4 on-campus jobs that can set you up for success after graduation

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One of the first things that college students should do when they arrive to campus is lock down an on-campus job. It’s a great way to make some extra money, meet new people and even earn better grades.

But beyond these academic and financial benefits, on-campus jobs can also help students build their resumes before they enter the workforce.

Hafeez Lakhani, founder of college counseling firm Lakhani Coaching tells CNBC Make It that the key to finding the right on-campus job is identifying an opportunity that aligns with your long-term professional goals. “The best jobs, in general, are ones that appeal to our larger sense of ambition,” he says. Though, he admits, “these are not always easy to find.”

The secret is to be creative. This means actively networking with various departments on campus and, when necessary, finding alternative funding sources. “Yes, there are a multitude of library, dining hall and administrative jobs for students to fill,” says Lakhani. “But if a student can be creative — by seeking funding through grants, for instance — there is a huge payoff.”

Here are four of the best on-campus jobs for students hoping get a head-start on their peers:

Lab assistant

Lab assistant positions offer students interested in the sciences unparalleled professional experience, not to mention high wages. PayScale estimates that college laboratory assistants make around $14.62 an hour on average.

But Lakhani says that working as a lab assistant is worth more than just a paycheck. “If I’m interested in medicine, for instance, it would be a great idea for me to land a place, paid or unpaid, in a professor’s lab,” he says.

Working in a lab can expose students to a wide range of scientific processes and teach them the importance of diligence and attention to detail. More importantly, working as a lab assistant can help students network with professors which can lead to research opportunities. Getting research published alongside a widely respected professor is one of the best things that students in sciences can achieve during their academic careers.

Radio DJ

Its not easy to launch a career in music but if you have your mind made up, then you are going to have to work hard. One of the easiest ways for students to get experience in the music industry is to get involved with their college radio station.

Most college stations have opportunities for first year students to work behind the scenes in operational roles with pathways to more front-facing positions like DJing.

The key to excelling in this position is to take advantage of every chance you get. Your first solo show may be at an awkward time or you may be assigned a genre that isn’t your favorite, but by embracing every opportunity that is thrown your way, you can turn an on-campus job at the college radio station into some serious professional preparation.

Newspaper ad sales

Another way to think about what on-campus job is best for you is to think about what types of skills you want to master. If you are interested in fields like sales or marketing, the school newspaper may offer the perfect job for you.

This job often includes reaching out to local businesses to sell ad space and working with operational teams to create and adjust strategy. Working in ad sales for the newspaper can be an amazing opportunity to get your hands dirty and make real sales. It also can give students the chance to oversee team goals and budgets.

Potential employers want to hear concrete examples of when you have performed a function that is part of a role so if you want to work in sales, you are going to need examples of when you have made sales. The newspaper will give you plenty of opportunities to do just that.

Endowment office aid

Depending on what college you go to, your school may have a significant endowment fund. One of the best on-campus jobs that students can land is working for the office that manages this fund.

“If a student is interested in finance, why not apply to the office of the university endowment?” Lakhani suggests.

The trick to landing this job is networking. It’s rare for an endowment office to publicize an opening but just like every other department, this team can still take advantage of help with office work and filing. Even if you aren’t making big decisions, connecting with professionals who oversee large sums of money can give students interested in finance valuable exposure.

Continue on to cnbc.com to read the complete article.

How to Answer “So, Tell Me About Yourself”

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Job Interview

So, the first question you’re probably going to get in an interview is, “Tell me about yourself.” This is not an invitation to recite your entire life story or even to go bullet by bullet through your resume.

Instead, it’s probably your first and best chance to pitch the hiring manager on why you’re the right one for the job.

A formula The Editor at The Muse likes is called the Present-Past-Future formula. So, first you start with the present—where you are right now. Then, segue into the past—a little bit about the experiences you’ve had and the skills you gained at the previous position. Finally, finish with the future—why you are really excited for this particular opportunity.

Below is an example:

If someone asked, “tell me about yourself,” you could say:

“Well, I’m currently an account executive at Smith, where I handle our top performing client. Before that, I worked at an agency where I was on three different major national healthcare brands. And while I really enjoyed the work that I did, I’d love the chance to dig in much deeper with one specific healthcare company, which is why I’m so excited about this opportunity with Metro Health Center.”

Remember throughout your answer to focus on the experiences and skills that are going to be most relevant for the hiring manager when they’re thinking about this particular position and this company. And ultimately, don’t be afraid to relax a little bit, tell stories and anecdotes—the hiring manager already has your resume, so they also want to know a little more about you.

Continue on to The Muse to read the complete article and watch the video.

Is a Sustainability Career on Your Green Horizon?

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Woman engineer

In addition to being vital to many people, protecting the environment has become an important goal for many organizations.

