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Career Tips:  The Self Assessment Is The Real Starting Point

Theodore Henderson Certified Career Coach presents Career Tips and Job Search Strategies. This week’s tip is on Self Assessment and why it is where every successful career strategy should begin.

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6 Job Search Tips for College Grads

By

Theodore “The Wisdom Man” Henderson

Best Selling Author, Certified Business & Career Adviser

 

 

Unfortunately recruiters and interviewers can be biased against recent college grads, which can turn the joy of graduation into a nightmare of insecure job-search.  You spend four or more years studying, and perhaps going into debt, then the reality of a frustrating job search can derail your enthusiasm and self-confidence.

Before the malaise sets in lets look at 6 tips to help get your job-search on track immediately and make it successful.

1.  Don’t be self-absorbed.

Unless recruiters and headhunters are kicking your door in and throwing money at you it isn’t about you.  The person you are interviewing with doesn’t care about you they care about themselves and their company.  So never forget the first rule of interviewing show up prepared to explain why it is to their benefit to have you as part of the company.  Leave the arrogance at home and instead bring confidence and knowledge of the company with you.

2. Manage your online reputation.

I repeat, manage your online reputation. Interviewers, recruiters, potential employers, etc. will Google you, so be prepared by knowing what they’ll find. Get your LinkedIn profile in shape and up-to-date. Don’t post anything embarrassing on Facebook or Twitter that might prevent you from being hired.  Change your privacy settings so your updates don’t appear in search results.  My advice is if you have a very active Facebook and Twitter life delete your posts beyond the most recent. Keep those posts you are sure of and put up a decent photo. Also Google the people who you know will be interviewing you!

See previous posts at my site in “The Wisdom Blog” for additional tips on social media.

3.  Don’t be “major” focused.

We all want to graduate on time with good grades but if you want to be more marketable take some classes outside of your major.  This is particularly important if you are in a non-technical major such as English Literature, History, etc.  Having some business, math, computer and communications courses under your belt will be noticed.

4.  Get out of the dorm.

Network, network, network!  Don’t wait until after you graduate to meet, greet, and network.  Start while in college by attending local free conferences in the field you intend to work in, join a Toastmasters and work on your public speaking skills, see if your school has a Rotary youth division, check if there is a college networking group at the local library, attend your schools alumni meetings, etc.  Join the world and make a stranger a friend or acquaintance.

5.  Know how to interview and introduce yourself properly.

The hardest question in the interview shouldn’t be “So what can you tell me about yourself?”. As a hiring manager I can’t even begin to count how many people I interviewed over the years who look dumbfounded when I asked them that question.

So this doesn’t happen to you prepare a two to five minute introduction and practice, practice, practice.  You want to sound conversational and confident when the question is asked.  This will also give you an opportunity to better steer the course of the interview.

Next get a good book on interviewing and the interviewing process.  Go to www.TheodoreHenderson.com and sign up for my blog, contact me, and I will send you some titles.

6.  Think out of the box.

As a college student you need to prove that you are worth hiring. Look for an internship that allows you to gain experience in the field you hope to enter after graduation.

Don’t spend the summer staring at your navel or indulging in too many “beverages”.  Have some fun but why not turn a hobby or interest into a side business?

Start a blog to show off you writing skill and knowledge of the field in which you are seeking employment.

For additional job search strategies go to The Intelligent Career Manager.

About the Author

During a career that spans more than 20 years, Theodore Henderson has excelled as an articulate, organized and successful sales professional, business manager and consultant. He has demonstrated a proven ability to build and maintain profitable, long-term relationships with a sophisticated client base.

A lifelong New Yorker, Theodore is a best selling author, certified career adviser, Distinguished Toastmaster, and he holds an MBA degree with a concentration in Finance and Information Systems.

Theodore is passionate about several key success skills such as, communication, entrepreneurship, leadership, public speaking, small business, and social media branding. As a best selling author “The Wisdom Compass Series”, the creator of job search and career management tools, and a professional speaker he works with both individuals and businesses to apply these tools to become more successful in their respective professions.

