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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. 

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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.

M.B.A. Recruiting Activity Increases

 Spotlight for Career Services Professionals
Spotlight for Recruiting Professionals

On-campus recruiting activity for M.B.A.s is up compared to last year, according to results of the M.B.A. Career Services Council’s (MBACSC) Fall 2011 Recruiting Trends Survey. Seventy percent of schools taking part reported an increase in fall recruiting M.B.A.s for full-time positions, and 46 percent reported an increase in internship postings for M.B.A.s.

“The survey results indicate a positive trend we have continued to observe in the past few years,” explains Nicole Hall, MBACSC president and executive director of alumni and career services at the Graziadio School of Business and Management at Pepperdine University. “We’re seeing an increase in almost all industries and in most company types.”

At the same time last fall, 76 percent of schools reported an increase in on-campus recruiting for full-time jobs. Similarly, the findings show that 68 percent of respondents report an increase in full-time job postings, compared with 86 percent from last fall.

Increases in recruiting activity are occurring across most sectors, according to the MBACSC. More than 40 percent of respondents reported increases in consulting, consumer products, energy, pharma/biotech/healthcare products, and technology. Real estate and government continue to be the weakest industries, according to the MBACSC. In contrast, financial services showed a decrease compared with an increase last fall.

The MBACSC’s Fall 2011 Recruiting Trends Survey was conducted from January 12 – February 2, 2012; 102 programs responded to the survey. Results were compared to a survey fielded in late fall 2010, when 92 schools responded.

Information provided by www.naceweb.org 

Find Your Nonprofit Job

November 30, 2011 //

Find Your Nonprofit Job

In the acres—no, oceans—of tips for job-hunters, the word company pops up everywhere. Company research. Target companies. Company contacts. What, I keep wondering, about people who might want to venture beyond the corporate world? To nonprofits, government, the public sector? People like, to pick a random example . . . me?

I graduated from college in a different, now nearly forgotten recession and found a job as a secretary at the Ace Carbon Paper Company in South Boston. After twelve eye-opening ink-spattered months at the carbon paper factory, I scurried off to the world of nonprofits and from there to public libraries. End of corporate career.

If you, too, are interested in the public sector, the good news is: there are lots of online resources. And the bad news? Lots of online resources. Fortunately, one stands out. A good place to begin your nonprofit search is Idealist.org, www.idealist.org.

Along with their extensive listings for nonprofit jobs, internships, and volunteer opportunities, Idealist offers a searchable database of more than 64,000 nonprofit organizations as well as extensive resources for nonprofits. The Idealist Career Center provides information and advice about job searching and careers, and the Idealist blog is packed with helpful articles. If you’re thinking of pursuing a graduate degree, check out their Public Service and Graduate Education Resource Center.

You’d do well to start your search at Idealist, but you’ll probably also want to make use of some of the other resources described in the sections that follow: Sites with Job Listings; Information about Nonprofit Organizations; and Information about Massachusetts Nonprofits.

Sites with Job Listings

Bridgestar www.bridgestar.org/MyCareerCenter/SearchJobs.aspx Extensive listings for senior positions in nonprofit organizations

Chronicle of Philanthropy http://philanthropy.com/jobs National nonprofit job listings focused on executive and development positions. Can be searched by location, field, and position. The site also provides employer profiles, discussions, and news and advice.

Commongood Careers www.cgcareers.org/find-a-job A search firm for professional positions in the nonprofit sector, it’s nationwide but strongest in the Northeast.

Council on Foundations www.cof.org/programsandservices/jobs/index.cfm?navItemNumber=14858 Jobs in foundations.

Craigslist www.craigslist.org Many smaller (and some large) nonprofits advertise on Craigslist. Check the nonprofit jobs category, but also try limiting all jobs by checking non-profit. Results from the two searches can differ.

DC Public Affairs + Communications Jobs http://publicaffairsjobs.blogspot.com Frequently updated. Most jobs are in nonprofits or the public sector. Most but not all located in Washington D.C.

