Wisdom Wednesday: Landing and Internship, Its This Easy!


If you’ve just graduated from university or college, there’s a good chance that you’ll have difficulty finding a full-time, paid job in your chosen career path. Part of the problem is that employers want candidates to have proven that they have the necessary skills, and a lot of grads just don’t have enough relevant experience to satisfy such requirements.

This is why an increasing number of young professionals are turning to internships—they get valuable experience that will help build their resume, establish a network, and possibly result in a job offer. But the key is to gain the right kind of skills and experience—that’s why it’s important to find the right internship, not just any internship.

Here’s how to do it.

Make a Plan

Your main purpose in taking an internship should be to advance your career. So before you even start looking for internships, you should have at least a tentative career plan in mind. In fact, you should start laying plans before you graduate.

First, consider what your ultimate goal is for your career—do you want to become an executive, a consultant, be self-employed, or start your own business? All those options will involve different paths to take through your career, with different types of jobs and promotions along the way.

Second, think on what industry you’d prefer to work in—if you want to be an account, for example, you could work at a bank and handle individual people’s finances, or you could work for a big business of various industries to run their corporate accounts, or you could work for a non-profit organization. Marketers, human resources, and programmers are other professions that are useful to many different businesses and industries.

Finally, find out what type of entry-level jobs will serve as the best springboard for your career plan. Do some research and find out what types of skills and experiences will give you the best chance at getting those jobs, and pick an internship that best helps you get them.

Search for Internships

Now that you have a plan in mind, start looking into the various ways in which you can find internships. Here are some of the more common methods:

  • Search on major job boards like Indeed or Monster.
  • Use job boards specializing in internships, like YouTern, TalentEgg, or College Recruiter.
  • Search on niche job boards focusing on specific industries, like Culintro or IT Job Pro.
  • Check your university or college’s career center for listings.
  • Ask friends, family, professors, and classmates if they can recommend good internships.

The advantage of internship or niche boards is that they’re also sources of quality information to help you get your career started. Don’t be afraid to reach out to anyone and everyone you come across for advice.

Narrow Your Search

When you start to find internship opportunities that you’re seriously considering, and even when you’re interviewing for them, there are a few things you should keep firmly in mind:

  • Remember your career plan and narrow your options to those that will help fulfil it.
  • Check the company’s reputation with interns and make sure you won’t just be getting coffee for everyone.
  • You have rights as an intern and the company should not take advantage of you because you’re “free labor”.

You should constantly be reassessing the quality of an internship opportunity throughout the process. Research the internship on job boards and company websites and ask questions about your role and tasks in the interview to make sure it’s a good fit for you.

Be prepared to walk away, even during the internship itself, if you think you’re not being given a fair chance or the training and skills you need.

Learn Everything You Can

When you get an internship that suits your needs, do not be afraid to ask for advice and training from your supervisor and co-workers. Your internship should be a learning experience in everything you do there—you can learn how to interact with your co-workers and bosses, and the more subtle inner workings of the industry and the jobs within it.

Most importantly of all, you should learn how to  network during your internship, so you’ll have lasting relationships that can serve as sources of advice, references, and referrals throughout your career.

Good luck, and happy hunting!

Originally posted on iGrad.com

Wisdom Wednesday: Volunteering…What’s in it for me?

Image result for volunteer

We often talk about volunteering in terms of the positive impact we can make on our communities, but another approach in thinking about whether or not to get involved is: “What’s in it for me?” While it may seem like a self-centered question in a field that revolves around giving back to others, it’s a logical question. Fortunately, we have good news: volunteering has many benefits!

Succeed in School– Service-learning holds the potential to increase the attendance and engagement of students in classrooms and schools. It also engages students in classroom learning in ways that foster academic achievement and increase motivation to learn. Service-learning can also help to address underlying causes of low graduation rates, while incorporating the strategies most recommended for preventing students from dropping out.

Land Your Dream Job– A report by The Corporation for National and Community Service reveals that those that volunteer have a 27 percent better chance of finding a job than those who don’t. An additional study from the Center for Economic and Policy Research supports this claim, noting that unemployed people who volunteer between 20 and 99 hours during the year are roughly 7 percent more likely to have found employment one year later compared to those who don’t volunteer. Volunteering helps you build your experience, expand your network, and gain knowledge needed to switch fields.

