Networking: The Conversation

This is the time of year when many colleges are hosting events that will provide an opportunity to network, including career fairs, panel discussions or actual networking events. For those who are not in school, many cities have network-after-work events, workshops or conferences you might attend. Here are a few tips to keep in mind to help you make the most of these opportunities.

  1. Know your audience. You might ask an employer a different question than a fellow student.Photo by Ambro
  2. Be tactful and professional. Last year at a holiday event I was having a conversation with a couple of people when a business owner, bent on getting a client, interrupted us, ignored me (which is not easy when I’m nearly 6’ tall) and launched into her spiel. Several minutes later she finally looked at me and said something by way greeting. (Can’t remember what, I was making a mental note to mention her in this blog.)
  3. Listen more than you talk and ask follow up questions. When you do speak try to weave in some things that will make you memorable. Perhaps your sister attended the same college as the person you’re speaking with. Maybe he’s a Raven’s fan—tough to find in Bengals’ country—and so are you. You might realize someone’s last name sounds familiar and discover her dad was your softball coach in high school.
  4. Share a little bit about yourself. This is a good place to use some of the components of your elevator pitch (what is unique about you, what you can contribute to an organization, what you know about the company) or to answer some of the questions you’ve memorized (see below). You might also talk about hobbies and non-work-related interests. Think dinner party/get together, not just professional events. I received some great advice about being published from a friend of my sister’s at a get-together, and afterward added that person as a Linkedin connection.
  5. Start with small talk. This might include weather, information about speakers scheduled for that evening, the event itself, sports (unless you are or you encounter a fanatic), news items, latest movies. This will help break the ice before you ask more in-depth questions, but avoid controversial topics if possible.
  6. Move into open-ended questions. These are questions that require more than a yes or no answer. When you walk away you want to have useful information. If you’ll be seeking work soon, make sure you know if their organization is hiring. If you need clients you should know if they have need of your services.

QUESTIONS

When you approach someone, shake their hand, look them in the eye and introduce yourself. Below are some questions you might ask or might be asked of you at a college networking event such as a reception with potential employers. 

College Event

  • What made you choose _____ University? When will you graduate?
  • What’s your major? Why did you choose that?
  • What do you love/enjoy most about your major?
  • If someone were to describe your school in one sentence what would he say?
  • How did you end up in this area (city)?
  • What organizations are you involved with on campus?
  • What was the strangest or funniest incident you’ve experienced in your organization? (e.g. sorority, fraternity, sports team or club, etc.)
  • What were you involved in while in college?
  • Do you have any hobbies or involvement outside of work?
  • Is your organization open to partnering with student groups for service projects?

The conversation might be a little bit different at a professional networking event, but these questions can also be asked of potential employers who are visiting your university.

Image by AmbroProfessional/Work Event

  • Where did you go to college?
  • How long have you been with your organization?
  • What attracted you to your organization?
  • What advice would you give me if I want to be successful in your line of work?
  • What do you love/enjoy most about what you do?
  • What separates your company from the competition?
  • What made you decide to attend tonight?
  • What do you see as the coming trends in your profession/area of expertise?
  • If someone were to describe your business/company in one sentence what would he say?
  • What would make someone the ideal employee for your company or organization?

Other Events

  • What do you do for a living?
  • How did you hear about this event?
  • Did you get a chance to go to (insert name of local event) this past weekend?
  • What made you decide to attend tonight?
  • Did you catch the game last week?

Here is an example of a conversation that might take place between a student and a potential employer after the initial greeting or introduction:

Student: Thanks for coming tonight. (Reads name tag. Sounding enthused because she did a little homework before the event.) Oh, you’re with the World Helpers Foundation. I just read an article about your record-breaking year.

Employer: Yes. We’re really excited about that, especially with the economic challenges.

Student: I’ve always enjoyed philanthropy and fund-raising. In fact, I’m the President of my sorority and we recently exceeded our goal for cancer awareness by 40%.

Employer: That’s wonderful. How did you do that?

