Fox Center for Student Professional Development

The Center for Student Professional Development (CSPD) is a comprehensive Fox School of Business and Management resource focused on preparing students for entry into the professional business environment. This is accomplished through workshops, mentoring and internships that complement the content knowledge/tools taught in the classroom.

Fox School Press & Media / Undergraduate Students

The Most Successful Leaders Do 15 Things Automatically, Every Day

Leadership Road SignLeadership is learned behavior that becomes unconscious and automatic over time.  For example, leaders can make several important decisions about an issue in the time it takes others to understand the question.   Many people wonder how leaders know how to make the best decisions, often under immense pressure.  The process of making these decisions comes from an accumulation of experiences and encounters with a multitude of difference circumstances, personality types and unforeseen failures.   More so, the decision making process is an acute understanding of being familiar with the cause and effect of behavioral and circumstantial patterns;  knowing the intelligence and interconnection points of the variables involved in these patterns allows a leader to confidently make decisions and project the probability of their desired outcomes.   The most successful leaders are instinctual decision makers.  Having done it so many times throughout their careers, they become immune to the pressure associated with decision making and extremely intuitive about the process of making the most strategic and best decisions. This is why most senior executives will tell you they depend strongly upon their “gut-feel” when making difficult decisions at a moment’s notice.

Beyond decision making, successful leadership across all areas becomes learned and instinctual over a period of time. Successful leaders have learned the mastery of anticipating business patterns, finding opportunities in pressure situations, serving the people they lead and overcoming hardships.   No wonder the best CEOs are paid so much money.   In 2011, salaries for the 200 top-paid CEOs rose 5 percent to a median $14.5 million per year, according to a study by compensation-data company Equilar for The New York Times.

If you are looking to advance your career into a leadership capacity and / or already assume leadership responsibilities – here are 15 things you must do automatically, every day, to be a successful leader in the workplace:


Fox School Press & Media / Undergraduate Students

Most Asked Job Interview Questions


Fox School Press & Media / Undergraduate Students

Countdown to a New Year, New You

Look the Part

Invest in your image on and offline with a budget-conscious haircut, updated clothes, makeup, and a professional head shot for your online profiles.

Since we’re only on week one of this countdown to the New Year, New You, I want to start with something fun. This week I want you to go shopping for your personal brand.

That’s right, you heard me – shopping. Sure, you can tell your significant other that Amanda made you do it. And for those of you with tight budgets, I’ll show you ways to invest in your brand without breaking the bank.

In all seriousness, to be successful in the job search you have to look and feel your best. Isn’t it easier to put yourself out there to network and interview when you’re feeling good about how you look?

And while it’s not fair, experts agree that a person’s appearance can affect the outcome of one’s job search and potential for advancement in the workplace. Your personal grooming, professional wardrobe – even your haircut – play a role in your personal brand.

Here are 3 ways to upgrade your look to improve your brand – on and offline.

Get groomed.

Invest in a professional haircut and other grooming services such as waxing, makeup for the ladies, and a professional shave for the gentlemen. Look on Groupon or LivingSocial for daily deals on these types of services. Often, salons will offer free or discounted cuts for their academies, such as Aveda or Vidal Sassoon. Unless you’re in a highly creative field, stick to a more traditional haircut style. Ladies can take advantage of the cosmetics counter at the nearest department store or Sephora location for a free makeover. You may be guilted into buying a lipstick, but overall it will be great deal.

Get tailored.

During this holiday season most of you will be out and about buying presents for your loved ones. Put yourself on the list this year. Take advantage of the holiday sales to update your job-search wardrobe and accessories. Use sites like Deal News to find the best promotions, and shop sites like Overstock for discounted products. I am a big fan of Marshalls and TJ Maxx for great deals on high-quality clothing and accessories. Is your family nagging you for gift ideas? Scope out the stores and ask for specific items or gift cards to boost your job-search attire.

Get a glamour shot.

Did you know that your LinkedIn profile is 40% more likely to be clicked on if you have a photo? But not just any photo. This image needs to be professional, friendly, and in alignment with your personal brand. The webcam shot is not going to score you any points with prospective employers. And while you have a great family and your dog is adorable, neither of these images belongs in your profile picture.

If you’re thinking about getting a family portrait taken at the local mall, ask if they could throw in a head shot of you as well. Sears, jcp, and Walmart are offering discounts on portraits between now and December 31. Really strapped for cash? Ask the photographer at the holiday event or wedding you’re attending to take a shot of you. Just make sure your attire and the background are suitable for your professional image.

