Friday, July 12, 2013

Things Employers Really Want


This was too funny not to post (and who doesn't love xkcd), but from a professional standpoint I've got to disagree - and also I need to defend my liberal arts education.

Year after year, employers tell us that the skills they most desire are not technical in nature.  Rather they desire employees with strong communication, teamwork, and problem solving skills.  Yes, technical skills are up there, but they're not the most important.  Following is the list of the employer ratings from the Job Outlook 2013 report published by NACE:
Of course, chances are that if you are an 11th grader spending your free time playing around with Perl you're going to do okay career-wise, but it likely has more to do with your intelligence, personality, and love of learning.
Following is the list of the employer ratings from the Job Outlook 2013 report:
Employers rate the importance of candidate skills/qualities
- See more at: http://www.naceweb.org/s10242012/skills-abilities-qualities-new-hires/#sthash.pqQ0N668.dpuf
Following is the list of the employer ratings from the Job Outlook 2013 report:
Employers rate the importance of candidate skills/qualities
- See more at: http://www.naceweb.org/s10242012/skills-abilities-qualities-new-hires/#sthash.pqQ0N668.dpuf

Monday, May 13, 2013

You're Not Alone: Some Law Students Also Write Horrible Cover Letters

Thanks to my brother for sending me this article on How Not To Write A Cover Letter from the legal blog "Above the Law."  Cover letters are tough to write - as evidenced by this law student's attempt.  I'm not totally sure what this guy was thinking, but this nearly incomprehensible letter and overuse of $10 words suggests that law schools may indeed need to rethink what it is they're teaching.

An excerpt from the shamed cover letter is below:


Monday, April 22, 2013

The Outlook Chronicles: Writing Samples

So here's the set-up: without fail, I meet with students who, upon leaving my office, have a million more questions. Some of these questions they figure out on their own, some they e-mail to me for my two cents. Not surprisingly, I tend to see a lot of the same questions. So for those of you are asking yourselves those ground-breaking questions, like "should I text the hiring manager?," here are my answers to some frequently asked questions.

A Student Writes:


Dear Ms. Paley,

I am in the process of applying for summer internships, and most of my applications request a 2-3 page writing sample. I was wondering if you have any advice on choosing and editing appropriate writing samples.  I don't believe I have any assignments from the past year or two that are less than 3 pages!

Thank you for any advice you might have.

Josh

And I answer:

Josh,

I recommend sending a product no longer than 5 pages and ideally between 2-3 pages. I often recommend sending an excerpt from a larger body of work. If you opt to send an excerpt, provide the entire work’s title, which a brief caption indicating that it is an excerpt. Usually an introduction or a chapter from a larger work make good writing samples.

If the employer has not indicated what type of writing they’d like to see, I’d hone in on a piece of work that matches the job description, i.e. a research paper, literature review, or program evaluation. Usually, the writing sample is used to vet a candidate’s writing skills, rather than verify they are capable of specific type of writing.

Best,
Shimrit

Monday, March 18, 2013

The Outlook Chronicles: What's a Salary History and How Do I Write One?

So here's the set-up: without fail, I meet with students who, upon leaving my office, have a million more questions. Some of these questions they figure out on their own, some they e-mail to me for my two cents. Not surprisingly, I tend to see a lot of the same questions. So for those of you are asking yourselves those ground-breaking questions, like "should I text the hiring manager?," here are my answers to some frequently asked questions.

A Student Writes:


Dear Ms Paley,

I've finally been applying to some jobs that I've found and I was just wondering what employers mean when they ask applicants to provide a resume, cover letter and salary history and desired salary?

Thank you and have a great weekend!
- Lisa

And I answer:


Hi Lisa,

You should address these questions in the last paragraph of your cover letter. You do not need to attach a separate document (unless otherwise stated). Compensation and salary history can get a little nuanced if you’ve had a yearly salary with benefits, which we can talk about when we see each other next week. In these situations, you may want to mention not only your most recent or current salary, but also your total compensation package, which might include benefits, bonuses, and even stock options.

However, since you, as a senior, have yet to hold a full-time job, you might say, “In my most recent roles as a summer intern and on-campus student worker, my salary has ranged from $8.50-$12.50 per hour. My desired salary for this position is negotiable, but ranges from $$-$$$ depending on benefits and responsibilities.” In order to get a good feel for industry salaries, I recommend using websites like Glassdoor.com or Salary.com.

Best,
Shimrit

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Way Too Busy Thursday

It's been awhile, but rather than apologize for my lengthy absence, I'm leaving you all with this gem. You're welcome.  Click here for for more solid career advice from the oatmeal.com