ExecSearches.com NonProfit Jobs www.nonprofit-jobs.org Job listings, primarily on the executive level.

Nonprofit Career Network www.nonprofitcareer.com/index.html Job listings and a directory of nonprofit organizations.

NonProfit Connect: Careers www.npconnect.org/page/careers Opportunities in nonprofit, educational, and government agencies located in the Midwest.

Nonprofit Jobs Cooperative www.nonprofitjobscoop.org Most listed jobs are in California or Massachusetts, with a smattering in other states.

Nonprofit Oyster www.nonprofitoyster.com A variety of nonprofit jobs, most of them higher level.

NonProfitJobs.org (Community Careers) www.nonprofitjobs.org This “online gathering place” for not-for-profit employers and management personnel lists a variety of nonprofit jobs.

NonProfit Times www.nonprofitjobseeker.com Besides listing jobs, the online version of this monthly newsletter is a good source for information on what’s happening in the nonprofit world.

Opportunity Knocks www.opportunityknocks.org Job postings from a leading source of nonprofit listings. The Resources section offers a wealth of information for nonprofit job seekers.

Philanthropy News Digest – Job Corner http://fdncenter.org/pnd/jobs Jobs at foundations and nonprofit organizations.

ProAssociationCareers.org www.proassociationcareers.org Job opportunities in professional associations and societies. Many of the listings are provided by SimplyHired. Limiting the search to association jobs retrieves the most useful results. Helpful career articles.

SocialService.com http://socialservice.com All areas of social services, including counseling, mental health, substance abuse, disability.

Information about Nonprofit Organizations

Employer research is just as critical in a public-sector job search as it is for the private sector. Targeting organizations, researching them, making connections, tracking employment listings on their sites—all can substantially improve your odds of finding a job that you’ll love.

In addition to the sites in this section, many of the job-listing sites above include information about nonprofit organizations.

Charity Navigator www.charitynavigator.org Evaluates and provides financial data, website links, and contact information for 5,500 charities. You can search by name or location or browse by category.

Encore Careers www.encore.org Information, help, and resources to help transition to nonprofit and public-sector careers. Includes information on careers and job hunting in these sectors, as well as a small number of jobs posted by members.

Guidestar www.guidestar.org Covers about 1.5 million nonprofit organizations. With free registration, you can access organization mission, programs, and objectives; general contact information; and IRS information. Additional data is available for a fee.

Harvard Graduate School of Education Organization Profiles Index www.gse.harvard.edu/about/administration/careers/learning/index.html A very useful annotated list by service area of a wide range of organizations that “value the talents of education professionals.” Most are located in Greater Boston, San Francisco, New York City, and Washington, DC.

National Center for Charitable Statistics http://nccs.urban.org Clearinghouse for information on nonprofit organizations as well as data and statistics on the nonprofit sector including downloadable data sets.

Paper.li.#nonprofit paper.li/tag/nonprofit Twitter users pull together tweets on topics they choose, and this site presents them in newspaper form. Of the several devoted to nonprofits, this paper contains particularly useful information. You don’t have to be a Twitter member to access it.

Even More Job Boards

The Riley Guide’s Job Listing Sites for Nonprofits, Associations, Foundations & Think Tanks is well annotated and frequently updated. www.rileyguide.com/nonprof.html

My list of Websites for Your Job Search, Greater Boston & Beyond.

And Some Tips

Creating Opportunity in the Nonprofit Sector. www.quintcareers.com/non-profit_opportunity.html Useful tips from QuintCareers.com. Careful of the double-underlined terms–they link to ads.

How to Get a Job in the Non-Profit Sector. http://money.usnews.com/money/blogs/outside-voices-careers/2011/09/28/how-to-get-a-job-in-the-non-profit-sector Excellent tips on how to transition into nonprofit work, including valuable information about current nonprofit trends and priorities.

