Tagged: networking

From The Muse: 53 Ways To Get A Job By Graduation

The job search plan you create should cover these bases:

Under Pressure

1. Create and refine your job search plan

2. Strategize your networking

3. Keep adding the most-needed skills in your field

4. Expand your job search criteria

5. Polish your professional online presence


I’m not going to recount all 53 things you should do if you are a college student looking for your first post-graduation job but you can read them all in the following post.


Spring is Job Fair Season 7 To-Do’s

Job fairs can be very helpful to someone on the hunt for a position, either full time or as an intern.   Even if you aren’t quite ready to take the leap, prep as though you are and check out the companies who might be interested in you.


1.Take the opportunity seriously.  Bring a positive attitude along with your resume.  Don ‘t bring a friend.

2. Start by finding out which companies will have reps at the fair.  Investigate their websites, read their blogs. research their products or services, reputation, place within the industry.  Discover their mission, budget, price on the stock market and organizational structure.  Its a lot of information to uncover.

3. Prepare your resume and have someone else proof for errors and content.

4. Dress for success.  Choose shoes that are comfortable, polished, scuff-free, and match the formality of your outfit.  No athletic shoes, please!

5.Practice your introduction and your elevator pitch.  Have a firm handshake not a death grip.

6. Be strategic.  Choose a few booths you want to visit.  Start with a couple from your B list for practice before you head to your main targets.  Be on the look out for companies that no one is checking out: they could be a hidden gem that no one has heard of yet.

7. Gather information by picking up business cards and company literature.  Leave the gadgets on the table.  The more you learn the more you’ll earn.

Job fairs are networking opportunities as well as meet-and-greets.  Often the people behind the table are the very ones who make hiring decisions.  Making a good impression can set up an opportunity for an interview for a different role later.

Most of the companies who recruit at job fairs also have internships.  Getting on the radar early could help you land a paid student position.

Be sure to send thank you notes to everyone you’ve talked to: its polite and will jog their memory of your conversation.   Best of luck!

Put your best foot forward by prepping for the job fair.  I have an hour-do you?stepahnie@accessguidance.com or 610-212-6679.

Advice From A College Professor: What She Wishes She’d Known in College

Frequently, in posts about succeeding in college, I offer tips on who you need to know and why.  Check out this article from the New York Times written by Susan Shapiro, a new professor at Columbia University.  It feels very good to be validated by authorities with real world experience!

I have many more tips for college bound students.  Give me a call! 610-212-6679 or stephanie@accessguidance.com



Make A Good First Impression Before You Send Your Resume

Read the tips by Tatiana Rehmova published in Confidence so that you are on top of your brand before you contact potential employers.



Make a good first impression on employer before sending your resume     Tatiana Rehmova | Jun 20, 2017 | Confidence |

‘’You never get a second chance to make a first impression.’’ (Andrew Grant)

When we start the job-hunting process the very first step we take is crafting a resume for that dream position. There’s nothing wrong with that. Well, almost nothing. From an employer’s point of view, it’s a good idea to start building a relationship with the company before sending your resume to them.

The question is: How can you make a first impression on your potential employer before sending your resume? There are at least 5 ways you can do it.

1. Send a note by post

All the essentials for taking this step are available online. They are the company’s address and the name of a person you’d like to send a note to. Then, decide what type of note it should be. A handwritten letter that explains who you are and why you think you’d be perfect for the company, for example. In the note, also write a solution to a problem the company’s facing. You can find an inspiration from Nina who wanted to work for airbnb and created something truly special.

Another option is to do a deeper research and find what the person from a department you’d like to work in likes. Check their social media accounts (Facebook/Instagram) and try to think what would make them smile? On one of the recruitment meetings I attended, one of the employers mentioned a girl who sent her favorite chocolate bar together with a resume. You guess right, she got hired! Even though the whole situation might seem a bit creepy to you.

Sending a little something or a handwritten note is just more creative. At the end of the day, who sends anything by post anymore? If you do it, you’ll surely make an impression. It’s up to your message whether it will be a positive one.

2. Build a virtual relationship on Twitter

No, a simple ‘’Follow’’ or a single tweet will not do the trick. What you need to do is interact with the company. Get organized and create your action plan.

First, do the research. What kind of information do they share? Are these the topics you’re interested in too? If the answer’s no, read about those topics and get familiar with them. Secondly, dedicate time to be active on Twitter. Like their tweets, re-tweet them and comment on them. You can also tweet directly to them, ask questions or recommend an article they would be interested in. Finally, remember that persistency is a key. Wait until some interaction between you and the company forms. Keep in mind that it could take more than a week for that to happen.

Once the relationship exists, you’re ready to send them an inmail explaining who you are and why you’d like to work for them.

3. Give them a call

I know. Calling to your dream employer directly can be a little scary. Especially if it is one of your very first positions. Don’t worry, tough. All you need is a good preparation. Write everything you’d like to tell them down on a piece of paper. The message, once again, should be you ‘’selling’’ yourself and explaining why you are the right person for the company. What problem can you solve for them?

After you’ve written down your key messages, practice. Ask your friend to pretend to be the employer and have a virtual call with them. Trust me, this way you’ll boost your confidence.

Many employers out there prefer receiving a call, rather than having to read through your email. It’s more efficient and less time-consuming.

4. Comment on their blog

Another thing you could try is finding out whether the person from a department you’d like to work in has a blog. You can usually find a link to their blog on their Linkedin or Twitter profile. You could even try to Google their name and see what type of information pops up. If they have an active blog, it will appear for sure.

Then read their articles and comment on them. Share your point of view or ask them an additional question. It should be more than just ‘’Great article!’’.

If you like writing and have your own blog, you could even write an article sharing your opinion or a point of view on the same topic. Than send it to them explaining that you got inspired by their work. It’s very flattering to writers.

5. Meet them in person

Have you heard the story about a guy who pretended to be a postman delivering doughnuts to his potential employers? In the box there weren’t just doughnuts, but also his resume! Now that is one creative way to make a good first impression!

While you could try the same, another good idea would be crafting an amazing resume specific to the company, filled with your top skills, experience and a good evidence for each point. Show up with a smile on your face and a good explanation why you’d like to work for them up your sleeve.

Over to you!

Making a good first impression on an employer before sending a resume might seem a bit unnatural at first. But once you give it a go, you’ll see it’s easier than you think. I hope you’ll give one of these options a go next time you look for your dream job. Let me know how it went in the comments below. Good luck!

So there you have it.  You have one moment in which to make a good first impression so lay the ground work now while you can still manage the image you create.  To learn more, give me a call, 610-212-6679 or send an email to stephanie@accessguidance.com




Your Handshake Is Your First Impression: Do It Right!

When we meet someone in a business or formal setting, we extend our right hand to shake.   It is believed that this gesture originated as a way for men to show  each other that they were unarmed and did not intend harm.  Handshakes are a social formality we observe as a greeting and sign of goodwill.

Lets set up the handshake.

Always shake with your right hand.  Be the one to initiate the gesture..  A fist bump is not a handshake.

If you know the name of the person, use it.  “Hi Bob” or “Nice to meet you Mr. Peters”.  If you are meeting some one at a networking event, introduce yourself with extended right hand. “Hi, I’m Ginny Johnson, from Johnson Wax”, or “I’m Cindy Lauper.  I’m sorry, I didn’t catch your name”.

Make eye contact.  (Don’t stare at their name tag trying to pronounce their name or commit it to memory!) Smile.  Always stand up for a handshake if you are sitting: standing shows respect and interest.  Dry your hand before shaking if you tend to have sweaty palms.

Grip firmly without squeezing hard.  The “Death by Handshake” grip is aggressive and inappropriate.  Shake by pumping up and down 2-3 times.  Release the hand.

If the setting is a business meeting or interview, at the end repeat the handshake with a sincere thank you.

Now that you know how to shake hands properly, go forth and greet the world!

Business etiquette can be mysterious.  Lets talk about what’s effective and proper in various situations.  Stephanie@accessguidance.com or 610-212-6679



When and How to Make Your Own Opportunities

Build Your Future

This post is for college students seeking an internship, anyone looking for a job, including experienced workers and those out of work.

When no jobs in your field present themselves and no one appears to be looking for new talent, would-be new hires can give up or they can create a job opening for themselves.

Self- creating jobs isn’t for sissies; if you’re not willing to commit, read no further.  Readers who are seriously on the hunt will benefit from these suggestions.

Work your network.  You want to get into pharmaceutical sales?  Look for sales managers, HR personnel, executives at pharma companies and get in touch.  They may not have an opening now but expressing interest (and keeping in touch) puts you at the head of the queue when an opening occurs.  Its possible that there is an unadvertised opening or one coming up soon and you will be top-of-mind. Use LinkedIn and your other resources to locate your targets.

Cast a wide net to capture the most possibilities.  A past client had moved from one city to another and needed a job.  She canvassed local universities looking for a research position without much luck.   One university recognized her value and established a position for her to compile data, write and publish previous and new studies.  She now has several publications on her resume as well as 2 years of experience to propel her to her next opportunity.

It goes without saying that knowing what is going on in the industry creates an opening to show how you are perfect for the company. If you detect a shift in your chosen field, be certain that you acquire the background needed to meet the new challenges before they become imminent.  Use your downtime between jobs or projects to broaden your knowledge base.

When you think your connection might be interested in you sometime in the future you can ask to be an intern now to get experience.  College grads, I can hear you moan but hear me out.  You can be unemployed and watching reality tv or you can be unemployed and gaining experience.  An internship can make you poachable.

For readers who have extensive experience, an internship is a chance to try out a new role or company.  You can show the many ways your accomplishments can become benefits for a new employer or new division of your current company.

Don’t sit back and wait for your employment prospects to improve.  When you knock on doors you are seen as confident, mature, skilled and as someone who attacks problems (in this case, unemployment).   All good things.   Asking for a job and showing how you can solve a problem, maybe one they didn’t recognize they have, make you the go-to person when funds to hire are available or someone leaves the company.

Show the world you’re already a star and that some lucky company will get to hire you!

Lets talk about how to approach connections and what your pitch should sound like.  Practice will give you confidence! stephanie@accessguidance.com or 610-212-6679



Four Ways To Be The Grad That Gets The Job: Start Now

Getting a job is all about relationships.  Sure, you must have relevant experience and some specific skills but they won’t get your foot in the door of the person making the decision.

Start building connections as soon as you’ve set up your dorm room.

  1. Figure out who your “Five” will be.  Jim Rohn posits that we are the average of the 5 people we spend the most time with so find five who represent who you want to be.  Will you choose people who are kind and help where ever needed?  The ruthless and aggressive business set?  Others lacking confidence and afraid to take risks?
  2. Identify the influencers on campus or in your company.  Who knows how to get things done?  Who can help you do your work better?  Learn all you can from them about culture and processes.
  3. Making connections can begin with a cup of coffee or a response to a post but real relationships take time to deepen.  Trust isn’t built in a day.  The more experiences you share the stronger your bond will become.
  4. Look for opportunities to connect with like-minded individuals.  Take part in alumni and charity events.  Play golf or attend sports oriented functions. Offer help or guidance to others.   Be certain that you put as much into a relationship as you expect to get out of it.

By now you know that hiring is done through personal networks and referrals from connections.  Master the hierarchy on campus, in the organizations where you have internships and each successive employer.

Introverts can become expert networkers, building confidence and influence as they go.  Learn how: Connect with me on LinkedIn, call me at 610-212-6679 or email stephanie@accessguidance.com. https://www.linkedin.com/in/stephanie-welder-ms-ncc-81622814/


Two More Effective Ways To Introduce Yourself

Most of us introduce ourselves with a flat statement, “I’m Suzanna.  I’m a web designer.” or “Hi, I’m CJ; I’m a senior at East Falls High School.”  Your introduction gives the basics but none of the flavor.

Try adding a WHY.  Why do you do what you do and why do you love what you do?

“I’m Trudie,  an aspiring ballerina; I learned to dance standing on my dad’s feet and I’ve never stopped!”

HI!  I’m Melissa, an engineering student at State.  I chose engineering because I’ve always loved to find and solve problems.

Another way to make an impact is to state what you do well.

“Nice to meet you; I’m Denise.  I help busy women executives manage their work and home lives so they can spend their time doing what they do best.”

“Hi, I’m Sam.  I relieve family members giving home health care so they can have time to take care of themselves.”

“My name is Jake.  I design and update websites for people who want to set it and forget it.”

Create your impact statement and when you have it in mind think about how you can use it on a business card.  Even high school students can have a business card that tells others how wonderful they are.

CJ might mention that he is an eagle scout and volunteers with Furry Friends Pet Adoption.

Sam could add to her business card “Care-Giver To Those Who Take Care”.

Looking for someone to brainstorm with?  I’m your gal! stephanie@accessguidance.com or 610-212-6679.





Bypass Applicant Tracking Systems Using LinkedIn

Perhaps you’ve sent resumes and never heard a word.  The reason may be the applicant tracking systems that many companies use to sort through the piles of applications.

Truth is, most jobs are filled by someone already among the hiring manager’s connections or by a candidate referred by one of the connections.

Avoid sending blind resumes into the jaws of an applicant tracking system, use your LinkedIn account to place yourself on the radar of the hiring manger before you apply for a position.

  1. Do some sleuthing.  Find a few companies in the industry you are in or the type of business that want to work for.   At those companies, identify 10 or more people who have job titles or positions similar to those you want.  Find them using the search box on LinkedIn.
  2. Look at the profiles of the names that appear; choose some to connect with by clicking the connect button.  There is an option to customize the  invitation  using “add a note”.  Personalize your invitation like this:   “I’m exploring careers in (advertising sales to companies that sell green products). I’m contacting (sales executives) in (print marketing) to get advice from people who are on the front lines to see if this is a good fit for my goals and experience.”
  3. When you have secured a connection begin an inmail correspondence, commenting on items in the contact’s profile or asking questions.  Invite your contact for coffee .  Most people will agree to a brief meeting during which you can ask about their job.   Your  coffee invitation should mirror your original connection out-reach.  “May I buy you coffee one day next week?  I’d like to find out more about your work and (name of the company they work for)?”  Occasionally, you will want to speak with a person who isn’t local; extend an invitation this way.”May I join you for coffee via a zoom conference one morning next week?  I’d like to learn more about your job and (company name).
  4. Pay attention to more than our contact’s job description and title.  Strong connections can be made with graduates of your alma mater, home town, those who share an interest or passion.
  5. Remember to add value to your contact.  Share a link to an article they might read, a new book on a mutual interest, offer an introduction to a LinkedIn connection or someone you do business with.

Why bother growing your network on LinkedIn?  Most successful candidates come from among people known to the person doing the hiring.   The more people you know, the more jobs become available to you.

Finding networking challenging?  For a list of networking tips, send me an email at stephanie@accessguidance.com.

5 Tips For Keeping Your References Fresh

Job candidates no longer mention references on their resumes but still need to have a list of people for potential employers to call.  Before setting up an interview, employers frequently search for you online and may contact your boss or co-workers even before you meet face to face.  Here are some things you can do to be prepared.

  1. Ask before listing someone as a reference.  Don’t assume that everyone has a good story to tell and is willing to tell it.  Don’t blindside your references by not asking if they are willing to recommend you.
  2. Build a solid list of references.  You may want to use different people for different circumstances.  Consider supervisors from other departments where you have trained or worked on projects.  Do you have a good relationship with your supervisor’s boss? Have your co-workers been promoted to supervisory positions?  Do people from previous employment know you better than your current colleagues?
  3. Stay up to date with your references.  Let them know that you are searching and with their permission would like to use them as a reference.  Stay in touch with their careers, promotions and interests.  Keep the info-loop open!
  4. Do your best to stay on good terms with everyone.  You can’t be sure who your potential employer knows.  Network and help others.
  5. Cultivate your on-line presence and brand.  Participate in groups on LinkedIn, comment in chats and group postings.  Follow companies that may have job openings.  Be sure you  are able to be found by potential employers on social media.  Make sure that what is found is consistent and illustrates what you want searchers to know about you.

In today’s world, openings are frequently filled through a network without ever being posted.  When a grant writer is needed a search may be made on line or colleagues may be asked to recommend someone.  It is important to be ready to present a resume and references on short notice.

Lets talk about how to identify a good reference and how to be one!  Email stephanie@astephanie@accessguidance.com or call 610-212-6679.