College Students–Don’t Make this Fatal Mistake

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Uncle David has gotten every job he has ever gone for, so when he gives job-hunting advice, you better listen up. Join us every week for Uncle David’s 100% Successful Job Hunting Tip.  

SHOW DATE: MARCH 12, 2014

College students, start developing relationships with your university’s career services office RIGHT NOW.

The fatal mistake many college students make is getting help their senior years.

BIG MISTAKE.

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If we were career service staff at a university, we’d be more likely to help someone we knew for a few years.

Start going in your sophomore or junior year. It’s called nurturing relationships and it’s going to help you get a job.

In a Creative Field? Let Your Resume Reflect it

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Uncle David has gotten every job he has ever gone for, so when he gives job-hunting advice, you better listen up. Join us every week for Uncle David’s 100% Successful Job Hunting Tip. 

SHOW DATE: FEBRUARY 26, 2014

Your resume needs to reflect who your are, your skill sets and the type of job you’re going for.

If you’re a designer or in some other creative field and your resume is the humdrum list of qualifications, you’re not showing the employer who you are or what you’re capable of.

You should be using various fonts, white space and negative space, and actually let the resume be a piece of design that reflects your aesthetic.

If you’re in the run-of-the-mill corporate setting, ease off on trying too hard to stand out from others. Otherwise you just look like the song-and-dance salesman who just overdoes it.

While we’re on the subject of getting the job you want, check out this excellent list of tips for scoring your dream job by Rachel Zarrell from Buzzfeed.

IS COLLEGE WORTH IT? GOOGLE’S BOCK SAYS NOT REALLY–WE SAY BS

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SHOW DATE: FEBRUARY 26, 2014

We were reading a Thomas L. Friedman opinion article yesterday in the New York Times regarding the shocking statistic Google’s Senior VP for People Operations Laszlo Bock threw out about their employee pool: Google has teams where 14% of the group doesn’t have a college degree.

Bock said that college degrees aren’t necessarily vital for getting a job. We say that’s bullshit.

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We get what Bock’s saying about putting technical skill over an official document.

At the end of the day, though, you have to understand the breadth of the world, the history of World War II, how to speak another language and what to make of Leaves of Grass to bring that creativity to the workplace.

No matter what happens in life, you’ll have an easier time transitioning from job to job with a college degree.

We can’t tell you how many people have written Auntie Evan about Bock’s comments. What most of us have come to believe is that having a college degree is a $200,000 expense that doesn’t serve anybody.

It’s a big commitment, we get it. There’s a multitude of ways to tackle the money problem from a financial aid standpoint, but that’s another article entirely.

Thing is, Auntie Evan can spot a person without a college degree a mile away. Do you need to have a degree to be in sales? Of course not. But when you’re sitting across from a marketing major and they’re talking about Sophocles or they’re reading the paper about a problem with the whip (a political party’s assistant leader), and you’ve never taken a class on ancient playwrights or political science, it shows in your presentation.

How is a political science degree going to help you sell a house? If you can’t be dynamic, on your feet and ready to adapt to any subject or conversation on a sales job in order to better connect with your potential customer, you’re going to fall behind as a salesman. Or as anyone else, for that matter.

This is not true for everybody, of course. We’re just saying having a college degree is going to bump you up in any job you’re going to take on.

On the Flip Side…

You may not need to have a degree. Are we contradicting ourselves? No. We want to look at the flip side and assess for whom a college degree is unnecessary.

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College made Uncle David’s entire life. Yet, he understands that college, for many people, is a drain on their finances, their resources and their life.

What got Uncle David excited about the Bock interview was that Google doesn’t look at GPAs and standardized test score exclusively anymore; they look at leadership, humility, flexibility—they’d rather have somebody on their job who’s a flexible thinker and who can adapt to changing circumstances than somebody with a high GPA.

Back to heads

Now, granted that some positions don’t exclusively look at your diploma, let’s get back to a real world example: Tom, one of our star essay coaches at Forster-Thomas, got a degree in theater and later in film and went on to be in the television. He didn’t necessarily need his degree, but when he was out of a job he came to Forster-Thomas and excelled—he was able to think laterally on his feet and came to us with a stack of innovative ideas and potential products for the company.

We say it’s his liberal arts degree that helped him bring so many new ideas to the table. It’s the same story with our office manager, Roberto. He knows how to speak to people, how to sell, how to present in front of a room full of clients—and it’s thanks to his theater degree.

Our conclusion? Don’t go for the dropout life. Take the high road and become a better employee in the process.

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If you decide to go the path of college-less digital vagabond-ism, here is more info about Enstitute, where entrepreneurs (most of whom didn’t get a college degree) are apprenticed by mentors as they work together to get their startups in full gear.

 

 

BEING HIRED BY AUDITION IS ACTUALLY A GOOD THING

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Uncle David has gotten every job he has ever gone for, so when he gives job-hunting advice, you better listen up. Join us every week for Uncle David’s 100% Successful Job Hunting Tip. 

SHOW DATE: FEBRUARY 5, 2014

Don’t be afraid of companies that practice hiring by audition.

An audition is a sort of probation period, where some firms try you out for around 30-60 days before they give you a solid position.

They give you work to do, it might be at home or at the office, and then depending how you deliver the goods you might get a full time offer or not.

