorts of books. There is no need to stick to books in your own industry.

These are the eight things I consider solid career advice for any graduate. A new phase of life has just begun. It’s a long road of work from now on. There is no need to take the whole in one breadth. Take time and enjoy life while honing your skills as you move along.

3 Reasons Your Resume is Keeping the Phone from Ringing

May 29, 2012

by Jessica Holbrook Hernandez

If you know someone who’s looking for a job—and I’m sure you do—then you may have heard them complain about having sent their resume off to hundreds of employers, only to receive absolutely no responses or acknowledgments. I’ve heard this complaint countless times from friends and colleagues.

Part of the reason this happens so often is because companies really have become much less personal about their hiring processes. They simply can’t respond to every person who contacts them through their online application process.

However, there are still people being hired every single day. So what are they doing differently from those who never get a phone call?


**Another recent article from CareerRealism worth mentioning: 4 Reasons for Career Gaps and How to Handle Them on Your Resume

Using Pinterest as a Job-Search and Branding Tool

May 14, 2012

From NACE Spotlight for Career Services Professionals

Pinterest—a content-sharing social media website on which account holders “pin” images, videos, and more to their virtual pinboards—is gaining popularity for its broad spectrum of uses.

Thom Rakes, career center director at the University of North Carolina Wilmington, sees two ways students can use Pinterest to enhance their job-search efforts—as a tool to research potential employers and as means for students to market themselves.

“Some large and cutting-edge companies have created Pinterest pages, providing a different view of the employer than more traditional web pages,” Rakes says. “And since the focus of Pinterest is on graphics and images, it is of most use to students pursuing visually related careers, such as graphic or digital design and marketing. It may help more visually orientated job seekers stand out.”

Brie Weiler Reynolds, the content and social media manager at FlexJobs and a former career counselor at Emmanuel College, agrees, saying it’s much easier for students in creative majors to use Pinterest because of the visual component.

“The arts, graphic design, marketing, and other heavily visual majors will probably find using Pinterest for their job search to be easy and straightforward,” Reynolds says. “Students in more traditional majors—business, social and life sciences, and others—will need to be more creative in their use of Pinterest.”

Why is Pinterest attractive to job seekers? First, it’s easy to get started. Unlike setting up a website or professional blog, it takes just a few seconds to create an account and start pinning, Reynolds says.

“It shouldn’t necessarily replace those other two options for personal branding, but it’s a good way to get started,” she adds. “And, it’s a strictly visual medium in a world of text-based job-search tools, so it’s very different from other options.”

With that in mind, Reynolds touts the importance of students thinking about how they can represent their majors and career interests visually—whether it’s by using pictures of organizations with which they’ve interned, or pins of student organizations and activities with which they’ve been involved.

Reynolds offers some other tips for career services practitioners to share with college students using or interested in using Pinterest as a personal branding or job-search tool. To use Pinterest as a personal branding tool, college students should:

• Create resume boards on which they pin pictures related to their schooling and experiences.
• Create portfolio boards with examples of their work, which is especially good for creative fields.
• Pin a copy of their resume with text that says “please share me.”
• Create boards related to their interests to give more insight into them.
• Place their Pinterest URLs on their job-search materials, including resumes, cover letters, e-mail signatures, profiles on LinkedIn, and more. Make sure they use their actual name as their Pinterest page name so people can easily find them through a search.

For using Pinterest as a job-search tool, students should:

• Follow employers they want to work for on Pinterest to learn about the employers’ marketing efforts and corporate culture.
• Follow career services offices and experts to learn the best job-search strategies, trends, and advice.
• Get ideas for places to work by seeing what organizations their employers of interest follow.
• Create boards for “Places I’d Like to Work” and “Jobs I’d Like to Have.”
• Use keywords like “hiring,” “human resources,” “recruiting,” and more to find employers that are using Pinterest to recruit.

Reynolds says that one of the biggest mistakes college students make is thinking they can use Pinterest for both personal and professional purposes.

“Students will want to keep their Pinterest pages clean and professional, because they never know who might be looking at [the pages],” she explains. Reynolds also strongly suggests that students make use of the text box available for each picture.

“[Students should] say something about each picture they pin—what it is, how they were involved, when and where it occurred,” she says. “That text is the student’s only chance to tell viewers what they’re looking at, and how it relates to the student as a professional.”

2012 Best Places to Work for Recent Grads

May 7, 2012


Experience invited employers from across the country to participate in the 2012 Best Places to Work for Recent Grads survey, and the winners are in! This exciting initiative is dedicated to identifying and recognizing the best employers for recent college graduates. As a whole, these 10 organizations offered outstanding company cultures, sweet paychecks, and extraordinary opportunities for rapid career growth. Here’s a detailed look at this year’s winners (sorted alphabetically) – including some new and familiar faces to the chart.

To see which employers made the list, please click here.

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:

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.

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.

What Employers Want – and Do Not Want – in Your Resume

October 3, 2011

by Robin Schlinger, Robin’s Resumes

You are struggling to understand what employers want in a resume: What will make them stand up and take notice? In many ways, what you leave out is just as important as what you leave in.

*Interested in learning more about what employers think about your resume? Come by the “What Employers are Saying about Your Resume” workshop this October 6th at 5:30pm in the Career Center. For more information, contact the Career Center at 953-5692 /

10 commandments of dressing for work

September 26, 2011

By Beth Braccio Hering
From CNN Living /

In a 2010 national poll conducted by the Center for Professional Excellence at York College of Pennsylvania, “appearance” ranked second only to “communication skills” when respondents named qualities most often associated with professionalism. Universal dress rules can’t be set in stone, because what is considered appropriate varies by workplace, field and what is happening on a given day. But if such a tablet were to be created, there’s a good chance it would include the following.

Interested in learning more about workplace etiquette and how to dress for success. Come by the Workplace Etiquette workshop this Thursday, September 29th at 5:30 in the Career Center. For more information, contact the Career Center at 953-5692 /

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