More Than Money

When you’re getting ready to accept a job offer, keep this in mind: it’s ok to negotiate. Seriously. Even when it’s your first job after graduation. Employers expect you to negotiate. In an article for Inc., James Altucher shares 11 mistakes people make when negotiating their salary. Keep these in mind as you prepare to accept employment offers! Below are a couple of key points:

  1. Have a big list.  Don’t limit yourself to just your annual salary. Is there an opportunity to work from home twice a week? Could you get a bonus? Will they compensate moving expenses? Think of all of the things that would make a job valuable, and not just the bottom line on your paycheck.
  2. Do your homework.  Use online resources to calculate the average salary for that position in your geographic area. Consider how much someone would charge for your position if they were a freelancer or consultant. What value do you provide the company? You can also use a site like Glassdoor to see what salaries are typical for your position or for the company.
  3. Give yourself time to consider.  When you are offered a position, you do not have to accept it right then and there. Ask for 24 hours to step back and consider everything. Sleep on it. Are there other opportunities you are in the process for? What are the pros and cons?

Altucher makes many other great points, and offers great tips that will help you not only for job one, but every job after that.  You can read all 11 mistakes here: http://www.inc.com/quora/11-mistakes-people-always-make-when-they-negotiate-their-salaries.html

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From Relaxed Ahhh to Stressed Ahhh

Spring break is wonderful.  You get to leave campus and do something different. Some students travel. Some students see their family. Some students procrastinate on homework as much as possible. It’s a chance to take a deep breath, relax, and go “ahhhh.” But spring break inevitably ends too quickly, and the relaxed vibe turns to one of stress. It’s a tough transition! Kaitlyn Russell from The Muse has your back, though, with great tips to help transition back to the college grind.

Russell recommends coming back with a to-do list.  What are assignments and other obligations that MUST get done on your first day back to campus? Whether you use an app, or a planner, or an old-fashioned  Post-it note, have some key points down to keep you focused.

Then, turn on the music. This will help you tune out distractions, and playing upbeat music will help you stay positive as you cross things off your list.

Also, don’t forget to plan something fun for later in the day or week.  Maybe you’ll go out to dinner with your friends, or see a movie this weekend. This will give you something to look forward to as you charge through your classes, meetings, and homework.

Russell has three other great tips that will help you not only here in school, but also in the workplace. Read her entire article here: https://www.themuse.com/advice/6-ways-to-survive-your-first-day-back-at-the-office-after-an-amazing-vacation

Making the Most of a Mentor

Do you remember your favorite teacher? Or professor? How about your favorite cashier at a store? The best server you have ever had at a restaurant? Who inspired you to choose the major or career that you did? Our lives are filled with people who influence us, and our role models are great options to consider for mentors.

Dr. Becky Faber contributed her article on Finding a Mentor to the Career Corner of Education Week.  Although her perspective comes from teaching, her points are certainly valid across the job market. Mentors are an incredible resource, particularly when it comes to learning about the industry and preparing for the job search. First and foremost, a mentor can share their own insight and experience from their time in the field. They have a strong network, and not only could they alert you to potential job openings, they can help you delve into your research as you prepare for an interview.  A mentor can also share what potential interview questions may be that would be specific to your particular job. When you are drafting your resume, a mentor can be another set of eyes and make suggestions on changes and additions you can make. Don’t be afraid to ask someone you admire to be your mentor. You may just help them learn something new, too!

To read all of Dr. Faber’s article, click here: http://blogs.edweek.org/topschooljobs/careers/2016/10/find_a_mentor.html

Six Super Things You Can Do to Make the Most of Your Spring Break

Spring break is right around the corner! I know I am dreaming of spending the week on a sunny beach somewhere, but unfortunately that won’t be the case- and I know for many students, that won’t be the case either.  Are you one of those students who will be stuck imagining a week of beach volleyball and sunny days? Well, here are six ways you can distract yourself, and step up your professional game in the process.

