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.

If you’re interested in partnering with us to develop or hire your workforce, let’s talk. If you’re a job seeker, please join our network to connect with an Avenica Account Manager.

Related Articles

How to Talk About Weaknesses in a Job Interview

Insights

How to Talk About Weaknesses in a Job Interview

Avenica

LinkedIn

Whether you’re interviewing for your first out-of-college, entry-level position or a more experienced leadership role, you’ll find one topic of questioning remains the same and can be a challenge to answer no matter your experience level. And that topic is about your weaknesses. Successfully answering this question can distinguish you from your competitors and help you land the job. But be careful, interviewers can trick you and pose this question in several ways.

From keeping it positive and honest to having the ability to identify weaknesses and share how you’re addressing them and self-correcting when possible, Avenica’s own Jacqueline Wolfson, vice president, Eastern region, provides some great advice for tackling this question for an article in which she was recently interviewed about this topic. Read the article currently posted on Tribune Content Agency.

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 join our network to connect with an Avenica Account Manager.

Related Articles

Use This Resume Template to Get the Job

Insights

Use This Resume Template to Get the Job

Avenica

LinkedIn

Okay, we admit it, creating a resume isn’t anyone’s idea of a fun time. Actually, it’s the worst. Trying to summarize your entire professional life story–all you’re good at, all your career goals and aspirations, and all your achievements and accomplishments–all on one page sounds difficult, and that’s because it is. Crafting the perfect resume is all about telling the right story so a hiring decision maker can quickly determine if you’ll be a good fit for the job. As cliche as it sounds, first impressions are extremely important. And when it comes to resumes, it can make or break your chances of even being considered for an interview. No pressure, right?

We go through hundreds of resumes every day and can spot the good, the bad, and the ugly from a mile away, so we’re going to make it easy on you. Use this resume template, enter in our own info, personalize as needed. You’re welcome.

Here’s why it works:

It’s simple.
Keeping your resume formatted in a simple format is extremely important. Many companies use automated resume filtering systems that don’t always properly render design elements, certain fonts, and formatting. While the design might look great on your computer, it might look completely different on their side. It’s best to use a Word .docx file and have a backup in PDF format. Also, keeping it to one page is advised–especially in the entry-level space; any more pages and you can guarantee it won’t get read all the way through.

It’s clear.
No beating around the bush here. Everything you need in a perfect resume is clearly stated. There’s a clear hierarchy of information that isn’t confusing or difficult to read and gives the hiring manager everything they need to know. Also, it’s important that your bullets be phrased in a way that describes your achievements, rather than just a list of your tasks. We’ve included a couple action verbs to start you off, but here’s a solid list you can use as well. It might seem kind of hard if you have little experience and are entry-level, but here’s an example of how you can make a regular task look more polished.

Before: Assisted customers by answering questions
After: Built strong customer relationships by providing excellent customer service to up to 50 customers a day.

It’s professional.
This template is just simply that; it’s what’s going to make you look like a superstar candidate. Hiring managers are looking for a clean and intentional design with consistent formatting that says, “I know what I’m doing.” It’s not too often you get to say that when you’re just graduating college, so relish in this moment. You got this!

Now, all you have to do is use this to apply.

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 join our network to connect with an Avenica Account Manager.

Related Articles

Don’t Ghost Employers, Do This Instead

Insights

Don’t Ghost Employers, Do This Instead

Avenica

LinkedIn

Ghosting.

Everyone’s been doing this for…forever, but now that there’s a new, funny, trendy name attached to it, it’s become a “thing” now. Disappearing suddenly, without contact, without warning, as if you up and died…and are now a ghost. In the professional world, this usually happens after an employer reaches out to connect with a candidate after receiving a job application. While this could be seen as acceptable in the dating world, where there might not be any real consequences and a new date populates within a swipe of a finger, this could really backfire for you in your professional life.

For those of you actively on the job hunt, it might sound crazy to throw away an opportunity, but in a strong job economy or with positions that a candidate might find less desirable, this happens a lot. And for the same reasons it happens in the dating world; it’s easier and less uncomfortable…for one side. The problem? Well for recruiters like us who are working with clients to fill positions every day, it’s quite frustrating. But for candidates like you, it could hurt your professional reputation.

Perhaps you’re one of the lucky college graduates who applied for several positions and received back more than one response from interested employers. That’s great! But before you go ghosting on any of them because you like one opportunity the best, consider the possible outcomes and our suggestions for how to handle:

Outcome 1:

You don’t get the job you wanted. Maybe you don’t make it passed the first interview, or you make it all the way through to the last round and you lose the opportunity to another candidate. No matter where in the process you are, you’re going to wish you had a backup plan.

