“What are Hiring Managers Buying?” – Here’s What an Employer Really Wants

The Career Center has worked with hundreds of employers to help connect them with students to interview for job and internship openings. We’ve talked with many of them about what qualities they look for in the students they end up hiring. Here’s some of the advice that RedVentures, a South Carolina-based marketing agency, had to give:

  • Their recruiters will spend approximately six seconds looking at your resume. And they will spend most of those six seconds looking at your name, your education, and whatever position is listed first on your resume. Think about this – what is the most important or related experience you have for the job you’re applying to? That’s the one that needs to be positioned closest to the top of your document!
  • Social media can make or break you! RedVentures says that 93% of recruiters will look at your “digital footprint” at some point throughout their interview process. Make sure any questionable content on Facebook, Twitter, etc., is either removed or made completely private. However, not all social media should be deleted or hidden – don’t forget to take time to craft an amazing LinkedIn profile. Is LinkedIn really that big of a deal, you might ask? RedVentures answers: 89% of recruiters have hired someone through LinkedIn!
  • If you land an interview, RedVentures hires candidates who research their company thoroughly before the interview and who have thoughtful, prepared questions to ask. They also look for an email or a handwritten note thanking them for their time and referencing something you liked or learned in the interview. At the end of your note/email, remind them again why you’re the perfect person for the position.

So there you have it, straight from the source! If you think you might need help with your resume, your interviewing skills, your LinkedIn profile, or anything career-related, don’t hesitate to give the Career Center a call (478-445-5384) and set up an appointment with a career advisor. And if you dread talking on the phone, simply stop by (110 Lanier Hall) or send us an email (career.center@gcsu.edu)!

 

Why Every GC Student Should Prioritize Career Fairs

It’s that time of the year to start searching for careers or internships. Whether you are a freshman wanting inspiration for what kind of jobs are out there or a senior in need of a job or internship after graduation, a career fair can be very beneficial. A career fair is a place to network and meet potential employers as well as find jobs or internships for now or in the future. Here are some reasons why career fairs are a great strategy when exploring careers or looking for jobs and internships:

  1. Meet companies that are serious about hiring GC students for jobs and internships.

Employers that come to career fairs want to be there. They love GC students and pay to attend the event so they can find potential employees now or for the future. Hiring organizations come back year after year to Georgia College because they want to meet you. This is a big deal, so make sure that you are prepared before you go. Research what organizations are attending and know exactly what you’ll say when you approach an employer at the fair.

  1. Make a personal connection with a recruiter before and/or after applying for a job.

Instead of just applying for a job online and communicating with a potential employer virtually, meet them face-to-face. Connect with recruiters who want to meet GC students and tell them what you have to offer. They want to get to know you and understand why you would be a great asset to them.

  1. Expand your network of contacts and potential interview opportunities.

Did you know that 80% of jobs are not advertised online? In order to find these hidden opportunities, you will need to have professional contacts and continually connect with people. This is true when it comes to a career fair as you will be meeting recruiters who will be helpful to you during your job or internship search. A career fair is great way to network and meet many employers who are at the same time looking to hire a GC student. You want to impress the employers that attend, especially because the same ones often come back every year. The more an employer sees you at a career fair and gets to know you, the more likely they will want to hire you because of your interest in their organization.

  1. If you’re a freshman or sophomore, career fairs are a great place to learn about potential career opportunities.

Many underclassman are turned off to career fairs. They think “it’s not for me” or “I’m not old enough”. But that’s not true. A career fair can be for GC students of all ages and majors. It’s great to start exploring possible career and internship options early. This means that if you attend career fairs early in your college career, you have an opportunity to get ahead of competition. You can connect and build stronger networking relationships with recruiters, perfect your ability to navigate a career fair, and discover possible employment choices that might await you in the future.

The Career Center hosts 10+ career fairs every year. Georgia College’s largest campus career fair for the year, the Spring Career & Internship Expo, is coming up on March 8th. The Spring Career & Internship Expo will be held from 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. in Magnolia Ballroom. Open to GC students and alumni, 50+ employers will be in attendance recruiting for full-time and part-time jobs, internships, and summer opportunities. In addition, students and alumni can pre-register to schedule campus interviews with recruiters occurring later that afternoon in Magnolia Ballroom. Job candidates should have a professional resume that has been reviewed by a career advisor. Career fair participants should also be dressed in professional business attire.  Don’t forget to take advantage of the SGA-hosted photo booth to get your free head shot!

Career fair participants can research attending employers with the campus job and internship search tool, Career Connection, at www.gcsu.edu/career.

Networking: What It Is & How It Can Help You Achieve your Goals

 

What exactly is networking, and what can it do for you?

