29Sep/100

Internships and How to Manage Them

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

These days it’s practically required that you have at least two internships during or right after college. Employers will always go for entry-level candidates with productive and relevant intern experiences over those who just didn’t bother and more and more are hiring from the intern pool. So let’s assume you got a fabulous spot with a great company or organization. How can you milk this puppy for all it’s worth?

18Feb/100

Surviving a Long Job Search

Guest Blogger Michael Wells, Marketing Assistant at DaVinci Roofscapes

So, you just graduated, or perhaps graduated a while ago, and you're looking for the first company that will take a chance on you. The bills are piling up. The six-month grace period on your loans is coming – or gone. You're looking for a spark of life on the Internet – anything that will give you direction or hope.

I spent a year and a half looking for my first job. And the most important thing I learned? Perseverance. The ability to keep moving forward, in spite of difficulties, obstacles or discouragement.

These are the things that kept me moving forward and may help you:

  1. Find an unpaid internship. The experience is worth more than money.
  2. Set up informational interviews. (Don't roll your eyes.) It's a great way to build your network.
  3. Know the top ten places you want to work. And know them inside and out.
  4. Network, network, network. When you think you've networked enough, network some more.
  5. Keep in touch with your contacts.
  6. Find things that draw you closer to what you ultimately want to do. Subscribe to Ad Age, Communications Arts, etc.; join the local American Advertising Federation chapter or other local industry associations; get involved in charity work; take more classes; read industry books.)
  7. Form a virtual agency. I did. Gather together people in the same boat as you and find a pro-bono client to create work for.
  8. Start freelancing.
  9. Work social media. You'll be amazed at the number of positions posted through LinkedIn, Twitter or Facebook that you won't see anywhere else.

In the end, you've got to love this business. And be willing to work through all the crap that is between you and your first job. Remember, at any moment, your first job is right around the corner. Keep moving forward and you'll find it.

Happy hunting!

30Nov/090

Oh the resume!

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

Oh the resume! That 100K bit of information that can lead to an interview or lead to nowhere. It’s a confounding document, there are disasters lurking in the margins, disinterest in the bullet points and some more time in your parent’s basement in the objective statement. You’re not sure if an employer will care if you were an Eagle Scout, delivered pizzas or are a champion Scrabble player. It can be terrifying to hit “Send” and know it’s now out of your hands.
But you are so capable of delivering a confident document; you just don’t know it yet. An entry-level resume can be viewed as the easiest record of your qualifications that you’ll ever compose. A smart employer (and you DO want to work for a smart employer) knows that you are unformed and untested. They look forward to hiring entry-level talent as a way to get the best and brightest combined with the high energy that a new graduate can bring. Therefore your first obligation to your resume is to emphasize what you’ve learned so far, how it prepares you to move into the working world and what you’re looking forward to as you do. A potential employer will appreciate a concise assessment of all of this; don’t make them work to find out who you are, they don’t like to do that. Ever.
Whatever you list, whether it’s the curriculum you studied, internships, summer or full-time jobs or volunteer efforts don’t just put them as bullets points of history. What did you learn? Don’t just say, “answered phones, took orders, joined the PR club” How did each of these experiences move you forward? Did they inspire you in any way?

Try this:
You worked at Target for a summer, you want to put down:
• Worked cash register
• Stocked shelves
• Worked at returns desk

BLECH…

What you might say:
I learned the importance of customer service by going above and beyond my job duties to make sure they were satisfied. I gained patience and empathy while working at the returns desk and became proficient at company policy.

You can make your resume much more attractive just by staying away from merely stating your duties or memberships. You’re probably not aware of how you benefited from your experiences but if you think hard about each item you’re listing you’ll find a way to make it a positive outcome.

Here again:
• Member of Public Relations Society of America.

YAWN…

What you might say:
• As a two year member of my PRSA chapter I headed our charity fundraiser, recruited volunteers and we exceeded our goals. It was a positive experience and made me aware of my leadership qualities.

Or if you just went to meetings, paid attention and took something away from your membership you can still say:
• Member of PRSA-attended meetings consistently and gained insight into industry organizations and their goal of continued professional development.

See? You can expand your education and experiences to make yourself much more appealing and interesting simply because through these experiences you HAVE become much more appealing and interesting. Don’t sell yourself short!

Image©toothpastefordinner.com