Tag Archives: jobsearch

Seeking H1B for Just a Few Years

It is a common career goal to work in another country for a couple of years for that global experience.  International students come to the US for an education and hope to stay for at least a few years for this very reason.  US Citizens look for international experience themselves for this very reason.  After that time, they typically plan to return to their home country to be close to family and their home.  From a completely internal point of view, that is natural and perfectly acceptable.  For employers, it’s an entirely different story.

It costs thousands of dollars to recruit, hire, train and replace employees in today’s marketplace.  In many positions, it takes almost a year if not more for a candidate to get up to speed with all of the ins and outs of a position and company.  It is expensive to hire and retain the best in today’s market.  Therefore, it is incumbent upon the employer to identify talent who will not just succeed in the short term but also long term with a career with that organization.  It’s just good business sense.

What should international students do about this news?  They should structure their career decisions and job search plans to match that of business’s need today.  You may eventually want to return to your home country one day.  Someone within the United States might take a position in another state with the hopes of returning closer to home one day.  But, don’t forget that as a job seeker, you are marketing a product to a prospective employer.  The employer is the buyer.  As the manager of your job search marketing campaign, you must align your goals with the needs of business today.  You want to be employed in a profession that matches your goals, strengths and experience.  At the end of the day, business hires people who can help the company make money.  They want to hire people who can learn the company and stay long enough to make a profitable impact on the organization.

The sweet spot for any career manager is to identify where your goals and skills overlap with those of a prospective employer.

 

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Negotiating Internship Offers

Typically internship salary offers are not up for negotiation.  Funding for internship salaries usually comes from a completely different budget pool than full-time salaries and are fixed making it very difficult for companies to provide salary adjustments for interns.   With that said, companies do not use an internship salary/full-time salary formula when making offers. Graduate level salaries are evaluated in a much different manner.

How does a potential intern know if their offered salary may be up for negotiation?  Here are some tips when evaluating your internship offer:

1.  Is the internship part of a formal and established program?  For companies with formal internship programs, interns are almost always brought into the company receiving equal pay packages.

2. Has a bonus, relocation allocation or living stipend been attached?  Be sure to consider any additional benefits when reviewing your internship offer.  If a company is providing you living expenses or a company apartment for the summer, remember that these funds are a part of your salary/benefit package.  Some companies may offer a smaller salary if living expenses are provided.

3.  Was the selection process for the internship highly competitive?  If you were among thousands of candidates experiencing multiple interviews, it is extremely unlikely that you have any foundation for negotiating your internship offer.

4.  What is the opportunity itself?  If you are seeking to intern with a smaller company, a start-up business, or a “foot in the door” industry, such as sports, make sure that your salary expectation and the opportunity itself are comparable.

5.   Is the salary a good offer?  This may be the most important point of all to consider.   If the internship provides an opportunity for a full-time offer in your chosen field and industry, focus on the long term opportunity rather than the short term gain.

Internships are meant to provide you and a prospective employer an opportunity to evaluate each other for a future partnership.  Be careful not to focus on salary when a long term career opportunity is being considered.

 

 

8 Tips to Overcome a Negative Internship Experience

Written by guest blogger:  Jessica Newcomb, Assistant Director, Graduate Business Career Services, Mays Business School, Texas A&M University

Theodore Roosevelt said, “Comparison is the thief of joy.” What a succinct and striking piece of advice that rings true in many life situations. You can never go wrong by focusing on the opportunities in front of you. However, many students have completed 4 or 5 weeks of their internship by now, and some are finding themselves looking around and thinking that other interns were given better projects or are somehow having a better experience. If that statement describes you, consider taking these steps to turn it around.

1. Reach out to other interns. Ask how they approach their supervisor and continue to make connections in other areas. Remember that you don’t necessarily know about the backgrounds and unique skill sets of the other interns.

2. Talk to your supervisor. Do not throw up your hands and resign yourself to spending all of your time on the internet or looking out of a window. Instead, make a commitment to yourself and take a personal leadership role. Suggest ways to expand what you are doing or offer to take on another project. Describe your skills in better detail, and your supervisor will likely learn something he/she didn’t know before.

3. Find out what training exists. Ideally, you are aware of training programs for interns at your company. You may be currently pursuing that training or have completed an onboarding process of some kind. If that is not true for you and you are wondering how you might plug into opportunities, ask your supervisor or others in your department, area, or company. Take advantage of everything the company has to offer because the internship will be over before you know it.

4. Be a voracious reader. Read business journals and articles and seek out additional knowledge that can help you in your full-time job search. Be aware of trends in your industry, growing companies, and keep looking where others are not. Find materials written by leaders in your field or great business leaders in general.

