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Add a College Minor to Get your Foot in the Door

african american maleMany college students consider whether or not to add a college minor to their Bachelor’s degree.  Despite the potential benefits, before you add a college minor think about the extra coursework, additional time in college and the potential additional costs.  Here are some of the potential job search advantages if you add a college minor.

Why add a college minor?

1. Students who add a college minor get additional preparation in a complementary area without adding the extra time needed to complete a double major. Students can complete all the requirements to fulfill a college minor, by selecting elective courses wisely. Eg. Business major with a minor in Marketing. You might have to take a Marketing class anyway, so why not take a few more marketing courses and complete a college minor.

2. A college minor can be the way to add some practical skills to a broad based college degree. For example, if you are a Hospitality major, why not do a college minor in Accounting?  The college minor could be the way to get your foot into a company or industry.

3. College students can add a college minor to get basic knowledge of an emerging industry or an industry with projected high job growth. Eg. Computer Science major who chooses to minor in  Social Media Marketing or Mobile Technology.

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Top 20 Hot Jobs for Veterans 2014

HotJobs_HeaderThousands of United States Veterans returning from active duty are in the job market right now.  This list of hot jobs for veterans has been assembled by G.I. Jobs website.  Like most job seekers, Veterans are attracted to industries with a high number of vacancies.  Many of these vacancies attract veterans with a broad skills set who could benefit from on-the-job or more formal training.  These hot jobs are jobs with good paying salaries with many existing job openings.  The G.I. Jobs website is a great resource and consistently publishes either an annual list of the 50 Top Jobs for Veterans or lists of Hot Jobs like this one.

What’s on the Hot Jobs list for 2014?

Here are the six jobs on the list of Top 20 Hot Jobs for Veterans in 2014.  Find the complete list here.

  • IT Specialist
  • Operations Managers
  • Engineers
  • Logisticians
  • Customer Service Managers
  • Manufacturing Technicians

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Job Search Myths that Stall New Grads

male female HBCU gradsI spend a lot of my time talking to new college grads about their job search strategies and career plans. What I have found after 15 years of working with new grads is that many new grads have their job search stalled by job search myths and pre-conceived notions. Most new grads are having a hard enough time landing a job after graduation in today’s tight job market, but if you add some simple misconceptions and job search myths, they will inadvertently add extra time to their job search.

Once I talk with a new grad, I know that I have to spend some time unraveling job search myths before we really move forward with job search strategies. From my experience, if these four job search myths are not checked, they can cause a new grad a lot of additional frustration.

I Don’t Have to Sell Myself in the Interview Since I Went to XYZ College

I hear this one all the time, particularly from the new graduate who did not expect that he or she, simply because of the school they attended, would have to compete for a job after graduation. Some new college graduates have bought into this notion that the reputation of their college is their personal reputation. To some extent, yes, your school’s reputation goes a long way in terms of which employers may be attracted to recruit through university relations programs. However, although your school’s reputation might bring an employer to your campus, it will not make the employer hire you. New grads must be able to compete regardless of the pedigree of the college the attended.

I have to find a job in my major.

Usually my question to new grads who say this is: Tell me what you mean by that? The new grad usually goes on to say something like, “Well, I am a marketing major, so I want to find a job in my major.” After I remind the grad that he or she is no longer in college and they are no longer limited by “major,” we go on to talk about how to make the transition from major to career. I remind college graduates that although I have a degree that is called a master’s in business administration, it does not mean that my job title is master in business administrator. In fact, I won’t see that anywhere as a job title. New grads in the job search have to remember to read job descriptions and look at duties and tasks rather than focus on the name of their college major.

Internships Are Only for College Students, Not Graduates

Not true. Many new grads look at internships and fellowships as a way to get some work experience after graduation. A recent New York Times article addressed this issue by stating, “Many college graduates who expected to land paid jobs are turning to unpaid internships to try to get a foot in an employer’s door.” Why not look for an internship as a way to get your foot in the door? New grads who are combing through employer career websites should be looking at the company’s internship requirements, as well.

Employers Will Find Me on Job Boards, All I Have to Do Is Upload My Resume 

This job search myth is pervasive among new grads. Too many new grads believe that a successful job search strategy will involving posting resumes to as many job boards as possible and then sitting back. Job seekers succumb to this career myth quite a bit. I have seen some changes, though, more recently as more new grads are being more proactive in the job search by following up, using niche job boards, and using social media to be more interactive in the job search.

Read the original article here!

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Job Interview Body Language Can Kill the Job Search

body language facesA UCLA study showed that up to 93% of communication effectiveness is determined by nonverbal cues. Author, Alton Barbour, author of Louder Than Words: Nonverbal Communication, states that the impact of a message is 7% verbal, 38 % percent vocal ie. volume, pitch, rhythm, etc and 55% about body movement, mostly in the form of facial expressions.  That means that job interview body language is just as important as what you say.

If you are job hunting, you should know that hiring managers and interviewers spend a lot of time interpreting your job interview body language. Some interviewers are actually masters at the body-language game. They can spot fear through hunched shoulders, rapid or really slow speech and disinterest in a job seeker’s slouch.

Common Job Interview Body Language No-No’s

– Not making eye contact with the recruiter or interviewer or looking only at one interviewer if you are in a panel interview.

– Weak handshake

– Slouching or hanging over the arm of the chair might tell your interviewer that you don’t really care. Maintaining an arrogant posture, leaning back in a matter-of-fact way might indicate some arrogance.

