Just graduated with a science or tech degree? You’re in luck: New job seekers can make the most money working in entry-level engineering and software development jobs, according to a new study from the Hay Group, a division of the organizational advisory firm Korn Ferry.
Both jobs have average starting salaries of more than $62,000, and the pay could be even higher for those jobs depending on where they’re located. For example, the average starting salary of an engineering job in San Francisco is $77,096 and $74,609 in New York City. Software development starting pay is also more than $74,000 in both of those cities.
For the study, researchers analyzed salaries of 145,000 entry-level positions from more than 700 organizations across the United States. Based on this data, the firm issued a sampling of 25 jobs, across various industries, as a way to provide a snapshot of what new grads can expect as they enter the workforce full time for the first time.
Overall, the average starting salary of the 25 jobs listed is $48,270, up 2 percent from a year ago.
“The market for hiring college grads is extremely competitive this year, so employers need real, authentic ways to differentiate themselves and stand out as an employer of choice,” Vivienne Dykstra, global graduate practice leader for Korn Ferry Futurestep, said in a statement. “Strong starting salaries are a critical part of successful recruiting, along with a commitment to helping new recruits develop as their careers progress.”
The average starting salaries for the 25 jobs highlighted in the study are:
- Engineer: $62,174
- Software developer: $62,093
- Actuary: $57,600
- Scientist/researcher: $56,872
- Environmental professional: $56,236
- Insurance underwriter: $55,152
- Registered nurse: $55,099
- System’s administrator: $52,200
- Paralegal: $51,511
- Wireless consultant: $50,116
- E-commerce analyst: $50,000
- Human resources administrator: $48,578
- Merchandise planning associate: $46,873
- Product development specialist: $46,575
- Event coordinator: $46,212
- Public relations assistant: $45,619
- Pharmacy benefits program coordinator: $45,506
- Buyer: $44,477
- Graphic designer: $43,855
- Accountant: $43,294
- Health education instructor: $42,994
- Call center specialist: $39,998
- Claims examiner: $35,987
- Category assistant: $35,782
- Customer service representative: $31,958
When you go on a job interview, sometimes it takes a while for the hiring manager or human resources department to get back to you. Waiting to hear the next steps or whether you’ll be offered the job can often be more stressful than the interview itself.
To ease your anxiety about the situation, you may consider following up with the interviewer or HR rep to find out where they are in the hiring process. But you don’t want to appear pushy or overbearing; it might ruin the good impression you already made.
Business News Daily spoke with hiring and HR experts about the polite, professional and proper way to follow up after a job interview.
Start with a thank-you
Following up post-interview is a key component of the job search. Reaching out “projects your level of interest and commitment to the position at hand,” Jill Gaynor, an employee engagement and training expert, said in an interview with The Ladders.
“A call [or email] to the hiring manager can bring your name and resume to his or her attention, and separate you from the [other applicants],” she said.
A good first step is to send a thank-you note to the person who interviewed you, preferably via email within 24 hours.
“A job candidate should always send thank-you emails right after an interview,” said Kristen Kenny, vice president of people and talent at car search website CarGurus.
Sending the note gives candidates an opportunity to express their interest in the position and company, as well as share any additional information that they may have forgotten to mention during the interview, Kenny added. [See Related Story: After the Interview: Sample Thank You Letters]
Patience is your friend
While interviewing, candidates should ask about the next steps and timeline for the hiring process as a way to understand when they should reconnect with a hiring manager.
If no time frame is specified, JD Conway, senior talent acquisition partner at BambooHR, suggested waiting four to seven days after your initial thank you note before contacting the company again.
“Every company’s hiring process is completely different,” Conway said.”Most [recruiters] are trying to keep in contact with anywhere from around 50 to hundreds of candidates at that same time. Just because it’s been a few days doesn’t mean they aren’t planning on considering you [for the job].”
If a timeline is discussed during the initial interview process, candidates should respect what the interviewer told them.
“An applicant should not follow up within five days if they’re told that a hiring decision is going to be made within two weeks,” Kenny said. “Instead, they should show patience and an understanding of deadlines by waiting closer to the two-week mark before reconnecting.”
Don’t be shy
Following up can be uncomfortable. It can be hard to gauge where you stand, and if you’re getting radio silence from the hiring manager, you might second-guess yourself.
