Monday, May 7, 2012

Interview Rules

During my interviews while looking for my first job as a "real person" I kept getting the remark along the lines of, "thank you for dressing up." Now does that mean that they have people they interview who do not dress up for the job they want? during one of my final interviews with a company and the interviewer commented on my tie I just had to ask the question, how do people dress for interviews around here? He chuckled and said "you wouldn't believe what you see come through that door." I thought dressing for the part was just something people did no questions asked. you want a job, go to the interview looking as good as you can. Apparently, these simple things aren't considered by people interviewing for new positions.
A recent article on showed ten simple rules to follow while in an interview. They are simple to follow and can really mean the difference between a job and a bad first impression.

  • Do your research - understand who and what the company is before stepping in their doors
  • Look sharp - dress for the part, shows confidence if you look ready for the interview
  • Be prepared - have extra resumes, paper to write on and questions to ask, shows you took the time 
  • Be on time- be there early, I shoot for 15 minutes early
  • Show enthusiasm - want the job and show it!
  • Listen - active listening can go a long way
  • Answer what was asked - ask questions to make sure you understand the question
  • Give examples - this is very important, without an example it is just an empty statement. (I met my money goal by doing xyz. This is how they helped.)
  • Ask questions - this goes back to being prepared, show some initiative and want to learn
  • Follow up - it is your last chance to market yourself. I  like to send regular mail and make sure to mention something we talked about that was either off interview topic or a question that I may not have had an answer for. make it personal. 
These rules will certainly give you more of a fighting chance to land that dream job or even the first job. 

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Are Internships Helping You?

One of my good friends who goes to school in Boston recently said that he was striking out landing a job in the marketing field and he claimed he was going to now try to land an internship to get hopefully an inside track to a job. Now I have known some other people who loathed their internship experiences and I started to think about how while internships could lead to a potential job and it looks great on your resume are they helping as much as we think or are we getting as much out as we think.
I kept thinking about my friends who didn't like it and I wanted to figure out more (so I had something to blog about) about what internships are really doing for us. I rad an article about how college kids are starting to go looking for internships to get their foot in the door. The article said that many unpaid interns have complained they did menial work. The article brought up the question of what are the rules of unpaid internships and how does a company get away with not paying an "employee". There is little in the way from stoping companies from exploiting that free work to do menial jobs and worked as under glorified employees. The question still reamins though, are they good for you?
I guess it all comes down to how do you feel about the internship, is it a company worth dealing with being a lesser employee and and what point do you stop doing the internship and take a stand for yourself. Sometimes it may be worth putting up with some pain for the gain while others may not even be worth the start.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Who do you know?

I recently read an article that is part of Yahoo's Remake America campaign. I read the article that gave some very helpful tips for anyone trying to land that next interview. The article talked about how only so much can come from just submitting a resume and cover letter to an online portal. At that point you are in a barrel that has hundreds if not thousands of resumes that you are now trying to compete with just to be seen.  As they article put it, people have an over-reliance on the internet. As a job seeker you need to take your search to the next level.

To do that the article has three steps you should follow to land that interview you want. The frist step is to move past the over-reliance on just sending our resume. The article says to use social networks to find a person to contact and get yourself noticed. The next step is to have more face-to-face meetings like networking events and other things like that. It is the best way to make personal connections with people and get noticed. It sometimes is not about what you know but rather who you know that can make the difference. The third step in the process to finding that interview is don't lose sight of your dreams. Keep your mind on the prize that you want.

All of these tips seem simple enough but can be the difference between employment and unemployment. For me personally, networking helped me to find me a job. You never really know what a person you meet can do for you. Networking happens everywhere and can really do great things for you. Like I said before, It is less about what you know and more about who you know.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

A New Trend

I was looking through Yahoo Finance today and stumbled across an article that talked about how business students are losing value with recruiters.  Companies are beginning to stray away from Business undergraduates because the new era of students are lacking critical-thinking and problem solving. To quote the article, "The biggest complaint: The undergraduate degrees focus too much on the nuts and bolts of finance and accounting and don't develop enough critical thinking and problem-solving skills through long essays, in-class debates and other hallmarks of liberal-arts courses." As I read the article I sat back and thought, "How does my education at Plymouth State stack up against some of the biggest business schools in the nation?"

Looking back on the education I feel that Plymouth State is ahead of the curve. With that being said I am not entirely sure of these other schools exact curriculums. Plymouth State has built into their curriculums to take course outside of your major to help build a broader knowledge base in a variety of subjects. At the time it seemed silly to take courses like weather when I was majoring in a Business discipline. Now I see that I have a vast knowledge of many subjects outside of just the core business courses. Things I may have never learned if I was not pushed to to take courses outside of the major.

My next thought about why I feel that Plymouth State is ahead of the curve is because of the small class sizes we offer. Granted we do have a few courses that are in lecture halls but for the most part they are all in classes that can hold no more the 30ish students. It allows the students at Plymouth to participate in debates and work through problems. It allows Plymouth State students to get away from strictly technical learning which does not allow for deeper learning. It stays on the surface and only allows the students to know the process and not understand why to do that or deeper thinking about the topic to be able to implement it in a different way. These big schools have more lectures which may a negative effect on the learning of certain topics that needed to have deeper thought involved in it.

Overall I feel that Plymouth has set up its future graduates for success because of the curriculum we have set in place for success.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

A Little Different Direction

I'm going to go a little off kilter with with post this week. I recently accepted a job doing sales for a company that sells Industrial HVAC. Never in a million years did I see my self selling HVAC equipment. I couldn't tell you the first thing about it to be honest but that is not the point behind this blog. The point behind this blog is that life takes funny turns and you really never know where it is going. I sat here at Plymouth State for the past year and a half setting myself up to work in the high-tech industry. I had had interviews with the companies I thought I wanted to work for I was networking with professionals who had the ability to get me more interviews. I even received job offers from the kind of companies I wanted, but I didn't take them. Something was off.

Instead I take a job from a guy that I met on the Gondola at Loon and hit it off. It wasn't about what product I was selling it was more about the feeling I got from the office, the ability to not be a number in a list of other entry level sales people. It is just funny that I never even considered this industry and yet here I am accepting a job and trying to learn as much as I can before I start.

To stick to the theme of the blog here is my advice:

Have an open mind when searching for a job. you never know what opportunity may come up in front of you and can not just shrug it off because it isn't in the industry you want. Listen to them, and hear out the company. I went into my interview with the HVAC company as a practice interview to get me ready for the "interviews I thought I wanted" and it ended up being the best offer and the best opportunity for me. so keep an open mind and you never know what may happen.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

For my first profiled Senior I chose my roommate, Jon Moreau, who was recently accepted into Graduate School here at Plymouth State University. He will be graduating in May with a degree in Accounting and a minor in Economics. Jon says that his main reason for applying to Grad School was that he wants to, "stay young forever and not grow up."

That is more of a comical reasoning but his true reason for coming back for Grad School is that he would like to eventually take his CPA. His goal is to become an accountant down the road and he feels that Grad School is the best route for him to take him to where he needs to be.

There is not too much prepping Jon had to do. He knew he wanted to stay in the area because he is able to the activities he loves like downhill mountain biking while still getting closer to his goals.