Tips for getting hired – FAST!

  1. Don’t stop applying for jobs.

While you are waiting to hear from an employer, apply to other positions. You might not land the first job you apply for.

 

  1. Network yourself.

It’s important to use your connections. Let people know that you are seeking employment.

 

  1. Dress the part.

Appearance matters when you are searching for a job. It is the employer’s first impression of you. Dress accordingly for the type of job you are applying for.

 

  1. Be yourself.

When you are interviewing with an employer, be yourself. Employers want to know who they are hiring, and it ensures you are the right fit for the company.

 

  1. Target your resume.

Your resume should be relevant to the job you are applying for. Tweak and edit your resume to fit the job description of the position.

 

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How to excel in your career

Who says you can’t be happy and successful in your career? You absolutely can be, but how do you achieve this? Set goals and continuously work towards those goals. Here are some steps you can take to excel in your career.

  1. Be on time for work. Everyday.
  2. Always be respectful to your boss.
  3. Be social and friendly with your boss and coworkers.
  4. Don’t be afraid of making mistakes. Learn from them, fix the issue, and better yourself.
  5. Take on more responsibility.
  6. Do what you love and be passionate about what you do.
  7. Communicate effectively and always be honest.
  8. Prioritize your tasks and don’t give up on them.
  9. Meet all your deadlines.
  10. Always maintain a positive attitude.

The Power of an Internship

You may have heard of an internship before, from maybe a colleague, co-worker, or even a family member. Some internships may not be all they seem to be, like getting coffee and picking up laundry. In reality, it is nothing like that. It is actually a very beneficial investment.

The benefits of an internship are very much worth the investment of time. With an opportunity to be a part of any company you may be an intern with, the return of actual job experience is very fulfilling. The work is an insight into what goes on in the actual workplace.

A fundamental key to success and progression is the ability to network. An internship is an ultimate step in getting to know those who know others. Networking is a powerful tool which will aid in the progression of career, position, rank, and etc.

A resume is only as strong as its content; with an internship with a well-known company, it can be very alluring to employers seeking more experienced applicants.

An internship will be nothing more than a series of balances of time management. Take for example the balance between school and work. There has to be a balance.

A career can be built much like a colosseum, which would not be constructed with small insignificant materials.  Much like random jobs, which have no relation to your aspiring career, it is worth using more strong resources, in this case, an internship. While it may be more costly and require more it will be more beneficial in the long run.

Make the most of your job fair experience

Regardless of what stage you are in life or your career journey, making the most of your job fair experience is sometimes the key to landing a job. There are many opportunities at a job fair to make connections and network with employers even if you don’t necessarily want a job with “that” company or need a full-time job at the moment. Job fairs can have a lot of traffic, so you want to make sure you stand out.

 

Here are some tips to ace your job fair experience:

  1. Have a game plan. Always know what you are walking in to at a job fair! Research which employers/companies will be in attendance and know with whom you wish to speak. Instead of asking basic questions at every table, have specific questions ready for certain employers. Take some time while you’re there to seek these companies out on your phone and learn a little about them. You want to make every employer feel like you “chose” them!
  2. Have a clue. Do your research! There is so much online about every company that all you have to do is Google them and learn their mission statement, etc. Sometimes companies are doing on-campus interviews at the job fair so find out who is doing them and don’t be afraid to contact them in advance to introduce yourself.
  3. Understand how you’re being evaluated. Things to pay attention to: personal appearance, professionalism, confidence, leadership, and etiquette.
  4. Bring copies of your resume to hand out. Many employers will have jobs they are currently trying to fill, so having a resume with you will only make you more prepared and marketable.
  5. Allow yourself adequate time. Come early as you may need to return to classes or to your current job. Job fairs are typically the busiest during the lunch hour and close promptly at publicized ending times to accommodate employers’ travel time.
  6. Prioritize the employers you are most interested in. If your schedule allows, it might benefit you to visit the employers that you are least interested in first so that you can practice with them before you approach the employers you are especially excited about.
  7. Be flexible. While most job fairs will have a directory or a list of employers in attendance, remember that things can always change right before the job fair. Some employers might have had something come up and they’re not able to attend the fair anymore. Some job openings might not be available anymore. Be flexible and remember to get contact information if you only speak to a recruiter instead of an employee.
  8. Introduce yourself and be prepared to give a “career pitch”. You always want to be prepared to shake someone’s hand, say your name, and highlight your skills and strengths.
  9. Take notes. Since the representative at the fair might not be able to answer all of your questions or know specifics about your job interests, you will want to write down names, phone numbers, etc. of other staff members whom you can contact later.
  10. Be courteous! Always be respectful of the employer’s belongings and especially their time. They are helping us out as much as we might be helping them out with possible candidates.