Conway said candidates often have trepidation about reaching out and “bothering” someone. And sometimes, recruiters don’t have updates of their own to give, which causes a natural delay that can feel awkward, he said.
At the same time, “there are also recruiters that are too passive in telling candidates ‘no,'” Conway added. However, the best recruiters won’t let having to tell a candidate “no” hold them back from swift, transparent communication.
It’s also good to keep in mind that it’s not always you — sometimes, it’s them.
“When you’re not hearing something [from a hiring manager], often it has more to do with internal decisions and processes than it does you,” said Maxie McCoy, a career expert. “Remember, this is professional, and put yourself in the hiring manager’s shoes. Checking in is a good thing. Just make sure to do it in a way that is respectful of someone’s time.”
“It’s all about being sweetly persistent,” Conway added. “And if the HR team seems annoyed that you’re (kindly) holding them accountable, you might want to rethink whether that’s a company you want to work for.”
Sometimes it can be difficult to search for a new job when you’re already employed. How would your employer react if they knew you were looking for a way out? Getting caught in a job search could lead to some uncomfortable interactions in your current workplace, so it’s important to make sure you do it the right way. Luckily, LinkedIn has unveiled a tool that will help you discreetly put your resume in front of a sea of job recruiters. The program, called Open Candidates, allows users to send out a signal to potential employers that lets them know the user is interested in finding a new job. Users are prompted to fill out a questionnaire about the types of jobs they’d like to fill and are encouraged to update their profile with their relevant experience.
Then, interested recruiters will be directed to the user’s profile and, if they believe there’s a fit, will contact the user with a possible interview opportunity. “Who among us hasn’t, at some point, tried to find work without our boss finding out?” Dan Shapero, senior product manager of LinkedIn Careers at LinkedIn, wrote on the company’s blog. “Now, you can privately indicate to recruiters on LinkedIn without worrying. We will hide the Open Candidates signal from recruiters at your company or affiliated company recruiters.” In order to see that you’re interested in an open position, recruiters must first be subscribed to LinkedIn’s paid service. This way, you’ll know that who comes knocking is a legitimate job recruiter interested in hiring you. Best of all, the signal to recruiters that you’re looking for a new job will only be visible to those unaffiliated with the company you currently work for. Privacy and discretion are key aspects of Open Candidates.
LinkedIn will be officially revealing Open Candidates, along with several other updates, at its annual Talent Connect event, which is available for live-streaming today and tomorrow (Oct. 6 -7). Open Candidates will initially be available in the U.S., U.K., Canada and Australia, according to LinkedIn. The company anticipates expanding access to Open Candidates worldwide throughout the coming year. If you are looking for a job while you’re still employed, be sure to be respectful of your employer’s time and resources. Don’t spend your work day browsing job listings or filling in applications, and definitely don’t conduct your search on company-issued devices.
Advancing your career or changing jobs comes with numerous challenges. “Blending in” is not an option. Because the pool of candidates is vastly competitive, hiring managers will analyze your resume, past professional experiences and social presence, so standing out is key.
“It is important for candidates to utilize social media,” said Rebecca White, area director at staffing firm Kavaliro. “Not only does this show that they are current on the latest technologies, but it also provides them [with a way] to stay in touch with their colleagues, expand their professional network and open themselves up to other career opportunities.”
Each social network has its own unique characteristics and best practices. What you post, how you post and who you interact with on a daily basis can have a great impact on how recruiters and hiring managers view you as a viable candidate.
Serious job seekers should take the opportunity to develop their skills on social media and attract hiring managers. Here are a few tips to help optimize your job search on the most commonly used social media channels that recruiters use.
As the go-to network for both professionals and hiring managers, LinkedIn should be a top priority for your social media-related job search efforts. According to an infographic by Career Glider, which cited Jobvite statistics, 79 percent of recruiters hire through LinkedIn, and of those who use it, more than 90 percent search for, contact and screen candidates based on their profiles on the site.
While it is important that you complete all the basic sections of your profile, you should also make an effort to enrich the content of your page. Chris Heinz, vice president of operations at Westport One, an affiliate of executive search and recruitment organization MRINetwork, advised job seekers to collect recommendations from clients and colleagues, as well as to add context to all qualifications and experiences they list.
