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Know What Employers Want this Fall Recruiting Season

Do you know what employers want from college students who they are interviewing this fall for internships or jobs after graduation next summer?

You should know! Learn here and then go meet recruiters in the career center on your campus and create an email Job or Internship alert at The HBCU Career Center.

What employers want

Stay engaged! Find The HBCU Career Center on Twitter, Facebook and/or Instagram!  Sorry – No snap chat! 😊

Posted in Career Advice, College Life, Diversity Recruiting, Employment Trends, HBCU Career Programs, Internships, Job Search Tips, Life After College, Life at Work, New Grad, Niche Job Board, On campus interviews, Professional Development | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Know What Employers Want this Fall Recruiting Season

End Resume Fails and Ace your Job Interview

Resume Tip 1We are on a mission to end resume fails.

Our philosophy is that one of the best ways to prepare for any job interview is to truly commit and immerse yourself in the resume writing process.  After years of looking at a myriad of resumes, many of which were really bad, I ended up writing a Resume Guide: How to Look Good on Paper.  I decided that to end resume fails, we needed to explain to people how the resume writing process helps with the honest self-evaluation and reflection that is necessary to prepare for the job interview.

Identify your competencies

Writing your resume is a really good way to think about and summarize a list of competencies that you have and that employers need.  Keep in mind that employers are interested in the competencies you have right now; not the ones you are going to develop and not necessarily the ones you had five or ten years ago.  Resumes that don’t demonstrate the competencies that are in demand and that the employer is asking for now, will definitely fail to hold recruiters’ attention.

Getting a clearer picture of what you want

There is nothing like the resume writing process to clarify your career goals at this point in your professional life. The resume is not about what you want to do with the rest of your life. It’s about what you are looking for in your next opportunity.  Resumes that don’t share a compelling picture of where you are right now and how you want to contribute right now, won’t hold the recruiters’ attention.Resume Tip 2

Refreshing your memory about relevant professional and education history

Writing your resume gives you the opportunity to recall the important accomplishments you want to share right now.  Resume writing a great way to recall and language the stories you will tell in job interviews. If you want to end resume fails, use the resume to put your best, most impressive summary of your professional highlights in front of the employer.  If your resume doesn’t share recent and relevant information, it won’t hold recruiters’ attention.  

Bragging about your accomplishments

The bottom line is that your resume will fail you if you do not include accomplishments. The emphasis here being on recent and non-trivial professional accomplishments.  Your resume must demonstrate the value that you brought to previous employers, regardless of the positions that you held. If your resume just list tasks without speaking to the impact of your role, it won’t hold recruiters’ attention.

Resume Tip 3Because we want to end resume fails, we regularly share resume tips like the ones shared here on our Facebook and Instagram pages.

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Posted in Career Advice, Job Interviews, Job Search Tips, Resume Writing, What Employers Want | Tagged , , , , , , , | Comments Off on End Resume Fails and Ace your Job Interview

Get a Grip; What Does Your Handshake Say About You!

HandshakeI recently read a note about handshakes in a career journal and thought I would update and re-post the following that I wrote many years ago.

We assume everyone knows how to shake hands, right? Not so.

A recruiter shared with me the other day, how often he met college students and professionals who really did not know how to do a professional handshake.

It might seem silly, but your handshake is one of those things that people in general or hiring managers will remember about you. Your handshake says how confident or sure of yourself you are, even when you are nervous. If you are in the job search process or in the professional environment at all, keep these handshake tips in mind when you attend job fairs, meet managers or go to interviews:

1) Offer your hand while looking the other person in the eye. Smile, and share a quick introduction of yourself. eg. “Hello, my name is Jemal Student”.

2) Women should really be sure to offer a firm grip. Not hard. Just firm. The key is palm to palm contact. Limp fingers placed in someone else’s palm, with no movement does not make a handshake.

3) One, two or even three pumps of the hand, not too fast, will do.

4) Of course be sure your hands are clean, warm and dry. If you are like my daughter, whose hands are always cold, you may or may not want to say something about your own hands.

5) It’s all right to decline a handshake if you think you have a cold and want to be health conscious.  Usually that would be the only reason, unless you are in a place where culturally, the handshake doesn’t make sense.  We’ll deal with that in another blog post.

6) Don’t worry if you are the first to let go. It is perfectly appropriate to show you know when you are done.

A hearty handshake is one way to demonstrate your confidence and professionalism. Don’t be shy about extending your hand to as many people as you can and practice getting your handshake just right.