4 Reasons High School Students should begin career planning early

Why It’s Important to Think About Your Career in High School?

The sooner you begin making plans for your future career-wise, the better off you’ll be.

Considering how competitive the job market has become, it’s never too early to start to think about your career.

“What are you going to do when you grow up?” is a common question, even for elementary school children, but today, high school students are reportedly planning ahead and seeking internships to help them get into college and land job opportunities down the road.

Millennial Branding, a Gen Y research and consulting firm, and Internships.com, the world’s largest internship marketplace, announced a new study, “High School Careers,” which surveyed 4,769 students (172 high school students and 4,597 college students) and 326 employers from across the country. The study found high school students are actually more entrepreneurial than college students. Many high school students surveyed were interested in internships to get new skills, work experience and to network.

The sponsors of the study, Dan Schawbel, founder of Millennial Branding and author of “Promote Yourself,” and Robin Richards, CEO of Internships.com, suggest the following reasons why it’s important for you to start to think about your future career while you’re still in high school:

 

  1. You’ll grow your network early. If you’re thinking about your career, you’ll make a point to start to network. Schawbel notes: “By going to school-sponsored events, local meetups and connecting with your teachers, you can grow a powerful network that will support you in college admissions and beyond. Very few high school students take the time to meet professional contacts, leverage them to create opportunities and then keep in touch with them when they graduate.”  There’s no question that having a professional network is useful for career success. High school students who focus on their career early are more likely to be motivated to focus on their personal brand. LinkedIn encourages teenagers to create profiles on their professional network, and young people who are interested in their future are more likely to take advantage of this and other online and in-person tools to expand their network.
  2. You’ll be more competitive for college applications. If you’re applying to colleges, your part-time job or internship experience can build a case for you as a strong applicant. “Because many students apply to college after high school without having completed an internship, your experience over the summer can help you stand out from the crowd of students,” Richards explains. “The admissions committee will be able to see that you are motivated, inquisitive and serious about success from the fact that you used your break to work and gain professional experience.”
  3. You’ll have a head start figuring out what you want to do after high school. When you gain work experience, it will be easier to rule out the majors you won’t be interested in if you go to college, so you don’t make any career mistakes. Or, you may learn that you want to pursue a career that doesn’t require a college degree, and you can save a lot of money, time and effort. “The sooner you understand what you do and don’t want to do for a career, the easier it will be to make the right career decisions,” Schawbel says. “In high school there’s no pressure to pick a major or a career, so it’s the best time to experiment.”
  4. You’ll learn a lot. Just applying for internships is a great learning experience. Richards explains: “Going through the internship application process and completing a summer internships program offers valuable decision-making lessons which can come in handy when applying to colleges and future summer internships.” She adds: “In addition to learning important skills that will make you a very valuable employee, a summer job or internship in high school can help you gain confidence and a better understanding of ‘the real world.'”

4 Benefits of Higher Education

High school graduation is something most young people look forward to – not just because it’s an accomplishment, but also because of the freedom it brings.  Many young people develop a negative attitude toward education.  It’s no wonder, then, that many young people are tempted to consider their high school graduation day the end of their educational careers.

Higher education serves many purposes, only some of which are emphasized in our culture.  Some young people may think it’s not for them and, therefore, miss out on many of the potential benefits that such an educational experience provides.  Higher education is not just about learning; it’s about the opportunity for further personal development, as well.

  1. Career Preparation: for young people that have a pretty solid idea of what type of career they would like to have as an adult, post-secondary education will primarily serve as a means for gaining the skills, training and knowledge necessary to enter their desired profession.
  2. Broader Practical Benefits: People who seek education beyond high school are likely to be better off in terms of economic well-being, physical health and participation in political and community affairs.
  3. Personal Development: the following benefits, typically derived from a successful higher education experience, can prove to be major enhancements to your life: better communication, critical thinking skills, identification of skills, realization of passions, greater sense of discipline, and sense of accomplishment.
  4. Pursuing a Passion: education is not only a tool for making money – it can be good for our hearts and souls as well.

Graduating Soon? Jump start your job search.