“LinkedIn can be a great resource for interviews,” said Angela Copeland, career coach at Copeland Coaching. “If you’re interested in a particular job, try to locate (and reach out to) the hiring manager via LinkedIn. If you have an interview already scheduled, you can use LinkedIn to learn more about the people who will interview you.”
“LinkedIn allows us to get an idea of the applicant’s job history, but more importantly, their involvement in organizations and how active they are in their community,” Andrew VanderLind, co-founder of Where I’m From apparel, said. This demonstrates a person’s time-management ability and how well they will interact with a customer or our associates.”
Bryan Lewis, chief operating officer of business research company Third Bridge, noted that hiring managers pay particular attention to candidates’ activity level on LinkedIn — perhaps more so than any other social network.
After your graduation cap has been tossed and you’ve said your final goodbye to college life, you must prepare to make the transition into the “real world.” And if you’re one of the many recent grads who have not yet landed a job, you may be starting to panic.
But fear not, recent grads: The forecast is good. According to Michigan State University’s (MSU) 2015-2016 Recruiting Trends report, hiring will increase by an average of 15 percent across all degree levels, including associate’s, bachelor’s, MBA, master’s, doctorate and professional.
“Most signs point to another explosive year of growth in the job market for college graduates,” Phil Gardner, an economist at MSU and the lead author of the report, said in a statement.
Some students may have started searching for their first postgrad gig months ago, but if you waited until the last minute, here are a few things you can do right now to make yourself marketable to employers.
Get going today
Famed poet William Butler Yeats once said, “Do not wait to strike till the iron is hot; but make it hot by striking.” The same applies to your job search.
“The most important job search advice for college students is to start early,” said Jason Weingarten, co-founder and CEO of talent acquisition software Yello. “If soon-to-be grads are just starting their job search, they are already behind. As early as freshman year, college students should begin building their networks by attending club events, networking with faculty members, securing leadership roles within campus organizations and lining up internships,” he told Business News Daily.
In addition, you shouldn’t necessarily wait until the perfect job listing comes your way, said Geoff Gross, president and CEO of Medical Guardian, a provider of personal emergency response systems.
“When it comes to applying for jobs, don’t hold back,” Gross said. “Even if the job description doesn’t sound exactly like the type of work you want to do, it never hurts to apply.”
Even if you’re not keen on a particular career opportunity, the job application process can still be helpful. Get as much interviewing experience as possible, so when your dream job does come along, you’ll know exactly how to impress the hiring manager, Gross advised.
Show what you’ve learned
As a brand-new college graduate, you’re not going to have a lot of professional experience under your belt. But even if you’ve had only one or two brief internships or volunteer gigs, you can still be a valuable employee.
Entry-level workers tend to focus on what employers want to hear about their industry-related qualifications, but Erin Keeley, chief marketing officer of creative agency mono, said she’s more interested in hearing about what a candidate learned from his or her experiences, professional or otherwise.
“When I’m hiring, I’m impressed by candidates that highlight life experiences over skills,” added Cynthia Davies, managing director at design collective Safari Sundays. “[Demonstrate] what have you learned about life and how can you apply what you’ve taken away from your background to your job — what makes you a well-rounded person.”
Polish your social media presence
In today’s world, it’s more or less expected that social media will be involved in your job search in some way. Susan Vitale, chief marketing officer of applicant-tracking system iCIMS, advised building a strong digital presence to make yourself findable online.
“Social networking sites are great ways to show off your professional skills and expand your network,” Vitale said. “They also offer candidates opportunities to connect with, and interact with, companies to increase their chances of being noticed.”
Alexa Merschel, campus recruiting leader for PwC US,reminded students that hiring managers are on social media, too, and will most likely search for candidates’ profiles. Therefore, those questionable tweets and party photos you’ve posted might not be the smartest way to present yourself.
“Students should not forget that some of those people [on social media] are potential employers and future colleagues,” said Merschel, whose company offers a resource for job seekers called CareerAdvisor. “The best personal brands include a professional and appropriate online presence.”
Social media can also be a research tool. If you know the name of the hiring manager and/or key people at the company you’re interviewing with, you should use social media to prepare, said Nathan Moody, design director of smart-space design firm Stimulant. However, during the interview, ask questions based on the conversation you’ve had with the interviewer — not what you’ve dug up on their social media accounts, he said.
