Taking Advantage of the Years Before Graduation

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Taking Advantage of the Years Before Graduation

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Avenica

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While graduation might seem like a lifetime away, there’s a lot you can be doing now to help make the transition from college student to working professional easier and more successful. From internships to part-time jobs, building up a network, and identifying future career interests, junior year is a great time to start preparing for life after college.

Load up on professional experience

Internship and other professional opportunities for rising college graduates are usually plentiful but can have a competitive and challenging application process. Gaining professional experience prior to graduation requires an application process that can sometimes seem lengthy. If you haven’t already, now is a great time to start researching and applying to opportunities that are of interest to you and would provide useful professional experience. Think of these opportunities as a free trial of your future career. Try to find something that aligns to what you’d like to do after college to see if the experience strengthens your interest or makes you reevaluate your career path.

Professional experience doesn’t have to come in the form of an internship. From customer service to leadership and management to problem-solving skills, there’s a lot you can learn from part-time and summer positions in the retail, service, etc. industries. Just make sure you’re taking advantage of any opportunities that might arise or taking initiative to seek out and request opportunities.

Study Abroad

If you’re able to, a study abroad experience is far more than the opportunity to travel to and experience a new destination and culture. As the world becomes more interconnected, it’s imperative to understand how globalization affects people and business. Studying abroad provides the international experience many students lack when starting a career and provides an immersive education on engaging with others from different backgrounds and cultures. This is especially important when applying to positions with companies who have global, international footprints.

Identify career interests

Few students start college actually knowing what their career track will be. Many students change their mind and major throughout college. Take advantage of your school’s career development center to help you discover where your interests intersect with your skills and strengths. Having more direction now will help you to hit the ground running and be more focused and targeted in your career search upon graduation.

Build up your professional skills

Professionalism is a nebulous, overarching topic, including everything from appearance, communication style, attitude, work ethic and integrity, and competence. It’s a lot. Start honing your professional presence by attending networking events and observing others’ interactions and behaviors. Request informational interviews which will help you practice speaking with professionals and provide helpful insider insight into various organizations and professions. The more you can learn from can learn from successful professionals, the more prepared you’ll be for life after graduation.

For many, your final year is going to be a crush of activities and experiences, and you won’t want to miss out on a thing. Setting yourself up for success in the years leading up to your final semester helps lighten your load and gives you more time to prepare, practice, and perfect.

Take a look at our current job openings and apply today! We look forward to connecting with you.

Tips for Applying to Your First Job Out of College

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Tips for How to Find a Job Out of College

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Tips on How to Find a Job Out of College

Are you wondering when and how to apply 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 post-collegiate job is just around the corner. After that, there’s so much waiting for you just beyond that symbolic toss of the graduation cap into the air.

Or you might be on the cusp of graduation, seeking full-time employment for the first time and seeing commencement grow increasingly closer.

This brings to mind an important question: When should you start applying for your first job out of college…and how can you apply to your first job in a way that sets you up for success?

How to apply to your first job

1. Give yourself time to apply

Determining when you start applying will depend on your experience and career interests. The job search process can be lengthy. Here’s what to expect:

  • Practice interviews
  • Company research
  • Informational interviews
  • Examining your social media presence
  • Writing and perfecting your resume
  • Submitting your application

Of course, that’s not including the interview process, but that’s a whole other blog post altogether. So, when you’re wondering when and how to find a job out of college, 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.

2. Apply early and keep checking in with prospective employers

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.

3. Seek out hiring classes

Be aware of the different ways of how you can apply to your first job! Not all employers use the same hiring techniques. Some larger companies have hiring classes, hiring many college grads at the same time so they can go through orientation and onboarding together.

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 matches for in your area all at one time. The perfect time to apply for one of our opportunities? Right now. We’re always accepting candidates! If we don’t have something perfect for you right now, we’ll keep you in mind should the right opportunity come up.)

When is the best time to apply for a job out of college?

In general, the closer you get to graduation (and of course, just after) is best for applying to jobs. One 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.

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.

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

And it’s Avenica’s job to keep you updated on these trends. If you need help finding or applying for your next career, join our network of job seekers and get help finding your first job out of college.

 

About Avenica

Through conversation, high-impact coaching, and best-in-class support, we translate and meet the needs of our client partners by identifying and transforming potential into high-performing professionals. At Avenica, we are working from the inside out to embrace diverse thought and perspectives while actively working to dismantle systems of oppression and implicit bias. With a deeply-held belief in human potential, we transform lives and enable organizations to achieve new heights.

If you’re interested in partnering with us to develop or hire your workforce, let’s talk. If you’re a job seeker, please apply now!

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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.

About Avenica

Through conversation, high-impact coaching, and best-in-class support, we translate and meet the needs of our client partners by identifying and transforming potential into high-performing professionals. At Avenica, we are working from the inside out to embrace diverse thought and perspectives while actively working to dismantle systems of oppression and implicit bias. With a deeply-held belief in human potential, we transform lives and enable organizations to achieve new heights.

If you’re interested in partnering with us to develop or hire your workforce, let’s talk. If you’re a job seeker, please apply now!

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

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

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Avenica

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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.

About Avenica

Through conversation, high-impact coaching, and best-in-class support, we translate and meet the needs of our client partners by identifying and transforming potential into high-performing professionals. At Avenica, we are working from the inside out to embrace diverse thought and perspectives while actively working to dismantle systems of oppression and implicit bias. With a deeply-held belief in human potential, we transform lives and enable organizations to achieve new heights.

If you’re interested in partnering with us to develop or hire your workforce, let’s talk. If you’re a job seeker, please apply now!

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Stand Out for the Right Reasons with Employers

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Stand Out for the Right Reasons with Employers

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Avenica

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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.

About Avenica

Through conversation, high-impact coaching, and best-in-class support, we translate and meet the needs of our client partners by identifying and transforming potential into high-performing professionals. At Avenica, we are working from the inside out to embrace diverse thought and perspectives while actively working to dismantle systems of oppression and implicit bias. With a deeply-held belief in human potential, we transform lives and enable organizations to achieve new heights.

If you’re interested in partnering with us to develop or hire your workforce, let’s talk. If you’re a job seeker, please apply now!

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How to Sell Your Summer Job in a Professional Interview

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How to Sell Your Summer Job in a Professional Interview

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Avenica

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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

Lifeguard

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

Retail

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.

About Avenica

Through conversation, high-impact coaching, and best-in-class support, we translate and meet the needs of our client partners by identifying and transforming potential into high-performing professionals. At Avenica, we are working from the inside out to embrace diverse thought and perspectives while actively working to dismantle systems of oppression and implicit bias. With a deeply-held belief in human potential, we transform lives and enable organizations to achieve new heights.

If you’re interested in partnering with us to develop or hire your workforce, let’s talk. If you’re a job seeker, please apply now!

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Tips for Transitioning from College to the Workplace

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Tips for Transitioning from College to the Workplace

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Avenica

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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
Manager of Business Operations, Avenica
University of Minnesota, 2017

About Avenica

Through conversation, high-impact coaching, and best-in-class support, we translate and meet the needs of our client partners by identifying and transforming potential into high-performing professionals. At Avenica, we are working from the inside out to embrace diverse thought and perspectives while actively working to dismantle systems of oppression and implicit bias. With a deeply-held belief in human potential, we transform lives and enable organizations to achieve new heights.

If you’re interested in partnering with us to develop or hire your workforce, let’s talk. If you’re a job seeker, please apply now!

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Why Employers Pass on Qualified Candidates After an Interview

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Why Employers Pass on Qualified Candidates After an Interview

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Avenica

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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.

Unsuitable Appearance
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.

About Avenica

Through conversation, high-impact coaching, and best-in-class support, we translate and meet the needs of our client partners by identifying and transforming potential into high-performing professionals. At Avenica, we are working from the inside out to embrace diverse thought and perspectives while actively working to dismantle systems of oppression and implicit bias. With a deeply-held belief in human potential, we transform lives and enable organizations to achieve new heights.

If you’re interested in partnering with us to develop or hire your workforce, let’s talk. If you’re a job seeker, please apply now!

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Personality Tests: How Well Do You Know Yourself?

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Personality Tests: How Well Do You Know Yourself?

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Avenica

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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…

About Avenica

Through conversation, high-impact coaching, and best-in-class support, we translate and meet the needs of our client partners by identifying and transforming potential into high-performing professionals. At Avenica, we are working from the inside out to embrace diverse thought and perspectives while actively working to dismantle systems of oppression and implicit bias. With a deeply-held belief in human potential, we transform lives and enable organizations to achieve new heights.

If you’re interested in partnering with us to develop or hire your workforce, let’s talk. If you’re a job seeker, please apply now.

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Skype Etiquette 101

Well, it’s official! The hype and excitement of graduation has ended, the pools have closed, and your friends are starting to ditch the weekly ‘Thirsty Thursday’ hangout as they have to be up early for work. Where does this leave you? Job searching – in full-on Desperation Mode. Within a job search, there are several types of interviews: phone interviews, in-person interviews, panel interviews, and the increasingly used– Skype or other video-based interviews. It’s true, there is an art to interviewing, but no worries, I am here to clarify a few important details on how to prepare and be confident in this process!

  • Follow Instructions- I cannot express enough the importance of (what should be) the easiest part of the interview! The first thing you should do is reply to the email confirming your attendance for the interview. If you are truly excited about the interview, it’s important to confidently accept with a documented response. This would be a good time to thank them for the opportunity. If you are unsure or unable to interview at that time, do NOT accept the invitation promising attendance or email saying you will attend. If you have questions or concerns, it is best practice to reach out and get more information or explain your situation. Most hiring managers are willing to be flexible if there are legitimate concerns. It is also not okay to confirm that you will be attending the interview 5 minutes beforehand. Don’t do it, trust me!
  • Test your Skype- If you can spend 3 hours FaceTiming your significant other who lives out of town, you sure as heck can find someone to take 2 minutes to test your Skype….Even better, Skype has a test function built in! Genius, I know! Test it. Please spare yourself the uncomfortable and awkward silence while you stumble to fix the sound or video. I can tell you from experience, if you are not prepared or ready at the time of your Skype, it does not look good to the hiring manager. It can also make you more nervous and uneasy when you do start the interview. We look for confidence, nice clear sound, and clear video with good lighting.
  • Staging your Skype Interview- Okay, this is by far my favorite topic to discuss. Why, you ask? Every time I go into a Skype interview, I’m never too sure who or what I may see on the other side. It is very important to make sure you are in quiet place with good lighting, no distractions, and a good backdrop. Please (for your benefit) make sure your Bob Marley poster is not visible, the bottle collection you acquired during college is hidden, and your cat does not walk across the screen mid-interview. A blank wall background is a good choice or the spare room that has a desk is professional. It’s also very important not to sit on your bed, pow-wow style, constantly moving your laptop. Place your computer/tablet on a solid surface, preferably a table, and sit up straight in a non-swivel chair. Staging your setup is something that should be done the night before, not 2 minutes before the interviewer calls you!
  • Attire- This should go without saying, WEAR A SUIT! Yes, it’s true that we may only be able to see you from the waist up, but a sport coat with a collared shirt and tie or a conservative blouse/dress with a blazer is important. This is your first impression and it’s an interview – your background and skill set are not the only things being observed. Men, make sure you shave, and ladies, keep your hands out of your hair and your hair out of your face. Men, I know full suits can be uncomfortable sometimes, please do not wear your basketball shorts or even just boxers because you don’t feel the need to wear a full suit. What are you going to do if I ask you to go turn another light on because the video lighting is poor? Think about it. I recommend having two solid interview outfits or power suits picked out that make you feel confident and ready to go if you are called for any type of interview.
  • Communication- It may be the last topic mentioned here, but it’s definitely the most important! To anyone who rolls their eyes when adults say “communication is key”, you best listen. During an interview this is one of the biggest, if not THE biggest skill set your interviewer is assessing. Make sure you speak clearly, avoid using headphones at all costs, test your microphone the day before, and do not, I repeat, do not have a snack waiting during the switch of a twofold interview. Speak with confidence and know your resume inside out. Your resume should be an outline of your experiences, but during an interview, it is your job to tell your full story. There should be no need to look down or read off of your resume – you know the contents better than anyone else. Smile during your interview – it is okay to laugh and have fun while speaking to your interviewer, just remain professional as it is still an interview! Ask questions, but don’t sound like a broken record by quickly google-ing “top interview questions”. Again, not going to help in the long run! If you do your homework about the company, you should be able to prepare questions relevant to the position and company. Watch your ‘eye contact’ (I say that in ‘ ‘ as you are in a virtual setting). I know you look good, but stop staring at yourself in that little box down in the corner or only looking at the screen – you need to make eye contact with that tiny camera at the top of your computer – that is your eye contact during a Skype. I’ll say it one last time, communication is key!

Every Skype interview should be treated as seriously as an in-person interview. Several companies conduct Skype interviews for your convenience so in return it is important to remember to value their time. I have conducted countless Skype interviews and time and time again candidates do not take advantage of these simple tips that can determine the outcome of an interview. I encourage you to take these basic steps to help you be successful the next time you are called to connect via video!

About Avenica

Through conversation, high-impact coaching, and best-in-class support, we translate and meet the needs of our client partners by identifying and transforming potential into high-performing professionals. At Avenica, we are working from the inside out to embrace diverse thought and perspectives while actively working to dismantle systems of oppression and implicit bias. With a deeply-held belief in human potential, we transform lives and enable organizations to achieve new heights.

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