Tuesday, April 28, 2015

5 Tips for Making the Most of a Phone Interview Sponsored by Barton Associates

By Casee Laznick
Businesswoman on PhoneThe phone interview is typically the first, and a very important step in the interview process with a company. Phone interviews are typically much shorter than a formal, in-person interview, and can save all parties time by ensuring a candidate is a potential fit. In an Interview Success Formula article, 7 Tips to Stand Out in a Phone InterviewAlan Carniol explains how essential the phone interview can be. Below are Barton’s top five tips on how to increase your chances of moving to that next round!
1.       Remember what jobs you are applying to
Recruiters understand that candidates may be applying to more than one company. However, they do expect that you are aware and have some recollection of applying to the job at hand. Whether you keep a basic list, an extensive Excel spreadsheet, or just save some emails, keeping a running record will help you from being caught off guard.
2.       Make sure you are in a place with no interruptions
Although this tip may seem obvious, it is very important to make sure you are in a quiet area with no interruptions for the phone interview. Recruiters may be more understanding if the interview happens on a whim, but for a planned interview they will expect you to make proper accommodations.
3.       Be prepared
Another tip that may seem like a no brainer but must be mentioned is to be prepared. For a phone interview, candidates should always have a copy of their resume as well as a copy of the job description on hand to reference. Barton’s Director of Talent Acquisition said, “When interviewing a candidate over the phone, I expect he or she has done their homework on the company and the position.” This also means you should do your research on the company as a whole. While recruiters are happy to answer questions, they also expect you to have a general knowledge of the company and the position.
4.       Be aware of your pace and tone
It is very common for candidates to feel anxious during a phone interview. This can cause the candidate to speak in a flat, unenthusiastic tone, or talk much too fast. Try to relax and speak in an upbeat tone to express your interest in the role. “Communication is an essential key to success in our business. If someone sounds nervous in a phone interview, I assume the same would happen when speaking with a client,” says Jon Retchin. Studies show that smiling helps your tone, even when on the phone.
5.       Ask about next steps
At the conclusion of an interview, it is best to ask the recruiter about next steps. This may not only give you an idea of what they thought about you, but will hopefully give you a timeline for the rest of the interview process. This way you know what to expect in terms of a follow up.
The phone interview is a very integral part of the interview process, especially for positions that will require you to be on the phone regularly. Phone interviews allow the company to get a feel of how much of a fit a candidate may be for the role. It also allows candidates to get a better idea if this is a role and company they truly want to be a part of. The phone interview can allow candidates to expand on themselves more than what can be included in the confines of a resume. If you utilize Barton’s five tips, you will be able to heighten your chances of moving on to an in-person interview, and get one step closer to securing that job offer!

For more great career tips, sign up to become a Barton Insider!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Written by Jill Trolinger, Master's student at Texas State University.

Often times we feel like we know ourselves well, but when it comes time to figure out the details of our career path, it is hard to know where to start.  The unlimited options are overwhelming.  CareerBeam is a wonderful guide Career Services provides access to that helped me work through this process using small, guided  steps, beginning with a “Where do I start” exercise.  CareerBeam directed me through the information maze while at the same time giving me opportunities to really target my interests through the use of personality, skills, talents, and preference assessments.  As I gathered new found insights about myself, CareerBeam used that information to personalize my profile and taper the incredible amount of provided information into bite-sized, comprehensive pieces. The areas explored on CareerBeam include values, temperament, personality, interests, corporate culture, leadership preferences, etc.

CareerBeam is also a tutorial that offers information on various aspects of industries such as health, education, trade, transportation, utilities, professional, and business services. It also has information on specific companies within those industries such as Seton Healthcare, National Center for Educational Achieve, University of Texas, American Eco Coal, Inc., Lower Colorado River Authority, Ticket City Inc., and Luminex Corporation just to name a few.  The company search can be narrowed by location, company size, ownership, and revenue.

Within CareerBeam, there is an assessment called the “Industry Attraction Exercise” to help you
determine which industries you would want to look into. The assessment has you check areas of interest such as “goods-producing, “service-providing,” “financial activities,” etc. There is a great deal of information on the many industries which comes from the Bureau of Labor Statistics such as pay scale, future employment needs within the organization, and education requirements.
CareerBeam also has a resume builder template.  It was a helpful guide to write a resume and enabled me to come up with the right words to describe myself, my career objective, and my previous experience in a cohesive way.  The resume builder function is easy to download into a word document that allows for more editing.  Often times, CareerBeam is only known for its resume building tools, but as described above, the tool can be used for so much more. 

CareerBeam is a site that I find myself returning to often in my pursuit of a position with a company that feeds my intellect and my spirit.


Monday, November 24, 2014

Keep Calm & Get Your Job On!

5 Ways to Decrease Stress & Increase Your Employability:

   1.  Perfect Your Resume

It is easy to become overwhelmed with where to start in the job search process.  It seems like there are a million things you need to complete before you start looking for full-time employment, and everywhere you go, you get different advice.  A great first step that will calm your nerves and put you in the right direction is creating a resume.  Once you have a rough draft created, you can approach friends, classmates, professors, and Career Services for feedback.  It's one thing to have a rough draft of your resume, it's another to have a polished and professional document ready to go to employers.  Without a resume, you're stuck.

You can setup an appointment for a resume critique by calling Career Services at 512-245-2645 or utilizing Career Services' 48-Hour Online Resume Critique resource. 

   2.  Create a Jobs4Cats Account

What's Jobs4Cats you ask?  It's a one-stop-shop for on-campus employment, internships, and full-time opportunities!  This job search database is unlike any other because Texas State students and alumni are the only individuals that have access to these great positions.  This eliminates the thousands of competitors that apply for jobs on generic job search sites.  If you don't have a Jobs4Cats account, create one now.  If you have not updated your account, don't waste another minute.  

With the number of job search sites available, it can be discouraging to start searching for your ideal fit.  Keep the beginning of your search simple, and get used to trusted and highly recommended sites first.  There is no need to be on every job search database on the internet.

   3.  Increase Your Professional Online Presence & Contacts 

Would you currently show your parent(s) or guardian(s) what you have displayed on your Facebook or  Twitter?  If this question gives you anxiety, you must cleanup your professional image.  Be sure to take down any unprofessional photos or controversial comments.  The competitive job market makes elimination by social media a component in the job search.  Don't take yourself out of the running before you even get an interview.

One way to start displaying your education and experiences professionally, is through LinkedIn.  LinkedIn is a form of social media that allows you to connect with a variety of professionals within any given field.  Recruiting managers are utilizing this site to search for new talent.  If you are not on this platform, you may be missing out on the opportunity to share your skills and connect with others.  

Creating a positive brand for yourself across various social media accounts will be a productive way to utilize your time between applying for your future career.  It beats sitting around anxiously waiting for a call.

  4.  Attend 'Graduation Just Got Easier' 

If you are wanting assistance kickstarting the first 3 suggestions, attend 'Graduation Just Got Easier'.  Graduation Just Got Easier is an event hosted by Career Services and a number of leading employers within various industries.  This event will occur on Wednesday, December 3, 2014 from 3:30 to 5 p.m. in the Career Services Library (LBJ 5th Floor, 5-7.1).  Topics to be covered during the event include:

  • Translating your student experiences to the resume - Presented by Enterprise Holdings
  • Social media and the job search:  Develop a strong personal brand - Presented by Main Street Hub
  • How to WOW employers during the interview - Presented by White Lodging 
  • Your first 90 days in the new position - Presented by PLS Logistics 
We will conclude the event with resume critiques and a short Q&A.  The Alumni Association will also be present towards the end of the event to share the benefits of staying involved as alumni.  

This event is FREE!  

