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.

Are YOU Ready for the Career Fair?

 

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 to, including practice companies and research on each target company
  • 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
  • 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 and 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.

Hone Skills Employers Want Over the Holidays

We understand that your top priorities when thinking about the winter break involve sleep, family, friends, and fun outings. Yet, with almost a month of unstructured time available, it’s a great time to jump online and learn some new tools or increase your skill level on others.

Search YouTube and Google for free training resources for these 4 suggestions:

  • Excel – there’s always something more to learn
  • Trello – popular project management tool used by 4 million users and counting
  • Photoshop, iMovie & others – photo and video editing
  • Tableau – transforming data to visually appealing dashboards

For additional ideas, check out this article that highlights 38 skills employers want.

http://www.businessnewsdaily.com/5686-the-most-in-demand-career-skills.html

Just think about all the skills you can add to your resume and LinkedIn after winter break to stand out from the crowd!

Networking – Top Priority in the Job Search Process

Growing up, my dad often communicated three valuable pieces of career advice:

  • Be curious – ask professionals what they do and why they enjoy their work
  • Ask for help and help others when asked
  • Treat people the way you want to be treated – one day they may work for you or you may work for them

Needles to say, decades later, this advice rings true.

What my father was saying is that the job search process should be social and communal, not isolating. This recent study affirms the social approach as it found that 85% of all jobs were acquired through networking.

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/new-survey-reveals-85-all-jobs-filled-via-networking-lou-adler

As highlighted in the article, the key is not the quantity of the interactions but the quality. Every informational interview should have a clear purpose and a goal to move you forward. With access to 400 million professionals at your fingertips on LinkedIn, I encourage you to reach out!

Invest in Yourself

Invest 30 minutes in yourself and find out what your strengths are with Strength Finders 2.0. Plus, it’s a top 5 business book and employers may ask about your results. Take the online assessment here and get immediate results or order the book online here to get your access code! Then go celebrate as you learned something significant about yourself!

5 Career Fair Tips for College Students – Planning and Practice are Keys to Success

Yes, we know, it’s hard to get excited about Career Fairs. They are stressful, overwhelming, you may be competing against your classmate or good friend for face time with the recruiter, and it’s impossible to talk to all the companies that attend and be memorable. There are just too many people and not enough time.

We understand. That’s why we want you to forget about your past experiences and biases and try something new this year.

Have a plan

Review the list of companies that are coming ahead of time and rank the companies, prioritizing the ones you are most interested in first.

Get business cards
Many schools offer this service to students so check with the career center first. If not, head to www.vistaprint.com for the best value in business cards. It’s impressive to the recruiter as it shows you planned ahead, plus you’re more likely to get a card from the recruiter if you present one first. It’s also much easier to follow-up with each contact after the career fair too.

Prepare a pitch
Your pitch needs to be focused, short (60 seconds or less) and memorable and should have 4 key parts:

  • Introduction: Introduce yourself, offer a firm hand shake, a resume and a business card
  • Objective: Tell the employer why you are there and what sort of job/internship you seek
  • Summary: Briefly summarize your education, experience, strengths, highlight something unique or memorable
  • Closing: Reiterate your interest and thank the employer, tell them you’ll stay in touch

Review your checklist

  • Pen and Notebook
  • 12+ resumes
  • Business cards (can be stapled to resumes if preferred)
  • Copies of your unofficial transcript (optional)
  • Copies of list of references (optional)
  • Appropriate clothing – check the career center guidelines
  • Small breath mints—no gum!
  • A positive attitude

Practice first

Before going to talk with your favorite company, practice your pitch and engage with 1-2 other employers first. Think of this as your warm-up. Afterward, go out in the hall, reflect, and jot down notes on how it went. Makes small adjustments if needed, then go confidently to talk with your favorite companies.

Can’t wait to hear how your career fair went!

Tagline

Lori