Lean In – What would you do if you weren’t afraid?

I’ve been reading “Lean In” this summer and I love it. I really didn’t know much about it; but on a recruiting trip someone mentioned the quote: “When someone offers you a seat on a rocket ship, you don’t ask what seat you just get on.” after that I knew I had to read it! It focuses on how women tend to shy away from leadership roles instead of going for them or “Leaning in”. Reading the book I’ve realized I’m definitely guilty of this. I’m not one to speak up much in meetings, I’d rather ask questions in private than in public, and usually prefer to work behind the scenes. One of the questions they proposed to readers was “What would you do if you weren’t afraid”

I watched the video and I tried to think what I missed out on. Luckily for me, I have friends, family, and faculty who always seem to force me to do something when I don’t have the guts to. I came up with three things

In 5th grade I won the spelling bee, but I was too nervous to get in front of the entire school to compete. So I let my best friend take my place. I was tired of being seen as a geek and didn’t want the entire school to see it.

Things I would’ve done in college.

1. Studied Abroad

2. Ran for SGA. I had the mentality that my parents aren’t rich, I’m not in a sorority, and I’m black no one would vote for me. Unfortunately a lot of students feel the same way, they shouldn’t but they do. The worse part about it is, it’s not anything that anyone has said to us,  just our own doubts keeping them from running.

3. Joined more organizations and ran for executive office.

We should all make a more conscious effort to lean in! It’s good for us and future generations of young women!

What would you do if you weren’t afraid?

Side note: If you’re looking for something else about women empowerment check out Miss Representation!

Intern Hack No. 4: What to put on your resume

How to Beat the ‘Black Hole’

You don’t have to be an astronomer to know about one kind of black hole: the online job application process.

But have hope. There are things you can do to increase the chances of getting your résumé through employers’ applicant screening systems, say experts Josh Bersin, CEO of human-resources consulting firm Bersin & Associates and Rusty Rueff, career and workplace expert at Glassdoor.

Below, five tips to up your odds:

  • 1. Forget about being creative. Instead, mimic the keywords in the job description as closely as possible. If you’re applying to be a sales manager, make sure your résumé includes the words “sales” and “manage” (assuming you’ve done both!).
  • 2. Visit the prospective employer’s website to get a sense of the corporate culture. Do they use certain words to describe their values? If a firm has a professed interest in environmental sustainability, include relevant volunteer work or memberships on your résumé. The company may have programmed related keywords into its resume screening software.
  • 3. Keep the formatting on your résumé simple and streamlined—you don’t want to perplex the software. With a past position, the system “sometimes gets confused about which is the company, which is the position, and which are the dates you worked there,” especially if they’re all on a single line, says Mr. Bersin. To make sure you hit all the categories, put them on separate lines. And “don’t get cute with graphics and layout,” says Mr. Rueff.
  • 4. Some screening systems assign higher scores to elite schools. You may not have gotten your B.A. from a top-tier university, but if you attended a continuing-education class at one, include such qualifications on your résumé.
  • 5. But don’t ever lie or exaggerate just to get through the screening process. Recruiters and ATSs are savvy about tricks jobseekers use (such as typing false qualifications in white font). “You don’t want to get through the black hole and find out it’s a worse hole you got yourself into,” Mr. Rueff says

This article “how to beat the black hole” by the WSJ was super informative. a lot of companies have computers that pull your resume and scan for keywords and other info to select you go to the next round. I know what you’re thinking, your whole life you’ve been told to make your resume stand out. We’ll crazy formatting, and made up words to describe your last position might not be the best way to get there. last spring I visited an oil company in the Houston area and spoke with the hiring manager. She informed us that no one is spending hours reading resumes by hand. She spends less than 60 seconds on a resume to find out if they’re in or out.

Here are her top 3 applicant killers:

1. Bad formatting

  • Your resume should not look like connect the dots.
  • Make everything line up correctly.
  • Your resume shouldn’t be wild colors, or have a photo on it.

2. Lack of contact info

  • You would be surprised how many people actually leave off how to contact them. They might put their name and forget everything else.

3. Spelling

  • Self explanatory.

Here’s what I suggest. You might want to have separate resumes. One that you would hand out in person and one to submit online. For example the gentlemen below has a killer resume even online it stands strong. This would be great to hand out at a job fair, or after to get the interview in person, however it might confuse this computer with the qr code.