Outcome 2:

You got the job you wanted but realized after being on the job for a while that it’s not the right fit for you. Either you don’t like the work, or you don’t feel like a fit with the company or team. You’re going to wish you had a backup plan

Recommended Solution:

Like a lot of people do in dating, you can play the field—especially in the interviewing stage. You don’t have to give up all your other options just because Ms./Mr. Right asks you on for an interview. And besides, how are you going to know they are “the one” so early on? Sure, you might not get any of the jobs, but at least you have a higher chance at landing something if you pursue multiple opportunities. In either scenario, it’s always best to have a fallback plan should your top choice not work out.

And hey, you’re never going to know if it could be a match if you don’t try to get to know them, right? You could be surprised and get a really great offer from the backup, or maybe you’ll end up liking the company culture, professional development opportunities, or career track more. It’s much easier to have a respectful, honest breakup than it is to grovel and ask for forgiveness and a second chance. This is especially true if you get the job but it doesn’t meet expectations and you find yourself back out there looking for another opportunity to swipe right on…or is it left? I always forget.

Try sending this email instead:

Dear (Hiring Manger’s Name):

Thank you so much for the opportunity to interview with you and learn more about the role and company. After some careful consideration, I don’t think this role at this time, is the right fit for me. I hope to keep in contact and would like the opportunity to work with you in the future.

Again, thank you for the consideration.

Of course you can personalize this email to tailor your specific situation and engagements with the interviewer, but this is a great starting template. The hiring manager/recruiter will know not to continue trying to reach out to you and will be glad you’ve saved them the time and effort. It’s just always better to know, ya know? Plus, if for any reason, you find yourself looking for a different opportunity—maybe it’s pretty immediate after it not working out with your first option, but maybe it’s after a year or two and you’re looking for a higher-level position—you’re going to be glad you didn’t go “full Casper” and burn that bridge.

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 join our network to connect with an Avenica Account Manager.

Related Articles

Hitting the Road: Should You Relocate for an Entry-Level Position?

Insights

How to Find Entry Level Jobs that Will Relocate You

Avenica

Hitting the Road: How to Find Entry-Level Jobs That Will Relocate You

As an entry-level job seeker, you may be experiencing a case of wanderlust either in search of adventure or to get started on your career path. Quality entry-level career opportunities can be found nearly everywhere in this economy. And, yes, some regions of the country may be better than others for specific careers, but relocating—especially when it’s for a job—is a big commitment.

Companies invest a great deal of resources into hiring the right person, and it can be a time-intensive process to on-board and train new hires. That means employers want to know you’re in it for the long haul. If you’re planning to apply to positions in areas that would require you to relocate, you must communicate this enthusiastically during your interview.

It can be difficult to find entry-level jobs willing to relocate you, since it’s more common for more senior positions. That being said, do not get discouraged. If you’ve given relocating thorough consideration, here are some tips on how to find jobs that will relocate you.

Choose a city where you want to live

This may seem obvious, but we suggest you choose where you want to live before actually searching for or applying to jobs that will relocate you. It’s always good to know you’ll like the culture and vibe of a city before making it your home. It’s also great to have connections, like friends and/or family in the area who can show you around and introduce you to other people your age.

Once you have the area narrowed down, you can start applying. Use local job sites to begin your search. You can also reference job advertisements on local news websites. Another thing to consider when picking your new city is cost of living. If you’re able to find a job that will relocate you, they’ll sometimes offer relocation packages that assist with your new cost-of-living or they might offer higher pay if it’s an expensive city.

Use Your Network

If you’re wondering how to find an entry-level job that will relocate you, one major tip is to tap into your network. This could be people you knew in college, family friends, old coworkers who have moved, anyone you know who could help you make connections in your desired city.

This is also a great time to utilize sites like LinkedIn. You can find you have connections with people in your dream city that you never knew about. You can find people that went to your school, work in your desired field and more. It can’t hurt to send them a message and see if they know of any positions that are a good fit.

Be Flexible

Wherever you are when you’re applying for jobs, the power is really in the employers’ hands when it comes to deciding if you’re a good candidate, what their hiring timeline looks like, and whether it’s a job that will relocate you. Because of this, you must be flexible on the details mentioned above. Of course you’re excited to relocate. But the time will come when it’s a good fit for both you and the employer.

