Summer Reads and Listens

This summer is the perfect opportunity to dive into personal development through books, talks, and podcasts. Here are a few recommendations to get you started:

Books

  1. The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg
  2. The Defining Decade by Dr. Meg Jay
  3. Daring Greatly by Brené Brown.
  4. Extreme Ownership by Jocko Willink and Leif Babin
  5. Grit by Angela Duckworth

TED Talks

  1. Matt Cutts- Try something new for 30 days
  2. Vik Nithy: Why we procrastinate
  3. Susan Cain: The Power of Introverts
  4. Angela Lee Duckworth: The Key to Success? Grit
  5. Larry Smith: Why You Will Fail to Have a Great Career

Podcasts

  1. How did you get into that
  2. This Week In Tech
  3. Stuff You Should Know
  4. The Tim Ferriss Show
  5. Planet Money

Technical Interviewing 101

Technical Interviews can be daunting, but with adequate preparation they don’t have to be!

Normal technical interview consists of two parts:

  • Whiteboarding or coding—The interviewee is given a problem for which they have to whiteboard or code a solution in real time.
  • Knowledge-based Q&A—Interviewers ask questions about different topics so they can dig deeper into the candidate’s knowledge.

Tips to Prepare:

  • Know the Job Requirements- If the job description requires JavaScript, you should know how to talk about and solve problems using JavaScript.
  • Practice, Practice, Practice- Find someone who will participate in a mock interview with you. University Career Centers have great resources to help with this.
  • Watch Google Webinars- These can be found on YouTube under “Google University” and cover a range of topics. (Google even checks to see if applicants have interacted with them in this way during their hiring process)
  • Tap Into the Expertise of Others- Family, older friends, and alumni with hiring experience are all valuable resources. You can also use LinkedIn to find people to reach out to.
  • Get Together- Form a small-group with people from your major where you go over practice questions together and take turns answering so that you can each see how others approach technical problems.
  • Practice the “How” and “Why”– Be prepared to not just complete questions and provide a solution, but to verbalize the ‘why’ and “how” you arrived at the answer. To add pressure and simulate a real interview you can time yourself or have someone else ask you the questions.
  • Admit When You Don’t Know Something- Companies know that you are still in school and learning so they don’t expect you to have all the answers. Saying you don’t know something allows the focus to shift to something you do know and is a great opportunity to express your eagerness to learn. Try to say something like “I don’t know, but here’s how I would figure it out…”
  • Ask Questions and Do Not Make Assumptions- Make sure you fully understand what is being asked. You don’t want to waste valuable time writing out code only to find out they wanted a different language. Just ask!
  • Talk Through the Solution Out Loud– Show your interviewer what you’re thinking! The point of this interview is for them to understand how your brain works and how you solve problems.

 

Additional resources to help you prepare:

Cracking the Coding Interview by Gayle Laakmann McDowell

Programming Interviews Exposed by John Mongan, Eric Giguere, and Noah Kindler.

Social Media Audit

Social Media gives us a way to network through creating a brand that we feel best represents us. Recruiters like social media because it gives them information about candidates that would never appear on a resume. When beginning your job search, it is important to audit all of your social media profiles to ensure that there is nothing that will stand in the way of you and your dream job. Everything you post should be working towards your advantage.

Some data from a survey from CareerBuilder.com:

  • 37% of employers use social networks to screen potential job candidates. That means about 2/5 companies browse social media profiles to evaluate character and personality
  • 34% of employers who scan social media profiles said they have found content that has caused them not to hire the candidate.
  • Other reasons they decided not to offer the job: the candidate’s profile displayed poor communication skills, he or she bad mouthed previous employers, made discriminatory comments related to race, gender, or religion, or lied about qualifications.
  • 29% of surveyed hiring managers found something positive on a profile that drove them to offer the candidate a job.

 

Social Media Checklist

  • Make sure every single one of your profiles is set to private
  • Zero presence on social media can also be a red flag to employers. They may question your digital skills and your ability to keep up with the latest trends.
  • Remove any posts about your previous or current employer
  • Remove any pictures with alcohol or drugs in them
  • Remove any posts that include offensive or derogatory language
  • Make sure all of your profiles are free of typos and the posts are coherent
  • Build a strong social network, actively engage with people in positive ways
  • Pay attention to your clothing in posted pictures. Ex. Offensive t-shirts or costumes
  • Swimsuit photos could stop you from getting the job, especially if it’s a conservative company
  • Be wary of political posts, if you absolutely have to post something political, make sure it is respectful
  • Some of us are over-sharers on social media, if that’s you, make sure your posts don’t contain consistently negative statements, excessive complaining or that they don’t represent a bad attitude
  • Pinterest and Tumblr: be mindful of the pictures and comments you post
  • Last but not least, Google yourself! If you are actively looking for a job, you should Google yourself at least once a month and get anything taken down that you don’t want to represent you professionally.

 

 

Spring Career Fairs are Coming!

Career Fairs can be overwhelming but with adequate preparation, any student can succeed. Here are some guidelines to help you through the process:

What do I bring?

