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Negotiation is the process in which two parties come to an agreement concerning the terms and conditions under which they are willing to do business. Follow these steps to ensure a successful outcome:

Preparation before the offer

  • Establish your own criteria about benefits, job responsibilities, and the salary you want, the salary you need, and your bottom line.
  • Create a list of reasons they should hire you: skills accomplishments, experience, knowledge, personal traits.
  • Do market research to find labor market salary ranges for role, industry, company size, and place, i.e. salary.com.

When you receive the offer

  • Thank the employer and show your enthusiasm.
  • Clarify position responsibilities, salary and benefits.
  • Request additional information, if needed.
  • Ask for offer in writing, and for time to evaluate the offer.
  • DO NOT NEGOTIATE AT THIS TIME!!

Make a good first impression

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Are you interviewing for a job or conducting an informational interview to explore a career possibility?  When it comes to interviewing, there's truth in that old adage, "You never get a second chance to make a good first impression".  Just how long do you have to make that first impression?  Statistically about 10 seconds.  That's the amount of time that the average person takes to make a first appraisal.  Much of that impression is at a subconscious level, and almost all of it based on appearances since your dress and grooming are the first things people notice about you.

What is appropriate dress for an interview?  Most professional job interviews call for wearing professional dress. Take cues from the work environment for variations on the professional dress theme.  For example, a classic navy suit would be fine in a traditional office setting, while a softly tailored dress would be appropriate in the more informal environment of a social services agency.  When in doubt about what to wear - dress up.  Even if you know that the employee dress code is very casual, it's appropriate to dress professionally for an interview.  You're not an employee until you're hired.  On the other hand, informational interviews are considered less formal so business casual would be appropriate.  

Whether it's a job interview, or an informational interview, be thoughtful in deciding on your interview look.  You want to be remembered for what you say, not for what you wear.  For suggestions on both professional dress and business casual, review the Professional Attire document, which includes photographs, on the CEC's Career Toolkit.  

College Intern in office.jpgWe may still be in the thick of fall semester classes and gearing up for exams. But if you need an internship for the spring semester, now is the time to get moving. Believe it or not, there is only one month left till the winter break.

Here are twelve key tips to help you get underway and headed in the right direction:

1. Review the "Pursue an Internship" Page -- Start by reading the Career Toolkit page on the CEC website on internships. This outlines the key steps and provides access to further resources. 

2. Determine Your Focus - What kind of work experience do you want? What industry? What type of functional role? What specific companies do you want to target? The clearer you are about what you are looking for the easier it is to pursue opportunities. Ask yourself what your interests and objectives are - what do you really want to explore and learn more about?  This is your chance.

3. Visit Company Careers Pages - Especially in larger firms, the careers page will list their internship programs and and tell you how to proceed, whether for in-semester or summer internships when many firms run their formal programs. For an example, see the Student section of the Fidelity Investments Careers page.

 

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Things are looking better than ever for the Class of 2013.  Unemployment in the general population is down below 8% for the first time in years, and the unemployment rate remains even lower for college graduates.  Even better, the National Association of Colleges and Employer (NACE) reports that, based on their recent survey of employers, employers expect to hire 13 percent more college graduates from the Class of 2013 than they did from last year's class.

Even so, it remains a difficult job market, and the best thing Simmons women graduating in the coming year can do is to sharpen and highlight the skills and qualities that employers are looking for in new college graduates. 

The top five abilities employers are looking for in college graduates, according to NACE's survey, are:

  1. Ability to verbally communicate with persons inside and outside the organization
  2. Ability to work in a team structure
  3. Ability to make decisions and solve problems
  4. Ability to plan, organize, and prioritize work
  5. Ability to obtain and process information

Make sure to think about the classes, extracurriculars, volunteering, and internships you have participated in during your time at Simmons, and what you have done in those activities that demonstrate the skills and qualities above.  Highlighting these in your resumes, cover letters, and interviews can be the key to landing that first post-college job.

For a full list of the skills and qualities that employers are looking for in the Class of 2013, please visit the NACE website.

Source: National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), 2013 Job Outlook Survey