Monday, April 28, 2014

The Other Side of the Desk: A former recruiter’s perspective #16

Practice Makes Perfect

So...I HAVE AN ON-CAMPUS INTERVIEW!!!!! I received the call late last week that I was selected as a finalist for the Associate Director of Employer Relations position!  On Thursday I will head to campus to meet with the hiring manager, the staff, as well as students and alumni. I am super jazzed about it and look forward to having an honest assessment of whether the position will be a good fit for me and my career interests.

Luckily, I won't have to prepare anything in terms of a formal presentation, but I intend to ask the hiring manager ahead of the interview as to how I should prepare for the conversations. In the past, I was always hesitant to ask that question because I didn't want to appear like I was "brown nosing", but I've learned that it is better to ask more so because it shows a commitment to preparing for the interview AND it only helps me be more effective and focused during the interview. So here's hoping that it goes well!

My biggest concern at this point is what to do about my appearance. I am a male (if that wasn't already clear), and while I'm not claiming to have it worse than women as far as professional dress code standards, I have always had to fight against the "rule" about facial hair/piercings. If you're unfamiliar, the rule is: men should be clean shaven with nothing visible. It is particularly salient in the private sector corporate culture as a signifier of being well-groomed. Thus, for years during previous job hunts, I would go through painstaking lengths to get myself to a barber before an interview for fear of not appearing "professional".

As I am looking to get into the field of education, I don't know what's considered "appropriate" for the work place. My assumption is that it doesn't matter, but I am cautious enough that I would want to err on the side of caution. I'll be honest though, if I really lost out on a job because of my appearance, I would say "good riddance" anyway because that kind of snap judgment is just ridiculous and a load of BS. What's on my face isn't a representation of what's inside my head, so to that I say, get over it.  Anyhow, I will report back on what I decide to do as far as appearance next week!

I'll end this post with a great article that one of my cohort-mates shared with me about recognizing the signs for a bad boss. I will definitely keep these signs in mind and will share next week if I noticed any of these. 

Friday, April 25, 2014

The Beeline Broadcast, #16

Moving Forward

- I have a phone interview with a state school in New Hampshire for an academic advisor position. The interview is scheduled for next Friday, so I'll be sure to provide an update for next week's blog.

- Something else is happening that I'm not allowed to talk about because a "cone of silence" has descended upon this opportunity. I remember wondering why last year's grads were so secretive about the job process, and now I completely understand why. Hopefully I can talk more about this opportunity in the coming weeks. I'm probably pushing the "sworn to secrecy" bit by even alluding to it, but I want to provide a real representation of the job process, and secret stuff is part of it.

- There's an anticipated opening for an academic advisory position at one of the schools that I currently intern at. I'm in this weird situation where I want to voice interest in it (and the Dean is probably wondering why I haven't), but I have already committed to this super secret opportunity, and I don't want to voice interest for one position and then turn around and get hired for another. I think it's more complicated because I'm an employee and not a random person, so I'm a little more vested when I decide to throw my name into the gauntlet. I can't wait for the cone of silence to finally rise so I can have an honest conversation with the Dean regarding my silence about the anticipated opening.

I hope everyone is having luck with their job search! One of my cohort members just got hired for a residence director position, so things are truly happening.

Monday, April 21, 2014

The Other Side of the Desk: A former recruiter’s perspective #15

Great Expectations of a Job Interview

Well I'm still waiting to hear back on whether I will move to the next interview round for the Employer Relations job that I had a phone interview for last week. 

In preparation for the interview, I was luckily able to connect to someone who worked in the position before. Unfortunately, this person trashed, and I mean TRASHED the hiring manager, and proceeded to tell me about how inflexible, demanding, and separatist the hiring manager was. It was a bit jarring to say the least, and while I appreciated the candor, it made me critical of this person's judgment and whether or not this might be the right position for me. None of these qualities in a supervisor were appealing and I'll admit, I was disheartened and worried.

Nonetheless, I still had the interview and it went well I think? I spoke with the hiring manager directly for about 50 minutes and it was definitely more of a conversational call than an interrogation, for which I was very grateful. The questions included a bunch of the standard stock about my knowledge about the school, what I could bring to the table, my goals, etc. I in turn asked some pointed questions about how the role came about, what the school's reputation is to employers, and why I would want to work there. 

I was not able to gather as much from the phone interview if there were any truths to the trash-talking former colleague, but here's hoping that I get moved onward in the process, and I can report back. I won't dive into it too much, but I find it so off-putting for anyone to be that candid about a job especially to a total stranger. 

There hasn't been movement otherwise in my search, and honestly, I am OK with that until I get through the next couple of weeks of school. I'm up to my eyeballs in work. Speaking of, my eyeballs need a rest, until next time job hunters!

The Beeline Broadcast, #15

My Almost-Interview

Last week I received a voicemail requesting an interview at a community college in northern Massachusetts. When I returned the call, the Dean of Admissions mentioned that she had a quick question for me. She said something like:

"The search committee noticed that you applied for two positions at our institution. Both positions are nearly identical, but one position requires that the candidate be bilingual. You had indicated that you were not bilingual for one position and bilingual for the other position. The search committee was curious about this discrepancy."

