Monthly Archives: September 2012

Why does my employer want THAT?!

On nearly every website you sign up for, it tells you in bold letters: Do Not Share Your Password. People are more aware of everything they do on the internet, from buying on Ebay to finding a flight to LA to posting a picture of your new puppy. We take for granted all of the security settings, and we never share our passwords.

But what if you’re in an interview and you’re asked for it? Then comes a dilemma. Do you offer up your password, pray no one remembers it after you leave, and hope they don’t find anything in your personal life a reason not to hire you? Or do you say no, and pretty much ruin your own chances of getting the job?

From the research I’ve done, it seems that employers will Google candidates in an effort to weed out the extras and determine who is an upstanding citizen who would be a beneficial team member. But why a personal profile? Why not a professional network like LinkedIn? In the articles, you’ll find that some companies will have you do your application through Facebook, or ask you to sign in while in your interview, just so they can find out more about you. For some super sensitive jobs, say, police work, maybe it makes sense. And some can argue that you reflect yourself in your work, and vice versa. So how would you, dear reader, interpret the question of “may I go through your facebook?” Is it an infringement on your personal life, or a chance to show what a genuine candidate you are?


Make a To-Do List!

And I’m not referring to your average, everyday, chores list. We all agree that finding a good work-life balance is essential in surviving to retirement. But your personal life should not just consist of washing dishes and taking out the trash. Why not make a Bucket List? It is a list of everything you want to do before you… kick the bucket. This will make your life outside of work much more interesting, give you something to look forward to during the week, and inpsire you to try new things. And it’s great conversation starters when networking or interviewing.

Making a Bucket List can seem daunting at first, but there is nothing you are required to do, and no certain length it has to be. It is totally meant to be things to challenge and make YOU happy! They can be places to travel to, books to read, food to try, movies to watch, and physical activities. You don’t have to do things that scare you, but you may want to include opportunities to face your fears. For example, I’m terrified of drowning and open water, so I put a glass bottom boat ride on my bucket list.

To get you started, here are some ideas: read Moby Dick, bungee jump, learn to play pinochle, learn to play the guitar, try out for American Idol, witness Fashion Week, build a treehouse, climb a tree, catch a fish, see Mount Rushmore, learn the constellations, learn to speak Italian, make your own BBQ sauce, fly a kite, see your favorite singer in concert, or bowl a 300.

The Significance of “Soft Kitty”

The Significance of “Soft Kitty”

What? Big Bang Theory can relate to my experiential education? Of course! This article looks at Dr Sheldon Cooper, his emotional intelligence, and his interactions with others. Being able to connect with others is an essential part of college life, and so of course it will be essential in your job search, internship experiences, study abroad opportunities, and more. How high do you think your emotional intelligence is?

I survived the interview, now what?

A few days ago, we talked about taking your time during the job search process. Of course, after you apply for a job it can be very hard to wait for a result, and you will probably want to follow up at some point. Pete Leibman has written an interesting article on how to follow up with an employer. Unsurprisingly, one of the tips is to wait between check-ins. He also gives tips on what to say. Enjoy!

Interviewing, but not for a job!

Many students are apprehensive to attend networking events, and understandably so. If you want a more low-key, one-on-one approach to networking, a good option for you is to conduct informational interviews. Ask people you know to connect you, or talk to your career counselor about alums who are in the field you are pursuing. Once you find someone to connect with, call or email them. Ask to make a 20-30 mimute appointment with them just to talk about the field and get some advice.

After you set up your appointment, prepare a list of questions. For example, how did you get to where you are today? What courses did you take that were helpful? What are the best and worst days like? The last question should always be “is there anyone else you know who might be open to talking with me?” This gives you an opportunity to continue networking.

The day of, make sure you dress professionally. Take a copy of your resume and arrive early. Be cognizant of the time! If you notice it’s getting to the end of the appointment, say “I know we’re getting close to our time limit, do you have anything else you’d like me to know?” This allows them to either fill you in on what they think is important, or tell you it’s ok to go over time. Also, it is not ok to openly ask for a job. That is a separate interview, and is not why you are there. If they liked you, they will remember you when jobs do open up and talk with you then. If you are doing your informational interview over the phone, the same rules apply.

After your informational interview is done, remember to send a hand-written thank you note as well as a same-day email or phone call thank you.

Want more information? Check out:

Take Your Time!

“People forget how fast you did a job- but they will remember how well you did it.” (Howard Newon)

It’s easy to get overwhelmed in the job search and feel like “if I do everything all at once now, I’ll get results faster.” This isn’t necessarily true.

When looking through the want ads or searching for jobs online, take the time to do research. What is the company like? How many people work there? What services do they provide? What’s their financial status like, currently and predicted? There’s no point in applying to a job when you know you won’t like it if you get it.

If you decide you do want to apply to a job, remember to take your time when working on your resume and cover letter. ALWAYS double check and make sure you changed everything to acknowledge the company you are applying for, and not the company you just applied to. If the employer or HR manager sees it’s the name of the wrong company, your resume is automatically going into the trashcan. What changes can you make to highlight the skills you have that directly relate to the job posting? Are there classes you took or academic projects you completed? What are some job duties that don’t relate but can be replaced with other actions? Resumes and cover letters are fluid documents and will change with every application you complete. And of course, don’t send it off without double checking your spelling and grammar.

When you’re interviewing, again, you want to remember to take your time. Give yourself plenty of time to get there, and be 5-10 minutes early. Take a deep breath before you walk into the interviewing room so you feel more collected. After the interviewer asks you a question, take a deep breath and give yourself a moment to collect your thoughts. Then you won’t feel like your reaching for an answer or blabbing on about something unrelated.

And finally, when you get that magical phone call offering you the job, ask them for 24 hours to make your decision. If it’s a Friday, ask for the weekend and call them first thing Monday morning. This will give you time to figure out finances, talk with your family or significant other, and determine if this truly is the job you want to take. Moreover, saying yes and taking it right away may make you look impulsive or desperate. Any employer making you an offer should be accomodating because they know it is a big decision.

“Keep away from people w…

“Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you too can become great.”
– Mark Twain

We believe YOU can become GREAT!

Tips for Freshmen (But it’s Never Too Late to Start!)

Tips for Freshmen (But it’s Never Too Late to Start!)

This is a tip sheet for freshmen to help transition to college life. However, some upperclassmen may find it helpful, too! What are other tips you would share?

Never Underestimate What You’re Doing Now

Never Underestimate What You’re Doing Now

With today’s job market, every extra thing you do can help. Never underestimate your summer job, your unpaid internship, or your activities on campus. Come meet with us (or any career counselor) and we can teach you about transferable skills and help you find other ways to stand out from the crowd.

MBT Who?!

Another service we offer to students who are conflicted about their choice of major or career path is the Myers-Briggs Temperment Inventory (MBTI). There are 16 potential combinations of results, and they reflect your personality and how you tend to interact with others. I’m not going into each potential outcome, but I am going to give an overview of each part of the result.

The first section relates to how you draw energy. If you are an Introvert, you get energy from within, and actually, can feel that your energy is drained when you have to interact with many people. On the other hand, Extroverts get energized after feeling energized from the people around them. You love being around people and usually find it easy to strike up a conversation even with people you don’t know.

The second section is how you prefer to take in information. Sensing people prefer the cold, hard facts. They want things to be realistic, practical, and concrete. However, Intuitive types prefer to use their imagination. They interpret abstract ideas and like things to be original and conceptual.

Third, we have decision making. People who call into the Thinking category can be tough decision makers. They use logic and reasoning, and can be critical. People who fall into the Feeling category use their heart more than their head. They are accepting and open and try to accomodate everyone when making decisions.

As our last category, we have Lifestyle. People who are Judging does not mean they are judgemental of others. Judgers simply like to have a plan. They are systematic and try to start everything early. People who are Perceiving are more likely to go with the flow. They are more spontaneous and may respond more quickly if the deadline is closer.

Based on what you’ve read, what combination of the four categories do you think you are?