Student: I felt like we’ve underutilized social media in the past. This year we made sure we put the word out about our event early through Facebook and Twitter, then on our webpage we highlighted cancer survivors that were close to our members.

Employer: What a great idea!

Student: Thank you. What’s your role at WHF?

Employer: I’m the Senior Director of Partner Relationships. In a nutshell, I’m responsible for relationships and recruitment.

Student: That sounds interesting. What do you like best about your career?

Employer: Working with people toward a worthy cause. It’s challenging but I get to be creative and I like seeing the results of all my hard work.

Student: I feel the same way when I’m planning events. What kind of advice would you give me that would help me to eventually get into a role like yours?

Employer: Well, you’ve already got a great start! You have to be comfortable talking to people and leading teams and it seems like you’ve done that fairly well with your fraternity.

Student: Thanks! Do you ever have any entry-level opportunities or might you be able to recommend some other organizations?

Employer: As a matter of fact, we usually have some opportunities at WHF.

Student: Well, I would definitely be interested. Would it be okay for me to keep in touch with you?

Employer: Absolutely. (Hands over business card)

Student: (Shakes hand and thanks the employer before moving on.)

Well done! After all your hard work, you don’t want to lose contact with the great people you’ve met so come back next time for tips on how to strengthen your new relationship.

See you next time!

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Why December Is A Great Month For Your Career Search

The following was originally posted last December but bears repeating. Here are the best reasons to keep up your career search–even in December.

I get it. It’s not that you don’t want to look for a new career mid-December, it’s just no one is hiring. Everyone knows that, right?

Free clip-art.net

Free clip-art.net

Wrong!

I had this very conversation with someone last week. Not only did I tell the person she was mistaken (As a recruiter I thought that would carry some weight. I was mistaken.), I asked, “Have you even looked?”.

Crickets.

Turns out she was basing this logic on her experience with employment agencies in the past.

Here’s the deal. Yes, some companies wait until the beginning of a new year when a new budget becomes available before they take on the expense of adding personnel. But not all companies. If that were true there wouldn’t have been any public career fairs in your city in the past couple of months. Or weeks. Plus, do you really think we recruiters get to put our feet up on the desk for the entire month of December? Come on. We want to be busy. Busy hiring people.

So, in an attempt to take the momentum out of the ‘nobody’s hiring’ rumor, here are a few really good reasons to look for a new career right now.

Make a statement

Looking now could tell recruiters something about you. You don’t follow the crowd. You’re ready to dive in—right now. You plan ahead—why put off until tomorrow what you can do today, and all that. These are great qualities to bring to the table at any company and gives an idea about your work ethic. Just make sure when you get in front of the interviewer you back those qualities up with good examples.

One in a million fifty

Because so many people believe the “no jobs ‘til January myth”, competition is usually very low. This means your application is automatically closer to the top of the pile. You still have to bring the goods of course, but at least the hiring manager won’t have to wade through hundreds (yes, hundreds!) of other folks’ information to get to yours.

Recruiters have more time on their hands

When sorting through tons of applications reviewing can become scanning for the sake of efficiency. But when your resume or application is one in a handful it will naturally receive more of a perusal.

After 14 years of recruiting and observing trends it seems as if everyone’s New Year’s resolution is to find a new job. The number of applications we receive increases dramatically come January 2nd. But you, oh wise one, are smarter than that. Your odds of getting the job are way higher when you’re only being compared to a fraction of those in the New Year frenzy. You just might catch the eye of the recruiter (who would have otherwise passed over your resume quickly in January) and land an interview.

It Could Be Good for Your Health

Health benefits, that is. In most companies, the date on which you are eligible for benefits or perks is tied to your hire date. That means if you can start before the end of the month your benefits could kick in up to a month early.

One Step Ahead

 Ahhh… That is the sound of relief. Relief because, not only did you get the job, you’re already well into your training. And your friends who made that, “First thing on Monday, I’m looking for a job” vow are sweating it out without you. When you hang out after work next month you can relax and offer them words of wisdom. Or comfort. You choose. But, for you, the pressure is off.

