For most of us, productivity and procrastination go hand in hand. For every five minutes of studying we go on Facebook for an hour. For every page of a paper we get to hang out that night. Or in my case, for every assignment I finish I get to talk to my coworkers or take a super long lunch. While we’re still getting things done, we’re also stunting our general productivity with distractions and timewasters. Here a few ways you can maximize your productivity in the workplace, but still make time for some of the fun procrastinations:
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Professionals love to talk about work/life balance. There are tons of books, seminars, articles and more dedicated to the subject. It’s a concept you think would be intuitive, but needs to be revisited by many people at the beginning and during their careers. We all have different priorities and “balance” looks different to everyone. For anyone who works in an office, you likely spend more time at work than you do at home. You see your co-workers more than your family. Those are some of the harsh realities of a full time job. Here are a few things you can do to put balance into your perspective and find that ideal point on the scale:
People say first impressions always stick, and while I do believe in second chances, there’s no denying that a bad first impression can haunt you in the interview process. A recruiter has a very limited amount of time to absorb your credentials, personality, potential and overall appearance, so you need to present yourself as the best package possible. Not only will a professional outfit make you feel more confident, but it instantly tells the recruiter you’re a serious candidate with high potential. Here are a few tips for choosing professional clothes to set you up for success:
When I was frantically applying for jobs in college I usually pulled up the job description and scrolled right down to the qualifications section. If I met all the qualifications, and the overall position sounded interesting, I applied. If only I knew how much time and effort I would waste applying and interviewing for positions I really wasn’t interested in, I would have taken a much different approach. Do yourself a favor and read the job descriptions.
I’ve never been one to suck-up or brown nose to get preference with a recruiter. I’m not good at it and it makes me feel generally uncomfortable. Call me old school, but I much prefer warming up to recruiters with straight-up merit and qualifications, and personality thrown into the mix.
Phone interviews are my favorite part of the application process. They’re more personal and engaging than your résumé, but less intimidating than an in-person interview. You can wear whatever you want to a phone interview, and conduct it wherever you please (I would recommend pajamas, and a quiet area away from distractions, respectively). You can’t get too comfortable though, phone interviews are meant to be a test of your communication skills and often lead to an in-person interview (and an offer). Here are a few ways to maximize your phone interview:
In this world of tweeting, gramming, pinning, liking and all other virtual-ings, you guys have heard the cautionary voice more than once. People are always warning against putting too much personal content online and the impact it could have on you personally. I’m not here to tell you that posting obscene images of yourself is dangerous to the reputation you hold among your peers and parents (you should know that), but the dangers it presents to you professionally. Companies that are big on the recruitment scene are also getting big into the social media scene. I used to post on my companies Facebook page, and I know a Twitter, LinkedIn and now an app also exists. You may think that these companies don’t have the time to search each candidate’s name online to see what pops up, but the truth is when a company chooses a select group of students to pursue for employment, they find the resources to do all the investigating they need. Here a few guidelines for managing your social media presence before, during and after recruitment season:
If it were up to me I would submit my résumé to a company and call it good. After all, it has all of my professional and extracurricular experience on there so that should be enough right? Résumés used to be the standard, but cover letters are quickly becoming an additional norm. With so many applications to sort through, a well written cover letter can really set you a part from the crowd. It’s an opportunity to bring your résumé to life and add a personal touch to a bulleted list of experiences. So the short answer is yes, if submitting a cover letter is an option then you need one. Here are a few basics to get you started:
I used to have a love/hate relationship with on-campus networking events. I loved the opportunity to meet recruiters in a casual setting, usually over food, and get to know them on a more personal level. However, I didn’t enjoy having to fight for their time against dozens of my peers.
Your résumé is a precious document. It sums up your most significant experiences and accomplishments on one black and white page. To some people this might seem impossible, and I’ll agree at times it can be difficult. It’s both an art and a science to construct a résumé that is complete, concise and a perfect representation of you. Here are some dos and don’ts to help you create your personal and professional story:
The semester is starting and somewhere between reuniting with friends, ordering books, and going to football games, you're also supposed to plan out your future and prepare job applications. In the excitement of things, tweaking your resume and updating your LinkedIn falls to the wayside, until the day before career fair when you realize you've got nothing but a dusty suit. You need a plan of attack to help you prepare for these events in advance, while leaving plenty of time for school, work, friends, and everything in between. Here are five things you can start doing now to rise above the chaos: