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Networking is Critical to Landing a Job

We recently read an article in Forbes on the Hidden Job Market.  For all the hype on job search engines, it’s now known there is a hidden job market where many jobs either never get posted or if they are posted, the job is pretty much filled.  So how, you ask, are these jobs being filled – through networking.  Companies are asking and sometimes compensating employees to find great people to bring into the company. Smart idea – who better knows the environment and expectations of a job and who might be a good fit….than someone who works at the company.

IF THIS DOESN’T CONVINCE  YOU HOW IMPORTANT IT IS TO NETWORK – WHAT WILL CONVINCE YOU?

Here’s the good news.  Networking has a bad reputation.  We have been made to believe it’s reaching out to someone on LinkedIn you’ve never met – creepy.  Actually if you are social media proficient, i.e.  use Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn – then you are already a pro!  You just need to make sure everyone in your network and all those connected to them know you are looking for a job.  The 6 degrees of separation theory is now 2.3 with social media.

It’s not who you know anymore it’s who knows you!

A friend of mine’s son, several years ago, quit his finance job in Boston to move to New York.  He set a goal to reach out to 10 people EVERYDAY to let them know he was looking for position.  He was a true believer in networking by letting EVERYONE you know and EVERYONE they know that you are looking for a job. He landed the job he wanted….in Finance, no less, and today is still with the same company.  It took him 2 months and over  500 connections but it happened.  Be focused, believe in the power of networking!

Getting a Job is a Job

Startup Stock Photos

Statistics show it takes an average of 3 – 6 months to find a job.  Some quote it takes 1 month for every $10,000 you are looking to earn.  Getting a job is a job, but with the right amount of attention and focus, like anything, you can get the job you want.  Remember, it’s a journey…..many will tire along the journey and accept a job they really don’t want.  No matter what happens just keep focused.

You may have to do another job, even part-time, in order to pay bills while you search for the job of your dreams.  Be realistic, reduce your expenses, live within your budget as this will put less stress on the process.

Set a least an hour a day aside to network, follow-up on jobs posted on the internet, stay in touch with on-going job pursuits, as well as, staying connected to those helping you in your process.

It’s a process which is why we say, getting a job is a job.

 

 

Necessity is the Mother of Invention

“Necessity is the mother of invention.” In our years recruiting for corporate America, we found a large majority of applicants were unable to link what they had accomplished in their lives to a workplace need.  In other words, they were unable to take one of their strengths, give an example of how they had demonstrated this strength and then link it to why it would be important for a company to have someone with that strength.

Not all interviewers take the time to get your individual story….The process is getting worse because now computers are scanning resumes as part of the selection/rejection process.  When you get an interview, you must be able to align the company’s job requirements to a strength and story that you have and you must make this connection in the interview.  Failure to do so may mean being unfairly rejected from a job you really want.

At the end of a recruiting day, we didn’t remember grade point averages, or what was on the resume. We remembered the person through their individual compelling stories of success, triumph and failure.

The story is how we get an inside look at the person to be hired….people hire people! And that is the underlying reason why we created Class2Career!

 

 

 

Why are great candidates being overlooked for Jobs?

Still-Students

Students and their parents are faced with a heart wrenching issue – why are their kids not getting jobs or the jobs they want?  Although there is not one reason it’s important to understand all the factors affecting great kids from getting great jobs.

Most colleges have adopted a job aggregator that brings jobs to campus.  This is great as MORE jobs are being presented to students…right…well partially.  Understand these job aggregators like Handshake, Simplicity and so many others are also selling this data to companies who can now work with an expanded pool of applicants.

Example – if you have a business in Minnesota and you want to post a job – you will be asked if you want to post at 400 other schools – oops, the pool just got alot bigger.

Hard working kids and adults trying to better themselves are now going up against applicants from more prestigious schools with perhaps better grade point averages and internships.

Many applicants are taking jobs they don’t want which in the end could be causing the heavy turnover rate employers are seeing.  Essentially, just because there are MORE jobs to choose from, it doesn’t always mean more job offers.

