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How to Make Sure People Read Your LinkedIn Profile

Don’t you just love micro-learning?

I love these quick video lessons.  They are an awesome tool to get a bunch of information across in a very quick and compact way.  This video from Business Insider does just that.  Recruiter Donna Serdula shares 5 tips to make sure people read your LinkedIn profile.  From the header to her tips on giving recommendations, your LinkedIn profile is probably the best way out there for employers to find out a LOT about you in a very short time.  Remember that a busy recruiter doesn’t have a whole lot of time, so to make sure people read your LinkedIn profile, follow these tips!

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Plan to finish your internship in style

HBCU students are participating in summer internships all across the country.  Black male in style

One of your goals should be finish your internship in style.  What do I mean by that? Finish your internship experience positively and in a professional way.

How to finish up with style!

-Thank your supervisor and tell them what you have learned. Be specific about projects and skills that have taken your professional game to the next level.  Talk about the meaning of the assignments and what it has meant to you to be a part of the team.

– Reach out to professionals in other departments that you want to thank or stay connected with as well.  This is the perfect time to get your LinkedIn account set up so that you can start to build that professional network.  Although your fellow interns might want to connect as friends on Facebook or Instagram, your boss might prefer LinkedIn.

– Ask people how you can stay connected with them. Remember that you are trying to build meaningful relationships not just get new tweeps who want to follow your daily life!  Find out what people are interested in and you will be able to network in more meaningful ways.

– Stay professional and approachable all the way to the very end of the internship.  Your goal is to leave there with bridges built and not bridges burned.

Stay professional up until the very last day.

The end of internship social event is not for you to “let your hair down” especially if you want to get an offer for a full time job after graduation or if you are hoping to return next summer.

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5 Steps to Jump Start your Job Search Right Now

Yourjump start your job search job search should be in high gear now, if you graduated this spring.  If your job search is not yet picking up steam, here are 5 things to do today to jump start your job search right now.

1. Find the career center on your college campus!  Here are links to the HBCU career centers.  Find out when they are open for walk-ins or appointments.  Which of the career center’s resources can you access on line?  Find the calendar and schedule career events such as job fairs, workshops and on-campus interviews.  If you are seriously want to jump start your job search, you must engage with the career center.

2. Start cleaning up any digital dirt that recruiters might be using to disqualify you as an applicant.  Check your social networking accounts like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and make sure you have a positive image online.  New studies show 86% of recruiters are researching job applicants online.  Find more information on what employers want.

3. Create a LinkedIn account and begin to build your professional brand on line.  One sure way to get serious and jump start a job search is to put yourself out there and start making connections.  LinkedIn is an awesome way to do that.

4. Buy a copy of my new book Resume Guide; How to Look Good on Paper.  If you need answers to questions like – How do I handle a low GPA in the job search? Where are the weak spots on my resume? My book can help.  Write the resume and get it critiqued.

5. Post your resume on a few job boards including the one used by your HBCU career center and the job and internship board at TheHBCUCareerCenter.

There are no guarantees in a job search.  To find success you need steady and consistent attention to job search best practices.

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Smart Career Gifts for New Grads

2016 graduatesIt’s still commencement season and graduation gift giving is at it’s peak.  For the new graduate in your life, help to jump start the professional life with smart career gifts for new graduates.

Career gift # 1 is Professional attire.  Many new grads struggle to build a professional wardrobe.  Stick to retail gift card to stores specializing in business professional or business casual attire such as Men’s Warehouse or Jos A. Banks for men or Kasper and Ann Taylor for women.  This way new grads won’t spend the money on other things.

Career gift # 2 is a Starbucks gift card.  New grads may need to do some professional career networking over coffee or tea at a nearby Starbucks Coffee shop. It would be nice for a new graduate to be able to pick up the tab for hosting an informational interview or going out with new colleagues.

