Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Approaching Your Job Search With Little Experience

By LucasWorks! on October 20th, 2017

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If you’re a recent graduate or entering the workforce after an extended break, you know it’s a tough market for those with little to no applicable experience.  Keep reading for five helpful tips on how to approach your job search when you have no work experience.

1. Target Entry-Level Jobs

One of the best solutions for those with no work experience is often the most overlooked.  Narrowing your job hunt criteria to positions marked as “entry level” can help you find positions for which you may be otherwise qualified with education, personality or overall background.  Quality job sites will let you search for key works such as entry level, beginner, no experience required and more.  Use filters to narrow positions to a given location or field and be sure to set up email alerts to help stay on top of the most recent relevant openings.

2. Focus on Your Other Positive Qualities

While you may not have a great deal of on the job work experience, as a recent graduate you are likely chock-full of other positive attributes that may be attractive to potential employers.  From education to extra curricular experience, savvy hiring managers and HR professionals know that it’s often the presence of soft skills that make for the best long term candidates.

Consider reformatting the traditional resume or cover letter to call out skills and experiences that you may have developed in school or life generally. Being captain of a sports team indicates leadership and you should be sure to note if you coordinated team meetings, events or fundraisers.  Writing skills are highly demonstrable with that position on the school paper.  Debate, after school community involvement, self employment jobs such as dog walking, paper delivery and more all show off a variety of personality traits that may impress a potential employer and help snag that initial screening call or interview.

3. Consider an Internship

While typically an unpaid position, snagging an internship in a relevant field is a great way to bulk out a resume and score some valuable work experience in the process.  If you do manage to make it into one of these highly sought after positions, be sure to make the most of your time there.  Show up before your scheduled start and perform just as well as if you were collecting a paycheck.  In many companies and positions, internships are also chances for employers to vet potential long term employees ensuring a good work-culture fit.

4. Do Good with Volunteer Work

In a similar vein as internships, depending on your desired career path a volunteer position may be a great way to add valuable work experience that tips the scales in your favor during a later job interview.  Volunteering your time for a local community organization or charity is a great way to demonstrate you have a bigger world view and understand the value of personal contributions in society.

5. Networking

While we may have saved this helpful hint for last, there’s no discounting the first rate value of networking when it comes to finding a job with little to no work experience.  When a company is faced with a wealth of qualified and over-qualified candidates, a personal recommendation can often make the difference between being overlooked and brought in for that valuable in person interview.

Professional social networking sites such as LinkedIn are great resources for finding like minded individuals in your target field.  Check in with your school’s career services department as they will often also host events that pair established professionals with recent grads for mentoring and more.

When it comes to entering the workforce for the first time, job-seekers need to get creative in order to compete with those that may have more practical knowledge.  Use one or a combination of our above helpful hints to add to your resume and create alternative job-market entry ways.  Most of all, persistence pays off.  Keep building upon your education, practical skills and connections and before you know it you’ll be well on your way to moving on up the workforce ladder.

The Do’s and Don’ts of Your Summer Job Hunt

By LucasWorks! on July 28th, 2017

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Seasonal positions provide workers with an exciting opportunity to try something new and develop transferable skills.  Plus, you can experience working in a particular industry and decide whether or not it is the right fit for you.

 

However, it can be challenging to find a good position – the competition is stiff and you may be unsure of where to begin looking.  The good news is if you do your research, start early and perfect your application materials, you’ll have a strong chance of finding rewarding summer work.  Check out our advice on landing a summer job that’s not just a job, but a position that will help pave the way for reaching your future career goals.

 

DO your research

Be prepared for your interview with knowledge about the company and questions for the recruiter.  Make an effort to get to know the company culture by checking out the website and social media in advance.

 

DON’T leave your research till the last minute

Get your resume out to the companies you want to target early!  Start applying online, leveraging your networks and scheduling potential meet and greets.

 

DO use your network

Networking isn’t just for full-time employment.  Tell everyone you know you are looking for a summer job – you never know who might be able to help you out!  Once of the most effective ways to “get your foot in the door” is to know someone who works at the company you want to work for.

 

DON’T keep your search too narrow

Don’t underestimate the value of unexpected role – quite often, they offer the greatest learning experiences.  Be open to working for a variety of industries and types of roles when pursuing a summer job.  Even if the position does not directly align with your “dream job”, you will likely have the opportunity to learn valuable skills and build your network.

 

DON’T underestimate the value of a great resume

Find someone you know who is a great writer or who works in the Human Resources industry to proofread your resume and provide constructive feedback.  Your resume is the face of your application, so it should read well and look great!  Make sure your resume highlights the key aspects of your past experience and education in a logical way that is easy to read and has consistent formatting.

 

 

6 Body Language Mistakes to Avoid in an Interview

By LucasWorks! on May 26th, 2017

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Your body language can make or break your interviews.  Avoid these body language mistakes that people commonly make during an interview.