– Gesticulating wildly and relying on your hands to do all the talking. Resting your hands in your lap or on the arms of the chair is good.

– Fidgeting with tight or ill fitting clothing such as trying to close the gap between buttons on a tight blouse or pulling down uncomfortable pants.

– Scratching head, hair, skin or other body parts are a no-no.

These body language no-no’s can be a real turn off to recruiters in the job interview. The worse part is that the job seekers may not even be aware of how they are missing opportunities.

Job seekers should create a quick checklist with these and other points and practice the job interview with someone who will critique them honestly. Another way to check on your body language turn-offs is to set up a camera to record your movements. Work on eliminating any negative messages you might be transmitting through your body language.

Observe Recruiter Job Interview Body Language

-Is your panel interviewer at the end of the table falling asleep?

-Is anyone yawning from your stories?

-Is the interviewer texting under table?

-Are they working on other projects?

-Are they eating during the phone interview?

-Are they taking calls that they did not say would be coming in?

-Are they leaving in the middle of the interview again without saying they would?

I have actually seen or heard of recruiters doing all these things in job interviews. Not only is this bad recruiter behavior, and rude to the job seeker, it is also very distracting to an already nervous candidate.

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Where Do New Grads Find Jobs?

need a job

 

 

 

 

 

Your cap and gown is probably making it’s way off the floor and to the back of the closet.  If commencement is becoming a distant memory, and parents are asking – What are you doing to look for a job?  You’re not alone.  Over 80% of new graduates didn’t land a job before graduation so for many, looking for a job is now a full time job.  If you don’t already know where to look for a job, here are a few places to get started:

Your campus career center

You can find a list of HBCU Career centers in our  career resources.  Most new grads  aren’t aware that 97% of college career centers provide services to alumni and are still available during the summer after graduation.  Email, call or visit the center and have a consultation with one of the career center staff about which employers are recruiting on campus or posting jobs on the career center job board.

Use lists of companies that appeal to you

Find lists of companies that have specific relevance for you.  Veterans, for example, can look for a job at the companies on the list of top 100 military friendly employers at militaryfriendly.com.  These lists are often found on niche websites.  Just as there are lists of companies interested in hiring veterans, there are other lists that are targeted to specific groups.  Use our 25 Lists of Best Companies or Top Employers.

Niche Job Boards

Our job board at the HBCU Career Center targets employers who want to hire job seekers in the diverse community.  There are several job boards that serves specific groups.  Look for jobs on these niche boards that cater to specific audiences.  Create job seeker profiles on these niche web sites so that you can be alerted to vacancies for which you qualify.

Career fairs and job fairs

These networking events give you an opportunity to meet recruiters who are looking to meet available job seekers.  A quick google search will point you to many career fairs, typically in a big city near you.  Look for jobs at career fairs that serve specific occupations.  For example if you live in Philadelphia, simply Google a phrase like “Philadelphia job fairs” to find scheduled events.   You can add a specific occupational area to get even more specific such as “Philadelphia Healthcare job fair.”

Professional associations

Joining professional associations is another way new grads find jobs.  Most associations are relevant in a specific industry or occupation.  You can find a list of professional associations among our alumni resources.

Social media

If you want to answer the question – where do new grads find jobs?  The answer must include social media sites like Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.  You can follow or like companies, recruiters and staffing firms to find out about job leads.  Follow us on Twitter or Facebook where we have RSS feeds of vacancies.  Keep in mind that you want to maintain professional contact with anyone you meet via social media.

 

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6 Steps to a Simple Cover Letter

Recruiters can get a pretty good sense of your background by scanning a well written resume.cover letter However, it’s a simple no brainer cover letter that really puts your resume in context for the specific job with a specific company.  Your cover letter doesn’t have to be  complicated or complex to do this. The role of your cover letter is to just focus the recruiter’s attention by adding your personal voice to your resume.

Cover letter header should match resume header

With a simple cut and paste you can amp up the professional look of your resume and cover letter. Using the same header on both documents will look like you have your own personal letter head.

Cover letter opening statement should say how you learned about the job

Recruiters want to know how you found the job.  A simple statement in the opening sentence of the letter will achieve this. If you were referred by someone specific, this is a good place to share that information.

Refer to your resume; highlight specifics in cover letter

The second paragraph in the cover letter is where you connect your skill set, education and work experience to the specific job. Just identify the top three, most relevant, things you want the recruiter to know about you, relevant to that job. These three bullet points will strategically end up in the middle of your document and will be easy to read.

Use the company name at least 3 times in the cover letter

Although you are keeping the cover letter simple, you still want to strategically connect with the company. One way to do that in a cover letter is to mention the company name 3 places – in the salutatory address information, in the opening paragraph and in the closing paragraph.

Avoid “To Whom it May Concern” in the cover letter

Remember that your goal is to get more “personal” in the cover letter than you can in the resume. Therefore, address your letter to someone specific. A little company research will usually get you the name of a specific person to whom you can address your cover letter. If after doing your company research you do not have a hiring manager’s name, find the name of the Director of Human Resources. If all your research fails, use ‘Dear Hiring Manager.”

Closing a cover letter

No matter how simple you make the cover letter, the closing must be strong. It is perfectly legitimate to close your cover letter by stating your plan to follow up with the company if you do not hear a response by a certain time. Include your email and phone number right there in the closing section of your cover letter.  Don’t let the employer have to look for it.

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