job search

Location, location, location!

By Shannon Feeney, Employer Relations Coordinator

Not just a realty slogan, but one for your job search too!

Courtesy: ycda.com

Students have varying degrees of preference when it comes to where you plan to live and work after graduation.  Whether it’s going back home, getting as far away from home as possible, or moving where you think the most opportunities are, there are some key things to keep in mind when figuring out where to go next.

1) Cost of living – Your cost of living includes everything from groceries to housing and obviously varies from city to city.  According to the Wall Street Journal, Manhattan and Brooklyn take the top two spots as most expensive places to live.  This plays into salary offers as well.  Living in Syracuse on $40,000 is definitely different than $40,000 in New York City.  Sterling’s Best Places offers a cost of living calculator to compare cities and salaries.

2) Consider all options – There are opportunities in almost every field, everywhere!  In some cases, there may be more opportunities in specific industries.  If you are set on being in television, working at a studio, you’re most likely to find jobs readily available in Los Angeles.   Keeping an open-mind will work to your benefit!  Doing a quick Indeed.com search for ‘entry level marketing’ revealed more than 1,400 opportunities ranging in cities from Metairie, Louisiana to Draper, Utah.  Thought you couldn’t work in the fashion industry because you live in Massachusetts and not New York City?  Think again!

3) Research – Just like you would research a company when you’re applying for a job, research cities too!  If you’d die without access to skiing, make sure the place where you decide to hunker down is close to a mountain.  A great tool like ’CuseConnect can help you connect with alumni in that area or ask questions before you make the commitment to move.  Also check out the city’s Chamber of Commerce, Tourism Bureau, and local newspaper to learn more about what’s happening in the area.

And don’t rule out Syracuse!  Interested in learning more about living and working in Syracuse?  Join us for the Downtown Tour on Friday, April 13!  We’ll tour and meet with staff from O’Brien & Gere, Eric Mower & Associates, and KS&R, enjoy a delicious lunch at Lemon Grass, and talk with staff from the Downtown Committee to learn more about living in ’Cuse!  Interested students can email me (scfeeney@syr.edu) for more information on how to register.

A Thanksgiving Day Recipe for Career Success

The table could be filled with great connections!

By Tracy Tillapaugh and Kim Brown

Family, food, football. Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday of the year.

Are you planning to spend some time at home this year during Thanksgiving break? Make sure you whip up a recipe for success, career-style.

Ingredients
–          1 – 50 relatives
–          1 – 30 awkward high school mini-reunions at your hometown hangouts
–          Water, as needed (stay hydrated!)
–          Confidence in your future goals, interests, likes, values

Prep time The more time you put in, the more success you’ll have!

First: preheat the oven.

When you sit down to dinner on Thanksgiving Day, or run into friends when you shop at your local stores, don’t dread the question, “So, what are your plans for after you graduate in __________ (December? May? Next year?)” Or “What are your plans for the summer?”

Don’t answer with a blank stare. Take a moment and think about what you want to do.

Next: Stir the ingredients.

…and TELL FAMILY MEMBERS AND FRIENDS WHAT YOU WANT!

Who knows where Aunt Josie works? Who knows what your cousin Dan’s best friend does? You probably don’t know these things and the more you tell your family what you’re interested in, the more likely you’ll actually find out they know someone already doing it! Keep the conversation flowing and ask them questions, such as, “do you know anyone who works _____ (at Google, for the Mayor’s office, in Boston)?” or “Do you know someone who does _______ (marketing, travel writing, sculpture)?”

Turn your Thanksgiving Day into a thanks-for-helping-me-with-my-job-search Day! Practice this conversation over and over with all the people you encounter. And if you don’t know yet what you’d like to do? It’s okay to tell them that too. Maybe they have some great ideas or are a good sounding board for discussion. Maybe a different perspective will help you to figure out your next steps.

Clean-up

Once your conversation is over, don’t forget to focus on what the day is all about: ThanksGIVING.  Give everyone who has offered assistance, advice, or a connection a huge thank you.

Enjoy your food and your football – and make the most out of those conversations with your family members and friends!

A Thanksgiving Day Recipe for Career Success

The table could be filled with great connections!

By Tracy Tillapaugh and Kim Brown

Family, food, football. Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday of the year.

Are you planning to spend some time at home this year during Thanksgiving break? Make sure you whip up a recipe for success, career-style.

Ingredients
–          1 – 50 relatives
–          1 – 30 awkward high school mini-reunions at your hometown hangouts
–          Water, as needed (stay hydrated!)
–          Confidence in your future goals, interests, likes, values

Prep time The more time you put in, the more success you’ll have!

First: preheat the oven.

When you sit down to dinner on Thanksgiving Day, or run into friends when you shop at your local stores, don’t dread the question, “So, what are your plans for after you graduate in __________ (December? May? Next year?)” Or “What are your plans for the summer?”

