Germany

25 Oct

Hi everyone!

I will be going to Germany for the next 2 months as part of my job so I will be traveling over the next couple of days with no internet. I will update as soon as possible. I have so many ideas for this blog and ways to help you guys out with your job searches and I’m really excited to share them

 

Thank you for reading,

Alyssa

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Suit Up and Be Awesome

23 Oct

You will see advice everywhere on what to wear to an interview. How do you make your decision?

I say, in the words of How I Met Your Mother’s Barney Stinson,

 

It is possible that you could wear a pair of slacks (khaki or dress pants of some sort) and a nice shirt but I say that will not look nearly as professional as a suit (this goes for both men and women). A suit says “Hi, I’m ready to take on the world and get me a job!” I know some work environments are very casual but wearing a suit shows off your professionalism. Where I currently work, jeans and sneakers are the norm but I still wore a suit to interview. It’s better to be over-dressed than under-dressed in my opinion.

It is well-worth it to invest in a suit for your job interviews. Most likely, you will use the suit multiple times. Once you land your dream job, you could wear the pieces separately if you will be working in a business casual environment. For girls, a  good suit with either pants or a long (and I stress long) skirt can be bought at places such as Macy’s Department Stores or New York & Company without completely breaking the bank. If you buy the suit as separates, MAKE SURE THEY MATCH in different kinds of lighting. Men, it is slightly easier for you to find them but you could also check out Macy’s along with Men’s Wearhouse. Makes sure you add a pop of color whether it be a light blue dress shirt or amethyst earrings. It’s boring to have a white shirt (especially for women. Men, you wear a white shirt with an appropriately-colored tie) with no color. If you interview multiple rounds at the same place, it’s good to have a couple of different colored button-up shirts on hand.

Have a great weekend!

All About Resumes

22 Oct

Obviously, your resume is one of the most important parts of your job search. If you are a recent college grad,  never go longer than 1 page or employers won’t even bother looking at it. Here are some other resume quick tips:

1. Use bullet points, not paragraph form to spell out your job duties.

2. You don’t need to mention every single accomplishment from a job, just cover your major duties.You can talk about how great you are when you get called for an interview.

3. This is important: Tailor your resume to the job you are applying to! Each job requires different skills and you cannot use the same resume over and over again. It will not match up to what the employer wants.

4. Since you only have a page to work with, stick with relevant jobs. There’s no need to describe in detail your mascot-ing duties at college football games when you are applying to an accounting job.

5. If you do lack work experience, think about any volunteering, clubs, or events that you helped out with while at school.

6. Be prepared to explain any gaps in your work history! Sometimes employers may skip over you if you have an unexplained, long gap on your resume

7. http://www.writeexpress.com/action-verbs.html use a thesaurus or a list of “action verbs” to make your job responsibilities sound stronger

8. Skip writing an objective. It takes up space, it’s pointless, and usually pretty generic. For example “A task-oriented, organized recent college graduate seeking a position in the healthcare field.” So useless to an employer. I’ve seen countless objectives on a resume that don’t belong there. Some people have even had objectives that didn’t match with the job they were applying to!

9. PROOFREAD!!! Do you think an employer wants to look at a resume with spelling and punctuation mistakes? No. Your resume will be immediately put into the shredder or deleted. Have someone look over your resume if you are not good at catching your own mistakes (like myself).

10. Watch your formatting! Once you hit that submit button, your Word document may easily become discombobulated, making a beautiful resume an absolute mess. If possible, put it in PDF format. Also, I learned this the hard way and 20Something Finance reiterates it: Keep a plain text version of your resume on file. Sometimes you have to copy and paste it into a text box and it does not keep ANY of the formatting you spent hours on. It magically switches to that wonderful Courier New font that was prevalent on your 5th grade classroom’s old school Macintosh computer.

Here’s other ideas for cleaning up your resume from 20Something Finance:

I will definitely have more resume tips for you throughout this blog. Happy job search!

A good job search engine, Indeed!

21 Oct

One of my favorite job search sites is Indeed and I would check it daily during my job search. It’s pretty easy to use but you have to know what to type in to find what you want. According to Indeed.com, it pulls in jobs from all over the internet from actual companies to other job boards. They even include a tips and tricks section to help you out, complete with a video.

The homepage looks like this:

And then you just type in the job and location. There’s an Advanced Job Search option that allows you to narrow down your choices in what you are searching for (be it a 30 mile radius around a town or a specific job title). There’s an option to not include staffing agency postings. The site even saves your searches so the next time you search for a job on there, it will show how the new jobs  have been added since your last visit for that particular search.

Here I typed in Marketing and Boston, MA and it lists all the hits. On the left hand side, you can filter your results to make life easier.

Has anyone ever used Indeed as a job search engine?

TRACK!

20 Oct

My first piece of advice to you job-seekers and appliers is if you are going on a fanatic job search, TRACK WHAT YOU HAVE APPLIED TO!

I learned this lesson early on. During my sophomore year of college, I was frantically applying everywhere imaginable for a summer job. I applied to summer camps, offices, retail stores, and restaurants. I did not keep track of what I applied to at all. I got a call from an organization asking to come in and interview on a particular day and time. I realized with panic I had absolutely no idea what position I had applied for or what I was getting myself into. I had to search my sent emails and even my school’s career website (in case I had applied through there). I think I had eventually figured out what kind of position it was and where it was located but it took awhile. When I began my job search at the beginning senior year, I started a simple Excel spreadsheet to track where I had applied.

You can use any method of tracking your job applications whether it be a notebook, Microsoft Excel, or Microsoft Word and it can also include any information that could be important to you. I used an Excel spreadsheet with column headings of organization name, organization location, position title, contact name, and date applied. Later on I added whether or not I had heard from them and if I had been asked on interviews. I learned I had applied to about 150 jobs before I landed my current job which was crazy looking back. But anytime I wanted to make sure I didn’t apply to the same place twice or if someone did call me back, I could see exactly when and where I applied. You could also include the link of where you applied or if you sent the resume through email. Also, if you spent months applying to jobs, you can see where you had applied in the months before and you could try those companies again for different positions.

Why I’m Here

20 Oct

I decided just the other day that I wanted to start a blog. But the idea of starting a blog in general came simultaneously with the idea of this blog.

Here’s a little background information. I gradated from Stonehill College in 2009 and was released into the worst job market in years. I did all that I could to apply to jobs, to fix my resume, to touch-up my cover letter, to network, etc. But it took months before I got anything. I had some part-time jobs and internships during that year, all of which I got laid off before the year’s end. After months of interviewing, I finally got a job with a global sporting goods company. But with hours of research on resumes, cover letters, interviews, and job-hunting, I had learned a lot about what makes life easier during a job search. Little tips and tricks that I gathered.

Flash forward to now, 9 months after I started my full-time job in February. Recently, I had been helping others with their resumes, cover letters, and job hunt. I realized that I had learned A LOT in the past year and I could use this advice to help others, especially those who are struggling in this job market after slaving away for 4 years in college and spending $100,000 on their educaton in hopes of finding their dream job. This blog is going to have tips, tricks, and advice on a variety of job search-related topics. My advice will come from past and current experience, advice from mentors, from reading other blogs, articles, and books, and accidental discoveries. I have a background in Human Resources and I’m currently pursuing my M.S degree in Organizational Development.

I have a passion for helping others which is why I chose this field and why i wanted to share my findings to the world. I want to keep the blog light-hearted with a professional tone, easy to understand for all while sharing my past mistakes with you to ensure you don’t make the same ones.

Enjoy!

–Alyssa