Many of the sites listed above also provide helpful tips for job seekers.

For more information regarding this article by M.A. Wasmuth click here to be directed to his blog.

Making LinkedIn Work for You

May 20, 2011 //

    By Sue Shellenbarge

    Wall Street Journal Blogs

    Some Juggle commenter’s have asked for a post on the professional networking website LinkedIn. The site passed 100 million users in March and continues to grow by about one million members a week. Its public offering this week is drawing even more attention.

    Non-users of LinkedIn may wonder, why bother? Posting a profile, keeping it updated, building/maintaining your network of connections, responding to messages take time.

    Of course, LinkedIn can help you find a job and research prospective employers by contacting current and former employees. Recruiters use it heavily to find what they call “passive candidates” who are open to new opportunities but not actively looking.

    But even if you aren’t looking for a job, LinkedIn is a tool for displaying your work and credentials to colleagues and potential clients, gathering intelligence about trends and competitors from others in your industry or profession, and keeping in touch with alumni and other groups that matter to you. Also, if you lose your job unexpectedly, having your LinkedIn network up-and-running is a big asset.

    The first step is to sign up and create a profile. The profile should be briefer than your resume, but it should include current and past employers, education, a professional-looking head shot (no party or beach candids, recruiters say), and any relevant affiliations appropriate for listing on a resume. Try to include details that will set you apart. “We are searching through tens of millions of people on LinkedIn, so include the thing that makes you different and unique,” says Steven Raz, managing partner of Cornerstone Search Group, a search firm.

    It is also OK to include a little personal information that would be suitable for your resume, such as being an avid runner, says J. P. Sniffen, a regional recruiting manager for the recruiting firmOrion International.

    Keep your profile up-to-date, and don’t make the common mistake of failing to delete outdated versions. Recruiters sometimes call these up by mistake, thinking they are current. Another common error is failing to respond to messages, which can create a negative impression, says Corey Ackerman, a senior partner at Cornerstone.

    Strengthening your LinkedIn network is worthwhile. The more contacts you have, the more likely you are to get job interviews. Also, employers are likely to review your contact list to see who you know at what levels and in what industries, a measure of your networking skills, says Don Kjelleren, director of career services at Middlebury College. Many LinkedIn users maintain dozens to hundreds of contacts.

    LinkedIn poses a risk that your boss will notice your profile or activities, assume you are jobhunting and hold it against you. A vigilant boss may wonder why you are connecting with a human-resource manager at a competitor, for example. Or “a significant change in activity level, such as new recommendations or changes to your profile, it could look suspicious” to your boss, says Laura Poisson, a vice president at ClearRock, an executive coaching and outplacement firm.

    Mr. Sniffen says “it happens all the time:” An unemployed jobseeker calls to say he is out of work because the boss discovered via LinkedIn that he was looking around.

    Recruiters offer tips on reducing the risk. Consider making a pre-emptive strike: Tell your boss that you are active on LinkedIn for networking purposes, to share ideas and information, to get help solving work-related problems, or to stay in touch with alumni or professional groups, Mr. Sniffen says. Be consistent in updating your profile and contacts, so a sudden flurry of contacts from recruiters or prospective employers won’t be so conspicuous. And if you receive a LinkedIn job query, consider responding via your personal e-mail or phone. Some users post their personal e-mail addresses on their profiles, enabling prospective employers to contact them that way.

    Some jobseekers have begun using Facebook as a tool. Recruiters advise against it, however, because you can’t control photos or information other people might post on your Facebook page. “I have a tremendous fear of Facebook,” Mr. Sniffen says. “It allows too much room for your personal life to bleed over into your professional life. I’ve seen candidates lose offers because they have some wild stuff on their Facebook page.”

    On the other hand, don’t rely exclusively on LinkedIn and neglect face-to-face networking, recruiters say. Although “LinkedIn is the go-to site for professional social networking,” Mr. Raz says, “nothing replaces the old-fashioned calling people up and meeting with them.”

