gina akao

Home » Posts tagged 'University of Nevada'

Tag Archives: University of Nevada

How to Prepare for a Job Interview

If you’re looking for ways to overcome those nervous jitters before your next big job interview, consider a few tips from Elizabeth Cassidy, Patagonia’s HR Manager. Elizabeth spoke to college students and staff on the campus of the University of Nevada, Reno as part of a 30 Minute Success series offered by the Northern Nevada Human Resources Association (NNHRA) on April 10, 2014.

Here are eight key tips to help you prepare for a job interview:

  1. Preparation is key. Visit the company’s website and get a sense of the company culture. If the CEO has written a book, read it. Job candidates often fail to do enough research prior to an interview and can be taken off guard when they are asked why they chose to interview for a particular position at a company. It may be helpful to contact the recruiter or HR contact ahead of time and ask what kind of attire is appropriate for the interview. For example, at Patagonia, it may not be necessary to wear a suit to the interview, but the hiring manager may be interested to know if you use Patagonia’s products and participate in outdoor activities. Even if attire is informal, don’t be too laid back during the interview.
  2. Practice. Job hunting websites list many interview questions. Behavioral questions are common. For example, “How have you handled a difficult problem in your past jobs?” Be ready to give specific answers. Other questions might pertain to experience: “Tell me about a dysfunctional team you were on. What role did you play? Did you make the deadline?” Scenario questions are also common: “How would you handle an angry customer?” It is helpful to practice your answers out loud or rehearse with a friend prior to the interview. UNR also offers free practice web interviews at http://business.unr.interviewstream.com.
  3. Everyone is interviewing you. Be aware that your interview begins as soon as you come into view, so make a good impression on the receptionist. Elizabeth said that she asks her receptionist to mark “smiley faces” on resumes of candidates who are personable and who make a good first impression as soon as they walk in the door.
  4. Be on time. It is helpful to allow enough time to find the interview location, park, and collect yourself before the interview. If you have questions about timing and location, contact the recruiter in advance. Candidates who arrive late may throw off the interview schedule and may not even be given a chance to interview.
  5. Tell the truth. If you have had a challenging boss in the past, be truthful about it in your interview, but don’t provide excessive detail. Highlight what you learned from the experience and don’t focus too much on negative experiences.
  6. Pay attention not only to what you are saying, but to your body language. Many hiring managers make their decision within the first few minutes of meeting you. Although you may be nervous, don’t stare at your lap. At the same time, don’t get into a staring match with your interviewer, either.
  7. Answer the questions directly. If you are unsure about a question, it is acceptable to ask the interviewer to repeat it; however don’t ask for continuous repeats. Demonstrate that you are listening and don’t ramble.
  8. Bring good questions for your interviewers. Interviewers like to tell their success stories, so it is acceptable to ask about how he or she came to work for the company and what role he or she plays there. Who would you work with? How did the position become open? If you have questions about pay and benefits, run them by the recruiter; don’t ask the interviewer. Pay can be discussed later if you are offered the job.

If all goes well, reiterate how much you admire the company and think you would do well working there.

Good luck!

Gina Akao

Gina Akao is the owner of Writing and Editing Today, and provides social media management and builds WordPress websites and blogs for authors and small business owners. To learn more about her products and services, please visit www.WritingandEditingToday.com.

Optimize Your Professional Networking Connections with LinkedIn

Hi everyone,

LinkedIn is a social network that allows professionals to connect to each other, display recommendations by co-workers, and participate in discussions through interest groups. How can you create a professional profile that will attract the attention of recruiters and potential employers?

I attended a presentation by Gigi Simmons, a Human Resources Business Partner at EMPLOYERS®, a provider of workers compensation insurance to small businesses nationwide. Simmons, who has attended several LinkedIn conferences, was kind enough to share her insights with students and staff on the campus of the University of Nevada, Reno, on October 24, 2013 as part of a “30 Minutes to Success” series presented by the Northern Nevada Human Resources Association (NNHRA). Here are some of her tips:

