Tick Tok: 3 Loose Ends that Need Tying

 

Tik tok, on the clock
But graduation countdown don’t stop
Tonight, I‘mma apply
For the job of a lifetime 

Tik tok, on the clock
But second semester won’t stop
Tonight, I’mma scrape by
Til I reach the finish line

Yes, that was my very own career parody of KE$HA’s “Tik Tok,” please hold your applause. While I hope you found it funny, upcoming graduation is no laughing matter. In just a few short weeks, all of you grads will be walking across that glorious stage and receiving those hard-earned diplomas. But don’t get a severe case of senioritis just yet, because there are A LOT of things you need to get done before that big day (and I’m not talking coursework). Here are the top 3.

1. Job Search

Please, please, please don’t wait until the day after graduation to start looking for your first job. The time is now –  actually it was a month ago, but better late than later. Many people think that they don’t need to look for a job until they are actually available to work, but this is not the case. The hiring process is a long one and it takes a lot of time to find a job, get an interview, negotiate, and get hired.

2. Networking

Now is the time to reach out to your contacts. Let them know you are graduating in a month, and that you’re looking for a job. Connecting with them now is good because they can give you leads on jobs that may not be publically posted. People remember what it was like to be a wide-eyed college grad, and they want to help you! So don’t let your pride get in the way and let them.

3. Letters of Recommendation

A lot of job applications ask for a list of people they can contact for recommendations in addition to actual letters. This is the time to ask your professors and supervisors for those ever-coveted letters. By asking 6 weeks before graduation you give them plenty of time to put a lot of effort into it. You’re also half way through the semester, so they should be pretty familiar with your work ethic, strengths, and capabilities.

 

Best of luck to you wide-eyed hopefuls!

 

To-do List: Acrostic Poem Style

Remember acrostic poems from elementary school? You usually had to make a poem describing yourself using the letters of your first name, tell me I’m not alone here! Regardless, hardly anything makes me more nostalgic than thinking about those wondrous Spring Break vacations my family and I went on throughout my childhood, and thus comes my inspiration for this post! While our younger selves had no responsibility, and certainly no job hunting to be done, us older folk must use this time off school wisely for career gain! Without further ado, here’s a Spring Break to-do list acrostic poem style for us older, more career-focused individuals.

Scrub your resume

Spring cleaning friends! There’s no better time to scrub and polish your resume than when you have a week long break from academics. Update it with career relevant coursework, experiences, and work you’ve completed through the winter. Make sure your resume has only relevant information; for example, it may be time to get rid of your “lifeguard for three summers” bullet point to make room for more relevant jobs/responsibilities.

Prioritize

Spring break means you can do anything! Sleep til noon, binge watch a Netflix series, or explore a new city. While all of the aforementioned activities are super fun, they aren’t very productive; especially in regards to your job search. Instead of sleeping til noon, prioritize your responsibilities and take this free time to put a real dent in your career search. Research companies, make connections, and improve your LinkedIn profile.

Regulate your social outlets

When I say regulate, I mean control. And when I’m talking about control, I’m talking about your social media. Spring Break isn’t known for its….ermm… classiness. Make sure you aren’t posting statuses/pictures/comments on your social media platforms that you wouldn’t want a recruiter to see.

Informational Interview

Spring break gives you a lot of free time! Yay! Use this free time to connect with people in your network, and ask for an informational interview. Check out how to score and informational interview from here.

*disclaimer: the article suggests you ask your contact to meet you for coffee and chat about the job, but recruiters have told me they prefer candidates let the employee choose whatever is easiest for them (e.g. coffee vs. e-mail vs. phone conversation).

Network

Spring Break means being social right?! So while you’re out having a good time, and acting classy make some quality contacts! You never know who you might meet, so make sure you carry some business cards with you at all times. You can get inexpensive business cards from vista print.

Go get ‘em

Now go get ‘em you rockstar, you! You’ve done your homework, made connections, and beefed up your resume, now’s the time to start applying and interviewing for that amazing job/internship.

 

Put the “Work” in Networking

Hibiscus Sports Complex gym

“It’s all about who you know.” As much as you might not want to believe it, there is nothing truer than that statement. For this reason, it’s crucial to network in order to ensure your future career’s livelihood. Having a connection can make the difference between landing your dream job and staying unemployed (sad but true). In order for your connections to work, you have to be actively reaching out to them. It’s time to put the work in networking.

Step 1: Create a network

Even if you haven’t started your professional career you still have a network. Your network can include friends, family, classmates, and professors. Anyone you have a connection with is a part of your network, so make sure you maintain good relationships with everyone around you. Creating a network is not a task you can complete; it’s an enduring process that will continue throughout your professional life.

Step 2: Reach out to YOUR contact(s)

Just because you know person X, Y, and Z at a company doesn’t mean they’re going to be looking for a job for you; that’s on your shoulders. If you’re starting your job search make sure to send out a quick e-mail to your contacts asking them for advice on whom to contact at the company. They’ll likely have their own network at the company and will help you get your foot in the door. Make sure you always attach a current resume to these e-mails so they have something to pass along to HR or whoever their inside contact is.

Step 3: Reach out to THEIR contact(s)

After you reach out to your contact, they are likely to give you additional contacts at the company to reach out to for more information. When you are contacting this person make sure your e-mail is strictly professional. When you send them an e-mail make sure you (a) mention who your mutual contact is and how you know them, (b) attach a current resume, and (c) treat the e-mail like a cover letter and format accordingly.

From there it’s a waiting game. Hopefully this contact will pass your resume to the person who is in charge of hiring. Remember to be appreciative and professional, these people are doing you a favor and it’s important they know how thankful you are.

 Happy networking!

How to Jump-Start Your Internship Search

Job search

The time has come to begin thinking about your summer internship. Yes, I know it’s only December, but some summer internship applications are already closed!

When I started my internship search last year, I had no idea where to begin; I had no industry experience, no connections, and no idea what to do. But I did have ambition, drive, and a good internet connection. Here are 3 ways to jump-start your internship search.

1. Reflect

The first step is to take some time and really reflect on your professional goals. Take a minute to consider the different career paths you could pursue, and where you would be happiest. For any major, there are a number of different careers to choose from, so make sure you know what you want to do.

2. Research

Once you have an idea of what kind of position you’re interested in, it’s time to research it. Learn everything you possibly can about the industry: Where are the best companies in that industry located? What is the job like? What is the industry culture like? Do they have a hiring season? These are all important questions to ask yourself. Nearly every company has a website. Use it to your advantage to learn everything about the specific companies your interested in working for. Also, check the company’s website for job openings; if there aren’t any posted don’t hesitate to contact their office to ask if they have an internship program.

Not only should you research the industry and the companies, you can also research the job market. Sites like InternMatch (that’s how I found my internship), Intern Sushi, and indeed are great internship search engines.

3. Reach Out

After you’ve found some perspective internships to apply for, reach out to people that work there. If you don’t already have connections to the industry LinkedIn is a great tool for finding people that work for a specific company. As awkward as it may seem to reach out to a complete stranger, it’s totally worth it. But don’t reach out asking for a job or an interview, when you connect with someone make the conversation about them. Fore example: ask them what they do on a daily basis, what they like about the job, or how they got to where they are.

 

 

Photo Credit: Kate Hiscock

How To Navigate Hawk Jobs

Hawk Jobs is a great resource to use to look for jobs, but unfortunately most students and alumni don’t know how to work it efficiently. That’s what this post is for – to help you navigate Hawk Jobs. Take these steps into consideration and you’ll be able to upload your resume, find job openings, and check out which employees will be at an upcoming career fair in no time.

1. Go to the Hawk Jobs login page.

2. Click “Student Login” and enter your Net-ID and password (your Net-ID is the one you use when you login to your e-mail).

First, before anything, fill out your profile. You can click on the My Account tab on the left side of the screen and then click on My Profile. You’ll need to fill out things such as your major, where you live, and when you’re expected to graduate. You can also fill out your GPA, any skills you have, and your achievements.

If you want to upload your resume, click on the My Account tab and then My Documents. Then scroll down to the Employee Related Categories bar and click Add next to resumes.

If you’re looking for a job, complete the next few steps:

3. Hover your mouse over the Job Search tab and click Job Search.

 

4. Click the drop down arrow in the Job Category bar and choose which category you’re majoring in or what you’re interested in.

