Archive | February, 2013

Get In The Game!

25 Feb

There are two types of back-up quarterbacks in football. The first type is scared and apathetic. He is a back-up for a reason; always shying away from the action. During a game, he can be seen sitting on the bench occasionally glancing at a clipboard or talking with his friends who share his lackluster approach. The second type of back-up is just the opposite. He is the coach’s shadow; just waiting for his opportunity to prove himself. He stays late after practice working on his skills and studying the playbook. He might not have the social life his friends have due to the fact that he is always in the gym, at practice, or watching film. This type of back-up quarterback is rare and won’t be a back-up for long. He will jump at his first opportunity and excel. This is the type of quarterback every coach longs for.Tebow
Just like a back-up quarterback, most students don’t understand how close they are to getting into the “game” of life. They love the college atmosphere and wish that time would stop so they could live in adolescence forever. However, sadly this is not the way life works. This mindset causes most students to get so caught up in what is going on around campus that they forget the reason why they came to college in the first place. To prepare themselves to succeed in the outside world! Just like the first type of back-up quarterback, they are unprepared to enter the game.

So how do you prepare yourself? Just like a good quarterback will study film on opposing teams to learn how they play the game, it is pivotal that you as a college student prepare yourself for the job market. One way to prepare yourself is through making yourself known. Above, I spoke about how a good back-up quarterback is the coach’s shadow. How close are you to your dream employer? With modern technology, your dream employer is just a few clicks away! Why not send them an email, add them on Facebook, join their LinkedIn network, or actually give them a call!? Obviously, this must be done with wisdom and discernment. A question such as “How would you advise I prepare now so I can work for you when I graduate?” will likely make a great impression on the employer and could lead to practical advice that could help in landing a job down the road.

Working in the Career Center, I see hundreds of former students walk into our office and say, “Hey… Umm… Can you help me get a job?” I always cringe when I hear this. I think about the back-up quarterback who wants to play but won’t put in the effort necessary. If only this student would have been their dream employer’s shadow; focusing on what the employer looks for and jumping on a good opportunity, they would be in the game by now.

So take initiative, locate your dream employer and become their shadow. What are you waiting for? Get in the game!

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“Tell me about yourself.”

10 Feb

Applying for jobs is very time consuming. A person can spend hours filling out applications, constructing resumes, and writingImage cover letters, purely discussing one’s education, work experience, volunteer hours, strengths, and skills. Ironically, once you get through all the paper work and ready for the interview, most likely the first question that will come out of an employer’s mouth is, “Can you tell me a little bit about yourself?” So you rack your brain thinking of what to say or what you think they want to hear. They’ve already read through your cover letter, resume, and possibly all your social networks, so what is the right thing to say at this point? I hear this all the time in mock interviews with students. How much is too much?

Well, there are a number of ways to go about this. It’s all about reading people and communication. One way to prepare for this open-ended question is to research your interviewer beforehand if possible. Say you find out that your interviewer plays golf, which you love and have played since you were 7 years old. Mention that! I don’t recommend telling every single golf story you have, but you can make one story engaging enough to make the employer want to learn more. Be aware of your surroundings. Scan your interviewer’s office and find ways to relate to him/her. Also saying where you are from, a little information about your family, and the school you are attending/attended are other relatable topics. Even though this is an interview, you want this to be as natural and conversational as possible. That being said, I don’t recommend getting too personal about your life. You don’t want to overwhelm your interviewer. Remember, it’s not only about your skills; your personality plays a large role as well. An employer can learn a lot from this question and compare it to how you will adapt to other employees at the company. Employers want good chemistry in the office. Key strengths or maybe a recent accomplishment that you are proud of is great material for this question as well.

Never bring up negatives or weaknesses when asked this question. If you do bring up a weakness, make sure you turn it into a positive somehow. You can’t really get an employer to like you if you are coming off as if you don’t even like yourself.