Some of you are still not convinced. I know what you’re thinking. You really don’t have the time to begin a career search now. You’re doing your holiday shopping and the holiday party circuit and making New Year’s plans… Recruiters might not be busy but you are.

Trust me. Start now and you’ll thank me next month. Cruise on over to those jobs sites and start putting in your applications. Today. Happy searching!

10 Mistakes During The Interview That Can Cost You The Offer

Congratulations on your interview! Here’s your opportunity to show the company why you’d be the best person for the job, so take it seriously. Many of the mistakes from the phone interview still apply when interviewing in person, but here are a few more to keep in mind.

  1. Postponing The Interview—Of course things come up but I have found it’s very rare that someone Image by Stuart Milesgenuinely wants to reschedule after postponing. If you are interested, keep the appointment. If a true emergency arises state what it is. The term “family emergency”, while perhaps factual, sends the recruiter a red flag. People use this term when they leave messages on voice mails in the middle of the night because they don’t know how to admit they are no longer interested, something better came up or they never planned to come to the interview in the first place. Few emergencies are so private they can’t be mentioned, so be honest. Call during business hours, explain your situation and reschedule with the recruiter immediately.
  2. Three’s A Crowd—Or, in this case, two. There is no reason for anyone to attend your interview with you. If you have car trouble and need to be dropped off your ride should wait down the street, then give him a call after the interview for a pick up.
  3. Late Arrival—If possible do a practice run the day before the interview. It’s difficult to guess how long the drive might be in rush hour traffic if you’ve never timed the route. Who knows, you might have to park in the back of the lot, trek to the building or take an elevator to the 23rd floor, all of which add time to the total commute. If it is unavoidable call the recruiter to tell her you are on the way.
  4. Extremely Early Arrival— Many people live by the 15 minute rule–if you arrive 15 minutes early you’re on time. If you’re on time, you’re already late. Great rule of thumb. On the flip side, there is such a thing as too early. The interviewer more than likely has his day mapped out and has other tasks planned right up until your scheduled time. If you arrive 30 or 45 minutes early you could be throwing a monkey wrench into his day. Instead of going inside, sit in your car and kill some time or go down the street to a coffee shop. Just don’t spill anything on your suit! Which brings me to my next point.
  5. Dress/Appearance — Of course most hiring managers will expect to see you in a suit unless you were told otherwise by the person who set up your appointment. Your shoes should be polished, your clothing should fit well – not too big or too small, too low-cut or too high—and you should select a color that is neutral. Think black or navy. Clothing is the first thing to come to mind, but this category includes cleanliness, hair, nails, piercings and visible tattoos as well. If you look as if you rolled out of bed and threw on the first thing your eyes landed on in your closet you are stating, ‘This is the best I am willing to do’. Definitely not a candidate recruiters want to vouch for. I’ve even had a few candidates refuse to take off their coat during the winter months. That is odd behavior that is sure to raise an eyebrow.
  6. Preparation – Come to the interview with a few copies of your resume in a portfolio in case you interview with a panel or team. Or if the company is having printer issues. This can go a long way when you’re up against candidates who arrive empty-handed.
  7. Condescending Attitude – Every company expects you to bring something to the table but you must also be a team player who is teachable. You might be chock full of information, but you don’t know everything, especially if you are entering a new industry. Be willing to add to your arsenal by listening to what others have to contribute. Also remember you should never discount anyone you meet. The receptionist could be the owner’s mother for all you know, or the owner herself. Respect everyone. No one is beneath you, and if you feel the job is, think twice before you apply.
  8. General Answers/Skipping A Question—Recruiters are seeking specific examples so we can determine how you actually handled a situation vs. how you would theoretically handle it. Anyone can claim the customer is always right, but back that claim up with an example. If you get stumped it is better to ask for a moment to think of an answer than to ask to come back to the question. Check out this post for some tips on how to prepare: No Job Offer-Part 2: http://wp.me/p2Yxve-q.
  9. Over The Top—There’s enthusiasm and then there’s inappropriate. Building rapport is a must, and I
    free clip art.net

    free clip art.net

    laugh frequently during interviews, but be careful not to come across as too familiar or unprofessional. Years ago a candidate made derogatory remarks about his ex-wife in a joking fashion and told an inappropriate story that he found funny. I doubted our customers would and had to move on to other applicants. You are not at the bar and you haven’t been hired as a comedian. Know how to read the interviewer. If they aren’t smiling or laughing with you you’re sinking fast.

  10. No Questions —No matter how much research you’ve done you don’t know everything about a company. Think about what is important to you: benefits, tuition reimbursement, advancement, relocation, responsibilities, etc. and ask. Even if you repeat yourself throughout the interview process, each person you encounter will answer you based on his experiences. Anticipate questions (see No Job Offer-Part 3: http://wp.me/p2Yxve-C) and write them down. If I had a dollar for every  interviewee who said, “I had a lot of questions at home. I just can’t remember them now,” I could take a pretty decent vacation.

There it is—mistakes to avoid at all levels of the application process. Hopefully these tips will help you sail through the interviews and land your dream job in no time.

Come back soon for more interviewing and job advice!

Repairing Your Professional Reputation

In the past couple of weeks alone we have seen many a reputation tarnished: Columbus Short for alleged Image by Stuart Milesdomestic abuse was ousted from the popular series Scandal, Donald Sterling, the owner of the Clippers has been banned from the NBA for life due to racist remarks and, in what some might consider a lesser offense, New York Yankee Pitcher was suspended for 10 games for using pine tar to aid his grip. (It’s also a safe bet that Bieber did something to raise an eyebrow or two.) Hopefully you care more about your reputation than he does.

But what if you have made some mistakes? Maybe a happy hour with co-workers led to some poor judgment on your part when you had one drink too many. You stole someone else’s idea at work…and got busted. You’ve been a notorious gossip. You’ve been pulling a Costanza (for you non-Seinfeld fans, that’s looking busy at work when you’re not actually doing a darn thing) and your co-workers are on to you and threatening exposure. Are you stuck with your bad rep in your company or is it possible to bounce back?

Perhaps.

While some people’s choices have ended careers, others have been through the wringer and come out on the other side of it worse for wear but determined to rebuild themselves. After his admitted infidelity, Tiger Woods held the traditional “apology press conference” then had to get help and lay low for over a year before he was once again accepted, some might even say embraced, in the public eye. In 2009 Michael Phelps lost Kellogg’s sponsorship and had a 3 month suspension from USA Swimming after a picture of him using a water pipe surfaced. Phelps immediately owned his mistake and publicly apologized, calling his behavior inappropriate. As a result the negativity died quickly. He was hailed as a champion at the 2012 Olympics and has maintained that status judging from the excitement surrounding his comeback meet with Ryan Lochte mentioned on GMA just last week.

Apparently time really does heal wounds, but while some might be forgiven there are always going to be those who will continue to scrutinize them closely. Who wants to live like that, constantly dealing with doubters and defending your reputation? If you’ve suffered the consequences of disciplinary action or termination or your personal brand has taken a hit it’s time to make a change. You can still be a person any corporation would be proud to have on their team. The challenge is, if all you’ve known is deception and cheating it can be very difficult to get back on track without a major wake up call.

Start out the right way and you can rest assured you won’t have to battle your past. But on the off-chance you’re looking in your rear view mirror at some serious infractions here are a some tips to help you make a fresh start.

Acknowledge and apologize. If you have offended someone you are not going to get very far in winning them over without wiping the slate clean—but you must be sincere. You can’t make progress if you avoid talking about whatever it was that caused the divide in the first place. Take this opportunity to also tell the person you are trying to change. Then prove it through your actions.

Be an open book. Don’t do anything that might tempt you to lie later on. If you can’t talk about it, don’t do it. If questions are asked of you, unless the information is confidential, tell the truth. If it is confidential explain that, unfortunately, you can’t share the information because: you would betray a confidence, you’d be violating a policy or whatever the case may be. If there are no secrets to discover, over time that bad rep will begin to fade and your integrity will shine through.