  1. Create your profile on www.linkedin.com. Your profile serves as a first impression and establishes your personal brand, which is your online workplace persona. Be sure to include a professional picture of you. It will increase the likelihood of contacts responding to your invitations to connect. Often times, you may meet potential employers at Career Fairs, but those employers speak to hundreds of people a day, so a photo of you on LinkedIn will help them recognize you (you may be required to enter their email address to send them an invite). To stand out, include a headline that describes what you are currently employed at or are trying to achieve. For example, Gigi’s headline is: “Partnering with You to Help Achieve Your Career Passion.”
  2. Stay active. Once you create your profile, post articles of interest and comment on others’ activities. For example, if you attend a lecture, post how much you enjoyed the presentation as an update on your own profile or comment on the presenter’s post. Recruiters use LinkedIn to search for potential job candidates and will notice if your profile has been dormant. Find an interest group and contribute to discussion threads. Remember, keep your comments professional. Don’t post anything you wouldn’t want a recruiter or potential employer to see. Pressed for time? Schedule 10 minutes a week to keep your activity fresh.
  3. Highlight your story. When you list your experiences, remember that your LinkedIn profile acts like an elevator pitch. Recruiters will only spend a few minutes looking at your profile, so make your achievements stand out. Your LinkedIn profile is like your digital resume. If you are also uploading a hard-copy of your resume, take out your address, because potential employers will contact you by email or by phone.
  4. Follow companies you might be interested in working for. Recruiters can see which companies you are following, and if they already know you through an interest group, they may spend more time reviewing your profile.
  5. Know the difference between endorsements and recommendations. Anyone who is connected to you can endorse that you know a certain skill, but written recommendations by former employers or co-workers can be even more helpful.

Do you have a LinkedIn success story to share? Feel free to contribute to the discussion by commenting below. To request a full copy of my notes from Gigi’s lecture, please go to www.WritingandEditingToday.com/contact.

Have fun connecting on LinkedIn!

Gina

Gina Akao is the owner of Writing and Editing Today, and provides social media management and builds WordPress websites and blogs for authors and small business owners. To learn more about her products and services, please visit www.WritingandEditingToday.com.

Five Career Search Tips to Help You Find Your Target Job Opportunities

Would you like to know how to find a job in your targeted industry? What would a career consultant advise about job hunting in today’s challenging economic climate? I had the privilege of attending a presentation given by Career Consultant, Stephanie LaPlace on September 17, 2013. Stephanie works for Lee Hecht Harrison, the global leader in career transition consulting and was gracious enough to volunteer 30 minutes of her time to talk to college students and staff members on the campus of the University of Nevada, Reno as part of a 30 Minute Success series offered by the Northern Nevada Human Resources Association (NNHRA). Prior to joining Lee Hecht Harrison, LaPlace had worked for ten years as a recruiter and had served as a Vice President at Adecco, one of the world’s largest staffing companies.

Here are five key tips from Stephanie’s presentation:

  1. Conduct a personal assessment to identify your strengths and gifts. What kinds of tasks do you receive compliments on after accomplishing? Once you have identified those talents, match them with market demands. Then, research the potential industries you would like to work in, and start targeting your ideal geographic locations. Do you want to work in the same town in which you graduated college or high school? Are you open to relocating? How about international work? Use this information to create a written job search plan that targets your desired industry as well as market leaders within those growing industries.
  2. Set up an internship in your targeted industry. First make a list of companies or organizations where you seek to volunteer or intern. Research those companies to find out if they take interns. Some companies may even offer paid internships. If you are unsure whether you want to commit several months of time to an internship, you can set “shadow” dates to schedule time with someone who does a job you would like to pursue. By the end of the day, you can better identify if you are interested, or even passionate about, that type of work.
  3. Spruce up your resume. Most resumes just list past job duties, but if you want your resume to stand out, highlight accomplishments and measureable results. Be sure to tailor your resume with keywords from the posted job description, especially if you will be posting the resume online. Also, many companies use LinkedIn as a recruitment tool, so if you don’t have a LinkedIn account, create one, and form your digital resume. LinkedIn is a social network that is similar to Facebook but is geared towards highlighting workers’ professional achievements.
  4. Expand your network. Only 25% of jobs are advertised online. That means that 75% of jobs are placed through connections. When a hiring manager has a job opening, he or she may ask current employees for referrals, but in many cases these jobs are secret and will be filled through networking outside of the organization. If you are in the market for a job, ask your friends for contacts within your targeted companies and set up informational meetings with hiring managers so that you can talk to them about their industry and company needs without coming out and asking for a job. Those hiring managers may talk about hidden jobs and actually hire you. It also helps to join professional associations in which your target companies participate.
  5. Polish your interviewing skills. Before an interview, be sure to research the company’s website and familiarize yourself with the industry. Prepare answers to common interview questions with real accomplishments that relate to what hiring managers seek in terms of skill sets and expertise. Highlight your skills and accomplishments and how your talents fit with the employer’s needs. If you feel bold enough, ask for the job and what the hire date is. Finally, send ‘thank you’ emails that reiterate your abilities and how you can address their needs.

