July 11, 2014
Brazen Life, another job related website/blog I like to follow, had an article with a provocative title: Why You Should Stop Looking for a Job, and Improve Your Skills Instead. Interesting! What the author, Ross Beyeler was referring to is that our job environment has changed. Employees no longer have a career at one company. We are now in the “gig economy” where we work on specific projects for one to maybe five years. The authors point is, because it is a gig economy we must constantly evaluate our job skills. Are they relevant for the next gig, or do we need to get a knowledge upgrade?
What does that mean for you who is about to enter the job market. Well, I can say from personal experience, when you leave our campus don’t think for a minute you will never see a classroom again. You will be back for an upgrade in just a few years.
July 8, 2014
Cover letters… Do they matter? You bet. If you don’t have a good cover letter your chance to get your dream job is not very good. I mention this several times in my posts here. You are not searching for a j
ob. You are developing strategy to get the right job for you. Part of the strategy is how to develop an effective cover letter.
Liz Herman posted this article on the website “The Muse”. The post provides some useful insight on how to write an engaging cover letter. There is even a cover letter that uses the F-bomb. No I am not saying you should use the same approach, but you must be innovative. Trust me, if you don’t have an effective cover letter, you will not get the job you are aiming for.
July 7, 2014
Interview… How do you prepare for an interview? Are you spending the time to get to know the company? Have you prepared so you can give the right answer to the questions that will be fired at you? A job interview is not about spitting out the right answers. A job interview is about making a lasting impression on the HR manager that interviews you. If you sound like every applicant, your prospect to get the job becomes a chance game. Maybe you get it, maybe not.
Liz Ryan, CEO and founder of Human Workplace published a post LinkedIn, “The Five Deadliest Job Interview Mistakes”. What she wrote in that post is exactly what I am talking about. Be different! Read it, you will have a complete different approach on your next interview.
May 30, 2014
A few posts ago I wrote about rejection. You had the perfect cover letter; you nailed the interview, but still, no job offer. I know this is hard, but you have to move on. This article is worth reading, because it re-affirms some of the points I made. You will find the perfect job. Start planning your strategy on how to get that job today. Don’t know how? Let’s talk!
May 29, 2014
Do you know how much time a recruiter spends looking at your resume? According to a report by Matt Johnston in Business Insider – six (6) seconds on average. That’s how much time your carefully crafted resume is looked at by a recruiter.
Watch this short video and then go through your resume again. Here are the key points:
- Keep a visual hierarchy
- Make your resume clear and concise
- Avoid pictures and photos
May 28, 2014
You know that I have been an avid reader of all the assays Lou Adler publishes. I just found another little gem in an article titled “Why Strangers Don’t Get Good Jobs”. Adler was surveying about one thousand recruiters and hiring managers and asking them how they found the best people. The answer was, 92% were either known by them or referred to them by a trusted individual. In his article Adler makes several points how the stranger can become an acquaintance. The point I want to make is this. In order to get the job you want, you must go out and network. If you want to work for a specific company find out how you can become an acquaintance.
I had a student in my office this afternoon who told me that she would love to work for a seafood company like Trident Seafood. The easy way is to apply for a job is to go to the Trident website, look up careers and submit a cover letter and resume. There is about a 1% chance that she will get an interview. If she is serious about getting a job at Trident she must come up with a strategy on how to become an acquaintance to the hiring manager of Trident. How? It really depends how serious she is. Adler has a few ideas in his article. I recommend you read it.
May 16, 2014
How to keep going
You just sent out several well-crafted cover letters with your resume, you feel good about your prospect to get that job or internship and you wait… Wait for that call or e-mail inviting you for the interview. And, unfortunately, that call never comes. You go through a range of emotions, but the bottom line is, you don’t feel good about it, and your enthusiasm to apply for another job is just zapped away. What now?
Here is my response: If the company you applied for never even sent you a canned e-mail response, forget it. You don’t want to work for this company. Don’t even waste your time worrying about it. If you got a canned response, just a tiny bit better. But ask yourself: Do you really want to work for a company that uses computers to communicate with you? It is very possible you will be treated in the same way once you work there.
But if you received a genuine “We are sorry” response from the HR department, signed by a person, take advantage of this opportunity. Call, introduce yourself and state the following: Was there a specific reason why you were turned down? Is there a way you could have improved your chance to get the posted job?
I know, this is not an easy conversation. But a professional HR person will give you a short feedback. This is what they do for a living. With this feedback you can improve your chance to be more successful on you next application/interview. After such a call you will be ready to apply again, and you will be successful.
May 9, 2014
Every time I talk to a class, every time I talk to an individual I say the same thing: Make sure your cover letter is perfect. Today I found this post on LinkedIn:
“I recently looked for a new manager-level hire. I got over 100 résumés indicating a great deal of interests but I was shocked to see that over 90% did not have a cover letter, and some cover letters were addressed to a wrong person.”
If you are the only person applying for a specific job, the hiring manager will look for a reason why to hire you. If you are one of many, the hiring manager will find a reason why to toss out your resume. It is as simple as that. You can’t get around – your resume and your cover letter have to be perfect.
Again, submitting a resume should only be 20% of your job/internship search. 60% of your time must be spent networking. Again, if the hiring manager has met you, the manager will look for a reason why to keep you in the pool of potentials, even if your resume is not perfect.
Read this article: Slacking on you cover letter? I wouldn’t hire you.
May 6, 2014
Lou Adler who is frequently quoted here, just published another interesting post on LinkedIn. A 10-Step Guerilla Job-Hunting Program. Really, guerilla job hunting program? Initially I was turned off by the title, but only initially. Adler goes right to the point and yes, in a way it is a guerilla tactic, out of the box and unconventional. It is a two part article worth your time. But don’t just read the article, implement the plan!
April 21, 2014
The best career advice for men comes from women leaders…
I just read an interview in the New York Times by Adam Bryant with Michelle Peluso, CEO of Gilt Groupe. The title of the interview: I Don’t Need an Ivory Tower (or an Office). The title is provocative and fitting. Ivory towers and corner office are passé. Getting the job done is what counts, flatten the hierarchy and use transparency as the ultimate equalizer. This is our new work environment. Michelle also has some good advice for you! Check it out.
April 18, 2014 – Bonus
Two postings in one day! What do you want your career to be? This is a serious question, because I believe if you want something really badly, you will get it. But there is a caveat. Be careful what you are wishing for!
I read this story about a student that wanted an internship in a specific field. The student was frustrated with the on campus career fair process and decided to adopt an aggressive tactic. If you want something really badly, you have to think differently and make plans accordingly. Read on, I think you will find this story fascinating.
April 18. 2014
You send in the perfect cover letter, your resume was polished and looked good and you did get the call for the interview. Now what? So many questions, and there is no clear answer. This is why internships are so useful. Don’t miss an opportunity to apply for an internship, even if the position may not be the right fit for you. Applying for an internship and going to the interview is the perfect set up for interview rehearsal. Your first interview will not be perfect. You may get stumped by a question. This is normal and perfectly OK. As you repeat the process, go to interviews after interviews, you will get better, and going to an interview will become easier.
This is a link to a good post about interview questions. The post addresses most of the questions you may have. Career services here on our Bothell campus offers mockup up interviews so you may prepare for an actual interview. I recommend you take advantage of all that is being offered to you. Of course you are always welcome to visit me in my office. I am not a trained HR person, but I can offer some common sense advice.
April 15, 2014
I just found this little gem on Business Insider. I am sure that you are familiar with most if not all of the do’s and don’ts on that list. What surprised me is the order. I did not know that the number one don’ts is… well you just have to check it out. The 9 Worst Mistakes You Can Make On Your Resume.
March 14, 2014
Let’s talk about cover letter and resumes. I think we are all struggling with this. Even if we follow Adler’s advice with a 60/20/20 strategy, we still need a well-designed resume, and a clever cover letter. First the basics: It has to be error free, but we all know that. The next question, who are we addressing the cover letter to. I still see so many cover letters addressed to: To whom it may concern. Don’t do that! Find out who you should address. Call the company, ask for the HR manager, get a name. When I post job description on our board you will find the name of the person to contact. If not, call me.
So, what else can you do? Check out this website, the DailyMuse. This article offers some specific tips on how to write your resume.
February 14, 2014
So you sent out the cover letter and your resume. You get the call… yes, that call. You have survived the initial screening. Now they want to talk to you. What will they ask you? Here are a few tips:
First, notice I used the term “they”. Change “they” to the name of the company, or even better the name of the recruiter you will be interviewing with. Go online, find out as much as you can about the person or persons that will be interviewing you. Get to know them. Once you get to know them, they will become less scary. Next, get ready for the questions that the person or panel will ask you. What are those questions? The Daily Muse put together 31 likely questions that you will be facing. Question number one, “can you tell me a little about yourself?” You know that question is coming, but how should you answer? Check out this post, it is most useful!
February 4, 2014
I know; I should become the spoke person for Lou Adler. I keep on finding interesting bits of information in his writing that is so important and relevant for job seekers. Adler addresses most of his posts to hiring managers and explains how to find talent. For job seekers knowing how hiring managers think is important. Here is an example I found in a post called “The Three Best Predictors of On-the-Job Success”. The post focuses on how to discover talent without looking at degrees and diplomas. Adler calls this the “Achiever Pattern”.
- A track record of promotions
- Being assigned the more challenging tasks compared to the person’s peer group
- Volunteering for projects no one else wants, and/or those that accelerate the person’s growth
- Being rewarded in some unique way, e.g., bigger bonus, earlier raise, special recognition, assigned to high potential group, or awarded price or fellowship.
Adler advocates that the above trades will make a person successful in a position. According to him, this is the pattern of an achiever. What does that mean to the job seeker? It means that our resume or cover letter must highlight those patterns. By highlighting those patterns we will improve our chance to get hired into a job with great upside potential.
February 1, 2014
Time for another insightful quote from Lou Adler: “Getting a job is as much art as science, with a lot of luck mixed in.” If you have been applying for jobs and have not received an offer yet, don’t give up. Adler has some strategic steps you can take. The problem with those proposed steps, they are not comfortable. They make you step out of your comfort zone. For example, step one is the 20/20/60 job-seeking plan. Adler contents that 20% of the time should be spent on sending out resumes, 20% of the time on making sure your resume can be found. The bulk of time should be spent on networking. It is easy to tinker around with the resume and submit it all over the place. It can be done from the comfort of your office chair. It is easy to play around on LinkedIn updating your profile; it does not require any interaction with strangers. It is extremely hard to go out, network and meet new people. But according to Adler, and I agree with him, this is the only way to find a job.
For a complete read of Adler’s post follow this link.
January 15, 2014
Will how you eat your pizza decide your future?
Recruiters provide lots of advice on the subject of eating edicts. Once you survived the initial screenings, you may be asked to go for lunch. There, your future employer will test you how well you are suited in the social environment. This is no joke, how and what you eat may have an influence on you next job. In a well-publicized uproar in New York, Mayor Bill de Blasio was criticized for the way he ate a pizza. Never ever eat your pizza with a knife and fork in New York. According to New Yorker’s it is better to grab your pizza with your hands and stuff it in your face and let all the toppings drip all over your brand new shirt and suite. I was curious to find out what the norms for eating pizza in Seattle are. Unfortunately I could not find any, so I have to advise you, play it safe, don’t eat pizza when going for lunch with your future boss. When it comes to eating edicts we will have a Personal Skills Seminar on February 5th in the NCEC. There they will teach you the edicts of eating. My personal advice? Be friendly with the waiting staff, never be rude or dismissive even if your order was mixed up, and pay a fair tip. Your future employer may want to know if you have potential in a leadership role.
