Women: Advance your Career before Donning the Cap and Gown Reply

For most college students, graduation can’t come soon enough. This is especially true for young women eager to show the men of the world that they are every bit as capable in their chosen careers. However, in a time when employment rates are at historic lows, snagging a position is easier said than done. On average, bachelor’s-degree-holding young adults job hunt for six months. In male-dominated industries, such as construction and finance, that search can last considerably longer.

According to Kiplinger Editor Janet Bodnar, teenagers have difficulty walking into entry-level opportunities as many experienced candidates vie for positions. But there are things you can do right now to improve your chances of walking the line and then straight through the doors of your dream job.

Scout for prospective jobs once you decide on a major

There is no need to wait until your diploma is in hand to put your feelers out and see what types of jobs are available for people with your degree. Many colleges offer student-run consulting groups to help students in each industry pick the perfect profession. As well, you can check your campus placement office and local job listings monthly to see what’s out there. If you’re not yet ready to apply, at least file away in your mind companies you might like to target later on.

Choose your major wisely

It is not simply enough these days to hold a degree in an open-ended discipline, such as philosophy or liberal arts. In order to secure the highest-paying positions, you must pick your major strategically. Degrees in technology, public relations, and marketing are in high demand. These skills can be used across a breadth of industries, making you more hirable than other candidates.

Network early and network often

Yes, even college students – and in some cases high school students – should have a professional networking profile for use on social media sites, such as LinkedIn. However, while online networking may be most comfortable, you should also join organizations where you can make personal contact with hiring managers and other professionals who can help you get your foot in the door. If you’re getting close to graduation and have a city in mind, it’s a great idea to spend a week or two there, set up shop, and schedule a few interviews in advance. Immersing yourself in a networking community will connect you to a group of knowledgeable industry veterans and create new opportunities and experiences related to your chosen field.

Don’t ignore the power of an internship

Real-world experience in your desired profession goes a long way, especially when coupled with proven academic prowess. When looking at candidates with identical degrees, most hiring managers will grant a coveted interview with those who’ve proven they can perform their desired job.

Work on your soft skills

Soft skills, those that don’t seemingly affect your job, are vital to your overall success. Things such as communication and customer service skills can lead you further down your chosen career path.

Job hunting tips

Before you ever go to your first interview, it is important to polish your face-to-face skills. Go ahead and outfit your wardrobe with a few key pieces, including some classic black pumps, which pair well with any outfit. Make sure you know exactly what the company does and what the role requires. Don’t ask the interviewer questions that you could’ve easily found the answer to on your own. Instead, show a genuine interest in the culture of the company. Speaking of the interviewer, make sure to remember their name(s) – there is nothing more embarrassing than calling your future boss Carol when her name is Cindy. Be polite, courteous, and succinct in your answers. Maintain an air of professionalism at all times…even while sitting in the waiting room. Finally, don’t be afraid to tell the interviewer that you believe you are a strong candidate, that you’re interested in the position, and that you would welcome the opportunity for a second sit down session.


Gloria runs WomenLed.org, which celebrates women’s achievements in the workplace and beyond. She believes that while women have made many advancements toward “shattering the glass ceiling,” there is still much to be done. It is her aim to help increase the number of women-led businesses by educating others about the topic.


All views and opinions of guest authors are theirs alone and are not representative of the views of Petersons.com or its parent company Nelnet.

Words and Phrases to Take Off of Your Resume for Next Semester Reply

By: Francine Fluetsch, Uloop

As we begin to enjoy our winter break, we start to find that we might have more time on our hands than we know what to do with. Sure, this is your time to relax and do nothing for some of the days, but it’s also a good idea to use some of your time away from school to get some work done.

Young smiling man holding his resume applying for a job

Young smiling man holding his resume applying for a job

A great place to start would be tidying up your resume for next semester. Maybe you want to get it ready for an internship, a new job, get it ready for graduation, you name it!

Now, “tidying” seems like such a broad term, so where should you start? Well, once you have all the content that you want on there, it’s time to go through the editing process. You want to make every word count, and exchange some words that employers just don’t want to see on there.

