Best blog posts of 2010 for job seekers, as chosen by Come Recommended's staff.
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GENERATION Y: STARTING YOUR CAREER AT YOUR TIME Originally Posted on Sep. 08, 2010 by Martha G. ChavezA few weeks ago, the New York Times Magazine ran an article by Robin MarantzHening that made me feel like it was written to me. It was about Gen Y and the newlife phases and development were going through. It describes how more and moreyoung adults are taking their time transitioning from adolescence to adulthood.There was a letter to the editor written by Lindsey Pollock. She came to the defenseof 20-somethings, and further cemented the fact that times are a changin.In her letter, Pollock says, I consider it progress that every young person doesntfeel the need to complete school, leave home, marry and have a child by a certaindeadline. There is no one size fits all adulthood.This hit me at my core. I read this and was affirmed that things happen at their owndue time. And when I mean things, I mean my career. Im a late bloomer in life. Im inmy mid 20s and have yet to experience a lot of career and life firsts. It took melonger to graduate from college. Not because I wanted to, but because for manyreasons, I didnt have a choice.I graduated later, older, and with limited experience. When most of the people Iwent to high school with already working their way up the career ladder, getting 3
married, and even owning homes, I sometimes feel like Ive missed the boat. I knowmany people feel the same way.Thats when I realized; Im not like everyone else. So many of us arent. We live in adifferent time. Things dont always have to happen at x times. Life always hits uswith curveballs, and we have to learn to take them.Ive learned that age has nothing to do with the ability to learn, grow, and be a greatemployee. Us Gen Yers are optimistic, ambitious, and extremely hard working. Weare revolutionizing the workplace.I may not be 22-years-old, or have a minimum of three years work experience, yet.But I have motivation and drive. That will take me as far as Im willing it to take me,and will make me and my fellow Gen Yers better professionals in the end. 4
3 CREATIVE WAYS TO GET YOUR FOOT IN THE DOOR Originally Posted on Dec. 01, 2010 by Lisa AtufunwaWhile the holiday season is in full swing, job seekers are finding ways to heightentheir job search to end the year on a good note. While some job seekers areattending final networking events of the year and giving their resume and coverletters one more look over, other job seekers are looking for outside of the boxways to get a call back for an interview or a job offer. Job seekers are using creativetools to help them get noticed by employers, like The Google Job Experiment. Hereare ways to incorporation creativity into your job search.30/60/90Create a 30/60/90 plan. In one to three pages, write how you will be an asset to thecompany in the first three months. Creating this plan will show employers yourpreparation, that you have done your research on the company and showcases yourtransferable skills, i.e. writing. This article explains in detail how to create your own30/60/90 plan.Differentiate yourselfFind ways to that will make you stand out amongst the other applicants. Create yourown website, such as twittershouldhireme.com that targets the company you are 5
interested in and show why you will be a great candidate for their company. Somecandidates have gone the route of creating a video resume, a good way to showcaseyour communication skills. This job seeker created a musical video resume, showinghis creativity and outside talents.Be visibleThere are subtle ways to be creative during your job search. Being visibleconsistently will show employers your dedication and enthusiasm to your chosenprofession. Be vocal during open discussions at professional meetings, e.g. askquestions and provide your own opinions to key concepts. Volunteer withcommittee groups and showcase the skills you have learned at internships or inclasses. Those who are visible and doing outstanding work are memorable by keyprofessionals. 6
JOB VS. GRADUATE SCHOOL: WHICH ONE IS RIGHT FOR YOU? Originally Posted on Aug. 29, 2010 by Lisa AtufunwaAs seniors around the nation begin their final year (or semester) in college, thestress of classes and grades are almost over. However, the stress of post-graduateplans begins to form. Should you take your chances in the job market? Should youfurther your education and go to graduate, professional or medical school?Ultimately the choice is yours, but each choice needs time and thought to beexecuted. Here are tips that can help you begin the thinking and planning process.Is my college degree enough?Depending on the industry you are interested in pursuing, you may or may not needan advance degree. By doing research and talking to other professionals, you candetermine if it would be beneficial for you to go to grad school first or if you canwait a few years to further your education.MotivationFinding your first professional job and going to grad school takes motivation andheart. You have to determine where your heart and mindset are at currently. Itwould be a waste of time and finances if you feel forced or unmotivated to pursuesomething you know you do not want to do. 7
Map it outList your goals; both short-term and long-term, and determined how work andschool will fit each other. Talk to family, friends, fellow students and professorsabout their choice of going straight to work or going to graduate school. Think aboutyour finances and other resources that you may need for your choices.Remember that ultimately it is your choice. Do not feel that you are being forced tomake one decision over the other because of your support systems opinions. Toread more about grad school vs. work debate, check out this article here. 8
WHAT HIRING MANAGERS LOOK FOR DURING INTERVIEWS Originally Posted on Mar. 03, 2010 by Heather R. HuhmanPreparing for interviews to the best of your ability is time consuming but extremelyimportant. You must know and understand the interviewer(s), organization,clients/products/services and the industry itselfplus how you fit into that bigpicture.So, what exactly is the hiring manager looking for? No matter what field you are inor what position youre applying for, there are some similarities across the boardthat all hiring managers seek in ideal candidates.1. Likeability. Do you get along with the hiring manager? Does the hiring managerfeel you will get along with his or her team? This is a big factor. I know when I seemyself in candidates, I find myself leaning toward them more than individuals whoremind me nothing of me. (That sounds self-centered, but hiring managers want acohesive team!)2. Strategic thinking. Are you thinking ahead about the future of the organization?Do you have a suggestion already in mind youd like to brainstorm with the hiringmanager? In this economyor any, for that matterorganizations want (and need)results. If you can show youre a results personor at a minimum thinking aboutresultsyou will prove a strong candidate. 9
3. Clear communication. Is your tone and word choice professional? Do you getyour message across effectively the first time? Chances are, youre going to have tocommunicate with others in some fashion in order to do your job. Throwing in anytype of slang word, giggling or other methods of unprofessional communication willmake the hiring manager forget what youre actually trying to say.Also, be aware of any strong accent you might have. For example, if youre fromBoston or New York and youre speaking to someone from Chicago, your accentmight be a little off putting. If you think it might be costing you jobs, there areprofessional speech therapists who can help you lose the accent.4. Professional appearance. If youre interviewing at an organization where youknow the hiring manager will be wearing ripped jeans and a T-shirt, you canprobably get away with far less than a suit and tie. However, at most organizations,you want to not only dress the part for which you are interviewing, but one stepabove. Again, its these little things that stack up in a hiring managers mind aboutwhether or not to hire you.5. Enthusiasm. Be happy you are there! And not just because this is the firstinterview youve had in weeks (or months), but because you are genuinely lookingforward to the possibility of working at the organization.