5. Then, click the drop down arrow in the Position Type bar and choose between four position types: Degree-Required Opportunities, Internships, Off-Campus Jobs or On-Campus Jobs (the two that I use the most are Degree-Required Opportunities and Internships).

If you have any additional questions on how to use Hawk Jobs, please don’t hesitate to contact our office.

 

6 Tips to Secure a Job One Month After Graduating College

This post is authored by Bobby Smith. Bobby Smith is a regular blogger at SelectAware, an online coupons site. Find coupons and savings tips like this Infographic, A Year in the Life of a Savvy Shopper at SelectAware.

If you’re reading this article, it’s clear who you are and the questions you have. You’re worried because you might not have a job waiting for you after you graduate college. Read through the end of this article, and I’ll outline 6 steps to almost guarantee a job offer comes your way one month after graduation.

Jim and Friends on Graduation Day

First, here are some statistics to put your worries at ease.

  • On average, it takes college graduates 3-7 months to land their first job.
  • Nearly 50% of college graduates move back home upon graduation.
  • The current average salary for college graduates is around $45,000.

If you did okay in school, then based on averages alone, you’ll have a job. But you’re reading this article because you don’t want to be average. You want a job now! Follow the six steps below:

1) Establish Your Strengths

Right now, write a list of 5 personal strengths that could be relevant to the professional world. Once you have this list, now ask yourself, “Would I hire me?” Develop a list of quality strengths that’ll make an employer say “I want someone like that as part of this company.”

Tip – I hope you didn’t write common, cliché strengths like “hard-working, motivated, team player, independent, and dependable.” Don’t think you’re the only applicant who describes themselves as the previously listed traits. Think of strengths that’ll benefit your employer.

2) Make a Superior Resume and Cover Letter

This is a commonly known step in the job-finding process. However, it’s under-rated by many applicants. A quality resume and cover letter is the key to getting your foot inside companies’ doors.Keep your resume to one page and cover letter to half a page.  Remember that employers and hiring managers get TONS of resumes and cover letters.  Your resume and cover letter need to capture their attention.

Write up a draft of your resume and cover letter.  If you don’t know how to, just search in Google for resume and cover letter templates. You’ll find lots of information that’ll help you. Once you have your drafts written, ask yourself these two questions:

1)    Did this cover letter and resume catch my attention?
2)    Would I consider hiring this person?

If not, make the proper revisions so that “yes” is the answer to the above questions.  Since you already figured out your strengths (as done so in Step 2), it’ll be much easier to create a quality resume and cover letter.

Tip – Crafting a resume and cover letter is a lot of work. But you only need to do it once, and you can pretty much use the same template for the rest of your professional, working life. However, be sure to always modify your resume and cover letter for each job. Fortunately, these modifications are typically brief and simple.

3) Find High-Status References

This is another commonly known step in the job-application process. College graduates are usually quick to just grab any teacher, parent, or manager from their previous jobs. Students – do not have reference letters written for the sake of having them. This is an under-valued part of the job-application process.

Have two reference letters in place that describe your character and strengths. The key here is not the content of the letter, but the reference instead. Have one reference from school and a professional reference. (If you don’t have a professional reference, then make do with two references from school). Aim for “high-status” references. Instead of asking your teacher, ask your Dean. Instead of asking your manager, ask the Director or Vice President. A high-status reference will illustrate that you were an integral part of the company. This is the type of employee that a company wants to add to its team.

Tip – By going for a higher-status reference, the reference “may” not know you very well. Nevertheless, don’t be afraid to ask. Simply asking is demonstration of determination and “high-status” professionals will think highly of you and be happy to help.

4) Clean Up Your Social Profile

It’s very common (almost expected) for employers perform a Facebook background check. Evaluate your social profile for any inappropriate posts or pictures. Don’t worry about going overboard with this. It’s perfectly acceptable to have pictures of you socializing and having a drink in your hand. Just simply put yourself in the employers’ shoes when they’re looking at your profile. Would they say “I don’t want someone like this to be part of this company.”?

Tip – This can also work in your favor. Have pictures of you participating in charitable or human events. This’ll illustrate positive character.

5) Look for Jobs in the Right Places

I’m going to share with you a secret here: Do not use sites like Monster or CareerBuilder.  Here’s why:

  • Too much competition
  • Lower quality jobs
  • The best jobs out there are not listed on these sites.

