Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Be a Ghost, and Other Writing Jobs


Here's a way to broaden your horizons: writing jobs you might not have thought about. Visit the website linked above to find out more about these careers:

  • Video game writer
  • Copywriter
  • Business writer
  • Speechwriter
  • Technical writer
  • Freelance niche writer
  • Ghostwriter (has nothing to do with seances!)
  • Grant writer

Each category has a brief description, and some include links to professional organizations and other resources.

Thanks and a tip o' the Twitter hat to @Career Addict!

Monday, March 16, 2015

Job Fair March Madness!

Our colleagues at Fredonia and Buff State are bragging that they had over 300 students attend their job fairs and we will not tolerate that. Let's make this the biggest job fair turnout ever!

Start with Job Fair Boot Camp
  • Thursday, March 19
  • 4:00 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.
  • Multipurpose room, Lower Level, Gallagher

Free food--real food, not just pizza and wings
Networking reception with employers and recent alumni

The main event is Career Expo 2015
  • Wednesday, March 25
  • 1:00 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.
  • Upper level, Gallagher Center (we outgrew the Castellani!)

Full-time jobs, part-time jobs, summer jobs, internships
Something for everyone, and not only in Buffalo
First 200 attendees get a free tee-shirt or a free Tim Horton's coffee card

More details at http://goo.gl/tezGLK

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Is your Interviewer Stupid?


Sometimes, interviewers don't know how to interview. I mean, there is no formal training or certification required to interview candidates, and some people sitting on the other side of the desk may be clueless.

If you get a dud, you might want to consider whether this is an organization you really want to work for. If the interviewer doesn't know how to do his or her job (which after all, is your opportunity to get a first impression of the people you would be working for) perhaps you might consider looking elsewhere. If your interviewer is clueless, what is your boss likely to be?

Another approach, however, is to try to figure out what's behind the question... even ask the interviewer! 

And remember, some interview questions are flat-out illegal. Here's a list of the kinds of things prospective employers may not ask you--as well as information on legal questions (suggesting what they are actually entitled to know, and how you might respond): http://www.gsworkplace.lbl.gov/DocumentArchive/BrownBagLunches/IllegalorInappropriateInterviewQuestions.pdf

Thanks and a tip o' the Twitter hat @KennedyExec!

Friday, February 27, 2015



CareerRealism suggests that you document everything you do on the job, so the next time you're hitting the pavement seeking a new job you'll have the information at your fingertips. Then you have the quantifiable accomplishment you can highlight on a resume, or at a job interview: "Increased sales by 25%" or "Shaved 10 seconds off the hold queue for telephone inquiries."

But what if you haven't done stuff like this? What if your biggest accomplishment was "Wrote a bunch of papers for English classes and turned them in on time while working almost full time"? Or "Elected Secretary of the Blah-Blah honors society." After all, you're still in college, and probably working an outside job which pays bills but doesn't offer much chance for bragging rights.

Two thoughts.

First, document everything. Keep a professional journal, a log, a box of paper, or some kind of written list of things you've done that you are proud of. When it happens, write it down and date it. Include a picture, a copy of an email, the grade you earned, the number of hours you worked. Code your entries. If you are keeping an electronic file, put classes, work, honors, service learning in different colors. If you are tossing stuff into a box of paper, make a marginal note in the upper right corner of each piece of paper reminding yourself of what this page is about.

Second, every so often (preferably before a job interview or "need a resume tomorrow" moment), spend some time sifting through the file, or the box, and practice condensing and sprucing up your accomplishments in resume-speak. 

  • "Held a 3.5 average while working 30 hours per week" is better than "worked a lot, got good grades." 
  • "Streamlined minutes and record-keeping on a cloud-hosted storage web-file" sounds much stronger than "Elected Secretary." 
  • "Tutored students who subsequently improved from C- to B average" is more impressive than "Did service learning for after-school homework help."
Doing the record keeping makes you aware of the need to ask for more information about results. And having a bunch of concrete information written down when it occurred helps refresh your memory at a time when you most need it. After all--what did you accomplish four years ago? Probably a bunch of stuff, but you would have trouble pulling it together into a coherent narrative right now. 

Thanks and a tip o' the Twitter hat @AriellaCoombs

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

How to Resume


EpicCV has some thoughtful tips for people developing their first resume. The first link discusses length; the second page discusses your "Work Experience" section. You'll find information on

  • What to include, and what to omit
  • Formatting tips 
  • Ways to make content appealing, readable, succinct

The abbreviation CV stands for "curriculum vitae," Latin for the facts about your life, qualifications, experience. It's basically the same as "resume"; the two terms can be used interchangeably, although CV is more frequently used in academic settings, and Resume in business settings.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Bad Career Advice


Good advice in today's link: there are old wives' tales and generally outdated or bad advice abut job-hunting and careers as a whole.

Some of the myths debunked here are useful for those just starting out to know. Other information helps you understand how to continue climbing onward and upward, not sideways or down.

Thanks and a tip o' the Twitter hat @Jenna_Goudreau!