Who to Meet at NACE14 in San Antonio!

Marc Goldman, Executive Director, Career Center, Yeshiva University

Marc Goldman, Executive Director, Career Center, Yeshiva University

Twitter: @MarcGoldmanNYC

LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/marcjgoldman

The NACE Annual Conference is less than a week away. My flights and hotel are booked. Soon, I will bid my family and co-workers adieu for a brief time. They will be missed, but I look forward to a great event in San Antonio. I have been attending these professional association conferences since Las Vegas 2001. And I will always recall fondly the 2007 program in New York City, the one and likely only time the conference will occur in the Big Apple. In light of all of my conference attendance, I write this blog post with some simple suggestions of people to make sure you try to connect with during your time in Texas. Go for it! Have a blast!

Dan Black
Dan Black

 Dan Black – It is hard to believe that his term as NACE President is almost complete. If you get a chance to shake this man’s hand and have a brief chat, you will not soon forget him. Part Energizer Bunny, part club comic, part shy accountant (Okay, maybe not so shy!), part cool wingman, part high-stakes gambler, part bacon lover. I know. I know. Sounds like a true bromance here! I certainly do appreciate him as a NACE brother from another mother of sorts. And he is a treasure trove of information, an advocate for our profession, and an all-around great guy.

Chaim Shapiro

Chaim Shapiro

Someone With a Cool Twitter Handle – When Amber MacArthur presented about social media trends at a recent NACE conference, there was a big question mark as to Twitter’s longevity. Well, a few years later, more and more people are getting into the Twitterverse. Many career services and campus recruiting professionals, universities, companies, and, of course, celebrities (Yes, Chaim Shapiro, I am speaking of you!) have taken to the art of the tweet. I try, but I am more of a reader and re-tweeter compared to many of my colleagues who are providing original content. If you want to learn more, just look for someone with a ribbon that has an “@” symbol followed by a catchy nickname or funky turn of phrase like @nyuwasserboss, @PWRecruit4EH, or @MarcGoldmanNYC (That one’s me. How creative!) for example.

Katrina Zaremba

Katrina Zaremba

Katrina Zaremba – Katarina Witt will be there? Not quite. But this NACE conference newbie from the University of Kansas has made one fantastic video about why she is thrilled to attend her first annual conference. Check it out at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9EFr39KOeVs and then welcome her to the NACE gathering with open arms and a “Howdy partner!”

Great Ideas Showcase

An Award Winner or Finalist – As co-chair of this year’s Honors and Awards Committee, I know how talented and accomplished this year’s pool of finalists and winners truly are. They should be recognized, congratulated, and most importantly, probed for knowledge and advice. You can meet them in passing by noticing their respective ribbons dangling from their name badges, or you can see them all at the Great Ideas Showcase on Tuesday, June 10, from 5:00-6:30 p.m. (I had to throw in that shameless plug!)

Megan Ogden

Megan Ogden

Megan Ogden – If you want a fun game at #NACE14, just play this variation of “Where’s Waldo?” and try to find Megan Ogden. As the behind-the-scenes guru of the NACE conference planning and implementation, she is the engineer that makes this massive career services/campus recruiting locomotive stay on track at full steam ahead. But don’t expect to see her settled in any one place at the conference for more than a few seconds because there is always the next important puzzle piece for her to handle or fix. If you do luck out and spot the Nessie of NACE 2014, give her a great big hug and say, “Thank you!”

An ExhibitorThe Exhibition Hall is a must for any conference attendee. It is sometimes hard to squeeze in a visit if you have a packed agenda of programs, meetings, meals, and pool time. But enough about me! There are some amazing resources out there, and NACE offers a one-stop-shopping opportunity to check out the latest and greatest. I recall meeting two bright young lads with a start-up idea at a NACE conference a decade or so ago. They were just starting out, but I was curious and listened to their story. The rest was history. Today, their R2-D2/dalek (sci-fi geekin’ out here) kiosk product has evolved into InterviewStream!

Someone You’ve Never Talked to Before – Not only is the NACE conference a wonderful place to hear about new trends, discover new resources, and spend a few days away from the office (while still checking in via several modes of communication throughout the entire trip), but also it is a fabulous chance to network with people you know. However, I dare you to introduce yourself to people you don’t know, which for most of us (other than perhaps conference co-chair Fred Burke) is a much larger pool of potential colleagues. You never know what can arise from these initial conversations.

Marc Goldman, Executive Director, Career Center, Yeshiva University

Use this picture to find Marc!