Entry-Level Jobs That Will Relocate You

Some fields are more likely to relocate qualified candidates because they require specialized skills or training that can be hard to find. If you’re a good fit for a job in these fields, an employer is not going to want to lose you. These types of jobs could include:

  • Jobs in healthcare
  • Technical support
  • Teaching
  • Researchers or data scientists
  • Mechanics

Remember, it can be hard to find entry-level jobs willing to relocate you, since it’s more common for more senior positions. That being said, do not get discouraged.

Choose Avenica to Help Find Entry-Level Jobs

At Avenica, we want to help you find the right job that matches your skills, and offers you a rewarding career in the location you desire. Take a look at our current openings and apply today!

Related Articles

Hopes and Dreams: Answering “Big Picture” Interview Questions

Insights

Hopes and Dreams: Answering “Big Picture” Interview Questions

Avenica

LinkedIn

“What do you want to do with your life?”

As if this question wasn’t tiresome enough when you were a child, it can induce some serious anxiety as an adult. So why do prospective employers seem so keen on asking it again and again during job interviews?

The short answer: they’re not necessarily asking it because they want to know your response. They’re asking it because they want to see how you respond.

Because there are no “wrong” answers, you may think these are a cinch – but failure to take these questions seriously can mean the difference between landing the job and missing out.

Here are a few pointers for preparing thoughtful responses to open-ended interview questions:

Make it a sprint, not a marathon

You want to be thorough in your response, but the interviewer does not want to hear your life story. Make sure your response is concise and always bridge back to the details that show you’re a good fit for the position. A response of 30 to 60 seconds should answer the question, plus leave time for follow-ups.

Keep it professional and interesting

No matter how conversational the interview might seem, remember that this is a professional environment. This isn’t the place for off-the-cuff remarks that might raise red flags with the interviewer. Unless it directly relates to your potential position, avoid topics you wouldn’t address in polite company (religion, politics, etc.). It’s also important to be creative in your response; don’t rely on tired, old phrases (e.g., “I want to make a difference in the world.”) that the interviewer has heard dozens of times. Talk about your aspirations in unique terms, while staying realistic and always keeping the position top-of-mind.

Think big, but bring it back to earth

It’s OK to be ambitious when stating your future goals, but it’s also important to be realistic and remain relevant to the conversation you’re having. While a prospective employer might be impressed that you want to “change the world,” the interviewer will want to know how the position offered will help you attain that goal.

Keep in mind the importance of “soft skills”

While you may not know your ultimate professional goal right now, it’s useful to give your interviewer a taste of what you enjoy and excel at doing. Interviewers – particularly those hiring entry-level talent – are interested in learning about candidates’ transferable skills like leadership, communications, teamwork and resilience. Share a story about how you led your high school lacrosse team to victory, or how you overcame initial setbacks and landed that great internship last summer. Use those moments as opportunities to show your interviewer that you have “life skills” that will pay dividends beyond the initial job for which you’d be hired.

Answer the question: “How does this position help further my ambitions?”

This is perhaps the most important part of your response to open-ended interview questions: tying everything together with the position you’re seeking. As you anticipate and prepare for this question, consider why you want this particular position and how it fits with your career goals. Then, create your response accordingly.

Candidates might think these are softball questions, but they’re incredibly useful for employers because they can reveal parts of a candidate’s personality, work ethic and values that may not otherwise be visible. Many candidates rise or fall based on their responses to open-ended questions like these, so it’s best to do some “dreaming” about your ambitions before you take a seat across the table. Good luck!

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 join our network to connect with an Avenica Account Manager.

Related Articles

Using the STAR Method to Showcase Your Skills

Insights

Using the STAR Method to Showcase Your Skills

Avenica

LinkedIn

Avenica has helped thousands of college graduates find great entry-level positions to begin their career. One of the main keys to landing a position is taking the time to properly prepare for interviews. About half of each interview will consists of the interviewer gathering information as to why your qualifications make you the best choice possible for the available position. To answer questions like these, our experts recommend using the STAR Method.

To prepare for using the STAR Method in your interviews, practice the exercise below to familiarize yourself with the model.

  1. Make a list of all the transferable skills or attributes that make you unique (Ex. Strong Communicator, Assertive, Persuasive, Focused, Adaptable, etc.) This requires dedicating time for self-reflection, and StrengthsFinder (published by Gallup®) is an example of a great resource that can help with this process.
  2. Read the job description of the position for which you are interviewing. After reviewing, pick at least 7 of your strongest attributes that, based on your research, will be most appealing to the company/hiring manager.
  3. For reach attribute, provide three specific examples of situations in which you have clearly displayed these strengths. Keep in mind, these do not always need to be professional examples. Extracurricular activities, part-time, and non-professional work can provide valuable examples as well.