Career gift # 3 is a real leather portfolio.  Not “pleather”. Get real leather.  Graduation is a time to upgrade to professional accessories and this career gift will do that.   They can be pricy but it’s a really great investment.

Career gift # 4 is Passport fee.  I’ve been recommending this for a few years and new grads love it.  Write a check for passport fees, and include the passport application.

Carer gift # 5 is membership in a professional association. Find out about a career area of interest and pledge the membership fee for the first year for a new grad.

Career gift # 6 is the first student loan repayment.  New grads know only too well that college loans become due six months after graduation. Offer to pick up the first payment or the first few payments for a new grad.

Career gift # 7 is a tablet.  If the college graduate already has a smart phone, consider upgrading with an iPad or a similar tablet.

Career gift # 8 is transportation.  Doesn’t sound cool, but this is a necessity that new grads overlook.  Whether they have a job, looking for a job, apartment hunting etc,  they will need mobility until they get a paycheck.  This could be bus passes or tokens, gas card or navigation equipment.

Career gift # 9 is career coaching session. The job market is a competitive place for new grads.  Just as you would give a gift card for a spa treatment, gift a session with a professional career coach.  Find a coach you trust and make the connection or pay for a career assessment session.

Career gift #10 is magazine subscription.  There are certain magazines and media that will help new grads transition from college campus to the real world.  Some to consider: Fast Company, B.O.S.S. Mag, Black Enterprise and Success Magazine.  Find out where their occupational interests lie down the road.  Magazines and business media can help them get there.

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Campus Jobs are Real Jobs Too!

campus jobsWorking throughout the college experience is a reality for most HBCU college students. If you are lucky enough to land one of the jobs on campus, I encourage you to take your work seriously. Campus jobs are real jobs too and should be taken seriously as legitimate opportunities to gain new skills, build your professional network and earn real money…without the commute.

Putting aside the schedule flexibility and the short commute, college students can gain the following real advantages by working in campus jobs.

1. Meet college and university staff beyond the classroom. Supervisors who are impressed by student workers are often willing to write letters of recommendation or provide professional references.

2. Gain real, marketable skills in your preferred career area. College campuses are just like other organizations with employees in pretty much every functional area. From public relations to food service to library services, there are thousands of campus jobs.

3. Learn how to execute an effective job search process.  Landing campus jobs is one of the first experiences college students have with independently walking through the job search process or connecting with the career center staff on campus.

4. Develop actual professional soft skills which are necessary for future workplace success. Office etiquette, workplace social savvy, communication skills, following instructions etc. are all valuable skills that college students need to learn.

Campus jobs are real jobs too and our HBCU college students need to use the opportunity to develop real networking relationships and real job skills.

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Graduating with No Work Experience? No Problem

If you are graduating from cono skills or experiencellege and have little or no work experience in the field, you better start thinking about how to sell yourself in the job interview.  If you think you have too little related work experience or no internships, you should be thinking hard about what other relevant experience to sell in the job interview.

Keep in mind that employers are not as interested in where you developed the skills you have, as much as they want to know which job skills you have. Even if you have little to no work experience, employers are extremely interested in the knowledge, abilities, work ethic and attitude you do have.  The way to demonstrate these in job interviews is to share relevant stories from your personal life, classroom or extra curricular experiences.

For example:
Let’s say you finished a hospitality or culinary program, with some hands on training – maybe a restaurant class. Plus you have experience catering events for church or community organization. Even if you have no work experience in a real restaurant, you still have some experiences to talk about in a job interview.  The ultimate goal for job search success is to share your strongest relevant job skills and best personal attributes with employers in the job interview.

Prepare for the job interview in 3 steps:

1. Make a list of the job skills and competencies employers in your field want from new employees.  The HBCU career center can help.
2. Think about personal experiences that demonstrate each of these job skills and competencies. Remember that experiences do not have to be paid!
3. For each job skill and competency find the best example in your past to demonstrate the job skill and competency.

Use these examples in the job interview to increase chances of a second interview.

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