Monday, June 30, 2014

What To Do During Unemployment?

This will be my last career related post for this June. This post follows my last two posts:Job Hunting Techniques and Interview Tips . I hope you all find them helpful. I know economy has been down for the past six years, but do not worry it will pick up. If you are struggling to land a job after graduation, you are not the only one. There are something you can while unemployed beside looking for a job. These were what I did when I was unemployed.

1. Volunteer: It is important to get some work experience. You could have good grades, but you still did not get a job; the reason might be you do not have enough work experience. Start build your work experience from volunteering. Once you are more experienced, the chances of getting hire would be higher. People you volunteer for might able provide some work opportunity for you in the future as well.

2. Redefine Yourself: If you could not find a job after graduation, do not blame yourself. May be it is not what you want to do. If you lose a job, instead of being mad, it is time to do some self analysis. May be this job was not your best fit, and/or you never actually liked the job. Try to come up with answers to those questions: "What you did wrong?" "What you good at?" It is time to look for a job that you like and do not make the same mistake from the last job.

3. Spend Time With Friends and Family: Before you became unemployed, you were busy at school and/or work. You probably not have enough time to be with your friends and family. Why do not you take unemployment as an advantage and spend some time with people around you.

4. Do Something You Did Not Have Time To Do Before: You can travel, paint, read a book, write a story/poet, knit a hat etc. You can even use your hobbie turn into a business. May be someday, your hobbie will become your job? You never know. Some entrepreneurs started be unemployed then became very rich (sorry for off topic).

5. Go Back to School: If you have the finance available, I recommend to go back to school. Education is necessary no matter how old you are. There are Post-Baccalaureate and Graduate programs. Ask academics advisers, see what your options are. By the time you have your Post-Baccalaureate and/or Master, the economy might be better and you are definitely better in the market.

Last but not at least, remember to be optimistic!! Did not find job? Lost a job? Well thing could be worse. What does not kill you makes you stronger!!

Friday, June 20, 2014

Job Hunting Technique

June is a graduation month, and many college graduates will switch from being a student to a professional. It is a big transition. I decided to all career advice related posts for this month. Last week I wrote about Interview Tips check it out, if you have not do so.

1. Use Campus Resources: All Universities and Colleges have their own career related service on campus. The Career Center usually provide a lot of great Workshops, Career Fair information and job postings. People work there are friendly. I found my first job from Career Center Website posting, and first internship from a Campus Career Fair.

2. Connections: Do you know most jobs can be found because you know someone? It is important to know many people in the related career field. Build connections with recruiters, classmates, professors, relatives, friends, etc. You never know who will be give you work opportunity in the future. So far, I had two post grad jobs from personal connection. I feel blessed about it.  

3. Let Job Find You: Looking and applying for jobs are stressful; however, if you did well in school, involved in several extra activities, and had several good connections, you are more likely to get an offer and referral for a job that fit you. I know people who received several offers, and I have had people referral jobs to me as well.

4. Write a Good Resume and Cover Letter: I recommend students go to Writing Center AND Career Center to get started. Also have several different people look over them. Sometimes professionals will come to campus to help students. Take the advantage of it. I do not know how many times and how many people edited my resume. I am happy that all professors, career advisors, writing tutors, and real world professional were super helpful.

5. Don't Give Up and Stay Positive: Last but not least, looking for job with positive energy and never give up. If have the positive attitude and never get discharged, you are more likely to get a job.

Best of Luck!! 

Saturday, June 14, 2014

15 Interview Tips

Economy is TOUGH now. Getting a job is extremely challenging. Now it is graduation season, and I know there are up coming graduates out there who are search for jobs and/or applying for jobs. Even though the financial market was not easy, I still managed to get jobs on campus and off campus for last several years from surviving the interview process. These are tips I learned over years from workshops and experiences. 

*These are only based on my interviewing experience, so I can't guarantee anything. 

1. Be Yourself/Confident: I understand that most people would have to pretend to be better than usual during the interviews; however, employers do not want to hire someone who is fake. They also would not like someone who is not confident to work for them, either, so just be yourself and be confident!!

2. Do the Research: It is important to do some homework before going to the interview. Depends on how well you know the company, the chance of getting the job is higher.

3. Precise Answer and Come up Stories: A lot of interview questions would have to come up with clear answers and good example stories. Prepare some successful accomplishments from previous work and classes. If you have awards or honors, you can talk about them as well. 

4. Be Polite: If you did not show respect to the interviewees and receptionists at the place, you probably not get hired.    

5. Let the Interviewee Finish the Sentence: During the interview, it is easy to rush into the answers, so make sure the wait until the interviewee finish the question. Pulse a few seconds before answering would not hurt either. Interviewees do not care the speed of the interviewer responed, they only consider quality of the answer. Think before answering shows the person is not impulsive and have the logic-thinking skill.

6. Do not Look Desperate: This was hard for me because there was a time I desperately need a job. I know it difficult to manage our stress, but try the best to hide it.

7. Always Smiling: Employers are looking for skilled workers AND the same time, they are looking for positive workers. Who does not want to work with positive and energetic people?  

8. Listen Carefully: Sometimes we could misunderstood the question. Do not answer it until you fully understood what the interviewee is asking.

9. Arrive Early: You can go to bathroom before the interview, and look through wall posting of the company. You can even brought up in the interview, and this shows you are detailed oriented person and really interested in working for them.

10. Follow up with Handwritten Thank You Card: Always do a follow up after the interview. This would help employer remember you the most. Handwritten Thank You Card is the best; however, if it is impossible, send a follow up e-mail at least.

11. Relax: I know interview process is very stressful; the work itself is stressful as well. The part of the interview process is to see how you can handle stress. If the interviewer could not survive manage stress, he/she probably could not take the This shows you are mature and able to manage stress.

12. Bring Pen, Notebook, Resume, and Water: I recommend to bring these stuff ONLY. Do not bring any extra stuff unless you are told to do so. Carrying a big backpack can make interview process even more stressful.

13. Good Eye Contact: The "key" to ace an interview is to make a good eye contact. If there are more than one interviewee, remember to look around the room and make eye contact with everyone as you answer the question.

14. Dress in Layers: The office can be hot and cold, and we never know. It is better to feel physically comfortable during the interview, so wear a shirt inside and blazer jacket on top of it.

15. Bring Questions: 99% of the interview would end in "Do you have questions for us?" This is a chance for you to know the firm better. The more questions you bring to the table, the higher possibility of getting hired.

I hope these were helpful and Good Luck to You!!

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Girl Talk - Be Confident!!

I am starting a new series here in my blog called "Girl Talk". In this blog, I shared a lot of life lessons and advices I heard mostly from people and readings. "Girl Talk" would be more personal and experience based. I try to have this on the first post of each month starting June. This month's topic is about "Confidence."

I have a confession to make: I was not a confident person as I grow up. I always felt shy to talk in the class and my communication skill was not good at all. I usually blaming myself for screw ups. After I failed many times, seriously, how can I be confident again? Glad that I am more confident today than I used to be, but every once a while I lose hope and confidence again. Every time this happens these are guild lines I try to follow.

I clear my mind first. I usually like to go exercise, play some piano, watch a movie, write a blog post, and/or bake something. Do whatever you like to do to clear up your mind whenever the confidence is gone. In order to be confident again, it is important to get refreshed. Then think find the cause that made me fail and practice to be make it perfect. Every time I lose confidence because I failed in something, I try not think it as the end of the world or I would never going to master it. Remember "practice makes perfect." All the achievements build my confidence. At the same time, think about what I am good at. I believe everyone is unique and special in their own way. I have strength and weakness. If I focused on my strength and learned to overcome my weakness, I would be a very confident person. Lastly, I'd like to surrounded by people who love me. I am glad that I have many friends who truly care for me. I also feel blessed with all encouragements I receive. The encouragement from people are so significant and special to me. After I did everything I can to regain my confidence, I usually feel ready to start over.

All in all, "confidence" is the key to success. We should be confident no matter what happens.
Hey, Girl, You Are Awesome.
"Confidence" is making a girl strong.
Good Luck!!
I hope you enjoyed this "Girl Talk."