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Job Search Tech Update

social media logosIt is impossible to conduct a successful job search strategy in 2015 without engaging technology. This job search tech update reminds all of us of some of the new ways we can use technology in a current job and career search.

Twitter, Facebook. LinkedIn, Instagram and Google +

In 2014 employers 73% of employers planned to invest more in social media recruiting strategies. No need to use all social media channels, but you must be represented on LinkedIn plus one or two others. Here are the ways that employers are connecting via social media according to JobVite.com social media survey:

LinkedIn 94%

Facebook 66%

Twitter 52%

Google + 21%

YouTube 15%

Niche job boards

Job boards are great way for recruiters to connect with candidates. Many companies, in fact, are developing their own career centers through their own company websites. For some employers, niche job boards like TheHBCUCareerCenter.com make even more sense, since jobseekers and employers can converge around a common interest. In the case of TheHBCUCareerCenter.com, employers can connect with job seekers in the vast diverse community of students, staff, alumni served by America’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities.

Websites about YOU

It is unbelievable that everyone and anyone can build a website to promote their own personal brand. Whether you are using do-it-yourself website service like Wix.com or SquareSpace.com, or hosting your own branded site like https://about.me/, use it to capture who you are and what you have to offer.

SKYPE, Google Hangouts, Facetime

Recruiters are saving money and expanding their reach by screening candidates from diverse locations using job search technology like SKYPE, Google Hangouts and Facetime. There is a lot of advice on how to use these tools to meet employers virtually.

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Kill a Job Search with Social Media Mistakes

Anythingsocial media kill job search that 93% of employers pay attention to, is something you should be concerned about if you are looking for a job. Well that’s the percentage of hiring managers who told Jobvite.com that they will review a job seeker’s social profiles before making a final hiring decision. That’s a pretty impressive number. Nothing should surprise us there, as that number has been increasing steadily over the last five years.

In addition to this list of social media mistakes, you should know that “55% of those employers have reconsidered a candidate based on what they find, with most (61%) of those double-takes being negative.”

Like many other career and HR professionals, I have written extensively on how recruiters are using social media research to evaluate job candidates. I have also shared tips and advice to clean up social media to make it more employer friendly. However, I felt it was worth repeating these ways that you could kill your job search with social media mistakes.

Here are the percentages of hiring managers who have a negative response to social media posts with this type of information.

Profanity – 63%

Spelling/Grammar – 66%

Illegal drug references – 83%

Sexual posts – 70%

Guns – 51%

Alcohol – 44%

Read the full report here.

Check out other articles on our blog on social media use in your career.

Online behavior can kill a future career

Social media: 11 Rules for Job Search

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The Intern Did What? Expected Internship Behavior

Interns at Work

Watching Videos at Work

Years ago I wrote about a graduate college student who had stolen art work from a museum during his internship. Everyone was pretty clear about that being theft and not expected internship behavior. Not only was that intern dismissed from his job, but he was also criminally prosecuted.

I was reminded of that incident while having a conversation with a technology manager who was asking for advice on speaking with an intern who apparently was routinely watching movies, unrelated to work, during business hours. The director found out when one of his direct reports stopped by his office to ask, “Do you know what your intern is out here doing?

When the director went to the intern’s cubicle, he was surprised to see the intern fully engrossed into watching a movie. In fact, when the director asked the intern about the status of the project he had been assigned, the intern casually minimized the screen and pulled up a chair for the director to sit. The intern proceeded to explain that he had hit a roadblock with the project and was waiting for the director to come by.

Needless to say, when the director asked the intern to not just minimize the screen, but to close it, the intern seemed a little shocked.

So this isn’t theft and the intern, therefore, won’t be prosecuted. However, interns still need to know what is appropriate expected internship behavior in the workplace. So if you are an intern, before you are tempted to jump into a movie when you hit a roadblock, here are some no-brainer internship behaviors to model:

Be proactive and seek solutions. If you are stuck, ask questions. This is a good way to make connections in the workplace.

Observe the rules of the workplace. If you don’t see anyone else watching movies at their desk, it is probably not workplace behavior.

Yes, we understand that interns today are born into a wired world and it is harder than ever to separate work from private life, but your success as an intern depends on it.

Remember that you will want more than the experience from your internship. You will want networking contacts and professional references.

If you are working in an internship, you are expected to represent yourself and your college in the most professional way possible.

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20 Common Job Search Mistakes

Job Search Mistakes

Job Search Mistakes

If you have read my blog before, you know I love lists.

They are a great way to get to the heart of the issue really fast. So after being in many conversations over the last several weeks about new grads who can’t find jobs, I wanted to just remind everyone of the 20 common job search mistakes updated for 2015.  Chances are that no one is making all of these job search mistakes, but if you have been struggling with a job search, you might want to consider these things.

Not following up with recruiters or networking contacts

Not creating a LinkedIn profile page

Not cleaning up social media profiles

Not showing connections to industry or career through membership or affiliation

Not using strong writing skills through resumes, applications or emails

Not showing practical application of learning and knowledge

Not using a current resume customized for each opportunity

Not showing any focus for preferred roles, industries etc.

Not using a thank-you letter for interviews or referrals

Not researching organizations before the job interview

Not developing a portfolio of work or accomplishments

Not doing practice interviews

Not using niche job boards

Not aware of the 3 C’s of Interviewing: Using excellent Communication skills to speak with Confidence about your Competencies!

Not considering relocation as a viable option

Not seeking current advice on what employers want

Not using the career center on your college campus

Not being clear about what you want or are looking for in your next opportunity

Not being involved in any internships, leadership projects, study abroad or volunteer activities

Not lining up awesome references

So, if any of these common job search mistakes apply to you, work daily to make improvements and keep a positive attitude.  YOUR opportunity is closer if you get your focus on, and work on these job search mistakes.