A way to achieve this goal is to pursue sustainability, which is using resources to meet present needs without compromising future resources. Although sustainability most often is associated with environmental protection and conservation, it also has social and economic impacts. In fact, many companies adopt sustainability strategies to increase profits, and the environmental aspects become an added bonus.

Sustainability professionals help organizations achieve their goals by ensuring that their business practices are economically, socially, and environmentally sustainable. Sustainability is a diverse field that includes a wide variety of professionals. Sustainability professionals can be business managers, scientists, or engineers; or they can come from other backgrounds. Although their specific career paths might differ, sustainability professionals promote environmental protection, social responsibility, and profitability.

 

What is sustainability?

The most common definition of sustainability comes from a 1987 United Nations (UN) conference. In a report, the UN defined sustainable development as “development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”

Alternately, according to a report from the National Association for Environmental Management, sustainability is “a term that describes a company’s strategies for acting as a responsible corporate citizen, ensuring its operations are financially sustainable and minimizing its environmental footprint. Sustainability initiatives may include natural resource reduction, supply chain management, worker safety and health initiatives, stakeholder engagement and external reporting.” External reporting involves reporting information on a company’s environmental and safety record to the general public, or to government agencies.

The environmental aspect of sustainability focuses on the goals of protecting the environment and the conservation of natural resources. To accomplish these goals, sustainability professionals help organizations, such as businesses, government agencies, and non-profits implement policies to manage the resources consumed and the waste generated by an organization. For example, a sustainability professional might suggest that an organization reduce the amount of packaging it uses when it ships its products, and a reduction in packaging could help the company decrease the amount of raw material it consumes and as the environmental cost of shipping products. Less material used in packaging would cut down on materials cost, as well as weight and space taken up during transport. Since the products would take up less space, there would be fewer shipments. Fewer shipments mean less energy used for shipping products, as well as lower emissions. For example, fewer shipments made by trucks would reduce fuel consumption and lower the amount of exhaust emitted into the air.

To fulfill sustainability’s social aspect, sustainability professionals attempt to minimize the negative effects and to promote the positive effects of the organization’s activities on stakeholders. Stakeholders are persons or groups, such as employees, customers, and citizens of surrounding communities, who have an interest in the organization and its activities. Sustainability professionals work to ensure that the workplace is healthy for employees and that the products or services the organization provides are safe for consumers to use. Some sustainability initiatives affect more than one stakeholder. Many companies promote corporate responsibility where they will provide pro bono products and services to the needy, or make attempts to lessen their environmental impact. For example, although many companies are required by law to keep emissions below a certain level, a sustainability professional might help a utility company lower its smokestack emissions to an even lower level than required. This additional reduction would benefit the health of workers and local citizens, as well as provide the company with positive publicity to entice new customers and retain current ones.

Sustainability can affect current and future profitability. Whether they work for private corporations, government agencies, or non-profits, sustainability professionals strive to ensure that the costs of implementing a sustainability program are worth the expected benefits. Because organizations would not knowingly implement sustainability policies that could cause them to become financially unsound, sustainability professionals help a company’s leaders understand the benefits of implementing such techniques, by explaining future cost savings. For example, energy-saving techniques, such as installing motion detectors and changing light bulbs require an upfront investment but result in future savings.

 

Sustainability issues facing companies today

Many organizations are implementing sustainability measures for a variety of reasons. Sustainability allows companies to increase profits, to manage risks, and to engage stakeholders, such as employees, the local community, and shareholders. By pursuing sustainability, many organizations are able to run more efficiently, improve corporate reputations, retain employees, and have a more positive impact on their communities. In addition, there are other benefits to practicing sustainability. These include minimizing the effects of rising costs for energy; complying with increased regulations at the federal, state, and local levels; and pleasing customers who expect organizations to be environmentally and socially responsible.

Prices for oil, natural gas, coal, and other energy sources have been volatile over the past several decades. Most prices have been on an upward trend with significant fluctuations. Experts believe that U.S. energy prices will continue to climb, because of a limited supply of energy sources (due to a wide range of factors) and increased demand from other countries, particularly China.

Increasing costs have led many firms to seek ways to cut back on the amount of energy used in everyday operations. Companies have been finding new ways to do more with less. This includes reducing the amount of energy used for production and other operations, in addition to finding alternative sources of energy. Alternatives include wind, solar, and biofuels (fuels derived from renewable sources, such as corn, grass, or algae).

Federal and state governments have been enacting climate change regulations. The U. S. Environmental Protection Agency has recently been granted the authority to regulate greenhouse gas emissions, and many states have enacted legislation to limit carbon emissions with the goal of reducing their carbon output. Companies in these states will be under increasing pressure to reduce their carbon footprint (the amount of carbon a company releases into the atmosphere) or face increased regulation and possible fines for their emissions.

Consumers are increasingly paying attention to companies’ environmental records. Consumers base decisions on products or services to purchase at least partially on environmental factors. Companies that have a positive environmental record can appeal to these environmentally sensitive consumers. In addition to consumers, many environmentally conscious businesses and other organizations prefer to work with, or purchase, goods or services from organizations that also are conscious of the environment. Thus, by implementing sustainability measures, companies will be able to appeal to more customers.

Concerns about corporate impact on the environment and local and global communities are being incorporated into strategic business decisions. Sustainability is becoming part of how companies do business in the United States, rather than being viewed as a cost.

 

Who are sustainability professionals?

A job in sustainability encompasses the concept of stewardship—the responsible management of resources. Sustainability professionals seek to improve an organization’s environmental, social, and economic impact. Some have specific titles such as sustainability manager and director of corporate responsibility. Sustainability professionals in other roles may have had experience as industrial managers, logistics (transportation, storage, and distribution) managers, environmental scientists, civil engineers, or recycling coordinators, among others. Many of these workers are dedicated to sustainability, but some may have sustainability responsibilities, in addition to their primary job duties. These workers might implement corporate recycling programs, install equipment to increase efficiency, and monitor processes to ensure their proper function.

There is no set career path for jobs in sustainability—jobs have varying responsibilities across different organizations. For many organizations, sustainability is ingrained in their cultures and is the responsibility of many employees. Thus, these organizations may not have dedicated sustainability staff, but still pursue sustainability.

Many large corporations, some non-profit organizations, and some government agencies employ sustainability professionals. Some organizations do not employ their own sustainability professionals, but still seek advice on sustainability practices. Such organizations frequently hire consultants from sustainability firms to offer specialized skills and services, as well as additional temporary manpower for specific projects.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) currently does not have data on the number of workers involved in sustainability activities. However, data on employment related to the use of environmentally friendly technologies and practices are available from the Green Technologies and Practices survey. Although many different workers may be involved in carrying out day-to-day sustainability operations, the BLS definition of a green job involved in green technologies and practices is one whose primary duty is related to the use of environmentally friendly production processes. Workers must spend more than half their time involved in researching, developing, maintaining, installing and/or using technologies or practices to lessen the environmental impact of their establishment, or in training other workers in these technologies and practices to be considered in a green job.

 

Management occupations

Sustainability managers come from diverse backgrounds, have different job titles, and perform a broad range of duties. Sustainability managers are responsible for developing and implementing an organization’s sustainability plans and presenting these plans to senior staff. They might also be responsible for ensuring that an organization is in compliance with environmental, health, and safety regulations. Many sustainability managers rely on their public relations and communications skills to work with concerned citizens in local communities.

 

Science occupations

Scientists who work in sustainability devise technical solutions for reducing waste and cutting costs. They assist in the development of strategies to increase safety and to reduce the risk of illness and injury for a company’s employees. Some scientists often serve as advisors to sustainability managers and are involved in performing research to minimize a company’s environmental impact. Many sustainability scientists also serve as consultants, working as technical experts at firms that specialize in providing sustainability services to companies that do not have their own sustainability staff, or those who need specialized knowledge to implement sustainability strategies. Many people with a science background move into management positions and become top-level decision makers in the business community. They use their technical knowledge to guide an organization toward more sustainable practices and are frequently promoted to top-level management positions.

Occupations in scientific research and development have become increasingly interdisciplinary, and as a result, it is common for biological scientists, chemists, materials scientists, and engineers to work together as part of a team. Most scientists work in an office or laboratory and also spend some time in manufacturing facilities with engineers and other specialists. Some scientists, such as environmental scientists or conservation scientists spend a large portion of their time working outdoors, studying the natural environment.

If the growth of sustainability continues, more organizations will employ sustainability professionals. The benefits of this growth should be noticeable in many sectors of U.S. industries, from services, such as finance and health care, to manufacturing and construction.

Sustainability professionals have a broad range of education and experience levels, mainly in science, engineering, and business management. Although many of the occupations with sustainability responsibilities require at least a bachelor’s degree, there are opportunities for individuals with a wide variety of work experience and knowledge.

As sustainability becomes more widespread, new opportunities to contribute to the field will arise. A new market focused on sustainability should build job prospects for more future workers.

 

Source: bls.gov/green/sustainability

Professionalism in the Workplace

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Think back to your first job. Was it babysitting your neighbor’s kids? Did you work at the local fast-food restaurant during high school? While you earned money during your stints at those jobs, you likely did not have to interview in formal dress to earn your position.

Now that you are looking for a job you can turn into your career, you’re starting to wonder what’s expected. What is appropriate workplace behavior? What should you do on your first day to make a good impression? What can you do to stand out and rise through the ranks—or at the very least to not attract negative attention?

Everyone has to start somewhere, and it’s natural to be nervous about beginning a serious job. While it’s true the norms and standards for workplaces can vary, some aspects of professionalism are universal. We asked professionals from a variety of industries to share some of their foundational tips for professionalism in any workplace.

8 Tips to Help You Improve Your Professional Manner

Everyone wants to hit the ground running when they start a new job—the following advice will ensure you look and act the part.

1. Dress to impress

While this one may seem obvious, it can be hard knowing what the right dress code is for a new job. Art Gelwicks, executive consultant at The Idea Pump, suggests a good rule of thumb is to dress one “level” better than what’s expected. “Don’t overdress, but remember for the first few months, every impression you make will be a first impression,” Gelwicks says.

And although many companies are beginning to veer away from traditional business attire, it’s always best to ask beforehand to make sure you are up to date on expectations.

Autumn Gray, digital marketing specialist at Goodmanson Construction, recommends asking your hiring manager what the company dress code is before your first day. “You’re already the new kid on the block, so you don’t want to dress above and beyond your coworkers.”

This can be a bit of a fine line to walk. If the dress code is casual, you probably don’t want to come in wearing a suit and tie. However, it’s always better to ask and err on the side of more formal attire your first few days until you get a feel for the office—the worst case is you may get a funny smile or two as your coworkers think back to the outfits they showed up to work in on their first few days.

2. Write things down

Your first day at your new job will likely be a whirl of faces and information. To help you remember information, write things down.

“Always bring a notebook and pen to every meeting with anyone—especially your superiors—no matter how small or quick you think it might be,” says Jennifer Schwarzkopf, founder and creative director of Estelle. “If you don’t take notes, it conveys that you don’t deem the conversation as valuable and are clearly unprepared for the expectations or follow-up.”

Don’t be afraid to ask what your next steps are or what they need from you—having a running list of things to follow up on or do will keep you organized.

3. Watch what you say

There’s nothing wrong with being friends with your coworkers; it can make for a better work environment overall. But always be mindful of what you say during work hours.

Meredith McKamey, owner of The Raw Spa, says the most important part of being professional is knowing when to keep your opinions and thoughts to yourself. That means no complaining about your boss, not gossiping with coworkers at the watercooler, keeping your personal life out of the workplace, and not shouting your political and religious views everywhere.

“It’s easy to choose the right clothes and set an alarm clock. But keeping yourself from saying ‘That’s not fair!’ when your boss gets down on you? That’s going to take some practice,” McKamey says.

4. Proofread your emails

Even if you are writing a casual email to a coworker, it’s important to always double-check your written work. “Writing clear, grammatically correct English and being careful about promptly responding is a rare soft skill that every graduate should learn,” says Gil Gildner, co-founder of Discosloth.

Being professional in your communication is essential. Having an email riddled with typos, slang and emoticons can damage your reputation and discredit you as a professional. Some companies may have more casual communication tools, such as Slack, but it is still important to present yourself as a professional there, as well. Take the time to pause and read over what you’ve written—even the best writers make plenty of errors in their rush to get their thoughts written out.

5. Come up with solutions

It’s only natural that after you settle in to a position, you will encounter different problems. Your first instinct may be to run to your manager and ask, “What do I do?” However, understand that your coworkers and manager are busy. Taking the time to think through problems and come up with solutions will show your critical-thinking skills.

“Offer solutions and not complaints. There’s nothing less professional that being the one that stirs the pot and causes trouble. Be the problem-solver, not the problem maker,” says Gina Folk, of Folk Enterprises.

Even if you’re not sure what the best solution to a problem is, taking the time to compose your thoughts about where you’ve looked for answers and proposing potential options is almost always a better look than immediately asking for help.

6. Be punctual

This may also seem like a given, but be on time for all aspects of the job. Arrive early and stay late if necessary; going that extra mile shows your dedication and gives you the opportunity to meet your coworkers and be involved.

Be on time for meetings, too. “People are busy at work. Showing up late to a meeting expresses disrespect to other’s time and is one of my biggest pet peeves in workplace professionalism,” says Levi Olmstead, Community Manager at G2 Crowd.

7. Be polite

Many of your coworkers at your new job will understand how nerve-wracking beginning a new job can be—they all had a first day, too. However, don’t let your nerves get the best of you and stop you from being friendly and approachable.

“Find a way to remember names and position titles as you go. Shake hands and look people in the eye,” says Lisa Sansom, organizational and leadership development coach at LVS Consulting.

By being polite, receptive, and respectful, you can make a good first impression that will last.

8. Take initiative

The work doesn’t stop once you are hired. Proving yourself worthy of the position from your first day forward can be a way to establish yourself in your company.

Deborah Sweeney, CEO of MyCorporation, suggests coming to meetings prepared. Spend time researching and go to meetings with ideas of your own. In meetings, try to participate, even if it’s to ask questions. Speaking up and showing your interest in the work will help you establish yourself as a hard worker and vital member of the team.

