Tag Archive for job search

Give Yourself $100,000

 

Some students get all the breaks. They get the great summer jobs and the best internships, the best experience to get their careers started. How can you possibly compete with these lucky stiffs?

 

First of all, most “lucky” people have a lot more going for them than good fortune, but that’s another story for another day.

 

Regarding your background, a lack of concrete experience is definitely a limiting factor in many job searches. This is especially true if the firm you want to work for is too small or too busy to give you extensive training. So what can you do to demonstrate the experience you need to compete for these positions?

 

One seldom-exploited option is to assign yourself the kind of project that the “lucky” students gain through internships and summer jobs. For instance, even though you don’t have a summer job at an architectural firm, you can still design a building during summer break. Your sketches or blueprints are no less indicative of your skills just because you dreamed up the whole idea. If your aspirations are in the field of nutrition, write the definitive tofu cookbook. Or create a new ad campaign for an existing or fictional product. If you want to be a broker someday, use an on-line trading service to manage an imaginary $100,000 portfolio.

 

Sure you worked for free, and worked for yourself, but you still wound up with architectural drawings, a cookbook, an ad campaign, or investment results to show potential interviewers. Beyond your experience, you demonstrate a high level of effort, one of the Winning Characteristics all employers value. Taking the initiative to design and test a new product is a great way to differentiate yourself from your peers. What you lack on your resume, you may be able to overcome through effort an enthusiasm.

 

Worked hard to achieve college success, but still can’t find your dream internship that allows you to gain the experience you want or need to enter the job market? Then give yourself the assignment you want and get started!

Interview Success Part 2

 

You have your college admissions, scholarship, internship, or job interview coming up so you need some help. Here is the conclusion of the series of ten tips to help you navigate your interview so you can experience interview success. Check out Tuesday’s post for the first five tips!

 

  • Scan– No, I’m not talking about what you do to get an old picture onto your computer. If there is more than one interviewer, look first at the person who asked you the question, but in the course of answering the question be sure to also look at the other interviewers. When you are almost finished, again concentrate on the person who asked you the question. If you do this, each person will think you spent a ton of time talking to them individually, and they will like it.
  • Practice makes perfect– Go to your college counselor or career office and set up a practice interview. It will help you be less nervous because you can see what an interview will really be like.
  • It’s not a race– When we are nervous, it is natural for us to speak quickly. Some people naturally speak more quickly than others. Wherever you fall, know that in an interview situation you need to concentrate on slowing down. Even if you realize it half way through your answer, it is never too late to slow down.
  • Follow the dress code– Traditionally, an interview requires a suit, but you may be told to wear something like business casual attire. Whatever you wear, err on the conservative side. As I’ve said before, first impressions are very important, so be sure that they don’t automatically hate you because you are dressed inappropriately.
  • Send a thank you note– When you are done with your interview, send a thank you note. It will help them remember you and will make you look good.

 

So now you are ready for your interview! Good luck!

Interview Success Part 1

 

Have a college admissions, scholarship, internship, or job interview coming up? This series of posts will give you ten tips to navigate your way through the interview so you can experience interview success. Here are the first five helpful tips:

 

  • Don’t just answer questions, have a conversation– You want to let the interviewer get to know you, but you also probably want to learn a little more about the school/scholarship program/internship/job so make your interview a conversation and it will be beneficial for all involved!
  • Handshakes and name tags– First impressions are key in an interview. Give a firm handshake while looking your interviewer in the eye. Also, don’t give a limp fish handshake to a woman. Give all people you meet the same handshake, whether a woman or a man—it’s a sign of respect. And if you have to wear a name tag, it goes on your right lapel…no exceptions! The reason is that when you shake someone’s hand, their eyes will follow your arm up directly to your name tag. It helps them remember your name better if they see your name and your face in that initial couple of seconds after meeting you.
  • Do your homework– Yes, you have homework for things other than classes. Be sure you know about the school/scholarship program/internship/job/company you are interviewing with before you walk in the room. It shows you are serious and will allow you to ask more intelligent questions and engage in a more meaningful conversation with the interviewer.
  • Bring your resume– Sometimes interviewers are rushed before the interview and had every intention of bringing your resume to the interview, but something came up and they did not. Have one in case they ask you for it. Some people bring a nondescript folder or padfolio into their interview to keep their resume, a pen and a notepad just in case they need them.
  • Think before you speak– Answer questions intelligently. Sure, when you are talking to your friends you may use words like “um,” “yeah,” “like,” “you know what I mean,” etc., but that is not the way you should speak in an interview. Think before you speak.

 

Come back later this week for the conclusion of the series and your final five interviewing tips!

Follow Up With Substance

You’ve worked hard to achieve college success and now it is time to start working on finding permanent employment. The job interview goes well. You feel like you made a connection with the interviewer. But then, on your way out, you notice she has six more interviews scheduled after yours. How will she possibly remember you five hours later, or the next day when she decides whom to invite back for the second round? What can you do to help her remember the positive aspects of your interview?

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Extra Work for the Introverted

There’s nothing wrong with being quiet or shy. In fact, the world might be a better place if a few more people fit into that category. Unfortunately our society, including job recruiters, often rewards the more extroverted, aggressive types, making the assumption that quiet equals less capable.

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College Success: Experience Beyond the Internship

Making College Count author Patrick O’Brien shares advice about how to achieve college success both inside and outside the classroom.

College Success – Get Relevant Work Experience

You’re working on college success but you need an internship to be in a position to get a job. Be creative and you can put yourself ahead of your classmates.

Different is Better

When an employer needs to fill a position, recruiting a graduating college student is only one option. In fact, one may wonder why a manager would ever fill a job with a rookie when the market is full of experienced applicants.

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College Success – Pursue Excellence in Extracurricular Activities

Dazzle them with Brilliance

Sure you’re smart. But can you prove it?

 

“Judgment Day” is coming – the day when you sit across the interview table from a potential employer. You’ll have 30 minutes or so to make a favorable impression on the interviewer, an impression strong enough to lead to additional interviews or even a job offer. Let’s face it, it’s a big deal.

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