Thursday, February 26, 2009

The 7 Secrets to the Hidden Job Market

Earlier today we as a staff viewed a webinar hosted by the University of Tennessee's Career Services Center. The speaker was Donald Asher, an industry leader in careers and higher education. He spoke for about an hour on what he calls "The Seven Secrets of the Hidden Job Market". This was a great presentation to listen to, and I think we all learned quite a bit. Here's a quick list of what Mr. Asher told us were the seven secrets:

1. The Hidden Job Market is Big

2. It's easier to navigate than the Open Job Market

3. You have to start with a target

4. You get jobs by talking to people

5. Ditch your resume (not entirely though, so don't just delete it!)

6. Don't ask for a job

7. The Hidden Job Market often leads to a posted opening

A lot of these tips seemed basic, but he stressed just how important it is to make all the connections that you can. Referrals are golden after all. If you can get your goals out to as many people as possible, you'll have a much better chance of tapping into this specific job market.

We'll hopefully have the whole presentation on our website soon. If you're interested in viewing it, let us know and we'll be glad to give you the opportunity.

Now get to work on finding those hidden jobs!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009


In last week's Trends in Workforce Recruiting presentation, Dr. Phil Gardner stated that one of the "Parables of Talent" he teaches his students is to be "motivated by faith rather than fear". It's not easy to have faith that you will find a job when every time you turn on the TV all you hear is more bad news. Entering the "real world" was a very scary thought for me four years ago and I'm sure it is even scarier for many of you now.

Despite constant encouragement from family and friends, having faith that there is a job out there for me is the only thing keeping me motivated to work hard to find it. Whether it is religious faith or faith in yourself, it is one thing that no one can take away from you. The job search can be a long and frustrating process but a positive attitude and strong faith that you will make it will help keep you from getting dragged down with fear.

Monday, February 23, 2009

A Sign of the Times

Jeff Stahler of the Columbus Dispatch published this cartoon a couple weeks ago which we think illustrates pretty well what everyone is going through right now.

While times are rough, it is important to keep a positive outlook. President Obama's stimulus package should help some, and companies are still making hires. Make sure you read Laura's post from a few weeks ago to be fully up to date on marketing your skills in today's economy. You can still get a job if you put the work into it!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Career Fair Today!

Just a friendly reminder that our WorkForce Career Fair is tonight in the AMU Ballrooms from 4pm until 8pm. We'll be hosting 111 employers, which is a great number with the state of the economy.

Make sure you stop by and talk with all the recruiters who want to hire you, because there's no such thing as a bad opportunity to meet people who could hire you!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

24 Useful Hours in Every Day

Hello everyone! My name is Angie and I'm the Graduate Assistant Career Advisor at Career Services. Like many of you, this is my last semester of graduate school and I am looking for a full-time job. I feel lucky to work in an environment where I am surrounded by supportive people who have given me great job search advice but unfortunately, they can't find the jobs or apply for them for me. Finding time to balance two part-time jobs, an intense course load, a leadership role in a graduate student organization and job hunting has been a struggle. I also don't intend to stay in the Midwest so spending time with friends and family before I leave is very important to me. And I'm training for a marathon in May.

It would be nice if I could say "super woman" was my career goal but I don't think that will fly with prospective employers. I've heard many students say that they are in the same position and just don't know when they will have enough time for the job search.

Yes, it's tough to focus on the job search with so many things going on during your last semester but, for me, finding a job is my number 1 priority. One of the best pieces of advice I got was to set aside some time each week to focus on the job search. Over winter break I set aside a lot of time to get my job search materials together and have my wonderful co-workers review them. Now every Wednesday and Thursday I have time set aside to search job postings and HR websites at target employers. This helps me focus on my coursework that is due earlier in the week and it allows some more free time on the weekends.

Breaking up the various steps of the job search and setting deadlines for yourself is a great way to make sure you're getting things done in an efficient manner while allowing times for other important things. Sometimes it can take up to an hour or two to fill out and review one on-line application. When networking or creating job connections, you may have to deal with someone else's schedule. It's important to maintain balance in your life but also focus on your priorities. If the job search is one of them, do you what you need to do to stay organized and stay focused on your career goal. I'm confident that the time spent on this will be worth it in the near future.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Get ready for WorkForce!

Did you know that over 100 employers will be on campus this Thursday recruiting for full-time, internship and co-op positions?

The WorkForce Career Fair is this Thursday, February 19th from 4pm-8pm in the AMU Ballrooms. Our entire staff will be there and hope to see you!

Through our experience and what we hear from recruiters, we have put together some do's and don'ts to keep in mind as you prepare for the fair.


1) Wear a business suit or professional outfit

2) Have your 60 second commercial ready: Where you have been, where you are now and where you want to go. Also, end with a question to initiate a conversation with the recruiter, such as "Are you hiring ____positions?”

3) Do your research! Look at the employer guide to find out who is coming, learn more about their company and the positions they are hiring for. This is on our website and copies are in the AMU.

4) Log onto MU Career Manager to see if that employer will be back on campus for on campus interviews. If so, request an interview. Questions on MU Career Manager? Stop in our daily walk-in hours in our office from 12pm-2pm.

5) Follow up with the employers you are interested in working for via email to thank them and to show your interest. Don't forget to attach your resume!

6) Bring copies of your resume in a professional padfolio. We suggest 15-20 copies. Need a resume critique? Stop by our daily walk-in hours in our office from 12pm-2pm. We will also be in the AMU today, tomorrow and Wednesday from 11am-1pm critiquing resumes!

7) Know your career goal or what you think you would like to do. Ex. "I am looking for an entry level position in marketing where I can apply my strong organization and interpersonal skills."


1) Don't tell the recruiter that you are just looking for a job and are open to anything. They want to know WHY you are interested in working for them. Show your excitement and passion for the industry/position! This is where your research comes in. Also, don't ask a recruiter, "What do you do?" You may laugh, but this happens a lot and does not impress the recruiter.

2) Don't be discouraged if a recruiter says that they can't take your resume. Many employers can only accept online applications for legal reasons, so make sure you follow their application instructions carefully.

3) Don't wait until 6:30pm to go to the fair. Arrive as early as possible to make sure you are able to talk to the employers you want to talk to.

Good luck and see you at the fair!

Friday, February 13, 2009

You Were Working As A Waitress In A Cocktail Bar...

Who doesn't love 80's music?

Lots of students work as a waiter or in a bar. It's pretty good money for a college job. But how do you turn those jobs into something that you can really put on your resume? Does slinging drinks at night really help at all?

The simple answer is yes. Obviously it isn't quite that easy though.

If you are comfortable with it, you should definitely include this sort of position on your resume. It shows you are active while in school, rather than just going to class and studying all the time. Having past experience also can provide for good references too.

So how do you market this? Waiting tables is great, but is a big multinational company going to be looking for that?

Maybe not.

But what you can do is focus on the skills you pick up in your college jobs. Focus on things like inter-personal communication and leadership that can translate across all industries. These are the sorts of things that you can take away from college jobs and turn into assets for your internship or job search. Remember that you're trying to get that next job, and just focus in on the skills that will help you get there from the jobs you already had.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Career Fair Prep Tuesday

Planning on going to the WorkForce Career Fair on the 19th?

If so, be sure to come to our Career Fair Prep workshop Tuesday night from 5-7 in AMU Ballroom B. Wade Krogwold from Direct Supply will be letting each and every one of you know what HR representatives are looking for in candidates at a career fair, as well as things they notice that will guarantee you don't get a call back.

We'll also be there to critique your resumes to make sure that you are as ready as you can possibly be on the 19th.

This is always a fun event, so we hope to see you there!

Friday, February 6, 2009

What Do You Want?

