Ohio University Office of Career Services

LinkedIn: Make the Most of Your Connections by Christy R

LinkedIn: Make the Most of Your Connections

If you are looking to connect with other professionals, job search, or learn more about companies you are interested in, LinkedIn is a great place for you to achieve all of these tasks, all while creating a professional presence for yourself in the social media world. LinkedIn is an online networking site that is a growing trend in the professional world.

LinkedIn serves as a means to connect professionals by focusing on your career and experiences. Given the fact that the majority of jobs available are made known to individuals through networking, LinkedIn can be a very strong tool for you to take advantage of. With LinkedIn you are able to make connections with others you have worked with in the past.  You never know how you may be connected to someone who has the right job opportunity for you. This professional social networking site provides you with an opportunity to highlight your experiences, receive recommendations from past employers, and connect you to professionals in your field.

In order to begin building your professional LinkedIn profile, here are some quick and simple ways to get started and help your profile stand out.

  • Craft an informative profile headline
  • Display an appropriate photo
  • Show off your education
  • Develop a professional summary statement
  • Fill your “specialties” section with keywords
  • Update your status weekly
  • Show your connectedness with LinkedIn group badges
  • Collect diverse recommendations
  • Claim your unique LinkedIn URL
  • Share your work

For more information on all the features of LinkedIn and tips for creating your profile visit the Career Services Handout Library. Here you will find resources on how to build your professional profile, tips for networking, as well as videos to help you get started. Career Services is also hosting a Get Connected with LinkedIn Workshop on November 8th in Baker 503 at 5:00 PM that will share all this information as well.

—Bethany Powell, Career Services Practicum Student

Prepare For Success: What you need to know in order to interact successfully with employers at the career fair by Christy R

You’re standing outside the door of the career fair ready to enter. You’ve printed your résumé, researched the employers, donned your business attire, and drawn up a list of what you need to accomplish in the next couple of hours. Now it is time to put your plan of action into effect. A few tips should help you interact professionally with the employers you’re about to meet.

1. Make a good first impression.
You will most likely have only a short while to speak with each recruiter, so you must make every minute count. The first impression you make will go a long way. In order to accomplish this, just
remember these four things:

  • Eye-contact. Show that you are confident and at ease.
  • Firm handshake. Don’t offer a limp hand, but don’t crush any bones either.
  • Relaxed smile. Be friendly, but avoid gushing with too much enthusiasm.
  • Elevator speech. (See previous post on how to prepare one.) Introduce yourself in a strong, clear, natural voice, at the same time being careful not to shout.

2. Ask questions.
This goes hand-in-hand with doing your research before going to the fair. Employers are impressed when you already have a basic understanding of the company and can ask intelligent questions.

3. Don’t treat the fair as a social event.
It can be easy to become too relaxed and start sharing aspects of your personal life that are not appropriate for this professional environment. Always keep in mind that you are being evaluated on your potential to perform in the workplace.

4. Get contact information.
Most recruiters will either give you their business card or have some out on a table. If you don’t see any, be sure to ask them for their specific title, name (spelled correctly!), and contact information, both phone and email.

5. Follow up.
The very last question you should ask each recruiter is “What is the next step?” Find out which method of follow-up the recruiter prefers, phone or email. Ask them when you can expect to hear from them again, or when they would like you to contact them. Is there anything else they need from you (work samples, portfolio, etc.)? Also be sure to thank the recruiter for their time before you leave.

6. Take Notes.
You can write down key information during the interview if you like, just don’t spend the entire meeting scribbling furiously. That’s why it might be a better idea to take a moment AFTER the meeting to jot down some notes about your conversation. These reminders will be helpful in the follow-up process.

7. Network.
Your most important job at the fair is to network with employers, but don’t forget to network with other job-seekers as well. This way you can share support, company information, and job leads with one another.

Prepare For Success: What you can do beforehand to make the most of your career fair experience by Christy R

Business men and womenWhen planning to attend a career or job fair, a little preparation is necessary to maximize your experience and give you the best results. You’re already taking the time to go to the fair, so you might as well go the full mile and make it worth your effort by following these simple steps.

1. Identify and Research the Prospective Employers.
Obtain the list of organizations attending the fair and identify the prospective employers that most interest you by clicking on the Fall Career & Internship Fair link on the homepage of Bobcat CareerLink. Keep an open mind when making this list. Don’t discount employers based on industry. You don’t necessarily need to be a business major to work for a large business company or a retail merchandising major to work for a department store. Instead, see what kinds of jobs each company has available, and what types of majors they are recruiting.

Once you’ve made your list of 5-10 employers you want to meet at the fair, do some research on each one of them. Visit their websites. Run internet searches. Be sure to familiarize yourselves with key products/services as well as the organizational structure, culture and values of the company.

2. Rehearse your elevator speech.
Prepare a 20-30 second introduction to use with employers. Have a clear focus on why you are here and what kind of job you are looking for. Tell them why you are interested in their company and how your specific skill set will benefit their company. (For examples of a concise elevator speech, see earlier post: Elevator Speech: A 30-second Interview).

3. Prepare résumés.
Have multiple copies of your résumé printed out and ready to go. It’s also helpful to have them organized neatly in a folder or portfolio. Show them that you can be an organized employee.