This is a great way for you to get to know the inner-workings of the company and see if it’s the right fit.

Some people loathe this system. The possibility of an ephemeral and unstable employment incites fear and causes many employees to avoid jobs with auditions.

But you must incorporate auditions into your reality and job search. Don’t be offended by such a request; it’s a new working world out there, and many successful companies are testing waters experimenting with new hiring techniques.

In fact, we do this at our company, Forster-Thomas. We call it a casting, and we’ve done it for years. We usually hire an extra person because we know something might happen in the first 30 days. In other companies, if something happens the company and the employee are stuck with each other.

This is counterproductive: companies who hire by audition actually have higher employee retention rates.

It’s all about testing the waters. Once you’ve dipped your toes in the pond and the company has sampled your work, and both sides find something valuable, a recipe for longevity on the job seems to emerge.

 

GETTING ADVICE FROM AN INDUSTRY VET? MAKE IT EASY ON THEM

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SHOW DATE: FEBRUARY 5, 2014

When asking somebody to help you break into a new industry—somebody’s who’s been there for a while—make it easy on them. Don’t make them have to pull teeth.

Auntie Evan got a call recently from a friend in the educational consulting industry asking him to speak to a young man looking to get into the business of tutoring kids and helping them get into college.

Of course, it’s up to the caller to explain his situation and ask the right questions. Instead, the man fumbled and waited for Auntie Evan to do all the work for him.

Auntie Evan had to forcefully get all the information out from this guy. This guy had an amazing opportunity to get Auntie Evan on his side, but he blew it because he wasn’t prepared, didn’t have any questions ready, and didn’t talk about the skills he had, as well as the most important thing—his long term goals.

Don’t make the person helping you have to pull teeth. Be clear and explain who you are and what you want. Don’t waste their time and you’ll have someone in industry by your side.

WAITING TABLES ON YOUR PATH TO SUCCESS

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SHOW DATE: JANUARY 29, 2014

The president discussed raising the minimum wage last week, and we’re all for that.

But do you know who makes even less than the minimum wage? Yup, waiters.

Waiters are exempt from the minimum wage law.

Here’s the flip side though. According to a recent article in the Wall Street Journal, waiters at high-end restaurants are pulling in six figures.

Ivy league graduates are starting their careers serving drinks and food orders at really hip places around the country. Columbia and Harvard graduates are working in places like Per Se in New York.

Our point? Everything you need to learn about professional success you can learn as a waiter.

You want to be successful, you have to wait tables at least once, because you learn the following four vital skills:

1) Multitasking

2) Establishing trust

3) Dealing with demanding people

4) Working on a deadline

When you’re a waiter, you need establish trust. You have to be the person who knows how to take care of someone, and makes the customer feel taken care of.

It’s dealing with demanding people, it’s working on a deadline.

Sound much like an office?

waiter-tray_fullMore accurately, sound much like the path to a successful career?

ADD HYPERLINKS TO YOUR RESUME

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Uncle David has gotten every job he has ever gone for, so when he gives job-hunting advice, you better listen up. Join us every week for Uncle David’s 100% Successful Job Hunting Tip. 

SHOW DATE: JANUARY 15, 2013

Your resume is the gateway to your future career. So it’s a bit jarring to find out that hiring managers only spend about 10 seconds looking over it.

Fortunately, we have a way to make hiring managers look over your resume for more than 10 seconds.

Engage hiring managers by adding hyperlinks to your resumes. The great thing is, most people view resumes on their computer, meaning they can click links in your resume.

So if you work for, say, SnowCorp, put in a link to SnowCorp’s website on your resume. Also make sure to attach a hyperlink for your LinkedIn profile to your name at the top of your resume.

STOP USING YOUR COMPANY EMAIL ON YOUR RESUME

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Uncle David has gotten every job he has ever gone for, so when he gives job-hunting advice, you better listen up. Join us every week for Uncle David’s 100% Successful Job Hunting Tip. 

SHOW DATE: JANUARY 8, 2013

When you’re looking for a job, you want to make sure you have a personal email address listed on your resume.

There are people who feel that using their company email address on their resume legitimizes them and proves that they have a job. But that’s not the way you prove your legitimacy. There’s references for that.

For one, your company might be filtering its email system for any mentions of “resume.” In most cases, you wouldn’t want your company to be privy of your job hunt.

It’s enough for your future employer to see, “ABC Inc. | XXXX – Present.” Like we said, you can always put a co-worker as a reference to legitimize your time there.

And if your personal email is comprised of something ridiculous like jess2hot4u@gmail.com or something, create a new email address, don’t use your company email.

 

 

 

IS YOUR NAME STOPPING EMPLOYERS FROM FINDING YOU?

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SHOW DATE: NOVEMBER 27, 2013

Don’t let your common name (ex. David Thomas) keep you invisible on social media.

Career Builder did a survey this year that found that 43% of hiring managers admit to researching high-ranking job candidates on LinkedIn and Facebook and other social media. And of course, having that common name makes you much harder to find.

There’s a simple solution. Make sure that when you register for a site like LinkedIn, the email address connected to the social media platform is the same email you have at the top of your resume.

A hiring manager can simply do a Google search on your email address and one of the first things to pop up will be your personal social media accounts. It’s a great way to stand out in the process.