Excel in the Workplace – Volunteerism allows individuals to develop key skills that are essential to success in the workforce. These skills include: leadership, communications, fundraising/business development, patience, problem solving, public speaking, and coaching/mentoring, among others.

Stay Happy and HealthyResearch conducted by UnitedHealth Group reveals that volunteers are more likely than non-volunteers to consider themselves in excellent or very good health, and they are more likely to say that their health has improved over the past 12 months. There is also a strong connection between volunteering and mental/emotional health: doing good helps us to stress less, and less stress is an important component to staying healthy.

Ready to improve your life? The GOAL Center will now be hosting monthly volunteer opportunities aimed at helping you engage with the community, increase your employability, and enhance your resume! Contact us for more information. Happy volunteering!


Wisdom Wednesday: Interview Etiquette

We’ve all been there (or will be at some point): Nervous, palms sweating, unsure of what’s to come. All you want is for them to like you. Really, really like you! As you wait watching the receptionist tick away at her computer you begin to zone out…and then suddenly you hear the pitter-patter of shoes coming down the hallway. Your heart skips a beat and you have about 30 seconds until you’re in the spotlight… I’m talking about The Interview!

We have all had our fair share of interviews.  if not, you need to become privy as to what goes over well with potential employers and what could be the nail in your prospective career coffin. Today we will be going over interview etiquette and discussing the tips and tricks you need to know to land your dream job…

Before The Interview

  1. Research the company.
  2. Update your resume. (If possible try to keep it to one page in length.)
  3. Bring: A fresh notepad, a pen and two copies of your resume.
  4. Dress appropriately and avoid any oversized or layered jewelry.
  5. Wear natural makeup and keep your hair simple and out of your face. A few of my favorite interview hairstyles include ballerina buns, low ponytails, and half-up styles.
  6. On the way to your interview, listen to your favorite pump up song to boost your energy and confidence. (It sounds silly, but it always works!)
  7. Turn off your phone and spit out the gum.
  8. Arrive on time (and not too early, 10 minutes is usually best).
  9. Be prepared to answer the following questions:
    Tell me about yourself.
    How has your experience prepared you for this job?
    What is your greatest weakness? (Tip: Whatever your weakness is, always present it as something that you are “working on.” For example, “I’m working on talking less when I am nervous.”)
    Why do you want this job?
  10. Prepare a few questions of your own, such as the following:
    Why is this position open?
    Is there an opportunity for growth with this position? If so, where does it lead?
    What was your career path to this job? 

During the Interview

  1. Be nice to everyone in and around the building. You never know who works at the company or who will be interviewing you.
  2. Give them a solid, confident handshake.
  3. Smile. You want to be approachable and it will ease your nerves.
  4. Be polite and energetic. No one wants to interview a slug.
  5. Maintain good posture.
  6. Don’t talk too much–you don’t want to be a chatterbox, but definitely don’t provide them with one word answers either. Also, do NOT interrupt the person who is interviewing you.
  7. Remember to ask your questions at the end of the interview.
  8. Do NOT ask about money during the first interview.
  9. At the end of the interview, ask when a decision is going to be made and when it is appropriate for you to follow up.
  10. On your way out, be sure to graciously thank them for taking the time to meet with you.


After the Interview

  1. The second you walk out of the interview write a hand-written thank you note and pop it in the mail that same day. Yes, as in snail mail. It may seem old-fashioned, but this is an often-overlooked gesture that is greatly appreciated and highly noted by potential employers.
  2. Follow up if you haven’t heard back by the date specified during the interview. Do not follow up before that date.
  3. Do NOT (!!!) tweet, Facebook post, or blog about your interview. We all know that the first thing a prospective employer does after an interview is Google the interviewee.

Author: Lauren Conrad

Wisdom Wednesday: The Happy Secret to Better work

What is the true secret to happiness in our working lives? The formula is commonly understood to be that working hard leads to success and success leads to happiness, but what if there were a better way?

Shawn Achor’s talk is both hilarious and poignant. It will keep you glued to the screen for the entire 12 minutes. The takeaway? Happiness breeds success, and if you can tap into the “happiness advantage,” good things will follow. Concrete suggestions for becoming happier (the hard part) start around the 11-minute mark.

