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Desperate Job Search Strategies for New Grads

job searchIf you are one of the new grads out there who has not yet found a job, there are still plenty or career options for you. You have to remember that job search success requires that you be prepared, be flexible and be willing to “pound the pavement” so to speak. Rather than panic, new grads should explore these desperate job search strategies.

1. Check in with your campus career center. 98% of HBCU career centers work with alumni.  Career center staff are still working hard all summer to help companies hire new graduates. If nothing else, have one of the career advisors take a look at your resume.

2. Stay confident in the job search. Sounds simple enough.  But rather than panic and get flustered, stay confident and positive.   Might sound desperate, but you have to find a way to stay calm during the job search.

3. You still only get one chance to make a good first impression. Dress appropriately and more conservatively than you have done in the past. There will be plenty of time to bring personal style to the job once you get hired.  Take your interview attire down a peg.

4. Make a list of everyone you know and start reaching out to them.  Tell them you don’t have a job, but you are looking.  You would be amazed at how willing people are to help.

5. Think about short term opportunities and land something in a good company which could lead to a better career opportunity.

6. Look where you are.  If you are Hospitality major and already have a great job at a restaurant with a national brand why are you leaving? Talk to managers about transitioning into a Manager Trainee rolew. Don’t just walk away from a job if you are already in the industry.

7. Get connected with a staffing firm and have a recruiter advocate for you during your job search.  Many companies hire temporary staff, before they make permanent offers.

8. In addition to your online job search – create an “on-land” job search strategy. Get up from behind your computer and go meet employers at networking events, meet-ups, job fairs and open houses etc.

Embrace these job search tips and your next interview could be the step to your first year on the job!

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Combat Job Search Age Discrimination

older workerI spoke with a colleague recently who had lost a spouse and was looking to reenter the workplace.  It was pretty clear that his biggest concern was the job search age discrimination he felt he would face.

He was worried about his chances of finding, what he called, decent employment.  “Nobody wants to hire old people anyway and with all these young people looking for work, I feel bad trying to take a job from them.  They have families. They are starting out. I’m just too old for a job search anyway.”

Not only did he feel most employers would show some type of age discrimination towards him, he also felt that those who would offer him a job, were not willing to pay what his experience deserved.  After talking about using salary surveys to get current wage information, we talked about tips to help him battle job search age discrimination.

Keep Job Search Energy High

Stay positive, cheerful and high energy for all phone or in-person job interviews.

Talk about experience, professional maturity and expertise.

Keep resume content current and stick to relevant information.

Speak to the long term value you can bring to the company.

Tell stories about outstanding outcomes in prior assignments.

Consider using a functional resume and group experiences in relevant blocks.

Use cover letters to focus on relevant, successful experiences.

Speak to your ability to collaborate and work with everyone from Boomers to Millennials.

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Posted in Career Advice, Career and Industry Awareness, Diversity Recruiting, Employment Trends, Job Skills, Life at Work, Niche Job Board, Professional Development, Selling Your Brand, What Employers Want, Work and Life | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Combat Job Search Age Discrimination

Job Fair Questions Job Seekers Should Ask

african american groupIf you are looking for a job then attending job fairs should be part of your job search strategy.  Although a job fair will only give you only a few minutes to speak with a recruiter, you can still make an impact as a good potential candidate. Do your research and in addition to answering questions asked by the recruiters, pick a few of these job fair questions to ask about the company, the industry or the job at the career fair.

About the Industry

• What should I really know about succeeding in this industry before I apply for a job or begin a career?

• What professional associations would you recommend to someone pursuing jobs in this industry?

• Can you recommend periodicals and journals you think would be important for new professionals in this field?

• What skills do you think are the now most important in building a successful career in this field?

• Where can I find out more about career paths in your industry?

• What advice would you give to someone trying to break into this field?

About the Company

• I am interested in your company because (fill in the blank). Can you offer me suggestions on how I can successfully apply to your organization?

• Can you tell me what types of skills and experience your company looks for in new graduates, interns or experienced professional?

• Can you describe a typical (entry-level, accounting etc.) position in your company for which I might qualify?

• What kinds of training programs does your company have set up for new employees?

• What do you like most about working for your company?

About the Job

• Can you tell me more about the (mention a specific position) mentioned on your website?

• What kinds of professional development activities do you plan for your new hires?

• I am interested in (blank), who in your company would you suggest that I contact?

• May I leave my resume with you?

• How should I follow up with you?

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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.

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