January 2, 2014
Happy New Year! Let’s get to work and let me help you find a job or internship you want. According to an article published in Brazen Careerist by George Egbuonu this can be accomplished by focusing on three key points your future employer wants to know about you:
- Here’s what I’ve got.
- Here’s what I will do for you.
- Here’s what I want to do next for me.
Egbuonu goes into details on each point. On the first point he states that the employer does not care about what you know, but what you can do with that knowledge. This makes sense; after all, a future employer only needs to look at your resume and learns very quickly what you know. But what you can do with that knowledge and how that will benefit the company is what a recruiter cares about.
The second bullet is about your enthusiasm for the job. In a way, the first two bullets are very similar to what Adler emphasizes in his articles. If the applicant is competent and motivated the applicant will get that job.
For the complete article follow this link. Good luck for the coming year in your academic endeavors and your search for your dream internship or job.
December 31. 2013
This is the last post in 2013, but this might be one of the most important posts you will ever read! This post contains the secret on how to get a job or an internship. This is it… well, not really, but I got your attention right? Don’t go away, I do have some interesting and unconventional advice I want to give you. Well, it’s not really my advice, it is advice I have gleaned from Lou Adler, and you all know I am an avid reader of his posts. The most recent post Adler published has the title “Insider secrets from a corporate headhunter”. Let me quote just two insights: Only apply for jobs or internships that are the perfect fit. NO! Very few jobs are the perfect fit for you. There are only two questions you need to ask yourself when applying for a job: Are you competent? Are you motivated? If you can answer yes to those two questions you must apply.
The second insight, I just love that insight, don’t follow the traditional rules. Adler states: “…if you do what everyone else does, expect the same results.” Let me add something to the statement of not following traditional rules. You can’t be rude, insulting or arrogant. Don’t address the HR person in your cover letter with “Hey Dude, what’s up?” Yes, such an opening would definitely not follow the traditional rules, but other than being circulated amongst the HR people for a laugh it would not go anywhere. Being unique and non-traditional takes a lot of efforts in making sure of not stepping over the line.
Intrigued by those two unconventional insights? Follow this link to Mr. Adler’s blog “Job-seeker’s Manual 2014”.
So this is it, this is my last post in 2013 in respect to internships. We have a lot in store for 2014. We expect to grow our company inventory substantially. Our goal is, if you want an internship we will find you an internship that is rewarding and will help you with your career.
Happy New Year,
December 30, 2013
The year 2013 is about to come to a close, but before I sign off I have two more posts I want to publish. This first post is about internships with Amazon. It is true that if you are hired as an intern with Amazon you are expected to devote 100% of your time to Amazon. No classes during the six month you are working for Amazon. I am aware of at least one exemption were a student was able to take one evening class. Talking to that student he told me that he regrets to have pushed for that evening class. He had the worst grade and it dragged down his average GPA. The advice for everyone who is interested in applying for an internship with Amazon, listen to the advice, don’t try take any additional classes. Devote 100% of your time to the internship. If you can’t dedicate the time to Amazon, don’t apply. Here are a few additional comments from former interns posted online on Business Insider.
December 19, 2013
I get a ton of interesting articles sent to me. Most of it is good, some of it is good but I don’t agree with the message and some of it is just bad. But every once and a while I come across something that really hits the ball out of the ballpark. Listen to the following tag line:
People Hire People. Companies Don’t
Let it sink in! This tag line is so incredible important for you who is looking to start a career or want to start an internship. When you are sending a cover letter to a company that is looking for an intern or full time employee, who do you address it to? Is it to: To whom it may concern? Or: Dear Recruiter? If you do that, you are addressing the letter to a company, and the above tag line just told you, companies don’t hire. You have to address your cover letter to a person. If you don’t know the name of the person that will be opening your letter, find out! If you don’t go through the effort of finding out who you are talking to, you really don’t care that much for the job. The message is clear, take the time and find out who will be reading your cover letter and address it to that person.