© 2012 Theodore Henderson – THJ & Associates All rights reserved.  www.TheodoreHenderson.com

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Education and Your Great Career

By

Theodore “The Wisdom Man” Henderson

Best Selling Author – Certified Career & Business Consultant

To prosper at work and in your career you will need two key ingredients: a career development plan and a supportive education to satisfy the needs of the evolving work world.

A good career development plan benefits both you and the company you work for.  It enables you to identify strategies and action steps to ensure you will achieve your goal.  Your career development plan can be useful tool in conducting career discussions with your direct management chain and in some cases with human resources’ management.

You can use career-development planning in various stages of the career-management process.  Typically, this process evolves over time and you will continually review and adjust your plan to reflect your current and at times future objectives.

7 Key Elements of a Solid Career Development Plan

  1. Skill Development
  2. Pursuit of a New Position
  3. Make a Change in your Career Field
  4. Formal Education & Training
  5. Job Rotation or Special Project Management
  6. Getting More from the Current Position
  7. External Professional Development

Notice elements 1, 4, and 7 directly relate to more education and element 5 relates to informal learning from new responsibilities.  As you can see the jury has long since delivered its verdict and getting a good education is necessary in the work world and therefore a necessity in career progress. Of course, you will always hear of the one or two billionaires, and several millionaires, who made their fortune once they dropped out of college, and the reason its news is because it is so unusual. If you want to build a successful career you have to put the effort into your education first. You may want to jump straight too soon into work, but you’d be better off staying in school staying engaged in the right curriculum to become better qualified.

By leaving school before you’ve obtained any qualifications you’re hardly going to stand out when you look for work while going up against people who have amassed a great deal of experience as well as credentials whenever you apply for a job or go for an interview. They probably qualifications also, and so the chances are you won’t be the one that is hired by a company because you don’t have the skills or experience that you need. Employers obviously don’t want to spend resources and money training people if they don’t have to.

Another point is if you get a quality education there will so many more options available to you, as well. You won’t have to be stuck in a mind-numbingly unskilled, low-paid job that leaves you feeling unfulfilled and bored. When you’ve been to college or university you can train to be whatever you want and even if you don’t end up pursuing the career you thought would interest you, your higher level qualifications will set you apart as someone worth hiring. The fact that you made an effort to achieve good grades and acquire relevant credentials will serve you well for a lifetime.

Good employers and quality managers want to know they’re hiring someone who is intelligent and a fast learner, which the decision to continue with your education and obtain some higher-level qualifications would show. A quality education won’t guarantee success, but it certainly increases the likelihood that you will find yourself doing something that lines up with your strengths and you find rewarding. Something else that you overlook when you are younger is doing well in school will likely pay off when you’re older and find yourself looking for a job or other career option. Therefore do not underestimate the importance of becoming well educated, obtaining qualifications, and acquiring credentials because they do matter.

For more information about Theodore Henderson and career strategies visit www.TheodoreHenderson.com and The Wisdom Compass Series visit www.TheWisdomCompass.com .

About the Author

During a career that spans more than 20 years, Theodore Henderson has excelled as an articulate, organized and successful sales professional, business manager and consultant. He has demonstrated a proven ability to build and maintain profitable, long-term relationships with a sophisticated client base. 

A lifelong New Yorker, Theodore is a best selling author, certified career adviser, Distinguished Toastmaster, and he holds an MBA degree with a concentration in Finance and Information Systems. 

Theodore is passionate about several key success skills such as, communication, entrepreneurship, leadership, public speaking, small business, and social media branding. As a best selling author “The Wisdom Compass Series”, the creator of job search and career management tools, and a professional speaker he works with both individuals and businesses to apply these tools to become more successful in their respective professions.

© 2012 Theodore Henderson – THJ & Associates  www.TheodoreHenderson.com