Find an accountability partner. Choose someone you can trust and confide in. Share what happened to hurt your reputation, ask for advice and allow them to ask you questions going forward to keep you from being a repeat offender. Ask that person to be bold enough to pull you back if you head down the wrong path. Keep in mind this doesn’t have to be someone who works in the same company, but it will require honesty on your part.

Confess. If you’ve done something wrong it’s going to be discovered soon enough. I have much more empathy for candidates who own up to mistakes than those who try to explain them away, often blaming others. You must, however, be prepared for possible consequences.

Good deeds. Make good choices going forward and hopefully they will outshine the flubs you’ve made in the past.

Surround yourself with good people. Understand the people you’ve offended are not going to be eager to be in your presence initially because of the distance you’ve created or for the sake of their own reputation (you know the saying, birds of a feather flock together) so you might need to find people with integrity outside of your organization. Spend time with them, pick their brains and adopt their behavior and outlook. People will begin to take notice.

Make a fresh start. If you’ve tried to turn your reputation around for an extended period of time yet that deed keeps haunting you, it might be time for a new start. If you stick around too long you could stagnate your career. Yes, you were in the wrong, but if you’ve made a sincere attempt to get past it and it’s not working you need to be somewhere where the bad vibes no longer exist. This is not running away from the problem—unless you leave without ever taking ownership. Once you get that new opportunity make sure you embrace it and let the new you reign. Soon the old you will be a distant memory.

Take time to rebuild. If what you did resulted in a termination you might have to take a job below your skill set to prove yourself for a few years—yes years—depending on the severity of the matter. This will give future employers someone to reach out to ask about your work ethic, integrity and character.

When you implement these tips it will still take some time for others to believe you have really changed, so don’t give up too soon. Will NBA fans someday forgive Donald Sterling? Will Columbus Short recover quickly or fall off the radar for a few years like Isaiah Washington, also terminated from a Shonda Rhimes series years ago? (Last week’s cameo aside.) Only time will tell. Your future, on the other hand, doesn’t have to be a question mark. Start rebuilding your brand today.

Check out the following links for more:

Your Ethics = Your Brand

Years ago when my former manager wanted to announce my promotion it appeared my drug test wasn’t going to make it back in time. Because I’d proved myself an employee of integrity and honesty another manager told him, “There’s no way you have to worry about Nichole.” What do others say about your honesty? Your integrity? The choices you make?

Image by David Castillo Dominici

Image by David Castillo Dominici

I never want to look back on my so-called accomplishments and have to wonder which ones I genuinely earned and which ones I achieved by cheating. No, I’m not perfect. No one is, but mistakes and lifestyles are two totally different things. Poor decisions will catch up with you. Sure, maybe you’ll get the job, but eventually that company is going to find you out. Once you have a bad reputation it is difficult to change others’ minds about you. Hollywood and the general population can be forgiving, but real life is different.

A lack of ethics can be detrimental to your career or even prevent you from launching one. Paula Deen had at least 12 companies sever ties with her because of allegations of racial discrimination last year and still hasn’t fully recovered. After a domestic violence charge Chad Johnson’s NFL football career ended. Swiftly. Although she has bounced back in a major way, Martha Stewart had to serve jail time for insider trading. Some other unethical behavior in your workplace might include:

  • Getting paid under the table–I am amazed how few people realize this is illegal

    Image by jesadaphorn

    Image by jesadaphorn

  • Stealing–Money, supplies, products
  • Abuse of policies and guidelines—A simple example might be using a company discount for friends or family outside of the organization.
  • Harassment—This can be direct or indirect in the form of pictures or inappropriate language that isn’t even directed at a co-worker.
  • Cheating
  • Inappropriate computer use
  • Misuse of company time
  • Misrepresentation—employees making false claims in order to sell products
  • Retaliation-those in authority mistreating employees as a form of punishment

In addition to termination, consequences can include arrest, demand for restitution, revoke of privileges, jail-time or, perhaps, demotion. And you’re not the only one who will suffer. The company could also pay a price. This was the case last month when we had a clogged drain at home. My husband called a plumber who came out and took care of the issue. When signing the bill the guy handed my husband a bottle of Pipe Cleaner. He asked about the charge on the bill and the plumber replied, “Oh, that’s part of the package.”