December 16, 2013
Lou Adler published another very interesting post on LinkedIn. The heading of the article is “If Overqualified, It’s Time to Redefine Qualified”. No, this is not an article just for a returning student that already has a ton of work experience. This article is equally applicable to a student that is applying for his or her first internship or full time job. The article is based on Adler’s believe that there is not such thing as over or under qualified. Adler states, if the applicant is competent and motivated he or she is qualified for the job. Let’s think about Adler’s statement for just one moment. “Competent and motivated”. Every student who is applying for an internship in his or her field is competent. This is what we as a University do. We prepare you for your career. You are competent! The questions I can not answer is, are you intrinsically motivated? If you are motivated you qualify for the job you are applying for. If you are not motivated and you are just applying for the position because you need the money or some one told you that you should, you are not motivated and you are under or over qualified. The best outcome in this case, you will not get the job. The worst outcome, you will get the job, but without motivation you will most likely not succeed in this position.
The complete article can be found here.
December 12. 2013
It’s been a while since I posted anything smart – you may even question if I ever posted anything smart. But for this exercise, forget your comment and come along for the ride. If you are still looking for an internship or a job we need to talk. Something is not working for you, and you need to change. Let me tell you a story. I am a passionate aviation enthusiast. My favorite form of aviation is gliding, flying in a plane with no motor. So here is what I do. I get pulled up in a glider by a power plane to about 3 to 4,000 feet above the ground. At that altitude I release from the power plane, and I start gliding. The goal is to find lifting air commonly referred to as thermals, circle and climb to much higher altitude. I can do this all day long. But here is the catch. Sometimes nature does not play along. Sometimes I do not find the thermal and I slowly glide back to the ground. If that happens to me, I have been gliding straight ahead but do not find a thermal, I know I have to do something different or I will be on the ground in a dirt field. So here is what I do: I do something radically different. Sometimes I speed up, which means I will be on the ground faster, but maybe I am crossing through a parcel of air that is descending faster. Sometimes I just make a left or right 90 degree course change. It does not matter, but I have to do something because flying straight ahead is just not an option. The same thing applies to your current situation. If you are applying for jobs or internships but do not get any interviews – STOP. Do something radically different. It does not matter what it is, just do it. It can’t get any worse. A different approach will lead to success.
Here is a link to an article that kind of supports my approach. Enjoy.
November 13, 2013
A new post by Lou Adler talks about “Working in Zone 1”. In essence, working in Zone 1 should be the goal. Unfortunately, too many work in Zone 3 or 4. Enjoy reading the post.
October 28, 2013
Finding a job is challenging job. Your career is like a chess game. One important factor in being a successful chess game player is knowing and anticipating the moves of your opponent. Same applies in getting hired and making the right career moves. Know your recruiter; know how he or she thinks and what’s important to them.
Lou Adler who I have quoted several times before just posted another interesting article on hiring from the point of view of a recruiter. In this article he still uses the analogy of Jim Collins’ book, getting the right people on the bus, once they are on the bus get them into the right seat. Here I would like to add my own spin for internships. As you are moving through your junior and senior years you have decided on a general direction – Business. So jump on any bus that has the label “Business” on it. See if the bus drives you into the right direction. If not, get off at the next stop and see if the next bus drives you towards were you wanted to go.
For Adler’s complete article “Use the 30% Solution to Turn Jobs into Careers” follow this link.
October 23, 2013
You may recognize the name Lou Adler, I have quoted him on previous posts. He wrote another interesting column. The column is not necessarily addressed to you as the job seeker, but to the recruiters and how recruiting should be done. Because this article is not addressed to the job seeker it does not mean you should ignore it. In fact, knowing how recruiters think will help you find the right job.