Ask how you can help and find ways to take on additional work when appropriate. But remember to keep it within reason—overloading yourself and failing to meet deadlines doesn’t help or impress anyone.

Author-Anna Heinrich

About Rasmussen College

Rasmussen College is a regionally accredited private college that is dedicated to changing lives and the communities it serves through high-demand and flexible educational programs. Since 1900, the College has been committed to academic innovation and empowering students to pursue a college degree. Rasmussen College offers certificate and diploma programs through associate’s, bachelor’s and master’s degrees in seven schools of study including business, health sciences, nursing, technology, design, education and justice studies.

Source: rasmussen.edu/student-life/blogs/college-life/professionalism-in-the-workplace/

Forget Bucket List Vacations, Find Your Bucket List Job: Work and Live in a National Park

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Yellowstone Jobs

GREENWOOD VILLAGE, COXanterra Travel Collection, a global adventure travel company and the largest national park concessioner in the U.S., announced today the job opportunities available in 2019 at Yellowstone National Park.

Available to college students, retirees, or those just looking to explore some of America’s most spectacular landscapes, these coveted jobs can be the experience of a lifetime.

“Working at Yellowstone is a dream come true,” says Marge Mancini, a seasonal employee at Yellowstone National Park. “It is so much more than just a job. I am filled with gratitude every day that I get to work and live in such a beautiful, spiritual place.”

Nearing 70, Mancini found that retired life was not for her and so applied last year for an opportunity in Yellowstone. After working in the reservations department all summer – and finding fast friends her age who socialize, explore the park and play cards together – she’s now signed a contract to work in the park this winter, beginning in December.

Mancini isn’t alone in finding that national park jobs cross off many of the items on retirees’ “wish Yellowstone-Jobslist” for the next phase of their lives – adventure, a unique work-life balance, immersing in nature, finding serenity by unplugging from the “real world,” and connecting with others who feel similarly.

In 2018, Yellowstone hired more than 3,000 summer seasonal workers for its in-park operations. The nine lodges, five campgrounds, and associated restaurants, gift shops, and tours require a substantial staff, and there tends to be positions for people of all ages and backgrounds, though there is a certain mind-set that seems common to those who find seasonal park work a good fit.

Once again, in 2019, the company is looking to fill seasonal slots across lodging, food and beverage, reservations, retail, interpretive tour guides, accounting, and maintenance. The company looks for workers who have a commitment to helping others, respect for individuals and an appreciation of the natural environment. Applicants who can work for the majority of the season are given priority.

“Working at Yellowstone has broadened my horizons,” Mancini says. “Every time I go out in the park I learn something new. There’s no place like it in the world. It renews my spirit”

For complete details and to apply, visit YellowstoneJobs.com

Here’s How This Latina Navigated Her Transition From Finance To Tech

LinkedIn

Marlene Arroyo may have started her career in finance, but it was the human aspect of any job that always drew her in. From Dell to her current role as Vice President of People Operations at Liftoff Mobile Inc., a high growth tech company in Silicon Valley, she has made it her career mission to champion employees and embrace how their humanity impacts their jobs.It was knowing what her career mission was at its core that made it possible for her to transition from one career path to the next.

“Philosophically, it became apparent to me that human resources was my calling when, as a finance professional, I’d enjoy spending most of my time dissecting costs associated to SG&A, training, hiring and coaching,” shares Arroyo. “Mechanically, the way I was able to make this transition was by having informational meetings with HR executives, taking evening courses, asking for help and being open about my aspirations to my sponsors. While the art of Human Resources came naturally to me, to differentiate myself, I needed to supercharge the impact I delivered by drawing from my finance experience and ensuring that my strategic recommendation were backed by data.”

Now, she uses her skill-set to help others achieve the kind of growth that she’s constantly challenged herself to work towards.

“My biggest motivation [through this journey] has been my family,” says Arroyo. “I feel incredibly blessed to be the daughter of immigrant parents who instilled in me work ethic and resilience. While my parents still do not completely understand what I do, they know I work hard and they are my biggest fans. Each education milestone and career progression has been theirs as well. Their American Dream lives in me and owning that, keeps me motivated .”

Growing up in the Latinx culture and within her own family unit can explain in part why Arroyo has felt the desire to pay it forward to other generations by way of her career.

Below she shares advice for Latinxs who are searching for advice on how to land their dream job, how to self-care if you’re in the position of constantly pouring into others, and how to make sure you’re learning the most from your current job.

Vivian Nunez: How has your Latinidad influenced your career?

Marlene Arroyo: Passion, humility, honor, perseverance – are all a part of my core values that I hold because of my Latinidad. Knowing that there is a lot more work to be done to help young Latinas see that they, too, can achieve their goals, keeps me in the arena.

Continue onto Forbes to read the complete article.

Job Reference Misconceptions That Can Damage Your Career

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young business woman on phone

While there are many factors for the job seeker to consider in landing that new job, one stands out as particularly critical—and often overlooked. Your employment references will surely be vetted by prospective employers and can ultimately make-or-break the hiring decision.

Unfortunately, job seekers are too often unaware or misinformed of how job reference vetting really works. Here are 6 false perceptions that explain why countless job seekers go for months, or years, without landing that next job:

Myth No. 1:
Companies cannot say anything negative about a former employee.

Reality:

While countless companies have policies dictating that only title, dates of employment, and salary history can be discussed, their employees—particularly at the management level—frequently violate such policies. Former supervisors are particularly notorious in this regard, e.g. the boss with whom you had philosophical differences, was jealous of you, or perhaps even have harassed you.

Myth No. 2
Most corporations direct reference check requests to their Human Resources (HR) departments, and they are trained to ensure that nothing negative will be said about me.

Reality:

Most Human Resources professionals will indeed follow proper protocol. However, be warned that some will not. When asked whether a former employee is eligible for rehire, some will indicate they are not—and may go on to explain why this is the case. Even if they indicate “not eligible” and offer no further explanation, a potential employee is unlikely to take the risk of hiring you without knowing the reason why a past employer has described you as ineligible for rehire.

Myth No. 3
Assuming HR has nothing negative to say about me, I should be OK with that company, reference-wise.

Reality:

Prospective employers have figured out that former supervisors are much more likely to offer revealing commentary about a company’s former employees. Your supervisor(s) knew you personally and has formed opinions about you, favorable or otherwise. When asked for their opinion, supervisors frequently forget, or are unaware of, company policies that typically instruct them to refer incoming reference inquiries to HR.

Prospective employers will invariably seek this supervisory input. (How many times have you been asked “May we contact your former supervisor?”) For this reason, it is critical that you are aware not only of how HR will respond to reference inquiries about you but also how your former supervisor(s) will respond.

Myth No. 4
I should have my references listed on my resume and distribute them together.

Reality:

You never want to list your references on your resume or indicate “References Provided Upon Request.” You do not want companies that may have little/no interest in hiring you, bothering your references. What’s more, you may be wrongly assuming that the references you list truly “have your back.” Countless job seekers offer up the names of references that ultimately provide lukewarm or unfavorable commentary about them.

Instead, job seekers should cultivate their management references carefully, treating them with respect and updating them periodically as a courtesy. In addition, the candidate should have a list of their references readily available (in the same format/font as their resume) to be given to prospective employers. When offered at the conclusion of an interview—in a highly professional format—it can create a very proactive (and favorable) ending impression.

You should personally check your key references by utilizing a firm like Allison & Taylor, a third-party reference-checking organization that identifies the commentary that previous employers will offer about you to potential new employers. You will want to ensure that your key references will truly offer supportive commentary about you to your potential new employers. You will also want to identify what your previous supervisors/HR representatives will say about you as they will be regarded by employers as more important than the personal references you list.

Myth No. 5:
I took legal action against my former company, and they are now not allowed to say anything.

Reality:

They may have been instructed not be able to say anything definitive, but do not put it past them to make your life difficult. There have been countless instances where a former boss or an HR staffer has said, “Hold on a minute while I get the legal file to see what I am allowed to say about this former employee.” Most employers are uncomfortable hiring someone who has a legal history, probably dashing your job prospects.

Myth No. 6:
Even if I have a negative reference, there is no way for me to prevent them from continuing it.

Reality:

Your first step is to obtain documentation that a reference(s) is indeed problematic by utilizing a professional reference-checking firm to document both the verbal input and the tone of voice being offered by your reference. Once a problem reference has been confirmed, the reference-checking firm can identify an employment attorney well versed in assessing possible legal options. Foremost among these—particularly when the negative input does not constitute a violation of state or Federal law—is a “Cease & Desist” letter. Such letters are typically sent by attorneys to the CEO or senior management of the firm where the negative reference is employed, identifying the negative reference by name and the fact that the reference has been documented as offering negative input about the job seeker. The letter also suggests that if the reference-giver continues to offer such negative input, legal action would be contemplated against the firm.

Allison & Taylor Inc. estimates that approximately 50 percent of all reference checks they conduct reflect some degree of employer negativity. The best way to combat this type of career sabotage is to have written documentation of its existence.

Source: Allison Taylor

 

3 Tips for Filling Out Applications for College Financial Aid

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tfs-scholarships

College students and parents are already looking ahead to the 2019—2020 school year with the FAFSA- the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. The great news is that the Department of Education just launched “myStudentAid” app to make it easier for students and families to fill out the federal student aid application through their mobile phones.

According to the National College Access Network, only 61 percent of high school students file a FAFSA, leaving more than $24 billion in state, federal and institutional aid on the table. Completion of the FAFSA form is one of the best predictors of whether a high school senior will go on to college, as seniors who complete the FAFSA are 63 percent more likely to enroll in postsecondary education.

