Balance Your Hard Skills with In-Demand Soft Skills

Employers will be the first to admit that effective soft skills in combination with proven hard skills are the key to success. This is especially true for students pursuing internships and entry level positions post graduation as most jobs will require team and project based work.

I get asked often, what are soft skills and which ones do employers care about?

Soft skills are harder to measure and are sometimes referred to as someone’s Emotional Intelligence. The all involve communications skills and the ability to collaborate and get along with others.

Check out these top 10 soft skills to ensure you are building these in campus clubs, professional student organizations or part-time work.

https://www.thebalance.com/top-soft-skills-2063721

The good news – soft skills can be learned, yet they need to be put in to practice so you can discuss examples during your interviews.

3 Tips for Successful Holiday Networking

The holidays are a time of merriment and good cheer, so it’s a great networking opportunity to meet or re-connect with extended family and friends in a low stress social setting. Your goal – articulate a 30 second pitch so you can follow-up with a nice LinkedIn note and a request for an informational meeting or call within 1-2 weeks while you’re interaction is still fresh in their mind.

3 Tips for Successful Holiday Networking:

  • Introduce yourself and make sure you get their first and last name
  • Clearly state what you’re studying, where, and what your goal is
  • Make a note of all people you met before leaving the party so you can look them up on LinkedIn, send a note with a request, and ask to connect

Pitch example: I’m a senior Corporate Communications major at (your college) hoping to apply my digital marketing skills for a Dallas company.

It works! Last December, one of our clients had 10+ informational sessions from holiday interactions and landed his dream job.

3 Tips for Tapping the Hidden Job Market

I am a witness to the reality that 60-70%+ of all jobs are not posted. As a personalized career advisor for college students and new grads, I routinely get calls from friends and colleagues asking if I can refer someone with a particular skill set.

This is also why we have our clients spend a significant amount of time reaching out to professionals at the companies and in the roles they think they want to pursue so they learn about the company culture, skills required, and activities performed before they ever apply for a job. Most importantly, our students learn what roles are best for them from the employer perspective, if they will be hiring, when, and who else they should connect with to move things forward.

Tips for tapping the hidden job market:

  1. Make a list of companies that you are interested in and use LinkedIn to identify and reach out to contacts that are currently in the role you want to explore
  2. Research alums that were in your sorority, fraternity, club or professional organizations as recent grads tend to be the most helpful (they remember how stressful the job search process really is!)
  3. Tap your neighbors and parent’s networks for contacts at companies you want to target

The advantages to this approach are many; you’re building relationships, practicing your informational interviewing skills, and learning a lot about what you do and don’t want to do in the process.

Isn’t this better use of your time than spending hours a day blindly applying to job postings online?

3 Tips for Successful Holiday Networking

The holidays are a time of merriment and good cheer, so it’s a great networking opportunity to meet or re-connect with extended family and friends in a low stress social setting. Your goal – articulate a 30 second pitch so you can follow-up with a nice LinkedIn note and a request for an informational meeting […]

Career Tips: What You Can Do in 15 Minutes

We can all find 15 minutes right? I challenge you to take a break from social media, Netflix or napping and invest 15 minutes in your future. 1:3 professionals are on LinkedIn so it’s an important community to join.

3 High Value Things to do on LinkedIn:

  1. Upload a high quality headshot -look friendly & approachable
  2. Create a Title for your future self – instead of Student at….,, try Digital Marketing | May ’17 Grad
  3. Add an engaging Summary – it’s a great opportunity to show your personality, highlight skills, and clearly define what you are looking for

Still don’t know where to start? Search people at companies that have jobs you want and check out their profiles. Also visit our blog as we have more detailed Linkedin posts too!

I Attended the Career Fair, Now What?

You survived the lines and jockeying for position to communicate your pitch and entered your contact information in an iPad. Now what?

Instead of waiting to hear from the company, now is a great time to take action with the companies you really liked and stand out.

5 steps to take after the Career Fair:

  1. Follow all the companies on social media (if you weren’t already)
  2. Email personalized Thank You’s highlighting something you talked about
  3. Connect with them on LinkedIn with a short custom message
  4. Search for people in the company that are doing the job you want and request an informational interview
  5. Discover other internships and job opportunities at each company be checking their website, LinkedIn, and other job search sites as companies typically have more opening than they interview for on campus

Finally, don’t give up! If you are confident you are a good fit for the company and role, build connections with many people across the company so they can become your internal sponsors.

Tips to Make the Most of an Informational Interview

It’s amazing what you can learn from someone who’s actually doing the job you want. People like to talk about their work. But before you reach out, prepare, so you make the most of the time.

  1. Set a clear goal for the call
  2. Develop a set of questions
  3. Be sensitive to their time (30 minutes max)
  4. Follow-up with personalized Thank You
  5. Most importantly, stay in touch so they can be your internal sponsor if you find a job at the company that fits!

The Value of Persistence

There’s a lot to be said about the power of persistence. In Webster’s, it’s defined as the “firm or obstinate continuance in a course of action in spite of difficulty or opposition.” Too many times, we sell ourselves short due to fear, anxiety, or emotional exhaustion.

A successful job search requires a LOT of persistence. From books to movies, hopefully you can find inspiration in these 10 great achievements that took a long time.

 

How College Students Can Leverage LinkedIn for Career Fairs

With 450 million users on LinkedIn, including one out of every 3 professionals in the U.S., LinkedIn is the place to be for college students to get noticed. Yet, most students don’t leverage LinkedIn and use it to their advantage, especially as it relates to career fairs.

 

Check out these tips to stand out at your career fair:

  • Review the list of companies attending and send a personalized InMail to the college recruiter communicating your interest in the company and asking to connect
  • Once you’ve met company recruiters during the career fair, follow up with a personalized thank you
  • Send a customized connection request to additional company contacts you engaged with
  • Keep your contacts apprised on your job search process and send articles of interest or congrats for recent press to so they know you’re really interested in the company

Your friendly and consistent communication will help you stand out from all the other applicants.

What’s Your 60 Second Career Fair Pitch?

I know it’s hard to believe. You really can stand out from the crowd and make a memorable impression with a recruiter in 30-60 seconds with a well-rehearsed pitch.

Use this simple structure to create your own short authentic story.

1. Intro: Offer your name, a firm handshake, and give them a resume and business card
2. Objective: Why you’re there and what type of job you’re looking for
3. Summary: Briefly summarize education, experience, and interests
4. Closing: Reiterate your interest, thank the employer (get a business card if possible)

Best of luck and be sure to let us know how it went!