Tag Archives: beaver county career fair

Time Management

I have struggled a lot in the past with managing my time effectively. It’s not that I’m lazy, but frankly, I’m extremely forgetful and time can get away from me. There’s only 24 hours in the day and between school, homework, work, and socializing, something always suffers. I know I’m not the only one who struggles to maintain a healthy balance, so I thought I’d include some of the tips I’ve found helpful in managing my time.

The first tip I can give anyone is start tracking your time. Physically write down what you do hour to hour over a few days and suddenly you start to notice how much time you probably are wasting. For me, the biggest waster I saw was social media. I realized I was spending over two hours total a day on tumblr/facebook. It was a huge wake up call.

Secondly, I would recommend keeping an appointment book or a schedule. I find physically writing down what I need to be doing focuses me and furthermore leaves a reference for later if I forget.

Thirdly, and most important…Do not multitask. I know that we all think we can juggle three or four simple tasks at once but it’s frankly not feasible. If you want to finish several tasks quickly, the smartest way to do it is one task at a time. Multiple studies have been done demonstrating that the human brain is incapable of focusing on more than a single task at a time. What you’re actually doing when you multitask is switching your brain focus rapidly between those goals and this slows the entire process down significantly.

Whatever you do, just don’t allow yourself to waste time, it’s the most valuable commodity that you have!

I hope some of this will be helpful to you.

Jordan Winston, student blogger

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Job Fair Tips – What to ask and what to do next

CCBC’s Job and Career Fair is next week! We’re following up with last week’s blog post to give you a few more last-minute job fair tips plus a few tips on what to do after the job fair. We’re expecting a record number of employers at this year’s Job and Career Fair. Don’t miss your chance to find a job or a new career! Below are tips on how to get employers to notice you before and after the fair.

 

What questions should attendees ask employers?

You’ll want to stand out from the crowd so make sure you ask informed questions. Ask questions that allow for conversation with the employer instead of ones with “yes” or “no” answers.

 

Below are some examples:

  • What is the hiring and interviewing process?
  • What entry-level positions in (mention your career interest) are available in your company, and what kinds of people do you hire to fill them?
  • What duties are required for the position?
  • What skills, work experience or educational background do you look for when you recruit for these jobs?
  • What challenges and opportunities are associated with the position?
  • Does your company have formal training programs, or do employees receive on-the-job training?
  • What is the typical career path in this area of specialization?
  • How do you see the jobs in this field changing over the next five years?
  • What are the backgrounds of other employees in your company or department?

 

 

What information should attendees obtain from employers or give to employers?

When they are at the employer’s table at the fair, at some point in the conversation, they need to ask for a business card, ask the recruiter if they want a copy of their resume, and ask if it is appropriate for them to follow-up, or if the recruiter will contact them.

 

 Are there any job fair don’ts?

Don’t plan to go around to employers with a group of friends. Make sure you talk to the specific employers of interest to you and do this on your own. Also, don’t go around to each table just for freebies. Take full advantage of the opportunity to network with the company representatives at the fair.

 

What should attendees do after the job fair?

While at the fair, through conversations you had the day of the fair, you should know whether or not you should send a follow-up letter to the companies you are interested in.  If the recruiter says they will contact you, it is not appropriate for you to do any kind of follow-up, even if they don’t hear anything from the company for multiple weeks.  You should also continue your job search and expand to different companies who might not have attended the fair. You’ll also want to practice your interviewing skills. You can do so by making an appointment with our Career Services staff for a mock interview.

 

Are you ready for CCBC’s Job and Career Fair? Don’t forget to research the companies that interest you and prepare your questions for recruiters! After the job fair, you can make an appointment for a mock interview with a member of our Career Services staff.

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Job Fair Tips

Now that you’ve learned about writing a cover letter and resume and received some interviewing tips, let’s take a look at how to prepare for a job fair. Since job fairs are your first step to networking with professionals and getting your foot in the door at their workplaces, you want to make sure you present yourself in a professional manner.  Erica Fox from CCBC’s Career Services Center shares a few tips this week on how to make the most of job fairs.

 

What is your most useful tip for preparing for a job fair?

From my experience with the CCBC Annual Job and Career Fair, one of the most important ways to prepare is to research the companies you are interested in talking with and prepare ahead of time what you want to say to the representatives from that company.  You can find an updated list of the companies who are planning on attending our Job and Career Fair here. The list also includes their hiring interests and company website.

 

What exactly should attendees know about these companies? Should they research ALL of them? That’s a long list!