With a small investment you can boost your self-esteem and personal image for the job search, so give these tips a try this week. Next week, we’ll talk about making your professional resume mobile.

Amanda Augustine

Amanda Augustine is the Job Search Expert for TheLadders, the online job-matching service for career-driven professionals. She is a Certified Professional Career Coach (CPCC) and Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW) who provides job search and career guidance for professionals looking to make their next career move. Have a question for Amanda? Submit your question here for a chance to have it answered in her weekly column, and be sure to follow@JobSearchAmanda on Twitter and “Like” her on Facebook for up-to-the-minute job-search advice. 


Fox School Press & Media / Undergraduate Students

CSPD WEDNESDAY WEBINAR SERIES – TURN YOUR JOB INTERVIEWS INTO JOB OFFERS

REGISTRATION IS NOT REQUIRED JUST SIGN IN AT THE FRONT TABLE TO GET ALL THE BENEFITS OF THIS HOUR LONG WEBINAR!


Fox School Press & Media / Undergraduate Students

CSPD Wednesday Webinar Series is Back!

REGISTER AT CSPDWEDNESDAYWEBINAR.EVENTBRITE.COM

Student Career Speaker Series
Presents

October 31st, 2012

Turn Your Job Interviews Into Job OffersMichael Neece
Webinar Overview

Research suggests it will take as many as 16 interviews to get a job.

Knowing that, you need to do everything you can to improve your odds to be offered a job.  Michael Neece will show you things you need to do to make it to the next round of interviews and get the job offer.

You will learn:

  1. How to answer the most difficult job interview questions
  2. How to handle skilled & unskilled interviewers
  3. How to handle behavioral-event interview questions
  4. Templates for answering frequently asked interview questions
  5. Make every interview a conversation and avoid an interrogation
  6. Respond to “What are your salary requirements?”
  7. Phone interview strategies & templates
  8. Overcoming your weakness professionally
  9. Solutions for the most feared job interview situations
  10. Power Notes to prepare for each interview in 15 minutes
  11. How to feel more confident and secure a great job

Give yourself the confidence you need to “ace” your interview.

Don’t forget to register online at cspdwednesdaywebinar.eventbrite.com to receive TWO raffle tickets when you sign in at the event!

All students in attendance will be entered in the raffle  for your chance to win the CSPD professional prize package worth over $200.00.  The CSPD professional prize package includes a gift certificate to Toppers Spa/Salon to be used on a professional makeover as well as a gift certificate to Macy’s to go toward your professional career wardrobe

 

THERE IS NO DRESS CODE FOR THIS EVENT


Fox School Press & Media / Undergraduate Students

VIRTUAL CAREER FAIR

VIRTUAL CAREER FAIR – NOVEMBER 13-14, 2012 * REGISTER NOW * LEARN MORE HERE
Students & Alumni – Meet Great Companies Live Online..Attend the Fair from Anywhere!

 


Fox School Press & Media / Undergraduate Students

As more companies turn to online pre-employment tests, complaints of bias are cropping up.

One came from Vicky Sandy, who in 2007 was turned down for a cashier job at a KrogerCo. KR +0.40% supermarket in West Virginia after taking a 50-question test that asked her to rate the degree to which she was self-confident, always cheerful, and tried to sense what others thought and felt.

imageThe test was meant to predict whether Ms. Sandy, who is hearing and speech impaired, would be friendly and communicate well with customers. She scored 40%.

A post-test report said that she was less likely than other potential applicants to “listen carefully, understand and remember” and suggested the job interviewer listen for “correct language” and “clear enunciation,” court documents say. Suggested interview questions included “Describe the hardest time you’ve had understanding what someone was talking about.”

Ms. Sandy filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission alleging she had been discriminated against because of her disability. The EEOC is investigating. Kroger declined to comment.

Companies are increasingly turning to firms that screen job applicants on the basis of personality tests backed up by reams of data on job performance. The practice is legal as long as it doesn’t intentionally discriminate against job applicants on the basis of traits like race or gender.

Employment lawyers say that access to large data sets can help companies show that their tests are relevant to hiring. But some worry that as the number of applicants subjected to such tests increases, so do risks that unintentional impacts on protected groups will become apparent.