The 5 Finger Rule is another useful way to conquer this question. Think of a company/organization you would love to work for and pretend you were offered an interview at that company. What are five things about yourself that you would want the employer to know? Assign each point to a finger so you won’t forget one. Make sure that when you think of these 5 topics that they flow nicely. You don’t want to sound like a robot or scatter-brained.

The key to this question is to not over-think it. Remember that the interviewer is still human, so just relax. And if you can’t think of a topic to assign to your pinky, you can always say you would love to work at that organization in your future. That always goes over well.

Tweet W/ A Purpose!

5 Feb

 50 Hottest Twitter Hashtags for Job Seekers (via blog.resumebear.com)

Twitter is like a window into the soul of America. It shows us faster and more accurately what is on our collective minds than any other medium currently in use. So it was only a matter of time, in a bad economy and a worse job market, that Twitter would be flooded with both job seekers and job offerers.  The way they find each other is through certain key hashtags, the best of which we have laid out for you to help you in your quest for employment. Some of these will give you broad search results and take a while to sift through, but let’s face it — you have lots of free time.

Hashtags to Use on Twitter To Find an Employer

These are the tags to plug into Twitter’s search engine to connect you with companies with openings.

  1. #hiring: Here it is, your No. 1 word to find a hiring company is … hiring.
  2. #tweetmyjobs: It’s a pretty clunky phrase, but #tweetmyjobs has been tagged nearly a million times, so include it in your search.
  3. #HR: The folks handling the headhunting for the company will be from human resources, so go straight to the source.
  4. #jobopening: Now we’re talking. This tag is almost exclusively used by people offering people work. Easy.
  5. #jobposting: “Jobposting” is another efficient tag to search, only it’s used a bit less than #jobopening.
  6. #employment: Often listed along with #jobs at the end of a tweet, #employment is a major keyword used by businesses in the market for talent.
  7. #opportunity: There will be some quotes and other tweets that don’t help you, but there will be plenty of hookups to employment opportunities.
  8. #recruiting: Search this hashtag to find not only employers that are hiring, but inside info on the recruiting techniques they’ll be using.
  9. #rtjobs: Many Twitter users are there helping you out by retweeting job openings they come across.
  10. #jobangels: The JobAngels are a volunteer group working to help unemployed people find jobs, and they have a strong presence on Twitter.
  11. #jobsearch: Sometimes this will be the only hashtag a hiring company will use, so be sure to make it one of your search terms.
  12. #joblisting: Attention! I’m a hiring employer and this is my way of telling you that I’ve got a job right here just waiting to be filled.

Hashtags to Use on Twitter to Attract an Employer

Strut your stuff and get yourself out there with these hashtags to help employers find you.

  1. #hireme: Don’t beat around the bush. #Hireme is short, sweet, and to the point.
  2. #MBA: Have an MBA? Shout it out in a hashtag to direct employers to your top-shelf business acumen.
  3. #linkedin: If you’re unemployed, you’re no doubt already networking away on LinkedIn, so let them know you have a viewable profile.
  4. #profile: While you’re at it, go ahead and tag “profile” too, and couple it with #facebook, #linkedin, #monster, or any other place your details are posted on the internet.
  5. #unemployed: It’s what you are, so own it and let employers know you are totally available for engagement.
  6. #resume: If you’re tweeting about your resume posted online, be sure to hashtag it.
  7. #CV: Curriculum vitae is basically a more fleshed-out résumé, but #resume is nearly twice as popular. Use both to be safe.
  8. #needajob: Thousands of the unemployed have tacked this phrase onto the end of their tweets in the hopes an employer will stumble across it in a search.

Hashtags to Use on Twitter to Educate Yourself

These tags may not directly land you a job, but they will enlighten you on the latest trends in finding, keeping, and enjoying a job.

  1. #jobtips: By far the best search phrase in this category, it will load you up with more good job advice than you could ever read.
  2. #career: At half a million tags, searching #career will score you some job listings and tons of helpful guidance for your professional life.
  3. #interview: Hiring companies don’t use this word as much, but “interview” and “interviews” are still helpful because they turn up a wealth of advice from fellow tweeters on making your best possible first impression.
  4. #benefits: Knowing what to expect in the way of benefits is a good weapon to have heading into an interview.
  5. #personalbranding: Do a search for this hashtag to find ideas and tips on selling yourself in the job market.
  6. #compensation: If you know the going rate for whatever you do, you are much less likely to be taken advantage of.
  7. #training: Searching for “training” is a good way to find great, free job training resources.
  8. #jobhunt: A search for this tag brings up mainly advice on job searching, but there will be a healthy smattering of job postings, too.
  9. #unemployment: This tag has been used more than 100,000 times by users tweeting about unemployment news, ways to combat unemployment, and jobs to pull you out of unemployment.
  10. #employers: They may not be tweeting about themselves, but plenty of employees and commentators are tweeting news and reviews of employers and their practices.
  11. #jobless: Curious about what’s going on with others in your predicament? Search for this commonly-used tag and find out.
  12. #laidoff: It’s the same idea as #jobless, except it has more of a sad connotation. If you want to commiserate with some other people about searching for that elusive job, this is the tag to search.

Hashtags to Use to Find a Certain Type of Job

If you don’t want just any old job, try searching these hashtags for that special placement you have in mind.

  1. #freelance: This is a hugely popular tag used by job hunters who want to leave the option of part-time, freelance work open.
  2. #homebusiness: If you’re eyeing a job being self-employed, try searching this term for entrepreneurship ideas and tips.
  3. #greenjobs: Here’s one for the truly unselfish people who put the environment before employment.
  4. #dreamjob: If you aren’t sure what you want to do with your life, search this tag and get some ideas of what other people would do if they had their druthers.
  5. #hotjobs: Hot jobs call for a hot hashtag.
  6. #consulting: Another in the potentially temporary job category, #consulting is a nice tag to widen your net and earn some income.
  7. #consultant: It might seem silly to use two tags that say virtually the same thing, but those three letters might make the difference in connecting you with your new employer.

Hottest Tags by Field on Twitter

If you work in one of these industries, you are in a trending field, which could be good (lots of job listings) or bad (lots of competition).

  1. #SEO: “SEO” is another one that has been tagged millions of times by job seekers and tweeters discussing search engine optimization.
  2. #webdesign: Clocking in at nearly a million uses all-time, #webdesign is another hot topic on Twitter.
  3. #accounting: If you’re an accountant, you are in luck, as job listings in your field pop up regularly on Twitter.
  4. #telecom: Telecommunications is another field with a strong showing on Twitter; it’s been used in hashtags more than 81,000 times.
  5. #legal: We live in a litigious society, and the need for paralegals and other non-lawyers is increasing. It’s a great career to consider because paralegal certification can be obtained relatively quickly.
  6. #lawyer: The number of lawyers in America has surged in the last 10 years, which explains why this tag is such a popular one in the Twitterverse.
  7. #industry: Pair this with another tag like #music or #hotel and you’ll find listings and info on your area of expertise.
  8. #salesjobs: You don’t have to pound the pavement looking for a sales job; just do a search for this popular tag on Twitter.

Hashtags to Search on Twitter When You Have a Couple Hours

You’ll need to free up your morning to adequately search through these tags.

  1. #jobs: You’ve probably been wondering when this word would come up. The tag’s been used all of 14 million times all-time, for everything from political discussion to job listings. Your best bet is to search it with another tag from this list.
  2. #job: Although it has registered only half the uses as #jobs (7 million), the singular version calls up more listings and won’t take you as long to sort through.
  3. #design: Because it’s a generic word, #design has been hashtagged a healthy 2 million times, so if you work in design be sure to supplement tweets with at least one other tag.

Thank you @resumebear for this great article!