Employers Demand Too Much, and it Makes Hiring Harder with GB


Employers Demand Too Much, and it Makes Hiring Harder

If you consistently struggle to find the right candidates for your company’s open positions, it could be because you’re looking for candidates who are so perfectly qualified and so perfectly experienced that they don’t actually exist. Like a “purple squirrel.”

Managing Director of University Ventures and author of A New U: Faster + Cheaper Alternatives to College Ryan Craig recently addressed this topic in an article on Forbes.com. He’s an insightful commentator on the intersection between education, hiring, innovation, and technology. And in his latest piece, he’s hit on a big obstacle to hiring. Employers who are looking for purple squirrels by demanding too much from job seekers.

Overstuffed Job Descriptions

Over the past decade or two, job postings have begun to burst at the seams with the number of required skills, experience, and qualifications. Craig explains the problem succinctly: “Incorporating every conceivable qualification in job descriptions helps explain nearly 7 million unfilled jobs while tens of millions of talented and motivated workers—particularly new and recent graduates—struggle with underemployment.

One recent study found that 61% of full-time, entry-level job postings required 3+ years of experience. That same study calculated that the rate of required-experience inflation is rising by 2.8% every year. Extrapolate that over a few years, and you can see how job descriptions have become bloated and unwieldy.

Why Are Job Descriptions So Crammed?

  • The Influence of the Great Recession. A recent study showed that, during the Great Recession of 2007 – 2009, job postings saw an 18% increase in education requirements and a 25% in experience requirements. Why? Because unemployment rose and employers could afford to be demanding. But even after unemployment rates fell, employers kept cramming more stuff into their job postings. Another outcome: more and more jobs now require a college degree, even if they didn’t only a few years ago.
  • The Rise of Digital Job Postings. Online postings, for those with the resources, can be easy to manage. Which means employers can post novel-length job descriptions and keep them open for months while they wait (in vain) for the perfect candidates. However, most hiring managers don’t know how to effectively use job-posting sites, and don’t get us started on the AI and algorithms that can be discriminatory and/or auto-pass qualified candidates who aren’t using enough “key words.”
  • Lack of Ability to Measure Key Skills. Increasingly, employers are realizing that so-called “soft skills” really are essential skills—the kind of abilities that apply in any job. But they’re notoriously hard to measure. So the college degree has become a stand-in for those skills.
  • The Disappearance of Corporate Training. Over the past few decades, American corporations have undertaken a relentless effort to cut costs. One of the things on the chopping block? Training programs. A survey from a few years ago found that while 80% of entry-level hires expected their new employer to offer formal training, less than half of those companies did so.
  • Employer Inexperience. Particularly at small or midsized companies, the HR department (if there is one at all) may be staffed by people who don’t have much experience writing job descriptions. Even at large companies with robust HR functions, they may struggle to understand the technical and “soft” skills that are required for every role. When they don’t know what skills to feature, they throw them all in.
  • Employer Fears and Pressures. Many employers worry that if they don’t cast a wide net, they’ll never land the right candidate. So they include every possible skill. Others fall victim to groupthink – they get in a room with coworkers, dream up an impossible wish list, and then convince themselves the job requires every last skill. Others sink money into recruiting fees or other hiring costs and then figure that—to get their money’s worth—they’d better get absolutely everything from their candidate. And still others forget that their current best performers had to learn things on the job and weren’t perfect candidates when they were hired.

Big Consequences

Unfortunately, this is a big issue that impacts both sides of the hiring equation.

On the Employer Side…

  • Jobs are Harder to Fill. This is an obvious one. When you stuff your job postings with every possible requirement, you’re fishing in a much smaller pond.
  • Companies Pay More for Talent. A recent study by the Harvard Business School found that for many middle-skill jobs, there is no significant performance difference between workers who have college degrees and those who don’t. But degree holders can command a higher wage – so by demanding college degrees, even for roles where they’re not necessary, employers are forcing themselves to pay more. Similarly, by demanding ever higher amounts of skills—skills that fetch a higher wage—employers are costing themselves unnecessarily.
  • Higher Turnover. In that same Harvard study, researchers found that college graduates are more likely to leave a role where a degree isn’t really necessary.

On the Worker Side…

  • Getting Screened Out. Thousands of employers use software to screen job applications, looking for specific skills. And because the skills in job descriptions are inflated, there is a huge talent pool that is invisible to employers.
  • Pressure to Earn Expensive Credentials. As employer demands rise, workers feel they have no choice but to earn college degrees or obtain other pricey credentials and certifications—often taking on huge debts in the process.
  • 2018 study found that 43% of new college grads were underemployed in their first job—earning an average of $10,000 less than grads who find employment appropriate for their qualifications. And this wage gap compounds year after year—leaving many workers stuck in a rut of lower-paying, lower-prestige jobs.

There’s Gotta Be a Better Way…. Right?

Clearly, employers need help (a) figuring out what their jobs really require, and (b) finding candidates who may not have every skill right now, but who have big potential. In his Forbes article, Ryan Craig advises employers to engage with partners who combine skills training and staffing—training job seekers and placing them in roles on a probationary basis so that employers can “try before they buy.” (Avenica’s model is similar to this).

Ultimately, there won’t be one solution but many. Employers need to rediscover the value of employee training programs. AT&T is already doing this, committing more than $1 billion to retrain workers over the next several years. Employers need to rediscover the potential in their job candidates—hiring for the person, not the resume. And they need to re-examine the way they write job descriptions to focus on the skills and abilities that truly matter.

Avenica’s education-to-work talent platform transforms entry-level job seekers into trained, career-ready professionals. Learn more about how to partner with Avenica, our process, or get started on finding the right day-one ready, entry-level talent for your team.

Looking to start your career? Learn more about our process, or connect with us now to be considered for an open position with one of our amazing clients.

Tips for Applying to Your First Job Out of College


Tips for Applying to Your First Job Out of College

If you’re a first-year student, it might seem like an entire lifetime away, but really, graduation and getting your first job out of college are just around the corner. After that, there’s so much waiting for you just beyond that symbolic toss of the diploma into the air. Your college days will fly by and before you know it, you’ll graduate and embark on a new part of your life—one that hopefully begins with a full-time job. As with any job, be it your first one out of college or a higher-level position several years down the road, you’ll have to apply. This brings to mind an important question – when should you start applying for your first job out of college?

It Depends

The answer to that question will depend on your experience and career interests. The job search process can be lengthy, and, when done right, includes practice interviews, company research and informational interviews, writing and perfecting your resume, and finally, submitting your application. Of course, that’s not including the interview process, but that’s a whole other blog post all together. So give yourself enough time to do it right. Start several months ahead of graduation; by the time you graduate, you’ll either be ready to start your new job or ready to take on the interview process.

Specialized fields and industries

Those who’ve had a position or an internship in specialized industries such as finance, marketing, or analytics, might receive a full-time offer upon completion of their degree and might have a different apply path that’s determined by the employer. For others trying to break into these fields, remember that these industries tend to be more competitive, and firms will hire early to secure the best talent. Applying early for these types of positions might give you a leg up, but check back on their career websites frequently so you don’t miss out on open opportunities.

Hiring classes

Some larger companies have hiring classes, hiring up many college grads all at the same time to go through the orientation and on-boarding together. Do a bit of research in advance to find out the best time to submit your application for these companies. These opportunities can be a great way to kickstart your career, as they build in professional development programs tailored to recent college grads in entry-level positions. (Helpful sidebar: Avenica recruits for these kinds of classes frequently, so if you haven’t already joined our network, now’s a great time. By joining, you’re essentially applying to all the positions Avenica recruits for in your area all at one time. The perfect time to apply for one of our opportunities? Right now. We’re always accepting applications! If we don’t have something perfect for you right now, we’ll keep you in mind should the right opportunity come up).

Start early, be patient

In general, the closer you get to graduation, and of course just after, is best for applying to jobs. If you see an exciting opportunity but are still finishing up your last semester, go ahead and apply for it! Most companies will understand that you won’t be available until you graduate, but they might appreciate your hustle and think you’re worth the wait. However, applying too early in your final year, when you still have much of the school year left to go, might be a waste of time. Employers usually won’t want to wait quite that long. A month to three months out is plenty of time, since you don’t usually get immediate results and not every opportunity pans out. But just think of it as learning opportunities for you to gain experience and confidence with each application and interview.

Many companies hire on an as-needed basis, so their job postings may be sporadic. If you’re not seeing immediate matches for your skill set, don’t be deterred; job opportunities fluctuate just about as often as fashion trends.

For more than twenty years, Avenica has been the leading U.S. recruiting firm exclusively focused on placing college graduates into entry-level, career-track positions. Learn more about our process, or upload your resume to be considered for an open position with one of our amazing clients.