“The bigger the data set, the more people being pushed through these assessments, the greater the risk for the employer,” says Matthew Camardella, an employment lawyer at Jackson Lewis LLP.

“What’s happened is technology has caught up, and it’s allowing organizations and vendors to use these tools at a much broader level and much, much more often,” says Eric Dunleavy, a principal consultant at DCI Consulting Group Inc., which advises employers on avoiding employment-discrimination claims.

Employers can be held liable even if the tests they use inadvertently exclude protected groups, a growing risk as data sets get bigger and testing firms turn up more statistical relationships. If complaints are filed, companies have to be able to prove the measured variables are linked to job performance.

On Sept. 4, the EEOC released a draft enforcement plan for the coming four years that gives claims of systemic discrimination in recruitment and hiring, including pre-employment tests, the highest enforcement priority.

“The EEOC is very aware of those products, and they’re looking for the right opportunity to go after employers” who use them, says Mr. Camardella.

So far, legal challenges are relatively rare. The EEOC received 164 complaints related to testing in 2011 out of nearly 100,000 complaints. Part of the reason is that job applicants often don’t get to see their test scores or application summaries.

“You don’t get the results back in the employment context, so you don’t know whether it was the test or what part of the test that made you fail,” says employment lawyer Condon McGlothlen of Seyfarth Shaw LLP. “There are so many more unknowns, particularly in the application stage.”

In July, Denver-based mozzarella maker and government contractor Leprino Foods Inc. settled Labor Department hiring-discrimination charges. It agreed to provide $550,000 in back pay to African-American, Hispanic and Asian applicants denied laborer jobs after failing a pre-hire test called WorkKeys. A spokesman said Leprino no longer uses a pre-employment test.

The government’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Program, which enforces affirmative-action requirements among federal contractors, found that the test’s focus on math and observation skills wasn’t relevant to the entry-level jobs on offer.

While WorkKeys was a paper test when the complaint was filed in 2005, the subsequent rise of online testing has enabled firms to screen huge numbers of candidates.

Write to Joseph Walker at joseph.walker@dowjones.com


Fox School Press & Media / Undergraduate Students

College Day 2012


Fox School Press & Media / Undergraduate Students

Join CDW for a virtual discussion providing insight on your first profession.

Join CDW for a virtual discussion providing insight on your first profession.

How will you benefit in this 45 minute Live, Online Webinar Session:

  • Recruiting and Sales Leaders will share the 3 Keys to Successthat every student should know before entering the job market:
    • How to identify the right company culture that aligns with your passion and career goals
    • How to communicate your value to a potential employer
    • How to navigate job offers and understand how your first professional position will shape your future succes

Our presenters; Ray Benedetti, Alexis Lyon and Jaclin Principato with CDW will enable you with the tools necessary to launch your first career. Please join us and fellow students nationally on learning how to secure the organization you desire.

 

After you RSVP, you will receive a confirmation email regarding the website login and password

CDW Presents:

Ray Benedetti l Sales Manager with CDW

Ray Benedetti has been with CDW for nineteen years holding a variety of positions including sales, call center operations, and supervisor. For the past eight years, Ray has been a Sales Manager leading a team of 30 account managers with the assistance of a team leader and a supervisor. He is responsible for 50M in business annually and is consistently in the top tier of high performing teams.

 

Alexis Lyon l University Relations Recruiter with CDW

Alexis Lyon joined CDW in March 2011 as the University Relations Recruiter responsible for branding the Account Manager Position and Campus Interns. She is in charge of building long term relationships at various Universities nationwide. Alexis began her career at Six Flags Great Adventure, Wild Safari, and Hurricane Harbor as a HR Recruiting and Hiring Supervisor with almost 4 years’ experience in full life cycle and high volume recruitment. She holds both a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and Bachelor of Arts in Fine Arts from Rider University.

Jaclin Principato l University Relations Recruiting Analyst with CDW

Jaclin Principato, University Relations Recruiting Analyst for CDW is responsible for campus engagement, data analysis, and executive reporting. She holds a Master’s in Industrial Organizational Psychology with two years’ experience in recruitment, onboarding, survey analysis, and organizational development. Jaclin’s passion is in philanthropy initiatives as a yearly Team Leader in the Bank of America Marathon, American Cancer Society, and Hot Chocolate 15/5K Race.

 Click here to register!


Fox School Press & Media / Undergraduate Students

13 Common Complaints Employers Have About Recent Grads

Think it’s the economy that’s keeping you from landing a job? Sure, that could be the problem. But have you considered that maybe it’s you? Employers have a lot of complaints about recent grads these days, from a sense of entitlement to being completely unprepared. Are you guilty of any of these employment no-nos?

  1. Grads are clueless about the job:

    Employers complain that often, interviewing recent grads can be frustrating because they lack a basic knowledge of the job. In fact, four in 10 employers are turned off by unprepared students in interviews. Although typically, job candidates should learn about what the job is all about, along with basic information about the company, many new college graduates walk into interviews uninformed. Do your homework before it’s time to go in for an interview.

  2. Students don’t have the skills or background employers are looking for:

    Many employers are finding a mismatch between what students are interested in doing and what they’re actually hiring for. Often, students pursue majors that don’t really have a lot of job opportunities, like psychology and performing arts, while sought-after majors like engineering and information science aren’t nearly as popular.

  3. Recent grads have unrealistic salary expectations:

    It’s easy to get a big salary number in your head when you’re just starting out: considering student loans, the parent-funded lifestyle you enjoyed in college, and stories of your classmates and alumni scoring big paychecks can inflate reality. A recent survey indicated that a whopping 43% of recent graduates expected to receive a higher starting salary than they actually did. Don’t get carried away. Base your expectations on what you really know, checking out salary surveys and learning about effective negotiation techniques.

  4. Students have sub-par writing skills:

    Writing skills are essential to success in the workforce. Workers today can send out dozens, even hundreds of emails each day, and guess what? You’ll have to write in every single one of them. While students may complain about tedious papers and reports in school, employers complain that they’re graduating with weak writing skills. You don’t have to be an English major, but taking a few extra writing courses can help you get ahead in the workforce.

  5. Young workers expect too much, too fast:

    We live in an age of instant gratification and overnight riches, and although it’s possible for recent grads to find success in a hurry, that’s not always the case. Employers complain that recent grads expect high achievement to come quickly, and do not exercise patience. If you expect rapid promotion and advancement, be sure to seek out a company that is happy to put you on the fast track.

  6. Recent grads don’t stick around:

    A lot of this has to do with the aforementioned lack of patience. When recent grads realize they’ll have to wait for advancement with their current employer, they may move on to a new company, leaving behind a void. Instead, employers prefer that students come into positions with realistic expectations and a commitment to stick around.

  7. Students may have a bad attitude:

    Although it makes sense to be positive and enthusiastic, it seems that recent grads may be lacking in this department. One in four employers have been turned off by a job candidate’s bad attitude. Be careful not to come off as a dud, and be sure to share your enthusiasm for the job (even if it’s fake) to get through your interviews and get the job.

  8. Young workers don’t have effective critical thinking skills:

    Sure, entry level jobs are often full of monotony, without a lot of opportunity for deviating from the norm, but employers expect that you’ll have at least some capacity for critical thinking. Unfortunately, many new grads have come up short. Set yourself apart by demonstrating your capacity for critical thinking.

  9. A poor work ethic:

    Millennials have earned a bad reputation for having terrible work ethics. Employers look for hires that are willing to work hard and be productive. You can display your commitment to hard work with good grades, accomplishments, and a good record of taking the initiative.

  10. Students haven’t gained enough experience:

    It’s a catch-22 for so many new grads: they can’t get a job because they’ve never had one before. Many students are severely lacking in the experience department, but the good news is that there’s something you can do about it: get an internship, start your own business, or even volunteer. There are plenty of ways to gain experience that don’t necessarily require having a paying job.

  11. Failing to present a professional persona:

    Employers often complain that students use cutesy or inappropriate email addresses, or make easily correctable mistakes on their resumes. Things like spelling and grammar errors have no place on your resume or cover letter. Take the time to proofread your materials before sending them over, and consider asking a friend or professor to help you edit.

  12. Students have embarrassing Facebook accounts:

    One in three employers reports that they use social networks to vet job candidates, and 40% of those specifically use Facebook. But they frequently find embarrassing photos and rants that are a major turnoff. Be careful about your online activities, and be careful to keep up the proper privacy settings for your account.

  13. A general lack of tenacity:

    Employers complain that many new grads lack sticking power, and they have to be taught about the importance of rising to challenges. Is college too easy? For some, perhaps. Challenge yourself by sticking with the professor that’s difficult or a course that’s a little above your level to learn about working through tough situations.


