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Internships, Jobs, and Co-ops, Oh My!

It’s no secret that jobs are in high demand right now. Every day we see the unemployment rate fluctuate and play with our emotions. Graduating college seniors know all too well the struggles that accompany a serious job search. In these last few weeks, as they all prepare to walk across the stage, many are reflecting back on the last four years and pinpointing what may or may not have helped them land a “real-world” job. I’ve been listening, and taking notes trying to figure if there is a successful formula to finding a career after college, or if lady luck is the only one who can predict our professional fate.

I’ve heard it through the grapevine, and partially through experience, that employers are looking for a mix of things. They want to look at everything you’ve done in the last for years—and more recently, even your Facebook page! Employers will look at your GPA, you major, activities and your experience. So what matters most? How can you prepare yourself to be an attractive employee? (Regardless of the job you’re applying for!)

Seniors going out to work now swear by their internships and hands on experience. They say that nothing helped them more! So do internships, summer jobs, and networking make all the difference when it comes to the top and bottom of a candidate pool, or is there something else to consider?

Whether it’s your class work, activities or your experience, the way you spend your four years in college could have a huge impact on your future, so listen up!

No one will tell you that you can’t have fun in college. In a way, people will sometimes even encourage you to do so—you have four years before the rest of your life starts. Learn lots, make a few mistakes, and mature into the adults we are all capable of being. However, what many mean by the phrase “make the most of the next four years”, is slightly deeper.

Yes, we should have fun, and branch out. But we also have to remember that four years flies by. It will be over before we know it. And while “fun” makes for great memories, if we aren’t careful we won’t have much to show our future employers—except for those Facebook pictures you only wish they couldn’t see! Our coursework, our major and our activities say a lot about who we are. Our resume showcases our academic capacity and interests. Our activities show our potential to work with groups and form leadership opportunities. But do these bullets on our resumes say enough about us, or do we need the “hands-on” experience to proof to support the words?

If you ask me, you should try your very hardest to get an internship, co-op, or summer job. The experience is invaluable in the work world. It shows future employers that you can handle a job, hopefully in your field of study, not to mention you already have some time under your belt. You can use your experience from campus—your classes, or student organizations history— to your advantage and really showcase your skills in the office, or on the job.

Need another reason to give up your summer pool time to work? You can get a feel for an industry or job before you commit to it full time. Think of it this way, applying for jobs can be great, but what if you get one in a field you don’t really mesh with? Use this time while you’re still a student to decide if your “desired” path is right for you.

Internships, like jobs, don’t grow on trees. They can be competitive. But do your research and apply often and early!  Find connections on LinkedIn, network and chat with as many friends, coworkers, alumni and professors as you can! The more you network and research the easier it will be to find openings in companies and areas that interest you. When you’re in college summer seems like a time to let loose and relax—only a few months until class starts up again! But don’t get sidetracked! This time can be precious and could mean the difference between being hired and being left behind in “the pile”.

-Ring Queen

I’m reading Focus on Personal Finance

Searching… Searching… Job Found!

Searching for a job can be overwhelming, scary and downright difficult! Let’s face it, the economy isn’t doing us any favors either. But don’t get discouraged! There are jobs out there, you just have to know where to look. Dream jobs won’t just be handed to you—they have to be worked for, and also searched for. So, with an open eye and determined spirit, let’s go job hunting!

To ease yourself into the process, begin by thinking of exactly what kind of position you want and are qualified for. This will help narrow down your search so you’re not sifting through thousands of jobs that aren’t for you. Next, pick some companies you like and simply dig around their websites. A lot of companies will list any openings they have online. Others may need a phone call or even an in-person visit (just don’t become a stalker). Remember not to count out certain companies just because you think your skills have nothing to do with what they’re all about. You’d be surprised how many places hire for positions that sounds out of the blue.

If this beginning process has left you in tears and pulling out your hair, it’s time for a deep breath and the next steps. Repeat after me: I don’t need them anyway. Just like there are fish in the sea, there are many companies hiring. Just because Phase 1 was a bust, doesn’t mean you’ll soon be a bum on the streets. Besides company websites, there are plenty of places to search for jobs!

Begin Phase 2 with some social media guidance. Search Twitter, reach out to your strong connections on Facebook, write a short blog post about how you’re looking for such-and-such type of a position, and most importantly, turn to LinkedIn! LinkedIn will be your professional best friend; make sure it’s up-to-date and start poking around for companies. This could get you some interviews or it could get you nowhere, but there’s no point in having these social media profiles if you don’t actually put them to use…so use them!

Now that the obvious steps are out of the way, it’s time to take a more direct searching method. Google won’t really be your friend in this one, since too many articles and other random sites will pop up. But there are sites made specifically to get you hired and for companies to better find you.

Monster.com is one rather well known example. With over 41 million resumes, this site is full of job hopefuls. But with all these resumes, also comes tons of job listings. Like many sites, you can search for a specific company, job title, location or simply by skills. In addition to helping you find jobs, this site will help you land them with career advice, including interview prep, salary information, and tips for your resume. An advice forum makes this a total job lost-and-found operation, with a community of people helping (though, let’s face it, also competing) to find a job that is as dreamy as possible.

BrazenCareerist.com is another go-to site for your job hunting needs. This site is like no other with virtual events to make you the prime rib on the buffet of potential employees. With Virtual Recruiting Events, you get 5 minutes without interruption to talk to employers, show off your skills and who you are. These events will hopefully give you contacts with people high on the food chain and leave you with some interviews—or at the very least, learn what (not) to do next time! Network Roulette Events will connect users with other high achievers for another 5 minutes to make new connections and perhaps form some kind of collaboration. BrazenU will school you in webinars and bootcamps to be ready to further your career, land the job, or be the best worker you can be. Talk about an all-in-one system, making you friends, searching for jobs, and helping you nail the interview to boot!

Wetfeet.com can also help you find the job that’s been on your mind for weeks. This website and magazine will give you tons of advice for any question you can think of and more, what to expect from employers, and a wide variety of employers from non-profits to the well known big players. Its Insider Guides really make them unique, with in-depth, highly researched, extensively fact-checked and well edited information avalanches that will take you from knowing nothing about how to face an investment banking interview to being a pro in no time. Not only will you learn a lot about tricks of the trade, but with employer Q & As, videos, and basic company background, you’ll be able to figure out which company is your own glass slipper.

This is just the tip of the iceberg! There are countless sites out there full of job opportunities that could be your dream job. Don’t be afraid to hop off the computer and actually visit companies and local (or not) businesses and see what they have to say. Sometimes, all it takes is a good impression from a high-up to find a place for you. Check out job bulletins in your community, ask friends if they know anywhere suited for you, or even get your family involved in your search. You can never have too much help. Most importantly, remember you’ll more often than not have to work your way up. A dream job come true won’t always be the first stop on everyone’s career train, but don’t let your pride get in the way of getting hired. There’s always an opportunity to work your way up the ladder or find a new job later on that’s more you.

Good luck and happy hunting!

-ToonyToon

I’m reading Excursions in Modern Mathematics

Twitter Giveaway: Why Does Your Study Space Work for You?

UPDATE

Congrats to our winner @notjeanine! This was her entry

 Don’t forget to check back for more Twitter Giveaways in the future! Thanks to all who entered!   

 

Starting this week we will be hosting random giveaways for our Twitter followers! This weeks prize is a Care Package packed with all kinds of yummy food! To enter the giveaway:

1.
2. Answer this question using the Tweet button below. Also feel free and submit photos!

Why does your study space work for you?



We will pick the winner on Thursday (February 23) at 4pm EST. Below is an example tweet to enter the giveaway:

@ecampusdotcom My study space works for me because it is really well organized and well lit.

 

Please note that comments on the blog will not count as entries. You must tweet your entry to be eligible to win. Good luck!

Care Package includes:

3 Bags of Cheez Its, 4 Bags of Chips, 4 Bags of Pretzels, 3 Packets of Ramen, 2 Bags of Popcorn, 2 Packets of Cheese and Crackers, 2 Bags of Cookies, 2 Bags of Sunflower Seeds, 3 Bags of Chex Mix, and 3 Packets of Coffee

Good luck!

-Lovejoy

I’m reading Glass Menagerie 2E PA

Everything You Need to Know About Networking Online

The term networking isn’t my favorite. It makes it sound like you have to do some high tech fancy stuff to make connections. But that’s not true! Most of you are probably already on social networks or have already made some kind of professional connection without even really thinking about it. Networking, in person and online, is important though, and will only get more important as you get older.

When should you start networking? Right now! The sooner you start the better. There are four main social media platforms you should be on to really bolster your connections: LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and Google+. Though Google+ is new to the scene, it has quickly become one of the biggies in getting your name out there. With a Google+, your posts are more likely to show up higher on search results, making it easier for potential employers to find and approve of you. If you like writing and have the time, a blog is also a great way to start getting your work and name out there.

Just being on these sites isn’t enough, however. You need to keep what you’re saying and doing professional. That doesn’t mean you have to go back to your Facebook posts from middle school or high school talking about your break up or mishap with a face mask—though you might want to anyway, with that whole weird timeline thing that can bring people anywhere in your past (creepy!). Not everything you post has to be completely professional or impersonal either. In fact, you want your employers and connections to get some sense of who you are outside what you want to do with your life.

There are some basic tips you can follow to keep your profiles tasteful, personable and professional. Make sure you’re using proper grammar and spelling. On Twitter with only 140 characters to use, sometimes it’s hard to write in complete sentences, but at the very least make sure what you are saying makes sense. Don’t write Facebook statuses with “$up hom3sk!ll3t” or any other weird spellings associations.

Avoid swearing! Though they’re rather common these days and might slip out of your mouth in daily conversation, filter online! Remember, you may be friends with your young cousins and you don’t want to be accused of being a bad influence. Also avoid posting every single thing you do in a day. Your Twitter account and Facebook feed shouldn’t be filled with “Walked the dog. Text it” or “Now I’m eating a grilled cheese. Getting ready for the movies. Then partay!” Only update on important life moments, like getting into college or nailing a job interview, and post about other things relevant to your career or goals. Don’t be afraid to share links to news articles or blog posts you liked or retweet a favorite company of yours—in fact, the more retweeting you do, the higher the likelihood for you to get noticed and maybe give you a boost on the competition.

A good way to start building your connections is to simply search for people you know and get talking. Whenever you get a new job or internship, update all of your profiles and start connecting with others who work there. Be friendly and try to start conversations; even if you don’t get a response, keep trying (but only once every three days at the most, you don’t want to look like a psycho). If you have a blog or website, promote it frequently by tweeting the URL and sharing posts on all your other platforms. The more active you are the better as long as the information is relevant, interesting and shows your personality.

Finally, the best way to really get going is to just jump in and experiment. Even if you’re shy, adopt an outgoing online persona and reach out to people. Follow and friend request companies you’re interested and people who could potentially land you a job in the future. Most importantly, don’t forget about networking in person. Professors, people working in offices on campus, local companies you visit can all prove to be beneficial to your future. The more friends, the merrier—even if they don’t ultimately land you the job!

-ToonyToon

I’m reading Modern Management: Concepts and Skills

Social Media for College Athletics 101

Facebook is not only used to stalk people you went to high school with and to keep in touch with current friends while in college.  Collegiate athletes have been using social media such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube to promote their games, to grow their fan base, and to communicate well throughout their team.

Aside from Division I basketball and football teams, college sports do not get too much recognition.  It is a sad sight when you and your team are all pumped up for a big game against a rival and you look at your stands and see only a few parents and maybe someone’s boyfriend.

To rectify this situation, getting the word out about your team on Facebook is one of the best steps to take.  Between 80 and 90 percent of college students are not only on Facebook, but also are daily active users.  Creating a Facebook event a week or so before that rival game and having everyone on the team invite their friends is a great way to sell those tickets.

Creating a Facebook page for your team is another great way to gain support.  Having a team member create the page and invite their friends, then have other teammates “suggest friends” to their friends could be a great way to keep fans involved.  Posting statuses bi-weekly or even daily about recent games would remind college students of the game on their Facebook News Feeds, which is a place they are known to look when using Facebook.

Twitter is another great promotional tool.  Having teammates tweet a link to the school’s athletic website is a great way to start, along with tweeting game information.

Within a team, creating a Facebook group is a step closer to great communication, and one step away from those pestering group text messages.  Ensuring that everyone has and uses Facebook is obviously essential before doing so.  Also creating the group based off of the roster is a must to guarantee no one is forgotten.

Finally, posting highlights on YouTube shows college students why they should go to your game.  Getting a parent or the school even to video tape a game and having a film student edit it into a highlight reel could then be posted to YouTube and posted on the team’s Facebook page, tweeted, and posted by teammates.

Good luck this upcoming season and best of luck packing those stands!

-TravelBug

I’m reading Chemistry: Principles and Reactions