No, you don’t need to research all of them. A prepared job seeker will identify the companies whose hiring interests match their professional skill set, will get familiar with those companies’ websites, and will plan on making time to talk to the representatives from that company the day of the fair.  A candidate needs to think about why they would want to work for a particular company, know what types of services the company provides, and prepare to describe to the company representative why they think they would be a good fit for the company.  A candidate needs to be able to introduce themselves and describe what they do, what they are interested in doing, and also be able to identify and describe their key strengths. This is referred to as an “elevator pitch.”

 

Any suggestions on what college students should use as their “elevator pitch”?

Students should provide basic information on their college education and briefly mention any extra activities and internships that could benefit the company.

Here is an example of a college student elevator pitch from job-hunt.org:

“Hi, my name is Sam Ward. I’m a computer science major with an art minor, and I’m really excited about combining these two interests. I’ve actually developed an interactive educational program to teach children how to draw. I’d love the chance to explore entry-level job opportunities with dynamic, creative software companies in the Houston area.”

 

Do you have any other quick tips for talking with employers?

Be confident, be clear, make eye contact, and be gracious when talking to employers.  A firm, but not too firm, handshake is important, too. Also, don’t forget to dress professionally. Employers from past Job and Career Fairs at CCBC have expressed their desire to see more candidates dressing professionally, who come prepared with resumes, and who are clear with their description of themselves and their career goals.  You do not want to walk up to a company’s table in jeans and a T-shirt and ask a company representative “What does your company do, and who are you looking to hire?”  You want to make a good impression, so be prepared.

 

CCBC’s Job and Career Fair is quickly approaching! If you want to practice your interviewing and networking skills, contact a staff member today.

 

– Amy McKissic, CCBC Publications Coordinator

amy.mckissic@ccbc.edu

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Job Interviewing 101

Are you graduating soon or currently job searching? If you’re new to interviews or haven’t had one in a while, you might be stumped by some new, commonly asked questions. This week I talked with Erica Fox, Career Services Facilitator/Evening Counselor at CCBC, from CCBC’s Career Services Center about how to handle those tough questions.

 

On a larger scope, what’s an interview like in today’s job market?

A lot of the time, I think employers ask questions about the future to try to find out if the candidate is looking for a long-term job commitment and they also look for signs that indicate a person may be a job-hopper.  They want to know if the company is a part of the candidate’s plan for the future. The best way to find out if a candidate is going to work out long-term is to make sure they choose someone who aligns with the company’s mission and values. That is why it is so critical for a candidate to research the company, and have good questions prepared to ask the interviewer.

 

So, what about those bizarre questions I hear companies are asking? Do employers really ask about your “spirit animal” or something general like “what’s your story?”

(You can find a list in this article from Huffington Post.)

Yes, they do. Interview questions are chosen for a variety of reasons, and each interviewer has their own preferred style.  In my opinion, the “spirit animal” and “what’s your story” questions are just to see how someone reacts to the question. Those types of questions aim to catch a glimpse into someone’s personality. The secret is to keep cool and not get flustered, and to reveal some aspects of your personality without going overboard.  Because it is illegal for an employer to ask about the marital and family status directly, the “what’s your story” question can be a way to find out that information. It really is just a different way to say “tell me about yourself” which is a classic and typical interview question.  It’s always best to talk about your career and how you got to where you are in life from an educational or career aspect, rather than accidentally revealing information that could possibly lead them to believe you may need a lot of vacation time and sick time because you are very family oriented. As far as the spirit animal question goes, it’s ok to be honest and open and show some humor, because a recruiter would not ask such a silly question if they did not expect a somewhat silly answer.

 

Can you provide some not-so-silly questions employers might ask?

Today’s interview questions are aimed to get the candidate to talk in a contextual way about their reasoning skills, problem solving ability, how they react under pressure, and how they resolved and processed a mistake or sticky situation. Below are some good examples of these types of questions.

  • Sometimes it’s easy to get in “over your head.” Describe a situation where you had to request help or assistance on a project or assignment.
  • Tell me about a time when you had to work with an irate person/customer/client.  How did you handle the situation and what was the eventual outcome?
  • Sometimes it’s important to disagree with others to keep a mistake from being made.  Tell me about a time when you were willing to disagree with another person in order to build a positive outcome.
  • Why do you think you would be a good candidate for this position?  Why should we hire you?
  • Describe the system you use for keeping track of multiple projects.  How do you track your progress so that you can meet deadlines?  How do you stay focused?

 

Are you ready to test your skills? Make an appointment for a mock interview with a member of our Career Services Staff. Contact them at 724-480-3413 or career.services@ccbc.edu.

Then come to CCBC’s Job and Career Fair on April 17 to network with employers looking to hire.

 

– Amy McKissic, CCBC Publications Coordinator

amy.mckissic@ccbc.edu

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