50 Career Tips for College Students

Posted October 2, 2012 by TMCCareerGuy
Categories: Career Research, Wisdom

March 22, 2012 at 2:09 pm by Tom Denham

College teaches you how to think.  However, unless you are engaged with your campus Career Center, college teaches you virtually nothing on the subject of career development.  Think about how many courses you took in your major, and then think about how many semester-long courses you took on career development?  A rare few colleges offer, at most, one or two courses on the topic.  You spend time more time at work than in any other aspect of your life, but college teaches you barely anything on how to start, build and manage your career.  Without the Career Center, you will be left on your own to figure out what you are suppose to do with your life.  The transition is difficult because there is no syllabus for success.  Here are my 50 tips to prepare you for the realities of working.

  1. Go to the Career Center on campus at least once a semester and then every month when you are a senior.
  2. Believe in yourself, believe in something and have someone believe in you.
  3. Success comes from inside of you.
  4. In addition to your college degree, employers will want to see multiple internship experiences.  Your competition has them.
  5. Start building your resume early in your college career.  Don’t wait until you get back from spring break of your Senior year.
  6. Be nice to your faculty.  You’ll need them someday to serve as a reference for graduate school or a job.
  7. Get clarity and focus on the three types of jobs you will pursue: 1) Ideal Jobs, 2) Back-Up/Realistic Jobs, and 3) Survival Jobs.
  8. Come up with your own personal and professional definition of success and don’t let anyone else define it for you.
  9. Your first job is a period of adjustment.  It’s like being a freshman all over again.  Be patient and learn the ropes.
  10. Think of your first job as a stepping-stone that can help you get closer to your Ideal Job.
  11. Show up early and stay late.
  12. If you are self-aware, self-confident and self-disciplined you will go very far in life.
  13. Take advantage of everything that college has to offer.  Suck the life-force out of it.  If you do, you’ll have no regrets.
  14. Most jobs today are not for life.  The time to start preparing for your next job search is the day you take your new job.
  15. Eliminate poor grammar and slang from your speech.
  16. Resist the temptation to use work time to conduct personal business like email, phone calls and combing the Internet.
  17. An employer cares about how productive you are.  They don’t really care whether or not you’re professionally fulfilled.
  18. Starting at the bottom is not beneath you; it’s expected.
  19. An employer wants to know, “Can you do the job?  Are you willing to do the job?  Can we stand you when you do the job?”
  20. Don’t get sloppy with your behavior.  It can run you into trouble later on.
  21. Share your life, but don’t over-share.
  22. Stay focused and don’t get distracted by Facebook or other social media sites.  Cut your addiction to the Internet.
  23. Know when you need to work independently and know when you need to be a team player.
  24. You can never say “please” and “thank you” enough – it goes a long way.
  25. If you perpetually smile and look people in the eyes you are likely to get the same in return.
  26. Employers hire for attitude and train for knowledge.  Enthusiasm is the road to success.
  27. Clean up any “Digital Dirt” that’s on the Internet.  Your online reputation IS your reputation.  Create it, build it and protect it.
  28. Keep your commitments.  Habitually cancelling is a C.L.M., Career Limiting Move.
  29. Keep in mind that success is the first attempt after failure.  We all have made mistakes.  Don’t sweat it; just learn from them.
  30. Devote a great deal of time to practicing your interview skills.  Have a Mock Interview at your campus Career Center.
  31. You won’t reach your career goals if you let someone else drive your career.  Go from passenger to driver.
  32. If you take your career seriously, others will take you seriously.  If you care about others, others will care about you.
  33. Ask for help, but don’t suck up too much of anyone’s time.
  34. How you dress is a reflection of your self-image.  Dress for not where you are, but for where you want to be.  Be neat.
  35. Have a clear vision for your life.  Set personal and professional goals every year and develop an action plan to achieve them.
  36. It is highly likely you will go on to graduate school.  Carefully pick the right degree and program.  It’s expensive if you don’t.
  37. Network your brains out and carefully build your LinkedIn Contacts.  You will be changing jobs, and you’ll need their help.
  38. Givers Get!  It starts with you.
  39. Most communication is non-verbal.  Pay attention to what you say.  Pay closer attention to what you say when you’re not talking.
  40. Have regular meetings with your boss to discuss your progress.  This can save a lot of misunderstandings and headaches later.
  41. A person’s most basic human emotional need is to be heard.  Listening is a critically important skill in the workplace.  Talk less.
  42. Stay in your first job out of college for one year, preferably two to three.  Anything less is job hopping, and it doesn’t look good.
  43. The world is very small and increasingly interconnected.  Play nice.  Don’t burn any bridges.
  44. Don’t chase after money.  It tends to be a poor long-term motivator.  Do what you love and the money will follow.
  45. Pursue meaningful work that makes a difference.  The meaning of life is to make a difference.  Do work that you value.
  46. Build an emergency fund just in case something goes wrong at work.  Find a financial planner and start investing immediately!
  47. Set up a budget and stick to it.  Don’t get into credit card debt.  Always live below your means.
  48. Don’t wait for opportunities.  Go out and hunt for them.
  49. Where you go in life is up to you.
  50. Go be somebody.

