Monday, September 8, 2014

It is never too late to be what you might have been.

It has been my privilege for the past few years to write this blog for you. I hope I have provided you with some information, insight and food for thought.

I am now turning the Career Coffee Blog over to Vivian Rohleder. Vivian will be an excellent resource. She has a great deal of knowledge and information to share with you.

My best wishes as you continue on your journey. I leave you with one of my favorite quotes:

“It is never too late to be what you might have been.” ~ George Eliot

~jan mead, WSU Career Development

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

How is your resume?

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Having a resume is, of course, very important when you are conducting a job search. There are additional benefits to the thinking that goes into putting together your résumé. Two of those benefits are:
It is a great opportunity to take into account your skills and accomplishments. It is not the time to be humble when writing your résumé. Neither is it the time to exaggerate. It is the time to accurately and honestly give yourself credit for the things you can do -- your skills. And, the things you have done -- your accomplishments. 
Writing your résumé can also be a reminder of the goals you have for yourself in the future. Where do you want to be one year, two years from now? What do you need to do between now and then to be where you want to be within that time frame?
Don’t know where to start? Pick up a Starter Kit from our office, or access it on our website (www.wichita.edu/career/) on the link “The Kits”. Put together the basics: your contact information, the degree you are pursuing, your job title and place of employment, previous job titles and employers (no further back than ten years please), organizations you belong to, volunteer work, computer skills, language skills. 
Then stop by during walk in hours or make an appointment to have one of our staff look over your resume draft. You’ll leave with a better idea of who you are, where you’ve been and where you’re going.   

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

A New School Year

Beginning classes fall semester is almost like celebrating New Year’s Day. It represents a fresh start. A chance to continue on a successful path or a chance to do better. Here are six suggestions, based on employer recommendations for college students.
  • Make good grades. An employer needs to have ways to evaluate your potential when considering you for a position with their organization. For a college student or new grad, companies look at grade point average as an indication of your potential value to them as an employee.
  • Join professional or on campus organizations and be involved. The ability to work on teams, as well as leadership experience, are also big with employers.
  • Communications skills. . .I can’t emphasize enough. The ability to speak effectively with one, or a group, of people is crucial to success in the workplace. As is the capability to write professional correspondence and emails. Do your best and get the most from preparing and delivering presentations and written assignments.
  • Reach out to your classmates. The guy who sits next to you in Introduction to Business may work for an organization you would like to work for in the future. This is called networking.
  • Get to know your instructors. Employers often get in touch with faculty to learn about students they might be interested in hiring.
  • Meet with Career Services. Their goal is to help you with anything career related. They are connected to employers and make it their job to pass on information and advice to you.
A new year. A new start. Make it a good one.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Small Employers - What's the Big Deal?


When looking for a job, your may automatically think of large employers – the big guys. In your own best interest, maybe you also want to take consider smaller organizations.
According to the Small Business Administrations Office of Advocacy, small businesses make up 99.7 percent of U.S. employer firms. 63 percent of the net new jobs created between 1993 and mid-2013 were with small businesses. Over ½ of the workers in America own or work for small businesses. Small business creates two out of every three new jobs across the United States
On a local note, according to the Wichita Area Chamber of Commerce, approximately 97% of the establishments in our county have fewer than 100 employees.
Other than the fact there are so many, why might you want to consider working for a small employer?
I met recently to discuss that question with Sam Oglesby, a former colleague at a large manufacturing company here in Wichita. Since the time he and I worked together, Sam started and operated a small business providing accounting services for small to mid-sized companies. He recently sold his ownership in that business to take a position as Chief Financial Officer for Westar Foods which is a large Hardee's franchisee.  Having worked for both large and small companies, Sam shared his perspective regarding  working for a small organization.
There is less specialization. You may “wear many hats”.  Which allows you to learn – and demonstrate a variety of skills and attitudes. 
Working for a small organization can offer opportunities you might never have in a corporate environment. You may be connected directly to the owner. He can see your talents, initiative and dedication first hand. In Sam’s words, "in a small company, people really know when you do the right things."
Sam also offered some “words of wisdom” in working for smaller organizations.
In small businesses, there is “no hiding”. You take personal ownership for your actions and decisions.
There may not be opportunities for training and development within a small company. Therefore, it is important to develop yourself outside the four walls of the business.
There are distinct advantages to working for large and small organizations. You owe it to yourself to consider both.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Application for Employment - On-Campus Jobs Fair

