Job Seeker Blog

College Won’t Train You for a Job, and That’s Just Fine

I’VE GIVEN STUDENT advice before, so some of this might not be completely new. However, it’s a new year with new students, so it might be useful to give some ideas to this year’s collegiate freshmen. Actually, here are four things for students to consider.

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posted in: Blogging, News, Personal

What your college major says about your job potential

Baby Boomer parents relax: your millennial kids with college degrees are far from doomed. They actually had a pretty awesome 2015, depending on what they studied.

Unemployment for young college grads—ages 22 to 27—fell to 4.9% by September, just below the current national average of 5%, according to a report published Friday by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. These Millennials are also getting paid more: median incomes for recent graduates rose to $43,000 in 2015, up from about $40,000 in the prior year. Compare that to the wages of the same age group who only have a high school diploma—their wages have fallen in recent years, now at $25,000 a year. Overall, it’s good news that incomes are rising for job market newbies. But when you parse out the data by a graduate’s college major, results vary—a LOT.

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posted in: Blogging, EmployerNews, News

Berkeley startup job fair focused on diversity draws crowd

The hot ticket in downtown Berkeley on the evening of Thursday Jan. 28 was arguably the gala opening party for the new BAMPFA, but if you had seen the several-hundred strong line of people snaking down Center Street and round the corner along Shattuck between 5 and 7 p.m., waiting to get into the NextSpace building, you’d have been forgiven for thinking there was an even hotter event going on.

More than 3,000 people signed up to attend the Berkeley Startup Job Fair, according to Ben Hamlin, co-founder and CEO of Localwise, the Berkeley-based job community which organized the first-of-its kind event. And of those, more than 1,000 showed up. The fair, which was focused on promoting diversity in tech, was co-hosted by the City of Berkeley’s Office of Economic Development. Other partners included 16 nonprofits, including the Kapor Center for Social Impact, Latinas in Tech, Telegraph Academy, Lesbians who Tech, Code Berkeley and the Level Playing Field Institute. (See the full list of partners).

The overwhelming response to the fair appeared to indicate the need for more opportunities for job-seekers to meet with young companies who are recruiting. Many attendees came from nearby UC Berkeley and Berkeley City College, but others had traveled from further afield, including from more far-flung colleges. For still others, their student days were far behind them. And it was a diverse crowd who formed lines and patiently waited to speak with potential employers inside NextSpace’s ground-floor atrium.

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posted in: Blogging, Diversity, EmployerNews, News

Stackable credentials: A model for college and job success

Stackable credentials are emerging as a way to meet industry needs and open doors of opportunity for students looking to prepare for a career, get a raise or change jobs

SALT LAKE CITY — For Tanner Wheadon and Jacob Doetsch, college has hardly been about sitting in lecture halls and writing term papers year after year.

In fact, it feels very little like higher academia in a traditional sense.

But theirs is an experience that illustrates an innovative transformation happening at some institutions, one that recognizes specific skills with as much utility as an academic degree. It’s a model that allows students to link their employment with their coursework, piece by piece.

Educators call it stackable credentials. Students call it building a resume.

“Having a degree just proves that you finished two years of school. It doesn’t really demonstrate what you learned in school or if you’re ready to apply it in a job,” Doetsch said. “But if you prepare for certification exams through school, it doesn’t just prove that I graduated with a two-year degree, but that I can actually do a specific job.”

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posted in: Blogging, EmployerNews, News

Are US businesses doing enough to support religious diversity in the workplace?

Religious discrimination claims in the US have doubled since 2001. Should businesses take more steps to ensure every employee feels valued?

Late last year, US food processing company Cargill fired 150 Muslim workers from its beef processing plant in Colorado after a dispute over prayer breaks. After facing protests about the layoffs, the company changed its rehire policy earlier this month, allowing the fired employees to reapply for their jobs. The incident points to a growing challenge in the American workplace: what companies can do to accommodate their employees’ faiths.

The federal Civil Rights Act requires public and private employers to accommodate their workers’ religious needs as long as doing so won’t impose more than a minimal cost to their business. But religious discrimination claims have nearly doubled since 2001, according to the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Last year, a case made it all the way to the Supreme Court, when a Muslim woman sued clothing company Abercrombie & Fitch for passing her over for a job because she wore a hijab, or headscarf. The court ruled 8-1 in her favor.

“Religious discrimination in the workplace is an issue that continues to fester in the US, to the particular detriment of minority faiths like Muslims, Sikhs and Seventh-day Adventists,” said James Sonne, founding director of Stanford Law School’s Religious Liberty Clinic. “The problem often stems from ignorance, but religious or cultural hostility has played a significant role in recent years.”

Hostility toward Muslims has grown in recent years, as terrorists increasingly invoke Islam in attacks in the US and abroad. Meanwhile, the US has seen an increasing number of Muslim immigrants in the past decade.

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posted in: Blogging, Diversity, EmployerNews, News



A year after Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella backpedaled from a gaffe at a women’s tech conference and announced a major employee diversity push, Microsoft reported in November that roles for women in its tech positions had actually gone down. At the same time, roles for African Americans and Latinos had barely budged, with them holding just over 6% of tech jobs at the company. Results for other major technology firms, despite their public pledges, aren’t much better. Which can lead to the question: Is all this talk of diversity just empty words?

According to linguist and cognitive scientist Kieran Snyder, empty words in documents like job descriptions could be precisely what’s hurting diversity, by discouraging people from even applying. “When you use language that kinda counts as corporate jargon—synergy being the most hilarious example . . . your job listing becomes less popular,” says Snyder, who is also a former Microsoft engineer and program manager. “Everybody hates that language, but underrepresented people hate it more, probably because it’s a cultural signifier of some kind. It sort of communicates, this is an old-boy’s network kind of company.”

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posted in: Blogging, Diversity, EmployerNews, News



Earlier this week, a former Twitter employee took to Medium to disclose that he left his job because he felt diversity was not being made a priority at the company. As Twitter’s sole black engineer in a leadership role, Leslie Miley wrote that he wondered “how and why a company whose product has been used as an agent of revolutionary social change did not reflect the diversity of thought, conversation, and people in its ranks.”

Miley specifically singled out engineering SVP Alex Roetter: In response to a question Miley posed about increasing diversity in Twitter’s engineering sector, Roetter allegedly said that “diversity is important, but we can’t lower the bar.” Roetter also suggested that, to see where job candidates were being weeded out, Miley could create a name analysis tool that would use their last name to determine ethnicity. This idea was, to Miley, a huge oversimplification that ignored “the complex forces of history, colonization, slavery and identity.”

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posted in: Blogging, Diversity, News, Personal

Class of 2016 Graduates May Step Into Millennials’ Best Job Market Yet

Next spring’s college graduates may find employers awaiting them with open arms.

Employers say they plan to hire 11% more fresh college graduates for U.S. jobs this year than last, according to a survey of 201 employers from the National Association of Colleges and Employers, which tracks college hiring.

Those projections align with a recent Michigan State University survey of more than 4,700 employers that projected a 15% increase in hiring for new graduates across all degree programs, including associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s, doctorate and professional degrees. The strong outlook reflects an economy on the rebound from the recession, the report said.

The new NACE report also dovetails with a recent study from Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce, which found that job growth since the recession has been led by high-wage occupations, many of which require bachelor’s degrees.

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posted in: Blogging, EmployerNews, Graduation, News, Personal

Video College Recruiting: Is a Tipping Point Coming?

The world of college recruiting is rapidly evolving as more and more employers spend more and more resources attempting to hire the best recent graduates and students, yet more of those are doing so in new and innovative ways.

In this webinar, I talk with Todd Raphael about the changes which are quietly occurring in this recruiting niche.

We also get into:

If there’s still a “stigma” or “asterisk” when someone’s degree is online
Whether elementary-middle-high school is keeping up with the times
Big corporations vs. smaller businesses … what they look for in new hires
Is going to college less important than it once was, in terms of getting a job?

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posted in: Blogging, EmployerNews

Top 10 Ways To Get A Job Interview

What are the best ways to get a job interview these days?

In this economy, I am often asked to how long clients should expect to be in transition. They are often surprised by my answer. It seems to me that because we keep hearing that the economy is slowly getting better, we are lulled into a false sense of security that the job search process isn’t as difficult as it has been for the past few years.

According to the Economic Policy Institute Article from November 2012, while the job seekers ratio has held steady at 3.4 job seekers to one job opening, any number over three means that that there are “no jobs available for two out of three workers.” I also found it very interesting that the same report states that job seekers far outnumber job openings across every sector. Couple this with persistently low hiring and we are finding that unemployment lengths remain unusually high.

Given this less than wonderful news, what can you do to ensure that you are taking all necessary steps to avoid becoming one of the long-term unemployed? Step one is the resume, however, that is merely a step. It’s not the whole job search.

Best Ways To Get An Interview
Knowing that you are likely one of many applicants, how do you get “noticed”? There are a few steps that you can follow to greatly increase your odds of landing that interview.

Breaking down my favorites, David Letterman style, here are my top 10 ways to get an interview:

10. Be Specific

Develop a list of specific target companies that you can identify to those with whom you are networking. For example, if you say, “I want to work in engineering,” that doesn’t really get my brain working. However, if you say, ” I want to work for XYZ company in an engineering capacity, namely leading a team of hardware engineers,” that helps me to a) understand what you are looking for and b) start thinking about who I may know at XYZ company.

9.  Know Your Strengths

Knowing what you bring to the table and clearly articulating it sets you apart from the masses right away. Often, people are not clear on what they can do to specifically help a company. Hiring companies want to know what you can do for them… it helps to answer that question well.

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posted in: Blogging, EmployerNews, News

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