Saturday, August 30, 2014

Ignore Advertised Job Requirements?

According to this article, you can sometimes afford to ignore the job requirements listed in an advertisement.

There are real people who write those ads, and they are perhaps desperate to get an exact match for something like this: "Wanted: someone to run coffee. Sub-minimum wage plus tips. Must hold Master's Degree in English." Some are delusional, and some just over-reaching themselves.

First, know your market. In Boston, the market is so saturated with people looking for work that last I checked, they actually were advertising for secretaries with master's degrees. But in Buffalo? Not so much. (Which was one reason I left Boston on the first thing smoking.)

Second, know the kind of work being described. If you have a new B.A. in English, but no internships, no on-campus activities, and your main claim to fame is a high score on Tetris (achieved when you were ten years old)--you might want to change your style. But if you've been writing your own blog, and have some claim to unpaid expertise in the industry or skill being sought by an employer--why not apply?

Third, get your ducks in a row. Make sure you have professional references who will speak well of you, a portfolio or other evidence of your awesomeness, and have several versions of your "elevator speech" and "why you should hire me talk" down pat.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Stop Being a Student

The pay-off for attending college (or so we've been told) is getting a satisfying, well-paying job with a bright future, and making a graceful transition into full adulthood. But how?

The second link from SimplyHired has a radical suggestion at the end: erase from your resume everything that screams "student" or "recent student."

I'm not sure I agree entirely--after all, you have (or will have) worked hard for your credentials. But the point is that an employer doesn't want to hire "a student." He or she wants to hire "an employee"--a worker. Show what you have done. Even if you are low on fulltime, career-oriented employment, chances are you've done some pretty spectacular things that will translate into "employability."

Fr. Jim Maher Nominated for Ice-Bucket Challenge!

Fr. Dennis Holtschneider, president of DePaul University (and formerly Executive Vice President & COO at NU), nominated Fr. Jim Maher, president of Niagara University, to take the ice-bucket challenge (#ALSicebucketchallenge)!

Fr. Maher: how about taking the Ice Bucket Challenge at the New Student Convocation, tomorrow, at Niagara University?!

Friday, August 22, 2014

Student loan forgiveness fraud

If someone calls you up and says "your entire student loan debt can be forgiven," consider whether the terms sound too good to be true.

Opportunists have noticed that many are struggling with student loan debt, and are making fraudulent promises as a way of sucking even more money out of your pockets. They may tell you about something called the "Obama Forgiveness Program that was supposedly recently approved by Congress." There ain't no such thing. It's a lie.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Students & Banking

Today's article has some basic advice for selecting and customizing some form of banking. If you're moving away from home for the first time, or even if you're an established student still using your parents' banking resources, you may need to consider your own independent account. 

A minor plug (not right for everyone, but still worth considering): I've been using Niagara University's credit union as long as I've been here--

No-fee checking (although you do have to pay for the checks). An on-campus branch, open during "bankers' hours" (generally until mid-day). Nice folks behind the counter. Online access. A board of trustees and oversight folks whose names you can look up in the NU phone directory. Member-owned, meaning nobody is trying to turn a profit, nickel and diming you to death, by charging fees left, right and center. 

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Visit Vietnam (Virtually): Film Mon. 9/8/14, 5-6 p.m., Dunl 127

To build interest in his work with Vietnamese communities affected by Agent Orange use by the United States during the (unofficial) Vietnamese war, Joe Little is screening the film "Vietnam's Friendship Village." 

Agent Orange was dropped in the 1960s from planes on heavily forested areas in Vietnam, causing trees to shed their leaves, and allowing U.S. military forces to see whatever was on the ground. Unfortunately, this powerful chemical is also extremely toxic to human beings as well. It didn't just "disappear" once used, causing soil contamination and ongoing issues with cancer and birth defects.

The Friendship Village documented in this film currently offers care to about 150 children with disabilities as a direct result of Agent Orange. Dr. Little will be leading a group travel event late next spring to Vietnam, and has been working to build awareness and fundraising for to help support this important effort.

The film will be screened Monday, September 8, from 5 to 6 p.m. in Dunleavy 127.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Visit Vietnam

Prof. Joseph Little is offering an educational trip to Vietnam in May 2015. Anyone from Niagara University or the Western New York area is welcome; deadline to begin arrangements and payment is November 7, 2014. This adventure is not cheap, but the only cost is your own travel expenses; Joe gets the satisfaction of offering insights into the world, but no remuneration. He's a great guy, who has already done the legwork scouting out and visiting resources; this will be a memorable, well-organized journey. For more information, see the above link.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Read It? Jobs on Reddit!

The sprawling pre-Facebook social community Reddit has jobs resources. Their blog (link above) posted a page with a collection of resources, including:

  • Getting Employed/Guidance (how to write a resume, find a career, do an internship)
  • Just Jobs (various broad-spectrum job postings)
  • Jobs for Digital Currencies (those that pay in bitcoin, dogecoin, crypto)
  • Dev Jobs (computer developers)
  • Specific fields (no, "English Majors" is not specifically listed, but "Writer" is)
  • Country-wide jobs (global listings by country)
  • Province-wide and State-wide Jobs (Canada, U.S.)
  • City-wide Jobs (yes, "Buffalo" is listed, as well as many major metro areas)
If you check out "jobs" listings, you will probably find those seeking to hire, and those wishing to get a job. Not all jobs are paid (some offer experience only) or fulltime (a number are for freelance work). 
Still--a sizeable chunk of resources. And if you are so inclined, a huge community of people to offer advice, ideas and insights, and occasionally rude comments.