Tag Archives: Networking

Business Card Giveaway!

29 Mar

There’s many ways to stay connected in our digital age- LinkedIn, Facebook, phone applications like Bump. However, when it comes to networking, nothing replaces a good ol’ business card. I feel like this is something every young person starting out in their career should have. Whether you’re interviewing, at an event or dating, having your contact info easily accessible is very useful.

The kind folks at Uprinting are giving away two sets of their awesome Die Cut business cards to two lucky readers. For a chance to win, leave a comment below with how you plan to use them. Two winners will be chosen at random Friday, April 1st. Details Below:

1.  2 readers will be getting a set (250pcs each) of Die Cut business cards (Rounded Corners, Leaf, Rounded Single-Corner, Half-Circle Side, Circle); 14pt Cardstock Gloss / Matte / High Gloss (UV), or 13pt Cardstock Uncoated on a 6 Business Days Turnaround; Front Only or Front and Back printing

2. Restriction: Limited to US residents 18 years old and above only.

Don’t forget to  Like UPrinting on Facebook and share the love with your friends! (http://www.facebook.com/uprinting)

[This giveaway is sponsored by UPrinting, no monetary compensation was given. For more information about business cards, please visit http://www.uprinting.com/business-cards.html.]

Good luck!

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“Seek Week” on LinkedIn

23 Apr

If you aren’t a subscriber to the LinkedIn Blog, you will be after you check out their excellent series “Seek Week.” This two week series (as of this past Monday) focuses on helping Recent Graduates in today’s Economy, with advice from students and professionals. They discuss a variety of topics from using LinkedIN to find Internships,  adding more “oomph” to your job search,  paying back your college loans and Do’s and Don’ts for 09 Grads.

LinkedIn is an incredible networking tool, that if used correctly, can connect you with the right people. My good friend got a notification the other day that he had a message on LinkedIn, and was joking about how it was probably just spam and he never really used it. That was until he found out the message was from someone that graduated from his University and Fraternity and owned a successful company in the Bay Area in the field he specialized (and was job searching in!) A similar story is told on this series by a recent college grad, who landed an incredible position at Microsoft through LinkedIn.

Go to LinkedIn’s blog, to check out this excellent series. This is a great resource, not just for recent grads, but for everyone interested in expanding their Network.

What Dating and Interviewing Have in Common

19 Feb

dating_bar_getty-pola2

Let’s face it, interviews and dates have a lot in common. Whether you go on 1, 2 3 or 4 they’re all about getting to know the other person and seeing if you are the right fit for each other. Here’s ten questions I feel you should be prepared to answer for both: 

1. Why are you applying? (Why are you on the date?): When you go on the first date, both people usually try to get a sense of what the other person is there for. Do they just want to hookup? Meet a new friend? Have a long-term relationship? This is similar to a job interview when employers are looking to determine exactly why you are applying for the position. Are you looking for a short-term job, or in it for the long-haul? Either way, make sure that you are honest and clear about your reasoning- this is your chance to reassure them you are there for the right reasons!

2. Why are you/did you leave your last position/relationship?  This might not be something brought up on the first date, but either way both parties want to know it. Were you too needy? Was infidelity involved? Knowing this gives insight into the type of person they are looking for in the next relationship. Similarly, a job wants to know this as well- in fact this was the first question asked in my most recent interviews. If you are leaving because there was too much attention to detail required and multiple projects and deadlines, this might be a red-flag to them if this is what the new position requires. This question can be a deal breaker- you don’t want to give away too much information about yourself and talk poorly about your past relationships/job. You do want to give them just enough detail so that they know you left for the right reasons, and that the other party is missing out.

3. Are you applying other places? (dating other people?) Unless you’re on the Bachelor, no one wants to date someone that is dating a bunch of other people at the same time as you. There’s too many others out there that would be interested in dating only you. This question has also come up in every single one of my interviews to date. Some may advise to be honest, but I personally think your answer should always be no. You wouldn’t want to hire someone that applied to every open position on Craigslist, and either do they.

4. Tell us a little about yourself: When you answer this intro on a date or in a interview, always keep the answer short and sweet. Stick with where you went to school, where you live and current job. On a date you can be a little more creative, but no one likes a rambler.

5. What do you know about the person/company? I reference the Bachelor again here, but nothing made me cringe more than hearing one contestant spout off everything on his Myspace page. There is one word for that and the police like to call it stalking. If you are introduced from a mutual friend or family member it doesn’t hurt to know one or two things about them like a common friend or where they went to school- great conversation starter. With a job, you should have researched extensively. You don’t have to memorize their whole web site- anyone can do that. But you should read articles in the news (be sure they are credible sources) and info that proves you went above and beyond what is expected. They don’t want someone that read the “About us section” but they do want someone who has a deep understanding of the company.

6. What are your salary (lifestyle) requirements? I doubt anyone on a first date is going to ask what the other person makes. But I can guarantee that both people are trying to figure out what the other persons lifestyle requirements are. Are you someone that is high maintenance, likes everything bought for you and only settles for steak dinners? Or are you perfectly happy renting a movie and making dinner? Always be prepared to answer this in an interview as well. Look up the base amount for the job you are applying for and let them know you understand it is dependent on your experience and the job requirements. You don’t want to sound greedy, but you also don’t want to underestimate your worth and ask for less than they’d pay.

