Thursday, October 31, 2013

Is Your Online Presence Naked?

This article is written for academics. It doesn't really describe my mindset as I look at the credentials of potential faculty. 

But I will admit to having googled candidates to get a general "feel" for who they are. And yes, I do find it irritating if I find "only tax records or a number in the white pages." That means I have to do more digging. 

I don't (as the HR professional who wrote this piece says she does) get suspicious that the person I'm googling has done a purge of objectionable material. Maybe I need to change that mindset...

Nevertheless, consider manicuring and curating your online presence. What do people find when they search for you?

One thing to consider: If you have a common name--if your name really is "Jane Doe" or "John Smith"--consider dropping in at least a middle initial (if not a complete middle name) to keep your profile distinctive. 

Niagara University's new president

See this link for a writeup in the upcoming Sunday Buffalo News!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Kobayashi Maru and the Job Search

Okay, so what does a Star Trek reference have to do with your job search?

In the first series of Star Trek films (from 1979 on, as well as in novels and video games spun off from the films), Captain James T. Kirk faces a test at Starfleet Academy. All aspiring officers must face this test, to have at least a simulacrum of the emotionally wrenching decisions they may have to face.

The test uses a fictional ship named the Kobayashi Maru. Its captain (the aspiring officer in Starfleet Academy) must decide whether to abandon the ship and its crew to destruction, or rescue the crew--by entering treaty-regulated space, and likely starting an all-out war with the Klingons which will result in the deaths of millions.

Kirk is the only one to pass the test, which is clearly rigged as a lose-lose situation. How? He reprograms the computer administering the test!

The moral of the story for your job hunt? When given an "either/or" proposition, choose "both." Or more generally, think outside the box.

That was also the message of this recent post in Psychology Today. Fourteen teams of students were given $5 and 2 hours. They were instructed to make as much of profit as possible. Some of the teams made $600 or more! How? They applied the principles of the Kobayashi Maru test! Read more here:

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Your Resume Won't Get You a Job

Whaaatt? (Thanks to the tip-off from for reference to this article!)

Nope. Your resume will not get you a job, any more than teaching will get you tenure in a college job.

Whaaatt? Teaching isn't important?

Nope. Dirty little truth of academia: the college does not care how well you teach. Bad teaching can hurt you, can get you booted out the door. But good teaching is meaningless when it comes to earning tenure.

In the same way, a resume cannot get you a job. It can make you someone an employer will not hire (for so many reasons: typos, lack of credentials or experience, bland and boring language). But it can merely place you in the "to be considered" pile.

That said, here are some tips to having a resume that will work for you, not against you:

And if you would prefer a snappy YouTube video:

I listened to it! I liked it! It's actually quite good! (I usually hate YouTube teaching videos.)

Monday, October 28, 2013

Groups on LinkedIn

Join a group.

That sounds familiar--remember when you were thinking about how to get into the college of your choice, and your high school counselor said you should be involved in some extracurricular activities?

Same goes for job-hunting.

Now that you're on LinkedIn, sign up for the conversational entities known as Groups. Find ones that match your interests, hang out a bit, and jump into the discussion. How and why in the above post.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Open House

Here we are at Open House for Niagara University, recruiting new students!

Friday, October 25, 2013

Networking as a Science

Networking is an art, of course--engaging others, offering them solutions, finding a great mix of people who may be in a position to return a favor in the eventual future.

But there's a deliberate set of calculations that can help sharpen your network's effectiveness.

First, consider the mix of people; Harvard Business Review suggests a ratio of 2 insiders and one outsider. In other words, cultivate relationships with people who have various perspectives on a given company, field of inquiry, or other parameters of your job search. Read more here:

Second, understand that people you don't know well may be exactly the people who can refer you to a great job--because they don't run in exactly the same circles you and your friends inhabit. The key to getting these folks to help you is "tie activation." Read more here:

Finally, it is never too early to get on LinkedIn and start cultivating a network! LinkedIn has dropped its minimum age requirement to 14, so you certainly won't stick out as one of the youngest people anymore. And you can get your feet wet by connecting with other students, with your professors, and with your parents and their friends. Read more at

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Infographic and Feminist Commentary

Here's a pretty infographic jam-packed with information:

You not only get statistics on who is unemployed and where, but information that will help you tailor your job search and career development.

For example: did you know that "100% of employers find it acceptable to negotiate job offers"? And that 90% of them will low-ball you on their first offer, because they expect you to come back with a slightly higher counter-offer?

I don't know what the statistics are--but women in particular are trained to avoid negotiating. Why is it that when we get a job offer, we throw ourselves on our knees and clasp our hands together in thanks--for even thinking to hire us, much less asking for more than was initially offered? And why do you think men get paid more than we do?

Don't leave it to a hair-coloring and makeup commercial (L'Oréal) to tell you "you're worth it"!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Don't Shoot Yourself in the Foot

The title of the article I've found for you today is usually the sort of thing I scroll right past: "How to be the worst job seeker on the market."

Sometimes, these articles will provide great comic relief. They'll give you a chance to self-congratulate that you aren't making glaringly obvious errors:
  • Literally circling ads in the "help wanted" section of your newspaper as your only strategy for finding openings. A paper newspaper.
  • Sending out a resume with lots of misspellings.
  • Showing up half an hour late for the interview, smelling like booze (or worse).
  • Trash-talking a former employer, or even your college, for any reason.

But this article should be a good reality check for today's college students nearing graduation. It's very much worth reading--focuses mostly on SEO. What, you don't know what SEO is? You should... read on!

In the same vein, here's another link to a useful blog post--how to do some self-examination about what you may need to improve if you are not getting the responses you expect from your job applications: