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Firstjob.com matches college grads with junior level and internship opportunities through existing social networks. Read on for more information and check out their site!

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Landing a job out of college is challenging in any economy, and in a down market like today’s it is even more so. However, there are a number of ways you can strengthen your resume while you are still enrolled in school that will make you more marketable in the workforce and help you in your job search.

School and Your Resume

 

Since your resume is the first thing about you that employers see, it’s important to make a good first impression. The good news is that applying these resume tips while you’re still in school puts you ahead of the crowd, as many students don’t think about their resume until after graduation

 

Communication Is Key

 

Communicating with your professors on a regular basis is one of the most important steps to establishing a good relationship. Try to stand out in your classroom as a leader by frequently participating. If you establish a good relationship with your professor, he or she will value your input and be more inclined to give you a letter of recommendation, introduce you to potential employers, or pass on some of their own resume tips down the road. Be the person that a teacher would be proud to recommend by showing motivation and initiative.

 

Extracurricular and On-Campus Activities 

 

Employers like to see candidates who have experience. Getting involved in extracurricular activities or groups is a strong way to begin build your resume.

 

Try joining an on-campus organization. Not only does it give you experience you can put on your resume, it is great for networking. You will get to meet peers who are also looking for experience and employment, and as they get jobs you start building up your contacts in various companies and industries. Stay in touch with the faculty members that coordinate the extracurricular activities, as they can often provide resume help, as well.

 

Internships

 

Faculty members can also help guide you to internships. Take the time before or after class to speak to your professor or faculty member about internship opportunities. Often times, employers will communicate with faculty members on a regular basis to try to find perspective interns. Internships are not only a great way to build an impressive resume, they also provide a real-world, hands-on experience for college students in their respective field. Employers like to see students who have internship experience, as they don’t require as much time training if they already have experience on the job.

 

Part-Time Jobs

 

Another helpful way to improve your resume is by getting a part-time job. Working part-time while you’re still in college shows employers that you have a strong work ethic and a sense of responsibility. It’s helpful to stay in touch and maintain a good relationship with all your employers, whether full- or part-time job, because managers can be a good resource for letters of recommendation.

 

Scholarships

 

Scholarships can establish a high level of credibility, as the selection process for scholarships is usually quite intensive. If you have been selected for a scholarship, make sure you add this to your resume. This is also a great conversation starter with potential employers.

 

Volunteering

 

Volunteering shows potential employers that you are committed to helping others, not just yourself. Like internships, volunteering has the additional possible benefit of turning into part-time or long-term employment opportunities.

 

Finding a job right out of college can be daunting. However, if you employ a few resume tips while you’re still going to college, you will have a leg up against the competition when you apply for your first job.

 

 

Once you have strengthened your resume by gaining relevant experience it’s time to put it to paper. Working with a professional resume service can be a surefire way to make sure your resume stands out and you represent yourself in the strongest possible way.

 

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FirstJob™ is the only job site of its kind, matching recent college graduates with quality junior-level and internship opportunities through their existing social networks. For employers FirstJob offers a full-cycle recruiting platform that provides sourcing, SaaS, and full service recruitment options to companies looking to hire college educated talent.

First Job Google+ URL: https://plus.google.com/110423672887272320570/posts

First Job Home site URL : https://www.firstjob.com/

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Today’s Guest Post is by Medical Sales Recruiter, Peggy McKee

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The era of the thank you note after a job interview is over.

Well, not the actual “thank you,” just the delivery system.

It’s critically important that you thank the interviewer for the opportunity, but it’s also critically important that you get it to him within 24 hours. And a handwritten, snail-mailed note just won’t do that. Send an email.

Many people still extol the virtues of the handwritten thank you note as a way to demonstrate your good manners and set yourself apart in the interview process. But while that’s nice, it’s not necessarily effective. A well-written thank you note already demonstrates your good manners and excellent communications skills. You don’t need to put a stamp on it to do that.