Part of the package? Suspect. I like to believe the best about everyone but that sounded odd to me—even more so when I looked at the bill later and saw the Pipe Cleaner was listed on a separate line. Of course I called the company. Not that I wouldn’t have bought the product anyway but I wanted to be given the option, not the assumed sale. It made me wonder if he’d inflated the price of his service as well. In actuality, according the person I spoke with in the business office, he gave us a break on the cost of the service. That’s great if it’s true, but think of the damage he could have done. I’d questioned his character. And, for me, that’s not something I’m willing to sacrifice. Going forward maybe he’ll learn to be up front in the beginning because I am still reluctant to do business with him or the company again.

If you see yourself in any of the examples above, what will it take for you to change? Will it cost you your job? Your friends? How about your family? I know what you’re thinking. I’d never lie to my family. To which I’d ask, how do you know? Could you really tell your spouse about the questionable things you’ve done at work? Or would you opt for a lie—either an overt lie or a lie of omission where you just say nothing? Was Lance Armstrong able to confide in anyone? Of course not. He kept the deception going until the wheels fell off.

When you start to deceive others, dishonesty cannot be contained. It might start at work but it will grow and it will follow you home, spill into your personal life and cause all kinds of fallout. Yes, once again, grandma was right. Oh what a wicked web we weave when we first practice to deceive.

The point is simple. DO THE RIGHT THING! Never let scandal, deception or dishonesty be associated with your name. After all, you only have one reputation. Protect it with everything you’ve got.

 

Don’t Give Up

Your #1 New Year’s resolution was Find a New Job. What you might be discovering is tons of people made that same resolution. And not just December grads. Many experienced people joined the January frenzy too.

You might not get the first job you pursue, but don’t be discouraged. Given the volume of applicants recruiters are receiving it might be more challenging and take more time before you get that coveted offer. If you are beginning to feel frustrated here are a few tips to keep in mind while you continue your search.

 Image by Stuart MilesDo some soul-searching

Be honest. Did you miss some offers due to your own errors?

Perhaps you came across as cocky instead of confident during the interview. Confidence is a wonderful attribute, however, overconfident body language and answers can be off-putting. This happened with a candidate who told one of our hiring managers, “When you call to offer me the job—and you will be calling me…”

This kind of attitude doesn’t make anyone feel warm and fuzzy. If the manager was rubbed the wrong way, how will customers and co-workers feel? If you want to convey you are the best person for the job simply reiterate your strengths.

“I think the leadership experience I gained as Vice-President of my sorority will be a real benefit to the Project Manager role. I’m looking forward to hearing from you regarding your decision.”

Did you walk into an interview without preparing? Maybe you went just for experience and the recruiter sensed that—despite the fact that you discovered mid-interview the job would be right up your alley. Even if you’re not excited about the opportunity when you apply, if you accept an interview take time to prepare and go with an open mind. As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, I applied for my company simply because it was in my home city where I planned to return after college. To my surprise, the person who interviewed me had such great things to say I was sold. I originally thought I’d stick around for 3 months then move on.

That was in 1994.

Have you been aiming too high? If you only have 1-2 years of experience (or maybe even less) and every opportunity you seek requires 5+ years, you are barking up the wrong tree. Commit to searching for entry-level jobs and you should see some doors begin to open. The same is true for more seasoned candidates. If you have a wealth of experience and your goal is to walk into a management role, cross entry-level opportunities off your list. They more than likely will not offer the compensation or responsibility you are seeking.

Remain Positive

Whether you are in the application stage or face-to-face interview stage, no one likes to hear the word no. When those no’s multiply over a few weeks, though it may tug at you hard, resist the woe-is-me mentality.

