Helping Gonzaga University Students and Alumni Clarify and Achieve Their Academic and Professional Goals

Category: Success in Current Economy (Page 3 of 5)

Social Media, Friend or Foe?

Angel Devil

Are you curious about your on-line presence with social media? Do you have questionable information (and photos)  “up for grabs” when it comes to Facebook, MySpace or other social media? Would you want potential employers seeing this side of you?
If “Google-ing” yourself makes you slightly nervous, join us for the Career Center’s

Social Media: Friend or Foe Seminar

Wednesday October 28th at 7 pm

Road to Bali, 2nd Floor Crosby

This seminar is presented by Belinda Bobko & Cassandra Marrs.

Mix it all in a Bowl: Workin’ and Churnin’ a Career Fair.


A Career Fair can be a little overwhelming, but as long as you know a few key skills and bring the pertinent supplies (i.e. copies of your resume, a smile, and a firm handshake) you’ll look like a seasoned veteran to the game.

Working a Career Fair centers around what you say to each company’s representatives. Developing a small speech to start out with will open a conversation door. Now, no index cards are needed because you’re going to be talking about one of your favorite subjects: yourself!

It’s a simple combination of name, class standing, major, opportunities you are seeking, relevant experience, highlights of skills and strengths, and knowledge of the company.

See? That won’t be too painful. Then just be ready to ask the representative questions about their company or any job openings they have. The most important thing to do is practice talking about you. I’m sure that your roommate would love to know about what career venues interest you.

Written by: Courtney Jacobsen, Class of 2011

You Can’t Teach a Dog New Tricks, But Maybe You Can for a Cat

Recently one of the Career Center team members asked us if we had seen this video of Nora the Cat playing the piano.  I had quickly replied, “Why no…I have not.”  (You see just a secret about me, I am much more of a dog person than a cat person.)  The video is of a little cat who has been taught how to play the piano by her owner.  Although Nora isn’t playing Beethoven or Bach, there is something impressive about seeing that little cat hitting the ivory keys.

YouTube Preview Image

What, does this have to do with job hunting and career development?  Well, everything…simply stated.  If a cat can learn how to play the piano, then you the job hunter can learn a new skill or improve upon an old one to make yourself more marketable.  (I feel the “Ah-ha!” moment coming!) In this tight job market, anything you can do to set yourself will make you a stronger candidate for potential employers.

Ideas off the Top of My Head:

  • Public Speaking:  Do you have a fear of public speaking?  Well, if you are in-between jobs this could be a great time to learn to hone this skill.  Join Toastmasters and get over the fear of the podium.
  • Computer Skills:  Are you not quite savvy with Microsoft 2007?  Have you been itching to expand your knowledge of Publisher, Photoshop or Powerpoint?  Take a class at the local community college to expand your computer literacy.
  • Networking: If you are still nervous about networking, start small now.  For example, attend a book or hobby club where you can meet people with similar interests as you.  You will be so excited to discuss the book, the idea of networking won’t be an issue.

These are just three fairly basic ideas.  Any blog readers out there have more ideas of how to continue to learn in-between job hunting?  We’d love to hear from you…post your ideas in the comments.  We do read them all!

More Employers Screening Candidates via Social Networking Sites

Aug. 24, 2009 – Rosemary Haefner,

Gone are the days when all job seekers had to worry about was their résumés and cover letters. Today, those documents remain a staple of the job-search process, but they are joined by a growing phenomenon: social networking.

Forty-five percent of employers reported in a June 2009 CareerBuilder survey that they use social networking sites to screen potential employees, compared to only 22 percent of employers last year. Eleven percent of employers plan to start using social networking sites for the screening process. More than 2,600 hiring managers participated in the survey.

Of those who conduct online searches/background checks of job candidates, 29 percent use Facebook, 26 percent use LinkedIn and 21 percent use MySpace. One-in-ten (11 percent) search blogs while 7 percent follow candidates on Twitter.

Additionally, 16 percent of workers have used similar social networking sites as part of their job search.

“In this difficult job market, online networking is an important piece of the puzzle for workers wishing to build professional relationships, and ultimately, connect with their next great job,” said Liz Harvey, senior director of online products for CareerBuilder, which just launched its own online community BrightFuse. “With more than 1.6 million users, has become a thriving professional community. Workers of all levels can use to have that important open dialogue — while promoting themselves and recommending others.”

While social networking is a great way to make connections with potential job opportunities and promote one’s personal brand, job seekers must ensure they are using these sites to their advantage by conveying a professional image and underscoring their qualifications.

Many job seekers seem to be doing this, as 18 percent of employers said they found content on social networking sites that encouraged them to hire the candidate. Some examples include:

  • Profile provided a good feel for the candidate’s personality and fit within the organization — 50 percent
  • Profile supported candidate’s professional qualifications — 39 percent
  • Candidate was creative — 38 percent
  • Candidate showed solid communication skills — 35 percent
  • Candidate was well-rounded — 33 percent
  • Other people posted good references about the candidate — 19 percent
  • Candidate received awards and accolades — 15 percent

Many job seekers, however, are doing the opposite and not being mindful at all of the content they’re posting online.

Why employers disregard candidates after screening online

Thirty-five percent of employers reported they have found content on social networking sites that caused them not to hire the candidate, including:

  • Candidate posted provocative or inappropriate photographs or information — 53 percent
  • Candidate posted content about them drinking or using drugs — 44 percent
  • Candidate bad-mouthed their previous employer, co-workers or clients — 35 percent
  • Candidate showed poor communication skills — 29 percent
  • Candidate made discriminatory comments — 26 percent
  • Candidate lied about qualifications — 24 percent
  • Candidate shared confidential information from previous employer — 20 percent

Here are five tips for job seekers to keep a positive image online:

1. Clean up digital dirt before you begin your job search. Remove any photos, content and links that can work against you in an employer’s eyes.

2. Consider creating your own professional group on sites like Facebook or It’s a great way to establish relationships with leaders, recruiters and potential referrals.

3. Keep gripes offline. Keep the content you post focused on positive things, whether it’s related to professional or personal information. Make sure to highlight specific accomplishments inside and outside of work.

4. Be selective about whom you accept as friends. Don’t forget others can see your friends when they search for you. Monitor comments made by others and consider using the “block comments” feature. Even better, set your profile to “private” so only designated friends can view it.

5. If you’re still employed, don’t mention your job search in your Tweets or status updates. There are multiple examples of people who have gotten fired as a result of doing this. In addition, a potential employer might assume that if you’re willing to search for a new job on your current company’s time, why wouldn’t you do so on theirs?

Communication Opportunities in Portland

The following job leads were forwarded to the Career Center and we wanted to forward them along to job hunting Zags out there!

  • The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is hiring a community outreach specialist in Portland. Experience with social media is helpful, but not required. Annual salary is approximately $44,000 – $77,000, depending upon education and experience. Submit resume by August 31 to “COS Hiring Manager” via mail: PO Box 709, Portland, OR 97207; Email:; or fax:(503) 552-5465.
  • Metro is seeking an associate public affairs specialist in communications in Portland. Annual salary is $49,329 – $66,056. Application deadline September 1.
  • The Oregon Sustainability Center is hiring a fundraising director in Portland. Salary is negotiable. Screening begins September 1. Please submit resume and cover letter electronically to Liz Hopkins, or via the mail to P+OSI C/O Liz Hopkins, 1600 SW 4th Ave, Suite 800, Portland, OR 97201.
  • Gateway to College National Network is hiring a program manager in Portland. The salary range is $50,000 – $80,000 per year, including a comprehensive benefits package. Starting salary is typically in the first quartile of the range. Position closes September 11.
  • Oregon Voice is hiring an executive director in Portland. Competitive salary and benefits, commensurate with experience. Apply by October 13.
  • Defend Oregon is hiring an outreach organizer in Portland. Salary is commensurate with experience. Position is open until filled. E-mail resume and cover letter to
  • OHSU Foundation is hiring a director of development in the School of Medicine, Diabetes and Endocrinology in Portland. Salary is commensurate with experience. Position is open until filled. Please forward a resume, cover letter, and salary expectations to:

From PR Jobs online:

Get Linked Up!

Have you actively created your Linkedin Profile yet?  There are currently 9,500 Zags listed in Linkedin that are possible professional networking connections. Although you may have a Facebook profile, here are five top reasons you need to get active on Linkedin today.

1. Build a professional online presence: No more quizzes or college photos, just professional accomplishments and future goals.

2. Connect in a meaningful way with alumni and other “warm” contacts: Here is your “pre” established network:

  • Fellow Alumni
  • Gonzaga Staff & Faculty
  • Parents and other relatives
  • Friends (Peers and a few years older)
  • Internship managers and colleagues
  • Connections from volunteering

3.Research companies and career paths:  Linkedin allows you to gain a creative edge when hunting for opportunities at dream companies.   Alums from your college are now working at companies around the world, look

them up and make a connection.

