Monthly Archives: February 2012

The Need for Expert Career Advice

Just like expectant mothers, job seekers receive advice from almost everyone in their life.  Isn’t it funny how everyone immediately becomes an expert?   I often talk with job seekers who have received resume, interviewing and cover letter advice from so many sources they do not what to do.  I cannot stress enough the importance of finding an expert for your job search the same way you would for legal or medical advice.  Always find people most trained and experienced in the area where you need advice.  For the purpose of the job search, every job seeker should enlist advice from these two important groups of experts without exception:

Job Search Experts and Career Coaches offer successful tips based on experience and knowledge from hiring managers and recruiters across numerous companies and industries.  Career experts know the latest best practices in resume writing, letter writing, networking and interviewing.  They know how to guide you in determining career paths and options that best fit your strengths and goals.  Career professionals are counselors, advisors, and/or coaches depending on the need of the job seeker.  These people offer objective guidance based on research and knowledge of the current marketplace.

Profession Experts provide insight into the specific careers in which job seekers are researching.  If you are seeking a career in corporate finance, you should connect with people who are currently in and have had successful careers in corporate finance.  These experienced professionals provide targeted advice on what organziations you should join for networking and development.  They know the climate of their profession and what incoming candidates need in order to be successful.  People who are in the profession of your choice have walked in your shoes.  They know what works to get noticed and what doesn’t.  Seek a professional mentor who can offer you this much needed and valuable direction and guidance.

Create your team of experts who will guide you towards a successful job search and future career progression.  You can’t afford not to enlist the very best for your future.  Good luck!

Career Management Decision Making

By Guest Blogger:  Jessica Newcomb

When do we have all the information we could possibly have before we make a decision? When do we get all of our questions, doubts, and fears answered when there is a big decision involved?  Never! However, there are still those job seekers who want all the information before they make a decision. The decision could be about applying to which companies, taking which offer, countering the offer for how much. Whatever, the decision, we don’t live under perfect conditions in a perfect world.

Sometimes you have to make a decision to accept or decline an offer before you’ve interviewed for another opportunity that really excites you. There are hundreds of scenarios I could describe in which you don’t have all of the information. There is no absolute way to know which position you will like more, in which company will you have the most success, and so on.

My #1 tip to consider as you make career decisions is to prioritize. Does your geographic preference take priority? The answer to that question could depend on if you have a spouse, want to stay close to other family, or don’t like extremely cold/hot weather. Does the company culture and fit take priority? Does pay take priority? Does the actual work you would be doing take priority?

A career coach can’t answer that question for you, and even as you consult your support system of friends and family, they can’t definitively answer that question for you. Ultimately, you have to choose which path you will take.

What matters most to you? Once you have an answer, consider the information you have, and move forward.

5 Job Search Tips for International Students

The first question I am asked of International Students who join our program at A&M is how an international student can be have a successful job search in the United States.   We talk networking, yet those new to our country worry their only network is in their home country.   International students struggle with approaching companies of interest only to be told the company does not sponsor H1B Visas.  I could go on for paragraphs talking about the struggles.  Let’s cover my top five tips for any international student seeking employment in the US.

1.  First and foremost, the main goal upon graduation is to be employed in your area of interest.  PERIOD!  If you want to go into consulting, then your main goal is to find employment in consulting.  Right?  This means, you have to look for employment opportunities in the United States, your home country or anywhere in the world.  This is the same advice I give domestic students.  Never lose sight of the main objective which is to be employed upon graduation in your field of interest.

2.  Secondly, you must build a network.  And believe it or not, you do have a network in the United States. LinkedIn proves it.  You may not have direct contacts just yet, but everyone has indirect networks readily available through Alumni databases, LinkedIn Groups and a general Google people search.  Look for alumni from your undergraduate program who are currently in the US and working for companies of interest to you.  Join LinkedIn groups directed to your profession.  Look for individuals or groups of individuals who have gone through the process before you and start building rapport.  Please visit some of my previous posts on how to initiate converations through Social Media outlets or those I have shared through Twitter.

3.  Decrease the amount of time you spend “Applying Online.”  Creating a job search strategy that includes next steps after the application to creatively connect with Alumni or hiring managers.  Never forget that a successful job search makes “applying online” a step in the process not the entire process.

4.  Check with your campus career center and see if they subscribe to GoingGlobal.  This service is one my favorites for International Students. It provides Visa and job search trends around the world as well as a list of companies by state and city that applied for and received H1Bs in the previous year.

5.  Purchase a copy of Dan Beaudry’s amazing book “Power Ties:  The International Student’s Guide to Finding a Job in the United States.”  While this is my fifth tip, it might be the most important of all.  I have almost worn out my copy with my continuous reference back to some of his tried-and-true suggestions.  I keep my copy within reaching distance, and you should as well.

It is no secret that International Students seeking employment in the United States have challenges to overcome, but it is important to remember that your ultimate goal is to be employed in a position and with a company that brings you fulfillment and joy.  Remind yourself of that everyday and best wishes for a successful job search and future career.