Frequently Asked Questions

  • What's the job market like today?
    There's good news and bad news.  For experienced hires, there's a good market right now.  Newly formed companies are looking for talent with a lot of experience.  Business services companies in the outsourcing field are bullish in their hiring of qualified, experienced employees.  For the new hire right out of college, things can be confusing: some surveys say that there will be 35% fewer jobs for college graduates in the coming years.  Others maintain that employers will hire 13% more college graduates in the next several years.  Therefore, to get the job you want, you need to maximize every step in your job search with a focused approach.

  • What makes an effective job search?
    Start with a plan, use your college's career center, decide on an industry and on companies to target in that industry.  Build a well-written, competent resume that crisply describes your educational background and any work experience and extracarricular activities.  Practice interview skills and techniques.  Dress like a professional for those critical interviews.  Develop a portfolio of useful contacts among your parents' colleagues, associates, friends, neighbors, and cultivate that network for information-gathering and for leads.  Research companies you're interested in.  Gather information that tells you about the company you're interested in, and helps you to understand what it takes to be successful in that first year on the job.

  • How do I make Career / Job Fairs work for me?
    Career /Job Fairs are of two types.  One will be organized by your school and take place on your campus.  There may be 25-30 companies in attendance and perhaps 300 students.  The other type is sponsored by various companies and advertised in major newspapers.  It will take place in a convention center or sports arena.  There may be as many as 50-60 companies present and often up to 2,000 job seekers.

    Preparation is your key to success.

    • Have a game plan.  Focus on 5-6 companies. Research them thoroughly in advance. Spend time on the employment page of their web sites. Do not just wander from booth to booth at the fair. It wastes time for you and the recruiters.
    • Make sure your one page resume is clear and readable, all spelling is correct, and formatting is consistent.  Bring 10-12 copies in a manila folder so that you can easily hand over a copy of your resume without fumbling through a backpack or briefcase.
    • Prepare a 30 second introduction for yourself that tells the recruiter about you and why you’re interested in that company.  Rehearse it thoroughly so that it sounds natural and brief when you deliver it.
    • Dress professionally.  That means jacket and tie for men, business dress or jacket and skirt or slacks for women, shoes shined. No smoking, no gum chewing, no eating when you meet the recruiters.
    • Try to control any nervousness.  Stand firmly but comfortably. No rocking back and forth on your feet, no fidgeting with your hands.  Clasp one hand in the other, after you’ve shaken hands with the recruiter, if you’re worried about nervous fidgeting.
    • Get the recruiter’s business card if you’re interested in a company.  Ask the recruiter about next steps and ask permission to follow up with them.  Then do so by sending a brief letter within the next business week. Always look for next steps. Always show initiative.  Then follow up the letter with a phone call.
    • If you use a voice mail service, make sure that your message sounds business-like and terse. No long announcements with musical background, please.

  • What about using recruiters?
    Recruiters normally don't give the time of day to college seniors and newly minted grads, unless they are campus recruiters representing companies that visit your campus.
    In addition to campus recruiters, there are two other kinds of recruiters. It's useful to know something about them.

    1. Retained search recruiters: You will hear the names of their firms often: Korn Ferry, Ward Howell, Russell Reynolds are examples.  These firms recruit almost exclusively at senior, very experienced levels, for top jobs.  They are called retained search recruiters because they receive a guaranteed fee or retainer from the company that is their client, for finding suitable candidates.  They do not work for the job seeker.  They represent their client, the company looking to fill a senior position.

    2. Contingency recruiters:  There are many of these, from small one and two person operations to offices with 30-40 recruiters.  These recruiters usually try to fill mid-level or more junior positions. They are called contingency recruiters because they receive a fee only if their candidate is hired by a company.

    Statistics tell us that recruiters usually know of only about 5% of the jobs out there, so you must use other sources and tools.

  • What about Internet job boards like Monster?
    Like recruiters, job boards know only a small percentage of the jobs in the marketplace.  Like recruiters, they are swamped with resumes and inquiries about each job they post but since they do everything on the web, they will receive thousands of inquiries and resumes where a recruiter may get hundreds.
    Job boards can teach you very quickly which "buzz words" companies' search engines are scanning for in resumes, and the job boards' websites often provide good advice on how to build a good resume and navigate the job market.
    However, job hunters often develop a false sense of security that they're doing everything possible to get that first job by regularly checking the job boards and submitting their resumes.

  • What's the best way to get started?
    Get coaching on how to build and execute a focused job search.  You and/or your parents have paid a lot of money to get you that college education.  Sometimes a few dollars more invested in getting the right kind of advice can do a world of good.  Companies like Fundamental Shift can provide you with the tools, the roadmap, and the discipline to improve your job search.

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