Navigating the Professional World


Navigating the Professional World

So, you’ve landed your first professional job out of college – congrats! With the relief of job searching coming to an end, it can feel like the hard work of setting a good impression and showcasing your strengths is behind you. But in many ways, this work is just beginning. Beyond excelling at your day-to-day job, there are a number of ways to continue to set a good impression with your boss and colleagues. Here are five ways to navigate the professional world like a pro:

  1. Dress to impress
    Just because you saw one of your co-workers wear a hoodie to work last Friday, does not make it the new normal. While dress codes may vary, seek to dress on the more professional side and take pride in a well-maintained physical appearance. Not sure what to wear? Good rule to follow is that it is always better to be over-dressed then under-dressed!
  2. Keep your social media clean
    Your online persona is just as important as your workplace behavior and can go a long way to show maturity. Regardless of privacy settings, you should assume that anything posted online is public information. From photos to opinionated posts, only share what you’d be comfortable sharing with your boss and/or the senior leaders at your company.
  3. Approach your work with humility
    Some of the most attractive qualities in a new hire are the eagerness to learn, the openness to assist outside of the job description, and a willingness to do typical entry-level work (aka “grunt work”). Aim to be resourceful, but don’t be afraid to admit when you don’t know the answer. Offering to pitch in on projects or tasks that are outside of your job description—as long as you are getting your assigned work done—is a great way to offer added value. Also, recognize that some of the work you may do won’t be glamorous, but that can be the nature of entry-level jobs; keep a positive attitude, and before long, you may be managing the person doing that work!
  4. Drink responsibly
    Navigating your first corporate happy hour can be exciting, but it’s important to remember that you’re not at the pub with your friends. Regardless of what your other co-workers are doing, limit your alcohol intake to what you can stay in control of and responsible for.
  5. Keep your emotions in check
    With most jobs come with a certain level of pressure, uncertainty and even conflict. Keeping your emotions in check is a sign of maturity and responsibility. Confide in friends and family when you find yourself getting emotional, but stay committed to keeping your composure in a work setting.

Although the initial, formal interview process is over, you are now informally interviewing for your first promotion. Be yourself, but recognize that your interactions (at all levels of the company) are making an impression and impacting your future prospects within the company. When in doubt, look to role models and professionals above you who are well respected to emulate their behavior and/or seek mentorship and advice.

The Gig Economy: How Entry-Level Job Seekers Can Side-Hustle Their Way to a Career


The Gig Economy: How Entry-Level Job Seekers Can Side-Hustle Their Way to a Career

These days, it seems everyone’s got a side hustle. Maybe it’s a freelance gig, contract work or the ever-popular Uber, Lyft or BiteSquad driving opportunities. It seems the gig economy is here to stay.

With millions of Americans (more than 150 million by 2020, according to Intuit) working as private contractors in a variety of fields, it can be an attractive proposition for entry-level college graduates seeking a paycheck while on the job hunt. However, there are a few important considerations that will help young job seekers balance the need to make a buck with their long-term career ambitions.

Here are a few tips for entry-level college graduates to contemplate before jumping head-first into the gig economy:

Stay focused on your future career

With cash in hand and a flexible schedule, it may be tempting for job seekers to slow their career search momentum. Creating and maintaining a solid job search strategy is essential for making the most of gig economy work while still keeping a future career top-of-mind. A smart approach would be to devote a specific amount of time each day or week – in proportion to the time spent working – to job hunting, résumé polishing, networking and interview practice.

Choose gig work that fits your career ambitions

In addition to income, an added benefit of gig work for entry-level job seekers is the potential to build work skills, which can then be marketed in pursuit of a long-term career. Consider taking on gigs that will be most useful for specific career paths. For example, someone seeking an account management position would do well to choose a gig that builds customer service skills. A job seeker trying to break into an entry-level creative position, such as graphic design or copywriting, should sign up for contractor “matching” services like Fiverr and Upwork.

Be ready to transition to full-time work

Don’t get stuck in a rut when it comes to gig work. Underemployment – college graduates working in positions that don’t require a degree – is at an all-time high, largely because graduates are simply happy to be getting paid. But it’s not a sustainable path for future career achievement, and entry-level job seekers working gig positions should always be ready to ditch “easy money” for more lucrative long-term opportunities.

