Wednesday, September 25, 2013

After the Career Fair - What's Next?

You spent weeks preparing for the Career Fair on campus.  You had your resume reviewed and critiqued, you created a killer Elevator Pitch, researched the organizations in attendance and you picked out the perfect career fair suit to make a strong first impression...Now what??  Sit and wait for the interviews to come pouring in??  ABSOLUTELY NOT!

Here are four suggestions on what you should be doing to follow-up after a career fair.

1.  Send a thank you note.  I cannot stress this professional courtesy enough.  See my original post here about the art of thank you notes.  You will be one of the few people who follow-ups with a thank you note from the career fair.  What a great way to stand out in the crowd.

2.  Get organized.  Treat your job search as you would a 3 credit course (or better).  Invest a couple of dollars into a notebook or binder to start collecting all your job search information in.  Make a spreadsheet with all the organizations you spoke with at the Career Fair.  Include the names of the recruiters you spoke with and make column for various job search activities.  For example:
  • Sent a thank you note
  • Submitted resume on-line
  • Called to follow up (include the date)
  • Scheduled an interview
  • Sent thank you for interview
  • Connected or followed on Linked In

3.  Use Linked In.  Use all the business cards you collected to connect with the recruiters you spoke with at the fair.  This is networking.  When you send a invitation to connect make sure you mention why you want to connect.  For example:
"I would like to connect with you.  I enjoyed talking with you at the career fair yesterday at Virginia Tech.  Thanks."
4.  Don't Stop!  You've got the momentum now, so keep looking.  There are still A LOT of jobs out there to be found.  Don't stop searching.  Now you really need to hit the ground running.  Visit company websites, join groups on Linked In, and look for job postings on line.  Here's a great formula to use when searching for jobs on-line:
2 general sites + 3 niche sites = 1 GREAT JOB

I know it's not mathmatically correct, but it works and I never really liked math anyways!  You need to identify 2 general job listing sites that you go to regularly.  These are the types of sites that have listing for all kinds of positions and industries.  Next, you focus in on your "niche" sites.  (Niche is a job or activity that is very suitable for someone, it's particular or specific to a group of people).  These are where you can find job listings specifically for the kinds of positions you are looking for.  Maybe it's based on industry or geographic location but it is where you can find jobs that match your specific search criteria.

Career Fairs are a great resource and experience but your job search strategy needs to include much for than attending a job fair.  What are some other great follow-up tips after a career fair?

Friday, September 20, 2013

5 Fall Trends that you can Work in the Office

I love summer!  Every year I hate to see it come to an end.  But when you work on a college campus the end of summer means it's the beginning of a new semester, the start of the college football season, and an opportunity to shop for all the new fall styles and trends.  This Sunday is first day of Fall so what better time than now to talk about Fall trends.

Of course, not all trends are office appropriate but here are some of my favorite Fall 2013 trends that you can work in the office this season.

Have some fun with all the new fall styles!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Remembering 9-11-01

Remember the brave Firefighters, Police Officers, EMTs and other First Responders who raced into fire and hell on earth because it was their “job”.  Remember the passengers on Flight 93 who bravely gave their lives to save countless others, and remember all the men and women who helped, and sometimes carried, strangers out of burning buildings.  But mostly, lets remember those who never made it out.  The American Spirit is undefeated.  Let’s be thankful to live in a country that has real, live SUPER HEROES!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

6 Items Every College Girl Should be Packing for Campus this Fall

As you pack up and head back to campus this Fall, here's my list of 6 things you should be sure to bring back to school this fall to help you get ready for career opportunities and personal success.

  1. An updated Resume - did you have an exciting internship this summer, work on an interesting research project, study abroad or devote your time to volunteer work??  If so, make sure you document all of it on your resume.  Don't wait until the night before the career fair or application deadline to update your resume.  Do it now while all your responsibilities and accomplishments are fresh on your mind.
  2. A new agenda - I love the Erin Condren Life Planners (because you can personalize it) and the Lilly Pulitzer agendas.  I couldn't have made it through college without my "planner".  I know people are moving towards electronic and mobile calendars but I still love to see the full month and color code my life.  A well-organized calendar, planner or agenda can be a life-saver when you are scheduling interviews, information sessions, class assignments, work, meetings, football games, date parties and all the other fun stuff you will be doing this year.
  3. A business suit -  It's time to put on your "big girl pants" and invest in a sharp looking suit.  A great suit will serve many purposes in your college life.  Of course, with a suit you will be prepared for fall Career Fairs and interviewing, but you can also use the suit when you interview for leadership positions on campus, at formal chapter or student organization meetings, and as separate pieces.  Pair your suit jacket with some boyfriend jeans and strappy heels and you will look hip and sophisticated for a night out with your friends. 
  4. A completed Linked In profile - Will Linked In eventually replace the resume??  I don't know if we are there yet but Linked In is definitely a must for job seekers and professionals these days.  Not only can you look for jobs and network for jobs through Linked In but it is also a great way to put together an "electronic" resume and portfolio of your work.  More and more employers and recruiters and using Linked In to identify and screen candidates for jobs.  Employers may not be able to accept your resume at a job fair but they can certainly take your business card with your Linked In information on it.  DON'T FORGET:  you should have a professional looking head shot on Linked In (not one of you tailgating or at the beach with your friends) and claim your personal Linked In URL.  
  5. A fun Scout bag - I love these Scout bags!!  Besides being adorable, they are also great for school, the gym, packing your lunch, carrying to tailgates as well as packing a storing all your stuff in your small college room. You will find one for almost any need you have.  They even monogram them.  And every girl loves a bag with her monogram! 
  6. A professional padfolio -  A padfolio is typically a leather notebook or folder.  In a padfolio you will typically find a notepad, a pocket to put copies of your resume and a pen loop.  They often have pockets to store business cards and other items.  A padfolio is a business staple for meetings and interviews and is the most professional way to store your resumes and take notes during Career Fairs and Interviews.
It couldn't hurt to pack a positive attitude and a big smile too!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Missing In Action - read why!

I've been a horrible blogger lately - I've been MIA for the past month.  Life took over for the past few weeks and I have been barely able to keep my head above water at work, but things are settling down for me now.
It all started on my WONDERFUL family vacation in Myrtle Beach.  My sweet mother rented this amazing beach house for my entire family to stay in.

This is the whole crew (minus my oldest nephew, Wesley).  My mom, my brother and his family, my oldest sister and her husband and my other sister and her family and me and my family.  We had the best time.

 Here's my family...

Here are all the kids...

And that is when I got the news that I had been given a promotion at work along with some additional responsibilities.  This is what has been taking up the bulk of my time:

These are the new Career Services Peer Career Advisors.  I have been preparing and training these 12 amazing students to work part-time in Career Services as Peer Advisors.  They are AWESOME!!

And, I also had some fun with a group of great friends in Nashville celebrating a friend's birthday.

Here we go, first night out...

Second night out...

Wish I knew what song we are all belting out...

The birthday girl on stage at The Stage...

Me and my sisters at The Stage (with Johnny, Willie and Merle - haha)...

So, now that things have settled down at work and summer fun is coming to an end I am hoping to have more time to devote to this blog again.

Stay tuned for more career and style advice for young, polished professionals!!

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