Let’s look at some examples so you’ll be able to avoid these wordy mistakes and, as a result, make your resume the best that it can be.

Clichés:

Think about it: hiring managers have to look at hundreds of resumes, so they will start to see patterns of common things that potential employees like to put on their resumes to supposedly “stand out.”

The problem is, if you are using clichéd job terms like “I’m a hard worker,” you are putting down what hundreds of other people are, and by doing so, aren’t standing out.

Instead of putting the words “I’m a hard worker,” show this! It’s the same thing that we writers are told again and again — you need to show, not tell.

I found some helpful guidance in this article by Rachel Gillett. She quotes Mary Lorenz, a corporate communications manager at CareerBuilder, who sheds a bit more light on this subject.

“Anyone can say they are ‘best of breed,’ a ‘go-getter,’ a ‘hard worker,’ or a ‘strategic thinker,” making these terms unoriginal, and ultimately, hindering you more than they will help you.

Lorenz continues, “Employers want to know what makes the job seekers unique, and how they will add value to the specific organization for which they’re applying.”

This again is alluding to the fact that you need to demonstrate your worth, not just write a clichéd sentence about it.

Superfluous words:

My partner was taking an online career class, and they discussed how when you are writing your resume, you should always use active verbs when describing yourself and your experiences. I’d never really thought about it before, but it makes a lot of sense. It gets to the point of what you have accomplished, and doesn’t cloud your resume or confuse the hiring manager about what your previous positions actually entailed.

Alyssa Gelbard, founder and president of Résumé Strategists, says that superfluous words like “responsible for,” “oversight of,” and “duties included,” unnecessarily complicate and hide your experience. To avoid this, she too suggests the use of active verbs.

Ex: Replace: “Responsible for training interns” with “Train interns.”

This will save room on your resume, so you can pack everything in, and will show hiring managers exactly what you want to show them.

Team player:

Business Insider and Forbes both agree that this cliché has got to go. Obviously you need to be a team player, or you won’t get the job, but you need to show your team playing ability, not just type those words and call it good.

An article in Forbes, by Nick DeSantis, suggests the following.

“If your intention is to communicate how well you work with others, giving examples of your roles within collaborative projects will be far more impressionable on a resume.”

Again, showing, and not telling, will help you land the job and look more impressive.

Self-motivated:

Everyone likes to put that they are self-motivated on their resume (guilty as charged), but what weight does that hold? In order to receive a job, this quality should be a guarantee, not a resume booster. What I’m saying is, you want to use the space on your resume to highlight your initiative and work ethic, rather than just saying you are self-motivated. It won’t help you stand out and it is not specific enough or defining in any way. The more you know, right?

Proactive:

The Forbes article also recommends taking the word “proactive” out of your resume. Being proactive is great, but highlighting it to your potential employer doesn’t do all that much because, like being “self- motivated,” this should be a no brainer, and will be a quality that everyone who lands a job will have, thus making it pointless to attach on your resume.

These are just a few examples on what to avoid on your resume when you are polishing it. Bottom line, you need to be specific, give examples, be unique, and think like a hiring manager to avoid clichés. Good luck!


Visit uloop.com for more college news and to search for off-campus housing, tutors near campus, jobs for college students, and more.


All views and opinions of guest authors are theirs alone and are not representative of the views of Petersons.com or its parent company Nelnet.

4 Surprising Degrees That Can Launch Your Career into Upper Management Reply

4-surprising-degrees-that-can-launch-your-career-into-upper-managementSo you are eyeing a career in upper management. You want to be the boss, call the shots, and lead a company to success. While a business degree might be a more straightforward option, there are a number of other, lesser-known degrees that can launch a career into upper management at a high rate.

1. English

The skills learned when acquiring an English degree are some of the most crucial for business success and can even put you on the fast track towards upper management positions. For example, English majors learn how to speak and write well, as well as debate and negotiate—all things upper-level managers have to be able to do well. They also know how to present themselves in the best possible light and think critically, which makes them valued members of a company and puts them in a much better position to be promoted to upper management. English majors also have to be able to communicate well, especially with the written word, which makes them prime candidates for management and leadership positions who have to complete written tasks when managing their teams and employees.

