Category Archives: Trends
Although I may not agree with everything written in the article below, I do believe Stroud puts an interesting spin on how college graduates can get recruited.
Thank you to usnews.com and Liz Wolgemuth for this article.
While college grads scrounge around for advice on how to get recruited, the recruiters themselves turn to Jim Stroud for advice on how to recruit. Stroud writes The Recruiter’s Lounge blog, where he shares his insight into the evolving job market, new technology, and recruiting news.
How important is a college major? Does it have to be relevant to the job?
I don’t think so. I know several successful professionals and entrepreneurs who operate outside of what they studied in college. The best benefit of any major is mastering the patience, dedication, and organization it takes to achieve a long-term goal. These traits are transferable across every discipline.
What’s the most important thing students can do while they’re in college?
The most important thing is to create and maintain a reputable online identity. Savvy recruiters know how to leverage the Internet to find active and passive job seekers. If students are not promoting themselves online, they are missing out on unadvertised opportunities.
For example: Any job posting on Monster could yield several hundred résumés—and even more phone calls and E-mails—from unqualified candidates who hope their résumé will stand out from the crowd. In many instances, a recruiter will glance at a small percentage of résumés received and choose from the first few that catch their attention. From there, it’s all gut instinct and interview performance.
However, if a recruiter can perform a search on Google and discover an online résumé, an appealing social network profile, or a well-crafted blog post that proves expertise in a specific area, all the better. The recruiter can save a lot of time dealing with the qualified few, rather than wading through an avalanche of ineligible applicants.
What’s your advice to college students who have posted many of their good times online?
The proliferation of information on the Internet is making privacy a fleeting hope. It would be to a student’s advantage to have two online identities. Under their real name, they should post their online résumé, write articles, and blog posts about their professional passion. Conversely, they should create an alias to hide behind when dancing on tabletops in Aruba.
What don’t people understand about the recruiting process?
That it is a selling process. The candidate has to sell the recruiter on the idea that they are someone who can do the job. In turn, the recruiter has to sell that idea to a hiring manager. All things being wonderful, the candidate builds on the recommendation from the recruiter to sell himself to the hiring manager.
At every step of this sales process, each person needs to establish a relationship with the customer (i.e., the recruiter), convert an interest into a desire, overcome objections as to why they should hire someone else, and then close the deal. Every job seeker should have an understanding of these basic sales steps.
What are some of the things that make a candidate stand out?
After so many referrals, résumés, and interviews, it’s going to come down to know-how and cultural fit. More often than not, there will be several candidates for any given role that can perform the job adequately. When I see a candidate swapping jokes with a hiring manager or sharing a common viewpoint with an existing employee, then I see the light at the end of the tunnel.
Fundamentally, people want to work with qualified people that they can identify with in some way. If the interviewee and the hiring manager are already acting like they are working together, chances are that it’s a done deal. These are the candidates that are the strongest to me—those that can build a rapport. Unfortunately, none of this can be discerned until well into the recruitment process.
What are some of the major detractors?
Major detractors for me are those candidates who cannot succinctly argue why they are the best person for the job. Sure, their résumé warranted my attention, but credentials can be easily faked without verification. As I said previously, recruiting is all about the sale, and any candidate without that mind-set is doing him- or herself a disservice.
Can a college student rely on on-campus recruiting events? Online job sites?
When it comes to securing employment, no college student should rely on any one thing. Do all of the above and more. In the event those efforts prove unsuccessful, consider starting your own business. My father drummed into my psyche early on that if you can’t find a job, you should make one. This bit of uncommon sense should not be lost on anyone seeking work, especially in these interesting times.
Photo Credit: http://www.aaresources.com/images/pins-people.gif
If it hasn’t already been ingrained in your brain, know that networking is the key to a successful job search. As much as we all want to think that our expensive diplomas and moderate experience are all we need to land a job, we are highly mistaken. For a number of careers, it’s not necessarily what you know, it’s who you know.
Thanks to Alison Doyle for the following information:
When you search for a job, network with everyone you know and never leave the meeting without asking for a referral to more people. It is possible to have a friend refer you to an associate who will refer you to another associate, and so on. The actual assignment may come from the fourth associate you meet. The person providing the job may not even know the person who had started the chain of referrals. Keep your network strong. To find the “hidden” job market you should focus on building your network including professors, friends, and relatives, and former employers or any professionals these people recommend. Successful networking requires that you have as many contacts as possible hear your story, so they realize you are in the job market.
Keep your resume and other job hunting materials always current. You never know when an opportunity will present itself. You need to be prepared to immediately respond when opportunity comes knocking.
Use the interview to find out as much as possible about your fit with the culture of the organization to which you are applying. People who interview get into the “win” mode and want to receive a job offer at any cost. This is the wrong approach unless you are really desperate. You need to use the interview to assess your fit with the organization, to determine if you like the people, and how you are likely to get along with them. You need to ask a lot of questions about how the organization treats and values employees. You need to know that the organization will help you continue to develop your talents and skills as well. Because you spend so many hours at work, these kinds of questions are most important.
It is a great idea to be a member of your college alumni association, and all other organizations to which you belonged while cramming for the big tests to get that diploma. They can be wonderful resources for your career.
As much as I want to share my amazing experience this past Friday, I must refrain from doing so. I wouldn’t want to do anything that would jeopardize my chances for the position in the company. Maybe eventually I will be able to share everything, but for right now, I know it’s smart to keep it to myself.
But I do want to share something that most people forget after interviewing: sending thank-you notes. It is extremely important to catch the name of each person you interview with, as well as ask the HR person for those email addresses. I sent emails to each person I interviewed with, and also sent out handwritten (well, typed) letters by mail. Some people believe that receiving letters through the postal service adds a more personalized touch.
It is important to send out thank you letters as soon as possible, preferably within 24 hours after the interview. If time is of the essence, it is appropriate to send a thank you letter by email. The most important thing to remember when writing a thank you letter is to customize it. Like any piece of writing, it is best to keep your audience in mind. Address their issues and concerns. Consider the “personality” of the organization and the rapport you felt during your interviews. If your interview was a fairly informal process and/or you achieved an immediate rapport with your interviewer, a handwritten note is fine.
In addition to thanking the person you talked with, the thank you letter reinforces the fact that you want the job. So make sure you express your interest in the position! And even if you do not want the job, write a thank you letter respectfully withdrawing your application because you never know what the future holds. Why burn your bridges?
If you are unsure as to what to write, try typing “thank you letter after interview” into Google. Many templates will pop up and help you get started. After you have a basic template, start to personalize it using your own words and by adding in your skills and qualifications. Make sure if you interviewed with multiple people to write different letters. The letters can be variations of each other, but don’t send the exact same letter to each person. If they sit down and compare letters, it may show that you are lazy or don’t truly care about the time they spent interviewing you. Remember, customization is key.
As promised, I have dug through piles and piles of research to find the most active “hiring cities” in the U.S. All of my research concludes that metro cities offer the best chance of success in a new career for young people facing a tough economy (meaning us graduates of 2010). Ready to find out where you should be looking to start your new career? Drumroll please:
2. Washington, D.C.
3. Houston, TX
4. New York, NY
5. Boston, MA
The main differences that put these cities above the rest in opportunity for recent graduates and young professionals include the affordable housing, number of job prospects, and larger-than-average pay income. Some of the largest companies and most prestigious universities reside in these cities, equating to potential internships for recent graduates and current students, as well as plenty of opportunity and upward mobility based on hard work and experience.
Now for some even better and more interesting information. A well-known website, forbes.com, used data from entry-level job service CollegeGrad.com to rank the 10 companies with the most projected college grad and entry-level hires for 2010. Yep, you’re welcome!
1. Verizon Wireless with 10,500 projected entry-level hires
2. Enterprise Rent-A-Car with 8,000 projected entry-level hires. (The company has grown rapidly after its recent acquisition of its competitors, National and Alamo.)
3. Hewlett Packard with 5,067 projected entry-level hires.
4. Teach for America with 4,500 projected entry-level hires.
5. Peace Corps with 4,140 projected entry-level hires.
6. Hertz with 3,500 projected entry-level hires.
7. Ernst & Young with 1,977 projected entry-level hires.
8. KPMG LLP with 1,750 projected entry-level hires.
9. Target with 1,700 projected entry-level hires.
10. General Electric with 1,600 projected entry-level hires.
Want more information? Check out http://www.forbes.com/2010/06/21/companies-hiring-college-graduates-leadership-careers-jobs_slide_2.html and start applying! Hope this ups your confidence!
About a week ago, I was approached by a website with a fabulous opportunity. It’s clear how much I love to write, so it only makes sense I be approached with the idea of writing about what I love. Hence, I am now a Scottsdale Fashion Trends Examiner. I will continue to write for this blog as well as for the Examiner website. So, if you’d like my take on fashion, style, and trends, feel free to visit my page at: http://www.examiner.com/x-56930-Scottsdale-Fashion-Trends-Examiner.
Only 3 articles posted thus far, but expect many more soon to come.
