Tag Archives: professional

Scoring an Interview, but Not Scoring a Job

Pam Folger, the Career Center Director for Millikin University wrote a really interesting article for AAEE and, in turn, Education Week.  I find it interesting because although it’s designed to be helpful for Education majors, it can very easily be applied to students searching for a job in any major! Moreover, it’s a topic that a student in any major can relate to…. struggling with getting an interview, but then not getting the job.

Folger recommends taking a few things into account when evaluating your recent interviews. I’ll share a few of them, but you’ll be able to see the entire list in the article; the link is provided below.

  1. Did you research the organization? The more you know, the better prepared you are and the more confident you will feel.
  2. Did you dress appropriately? You have one chance to make a good first impression, and you have to look the part!
  3. Were you able to articulate why the position is a good fit for your skills and qualifications, and also how you would be able to contribute to the team at the organization? This shows a mutual benefit, which leads to longer retention and overall job satisfaction.
  4. Did you answer all of the questions thoroughly, including the behavioral-based questions? Being able to provide a solid example behind your qualifications shows that you walk what you talk.
  5. Did you send a thank you note, or at the very least, a thank you email? Not only is it polite, but it’s a chance to re-emphasize why you’re the perfect candidate.

Additionally, Folger recommends mock interviews as a way to get practice and receive feedback. Video mock interviews are also a way for you to see your body language and view any nervous habits you may have, which can be a turn-off to employers.

To get all of Folgers advice, check out her link here: http://blogs.edweek.org/topschooljobs/careers/2016/03/interviews_but_no_offers.html?utm_source=feedblitz&utm_medium=FeedBlitzRss&utm_campaign=careercorner


Do something… TODAY!

Do something today

There’s something special about the first week of a semester.  It’s a chance to make new friends, create a new routine, and determine new goals.  My challenge to everyone is to make the above quote a new personal (and professional!) goal.  It doesn’t have to be anything big.  Maybe it’s connecting with someone on LinkedIn.  Maybe it’s reading an article that relates to your chosen career.  Maybe it’s volunteering in the community.  Maybe it’s staying after class to ask a professor a question.  You never know when all of those things will come back to be a benefit to you- and if you know they’ll be beneficial, why not do them?  Make this semester one that makes Future You proud!

Graduated, but Still Connected

Graduated, but Still Connected

We’re at a pivotal moment on our campus.  Our winter graduates just walked across the stage, and our spring graduates are getting ready with excited anticipation.  For many students, the job search is in full force.  We are frequently asked “where can I look for a job?” without realizing that they can build from what they already have! Students are typically a very connected population- thanks to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and the like, they’re able to make connections all around the world. Just because they are holding their diploma doesn’t mean they have to give up their profiles.  In fact, students are encouraged to build from those profiles and make those connections more professional.

 Careerealism has provided a great article regarding social media after graduation.  Yes, it is possible to use your social media accounts to your advantage! They give much greater detail in their post, but I wanted to give a brief summary to you to get you started.  They break down social media networking into six steps:

  1. Create an online portfolio- this allows employers to see your accomplishments all in one place
  2. Create a blog- you can share your opinions, writing skills, and critical thinking skills, however, it’s especially encouraged to focus the blog subject on your field of study.  This will show how knowledgeable you are!
  3. Join LinkedIn- you can find so many professionals through LinkedIn, and easily be introduced to professionals you don’t know.  You can also follow specific companies to stay up to date on their information
  4. Keep your accounts professional- keep an eye on what pictures you are tagged in, and make sure anything you post is PG-13 (at most!)
  5. Be social on social networks- don’t feel that you can’t post anything at all.  Join in conversations, especially those related to your field or businesses in which you are interested.
  6. Go offline- if you make a connection with a professional, find a way to talk with them more.  Try to set up an informational meeting either in person or over the phone to see what advice they have for you.

 Just because you graduated, you don’t have to go completely off the radar.  Think outside the box on how you can use your social media to work for you!

The Email That Goes From Bad To Worse!

The Email That Goes From Bad To Worse!

Our friends at Vault send us great articles every week.  However, when I read this particular case, my jaw hit the floor!  How could an email like this possibly be?  I share this with you, not to shame or ridicule the original writer, but to share some pointers regarding what not to email a potential employer.