Wisdom Wednesday: 8 Tips & Tricks for LinkedIn Power Users

You have hundreds of connections, stacks of skills and endorsements, a killer review of your experience and a flattering but professional headshot. Your LinkedIn profile is all set up for some seriously productive networking, and you’re ready to build up your brand online as you climb the ladder of success.

But don’t you wish you could get a little bit more out of LinkedIn? While having an extensive network is a big advantage, there several little things you can do to help make the most of the website — and a lot of them are free.

Here are eight ways to get a leg up on the LinkedIn competition:

Request to connect through search instead of the profile button.

When you send connection requests through the Connect button on someone’s profile, you have to prove you know them through a mutually listed company or school. To skip that step, just search for the person you want to connect with, and use the Connect button next to her name to immediately send the invitation.


Connect with users through search, rather than individual profiles, to skip a step.

Set up anonymous profile viewing to explore the network fearlessly.

You adjust your privacy settings to make your profile visits anonymous.


Whether it’s an old college rival or your new boss, it’s natural to want to delve a little deeper into someone’s professional past. However, LinkedIn’s default settings notify users when someone looks at their profiles.

The first concern is coming off as creepy, but if you’re using LinkedIn to vet potential hires or recruiters, you may not want them to know what you’re doing. Luckily, there’s an easy fix to limit or remove all identifying information from your visit, so the people whose profiles you view won’t knew you were there.

The one caveat is forfeiting your ability to see who views your profile (if you have a basic account), but it’s a small sacrifice for searching in secrecy.

Use advanced searches to hone in on the best jobs and candidates.

There are limited filters for basic-level users, but even those will help you narrow your search.


Whether you’re a recruiter looking for the perfect person for an opening at your company, or you’re just someone looking for a new gig, a basic search might not yield the best results. While LinkedIn offers several paid upgrades that give you special tools for this, an advanced search can help you filter through a slew of postings and connections.

The paid upgrades give you deeper filters and streamline the process, but the free ones are a great first step toward a successful search.

Import your email contacts as connections.

You never know what one more connection can do.


If you’ve been using LinkedIn long enough, chances are you’ve connected with most people you’ve done business with by now. That said, searching through your email contacts is a great way to find anyone who might have slipped your mind or works in a different industry than they did before.

It may not make a huge difference right away, but all it takes is one message to start a big business move, whether it’s a new job or a major partnership.

Make sure your profile reflects your current work and aspirations.


Keeping your profile updated might not be at the top of your to-do list, but it’s helpful to clear out the cobwebs and keep the information fresh. You shouldn’t need to make major changes to the experience and education sections, but consistently updating your work portfolio will keep connections updated on what you’ve been doing recently.

While this is mainly useful for those in media, graphic design and other industries that often value work samples over resumes, it can also highlight a specific interest or specialty you want to parlay into a new job.

Take advantage of groups.

Keep in touch with people with similar experiences to make the most of your network.


While connecting with people you don’t know is against LinkedIn’s rules, joining groups of users with similar experiences, jobs and interests is a great way to reach more people and resources. There are groups for colleges, industries, professional organizations, companies and common interests, and being part of these groups allows you search and filter through them with an upgraded account.

Each group has a page with an open forum and job board, helping those within the group help each other. Also, group memberships appear on your public profile by default, which will help connections see what you do beyond your listed experience.

Ask connections to leave you recommendations.

Because it never hurts to ask for a little help.


Letters of recommendation can make or break a job application, and LinkedIn allows users to recommend each other’s work at specific companies and organizations. While it might be awkward to ask at first, these recommendations add immediate credibility and depth to your experience. And beyond it’s content, the recommendation shows that people actually like you enough to say nice things about you for everyone to see.

Save job searches and receive email alerts.


Let LinkedIn guide you to your new job.

If you’re looking for a new gig, you can save job searches on LinkedIn and get email updates daily, weekly or monthly. This is a great way of making the site work for you, as you look for work yourself.

Author: Sylvan Lane

Images: Mashable, LinkedIn

Wisdom Wednesday: 4 Rules for Answering the Weakness Question

The one dreaded question that is guaranteed to come up in every interview is “What is your greatest weakness?” Perhaps it’s the interviewer’s way of weeding out candidates to see who is truly prepared to answer this uncomfortable question. Regardless, you can remove some of the awkwardness by prepping for the question and following these rules.