HBCU Career Centers:  Contact me at mrobin(at)thehbcucareercenter (dot) com if you want to use this presentation for a workshop.  I will be happy to customize with your campus colors and logo!

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My Internship Story: Univision Communications Inc.

Danyelle R. Carter, Spelman CollegeBy: Danyelle R. Carter, Spelman College

Corporate Communications & Public Relations Intern at Univision Communications Inc

THCC: How did you find out about the internship?

I found out about this internship opportunity through the United Negro College Fund (UNCF)

THCC: What work/project did you most enjoy in your internship?

The work I enjoyed the most was connecting with Univision’s Women Leadership Council which helps to advance women at Univision and prepare the next generation of women leaders. This employee resource group is committed to actively contributing to the professional growth and development of women at Univision with a particular focus on Mentorship, Recruitment, Development and Community Service. During this time, I created a reference sheet, PowerPoint, quotes for social media and brainstormed ways to increase engagement on social media. I also created profiles on the women by interviewing them about their leadership experiences, their sources of inspiration and what feminism means to them.

THCC: What workplace skills have you developed in your internship?

Time/task management: I often found myself in situations where multiple projects were all labeled “important.” Being able to recognize deadlines and high versus low priority tasks was extremely important.

Computer skills: Typing is a must in public relations and communications and it has to be fast because the industry is ever-changing. I often had email work, email alerts, and assignments that needed to be done and if I wasn’t checking my email I could miss an important update. It also helped to know how to navigate Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook.

Phone communication skills: The phone rings off the hook in PR. And because I was often interviewing and relaying messages, I had to make sure I spoke eloquently, professionally and with an awareness of when I should direct a conversation to someone more capable.

An eye for detail: Many times, whether in email or communications documents, I learned to triple check for facts for article verification. When taking messages for my supervisor or colleagues, I had to write down important details such as the name, time of call and person’s contact details, and pass this information on straight away so that details are not lost or forgotten.

THCC: Why do you think most students don’t do internships?

I believe most students do not feel secure in their skills so they don’t apply because of experiences they may have had before.

THCC: What presented the biggest challenge for you in landing your internship?

I would say location, I landed 7 internships, but 6 of them did not agree to provide housing assistance. All of the other internships I was offered were in New York or California. Univision was located about 30 minutes away from where I live in Miami.

THCC: What advice can you share with students who believe they don’t need to do internships?

You do need an internship because there are things that the classroom won’t teach you. For example, dealing with difficult colleagues, working to the beat of a fast-paced industry and what it means to be held accountable. When you’re in college, people are more compassionate about you honing your skills, but in the “real-world” it’s not that easy.

THCC: How do you believe your internship is relevant to your future career options?

In communications and public relations, a lot of writing, quick and strategic thinking is required. My internship at Univision gave me the opportunity to really practice these skills that I had only read about in classes. This was theoretical knowledge meeting practical experiences. For example, I worked ‘Premios Juventud’ (Univision’s annual youth music awards), there were times that I had to staff bloggers, make sure press received press packets, and monitor the media room. It was a high-energy time period and if I wasn’t thinking strategically, at any moment a journalist, I could have done something that was against our media policies. Another example, would be when I had to staff Cover Girl’s bloggers who came to watch Becky G, Fifth Harmony, Pitbull and Ricky Martin perform—I had to make sure they weren’t sneaking photos or video. These are just two examples of my “real-world” experience.


We welcome students who want to share their internship stories with The HBCU Career Center. Email me at mrobin(at)thehbcucareercenter(dot)com if you want to tell us how you spent your internship semester.

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Grad School or Look for a Job

grad schoolWhat is the Best Option for a College Senior?

If you are approaching commencement or are a new alumni, you have heard this question before: So what are you going to do when you finish that bachelors degree? Don’t worry, you won’t get any pressure from us.

However, if you are trying to decide if you will go to grad school or look for a job, here are some considerations.  I should add that this question gets asked, whether the economy is good or bad.  Some people will have no choice about going to graduate school if they plan careers that require immediate additional training.

For others, the answer of whether to go to grad school or look for a job won’t be that clear cut.

Two things to know as you think about this decision:

  1. If you are not sure about a career direction, graduate school is not a place to hide out for two years. It is an expensive proposition and therefore requires a decision.
  2. Employers value work experience just as much as they might value graduate school experience. So think about where you could be two years down the road and balance real work experience vs. a graduate degree.

Grad school or Look for a Job? Think economy

When the job market is tight, grad school could be a good option while the economy recovers. Although they will gain new job skills in graduate school, college seniors should know that they will still have to work in entry level jobs after graduation. Whether the first job is right after a bachelors degree or right after a masters degree; there is no way to skip the entry-level, first job experience. That’s why building experience through internships is so important.

Grad school or Look for a Job? Think finances

If a college senior chooses to go to graduate school they must also think about adding to college loans or financing through fellowships, assistantships or scholarships. College seniors who cannot fund graduate school might research employers offering tuition reimbursement.  By the way, higher education institutions might be a good place for entry level with higher education tuition waivers.

Grad school or Look for a Job?Think future earnings/salarycollege grad data

There is not much point in amassing more college debt after graduate school if future income will not be much higher than it would be with a bachelors degree. When deciding whether to go to graduate school or look for a job consider the lower cost of state colleges and universities versus private colleges. Although a graduate school will offer higher future earnings, there won’t be much difference right after graduate school without work experience.

Grad School or Look for a Job? Think career center for advice

College career center staff help seniors and new grads with exactly this kind of personal career planning all the time.  If you are trying to decide whether to go to grad school or look for a job you should visit the career center on campus.

Career centers can help you evaluate options, explore training options for careers or even connect you with alumni who chose either option.

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