2. Public Administration

Public administration is essentially the public sector version of the business degree. It teaches many of the same things, from economics and law to leadership skills. Your upper management dreams might not be found in the business world, but in the public sector, where you could work for and manage a municipality. While you can find jobs with a bachelor’s degree in this field, a master’s degree opens many more options, and online master’s degree in public administration programs can provide a higher level of flexibility for working professionals. Public administration careers are in demand, and they really are a great place to combine business background with further education and knowledge.

3. Human Resources

HR professionals can become top executives within their company. Since management is really all about managing people, a degree in human resource management might be a good fit for many people-oriented individuals. In this field, you will oversee the hiring of new staff, manage issues with existing staff, and consult with other executives on company planning and policy. HR managers are also expected to enjoy faster than average job growth in the coming years per the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

4. Accounting

While business majors take accounting and finance classes, a more in-depth option is available if you want to become an executive financial manager. Financial managers often get a seat at the same table as the CEO during meetings and play a direct role in an organization’s success. Responsibilities might include directing investments, planning out a company’s long-term financial prospects, creating reports and making financial recommendations to other executive managers.

Getting into an upper management position can take a few years or more of hard work and working your way up the corporate ladder, and having a strong educational experience behind you can help you along tremendously. If you want your career to include time spent in upper management, it is important to remember to prepare before you start your career. Choose a career that has growth opportunities for the future, or start with a job that will give you experience to get jobs that have growth opportunities. Unexpected things happen in a career all the time, but it can be nice to have a tentative future plan, with room for changes. Above we discussed four careers that can help provide you with the skills and background that are necessary and sought out for in upper level management positions.


Emma is a freelance writer currently living in Boston, MA. She writes most often on education and business. To see more from Emma, say hi on Twitter @EmmaSturgis2 or Facebook.


All views and opinions of guest authors are theirs alone and are not representative of the views of Petersons.com or its parent company Nelnet.

Your Social Profile and Your Career Reply

Kiev, Ukraine - January 11, 2016: Background of famous social media icons such as: Facebook, Twitter, Blogger, Linkedin, Tumblr, Myspace and others, printed on paper.

Repeat after me:

All of social media matters. Facebook. Flickr. Instagram. Pinterest. Medium. Linkedin. Snap Chat. Twitter. Vimeo. YouTube. These sites and others are important in a job search. Without the boring, parental or punitive tone, let’s quickly explore why. Over the last few years social media has become more of a factor in candidates being excluded from consideration.

And even if ones’ profile is password protected, I’ve seen that go south rather quickly. Having supported some of the best brands on the planet, it is not foreign to request login credentials. Worst, there are websites that archive social media traffic and portray your digital contributions and pictures oftentimes unknowingly.  I know that cruel internet.

All things considered, this is a critical time for you. You, your parents and other family members have invested resources and time in this educational journey. All of such so that you might secure a fantastic new role with a promising organization. The last thing you’d want is to be denied consideration based on your social media footprint. Let’s rethink your next post.

So before you fire off that resume or pop up for the next scheduled interview, let’s assume everything can and/or will be seen by the person you are scheduled to meet. As a Recruiter, I put each candidate through a quick social media forensic exercise. Here’s what we look for:

Linkedin

  • Photo should be clean, professional, visible – captured via camera if possible
  • Profile should be complete, include details, and paint a picture of who you are
  • Contact information of some sort should be visible – a social media handle or other

Instagram

  • Post pictures that are not offensive or frowned upon by the employer
  • Be conscious of who you follow and or whose pictures you “like” in the process
  • Algorithms are always tweaked too the advantage of the host – not you – be mindful

Twitter

  • Measure your emotion in those 140 characters – don’t always hit send (immediately)
  • Use tools to distribute thoughtful updates and filter questionable content
  • Respect that social recruiting (follows, hashtags, likes, etc) are methods of finding you

Soundcloud

  • Record a crisp introduction to be shared via email/social media with employers
  • Briefly cover defining characteristics, an impact example(s) and contact information
  • Separate yourself from the average job seeker that sits at a keyboard and hits enter

I’m not suggesting you can’t have fun, or post incredible pictures from an office party, or holiday weekend. In fact, I encourage that. I’m asking that you reconsider if the post or tweet will have any potential impact on your mission. I’m suggesting to you that as a recruiter, I’m able to uncover more about you with your email address than you might know.