When you think of a networking event, you probably think of the words “nerve-wracking” and “scary.” No worries! We are here to tell you all about networking so it can feel less overwhelming. Networking is simply getting to know people in your desired field or company that you would like to work for some day. By making connections with these people, it allows you to become familiar with the field and company that you might become a part of in the future. Networking can take place anywhere. Sometimes there will be formal networking events that you can attend. Participating in these events shows employers that you are engaged, interested, and ready for your future. However, networking can also happen outside of these formal events as well. For example, you can reach out to individuals on LinkedIn who work in an industry you might want to know more about. Or, maybe you start a conversation with a family friend who works for a company that intrigues you. One of the biggest benefits to networking is that you increase your visibility as a new professional and that you also practice speaking with a lot of different people. These conversations will help you be more prepared for those future office visits or interviews.

So, what do you say when you’re networking? A Student’s Perspective

As a junior accounting major, I have tried to go to as many accounting networking events here on campus as I could. This is what allowed me to really find out a lot of information about the firms that were recruiting here at Georgia College. Other accounting majors I have spoken to say those events have helped them get interviews and office visits with firms that they are interested in. Overall, they can lead to some great opportunities – and potentially to a future career that you are very passionate about. But, what do you say to these people once you meet them?  Here are some good go-to questions:

  • What do you enjoy most about the company that you work for?
  • How did you get started with this company?
  • What is your daily schedule like?
  • What would make someone the ideal employee for your company?
  • What made you pick this company over other companies that you were looking at?

Final Tips

Now for some tips when it comes to the day of the networking event! First of all, there is typically a certain dress code for the event. It depends on the company and the venue, but do not be afraid to ask! Email the recruiter that set up the event or head to the Career Center for some useful tips. Next, when you are at the event, mingle with as many people as you can. Finally, try to get business cards from the people you talk to so you can follow up with a simple thank you for their time at the event. These are also great people to consider adding to your LinkedIn network.

Next Steps

Now that we have explained what networking exactly is, it is time for you to determine your next steps! To find some networking events, look out for advertisements from your department or from a company you are interested in pursuing. If you are still nervous about networking, please come to the Career Center in Lanier 110 to receive some more advice on what to do and not do at networking events!

Three Easy Steps to Prioritizing your Career in the New Year

So here we are, new semester, new year, new you! Right? What are some of your New Year’s resolutions? Maybe you’ve upped your gym game, maybe you’ve made a pact with yourself to be in bed before 11 on school nights, or maybe you’ve decided to give your mom a call more often. These are all great resolutions, but I have a suggestion for another: why not start prioritizing your career? For those of you who are freshmen or sophomores, don’t stop reading now! This post is not just for seniors. There are all kinds of ways you can start preparing yourself for your next steps after graduation, and the time to start is now. Here are just a few easy steps you can take to get started:

  1. Register on Career Connection! For those of you who don’t know, Career Connection is a job and internship database specifically for Georgia College students. What does this mean? These employers are posting jobs to our site and they want YOU! Once you register, you can upload your resume to the database for employers to view. You’ll also be able to apply to jobs and internships that are posted using your uploaded resume.
  1. Get involved! What kinds of student organizations can you join? Community service? Undergraduate research? Leadership opportunities? Figure out when that club you heard about meets, and go to a meeting! Looking good for employers doesn’t just mean doing well in the classroom – in fact, many employers value experiences that show skills like leadership just as much on a resume – if not more – than a good GPA.
  2. Visit the Career Center. We have a ton of resources that you can pick up to help you create or update a resume/cover letter, provide information about job and internship search strategies, or help you start research on graduate school programs. If you would like to have a one-on-one conversation about any of these things, you can schedule an appointment with a career advisor.

This is certainly not an exhaustive list – there are plenty of other ways to begin thinking about your career – but we know thinking about the capital-F Future can get a bit overwhelming. We hope that these three steps feel manageable enough, and will likely start to open doors for you that make the “Future” a bit easier to tackle.

We hope you’ve all had a fantastic start to this semester, and we hope to see you around on campus or in the Career Center!

 

Stepping Out of Your Comfort Zone – Studying Abroad & Career Development

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Perhaps one of the biggest challenges and opportunities a Georgia College student can take is studying abroad. For most, this is their first time leaving the United States and spending significant time away from friends and family. For me, I studied in Austria and Germany for 8 months, almost the whole academic year! It opened me to a whole new global perspective and I experienced significant personal growth being confronted with situations that are often not faced by the average American. There were points of anxiety, frustration, and nervousness to obstacles I faced, but ultimately it made me into a better person. The friends and relationships I had while in Europe were perhaps most significant, with many of these individuals guiding me through several situations that I did not know how to personally handle.

The biggest benefit of studying abroad for your professional development is the international experience of engaging with those from other cultures and nationalities. In a rapidly globalizing world, it’s critical to be able to connect with those through interpersonal skills and communication. There were many times that I was confronted with no ability to speak native language (be it Polish, Italian, or Swedish), being forced to communicate via body language and hand gestures. Although it’s sometimes nerve-racking to not be in an English speaking country, this ultimately makes you appreciate your homeland and differences we share per country.

In the end, the decision to study abroad, be it for two weeks or a full year, is a momentous decision that has a lifelong effect. Regardless if you go to Canada or the far reaches of Tibet, it is a tremendous experience. I am so grateful to have been given the opportunity to be an exchange student in Austria and Germany from Georgia College, my family, and generous support of several scholarship donors!

Alexander Cline – Georgia College Career Peer Advisor

LinkedIn Profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/alexander-cline-13b594b4

 

 

 

What is LinkedIn & Why You Should Use It

Have you ever wondered what LinkedIn is and how it can help you in college and in your future career? Well, you have come to the right place! First of all, LinkedIn is a networking tool used by students and professionals alike. There are several uses of LinkedIn that you can use to your benefit as you begin your transition from college to your first job out in the real world.

Here is why you should use it:

It could potentially be an expanded version of your resume.

            Sometimes students and professionals have so much experience that it won’t all fit on their one page resume, so this is where LinkedIn comes in. On your profile, you can put all your experience and skills on there where there is no limit. You can even add more to the entries you already have on your resume to explain them even further in detail.

You have the ability to connect and network with classmates, alumni, and companies.

            This is one of the most used features of LinkedIn. You can connect with people all over the world, or right down to your classmates in your business class. You never know which one of your connections could help you get that dream job you always wanted, or help you connect with someone that you would like to do an informational interview with. Plus, it is a great way for your classmates and colleagues to keep up with what you are accomplishing while in college or in your career.

You can search for jobs anywhere!

            Everyone wants a job after college, right? Their job search tool is a great place to start if you do not know where to begin. You can specify your desired geographical area , and what industry you prefer. You can also search by experience level, which includes internships and entry-level positions. You might even find a job that you never thought existed, and that you would be great at! Finding the right job does take some time, so don’t become discouraged if you do not find the right one for you the first day of your search.

LinkedIn can help you create a professional brand.

            One of the most important things college students should begin to think about is their professional brand. You want a professional brand that reflects you and all your accomplishments thus far. You can further tailor your brand to what you want your future to be like as well. Having a professional brand helps you become competitive among your classmates and colleagues so you can get that job you have always wanted.

 

Want to learn even more about LinkedIn? Come to one of the Career Center’s LinkedIn Meet-Ups, or schedule an appointment with one of our professionals to get your LinkedIn profile reviewed!

Three Common Career Fair Mistakes (And How to Avoid Them!)

Fall recruitment season is upon us! Whether you’re a freshman seeking career inspiration or a senior pondering a post-graduation internship, a career fair is a valuable tool in your job search. However, those of you who are career fair newbies might be stressing about how to prepare. What do I say to employers? Who do I talk to? What do I wear?! Luckily, we’re here to help! Avoid the following career fair mistakes, and you’ll be golden! Try putting these tips into practice at the Fall Career & Internship Expo on Oct. 5.

1. Not dressing professionally
You’ve probably heard that you only have seven seconds to make a good first impression. This is especially important to keep in mind at a career fair, where you may only have a few minutes to impress an employer. That being said, you need to dress appropriately for the event! This isn’t the time to look like you’ve just rolled out of bed. A good rule of thumb for career fair attire is business casual. This means dress shirts, blouses, dresses, slacks, skirts, low heels, and dress shoes. Ties and blazers are optional but also appropriate. While you want to look professional, you also want to be comfortable. You’ll be on your feet for a while, and the last thing you want is to develop a blister or feel uncomfortable. Don’t wear five-inch heels or a tuxedo.

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2. Lack of preparation
It’s a great idea to ask questions to show your interest and learn more about an employer. However, you don’t want to ask for information you could have easily found on a company’s website. Before attending a career fair, make sure to research all attending employers and prioritize the ones that interest you. Find out basic information about a company to give you a solid understanding of its work and culture. Once you’re informed, you can come up with a few open-ended questions to ask employers at the career fair. Also, you need to practice how you’ll introduce yourself to employers. This way, you’ll be able to answer the “tell me about yourself” question.

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3. Forgetting to follow-up
While you were at the career fair, we’re sure you acquired a lot of business cards (hint, hint). Don’t let them sit around and collect dust! Within a day or two of the career fair, make sure to send a follow-up email to recruiters. Make sure your follow-up is professional and cordial, and attach your resume, even if you gave it to the recruiter at the event. Remind the recruiter of your qualifications and why you’d like to work for the company. Also, mention something specific from your conversation to add a personal touch.

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By avoiding these mistakes, you’ve conquered the career fair! You’ll feel much more confident when attending your next networking or Career Center event.

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