“There’s a fine line between research and stalking, reasonable inquiry and [invading] privacy, being curious and being creepy,” Moody said.
The search for a new job is not easy. Hundreds, if not thousands of other qualified candidates are competing for the attention of recruiters and hiring managers in your field. This makes it imperative to find ways to stand out above the crowd.
The most successful candidates are those who differentiate themselves from the rest of the pack. Standing out in the sea of applicants is no small challenge, but with the right strategies, you can bring your resume to the top of a hiring manager’s pile. Here are four ways to do just that.
Pay close attention to your social profiles
Unsurprisingly, social media has become the go-to tool for today’s recruiters. The majority of candidates have profiles on at least one major networking site, so it makes sense that hiring managers would research potential employees at those locations. You probably know to keep your social presence free of questionable content, but if you haven’t taken the time to actively enhance your profiles’ SEO for your job search, you might want to think about doing so now.
“Be sure to constantly update your social profiles with buzzwords, and keep experience and information relevant,” said Kimberley Kasper, former CMO of recruiting platform Jobvite (currently co-founder of Osmosy). “On LinkedIn, recruiters look for professional experience, length of professional tenure and specific hard skills. If you want to catch the attention of recruiters, keep this information current.”
Kasper noted that social media can also be a great place to show off your portfolio of work. A Jobvite survey on social recruiting found that about a quarter of recruiters will check out personal blogs and Facebook to view candidates’ writing or design work. [See Related Story: Social Media Success: A Guide for Job Seekers]
Keep your resume with you on the go
While mobile job applications may not be standard across the board yet, they are becoming more popular. In 2014, LinkedIn reported that 45 percent of active job seekers have used a mobile device to apply for a job, and that number has likely increased since then. Susan Vitale, chief marketing officer of applicant-tracking system iCIMS, advised keeping an accessible version of your resume on your mobile device through Google Drive or Dropbox so you can apply to jobs as soon as you see them, before someone else does.
“Recruiters are looking to fill jobs yesterday,” Vitale told Business News Daily. “They don’t want to have [positions] posted forever. Apply as soon as possible — if you see it on the go [and you have your resume handy], you can apply right away.”
Because recruiters are increasingly using mobile devices to review job applications, it’s even more important to make sure your resume looks great on any screen. Kasper recommended emailing your resume to yourself and opening the PDF attachment on your phone to check and correct any formatting issues.
Be prepared for video interviews
Another emerging recruitment trend is the use of video applications and interviews. Today’s employers are speaking with potential employees via Skype and reviewing candidate-created video content, seeing this as a time- and cost-effective screening method. So it’s wise to get comfortable in front of the camera.
“Video is going to give people the opportunity to make themselves stand out,” said Jack Hill, director of talent-acquisition solutions at PeopleFluent, which makes software for human-capital management. “It all dovetails into understanding the company and the role you’re trying to get, and then relating your skills and expertise to that role and the ultimate goal of the organization. This can be done in written form, but it can also be done quite well in video.”
“[Recruiters] are starting to leverage video to pre-screen candidates,” Vitale added. “[They may] send video requests for candidates to answer one or two questions. It really gives job seekers a leg up and shows off their creativity, skills and professionalism.”
Imagine going to work each morning and seeing your favorite celebrity’s name on the company organizational chart. There are plenty of well-known figures who have taken the leap into entrepreneurship, and while you may not necessarily have daily interactions with your star CEO, you could still get a job working for a company owned by a celeb. Here are 12 famous founders whose businesses are looking for employees right now.
If you’re a parent, or know anything about being one, you might consider working for CafeMom, a New York City-based digital media company that offers support and advice on various parenting and motherhood topics. Actor Andrew Shue, known for his role on “Melrose Place,” co-founded the blog as a way to show his appreciation and sympathy for moms after becoming a father. CafeMom’s parent company currently has several openings at two of its properties, The Stir and Cafe Media.
Anyone with aspirations of working in television can apply to be an intern on one of today’s most popular daytime talk shows. Details about the program are pretty vague, but evidently it’s not hard to apply: You just need to provide your name, contact information and your “story” in 1,500 characters or less.
