15Apr/112

Do Your Online Homework!

We are proud to debut a new blog series,  "How I Stopped Worrying and Got the Job", guest posts from past workshop attendees, new acquaintances and other clever job seekers who used their noggins and landed their first job.

Jacklyn Cremer attended one of our first AfterSchool Career Workshops sessions and graduated from KU with a Bachelors in Marketing and now has a full-time job in account services at ER Marketing. More about her job search can be found at JacklynCremer.com.  This is how she used the Internet to search more than job boards.

“You don’t stand a tinker’s chance of producing successful advertising unless you start by doing your homework.  I have always found this extremely tedious, but there is no substitute for it.  First study the product you are going to advertise.  The more you know about it, the more likely you are to come up with a big idea for selling it.” – David Ogilvy, Ogilvy on Advertising.

As a marketer searching for a job, I was the product.

The hunt is about finding a job that really fits with what you want to do and will help you to reach your career goals.  If you do your homework, then you will find a company, a job description, and a location that fits your interests and skills.  When you know everything there is to know about the company and the position, it’s easy to let the company know that you are the right choice for the job!

5Apr/112

Does Your Resume Bore Even You?

By Lisa Correu, Principal/Job Search Advocate, AfterSchool Career Workshops

How’s your resume? Have you read it, really read, it in the past month? If not, open it up and dust it off. A resume is a living document and should be reevaluated regularly. And if you're not getting the responses you expect from it this is definitely the time to examine the content.

Read it carefully and think about what you’ve learned in your job search since you created it, asking yourself these questions:

23Mar/111

What If You Don’t Want a Job? (…Or Can’t Find a Job?) Consider Making Your Own.

By Kathryn Lorenzen, Principal/Career Development Coach

Not everyone is cut out to be an employee. Some people would rather gnaw off their own foot than sign on to someone else’s rules, mission, and payroll. They’d just feel too trapped or like they’d sold out.

And not everyone who wants a job upon graduation will be able to find one quickly. The unemployment rate for young adults age 20 to 24 is uncomfortably high (15.4%, by a recent government estimate, compared to 8.9% for the general population).

So, what’s the alternative? Since minimum-wage jobs will generally not allow you to be self-supporting, some new graduates make the decision to become entrepreneurs, providing a basic service to individuals or businesses. And some do quite well, thank you, as either a freelancer or a dedicated business.

What are the qualities that help you succeed if this is the road you choose, or that chooses you?

7Mar/110

Know Your Industry And Impress Your Boss

By Lisa Correu, Principal/Job Search Advocate, AfterSchool Career Workshops

Are you up to speed on your industry? Do you know what the bigwigs are up to? If you want to catch the eye of your employer or interviewer and blow them away bring up current trends, recent market shifts or industry predictions and watch them melt into stunned little puddles of joy. When you can speak about matters pertinent to an entry-level position that's fabulous. When you can speak with knowledge about matters that go beyond your pay grade then that’s just fabulouser.  Way fabulouser. Yes, I made that word up.

25Feb/110

You Are What You Say You Are

By Kathryn Lorenzen, Principal/Career Development Coach

When you get further along in your career, your track record is everything and can carry you far. But when you’re just graduating, to get a promising first job, you need to be able to convey clearly what you can do for your potential employer.

We geezers have called it the “elevator speech,” which has always been cheesy, even when it meant something (that you need to be able to get your message across to someone you meet in an elevator before you get to their floor). Lisa and I call it your Personal Marketing Statement, which is also not ideal but closer to accurate.

So let’s explore a little more about how you can land on the “must be interviewed” list with just what you say to introduce yourself, either in person, on the phone, or in email.

21Feb/110

Would You Ask Employer to Plan Your Career?

By Lisa Correu, Principal/Job Search Advocate, AfterSchool Career Workshops

I think there’s a saying somewhere that trying to be all things to all people results in being no things to no people. I probably (undoubtedly) have that all wrong but you get the point.  When I was recruiting for an ad agency I would frequently get resumes with covers that read, “I’m open to whatever you think I’d be qualified for.” Or something to that effect.  I could only guess that their strategy was to be flexible and willing to help with whatever need that I might have.

This is wrong on about fifty-nine levels.

15Feb/110

Working for Smaller Companies Can Pay Off Big

By Lisa Correu, Principal/Job Search Advocate, AfterSchool Career Workshops

As you get closer to graduation and sourcing your first job consider the small company. Employees at large companies stay away from the front doors in June to avoid the stampede of new grads that would flatten them like a herd of wildebeest.  And if you do manage to land a spot you may find yourself one of many, with very defined job duties and little room for growth within the position. Yay.

So consider the small company, the mom and pop, the start-up or the up-start. Do your homework and target the organizations with 50, 25 or even fewer employees.  Why?

2Feb/110

Does It Have to Be X vs Y?

By Lisa Correu, Principal/Job Search Advocate, AfterSchool Career Workshops

When I was an advertising recruiter I looked forward to entry level hiring. My agency was smart enough to know that the new ideas and new perspectives of recent graduates were vital to a progressive organization. So I’ve been a little startled in the last few years to watch so called Gen Y being looked at a bit like a new breed of human or exotic zoo animal. “What do we feed them? Can they get wet? What's a Band of Horses?” It’s also discouraging to see so many comments from resentful Gen Xers along the lines of “turn down that damned rock and roll!”

14Jan/110

Creative Ways to Follow Up Without Stalking

By Lisa Correu, Principal/Job Search Advocate, AfterSchool Career WorkshopsCreepy Creeperton

So you’ve used your network to meet some great people at your target companies and had some good conversations. Now, how do you stay in touch without just dropping an email now and then with the same old information? You could send flowers or food but that’s just silly and expensive. You could wait by their car but that might become illegal after a while. Better yet, here are a couple of ways you can keep your name in their heads, impress them and learn something yourself.

22Dec/100

Mastering the Bad Interview

By Lisa Correu, Principal/Job Search Advocate, AfterSchool Career Workshops

We’ve all read some great advice on how to ace an interview and get hired (if you're a hiring manager here are a couple of tips for you, too) but we sometimes make the mistake of thinking we’re interviewing in a perfect world. Unfortunately, it’s entirely possible you’ll meet with someone who doesn’t actually know how to conduct an interview.