5 Job Search Tips for College Grads and Entry Level Job Seekers

MP910216556I often get asked by recent college grads what they can do to improve their chances of getting a job once they graduate. They answer, of course, depends on when you start the college grad job search process. Ideally, you would have had several internships during your college years and, while you think it might be too late to do that, think again (more on this later). Of course you might think that the most important tip is make sure you have a great resume. And while you wouldn’t be entirely wrong, you wouldn’t be entirely right either. There’s a long list of things that contribute to your ability to find a job after graduation.  My top 5 follow.

Interview Skills – My company was recently going through a hiring process for entry level grads. I interviewed approximately 5 recent grads and was shocked at their interview skills. There was little or no preparation on the candidates part. Interview preparation is the most important part of the job search process. So where should you focus?

Research – Why do you want to work at XYZ company? They are going to ask and the expectation is that you’ve done a bunch of research on the company and know all about it. If you don’t, the interviewer will think you are not serious and this will probably cost you the job. There are so many resources available to job searchers today to help with the company research process.

  • Google Search – Yes, very obvious, but have you done it?
  • LinkedIn – There is a wealth of information on LinkedIn, you just need to know where to find it. Find the company where you will have your interview and read as much as you can about it. Look to see which of your LinkedIn connections work at the company or are linked to someone who works at the company. Leverage this information – get the inside scoop.

Resume - Yes, your resume is very important, but since you’ve not really had many (or possibly any) meaningful jobs there won’t be much on your resume. So what to do? Take a look at entry level resume samples to get some ideas on format and content. Talk to the adviser at your College Career Center and ask for some help with creating your resume. Talk with family friends and relatives who are working in your industry/career choice.

Internships (it’s never too late) – Never did those internships during college? Or maybe you did do some internships but want more experience.  Either way, it is not unusual to do an internship after graduation. If you are having difficulty finding a job in your industry, you should consider an internship as a stepping stone.

Find a Mentor – A mentor can be an enormous help in both, finding a job and helping you advance in your career. While they won’t specifically help you find a job (don’t expect them to track down leads or write your resume), they can give advice on helping edit your resume, picking the right company and keeping your career on track.

Other Resources

Pursue More Education – Sometimes a Bachelor’s Degree is not enough to impress a potential employer, yet graduate school seems unrealistic to many recent college students. Online degrees, however, offer a solid middle ground for most recent graduates and they allow you to pursue a number of graduate degrees, such as a Masters of Science in Criminal Justice. Even if you already have a Bachelor’s degree in this field, a Master’s will keep your mind fresh with information about recent cases. And in the end, it will only help put your resume and cover letter closer to the top of the pile.

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10 Benefits of Choosing a Career in the HVACR Field

HVACAlthough unemployment is a serious problem in America today, with the current unemployment rate hovering around 6 percent, there are a number of career sectors that show no signs of slowing down. According to this report, more than 128,000 new jobs have been created in trade contracting since fall 2012. Many of these jobs are in the sector of heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and refrigeration (HVACR). The Bureau of Labor Statistics has predicted an increase of 21% in the number of HVACR positions available by 2020. In uncertain economic times, a career in heating and cooling technology can be a valuable guarantee of job security. The industry continues to grow and create new positions for qualified technicians.


Who Gets Hired in HVAC

Every new piece of HVAC technology calls for a large team of people, including installers, technicians, salespeople, fleet managers, HR managers, and service managers. Even during slow economic times, explains Dennis Purvis of Mechanical Services Inc. in Orlando, the HVAC industry is a necessary and diverse part of the national economy. As green technologies and environmental concerns become more popular, those specialized areas are also enjoying additional growth. The sector offers a variety of positions for people at different levels of training. Developing a single HVAC product involves hundreds of people at different levels. Engineering, building, production, marketing, and sales are all crucial parts of the process. Whatever your interests are, there may be a niche for them in this growing industry.


Diverse Occupations in the HVAC Industry

A strong background in HVAC technology can be a gateway to various jobs – learn more at https://www.americantrainco.com/hvac-certification-and-training/. As more wireless components are used in heating and cooling systems, people are becoming experts in electronic temperature control technologies. Service and sales careers demand an extensive knowledge of the products being used. Temperature control is a growing global industry, which offers all sorts of ongoing opportunities to specialists who are smart and ambitious. Dale Crook of Build Right Products, a Kansas company, has summed up the state of the industry in a simple proverb: as long as people are comfortable at 72 degrees Fahrenheit, there will be a demand for heating and cooling technology.