Fox School Press & Media / Undergraduate Students

How recruiters look at a resume

 


Fox School Press & Media / Undergraduate Students

What your interviewer says vs. What you hear

August 27, 2012

We’ve had a few letters recently where people have felt misled by a job interviewer’s apparent enthusiasm for them, and then were angry and/or confused when things ended up not working out.

So I hereby present a guide to what your interviewer says, what you’re hearing, and what it really means.

What the interviewer says: You’d be great at this.
What you hear: You will be great at this, because you will be getting the job.
What they mean: You would be great at this if you happened to end up in the job.

What the interviewer says: We should get back to you in about a week.
What you hear: It’s Wednesday now. You will hear from us by next Tuesday.
What they mean: Off the top of my head, I’d think we should probably be able to move forward in about a week, if nothing else gets in the way.

What the interviewer says: Your qualifications are exactly what we’re looking for.
What you hear: You are exactly what we’re looking for, so let’s make this happen.
What they mean: Your qualifications are exactly what we’re looking for, so you’re a good candidate. I expect that we’ll have other candidates who are as strong, and maybe stronger, but you’re certainly in that group.

What the interviewer says: When you meet with the CEO, he can tell you more about that.
What you hear: You’re moving forward to an interview with the CEO.
What they mean: If you end up moving forward in the process, you’ll meet with the CEO, and he can tell you more about that.

What the interviewer says: I look forward to talking more.
What you hear: We’ll be talking more.
What they mean: If you end up moving forward in the process, we’ll talk more.


Fox School Press & Media / Undergraduate Students

Gen Y’s Impact on a Social Workplace

While social media is not reserved to any generation or age, there is no denying that millennials are heavily influencing how organizations operate in the world of digital communication. My fellow millennials have a great deal to learn as far as strategy and execution goes, but their social nature is driving a distinct change in organizations both young and old.

As seen in the infographic below Millennials are responsible for a culture shift because of their emphasis on social media freedom, quality of work, and collaborative work environments. Because millennials continue to grow both in quantity and quality within the workplace, even the most traditional companies are being forced to adapt and become more collaborative and social by nature.

Companies that do adopt these changes will prove to be successful and leaders within their industry as they will be attracting more talent and bringing that talent to an enivornment that they can succeed in. As many will tell you, it’s not enough to just have social, but to truly succeed in the digital age, you have to BE SOCIAL.

As evidenced by the statistics and information in the infographic, the instinctual social nature of Generation Y is preparing them maximize their value by bringing that nature to their employers and driving visible business results across the board.

 

Gen Y In the Workplace Via MBA@UNC

 

http://socialmediatoday.com/node/625841


Fox School Press & Media / Undergraduate Students

10 U.S. Cities Trying to Recruit New Grads

Posted on Thursday July 12, 2012 by Staff Writers

 Click here to be taken directly to the website

Periodicals and blogs across the United States really seem to enjoy publishing articles about the best places for recent college and university graduates to find jobs, live, and hopefully thrive. Rarely, though, do they ever turn their attention toward options that may lack the glamour, but seriously need the talent and the money young professionals provide for the local economy. In an effort to draw attention to specific economic and career needs, many cities have launched — or desire to launch — projects to draw this precious (and, of course, lucrative) demographic away from the usual spots. Each one sports a different strategy, and watching the results trickle in over time will certainly prove fascinating.

  1. Niagara Falls, N.Y.:

    Niagara Falls is currently making a splash (pun totally and unapologetically intended) with its aggressive attempts to attract recent college graduates. In order to curb a dwindling population, the city will pay their student loan debts for two years if they agree to relocate to certain neighborhoods. Doing so, Mayor Paul A. Dyster and Community Development Director Seth A. Piccirillo hope, will provide businesses more of a reason to start establishing themselves in the shrinking downtown region and hopefully nurture the local economy.

  2. Dayton, Ohio:

    Rust Belt cities have especially found themselves economically deprived as the American financial system imploded, and some desire to reverse this negative trend by encouraging recent college and university grads to take a chance and move there. Dayton’s unfortunate decade-long brain drain saw 1% of its degree-holding 25- to 35-year-olds leave. Fronted by Thomas Lasley, the city’s Learn to Earn project offers several different opportunities for both high school and college kids to pursue both an education and, to put it bluntly, Dayton itself. Encouraging internships at local businesses follows extensive research noting trends between retention and familiarity with the city’s job scene, and thus far, things appear positive.