I'm not bilingual, so I immediately apologized for the mistake. The Dean was very gracious about it, and she even explained why the position required a bilingual candidate. She also said that the committee hadn't reviewed the applications for the other position, and if they believed I was a qualified candidate then they would call me for an interview.

Yeah, so that happened.

Monday, April 14, 2014

The Other Side of the Desk: A former recruiter’s perspective #14

Pregnant with job possibilities

OK, so I'm not actually pregnant; however, with this being the 14th week of blogging, I googled the term "14 weeks" and low and behold, pregnancy was the top hit. So apparently, week 14 begins the second trimester, wherein babies begin to have more differentiated abilities such as face movements, and I suppose, just like a baby, my job search finally has some movement!

I won't go too deep into the details, but I have two potential job possibilities! The first coming from my pro-bono work at my institution's career center (see post #7), and the second is for a position I applied for online for as an Associate Director of Employer Relations at a comprehensive private, coeducational research university in the mid-atlantic region.  The first one happened on Friday, and the second one came in today; as they say, when it rains, it pours.

The first opportunity came about because of a recent departure of a team member so there's a lot up in the air as far as the details, but I met with my "supervisor" on Friday to catch up, and that's when the mention of the job came up. The career center as a whole is going through some structural changes, which might impact the exact nature of the role will look like, but hopefully here in the next few weeks, I can divulge more details.

I applied for the second job through a job board back in early March - and yes, this is proof positive that job boards aren't always black holes - and lo and behold, I was contacted today about the position. The one thing that I will say about the role is that because it's heavily focused on employer relations, which obviously is in the title, but I am debating whether I want a role that is in support of students, but doesn't exactly work with students. I will update on my thoughts for the next blog, but for now, I can do a happy dance for job hunting progress. Woo to the hoo!

Sunday, April 13, 2014

The Beeline Broadcast, #14

Professional Organizations: My Wallet Isn't Fat Enough

I'm a little hesitant to say this, but here goes: I will not be attending any professional conferences this semester. I simply couldn't justify paying to attend a national conference (and additionally lose money by missing work hours). Girl's got bills to pay.

I definitely considered budgeting to attend TPE, but after realizing that the available positions in New England would center on residence life, I chose not to attend. I have much respect for residence life staff, but I just cannot fathom working in that area.

I don't know if this decision hurt my job search. I'd like to think that it didn't. It's not as though I've ignored my professional contacts. I have certainly reached out to others. I've met with a few previous supervisors. I can honestly say that I've networked with my contacts in the area!

There are those that swear by conference networking, and I'm not saying that conferences aren't a great place to meet new people and exchange ideas. It's just that at this stage in the game I feel like I'm helping my job search by reaching out to old contacts, kicking ass at my internships, and plugging away with job applications.


Sunday, April 6, 2014

The Other Side of the Desk: A former recruiter’s perspective #13

ACPA Recap/Job Hunting Blues

This year was my 1st time attending ACPA and having only been to NASPA, I had always heard about how different the two are. NASPA is supposedly more "buttoned up" and formal whereas ACPA is more community-oriented and social. I'm not one for falling for stereotypes, but I definitely felt a huge difference at ACPA, especially when it came to job prospecting and networking. Just like NASPA, I also opted out of Career Central, but instead, I made a lot of great contacts, mostly peer-level or mid-level during socials and presentation sessions. All of whom were very intentional about trying to keep me in mind for jobs. There were several opportunities that were floated my way by my new contacts; however, all were in geographic locations outside of my preference like the Midwest. Oh well!

Anyhow, I realize that the past couple of posts have been a bit matter-of-fact and not telling of where I stand on my job search; however, the exciting news is…I still have nothing! I do think my efforts during conference season will push me one step closer, but how many more steps until I get the job is out of my hands. I have actually decided to focus my efforts specifically into landing a position in career services, which is largely because it is the only area I stand a chance of not getting relegated into the lowly ranks of the Student Affairs ladder. I also have been giving some of my non-existent free time to working at my university's career center and it's been awesome! 

My latest woes have been fussing over cover letters and my resume, which I plan on dedicated a blog to in the next couple of weeks. Anyhow, keep on trucking my fellow Student Affairs job hunters! With that being said, I've now applied to six jobs and counting, with a recent one completed yesterday for a career advisor position in the Baltimore area. Hopefully there might be some traction, but as I've recently been told, most jobs in career services especially don't come through until mid to late Summer. Thus I'm settling in for the worst and hoping for the best. Keep on trucking y'all!

Saturday, April 5, 2014

The Beeline Broadcast, #13

Moving Forward

So I did something bad. I started to compare my present position in the job search with my fellow cohort members' positions. I even went so far as to look at the 2013 Student Affairs Blog to see when last year's blogger got hired. Then I started to panic.

If I could offer any advice at this point in time, it would be: DO NOT DO THIS. Do not feel like something is horribly wrong if other people are scoring interviews (and jobs) and you aren’t. It will crush your confidence.

My cohort member posted this status on fbook earlier this week:

Her words really made me feel a lot better. You will get where you need to be, so trust in that.