If you want to connect with your interviewer, don’t:

  1. Cross your arms or legs or splay or legs. When in an interview, you should come across as approachable.  To achieve this, keep your back straight, your head high, and your chest and arms “open.”
  2. Avoid eye contact. Avoiding eye contact is something insecure people do unconsciously, to avoid confrontation.  In an interview, you need to come across as secure and confident, and one way of showing this is to look your interviewer in the eye while you’re speaking.  When you look people in the eye, they will in turn pay more attention to you and what you’re saying because they’ll feel engaged.
  3. Stare at a single spot. Interviewers notice when you’re not looking at them.  Looking down and staring at one spot while in an interview makes you look like you’re unsure of yourself and what you’re saying.  Again, try to look your interviewer in the eye and they’ll pay close attention.
  4. Fidget too much. Fidgeting translates to nervousness, and nervousness is a total distraction.  The interviewer ends up focusing on the fidgeting and not paying attention to what you’re saying.  To avoid fidgeting, make sure you’re aware of it.  Being conscious of your body and of your body language is a great way to avoid fidgeting.  A great way to be conscious of your body language is to practice an interview in front of a mirror or with a friend.
  5. Forget to smile. Smiling is a great way to come across as approachable, make your interviewer feel comfortable and willing to listen.
  6. Talk “too fast, too slow, or too low.” If you speak too fast, your interviewer will have hard time following.  If you speak to low or slow, you’ll probably bore them.  Either way, your attempt to communicate why you’re a good fit for the job will be compromised.  Again, practice in front of a mirror or with a friend, find the right volume and tone, work on emphasizing important words and expressions and articulate every syllable.

 

 

 

Beat The Workplace Winter Blues

By LucasWorks! on December 16th, 2016

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For the past month, you’ve left for work in the dark and arrived home after sunset.  The winter weather can make for long and sometimes dangerous commutes.  Add to that end-of-year deadlines and peak season traffic, and it’s not surprising to feel your motivation for work decreasing.  If this sounds familiar, then you’re not alone.  Many people feel more tired and irritable than usual during the winter; a condition generally referred to as “the winter blues.”

Finding new and creative ways to boost your morale in the winter is a great way to keep yourself happy and motivated at work.  Here are some tips:

1. Get involved in a positive project

Volunteering for something that’s inherently positive like helping produce the company newsletter or organizing the holiday dinner can be a fun, rewarding activity.

2. Be mindful of what you do well

Pay extra attention to your performance, and give yourself mental praise when you’re doing a good job.

3. Embrace the season.

Even though it’s no longer beach season, there’s still lots of fun to be had. Christmas and ringing in the New Year are both opportunities to get excited.

4. Let there be light

When daylight savings comes into effect and the sun starts setting at 4:00PM, you miss out on important natural light exposure.  Do what you can to keep blinds open and let in as much natural light as possible throughout the day.

5. Turn some music on

Cheery and upbeat music can improve your mood.  Using tools like Spotify to create a shared playlist is a great way to get your colleagues involved in the process and to make your work environment more cheerful.

 

Analyzing A Job Description Before You Click The Apply Button

By LucasWorks! on November 24th, 2016

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When searching through job boards, you come across a lot of job descriptions.  How you read and interpret them has a bearing on how qualified you think you are for the position and how you’re likely to customize your resume.

Employers are usually inundated with responses to every job posting.  Before you hit that Apply button, take the time to make sure your response stands out in the crowd by asking yourself the following questions:

How many of the job requirements/qualifications do you meet?

This area provides the most relevant insight to the role and what employers are looking for.  In a competitive job market, employers typically have their choice of job candidates, so unless you meet at least half of the requirements, consider spending your time applying to a different job.

Does the job description contain questions for you to answer?Asking a question in the job description that requires an answer in your response is an employer’s favorite way to tell if you have carefully read the description. It is also a quick test of how good an employee you might be. Answering the question indicates that you can read and understand what is in the description and also that you can follow directions. An ability to follow directions is an important skill to demonstrate because it is what nearly every job requires.

How do they want you to respond to the job posting?

Some organizations ask you submit through an applicant tracking system by simply uploading your application materials and hitting “submit.” But, the description may also contain other specifications like a specific email address for responses and/or follow up. There might also be directions in terms of what kind of materials to submit and what format they should be in.  Even though it seems obvious, it’s important to follow directions.

Does this look like a job you would be happy doing?

Maybe the job title is “administrative assistant” (a job you want), but the job requires someone to do some accounts payables tasks and financial reporting, which you can do (but hate).  Carefully read the description of what the person in the job will be expected to do, often called “Duties” or “Responsibilities.”  Often, like the job’s requirements, the duties/responsibilities are listed in descending order of relevance and importance to the job. Note the things in the list that you don’t enjoy doing or don’t do well – how high are they on the list?