4. Choose proper career fair attire.
This is a must. For most career fairs professional attire is required, consisting of a clean-cut, well-fitting, conservative look, with darker colors such as navy, black, and slate. Dressing unprofessionally is one of the most common errors made by job candidates. If the outfit you’re considering is something you would wear to a party or a night on the town, it is most likely not appropriate professional attire. It is always safer to err on the side of dressing too conservatively. Also remember to give your shoes a little polish, and don’t overdo on jewelry or perfume/cologne.

Interview Etiquette: Tips to Successfully Navigate a Job Interview by Christy R

Employer interviewing job candidate

Among the rising tide of job-seekers, serious candidates are looking for the golden key that will set them apart from the crowd. As impressive as your résumé might be, often times it is the interview, the first instance of personal contact, that spells success or defeat for the prospective employee. First impressions stick. This is one of the clichés that unfortunately comes true, and with so much at stake, any responsible job candidate would do well to prepare thoroughly. Remember that interviews are about open, sincere communication that will present your skills to their fullest potential.

A quick internet search reveals dozens of mini-articles and tip lists on the topic of job interviews. Here are a few of the suggestions I found the most helpful:

1. Research the company. This should always be the first step. What does the company do? What will your position be? What skills will you bring to the company and why are you qualified? Practicing with a mock interview can help immensely. Make a list of common questions and prepare answers.

2. Dress neatly. Your personal appearance suggests what your work practices are like.

3. Bring multiple copies of your résumé. This should be obvious as it is one of the first things prospective employers will ask for. It’s also helpful to have a copy for yourself to refer to during the interview.

4. Be on time—meaning 5 to 10 minutes early. Tardiness sets a terrible precedent.

5. Watch your body language. Relax. Smile. Be as natural and confident as possible. Be sure to make direct eye contact with your interviewer and greet he or she with a firm handshake. Once seated, lean forward to convey interest and take care if you’re one of those people who likes to talk with your hands—wild gestures imply lack of control.

6. Answer questions directly. Clear communication is key. It’s OK to ask the interviewer to restate a question if you don’t understand it the first time around. It’s also perfectly fine to take a minute to formulate a clear answer. Your interviewer won’t appreciate it if you blurt out a jumble of disconnected thoughts just to fill the silence.

Paying attention to these details is the first step to a successful interview. This is your chance to showcase your value to the company, and a little interview savvy goes a long way.

Note: For information about the Mock Interview Day being hosted by OU Career Services on Monday, October 4, 2010, visit us at www.ohio.edu/careers

OU Career Week: September 27-October 5 by Christy R

As we’re gearing up for Career Week starting next Monday, September 27, 2010, here are a few things all Bobcats should know about what’s going on for the week and what great opportunities are available.

Several of the workshops are specifically geared toward getting you ready for our Fall Career Fair on Tuesday, October 5. “Career Fair or Bust” will teach you how to interact with employers. First impressions are always important, and this workshop will coach you into making a strong positive impression and recommend how to best prepare for the fair.

The interview is an all-important part of landing that job, but you don’t need to let your nerves destroy your ability to showcase your value to a potential employer. “Interviewing Essentials” will teach you how to prepare for an interview, answer common interview questions, dress professionally, and project an image of competence and confidence! This training will come in handy on Mock Interview Day when every student will have the chance to put their new knowledge to the test by participating in mock interviews with actual employers. This is a perfect opportunity to practice without the pressure of an actual job on the line.

Next to the interview, a well-written résumé is vital in the job hunt. Everyone has questions about what a well-written résumé should look like. How long is too long? How short is too short? Do I need to list every single thing that I’ve ever done? We’ve made it a little easier for you: Bring your résumé to our “Résumé Blitz”, to have it professionally critiqued. You’ll avoid common résumé mistakes and choose words that will set you apart from the crowd.

For those of you who are still undecided about which career path to choose, the StrengthsQuest workshop will be invaluable. You will learn how to assess your own unique strengths, and use them to guide your career decisions. Once you know what your specific strengths are, you’ll learn how to discuss those strengths to your advantage with employers.

We’ve showcased a few of our workshops here, but for a complete list, visit our website workshop page.

I hope to see you all starting Monday!

10 Ways to Be a Total Star at Work by erinnunn
July 21, 2010, 9:00 am
Filed under: From the Staff | Tags: , ,

This past spring, Career Services offered the program, “How to Lose Your Job in 10 Days,” as a part of Senior Week. While perusing through my July Glamour magazine, I thought the following was a great list of advice from the opposite spectrum. With a twist of glam.

  1. Start any pitch with “This is a great idea because…” not “This might be dumb, but…”
  2. Mistakes? Nah. Call them learning opportunities.
  3. Tears happen. Take ‘em to the restroom.
  4. Your friends love you! Realize that not everyone at work needs to.
  5. Always dress well enough for a surprise meeting with the boss.
  6. Do not babysit for, do shots with or touch the naked flesh of anyone you report to.
  7. Go on vacation. Nobody likes a bitter, exhausted workaholic.
  8. Unless you are a large-animal vet or a beer distributor, kindly untag that photo of you playing beer pong with a python.
  9. Be as kind to the janitor as you are to the CEO.
  10. Over prepare for nerve-racking situations. Then, if you forget half of what you know, you still know a lot!

Glamour, July 2010