Long-Term Opportunities for HVAC Careers

A candidate may start a career as a dispatcher or technician, then gain additional education as they make progress within the industry. They may end up designing new HVACR products themselves or working on the blueprints of advanced heating and cooling electronics. HVACR has stood the test of time as a powerful recession-proof career, which is highly rewarding for a wide variety of workers. Have you considered training in this field? On-the-job learning is a popular choice for people who want to get to work right away while acquiring valuable job skills. Apprenticeships and educational opportunities are only a phone call away.


Top 10 Benefits of Choosing a Career in the HVACR Field

When HVACR specialists were surveyed about their jobs, they reported a high level of satisfaction. These are ten of the benefits they mentioned:

  • HVACR is a fast-growing niche that rewards experience and specialized skills.
  • The work is highly challenging, involving cutting-edge new technologies.
  • Your skills can be used to help people live more efficient and comfortable lives.
  • Pay is highly competitive, and career growth is almost unlimited.
  • The industry is stable and driven by vast opportunities.
  • As older technicians retire, there is a strong demand for new trainees to take their places.
  • HVACR is a great opportunity to do hands-on work that makes a difference for customers.
  • Innovations are developing in the HVACR field every year, making it an exciting growth field for people interested in the latest heating and cooling techniques.
  • This is a job that can’t be outsourced or sent offshore. It demands local professionals with a high level of expertise, which translates to high job security.
  • Heating and cooling is a largely recession-proof sector!

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Should I Ask About Benefits During an Interview?

1335-12439673009u9ZResumes, cover letters, and a professional look – these are the essential ingredients for your next job interview. You’ve got a list in your head of everything you’ll do: Smile, sit up straight, highlight your strengths and… ask about salary and benefits? Because benefits can comprise up to 30 percent of your compensation, and because your salary is also extremely important (nobody wants to work for free), it might seem pertinent in your first interview with a prospective employer to ask about health care benefits and salary. But is it really?

Don’t jump the gun

Bringing up salary and/or health care benefits (or benefits of any kind) during a primary interview is like going for a good night kiss at the beginning of a first date; most people generally aren’t receptive to it. “The biggest blunder made by job applicants is the tendency to jump to the issue of compensation too quickly,” says Deb Koen, vice president of a nonprofit group called Career Development Services. So keep those questions to yourself for the time being—you don’t want to look like you’re interested in only one thing.

- more – What is the right compensation?

There is a time and place

For your first and second interview, chances are that you’re going to hear the stock-phrases “full benefits,” or “competitive benefits and salary.” Don’t waste your time trying to break those down into concrete absolutes. After the prospective employer makes an offer with you, then you are in a position to talk about the specifics of your compensation.

Weigh your options

Some companies are going to offer better benefits than others. Make sure that you are fully aware of what your prospective employer is offering and whether or not it fits into your life. Find out if your spouse or partner will be covered, and be sure to ask about pre-existing conditions, as some plans require a waiting period before it will begin to cover them, and some won’t cover them at all. If lack of coverage in a certain area is a deal-breaker for you, remember that you don’t have to accept an offer just because it’s on the table.

Negotiate if possible

The keywords here are “if possible.” If you’re relatively green in the job market and this is your first full-time job, you may not have as much negotiating power as, say, a seasoned vet with a performance-proven track record. Still, it can never hurt to try to bargain for things that you need. For example, if you or somebody in your family has a specific medical condition, your prospective employer may be open to finding you the right coverage for it. There are also companies out there that offer “cafeteria plans,” where you get to choose types of coverage from a list so that you and your family get benefits that are as form-fitted as possible.

- more – Negotiating Job Offers

Not all companies will offer benefits

It’s the last thing to remember and it’s as simple as it sounds, some companies simply will not offer compensation other than salary. However, if you know what you’re worth and you know what you require, you will eventually find an employer that offers the benefits that are right for you.

Book CornerHow to Negotiate A Killer Job Offer: The Job “Secret Agent” Series (Volume 1)

Kevin Murphy is a freelance writer and former insurance industry professional. He spends most of his time in his native Australia, and he writes about Health Insurance for Frank Health Insurance.

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5 Hot Careers for Criminal Justice Majors

lawA criminal justice major may bring some lucrative opportunities your way. The nature of the job and circumstances vary greatly with different criminal justice jobs. This variation allows you to select a job that would best fit your aptitude, interest, and personality.

Post 9/11, the focus is increasingly on security, preventing crime, maintaining social control, and rehabilitating offenders.  This has led to the opening of several careers for individuals who have majored in criminal justice. With criminal justice education, you gain the essential skills and knowledge required to enter a lucrative and long term career in criminal justice.

Check out these amazing jobs that you may find interesting if you have a criminal justice major:


  • What They Do –I f you watch TV, you might have seen Suits or Boston Legal. Your job might not be that glamorous and exciting, but you’ll get an idea as to what the requirements are. Lawyers represent parties facing criminal or civil trials. They advise clients about their legal rights and obligations. Lawyers act as advisors and guide their clients to choose courses of action based on their knowledge of law, legal decisions, and research.
  • How Much They Make – According to BLS, the median annual wage for lawyers was $112,760 in May 2010. The lowest ten percent of lawyers had a salary of less than $54,130, and the top ten percent earned more than $166,400. Salaries of experienced lawyers differ depending on the location, type, and size, of their employers. Lawyers who own their own practices usually earn less than those associated with a law firm.
  • Education and Training Requirements – In order to become a lawyer, you need to complete a four year undergraduate degree, three years in law school to prepare for bar examinations, and go through licensing programs to be eligible for employment. After graduation, it is a must for lawyers to stay informed about legal developments that have an impact on their practices.
  • Finding a job – With so many social networking websites, there has never been a better opportunity for you to get in touch with target employers and network with leading lawyers. Learn networking skills and apply them while you are in law school. Don’t wait for firms to post for internships, contact the firms yourself, and be willing to gain initial experience for free.  Visit law firms and meet partners you would most like to work with. Also keep in touch with your school’s placement offices, legal recruiting websites, social networking groups, and newspaper job postings. Get out of your comfort zone and you are much more likely to find the job you are looking for.


Private Investigators and Detectives

  • What They Do – If you follow the award winning show Castle, then you would have an idea as to what detectives are required to do. The responsibility of Private Investigators and Detectives is to come up with specific law enforcement techniques used in maintaining order, gathering evidence, arresting criminals, solving crimes, and assessing records. Detectives can be with or without a license and it depends on the organization where they work. Most of them are employed with police agencies, private firms, inter-agency task forces, or individuals. Normally they specialize in fields like fraud, forensic, and homicide.
  • How Much They Make – According to BLS, the median yearly salary of private detectives and investigators was $42,870 in May 2010. Private investigators and detectives with the lowest ten percent salaries earned less than $25,760, and the highest ten percent had a salary of more than $74,970.
  • Education and Training Requirements – Private detectives and investigators usually have some college education. However, detective jobs vary in their requirements. Some need a high school diploma, while others may ask for an associate’s or a bachelor’s degree. Postsecondary courses taken in criminal justice and political science can be quite helpful for private detectives and investigators. Work experience is normally required for a detective job but the lucky ones can start right after graduating from college with an associate’s or a bachelor’s degree in police science or criminal justice.
  • Finding a job – Many of the local and state agencies require Investigators. Some of these agencies only offer paid and unpaid internships, but acquiring some experience through internships can open up job opportunities for you. Also look for Private Investigator associations in your state. These associations can provide you with several resources such as employment information, continuing training, and networking. They also offer ethical and professional guidelines to excel in their careers. Lawyers are among the number one employers of private investigators. Meet some lawyers to network and find out about employment opportunities.


Police Officers

  • What They Do – The famous TV show NYPD documented work and private lives of these professionals excellently. It really showed how police officers work and what sort of challenges they face everyday. Police Officers get to perform a number of tasks that make their work interesting. They work to maintain public order, provide evidence in court, and keep an eye on suspicious activities. Police officers help those who call for assistance, make arrests, and also keep individuals in custody for questioning. They have the option to work for local, state or federal agencies, while obeying a strict code of conduct related to law enforcement and maintaining integrity of the uniform they wear.
  • How Much They Make – According to BLS, the median yearly salary of police officers was $55,010 in May 2010. The lowest ten percent of police officers had a salary less than $32,440, and the highest ten percent earned more than $88,870.
  • Education and Training Requirements – Police applicants require at least a high school diploma or GED.  They also need to graduate from their agency’s training academy. Police agencies normally ask for some college coursework and education. Besides, knowing a foreign language is a plus. It can help you find a job and excel in urban departments and federal agencies.
  • Finding a job – A bit of research and preparation can help you get your desired job. You need to understand and prepare for the testing process, and check if you meet the minimum requirements. It is also necessary that you thoroughly search about the agency where you are applying. Also look for other law enforcement jobs in your area, and don’t just focus on the big police. There are a lot of other police officer’s jobs such as tribal police, school police, college police, transit, corrections, dispatch, and a number of state and federal agencies. You will need to participate in volunteer work, do internships, and join police reserve units. Volunteer work can help you in getting the job but experience with a law enforcement agency as an explorer, reserve, volunteer or intern can be even better. This way you will acquire a better understanding of your work.


Federal Marshals

  • What They Do – Timothy Olyphant’s portrayal as a tough federal lawman with his own set of rules might have been entertaining, however in real life; it is not how it works. Federal Marshals are important members working for the executive branch of the US government. They carry out crucial responsibilities such as protecting federal courts, securing court officers, maintaining security, granting arrest warrants, transferring prisoners, and conducting searches for runaways.
  • How Much They Make – Federal Marshals fall in the category of police and detectives. According to BLS, the median yearly salary of police and detectives was $55,010 in May 2010. The lowest ten percent of police and detectives earned a salary of less than $32,440, and the highest ten percent earned more than $88,870.
  • Education and Training Requirements –In order to be a U.S. Marshal, you need to have a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice, three years of relevant experience, and a squeaky clean background. You must pass the required physical, written, and psychological assessments as well.
  • Finding a job – An information session on federal marshal jobs can prove helpful for you. These sessions are regularly conducted at a number of US Marshal District Offices. You can find a list of these scheduled sessions at the US Marshall official website. Experience can also play an important role in getting you a federal marshal job. If you do not wish to have a bachelor’s degree in a relevant field, you will need at least three years of experience to apply as a Deputy Marshal.


Forensic Analysts

  • What They Do – Believe it or not, the investigative techniques used in CSI and Dexter are also used in reality to solve crimes.  Forensic Analysts are instrumental to the criminal justice system. They perform tasks such as collecting, categorizing, analyzing, and identifying physical evidence necessary for law enforcement investigations. As a forensic scientist, you can work in city, county, or state crime labs or morgues, offices, and at crime scenes. You are likely to work hand in hand with medical examiners, police departments, hospital staff, toxicology lab technicians, and researchers. As a forensic analyst, you can specialize in handwriting, fingerprinting, ballistics, and biochemistry.
  • How Much They Make – According to BLS, the median yearly salary of forensic analysts was $51,570 in May 2010. The lowest ten percent of forensic analysts had a salary of less than $32,900, and the highest ten percent earned more than $82,990.
  • Education and Training Requirements – Forensic analysts or technicians who plan to work in crime laboratories normally require a bachelor’s degree in forensic science or in natural sciences such as chemistry or biology. Students majoring in forensic science should make sure that their program has an extensive coursework based on chemistry, biology, and mathematics.
  • Finding a job – In order to enhance your chances to be a forensic analyst, it is good to start with an internship. Many organizations such as Federal Bureau of Investigation and state bureaus of investigation, medical examiner’s offices and morgues,  sheriff’s offices, the Central Intelligence Agency, district and state’s attorney’s offices,  colleges and universities,  regional and state labs, private companies, Tobacco and Firearms,  Naval Criminal Investigative Services regularly provide opportunities to learn forensics analysis. Find an internship in an organization where you wish to work. In case of an above average performance, you can stand a chance of employment in your preferred place.


If you are inquisitive and not too fond of routines, nal justice careers may be the right option for you. This is one of the few sectors that is challenging and you know you will be making a difference to the society with your services.

Author Bio:
My name is Kim Lee , I started working as an education and career reporter in college and have been working as a freelance writer for Excite Education(online education portal) . I have completed bachelor in marketing from university of North Carolina.


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6 Tips You Want to Consider When Going for a Job Interview

interviewLetter to Greg

“I am going for an interview with a popular local radio station and I just wanted to get an idea what to wear.
I want to don’t want to come too casual. What do you recommend?”
Joe F – Vancouver BC Canada

Many people consider that going for a job interview is amongst one of the most stressful situations. And given that it’s not all that easy scoring an interview, you want to make the right impression as soon as you meet the Hiring Manager.

Here are 6 tips you want to consider:

1. Dress for the culture

Before Lou Gerstner took over at IBM, it was mandated for men to dress in a blue suit with a white shirt and appropriate tie – most likely red. Women were similarly required to war conservative suits or blue or grey, with white blouses, closed shoes.

After he took control, Gerstner relaxed these rules to business casual.

Imagine turning up to IBM with the assumption from your folks that IBM still mandated the suit, just to find the Hiring Manager in smart casual.

TIP: Google the firm’s policy. Call the company and found out what the dress code is. Use LinkedIn to check with people you know or who might know people who work in that same company.

Check what the dress code is on Friday.

Look, don’t get too caught up, but some smart research is always smart.


2. Dress in line with the logo colors.

The first time you experience anything new, it’s unfamiliar, by definition. Your senses are wired to take in as much information as possible – it’s an old survival technique.

