Archive for the Employer Advice Category

The Party’s Not Over Yet! Here’s How to Stand Out AFTER the Job Fair.

Posted on October 21, 2014 with No Comments

Staff of City Year Corps Members

Vilma Rodrigues-Silva is the Recruitment Manager of the Northeast Region for City Year New Hampshire. She goes to lots of job fairs, so we asked her about the best ways for candidates to stand out after the event.

Is there an appropriate way to follow up with an employer after a Job Fair, even if I didn’t get a chance to meet you there?

YES! Following up with an email is fine if you missed us at a fair or could not make it. You do not need to be shy about letting a recruiter know that you are interested in a program (that is what we are here for!), and there is no need to explain in detail about why you didn’t make it to the fair. Following up with an email shows us that you are taking the initiative to learn more about our program, and that is a good thing.

What do you think about thank you notes after a Job Fair?

Personalized, hand-written notes are amazing! However, if I received these from even half of all of the students I met at job fairs, I would have hundreds of them coming in and I wouldn’t be able to keep up. I believe handwritten notes should be left to more personal interactions or after an interview. All other instances of meeting at fairs or presentations could be followed up with an email note, thanking the recruiter for their time and for coming to campus. What makes a good note is simply saying thank you and mentioning something specific that you learned or that the recruiter said that stuck with you.

Is it possible to follow up too much?

Yes, there is a “too much policy.”  It’s important to show recruiters that you are interested in their program, but keep in mind that there is an abundance of information on the websites and brochures. You don’t want to ask a recruiter something that could simply be found on the homepage of a website. However, if you need clarification on something you’ve read, want more information on something you found, or want a personal account of the recruiter’s experience, then feel free to call and email.

What else should candidates know?

I – and many recruiters – love talking to students at fairs! If you already know a little about a program and plan on visiting the fair, you should come prepared to ask questions to gain more knowledge. If you randomly end up at a table because it caught your attention, politely introduce yourself and ask to learn more! Don’t be afraid to inquire for more information, and to tell the recruiter a little about yourself. Show confidence!

Savvy Seniors: Want to Join the Team?

Posted on March 5, 2014 with No Comments

Blue Cross Blue Shield Staff on stairs preparing for race

How to Interview like a Pro: Tips from a Local Recruiter

For most people, an interview creates a lot of stress and anxiety—it is an intimidating way to make a great first impression. For most employers though, the goal of inviting an applicant in for an interview is to get to know them. It’s a meeting based around discovery. We want to know who you are and if you could successfully fit in with the culture of our organization, the position, and the department. We also want you to ask questions that can help you make a decision about whether our company is the right place for you.

Quick tips for standing out & having a successful interview:

  • Dress for the job you’re applying for. It’s okay to ask what the dress code is when you’re scheduling the interview.
  • Make eye contact, smile, and shake the interviewer’s hand.
  • Bring a few copies of your resume with you to the interview.
  • If you have a samples of something that relates to the position you’re applying for, have it on hand (i.e. for a graphic design position, bring some of your design work).
  • Don’t over-think things. Trying to perfect every sentence comes off as robotic.
  • Be natural and be yourself; it is okay to smile and laugh! We can sense when an applicant is putting on a façade.
  • Work experience and qualifications are important, but they’re not everything. We’re trying to find someone who “fits” in with the department and the company as a whole. Try to find something in common with the interviewer and make an emotional connection.
  • As the interview wraps up, ask what the next steps are. In most instances, recruiters are happy to let you know where they are in the hiring process and when you should expect to hear back.

~Myra Fundis, UVM ‘11
Human Resources Wellness Specialist with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Vermont

Want to learn more? Join us and special guest National Life for:
Savvy Seniors: Interview Like a Pro: Tuesday, March 18, 12-1pm at the Hub

Savvy Seniors: Be a Stand Out Applicant & Land the Job

Posted on February 5, 2014 with No Comments

PMG logo

The inside scoop from a local public relations firm

What is an employer looking for?

Here’s what you should know about applying for a position: we are looking for professionalism and creativity above all when sifting through the many resumes.  Please do not try to be cute or funny, stick to the basics and tell us what you could bring to our office.

What do employers notice in an applicant?

Do your research, look at our website, read our blogs: you will gain tremendous insight into who we are and what we do.  Then take that research and apply it to your cover letter.  I look for cover letters that demonstrate an understanding of the business in a clear, concise way.

The most common mistakes I see in cover letters include grammatical errors and misspellings.  Always have a trusted person edit it with you.  You might think it sounds fine, but it never hurts to have another set of eyes look over your work. (This practice continues even in the working world; all of our work goes through several rounds of revisions, no matter what our title may be.)

