Wednesday, April 29, 2015

What's the Big Deal about LinkedIn?

When Olivia and I do workshops on resume writing and Professional U initiatives, we often ask how many of our students have a LinkedIn account. Usually, about half the students will raise their hands. While we are happy that so many students are using LinkedIn, we think every single student should create a profile! And here's a couple reasons why: LinkedIn is like having a professional Facebook. It's easy to create and maintain. If you already have a resume put together, you can simply copy and paste sections of it into your LinkedIn profile. The good thing is you're not limited to one or two pages like you are with a physical resume, so you have more space to showcase your experience and skills.

It can help you get hired! Use LinkedIn as a networking tool and connect with that presenter you really enjoyed, the guest speaker who visited your class, or the person who interviewed you for that potential internship. Send them a message thanking them for their time, and see what comes from it. Putting in that little bit of extra effort can make a huge difference to a possible employer.

Bloomsburg University students who are seeking employment, a job shadowing experience, or an internship should check out two specific LinkedIn groups: the Bloomsburg University Alumni Association and the Bloomsburg University. In order to become a member, you must request to join, and will be approved as long as you are a Bloomsburg University student. You can use these groups to connect with BU alumni who work in fields that you mght be interested in.

Check out this video below to find out more about the benefits of LinkedIn, and create your profile today!

Monday, April 20, 2015

Banning "Hey"

Now that so much major communication is done via technology, it's essential to follow proper etiquette when using email to contact a professor, potential future employer, or internship opportunity. Olivia and I recently read the following post that highlights this point. Although some of  you might think this advice seems obvious, it is important to think about the impression created by our online communication. We hope you enjoy Shannon Smedstad's words of wisdom!

Dear Students, Don’t “Hey” Me

Smedstad-HeadshotShannon Smedstad, Employment Brand Director, Global Communications & Engagement Team, CEB
Twitter: @shannonsmedstad
Blogs from Shannon Smedstad.
I can recall my mother telling me, “Don’t ‘hey’ me,” when I was a teenager. This was her go-to response after I would start a statement or question with “Hey, Mom.” To her, it was too casual. “Hey” was something you said to your friends, not to your parents. Or it was something horses eat.
Many years later, I find myself thinking the same thing when college students begin job-related messages using the word “Hey.” During my time as a campus recruiter, I recall receiving too many e-mails beginning with “Hey, Shannon.” Now, in my work in employment branding and social media, I still receive the occasional, “Hey.” Recently, I received and responded to a direct message via Facebook that read:
“Hey. I’m an undergraduate management student. Looking for summer internship. How do I approach it?”
What I wanted to say was, “Let’s start the conversation by being a bit more professional, as this will help you greatly during the job-search and interview process.” But alas, I didn’t.
Are students too casual when writing to or engaging with recruiters? Is it OK to be casual or is this a pet peeve that we can collectively nip in the bud? My hope is for the latter. My simple request is that career center staff (and professors and parents) will coach their students not to address company representatives or people with corporate social media using “Hey.”
Job Seeker Tip! Don’t address your e-mails and cover letters with “Hey, Recruiter.” Be more professional. Up your game. #careeradvice
Job Search Tip of the Day: Do not begin e-mails, cover letters, and conversations with recruiters or hiring managers using “Hey.” It’s way too casual. Throughout your job search strive to be friendly, conversational, and professional.
Maybe this bit of advice is something that is shared during Job-Search 101 sessions or mock-interview days. Or, maybe I’m just getting old.
What do you think? Is it OK to address a recruiter with “Hey?” Share your thoughts in the comments.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

C.A.T.C.H. Conference Prepares Future Teachers

Bloomsburg University graduates who are now superintendents returned to campus recently to participate in the annual C.A.T.C.H. (Collaborating to Assist Teacher Candidate Hiring) program, a mini conference for aspiring teachers. The initiative aims to prepare teacher candidates for the job market by providing sessions on trends, interviewing and hiring practices.

Superintendents shown in photo (l-r): Dr. Cosmas Curry, Bloomsburg Area School District; Dr. Alan Lonoconus ’79, Great Valley School District; Mrs. Cheryl Latorre ’80, Danville Area School District; Mr. Wayne Brookhart ’85, Berwick Area School District; Dr. Elizabeth Robison ’87, Pocono Mountain School District.

For more photos from the event, check out the link below!
C.A.T.C.H Conference

Friday, April 3, 2015

Studying Abroad: The Chance of a Lifetime

Explore the possibility of studying abroad and take advantage of a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity! Attend Professional U’s Study Abroad – Take a Trip! workshop on April 20, from 5-6 pm, held at the Fenstemaker Alumni House. You’ll be able to hear from other students and BU alumni about their own experiences studying abroad. Refreshments will be provided, and this is a ZIPD approved activity (Check BOLT INTERBUS 101, 102 or 201 for details). Pre-registration is required through Husky Career Link under the Events tab – Workshops! Hope to see you all there!

So, why should you study abroad? Here's a little bit about my own semester overseas:

When I first learned that I was accepted to study abroad in Rome, Italy, for the fall semester of my junior year, I burst into tears. And not the happy kind of tears. More like the absolutely terrified kind. Sure, I had chosen to apply, but I honestly only applied because a few of my friends were also applying to study in countries across Europe and Africa. Really, that was my reasoning: if everyone else is doing it, I guess I should, too. Okay, hindsight 20/20, that should NEVER be anybody’s reason for doing anything, EVER. But, I digress. As the day I would leave loomed closer and closer, my fear didn’t abate. In fact, it got worse. I didn’t speak one word of Italian (an unopened Rosetta Stone sat collecting dust on my desk), I didn’t know anybody else who was going with me, and I had never even been out of the country before. Finally, the day of my departure arrived. I was late for my flight, cried when I said goodbye to my mom, and then I was off.

What came next was the fastest, most exhilarating, and most exciting four months of my life. I learned a new language, ate the most amazing food I’ve ever eaten, and saw the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen. I learned all about a new culture, took intriguing classes, and explored some of the most ancient places in the world. I had always heard this phrase, but never quite understood it until my semester abroad:


My time in Italy made me more outgoing, independent, and confident. It helped me to be less afraid of change, and to understand what a different culture is like. Not to mention that it’s an amazing resume builder, and something I can always talk about in a job interview!

If you’d like to learn more about studying abroad before the workshop, additional information can be found here.

  (Here I am at the Colosseum!)

-Charlotte Lotz, Graduate Assistant, Center for Professional Development and Career Experience