Things To Take Care Of Before You Apply: A To-Do List

30 Rock... full of words of wisdom source: digitalfireflymarketing.com

30 Rock… full of words of wisdom
source: digitalfireflymarketing.com

This article was written by Lindsey Sampson, a 3rd year international affairs student at NU as a regular student contributor for The Works.

Think of a few things that are the worst: missing your train by ten seconds, room-temperature milk, and wearing socks to bed. You know what’s probably worse than that? Missing out on a job even though you are the perfect candidate. Get your business in order, even before you start applying, to avoid those speed bumps that could cost you your dream job.

1. Check yourself out on social media. Google yourself – don’t be shy. Employers are more likely than ever to look you up on Google, Twitter, Facebook, and anywhere else they can find information. It’s your job before application time to spruce up your social media channels and take care of anything that might show you in an unfavorable light. Drunk pictures? That’s not cute.

2. Set up a voicemail message. Remember when ringback tones were awesome? That time has passed. Let go of your I’m-clearly-a-high-school-senior Pitbull ringback tone and record a short, clear voicemail message. Make sure to state your name clearly, and it’s probably best to listen to it a time or two to make sure no one can hear the oven timer going off in the background. A great voicemail message makes you seem more like a human and less like a robot, so get that done.

3. Set up an email signature. Because you’re that kind of official. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy or pretentious – just your name, school name, and maybe cell phone number at the bottom to make it as easy as possible for potential employers to contact you.

4. Start brainstorming interview “moments.” It’s important to be prepared for an interview at any time – an employer might call you the day after you submit an application and schedule an interview with you the next day, and cramming for an interview is a less-than-ideal situation for the nerves. In an interview, it’s important to have “moments,” or quick stories about situations you have encountered or projects you have been involved in that will solidify your position as a qualified candidate. If the position is customer-service oriented, think of a time you exhibited stellar customer service skills and try to incorporate it into your interview if possible. It will give your interview substance and make you a more interesting and memorable candidate.

5. Do your research. It’s obvious when a candidate has done his or her research when the time comes for an interview. Instead of awkwardly fumbling around the company website, check out a few other sources. The company profile on LinkedIn will give you a list of similar companies in the industry (aka. competitors you should know about). The company Twitter will give you a sense of the office culture while providing access to industry-related articles you should probably read. It’s important to be well-read because

You are a capable and qualified candidate who deserves to be gainfully employed (repeat that to yourself a few times in front of the mirror before you head to an interview). You did the legwork, got the relevant experience, and wrote a crazy cover letter. Now it’s time to get your business in order and avoid the stumbling blocks on your way to the interview.

Lindsey Sampson is a middler International Affairs major with minors in Social Entrepreneurship and Writing. She enjoys writing about Millennials in the workplace and social media as a marketing tool. Follow her blog here.

Last Call: Senior Career Conference Today!

SCC_logoThinking back to my last semester of my senior year of college, I was actively avoiding what graduation meant for me and kept myself blissfully unaware of what I should be doing/needed to do to prepare for life after graduation.  I didn’t graduate THAT long ago (to give you a time frame, Facebook had been invented by the time I got to college) so I can relate to what many graduating students are feeling. One of my biggest regrets was not taking advantage of the people at my university who had tried to prepare me for the future, and not taking advantage of the opportunities to help me figure out what I wanted to do.  If I had done so, I believe my transition from student to new professional would have been a lot easier than it was. I eventually made it, and I was fine, but I could have saved myself a lot of turmoil if I had started earlier rather than later.

The Senior Career Conference, today in Stearns from 12-6PM is here to do JUST that—give you everything you need to prepare yourself for the job search and beyond. The workshops range from Salary Negotiation to Managing Stress on the Job Search and you get to meet with a lot of cool employers at the event—Liberty Mutual, TJX, Philips, Procter & Gamble and City Year are just a few of the employers who will be there to critique resumes, serve on panels, and co-teach workshops with our Career Development Staff.  An added incentive for dropping by is that we have some really cool prizes. Microsoft and TJX have donated special prizes that you can win by submitting your resume, and other prizes will be given to the first 100 students just for showing up.  There is no registration required and everyone is welcome, so stop by to attend a workshop, get your LinkedIn picture taken, or to get your resume critiqued—anything you do at the conference will help you on your way to becoming a new professional and being prepared to the transition.

 

Ashley LoBue is a Career Advisor at Northeastern Career Development. A Boston College graduate, Ashley has over 3 years of experience working in higher education and is a proponent for international and experiential education.