So, what’s the solution?

This is a competition and we have to let students know this.  We do this by giving them the tools to compete.  We coach them through finding themselves and their strengths, we coach them through thinking about stories which support their strengths and we begin to craft their interview “story”. We align those strengths and stories to specific job requirements and most importantly we teach them HOW to get the interview.

Will it take some hustle – sure – but we have to at least let students know the rules of the game.

Interested?  Register at Class2Career.

Your Graduate May Not Have the Job They Want Upon Graduation

When my oldest was a junior in college I encouraged him to go to the Career Center to begin applying for internships.  He informed me because he didn’t have a 3.5 GPA  (3.3) he was ineligible to use the school for his search.  How did we miss that when we were looking at schools?  They certainly did not mention that on the newly accepted student day.  What made me more enraged was he was accepted into the prestigious business  program which had a more rigorous curriculum and yet if you were in less demanding  programs and met the  GPA  requirement, you were eligible to purse business school positions.  That was 2010.

                Lets fast forward to 2020.  Prior to Covid,  colleges and universities were already feeling the financial pain  due to decreased enrollment.    A recent article in the NY Times, Colleges Slash Budgets in the Pandemic, With ‘Nothing OffLimits’, clearly depicts the current status of higher education institutions. So, why is this important to your student getting a job upon graduaton?

On most campuses, the Career Center is the lowest funded department on campus.  Hard to believe because isn’t that the end game.  We send out kids to school and then they get jobs, right?  Actually career centers were never meant to be a full service, find a job for your kid, kind of place.  They couldn’t be as the counselor to student ratio on most cases is 1 to 1700. ( That number has most likely become more dismal since Covid)  It was during Presidents Obama’s term due to the rising costs of college, the increasing student debt and the high percentage of grads unemployed, colleges began to feel the pressure to get kids jobs. That’s when they turned to ways to bring in more jobs and utilize technology to prepare students.

                Don’t get me wrong.  I have met hundreds of Career Center Directors in my travel with my company, Class2Career.  They are dedicated professionals who WANT to do whatever they can for students.  They have been given mission impossible with a lack of resources and funding.  They do the best they can with the students who utilize the Centers.  Oops….yeah, forgot to tell you – on most campuses it’s not mandatory to utilize the Career Center.   Both of my grads claim they didn’t know where it was on their campus.  Most schools don’t have a checks and balance system measuring who utilizes the service and who does not. 

It might surprise you the low number of schools that have career development courses.  For many that do, it’s not always mandatory to take the course.   Hats off to those who offer the programs and make it mandatory to graduate.  Navigating ones way through Job Hood is a jungle especially for your grads who don’t have a CLUE how to do it, with some taking advice from former grads, parents and friends who can actually help, while the rest attempt to play at a game they don’t understand the rules.  A career development program seems like a no brainer.

                Finally, it is interesting how all schools seem to boast of 99% placement.  Make sure you understand   what that means.  Those percentages includes those continuing to grad school (many because they didn’t find a job), Teach for America, Peace Corp, military, jobs not in their majors and underemployment jobs.  The real number of students who are placed in industry benchmark paid jobs in their majors or interest is a number they don’t publish because it’s low.  Students with loans take jobs they shouldn’t so they can meet their financial obligations. That starts the long- term trap of  a low pay cycle. 

                 In a prior article I wrote on the importance of, “Being Involved with Your Student in Landing their First Job.”  If you read it you might have thought – but the Career Center is helping them.  You are correct, the Career Center does help those who utilize it, but trust me this is not something you fully outsource. Every parent and guardian needs to get involved, show concern, partner with your grad, work with them to help them get where they want to go. Weren’t you the parent who once said, “Why doesn’t my kid ask for my help?”

Like everything in life, you have to work for what you want. Angela Duckworth, psychologist wrote the book Grit- The Power of Perseverance and Persistance.   Even in the worst economic times, the grads who apply themselves in the job search, get jobs.