Contract gigs can be very useful for job-seeking college graduates by providing valuable work experience while generating income. As long as the gig economy remains a means to an end, not an end in itself, an entry-level career will still be attainable. In fact, working a steady gig can be a great way to demonstrate dedication, self-direction and resourcefulness to prospective employers.

So, go ahead, Class of 2018 – don’t be afraid to “get your gig on!”

Looking to start your future career journey? Join the Avenica network and put our proprietary, candidate-focused model to work for you.

Stand Out for the Right Reasons with Hiring Managers


Stand Out for the Right Reasons with Hiring Managers

As a job seeker, you are currently experiencing one of the best entry-level hiring climates in more than a decade. That means opportunities abound for you. However, hiring managers are looking at more than just your qualifications and education; they’re looking at your professional etiquette and interview behavior as well.

In a recent CareerBuilder survey, hiring managers within the private sector reported that more than:

  • 37 percent of college graduates did not send a thank-you note following an interview
  • 35 percent of those interviewed did not know anything about the company
  • 31 percent did not submit a cover letter
  • 29 percent did not ask any questions during the interview
  • 26 percent did not have professional references
  • 26 percent had poor grammar on their résumés
  • 21 percent had unprofessional pictures on their social media profiles
  • 19 percent checked their mobile phones during the interview

While it may be easy to explain these behaviors as typical for inexperienced job-seekers, avoiding these pitfalls give you a much better chance of making a great first impression and getting hired.

Even though a wide majority (82 percent) of hiring managers agree that academic institutions are “adequately” preparing students for the roles needed in their organizations, the lack of basic etiquette during the interview process gives many of these same employers pause as they decide who to hire. Simply put, while you might be well-qualified and able to do the work of the position, you might never get your foot in the door if you’re not following these best practices.

How a candidate prepares for and behaves in an interview can tell hiring managers a lot about their drive, professionalism, and attitude. It also provides insight into the candidate’s ability to interact with customers and colleagues in a professional manner and a lens into the candidate’s work ethic. Did they care enough to put in the extra time and effort? Or are they doing the bare minimum required?

These matters of etiquette may seem a bit outdated as work environments continue to get more casual, but it’s important to keep in mind that these are the standards most hiring managers were held to early in their careers, and many will expect the same from today’s job seekers. Remember, simple—but thoughtful and respectful—things like punctuality, professional behavior and attire, and proper interview etiquette can mean the difference between a job offer and a “thanks, but no thanks” response.

Learn how the Avenica network can help kick-start your search for a future career.

How to Sell Your Summer Job in a Professional Interview


How to Sell Your Summer Job in a Professional Interview

For job-seeking college graduates about to enter a competitive job market, every bit of experience can help pave the way to a future career. But while some of you may have entered the professional world upon graduation, others may be looking for work in the fall after seasonal employment ends.

You may not see much valuable work experience in typical summer jobs, such as child care, lifeguarding, serving/bartending, and other similar jobs, but these positions build valuable soft skills and emotional intelligence that transfer well to a professional environment. How you articulate what you’ve accomplished and learned on the job – in any job – can give hiring managers a good sense of your ability to learn and adapt on the job.

Here are some interview scenarios you can use to gauge how well you can promote your soft skills acquired as part of a summer job:

Child Care
Skills enhanced: Leadership, problem-solving, multi-tasking
Accomplishments to highlight:

  • Talk about a time when you made a difficult decision on the job
  • Discuss how you juggled priorities and made sure everything got accomplished
  • Share how you’ve handled and resolved criticism from an employer

Ideal professional roles: Project management, human resources, office management/administration

Skills enhanced: Responsibility, decision-making, accountability
Accomplishments to highlight:

  • Talk about a time when you had to make split-second decisions while on the job
  • Discuss how you helped your colleagues ensure a safe environment for guests
  • Share an example of a mistake you made on the job. How did you resolve it?

Ideal professional roles: Administration, compliance, accounting

Restaurant Serving
Skills enhanced: Working in a fast-paced environment, customer service, conflict resolution
Accomplishments to highlight:

  • Discuss how you’ve diffused a tense situation on the job
  • Talk about how you’d respond to customer criticism directed at you personally
  •  Share an example of how you’ve pushed back on a customer and said “no.”

