Career Services

Lebanon Valley College

Article Round-Up

Over the past few weeks, several articles have come across my desk that I found interesting.  For students in the midst of a job or internship search, they offer helpful reminders, tips, and perspectives on the current workforce.  Take a look:

 

How to Find a Job in 2014 – Gone are the days when sending a resume through the mail and waiting patiently was enough to land a job.  It requires some creativity, plenty of initiative, and a lot of follow-up to stand out from the competition.

Take a look at the compilation of advice provided in How to Find a Job in 2014 that will help you open doors to opportunities. Some examples: Link up with hiring managers in Linked in, and don’t skip the summary section of your profile!  Broadcast your ambitions to help you reach out to promising contacts.  Also, be sure you are actively finding ways to build experience.  As a student, that can be through internships, part time work, on-campus involvement, community services, etc.

 

Top 10 Internet Job Scam Warning Signs – Networking online, as the article above suggests, is a great idea.  With 24/7 internet accessibility, however, there are also more online job boards than one can count.  That’s not a bad thing! In fact, it’s advisable to have multiple search strategies when you are trying to identify positions, companies, and career paths of interest.  However, it can be overwhelming, so I would encourage you to narrow it down to a few sites that you will monitor regularly.  This will help you avoid getting lost online!

With all online activities, it’s important to be cautious about the information that you put out there.  It’s the same with online job boards; some postings may be scams.  For example, if you are asked to provide confidential information, beware.  If you are contacted through personal email accounts, think twice.  If your “spidey-senses” are giving off warning vibes, take note!  Check out this article for more of the Top 10 Internet Job Scam Warning Signs.

 

Just Graduated, and Fumbling Through a First Job – Although the title suggests that this is an article for people already in the workplace, its contents are just as valuable to job/internship seekers.  Expectations for new hires have shifted.  In fact, “most companies operate with fewer employees and tighter budgets than ever before, so there’s not as much willingness — or time — to let novices come up to speed gradually.”

Read Just Graduated, and Fumbling Through a First Job for several perspectives from professionals who look back on their first jobs with an attitude of “I wish I knew then what I know now about….” It also includes a link to the results from a Student Skill Index, an online study conducted with nearly 2,000 college students and 1,000 hiring managers to pinpoint gaps between students’ perception of their level of preparation and that of the employers who hire new graduates.  Knowing this information ahead of time may help you avoid some common pitfalls in your first job.

 

I hope you read these articles and find a few points of interest that you can apply to your own job/internship search.  Have you read any good articles lately on career readiness or job search tips? If so, send them our way – they may just make it into the next Article Roundup!

Gwen Miller, associate director, career services

Reasons to join LinkedIn and resources to do it well

Why be on LinkedIn?

LinkedIn, with more than 277 million professionals, is an essential tool to help students transition into the working world.

  • Create a professional profile and network with others about your strengths, interests, and experiences.
  • A multitude of associations, organizations, and employers use LinkedIn. Join/follow those specific to your interests to receive emails with industry news, current discussions, and job opportunities.
  • Social media is critical in today’s job market. Many employers use LinkedIn in their recruitment efforts. Be a part of the professional community!
  • Use LinkedIn as a research tool; gain valuable information about a company to tailor your application and prepare for an interview.

How do you get started?

LinkedIn has compiled fantastic tip sheets and video resources to help students make the most of their profile.

Take advantage of tips on:

  • Profile Checklist: College Students
  • Finding a Job or Internship
  • Networking on LinkedIn
  • Tailoring your Profile to your Goals
  • Using the Alumni Tool to Explore Career Paths
  • And many other topics!

For a little bit of fun:

Gwen Miller, associate director, career services

225 million professionals…One site

If you’ve walked past the Center for Student Engagement in Mund College Center recently, you’ve hopefully noticed the large bulletin board that asks “Are you…LinkedIn”?  Perhaps you’ve dismissed it, thinking that you don’t need one more thing to manage; or, perhaps you’ve wandered by thinking “I’ll definitely create an account once I graduate and have information to include.”  In both instances, I’d encourage you to take another look.

Students can, and should, become active on LinkedIn, the well-known professional networking site that is 225 million strong.  According to What Every College Student Should Post on LinkedIn, students should include information about their coursework and extra-curriculars, as well as their schoolwork and projects.  Asking professors to write brief recommendations for you can also be a great way to highlight your accomplishments in the classroom.

There are plenty of resources available for students interested in expanding their network, including:

We would certainly encourage you to review these resources and seriously consider creating an account.  However, once you do, commit yourself to keeping it up-to date, using it as a research tool of companies, industries, and professionals, and becoming engaged through groups and discussions.  By the way, once you have an account, you can also join groups that you’re interested in, including the Lebanon Valley College Professional Network that connects over 1500 alumni, students, and employees of the College!

Lastly, SimplyHired offers a recent Blog post that encourages taking your use of LinkedIn one step further: Creative Ways to Use LinkedIn in Your Job Search, which includes tips on discovering career paths, researching people and following companies, and using it to develop skills and read the latest industry news.

Still not convinced to create a LinkedIn account?  According to the article above, What Every College Student Should Post on LinkedIn, “social professional networks are the fastest growing source of quality hires.”

So…Are you LinkedIn?  If not, why not?!

