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Posted by Carolyn Thompson on Apr 15, 2016 in Career Path
, Interviewing Skills
, Job Search
The hope of many college seniors is to quickly land a post-grad entry level position with their first choice company, doing what they majored in, with a competitive salary, and opportunities for professional development. The reality is quite different for many hopefuls.
A polar bear mother spends a few months of the year in a den with her newborn cubs. When the cubs are larger and stronger, they are able to leave the den and walk around. The cubs are glued to their mother’s side for the next few months playfully imitating her hunting habits in preparation for later life. For life after college, many graduation seniors are woefully unprepared as they leave the protective den of their alma mater.
Carolyn Thompson of Merito Group, and author of Resumazing – Ten Easy Steps to a Perfect Resume, touched on some of the more significant challenges that the 2016 class of graduating college students face when they begin to look for job opportunities in her interview with David Rawles, host of Career Solutions Radio.
You can listen to the interview here.
One of the most underused resources on a college campus, Carolyn points out, is the career center. Many students don’t even know where it is and once you graduate, its resources will no longer be available to you. The career center can help you figure out your value proposition and connect you with employers hiring for the skills you have. They also have information on employers that recruit on campus most frequently. While you are still near the den, utilize the resources available for you.
The worst thing that many students realize at graduation is that they did not get any work experience at all and have nothing on their resume. “Any job is better than no job.” Carolyn says. You are developing a history of reliability and dependability by having a regular responsibility outside of school. You can also volunteer or take an unpaid internship to get experience and references. For instance, if you are working in a bar as an accounting major, the bar is still a business that has to do bookkeeping and taxes. Volunteer doing small tasks for them if you are having trouble finding a job in your major or field. Take a lesson from the polar bear cubs and get the experience you need before graduation without the stress of needing the skills to survive.
For all of you graduating seniors in the Metro DC area, APPLY HERE.
To help prepare in the next couple of months before graduation while you are still warm in the den (besides a visit to your career center), spruce up your resume with these tips from Carolyn:
- Make sure your contact information on your resume is accurate. Typos in your email and cell phone number are very common mistakes.
- Include at least your zip code in your contact information. Locality can play an important role in certain positions and your resume might not come up in searches.
- Add a description of the companies you worked for (i.e. public or private, number of employees, revenue – whatever is relevant to the industry).
- Bullet point your accomplishments outside of your job description so they stand out and set you apart – what you made, saved, or achieved in the role. All polar bears are white to blend in with the snow, but here you need to standout!
- Write your skills together on your resume so they are easily found and can be reviewed quickly. (Technical skills, licenses, etc.)
- Make sure the skills you include are relevant to the job you are applying for. Saying you have your real estate license takes up space if you don’t need it for the job.
(Editor’s tip – if you worked through a temp agency, remember to note that on your resume so your employer can check your background more efficiently)
For those young entrepreneurs out there: Carolyn tells a story of a young person who ran his own lawn care business in college. LISTEN HERE to find out how she rewrote his resume to help him land a position as a financial analyst after graduation.
One thing to note for your job search, Carolyn mentions, is that small to mid-size companies have more flexibility in a single position to allow you to learn and do more. A lot of grads are attracted by marque name companies, but they might not get to do much in the role in such a large organization.
In the interview, David Rawles asks Carolyn about what she thinks is the biggest myth that many students may be thinking as they enter the workforce. Carolyn replies that some people think their first job dictates their future, but this is not the case. If you don’t land your dream job right away, it doesn’t mean it won’t happen later. Many people don’t get the job they thought they wanted and even those who do get their first choice may realize that it’s not for them and change. There is more than one ice floe in the arctic!
For more information about Career Solutions Radio with David Rawles click here.
-Lindsay Sellner, editor
Posted by Carolyn Thompson on May 22, 2013 in Career Path
, Job Search
, Self Improvement
How to Utilize Social Media Effectively in Your Career
Wolves live predominantly in packs to search for food, raise pups, and defend hunting territory. When a wolf leaves their birth pack, it could be in order to join a new pack that may not have as many members or packs that have better opportunities in the hierarchy. Sometimes the searching wolf may even establish their own pack. If a wandering wolf doesn’t find the right pack, it is usually possible to return to their birth pack. Wolves may cover a large area and travel long distances in search of the perfect fit and it often seems to be a hit or miss process. Social media networking can take much of the guess work out of finding your career pack.
People have always looked for ways to interact with their colleagues in order to develop a way of getting a step above the other competitors in their career. Many social networking websites that represent digital social media like Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and others present an excellent way of not only staying close to your friends but at the same time offer various growth opportunities for one’s career. Let’s see how social media can help you in your career by allowing you to stay connected with professionals in the community.
