Have You Heard of LinkedIn?

I talk about using LinkedIn to students and alumni almost every day.  Networking is a critically important part of any job search and LinkedIn helps you with it.

Why should you be on LinkedIn?  Glad you asked, there are several reasons:

  • You can connect to people across your career field and participate in relevant discussions about current issues in your field.
  • Recruiters use LinkedIn to source candidates.  A friend of mine, who is a recruiter, was contacted by someone about an interview for a new position when she wasn’t even looking.
  • You can follow companies, so you’ll see any positions they post and be able to identify people who may be connected to companies of interest.

How do you get started?

  • Start by creating an account at www.linkedin.com.  On the profile screen, there is a circle which shows your profile strength.  You want to get the circle as full as you can so people can find you.
  • Use the people search box in the upper right hand corner to look for anyone you know that you think could be on LinkedIn.  It doesn’t matter where they are geographically located or how you know them.
  • When you request to connect with people, customize the connection message so they remember who you are and how you know them.
  • Join groups including the Bellevue University Student, Alumni (if you’ve graduated) and Career Coaching groups.
  • Follow companies.
  • Do an advanced people search by clicking the word advance beside the people search box.  Check all four relationship boxes so you can search all of LinkedIn.  Put Bellevue University in the school box, just doing this today, April 1, 2015, I found 43,000+ people who are connected to Bellevue University.  Then, add your zip code and see how many are in your geographic area.
  • Now, that you’ve identified some fellow Bruins in your geographic area, start looking for people in your field or working at companies of interest.  Since they don’t know you, customize your connection message to something like “I see you attended Bellevue University.  I completed/am working on a degree in your field.  I’m looking to learn more about your field/company.”

Posted on April 1st, 2015 by

Dress for Career Fair Success

Career Fair 2011

As a Career Coach, I get numerous questions from students and alumni for advice on how to “catch” an employer’s attention at a career fair. One of the best pieces of advice I give them is to “dress the part.”  This advice comes from my personal observations at various career fairs. I have deliberately set aside time at these events to observe, unobtrusively, what happens in interactions between candidates and employers.

Here’s what I observed at just one event: A recruiter was visiting with a participant who was dressed very casually (jeans and tee-shirt). When another candidate stopped by who was dressed very professionally (suit and tie), the recruiter literally stopped her conversation with the casually dressed candidate and turned to the more professionally-dressed candidate. This really surprised me at first, but when looking at the situation, it told me a lot about what employers/recruiters are seeking. They don’t want to “waste their time” talking to people who aren’t serious job seekers. That’s their “take” on someone who isn’t dressed professionally.

We all know how important first impressions are—and for busy employers/recruiters, this is critical in determining who they will pursue, whether at a career fair or at any other interactions with potential candidates. So what does this mean to you as a job seeker? YOUR APPEARANCE AND DRESS are especially important, and you should dress as if going to an interview when attending a career fair.

But students tell me, “I’m just coming out of a class, and I don’t have time to go home and change.” My response—either dress for the event before class or bring your clothes with you and change in the restroom.

IT’S THAT IMPORTANT!

The Hidden Value of Career Fairs

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 Spring Career Fair 2015 will be held on Thursday, March 26, on our main campus in Bellevue, NE. Go to the link at the end of this article and scroll down to News & Events 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!

http://www.bellevue.edu/student-support/career-services/career-fair

 

Posted on March 17th, 2015 by

Career Fair Spring 2015

The 2015 Spring Career Fair will be held on Thursday, March 26, 2015 from 11:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. on the Main Campus in the Administrative Services Building, Garden Level. Over 60 employers will be on campus to speak to career fair participants about career opportunities in fields such as: health & human services, accounting, IT, and customer service.

Sponsors for the SprBU Career Fairing Career Fair are:

  • Gold Sponsors – BAT Logistics, Gallup, Sam’s Club
  • Sponsors – Aflac, Allstate Insurance, Concepts IT, Chipotle, Farmers Insurance, New York Life, Pacific Life, Shopko

The Career Fair is free and open to current students, alumni, faculty, staff and the general public. A list of registered employers can be found on the Career Fair Webpage.

Current students or alumni who need accommodations to attend the Career Fair may request accommodations by emailing careerservices@bellevue.edu  or by calling 402-557-7423.

 

Career Fairs –Getting The Employer’s Attention

As a Career Coach, I get numerous questions from students and alumni for advice on how to “catch” an employer’s attention at a career fair.  One of the best pieces of advice I give them is to “dress the part.”  This advice comes from my personal observations at various career fairs.  I have deliberately set aside time at these events to observe, unobtrusively, what happens in interactions between candidates and employers.

Here’s what I observed at just one event: A recruiter was visiting with a participant who was dressed very casually (jeans and tee-shirt).  When another candidate stopped by who was dressed very professionally (suit and tie), the recruiter literally stopped her conversation with the casually dressed candidate and turned to the more professionally-dressed candidate.  This really surprised me at first, but when looking at the situation, it told me a lot about what employers/recruiters are seeking.  They don’t want to “waste their time” talking to people who aren’t serious job seekers.   That’s their “take” on someone who isn’t dressed professionally.

We all know how important first impressions are—and for busy employers/recruiters, this is critical in determining who they will pursue, whether at a career fair or at any other interactions with potential candidates.  So what does this mean to you as a job seeker?  YOUR APPEARANCE AND DRESS are especially important, and you should dress as if going to an interview when attending a career fair.

But students tell me, “I’m just coming out of a class and I don’t have time to go home and change.”  My response—either dress for the event before class OR bring your clothes with you and change in the restroom.

IT’S THAT IMPORTANT!

Posted on March 3rd, 2015 by