~Gwen Miller, associate director of career services

Make the Choice to Read Job Choices

Among many traits that employers look for in ideal candidates, resourcefulness and an inquisitive approach to problem-solving are right up there.  Learning about the latest trends and resources, as well as staying current on the competition, are important to many organizations for success.  Students should take a similar approach to career planning and the internship/job search!

Each month, the Career Services Blog will spotlight a few of the tools and tips that we believe are valuable.  This month, I’m encouraging you to get acquainted with the digital Job Choices magazine, accessible on the Resources for Students page of the Career Services website.

Why? Because you can be assured that these online magazines, compiled and distributed by the National Association of Colleges and Employers, contain oodles of relevant articles and information for your job or internship search.  Published annually, each magazine – Job Choices and Job Choices, Diversity Edition – covers information from rights and responsibilities of job seekers, to social media, to graduate school or first years on the job.  Take a look at the contents page of the Job Choices edition:

Job Choices picture

 

If that doesn’t inspire you to take a look, maybe the opportunity to win $500 by taking a Reader Poll will (details on page 5 of the magazine).  Two LVC students have won within the past several years…maybe your resourcefulness will also be rewarded!

*Note: Even if you don’t win the $500, can we agree that resourcefulness for resourcefulness’s sake is generally a reward in and of itself?  I think so!

~Gwen Miller, associate director, career services

LinkedIn Job Search Checklist

Serendipity – making fortunate discoveries by accident.

This morning on my way to work, as happens pretty frequently on Wednesday mornings, I had my weekly brainstorming session in my vehicle about what to write for a blog entry today.  Those sessions often begin with “what haven’t I written about recently” followed by “is that subject something that I can make interesting on this particular morning” and finally progresses toward sentence stems and the framework for a few paragraphs.  Quite frankly, this morning I drew a blank.  My creative wheels just weren’t turning.

But, when I got to work, I opened my email and was greeted with a notice from the Career Services Professionals LinkedIn group that I am a member of.  Within the first sentence, a link to a recently published “LinkedIn Job Search Checklist” caught my eye.  I opened it and…yes!  I could use it as a blog (along with this rather lengthy insight into my blog-writing process)! My failed brainstorming was a moot point.  This was glorious.  This was serendipity.

The November 28, 2012 posting – Why Be LinkedIn – introduced the professional social media forum and provided tips to help students and recent graduates create a profile and utilize the site effectively.  At the risk of repeating too much of that blog, I would like to call your attention once again to the video guides on: What is LinkedIn, Build your Professional Brand, Find your Career Passion, Build a Professional Network, Turn Relationships into Opportunities, and Researching & Prepping for Interviews.

As a complement to those videos, take a look at the Job Search Checklist.  I liked it, so I hope you will too.  But, don’t wait until the last minute to begin building your profile – it’s unlikely that a job will land in your lap without quite a bit of effort, networking, and searching.  After all, even though serendipity came through for me this morning, it probably isn’t a reliable job search method.

How many employers actually screen using social media?

According to….

  • The CareerSpots video – Perils of Social Networking – 26% of employers regularly use social media sites to gain information about candidates.
  • The New York Times article – Social Media History Becomes a New Job Hurdle (July 20, 2011) – “75 percent of recruiters are required by their companies to do online research of candidates. And 70 percent of recruiters in the United States report that they have rejected candidates because of information online.”
  • Reppler.Com offers a report – Job Screening with Social Networking – that 91% of the employers who participated in their survey use social networking sites to screen prospective employers

So who is correct?  What’s the true percentage of employers who screen candidates through social media?

Who cares?!  The fact that there is any percentage of employers who look into a candidate’s online persona should be enough to convince people to use caution and common sense prior to posting information/pictures/quotes/videos/etc. on the internet.  Whether or not you agree with the practice of pre-screening in this manner does not prevent a potential employer from doing it anyway.  Although your online reputation may not be able to tell an employer if you can or cannot perform specific job responsibilities, it might give them concerns about your level of maturity and professionalism.  In the job search process, that concern may be enough to set your application aside and move on.

The typical advice is that you shouldn’t post anything that you wouldn’t want your grandmother to see –I suggest you up the stakes a bit on that saying and follow the rule of not posting anything you wouldn’t want a potential employer to see.

Why Be LinkedIn?

Students and recent graduates have a wealth of information at their fingertips through the many social media venues out there.  The common belief is that social media is for connecting and sharing with friends.  While that’s true, you can also use the ability to quickly (and relatively effortlessly) find and connect with others to your advantage in your job search.

LinkedIn is a social media forum built for this kind of professional networking.  According to the CareerSpots video, Why be LinkedIn, creating a profile allows you to talk with individuals about who you are and what you’re interested in.  You can also search for organizations and receive periodic emails from industry associations, alumni networking groups, or specific companies about news or job opportunities.  Conduct job searches using key words or connect with employers of companies with which you have an interest.  LinkedIn offers a six (6) video guide to students or recent graduates on how to Get Started, Build a Professional Brand, Find your Career Passion, Build a Professional Network, Turn Relationships into Opportunities, and Researching & Prepping for Interviews utilizing the capabilities of a personal LinkedIn account.  When used well, LinkedIn can allow you to harness the power of social media in a professional way for the benefit of your job or internship search.

While LinkedIn may be the professional social media outlet, don’t forget about the benefits of other sites.  You can search for companies or associations in Facebook, Twitter, blog sites, and any other forum.  You never know what information you can glean to learn more about an industry/company/culture/etc that will help with your job search and interview process!