Apr 242017

If you are in an active job search, more than likely you will hear about job fairs as a good way to meet employers. That’s true. Job fairs where broad to narrow industries are represented bring employers to you. Most job fair events are designed to give you opportunities to meet employers face to face, a chance to engage in a real, live conversation, even though it might be brief.

Half the challenge in searching for a good job is meeting people in person to talk about their hiring needs and your experience. Yet some people find job fairs helpful while others leave without real leads and that’s true with any type of networking event where potential employers are present.

The key to making a job fair work for you is planning and being selective. A good job fair will advertise the industries represented as well as specific employers, but not every event will match your background. Taking the time to research the companies and requirements before you attend will help make your time more effective.

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Apr 172017
How to secure that initial interview.

When writing a cover letter, describe how the job requirements match your experience and skills.

Virtually every career professional, recruiter or human resources staffing professional agrees that under normal circumstances, you must have a stand-out resume and LinkedIn presence to introduce yourself to a perspective employer.

Conventional wisdom (for what it’s worth) suggests that cover letters are ignored altogether about half the time. The problem for the job hunter is that you never know in advance when it is carefully evaluated by an employer, and when it is simply ignored.

[See: 8 Ways Millennials Can Build Leadership Skills.]

You should assume, at a minimum, that this introductory communication remains important for roles which will require you to compose varied forms of communications, such as reports and correspondence.

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Apr 102017
“Building relationships is a key to advancing in your career”, says Jon Acuff.

Everyone knows the value of a savings account. During a crisis, or even just when an unexpected need arises, having some money tucked away means you’ll have it to help solve problems.

But not many people have heard of a “career savings account,” which is something Jon Acuff, best-selling author of the book “Do Over,” says every professional needs.

A career savings account is a stock of assets you build up over time that gives you the stability to weather any work-related shifts. And there are always shifts.

“Everyone needs a [career savings account] because your career is going to change,” Acuff tells CNBC.

“It might not have a shift as large as what happened to cab drivers with Uber but change is coming for you in some form.”

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Apr 032017

Whether you’re switching positions or embarking on a PR career, finding a job can be challenging.

We have the internet, which makes certain aspects of the mission easier, but it’s still hard to go through the extensive résumé and interview processes to find that perfect position.

Using the right resources can make things a lot easier. LinkedIn was built for that purpose. The professional social network has enabled millions of employers to connect with top talent over the years. It’s become the top network for job recruitment and the sharing of professional knowledge.

The numbers show it all. There are more than 6.5 million active job listings on LinkedIn, and more than 94 percent of recruiters use the site to vet job candidates. What’s more, 48 percent of recruiters use LinkedIn as their only source for social media outreach.

RELATED: How to attract—and keep—a millennial workforce.

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Mar 272017

There are many questions about job searching out there, and unfortunately, a wide range of answers. This is because each employer and every single recruiter is different, and hiring practices change over time. That makes it very hard to nail down one answer to every question. However, among the most common job search questions, the answers that you get will generally be along the same lines. Let’s dive in.

[See: 10 Things They Don’t Tell You About Your First Job.]

“Do people even get hired anymore without knowing someone?” Yes! It is surprising how many job seekers think this isn’t true. You actually can apply to a job online and be asked for an interview and receive an offer, or be contacted by a recruiter and have it lead to a job offer. Shocked? Apply away, but be smart about where you apply and what you spend your time on. If you don’t meet the minimum qualifications, you are probably wasting your time.

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Mar 202017

When you’re interviewing for an internship, knowing how to put your best foot forward is a key part of getting hired. As CEO of WayUp, I often get asked by students about what they can do to stand out from the crowd. Here are my top four tips for nailing any interview. You can remember them through the acronym, REAF :

1. R: Do your research.

Having a great interview experience begins with doing your research on three things: the company, the position and the person you’re interviewing with. Start by taking a look at the company’s website and social media pages and learning everything you can about the company culture and its mission. To really impress the interviewer, you’ll want to make note of any unique things you find out and mention those during your interview. For example, if you’re interviewing for a marketing role and you find out a cool fact about one of the company’s branding campaigns, be sure to bring this up and to explain why it’s important. This will show the interviewer that you care about the company and that you’re passionate about their work.

Once you have a sense of what the company is all about, it’s time to learn about the role. A great place to start is the job listing. This will give you an overview of the position as well as highlighting key responsibilities. You can also take a look at the company’s career page and make note of any team members who are currently in that position and who may have specific projects listed in their bios.

Last but not least, if you get the interviewer’s name ahead of time (it never hurts to ask!), it’s important to research the person you’ll be meeting with. In addition to reading the person’s bio on the company page, I recommend looking at their Twitter, Instagram or Facebook to learn more about who they are as a person. This is also a good way to identify whether you have anything in common with them which might help you establish a connection during the interview.

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Mar 132017
Personal connection is the key to a successful job search.

When it comes to finding jobs or internships, most applicants limit themselves to the positions only advertised online. Instead, it is more effective to build relationships and arranging conversations with others.

Through these premier interactions, you gain advice about the application process, insider information about the culture of organizations and personal endorsements that enhance the status of your applications. As Undercover Recruiter highlighted, these referrals are the most effective strategy employers rely on to source talent. If nothing else, these discussions permit you to practice professional communication and interview skills.

How to you land these valuable conversations? You simply ask.

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Mar 082017

It happens all the time—an employer makes a hiring decision that I don’t understand. I’m the one who set up the interviews, but the hiring manager can’t tell me the exact reasons why one candidate was hired and another turned down. They just can’t describe what it was that was so impressive. When pushed, their reasoning sounds really wishy-washy.

That missing piece is sometimes described as the “it” factor. A client will say, “Although Joe is a better fit technically for the role, I think that we need to hire Angela. She has it—you know, what we’re looking for.” This isn’t helpful. It just sounds like a vague, catch-all phrase, and I’m as much in the dark as I was before.

But, after 30 years as a recruiter, I’ve come to recognize some of the elements of the “it” factor—and how you can capitalize on them to optimize it for yourself.

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Feb 272017

Sending an unsolicited request for information over email, or what’s called a cold email, to a hiring manager is an effective way for Ph.D’.s to be proactive in the job search and get an edge for a job they really want. Making personal contact with a hiring manager increases the chances that your application will carefully considered when you apply for a position. That personal contact also grows your network in an organization for which you want to work.

But some cold emails are much more effective than others. Before I applied for my current position working with graduate students at University of Texas at Arlington, I looked up my current boss and sent her an email to indicate my interest in the position. She never responded, but I was interviewed and hired about a month later. I assumed that my cold email must have worked. Fast-forward six months: while preparing materials for a workshop on networking, I decided to ask my boss if she recalled my email and whether it helped me land the job. In fact, she hardly remembered receiving the email, but she pulled it out of her saved mailbox and looked it over in front of me.

“Oh yeah, I remember receiving this,” she said.

Awkward pause.

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Feb 202017
The moment they decide they want you is the best time to find out just how much.

A coaching client of mine was negotiating a contract with a new employer, a large pension fund. It was a big job and she really wanted it. But there were long periods of silence from the company as they went back and forth on terms. Every time they’d go silent, she worried she might’ve pressed too far and that they were rethinking the whole thing.

They weren’t. They just had other things going on. The process of hammering out an agreement between the business and HR is often drawn out and cumbersome, and that often throws job candidates into a quiet panic. They worry they’ve been too aggressive in negotiations and fear an offer might slip through their fingers at the eleventh hour.

More often than not, those agonizing silences are just about process. And in fact, they may even be your biggest point of leverage. Here’s why, and how to use it.


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