After the Interview, Ace the Follow-Up

As we progress into the fall, some seniors and juniors will find themselves in the rooms on the third floor of Colgate’s Center for Career Services. Here, the nerve-racking process of interviews for employers recruiting on-campus takes place. No fear, CWiB has posted various tips & tricks on the blog and on CWiB’s Facebook for the interview itself.

After acing the interview, don’t forget the last few steps that can make the best final impression. On her blog “HR Bartender: Work Responsibly“, Sharlyn Lauby, a HR consultant answers a reader’s question regarding the importance of a follow-up.

In her post, Ms. Lauby interviews Kevin Grossman, an executive at BraveNewTalent, and Chris Havrilla, a recruiting consultant and author of the blog, Recruiter Chicks. Both these experts reinforce the notion that a follow-up note is essential after an interview. It can come by e-mail or by hand, but overall it is a great way of 1) expressing “your legitimate and enthusiastic interest in the job” and 2) explaining why YOU are “the best candidate for the job, including a quick highlight of applicable experience and skills”.

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Visit Sharlyn Lauby’s post for the full interview!

This can apply to an in-person as well as to phone or Skype interviews. Though it does not have to be a re-hashed version of a cover letter, let your interviewer know that you valued the time you spent learning about the company, how excited you are about this opportunity, and even try to include a quick link or anecdote to something about which you talked if it seems applicable (news about hobbies or experience you might share). Interviewers’ schedules are often packed with meetings once they arrive at Colgate; let them know it was worth the trip!

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Landing the Internship: The Museum of Modern Art

Pam Duncan ’14 shares how she landed her awesome internship:

I love art. I know business. And this summer, I have been able to perfectly combine these two passions of mine with an internship on the Special Events Team at The Museum of Modern Art.

My summer at MoMA has been amazing so far. Instead of focusing on the wonderful internship program here (which is a blog post in its own right), and I going to write about landing the internship of my dreams.

1. Have a plan. I am methodical and organized in every aspect of my life, and the internship search was no different. I knew that I wanted to work on the business side of the art field, so I made a list of the companies and organizations on which I was going to focus my search. I aimed for the top, for the “heavy hitters” in the art industry.

I suggest making a list of five organizations/companies and intensely focus your search on those five. Five is a good number – it is manageable enough for you to get to know the organization very well and for you to maintain your alumni relationships, but it is big enough for you to have back-up internships if a few fall through.

2. Use iCan. I searched on iCan (Colgate’s alumni database) and made a list of the Colgate

alumni who worked at each of my five focus organizations. I emailed one or two of the alumni at each organization. In my email, I introduced myself, told them my background, and asked if they might have time to speak with me about their own career paths and their company’s culture. Treat it as an informational chat, not a job interview. If you are likeable enough, your alumni contacts will bend over backwards to make sure that you do get an interview with their company.

3. Apply for Career Services Funding. I was accepted to my dream internship program, which was awesome. Unfortunately, this dream internship was unpaid, which was less awesome. I knew that this would not be an insurmountable problem though, because I knew about Career Services Summer Funding.

Colgate’s alumni are so fabulous that they will not only help you land the internship – they will help you fund it. Career Services Summer Funding provides Colgate students the funds that they need to pursue internship or research opportunities. A lot of students apply for the funds, so it is a bit competitive, but you will never receive the funding if you do not apply!

I am living in Manhattan this summer, which cuts my commute down from two hours (if I were commuting from home) to ten minutes. My Colgate Summer Funding covered almost the entire cost of my housing, and I could not be more appreciative.

You might be thinking, “Pam, it’s almost August, so isn’t it a bit late for this advice?” No way, I say! It is never too early to start the internship search for next summer (I usually start my internship search in early October), and this is advice that rising seniors will be able to use in their job searches. Happy networking!

 -Pam Duncan ’14

An email networking tool: Rapportive

At one of our recent coffee hours, Carly guided us through different ways to follow up after applying for a job or internship.  In order for us to follow up on an application successfully, we need to have the email address of whomever we wish to contact.  Sometimes, these email addresses are easily accessible via company websites or LinkedIn, but the majority of the time, finding people’s contact information takes a lot of digging and troubleshooting.  Sending an email to different variations of an email address (ie. john@doe.com, jdoe@rectangle.com, j.doe@gmail.com, etc.) until you do not get a “mail delivery error” message back is one way to go about reaching out to someone, there is also a tool that helps make this process that much easier!

Rapportive is a Gmail add-on that helps you see a brief profile of the people you are emailing.  When you are composing a message, there is a sidebar that displays your email recipient’s LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter accounts, among others.  With this little tool, you can see whether or not you are sending an email to the right person before you send it.  If you’ve typed the correct email address for the individual you are trying to reach, their information pops up and you can know for sure you are emailing the right person.

Screenshot of Rapportive

You can install Rapportive here and give it a go! All you do is follow the download link, find the “Rapportive” file in your downloads folder, and double-click it to install.  You’ll know that you have installed it successfully when you next login to your Gmail account—there will be a Rapportive link at the top.  Start composing a message and see what happens!  Happy reaching out!

Written Communication Tip: Name Etiquette

Whether it’s a letter or an email it can be tough to know what’s appropriate to call someone when addressing them in written form. Obviously in person it’s much easier to clarify without offending them, right when you meet or when you end your conversation. The important thing to remember is: err on the side of too formal. Would it be horrible if you wore heels and everyone around you wore flats to a networking event? No, you’re just a little taller, and you probably have better posture. Anyway, especially with women it can be tough to tell how to address them – men have it easy, with Mr. there’s no qualifier as far as their relationship status or age.

One of the first mistakes people make is which gender a person is. Fortunately, the internet has afforded us the capability to stalk someone via linked in or maybe a company about page, where you can see a photograph or maybe identifying characteristics like being in a sorority in college, or being part of “Women @ X-company”. Be careful with unisex names, especially when communicating with someone for the first time. 

For women, use Ms. if you’re not sure – it’s not offensive in today’s world, unless you’re absolutely certain they’re a Mrs. 

Now about first names. This is a tough one, primarily because industry to industry and region to region you’ll find different levels of formality. Even different income levels. In middle school, I called all of my friends parents by first name. At my private high school it was always Mr. and Mrs. no longer how long I’d known them. Basically, unless they’ve explicitly asked you to call them by their first name, or you know them from a setting where you’d call them by first name, stick with the formalities. Another clue is in how they signed their email (how they address you will typically be your first name after the first time they write to you, since you’re a college student or young adult it’s appropriate). If they signed their full name definitely make sure to call the Mr. or Ms. Even if it is just their first name it can be tricky, but the full name in the signature is typically a big hint, whether or not they’re consciously thinking of it. 

Any other situations I haven’t touched upon, comment below!

LinkedIn: A Fantastic Networking Tool

Colgate Women in Business met during the last week of March to discuss our members profiles on LinkedIn, a prominent job search and colleague connection website primarily used to network. In creating a profile, you can post a resume online, list your education background and work experience, provide a short summary and photograph and connect with potential employers and friends to build a strong networking foundation.  

Once you have a profile with LinkedIn you can build your network by requesting to connect with classmates, previous employers, parents, siblings, friends, etc. LinkedIn will also show you “degrees” of connections too. For example if your sibling shares a connection with someone at NBC, they will be a connection by two degrees of difference. 

Making the right connection is key, however…. Linkedin is not Facebook. CWIB suggests requesting certain connections with potential, whether that be in an industry of interest or an employer with whom you share a common background and unifying attribute, such as Colgate University. The Colgate University group on LinkedIn unites all current students and alumni who participate with this virtual interface. Searching the Colgate group serves as an alternative to ICAN or Navigate because it also lists alumni by career, industry and city. 

A few weeks back, I was browsing through the Colgate University group, specifically of alumni who work in the food and wine industry. I discovered a ’97 alum who owns his own wine distribution and importing company, and I was able to set up a phone conversation with him with just a few clicks. LinkedIn is a fantastic tool for exercising the number one piece of advice you’ll hear in Career Services, “Networking”. 

Make sure to update and revamp your LinkedIn profile as needed. It is a fantastic professional and social outlet for finding a job, researching an industry or simply looking for a potential connection that may form a bridge leading to your next opportunity. 

 

 

 

The Twitter Top 10

I don’t know if you know this, but I love everything about Twitter. I love the way I can instantly hear about events across the world, I love how many different opinions I can hear, and I love the silly and slightly ridiculous parody accounts (if you need a study/work break, @NotTildaSwinton is a classic). I even love Twitter so much that (spoiler alert) I have been the voice of @ColgateWIB for the past seven months.

I want to share with you 10 accounts that I have found particularly informative as a member of CWIB and an individual interested in business, social media, and women’s workplace issues. 

The Top 10: 

1. Levo League (@levoleague): tips and tricks on navigating the work world. 
2. Spike the Watercooler (@spikethecooler): career and life advice for hip women. Content is not always directly workplace-related, but is always super fun to read!
3. TedxWomen (@TedxWomen): features TED talks from leading women. 
4. Forbes Woman (@ForbesWoman): the more serious side of women’s issues in business. 
5. Wall Street Journal (@WSJ): tweets many current developments in the business world.
6. Lean In (@LeanInOrg): a global support community for driven women, started by Sheryl Sandberg. Her Twitter account (@SherylSandberg) is #7 on our list. 
8. Fast Company (@FastCompany): inspires creativity in business–think outside the box!
9. The New York Times (@nytimes): a good source for news about the world in general.  
10. And, of course, @ColgateWIB. 
 
This list is by no means definitive but is a great starting point if you are new to Twitter or want to learn more about women’s workplace issues. 
 
Happy Tweeting!