Me! – Find me. Introduce yourself. I am somewhat subdued and introverted, so it might take you awhile to draw me out of my shell, but please do attempt it. (The NACE staff is certainly cracking up or rolling their eyes as they read that last bit.) I’ll be easy to find because I have this awful habit of trying to collect as many ribbons for my name badge as possible each year. It is like collecting Olympic pins in a way I guess, and it is really just a big joke between me and the amazing NACE team at this point. I cannot wait to see y’all in June!

Find Marc Goldman—or another member of the NACE Blog Team—and take a selfie! A selfie with a blogger is one of the 10 items to collect in the #NACE14 Scavenger Hunt!

Introverts Guide to #NACE14

Chris Carlson

Christopher Carlson, Senior Manager, Talent Acquisition, Booz Allen Hamilton
Twitter: @cciCarlson
LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/ccicrc

Taking a break from my social recruiting series to share some thoughts for my fellow introverts attending #NACE14.

On most tests, I am an “off-the-charts” introvert who takes after his father. There are people who write “don’t eat alone” and who encourage you to network, network, network. Not me. I don’t know about my fellow introverts, but I like a little quiet time to recharge the batteries before going back into a room of hundreds of people. I eat alone quite often, especially when I have been around a lot of people. It helps me relax and renew.

So, here are my introverted best practices for conference survival:

  1. Schedule quiet time throughout the dayGo to the NACE Conference Scheduler and pick out your absolute must-attend workshops and see if you can carve out some quality time for yourself in between those sessions.
  2. Be selective with your networking timeDon’t try to meet everyone, but in good introvert style, get to know a few individuals really well; connect with someone you want to get to know better.
  3. Don’t be afraid to find quiet corners at a receptionTry to entice someone to speak with you one-on-one rather than insert yourself in a circle of individuals talking. If you want, you can talk to me as I am usually quietly positioned in a corner.
  4. GO BIG at least once during the conferenceGrab a group of friends and get out on that dance floor and dance, I say, dance!
  5. Spend more time networking one-on-oneIt is easier to strike up a conversation with someone sitting next to you before/after a workshop than in a big networking session, so start there. Make a point to meet at least one new person and get to know him/her really well each day.
  6. Get outside and take a walkThe Riverwalk is an introvert’s dream come true, as there are many stretches with beautiful scenery and not a lot of people. I know from experience. It can be a very calming and relaxing spot.
  7. Above all else, spend time learning and connecting.  As introverts, we don’t have to meet everyone, just a few people who we will get to know very well.

Looking forward to seeing you all at #NACE14 in San Antonio! Look for me in a corner or at a table by myself and come say hello. Stay tuned for more insights into my journey into social recruiting as well as observations from the conference.

Don’t forget, I am presenting on Tuesday. The session is entitled “Everyone is a Recruiter” and will look at building social recruiting practices and engaging your employee base to help ensure success. (“Everyone Is a Recruiter” will be presented on Tuesday, June 10, at 3:30 p.m. See the #NACE14 Itinerary Builder for details.)

Attend Christopher Carlson’s session and take a selfie with him! A selfie with a session presenter is one of the 10 items to collect in the #NACE14 Scavenger Hunt!

 

Top 10 Reasons to Attend NACE14

Chaim Shapiro

Chaim Shapiro
Website: http://chaimshapiro.com/
Twitter: @chaimshapiro
LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/chaimshapiro

Excitement is in the air!  NACE14 is just a couple of weeks away.  If you are going to attend only one conference this year, THIS IS THE ONE.

David Letterman may be retiring but I decided to salute him with a “Top 10 Reasons to Attend NACE14”

10) See if your jeans can make more noise than the band as you dance the night away at the “Diamonds and Denims” celebration.

9) Everything is bigger in Texas—NACE14 is the biggest networking opportunity of the year.

8) Find out for yourself if the Alamo has a basement.

7) Learning is NOT just for college students.  Attend GREAT workshops (including mine on LinkedIn bit.ly/1aoFf3X .)

6) The powerful “keynotes” are not about your ability to sing “Deep in the Heart of Texas”

5) The Expo is so much more than an old mediocre MLB baseball team.

4) Adapt great programs from the “Great Ideas Showcase” and convince your boss that you are a genius.

3) Wake up to the “Early Show with Dan Black” and see if I can get him to laugh.

2) Solve the perplexing NACE14 mystery clues as featured on Twitter.

1) Find out if Dan Black will REALLY wear a ten-gallon cowboy hat.

Feed Your Career at NACE14

Cindy Billington

Cindy Billington, Associate Director, MBA Career Education Graduate Business Career Services, Texas A&M University
Twitter: @cindybillington
LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/cindybillington

It is that time of year!  Once again, we are less than a month away from the NACE Conference & Expo, and this year it will be held in beautiful San Antonio, TX.  I look forward to this conference every year as an opportunity to reconnect with and meet new colleagues and friends.

Each year, I find myself returning from the conference recharged and ready for an innovative and successful year of career coaching at Texas A&M.  If you have not registered to attend this “can’t miss” professional development opportunity, I urge you to visit naceweb.org immediately.  If you are like me, then your career is probably begging you for some nourishment.  Don’t ever neglect your career nourishment folks.

For those of you who have already registered, don’t wait until you arrive in San Antonio to prepare.  I recommend following these steps in order to make the most out of #NACE14:

1. Begin your networking ahead of time.

2.  Plan your schedule.

  • NACE has implemented a new tool called NACE14 Itinerary Builder.  Where have you been all of my life?  This tool has allowed me create a tailored agenda just for me.  I love things that are made just for me.  I feel special, don’t you?
  • Research the keynote presenters.  If you are like me, you buy every book available. Be familiar with who is speaking ahead of the conference and reach out to say hello. Welcome any and all guests to our “FAMILY REUNION.”

3.  Brush on your networking skills.

  • One of my favorite books on networking is Never Eat Alone by Keith Ferrazzi.  Keith actually spoke at a NACE conference a few years ago.  I urge you to never break bread alone at a conference.  Eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner with someone else attending the conference.  Great friendships are made over coffee.  I promise.

4.  Follow up after the event.

  • As you travel away from San Antonio, don’t let your experience become a distant memory.  Return to your office and immediate send thank-you notes to speakers NACE staff and president, and the amazing #NACE14 co-chairs.  Pull out those business cards you received and connect with those folks on LinkedIn or Twitter.

5.  Implement what you learned.

  • Be very careful not to let your conference notes get dusty.  We all have a tendency to return to work after a conference and immediately jump back into old habits and the surge of e-mail.
  • Host a lunch and share what you learned with your office mates.  Ignite energy in those who work with you based on what you learned.
  • Start a conversation on the NACE LinkedIn Group page to keep those relationships and ideas growing.

I cannot wait to meet all of you at #NACE14.  Register today and get ready for a great time in San Anton.  And don’t forget to pack your proper attire for the Diamonds and Denim Celebration on Tuesday evening.

Career Development, the U.S. Job Search, and International Students

Ross WadeRoss Wade, assistant director of career services, Duke Engineering/Professional Master’s Programs
Personal blog: http://mrrosswade.wordpress.com/
LinkedIn URL: https://www.linkedin.com/in/rosswade
Twitter: @rrwade

This past year I’ve had the opportunity to work with a lot of international students—in fact, about 70 percent of my students are international. The master’s program they pursue is only two to three semesters long, and for many of them, peak recruiting season starts two weeks after they enter the United States.

Just think about it for a second…these students get off a plane, in a foreign country, with varying English language skill levels, have no idea how the U.S. job-search works, many have not found a place to live and are unsure of their transportation options, and quite a few are under tremendous stress to succeed academically and find a good job in the United States to assist their family financially back in their home country. Imagine the pressure and anxiety of these students—yikes!

Now, this is of course is a generalization…not all international students face these circumstances, and sure there is that excitement of being in a foreign country and having new experiences…but many international students are faced with some overwhelming tasks—especially finding a job in the United States.

Verbal and non-verbal communication issues can often be a source of stress. Many international students are taught English in a very academic way, so they can pass the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). Practicing English conversationally may not have been a part of their learning experience; this can cause problems in career counseling/advising sessions, programs, and presentations. Non-verbal communication and poor comprehension of workshop materials and career advising information can also be an issue.

Tips:

  • Lose the slang and U.S. pop culture references. This was very difficult for me, and really raised my awareness to how much I used both of these as tools to explain things and be entertaining (I thought my jokes were hilarious! Not to my international students…I got nothing but blank stares. OUCH!). Speak a little slower than you normally would and be very clear in your language, using basic and universal terms.
  • Sometimes students will nod and state they understand your point or instruction. It is helpful to ask them to explain it back to you, as many students may not have understood you, but out of respect did not want to interrupt or ask you to repeat.
  • Professional interviews can be difficult for some international students as they may have low confidence in their English language skills, feel uncomfortable talking about accomplishments, find it difficult to give direct and concise answers, etc. Consider partnering with your institution’s English as a Second Language (ESL) program or international student center to do a mock interview program. Facilitate a workshop on U.S. interviewing skills, and then have students partner up and practice answering questions as an exercise (and practice their handshake!). Students can come to your career center for a formal mock interview and get individualized feedback. Another tip…some international students think a “mock interview” means when they come they will literally be mocked; consider using the phrase “practice interview.” I’ve also found explaining the U.S. interview process, from greeting to closing, is very helpful to international students as in other cultures it can be very different.
  • Like me, you were probably taught not to add too much text to PowerPoint slides. When presenting to international students, it is a GREAT idea to use more text on slides, as, if they have trouble understanding you, they can read the slide as a “communication back-up.” It is also helpful to make slides available prior to your presentation so international students can read through and prepare beforehand.
  • When working with international students one-on-one, I typically open an e-mail to them and type in resources, explanations, and next steps to send after an appointment.
  • Watch for non-verbal communication. I noticed that many of my Chinese students, during practice interviews, sat on the edge of their chairs. Finally, after months of seeing this, I asked why. My student’s answer was simple, “To show you respect.” I had no idea. Instead of nodding up and down, some of my Indian students shake their heads from side to side to non-verbally agree with me or show that they understand; discussing with them how some American employers may not be able to understand if they are indicating yes or no will be help the student be more clear in interview and networking situations.

I’ve learned it is okay to observe behavior and ask about it—my international students are always happy (and often excited) to explain.

Resources

  • The National Career Development Association has a great resource list for working with international students.
  • Channel C, a YouTube profile created by Chinese students at the University of Wisconsin – Madison, carries videos about their college experiences and issues in the United States.
  • “Kiss, Bow, or Shake Hands” by Wayne A. Conaway is a wonderful book on international business etiquette and protocol.
  • Visit your institution’s visa services office, to get a tutorial/workshop on the Curricular Practical Training (CPT) and Optional Practical Training (OPT) process —most of the time it is explained very well on their website. You don’t have to become an expert on this topic, but should know the basics and be able to communicate it clearly (and also be able to share how international students can make an appointment with the visa services office).

 What tips or resources do you have from your experiences working with international students? Let’s get a conversation started, y’all!

This is the first in a series from Ross Wade on working with international students.

Am I Mashed Up or Just Fried? A Journey Into Social Recruiting (Part 4):

Chris Carlson

 

Christopher Carlson, Senior Manager, Talent Acquisition, Booz Allen Hamilton
Twitter: @cciCarlson
LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/ccicrc

I am happy to report that my team has created a new drinking game based on my journey into social recruiting. They have to drink every time I use the word “webinar”.   Webinars have become an obsession of mine as I view them as a way to have virtual engagement and I think serve as a strong vehicle for sharing information. They also allow us to harness the enthusiastic employee base that we have and I have been so thrilled with the willingness our employees to participate in our initiative. I do feel for my team though as several of our team meetings have ended up looking like a TV network program scheduling meeting and I am sure my colleagues racked up quite a large number of drinks (not during work, of course). Part of my obsession comes from the need to address the objectives I discussed in Part 3 of my series and serve as a primary vehicle to address one of the two components of social recruiting that I see as essential.

From my perspective, there are two critical components of building a social recruiting strategy. The first is really about content and how you push your message out there or “branding”. To start down this path, we looked at different components of traditional campus recruiting and discussed how they translate into a virtual world. The content that is developed for the virtual world needs to be both engaging and compelling so that individuals will return time and time again.

That component takes some time to develop as you need to think about

  1. how you feed your message across all the outlets,
  2. how you highlight your employee value proposition, and
  3. how will you enhance the candidate’s experience?

You can’t just tweet: “We have jobs!” or “Hey you! Here is a job for you”. People will get bored with that very quickly. There will be a need to translate the key messaging from your traditional campus information session into virtual messaging and balance that messaging with your technical and functional expertise that you share in classroom presentations or case competitions.

You also have to think about how to touch as many candidates if not more with these messages in quick hits like a career fair and then drive those connections into actual pipeline.  There are a number of companies out there that do a tremendous job with this component and have been doing so for a while so it is important to think about how to set yourself apart. It was this component that led to my team’s new drinking game.

The second component from my perspective is one that many old school recruiters may appreciate—“direct sourcing”. As you may recall, I grew up in recruiting and learned how to start with a list of five names and turn those into a pipeline and this background is the cornerstone of my recruiting philosophy.

I think the sound of directly source to identify talent in the college recruiting world doesn’t always seem like a popular approach with some people for a variety of reasons. However, it is what I know and is always forefront in my mind. I know that I want computer science majors who have internships, so I am going to go after those candidates. There was a time in our team’s past where they wouldn’t let me get a hold of a resume book because they knew I would be contacting candidates into the wee hours of the night and I would be firing off e-mails to the team with candidates who responded with interest.