25 Twitter Hashtags That Will Help You Get A Job

Posted August 2, 2012 by TMCCareerGuy
Categories: Career Research, Job Hunting, Social Media


While some lucky college students find work right away, for most others, the idea of hitting the job market after graduation is a little intimidating if not downright scary. With competition tough and opportunities limited, finding a job can be difficult. Yet, students and recent grads shouldn’t lose hope: finding a great job is possible even in this market, especially when you get a little help from those who know what it takes to get hired.

While career counselors at your school can be a great source of information, grads can also seek out guidance on their own through a wide range of career-focused Twitter chats. Here, we’ve listed some of the best get-togethers on Twitter for learning about everything from resume writing to working with recruiters to scoring a killer internship and just about everything in between.

  1. #jobhuntchat

    If you’re looking for help in your job hunt, this chat offers some of the best advice out there on filling out applications, interviewing, and the entire job hunt process. Join in every Monday at 10 p.m. EST.

  2. #HFChat

    Hire Friday Chat, or HFChat, connects HR professionals, employers, recruiters, coaches, and resume writers with job hunters. Use some of these resources to your own advantage by listening in every Friday at noon EST.

  3. #careerchat

    This chat is geared toward college students or recent grads, making it the perfect choice for those who feel they need a little guidance in making the transition between campus and career. The chat is held every Tuesday at 1 p.m. EST.

  4. #CareerSavvy

    Join the Vestiigo.com team in this chat, held Tuesdays at 12:30 p.m. EST, to learn more about how to find work or advance an existing career.

  5. #CareerSuccess

    Held on Mondays at 8 p.m. EST, this chat draws off of the weekly podcasts of Career Success Radio, touching on everything from social media etiquette to selling yourself in an interview.

  1. #hirefriday

    If graduation is on the horizon, it’s probably not too soon to start looking for work. Get some help in this all-day chat held every Friday.

  2. #LinkedInChat

    Are you making the most of LinkedIn to get career advice and opportunities? Learn more about the service and what it can offer you in this weekly chat held on Tuesdays at 8 p.m. EST.

  3. #InternPro

    Internship resource YouTern hosts this weekly chat (Mondays at 9 p.m. EST) to offer college students a chance to learn more about finding internships, networking, mentoring, and other parts of the career preparation process.

  4. #U30Pro

    Head to this chat to join other young professionals (it’s geared toward those under 30, but all ages are welcome) as they discuss a wide range of career issues. Just log on to Twitter Thursday nights at 7 EST to add your two cents.

  5. #tchat

    Wednesdays at 7 p.m. EST you can head online to learn more about HR, recruiting, career coaching, marketing, social media, and more from those who work in the industry. It’s intended for professionals in the field but can be enlightening for job hunters as well.

  1. #speakchat

    Improving your public speaking skills can be useful no matter what field you’re going into, and you can get help and advice on doing just that every Monday at 9 p.m. EST.

  2. #InternChat

    Need a few internships to fill out your resume and get experience? Learn more about what it takes to get hired and make the most of any internship on Tuesdays at 7 p.m. EST.

  3. #jobseekersm

    If you’re reading this list you’re obviously interested in learning how to use social media to find work and advance your career, but this chat focuses in very specifically on that topic. Chat it up with experts in the field every Tuesday at 7 p.m. EST.

  4. #CBJobChat

    Held the first Monday of each month at 8 p.m. EST, this chat is managed by Career Builder and focuses on some of the biggest career-related topics important to job hunters and those looking to advance or start a career.

  5. #GenYJobs

    Are you part of Gen Y? Are you interested in finding a job? Then this chat’s for you! Head to Twitter on Tuesdays at 10 p.m. EST every other week for chats with other Gen Y-ers about finding work, getting ahead, and much more.

  1. #gmuchat

    Held twice a week, this chat covers topics like career, college, and social media. It’s catered toward those with disabilities who might have a harder time finding work, but anyone can benefit from this great George Mason College chat.

  2. #LeadNow

    Develop your leadership skills, get career advice, and find resources for professional development when you join in on this Millennial-focused chat. Pay attention, though: it seems conservative candidate Newt Gingrich might have co-opted this hashtag.

  3. #MPACEChat

    Make time on the first Friday of the month for this chat (held at 1 p.m. EST) geared toward helping college students transition into the working world. You’ll get a chance to talk with recruiters and career center professionals about all of your career concerns.

  4. #GenYchat

    Join others from your generation in discussing a wide range of topics every Wednesday night at 9 EST, including career issues, all with a Gen Y take.

  5. #MillennialChat

    Want some career guidance from others in your age group? Participating in this weekly chat (Tuesdays at 3:30 p.m. EST) can be one way to get advice and answers to your career questions.

  1. #leadershipchat

    Striving to be a better leader will serve you well throughout your career, and it’s a great idea to start getting a great foundation now. Get insights into leadership, management, communication, and more from this chat held Tuesdays at 8 p.m. EST.

  2. #ResuChat

    If your resume isn’t looking as sharp as it could, join in this chat to get tips and tools that can make it much easier to find a job.

  3. #smmanners

    Social media is a fact of life for job hunters and young professionals today, so it’s essential that you know how to use it well and with the appropriate decorum, both of which you’ll learn by joining this chat on Tuesdays at 10 p.m. EST.

  4. #mwchat

    Monster is often a go-to site for those looking for both job listings and career advice, and through this Twitter chat, you’ll be able to connect with experts at the site in real time.

  5. #NextChat

    Direct your Twitter account to this hashtag on Wednesdays at 3 p.m. EST for commentary on HR, recruiting, social media, and more.

Finalist in an interview? Here’s how to break the tie.

Posted June 28, 2012 by TMCCareerGuy
Categories: Interviewing

This article offers some interesting thoughts on how to draw a final decision your way, if you are one of two or three finalists for a job.

How to Break the Tie–When You’re One of Two Great Candidates.

(From CareerRealism.com)

How to Explain a Low GPA

Posted June 12, 2012 by TMCCareerGuy
Categories: Interviewing, Uncategorized, Wisdom

A GPA below 3.0 is generally considered “low.” A low GPA is not a job-killer, but it is something that you should be prepared to explain.

This brief article has some helpful tips: How to Explain a Low GPA

How To: Master Your Skype Or Phone Interview

Posted May 3, 2012 by TMCCareerGuy
Categories: Interviewing

The importance of phone and Skype interviews has skyrocketed in recent years. Most companies like to verify that a candidate is worth their time before bringing them to the office for an in-person interview. Phone and Skype interviews are popular with entry-level job candidates because many of them are still in school or currently employed—making it difficult to slip away for an interview.

Amy Levin-Epstein spoke with professionals and compiled a list of tips on how to ace both the phone and Skype interview.

Here are a few of the tips I found most important.

Skype Interviews

  • Avoid technical difficulties. Triple check your Internet connection before your interview begins. Make sure that your speakers and microphone work. Call a friend on Skype and do a sound check.
  • Know proper web cam etiquette. Look at the camera and not the screen so that you are making eye contact. Sit up straight and don’t sit too close to the camera. Use the camera to check out what you look like on screen before the call so you see how they’ll view you.

Phone Interviews

  • Stand up and smile. According to career trainer Frankie Picasso, “When you stand up, there is more energy in your voice and the physical act of smiling makes you instantly sound friendlier and relaxed.” Personally, I like to pace slowly when I talk on the phone and I feel it gives me a more natural and confident tone of voice.
  • Don’t drive & interview. The best thing about a phone interview is that you can have your notes out in front of you. Take advantage of that! Also, you should be fully focused on the task at hand.
  • Go hands-free. Use a headset so that you are free to take notes or gesture as normally would. This will help you sound more comfortable and natural when on the phone.

General Phone & Skype Tips

  • Get rid of distractions. Make sure that you’re in a secure, quiet place. Make an announcement and put a sign on the door to let your family or roommates know you are not to bothered during that time.
  • Don’t sound sleepy. Wake up an hour before your interview. People can tell if you just woke up and it sounds unprofessional. Call a friend and talk for a few minutes to get your voice ready.
  • Be succinct. It’s hard to pick up on non-verbal cues in these situations. Don’t babble and stop yourself when you’ve answered the question completely.

For more tips and information check out Levin-Epstein’s articles on skype tips and phone tips.

Job Seekers: Get Social Now! via Come Recommended by Kate D’Amico on 4/20/12

Posted May 1, 2012 by TMCCareerGuy
Categories: Career Research, Job Hunting

It’s no secret that social media is an important part of your job search (see here, here and here). But how important is it? This infographic from OnlineDegrees.com says that companies are expecting to recruit online for more than 80% of their job openings. That’s a lot of online recruiting!

Some other statistics to note:

What networks are recruiters using?

  • 98% use LinkedIn
  • 42% use Twitter
  • 33% use Facebook
  • 19% use Twitter in conjunction to LinkedIn

What roles are recruiters looking to fill?

  • 39% looking to fill executive or upper management roles
  • 77% looking to fill other management roles
  • 36% looking to fill non-managerial hourly employees
  • 82% looking to fill non-managerial salaried roles

How are recruiters using social media?

  • 58% are sourcing applicants
  • 49% are posting job opportunities

Why do recruiters use social media?

  • 84% to recruit candidates who might not otherwise apply
  • 67% to save money
  • 54% to target a specific job level
  • 60% to increase the company’s brand recognition
  • 52% to target a specific skill set

How can you find a job using social media?

  • Make a good impression — people look at your profile for an average of less than 6 seconds
  • Use keywords in your social media profiles
  • Try other sites like about.me, Prezi.com, and Jobzey.com
  • Follow recruiters on Twitter; @electra, @Fishdogs, and @smheadhunter are good ones (so is @HeatherHuhman, founder of Come Recommended!)

6 Strategies for Surviving in a Job You Hate· by Teena Rose

Posted April 24, 2012 by TMCCareerGuy
Categories: Humor, Wisdom

All of us have been there at some point. Out of necessity, you are stuck in a job that is unbearable – and as a result, you hate life. This is all-too-common in the U.S., where workers are often treated as commodities and liabilities, and get almost no real respect. Unfortunately, under current conditions few have the luxury of simply quitting, so here are several strategies for coping in a job you just can’t stomach.

Set Goals and Objectives: If there is a bright side to your situation, it’s easier to get a job if you already have one. This means that if you are in a job you hate, you’re in a better position to get something better. Set a goal every week for sending out x number of resumes and attending a networking event or job fair. Such actions will help you to see a light at the end of the tunnel (which won’t be New Jersey).

Time for One’s Self: If you are overscheduled and harassed, you’ll be making a bad thing worse. It is vital to set some time aside each day, particularly before heading into work. It’s also helpful to engage in some activity that brings a smile to your face, whether it’s reading the latest Facebook posts, treating yourself to a favorite snack, or playing your favorite music on the stereo.

Create Diversions: If possible, fill your workspace and/or your day with small diversions. For example, an inside sales representative who sometimes dislikes making “cold calls” to prospective clients might bring a joke book to work and make it a point to read something funny before picking up the phone. It made a great deal of difference when it came to talk to people.

Learn New Tricks: If you don’t have the job you want, it may be due to a lack of skills and/or knowledge. Fortunately, this is highly curable. It’s never too late to learn something new that may make you more marketable when a new and better opportunity comes along. Are $$$’s in short supply? Is free better? The Internet has a treasure-trove of free seminars and webinars to help you build your education. Also, make use of your local library. Many carry new how-to DVD’s relative to improving your personal and professional skills (i.e. coaching yourself to success, dealing with management issues, and time management).

Decompression: Failing to “blow off steam” and letting frustrations build up can be dangerous not only to yourself but to others as well. Continuous physical exercise is a great tension reliever, obviously, but also don’t overlook fun activities such as softball, bowling, and dancing. Or, a leisure walk at a local park can go a long way towards depressurizing and maintaining a positive outlook.

Keep on Keepin’ On: Anything worth doing at all is worth doing well – even if it’s something you hate. Not only will this give you a sense of accomplishment and pride in yourself, it can also help you down the road should you need a reference.