Don’t answer with a blank stare. Take a moment and think about what you want to do.

Next: Stir the ingredients.

…and TELL FAMILY MEMBERS AND FRIENDS WHAT YOU WANT!

Who knows where Aunt Josie works? Who knows what your cousin Dan’s best friend does? You probably don’t know these things and the more you tell your family what you’re interested in, the more likely you’ll actually find out they know someone already doing it! Keep the conversation flowing and ask them questions, such as, “do you know anyone who works _____ (at Google, for the Mayor’s office, in Boston)?” or “Do you know someone who does _______ (marketing, travel writing, sculpture)?”

Turn your Thanksgiving Day into a thanks-for-helping-me-with-my-job-search Day! Practice this conversation over and over with all the people you encounter. And if you don’t know yet what you’d like to do? It’s okay to tell them that too. Maybe they have some great ideas or are a good sounding board for discussion. Maybe a different perspective will help you to figure out your next steps.

Clean-up

Once your conversation is over, don’t forget to focus on what the day is all about: ThanksGIVING.  Give everyone who has offered assistance, advice, or a connection a huge thank you.

Enjoy your food and your football – and make the most out of those conversations with your family members and friends!

#YaleySU: Working at the Pentagon and Landing a Government Job

by Kim Brown, Alumni Programs Coordinator

This past Wednesday, we had the honor of welcoming Jason Yaley, ’05 MPA ’06 back to campus as part of our Alumni Speaker Series. Jason is Strategy and Policy Advisor to the Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff – our nation’s second highest ranking military officer.

Jason Yaley speaks in Maxwell Auditorium

Jason spoke to a packed Maxwell Auditorium and, using #YaleySU on Twitter, we were able to keep track of some of the awesome advice he offered.

He talked about the “Maxwell Mafia” in D.C. – the large group of Maxwell alumni who are now working in the Washington, D.C. area – and stressed the importance of utilizing those great connections.

Jason also told the audience that the power of the word “no” has really had an impact on his career. At times, when people have told him that he couldn’t do things, he’s been compelled to try harder to make them happen.

Did you miss him speak? Here’s a recap!

One of Jason’s favorite quotes really resonated with a lot of us,The people who can be the most comfortable in the most uncomfortable situations are the ones who will be most successful.”

Other advice/quotes that have worked for him in his impressive career to date:

“Do good work and people will notice. It’s absolutely true. I’ve never applied for a job in my life and I’ve been very lucky.

“What matters in life is what you do behind the scenes to better yourself, what you do when no one’s watching.”

“What matters in government is being able to answer this question: are you loyal? Do you know what the mission of your organization is and hold it dear?

“Any office you go to, be nicest to the secretary. They’re the ones who will make you or break you.”

“Be humble.”

“Being able to write a solid one-pager will change your life in D.C. Writing well and succinctly is a HUGE skill!”

“Read the Gallup report before any interview [for a government position] – it’s aggregated data and it shows that you know what’s going on with our country.”

“The one thing SU alumni have that no one else has is that there’s this little stuff that connects us like no one else.”

Yaley speaks to IR students over lunch

Jason was incredibly involved on campus when he was a student at SU, leading the Sour Sitrus Society and serving as a tour guide through U100.

He told us that some of the best practice he got with his communications skills came from being a U100 tour guide!

Did you hear Jason speak? What did you take away from it?

Also, let us know if you have any alumni speakers you’d like to see return to SU next semester!

VLOG: Social Media and the Job Search with Alyssa Henry

By Tracy Tillapaugh

Syracuse University iSchool graduate student Alyssa Henry has been using Twitter for several years. She has had some great successes using Twitter and offers her tips to current students on what to tweet and how it can help with their career goals. Watch her discuss her Twitter strategies with Career Consultant Tracy Tillapaugh. Connect with @AlyssaHenry.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LyQW3w9nzb0&w=560&h=315]

How has social media helped in your career development?

What I've Learned from Three Years in Career Services

by Dan Klamm
Marketing & Communications Coordinator

As some of you may know, this is my last week working in Career Services at Syracuse University. Effective October 24, I will be moving to the university’s Division of Advancement and External Affairs to be the Assistant Director of Digital & Social Media. I am thrilled about this opportunity, though sad to leave an amazing group of colleagues, an exceptionally supportive boss, and a workplace that has presented me with many unique opportunities and challenges over the last three years.

I’d like to present you with some key learnings that I’ve acquired during my tenure in Career Services, in the hopes that these nuggets can help you navigate the job search and young professional life. Over the last three years, I’ve advised hundreds of students and alumni on career development issues, I’ve evaluated job candidates as a search committee member, and — as I approached my own job search, before this wonderful new position at SU became available — I’ve interviewed with organizations such as Edelman, Google, and NYU. This combination of experience provides me with a variety of perspectives and some key take-aways.