While coming up with these examples, each should:

  • Describe a Specific Situation
  • Identify the Task or objective needed to address the situation
  • Highlight the Action you took
  • Discuss the Result of your action (this should be a positive outcome)

*Using the acronym STAR (Situation, Task, Action, Result) is a great way to remember the process.

Keep in mind that each of these examples should be concise (able to complete in a minute or less) and clearly illustrate your attribute.

Let’s take a look at what a specific example might look like while applying to an account management position:

  1. Read the job description. Identify the transferable skills and attributes required for success in the account management position job description. Keep in mind that some of these skills won’t be “listed,” and will need to be implied based on the information you have.
  2. Of all the attributes listed in the job description, list your 7 strongest that you would like to highlight in the interview. For the account management position, my 7 strongest attributes might be goal-oriented, competitive, persuasive, assertive, outgoing, strong communicator, and active listener.
  3. Prepare stories for each of these attributes, and practice responding to sample questions. Example Interview Question: Tell me about a time you had to gain commitment from a group of people for a new or popular idea.

For this question, I want to highlight my ability to be persuasive and communicate effectively.

Situation: In college, I served on a volunteer committee for the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation.

Task: Our committee was chosen to plan a concert fund-raiser that could produce at least $10,000 in revenue. We narrowed the musical options to two well-known bands. The committee was leaning toward the less expensive band.

Action: I was convinced that overall we would net more money by hiring the more expensive band because it had better name recognition with college students, so I put together a series of scenarios and presented them to the committee in a clear and detailed manner. My presentation showed that although it would cost more to hire a notionally recognized band, we would be able to sell more tickets at higher prices.

Result: When it came time to vote, it was unanimously decided to accept my recommendation. The even was held as scheduled and netted roughly $375,000 for the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation, which was exponentially higher than the initial goal.

*As you can see, using the STAR method allows you to display even your extracurricular and non-professional work experiences in a very concise and powerful manner.

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 join our network to connect with an Avenica Account Manager.

Related Articles

How College Seniors Can Prepare for Life After Graduation

Insights

How College Seniors Can Prepare for Life After Graduation

Avenica

LinkedIn

Welcome Week has come and gone and you’re tired of playing “summer catch-up” with your classmates when it finally hits you – you’re already halfway through the first semester of your SENIOR YEAR of college! Time has absolutely flown by and although you shouldn’t have a panic attack, it’s important to recognize that this year is different from years past.

College seniors will no longer have summer break to look forward to, because that is now replaced with entering what we like to call the “Real World.” Making sure you are as well prepared as possible can save you a lot of time, a lot of stress, and will help you out financially as well.

It sounds scary, I know. But it’s nothing that a little preparation, tweak in your mindset, and taking advantage of on campus resources can’t fix.

Other than the obvious steps like applying to jobs and attending job fairs, here are a few other ways that college seniors can help ease the transition between college life and life in the real world:

Change Your Mindset and Focus on the Bigger Picture

Your senior year of college is unlike any other year in your educational career. There’s no more “next year” (unless you’re going to grad school) and the goal now shifts to finding a good job after college. Realize early on that looking for a job during your senior is a great opportunity, whereas searching for a job after you have graduated can quickly become a stressful nightmare.

The “Senior Slide” can become very contagious and infectious (I know from experience). But I will promise you one thing: That occasional “I don’t feel like doing this” feeling will never go away, no matter how much you end up loving your job. So change your mindset, power through those moments, and avoid this slide at any cost. This will only help you in the future because as much as you might like to think it will, life doesn’t get “easier” after college.

Make Sure You’re on Track to Graduate

I’ve heard so many stories of seniors who end up needing to take an additional summer class in order to graduate with their degree. Many companies require proof of transcripts or education checks and the last thing that you want is for them to pull an offer because you haven’t received your degree yet. Four years of classes, requirements, and credits is a lot to keep track of. Check in with your advisor as soon as you can, and if there is an additional class you overlooked be sure to sign up for it next semester. In some cases, the academic calendar doesn’t play nice and might not offer the specific course during the semester you need it. If this happens, talk with your advisor about possible alternative courses, online courses offered through a different branch of the university, or an approved independent study that can count toward your requirements – you’d be surprised by how willing they can be to help you.

