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What Can I Learn from Career Services and Alumni Relations Staff?

Firsthand StaffJune 27, 2017

This week we look at the best advice that Career Services and Alumni Relations staff give to their students. We look at what can make your résumé stand out, and at how to navigate the transition from student to full-time employee.

A Facebook director who interviews up to 100 candidates a year reveals how to make your résumé stand out
Business Insider
The best résumés show your passions. Make sure that your résumé is proofread carefully, it’s not formatted in a strange way, and it just tells a really clear story about who you are and what you’ve done. It doesn’t really matter what it is you’ve done as long as it comes across as impactful, that you did it well, and that you’re eager to bring those skills to a potential employer. If you’ve been out of work for a while, find open source projects you can work on and/or find community service projects you can do. If you look dedicated, you’ll be more likely to stand out. Read Article»

What ‘Seinfeld’ Can Teach You About Leadership Blind Spots
Elaine’s dancing is unforgettable… unforgettably terrible. In fact, it was so bad that it caused her employees to lose respect for her when she was acting president of her company. No one had the courage to tell her she couldn’t dance expect for Kramer. As leaders climb the corporate ladder, their subordinates and colleagues become less and less likely to point out their weaknesses, leaving them with blind spots. Simply asking your team for honest feedback and listening for the coded truth can help any leader grow. It also helps the people asked to feel valued in a way that financial rewards can not. Read Article»

University Career Leaders Give Advice to Recent Graduates
Huffington Post
Career Services and Alumni Relations departments are the unsung heroes of any university. Robbie Abed interviewed 12 directors and assistant directors from both departments to get their takes on what graduates can do to set themselves apart. They remind alumni that their alma maters are still there to help their careers if they call. That they can smartly network and find mentors, and that graduates should remember that employers know they are fresh when they are hired straight out of college. They are hiring you because you have the necessary skills – or the ability to learn them – and because they believe you can do the job. Read Article»

Anxious woman judged by different hands. Concept of accusation of guilty girl. Negative human emotions face expression feeling

How to Manage the College-to-Corporate Transition
You’ve graduated. Now what? Managing the transition from student to a working adult can be very difficult. Don’t be too hard on yourself, but think about how your decisions can set you up for your future. Learn to make professional relationships. College can be cliquey, but in the workplace, it’s important to work well with everyone and to treat people with respect. Remember that your reputation follows you after you leave a company thanks to tools like LinkedIn where you can get endorsements. And, even though you’re young, don’t forget to start saving some money for retirement. Read Article»

To Make Your Meetings More Productive, Do 1 of These 4 Things
There is nothing worse than a pointless meeting. Employees everywhere complain about how much of their time is spent talking about work and how little time they have to do their work. If you are planning a meeting, think about setting an agenda and sending it out ahead of time. Add a little physical activity to jolt participants into engaging with you. Divide the meeting into sections, and set your meetings in the afternoon so your colleagues can have time to accomplish some work and prepare before you speak. Read Article»

A VC says the 3 things an intern needs to do to score a full-time job have nothing to do with education or skill
Business Insider
You’ve scored your dream internship, but now the real work begins. Internships are a great way to get your foot in the door. You can set yourself apart from the crowd and get the inside track for a job after you graduate. However, everyone around you has the same idea. Don’t limit yourself to the tasks you are assigned. Be proactive and ask what other ways you can help. Ask questions of those you’re working with. Curiosity is valued in the workplace. Finally, don’t be afraid. Don’t hide at your desk doing work. Make sure you introduce yourself to people and mingle around the water cooler. Being seen as proactive, friendly, and courageous can help you turn a summer internship into the beginning of a successful career. Read Article»

Firsthand Staff

Key Factors in Successful Mentoring

Firsthand StaffJune 20, 2017

This week we look at what makes a successful mentoring relationship work, at what you would learn after 23 failed interviews, and at What jobs pay well and provide meaning.