But there’s something else that comes into play here: As a recruiter, I know that many hiring decisions are made quickly. You can’t wait to send your thank you just in case this window of opportunity is one that will close quickly.

What should you make sure you include in your message?

In your thank you email, you should talk about how much you appreciated the opportunity to meet with them, how much you enjoyed learning more about the organization, how you think your x, y, and z skills will really help their company with a, b, and c issues, and how you’re looking forward to talking with them further about this process.

If you meet with 4 people, you need to send 4 thank you emails.

But here’s one note of caution: While I’m all for sending your note quickly, don’t go too far and try to send it with a text from your phone. There are too many opportunities for mistakes-and they have been made. Stick with your email-and spell check it.

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Peggy McKee has over 15 years of experience in sales, sales management, sales recruiting, and career coaching. She has one of the best blogs I’ve ever read and it is jam-packed with information you need to get into medical sales or increase your sales. Go to  http://www.phcconsulting.com and see for yourself.

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Today’s post is by guest blogger, Kenneth McCall. Read more about Ken at the end of the article.

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When people hear the words “easy to train”, the first thing that often comes to mind is a household pet. But believe it or not, the phrase applies to people too. And it is especially relevant to a person looking for a job.

Many people assume that employers limit themselves to a standard and predictable set of criteria when they go about hiring: Where did you go to college? What kind of degree did you earn? What kind of experience do you have? How many years have you worked? What are your talents and skills? Questions like these are always going to be asked. But employers who have hired a lot of new employees in the past and are familiar with the process of assimilating a new person into their workforce think differently. They understand that no matter how qualified a new hire may be, there will always be an initial learning curve of some type……to be followed by several future learning curves as the business continually adjusts to market changes. And they know that the true value of a new employee is often measured in units related to the ease of successfully navigating all these learning curves. To an employer like this, one question usually supersedes all the rest: How trainable is this job candidate?

You won’t hear employers asking a question like that in an interview, at least not directly. Instead, they look for clues…..things about the job seeker that are good indicators of trainability. I like to call them trainability factors. If you are that person looking for a job, it might help you to know what these factors are so that you can highlight them in your resume and during your interviews. Here are some of them:

  1. Willingness to learn: Employers know that when it comes to trainability, half the battle is the employee’s willingness to be trained. The last thing a company manager wants is to have to train someone who approaches a training session kicking and screaming, or just as badly, goes along with the training but does so with a notable lack of interest or effort. As a job seeker, you should make it clear that you are not a person who falls into this category. Specify in your resume and cover letter that you are a quick learner who is willing and able to ramp up to speed in learning the job. If a particular job entails a certain educational, certification, or licensing requirement, state your willingness to do whatever is necessary to fulfill that requirement. Even better, include examples to show that you were willing to undergo training, certification, or licensure in the past. If you are already aware of specific training requirements for the job you are seeking, then you can enroll in this training before your interview and show by your actions exactly how willing you are.
  2. Adaptability and flexibility: There is nothing as certain as change. This is especially true in the corporate world, where businesses are constantly adjusting to new technology, emerging trends, and changes in the business market. Employers know that a potential hire who is flexible and can adapt to change easily will become an employee who is trainable. Point out in your resume (and during interviews as well) any situations in your past where you were required to adapt to a new set of circumstances and did so successfully.
  3. Eagerness and enthusiasm: If you are an enthusiastic person by nature, then make sure you allow your enthusiasm to shine during your job interview. And be sure to mention your eagerness to work and learn prominently in your resume and/or cover letter too. Eagerness is a very attractive characteristic to potential employers. Managers are instinctively more confident in a person’s ability to assimilate in a new job and new environment when they see that the person has an enthusiastic outlook. And they know that this type of attitude will make a person more responsive to training.
  4. Perseverance and commitment: When the going gets tough, employers want tough employees who will keep going. Learning something new can be frustrating and difficult but a person who doesn’t give up easily can overcome these hurdles. In your resume, give examples of circumstances in your past where you tried your best to persevere through tough times.
  5. Integrity: It’s not hard to see that people who are prompt, dependable, and always keep their word are looked upon as valuable employees. They are also viewed as very trainable. Put your integrity on high display throughout the job seeking process. Always give honest answers to questions in your interview. And be very honest and forthright when you write your resume as well.

Your skills and your background are important considerations to a future employer – but they are far from the only ones. Employers want individuals who provide the best fit and that usually means individuals who can be trained successfully. When you write your resume with the trainability factors in mind, your resume will stand out because it will speak beyond your skills.

Kenneth McCall is director of IT for storage.com In this role he builds the systems that help customers find the best self storage units for their needs, for example through Kenneth’s and his team’s work customers can find self storage in Chicago and other cities. In his spare time, Kenneth likes to bike and participate in outdoor activities.

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The following is a guest post from careers writer, Brendan Cruickshank.

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The idea is such a joke that there is now a book out by this name, Overqualified by Joey Comeau. Comeau writes cover letters to send with resumes, but they are not your run of the mill cover letters. Instead, they are outrageous, over the top cover letters. Comeau writes cover letters that say things like “It sounds like the sort of job that I don’t even need to think about while I’m doing it,” and “I have been programming Perl for eight years, on every business appropriate platform there is, and I’ve been around long enough to understand that there are no human beings reading this.” Comeau writes his letters as a joke, but as with all jokes, there is a kernel of truth here.

And the truth is, people who are overqualified for a job get cynical and jaded. Please don’t apply for or take a job for which you are overqualified. Even if you are hired (and most employers know better than to hire someone who is grossly overqualified), that job will not only make you unhappy, but make everyone around you, at work and at home, utterly miserable.

Good human resources managers know this already: an underqualified and inexperienced candidate is preferable to an overqualified one any day. Why? If you are underqualified, but enthusiastic about a job, you can and will learn how to do it. Learning the job will give you a challenge – and employees who are appropriately challenged are a joy to be around. They approach their work with creative, open minds. They don’t bring with them any preconceived notions or entrenched bad habits that they learned from previous coworkers or managers. Most importantly, they are not burned out.

If you lack experience for the work that you are applying for, don’t try to hide that fact. Instead, play up the advantages: you are enthusiastic, eager to learn, bright, open, full of energy and ideas. Once you get to the interview stage, it will be relatively easy for you to show your enthusiasm for the job. But in your resume, it is harder. If you want a potential employer to notice your energy and enthusiasm, and ask you in for an interview, use your resume to highlight the experience that you do have, and to point out areas of your life in which you show tremendous energy and motivation, even if those areas come from volunteer work, internships, extracurricular activities, or sports that you participate in.

Then, write a compelling cover letter – not a Comeau-esque letter like the ones I’ve quoted above, but a letter that shows your personality and the ways in which you are personally a good fit for this kind of work. Take a humble approach. Write about what you think you can learn from the job you are applying for – what you can learn from your supervisors, from your colleagues, from the company itself. This might sound like a risk. It might sound as though you are highlighting your own lack of experience. In a sense, you are, but that’s okay. What you are really doing is showing that you are ready for something new – and that you are smart enough to recognize a good opportunity when you see it. Have you ever heard the expression, “flattery will get you everywhere?” Flattery may not get you everywhere, but in a good cover letter, it will get you in the door for an interview – and that’s exactly what you need it to do.

In his 8 years in the job search and recruiting industry, Brendan has served in senior client services roles with major sites like Juju.com and JobsInTheMoney.com. He has been regularly quoted on topics such as employment as well as jobs. His opinions have appeared in the Wall Street Journal and US News & World Report as well as other major publications.

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Editors Note:  Here is another fantastic article from Jack Canfield, author of “Chicken Soup for the Soul”, and America’s leading Success Coach.

I love this article. It aligns with my own personal belief that we CHOOSE our lives. We CHOOSE our responses to things. We CHOOSE the outcome. Sort of like ‘is the glass half full or half empty?’. It’s a matter of choice. Mine is half full. We can choose to change our thoughts and that will change the outcome of any situation. Don’t sit idly by and say, ‘my life takes control of me, I have no choice’.. no, YOU get to choose to take control of your life or any situation. Make YOURSELF happy. Align your thoughts with how you want the situation to turn out. Watch your life go smoothly and exactly how you want it to. It’s not rocket science. It’s just a matter of choice.


by Jack Canfield               

In today’s economic times, when everywhere you look there’s a rumbling of great uncertainty, I think we should all take a pause (and a deep breath) to think about our lives.

Are we moving in the direction we want to be? When things happen in the world that seem so far beyond our individual control, it can feel unsettling. And even though we think we are the masters of our own success, watching the news these days can chip away at our beliefs.

Even in tough economic times, you get to decide how to respond to certain conditions, opportunities, and outcomes—both good and bad.

While I don’t claim to be an economist, I do know one important fact. The economy is the same for everyone, it’s how you respond to it that determines how you feel about it.

It’s yet another example of what I’ve been teaching for years. . .

E + R = O
(Events + Responses = Outcome)

The basic idea is that every outcome you experience in life (whether it’s success or failure, wealth or poverty, wellness or illness, intimacy or estrangement, joy or frustration) is the result of how you have responded to an earlier event (or events) in your life.

If you don’t like the outcomes you are currently experiencing, there are two basic choices you can make:

Choice #1: You can blame the event (E) for your lack of results (O).

In other words, you can blame the economy, the weather, the lack of money, lack of education, racism, gender bias, the current administration in Washington, your wife or husband, your boss’s attitude, the lack of support, and so on.

No doubt all these factors exist, but if they were the deciding factor, nobody would ever succeed.

For every reason it’s not possible, there are hundreds of people who have faced the same circumstances and have succeeded.

It’s not the external conditions and circumstances that stop us — it’s us!

We think limiting thoughts and engage in self-defeating behaviors. We defend our self-destructive habits (such as drinking and smoking) with indefensible logic.

We ignore useful feedback, fail to continuously educate ourselves and learn new skills, waste time on the trivial aspects of our lives, engage in idle gossip, eat unhealthy food, fail to exercise, spend more than we make, fail to tell the truth, don’t ask for what we want, and then wonder why our lives aren’t working.

Choice #2: You can instead simply change your responses (R) to the events (E) until you get the outcomes (O) you want.

You can change your thinking, change your communication, change the pictures you hold in your head (your images of the world) and you can change your behavior (the things you do.) That’s all you really have any control over anyway.

Unfortunately, most of us are so engrained in our habits that we never change our behavior.

We get stuck in our conditioned responses-to our spouses and children, to our colleagues at work, to our customers and our clients, to our students, and to the world at large.
You have to gain control of your thoughts, your images, your dreams and daydreams, and your behavior.

Everything you think, say, and do needs to become intentional and aligned with your purpose, your values, and your goals.

If you don’t like your outcomes, change your responses!

Here’s an example of how this works…

Do you remember the Northridge earthquake in 1994? I do! I lived through it in Los Angeles.

Two days later I watched as CNN interviewed people commuting to work. The earthquake had damaged one of the main freeways leading into the city. Traffic was at a standstill, and what was normally a 1-hour drive had become a 2-3 hour drive.

The CNN reporter knocked on the window of one of the cars stuck in traffic and asked the driver how he was doing.

He responded, angrily, “I hate California. First there were fires, then floods, and now an earthquake! No matter what time I leave in the morning, I’m late for work. I can’t believe it!”

Then the Reporter knocked on the window of the car behind him and asked the driver the same question. This driver was all smiles.

He replied “It’s no problem. I left my house at five am. I don’t think under the circumstances my boss can ask for more than that. I have lots of music and Spanish-language tapes with me. I’ve got my cell phone. Coffee in a thermos, my lunch-I even have a book to read. I’m fine.”

Now, if the earthquake or the traffic were really the deciding variables, then everyone should have been angry. But everyone wasn’t.

It was their individual response to the traffic that gave them their particular outcome. It was thinking negative thoughts or positive thoughts, leaving the house prepared or leaving the house unprepared that made the difference. It was all a matter of attitude and behavior that created their completely different experiences.

If we all experience the same EVENT, the OUTCOME you get will be totally dependent upon your RESPONSE to the situation.

If you want to take control of how you respond to life, you’ll start noticing that your outcomes will be more along the lines of what you have always hoped.

Remember, you control your destiny so make it a fantastic one!

© 2009 Jack Canfield

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Jack Canfield, America’s #1 Success Coach, is founder of the billion-dollar book brand Chicken Soup for the Soul© and a leading authority on Peak Performance and Life Success. If you’re ready to jump-start your life, make more money, and have more fun and joy in all that you do, get your FREE success tips from Jack Canfield now at: www.FreeSuccessStrategies.com

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Editor’s Note: I love anything written by Jack Canfield. He inspires millions with his “Success Principles” and “Dream Big Collection” (which I personally own and attribute to my own successes). I love this article because it is so basic and yet so many people still don’t get it. I know that I always found myself working harder for the boss who thanked me, or occasionally acknowledged my extra efforts. It only takes a second, but a simple ‘thank you’ can impact someone’s life forever.
That being said, I figured rather than refer to almost every area of the article in a separate post, I would add the entire thing here.  Enjoy– and thank someone today.

Practice Uncommon Appreciation
by Jack Canfield

A recent management study revealed that 46% of employees leaving a company do so because they feel unappreciated; 61% said their bosses don’t place much importance on them as people; and 88% said they don’t receive acknowledgement for the work they do.

Whether you are an entrepreneur, manager, teacher, parent, coach or simply a friend, if you want to be successful with other people, you must master the art of appreciation.

I’ve never known anyone to complain about receiving too much positive feedback. Have you? In fact, just the opposite is true.

Consider this: Every year, a management consulting firm conducts a survey with 200 companies on the subject on what motivates employees. When given a list of 10 possible things that would most motivate them, the employee always list appreciation as the number-one motivator.

Managers and supervisors ranked appreciation number eight. This is a major mismatch, as the chart below so clearly shows.

10 Ways to Really Motivate an Employee

Employees

  • Appreciation
  • Feeling  “in” on things
  • Understanding attitude
  • Job security
  • Good wages
  • Interesting work
  • Promotional opportunities
  • Loyalty from management
  • Good working conditions
  • Tactful discipline
Supervisors

  • Good Wages
  • Job Security
  • Promotional Opportunities
  • Good working conditions
  • Interesting work
  • Loyalty from management
  • Tactful discipline
  • Appreciation
  • Understanding attitude
  • Feeling “in” on things

Notice that the top three motivators for employees don’t cost anything, just a few moments of time, respect and understanding.

Keeping Score

When I first learned about the power of appreciation, it made total sense to me. However, it was still something that I forgot to do. I hadn’t yet turned it into a habit.

A valuable technique that I employed to help me lock in this new habit was to carry a 3” x 5” card in my pocket all day, and every time I acknowledged and appreciated someone, I would place a check mark on the card. I would not allow myself to go to bed until I had appreciated 10 people. If it was late in the evening and I didn’t have 10 check marks, I would appreciate my wife and children, I would send an e-mails to several of my staff, or I would write a letter to my mother or stepfather.

I did whatever it took until it became an unconscious habit. I did this every single day for 6 months—until I no longer needed the card to remind me.

Appreciation as a Secret of Success

Another important reason for being in a state of appreciation as often as possible is that when you are in such a state, you are in one of the highest emotional states possible.

When you are in a state of appreciation and gratitude, you are in a state of abundance. You are appreciating what you do have instead of focusing on, and complaining about, what you don’t have. Your focus is on what you have received… and you always get more of what you focus on.

And because the law of attraction states that like attracts like, the more you are in a state of gratitude, the more you will attract, and even more to be grateful for. It becomes an upward-spiraling process of ever-increasing abundance that just keeps getting better and better.

Think about it. The more grateful people are for the gifts we give them, the more inclined we are to give them more gifts. Their gratitude and appreciation reinforces our giving. The same principle holds true on a universal and spiritual level as it does on an interpersonal level.

I challenge you to discover ways to immediately appreciate someone in your life, starting today!

For more tips and suggestions on how you, too, can find ways to appreciate those in your life, read Principle 53 in The Success Principles.

© 2009 Jack Canfield

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Jack Canfield, America’s #1 Success Coach, is founder of the billion-dollar book brand Chicken Soup for the Soul© and a leading authority on Peak Performance and Life Success. If you’re ready to jump-start your life, make more money, and have more fun and joy in all that you do, get your FREE success tips from Jack Canfield now at: www.FreeSuccessStrategies.com

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Editors Note: Kristi Musgrave is a colleague and friend of mine, as well as today’s Guest Blogger. She has oodles of management experience as well as interesting stories to share. Enjoy!

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Business People

“I’m laid off?”

I couldn’t believe it. I had worked for a large biopharmaceutical manufacturer for six years. I loved my job. I worked up from a temporary employee in the Microbiology Lab to the Laboratory Supervisor, and ultimately the Quality Operations Manager. During that time the plant had developed into a very successful manufacturing operation. But now we were closing. I understood the financial reasons behind the decision but it was a shock. Now I had a decision to make, do I stay with the company and transfer to one of the other facilities or do I end up laid off?

I was laid off and it was one of the best things that could have happened to me.

Being laid off was the beginning of completely different part of my life. It gave me an opportunity to re-evaluate my life and career goals. As a result, my husband I simplified parts of our lives and learned to live with less, I added a new job title “Mom”, and I changed careers.

Just like most major events in our lives this was a learning experience for me. I learned about different resources I never knew about, programs for free training, extended unemployment benefits, and free career counseling.I even learned that I could happily live without some of the extras I had become use to.

So, what did I specifically do to make this a successful transition? Here are a few things to consider doing after being laid off:

  • Take advantages of all unemployment benefits available – In addition to the standard number of weeks of unemployment pay, some states offer extended paid benefits in certain circumstance. There are also state funded programs for free training. Displaced workers who qualify for the Trade Adjustment Act (TAA) program can receive a variety of benefits and services, including job training, income support, job search and relocation allowances, a tax credit to help pay the costs of health insurance, and a wage supplement to certain reemployed trade-affected workers 50 years of age and older. That is just one example of the many programs available.
  • Evaluate your career goals – This might be something done informally while sitting on the coach at home or more structured with a career counselor. I was able to participate in free career counseling through a local university. Students attempting to complete their master’s degree in counseling are required to complete a number of hours of supervised work prior to finishing their program. I was able to meet with a counselor one on one and discuss my situation. I had access to different career aptitude tests and personality inventories that helped me to better understand what I wanted out of a career and offered career suggestions.
  • Streamline your life – Once we found out about the layoff we looked for ways to eliminate all the unnecessary extras that slowly drained money from our budget. We cancelled our satellite service. Since we live in the “country” this meant no television. This is something we talked about doing but just didn’t have the guts to do it. We also eliminated home phone service since we both already had cell phones. We cut grocery bills, drove the more fuel efficient vehicle instead of the newer less efficient one, and opted for home cooked meals instead of carry out. We looked for ways to make ourselves less dependent on two full time incomes.
  • Look for nontraditional opportunities – In addition to looking for jobs similar to the one I had, I looked for jobs with alternate work arrangements, flexible schedules, and home based opportunities. I even identified several jobs that I could do where the combined income would be similar to what I made before.

Being laid off can be difficult, but it can also be a time for reevaluating what’s important to you and making some changes in your life and career. For me the end result is a job that I enjoy and more time doing the things that I love.  parents running with kids

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Ed. Note: Nick Varner is a recent graduate of Central Michigan University and is going on for his Masters in Educational Leadership. As part of Generation Y, Nick wanted to share some Gen Y insight and set the record straight on a few misconceptions…

iStock photos

Flip-flops, iPods, and e-Meetings are arriving in the workplace, and arriving in numbers. This change in workplace decorum seems outrageous to those who are experienced members of the workforce, but for those just arriving, this is standard. These changes have been heralded by the next generation of employees, Generation Y.

Generation Y typically refers to people born between 1977 and 1995 that are now entering the workforce. As this generation arrives, so do all the myths concerning them. Generation Y is often thought of as lazy, laid-back, and self-serving individuals who don’t understand the meaning of hard work and commitment. This view only allows Generation Y to be a liability, while ignoring the aspects of the next generation that makes them assets.

One big generational difference is the concept of ‘putting in the hours’. The previous generations conceptualize hard work as maintaining a 40 hour work-week and working steadily through the week. Generation Y does not accept this model; they focus more on workplace efficiency than the hours spent in the workplace. They strive to find the most efficient methods of accomplishing tasks, not because they are lazy, but so they can spend their time more wisely.

Another big misconception between the generations is the idea of commitment. The baby boomers believed that they would find a job, work for thirty years, and then retire from that same company.  This is not the case for Gen-Y. Whereas the previous generation looked for a workplace, Gen-Y looks for workplace opportunities. They will work at a company for 3-5 years in order to gain a specific skill set and knowledge base, but then move their talents to another company.  However, where Baby Boomers might see this as a lack of commitment, Gen-Y sees this as a quest for knowledge. They strive to increase their knowledge base and the way to do this post-academia is through varied work experience.

Finally, there is the charge that they are lazy.  This is often promoted due to a new mindset held by the members of Gen-Y: they work to live, not live to work. This is a drastic change between the generations; whereas Baby Boomers were defined by where they worked and what they did, Gen-Y refuses to hold such titles. They define who they are by what they do outside of the workplace. This is not an attempt to be lazy and ignore work, but an attempt to live a well-rounded life in which their contributions at home gain as much recognition as their contributions in the workplace.

Generation Y has arrived. They are sporting tattoos, wearing flip-flops and have a new mindset, but this is not the end of the world. Rather than dismissing an entire generation, focus on what they can bring to the table and how their addition can truly help your organization.

Nick Varner can be reached for comment at n.j.varner@gmail.com

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Editors Note: Kristi Musgrave is a colleague and friend of mine, as well as today’s Guest Blogger. She has oodles of management experience and tells us what it’s like to be on the other side of the desk. Here is some good advice on what NOT to say during an interview.

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“You won’t believe this,” he said. “What?” I asked. “We just had a candidate offer to show the hiring manager his gun shot wound.”

Why do people do this? Is it nerves? Do they just not know any better? Why do people share too much or inappropriate information during job interviews?

For the past 10 years I’ve had the opportunity to interview a variety of people and I am still amazed at what they will discuss during an interview. I’ve heard about fights with family members, pets that have died, and mean bosses. I’ve even been asked if I have a prosthetic eye. I don’t by the way.

The purpose of an interview is to assess a candidate’s suitability for a job. A significant part of that assessment will be based on what you say during the interview. Avoid discussing personal information unrelated the position. Discuss your experience, the skills you have that make you well suited for the position, and why you are the best candidate.

Rachel Zupek, a writer for careerbuilder.com offers this advice  (you can read the full article here):

Go ahead with the following personal info:

  • Goals – It’s OK to talk about what you want in your next assignment and what inspired you to apply for the position.
  • Growth – You can and should talk about the things you’ve done up to this point to invest in yourself and your professional development.
  • Highlights – Relate the highlights of your greatest professional achievements to date without exaggerating or pontificating.
  • Motivations – Talk about what motivates you, excites you, what brought you to that particular industry and what attracted you to that specific employment opportunity.