    Posting recommendations with your LinkedIn profile can burnish your image. The best way to ask people for recommendations is to offer to write one for them, Mr. Sniffen says. Although nobody is going to post a negative recommendation, recruiters and employers still look at them.

    Pick your contributors carefully. You can hurt your cause by posting fluffy recommendations from people who really don’t know your on-the-job skills and capabilities. “Savvy employers will look at that and say, ‘Who is recommending you and why?’” Mr. Sniffen says. Cornerstone’s Mr. Ackerman says a good recommendation might come from a co-worker or current or former supervisor, or a customer you have helped. “I want to read a story about how you solved a problem, not just, ‘I worked with Bob and Bob is a great guy.’”

    More tips can be found on this LinkedIn user blog.

    The secret life of a resume

    May 19, 2011 //

      By Tami Luhby @CNNMoney May 18, 2011

      NEW YORK (CNNMoney) — Just where does your resume go after you hit the submit button on a job application?

      Turns out, it’s not into a big black hole. After hearing repeated complaints from the unemployed about their job applications disappearing into the void, CNNMoney decided to examine how a company fills a job posting.

      We selected global technology giant, Siemens, which is currently looking for more than 3,000 engineers, salespeople, technology professionals, field service representatives and others across the United States. The company is returning to its pre-recession hiring levels, filling 10,000 positions this year.

      Siemens typically advertises its openings on job boards, such as Monster and CareerBuilder, as well as on its company Web site. Employees are also notified about available positions through Siemens’ intranet in case they want to apply or refer a friend. (About 40% of Siemens’ jobs are filled from within.)

      The company employs about 80 recruiters to sift through the more than 65,000 applications that Siemens typically receives each month. Each staffer usually has a portfolio of 30 to 35 open posts to fill.

      Increasingly, the recruiters are turning to networking site LinkedIn to hunt for professionals who fit a position’s criteria, even if they aren’t looking for a job. Siemens pays LinkedIn for the privilege of being able to recruit on the site, allowing it to search member profiles by job function, title, location and even professional affiliation, such as the Society of Women Engineers.

      “We can go from 100 million to 100 or 10 [candidates] fairly quickly,” said Mike Brown, Siemens’ senior director for talent acquisition, of the LinkedIn community.

      The search for a civil engineer

      On Feb 24, the company began looking for a civil engineer for its Orlando, Fla., headquarters of its energy division. The job was advertised on Monster and CareerBuilder, as well as Siemens’ internal and external Web sites. Some 44 candidates applied for the position within 12 days, and a recruiter was assigned to sift through the resumes to find the best candidates.

      Since it’s tough to review every single resume, the recruiters depend on technology that allows them to search for applications that meet the requirements of the job.

      For its civil engineer position, Siemens was looking to hire someone with five to eight years of experience and was adept at “complex material specification” and “schematic preparation.” It wanted someone who is a problem solver, but also refers complex, unusual problems to others.

      During those first 12 days, the recruiter found two people who fit the bill and called them on the phone to confirm the information on their resumes and get examples of their on-the-job experience. She was also trying to get a sense of whether they’d fit in at Siemens, what they expected in terms of salary, and whether they’d be willing to relocate and travel for the job. The conversations last between 15 and 45 minutes.

      Satisfied, the recruiter sent their names to the hiring manager.

      As for all the others? They get an email acknowledging their application was received. That could be the last they hear from the company if they aren’t a good match. But they remain in Siemens’ database, so they might be surprised with a call months later, if they turn out to be a good fit for another position.

      By mid-March, another 54 people had applied for the civil engineer post, and the recruiter sent an additional four applicants to the hiring manager for review.

      Of the six people presented to him, the hiring manager selected three to interview face-to-face by month’s end. During that time, another 53 candidates sent in resumes.

