Tag Archives: Social Business

But I Have A College Degree….

At the closing of my office hours, a college student asked, “How can I become more professionally competitive before graduation?”.   When I inquired about her unique skills and experiences, she simply responded, “Well, I’ll soon have a college degree. Isn’t that enough?”.

Unfortunately, her response is quite common among college students.  Why do they think that a college degree equates to being valuable in the job market or even entitles them to a job after graduation?  IT DOESN’T!  Passing a class does not mean you have the qualifications to lead and administer many jobs. If fact, I would not hire many of my graduating college students.

A University colleague had mentioned that a basic college degree is just that, basic. He noted that many employers complain about how their new college graduate employees lack basic skills and struggle keeping up in today’s evolving business climate.  An increasingly popular expectation is that job applicants should have at least a college degree which makes other applicants with a unique skill, an advanced or professional degree, or some leadership or professional experience more valuable.  Having a mere college degree doesn’t mean you’ll be competitive in today’s job market and certainly doesn’t guarantee anyone a job after graduation.

I recommend that students develop and demonstrate unique skills before or during college that make them more competitive in our international job market.  So what does it take to stand out from the thousands of job seeking applicants?  I note a few key skills that can significantly make your resume shine in our globalized economy.

The first skill is to learn a second language.  (Many people outside the U.S. are laughing right now since it’s common for them to be fluent in two, three, or four languages). But for U.S. college students, learn a new language.  Bridging multiple languages is a true asset in almost all job markets and as globalization increases mobility, you can work in any location that you want, presupposing you have the ability to effectively communicate with the people in that area.  If you want to be highly competitive and a desired applicant, know at least a second language.

The second skill, is customer service communication skills. Regardless of your occupation, you most likely work with people in some degree.  Think of everyone you work with as a customer and provide your value to satisfy your responsibility to them.  As our planet blends into one big melting pot of nationalities, ethnicities, languages, religions, and life styles, you’re ability to work with diverse groups will make you a true competitor in the job market.  Operate from a server’s frame and practice interpersonal skills to be an effective communicator.

The last skill I recommend you consider having is social network skills.  This skill can be scary and intimidating for many but it’s an increasingly important skill for job seekers.  Even basic social networking skills can increase your worth as an employee if you market yourself professionally.  In the next few years, our world will experience significant dependency on technological applications.  So if you haven’t already, get in on the action by learning how to professionally use Facebook, Twitter, HootSuite, blogs, etc. and market your skills to future employers.

If I could go back in time to relive my college experience I would acquire all of these skills by committing to one academic and professional activity: Study Abroad.  Living in a non-English speaking country would help me learn a new language, effectively work with diverse groups, build leadership skills, and because I’d want to document my experience while sinuously communicating with family and friends back home, I’d also learn social media and technology communication skills.

When I read a college graduate’s application who has international experience on their resume, I see a competitive applicant.   For other helpful tips to increase your competitive edge, check out Social BusinessStudy Abroad or Skype Tips.

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Filed under Higher Education, International Education

Faculty Can Attract International Students & Faculty Using Social Business (In Nevada & Beyond)

Follow the link below for the PowerPoint Presentation: “Attracting International Students & Faculty via Social Business in Higher Education”

Social Business in Higher Education- IAIR 2013

Ppt Highlights

  • Social Business: Cyber marketing, networking, and publication via virtual platforms to promote a product or business.
  • Faculty can use the increasing traffic on social media sites to increase the attention to their research and institution.
  • Did you know that 70% of YouTube traffic comes from outside the U.S? Or that YouTube reaches more adults (ages: 18-34) than any cable network?
  • Consistent & transparent online  faculty personal branding can:

- Increase attention from students, faculty, donors, industry leaders, and others to faculty research, departments, & institutions

- Disseminate research faster and stimulate greater interest and collaboration in the field

- Increase professional development skills and make faculty more competitive in higher education markets

- Generate easier and faster communication as well as instructional resources

- Attract more international attention to faculty and their work 

As higher education becomes increasingly competitive, and the international student is sought after more by higher education institutions, faculty can help attract & recruit both in-state, out-of-state, and international students & faculty to their institution through social business strategies. Social business is cost effective and after its initial start-up, is easy to maintain.

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July 18, 2013 · 3:36 am

6 Tips for a Successful Skype Interview

The following tips are for job applicants about to have a Skype interview.  The suggestions are created from the interview panelist perspective and my next blog on Wednesday, June 6th will provide suggestions for interview panelists to make the process of a Skype interview better from an applicant’s perspective.

Six ways to increase your success during a Skype interview include:

1.) Be familiar with your video equipment before your begin.  The camera’s autofocus, your microphone volume level, the amount of laptop battery-life, and your internet signal strength are just a few tools that need to be considered and managed before you begin the interview.  I recommend practicing an hour before with a friend or colleague to ensure a streamlined presentation.  You and your interview panel will then be able to focus on the discussion and not be distracted by technical difficulties.

2.) Where is your camera positioned?  Avoid setting it on the desk below your head or on a shelf above you.  The outcomes of these two positions are unflattering and send mixed signals to the interview panel.  For example, I once interviewed a candidate and all I saw was the inside of his nostrils.  Ideally, we want to have a conversation with you at eye-level.  If your laptop or computer cannot dock a camera around eye-level, use another tool like a tripod.

3.) What is in the background? Make sure to eliminate distractions behind you so that the interviewers focus on you and not other things like your pictures, random people, a messy office, your library collection, or what’s going on outside of the window behind you. It’s funny how much an interview panel reads into the small things and even tries to infer who you are by what surrounds you. Make sure you’re sending the right message.

4.) Practice your eye contact.  Yes, talking into a camera can be awkward but Skype and other forms of virtual communication are here to stay; so you need to get comfortable and master the tools.  Before your Skype interview, practice speaking into the camera with your eye contact looking into the lens.  There isn’t anything more distracting or off-putting than someone whose eye contact is all over the place.  This is especially true when the applicant looks down at their own computer screen; all the interview panel sees is your eyelids.

5.) Professional appearance is up to you.  Digital interviews rely heavily on the first impression you make.  Besides dressing professionally, make sure that your LSF (lighting, sound, and camera frame) are how you want them.  I recommend a well-light environment that creates an up-beat and hopeful atmosphere.  Dark or overshadowed faces send heavy and sinister messages.  For sound, avoid rooms that echo and prevent interruptions such as phone calls, clock chimes, dogs barking, or doorbells ringing. Lastly, the frame refers to what the camera includes in your presentation.  Adjust the frame so that it records more than a super close headshot but don’t include your entire body.  I recommend your frame includes your upper torso (above your elbows and higher) to present a comfortable and professional video presence.

6) Be prepared.  Confidence and organization shine through Skype interviews and significantly affect your first impression.  Have a notepad, pen, a bottle of water, important questions for the interview panel, your resume, and the job description next to your computer (out-of-sight but clear and accessible if needed).  Remember, you’re interviewing the organization and interview panel just as much as they are interviewing you.  A goodness of fit should be established by you and them so show the panel that you’re really interested in their answers to your questions by taking notes and giving follow-up questions.  Also, try small-talk or casual jokes during the interview.  Most applicants using Skype are nervous and uncomfortable but preparation will help you be successfully memorable merely by being confident, comfortable, and prepared.

Good luck and let me know if this helps.

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Filed under Higher Education, Leadership