I woke up this morning with one thought in my head. Is Houston a reasonable place for a new graduate to work in/move to? At lunch yesterday, my sister had mentioned something about an article she had read on CNN.com. I must have been subconsciously thinking about what she said all night and this morning because I am now writing about it. Luckily for you, I found the article she was talking about and I plan to share those findings. Ladies and gentleman, I present you with the Top 10 Cities for Recent Grads (according to Apartments.com and CBcampus.com):
2. Phoenix, Arizona
Average rent: $669
Popular entry-level categories: sales, customer service, training
3. Denver, Colorado
Average rent: $779
Popular entry-level categories: sales, customer service, health care
4. Dallas, Texas
Average rent: $740
Popular entry-level categories: sales, customer service, health care
5. Boston, Massachusetts
Average rent: $1275
Popular entry-level categories: sales, marketing, training
6. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Average rent: $938
Popular entry-level categories: sales, marketing, health care
7. New York
Average rent: $1,366
Popular entry-level categories: sales, customer service, marketing
8. Cincinnati, Ohio
Average rent: $613
Popular entry-level categories: sales, customer service, management
9. Baltimore, Maryland
Average rent: $1,041
Popular entry-level categories: sales, customer service, management
10. Los Angeles, California
Average rent: $1319
Popular entry-level categories: sales, training, health care
Now, this doesn’t mean that these cities are the best particularly because they are hiring like crazy. In fact, it may be just the opposite. As far as living expenses and entry level jobs go, these 10 cities are ones to look into. I plan to perform more in-depth research as to what cities have the highest hiring rates thus far. Hope this helps. Happy job hunting!
Original article can be found at: http://www.cnn.com/2010/LIVING/worklife/05/12/cb.best.cities.new.grads/index.html
After going through the interview process a number of times, I’ve come up with some advice to help fellow first-time interviewers. Of course, it needs to be understood that the interviews I’ve participated in have been for business positions, but I figure first-time interview questions are similar across the board. I know many people Google interview advice all the time. The information in this article is a collection of my research, knowledge, and experience in the interviewing process. In other words, I know it has a wonderful chance of working because I have used this advice and gotten called back to second interviews. I plan to have a job very soon, just waiting for the right one to come along.
In an interview, employers really want to know six things. Can you do the job? Do you have a positive attitude? Are you a motivated employee? How interested are you in the company and the work they do? Will you fit into this organization’s work culture? And most importantly, why do you want to work for this organization?
Communication skills, a strong work ethic, teamwork skills, and initiative are four great qualities to keep in mind while answering interview questions.
My Five Steps to Nail an Interview
1. Do Your Research
One of the most important things you can do before an interview is research the company. You need to have knowledge of the industry, the company interviewing you, and obviously the position you are interviewing for. You can find this information by looking at employer websites, annual reports, newspapers, and magazines. An amazing website that has helped with my research is hoovers.com. And you don’t even have to sign up!
2. Know Who You Are
Know your skills and strengths, as well as your weaknesses and what you’re doing to improve upon them. Analyze the job description and match your skills and qualities to that description. Always have examples ready, you may need to back up your answer.
3. Effective Communication and Collaboration
Behavioral questions are a favorite for many employers. When an employer asks you a behavioral question, they are looking for your ability to handle a task, assignment, or situation. Many interviewers think that past behavior is a good indicator of the present, but make sure not to dwell too much on the past. The company doesn’t necessarily want to know everything you did in your past- they are more interested in what you can do for them in the future. Behavioral questions usually cover specific skills required by the position, such as teamwork, leadership, communication, time management, decision-making, and problem-solving.
4. Be the Best Candidate
Convey your professionalism and develop a connection with the interviewer. Interviewers can tell when you are using cliche answers, so do your best to individualize them. Always be 15 minutes early. Make a good impression. Smile. Make eye contact. Use a firm handshake. Always have several copies of your resume handy. Be positive when describing your experiences. Remember that conservative attire is always the most appropriate. Express confidence and be approachable.
5. Finish Strong and Leave a Lasting Impression
Always always always ask questions at the end of the interview. This is the biggest mistake first-time interviewers make. You need to show your interest in the company, so if you are asked, be sure to have a list of questions prepared. Questions I have asked in the past include: What are the company’s strengths and weaknesses compared to its competition? What kind of work can I expect to be doing the first year? What is the organization’s plan for the next five years, and how does this department fit in? Never ask about salary or benefits! Wait until you are made an offer. Be enthusiastic when you leave and project confidence as you shake hands. A strong closing leaves a good final impression.
One more thing…
The Top 6 Questions Interviewers Ask
1. Tell me about yourself.
2. Why did you major in …?
3. What are your career ambitions?
4. What motivates you?
5. What are your strengths and weaknesses?
6. Why should we hire you?
Prepare for these and you will be able to answer any variation in a heartbeat. Happy Interviewing!