I truly believe once a recruiter, always a recruiter. So you and I both know that there are candidates out there who don’t want to go to a webinar and for that matter, do not want to go to an in-person career fair, but they are candidates we still want to reach. I guess if you sat in a hallway on campus with some donuts you might reach some of them (I know I ALWAYS stop for a donut), but that is going to require a lot of donuts and a lot of manpower in a lot of hallways.

NACE reported that there are more than twice as many jobs for computer science graduates as there are graduates. So part of our strategy is about direct outreach. I will be honest: we are still reviewing and testing a variety of methods and tools other than me staying awake all night e-mailing every computer science student, and I don’t want to give away too much about some of our thinking around this one. Suffice to say, you have to spend some time thinking about this one.

Looking at how to integrate these two components has kept me up many a night. You are not going to be able to recruit a candidate if you don’t have a compelling employee value proposition or brand. Likewise, you can brand yourself all day long, but you may not ever reach the candidate pool you want without some good old-fashioned direct sourcing. So as I watch a variety of reruns and infomercials late into the night, I sit and wonder how to feed the student’s need to feel engaged if I don’t go to campus. In essence, how do I offer that virtual donut? (Mmmmmmm….donuts) And that, my friends, is our greatest challenge and where I think the greatest transformation within university recruiting is taking place—tapping into the social networks.

Look out for additional entries highlighting my journey into social recruiting. As a reminder, I am presenting on this topic in more detail at #NACE14. Also, if any of you want to connect to share stories or best practices, reach out to me and we can share some virtual donuts. I do like the donuts and the doughnuts.

“Everyone Is a Recruiter” will be presented on Tuesday, June 10, at 3:30 p.m. See the #NACE14 Itinerary Builder for details.

Did you miss Christopher Carlson’s first, second, and third installments on his journey into social recruiting? Read them now!

Using Facebook to Easily Connect Students and Employers

Smedstad-Headshot

Shannon Smedstad, Employer Branding & HR Social Media, Geico
Twitter: @shannonsmedstad
LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/shannonsmedstad

Before we jump into the meat of this post, I’ve got a few initial questions for you …

EMPLOYERS: Does your company have a career-related Facebook page?

CAREER CENTERS: Do you have a Facebook page?

BOTH: Could you be doing more with your page?

If you answered “yes” to two out of three of these questions, please keep reading.

Most people know that Facebook is good for sharing photos and status updates. But, what if we could use Facebook as a virtual career fair platform? How exactly would that work?

facebook_logoThe Magic of Facebook for College Recruiting

You can access Facebook from anywhere: desktop, phone, dorm room, or in-between classes. You can chat with an individual or group. You can share information and link to jobs. Some recruiters already use Facebook to connect with job-seeking students.

As the manager of a corporate career page on Facebook, I have now successfully led three virtual career fairs … right on Facebook!

  • June 2013: More than 230 people engaged with recruiters over a two-day virtual career fair. Hires were made!
  • November 2013: We took a more targeted approach and attracted 75 students to our page during a one-day fair. It cost us less than $50.
  • April 2014: Co-hosted a virtual career fair with a collegiate honor society and grew our followers by 3 percent in one day and organic reach was the highest it’s been year-to-date. It’s still too early to know if we’ve made any hires—my fingers are crossed!

Advice and Lessons Learned

When it comes to social media, you have to be willing to take some calculated risks and try new things. Social platforms are designed for real time communication; we just have to be creative in our thinking to create opportunities to do just that.

To me, these Facebook career fairs fall into the low risk/low cost/potential high reward category. It’s all about the planning, promotion, human resources, and execution of the plan, not how much it costs. Here are some of my top tips for anyone interested in hosting your own virtual event:

  • Determine your audience and whether you have any existing partners that will work through this idea with you.
  • Give yourself plenty of time to create a targeted, multi-channel promotional plan.
  • Visual imagery is important in attracting talent and sharing details of the event.
  • Schedule a pre-fair call with the recruiters to talk through what to expect and how you might want to handle certain requests or situations.
  • Make sure that your page (booth) is properly manned during the allotted career fair time, and for a day or two after (questions continue to trickle in).
  • Measure results using Facebook Insights, ATS data, and feedback from the entire team to determine whether the event was successful and worth doing again.

Since our most recent event, we’ve had two student organizations reach out with interest to our team. When you can bring people, technology, and opportunities together for the greater good … it’s a beautiful thing. Thanks, Facebook.