4. Find opportunities with organizations that don’t recruit on campus: By using the search function, you can meet fellow Zags in companies and then request introductions.

5. Learn lifelong networking skills: From follow through to developing well written e-mails and thank-you’s, Linkedin allows for recent grads to hone lifelong skills in a dynamic real-time method.

For tips and tricks for recent graduates on making the most of Linkedin, check out their site at:

Once your account is created, make sure to join the Career Center’s Group as well as the Alumni Association’s Group!

linked in-logo

Interested in Weather & Water?


  • Would you like to assist Emergency and Water Managers in making critical decisions?
  • Are you excited about using the latest technologies like radar, satellites, computers and advanced models?
  • Would you like to work in the expanding area of water resources forecasting?
  • Does helping to save lives and property during flood events interest you?

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) National Weather Service Office in Spokane, Washington may have a position for you as a Service Hydrologist Position.

Here are a handful of duties:

  • Is responsible for evaluating and making recommendations to improve the effectiveness of the WFO/supported WFO hydrologic program.
  • Preparing, issuing and providing quality control over the preliminary river and flood forecasts, as well as adaptive stage and flood forecasts.
  • Alerting the Meteorologist In Charge (MIC) of deficiencies in products or procedures.
  • Instructing and training other WFO personnel in operational aspects of the hydrology program.
  • Managing the flash flood program for the WFO.
  • Supervising the hydrological data acquisition network.
  • Participating in the Community Preparedness and Outreach Programs.

For a full job listing, go to: and search for Job Announcement Number:  NWS-WR-2009-0172

Hiring Companies in August

Today, posted a great article highlighting 15 companies that are  actually hiring for the month of August.  Some of these companies are repeats from the list that was released in July, but it is always good to see who is hiring and for what. Although some of the postions are regional, many are in fact national and could be great opportunities for any job hunters.

Here are the companies listed in the article:

Industry: Sales and marketing
Number of positions: 100

Adecco Group North America*
Various (including IT, engineering, finance and accounting, office and administrative, legal, medical and science, government)
Number of positions:

Number of positions:

Number of positions:

Archer Daniels Midland
Number of positions:

Automotive retail
Number of positions:

Cengage Learning
Number of positions:

Central Payment Corporation
Credit card processing
Number of positions:

Idearc Media
Number of positions:

Kool Smiles
Health care
Number of positions:

Manpower International, Manpower Professional, Manpower Staffing
Number of positions:

Medical Services of America
Home healthcare services
Number of positions:

Oceaneering International Inc.
Number of positions:

Quintiles Transnational
Number of positions:

Ross Education
Post secondary allied health education
Number of positions: 50

Is Your Job Search Giving You the Shock of Your Life?

You’ve been applying for positions on a daily basis.    Your parents are wondering if they will ever get you out of the house and if tuition was money well spent.   You may have even had an interview, but you’ve yet to land a job.

Now is the time to contact the Career Center.

We are here to help our Zags get that job that will launch your career through various coaching steps.


Maybe your resume is good, but not great.  We can help you with that.  Maybe your cover letter is getting passed over because it rather generic instead of specific.  We can help you with that.  Maybe when you went on that interview, you didn’t feel as prepared as you wish you were.  We can help you with that, too! Oh yeah, we also have resources to help you with job searching as well from helpful links to getting familar with networking tactics.

Just come by…call… or email (   If you feel like you are getting shocked by the reality of your first job hunt, then come see us at the Career Center.

Hot Communication Leads in Portland


Just as the summer is heating up throughout the Pacific Northwest (it’s hotter in Seattle/Portland than Spokane today!), I wanted to forward along a few job leads that have come into the Career Center recently. If you are job

hunting in Portland in the field of communications/non-profit or public relations, check them out!

  • The Washington County Visitors Association is hiring a temporary part-time marketing assistant. Hourly salary is $10-$14, depending on experience. Apply by July 31.  For the job listing go here. For the Association’s site, go here:
  • Legacy Health is seeking a part-time communications specialist to lead internal communications planning. This limited duration position is in NW Portland and not expected to extend beyond 4th quarter 2011. Hourly salary is $22.34 – $33.37. Visit Legacy Jobs and search job number 09-0770.
  • The Oregon Department of Revenue is hiring a communications managerMonthly salary is $4,670 – $6,889. Position closes July 31.
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