  • A plan of what companies you want to talk with as well as research on each one. This should include a couple of practice companies to help you get comfortable.
  • Portfolio (Simple black one with a pad of paper on one side and a pocket on the other side)
  • Pen
  • Plenty of Resumes (Based on how many companies you want to talk to X2)
  • Business Cards (Click here for help)
  • Proper Attire (check out our Pinterest board for help)
  • Mints in your pocket
  • A watch (to plan your time strategically without having to look at your phone, if you use your phone make sure it is on silent)
  • A Pitch

Tips

  • Look on your university website to identify your Career Fairs date and time, dress code, and list of companies attending
  • Pick a couple of practice companies to talk to first in order to help you get warmed up
  • Don’t walk away from any table without the first and last name of the person you talked to
  • Before you talk to the next person, take some notes on the conversation you just had so that you can reference it later for your thank you note

 

The Pitch

A quick summary of who you are and what you are looking for

 

Intro: Offer your name, a firm handshake, and give them a resume

Objective: Why you’re there, what type of job you’re looking for, and where

Summary: Briefly summarize education, experience, and interests

Closing: Reiterate your interest, thank the employer (get a business card if possible)

 

Example:

Hi, I’m [NAME], I’m a [junior MIS] major, graduating in [May 2018], looking for an [MIS internship this summer].

Really enjoy —–

I’m very interested in (company) and look forward to hearing from you.  Thanks for talking with me.

Choosing a Major

Whether you’re struggling to pick a major, or if you’re just not sure you are in the right one currently, here are a few tips for evaluating college majors:

  • Reflect on what interests you
  • Evaluate your beliefs and core values
  • Test out majors by taking introductory courses
  • Ask for input from those who know you well
  • Check degree requirements
  • Use elective credits to explore other interests
  • Follow your own dreams

For further guidance on choosing a major, check out these recent articles and reach out to us so we can help.

Six Myths About Choosing a Major

LinkedIn on Liberal Arts Majors

Learn About The Latest Job Search Tool – Google Jobs

Google’s new job search tool makes it easier for you to search and filter through multiple sites at once!

Key Features:

  • Allows you to search by Job Category, Title, Location, Date Posted, Type (Internship), Company Type or Employer
  • Pulls postings from LinkedIn, Monster, WayUp, DirectEmployers, CareerBuilder, Facebook, Glassdoor, HelpWanted, and Dice
  • Adds salary information if available from job post, Glassdoor or Payscale
  • Unfortunately, it does not display Indeed job postings yet

Try Google Job Search Tool and let us know what you think.

Spring Semester Planning Tips

Winter break is a great opportunity to rest and get organized for spring.

Planning for the Spring semester:

  • Audit your degree plan to make sure you’re on track
  • Assess if you have time to add a minor or get a certificate in an area of interest
  • Reach out to professors regarding undergraduate research opportunities
  • Research new volunteer opportunities that align with your passions or help you build new skills (get off campus)
  • Check the dates for spring career fairs, they usually happen at the beginning of the semester
  • Conduct informational interviews with professionals at your target companies

New Free Service – Career Onward Office Hours Is Now On Facebook Live!

We’re launching Career Onward Office Hours on Facebook Live!

Join us from 3:00 to 3:30pm CST on Facebook Live. We can’t wait to answer your job search and career questions as we support all college students in your college to career transition!

This is your opportunity to ask all those questions you have about conducting a job search:

  • How do I start the job search process?
  • How do I use social media to help in my job search?
  • How do I use LinkedIn to create a professional network?
  • Why am I not getting any responses to my online job applications?
  • How do I reach companies that don’t come on campus for interviews?

We will be available to answer any and all of your career related questions. We hope you will join us!

Make sure to Like us on our Facebook page to participate and to get notified when we are live.

 

Tips For Helping Your Job Search Over Thanksgiving Break

Thanksgiving break is a great opportunity to spend time with family and friends and get refreshed before finals. There are also things you can do to give you an edge in the job/internship search process:

  • If you’re seeing friends and family during the holidays, they’ll probably ask you countless questions about your life. Be prepared to tell them exactly what you’re looking for so they can help. They may know someone to connect you with, or they may know of positions open in their own companies that they can recommend.
  • Informational Interviews: You have a couple of days off, so why not set up a time to talk with a family member or friend who works in your desired field, company, or occupation. Here are some quick tips for info interviews!
  • Take some time to work on adding LinkedIn connections! Add your family, classmates from high school and college, teachers and professors, and coworkers. This helps your profile standout and may open a few doors when you’re looking for company connections later.

10 Interview Tips for Doing and Looking Your Best For Video Interviews

Video interviews are a very efficient way for employers to screen applicants, which is why they are increasing in popularity. The keys to a successful video interview is preparation and practice to avoid technology problems and feeling confident communicating in this format.

There are two types of video interviews:

Synchronous interviews are conducted real time over the Internet and are used in place of traditional face-to-face interviews as an employer can still assess and interact with the candidate.

Asynchronous interviews are conducted alone, meaning there is no real-time employer interaction. The employer provides a set of questions and asks applicants to record each response by a specific timeframe in a video. This allows the employer to screen candidates quickly and determine who will proceed to the next stage of the hiring process.

10 Video Interview Tips:

  • Conduct a trial run a day or two before the interview and set-up to confirm all is in working order (camera, microphone, lighting) as you would on the day of the interview
  • Position your camera at eye level (not above or below) and look straight at it when responding
  • Check your background so it looks professional (remove pictures, posters, etc.)
  • Make sure that you are in a quiet space with no possibility of interruption (barking dogs, roommates, music, or other sounds) and make a do-not-disturb sign for your door if you’re in your apartment or dorm
  • Turn off your phone and any alerts on your computer to avoid getting interrupted by emails or instant messages during the interview
  • Use the same good posture you would use during an in-person interview, limit hand gestures, and plant both feet solidly on the floor for balance
  • Pay attention to the lighting, avoid having any light sources behind you, and check camera angle
  • Check your internet connection an hour before the interview to make sure everything is still working correctly
  • For the interview, dress professionally, as if it were an in-person interview
  • Be confident, speak clearly, smile, and look directly in the camera