  1. Create or update your LinkedIn Profile. There are millions of people on LinkedIn, so chances are good there will be someone you know on there.  Who knows, maybe that someone can help you get a start in your field.
  2. Take part in an informational interview. Spend 20-30 minutes getting to know someone with a job that you find interesting. Learn more about how they got into that role, what they enjoy and dislike, and what other advice they can share with you.
  3. Better yet, shadow. Make a connection with someone in your field that you will be able to shadow for a half or full day. This will allow you to really get a better picture of what an “average day” is like in a job you are considering, plus you will be able to meet more people.
  4. Research graduate schools. Even if going for a Masters degree isn’t in the five year plan, it’s good to know what programs are out there. They can be a strong sign of what specialty areas employers are looking for.
  5. Spend some time helping a person or organization in need, even if it’s not related to your area of interest. It’s a solid resume builder and allows you to develop some great transferable skills. And speaking of resumes…
  6. Work on your resume! Or cover letter. Or interview skills. Take the time to put together your go-to interview outfit. Whatever it takes to come back to school ready to not only be amazing in class, but ready to take on the professional world!

What other suggestions do you have to make the most of your spring break? Let us know in the comments section!

Four Steps to a Solid First Impression

As we continue to power through Job Fair Season, it’s important to always remember the basics: make eye contact, smile, and have a firm handshake. There’s another aspect of the basics that you should never forget: your first impression! I’m sure you all have heard the expression before of “you only get one chance to make a good first impression,” and that is especially true during your job or internship search. This can be particularly nerve-wracking when you are going into a job fair or networking event, where you are vying with scores of other people to leave a good impression on an employer.  As part of the 4 Minute Read series, Fast Company shares four tips on how to make a memorable (in a good way!) first impression.

  1. Connect with the employer in a professional and personal manner. Your conversation doesn’t have to be strictly business. Allow the conversation to deviate if it means you can connect over a mutual interest- just make sure you go back to the original topic or interview question!
  2. Use numbers. I’m sure your professors have told you that statistics in research papers or presentations are a great way to grab the audiences’ attention.  Well, the same thing happens when you connect with an employer. Be sure to have an interesting statistic- whether it’s related to their company or the industry as a whole- to show you know your stuff.
  3. Share a fun fact. In the same vein as sharing a statistic, look for opportunities to share an interesting fact. Maybe it’s a life hack, or a cultural understanding, or a tip for their social media platform. Keep in mind this shouldn’t be totally out of the blue, but if it contributes to the conversation, feel free to share!
  4. Be word-conscious. Think about what you are saying to ensure you are concise, but still getting your point across in an effective way. Make sure they are words you won’t trip over or mispronounce.

Just as you practice your handshake and elevator speech, practice using these tips on an everyday basis so when the time comes to meet with an employer, you will really knock their socks off! To read more insight from Fast Company, click here: https://www.fastcompany.com/3066553/four-easy-ways-to-make-a-memorable-first-impression

Looking for a Job? Maybe I can Help!

On my spear time, I love to scroll the internet looking for jobs in fields that I am interested in. I mainly do this to see what jobs I come across that maybe I have never heard about. Two websites that I find myself consistently going back to are (1) internships.com and (2) indeed.com. You can type in one word or phrase in the search section and adjust additional options; such as: location, paid or unpaid, etc. Check out the sites and see if you like them as much as I do!

-D.T

Do Not Be Afraid of the Fourth Page of Google!

When searching for internships, there are a variety of websites to peruse. Google was my best friend during my internship search! When I use Google, I usually look at the max up to page 2. My theory always was, “If it’s not on page one, then it’s not worth my time!” Well, I was very, very wrong. Let me lay some background info. I am a Biology/Pre-Vet major and there are very few places I can intern, especially when I am stuck to places close to Philadelphia. So for me, the internship search was a massive process. Not only could I not find many internships, I also found really cool ones … in other states. Due to these circumstances, I was forced to break my usual Google rule. Here’s the part where I learn how wrong I was. I found my current internship on the FOURTH page of my Google search. I was very close to giving up and then I saw the exact thing I was looking for and here I am with a full time internship for Summer 2017. Here’s the lesson: DO NOT BE AFRAID OF THE FOURTH PAGE OF GOOGLE! Exhaust every resource there is out there, because I can guarantee you that there is an internship out there for you! Happy Searching!!!

-Teresa

What Questions Do You Have For Me?