  1. Don’t put off your job search. You might think after you graduate is the perfect time to relax and take a break. This could lead to a long time of unemployment. Instead, start your job search before you graduate. You are a more likely candidate when you are fresh out of school versus someone who has graduated and waited around. Keep in mind, job searches can take a while; it’s never too early to start.
  2. Use your resources. There are many resources for finding a job. Calhoun’s Career Services hireCalhoun job portal, your local career centers, job fairs, and employment website are among the many resources you are surrounded by.
  3. Use your networks. Friends, family members, parents’ friends, people in your field are good networks to assist you in finding a job. Let them know you are looking for a position and learn more about the field you are entering.
  4. Include all your work experience on your resume. You may think that the classes you have taken towards your degree is your only qualifications you have for a job. But this isn’t necessarily the case. Any kind of work experience is better than no experience. Job duties from one job often relate to multiple types of positions.
  5. Come across professional. Make sure you have a professional email address, voicemail, and clean social media. If employers want to contact you, it is important to come across as professional and mature as possible. Being unprofessional could rob you of a great job opportunity.

But is it relevant?

Let’s set the scene. You have sat down to edit your resume for a new job posting you saw on hireCalhoun. Your resume is three pages, yikes! You obviously do not want the person reviewing your resume to have any unanswered questions. However, what you should really be asking yourself should be “is this information relevant”?

If you are not asking yourself this you can already expect your resume to go in the “No” pile.

Yes, the “No” pile.

Everything in this day and age is “We don’t have time for that.” Employers want to see information that is relevant to the job description that they posted. That is it.

So, maybe your resume does not need to list everything you have done. Maybe your resume does not need to be three pages.

As you review your resume, be sure that all the experience, education, skills, and volunteer work are relevant to the job for which you are applying. If not, remove it. It is that simple. You will be happy you did so because I guarantee, your resume is more likely to end up in the “Yes” pile.

Get involved!

Most students, who attend Calhoun, come to class, go to work, do homework and that is it. Unlike big universities, most students are not aware of all the clubs and organizations that Calhoun has on campus.

Yes, you are building your resume by coming to Calhoun by gaining skills and education; however, the best thing you can do is get involved on campus. Clubs and organizations can be a great way to expand your qualifications. Most clubs have volunteering involved, which gives you an opportunity to continue to utilize skills and again, build your resume.

Now, of course becoming a member is important, but becoming a part of the leadership of the club is even better.

If you are discouraged because you have no related work experience, turn to these opportunities. These transferable skills are the soft skills that every employer is looking for.

So take it from someone who was involved in college, you will not regret it.

 

See our list of clubs and organizations at Calhoun below:

  • Additive Manufacturing Club (AMC)
  • The Art Club Box
  • American Society for Quality Student Chapter
  • Animé Lounge (Decatur Campus)
  • Baptist Campus Ministries
  • Bass Fishing Team
  • Biological Sciences Research Group
  • Black Students’ Alliance
  • Books 101
  • Broadcasting Club / Photography Club
  • Child Development Club
  • Christians at Calhoun
  • College Autism Spectrum Organization (CASSO)
  • Criminal Justice Club
  • Debate Club (Huntsville Campus)
  • Drama Club
  • M.S. Club
  • Entrepreneurs Club
  • Gathering of Gamers
  • Interfaith Club
  • International Club (Huntsville campus)
  • La Vos/Spanish Club
  • C3 NASA Rover Team (C3NRT) Club
  • Nursing Club
  • Phi Theta Kappa
  • Physical Therapist Assistant Club
  • Psychology Club
  • Prime Fellowship
  • Sigma Kappa Delta (SKD – English)
  • SkillsUSA
  • Students for Life (SFL)
  • SPECTRUM
  • Student Government Association (SGA)
  • Warhawks Student Ambassadors

 

Sharing your strengths and weaknesses

What are your Strengths and Weaknesses?

It’s one of the burning questions most employers will ask during an interview. What most people do not realize, is that employers really take how you respond to this question into consideration.

The most common response is “I don’t have any.” We all have a weakness and strength. When responding to this question, you need to have an answer that is relevant to the job you are interviewing for, along with an example to support your response.

The trick for answering your weakness is by turning your weakness into a positive.  You also want to state what you are doing to overcome that weakness.

For example, “I tend to automatically take the leadership role when working in groups. This is a weakness, as I need to figure out my role within a group before assuming leadership. I am working on this by collaborating with the team to identify everyone’s strengths before taking charge.” This example is showing that yes, you do have a weakness, you are aware of it, but you are working on it.