I blew 23 interviews before I got my first big city job
What could you take away from 23 failed job interviews in a row? First, don’t fake it until you make it. Sure, fake feeling more confident than you do, fake using a real person voice when you want to use a robot voice, fake that you know what to do with your hands. But, in interviews especially, it’s crucial that you accurately represent what it is you can and cannot do. If you once wrote a few listicles on Bernie Sanders, don’t call yourself a “political reporter,” just say what you did in as straightforward a way as possible. Don’t oversell yourself. A smart boss will see right through it and will not hire you; a less smart boss will believe you and expect you to flex those skills on day one, and you will start your job on the wrong foot and perhaps never recover. You have merit as precisely what you are at this moment. Stick with that. Read Article»

Key Factors in Successful Student Mentoring
Inside Higher Ed
No one mentor can provide everything a student needs, but good mentorship requires certain key skills. Mentors can help their mentees by recognizing the totality of their background and providing resources to them regardless of how they came into the relationship. Each mentee will have a different perspective, and avoids a one-size-fits-all approach. Mentors should be clear about the parameters and goals, and they should provide consistent feedback so the mentee can grow. Read Article»

Why This Google Executive Put Her Career on Pause
Fast Company
Have you ever felt like you were floundering when you used to be successful and confident? Consider taking a pause. In 2011, Rachel O’Meara needed a break. Luckily, Google allowed her to take a 90 day unpaid sabatical – or pause- and it made a world of difference. Luckily, you don’t need to take a three-month sabbatical to make a difference. “A pause could mean taking a class, up-leveling your business, getting better at something, or saying a truth that may not have been said before,” O’Meara says. “The whole idea is to connect to self. If you had an extra five minutes or an hour, what could you do differently? What would you say? Who would you be with? Those are great cues about what would work for you.” Read Article»

Everything you should do in the minutes, hours, days, and weeks following a job interview
Business Insider
You had your interview. Now what? Make a game plan for your self by doing things like asking the interviewer when they plan on making a decision, putting some distance between you and the interview before making a firm judgement call on how it went, write a personalized thank you note, send a tailored LinkedIn connect message, and, most importantly, don’t stop the job search. Even if you just interviewed for your dream job, you should never but all of your eggs in one basket. Read Article»

The Art of Not Working at Work5 Ways to Stand Out During Your Next Technical Interview
You can’t fake a skills test. Techincal interviews are unique because they require you to put your money where your mouth is. Engineers are expected to have a solid of undersanding of how computers work – and use that understanding to write code. To stand out in a technical interview, make sure to showcase your general knowledge, what you know about the specific job you are applying for, how your previous experience has prepared you, how well you work wtih others, and how you prioritize. Obviously, the interviewer will be reviewing the quality of your code, but they will also be looking at the order in which you decided to do things to see how your brain works. Read Article»

What Jobs Do People Find Most Meaningful?
Does having a job that’s rich in meaning mean you have to be cash poor? Not if you go into medicine. Working as a doctor or nurse ranks highest on the list for jobs that provide a sense of meaning and are well compensated. Social workers and pastors also report that they get a lot of meaning out of their work, but they are low-paying. Reportedly, jobs in these fields are more likely to be filled by women and that, in general, female-dominated professions were more likely to be high-meaning and low-earning. Read Article»

Firsthand Staff

Don’t Let Insecurity Hold Back Your Career

Firsthand StaffJune 13, 2017

This week we look at how gamifying the interview process can help you find a job that’s a better fit for you and simplify the hiring process. We look at when you should leave your job without another one and at the 3 character traits that could hold you back in your career.

“A Friend of a Friend” Is No Longer the Best Way to Find a Job
Harvard Business Review
Too many people are applying for the same jobs. The hard part now, as most people know, is standing out from the pack — having your résumé noticed in a large pile, or finding some way around a clunky applicant tracking system. Hiring managers face the same problem, having to sort through hundreds of applicants with the limited tools of application software, résumés, and cover letters. In these moments, what those hiring value most is a strong recommendation from someone who actually knows the applicant as a worker and can assure them that the person will be a good hire. Read Article»

Can Gamifying The Hiring Process Make It More Effective?
Fast Company
How can companies hire better employees? Research shows that aptitude tests are consistently one of the most predictive factors of job success. It shows cognitive aptitude to be about twice as predictive as job interviews, three times as predictive as job experience, and four times as predictive as education level. The trend now is to figure out a way for applicants to enjoy the process. The more games they play, the more data the apps collect, and employers can screen for key traits they find important. These games also appeal to the geeky and competitive sides of applicants, pushing them farther. Read Article»

Three character traits that hold you back in your career
The Guardian
Are you chaotic, unconfident or lack the ability to connect with others? Look inwards and find examples of when your lack of confidence in your abilities has been proven false. Pay attention to first impressions and the language that people use. People give clues about the way in which they liked to be communicated with. Don’t let your to-do list overwhelm you. Tackle each thing as quickly and focused as you can so you don’t dedicate a lot of wasted time doing half-hearted work. Read Article»

When You Should Quit Your Job Without Having Another One Lined Up
Harvard Business ReviewQuit while you’re ahead. Although employers prefer hiring people who are still employed, and although quitting feels like admitting defeat, there are two times you should quit your job sooner rather than later. First is if you believe something illegal or unethical is going on that will reflect badly on you. Second is when your job is negatively affecting your health and your life outside of work. Read Article»

My favorite professional tool can help you do everything from leverage new positions to brighten a bad day
Business Insider
Do you keep track of your professional accomplishments? Keeping a physical folder of your accomplishments encourages interaction because it is a physical and tactile reminder rather than a file hidden on a computer. Think of it like a portfolio for non-arts careers. You can reach back into it to remind yourself of your successes when things seem difficult at work. It can help you boost morale, provide you with ammo when you are negotiating at work, and it can remind you of things that you did in the past that worked. Sometimes its the old-fashioned things that still pack the biggest punch. Read Article»

Boss Catch You Interviewing For The Competition? Here’s What To Do
Fast Company
Moving on up? HR staff has a keen eye. They can tell when someone is moving on when they tend to have more doctors appointments or if they have sudden reasons for coming in late and leaving early. Everyone switches jobs eventually, though, so the best thing to do is to be professional and candid. It may be best to consider discussing a graceful and mutually beneficial exit plan where you have 30, 60, or 90 days to finish your work. Hostile situations are rare, but they do happen. Just make sure you have a good sense of how your workplace has handled situations like this in the past. Read Article»

Firsthand Staff

Why Is It So Hard to Get Mentoring Right?

Firsthand StaffJune 6, 2017

This week we look at why companies struggle to master mentoring programs, at what the benefits of tough love with mentors are, and at what relationship there is between video games and unemployment rates.

Why Can’t Companies Get Mentorship Programs Right?
Mentoring can help companies return $1.50 for every $1 they spend on an employee. That’s why so many companies are investing in them. Many companies are using mentoring programs like band-aids in an attempt to address changes in the American workplace. They have failed to adjust to decreased corporate loyalty among employees, among other challenges. If there is sufficient buy-in, and if there is a formal structure set up so that the mentee is given not only career development training but access to the older employee’s deep well of institutional knowledge, then all parties report increased satisfaction in their programs. Read Article»

Why Being a Mentor Isn’t Actually About What You Think
What makes mentoring work? To be a true mentor, you must deploy empathy and humility and realize it’s about the mentee. To be a useful mentor, you have to be able to advise with a genuine desire to help the other person. Managing might feel close to mentoring, but there is a nuance. When you are in manager’s mode, you have a team working for you; when you are in a mentor’s role, you’re working for a protégé. For this author, mentoring is about his legacy. He wants people to say that he did more than give advice, but that he actually cared about the success of those around him. That depth of caring is what makes a great mentor. Read Article»

The Tough-Love Approach to Career Guidance
Get your foot in the door. Opening up access to internships allows people to tap into the networks and mentors that can set them up for entry-level opportunities. Launched last year, Pay Our Interns, a bipartisan nonprofit, recognized the lack of advocates fighting for organizations to pay their interns, especially jobs in the public sector located in hubs like Washington, D.C. and New York. The group wants to change the privilege pipeline that often rewards young professionals from wealthy, connected backgrounds and leaves low-income, people of color out of the running for opportunities in their respective fields. Internships are a great way for people to get constructive criticism and build the workplace networks that jumpstart their careers. Read Article»

Write a Resume That Gets You Hired: 6 Common Resume Mistakes to Avoid
Make your resume about the job you want, not just about you. Every item you place on your resume should be about the value you deliver and how you’ve solved problems your audience is facing. You get six seconds to make an impression and you need to make that time count by giving your reader what they need, rather than feeding your ego. Read Article»

23 questions you should never ask at the end of a job interview
Business Insider
Do you have any questions for me? Almost every job interview concludes with that question. Interviewees scramble for half-baked questions, often sticking their feet in their mouth. Don’t make your interviewer think that you’re unfocused, only interested in money, or have had difficult relationships with coworkers in the past. Focusing on the positive with relevant questions can set you apart. Read Article»

The link between video games and unemployment
The Economist
How come employment rates are going down and time spent gaming is going up? Are the two related? The share of recent college graduates working in jobs which did not require a college degree rose from just over 30% in the early 2000s to nearly 45% a decade later. And the financial crisis and recession fell harder on young people than on the population as a whole. For people unable to find demanding, full-time work (or any work at all) gaming is often a way to spend some of one’s unwanted downtime, rather than a lure out of work; it is much more a symptom of other economic ills than a cause. Read Article»

Firsthand Staff

Make Your Career Chase You

Firsthand StaffMay 30, 2017

This week we look at the power of female mentors in engineering, at when you should make your career chase you, and when to take a lower paying job offer.

How Women Mentors Make a Difference in Engineering
Women are lifting up other women. In a year-long study from the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, female engineering students paired with a female mentor felt more motivated, more self-assured, and less anxious than those who had either no mentor or a male one. Researcher Nilanjana Dasgupta discusses the power of mentors as “social vaccines.” Read Article»

Amy Poehler says to treat your career like a bad boyfriend—and it may be the ultimate millennial advice
If Leslie Knope was offering career advice, wouldn’t you take it? Amy posits that passion is the juicy stuff that lubricates our lives and helps us feel less alone in the world, while careers are things that fool you into thinking you are in control and then take pleasure in reminding you that you aren’t. Don’t chase your career, because you will rarely feel done, complete, or even successful. Instead, chase your passions. The confidence and fulfillment you get from those passions make your career chase you rather than the other way around. Read Article»

A graduation speaker used her address to explain how she negotiated her speaking fee — and then gave all of it to a 2017 graduate
Business Insider
Maria Bamford is a powerful negotiator. When actress and comedian Maria Bamford agreed to do the commencement speech at her alma mater, the school gave her one caveat: commencement speakers don’t get paid for the job. (“Being a state-funded institution,” the school needed to “be careful regarding the use of their resources.”) Bamford rationalized that she was in the same situation, however, and countered with a $20,000 fee. See her share the whole story with the very same graduating class in this hilarious video. Read Article»

How We Closed the Gap Between Men’s and Women’s Retention Rates
Harvard Business Review
Relationships matter. The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) learned that the primary reason high performing, mid-career women left their firm was inadequate apprenticeship relationships. BCG chose to focus on three aspects to improve the mentor-mentee work relationships and increase female retention rates: Relational connectedness; making personal connections and investing in individual success. Strengths-based development; using existing skills to improve areas for development. And coaching a range of communication styles; acknowledging men and women have different communication styles and training leaders to use both. Read Article»

Bosses believe your work skills will soon be useless
The Washington Post
Will your skills be valuable in 15 years? Nearly a third of business leaders and technology analysts have “no confidence” that education and job training in the United States will evolve rapidly enough to match the next decade’s labor market demands. Fluency in a computerized world will be key, but the real differentiator will be emotional intelligence, something you can’t learn online. Read Article»

Overcoming Writers Block
Firsthand Blog
Mica Kelmachter (’13) isn’t your typical alumna. After graduating from the University of Maryland, she pursued a career in international journalism, landing pieces in Forbes and The Times of London. But to reach the next level of her career, Mica turned to the UMD Alumni Advisor Network, connecting with an advisor who happened to be in exactly the kind of position that Mica aspired to. Read Article»

7 factors that could make a lower salary a better deal
Business Insider
I’ve got my mind on my money and my money on my mind. Salary is often at the top of the list of requirements when people are getting their first job or switching to a new one. There are times though, like when a job is in a city with a significantly lower cost of living, when the raw dollar offer doesn’t tell you the whole story. Consider the benefits package and how happy you would be before moving onto the next highest bidder. Read Article»

Google I/O exclusive: Google to launch Google for Jobs to help Americans find work
USA Today
You will soon be able to Google for all available jobs in your area. Google’s new service Google Jobs indexes jobs listings from Monster, Careerbuilder, Glassdoor, Facebook,LinkedIn and ZipRecruiter to let you search them all in one spot. Job listings will start appearing in your Google results as soon as you search for jobs. Read Article»

Firsthand Staff

Hiring Season 101

Firsthand StaffMay 23, 2017

This week we look at how to get a job at a tech giant, how to use social media wisely, and what jobs are most popular with new grads.

The 20 most popular jobs for college grads
Business Insider
Are you looking for the same jobs as your peers? Sales Associate tops the list as the most popular job for new grads. Business, Political Science, and English tend to be common majors for this role. Other popular job titles include research assistant, intern, administrative assistant, social media manager, data analyst and customer service representative. Read Article»

An interview-prep coach shares 5 tips for interviewing at tech companies
Business Insider
Want to work in tech? Come prepared. Tech companies want to make sure that you think outside the box and that you are passionate about tech, not just your specific role. Prepare to be tested for intelligence and industry knowledge. In addition to traditional questions, practice your pitch for your previous jobs, be prepared for behavior-based questions, be very knowledgeable about the company, and think about company-specific questions to ask back to your interviewer throughout. These companies are simply trying to find people who will be happy there for a long time, so they value fit and intellectual curiosity. Read Article»

I’m Facebook’s Head Of People—Here’s What We’re Hiring For Right Now (And Why)
Fast Company
What can you do to set yourself apart when you’re applying for a job at the tech giant? When evaluating a candidate, regardless of the role, Facebook hiring managers look for three key facts: 1: “Your strengths” – things you have done that you are demonstrably good at. 2: “The skills to build it yourself” – problems you’ve faced and the unique solutions you employed to overcome them. 3: “Comfort with learning the hard way” – times you’ve given it your all, came up short, but didn’t let it discourage you. Read Article»

Writing Your Résumé When Your Job Title Doesn’t Reflect Your Responsibilities
Harvard Business Review
The slightest tweak to your résumé can make all the difference. For every position you’re applying for, take the time to review the posting and list its five most important responsibilities. Use these to guide which accomplishments you list that demonstrate your success in those specific areas. If your current job title doesn’t accurately reflect your role, make use of your headline and summary (hint: don’t just title this as “Summary”) to help tell your story. Read Article»

Finding Advice Outside the Box
Firsthand Blog
Mentorship comes in all shapes and sizes. Southern Nazarene MBA student Yolonde Smith (’17) knew that, and she utilized SNU’s Alumni Career Network to learn about nonconventional networking tools from advisors of all walks of life. Read Article»