How social media works to boost your career
Websites that focus on maintaining and managing one’s professional networks, like LinkedIn, utilize social networking software and principally work on the concept of managing and gathering multi-tiered contacts. “First connections” are those individuals with whom you have a direct connection, as in a co-worker or friend, and the further tiers, such as second or third connections, are professionals that are in your network sphere as a result of having relationships with your direct connections. An individual needs to become a registered user of the website in order to benefit from it. However, once registration is completed, that person can interact with thousands of professionals of the same or different fields as well as maintaining and managing a chain of direct professional connections.
With such career oriented social media websites one can look at companies in their respective fields and even apply for relevant jobs in order to plan a career move. This can be a great benefit to the individuals who are either looking to move companies or researching the first job in their career. Job seekers and employees are not limited by geographical boundaries, but only their own network. These websites realize the importance of personal branding in a job search and hence, suggest their users develop appropriate profiles which can help them represent their accomplishments, strengths, skills and academics to their potential employers or clients. Developing a personal brand with these social sites can make the professional a more valuable asset for the company they work for, their own enterprise, and for the potential employers as well.
Social media has evolved as a great advancement in social networking that boosts professional networking activities and career management for people in a resourceful manner. This electronic way of person-to-person networking is quite an effective marketing tool, which an individual can utilize to market his/ her professional skills. These social media platforms allow any individual to manage his/her own future and career just with a click of a mouse. These have made the professional connections and interconnections possible which grow into a wonderful professional web community. Not only does it offer career prospects, but professional discussions through forums and groups enable individuals to continue to learn many new things pertaining to their field or career.
The social media platforms have revolutionized career development for self management, personal and professional empowerment, as well as networking. It would not be wrong to say that one can indeed utilize the social media effectively for his/her career as it is a valuable way for building professional brand statement in the long run and for finding appropriate opportunities in their career.
Don’t be the lone wolf wandering aimlessly, research a pack with social media and develop the connections to move forward in your career.
This guest post was contributed by Patrick S. Patrick has been recently employed by a professional research paper writing service at SolidEssay.com, where he helps students fine tune their research papers and other academic work.
If you have a great idea for a jungle-themed post, let us know! Guest writers or requests are always welcome!
Posted by Carolyn Thompson on Nov 29, 2012 in Career Path
, Self Improvement
Social Media. Social Networking. These are the two hot buttons around these days. How can you use these tools to reach the high performing/high potential candidates that make the best employees? Imagine if you could reach the best people faster, before your competition snaps them up.
We are currently conducting a confidential international research study to learn how people who have been identified as high performers/high potential employees use social media and social networking. Our goal is to gain clarity around where these people are spending their time online in order that employers can more effectively interact with them via social media.
We are conducting online surveys with high performing employees to learn:
- how they receive their daily news;
- what they are reading on a personal and business level and how they access and obtain that information;
- what they do for continuing professional education;
- how these individuals network on a professional level and what their level of engagement is;
- how these individuals interact with their personal friends;
- what they do when they are bored;
- what sources they use to find jobs;
- how these individuals share information;
- what they think about their current employer;
- how they feel their employer could better position themselves in the market;
- their top business concerns and what type of research could be done to help resolve these issues;
- who they consider an expert in their filed and the reasons why; and how do they follow those individuals?
If you would like to participate and receive a complimentary copy of the white paper we ask that you send the link below to any number of people you know that have been promoted within the past 18 months and/or whom you consider to be a high potential/high performer. We estimate that the survey will take no more than 10 minutes to complete. If you reply “yes!” in the comments we can send you the results after they are compiled in January.
The survey will close in one week so please send it out as soon as you can. We appreciate your help in our research!
The survey can be accessed here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/HWHZXMT
Posted by Carolyn Thompson on Oct 24, 2011 in Career Path
When they’re not raiding alleyways for garbage, rats are best known for being the subjects of countless scientific studies and tests, especially in the field of psychology. But did you know that rats are one of the world’s smartest animals? They are incredibly curious, learn quickly and have amazing senses of smell and hearing. They even dream in a similar way to humans.
Careers in the field of psychology are for those curious about the human mind. Many jobs involve research with rats or human subjects, but there are also jobs in psychology that allow you to work directly with people through counseling. Like a rat, you’ll need to be smart, as most positions require a master’s or doctoral degree. Here are some psychology jobs that will allow you to explore the wonders of the human—and perhaps rodent—mind.
1. Career or Vocational Counselor
Career counselors may help college students looking for a first job, or experienced individuals searching for a new job in their field or a new career path. They look at a client’s interests, job history, education, skills and personality characteristics in order to determine what careers may be right. They may also use tools such as assessments and evaluations. In addition, career counselors help clients develop job skills, practice interviewing, improve their resumes and find job openings.