When preparing for an interview, it’s pretty common for job seekers to prepare for the questions that the employer may ask. However, it’s equally important for a job seeker to have questions prepared to ask of the employer.  Of course, there are the standby questions, such as “what is the rest of the hiring process like?” or “what is a typical day here like?”  The time when you ask questions is an essential part of the interview process. It’s an opportunity for you to get to know the company more, and continue making a good impression of the interviewer.  The Forbes Coaches Council developed a list of 11 questions a job seeker should consider asking in order to stand out from the other people being interviewed. Here are a few to start:

  1. What could I accomplish in six months that would really exceed your expectations? Many job seekers ask something along the lines of “what are your expectations of me?” Of course your employer will have expectations for you. This will give you a clearer idea of ways you can take initiative and go above-and-beyond to make a good impression.
  2. What gets you excited to come to work every day?  It’s important to know the culture of your new company, as well as what motivates your new supervisor.  The response to this question can help you determine if you will mesh well with both!
  3. How does your workplace help employees reach their peak potential? Again, it will be a great insight of the company culture to know if they work to help their employees succeed, or adapt with changing needs and times.
  4. What other information can I share with you? This gives the interviewer another door to ask you more questions, and gives you the opportunity to respond to any concerns or doubts they may have.

The Forbes Coaches Council has other great questions you can ask! Check them out here: http://www.forbes.com/sites/forbescoachescouncil/2016/11/10/11-unusual-question-to-ask-in-an-interview-to-distinguish-yourself-from-the-competition/#68ec588f25f3

Five Facts for your Federal Resume

More and more students are including positions with the federal government as part of their job search. And why not? There are positions for all majors and career paths, they offer great benefits, and every day is different while still having a positive impact on society. However, it’s important to note that when you apply for a federal position, you will need to use a federal resume. The Partnership for Public Service is an excellent resource as you get started in your federal job search. One of their resources is a guide on developing your federal resume.  Here are five tips to get you started:

  1. It’s ok to be longer than one page.  In fact, for an entry-level position, your resume could run anywhere from two to five pages. The content of your resume is very similar to a civilian resume, but will provide much more detail.
  2. Tweak your resume to match the job announcement. Just as you would for a private sector position, it’s important to keyword match and ensure that you emphasize that you are a solid fit for the position.
  3. Give detail, but be concise. It’s ok for your resume to run longer than a page because you are providing a much more extensive history of yourself, but do not let your accomplishment statements become so wordy that the hiring manager cannot interpret what you are getting at.
  4. Make absolutely sure that you are including all of the required information. Civilian resumes can be flexible in what you choose to include. However, a federal resume has different requirements for every resume, such as name, contact information, citizenship, educational history, and full employment information including hours worked per week.
  5. Proofread! Read over your resume multiple times to make sure there are no spelling, grammar, or punctuation errors.

To see more helpful tips from the Partnership for Public Service, check out Create Your Federal Resume and Federal Resume Writing Tips

From the Rio Olympics to Albright

As it gets colder and snowier, it’s easy to let your mind drift to warmer days full of sunshine. Some of us even daydream of the Rio Olympics- two weeks of sun, warm-weather sports, and temperatures that would definitely prevent snow. Abby Wolfe and Stacey Gawronski, both of The Muse, shared some insight on how we can incorporate lessons from the Rio Olympics into our everyday lives for success in the workplace or at school. Every student wants to do well in their classes, but it’s important to also take care of yourself in the process. Here are just a few of the suggestions that Wolfe and Gawronski provide:

  1. Get plenty of the right kind of sleep.  In other words, no all-nighters! Your body and mind won’t work effectively if they are deprived of the time they needs to restore themselves.
  2. Have confidence.  Clarify your goals for yourself, communicate them with others, and make your goals your focus.
  3. Take a break for fun.  There will be times when the to-do list seems daunting. Pencil some time into your schedule to get off campus, read a Buzzfeed article, or watch Carpool Karaoke. This will give your brain some time to relax and be ready to focus for your next round of studying.

There are many other ways we can emulate Olympic athletes to make sure we stay productive, such as finding ways to keep anxiety at bay, and eating healthy.  Learn tips from ten incredible athletes here: https://www.themuse.com/advice/10-olympic-athletes-daily-habits-you-should-steal-that-dont-involve-the-gym