There are lots of ways you can use these tips and still stand out for example check out “Hire-matt.com” and click on his resume tab.

The original article can be found here: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204624204577178941034941330.html

Thoughts of a Graduating Senior

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  • What am I doing with my life?
  • Where do I even apply?
  • When do I apply?
  • Where am I going to work?
  • How do I negotiate my salary?
  • Where am I going to live?
  • How am I going to figure  all of this and pass this impossible class?

These are a few of the questions swimming in my mind as I approach graduation. I’m a May graduate so I still have a bit of time, but with every friend that accepts an offer I think I’m running out of time. (And will probably end up living out of a cardboard box.)

So let’s start at the top. “What are your plans after graduation?” This question has started to make my flesh crawl. “My plans are to be happy and successful” is not a suitable answer. As a freshman you probably could just say “I’m a ____ major and I want to work in the ____ field” Very vague, when you’re a senior people expect interview dates, a list of companies cities, and actionable life plan. So instead of giving yourself insomnia just spend a weekend brainstorming. Spend some time and think about what it is you love, what you’re good at, and where you want to be.

For me my brainstorming lead me to multicultural marketing. Most of my time is spent using my marketing skills to recruit students, finding out how to keep them engaged in my organization, and with Texas Tech University. I serve as the social media coordinator for two multicultural organizations and I’m constantly thinking of campaigns and positioning strategies.

  • Then next thing I did was talk to a recent graduate who was in that field.
  • Then did some research about a few companies that did that type of marketing.
  • Talked to hiring managers at former internships to find out when the general hiring time is for Marketing industry. (Or your University Career Center)
  • Now that you know what you want to do, you can take on projects to help get your more experience in that industry.  You might want to consider doing undergraduate research.

I don’t have all the answers, but I have a pretty good starting point.  The most important thing is to remind yourself to breathe! Have faith in yourself and the skills you’ve acquired at your school and search with a clear head. The last thing you want to do is apply for the wrong type of job and settle for something you hate.

Happy Hunting!

What you need to know about Business Cards

These are pretty much the coolest business cards I’ve ever seen. I got a Klout perk for some for free and checked out their site. If you’re a creative person (Graphic Design, Fashion, Photography, Modeling, Accessories Maker, Musician) I’d HIGHLY recommend these. They have plenty designs to choose from, or you can upload your own art. The cool thing about Moo.com is that each card can be customized to say a different thing. The only things is with the perk you have to have Klout on the front 😦

These are some what my practice card until I perfect what I should have on them for the long haul.

Check out my favorites below

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Take 10% off by clicking here: http://www.moo.com/share/tx2ptb or join Klout.com and get the perk yourself for FREE!

You can also check out Vistaprint for some free cards or the career center at your college. The Career Management Center at Texas Tech offers business cards for a low cost.

When designing my card I started to wonder what makes a good creative business card? What should I have on it? QR code? A photo? I stumbled upon this article What College Students Should Have on Business Cards.

What to Include 

Contact information should be the main focus on college students’ business cards and should include: name, phone number and e-mail address .

“If you want, you can include ‘NYU class of 2011’, or you can include what field you’re in, such as ‘marketing professional’,” says Pollak.

Tony Conrad, founder of About.me, points out that if you have a URL that recruiters might be interested in (such as a professional blog, or personal Web site) you can include a QR code.

“The fact that you have [a QR code] and understand it and that you’re using emerging technology, that shows that you’re ambitious enough to seek out something new and implement it to your benefit,” he says. “It means they can contact you for your specific talents and start the conversation already knowing some of your background.”

Creativity

Depending on the field (especially in graphic design, architecture, art, etc.), experts encourage students to get creative with their cards.

Conrad advises students include an aesthetically-pleasing image that makes a statement rather than going for shock value.

“Well-shot photography and clean typography has been a winning strategy in advertising for more than a century,” he says. “If you think of yourself as a luxury brand, present yourself as a luxury brand.”

I also read this article on Forbes.com

Make Your Business Card Stand Out

Don Crowther thinks you should put your picture on your business card. Not only that, but he wants you to include a mini-résumé, your Twitter handle and some sort of special offer that entices each recipient to get in touch.

Check out both of these articles and get yourself a deck of business cards!

 

**Update**

My Business cards are here! If you sign up with About.me you can also get some free business cards!