If you come to the On-Campus Job Fair, Thursday, July 17, 2014, in the RSC, 2nd floor, you will want to come prepared to complete job applications. You may want to read through this information in order to save yourself stress on the date of the event.
 
 • You will need to provide your name, address, email address, phone number, social security number, eligibility to work in the U.S., and if you have been convicted of a felony within the past five years. 
 
 • Bring information regarding past employment including name, address, phone number of employer; your first and last date of work; your job title; your supervisor’s name and title; your rate of pay at start and termination; your reason for terminating. You will probably be expected to provide this information for your last three jobs.
 
 • You will also need information regarding your education. Come prepared to provide name and location of schools you attended; degrees/certifications/programs of study completed; graduation or completion date. The application may also ask for skills and qualifications including licenses, training, awards.
 
 • You will be expected to provide the name, job title, organization, address, email and phone number for three references. Be sure you ask these people if they are agreeable to being a reference for you before you give their information on your application. 
 
 • The application may also ask for your availability: when you could start the job and the days/hours you are available to work.  
 
 • Fill out the application neatly, completely and accurately. Make sure the name of the office with whom you are applying appears on the application form so you know where to return the application. WSU offices and departments will give different application instructions. Follow these instructions. Proofread your application before you turn it in. It would be a good idea to bring a pen with erasable ink and an eraser in order to most neatly make any corrections. Use blue or black ink. 
 
When you sign an employment application, you verify that all information you included is accurate and truthful. I cannot stress this point too strongly. Employers terminate employees for falsification of information on employment applications.
 
It is your responsibility to return the application(s) you complete to the appropriate office(s). Try to do so during the fair, but if this is not feasible, return to the appropriate office (not Career Services) as soon as possible, if not during the fair. 

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

How to Use Social Media to Your Advantage in Your Job Search


Did you graduate over the weekend and are now seriously looking for work in your field of study? Keep LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter in mind as job search resources. Social media can play an important role in the success of your job search.
Make sure your social media sites are employer ready. Check your information just as closely as you check your resume and cover letter. Eliminate any questionable information. In a survey conducted last year by CareerBuilder.com, more than 2000 hiring managers and human resource professionals were asked “if, how, and why” they use social media as part of their hiring process. Findings showed that two of five organizations surveyed used social media profiles to evaluate the character and personality of candidates. And, one third of employers said they have not hired potential candidates because of information they found.
The flip side of this coin is that you can use social media to your advantage, increasing your visibility to employers. Post a professional photo along with your professional profile. Ask previous managers or coworkers for recommendations. Spend time each week participating in group discussions and sharing information. Make sure your information is consistent from site to site.
Social media is another way to stand out from other candidates. Just make sure you stand out in a good way.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Transition from College to Work


Many of you will soon be tossing your black caps into the air, hanging your tassles around the rear view mirror of your car -- and transitioning from college to the professional workplace. Congratulations!
There are many things your new bosses will expect you to know. Your field of study, of course. But, also, professionalism in how you dress, speak, present yourself. They are not going to be happy if they walk by and you are talking or texting on your cell phone. Or, tweeting or facebooking. . .unless all or part of your job is social media. They want you to work while you are at work.
They will expect you to be at work on time – preferably early – and to stay until the official “quitting time – preferably a few minutes late. 
They will want you to ask questions. And, they will want you to learn whatever you need to learn to do your job well.
Bottom line: They want you to demonstrate a strong work ethic. Show commitment to your job. And, make them glad they hired you instead of that other candidate.
Do good work. . .it’s important.