Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Of Careers and Clouds

For those who live online, here's a new approach to job searching: Career Cloud. I was rummaging through my assorted online resources, and stumbled on one of their four tools: the "Hidden Jobs" listings.

Hidden Jobs can point you in the right direction. I've suggested that instead of "applying for jobs" when they are advertised, you research companies, hang out on their websites, and watch for jobs in your niche to pop up. You may end up with a small-ish list of high-profile companies. 

Hidden Jobs announces the possibility of jobs before they are actually listed, by examining business headlines--when a company states it will be expanding its operations, you can bet that company will be hiring new people. It is, of course, up to you to follow through by googling the company and making the contact. 

Another interesting pair of social tools that work with your existing online accounts: Jobs with Friends, and Social Resumes. The first, Jobs with Friends, x-rays your LinkedIn and Facebook contacts by looking at where everyone works--allowing your to ask for a referral, information about a company, or other useful leads. 

The second, Social Resume, pulls information from LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and a handful of other platforms (Instagram, YouTube, Tumbler, etc.). The result is mashup of who you are and what's been on your mind (in your feeds) recently. The idea is to assemble all your stuff in one place... Which can work against you if (like the sample Social Resume I happened to click on) your comments run to snarky whining and obscenity over the current state of your job hunt.

Finally, there's a career podcast which has a couple of entries each month on useful topics.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Job Fair Buffalo January 2015

Huge job fair! Jobsapalooza 2015
  • When: Weds., 1/14/15, 1 to 4 p.m.
  • Where: Buffalo-Niagara Marriott, at 1340 Millersport Highway, Amherst 14221
  • Who's hosting: The WNY Assn. of College Career Centers
  • Why go: Jobsapalooza is Western New York's most versatile career event. Open to students and alumni from WNY colleges, Jobsapalooza 2015 features a record number of employers seeking to fill part-time, internship, and full-time positions before the summer. 
  • Who will be there:

  1. AFLAC
  2. Altitude Marketing
  3. Aspire of Western New York
  4. ATTO Technology, Inc.
  5. Aurubis Buffalo, Inc.
  6. AXA Advisors, LLC
  7. Bankers Life **Silver Sponsor**
  8. Camping World of Buffalo **Silver Sponsor**
  9. Cantalician Center
  10. Child & Family Services
  11. Computer SOS, Inc.
  12. ConServe **Silver Sponsor**
  13. Curbell, Inc.
  14. Delta Sonic Car Wash Systems, Inc.
  15. DiVal Safety Equipment **Silver Sponsor**
  16. Enterprise Holdings
  17. Evans Bank
  18. Family Video/Marcos Pizza
  19. Fetch Logistics
  20. First Investors Corporation
  21. GEICO  ***Gold Sponsor***
  22. Hazmat Environmental Group
  23. Heritage Centers
  24. Heritage Christian Services
  25. Hillside Family of Agencies
  26. HireEmpire
  27. Hunt Real Estate **Silver Sponsor**
  28. IIMAK
  29. Ingram Micro
  30. Joe Basil Chevrolet, Inc. **Silver Sponsor**
  31. Just for Kids Before and After School Programs
  32. Kenworth Northeast Group, Inc.
  33. Lactalis American Group (formerly Sorrento Cheese)
  34. Lake Shore Behavioral Health
  35. Liazon Corp.
  36. M&T Bank
  37. Manage Your Business **Silver Sponsor**
  38. MassMutual Buffalo
  39. McGard/LD McCauley
  40. McKesson
  41. Media Sales Plus, Inc.  ***Gold Sponsor***
  42. Med-Scribe, Inc.
  43. Mettler-Toledo Hi-Speed
  44. Milton CAT (Caterpillar)
  45. Mod-Pac
  46. Mutual of Omaha Financial Advisors
  47. Navient Solutions
  48. Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority
  49. Northwestern Mutual
  50. People, Inc.
  51. Prudential Financial
  52. Randolph Academy UFSD
  53. Roswell Park Cancer Institute
  54. Ryder Transportation
  55. Saint Gobain ADFORS
  56. Sodexo
  57. Southeast Works
  58. Southtowns YMCA
  59. Strippit, Inc.
  60. Summit Educational Resources
  61. Teach for America
  62. The Scott's Miracle Gro Company
  63. Thermo Fisher Scientific
  64. Thrivent Financial
  65. Total Tan & European Wax Center
  66. TripleTrack HR Partners
  67. United Auto Credit  **Silver Sponsor**
  68. Univera Healthcare
  69. US Army
  70. US Energy Development Corporation  ***Gold Sponsor***
  71. Verizon Wireless
  72. Walden Galleria
  73. Windham Professionals
  74. WNY Muslims
  75. ***Gold Sponsor***
  76. YMCA Camp Weona

Monday, December 15, 2014

Your Most Important Networking Resource

You can find quotes about what percent of jobs are located by networking. Numbers vary... but they are always well above 50%. (Like, 75% or 80%.) So if you're churning away at online job-boards--why are your spending so much of your precious time on something with a far less frequent payout than networking?

Remember: one of the most valuable networking resources is one you've paid for with your tuition money: your Career Services center! Here is where you can find

  • On-campus recruiting and career fairs
  • Employer networking events
  • Information about internships, speakers on campus, and other goodies
  • College networks through LinkedIn, with prospective employers, industry groups and alumni
  • Coaching and preparation for networking events tailored to your strengths and goals
Make one of your New Year's Resolutions (one you don't break!) to become a frequent visitor at NU's Career Services center. Start by dropping into their office the first day back from winter break.

Thanks and a tip of the Twitter hat to @blogging4jobs!

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Applicant Tracking Systems: Confused?

Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) are either increasing in widespread application, or withering on the vine. Job applicants must either tailor their resumes to these robots with standardized language and formatting, or they must prepare unique, graphic-heavy, stand-out resumes to get noticed.

Confused? Me too! 

If you apply for a job online (one of many strategies--should not be your only one!), be aware that your material may be scanned by a software package purchased by your target employer. Why? So that some poor schmo in HR doesn't have to spend days on end manually sifting through hundreds of pieces of paper to short-list job applicants... just for one position.

What does that mean for you? That even if you are the objectively perfect candidate for a job, your materials may well get tossed in the trash because you did not format or phrase stuff the exact way the computer wanted to hear it said.

Maybe this means that in addition to having one resume tailored for each job, you might want to have a second version tailored for the computer (if your first is tailored for human eyes).
  • An overview of perils and pitfalls of ATS: (Thanks @SuttonJobsPlus)
  • A step-by-step list of ways to optimize for ATS: (Thanks @JCPForthValley)
  • A cluster of articles which will help you refine your strategy: (Thanks @careersherpa!)

Friday, December 12, 2014

Win a trip with Nicholas Kristof!

Love reading my NY Times Sunday paper... it spends the week in a place of honor in my living room (until the next Sunday, when I have to do a clean sweep because a new issue has arrived). This week, "Gifts that Inspire," by Nicholas Kristof, has the annual list of good charities that do a whole lot of good with lots of bang for the buck:

Also, at the end of the article, this notice:

It’s also time to announce my next annual win-a-trip contest, in which I take a university student with me on a reporting trip to the developing world. The winner will write posts for my blog on the New York Times website. I’ve been holding the win-a-trip contest since 2006, and one former winner, Mitch Smith, is now a Times reporter.

One possible destination for our 2015 trip is Congo; another is India and Nepal. Information about the contest and how to apply is at my blog, As before, the Center for Global Development in Washington will screen applications and pick finalists. I’m looking for a smart undergraduate or graduate student with great storytelling skills who wants to help shine a light on neglected issues and doesn’t mind bedbugs or warlords. Please pass the word if you know just the candidate.

Talk about service learning!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Act like a Grownup

The article I've linked to today has some simple but profoundly effective ways to make people take you more seriously.

You need to look like a confident grownup when you're applying for your first job out of college. If you're like most of us, there are moments when you don't really feel the part. If you don't feel the part, you don't look it--and people treat you as unserious, which makes you even less confident. It can become a spiral headed down.

These aren't "tricks" in the sense that they are fraudulent. Rather, they suggest details to be aware of as you network and interact. For example, if you use "upspeak," a rising intonation at the end of each statement, you'll sound tentative. If you make your physical presence small, rather than taking up lots of space, you'll appear insignificant and timid.

Project an image of confidence!

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

LinkedIn Titles: Should They Be Snappy?

  • Administrative Assistant is the new title for Secretary.
  • Sales Associate is the new title for Clerk.
  • Assistant Executive Vice President of Canine Scatological Resource Distribution is the new title for Pooper Scooper.

Lots of companies are rewarding their employees with titles, rather than money. Along with title inflation for everyone, this trend means your official job description may be an inflated mouthful. If you put that title on a resume or on LinkedIn, you risk confusing your readership (people with the power to hire you). If you don't put that title on a resume or LinkedIn, you're lying.

There may eventually evolve a better way. But for now, unless you're writing a resume you expect to be scanned by an ATS (computerized applicant tracking system--which may be looking for keywords), take some liberties.

Don't go overboard--the first two of these links take a rather scornful view of titles like Retail Jedi and Accounting Ninja. (They're worth a good laugh, and maybe some inspiration, though.) The final link, from LinkedIn's own blog, has some more serious advice for how to approach your titles and headlines creatively.