      At the interview, Siemens managers ask a lot about a candidate’s previous experience. The prospective employees will likely be prompted to describe a situation and how they handled it. The interviewers want to know what candidates learned from the episode, while listening for mention of traits important to the company. Teamwork, for instance, is key at the tech firm, so managers may inquire about a time when the candidates had to rely on other people to be successful.

      The Siemens managers are also looking to ascertain an applicant’s capabilities and leadership potential. For example, if the job requires that the person deal with clients around the world, then the managers may ask questions that would gauge the jobseeker’s cultural sensitivities.

      “It’s not only to fill the position that is being advertised, but it’s also to look at that talented individual joining the organization [and] where can they go in the future,” said Mike Panigel, chief human resources officer for Siemens.

      By early April, another 36 people had sent in resumes, too late to be considered. One person had already been selected by the hiring managers.

      The successful candidate was offered the position on April 8, beating out 186 other applicants. To top of page

      The telephone interview or screening call is becoming more and more popular and many students will be faced with a telephone interview during their job search.  A phone interview has many advantages for both the employer and the interviewee, but some disadvantages as well.  An employer can conduct a phone interview rather quickly, the cost is less, and the list of questions can be standardized.  You will be able to keep in front of you a record of your achievements, i.e. a resume, and also a cheat sheet of some other details you would like to talk about, including the job description and information on the company.

      You are unlikely to win a job offer from a phone interview, so you goal is to secure an in-person interview with someone who has the authority to make a hiring decision.  Approach the call with that attitude.  If you recieve a “surprise” phone call from an employer when you are not prepared, professionally ask to reschedule and confirm a date and time. 

      Before the phone interview gather:

    • A pen, paper, and calculator
    • Information regarding the position, company, industry, etc
    • A list of accomplishments including your resume and “cheat sheet” with any additional personal accompliments you would like to include
    • A short list of questions about the job
    • Your calendar
    • A glass of water
    • Make sure you have made all resonable changes to your environment to take away any distractions.  Turn off all TV’s, computers, cell phones, etc. and let anyone else in the area know what you are doing and ask not to be distrubed.
       
      During the call:

    • Do not use speakerphone and speak directly into the phone
    • Show interest and enthusiasm in your voice by smiling. You can tell when someone is smiling even on the phone.
    • Speak clearly and slowly
    • If your confidence fades, stand up! Your voice will sound stronger and more confident. This is one reason dynamic speakers and presenters walk around instead of standing at a podium.
    • Use hand gestures for natural talking.
    • Dress professionally. Even though no one will see you, you will still speak more professionally if you look the part.
    • Avoid ah, um, hm, er. This habit is especially noticeable on the telephone.
    • For a stand-out performance:

    • Anticipate regular interview questions. The only difference is the medium and not the criteria on which your qualifications will be based on.
    • Dont forget to close the deal. Dont get off the phone until you have made some effort to ask what the timeline is for the rest of the hiring process or when you may expect to be hearing from them to schedule a face-to-face interview.
    • Listen carefully…try closing your eyes when the interviewer is speaking so you can focus on what is being said.
    • Read the interviewers mood. You can’t read the interviewers body language but through active listening you can hear if the interviewer is interested and enthusiastic or bored and distracted. If they seem distracted, ask a powerful question and re-engage the interviewer.
    • Pace the call and do not interrupt and speak over the caller.
    • Avoid the simple yes and no answers and add selling points at every opportunity
    • If you need time to think, say so! As with a radio, silence during a telephone conversation is dead air.
    • Confirm the callers name, company, and contact information and alwayss remember to send a thank you note and reaffirm your interest in the company and an opportunity for a face-to-face interview.
    • Please share any additional questions or concerns about a face-to-face or telephone interview in the comments section and I will be sure to answer!

      During your job search your IMAGE is everything.  Your professional image is made up of 5 components:  

      I – Impression

      Students make and leave impressions with every employer they make contact with, whether it be at a networking event, interview, or another social setting.  You have to remember that impressions are remembered.  Think about how long it takes you to make a judgement on a new professor, potential date, or coworker.  Whether positive or negative, these judgements make lasting impressions.  Immediately establishing yourself as a credible and valuable resource will save you time and energy on trying to prove this down the road.