7. Do you have any questions for us? This the deal breaker for dates and interviews. The worst date you’ve been on probably goes like this: guy/girl talks about themselves for hours while you think of exit strategies and filing taxes. It shows they are more interested in themselves than you. In an interview, if you ask questions it shows you are paying attention. I wouldn’t even come with questions prepared, just listen attentively to what they say and ask them to expand on them in the end. One question I would recommend asking is, “What qualities are you looking for in someone to fill this position?”

8. What are your future goals? What was that? You want to be the world greatest Wii champion and live off of your spouse? Enter text from friend here, that needs my help in an undisclosed location immediately. Also, If your goals are completely off, say if you see yourself traveling the world in 10 years with no children and the other wants to be married with children, that is also a red-flag. Showing that you have ambition, passions and goals that are somewhat in common with the other person is a good sign. In an interview, they also want to know you have goals that are in line with the company’s. If you “have no idea where you want to be in ten years” or “see yourself working as a stewardess if you are applying for a finance job”, you probably won’t get the position. If you see yourself working at their company, let them know that! They’d love to hear it and it proves you would be dedicated to the company and position.

9. What experience do you have that may help at the current position/relationship? If you haven’t had any longterm relationships this may be a sign that you are not good at commitment. If you’ve never done research you may not be the best match for a marketing research position. Make sure to relate past experiences in the best way possible to the prospect. For example, ” I haven’t had any long-term relationships because I haven’t found the right person” or, ” I dont’ have experience in this specific program, but I am a fast learner and have taught myself how to use other complicated programs such as x.”

10. What are your strengths and weaknesses? In this situation my best advice is to “Avoid the cliche.” Any guy that says, ” I’m really romantic, love to take long walks on the beach and hand you the remote even when I’m watching football” clearly Googled “perfect lines to say at a date.” Similarly anyone that says “proactive, reliable and creative” can expect the interviewers to sigh in their heads of boredom. Instead, be honest about both and tailor them to the position you are applying for. Saying you can ” Effectively handle multiple projects and deadlines” at an administrative or project management position would be better than just saying “creative.” On both dates and interviews you want to get to know the other person first before you say your weakness. If you say ” I’m really messy” when they’ve announced several times they are obsessively clean may send the other person running. Saying ” I’m really bad at math” at a position that requires formulas and data entry might not be a great choice as well. No matter what you say, end on a positive with how you are working on it. After, you can reevaluate if you are the best fit for the position.

Twitter Happy

18 Nov

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I always said I’d never join Twitter- Facebook status updates were enough OCD/Big Brother for me. Then again, I also swore off bell bottoms, UGGS, peddle pushers, boots over jeans until (as my closet is proof), I gave in and they became a regular part of my wardrobe. After hearing about everyone “twittering’ and reading a bunch of bloggers tweets, I thought I’d give it a try. I am so happy I did, and with the bags under my eyes as proof, it has been hard to think of anything else in the last 24 hours besides Twittering. 

It really is addicting, seeing what everyone from engineers to soccer moms, cooks, news, tv characters, CEO’s are thinking, doing, reading and questioning. Since twittering for the first time yesterday, I’ve discovered tons of new blogs and companies, and attracted new followers to our blog. Long time Twitter user, Jenny, will blog later about using Twitter to expand your personal and professional brand. Until then, check out this awesome article by Shama Hyder, 101 Ways to Be Rocked By Twitter. It has great advice for polishing your Twitter account, and maximizing its benefits. Next step on my list: Create a personalized Twitter Background.

Stay Connected, Stay Informed

15 Apr

You’ve heard the saying, “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know that matters.” And while being educated and intelligent is equally important, the benefit of forming and maintaining connections with classmates and coworkers is often overlooked. As jobs change, and people move it can be hard to stay in touch with only the use of email and cell phones. This is where LinkedIn, a professional networking site comes in.

 LinkedIn, an online network with over 20 million professionals, is a great way for finding jobs, that most  graduates don’t take full advantage of.  Joining LinkedIn is free, easy and makes managing your contacts simple. Once you create a profile, you can include your resume, accomplishments, interests and websites. You can then search for and be contacted by former friends, managers, clients and coworkers. Many companies post and distribute job listings through LinkedIn and will contact you if an opportunity arises that they feel you would be a great candidate for.

A friend of mine used this site to her advantage after graduating. She formed a connection with a coworker that she had worked with during college at a fashion magazine. This coworker saw her current location and contacted her about an office they were opening in her area with an open position. This certainly was a relief after many hours searching the internet and  temp agencies for a position similar to this one. 

As a recent graduate, you may not have as extensive a list of experience and connections as Steve Jobs does, but this is the perfect time to start. Even if your resume is limited, it’s a great way to get introduced to others and discover jobs through inside connections. I could go on about the many benefits, but I’d encourage you to create a profile and explore the site for yourself. If you already have one, expand your profile and really take advantage of this network. The earlier you start, the better.