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70% of Employers Looking at Job Applicant Social Media Accounts

Recent Career Buildjob applicant social media hiringer survey confirms what you already know – Employers are looking at applicant social media accounts.  The number is up from 60% in 2016 to 70% in 2017.  We can only assume it will keep growing.


What’s good about employers looking at applicant social media?

Well according to survey respondents, recruiters are looking at the following good things and making hiring decisions:

61% looking for information that supports the candidate’s knowledge and skills for the job

50% are looking to see if you have a good professional online presence

37% are looking to see what other people say about you

24% are looking for any reason at all, NOT to hire you

More than half (54%) of the recruiters said they found information on job applicant social media accounts that caused them not to make a job offer.

Candidate posted provocative or inappropriate photographs, videos or information: 39 %

Candidate posted information about them drinking or using drugs: 38 %

Candidate had discriminatory comments related to race, gender or religion: 32 %

Candidate bad-mouthed their previous company or fellow employee: 30 %

Candidate lied about qualifications: 27 %

Candidate had poor communication skills: 27 %

Candidate was linked to criminal behavior: 26 %

Candidate shared confidential information from previous employers: 23 %

Candidate’s screen name was unprofessional: 22 %

Candidate lied about an absence: 17 %

Candidate posted too frequently: 17 %

No question that this for all the benefits that job applicants have with using social media in the job search, there are some other challenges that come with no longer being anonymous.  Today it is not just your resume, cover letter and job interview.  It is about what you may or may not be doing relevant or not relevant to your job, that your are posting in your social media account that could get recruiters to either not extend or rescind a job offer.  Recruiters are doing everything they can to find the right candidate for vacancies and, for now, looking at job applicant social media accounts is one way they are doing that.

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Career Placement Center on Campus – Can They Help?

career placement centerAlthough the trend has shifted away from the use of the word “placement” in the names of career offices on college campuses, your college or university may still have an office called “Career Placement Center”.

Even if the staff there doesn’t use that name, many students, staff and even faculty on college campuses will often use that term and have the wrong concept of what such an office does. Sometimes college students delay job searches because they perceive that the “career placement center” office will do just that and place them in a job or an internship.

That is a perception that you want to change very early. Do not be misled when you hear the “placement” word because no one, except an employer, can actually “place” you in a job.

The career office can, however, help get your foot in the door with employers because they do the following things to support your job search:

Develop strong relationships with employers

Secure and make available job leads for all students

Share with you what specific employers want

Assist you to create a stronger resume

Help you with job interview practice and preparation

Coach you through a specific job search strategy

Support you with job search tips

Host employers for on-campus mock interviews or real interviews

Provide faculty and administration with feedback about professional skills demanded by industry

Encourage and support positive behaviors

Teach you how to develop job search skills that will lead to lifelong employment

Suggest to employers you would make a great candidate; if they believe so!

Despite all your career center does, YOU ultimately will be in the job interview by YOURSELF and YOU must sell your skills and your brand to employers.

Proactive students are successful, when they take responsibility for his/her own job search.

Keep in mind also that you will have to conduct a successful job search many times throughout your career. Gaining the skills to do it successfully is critical to your long term professional success.

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Posted in Career Advice, Career and Industry Awareness, HBCU Career Programs, Job Search Tips, On campus interviews | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Career Placement Center on Campus – Can They Help?

Working with Recruiters – Why Can’t I Reach You?

working with recruitersIf you want to frustrate recruiters in the job search process, go ahead and make it hard for them to reach you.  What is the point of having multiple email addresses and phone numbers on your resume and then no one can connect with you. Recruiters hate that. Bottom line is that when you are working with recruiters, they must be able to reach you!

Trust me – if you list phone numbers and email addresses on your resume, you should be easily and quickly accessible in both ways.

If you are job searching you must be reading your emails – all of them, including whatever you have in your LinkedIn account.  You must be following up by social media and/or checking your voicemails regularly. Chances if you are working with recruiters, they expect you to be engaged and so they will probably be leaving messages on your phone and sending you emails. This is particularly important if you connected with the recruiter through the career center on your campus.  Now it’s not just your reputation on the line, it is your university’s as well.

Many recruiters will expect a follow-up from a job seeker within 2 to 24 hours. If the recruiter doesn’t hear from you; they will move on! It is that simple. If they don’t get a call back from you, it is safe to assume –they will move on without you and your file gets moved to the bottom of the stack.

When you are working with recruiters, take it seriously. Please stay connected if you are serious about your job search!

You don’t want someone walking away with your job, just because they answered their phone and you did not!

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