If some of you have taken Paul Collins class you might be familiar with Jim Collins book “Good to Great”. Adler uses the analogy of getting the right people on the bus in to the right seat and the wrong people off the bus with recruiting efforts. The complete article can be found here.
October 16, 2013
In a recent post on a site called The Ladders Amanda Augustine wrote an interesting article on “How to Play Nicely with Recruiters”. I think Augustine makes some valid points worth considering. One recommendation is to make it personal with the recruiter. This of course is much easier said than done. You can read the complete article and her advice on how to play nicely with recruiters here: The Ladders
October 10, 2013
I have recommended posts by Lou Adler before. I am doing it again. Why? Read the following:
- The unemployment rate is far below 4%
- If you’re unemployed or under-employed there are 3.6 million open jobs you won’t get by applying directly
- Quitting is a good thing if you’re employed
I know, how can Adler make those statements? Only one thing to do, read the post and judge for yourself.
October 8, 2013
You should take advantage of this! There is a Business Career Fair on the UW Seattle campus. It is open to all UW students and alumni.
- Date: Tomorrow, Wednesday October 9th
- Location: HUB Ballrooms, Seattle campus
- Time: 2 – 6 pm
- Here is a list of attending employers.
September 30, 2013
Tips on how to get hired; a search on Google claims that there are 148 million results found in just 0.39 seconds. Obviously not every recommendation will work for you but some of them are worthwhile considering. I just read a post from Lou Adler on LinkedIn. He is a CEO and author of several books, the most recent “The Essential Guide for Hiring & Getting Hired“. In this short post Adler has some useful tips that could help you with your next interview.
September 29, 2013
A recent planet money podcast titled “What’s Your Major?” explores how much money different majors earn after graduation. We all instinctively know that different majors have different earnings potential, but do you know which major is the big money maker? According to the podcast it’s not a finance major. Can you guess how big the difference between the lowest and highest paid major is? Check out this article, it will surprise you! Now let me make it clear: I do not advocate that you should choose your major based on how much money you will make. Lifestyle, job satisfaction and where you would like to be five years from now are more important than how much you can make after graduation. Listen to this podcast; it will be an eye opener.
September 26, 2013
Walt Bettinger, the CEO at Charles Schwab published an interesting article on LinkedIn. After the initial screening by the HR department he takes a prospect for lunch and observes how that prospect treats the wait staff and how much tip he or she leaves. Interesting! For the full article follow this link: http://tinyurl.com/mfmpbeb
September 25, 2013
In a previous post I pointed out that continued education is something that will set you aside from other job applicants. Reading has a similar effect. Now the question is what to read. Here are three recommendations from Jeff Bezos . Those recommendations come from an article published by CNBC tech correspondent Jon Fortt. The three books are:
- The Effective Executive by Peter Drucker
- The Innovator’s Solution by Clayton Christensen
- The Goal by Eliyahu Goldratt (I have that book on audio – I agree with Jeff)
Interested in reading the full article follow this link: Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos Had his Top Execs Read these Three Books
September 23, 2013
When applying for an internship or a job the applicant is always trying to find something that ad’s something unique to the resume. In this article published in the New York Times by Nelson D. Schwartz he suggests to use personal connection to get to the front of the line. For the complete article follow this link: In Hiring, a Friend in Need Is a Prospect, Indeed
September 22. 2013
As the title of the article “Beyond a Resume: What Tech Recruiters Want” indicates, Carrie McComb, the lead tech recruiter at Braintree, focuses on how to apply for a job at an IT company. Despite some obvious differences, she makes suggestions that are easily adaptable to job application in the business world. Carrie states in her article that she is paying less attention to the skills and roles on a resume, but looks for unique qualities of the applicant. She likes applicant who are motivated in taking online courses and continuous learning.
For the complete article, follow this link: blog.udacity.com/2013/09/beyond-resume-what-tech-recruiters-want.html?m=1