1. Don’t give a cop-out answer

Please don’t give tired answers like, “My greatest weakness is that I’m too much of a perfectionist/workaholic.” Perhaps it is true for you, but unfortunately, it may ring false to the interviewer who is used to hearing these generic answers that come off as a way to dodge the question.

2. Be honest

Dig deep into yourself and figure out what your true weaknesses are at work. Write them down on a sheet of paper, and figure out which ones you can use in an interview. If you state a weakness you’ve struggled with, your answer will sound more honest. Some things that will help you come up with true weaknesses is to look at some of the challenges you have faced in your previous jobs or think about constructive criticism you’ve received from a manager.

3. Avoid deal breakers

Although we mention that you should be honest, it’s also good to remember that there is such a thing as being too honest. You need to avoid weaknesses that will hurt your chances of getting the job. For example, say if you’re applying for an HR position and you say that you’re not good with people, or if you’re trying for a sales job and you say you are bad at negotiating. This doesn’t mean that you have to make up a weakness, but it’s just preferable for you to pick another weakness that isn’t a deal breaker.

4. Talk about your attempts to overcome your weakness

Always talk about the steps you have taken to overcome your weakness. This is your chance to show the interviewer that although you have your flaws, you are proactive and resourceful enough to overcome them. In a way, your effort to conquer your weaknesses will be looked at as a strength.

Wisdom Wednesday: Top 7 Apps for Your Job Search

In today’s competitive job market, you have to use every tool at your disposal. These seven apps can help you find job openings and make yourself look like the great applicant you are!

Resume Builder Pro

resume builder pro

It’s hard to get so much as an interview without a great resume that makes you look more qualified than other job applicants. Resume Builder Pro provides a flexible template that lets you include important information such as:

  • Contact information
  • Previous work experience
  • Education
  • References

If you already have a resume on your desktop or laptop computer, you can import it to Resume Builder Pro for convenience. There is a free version of the app, but it’s not nearly as dynamic. With the Pro version, you can even get help from a professional editing service that will check your resume for misspellings, awkward phrases, and other common mistakes.



Price: Free, subscription required for some features

System: iOS and Android

Most of today’s companies want to hire professionals who have technology skills. Treehouse offers a learning platform with hundreds of lessons that can teach you skills such as:

  • HTML
  • CSS
  • Ruby
  • PHP
  • Python
  • Mobile app development

The app does more than offer video lessons with basic information. It gives learners a chance to test their skills with challenges that reinforce learning. Within a few weeks, you could complete the lesson tracks needed to qualify for tech-focused positions that require coding and business skills.

Hidden Jobs

hidden jobs

Price: $0.99

System: iOS

The Hidden Jobs app takes an active approach to finding companies with open positions that haven’t been published on job hunting sites. It does this by searching the Internet for articles about company expansions. This information usually gets released before companies know exactly what types of employees they need to hire. If you act quickly, you could have your application in before anyone else. Hidden Jobs also uses Google to push open job alerts to your phone.

101 HR Interview Questions

101 HR interview questions

Price: Free

System: iOS and Android

A lot of people get anxious when preparing for interviews. For these people, writing a resume doesn’t seem difficult because they can always revise. At an interview, though, you can’t revise the words coming out of your mouth. 101 HR Interview Questions helps applicants prepare for the interview process. Once you practice answering common human resources questions, you can walk into the interview feeling confident.



Price: Free

System: iOS and Android

Some experts say that between 70 and 80 percent of job openings never get published. LinkedIn helps you build a network of like-minded professionals who can help you find unpublished positions. To get the most out of LinkedIn, you need to present yourself as a professional who knows how to meet goals efficiently. You’ll find the best contacts by updating your job experiences, publishing articles, and joining professional groups.

Business Card Reader Pro

Business Card Reader Pro

Price: $5.99

System: iOS and Android

No one wants to walk around with a wallet full of business cards. Instead, put your smartphone to work for you. Keep things digital by uploading your business cards directly to a smartphone with reliable 4G data. There you can share and store tons of cards no matter where you go.



Price: $5.99

System: iOS

Textilus is the most powerful word processing app for iOS devices. It lets you read, write, and edit everything from Word documents to PDF files. It also lets you convert to different file types so you can send your resume, cover letter, or other documents to hiring managers in formats they prefer. Once you get used to writing and editing with Textilus, you may start typing more on your mobile device than your laptop.

This article was originally posted by Vault Careers

Wisdom Wednesday: The Psychology of the Job Interview

Very few people say they genuinely enjoy job interviews. That makes sense because in the same way that most people dislike taking tests, a job interview is a test. Even those who feel confident about their professional past, are up-to-date with job requirement skills, and don’t possess many potential liabilities still fear facing the unknown. Not many people are good on their feet, and they know it; therefore, each past failure adds another scar to the wound that never had a chance to heal in the first place. While trying to demonstrate the opposite, the job candidate is shrouded in negative emotions and fears.

On the other side of the desk sits the interviewer, who in most cases is aware of not being very good at interviewing because of lack of interviewing experience—unless the person is, say, a recruiter or some part of the staffing function in the human resources department and who interviews routinely. Very few interviewers have taken formal courses about how to become better at interviewing. Typically, an interviewer is less prepared for, less interested in, and less eager about the interview that’s about to take place than the candidate sitting opposite. So, that’s the background to the candidate selection process, which is critical to each side: for the candidate, the issue is a career changer; for the employer, a crucial and important business decision.

Categorically, you can improve interview performance by solid preparation for it and by gaining an understanding of the interviewer’s needs. Both sides assess each other within minutes, if not seconds; everything thereafter serves only as validation of the initial impression.

When the interviewer says, “Tell me about yourself,” you should not respond with, “Where would you like me to start?” That would be considered a weak answer. Rather, you should take control and summarize in two or three sentences your professional experience in your field, give a brief example of a success story, and end by engaging the interviewer in the form of a question about the interviewer’s priorities. That question should be framed to come across as a friendly yet professional dialogue and certainly shouldn’t put the interviewer on the spot. Keep the dialogue going. Try understanding what’s behind the question and project the positive and unique qualities about yourself that you can share through your success stories.

Once the interview’s over, leave the interviewer with a memorable ending. Shake her hand and say, “Ms. Smith, thanks for your time. May I leave you with a final thought: I’m very enthusiastic about this opportunity and am very interested in this position.” Do you think she’ll remember you? The odds are definitely in your favor.

This was originally posted on Personal Branding Blog.

Wisdom Wednesday: What to do Before, During and After an Interview

Interviewing for a job can be incredibly nerve-racking, especially if you’re new to the job search or it’s been a long time since your last interview.  You’re probably stressing about what to say, what to wear, and what you might be asked.

Don’t panic.  Take the following advice to heart, and you’ll be better prepared to impress the interviewer and stand out from other candidates.

Before an Interview:

Your dress and appearance are the first things an interviewer will see. Present how you fit-in with the company’s culture by following their dress code. If you’re not sure how employees at the organization dress and groom, look at photos on their website for clues or observe their front door at quitting time a few days before the interview.

After choosing an outfit, research the company. Understand the company’s mission, industry information, and the job description. You want to communicate to the employer that you care about this job, and that is why the extra work of researching the company is worth it.

Next, be on time, use appropriate waiting-room behavior, and turn off your cell phone. These are common courtesy tips that are often overlooked. Consider occupying yourself with something business-like, such as reading your notes about the company.

Once you meet the interviewer or interviewers, share hands firmly, maintain good eye contact, and act interested. This tells the employer that you are listening closely and have good social skills.

During an interview:

It’s very important to communicate your skills during an interview. You may feel like you’re bragging, but this is the time to do so. Tell the interviewer why they should hire you and why you want the job. The job descriptions usually list qualities and qualifications they are looking for, so point out skills or experience you have that you know the employer seeks.

When the interviewer asks tough questions, answer them with confidence. It’s absolutely acceptable to take a moment to reflect and gather your thoughts. They would rather you give an insightful and meaningful answer than a quick thrown together response. If you’re confused by the question, it’s okay to ask the interviewer to rephrase or clarify the question.

Usually at the end of interviews, you’ll have the chance to ask questions. Be prepared with a handful of appropriate questions to ask the interviewer about the company or the job. This demonstrates that you’re interested and care to learn more. Also consider writing your questions down on paper, so you have something to reference. Below are a few great questions to ask during an interview that will help you impress a potential employer:

  • Why do you enjoy working for this company?
  • How would you describe the work environment?
  • How would you describe the company culture?
  • What types of opportunities are available for career development such as continued learning?
  • Is there room for advancement?

