“You with the sad eyes
Don’t be discouraged
Oh I realize
It’s hard to take courage
In a world full of people
You can lose sight of it all
And the darkness inside you
Can make you feel so small
But I see your true colors
I see your true colors
And that’s why I love you
So don’t be afraid to let them show
Your true colors
True colors are beautiful,
Like a rainbow”
These lyrics from the song True Colors by Cyndi Lauper talk about insecurities. Everyone has insecurities about different aspects of themselves. The song touches on the challenge we all face on a daily basis: how to overcome the insecurities and conquer the fears, and plan for the future.
Conquering fears can be a huge challenge. Fear can often immobile people and prevent them from pursuing their dreams or working to their potential. I wish I could say that I’ve completely conquered all of mine, but sadly I struggle more often than I’d like. But, when I read these words they help me to remember that I have a lot of strengths, have worked through a great many challenges, and can to do more than I sometimes think I can. A good friend of mine gave me a rock with word believe on it. This serves a reminder to me to believe in myself and not to worry.
So, I try to give my support to everyone I work with. I believe in all of you and feel that you will find a way to achieve happiness. You might have to take the scenic route and happiness doesn’t always look the way you thought it would. But, I still think you will find it in time.
During an interview, interviewers are listening to every answer looking for the right skills and personality for the position. Non-verbal behavior is just as important during an interview. Do you slouch when you sit or look at everything in the room besides the interviewer? Do your hands move in large gestures in front of your face? If so, these non-verbal behaviors could be sending the wrong message to employers.
Developing strategies to overcome these behaviors is critical. For instance, I love to talk with my hands; the more excited I get the bigger and wilder the gestures get. When I’m interviewing, I sit on my hands; thus, they are under control. If I want to emphasize a point, a might bring them out and use them conservatively; then, immediately put them back. So, identifying your non-verbal behaviors is extremely important. Mock interviews are an excellent way to do this. They are usually filmed so you can watch yourself interview! I’ve worked with many students in mock interviews; the information and insight they gain from the experience was invaluable. Bellevue University provides InterviewStream to all students and alumni. Through this web-based system, you can complete a mock interview from your house and then get feedback from the Career Services.
As a recruiter, it was very easy to get overwhelmed by the number of applications coming in and the resulting numbers of people to call. I had a variety of other duties including interviewing, reference checks and covering the front desk. I often thought, “How am I ever going to get this all done?”
Focusing on the size of the resume stack immobilized me. I felt extremely stressed and overwhelmed. I discovered by focusing on one resume at a time, I was able to get through the stack. I’ve used this strategy in many situations when I find myself feeling the same way.
The job search can often feel overwhelming. The many tasks of daily life as a student, full time employee, and/or parent may keep you busy without adding a job search. Finalizing a resume, completing online applications, writing cover letters, preparing for interviews and networking all take time. Trying to find ways to accomplish these along with your daily responsibilities can become overwhelming. I suggest the same strategy: focus on one task at a time, and you’ll find ways to get everything accomplished.
We’ve talked about networking numerous times in reference to finding a job or an internship. Networking is about building relationships and it goes way beyond finding a job or job leads. You should be networking throughout your career as a tool to accomplish goals. Look for opportunities to network within your organization to meet and get to know people you may not otherwise interact with on a regular basis. Use it as a way to learn how what you do impacts those other areas of the company. You could then collaborate in improving those processes.
Use networking as an opportunity to learn about what is going on in your career field or industry. What are other people reading? What kinds of projects are they working on to improve or build on their business? What kinds of organizations do they maintain membership in as a way to network themselves?
Don’t let your network connections gather dust in the corner just because you have found a job. As you can see, building and maintaining those relationships can help you grow your knowledge and skills as well as continue to develop your career. Those relationships will grow in importance to you and develop into friendships.
It’s that time of year again. Many colleges and universities are sponsoring career fairs over the next few weeks. In fact, Bellevue University’s Career Fair Fall 2015 will be held on Thursday, October 27, on our main campus in Bellevue, NE. Go to the link at the end of this article for all the details and a list of employers who have registered to date. And keep the following tips in mind as you prepare for these events:
You’ve attended numerous career fairs where recruiters consistently tell you that they don’t accept “paper” resumes, and you must apply online. So, you say, “why should I keep attending career fairs?” It seems like a waste of time—time that could be devoted to sitting at home in front of the computer, searching for and applying for advertised jobs.
My advice is to change your expectations. Look at career fairs as another very valuable networking opportunity—that’s the hidden value. Talk to those recruiters, using a good “elevator speech” and pick up business cards so you can contact them later. Recruiters tell me they are most impressed at career fairs by those who can articulate their career goals and the value they would bring to the organization—and will often follow-up with those who possess the skills and qualifications their organization is seeking. They will also pay more attention to you if you are dressed professionally.
If you have a good exchange with a recruiter, it’s important to contact them again after the career fair to re-introduce yourself and reinforce the value you would bring to the organization. Also, when applying online or via email, you can reference your contact with the recruiter at the career fair. That alone conveys that you are a more serious candidate—and can potentially lead to an interview!