  3. Pittsburgh, Pa.:

    While Pittsburgh-based jobs in the healthcare, education, and technology sectors may not prove as prevalent as a few other cities, it still currently enjoys a slow swelling between both industries. Mayor Luke Ravenstahl sent e-mails to seniors and recent graduates of local colleges and universities — specifically, University of Pittsburgh, Carnegie Mellon, Community College of Allegheny County, and Point Park University — to sway them toward taking advantage of these opportunities rather than moving elsewhere. Pittsburgh often receives considerable praise for its affordability and job growth, both points that local officials seek to promote when pushing heightened graduate retention.

  4. Baltimore, Md.:

    Lumina, an organization dedicated to seeing more Americans attain college degrees, and the City of Baltimore have worked together as part of the Goal 2025 initiative since 2000. So far, the team has spent $500,000 toward participating businesses and individuals keeping recent graduates local. Work still needs doing, obviously, but participants look at their current successes with positivity and encouragement. Most of these victories involve inspiring and supporting the 21% of Baltimore residents who have yet to complete their degrees to head back to the classroom and keep the populace educating.

  5. Omaha, Neb.:

    America’s breadbasket probably doesn’t pop into the mainstream’s mind when they think of where exuberant young graduates head after college, but the Midtown Crossing section of Omaha defies the stereotype. Redeveloping the 15 acres into an active selection of shops, restaurants, and living spaces catering to the 25-to-35 demographic kept many local college kids from leaving after completing their degrees, and other suburbs and neighborhoods have been following suit. Instead of offering financial incentives or jobs, Omaha nurtures retention, if not outright encouraging brain drain from other cities, with its capitalistic inclinations.

  6. Cincinnati, Ohio:

    Right now, the Queen City thinks crowdsourcing the issue of establishing a college-educated citizenry might produce some viable solutions. The Department of Planning and Buildings currently runs the Plan Build Live Participate project, which asks Cincinnati residents to share and discuss their ideas for improving upon various elements of the city that, quite simply, need improving. So far, six residents have posted ideas, with the most popular suggesting that the city build a PR campaign meant to showcase the particular and appealing traits that recent graduates find appealing.

  7. New York City, N.Y.:

    Seeing as how New York enjoys a glitzy, glamorous image many college and university kids (especially those in creative industries) it may come as a surprise that the iconic city must offer incentives to lure in recent graduates. Education professionals, specifically. The Teachers of Tomorrow campaign by the New York City Department of Education uses state grant money to pay off the student loan debts of teachers who agree to tackle assignments in more underprivileged neighborhoods. Only top-tier applicants receive approval, and incentives beyond lifting financial burdens include professional development and leadership training opportunities. NYC’s students benefit from receiving an education from promising newcomers in kind.

  8. Houston, Texas:

    Mayor Annise Parker entered Texas’ biggest city in the CEOs for Cities contest with the hopes of getting Houstonians graduating at the same rate as students from other cities, states, and even countries who move there to attend college. With the launch of Mydegreecounts.com, both she and the Center for Houston’s Future hope to see the amount of higher ed graduates in the city rise by 1% by 2013. Doing so, they believe, will result in more than $4 billion of revenue and an additional $1 million grant from CEOs for Cities should Houston prove the winner. Visitors to the website learn all about the colleges and universities that call the sweltering city home, find programs that interest them, and get detailed information about federal aid and other ways to pay.

  9. Rural Kansas:

    Fifty of Kansas’ counties band together and call themselves the Rural Opportunity Zones, using both state and local money to develop themselves by offering incentives to new graduates looking for jobs. Because these regions so often hurt for young workers, who usually gravitate toward some degree of excitement and social engagement along with career launchers, they find other ways to bring them in and get them spending. Before Niagara Falls, the involved cities and counties were already agreeing to pay off student loans, and 101 individuals and families decided to take the offer between 2011 and 2012. Most of these transplants work in healthcare, finance, construction, social work, and other industries that so often dwindle in more remote areas of the country.

  10. All of Michigan:

    Because the unfortunate recession seems to be hitting Michigan harder than most, narrowing things down to one individual city needing college graduates in particular is rather impossible. Especially since the Let’s Save Michigan campaign exists to do just that for the entire state rather than a specific area like Detroit or Lansing. Participants from all over stand as advocates for their particular city or town, sharing their stories and discussing what all needs doing in order to turn Michigan’s luck around. Both redevelopment and education, the initiative touts, hold the key to forging a viable, sustainable solution that brings in young professionals with college degrees. It just needs the input and assistance of the citizenry to forge forward and rebuild damaged communities.