      M – Movement

      The evaluation of your non-verbal cues, or movement, will begin as soon as you enter an employers lobby, and will continue until the interview is finished.   Make eye contact, smile and nod appropriately, dont slouch, sit all the way back in your chair and lean forward to appear engaged and interested, all of these are important non verbal cues that an interviewer will be looking for.

       A – Attitude

      Many things in an interview are out of your control but your attitude is the one thing you have complete control over, take advantage of it.  We all have a choice every day if we will embrace a positive or negative attidue.  Your positive attitude, and a smile during even a telephone call, will be noted by an employer.  You can hear a smile!  Show your enthusiasm for a position and stand out!

       G – Grooming

      This is stressed time and time again but for due reason.  It is certainly important to make sure you’re dressed for an interview (nice pressed suit, good shoes, etc.) but it is equally important that personally you are looking your best.  Make sure your hair is neat and conservative, no crazy colors or styles, your nails are trimmed, and for the men, any facial hair is well groomed.  It would be a shame to answer every question well in an interview but to lose points because you forgot to take off that crazy, half chipped bright green nail polish!

      E – Etiquette

      Understanding how to handle yourself at a business meeting, company party, or over dinner is crucial to your success.  Simple things to remember, your bread is on the left and drink on the right, never order any alcohol or the most expensive entree on the menu, keep to simple foods that aren’t messy, and always follow the lead of the employers.  Watch what what they do, and when they do it, and follow suit. 

      All components of your image are definitely in your control.  Make the most of your image and give yourself the advantage to succeed.

      Job Outlook: What Do Employers Look for in Candidates?
      Spotlight Online for Career Services Professionals, January 6, 2010

      With the state of the job market leading employers to have higher expectations for the candidates they hire, there is increased emphasis on grade point average (GPA). More employers are screening candidates for GPA than at any other time over the past five years. Currently, nearly three out of four say they screen for GPA, according to responses to the Job Outlook 2010 survey.

      Approximately 95 percent of those who use GPA reported their cutoff; 63 percent of respondents cited 3.0, the same cutoff point since 2003 when NACE first collected the information.

      However, a high GPA is just one component employers consider in their candidates. And if two candidates are equally qualified, what helps employers choose between them? Based on attributes provided in the survey, a student’s leadership experience has a slight edge over other factors. The top factors are as follows:

      Has held leadership position
      Major
      High GPA (3.0 or above)
      Has been involved in extracurricular activities
      School attended
      Has done volunteer work

      Responding employers were able to add to the list of attributes likely to influence them to hire one candi­date over another, and more than one-quarter did so. In examining the other write-in attributes, it is evident that employers see a tremendous value in the experience that a candidate possesses. For example, a total of 25 respondents indicated that a candidate’s previous internship experience would influence their hiring decision.

      Not only do employ­ers prefer candidates with experience, but they also prefer can­didates with relevant work experience. When asked about the preferred source of that experience, more than half cited internships and co-ops.

      Take from NACE: National Association of Colleges and Employers
      NACE Index: College Job Market Shows Signs of Improvement
      Spotlight Online for College Employment and Recruiting Professionals, January 6, 2010

      While the job market for new college graduates remains tough, there are signs that the job market is improving, according to results of NACE’s monthly polls.

      Each month, NACE polls its employer members and reports the results as an index for college hiring and an index for recruiting activity. Index scores range from 0 to 200 (100 represents no change; scores below 100 represent an expected decrease; scores above 100 represent an expected increase).

      NACE’s latest poll, reported as an index, shows that the index for college hiring stands at 98.2—up from 87.2 in the November poll. The current poll covers employer expectations over the January, February, and March time frame, but is updated monthly to reflect expectations on an ongoing basis.