I’m saying think twice – tweet that. Truth is, a part of your brand will be created through your decision to say no. Progress require a critical injection of confidence and an elevated level of awareness beyond these artificial boundaries of acceptance established by others. Try this slogan: I’m comfortable is the old 20!


About Torin Ellis:

Human Capital Strategist // Interview Architect // Diversity Maverick // Engaging and high spirited. Creative, high voltage, ready to pursue results. Author of Rip The Resume available on petersons.com and where books are sold.


All views and opinions of guest authors are theirs alone and are not representative of the views of Petersons.com or its parent company Nelnet.

Your “After College” Survival Guide: How to Survive as a Fresh College Graduate Reply

Saving for educationBeth Bowman graduated college bubbling with excitement. She had accrued over $25,000 in student debts, but it didn’t matter because she felt she was pursuing a degree that will help her land her dream job of being a cultural consultant for a non-governmental organization. Now out of college, she was excited about her prospects.

However, Bowman soon realized the hard way that we don’t live in a perfect world. After sending about 500 job applications — to which she got no response — she now manages at a job as a policy administration specialist, a job that does not require a college degree.

Bowman’s story isn’t an isolated example.

Statistics from Pew Research Center show that it is becoming increasingly harder for college graduates to find good jobs: a whopping 44 percent of college graduates work at jobs that don’t require a college degree, and 20 percent of college graduates work in low-wage jobs that pay below $25,000. That obviously doesn’t justify today’s average student debt of $37,172.

Here are some survival tips to help you cope as a fresh college graduate:

  1. Make Preparations before Graduating College: Considering the difficulties in getting quality jobs faced by college graduates today, it is best to start making preparations before graduating college. Research shows that employers still value job experience — and having experience as a paid intern makes things even better.

The good news is that you don’t have to be out of college to get relevant job experience. You can still intern while in college; look for relevant organizations that have internship organizations for you while you’re still in college, and slowly build up your work experience. By the time you graduate, you don’t have to be disadvantaged due to lack of work experience.

  1. Get Creative About Job Applications: As a fresh graduate, don’t assume that you can get hired by applying to advertised jobs. Some sources show that up to 80 percent of jobs are unadvertised.

Instead:

  • Regularly reach out to family and friends to inquire about unadvertised job openings they know of.
  • Avoid having your life story on your cover letter. Research shows that recruiters spend less than 10 seconds going through it. Keep your cover letter short and simple.
  • Don’t ignore the internet in your job search. Apparently, 80 percent of recruiters have hired people through LinkedIn. Create and polish your LinkedIn profile.
  • Don’t just wait while you try to get hired. Take advantage of technology to accelerate your prospect of getting hired: you can start a blog or create a simple website. Case studies abound of people who got hired through their blog/website, and many said employers were wowed more by their blogs than by their degree.
  1. Pursue Side Jobs and Alternate Career Options: Many college graduates wait for years, sending hundreds of job applications, without getting their dream job and spending all that time doing nothing. This eventually leads to depression.

Get creative about other ways to earn while looking for your dream job. You can easily find side jobs that will help you sustain yourself while pursuing desirable job opportunities; income from these side jobs reduce pressure on you and help cater to some of your day to day responsibilities.


About John Stevens

John Stevens is an entrepreneur and founder of HostingFacts.com, an online portal that reviews web hosts. He is a regular contributor to Standford’s blog, Business Insider, Entrepreneur.com and other major publications. Follow him on Twitter @hostingfactsj.


All views and opinions of guest authors are theirs alone and are not representative of the views of Petersons.com or its parent company Nelnet.