Ideal professional roles: Customer service, sales, marketing, communications

Skills enhanced: Customer service, sales, multitasking
Accomplishments to highlight:

  • Share how you helped your store exceed sales expectations
  • Talk about how you learned to excel at the most difficult aspect of your role
  • Describe how your work helped improve the customer experience at your store

Ideal professional roles: Sales, merchandising, marketing and communication

When it comes to entry-level positions, hiring managers are increasingly looking for skill versus experience. In such a competitive hiring market, it’s more essential than ever for employers to consider a diverse range of candidates. That’s why you should sell your own experiences as skill-building opportunities and demonstrate how those skills apply to the job being pursued. Whether you’ve honed your skills in an office, at the pool, or on the golf course, your ability to market these skills in lieu of professional experience will be a critical factor in your success on the path toward your future career.

Learn more about how Avenica looks for transferable skills when connecting job-seekers with careers.

Tips for Transitioning from College to the Workplace


Tips for Transitioning from College to the Workplace

The first year post graduation: Niko’s story

As fall begins, I’ve always looked forward to getting back on campus; the lectures, labs, professors, and all the excitement on campus from kicking off a new football season and school year. For the last 16 years, I associated the turning of leaves with a return to the classroom. That was until this year.

This fall will be the first time I’m not spending the upcoming months studying, preparing for tests, writing papers, and eating cold leftover takeout pizza. Instead, I’m a college graduate working full time, and …let’s be honest, still eating leftover takeout pizza, because that’s never going to change.

Life after graduation
After graduation, we’re all expected to go out there, get “real” jobs, contribute to society in meaningful ways, and adult in ways we never have before. But it’s not always that easy. I struggled to find full-time employment upon graduation. Even though I went on several interviews, I consistently found myself among the final candidates only to be rejected in the final stage.

Needing to work and not having the luxury of time, my first job out of college was at an industrial supplies warehouse. After four years of college, it was disappointing to be doing a job that required little to no use of my degree. Although I dreaded my days going in, I knew that continuing to work—even at a soul-crushing job that was slowly killing me from the inside out—was far better than not working at all.

On the career track
I decided to do something different. I did a little online research and found out about Avenica. After interviewing for what I thought would be a position with one of their clients, I was offered an internal position. Now-a-days you can find me at the corporate headquarters of Avenica in the North Loop of downtown Minneapolis helping to find college graduates who were once like me fulfilling positions that can kick-start their professional careers.

This is what I’ve learned
I’ve learned and experienced so much since starting at Avenica. The greatest lesson is one I’ve heard throughout life but has never been more applicable than when I started a new job; always ask questions. There are situations and tasks you’ve not experienced yet. And that’s okay. What you’ll learn will help you become a better, more well-rounded person and employee. Those around you will notice your interest and curiosity, and appreciate you reaching out to learn more.

Now that I know how much interaction you actually have with others in the office, I’d also strongly recommend taking the time to research a company before applying and interviewing. Talk to people who work there or have in the past to get a sense of the company culture and people. These are, after all, people you’ll see and work with every day, so you want to make sure that it’s the right fit. I got lucky working at Avenica; it’s amazing to be surrounded by other mission-driven individuals that truly care about what they’re doing and are a strong, cohesive, supportive team.

The last, and possibly one of the most important for office survival is to always label your food in the refrigerator, because if your future office is anything like mine, your staff accountant will swoop in and eat your leftover pizza, claiming he thought it was “community pizza.”

Some things never change
The transition from an academic world to that of a full-time job can be difficult. But if you think about it, it’s not all that different. You’ll still have assignment due dates, they’re just called deliverable deadlines now. You’ll still be learning new things, but instead of paying tuition, they actually pay you. Just like in college, learn and get as much out of your experience as you can. It all prepares you for the next thing; it’s all resume builder; and it all helps you grow as a person and as a professional. And, of course, pizza is forever.

Niko Farrell
Corporate Support Specialist, Avenica
University of Minnesota, 2017

For more than twenty years, Avenica has been the leading U.S. recruiting firm exclusively focused on placing college graduates into entry-level, career-track positions. Learn more about our process, or upload your resume to get started.

Tips for Writing a Resume that Actually Gets Read


Tips for Writing a Resume that Actually Gets Read

You only get one chance to make a first impression. When applying for jobs, that first impression is your resume. You could have solid skills and experience but having a rusty resume will give your application a one-way ticket to the resume graveyard better known as the recycle bin. R.I.P.

Luckily, you can avoid a premature career death by following these simple but effective resume writing tips.

