Monday, June 30, 2014

Bob Swanson, Niagara University, quoted on Monster

Yay! National job board Monster talks with Bob Swanson, our very own Director of Career Services about jobs for liberal arts majors. See? I told you this guy was smart! And as an NU student or grad, you have your very own hotline to his smarts. Visit the Career Services page here:

Summertime: Keep it in Gear

Summertime is downtime for most students. This is a good thing! You may be asking "want fries with that?", but you may also not be ears-deep in research papers for various classes, and staring down a test at 8 a.m. tomorrow morning. It's okay to let your brain regrow some of those cells you feel like you burned up the previous academic year.

But if you're a new graduate waiting for a job offer, or even if you're moving from your sophomore year to your junior year--there are things you can be doing to further your career prospects.

If you're in town, one obvious one is to check in with the Niagara University Career Counseling office--use the link here <>, email them at <>, call <716-286- 8530>,or better yet visit these nice folks in their new home in Bailo Hall.

Other ideas:

  • Sign up for LinkedIn, or grow your list of contacts by finding classmates and professors with whom you can connect
  • Read some books or sign up for blogs on job-hunting, your target employment field, or other career-relevant stuff
  • Learn new software, like Excel (plenty of free tutorials online), or productivity apps for your smartphone or tablet
  • Start drafting a resume and cover letter template (operative word--"template," since you'll want to customize for each job application)
  • Locate and participate in forums on LinkedIn, Twitter or other social media that may eventually generate connections and job leads

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Do A**holes Finish First?

I'm on a handful of LinkedIn networks, and this one caught my eye: (It should open for those not subscribed to this LinkedIn group; I tried it in an "incognito" window in Chrome and it opened just fine.)

I'm not usually a fan of lists of books every college student should read, but description of the first entry caught my eye: it purportedly disproves the theory that "assholes finish first." Givers and Takers by Adam Grant suggests that there's a middle road between being a grabby jerk, and being a doormat: being a "matcher." That is, being someone who seeks to help others without hurting self.

Isn't that what a Niagara University education teaches?

The book is available on Amazon here: I'm neither recommending nor advising against it as a worthwhile read or library borrowing project. Rather, I like the general concept and am passing it along!

Monday, June 23, 2014

Quick Kit for New College Grad Job Seekers



Cover Letter:

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Don't BUY Microsoft Word

Microsoft Word (and its suite of applications including Excel and PowerPoint) are free, if you use them online. As long as you can connect to the internet, you can use them free--and you can store and edit in the online cloud drive OneDrive. 

Why is this important? 
  • Because it seems that everyone uses MS Word these days. There are other word processors (and spreadsheets, and presentation software), but Microsoft is working hard to kill the viability of anything and everything else. When you send out resumes, or turn in homework assignments, most folks will ask you to send in Word format.
  • It's expensive to buy. Word alone costs ~$110. There are gazillion options to "subscribe" on a yearly basis (so you don't have to purchase updates, but they hit up your credit card every year). Home, personal, university, student... starting at $70 and up each year. 
Now, there is plenty to be said for being able to work "offline"--without an internet connection. And software that is installed on your computer can't be taken away without notice. In other words, Microsoft could change the terms for free access to its products if it feels it would make more money that way. (It's unlikely they'll do so in the foreseeable future.)

But if you can live with those limitations (must have wifi, terms could change), then you can use Word, Excel, PowerPoint and other software for free, and you can store documents in a generously-allotted cloud storage repository, OneCloud. 

Start here:

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Search for companies, not jobs: Zappos' innovation

Some of the advice on how to innovate in your job search includes the advice: search for companies, not individual jobs. Apparently Zappos, the online shoe (and other stuff) retailer has taken that advice to heart, and flipped the advice to apply to their recruiting efforts.

And an article by someone at Zappos on the philosophy behind it:

And finally, Zappos' own "no jobs" recruiting website:

This approach is making news across the blogosphere (just search the web for "Zappos no jobs" for lots of results). Is it something that other companies will emulate--quietly, or not so quietly? Perhaps. But it does reinforce the advice to job-seekers--not every job out there is distilled into a thumbnail sketch of duties and title which can be posted on job-hunt websites.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

"Guerrilla," not "Gorilla"

Here's an article that suggests you "go guerrilla" in your job search. Some good ideas--use the phone, rather than emailing; seek out companies rather than individual jobs; stay current on the news about those companies, perhaps even forwarding a clipping to a prospective employer.

There's a book recommended, Guerrilla Marketing for Job Hunters (Amazon link here--I'm not endorsing it, but it does get an average 4.77 stars out of 5 (339 reviews).

The only suggestion I don't like (and at least one reviewer on Amazon didn't like): sending a coffee mug along with your resume and cover letter. If I got a coffee mug from someone seeking a job, that would put him or her on my "definitely a nut job" list.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Exactly what your college major gets you

Fascinating graphic here:

Shows what your college major (left side) can lead to (right side). Looks imposing at first, and loads a little bit slowly... but well worth the wait!

Click on English Language & Literature (tip: you can use your browser's "search" function; click on the solid color box on the left). You'll see that the 626,602 people in this survey of English majors got jobs in a broad range of fields:
  • Education: from elementary through college
  • Legal: lawyers, judges, legislators
  • Financial: accountants, auditors, advisors, brokers
  • Marketing: sales, market research analysis
  • Health: nurses, counselors, social workers