Has Too Much Time Gone By To Start a Career?

Sean Little career advice
Is it ever too late to start/change a career?

Millennials who have the ideal life path set out in their imagination, may have a hard time coming face-to-face with life’s realities. Sometimes, you can’t finish your degree in four years. Other times, that entry level job doesn’t materialize immediately out of college. There are other life events that can also interfere in establishing a career, like pregnancy or a sudden accident. If you’re worried that too much time has passed and you’re too old to get on a viable career path now, your fears are probably unfounded. Some people didn't get their big start until after they were old enough to retire.

Enjoy the Ride

It can be a tough sell if all your peers have landed new grad jobs that have put them squarely on their chosen career path. However, just because it’s taken you a little longer doesn’t mean you’re out of the game entirely. Any entry level job that makes you passionate can lead you into a career of your dreams, even if it’s not the same field you got your degree in. If you continue to choose exciting opportunities that help you grow as a person, the potentials for landing a career path job increase with each new skill you put in your tool belt. Don't let job rejection get you down. It will eventually happen for you, too.

Learn from the Masters

People like Julia Childs, who didn’t learn to cook until she was in her 40s, and Colonel Sanders, who founded Kentucky Fried Chicken at the age of 65, prove that it’s never too late to follow your dreams. If you have a desire to be involved in some industry, there’s always a way to get your first foothold, and from there the sky is the limit.

Never give up looking for a new way to do what you love. Start today by signing up with FirstJob.com

Baiting Your Resume Properly When Switching Careers

Sean Little Job Application
Switching Careers? Find out what your resume focus on.

Hunting down a job is a lot like fishing for that one big fish that everyone wants. Without the proper bait on your hook, like a killer resume, you won’t even get a nibble. Millennials that think they have no experience, and thus have slim resumes, may be overlooking a few juicy tidbits that might make them score more interviews. There are many ways to learn to reset your career path, but one trick is to angle the resume to the career you want, using the skills you learned in previous positions.

Figure Out How to Frame Your Skill Set for a New Job

A fresh graduate job might teach you a variety of skills from:

Customer Service - Even if all you have done so far is worked retail, it’s still a stepping stone into other career paths. Simply emphasize your customer service skills, your ability to handle complaints, and how you made a difference working directly with the public.

Analysis - If you never got out of your cubicle, you might have strong analytical skills. These can be used in a variety of industries from financing to engineering.

Bookkeeping - If your part-time job consisted of helping to do the books, you might be able to help business owners or become an accountant. Or, you can simply convince your next employer that you’re good with numbers, if that's important to the job you want.

Marketing - Did you learn how to attract a big crowd to an event? Can you communicate in words that drive sales? Marketing skills are important for salespeople, but also for managers who need to network widely within their industry.

Software Skills - Sometimes, the only skill you have that is a match to a different career path is a piece of software. Don’t downplay it, as sometimes it can be hard for employers to find people with experience with proprietary software and they’re willing to overlook other deficits to get that skill.

Find out what skills are in demand with other industries by browsing the new grad jobs listing at FirstJob.com.

Top 3 Reasons You Should Interview, Even If You’re Not Interested

Sean Little Interviews
Should I interview if I'm not interested in the position?

Interviewing takes time and sometimes you’d just not rather (especially if you have no interest in taking the entry level job). You may be tempted to be a no-show and rationalize it as saving the company time. However, all interviews are valuable, even if you can’t see yourself taking the job.

Top 3 Reasons to Say Yes to the Interview

A fresh graduate job hiring process is often automated. From the moment you submit your resume to the point where you’re supposed to show up for the interview, data is being stored in an Applicant Tracking System (ATS) about you. Millennials don’t realize how much information gets stored, but it’s extensive. By interviewing, even when you won’t take the job you increase your odds of getting hired because:

You Practice Your Interviewing Skills - You will learn what questions are most likely to be asked and how to properly respond to them so that you become a top performer - for when it really matters. You may get scored higher in desirable skills, documented in the ATS for future needs.

You Network With People In Your Industry - You may not be a good fit for the job you are interviewing for, but the hiring managers often know what’s coming ahead in the pipeline. Always give your best interview performance so that if they have another job in mind, you can still be considered later, for a different opportunity.