2. School Psychologist
School psychologists help children deal with emotional, academic and social problems, usually in a school or other educational setting. School psychology has rapidly become one of the top job trends due to increased attention to children’s mental health. As it is a relatively new field, demand for qualified school psychologists is high.
Counselors help a people with a wide variety of problems, but often specialize in a certain issue, such as marriage, family, emotional, educational and substance abuse issues. Most states require at least a master’s degree in order to become a licensed counselor. Typical work settings include schools, colleges and universities, hospitals, mental health clinics and private practices.
4. Genetics Counselor
Genetics counselors help provide individuals, couples, and families with information about genetic disorders. They usually work with other medical professionals, including doctors, nurses, and geneticists to offer support and guidance to families who have a family member with a genetic disorder or who have a risk of passing down an inherited disorder to their future offspring. They usually have graduate training in genetics and counseling, and most have doctorate degrees.
5. Forensic Psychologist
Forensic psychologists apply psychology to the field of law. This career may not be as flashy as it is depicted on shows like CSI, but forensic psychology is still an exciting choice with potential for growth. They often work with other investigative experts to form criminal profiles, examine insurance claims, evaluate child custody reports and investigate suspected child abuse.
6. Engineering Psychologist
Engineering psychologists study how people interact with machines and other technology in order to design and improve the quality of the workplace and its products. For example, they could redesign a product to make it more efficient and easier to use in a work situation. Most work for private corporations performing research or consulting, but some may also be professors.
7. Clinical Psychologist
Clinical psychologists assess, diagnose and treat clients suffering from psychological disorders. These professionals typically work in hospital settings, mental health clinics or private practices. Clinical psychology is the single largest employment area within psychology, but there are still plenty of jobs available for qualified professionals. In order to become a clinical psychologist, you must have a doctoral-level degree in clinical psychology and most states require a minimum of a one-year internship. Most graduate school programs in clinical psychology are fairly competitive.
8. Sports Psychologist
Sports psychologists focus on the psychological aspects of sports and athletics. They research topics such as motivation, performance and injury in order to improve athletic performance. They may also look for ways to use sports as a way to improve mental and physical health. Sports psychologists work in a variety of settings including universities, hospitals, athletic centers, private practices and research facilities.
9. Industrial-Organizational Psychologist
Industrial-organizational (I-O) psychologists focus on workplace behavior and look for ways to increase worker productivity and select the best employees for certain jobs. Some I-O psychologists perform research through employee and workplace assessments, while others work directly with people by evaluating job candidates and training new employees. There are many opportunities at the master’s-degree level, but those with a doctoral-level degree in the field are in greater demand and will earn higher salaries.
10. Special Education Teacher
The field of special education is a wonderful opportunity for those who love helping children. Special education teachers work with students who have a variety of learning disabilities. You may work with several children for shorter periods or work one-on-one with just a few each day. A special education teacher must have a relevant bachelor’s degree and along with a teacher training certificate in special education. Enrollment is increasing in special education programs, and so job demand is high.
This guest post is contributed by Patricia. Patricia has a Masters in Psychology degree and maintains the site Psychology Degree. She writes about various subjects within the psychology field.
If you have a great idea for a jungle-themed post, let us know! Guest writers or requests are always welcome!
In the summer months, the centers of continents heat up, drawing moist air from the cooler ocean leading to the most significant rainfall on the planet. In the spirit of the symbiotic relationship between the ocean and the jungle – this summer I am taking a huge leap (and hopefully a splash) into unfamiliar territory – television.
I know there is a truly interested audience out there for a show that can follow average and not-so-average Americans in their search for work. One of the hottest topics since 2008, resume building techniques and job searching tips are some of the most talked-about items in the news and on the internet.
Imagine a talk show that focuses on this very theme including: job search, negotiation skills, promotion techniques, improving communication issues in the workplace, and exposing corporate hiring practices to the world so that Joe/Jane Job Seeker can better understand what happens behind the scenes to get his or her resume to the right person and not in another incoming email pile. A potential one stop forum for people needing assistance with any and all workplace conflict resolution, career advice, interview preparation, resume writing…anything and everything relating to career development. A place where successful celebrities and business personalities from chefs, to creative entrepreneurs, to CEO’s could share their stories of success and maybe even uncover some of the things they might have done differently. A completely different category in the talk show world where you can learn how to get any job or move up in the one you have and access a personal career coach right on your computer or television.
On the heels of the release of my third book, TEN SECRETS TO GETTING PROMOTED, I put on my life jacket, fins and oxygen tank (no pun intended) and have entered the Oprah / Mark Burnett contest for my OWN show on her new network. CAREER CONFIDENTIAL
If you share my vision, please, take time to vote…as many times as you can! …and share this link with your friends and family that could benefit from a show like this making it to a regular time slot.