However as time moves on and you get familiar with your surroundings, you become far less sensitive and much more used to the surroundings. The other day I drove past a street block and there was construction rubble. I had to go through my head wondering what was there before. I’m sure you’ve found the same.

TIP: We all get comfortably unconscious around the familiar. Employees do the same with their work. And it’s my experience, they do so around the company logo and colors.

Here’s how to work this to your advantage. If the color of the logo is a particular shade of green, then they become comfortable – subliminally to similar shades of green.

My suggestion is to wear something prominent, but subtle that matches in with the company logo color. In this example, a green folder or A4 writing pad.

About 65% of the population is visual. That means you have a 2 in 3 chance of making a subtle impression and developing subconscious rapport with the Hiring Manager.


3. Dress above the level you want to be hired for.

In reality, you might be one of 10 people interviewing for a job. Most likely your fellow candidates will dress like each other. Which is fine. But not as likely to be as impressive as if you were to dress like the Hiring Manager.

When you dress like the Hiring Manager, you dress to that one level up. This has two advantages.

A. You dress aspirationally. This is attractive because it’s a more successful look by definition

B. You dress like the person who is interviewing you.

This develops subconscious rapport again.

TIP: How do you find out how to dress up to that next level? If you can, again check out the style from Googling the Hiring Manager – seeing what their LinkedIn profile shot is; or see images on Google from prior business events; or you might even be able if you can check out their Facebook profile.

Another way is calling the company, and asking the receptionist or the department’s PA who is interviewing and what their dress code might be. You’ll be amazed how easy it is to gather this information.


4. Wear closed shoes.

You may like to think yourself as a budding rock star, but for your own sake, no matter how nice you think your toes look, under no circumstance wear open shoes, flip flops, thongs or sandals to your first interview. This goes even if this is for a life guard position at your local beach. Wear closed shoes.

Closed shoes are considered to be more stylish, less offensive to most and dress up an outfit than down.

TIP: For guys, where appropriate, wear loafers, or lace up shoes.

For women, no peep toes. Instead wear loafers or court shoes.

Some years ago I heard about a European CEO of a major food company who did not hire any man who showed his shins. Knee high sox were the standard. If he had a fixation on shins, I guarantee toes pose more risk.


5. Choose longer than shorter.

This relates to point 3 above. Managers tend to dress up and a little more seriously. This means that the length of the dress or the pant should be longer that shorter.

TIP: For guys, avoid wearing cargo pants or three quarter length shorts. Instead aim for at least chinos or slacks, ideally pleated. Try for something that’s blue or brown if you do.

For women, if you are wearing pants, then the same applies. However for a dress, aim for above the knee, but not so high as to be advertising your wares too overtly.


6. Bring a jacket.

You can always dress down, but it’s always hard to dress up. What I mean by this is that once you meet the hiring manager and they are dressed in shirt sleeves – and you are wearing a jacket – you can always ‘dress down’ so as to develop rapport.

However if you arrive with shirt sleeves and the Hiring Manager is wearing a jacket, and the Hiring Manager keeps her jacket on, then you’ll struggle to develop rapport. You will always look worse, than the Hiring Manager. You’ll have wished your didn’t leave the jacket at home.

TIP: Bring a jacket to your interview. Keep it on in the reception area. When you arrive in to the interview room and you find the Hiring Manager has her jacket off, then I suggest you make a verbal point like “You won’t mind if I take my jacket off, will you?” They’ll obviously respond positively to this and you are one step closer to rapid rapport development.

If it’s a panel interview and the majority of people have their jackets on, then keep it on for better rapport.

What if the Hiring Manager is wearing sweater and you are wearing a jacket. In general, according to NLP theory, best rapport happens when you match the other person. If they are wearing 2 layers, then I recommend that you continue to wear your two layers, even if one is your jacket.

Be sensible. If nerves make you perspire, then state the obvious- mention you’re feeling a bit hot and would they mind it you took off the layer.

Book CornerWhat to Wear To Your Job Interview: How to Dress for Your Job Interview and What NOT to Wear if You Really Want the Job! (Ace Your Job Interview Book 1)


ABOUT Greg Weiss
Greg Weiss, Founder of CareerSupport365.com and TheFirstFewSeconds.com has almost 30 years experience in helping to improve people’s career prospects. CareerSupport365 is an innovative and cost effective outplacement solution for any business, large or small. With online modules that have been developed by people with the combined experience of over 120 years plus expert career coaches, CareerSupport365 is the innovator in outplacement services.

- More – 5 Interview Resources for Your Job Search Marketing Toolkit

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