Do not delve into these personal topics during your interview.

  • Lifestyle choices, politics, religion or family plans. Controversial topics may make for stimulating conversation but an attractive employee does not stimulate water-cooler frenzy among the masses.
  • Endless name dropping. You can establish that you know some of the same people as the interviewer to build rapport, but don’t think you’re upping the ante by upping the volume.
  • Health history. Stay away from your health history mental and otherwise. You’re supposed to be positioning yourself as dependable and reliable; not as a candidate likely to spike the bell curve on benefit-related expenses.
  • House problems, nanny drama or rehab trips. Employers don’t want to know much about your life except as it relates to what you’ve done professionally and what you’re likely able to do for them.
  • Bosses from hell. Simply put, no prospective boss wants to hear a litany of “boss from hell” stories.


So, unless you’re interviewing for a position as nude model for a sculpting class, discussing your gunshot wound is way too much information for a job interview. Keep your answers professional and focused on your skills and experience as it relates to the position.  Good luck at your interview.

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Kristi Musgrave is a Senior Validation Engineer with the Validation and Compliance Institute, LLC. She provides cGMP training, validation, and auditing services for the FDA regulated industries.  You can reach Kristi at musgrak@gmail.com

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Kendall SummerHawk is a million-dollar marketing coach and author of the book, “Brilliance Unbridled”. She teaches consultants, speakers, coaches, and small business owners to manage their businesses smartly while following their soul’s desire.

I was “introduced” to Kendall last year and have been a big fan ever since. She isn’t just for business owners, but for everyone who wants to succeed in what they do. She talks about our pre-programmed MO-ney mindsets and how to change our thoughts about money–creating more and receiving it. Her “bold money goal” helped me triple my income in a year. You need to sign up for her free newsletter. It is fantastic!

Look for more guest posts from Kendall in the future. Love this woman!

Here she is: Kendall SummerHawk.

“The recent economic news is truly scaring the you-know-what out of people. The reason is not the “facts” presented by the media, but because underneath those facts is the thinly veiled threat that on an individual level, our personal safety and security is at jeopardy.

The news triggers fear that has been lying dormant in us, like a beast, just waiting to be fed. This beast grows stronger with every passing news article, late-breaking t.v. spot or report of more workers affected by the actions of a few greedy, short-sighted people.

The beast of fear keeps us down. It gnaws at our confidence like a dog on a bone. It whispers in our ear that to be afraid is to be safe. It wants us to worry because when we do, it grows stronger.

But the beauty of the beast is that it is, right now, providing us with the perfect opportunity to eradicate your fear, once and for all. Your fear doesn’t serve you, it only serves the beast.

This is a time not just in our nation’s history, but in your own personal history, to strengthen your core faith in who you are, what you bring to the world and in life itself.

My clients are continuing to make great mo-ney (one just signed on two new clients worth $10,000 EACH who both paid in full!) because they listen to their heart, where the beast can’t live. They listen to me, because they know I will always tell them the truth. And the truth is, that shrinking back from investing in yourself and your business will only feed the beast and will keep you from being paid (and paid well) for and fulfilling your Soul’s Divine Purpose.

So turn off the news, stop feeding the beast and instead look for signs of prosperity, abundance and success. They are everywhere and I challenge you to find FIVE such signs every day!”

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“Would you like to learn more simple ways entrepreneurs can brand, package and price their services to quickly move away from ‘dollars-for-hours work’ and create more money, time, and freedom in their businesses? Check out my web site, http://www.KendallSummerHawk.com, for free articles, free resources and to sign up for my free audio mini-seminar “7 Simple Steps to Create Your Multiple Streams of In-come “Money and Soul” Business.”

Award-winning small business expert Kendall SummerHawk is the “Million Dollar Marketing Coach.”

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