Your online image is more important than ever — here are 5 ways it can make or break you
Business Insider
Let’s face it, your social media account is your calling card. It is the primary point of reference for employers screening candidates. Companies also sometimes monitor employees after they’ve been hired, taking note of romantic interests and even divorces. Polishing your social media accounts does not mean posting every photo in your phone or taking a selfie an hour, as that has been proven to damage relationships. Instead, remember to consider how what you share will be perceived by others. Read Article»

Firsthand Staff

It’s Not Who You Know. It’s Who You Get to Know.

Firsthand StaffMay 16, 2017

This week we give tips to become well-connected, how to land a job when you have no connections, & what things new managers should do when they first get their promotions.

10 companies that will help you pay off your student loans
Business Insider
Get ahead, and get out of debt! Only 4% of organizations offer student-debt repayment assistance, but millennials are the generation with the most student loan debt. They also value student loan benefits more than previous generations. Consider applying to companies like PWC, Aetna, Staples, and Penguin Random House who offer student loan assistance. Good news for new grads: They’re hiring. Read Article»

Fact: No One Is Too Old to Go on Informational Interviews
The MuseAge is just a number. Informational interviews are a powerful tool no matter where you are in your career. They could lead to an insider’s scoop, a possible connection, a different perspective of a role or company, and show fearlessness and proactivity. Read Article»

The Ambition-Marriage Trade-Off Too Many Single Women Face
Harvard Business ReviewResearch suggests that men still prefer female partners who are less professionally ambitious than they are. As a result, single women tend to avoid actions that would further their careers. A recent experiment among MBA students showed that when they expected their male classmates to see their answers, single women portrayed themselves less favorably to the labor market on a job preference questionnaire. Assuming that female MBA students place a higher value on career success, these results could signal an even larger effect of marriage market concerns in other settings. Read Article»

Crafting a Story in the Professional World
Firsthand BlogRommel Del Fierro, a Sigma Nu brother who graduated in 2016 from UCSB, leveraged his fraternity’s alumni network to great results. With little difficulty, Rommel was able to connect with advisor Daniel Kocen, a Sigma Nu alumnus from UC Irvine. Daniel advised him to not just present data in his job applications, but to tell a story using that data. From there, Rommel parlayed this advice into a dream job as a data analyst. Read Article»

4 ways to land a job when you have zero connections
Business InsiderHaving connections matters. We’ve all heard this over and over. Often, connections can make a difference, whether or not you get a job. However, without connections, all is not lost. It’s important to have a plan for your job hunt. Always leverage your personal network, do your homework on the company or interviewer, step out of your comfort zone by cold emailing new contacts, and take the first step by actually applying for the job. Read Article»

How to Become Insanely Well-Connected
First Round ReviewThe best way to be highly influential is to be human to everyone you meet. Everyone dreams of being well-connected, but networking makes many people uncomfortable. Chris Fralic started as a software salesperson at Oracle and networked his way to a prestigious venture capital firm. His advice to becoming well-connected is to show a genuine appreciation for others’ time; listen with intent; admit your weaknesses; offer others unvarnished honesty; openly brainstorm; end conversations optimistically, and not to fake it until you make it. Read Article»

5 Things New Managers Should Focus on First
Harvard Business ReviewYou made it to management. Now what? It takes more than a title to be a leader, so new managers need to decide on a philosophy of producing future leaders to ensure that they are spending their time as wisely as possible. In addition, they should be very clear with their subordinates about expectations and priorities, and set common values and standards for their teams. Read Article»

Firsthand Staff

We All Need Somebody to Lean On

Firsthand StaffMay 9, 2017

This week we look at the types of people from whom to seek career advice, how to look at a job interview like an audition, and things that new grads should know before joining a startup.

The Thing Employers Look For When Hiring Recent Graduates
It’s experience that counts. GPA, college reputation, and course history are all factors when hiring, but the most important one just might be internship experience. According to the Chronicle of Higher Education, internships were ranked more highly than all other factors, including GPA and college major. Remeber, academics alone won’t get you to your goal. Read Article»

6 Things New Grads Should Know Before Joining a Startup
Harvard Business Review
So, you want to work for a startup? According to an Accenture survey, nearly 50% of U.S. graduates want to work for a startup or a small business. Startups may have plenty of perks, but you may face just as many challenges. Startups are often unable to offer benefits like dental insurance or a 401(k) plan. High turnover can also lead to rapid fluctuations in corporate culture. Other obstacles you might encounter include pressure to always work, lack of structure and resources, and financial uncertainty. Know what you’re getting yourself into. Read Article»

To Ace Your Job Interview, Get into Character and Rehearse
Harvard Business Review
Get into character. A job interview is like an audition. For this kind of scene, you’ll need to exude confidence, competence, likability, flexibility, and more. How to do this in a high-stakes situation? Tap into your natural ability to imagine and pretend — and craft your character. Make a list of the qualities the successful candidate should convey, and embody them. Read Article»

The Importance of Attitude in a Technical Field
Firsthand Blog
Getting career advice doesn’t simply mean doing mock interviews or networking. When Central Queensland University advisee Jeevan (’16) connected with Lami (’03, ’04), he was able to get the confidence he needed to succeed. Read Article»

The No. 1 Way to Nail a Job Intervew
Use compelling stories to stand out in an interview. Most interviewees come in qualified and prepared, but using stories to demonstrate your value makes you unique. To tell your story, use the SOAR framework – Situation, Obstacles, Action, and Results. And, Practice, practice, practice! Read Article»

4 People You Should Turn to When You Need Career Advice
I get by with a little help from my friends. While it’s easy to rely on friends and family for advice, they might not be the best resource for your career. By having former bosses, those in your industry, recruiters, and colleagues in your advisory board, you can leverage your professional network better and get to where you want to be. Read Article»

Firsthand Staff

Fail Big, and Bounce Forward

Firsthand StaffMay 2, 2017

This week we look at how interns got their first jobs, at how to overcome career setbacks, and at traits of successful people that require no talent to acquire.

Former Interns Tell How They Landed A First Job
New York Times
You’ve got to be an intern if you want to get ahead. Having an internship on your resumé has gone from being a symbol of being a go-getter or a luxury of the upper-middle class, to being a near requirement for any college graduate looking for a competitive job. 50% of internships turn into post-graduate jobs, so it is important to start interning early. Make sure to sell yourself as committed, hard-working, and excited; do research on the company before your internship interview even happens, and be patient and persistent if you know there is a company for which you’d like to intern. Read Article»

The Surprising Ways You Ruined Your Interview Before You Even Opened Your Mouth
Fast Company
Black isn’t just for funerals anymore. The next time you head to an interview, think about wearing black. Choosing your interview attire is only one of many ways you can leave a good first impression before even opening your mouth. Other factors include, but aren’t limited to, arriving 10-15 minutes early, and cleaning through your social media accounts. Read Article»

7 Traits Of Successful People That Require No Talent At All
Business Insider
No talent? No problem! The following traits are free, easy to implement, and can have a great impact on your personal and professional lives: Be virtuous; Give your best; Choose to be positive; Be determined; Be willing to learn; Always be willing to give more; and Take action. Read Article»

Develop Greater Persistence And Determination: 4 Ways To Overcome Career Setbacks
Tough times are inevitable. In your career, failure is a critical component on your path to success. How you bounce back from failure is what determines your success in the long term. Do this by scheduling time for self-reflection, being proactive with your time to help regain confidence, and leveraging your existing connections to make your next career move. Read Article»