Instead, search for the type of companies relevant to your degree. If you’re a public relations graduate, simply search “pr companies city name.” Look for a “Jobs” or a “Careers” page, and you’ll find job listings there.

Tip – Use Google’s “inurl” operator to perform advanced to find relevant companies. Type “job industry city name inurl:careers” and you’ll be shown career pages for relevant companies.

6) Looking for a Job is a Full-Time Job

Keep this in mind: You’re going to be rejected a lot. Even if you’ve completed all the above steps to perfection, you’ll still probably be rejected. Once you accept this fact, it’ll be much easier to go through with this process. Applying for jobs is a numbers game. The more you apply, the greater your chances of getting a job.

Tip – Most college graduates don’t realize this fact. They place all their eggs on that first interview then get down on themselves once they don’t get the offer. Treat this process like a full-time job. Apply for 1 job an hour, 8 hours a day, 5 days a week. That’s 40 applications a week. After one month, you’ll have 120 applications. I can say that with 99% certainty, you’ll have a job after 120 applications that included the process I’ve outlined above.

Follow this 6 step plan, and you’ll find yourself with a job far quicker than the “average” college graduate.

Photo by Jim, the Photographer.

Personalizing Your LinkedIn Account

Image

LinkedIn, or any professional networking for that matter, is all about selling yourself. You have to convince people that you are the right fit for the job or internship opening.

Fingerprint2

Marketing yourself as a desirable product is really what you’re trying to accomplish on LinkedIn. Every marketing major knows the four P’s of marketing: Product, Price, Placement, and Promotion. Those 4 elements are at  the core of successfully selling any product. However, there is a now a fifth P: Personalization. Personalization requires a connection between the marketer (you) and the consumer (the prospective employer). Personalizing your LinkedIn account is easy! Here are three easy steps to achieving personalization perfection on LinkedIn.

1. Send personal messages.

When you click to connect with someone on LinkedIn, an automatic message is included with your request to connect. Do not fall victim to sending the standard message. First, make sure to delete the automated message. Next, write a short (only a few sentences) message to the person you want to connect with. If you’ve met them in person, bring up something unique the two of you chatted about. If you haven’t met them in person, tell them why you want to connect. Are they in the field you’re interested in? Do you have a strong mutual connection? Make sure to let them know you aren’t serial adding people on LinkedIn to get more connections. They need to feel like their connection means something to you.

personal message

2. Add your interests and hobbies to your profile.

While LinkedIn is a professional network, you should also share some personal things about yourself. I don’t advocate sharing deeply personal things about yourself, like how much money you make or the details of your relationships. Reveal the personal things about yourself that speak about your character and who you really are. There’s an “additional info” section where you can slip in a few personal details about yourself. Include hobbies that  you genuinely enjoy (e.g. blogging, running, crafting, hiking, etc.). Adding these personal touches can help a recruiter learn a little more about what kind of person you are. It can also lead to a great connection! Recruiters like hiring people who are like them, so if you share a common hobby they may be more apt to hire you.

additional info 2

3. Be active on LinkedIn.

LinkedIn is a social networking site, so be social! It’s important that you not only make an awesome LinkedIn page, but that you also interact with people on it. Post industry-relevant information, say congrats on people’s new jobs or accomplishments, and endorse your connection’s skill sets. Staying active on LinkedIn will help your connections stay fresh. If your connections see you posting information, or if you endorse their skills, they’ll be more likely to look at your page. If you’re feeling extra ambitious you can take it a step further and write a recommendation for someone. Maybe they’ll return the favor!

endorse

Photos by Marco Ghitti and UWW Career.

How to Network on LinkedIn

These ten tips, taken from LinkedIn, are too good to pass up, so I had to post them on here. All credit goes to LinkedIn for creating these tips.

Great day at LinkedIn HQ!

Whether you just created a LinkedIn profile or have had one for years, using these tips to network on LinkedIn can be helpful for everyone!

1. 100% Complete = 40x More Opportunities
You can’t build connections if people don’t know who you are or see what you have to offer. Your LinkedIn profile is your online business card, resume, and letters of recommendation all in one. Users with complete profiles are 40 times more likely to receive opportunities through LinkedIn.

2. You’re More Experienced Than You Think
The more information you provide, the more people will find reasons to connect with you. Think really broadly about all your experiences, including summer jobs, unpaid internships, volunteer work, and student organizations. You never know what might catch someone’s eye.