During the Super Bowl last week, CareerBuilder released this commercial:

While this is meant to be a humorous post, it's also completely accurate. You don't want to end up working somewhere that you hate, whether its the people you work with or just the environment in general.

The key thing in any search is to determine what you value in a position. This could be location, salary, flexible hours, travel, or so many different things. If you know this going into your job search, your ability to find a job you will truly enjoy will increase exponentially.

So take the time before you apply to think about what it is you really want. Everyone values different things, just like some people are Coke people and others are Pepsi people. Finding the organization that fits your values is the first step to a long and happy career.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Staying STRONG in a weak economy Part I

Last night the CSC (that's us!), along with the Young Alumni Association, hosted an event focused on staying STRONG in a weak economy. We thought there would be about 30 people there... over 90 showed up. I talked about the economy (mostly bad!) and who is successful at finding jobs (lots of people- this is good!). The real treat was hearing from some local experts. I want to share a few insights they had for the crowd that might be helpful to you too!

From Spano Pratt...
  1. Change your mentality! Quit reading negative statistics. Use positive talk with EVERYONE in your life. How are you presenting your personal brand?

    “I’m about to get laid off. Do you know of any opportunities?”
    “I’ve been in the event planning field for several years and am excited to start a new direction. I’m interested in gaining more experience and transitioning to the field of Marketing. Do you know of any opportunities that seem to fit with my goal?”

    Focus on what you CAN control and not on what you can’t control.
    “You can’t always direct the wind, you can, however, learn to adjust your sails.

  2. Understand the solution you bring to your current organization. What are the implications of the work that you do. STOP DOWNPLAYING! The more you think you are an asset, the more you will talk like you are an asset and the more you will come across as an asset.
    “Fake it until you make it”

  3. Make sure your resume is UP TO DATE. Keep a folder with every single little and big project you do and every quarter update your resume with associations, projects, new roles, etc.

  4. Develop your skills!!! Listen to those performance reviews - it’s hard to critique ourselves to get feedback from others.
    a. Join Professional Associations
    b. Look for opportunities and events in the community with people you wouldn’t normally connect with
    c. Join a board - volunteer first and get more involved. “Pay or Play” - either they will look for a contribution or you will need to do some recruiting.
    d. Keep a spreadsheet of your network so you remember where you met people - the last time you spoke, etc.

Monday, February 2, 2009

25 Things About Us

So, we've all seen the "25 Things About You" chain message going around Facebook by now. It's everywhere.

And now it's here too. We figure it's good for all of you to know a little bit more about us. So enjoy, and be assured, all of these are actually true.

1. We used to be located in the basement of Marquette Hall

2. Each semester we teach two courses in our office

3. We all have an unhealthy obsession with The Office

4. We critique student resumes every day

5. If you ever have quick questions, our interns are available every day from 12-2

6. All the rooms in our office are numbered 116

7. We're part of a consortium with the other 22 private schools in Wisconsin

8. Our spring job fair is in conjuction with our consortium

9. Jason Eckert has been immortalized in bobblehead form

10. We serve every major on campus

11. We'll do whatever we can to help you reach your career goal, even if you want to be a mime

12. It's really annoying when you knock on our windows as you walk by

13. There are over 500 jobs posted right now on MU Career Manager, even in today's economy

14. If you like actual books, we have a career library that you can utilize

15. You will probably find more purple pens in our office than any other place in the world

16. Employers frequently conduct interviews in our office, which means you don't have to travel to get a job interview!

17. We're here...even during winter, spring, and summer breaks

18. We're seeing and meeting with more students now than ever

19. Everyone can be a great interviewer, and we can teach you how.

20. More students work in our office than professionals

21. Every year at least one of our staff members gets pregnant

22. We read personal statements for grad school and post-graduate volunteer opportunities

23. We have every color paper imaginable

24. A calendar for upcoming information sessions and on-campus interviewing is on the bulletin board in our office

25. We root for snow days too!