Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Being Proactive WORKS!

By: Rachel Isaac

On Monday, January 3rd, the Career Services Team along with Dr. Perzade held a combined Clinical/Interview Skills Refresher Workshop to kick off the New Year and help jump start the job search process. One of the things we discussed was how important it is to network when looking for a job as well as maintaining a positive attitude throughout the search. The following article was taken from ‘Women for Hire’, website www.womenforhire

There was a time when finding a job meant an interview or two, a handshake and you’d start the following Monday morning. Makes me feel so old just saying that, as if I’m explaining the rotary phone to my kids—something that at 13 they’ve never seen.

You don’t need me to tell you there’s no such luck these days. Nothing is certain in the job market except one thing: we must all take total control of our careers. And the good news is we're all perfectly capable of doing just that. We’re most definitely in the era of the self–directed job search and career advancement. Nobody’s coming to bail us out. There’s no major job market turnaround on the horizon. But that doesn’t mean “nobody’s hiring.”

So what exactly does it mean? That it’s time to throw away all of your “that doesn’t work” isms and start fresh — right now.

People tell me all the time about what doesn’t work: “I’m on Facebook. Doesn’t work. I apply online. Doesn’t work. I show up at events. Doesn’t work.” They’re absolutely right. Just being on, just applying and just showing up won’t ever work.

What does work? All of those things if you’re being proactive instead of passive.

· Social media works wonders when you’re actively engaged in talking to people. A profile alone isn’t going to do much, but a user who’s chatting away with the right people and demonstrating her expertise — well, that definitely works.

· Applying online works only if you’re following up with a direct contact. Find someone who works where you’re applying and figure out how to get your resume in front of decision makers. (Blind posting? Don’t count on much.) Apply directly on the websites of companies you’re targeting and always follow the specific directions. Nearly 95% of the applications we receive here at Women For Hire don’t follow directions so they’re automatically disqualified.

· Show up at events only when you’ve done your homework. Who’s attending? Who do you want to be sure to meet? Instead of passing out your business cards and hoping for the phone to ring, ask for the card of someone you’re especially interested in following up with. That enables you to maintain control.

Make everyday a 5 by 5: five new contacts by 5pm every day. It works wonders for jobseekers.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Accepting Positive Criticism

By: Dominic Sheppard

When given advice or constructive criticism, it is best to take heed and let the information sit and marinate before responding. Having an optimistic and proactive approach rather than a reactive comeback or excuse affords one with an attitude that others are more likely to accept and portrays a positive image of a person who people are more willing to assist.
Seeking employment in a field that requires one to have experience and not being able to land that job can be very discouraging and frustrating, therefore when working alongside your Career Advisor, it is wise to be aware of your approach. Taking the high road with all circumstances and most criticism from supervisors or advisors is an important decision that is most positive, diplomatic and ethical. It’s a course of action that prevents the burning of any bridges and it will be yet another step in the right direction.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Do not cross the Fine Line

By: Mary Cosme

There is a very fine line between expressing your personality and divulging unnecessary personal information. While the interview is designed for the interviewer to know you better, sharing too much may jeopardize your chances of getting hired.

Some of the things you shouldn’t share include: Your age, your marital status, your religious beliefs, Sexual orientation, Health concerns, family drama and living situation. You may read this and think “Duh!, this is common sense” but during an interview it is common for your nerves to lead you to make this simple mistake. Be mindful and aware of your answers and the impression you are giving. There are times when people share personal information without even realizing it. For example saying something like “20 years ago when I was a freshman in college” or “I started a family when I was eighteen and my daughter is already 12 years old”, or even saying “I have been praying to God for a job like this”. It is also common for someone who is experiencing personal struggles to become comfortable and share information about things that are better left unsaid. For example, your mom just kicked you out of her home, you are living in a shelter, your baby’s father is abusive and you are sick with no medical insurance and the interviewer asks you “tell me about a challenging experience”. It may seem like the perfect opportunity to share this with the interviewer, however it will only make you seem vulnerable, unorganized, weak, and not ready to handle the challenges of the position you are applying for.

To avoid making this mistake, make sure that everything you speak about during an interview is in some way related or relevant to the job you are applying for and that you always maintain a positive outlook.