3. Use Your Inbox
Contrary to popular belief, networking doesn’t mean reaching out to strangers. The best networks begin with those you know and trust, and then grow based on personal referrals. Start building your LinkedIn network by uploading your online address book and connecting to friends, relatives, internship colleagues, and professionals you know in the ‘real world.’

4. Get Personal
As you build your connections on LinkedIn, always customize your connection requests with a friendly note and, if necessary, a reminder of where you met or what organization you have in common. If you’re being referred by a mutual friend, write a brief intro of who you are and why you’d like to connect. You’ll impress people with your personal touch.

5. Join the ‘In’ Crowd
Another way to form new online relationships is to join LinkedIn Groups. Start with your university group – alums love to connect with students – and then find volunteer organizations or professional associations you already belong to. As a member, you can comment on discussions, find exclusive job listings, and meet people who share common interests.

6. Lend a (Virtual) Hand
As you build connections and group memberships, think about what you can do to support others. Comment on a classmate’s status update or forward a job listing to a friend. You’ll find that your generosity is always rewarded (and you’ll feel good about it!)

7. Update Your Statues #Early and #Often
Networking is not just about who you know; it’s about who knows you. Stay on other people’s radar screens by updating your LinkedIn status at least once a week. You can do this directly on LinkedIn or by linking your Twitter account and tweeting with #in. Mention events you’re attending, projects you’ve completed, and other professional news.

8. Question (And Answer) Everything
LinkedIn’s Answers feature is a great place to seek advice from a wide variety of people all around the world. You can also show the world what you have to offer by answering people’s questions about a topic where you have some expertise. The more active you are in Answers, the more people will view your profile and want to connect with you.

9. Do Your Homework
Before an informational interview, a job interview, or a networking get-together, use LinkedIn to learn about the background and interests of the people you’re scheduled to meet. Access Company Pages to research organizations and their employees, and use Advanced Search to find things you have in common with people you’re meeting.

10. Now Step Away From The Computer…
Be sure to support your online networking with real human contact. Set up phone calls, attend live events, send snail mail notes to people you interact with on LinkedIn. Remember that online methods should supplement, not replace, in-person relationship building.

Photo by Link Humans.

How To Create a LinkedIn Profile

So you’ve created a Facebook page, you have a Twitter account, you’re on Instagram, Foursquare, and Pinterest, but why aren’t you on LinkedIn?

Turns out, creating a professional account is just as important as having accounts on the ‘fun’ social networks. LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional social network. There are more than 225 million users, and you should be one of them!

Here is a step-by-step tutorial on how to create a LinkedIn profile.

How To LinkedIn

This is the first thing you’ll see when you click onto the LinkedIn website.
LinkedIn 1

Yes, creating an account is free and doesn’t take much time at all. After you’ve entered your information and click Join Now, this screen will pop up.

LinkedIn 2

You can choose to add contacts from your e-mail address contact book, or you can skip this step.

This will be the next page that you will be sent to.

LinkedIn 3

The neat thing about LinkedIn is that you can follow celebrities who you are interested in, sort of like ‘liking’ pages on Facebook. You can always come back and follow individuals if you don’t want to do it at this time.

Nice! This is similar to what your profile will look like so far.

LinkedIn 4

You’ll be asked a series of questions, which will be in blue boxes above your profile picture. You can answer, add a picture of yourself, or skip and answer later.

LinkedIn 4 Pics

If you click your profile and then click Edit, this screen will pop up. You can always go back and edit sections of your profile by clicking the Edit button or the Improve Your Profile button. You can add parts about what kind of work you did at your last job, you can add college courses, you can add leadership positions you’ve had, and more.

LinkedIn 16

When you click on the Profile tab, this is similar to what you will see.

LinkedIn 5

You’ll soon find out that LinkedIn is more than just a social network. It’s more than a place you can post your resume. LinkedIn is a place where you can connect with your peers and staff and faculty, learn more about what kind of career you want to get into through blog posts, comments and special interest groups, and network with professionals who are in the field of interest you want to get into.

