The 10 Worst Mistakes of First-Time Job Hunters

We are sharing an article written for college students in the career advice section of the Wall Street Journal.  Read the entire article because it lays out important advice on managing your professional future and preparing for the current job market.  The most important points:
– Start your job search early and use career services
– Gain professional experience through summer and academic year internships.  It is pretty much a requirement for post-graduate employment.
– Apply to jobs now and meet with employers visiting  campus
– Network with alumni, family, friends and other contacts.  People on the inside of organizations can provide you with the best lead on jobs.

Read the full article here

Phone Interview Tips!

Unless you are only looking for a job or internship in Charlotte there is a good chance that your first interview with an employer will be over the phone.  During phone interviews you will not be able to read the interviewers’ facial expressions and body language, which makes it difficult to know if they understand your answers to their questions.  They also will obviously not be able to see you, which means you have to express your enthusiasm through your voice and words.  You can find lots of interesting articles on phone interviews through Google, but here is one to get you started! Website Down October 6-12, 2011 will transition to a new system October 6-12, 2011. During this time, the ability to conduct job searches, apply for jobs or receive application status updates will not be possible. Employers will not be able to post any new jobs. Even after the transition is complete, there may be sporadic, unannounced shutdowns.  Check here for updates on the website.

For those applying for U.S. Department of State opportunities, you are encouraged to complete your application prior to October 6, if possible, to reduce the possibility of system problems preventing an on-time submission.

At this point, the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) does not anticipate a need for extending any application deadlines. However, Career Services will monitor the situation and keep you informed of any changes.

For those applying for State Department Internships:
The application deadline is November 1st.  However, it is recommended that you apply immediately to avoid any glitches that may arise due to the website transition.

Use LinkedIn to Find Federal Jobs

Using LinkedIn to narrow down hires for the federal government? It’s true, with the introduction of LinkedIn’s two new tools, Skills and Similar Profiles.  Both federal government websites and  LinkedIn use algorithms to highlight individuals based on their talent, influence and expertise.

When seeking jobs on LinkedIn, include a “robust” LinkedIn profile, with many contacts and recommendations, a portfolio and links to your work, and provide an interesting introduction with keywords applicable to your relevant field, with a long bulleted list of specialties.  Your “profile” then stands out to employers, and gets noticed – to federal recruiters, as well as recruiters from corporate and nonprofit organizations.

Users look at groups that are within their particular field. Frequent postings on LinkedIn will move your name up higher in the search engine rankings. Hiring managers can then “notice” you, make contact, and refer you to appropriate federal application processes, all while keeping you in mind for positions that are open.  Find out more by reading Key Words in Social Media: A New Way to Find Top Talent.

Employers Rank Top 5 Candidate Skills/Qualities Sought in Job Candidates

Each year the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) surveys it employer members on the skills and qualities they seek in new college graduates seeking positions within their organizations.  The top five are:

1)    Verbal Communication Skills
2)   Strong Work Ethic
3)   Teamwork Skills
4)   Analytical Skills
5)   Initiative

– Source: Job Outlook 2011, National Association of Colleges and Employers.

The great news is that you are developing these skills and qualities through your Davidson education!  Employers will be looking for examples in your job applications and during your interviews.  Work them into your resume and have stories ready to share when you meet with employers.  Read more here

Seniors: When Will Most of You Land Job Offers?

By Nathan Elton, Director of Career Services

I am bringing up this point because the recruiting season for the Class of 2012 has already begun.   I can name six or seven of your fellow classmates who have already accepted job offers after their summer internships in the banking industry.  Davidson also has employers in the banking, consulting and business services industries visiting campus over the next few weeks to recruit you for full-time positions.   This early recruitment creates excitement on campus, but I also pick up on some angst as seniors wonder if it is already do or die time for landing a job.

I want to share some data about your classmates from the Class of 2011.  Roughly 65% of the class have or will be entering the world of work while the remaining 35% have entered graduate school, taken time off to travel, or embarked on some other activity.

Of the 65% of graduates from the Class of 2011 who are or will be employed:

– 12.8% accepted job offers during fall semester

– 62.6% accepted job offers during spring semester – mainly in March, April & May

– 24.6% have or will accept job offers after graduation

The seniors who landed jobs in the fall mainly entered the banking, finance, and consulting fields.  This is typical because many of the larger employers in these fields recruit early in the fall.  A much wider range of employers representing areas such as, but not limited to, the arts, nonprofit and social service, public policy, communications, public health, sciences, consulting, finance and business services recruit throughout the year.

So, what does this mean for you?  Some seniors will land jobs this fall (you may be one of them) but there is a good chance that the employer hiring you may not actively begin recruiting until the spring.  Does this mean that you should put off your job search until January?  NO.   

The most successful seniors from last year started their job search in the fall:

– They met multiple times with the Career Services advising staff who partnered with them to develop and implement a job search plan.

– They connected with helpful Davidson alumni and parents who provided information on employers, offered excellent resume writing and interviewing advice, and helped them to meet additional people who were recruiting seniors for jobs.

– They met with employers visiting campus, participated in the SLAC Recruiting Days and applied for jobs in our recruiting system.

– They treated their job search like an additional class – each week they set small, accomplishable goals, which built confidence and allowed them to shine in every stage of the job search process.

Please know that the staff in the Office of Career Services are your friends and partners in the job search process.  We work in this field because we love to see students succeed in developing, implementing and achieving their goals for life after Davidson.  Stop in to see us soon.

Leadership Development & Rotational Programs

Leadership Development Programs and Rotational Programs are are a great fit for the liberal arts student as they allow you to use your skills to solve problems and offer the opportunity to learn about multiple areas of a corporation or to develop a more complex understanding of one particular aspect of a business.  Employers have created these programs to recruit and develop leadership for their organization.

Information on Leadership Development Programs at Fortune 500 companies and smaller organizations can be accessed through the following pages:
The Ultimate Guide to Career Development Programs

Duke University Career Services’ List of Leadership Development and Rotational Programs