Business Cards

PowToon

I’m always looking for a new way to do a presentation. I’ve found while Prezi’s are interesting, some people feel that they make them dizzy. Some time earlier this year I was looking for an alternative to Powerpoints and Prezi’s for a more interesting delivery and I stumbled across PowToons.

PowToons are basically animated powerpoints that feature cartoon like characters. It’s still in it’s beta testing and we just got the green light this morning to go and play with it. A lot more features are coming in the coming months.

The video below explains what exactly PowToon is all about.

Their Youtube also shows examples of all the things you can use Powtoon for.

What’s so great about it?

1. Easy Music Importing and integration
2. You can convert your PowToon into a Youtube Video and immediately post it to your account with 1 click.
3. You can choose two modes Movie mode which is a continuous flow, and presentation Mode which allows for stops.
4. Easy sharing Twitter,Facebook,Pinterest are all right at the top. Also it has a comment section where people can comment using their facebook login.

Each mode has features like

PICTO features include

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LABEL features include

Infographic
Resume
or blank for you to create cool things yourself

Imageand lastly

Marker Options include

Site Teaser and Blank

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After playing around with it I came up with this for the student organization I preside over.


Not bad for trying it out today. Sign up today and let me know what you like about Powtoon.com!

Intern Hack No. 2: Job Description Deception

You’re scouring the job boards for an internship, or full time position. You’re eager to put everything you’ve learned in college to work and you think you’ve found a great job that works with marketing! You run across an entry that has buzz words like

Business to business sales, direct marketing methods, and other pay.

After going through an exciting first interview you find yourself in the middle of some unknown location selling something to patron on the street or going door to door on a commission only salary.

Not what you expected right?

The thing about marketing is that is covers such a broad range of activities. A lot of what is posted on job boards is sales, and to the untrained eye you might not realize that’s what you’re signing up for. Nothing is worse than applying for a job, and realizing that it’s not the right fit. The best way to combat this is to know what exactly you field you’re looking for.
Who remembers Vector Marketing the company that sells knives door-to-door?

This one is pretty vague, does this sound like you’re driving around town being a door-to-door knives salesman?

Here are some items to look over before you submit that application:

1. Identify what exactly you want from a job. What skills do you have and what would like to earn through your new career.

2. Find your career spirit animal. What does this mean? (I just made it up) Find someone who is doing what you would like to do, and learn what their job title is and what it entails. Hopefully you can network with them, and find out what to look for in your search from someone who has been there.

3. Linkedin- I often type in a job title or company name and see what they have listed under their job description–slightly creepy, but this is the  life or death of your career we’re talking about.Or if you’re not a creeper like me you can check out company websites to find out what they’re job description says so you know what you’re looking for.

Sales isn’t for everyone, and some really thrive at it. Be sure you know what you’re getting yourself into.

4. Most importantly during the interview ask them what a day in the life entails. Nothing is glamorous all the time is this is a very good question to find out if you would want to do this EVERY DAY and it shows interest.

Usually it’s a bad sign if a MARKETING company has little or no presence online, if they’re extremely vague, or if you go to their building and it’s just an empty office with no phones or furniture.

Horror Stories

Jane Doe* is a recent college graduate, and went to search for a job in NY. She had a phenomenal interview with a marketing department, and for her second interview she ended up in a bad part of the city trying to convince people to change energy providers. She was only paid if she got a person to sign up for the new service. She had to find her way home from this remote location, and catch the Subway home!

John Doe* is a college senior wanting to break into the sports and marketing field. He found a internship position for a marketing company in his area, and had a successful interview. He noticed that the office was nearly empty, but assumed they were remodeling.  The 2nd interview would be from 8-6pm. Once he showed up they drove to Austin, Texas where they spent the day selling tickets to a minor league baseball team in the 100 degree heat. Solicitation to businesses is illegal and even had to duck or hide from police when asked what they were doing!

#Internproblems

“Hey can you do this  for me?” always strikes fear into my heart.. Every now and again I find myself needing a refresher in BASIC office skills. (ex Mailing Labels) Yes I learned how to do them in high school, but have I had to make them since? No, who uses mail?  Instead of embarrassing myself and asking a million questions don’t be afraid to use Youtube to get a quick answer. What have you youtube’d on the fly at work?? Don’t worry I won’t laugh!

Another tip: Print them on regular paper first, then copy them to a label sheet. If you do this you won’t have to keep reprinting, and running back and forth to your desk if they don’t fit perfectly into the boxes.