   5.  Take Care of Yourself - Stress Management

You are not alone in your job search, so take a deep breath and browse the resources below for stress management strategies.  Congratulations on your next steps and be proud of all you have accomplished.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

H-Town Bound: Careers Downtown - Networking with Alumni in Houston

Written by Sarah Stephens and Lacey Vest, Public Relations majors and participants of Career Services trip.

21 bobcats, three career service advisors, and two vans. That’s all it took to create a few days of adventure and long-lasting memories all for the sake of meeting up with established Texas State University alumni based out of Houston, Texas.

This trip, otherwise known as ‘H-Town Bound: Careers Downtown’, was planned to give a few select students a glimpse of what it took to stand out in their job search and how to snag that dream job we’ve envisioned having since stepping on campus and declaring a major. 

Four main events were planned for us on this quick, thirty-hour adventure-the first being a networking dinner at Blackfinn American Grille. This was where a panel of Texas State graduates employed in Houston would offer up their words of wisdom. 

There was a diverse selection of majors on this trip-ranging from business and public-relations to criminal justice and health administrations-so it was very beneficial to sit and hear from graduates that had studied similar things. 

Throughout the panel, we learned the immense power that networking holds. We also heard how beneficial joining and getting involved with campus organizations could be, as they oftentimes sharpen skills and widen knowledge about our future profession or industry.

After the panel ended, about 30 more alumni joined us for dinner. We spoke of shared professors and what a typical workday would look like once we joined our predecessors out in the working world. One student was pleased to hear that it wasn’t necessary to work in the same field as your degree post-graduation while others enjoyed learning of how bustling and reaping with career opportunities Houston truly was. 

The following morning entailed an early wake-up call. We all slugged down to the hotel lobby for breakfast and then jetted off to Halliburton for a 9 AM visit. Upon arrival to the very large and impressive Halliburton campus, we were each given name tags and split into two tour groups.

Our tour began with a look into the science side of engineering. We peered through glass windows into laboratories and saw where all the magic takes place at Halliburton. Then on the second part of the tour we were guided through the final stages of the assembly for the machinery. We even ran into a Texas State graduate who was currently employed at the company and was excited to hear we were from his neck of the woods. Halliburton was a great look inside the corporate world. Our tour guides explained all the different job opportunities, and some of the students were saying they could envision themselves working there.

The next stop on our tour was to PLS Logistics, a shipping company in Midtown. As soon as we walked in the doors, we immediately felt the change of pace. Everyone in the office was dressed in jeans and t-shirts, some throwing around a football and chatting with their neighbors.
The atmosphere was inviting and had many students saying that this was their favorite stop of the day because the company made us feel so welcomed.

After watching a short video about the PLS culture, we were introduced to Tori, a recent Texas State graduate, and successful employee at the company. She told us how much she enjoyed working at PLS and that any of us could do well there. Tori also mentioned PLS Logistics is specifically interested in hiring Texas State graduates for their company because of all the success the other bobcats have brought them.

The final leg of our trip was spent at the Texas Children’sHospital (TCH), where we met up with Andrae Turner, a Texas State graduate and current Manager of Ambulatory Clinics Cardiology. Turner made sure that he accommodated each of us by answering our questions that covered a wide spectrum of issues such as whether a cure for cancer could be in the works to if Public Relations was needed in hospitals around Houston.

Towards the end of our Q&A, Turner gave up a lasting bit of advice - "know a little bit about a lot of different industries. READ to stay connected. This all makes a well-rounded individual and prospective employee."

Before we left and our meeting with Turner came to a close, we were offered a brief tour which gave us an intimate view and realistic perspective of what working in a massive, crowded, and fast-paced hospital such as TCH was like. We toured the floors, viewed the different departments, and lastly saw an enormous toy railroad track that could keep both children and adults entertained for hours on end.

And then, as quickly as it all began, the trip came to a close

The 21 bobcats and three career advisors fumbled back into the two vans and we drove back to the hills of San Marcos with stories ready to be told and hunger in our stomachs to chase our dreams. Ultimately, we returned back to campus with gained knowledge and skill set, ready to perform exceedingly well in the workforce.