You Won’t Be Blacklisted - When you don’t show up for an interview, an entry is made in the system as a no-show. Next time an opportunity in that company opens, you won’t get a second chance to interview. You’ll be blacklisted. If the company is a national company, that’s a pretty stiff penalty to take just because you’re not interested in the present position.

Trying to score a dream job? Check out new grad jobs at FirstJob.com.

How You Should Handle Job-Seeking While Currently Employed

Sean Little career advice
How To Do The Job Seeking Tango Without Getting Tangled Up In Your Current Post

This article is a response to this question asked on Reddit on how to handle job hunting and interviews without causing issues or endangering your current position. Give it a read and let us know how you would handle this tricky situation.

Once you are in a 40-hour/week position, how do you carve out time for job hunting, if you don't want to do it on the job? If you want a new job, while working your old job:

Don’t Scour the Job Boards at Work - Your employer can see what you’ve been searching for online, even if they’re not standing directly behind you, based on your search history. Do your job researching and hunting at home.

Try to Work Around the Present Job Schedule - This can be easy if you work the night shift or odd hours. However, if you work 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., taking a long lunch to interview or scheduling a phone interview after hours may be your only option to work it into someone else’s job schedule.

Be Picky About Taking Days Off - Choose only the top jobs to take a partial day off for, and say you have a dentist or doctor’s appointment as your excuse for personal time off. This way, you lose less time off work, but you still can interview during the work day.

Keep in mind that new grad jobs may require a series of interviews, so pace yourself and try to fit them into vacation time or days when you’re not working. Sick days can be hard to justify and if they find out you were interviewing and lied, it could mean your dismissal.

Don’t forget to sign up with online boards, like FirstJob.com, to keep an eye on new jobs when they get posted.

Guest Post by Lynn Powers: Preparing for Career Fairs

Sean Little Guest Posts
How should you prepare for a career fair?

Today we have a guest post from Lynn Powers. Lynn is a graduate of the University of San Francisco, and is now a Technology Account Manager at Oracle Headquarters.

I was in the throes of anticipation and excitement as a graduating student in my last semester in college but woefully clueless about how best to start my job search. So I thought the campus career fair will be a good place to practice the art of handing out resume. Little did I know then that doing the first round at the campus career fair was the first important step towards building my career.

As I look back in time, the best advice I would have given myself before going to a career fair was: Be prepared to package yourself as a great communicator with an impeccable resume, dressed in business attire, and a catchy elevator speech. Career fairs provide a batting base to communicate to recruiters that you are a good fit for their teams with your knowledge, skills, and positive attitude.

How do you prepare for your first foray to a job search in a career fair? First, take time to find out what companies are going to be there, then narrow down your focus to at least five target companies. Next, do your research, find out more about the companies you’re interested in. You should be ready when asked: What do you know about us? You should know what the company does, how the company makes money, the company’s valuable players.

Do further research: What makes the company competitive, how is the company different from other companies in the industry. Is the company growing? What are the company’s future plans and how are those plans going to be achieved? With this information, you should not have any problem catching the recruiter’s interest. Once you have picked the recruiter’s interest, switch gear and paint a picture of why you are a good fit. Zero-in on the role you’re interested in and match it up with your knowledge, skills, experience, and how you would fit right in with the company’s roadmap for growth. Last but not least, be enthusiastic, alive, engaging, and confident. Your first foray in a career fair may just be what you need to land your first successful career!

In her short year at Oracle, Lynn has not only has she been able to exceed her numbers in her role as a business consultant, but she has also been able to follow her passion for mentorship. At Oracle, Lynn has spearheaded two new programs: one for new hires and the other for internal mentorship. These two new programs showcase Lynn’s willingness to help others as well as her dedication to her work. Due to her successes with the programs, Lynn has been fortunate to be named a member of the Innovation Committee, where she leads as Mentorship Chair, and directly impacts the Committee’s efforts to enhance corporate volunteer work. In parallel to these interests, Lynn also enjoys speaking at The University of San Francisco, inspiring undergraduates and graduate students to aid in their success in post grad life.

Looking for entry level jobs for college students/recent grads? Check out FirstJob.com to see what careers are out there for you.

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