Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Tweak your Resume(s)

Where did we get the idea that job-seekers should print off a ream of resumes (500 sheets), on expensive bond paper? The blog post I've linked to today reminded me of the Dark Ages, when we rolled a sheet of paper into our typewriters, and prayed we wouldn't need too much White-Out correction fluid. Yeah--I do remember that!

Maybe you don't. But we all have access to computers and printers now. We have the luxury of tailoring each resume to a specific job. Use that luxury! 

There's also some good advice on making that process of tweaking and tailoring as pain-free as possible. After all, you don't need to start each resume from scratch. Instead, keep a file of each resume, so you can pull up one from a similar job application and make only a few changes.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Matching: Your Resume & your LinkedIn Profile?

Does your Resume match your LinkedIn profile? And do your Facebook, Twitter and other social media presences reflect well on your overtly-professional online materials?

Your resume is a one-page document that can pique an employer's interest in hearing more from you. One of the intermediate steps between "I got your resume" and "Won't you please come in for an interview?" might well be a hiring manager's peek at your social media presence.

As my series of links to other blogs suggests, employers want to see consistency. Your resume should be pared down and economical in wording. Your LinkedIn profile is a great place to amplify and develop that information--you can even provide clickable links to an online portfolio or "landing page," where you supply even more evidence. And your other social media sites should show you as a well-rounded person who enjoys life, has a wide range of interests... and omits your beer-pong trophies, vulgarity and similar red-flag mentions.

Monday, September 29, 2014

So "Who Cares?" About Service Learning?

Employers do!

Niagara University's Vincentian mission offers students lots of opportunities for service: one-off events, longer commitments, service learnings as part of coursework, and so on. 

Of course, it's great for those who are served. All of us could use a hand up (not a handout) at some point. Some have more points than others when a hand up can make a huge difference. And that's a good reason to commit to service.

But as you may already know, service is good for you, too--and for any employers lucky enough to recruit you to their teams. The blog post I've linked to today assumes its audience (students, parents, school administrators) need a refresher course on why service is good for everyone. 

I'd like to add one more audience which should get on board with these ideas: employers. When you graduate from Niagara University, you'll be looking for a job. Your prospective employer may not know why or how they should value NU's service component. This list will help you articulate what "value added" you can bring to the table as an NU degree-holder.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Delayed Gratification

Just seen a "perfect-for-you" job ad? Don't apply just yet!

Some good advice in the blog post linked above. If you see an ad for the absolutely, positively perfect job, one you have been hoping would turn up just as you're ready to graduate and look forward to becoming fully employed--stop. 

If the first thing you do is fire off your all-purpose resume and cover letter, you've squandered a valuable opportunity to do more digging. Remember, you won't get any job, ever, by writing about how great you are and how much stuff you can do. Rather, you'll get interest (and hopefully the job) by describing what you can do for the organization--by carefully matching up your skills and talents with the needs of the employer.

So even though a job advertisement makes you shiver all over, take some time to research the company, network through LinkedIn, and fine-tune your resume and cover letter. Delaying your own gratification in responding to the perfect job ad may give you the longer gratification of actually getting the job.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Debunking the Myths

U.S. News & World Report's "Money" section ran a great article debunking myths about how the job search works; link here:

There are apparently lots of myths out there--because there are lots of articles debunking them. Here are some more, all packed with good advice:

All of these articles not only describe the mistaken beliefs job-seekers hold, but give you detailed advice about how to conduct a more efficient search.

Go with Joe, to Guatemala Doncha Know!

Micro Study-Abroad Opportunity

Beat the winter blues, get a great conversation-starter for your resume, and learn something about the world. Dr. Joseph Little will be leading a "budget backpacking" experience to Guatemala for a week, January 11-18, 2015. Must be 21+, in decent health, and willing/able to rough it. Cost is incredibly reasonable, about $2K.

Full information on the website above. Descriptive narrative and application form in upper right of page. Or email

Update a few hours later...

Okay, Joe has so many exciting things planned that it makes my head spin. I apparently conflated a couple of trips. 

  • The one in January 2015 is for grad students, faculty, staff, alumni, parents... anybody with a connection to Niagara University, more or less.
  • There's another trip in March 2015, coinciding with NU's spring break, open to undergraduate students. 
  • And next May 2015, he's leading a group to Vietnam.
Bottom line: if you want to travel to real places, "at cost" (without a touristy price for touristy accommodations), Joe is your man.

And if you want to see proof that his educational tours are the most fun anybody has had since cotton candy was invented--see his photo album here:

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

EntrepreNU: You name the date!

EntrepreNU wants You!

As an exciting way to showcase its Vincentian heritage, Niagara University will be rolling out a program for students to compete for a $10,000 grant to address hunger issues in the Niagara Falls area. You’ll be hearing more about the EntrepreNU2015 Competition in months to come.

As support for students, Jim Wardlaw and his colleagues from Stitch Brand and Culture have agreed to serve as guest speaker-mentors to any group of students interested in taking this challenge. A meeting time for groups can be arranged between September 29 and October 17, providing an introduction to creative and innovative thinking for everyone (not just business students!)

There will also be a larger workshop in a month or so where Jim and his associates walk you through the process of entrepreneurial innovation. (Details TBA)

Get a jump on this challenging competition! Set up a time for Jim to come visit with any group of students (class, club, or just a bunch of interested folks) by emailing

More info:

  • Find out more about EntrepreNU2015 on Friday, Sept. 24, 2 p.m. in the LLGallagher Multipurpose Room

Extra bonus points: You may feel like you have "no time" to participate in this challenge.

But consider dropping in anyway. This looks like a great opportunity to start wrapping your head around how the world of business works--check out the EOS tab on Stitch Brand and Culture's website.

I'd never heard of EOS®, the Entrepreneurial Operating System® --but it looks like something that could be very useful to know about as you seek your place in the world of careers.