      Source: National Association of Colleges and Employers. December 2009 Index.
      While the college Class of 2010 is facing a tough job market, there has been improvement in the hiring index for three consecutive months indicating that college hiring may have stopped receding and is slowly starting to rebuild.

      In addition, there has been steady improvement in the number of employers that expect to increase their college hiring: Approximately one-third (33.4 percent) of the employers polled in December said they expect to increase their college hiring, compared to 28 percent in the November poll and 26 percent in the October poll.

      Currently, 26.7 percent report plans to reduce college hiring—a lower percent for reduction than has been seen in some time. In fact, it marks the first time since August 2008 that the percentage of employers planning to increase college hiring has outpaced the percentage planning to decrease.

      The current poll, conducted December 2, 2009 – January 4, 2010, also shows that employers plan to be more active in recruiting new college graduates for their work forces. Currently, the recruiting activity index is at 95.4—up from 89.8 in November. However, much of that increase reflects the timing of the November and December polls, when employers typically don’t recruit, but start to gear up again in January.

      NACE’s next poll will be conducted January 4 – February 1; results will be reported in Spotlight Online.

      Wordle

      January 20, 2010 //

      Inundated by resumes from job-seekers, employers have increasingly relied on digitizing job-seeker resumes, placing those resumes in keyword-searchable databases, and using software to search those databases for specific keywords that relate to job vacancies. Most Fortune 1000 companies, in fact, and many smaller companies now use these technologies.

      Check out a fun new way to see if your resume is effective. Paste the content of your resume into WORDLE. Wordle creates “word clouds” based on the prominence of a word of set of words in a given text. Most employers only have a few seconds to give each resume its initial scan to see if the candidate is qualified for the position. They are looking for specific key words that show that candidate has experience in a given area. Check out your resume to see if the right words are standing out!

      I did a WORDLE for the CSPD office’s Mission Statement….how do you think we did?

      CSPD Wordle

       

      For your entertainment….

      We know none of the Fox School students would have a resume THIS bad…This video is pretty funny but it points out an important lesson you should keep in mind when writing your resume. If you are not qualified for a position…DONT LIE (or even exaggerate)! There have been many people, high powered execs even, who have gotten caught up with embellishing their resume and it has come back to bite them.
       
       

       

      • Former Notre Dame football coach, George O’Leary, was forced to resign his $1.2 million salary in 2001 when it came to light that he had grossly overstated his past accomplishments.
      • Dave Edmonson, the former Chief Exec of RadioShack resigned after questions about the accuracy of his resume. He had claimed to two degrees which he did not have.

      Now these are extreme examples, but click here to see Forbes.com list of most common resume lies. Often times, they may be small exaggerations and may not even get caught before someone is hired. There has been an increase in more intensive HR background checks to mitigate that problem. As many as 40% of HR professionals have explained that they have increased their time conducting new hire background checks.

      Just make sure when you are writing your resume, things are on the up and up. All job titles, dates, and responsibilities should be completely accurate. If there is a position that you are interested in, for which you are not qualified, do not lie, just explain in your cover letter or meeting with the employer that you personally do not have one of the skills for which they are looking, however you would be excited about the opportunity to dedicate time to obtaining this skill. This will give the employer insight into your integrity.

      Come hear about career opportunities at OGILVY!
      Tuesday, November 17, 2009
      Anderson Hall, Room 14
      5:30pm-7:00pm
      Questions? Contact Jared Fink, AMA President, tua48857@temple.edu

      As one of the top ten marketing communications firms worldwide and the leading global network in one to one marketing, Ogilby employes over 15,000 people in 450 offices around the world. The strength of their reputation lies in the collective skills and talents of these individuals and their tradition of providing training and career development for their talent – began with our founder and continues today over 60 years later.

      To check out their college hiring opportunities click here: http://thisisogilvy.com/

      Check out BusinessWeek’s article on the Best Places to Launch a Career.  Many of the firms that recruit through Fox are on this list!

      http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/09_37/b4146032027785.htm