5. Reconnect with your career coach. Contrary to popular belief, career services office are open for business over the summer. While a lot of planning is underway for the upcoming year, we are still here to answer questions and offer advice.

6. Look ahead. You may not want to work at the company for which you are interning. Even if you want to work there, they may not extend a full-time offer for a variety of reasons. Take advantage of being in a new city to meet with contacts and gain insight on where you might head next, and keep your ear to the ground for opportunities you may not have considered before.

7. Offer to be helpful. This point applies to contacts within your internship employer and outside of that company. Everyone is attracted to the person who offers to take something off their plate or contribute in a meaningful and unexpected way.

8. Develop a new skill or ability. Don’t leave things hanging out there on your future “to do” list. Get busy now making sure that you are ready for the job that you want. Self-assess and talk to others who are successful in your area.

If you find yourself feeling a little lackluster about your internship experience, remember that you have a lot of control over that experience. Be proactive and make the most of your internship experience.

Career Prep Before the MBA Program

It’s the time of year when prospective MBA students are looking towards leaving their current employers and transitioning back to the world of academics. Almost every reason a prospective MBA student has for applying to B-School comes down to career. Whether they want to dramatically change professions or the trajectory, MBA candidates seek to change something in their careers. As with any new initiative, people start out extremely motivated and ready to work. At the beginning of their programs, most MBAs aggressively nod their head at advice from their career coaches and promise to stay actively engaged in their job search. Naturally, this energy starts to wane after the grind of academics kicks into high gear. After students begin to realize the amount of time and energy their academic program requires, they start to prioritize their time which sometimes results in the job search being moved down the list. Some students move their job search down the list farther than others, but suffice it to say that job search energy will decrease to some degree within the first month or two of an MBA program.

Knowing the importance of a successful job search in addition to the importance of successful academics, consider implementing the following early to get ahead of the job search process:

  1. Connect with your career advisor (coach) this summer to begin identifying your goals, strengths and weaknesses in regards to your future career goals. Learn what areas in regards to your job search that will require coaching and refining, so you can spend less time making mistakes this fall. National Career Fairs and internship postings start popping up on the calendar very early; therefore, MBA candidates must be prepared to compete effectively in the market.
  2. Start writing your resume NOW! Refrain from taking your original resume and adding a few updates. Start from scratch and construct a targeted resume that presents your professional brand. Seek professional advice from your career coach and learn how to write a new resume that connects your past accomplishments and experiences with your future goals and the skills needed for success with a potential employer.
  3. Join the professional organization most respected in your field of study. Anyone returning to school for a career in human resources should join the local and national chapters of the Society for Human Resources Management. Be sure to not just stop at joining the organization and looking for the next national conference. Engage with other members. Contact the organization officers or board of directors and ask questions on how you can get involved. Look for ways to connect and learn from others in your chosen profession. Share information with other members through a LinkedIn group or Twitter. Show the membership that you are eager to learn and someone to meet. The best way to do this is to focus on being interested in others. Be interested in career paths, companies, and latest trends in HR, etc. Help others help you.

One of the worst things that a potential MBA student can do is wait until the last minute to start thinking about how to activate the search for an internship. The typical professional job search can take upwards of eight months. Waiting to start your job search until the time you begin your academics will most definitely ensure that one of the two will have to suffer. The best job search approach is one that is steadily active and involves great initiative. Start today by seeking ways you can kick start your job search before you arrive on campus and establish a activity rhythm that will sustain you during the busiest of times. Don’t miss the perfect opportunity due to poor planning.

 

 

 

 

Contacting Employers the Old Fashioned Way

Who would have ever thought that the use of telephones and the US Postal Service would become old fashioned to job seekers? On the flip side, who would think bringing back these old fashioned resources in finding employment could be considered creative? Today’s younger job seeker is amazed at the idea of calling a potential employer over the phone much less sending a resume and cover letter through the mail. The very idea of printing a resume, printing a cover letter, signing the cover letter, addressing an envelope with a stamp, stuffing then sealing that enveloped and finally walking this envelope to the mail box is almost inconceivable in today’s job market.

“Pounding the pavement” has become a lost art in seeking employment. Too many have flocked to the comfort of the online application process. As I have said many times, applying for a position online is a task. An effective job search is a process. As a job seeker, what are you willing to do in addition to applying online to secure your targeted job?

When looking for innovative or unique ways to be noticed by potential employers, why not first return to these two basic techniques used from the not so distant past:

Pick up the telephone: The internet provides easy access in finding general telephone numbers to every business in the world. Call employers. You can certainly call the HR department, but you will probably be more successful by calling the department in which you want to work. Emails can often time get lost, but phone calls are rarely lost or overlooked.

Mail your resume: Typing resumes and cover letters on bond paper and sending these job search packets through the mail used to be the most widely used practice for job seekers just 20 years ago. Today, very few job seekers take the time to print resume and cover letters to mail much less know what bond paper is in the first place. In addition, we are more likely to read the mail we physically receive over every email we receive. The volume of mail we receive at the office has dramatically decreased. Job seekers stand a very good chance of their letter being opened.

Applying online will get your resume into the company applicant tracking system. While some companies do look at these resumes for identifying talent, candidates must take extra steps to be noticed unless you believe in the needle in a haystack theory. In order to prove your interest and commitment for the job to employers, think about returning to basics if you will. Purchase a book of US postage stamps, stationery paper and envelopes, and good ink for your printer. The walk to the mailbox will be good for you. In addition, use the Internet to find a few phone numbers and dial the telephone. Dare to be innovative by returning to what many consider “old fashioned.” You might be surprised with the positive feedback you receive.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Seeking an Internship After Spring Break

The facts don’t lie.  On-campus recruiting dramatically decreases after Spring Break.  Career Centers are still posting positions and employers are still visiting campus, but the volume is much lower than what is normally seen from the middle of January to the middle of March.  Employers have attended Career Fairs, held first round interviews on campus, and are now either extending offers or invitations for second round interviews.  The on-campus recruiting train for spring 2013 is leaving the station. Does that mean it is too late to find an internship for summer 2013?  No.  Just as my blog from January titled Too Late to Find an Internship for the Summer  NO WAY!, it is NOT too late to find an internship.  It is just time to change your strategy.

For the first eight weeks of the spring semester, internship seekers seek opportunities, attend employer events and apply for jobs.  After spring break, internship seekers much shift their focus to new ideas and strategies.  Please continue seeking internship postings, but new strategies much be included for a successful search later in the season.  Consider implementing these action items to your job search strategy for the remainder of this semester:

1. Reconnect with employers you met earlier in the year:  While an employer may have interviewed or offered positions to other candidates, you do not know if all of those offers turned to accepted invitations for employment.  Reach out to those you have met throughout the year and communicate your continued interest.  This approach has worked more times than I can count in the past 20 plus years of my career.  As I always tell job seekers:  no today does not always mean no forever.

2. Talk with faculty:  Career Center professionals may cringe, but faculty often receive employment leads from business colleagues or former students.  These opportunities may never go through the campus career center.  Make sure the faculty who know you are aware of your goals and current employment status.

3.  Consider projects:  Employers hire based on knowledge, skills and abilities.  It s not uncommon for projects to arise late in the spring which leads to businesses needing summer talent.  These projects provide tremendous experience as well as ability to prove value to a potential employer just as a traditional internship.

4. Job leads through social media:  I would be remiss not to remind any intern seeker of the importance of social media.  Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook groups all provide not just job postings but avenues to potential employers.

A successful internship search after spring break requries more creativity, more personal connection and more flexibility.  Good luck!

 

When You Can’t Get An Interview

For many, the kneejerk reaction for job seekers who cannot get an interivew is to change their resumes.  Your resume may very well be a part of the problem, but most likely there are many other things you need to do to either change or add to your job search strategy.  Of course, your lack of experience and skills may also be a reason you are not chosen for an interview, but sometime it is neither your background or your resume that is keeping you from interviews.  Your approach may be at fault.  Consider these ideas if you struggle with your job search stalling at the resume submission stage:

1.  Are you only applying online?  While this is probably the most widely used format for applying for positions, too many job seekers only use this step.  The problem with only applying online is that you are not setting yourself apart from the competition.  You aren’t directly reaching out to the hiring manager.  I liken using online applications as your only step in finding a job to that of purchasing a lottery ticket.  You could get chosen, but think about the odds.  They aren’t good folks.

2.  Are you asking for people to distribute your resume for you?  Networking with friends and colleagues is the key to a successful job search, but please be careful in how you approach this important part the progress.  Some of your contacts are ideal for floating your resume around a company and will volunteer to do so, but only expect someone to do this if they offer.  Be careful in asking someone to distribute your resume for you.  Instead of asking someone to do you a favor (please distribute my resume), ask for advice (can you provide me some guidance?).  Advice is easy for someone to provide you, but doing work for you is an entirely different request.  The more people you can connect with yourself, the better opportunity you have for controlling your ability to secure an interview.

Job seekers have to come from behind the computer screen to exercise a successful job search strategy.  Email, the Internet and the telephone can only take you so far in your search.  Implement that human connection that only you can provide.