 

Where Should I Put My Snow Boots? and Other Questions to Ask Before an Interview

When I was searching for my first job after college, I was psyched to be called for an

Image from www4.images.coolspotters.com

interview for one of the jobs I was most interested in. Come the day of the interview, it was December in Massachusetts and there was tons of snow on the ground already. I had to wear snow boots to the office and change into my shoes when I got there, but it also meant that I had to carry the boots with me. Can you say “awkward”? Turns out, that wasn’t the most awkward moment of the day.

Based on my limited interview experience, I assumed the interview would last about an hour. Wrong. It was scheduled for FOUR hours, meeting multiple people in sequential meetings. First, I was meeting one of the research investigators. Then, I met with one of the senior research investigators. Next up were two of the research assistants, to tell me more about the day-to-day aspects of my (hopefully) job. The last interview was with one of the programmers that worked with the group.

I panicked. Not only did I have somewhere else to be and have to let people know I wouldn’t be there (back in the day before everyone had cell phones, meaning I had to borrow a company phone to call), but mentally I was thrown off. I was rattled by having to rearrange my schedule and even more intimidated by the idea of meeting so many people and for such a lengthy period of time.

Image from fanathepurp.co.za

I tried to pull myself together but was feeling “off” the entire time I was there. I must have held it together pretty well though, because I did actually get the job. In addition, I learned a very useful lesson for scheduling future interviews: Ask questions! Know what you are getting yourself into. Some things you should know before you show up (and yes, it is totally ok that you ask these things):

  • Where will the interview be held?
  • Who/how many people will you be meeting with?
  • How long should you plan on being there? (After all, you may have a class later.)
  • What is the format of the interview? Some possible formats include panel or group interviews, candidate presentations, case studies or behavioral interviews.

Knowing these kinds of things in advance will help you better prepare for the interview and make sure you’re at the top of your game when you get there.

For more heplful information on interviewing, take a look at the interviewing section on our website http://www.northeastern.edu/careers/jobs-internships/interviewing/.

Tina Mello is Associate Director of University Career Services, and has worked at Northeastern for 11 years. Nicknamed the “information guru” by other members of the staff, she loves to research and read about various job/career/education topics. For more career advice, follow her on twitter @CareerCoachTina.

How to land the job of your dreams– or at least be considered

PingLogo

This guest post was written by Caroline DeBauche, a People Operations Partner at Ping Identity Corporation.

Recognized by Forbes Magazine in 2013 as one of America’s Most Promising Companies, Ping is on the hiring fast track. The talent acquisition team at Ping reviews thousands of applications and interviews hundreds of candidates for only a few positions. So how can you stand out to successful companies who are looking for the best of the best?

1. Create a great resume.  

  • Use spell check! This may seem obvious but you’d be surprised at how many people have misspelled words on their resume.
  • Have at least one other person review your resume. Ask for his/her initial reaction and make improvements.
  • Put relevant information first- it’s okay if that’s your education. Your major is more important to recruiters than your babysitting or lawn care job.
  • Choose your words wisely. Use powerful action verbs to get to the point as recruiters usually only spend seconds reviewing a resume.

2. Be prepared for the phone interview. When you get called for an interview, make sure to get all the details.

  • Ask who you will be interviewing with, request their jobs and titles, and determine who will be making the hiring decision.
  • Research, research, research! Start with the company website but don’t end there. Search for recent news, LinkedIn, Glassdoor.com. During your research, write down specific questions about what you found. This will show you did your homework and will set you apart!

3. Nail the onsite interview.

  • Show up 5 minutes early, but no earlier! If you arrive earlier, you put pressure on the interviewer to move up their schedule.
  • Write down the names and titles of everyone you interview with.
  • Focus on what you can do for the organization, not what they can do for you.
  • When answering questions, use specific examples from previous jobs or group class projects.
  • If you don’t know the answer or something or don’t have the experience, be honest. Then let them know you’d be eager to learn.
  • Ask great questions (see below for two examples).

TWO MAGIC QUESTIONS

  1. What can I do in the first 60 days of my employment with your company that would make the biggest impact to the team?
  2. What concerns do you have about my background, that you think would prevent me for doing this job?

Remember to be prepared, be persistent and be passionate! 

Over 900 companies, including 45 of the Fortune 100, rely on Ping Identity’s award-winning products to make the digital world a better experience for hundreds of millions of people. Ping’s own Gary Derkacz will share his personal experiences crafting solutions that millions of people use each day.

Come learn how Ping Identity protects identity, defends privacy and secures the Internet and provides custom solutions for WalMart, Bank of America, BMW and hundreds of other big-name customers. Register for the NU Tech Talk Tue. 11/19 6:00PM-7:00PM by clicking HERE and/or tweet Ping Identity at @PingIdentity.