Should Startups Hire New MBA Grads? Reply

StartupNew Economy, New MBA

Back in the day, MBAs were sort of for losers. People who weren’t successful in their business pursuits went to business school to gain new schools with the hope of improving their business acumen. The logic was simple back then: if you were good at business, you stayed in business. But our economy has shifted and so have many business schools in terms of how their MBA programs are shaped and whom they accept into their programs.

Many business schools are now places for networking, innovation, and learning hard skills that serve core business functions (the stuff that hasn’t changed very much). In short, MBAs are walking out of their business schools more connected, more creative, and more prepared than the average individual with a few years of work experience but lacking an MBA. Many MBAs take the advantage of their time in school making connections and thinking broadly by creating startups of their own with their colleagues.

Getting wiseMBA

The beauty of the new frontier for MBA students is that they are primed for innovation as they leave the incredibly formative experience that is graduate school. Increasingly, entrepreneurship is one of the most appealing concentrations for students in business school. Nothing spells new horizons like putting in your few years at some firm, becoming a student again, then stepping back into the world of work. MBA students are eager to apply their learning and leverage their newfound connections on behalf of whatever project will help them make their mark. And we are beginning to see startups catch on.

Startups are hungry for that balance of innovative energy alongside hard skills that keep the company’s wheels turning on a daily basis. They need a constant infusion of fresh thinking along with the ability to execute on those bright ideas. In so doing, startups operate with some degree of consistent churn among their employees, which can be seen as a strong quality assuming that the company is still meeting its internal goals.

No longer risk-averse

Whether it is a generational shift or a product of business schools shifting their admissions and programmatic priorities, today’s typical MBA student is no longer as risk averse as MBA students in past years. Indeed, MBA students are arguably going to business school to mitigate the risks in our hyper-competitive economy. They are quite literally building the networks and acquiring the skills they believe they will need to survive in the business world precisely because they wish to advance in that world. To them, not improving their standing with MBA is an even greater risk than leaving the security of their pre-MBA job.

This is an ideal reality for startups. As they themselves get smarter about risks–in order to reduce the remarkably high failure rate for startups–they find themselves with a fresh crop of MBA students to draw from, year to year, to fuel their potential success. Alongside this trend, we have business schools and MBA students themselves working hard to make MBA degrees as valuable as possible in our modern economy given its ever-shifting context. An ideal match if there ever was one.


About Vera Marie Reed

Vera Marie Reed is an ex-elementary school teacher turned freelance writer from Glendale, California. She is now a stay at home mother to her two young daughters and enjoys writing about education and parenting issues. She hopes one day to write and illustrate a series of children’s books. Follow her on Twitter at @VMReed.


All views and opinions of guest authors are theirs alone and are not representative of the views of Petersons.com or its parent company Nelnet.

What’s Next After Graduation? Looking for Your First Job 1

Congratulations, you’ve graduated from college! But now that you’ve gotten your diploma, what’s next?

Step one: Find a job.

If you haven’t found a job and you are already into the summer of your graduation, then it is time to update your resume, apply for a number of jobs that you qualify for, and prepare for the professional interviews that are to come.

When building your resume, be sure to research as much as you can online from a variety of different sources. Trends in hiring can, and do, change quite often, which means it is vital for you to be able to create a resume that will highlight your skills and experience and get noticed by potential employers. A resume is a bit like an elevator pitch of your accomplishments. Keep in mind keywords, format, length, readability, relevant experience, and anything else that will show hiring managers what value you can bring to their company.

Depending on your degree, stay open minded about the types of jobs you apply to. Look for work that has decent starting pay, is generally in your desired career field, and offers you a chance to gain quality experience and learn from your employer. You may be sick of learning, but college and work are two completely different worlds. Getting an internship at a company where you want to work is also a good way to get your foot in the door.

Never pass up the opportunity to work under experienced professionals that can mentor you and give you valuable skills to put on your resume for your next job. Believe it or not, only around 27 percent of college graduates find a job that is directly related to their major, according to the US Bureau of the Census. What this means is the bulk of your skills will come from on-the-job experience, so finding an employer that will help you grow is essential.

No matter what your goals are, the most important part is to keep an open mind. You never know what sorts of opportunities will present themselves. Fortune favors the bold, so get out there and start applying.