For the 2019-2010 school year, the FAFSA filing season opens on October 1st and the sooner students file, the better as some financial aid is awarded on a first come, first served basis or from programs with limited funds.

Furthermore, students should look beyond federal student aid as scholarships are a great way to pay for college, and unlike loans they don’t need to be repaid. But winning scholarships takes time, dedication, intensive research, and hard work, especially on the essays.  It’s deadline time for college applications, so it’s important to start the application for free money now!

Tuition Funding Sources (TFS) offers access to 7 million scholarships and $41 billion in financial aid. Start by filling in the registration; then with a click, the site searches to find any scholarships for which you might qualify. The more information you provide about yourself, the more matches TFS can make.

Richard Sorensen suggests these tips when applying for financial aid and scholarships:

Tip No. 1: Apply through FAFSA mobile app

The FAFSA mobile app is very simple to use as it asks one question on each page and after answering the question the student goes to the next page and the next question. The student can leave and return to the app as often as they want so it can be completed in several different sittings over a period of time.

Some students don’t apply because they mistakenly think the FAFSA is only for students with financial aid. That’s not accurate, families should know that income is not the only factor used to determine the financial aid they can get. It also depends on the number of children in a family and how many are enrolled in college at the same time.

Tip No. 2: Follow the steps carefully

Even though the FAFSA mobile app is generally easy to use, pay attention to the signature process, because both parents and dependent students are required to sign before the application can be processed. Never tap to “Start Over” button when including a parent signature as this will erase all previous information. And if you need to add a school, click “New Search” not “Next” which moves students to the next question.

Tip No. 3: Submit scholarship applications early

Meet the deadlines and don’t wait until the due date. If the organization asks you to mail the application, don’t try to email it and if there is a maximum word count limit, don’t go over it. Most scholarship providers receive more qualified applications than available funds so reduce your chances of being disqualified because you didn’t follow their requirements.

At TFS undergraduate and graduates can search for scholarships that fit their interest. The majority of the scholarship opportunities featured on TFS Scholarships website come directly from colleges and universities, rather than solely from competitive national pools – thereby increasing the chances of finding scholarships that are the best match for undergraduate, graduate and professional students. Each month TFS adds more than 5,000 new scholarships to its database maximizing the number of opportunities students have to earn funding for their education.

TFS has been helping students for over 30 years and offers more than 7 million individual scholarships and more than $41 billion in aid. Visit tuitionfundingsources.com to learn more.

Top 10 Questions to Ask an Interviewee

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business-woman-doing interview

When it comes to job interviews, preparation is key. But, that sentiment doesn’t just apply to the candidate—it’s equally important for you as the interviewer.

This conversation is your chance to determine whether that applicant is a solid fit the position, your team, and your company in general. However, that information is really only revealed if you pose the right questions.

So, what should you be sure to ask? Here are 10 good interviewing questions to put to work in your next sit-down with a potential employee.

1. What One Skill Makes You the Most Qualified for This Position?

While things like culture fit are important, your focus first and foremost is to find someone who possesses those necessary cut-and-dried qualifications to fill that open position.

That’s why a question like this one is so important. Not only do you get to hear more detail about what that candidate considers to be his core competencies, but it’s also a chance to confirm that he has the appropriate understanding of everything the role entails.

For example, if he touts a skill that’s impressive—but totally irrelevant—that’s a red flag that you’re not on the same page about the major duties of that job.

2. To Date, What Professional Achievement Are You Most Proud of?

Candidates show up to interviews with a goal of impressing you. So, chances are, that applicant is armed and ready with a few major accomplishments up her sleeve.

Whether it’s an award, a certification, or a big project that went exceptionally well, asking the interviewee what in her professional history she’s proudest of will give you a better sense of where her strengths really lie.

Plus, this question offers the chance for her to expand on something she feels good about—which can ease her nerves and help to boost her confidence going into the rest of the interview.

3. Can You Tell Me About a Time When You Overcame a Challenge?

You know that most job seekers absolutely dread these behavioral interview questions. But, that doesn’t change the fact that they’re an effective way for you to gain a better understanding of how that person’s experience translates from paper to the real-world.

This specific question is a popular one, and for good reason. Starting a new job isn’t a walk in the park. And, even after that new employee is established, he’s bound to deal with some roadblocks every now and then—whether it’s a conflict within his team or a project he doesn’t quite know how to get started on.

Getting a grasp on how that person copes with—and, more importantly, tackles—difficult circumstances will help you zero in on the very best fit for that open role.

4. How Would You Describe Your Own Working Style?

While you don’t want to build a completely homogenous team, you do need to make sure that new additions are able to work in a way that doesn’t throw a major wrench into the way things already operate.

