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, 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.  

Thursday, May 8, 2014

What is the one change you make today?

I just left the Chamber of Commerce Small Business Awards Luncheon. I attended to network and learn about the organizations who were nominated for this year’s awards. I received much more. The speaker, Jon Rolfe, of Carlos O’Kelly’s and Applebee’s, is also the father of four kids under the age of five. His words sent me back to campus with much to think about.

Jon presented a short (not a bad thing) and thought provoking talk including poignant examples of people he knows who dedicated themselves to their careers at the expense of their personal lives. The message he left us with was “Don’t think about what you want to do; think about who you want to become.”

Doesn’t that say it all? Who do you want to become? One thing is sure – we all change. All the time. What changes do we want to purposefully make to have control over our evolving persons?

Small changes count. Shawn T. Smith, Denver Psychologist, says “Luckily, I don't need to make jarring habit changes in order to become the person I want to be. . . That question, who do I want to be in ten years, tells me all I need to know about the present moment. Instead of watching one more rerun of The Office, I'll read a few more pages of a book in the service of becoming more intelligent.”

What is one change I want to make? Today. What about you?

Monday, February 10, 2014

Don't Wait Until the Last Minute...

A student called this morning. He was frantic. He has an interview tomorrow and he’s not ready. He wanted to schedule a mock interview. We didn’t have any appointment times available. None.
That disappointed student stayed in my head. So, I want to remind you – don’t wait until the last minute. Schedule an appointment with one of our counselors early your final semester to go over your job search plan, as well as your resume, cover letter and reference page. Schedule a mock interview so you have opportunity to practice your interviewing skills before an employer calls to schedule an interview with you.
You leave too much to chance if you wait until the last minute. Employers are in control of whether or not they want to talk with you or even read your resume. But, you can be in control of presenting the best “you” possible. And, that takes some time. The clock is ticking. Don’t wait. 

Monday, February 3, 2014

Are you ready to graduate and start earning big bucks?

Are you ready to graduate and start earning those big bucks? If so, there are probably a few things you want to know regarding salaries for new grads.

The market drives wages--how much demand is there for people in your field? You are competing with other graduating students from many colleges and universities in addition to Wichita State. You may also be competing with experienced people who have lost their positions due to downsizing of their organizations. Salaries also vary greatly by geographic area.

Do your research before you interview. Our website provides links to several sources of information. ( The information from our Graduating Student Survey is a good place to start.

If an employer asks your salary requirements, you can say “negotiable”. You can also ask what their salary range is for the position. Or, it is appropriate to say “I hope to be paid commensurate with the requirements of the job.”

If you strongly believe you are worth more money than an employer offers you, tell them you are very interested in the position and ask courteously if they are open to negotiation.

Many organizations do not allow very much, if any room for negotiation when they make offers to new graduates. However, sometimes they may be able to offer a sign-on bonus in lieu of a higher salary offer. A sign-on bonus is a lump sum of money the employers pays you when you begin your job. It is an advantage to the employer because it doesn’t increase your base salary, on which your potential raise(s) will be based. And, it may be a fair tradeoff to you because you undoubtedly have expenses to pay as you graduate.

Remember benefits may add on as much as an additional 30% to the employer’s cost for your compensation. Perhaps you can negotiate something other than salary such as, flexible hours, working from home one day per week, vacation time or other paid time off, stock options, insurance benefits, tuition reimbursement for a graduate degree, additional training.

If you attempt to negotiate your salary, it is very important to be prepared to point out why and how you are worth more money than the original offer. It is not enough to say “I need a higher salary.”

Always be respectful when dealing with employers. If you attempt to negotiate salary and are unsuccessful, decide if the opportunity and experience you will get are appealing enough for you to accept the offer proposed. It may just be worth it to start at a lower salary than you might hope for in order to get in with a desirable organization.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Welcome Back, Shockers!

As I drove into campus this morning, I saw lots of you. Traditional, returning adult, international. Sporting a Packer sweatshirt, lots of Shocker sweatshirts (of course), a few suits. Laden with backpacks, messenger bags, clutching just a couple of textbooks close to your chest.

As you hurried across campus, I didn’t have time to see the expressions on many faces but, I hope you’re excited. Excited about your instructors, the other students you will meet in your classes, and what you will learn. I hope you’re optimistic about how much your eyes will be opened to new material and the rewards you will earn based on your effort.

Most of all I hope you’re committed to learn and meet new people – and expand your world beyond what it is this morning.

I hope to meet some of you. And, help you with information and decisions about majors, career fields, jobs.

What a great time in your life this is. You may not realize this until a few years down the road. But, I know. I have my years as a college student to look back on and be thankful for. My education at Wichita State totally changed my life. It can do the same for you.