How Office Culture Can Crush Women’s Ambitions
CEOs should be CEOs. What is happening in the workplace that seems to stifle female employees’ professional dreams? Rather than familial obligations, it seems that existing workplace diversity has more to do with the crushing at dreams. At companies where female employees felt that existing diversity problems were being addressed(and solved), the ambition gap seemed to disappear entirely. Read Article»

When You Get Fired or Fail Big, This is How You Bounce Forward
Don’t point fingers; start a conversation. Try taking a relational approach to your failures as opposed to a personal one. If you’ve been fired or fail at work, the natural reaction is to blame yourself or blame your boss, but this only prevents you from moving forward. Consider the relationship itself, whether it’s your relationship to others or to the work, job, or even the company. This will keep you motivated to improve and get you back on your feet. Read Article»

Firsthand Staff

Get Out of Your Comfort Zone

Firsthand StaffApril 25, 2017

This week we look at clichés to avoid on LinkedIn, what advice was crucial to startup success, and why we should choose mentees who aren’t like us.

Mentor People Who Aren’t Like You
Harvard Business Review
I see a little bit of myself in you. How many times have you heard a mentor utter that phrase? People naturally gravitate to their “own,” and are more likely to believe and nurture potential. However, that means growth and advancement opportunities go disproportionately to those who belong to the demographic or social group already in power. Intentionally cultivating a diverse talent pool by mentoring someone perceived as “other” makes the mentee confront their own internalized perceptions of disadvantage in the workplace, and it helps the mentor become a more empathetic and emotionally intelligent leader. Read Article»

LinkedIn studied the most overused words on its profiles — here are 10 you should avoid
Business Insider
Avoid clichés so your LinkedIn profile stands out. Words like specialized, leadership, passionate, strategic, experienced, focused, expert, certified, creative, and excellent make you sound like everyone else. If these buzzwords don’t communicate our achievements, why do we use them? It’s easy: Everyone else is doing it. They associate you with certain industries, and they hide our lack of confidence. Put in a little extra work – it might pay off. Read Article»

How You Can Start Boosting Your Career Your First Day on the Job
In the 21st century, it’s all about your personal brand. No brand is built without the help, experience, and knowledge of others. From your first day at work, find your own board of directors – a group of people you can trust to guide you and give you input. Never be afraid to reach across the aisle and ask more senior colleagues for help. Build your own personal network, don’t be afraid to utilize it for your professional growth, and don’t be afraid of good advice. Proactively asking for advice rather than reactively adjusting to feedback can help you get ahead from the jump. Read Article»

A Wall Street trailblazer shares her best career advice for young women
Business Insider
Get out of your comfort zone. Only 7% of senior positions in buyouts are occupied by women. As the cohead of US buyouts at the private equity firm Carlyle Group, Sandra Horbach is considered a trailblazer for women on Wall Street. She believes that women aren’t putting themselves in positions to be successful because they don’t think they’re qualified enough. Her advice? “Raise your hand, volunteer for tough assignments, don’t wait until you’re 100% prepared to do anything. Jump into things and swim. Take chances. Read Article»

For U.S. Grad Students, Overseas Schools Beckon
Wall Street Journal
For some professions, a foreign graduate degree could be a smart move. As graduate degrees become more valuable in the job market, English-language graduate programs are popping up worldwide. They’re cheaper than U.S. degrees, but their value depends on the profession you’re pursuing and the school’s prestige. For example, studying international relations abroad at a top school adds credibility. Pharmacology and veterinary medicine translate well, but not all degrees do. Fields like law and medicine require additional U.S. certifications and/or training. Read Article»

Microsoft’s CEO Just Gave Some Brilliant Career Advice. Here It Is In One Sentence
Be a learn-it-all, not a know-it-all. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella says that know-it-alls may start with more innate capability, but learn-it-alls win in the end. Rather than be an expert, be a student. Rather than say you know something, say you have a hypothesis. Read Article»

Firsthand Staff