For that reason, it’s important that you ask each candidate about her working style. Does she take a really collaborative approach or would she rather work independently? Does she perform well with a lot of direction or is she more of a self starter?

This insight into how each applicant prefers to handle his or her work will be invaluable in determining not only the right match for that job—but for the entire team.

5. What Three Words Would You Use to Describe Your Ideal Work Environment?

In a similar vein, it’s smart to ask what that candidate prefers in terms of atmosphere to ensure you find someone who can not only survive—but thrive—in your existing culture.

Perhaps he states he likes a quieter environment with lots of heads-down work. If your office is extremely fast-paced and high-energy, that could cause some friction. Or, maybe he explains that he prefers a lot of structure and predictability—which there isn’t a lot of in your laid-back startup where everybody wears a lot of hats.

For better or for worse, this question will at least help you determine whether or not that applicant would feel comfortable in the work environment you’ve already fostered.

6. If Hired, What Is the First Thing You Would Tackle in This Position?

This is a great question to ask in a later interview round, when you’re choosing between the final candidates that you’ve narrowed down.

This one is effective for a couple of reasons. First, it’s yet another opportunity to confirm that the interviewee has the right understanding of all that position will be responsible for. Secondly, it gives you the chance to understand her priorities. What does she believe should be at the top of that position’s to-do list?

Last but not least, a question like this one means you can extend beyond the generalities that often come along with interviewing and get some insight into how that candidate would actually perform in that role.

7. Why Are You Leaving Your Current Employer?

Here it is—yet another question that is sure to make every job seeker cringe. Nobody wants to seem like they’re bad-mouthing a previous boss or employer, which makes this one tricky for applicants to answer.

However, posing this question will give you some greater insight into that person’s professional history—as well as help you to identify any red flags (ahem, complaining endlessly about his boss, for example) that might indicate that candidate isn’t the best one for the job.

Continue on to The Muse to read the complete article

Maggie Timoney Becomes Heineken USA’s First Female CEO

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Heineken USA announced on Tuesday that it would be appointing Maggie Timoney as its newest CEO—the first woman to serve as chief executive of a major American beer company.

Starting September 1, Timoney will replace current CEO Ronald den Elzen, who will be moving into a global role at Heineken Netherlands, the company said in a statement.

Timoney, an Iona College graduate who joined Heineken USA in 1998 for a national sales planning role, held an array of strategic planning and distribution roles within the company before she was named managing director of Heineken Canada in 2006. She then moved into a role as senior vice president of human resources at Heineken USA in 2010, before taking on her most recent position as CEO of Heineken Ireland.

“Maggie is a competitive and energetic leader who is known for inspiring teams, operationalizing plans and mobilizing organizations to deliver business results,” said Marc Busain, Heineken Americas region president. “She understands the challenges and opportunities that exist within the U.S. market and she has the right mix of strategic vision, people leadership and grit to ignite future growth for Heineken USA.”

Continue onto Fortune to read the complete article.

Converse College Welcomes Leadership of First African American Board Chair

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Converse College announces that alumna Phyllis Perrin Harris ’82 has taken the helm as chair of the Board of Trustees, marking an historic milestone for the College as she becomes the first African American to hold this leadership position.

Recognized as a transformational leader in the corporate and federal sectors, Harris is Senior Vice President and General Counsel for Legal Operations for Walmart Stores, Inc. In this role, she leads legal operations and focuses on technology advances for the world’s largest company.

“Serving Converse is one of the most meaningful and important roles in my life because I believe so strongly in the educational experience it provides young women,” Harris said. “Converse opened my mind to new ways of thinking about myself and my world, and it helped me become confident and resilient. Much of who I am today stems from that experience.”

Both a trailblazer and a leader, Harris is paving the way for fellow women through the launch of the Walmart Ready conference, which secures work for female and other diverse attorneys and prepares them for the demands of Walmart legal work. Earlier in her career, Harris was the first African American to serve as Regional Counsel and Deputy Assistant Administrator for the Environmental Protection Agency where she advocated for justice, directed the nation’s environmental enforcement programs, and received the Presidential Rank Award for Meritorious Service.

“We know that diverse organizations are stronger, make better decisions, and are more successful because their Boards consider different perspectives and their decisions resonate with the variety of experiences, cultures, talents and contributions that comprise our global society,” said Converse President Krista L. Newkirk. “We believe that ensuring diversity on our Board of Trustees is an important step in building a stronger community both within and beyond Converse College.”

This year, Converse celebrates the 50th anniversary of the enrollment of its first Black students with a year-long series of events, Celebrating Courage & Charting the Future: Commemorating 50 Years of Black Women at Converse. Harris will speak at the Opening Convocation service on Friday, Sept. 21, which is the centerpiece of the anniversary celebration.

Continue onto the Converse Newsroom to read the complete article.