Highlight your accomplishments, not your responsibilities
When talking about your work experience, it’s better to list what you achieved in your position, not a list of your daily tasks. “Improved methods for data collection” is far more powerful than, “created spreadsheets and graphs.” Show what you’re capable of, not just that you can do the minimum required. If you can, take if a step further and include the results of your efforts. “Improved methods for data collection that decreased production time by 20%.” This will highlight your abilities and show that you are results oriented.

Include the right keywords
When applying to a position, find and use the same key words used in the job description in your resume. For example, if the job description calls for a candidate with strong organizational skills, you should make sure strong organizational skills is listed in the skills section of your resume. Copy and paste is your friend here. This is especially important as more and more companies are using various forms of technology to help them with their hiring. Before your resume even reaches the hiring manager, it could be stopped in its tracks because an automated system has filtered it out for lack of specific key words that match the job description.

Tailor it
Think of each resume like the outfits in your closet. You chose and own each one. Each one says something about the person you are and your style. Each one has an appropriate time and place for wearing. Just like your outfits, there is no one-size-fits-all for your resume. You should be tailoring and optimizing your resume for each of the positions you’re applying for. This will ensure that your resume includes the right keywords, highlights relevant accomplishments, and showcases the appropriate skills.

Contact info
Managers and recruiters are busy and often vetting several applicants while maintaining their usual workload. Provide all your contact options so they can reach out using the form of communication that’s most convenient for them. When providing your email, refrain from using your sparklekitty12@hotmail.com you made in 6th grade. Google just hands them out for free, so spring for a new, more professional sounding email address. Don’t forget to include your street address, as well. If you’re applying with a company that has several locations, like Avenica, it helps your recruiter know which area and opportunity to match you up with. If you’re tech savvy and have your own personal website or online portfolio/resume, make sure to highlight that and organize it under your other points of contact. For added ease, use hyperlinks where applicable, as they’re likely viewing on their computer or mobile device.

Do you know the pain of spending hours crafting and polishing a resume that is perfectly fit for your dream job just to submit it and notice a spelling error immediately afterwards? This is “Rose floating around in the ocean on a door holding the freezing hand of Jack” heartbreaking. Proofread your resume multiple times and enlist the help of a friend/parent/colleague/teacher so this doesn’t happen. Any errors—minor or significant—can be an instant no from many hiring managers. Just remember, spellcheck is your friend, and there was absolutely plenty of room on that door for two people, Rose.

A good resume doesn’t guarantee you the job, but a bad resume could prevent you from even getting in the door.

For more than twenty years, Avenica has been the leading U.S. recruiting firm exclusively focused on placing college graduates into entry-level, career-track positions. Learn more about our process, or upload your resume to be considered for an open position with one of our amazing clients.

Why Recruiters Pass on Qualified Candidates After an Interview


Why Recruiters Pass on Qualified Candidates After an Interview

Can you guess one of the top reasons why we pass on qualified candidates after an interview? It’s not because the candidate wasn’t able to articulate their strengths or weaknesses, and it’s not because they didn’t provide a well-thought out response to our critical thinking question. It, surprisingly, is due to lack of professionalism.

In fact, a recent study shows that 38.2 percent of employers responding reported that fewer than half of their new employees exhibited professionalism. So, what exactly does professionalism mean? It can mean many things, but the ones that stand out the most to hiring managers and recruiters fall into the following three buckets.

While this may seem obvious, we see candidates fail this first and extremely important “test” quite often. The way you present yourself tells your interviewer(s) a lot about you.

  • Judgement: There is no one-size-fits-all answer to what appropriate attire is for an interview; different positions require different standards of dress. But dressing appropriately for the job for which you’re interviewing lets your interviewer know that you can accurately assess situations, understand expectations, and apply proper judgment when making decisions.
  • Respect: Dressing appropriately also shows that you have respect for yourself and want to present yourself in a positive manner. It also shows respect for your interviewer. You want to fit the role, impress them, and make good use of their time. Showing that you’re mindful of how you present yourself and how you project onto others is crucial to getting past that first interview.
  • Intention: Showing up to an interview prepared and looking the part sends a clear message; you want the job. It indicates drive, eagerness, and initiative, which are all great qualities in candidates.
  • A Sense of Entitlement
    Entitlement is a stereotype that sits with many individuals graduating within the last decade. In reference to the study mentioned earlier, entitlement weighs heavily with employers. In fact, 31% of employers consider it a “deal breaker.”
  • Compensation Expectations: Candidates who focus on salary scream entitlement. Know what to expect going in. In entry-level positions, there’s little wiggle room in salary. Before an interview, research the organization and the position—or similar positions—across different organizations and industries to get accurate salary expectations. Learn how salaries differ across government, non-profit, and corporate organizations and be comfortable with the findings before going into an interview.
  • Professional Development: Consider your first “real” job paid training. Instead of focusing on how much money you make, focus on what learnings you can gain that can help you advance to the next level and develop into a better professional.

Poor Communication Skills
Hiring managers and recruiters are constantly analyzing communication skills during an interview and are wise to do so. Poor verbal and written communication skills are flashing red lights for numerous big problems in the workplace.

  • Poor collaborator: Being able to work well with others and contribute in meaningful ways in a team environment is crucial to productivity and the overall success of a company. One person’s inability to communicate and work within a team can lead to delays in work, lower team morale, and lower overall company effectiveness.
  • Miscommunication: In another recent survey, it was revealed that miscommunications lead to, higher stress levels, delays in work or altogether failure to complete work, low morale, missed performance goals, and lost sales. All in all, miscommunications are costly, and employers look to avoid people who cause them at all costs.
  • Difficult direct report: Poor communication skills can also indicate a difficult reporting relationship. Hiring managers look for people who they can have an open professional relationship with and someone who can take direction, give appropriate feedback, request help when needed, provide accurate updates, and can contribute to their team effectively.

Professionalism can be represented in many ways in an interview. And many are ways you can directly and positively affect. Dress appropriately, be prepared, show a willingness to work hard, and work on your communication skills. This is especially true, if you are finding little success in your job search despite having a good resume and solid experience.

For more than twenty years, Avenica has been the leading U.S. recruiting firm exclusively focused on placing college graduates into entry-level, career-track positions. Learn more about our process, or upload your resume to be considered for an open position with one of our amazing clients.

Personality Tests: How Well Do You Know Yourself?


Personality Tests: How Well Do You Know Yourself?

How well do you really know yourself? Do you understand your strengths and weaknesses, know what makes you tick, and recognize why you act the way you do? Even if you think you already know these things, there’s probably still a lot to uncover. One way to better get to know yourself is through personality tests. And there’s really no better time to do it than right now while you’re in college. Taking a personality test can help you navigate and determine your career options. Having an understanding of your future career goals now, can greatly help you in planning out the rest of your academics.

There are several widely used personality tests, many you’ve probably already heard of. Here are a few you can do online, and best of all, they’re free. Because college ain’t cheap, man.

6 Personalities
This test breaks people into four categories called roles; analysts, diplomats, sentinels, and explorers, with four sub-categories for each called strategies that identify preferred ways of achieving goals. Taking this test helps you identify your strengths and weaknesses and understand how you interact with and engage in the world around you. You can also learn about other, more well-known people with your same personality type. Are you a Diplomat, Protagonist like Oprah Winfrey or an Analyst, Logician like Bill Gates? I’m positive that I’ll be Sentinel, Defender, because I’m obviously a Beyonce.

Sakanu Career Assessment
We’re all probably good at things we don’t necessarily like, and conversely, there are things we like but just aren’t that good at. Like, I love crafting, but my creations always look more like Pinterest fails, and I’m actually pretty good with numbers, but thought of doing anything in finance, accounting, or math is my nightmare. The Sakanu Career Assessment evaluates your aptitude and interests to help guide and provide options for your career discovery.

Emotional Intelligence Quiz
The concept of emotional intelligence has been a buzz-worthy topic for quite some time now and has become pretty ubiquitous in the professional/business world. In this assessment, you can learn about your EQ and how it affects your interpersonal relationships and interactions. The more you know about your EQ and EQ in general, the better you can get at recognizing and understanding your own emotions, as well as, having a better understanding other people’s feelings and motivations. Overall, it helps you build relationships, handle and resolve conflicts, and perform better in group and team settings. So, it’s basically like magic.

While none of these assessments are perfectly accurate, they provide a lot of good insight into the kind of person you are and provide some general guidance and direction for helping you plan your career and professional development goals. If anything, it’s a great distraction from the grind of classes, homework, and studying.

And just for fun, and because you’re dying to know…

For more than twenty years, Avenica has been the leading U.S. recruiting firm exclusively focused on placing college graduates into entry-level, career-track positions. Learn more about our process, or upload your resume to be considered for an open position with one of our amazing clients.

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