Do some things that make you feel good. Go to the gym, spend time with friends, participate in a sport or treat yourself to dinner or a movie—within your budget, of course. Give yourself permission to not think about your career search while you are out having fun.

If the negative thoughts come, replace them with good ones. 

Don’t lament because you got passed over. Again! Consider this: there is something out there that is a better fit for you. Had you gotten the other position(s) you would have missed out.

Years ago when my husband and I were looking at houses we found one we both liked and put in a bid. I was absolutely convinced it was the house—the perfect one for us. Imagine my disappointment when we didn’t get it. Then there was a second one I fell in love with. My husband, not so much. Yet I kept dreaming about that place. Finally we found yet another one that we both agreed on: open floor plan for him, attached garage for me and a bonus sun room. That was the one we got, and it is so much better than the others. Think about your job search in the same way. Even if the position seemed like the one that got away, keep believing something better is on the horizon.

Don’t cry reverse ageism. It’s the timeless dilemma: How can I get the experience required for the career I want if no one will give me a shot?  You are not totally devoid of experience. There are entry-level careers that only require the skills you were able to pick up at your high school and college jobs.

When my husband first began his career in IT no one was willing to give a young guy with no computer experience an opportunity. After a long search he was grateful to land a job in his field making less than minimum wage. He used that time to his advantage, learning as much as he could, proving himself and, slowly, other opportunities opened up. He eventually became a Senior Manager and a Director in his field. The moral of the story: don’t knock humble beginnings. Pay your dues and you will reap the benefits.

Don’t dwell on the interview that was an epic fail. If at first you don’t succeed try, try again. Prep for the next time. Brush up on interviewing tips or sign up for a mock interview at your alma mater (Bonus tip: recruiters who conduct mock interviews are hoping to find some leads).

Bitter is not better. I’ve seen it dozens of times. You don’t get the offer and then you lash out. The problem is, when you become bitter it can show in your interviews. If you get a rejection notice and feel a need to respond, keep it professional.

“Thank you for reviewing my application. Should any other opportunities become available for which you feel I am qualified, please keep me in mind.” This is a message that could score some points with the interviewer, so she just might give you a call when another position becomes available.

On the other hand, “I’d like to know why I wasn’t considered for the job. I meet every single qualification listed!” more than likely will not elicit a reply. Even if it does, it won’t be, You’re correct. I made a mistake. Your demanding email indicates you’d bring unity and harmony to our team. The recruiter will not be inclined to keep you in mind for anything except an example of what not to do during the interview process. What grandma taught you still rings true: You catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.

Walk into every interview as if it’s the first

It might sound odd, but if you have a fresh mindset it will show. If you are replaying rejections in your head you could come across as desperate, defeated, or both. Remember this when you ask for the job, emphasis on ask, not plead.

Don’t rule out a part-time gig. Yes, student loans are around the corner, but a few months might allow you some time to find direction now that you don’t have fifteen things going on at once — classes and projects and meetings (oh my). Even if you begin your new career in April, you’d still beat the May/June grads and have a few months before you have to face the loans.

Remember, life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it (Charles Swindoll), so choose wisely.

Make it a great day!

7 Unique Ways to Get Better at Your Job

Great advice!

Campus To Career

There are millions of reasons to feel motivated to get better at your job. Job competition, job advancement, and job security are three phrases that might get you motivated to figure out how to get better at your job. The regular list won’t do anymore. You have to get creative. Here are 7 creative ways to get better at your job.

Stop Multi-Tasking

caffeinating, calculating, computerating

This piece of advice may come as a shock to you, but a recent Stanford study shows that people who heavily multitask do not pay the kind of attention it takes to do well at what’s in front of them. Clifford Nass, psychology professor at Stanford, explains the study shows that multitasking wastes more time than it saves and shows that multitasking also diminishes creativity. Don’t try to do several emails at once, don’t email while texting, don’t surf the internet while you’re talking on the phone.

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