1) Before beginning your job search, develop a clear goal.
What industry would you like to work in? What organization(s) would you like to work for? What is your ideal position? Geographically, where do you want to be? Take the time to do some soul searching and figure out the answers to these questions. Conduct informational interviews with SU alumni to find out what certain job titles really mean or to find out what it’s actually like to work in a particular industry. Research salaries and cost of living information to see if your dream career in your dream city will give you the quality of life that you want. As your ideal job begins to take shape, develop a clear goal statement and a list of target employers.

Doing this heavy lifting at the outset will save you lots of time and energy down the road. Once you have a clear goal, you can channel all your efforts toward reaching that specific goal. Instead of applying for 90 different PR jobs across New York City, you can spend time customizing your cover letter and resume (and networking!) to apply to the 10 positions in fashion PR that you really want.

“I’ll take anything” is the kiss of death in a job search — especially in an interview. Hiring managers want to hear how excited you are to work in their industry, for their company, and in the specific position that you’re applying for. Having a clear goal in your mind will help you to convey genuine enthusiasm during an interview.

2) Customize all of your resumes and cover letters. Seriously.
Companies are receiving hundreds of applications for every job opening these days. Who is a hiring manager more likely to interview: the candidate who sends generic application materials or the candidate who says it’s his life dream to work at Company X and provides examples of how his background is a perfect fit for the open position? In most cases, it is the latter.

You don’t need to completely re-write each and every resume and cover letter that you send out, but you should tailor these documents so that they reflect the needs of the employer and the nuances of the job description. It shows that you’re interested in the job and not just sending generic applications out to dozens of companies.

3) It’s who you know AND what you know.
Personal connections can open doors, but in most cases, they won’t land you a job. It’s up to you to sell yourself in an interview.

4) Attack the interview.
An interview is not a passive thing for you to experience; it’s a two-way (or group) dialogue in which you need to take an active and enthusiastic role. Walk in there with an agenda and know the key points that you need to communicate. Even starting off by saying “Thank you for having me, I really appreciate the opportunity to interview for the position and I’m excited to be here today” sets the tone for the rest of the interview and says that you’re not just going to sit back and wait for questions to be lobbed at you. It shows you’re invested in the process and ready to actively engage the inteviewer(s).

Always prepare several key points about the strength of your candidacy. Regardless of the questions that you receive, make sure you’re able to reinforce these key points throughout the interview. Don’t wait for the interviewer to ask the right question or pick up on some small detail on your resume. It’s your job to sell yourself! At the end, wrap up by thanking the interviewer(s) for their time and reiterating your interest and fit.

5) Your reputation matters.
Every little thing that you do impacts your reputation in the professional world: the people you greet (or choose to ignore) in the hallway, how you handle criticism, how you react to success, the way you collaborate with others, and of course the quality of your work. Nothing goes unnoticed.

Your online reputation is equally important. I’ve seen job candidates score interviews based solely on their web presence and the relationships they’ve built through social media. Likewise, I’ve seen candidates rejected based on their online behavior. Pay attention to your online presence — because employers certainly do.

6) Surround yourself with people who believe in you.
Unfortunately we all occasionally find ourselves in conversations with people who bring us down: people who belittle, people who condescend, people who tell us our sights are set too high, people who encourage us to settle.

Don’t settle.

You deserve to be surrounded by people who support and uplift you. During the stressful job search process, this is especially true.

7) Make your own opportunities.
No one is going to find you a job, introduce you to a mentor, or voluntarily give you a $10,000 raise. You need to make it happen. This means taking ownership of your career, putting in extra effort, and proactively taking steps — sometimes unconventional steps — to make yourself known.

For me, this meant reaching out to the editors of The Post-Standard and proposing to write a series of columns about social media in the job search. Surprisingly enough, they gave me the greenlight. About 2 months after my outreach effort, my first column appeared. I then leveraged my writing experience with The Post-Standard to approach an editor at Mashable, one of the most widely read blogs on the internet, about contributing guest posts. He, too, said, “Sure, sounds great!” and a few weeks later my first Mashable post went live.

For you, this could mean tweeting at your dream company to express interest in a summer internship, applying to speak at a big conference in your field, or asking your boss for a promotion. These things aren’t going to magically happen on their own; you need to make them happen.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned above all else in the last three years, it’s that relationships matter. I’d like to thank everyone who has been a part of my career to this point. From the colleagues I work with across the university, to the students I advise, to the alumni I meet while traveling: it’s been SUCH an enjoyable experience coming to work every day because of you. Thank you! I can’t wait to find out what my next step will bring, and I wish you the best with everything.