After an Interview:

When the interview is coming to a close, thank the interviewer by name, express your interest, and repeat why you are a good fit for the position.

After the interview, but on the same day it occurred, send the interviewer an email to thank him or her for their time. Consider mailing a handwritten thank-you note as well.

Maintain contact with the employer. If you agreed to call back at a specific date and time, be sure to mark it on your calendar.

Though the candidate’s resume, cover letter and job application give interviewers an overview of their background and skills, the interview may be the best chance the candidate has to make a favorable impression. It is the last point of contact before a hiring decision is made and for this reason it is important to be well-prepared and confident. The tips given above can help you succeed at your next interview and get the job of your dreams.

Author: Ashley Roggenbuck

Source: http://blog.jist.emcp.com/stellar-questions-ask-interviews/

Wisdom Wednesday: Five Lessons to be Learned from a Student Success Coach

During college–whether you realize realize it or not–you have access to some pretty unbelievable career resources. With on-campus recruiters, applications geared toward graduating seniors and the Goal Center located on campus, the job-hunting process is never going to be easier.

Whether you’re feeling stuck in your current role, you’re ready to switch careers or you’d just like to build out a more explicit plan for your future, working with a Student Success Coach may be the tool you need.

Below you’ll find five lessons to be learned from working with a coach.

1. When thinking about your career, step out of the day-to-day and think “big picture”

Day to day life is so packed with responsibilities that it can be difficult to think about what you’ll be doing next week, never mind six months from now. It is recommended that students create an 18-month plan for their career. This could mean where you’d like to go within your current job, or it could be a roadmap for how you want to get to a new opportunity.

Working with a Student Success Coach can help you learn how to look at your career from a big picture point of view. This new perspective help you to stay in touch with your goals and build a much clearer vision of the type of role you would like to be in. It also will help you to define what you need to be doing in order to get there.

2. A lack of clarity is okay–but talking through it and having someone to be accountable to is extraordinarily helpful

At this point, you may be thinking, “Okay, ‘big picture’ thinking about my career sounds great, but what if I have no idea what I want to do or where I’d like to be?”

That’s okay–our generation is so driven, hyper-connected and forward-thinking that any kind of ambiguity feels very wrong. If you’re at a point where you feel very unclear about your next move, a coach will provide you with actual tools to help figure these things out.

We’re talking worksheets, reading materials and candid conversations with someone that is holding you accountable to deadlines. These tools and benchmarks will help you get clarity and focus so that when you do make a game plan, it’s aligned with your real passions and goals.

3. Your LinkedIn is crucial (but so are your other social media outlets)

It is critical that job seekers have an updated, polished and well-written LinkedIn profile. Regardless of whether or not you’re looking for a job, a strong LinkedIn illustrates and catalogs the best parts of your professional experience. Furthermore, it helps you organize the big projects you’ve worked on so that when you are ready to make a move, you don’t have to try to remember exactly what you did three years ago.

While LinkedIn is key, it’s not the only way that future employers can find you. The way that you portray yourself on Facebook, Twitter and other social media websites is also very important. Maintaining a professional persona online could give you  a boost when the hiring decisions are being made, and depending on what field you’re in, having a Twitter profile that demonstrates your knowledge of current trends can be a great marker for your credibility. Use social media for your benefit.

4. Do your research. And then do it again.

While working with a coach can be a powerful catalyst, you truly get out what you put in. Your coach can only help you as much as you’re willing to help yourself. A coach can certainly act as a guide, but if you’re not willing to do the extra work, it’s not worth either of your time.

5. Be (extremely) organized with your materials and your time

If you’re going to work with a career coach, you have to be extremely organized. Research, outreach and planning take time–lots of it, and you’re going to have to keep things organized and manage your time well.

These are just a few lessons that you will learn from a DCC Student Success Coach. There are so many more valuable takeaways. Just remember that if you’re feeling “stuck” or unfulfilled in your current job, it is critical that you take action. Schedule an appointment to meet with a Student Success Coach to discuss your goals

Source: http://www.levo.com/articles/career-advice/5-invaluable-lessons-from-working-with-a-career-coach

Written by: Chloe Troia