Schools also require seniors to fill out an application for graduation. Pay attention to these deadlines, as any hiccups in the graduation process can cause some serious stress and setbacks.

Schedule an Appointment in Career Services ASAP

Roughly half of college students don’t take advantage of the Career Services office on their respective college campuses. If you haven’t done so yet, that’s okay, but it’s better late than never. Career Services has a lot to offer their students. Free resume advice, job search resources, interview tips, insider information on upcoming networking events, job fairs, etc. can do nothing but increase your chances of landing that first job out of college.

Also, many companies have ties to universities through ownership or executive leadership. Contacting their Alma Mater to look for candidates may be the first step these companies take when looking for new hires.

Develop a Skill

When you need an extra elective to graduate, that Yoga class offered on Tuesday and Thursday mornings looks like a relaxing way to add another “A” to your transcript. This class would be good for stress relief, and yes, most likely be an easy “A,” but it doesn’t bring much to the table in terms of helping you find a job. Instead, choose an elective that you can bring with you in your job search. For instance, taking intro courses related to coding, graphic design, Public Relations, etc. is something that can help you in your first job out of college.

The longer you are in the workforce, the more you will realize that having the ability to do things outside of your job description is going to help your career growth. Maybe your company is redoing their website and logo, or maybe they want to create a brochure for customers or write up press releases. Having at least some experience and training in these types of skills can allow you to take on exciting projects while catching the attention of upper management at the same time.

Step Out of Your Comfort Zone

It’s your senior year, you’re the big dog on campus, and you know the ins and outs of college life by having three years to get used to it. Next year you will basically be a freshman again, but this time, you’re in the beginning stages of your career and will be forced out of your comfort zone. Don’t forget to do this as often as possible during your senior year. Try new things, meet people who may challenge you, accept new responsibilities in on-campus organizations – get uncomfortable! These experiences will help you learn about yourself and will only help you once you’re thrown into the real world and expected to make life work in your own way.

ENJOY and Socialize!

Last but not least, remember that this is your senior year of college, so enjoy it! College is a once in a lifetime, unique opportunity in which you have the independence of an adult, but aren’t in full “adult mode” quite yet.  Join (or start) new clubs, go to campus events, meet new people, whatever it is that brings you joy, do that. Senior year comes and goes way too fast so enjoy it while you still have the chance!

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 join our network to connect with an Avenica Account Manager.

Related Articles

Networking Earned You a Referral, Now What?

Insights

Networking Earned You a Referral, Now What?

Avenica

LinkedIn

Networking, either through your personal contacts or by using social media tools like Linkedin, is an important part of any job search strategy. However, getting referred to a working professional who may be helpful in your job search is only the start. Here are some things to do to maximize the value of that referral.

Research the Referral – Use Linkedin, profiles that may be on their employer’s web site, published articles, etc. to learn more about the contact. Look for similarities between their backgrounds and yours (same college, same major, etc.).

Contact Information – To start, make sure you have received the referral’s contact information – especially business phone and email. A cell phone number is nice to have, but should be used with caution depending upon the advice of your referral source.

Initial Communication – The initial communication is crucial. It should be clear and concise. Include these elements:

  • Explain the Connection – Identify who referred you and how you know the referring party.
  • Describe Your Background – You have some leeway here, but college major, important skills, extra-curricular activities, and possible career interests are possible subjects. Keep it to 3-4 sentences at most.
  • State Your Purpose – Unless you know of a specific position that is open at the referral’s company, ask for an informational interview. State that your goal is to learn more about the referral’s education and career experiences, to communicate career options that you are considering and to get their feedback.
  • Close – End your email by thanking them and summarizing your contact information.

In most cases, your first outreach should be by email. A call to the referral’s business number is also acceptable, especially if you know the person. Either way, make sure your communication is professional and error free. Be sure to proof-read and spell-check emails. Similarly, with telephone communication, practice what you want to say and be sure to use a confident voice.

If after your initial outreach you do not hear back, be sure to follow-up. Keep in mind that you are contacting busy people – they may not put responding to your email or voice mail message at the top of their to-do list. Be prepared to follow-up two or three times. Given this, you may want to alternate email and phone follow-ups. If they see a call from you on their caller ID, they might just pick-up in order to get an item off their to-do list.

Finally, keep in mind that professional networking is among the best job search strategies and most professional people will be very willing to help. They remember when they started their careers and the help they received during their job search process. Once you get started and have success, you’ll find that it’s actually a skill you’ll be using throughout your 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 join our network to connect with an Avenica Account Manager.

Related Articles