How and when should I follow up?

Don’t panic if we don’t respond to your email the first day.  We read every application and cover letter closely, but we also have our everyday jobs to tend to.  However, if it has been more than a week, it is fine to send a quick follow up note just reiterating your interest.  Tell us something different about yourself or your interest in our company, rather than just saying “Did you get my application?”  Be creative, professional and persistent.  The application process is a lot like pitching to the media, it might take two or three follow ups to finally get that big hit.

~Beth Parent, Account Supervisor
PMG

People Making Good (PMG) PR specializes exclusively in publicity and media relations.

Learn more at this great workshop with special guest Logic Supply:
Stand out in the Application Process Tuesday, February 18, 12-1pm at the Hub!


Savvy Seniors: Start “Relationship Building” Today!

Posted on November 7, 2013 with No Comments

Alyson Welch at Machu Pichu

Alumnae Alyson Welch shares her networking experience and advice

What role has networking played in your career exploration and job search?

Networking has played a huge role in my professional development.  Four years ago, I moved to Madrid, Spain and had no idea what I was going to do.  After a few months, I found a job and two internships through networking—through a friend of my mother-in-law, a college contact and a previous internship supervisor.

When we moved back to Vermont almost three years ago, I was concerned about finding a job. I started identifying companies of interest and looking for contacts at these companies.  In three months, I met with four people from Tetra Tech ARD, all referred to me through various contacts (a former UVM professor, a college friend of my husband’s and a friend of a friend that I met at a birthday party.)  When a position opened up at Tetra Tech ARD, I eagerly applied and used the knowledge I had acquired through networking to help write my cover letter and prepare for the interview.

Networking can be a bit intimidating.  What has helped you network effectively?

People are much more willing to share information and provide advice than to give you a job. If you are just looking for information, it’s easier to ask people to chat.

I’m kind of shy, so it’s a little intimidating to me to reach out to people that I don’t know. I’ve tried to challenge myself and send emails or call people, thinking that it’s always worth a shot.  I actually don’t like the word “networking” as it sounds sort of insincere.  I prefer to think of it as meeting people and building relationships that are mutually beneficial. Keeping this in mind makes networking – or relationship-building – more organic and, to me, rewarding.  People were very good to me during my job search and I’ve tried to do the same now that I have a job.

What advice might you give to a senior who isn’t sure how to begin their network?

Keep your request to meet short and simple. Be prepared and have a list of questions ready. Ask people to suggest other contacts. Remember to thank the person. Keep track of who you have met and follow up from time to time.  Try to keep your network alive.  Invite the people you have met to connect on LinkedIn

Also, use LinkedIn to identify UVM alums in your field and reach out to them. Check with professors, co-workers and family/friends to see if they might recommend professional contacts. Think about who is already in your network – maybe your aunt knows someone.  Never doubt the importance of any connection—even if someone is not in your field, you never know who they might know.

The most important thing to do is just start networking.  Once you start, you’ll gain momentum and it can even become fun.  Moreover, I am confident that networking is the best way to ultimately find a job – especially one that you’ll like.

Alyson Welch
Project Manager at Tetra Tech ARD

Want to learn more about networking? Join us for:
Seniors Lunch and Learn: Networking Made Easy!
Wed. Nov 13, 12 pm, the Hub

Savvy Seniors: Resume Writing- Some Things to Consider

Posted on October 3, 2013 with No Comments

KSV logo

Drafting a resume can be daunting, but if you’re not going to take the time to do it well, don’t bother at all. Competition is tough out there, so get it right.

Here are a few things to consider:

Limit the experience you include

Only include the most relevant work experience, the stuff that pertains to job your trying to get.  Each application you write should be tailored specifically to that position.

Make an impression with your verb selection

When describing work experience, choose verbs that pack a punch. Such phrases as “worked on,” or “contributed to,” won’t impress. Lead with something that allows your work to stand out like “ designed,” or “implemented.”

Typos are your worst enemy

Granted we all make mistakes, but no hiring manager is going to be impressed if your resume is ridden with spelling errors. It pins you as careless, even lazy. Take the time to check, double check and triple check your work.  And it never hurt to get a second pair of eyes to go over your stuff.

Formatting is imperative

Are your margins even? Bullets lined up? Have you included dates and headings in a consistent way? Is it easy to read and visually appealing? Be mindful of all these point. Your sloppiness will be noted.

Join us for the next Senior Workshop with special guest the HowardCenter to learn more about how to make your resume shine!

SENIORS LUNCH + LEARN: RESUMES 2.0

Thursday Oct. 10 12 – 1 PM, Career + Experience Hub

~Alexa Mucklow, Social Media Associate
Kelliher Samets Volk

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