Come join me for a swim into the vast ocean of career development. YOU have the ability to help me help them (and you!), so please…link, listen, VOTE and SHARE!
Oceanic facts from: http://oceanmotion.org/html/background/climate.htm
Climbing out of the jungle and into the spotlight! Vote for Carolyn Thompson to have her OWN show on the Oprah Network. See these topics in action! Follow the link! Carolyn’s Audition
No matter your walk of life, career development is a major part of everyone’s personal path. My OWN show would focus on all aspects of career development from resume prep, to job search, to negotiation skills, to promotion techniques, to company hiring practices. Improving communication issues in the workplace, one-on-one interviews with notable successful business people and celebrities, getting behind the scenes at the major US employers including the federal government. Anything and everything related to careers, job search, employment, and getting promoted. Take a listen and please vote!
Posted by Carolyn Thompson on Nov 4, 2009 in Career Path
, Job Search
, Self Improvement
In my recent article for the American Library Association, I offered some tips for moving from one industry to another. Just as snakes shed their skin, professionals sometimes need to shed some of the work they’ve done in order to land a new job.
Snakes shed the outer layer of their skin as they outgrow the old one, and even those that are not growing shed; replacing their worn scales with new, healthy skin. Some snakes shed every few weeks, others shed only about once a year. A new layer continuously develops below the surface of the old skin preparing for use. The snake begins the shedding process by rubbing its nose against rocks or other hard objects to start the separation of the old layer from its lips, and then crawls out of its old skin. This is why the old skins are often found intact where they were abandoned.
Whether your need to shed your old skin comes from economic pressure or from a desire for new challenges, any professional seeking to change industries need to first consider these points:
1. Determine What You Like to Do Most
You’ll have more success selling yourself to others if it’s for work you love to do. Employers are looking for what you’ve done in the past five years, so you will have to create links to a new industry by drawing from your most recent employment first.
Within that recent experience, identify the transferable skills. Everyone has them, and employers are looking for them, so determine what measurable, comparable skills are your strengths. Is it Excel? Managing sales teams? Technical writing? Cataloging? Focus on the skills you like.
2. Ascertain Who Else Uses that Skill Set
Take your transferable skill set and look for similar keyword strings on the Internet. Remember to use synonyms. What is “budgeting” to one company may be “forecasting” to another.
3. Consider Your Geographic Mobility
Some areas of the country are hard hit by the economy; others are not. Consider moving to a new area where there is greater demand for the industry you are moving in to. Your chances of finding a job in a new city with lower unemployment are much higher.
While most companies do phone interviews to start, you may be asked to interview in person within a few days. Being in or near the city where you are looking for work is always easiest. Many of us have friends and relatives across the country willing to help out; there are lots of people looking for short-term roommates.
4. Make Yourself Relevant — and Accessible!
Write your resume with the future in mind. Use all the related keywords you’ve found to re-tool your job descriptions. E-mail address and cell phone are fine for contact information, and use a local address on your resume whenever possible.
Obtain interim employment wherever possible. You’ll meet people who need help immediately who can also help you network. Taking temporary employment shows that you have a good work ethic and are serious about learning a new industry.
Strategically network in your desired geographic areas and industries. Join LinkedIn groups and look for job fairs or conferences where you can meet people who work at your target companies. Eighty percent of jobs are obtained through personal networking, not ads or employment agencies.
Consider retooling your skill set by retraining — many state and local governments provide assistance in this area. Contact your unemployment office and your local library to find out about programs offered in your area.
5. Follow Up … then Follow the Golden Rule!
One hundred percent of people leave a first message, but fewer than 15 percent will call a third time. Don’t give up. Keep trying to reach people who may have information for you. (Give them a few days to call back between messages, though.)
Do Unto Others
When you do find a job, make yourself available to others who may need your help and would benefit from the story of your journey.
>>>Based on the overwhelming response to this article, I’ll be hosting 2 interactive webinars this month with a focus on CHANGE:
Learn how to specifically extract relevant experience from your background in order to change industries. Please join me for a roundtable discussion of EXACTLY how to transform your resume into something that will translate from one industry to another. The first 10 people to register will receive one on one telephone resume consultations prior to the webinar and have the option to participate as confidential “before” and “after” examples in the webinar.
We will layout unique executable strategies for people seeking to move their careers in a new way altogether. Explore ideas to help you in choosing where you want to go and making an individual roadmap to get there. Again, the first 10 people to register will receive a one on one telephone consultation prior to the webinar and have the option to participate as confidential “before” and “after” examples for other participants.
JOIN ME AND OTHERS FROM ACROSS NORTH AMERICA THAT WANT TO SHED THEIR SKIN! The best way to get new ideas is to participate!