 Email is meant to be short and concise.  This is particularly true when you’re following up with potential employers.  Therefore, it’s imperative to make sure your follow-up email to an employer is focused and sent with a formal tone.  If you want the employer to remember you, reference something that you discussed, such as “I was the student who had internship experience with Ernst and Young” or “We talked at length about being a Resident Assistant.”  Never share other interview opportunities, as it may shut you out of any potential openings that the employer would have otherwise shared with you.  As much as possible, refrain from personal needs and anecdotes and focus on career/professional needs.  For example, you can share a personal trait if it pertains to the opportunity: “Having raised goats since I was 3 will be great preparation to work with your veterinary clinic!”  Finally, never use emoticons or abbreviations such as LOL, JK, or YOLO, during your search.  It’s just not professional.

 Vault lists many more things to keep in mind as you write your follow-up email to an employer.  What other things do you think are unprofessional in the email? Do you have any suggestions that we didn’t list?

Avoid That Awkward Initial Email!

Avoid That Awkward Initial Email!

    It’s not uncommon for students today to prefer reaching out via email. After growing up in a technology-based world, it’s so much easier to email their professors or family instead of calling them.   Therefore, it makes sense that, when making an initial contact to make their network bigger, a student would use email. If that is your preferred method of outreach, there are a few things to keep in mind.

    First, it will be a lot less awkward for you if you know you are emailing the right person.  It’s easier to feel comfortable reaching out to someone if you have a connection with them, such as being an alum.  You can use the company website or LinkedIn to do your research. This will yield better results than just sending an email to companyname@company.com.

   Second, don’t be afraid to be tactfully forward in your subject line. Don’t be too abrupt, like “Need advice ASAP!” or ”need  an internship” ) in the subject line. Be specific. “College junior looking for advice for the Fashion field” is perfect.

  Third, be formal. Use their title, and of course their last name, such as “Mr. Feeney” or “Ms. Matthews.”  This will show the recipient your level of maturity and tact.

  Fourth, give a little background information. Let them know about yourself professionally.  Explain to them what your goals are. Ask, kindly, for specific advice. For example, “could you tell me more about what you were looking for when selecting a graduate school,” this is precise and not overwhelming for them to answer.

   And fifth, tell the person you are emailing why you like them!  This shows that you’ve done your research AND that there is something in particular they can offer you.

   To learn more about these suggestions, check out USA Today College at : http://www.usatodayeducate.com/staging/index.php/career/5-tips-for-writing-a-great-networking-e-mail

Twerking Hard or Hardly Twerking?

I am sure many of our readers saw, or at least heard about, the Miley Cyrus fiasco at the Video Music Awards. First of all, we hope no one aspires to “twerk hard” quite like Miley did. And if you do, we hope you keep it off national television.  Even better, keep it off Youtube, Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn. I want you to go to Google right now and search for Miley Cyrus. The first things that pop up are articles about her VMA performance. Even CNN is talking about it!  Now Google your name. There should not be any articles about you rocking out with Robin Thicke.  If there are, or if there is anything similar, you may want to reconsider what image you are projecting to the rest of the world.  When you think about it, is an employer really going to be interested in hiring someone like Miley? Would they want someone with that reputation to impact their reputation? If your Google results need a little cleaning, we suggest putting some privacy levels on your social media accounts. Ask a friend to untag you in your less-than-professionally-flattering pictures. Also, if you create a LinkedIn account, it will automatically go to the top of the search results. If it’s the first thing an employer sees, that will lead to a great impression! You don’t need to completely eliminate all of your social media profiles.  You can always use them to share your accomplishments (both personal and professional) and share your community involvement. But next time you go to get down, make sure you don’t let any moves- or pictures or videos- get out of control!

25 Things Every Young Professional Should Know by Age 25

25 Things Every Young Professional Should Know by Age 25

Our friends at the Huffington Post recently posted an article with the 25 things everything young professional should know before they turn 25- around the age, if not later than, when they join the workforce. The list encourages involvement and etiquette personally and professionally. What do you think? Is there anything on the list we can help you with? What advice would you give?