I hope this basic tutorial has helped you start your LinkedIn profile! Throughout the month of October we will be posting many more blog posts about how to network by using LinkedIn, sample invitations when asking someone to be your connection, good and bad profile pictures, and many more tips. Stay up to date with other helpful LinkedIn and social media articles by following us on Twitter and Facebook!

Starting Your Job Search Early

Seniors graduating in December – this post is for you! It is imperative to start your job search months before you graduate, because you don’t want to graduate in December and not have a job lined up. Job searching is a full time job in itself! That’s why you should start early and set yourself apart from the rest of the competitive candidates.

Career Fair 12

Below I’ve listed five of my favorite job search tips that have worked for others and will probably work for you, too!

Attend the Hawk Career Fair

The Hawk Career Fair, an annual event put on by Career & Leadership Development, will be held on Wednesday, September 25 from noon to 4 in the Williams Center. You can RSVP to the fair through our Facebook page to get updates and information about the fair. More than 100 employers will be there looking for interns and employees. Some employers include Target, Maurices, Generac, We Energies, and Quad/Graphics.

Juniors and seniors are strongly encouraged to attend the Hawk Career Fair. Business professional or business casual dress is recommended. What else should you bring besides your snazzy self? At least ten copies of your resume, a padfolio (we’re going to be giving away a bunch of padfolios during the school year, so keep us on your radar!), pens, and business cards, if you have them. Also make sure to prepare your elevator speech. We’ll be going over more information about the career fair in the next few weeks.

Attending the career fair will help you get your foot in the door, especially if you want to work for one of the companies attending the fair. Make sure you do your research on the fair, which can be found on Hawk Jobs, to secure a great job after graduation.

Create and Maintain Relationships

As a senior, you’ve probably made tons of friends and connections, through your peers, coworkers, professors, supervisors, and friends-of-friends. Remember when you were a freshman and didn’t know anyone, not even your roommate? Look how far you’ve come. Use those connections to your advantage!

Having lots of friends isn’t just good for your social life. It’s good for your professional life as well. Knowing people is everything. You may have gotten to know professors, managers, student leaders, or advisors. Spread the word that you’re looking for a job in a particular field, and one of your colleagues or friends may stumble upon something that is right up your alley.

Use Social Media to Your Advantage

I’ll admit it – I’m a Twitter fanatic. Having been the UWW Career Twitter manager for the past year, I know a bit about utilizing Twitter to your advantage. There are many ways you can get resources off of Twitter. For example, you can search for something using hashtags. The #1 word to find a hiring company is… #hiring. Next up? #tweetmyjobs and #jobopening. Why not tweet and give it a shot?

You can also follow career centers on Twitter. My favorites are Career Bliss, Career Realism, Brazen Careerist, and Career Builder. These accounts constantly tweet out job openings, interview tips, job search advice, and interesting career-related articles. Be sure to follow us on Twitter, too!

Visit Career & Leadership Development

If you’re a senior and you have yet to take advantage of our career services, it’s not too late! We would rather see you late than never at all. Some of our services include resume checking, doing mock interviews, helping you get involved, and figuring out your career path. The career staff also has many resources to help you find a job in the field you want to get into. They may refer you to job boards such as Big Shoes Network (most commonly used by students in the College of Arts & Communication) or Hawk Jobs (our own job board).

Polish Your LinkedIn Profile

While some may say that your online presence may replace resumes in a few years, you can’t argue with the fact that what you post, tweet, or blog about online is more influential than ever. Once you click send, that tweet or blog post is on the Internet forever. If you want your digital footprint to be a positive and professional one, make sure you have a profile on LinkedIn.

LinkedIn is a networking tool that helps you discover inside connections to recommended job candidates, industry experts and business partners.’ It is a great website to be on, so I highly recommend setting up a profile. If you do already have a profile, start networking with other professionals on LinkedIn. Connect with your peers, endorse them for skills, join groups, and have conversations. Make your presence known. Who knows – maybe that HR professional you had a conversation with on a LinkedIn article will mention a job to you?

Many of my peers have LinkedIn profiles, but not the best profile pictures. Having a professional picture is key – that is one of the first things employers look at when they view your profile! The two other social media managers and I will be hosting a free LinkedIn Headshot Photoshoot outside the Hawk Career Fair on September 25. It will be quick and painless, and we encourage you to stop by and get your picture taken!

December grads, what other steps have you taken towards your job search?

Photo by UWW Career.