Most of all, you are in business for yourself. Think of your career path as “ME, Inc.” In other words, you create job security for yourself; no company will do that for you. Eighty percent of employees just maintain the status quo. Twenty percent comprise an elite class of employees who not only develop their personal brands, but also actively seek out connections to people who can help them reach their career goals. Keep in mind, not all variables are perfect, so it is important for you to love your work in utilizing your talents and create criteria for ideal work settings, bosses, and teammates. Prepare good questions for the interviewers to answer so you can determine if the opportunity fits most of your criteria.

Now that you’re armed with a new arsenal of career hunting skills, go get ‘em!

Gina

Gina Akao is the owner of Writing and Editing Today and offers consulting services to authors and small business owners who need websites, blogs, and social media management. Would you like a copy of my notes from Stephanie LaPlace’s presentation? Please go to http://writingandeditingtoday.com/contact/ and fill out the contact form to request a free copy of my executive minutes.

Writing and Editing Today’s Newsletter

UNRQuad2013Welcome to my quarterly newsletter! Four times a year, you will receive educational tips, advice, and inspiration—all for free if you are a subscriber!

The Fall 2013 semester is upon us. The phones at Admissions and Records where I work are abuzz with the questions of students and parents asking about logging in, adding classes, and meeting payment deadlines. For those of you navigating the crazy world of college, here are a few tips:

(more…)

Can My College Help Me Find a Career?

Hi everyone,

It’s commencement time! Many students are graduating high school and college and are looking forward to finding their dream jobs. Luckily, most colleges offer some kind of career services department to assist students in this endeavor.

If you’re a recent grad, don’t wait until too long after graduation to update your resume and apply for jobs. The market is tough out there. Help is only a step away if you’re on a college campus.

The University of Nevada, Reno, for instance, has a Career Studio, where students can drop in (no appointment necessary) to get instant resume and cover letter critiques. Drop-in hours are Monday-Friday, 10am-2pm in the Thompson Building (students can check the website for summer hours).

I interviewed Internship & Employer Relations Coordinator, Robyn Maitoza, Ph.D. “The Studio’s grand opening and ribbon cutting will be in September 2013,” and the Studio (now open, but located in Thompson) will be moving to the soon-to-be-built Student Achievement Center, which will replace Getchell Library. Students will be able to connect with mentors via social media, as well as in person.

Students will be able to sign in on iPads. UNR’s Career Studio is hiring 10 career mentors who will work directly with students who drop in. In addition, students may use computers in the Career Studio to update resumes and cover letters. The Career Studio, in contrast to the former career services department, will be a hub for career services and will conduct workshops, on-site interviews, and panels to help students find employers and vice versa.

The only downside I see to the new studio format is that students will not be able to take the full Myers-Briggs personality test or Strong’s Interest Inventory, which require a small fee to administer. Personally, I have found going over assessment results with a professional career counselor extremely beneficial. But, not all students will have the patience to spend hours on career tests. Instead, the Career Studio’s current assessments available are free and take less time to complete and review.

Additionally, the Career Studio will be installing a new system to collect data on how many students utilize the different services. Students will be able to search a database with job postings and employers will be able to log in and post jobs. The Studio will also provide opportunities for students to shadow alums in their target careers and to sign up for internships.

For more information about the Career Studio, please visit http://www.unr.edu/career. If you’re not a UNR student, peruse your college’s website to find out what kind of career services it offers.

If you enjoyed this article, please subscribe to receive your “Top Ten Career Tips” for free.

Happy career hunting!

Gina

%d bloggers like this: