Archive for the ‘Jobs’ Category

Grad to Great Job Postings

Thursday, April 22nd, 2010

Once in awhile I learn about a few job openings here in Chicago that would be perfect for college students or recent grads in need of some part or full-time work…and I post these job opportunities here on my blog. So, if you’re looking for some work you’re in the right place…if you happen to live in Chicago that is.

Current Positions Available are:

Customer Service Rep (at a really cool olive oil import retail store in a happening part of Chicago)
They’re looking for part-time weekend help.
Good pay, non-commissioned based!
Contact Brian for more info at

I know Brian and he’d be a great guy to work for!

Graphic Design Intern
Paid Position/School Credit Available
Internship is June – August
Start-up publishing company
Cool downtown Chicago office space
Contact for details. Please send resume, and cover letter if you wish to apply.

PR & Marketing Intern
Paid Position/School Credit Available
Internship is June – August
Start-up publishing company
Cool downtown Chicago office space
Contact for details. Please send resume, and cover letter if you wish to apply.

Lack of Jobs Got You Discouraged? Don’t Halt Your Job Search!

Tuesday, March 30th, 2010

If the lack of entry-level jobs has discouraged you to the point that you have stopped looking for a position, snap out of it. Now is not the time to roll up your resume and escape on that cross country camping trip you’ve always wanted to take. At least, not if you want to find a job before 2014.

Mick building the tent!

According to Barbara Kiviat* in this week’s Time magazine:

Were the economy to magically start regenerating jobs at a healthy clip——say, 200,000 a month——it would still take 3 1/2 years to return to where we were [before the recession started in Dec. 2007], never mind the jobs we need for new entrants into the workforce.”

So what does that mean for you? Only that delaying your job search in favor of camping until the US Bureau of Labor Statistics publishes some more attractive job market numbers means you’ll be living in a tent for 3.5 or more likely 7.5 years (my personal estimation).

Tent completed.

Here’s why. Two reasons.

#1. The economy is not going to recover for awhile, so don’t wait until the media announces that it’s out of rehab.

Professional and management jobs in business are disappearing faster than tickets to the new Harry Potter World at Universal. But the good news is that the need for work to get done isn’t. There are jobs out there.

There is an explosion of microenterprise in this country. And all of these entrepreneurs need help…the kind of help that a recent college graduate is likely to be able to provide. This includes accounting, web design and development, PR, marketing, and all sorts of contract assignments in other fields. Just check out Urban Interns if you don’t believe me.

[Sidebar:] As a small business owner myself who meets with several other small business owners regularly, I know this to be true. In fact, I make it a policy to hire only recent college graduates because I believe that not only are most of them smarter than me, but they work super hard if given the chance.

And the reason I felt compelled to blog about all this at 10:30 pm is because I feel a huge disconnect between what college students are currently telling me, and the way the economy is going. Several students have recently told me that they would rather turn down contract work in favor of waiting for the economy to recover. What?! Contract work builds your resume, lets employers know you have the ability to work independently, and it could potentially lead to your starting your own business. It did for me!

#2. The competition isn’t going anywhere either!

Even if you abhor the idea of contract assignments now, it’s a myth that the competition for the few entry-level jobs that are available will be less fierce in a few years. Companies are going to use these next few years to figure out how to do more with less. My advice is to suck it up now, and approach the job search as if it were your full-time job. It is no fun working on one resume all day for a single job application, and writing cover letters is about as fun as cleaning the toilet, but it’s worth it when you finally get that employment contract in the mail.

On the other hand…if you’re like my doctoral student friend who speaks five languages, owns a beagle and knows how to make food out of dirt – and who can actually survive in the wilderness with only a beagle and a bear for company – by all means go camping! You just might make it in this crazy new economy without a “real” job after all. (Yes, Mick, I said real job.)

It is a damn nice tent!

*Source: “How to Create a Job”, by Barbara Kiviat. Time Magazine (March 29, 2010, pg.19)

Interview with LaunchSquad’s Brett Weiner

Monday, April 13th, 2009

This week on, in our Great Grad’s Gallery, we are honoring Megan Soto – a young professional who was recruited on Twitter by a San Francisco based PR agency called Launchsquad. After learning more about Megan, we wanted to know more about LaunchSquad and the partner who discovered Megan on Twitter – Brett Weiner.

Brett manages LaunchSquad’s HR and employee issues and plays an integral role in new business activities. To help job seekers understand what companies are looking for when they take their recruiting efforts to social media sites, Brett agreed to be interviewed for our blog.

Anne:  Thanks so much for taking the time to talk to us. So, what search methods do you use on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn to find employees?

Brett: Pretty straight-forward here:

1. On LinkedIn, we look for PR people.
2. On Twitter, it’s more organic. Not necessarily proactive.
3. We don’t use Facebook that often.

Anne:  What are some things you’ve seen that would convince you not to hire someone?

Brett: We realize that the trend is to share as much personal content as possible on the Web and we’re not averse to people having a social life. We are, though, more interested when they put their best foot forward while being themselves, realizing that just because their mom isn’t on Twitter or Facebook, employers often are.

Using discretion with the content they upload and allow others to see is impressive, not just photos but also comments from friends. We’re generally put off by anything that suggests a lack of focus on school, jobs, internships as well as content or activity that doesn’t make this person appear to be a savvy online user.

In addition to content, the personality presented online can also be a turnoff. Negativity on Twitter, Facebook, and blog comments can easily translate into a general attitude for interactions with fellow colleagues, the media and clients, and the outlook towards work in general.

Anne: Is recruiting through social media outlets going to replace other methods of recruiting you’ve used in the past?

Brett: Not necessarily replace, but definitely make it easier. It’s better for getting a sense of who someone is, where their priorities are, what they’re interested in and, perhaps, what kind of work they do.

Anne: What can recent graduates be doing online that is likely to get them contacted for a job interview?

Brett: There isn’t by any means a succinct outline, but these are some things that impress us:

1. Have a blog that includes a solid, easily accessible resume
2. Comment on other blogs
3. Tweet relevantly and often
4. Show that you can create an online community around yourself and your interests

These all show online leadership and engagement in a space in which we’re deeply entrenched – we’re a technology PR firm so those things are important to us. We realize not all recent grads are going to know about SaaS (software as a service) but showing an enthusiasm to get to know this and other technologies helps – and is relatively easy to do with a blog or Twitter.

Anne: If you decide you want to interview them, how do you contact the potential candidate. Email, phone, tweet…etc?

Brett: However we can. If we can’t find email, we’ll send them a Tweet. Otherwise, we use email for an introduction then move on from there.

Anne: Will you be hiring any interns this summer?

Brett: Yes – maybe 2.

Anne: Are you hiring recent grads this year? If so, what qualities do you look for? Is someone’s major important?

Brett: Sure – we’re looking for smart, fun people with PR experience who do great work with any client. Major isn’t so important as talent. We have people here from all backgrounds, but their commonality comes with passion and drive.

Anne: Thanks so much Brett!

Can’t Find the Name of the Hiring Manager?

Saturday, April 4th, 2009

Every career expert tells you to address your cover letter to a specific person, right? They warn letters with generic salutations like, Dear HR Manager, are sure to end up in the trash bin. But some technology savvy companies make this next to impossible by not listing staff member names online, or by obfuscating HR titles on LinkedIn.

Solution? Time warp back to the 1980’s and use the telephone. Here’s a link to over 900 US companies from with tips and tricks for getting around their automated voicemail services. So, next time you’re unsure who to address your cover letter to, use this list to get a live person and just ask.

Hiring Expected to Decline 22% From 2008: 20 Things Grads Need to Know to Boost Job Search Mojo

Wednesday, March 18th, 2009

If you believed early media reports that companies in 2009 would be hiring the same number of graduates they did in 2008, you’re in for an unpleasant surprise. Turns out hiring for the Class of 2009 isn’t going to be flat afterall. It’s going to take a major nosedive. According to the NACE Job Outlook 2009 Spring Update survey, companies expect to hire 22% fewer graduates than last year. That’s 1/5 of the total number of jobs that would have been available last year. According to the AP, there are 2 million available jobs right now, and 1.5 million college students expected to graduate in May. Now add all the experienced professionals who have been laid off, plus stay-at-home moms re-entering the workforce, small business owners closing shop and looking for a steady paycheck.

The downturn in hiring affects all regions of the US, but the Northeast and West are the hardest hit. Companies that are hiring have indicated they will hire many less graduates than last year. So, if you’re planning to graduate this May you need to start planning your job search now. You can wait until after mid-terms are over, but no more excuses for putting it off after that.

So, here are the 20 Things Grads Need to Know to Boost Their Job Search Mojo!

Realities for the job market this year (and every year):

  1. No one owes you anything, even if you did just pay your way through school. For every one of you, there’s about 100 others who did that and more to get to exactly the same spot you are today.
  2. There’s always someone else out there who wants it more than you do. You are competing with that person for every single job you apply for this year.
  3. Only the top candidates are going to get hired. (What does a top candidate look like?)
  4. Grades will matter to some companies more than others.
  5. Work experience gained during internships will be expected.
  6. If you haven’t started thinking about what you want to do when you graduate you’re in trouble.
  7. Hard work is the only true path to success. Finding a job takes hard work.(There is no such thing as a hidden job market! There are jobs companies only advertise internally though.)
  8. Social networking is not the ticket to job offers for everyone
  9. Companies want grads who know how to sell; even for non-sales jobs.
  10. Knowing how to communicate is a critical skill for getting hired.

To improve your chances of getting hired you need:

  1. A resume
  2. A good understanding of your transferable skills
  3. An understanding of what you’re good at and what you enjoy
  4. A commitment to your job search
  5. The ability to set goals effectively (simply writing goals down isn’t even close to doing this the right way)
  6. Conversations with as many people as possible
  7. An open-mind and creativity
  8. Tenacity
  9. People who will recommend you and be a reference for you
  10. Confidence in yourself (This is where fake it ’till you make it applies…not on your resume)

On April 2nd at 9am CST I’m hosting a free webinar to discuss these issues and other topics related to career planning. If you haven’t started planning for life outside of college yet, you can’t afford to miss this free 30-minute presentation. Click here to register and submit a question you’d like answered during the presentation.

Jobternships: An Alternative Job Search Strategy

Monday, March 16th, 2009
It’s true that college students who are graduating this year are facing a horrific job market. On the other hand, the recession can be viewed as an opportunity for grads to take some risks and explore positions that offer real-world experience in fields that interest them, but that may be paid – or in some cases – unpaid. I like to call these “jobternships”.  They could also be termed “workternships” or “careerternships”. You get the idea. Great experience, but not always salary and benefits.

The person who takes the “safety” job as a cashier or barista will make a few extra bucks in the short-term, but in an interview situation, “marketing intern” will be much more appealing on a resume than “barista.” Ultimately people who have a job are more successful at finding one; so if it comes down to serving coffee or nothing, then certainly serving coffee can’t hurt.  You never know whom you might meet over a latte.  But if the choice is between a paid job serving coffee and a non-paid job offering relevant industry experience, think about which decision will ultimately help you reach your long-term career goals.
UPDATE: Beth and I were recently asked by the Washington Post to offer some tips for creative job search strategies. We briefly discussed and introduced our jobternship concept in this article. There are other great tips too!

A new way for grads and companies to connect via the web

Thursday, March 12th, 2009

I am getting really excited about the launch of coming up in the next few weeks. This site is a completely free service for college students and recent grads, but it’s also free for companies. There is no fee for companies to post a position or internship with us. And independent professionals and corporate folks can sign-up to mentor a student by answering a few questions about a specific field or industry. This is’s way of contributing to a bad economy and rough time for college grads.

If you’re a company and you’d like more information about, please email me at Abrown [at] Seriously, it’s free.

March Job Leads from

Tuesday, March 10th, 2009

Interested in alternative energy and all things Green? Urban Green Energy in NYC is looking for two positions. One is a technician position, and the other was described to me as a junior management position. To learn more about these jobs and how to apply click here.

University Parent Media is hiring advertising sales positions in Boulder, CO. Contact Sarah Schupp at

In Los Angeles, CA, Used Cardboard Boxes is hiring entry-level sales, marketing, PR, and customer service positions. These are NOT advertised positions, but they are available. Click here to fill out a short form and submit your resume. Make sure you indicate which position you are applying for in the “short description” text field. The CEO of this company has an interesting story. in Fort Lauderdale, FL is searching for a few entry-level positions. Click here to learn more. They have an immediate need for an inside sales position. If you are interested in this position email me or contact me on Twitter (@GradtoGreat) for the job description. It’s too long to include here.

Here’s a company that’s doing really well in spite of the economic downturn. Receivablesxchange in New Orleans is looking for a marketing assistant and has another position available that is more PR/communications focused. Again, if you are interested in this position just message me @GradtoGreat and I’ll send you the job descriptions and contact information for the lady who wants your resumes. These jobs are not advertised anywhere else right now because they were just approved by the HR department.

InternetGirlFriday is looking for staff to work remotely. This is a real work-from-home opportunity. is a virtual assistant company founded by Jennifer Goodwin that has gotten a lot of media attention. To apply for these positions check out the web site and then head over to here to apply. has marketing and web programmer positions available in NH. Contact Nate Shurtleff at Be sure to include your resume and cover letter.

The Alternative Press is New Jersey’s all-online local daily newspaper currently covering Summit, New Providence, Berkeley Heights, Millburn/Short Hills, and Livingston. They are looking to hire entry-level college graduates for freelance writing/reporting positions and commission-based sales positions. sends job leads to our mailing list every month. Sign-up at to learn about job leads 10 days before they’re posted on our blog.

How Students Can Make Money and Network

Thursday, February 26th, 2009

A few weeks ago I came across a really unique company on LinkedIn. It’s called and it awards cash prizes to students that solve real business cases for real companies. I was so intrigued by this concept that I contacted the founder of the company and asked if I could interview him. His story is amazing and the company is really providing incredible opportunities for students.

Read the full article about

10 Ways to Find a Job in a Recession

Tuesday, February 10th, 2009

1. Focus 90% of your job search on networking
Do you know how to network effectively? To be successful at networking you must reach out to your network in a way that makes people want to recommend or hire you. One way to do this is to be positive. Even if you are losing heart in your job search. Instead of complaining how frustrating your job search has been, talk about what types of positions are appealing to you and what kinds of challenges you are eager to take on.

2. Don’t  limit your search to only “available” positions
Spend time researching companies and make connections with people who work there. Get the name of the person who has the authority to hire you and write him or her a detailed letter explaining why you want to work for that company. Describe what your unique contributions would be. Be proactive and send along your list of references and resume.

3. Send an email to all of your close business contacts and friends about your job search
Be sure to include a short description of the types of positions you are interested in pursuing. Keep this short, positive, and professional. When executed properly, this is a very effective method to learn about companies in your city that are hiring.

4. Attend events hosted by professional organizations and alumni associations
If you do not currently belong to any… join some. It is important to your long term career success to stay relevant in your field and/or industry.

5. Learn how to differentiate between jobs posted by placement firms and jobs listed by actual companies
This is especially important for entry level workers who waste a lot of time on wild goose chases by simply sending a resume to every job posting they find. Be on the lookout for:

  • The same contact phone number attached to several job listings
  • Multiple listings for the same position listed by the same firm

6. Be easy to find
Update your online alumni profile. If you use social networking sites like LinkedIn, Facebook, or Twitter make sure your information is up to date and consistent. Avoid MySpace. It doesn’t have a reputation for being the most professional of online social networking sites.

7. Be Friendly and Meet New People
You never know who is looking to fill a position that you would be perfect for. Better yet, your pleasant demeanor may motivate someone to create a position especially for you. It’s surprising how many people get offers for interviews at the coffee shop or at the gym.

8. Appreciate Informational Interviews
Too many job seekers blow informational interviews off as a waste of time, but they can be an invaluable resource. The person you talk to just might think of the perfect position for you in a week or two, or recommend you to a friend.

9. Keep Your Online Image Clean
If you wouldn’t want your mother to see it, keep it off the Internet. Employers are researching job applicants online in increasing numbers according to a survey administered by the National Association of Colleges and Employers in 2007. Ten percent of employers who responded to the survey said they would review social networking site profiles before making a hiring decision. Out of that ten percent, over half said the information they find online will impact whether or not that candidate is offered a position. The remaining employers surveyed said they are unsure how their online findings should influence their hiring decisions. (Update: in 2009 almost 50% of employers say they will do an online search for their job candidates)

If you have a blog, podcast, web site—or you regularly participate on someone else’s—what you put out there may be reviewed by a potential employer. Maintain a professional image both on and off the Internet and you won’t have anything to worry about.

10. Always Have an Updated Resume
Keeping a well written, updated resume handy is critical during your job search.  This allows you take advantage of opportunities as soon as you learn about them. For someone who wants to help you find a job there is nothing more frustrating than waiting until you finish your resume. The job will probably be filled by the time your resume is ready. Even when you aren’t looking for a job it is important to keep your resume updated. Revisit your resume at the end of each month to add new achievements and information.