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  • Sue Gordon 11:58 pm on January 5, 2011 Permalink
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    Sticky Interview Situations 

    An InterviewRecently, a young friend of mine, Mary, walked into a second interview for a job she coveted. She immediately noticed a photo of the interviewer’s wife—who happened to be her old boss from her summer internship. This would seem a great opportunity for ice-breaking conversation, but to make matters complicated, Mary had a full-time job offer pending from the wife.

    She was in a quandary; should she acknowledge that she knew the spouse, and how, or let this ice-breaking opportunity go?

    Here in the Career Center, we love to advise you on how to express yourself in an interview— (More …)

  • Sue Gordon 2:44 pm on September 13, 2010 Permalink
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    Seniors, NOW is the time: Can’t miss events just for you 

    Seniors, NOW is time to prepare for your post-graduation plans! Whether you are thinking of graduate school or working after graduation, the Career Center is hosting an event that is just for you.

    Thinking of Law School? On Thursday, Sept 16 at 4:00 pm come hear representatives from WCL share insights into legal careers and law school admissions.  Learn more and RSVP at http://www.american.edu/careercenter/calendar/?id=2619665

    Wondering when to start your job search? On Tuesday, Sept 21 the AU Career Center is hosting Now and Later: Career Spree for Seniors, a full day dedicated just to Seniors. We’ll have drop-in advising throughout the day.   In the afternoon, we’ll host programs that will inform you on why it is important to begin your job search NOW;  what not to do  in an interview– you’ll see mistakes to avoid;  and you’ll learn how to use Twitter, Facebook, and other social media for your job search.  We’ll end the day with an informative Employer Round Table Discussion in the evening—hiring managers will tell you what they expect in resumes, interviews, and more!  For details on time and place, visit the Career Center events calendar at http://www.american.edu/careercenter/calendar/?id=2606982

    Want to find a job or internship? Don’t miss our Fall Job and Internship Fair on Wednesday, Sept. 29 in Bender Arena

    Interested in applying to grad school? On Thursday, October 7 American University faculty will share their thoughts on what makes a great applicant and application.   RSVP at http://www.american.edu/careercenter/calendar/?id=2618612

    Remember, through  your senior year and beyond, AU Career Advisors are ready to help you plan for your next steps.

  • Sue Gordon 5:29 pm on June 15, 2010 Permalink
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    Creepy web searches? How employers find the real scoop on you… 

    Did you know that employers can go beyond Google to check you out?   Do you think your online rep is squeaky clean?   You might be  surprised by what deep sleuthing can find!  Whether you’ve left a scathing comment on a blog post or have interesting taste in fiction, employers  can find out more about you than you think!  Learn more from CNNMoney’s Ask Annie: Employers may do creepy web searches about you.

  • Sue Gordon 9:03 pm on February 26, 2010 Permalink
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    Embrace the Grunt Work… It Could Make You Rich 

    “…Attacking even menial jobs with vigor and using them as stepping stones to something better”  is how mega-rich entrepreneur Ted Leonsis got his start.  In his book “The Business of Happiness,” the Washington Wizards owner explains that he parlayed a lawn-mowing job for an affluent Georgetown alumnus into a letter of recommendation and admission to the prestigious school.   Leonsis states “If you don’t have good connections, good networks, nothing will happen.”  He credits his success to networking and cultivating “influencers.”

    Career Center advisors  encourage substantive work for our students,  however we know that sometimes the rent needs to be paid by less-than-glamorous jobs.  So take heart from Mr. Leonsis’ experience.  Read more on the importance of networking and making trivial work meaningful in Washington Post columnist Thomas Heath’s review of Leonsis’  new book.

  • Sue Gordon 10:45 pm on January 28, 2010 Permalink
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    Get An Unpaid Internship Or Wait Tables? 

    Annie from Fortune Magazine weighs in on this timely question… which is more important: to get paid or to get experience?     Read her advice to one student faced with such a dilemma in CNNMoney’s  Ask Annie column.    I especially like her advice to look at the substance of an internship before deciding which way to go.    Of course, Annie doesn’t remember to point out an important alternative:  take the unpaid internship AND wait tables as well…. not always easy or possible, but an important option to consider.

    • Minna Scherlinder Morse 10:08 pm on February 1, 2010 Permalink

      I was recently approached by a Master’s student with a similar question–how important is getting an internship, particularly when a student is facing financial hurdles. This is what I wrote him, for what it’s worth:

      Dear X:

      The goal/s of internships are manifold: to get experience in the field, to broaden your network, and to gauge the kinds of roles and work-atmospheres you like and don’t like in a new career niche.

      As someone who needs to work to pay the rent, you’re going to need to do all those things over time, but you won’t likely be able to do the one-stop shopping of a traditional internship.

      So here are a few ideas:

      If there’s a way to add relevant experience to your job duties, try to do so
      Network strategically with much of the free time you have. I don’t know what stage of career planning or transition you’re in, and that will dictate what makes strategic sense now, but think informational interviewing and even (once you have some connection with someone doing what you’re interested in) shadowing for a day or two as ways to gain familiarity with types of work, workplaces, and as a way to broaden your network.
      Take on whatever small projects you can fit in between the other demands of your schedule. Again, what kinds of projects make sense will depend on what your goals are, but something to think about.
      Is there a way to create a sort-of-internship (i.e. low time commitment per week) with someone doing exactly the kind of work you want to do: i.e., is there anything you can offer in terms of service to a potential mentor in the field, that you can do in your off hours (and only in your off hours), that will help you contribute to a professional project, and gain you access to professionals in the field?
      Just produce. With whatever time you have. Just do it. On your own. Then share the results.

      Point is–internships aren’t the goal. Products that prove your talent, experience in the field, awareness of the realities of the field, and a beefed-up network…. those are the fruits of internships. But there are other trees in the garden. Go, eat.

  • Sue Gordon 2:59 pm on December 21, 2009 Permalink
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    Still job searching? Don't dismiss temp work! 

    Economists tell us that in any economic recovery, employers use temporary workers before committing to permanent hires.   According to the NY Times, this is even more true in this recovery as temp work continues to grow– up four months in a row.  What is different  in this economy is the increase in temporary workers is lasting longer than in the past, as employers continue to hesitate to commit to a permanent hire.   So, if you are a job seeker who’s avoided temping, don’t dismiss it, and consider the following benefits.

    Temping allows you to:

    • Develop new and enhance existing skills- sometimes in surprising ways
    • Build your resume
    • Be employed while looking for that perfect permanent job- always a plus
    • Broaden your contacts and your network- key to a successful job search
    • Potentially be converted from a temporary to a permanent employee
    • Earn a little spending (or rent) money!
    • Get off the couch and impress prospective employers that you are taking initiative

    Do you have a great story about a temp job that turned into something more?   Share it by commenting here or emailing gordon@american.edu.

  • Sue Gordon 10:59 pm on December 16, 2009 Permalink  

    More good news: Hiring to outpace layoffs in DC area 

    Following on Rob’s good news that postings are stronger on Idealist.org, the Society of Human Resource Managers (SHRM) has surveyed 500 manufacturing employers and 500 private sector employers, and found that more employers plan to hire staff than did at this time last year.   It also shows a slow-down in large scale layoffs.    While this doesn’t mean we are about to see wide-spread hiring, it is positive news for students who are graduating in December or May.  Read more at  Report: Hiring will outpace layoffs this month.

  • Sue Gordon 7:36 pm on November 30, 2009 Permalink
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    Link Up, Link In 

    By now, you have most likely heard of LinkedIn— the social networking site for professionals.  You may even have a profile- but do you know how LinkedIn can help you with your job search?

    LinkedIn is a powerful tool that enables you to reach out to people you know and to make connections in a much broader network.  Think “six degrees of separation”, only  in LinkedIn’s case, it’s three degrees of connections.   Not only does LinkedIn help you to find connections that might lead to opportunity, it is increasingly being used by employers to identify potental employees.  Further, prospective employers are increasingly checking your “online presence” via LinkedIn, so creating a postiive, professional LinkedIn profile is key.

    (More …)

  • Sue Gordon 4:00 pm on November 25, 2009 Permalink
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    Do You Know How To Land A Job Interview? 

    Blindly submitting resumes and cover letters is NOT sufficient to land job interviews!  Check out this brief video and learn some great tips on how you can ramp up your job search strategy.    How to Land a Job Interview, featuring Maggie Mistal , Career Coach, Martha Stewart Living Radio.

  • Sue Gordon 9:16 pm on October 26, 2009 Permalink
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    Where the "Green Jobs" Are 

    “We are just at the beginning of the ‘clean tech’ job creation era”– this is a quote from green-industry research firm Clean Edge.   CNNMoney.com columnist Anne Fisher shares 15  cities where the clean-tech movement is taking off.  Tech not your thing?  Consider this:  every technology company needs people for public communications, marketing, sales, human resources,  and management.  And, those jobs will be filled with people from all majors.

    Find out what cities are on the rise as the number of “Green Jobs” continues to grow by clicking here 15 best places for green jobs.

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