Fox School Press & Media / Undergraduate Students

Your LinkedIn Intervention: 5 Changes You Must Make

LinkedIn is, far and away, the most advantageous social networking tool available to job seekers and business professionals today. Far and away.

So why is it that so many of us stink at LinkedIn etiquette?

That’s right, folks. We stink at it.

We send out lazy, generic connection requests. We ask people we barely know for recommendations. We ambush people, asking for favors before we’ve ever spent even two seconds of time building rapport. We shove our Tweets through our LinkedIn feeds, even though half the people on LinkedIn could care less about Twitter.

 

You want to use LinkedIn to your massive networking advantage? Then you need to start working strategically and mindfully. And before you even think about logging on next time—you need to digest a few basic rules of etiquette.

1. Generic Requests are for Suckers

I’m going to assume that you use care in selecting who you’re going to invite into your LinkedIn network (you should). Why then, do you send them this note: “Debbie has indicated you are a friend?”

This generic invite is a huge turnoff to the majority of LinkedIn users—especially those who get dozens of requests each week, or who don’t really know who you are or why you’re attempting to link up. (Fact: I ignore each and every generic connection request I get.)

You absolutely must send a personalized note to every single person you’d like to connect with, telling them who you are and why you’re inviting them to connect. Sure, some of these people are your pals and they’ll know you right away. But in every instance that you extend an invite to a professional (or relatively unknown) contact? You have to introduce yourself and outline your goals and intentions.

2. When You Ask for a Recommendation, Be Specific (and Know the Person)

Clearly, LinkedIn recommendations can be massively advantageous. Third-party endorsements are job-seeking gold, especially when they come from clients, supervisors, or prominent professionals. So, don’t squander this opportunity by sending a vague or wishy-washy request for the recommendation (and definitely don’t ask people you barely know for an endorsement).

A great request will let the person know why you’re approaching, what, specifically, you’re looking for, and for what you intend to use the recommendation. Example:

Hi Susan, I’m currently seeking a new project management opportunity and wanted to ask if you’d be willing to provide a recommendation outlining your experience working with me. Specifically, I’m looking at positions that require an ability to view the ‘big picture’ and then assemble resources to ensure a project is completed on time and to budget.

If you could speak to my skills with managing both ‘big picture’ projects and critical details, I would be very grateful.”

It’s also a good idea to email the person directly before you send the LinkedIn recommendation request. This helps ensure that no one feels ambushed or obliged.

3. Avoid the Default Text Like the Plague

LinkedIn has some very nifty templates and default text available, which makes it so easy to do things like request an introduction to someone’s contact. Don’t do it. Just like you’re not going to send a generic connection request, you absolutely cannot use the LinkedIn default text to communicate with professional contacts. Make it personal. Make it specific. Make it clear that you’re not the laziest person alive.

4. Stop Tying Your Tweets to Your LinkedIn Feed

I don’t care how simple HootSuite and TweetDeck make it for you to integrate your Twitter feed into your LinkedIn status updates. Resist the urge. You’re dealing with two entirely different audiences, with different personalities, writing styles, and lingo.

Twitter is like a summer cocktail party. In all likelihood, not many people will bat an eye if you get drunk and fall into the pool. LinkedIn is the mixer that follows your big professional conference. Surely, you can be conversational in your LinkedIn updates. You just can’t get drunk and fall into the pool. Big difference—and good reason not to integrate the two.

5. Review Spelling and Grammar Like Your Life Depended on It

I’m continuously simultaneously entertained and horrified by the sloppy mistakes that come my way in LinkedIn requests. You want to establish a great connection or score a favor, introduction, or recommendation? Spell well. Brand yourself right from the start as a smart, articulate, and precise human being.

When it comes to LinkedIn, stop stinking, start thinking. And use these rules as your compass.

This article was originally published on The Daily Muse. For more on using social media in your professional life, check out:

Jenny Foss operates a Portland, OR based recruiting firm, Ladder Recruiting Group, and is creator of the blog JobJenny.Your job search BFF and tough love expert on finding career passion, Jenny recently wrote her first ebook, To Whom It May Concern: Or, How to Stop Sucking at Your Job Search. You may also find Jenny on Twitter @JobJenny.