A solid resume is what gets you in the door and in front of hiring managers when you’re applying for jobs. That’s why it’s so important to make sure your application is free of mistakes, and that means more than just typos. Business News Daily spoke with hiring and HR experts to help you clean up some common resume errors so you can land that interview.
An “objective” at the top of your resume is outdated and should be eliminated. This section tells an employer or recruiter what you want, rather than what you can do for them, said Marissa Letendre, senior recruiter at Zimmerman Associates recruiting firm.
“It should be replaced with a paragraph-style summary which communicates what [the candidate] can do for the employer and achievements relevant to the position they are applying for,” Letendre added.
“I constantly see candidates listing obvious duties in bullet points under a job title,” said Yahya Mokhtarzada CEO of Truebill, which provides a tool for organizing subscription services. “If an applicant was a host at TGI Fridays for three years, I can assume they undertook common host/hostess duties such as greeting guests and seating them at tables.” Mokhtarzada suggested using the bullet-point space to list things you’ve done that an employer wouldn’t guess or to illustrate instances when you went above and beyond.
Not personalizing your application and not following up after an interview are among the most common mistakes job seekers make when searching for work, according to new research from CareerBuilder.
The job market is the strongest it’s been in nearly a decade, and technology is making it easier than ever to pursue job opportunities. But that doesn’t mean job seekers should be skipping basic steps like submitting a cover letter or customizing their resume, said Rosemary Haefner, chief human resources officer for CareerBuilder.
“These items get the attention of recruiters and hiring managers, and leaving them out of the process can hurt a job seeker’s chances of securing a new job,” Haefner said in a statement.
To help job seekers, CareerBuilder has uncovered the most common mistakes to avoid when looking for work:
- No customization: CareerBuilder research found that 54 percent of job seekers do not customize their resume for each job they apply for. Tailoring your resume to match the job description by using key words in the job posting that match your experience is a good way to get a leg up on the competition.
- No personalization: The study revealed that 84 percent of job seekers don’t personalize their application by including the hiring manager’s name. Finding out their name and including it in your application is not only a good way to get noticed, but also shows potential employers that you took some time to learn about the organization.
- No cover letter: As long as a job posting doesn’t specifically say not to send a cover letter with your resume, you should include one. Despite that, nearly half of the workers surveyed don’t do so. A cover letter provides you with a chance to introduce yourself and highlight your experience beyond what you can do in a resume.
- No follow up: Another misstep job seekers make is not following up with an employer after applying for a job. Nearly 40 percent of those surveyed said they never check in with an employer after sending in an application and resume. While you never want to come across as pushy or overbearing, checking in with a hiring manager after submitting an application can be a good way to stand out.
- No thank you: Even though it is one of the most critical steps during the job search process, nearly 60 percent of job seekers don’t send a thank-you note after an interview. Thank-you notes allow you a chance to restate why you are a good fit for the job. In addition, most hiring managers expect an email or handwritten note after an interview. Not sending one can make you stand out for all of the wrong reasons.
Haefner also advised joining an employer’s talent network as a way to stay up to date on new job opportunities; using social media to find who you know at a potential employer to get a referral; and practicing your conversation skills before an interview.
The study was based on surveys of 3,244 full-time workers in the private sector across industries and company sizes.
People look for new jobs for a number of reasons, and oftentimes, they do so while they’re still employed. It’s easy to get excited at the prospect of a new position, but you should be smart about how you approach your job search — remember, you still have a responsibility to your current employer.
If you’re trying to land a new job while you still have one, here are six tips to help you balance your efforts and avoid trouble with your boss.
“To put yourself in the right frame of mind, it may be beneficial to block out a time that will be used exclusively to peruse job postings, research companies and submit your resume,” said Gabe Bristol, CEO of Intelicare Direct. “This will keep you free of distractions and focused on applying for jobs. I recommend a minimum block of 2 hours; this can be done before work, after work or on your lunch hour.”
Keep it to yourself
Your job search is a personal decision. Even if you trust your colleagues, you can’t control what they share with others. It’s best to stay mum about your plans so it doesn’t get around to the wrong people.
“To look [for a new job] while currently working requires wisdom — the wisdom to know who to tell, who to lean on and who not to tell,” said Maria Sirois, a clinical psychologist at the Kripalu Center.”The best approach is often to remain private about your goals and actions at your current workplace until [it is] clear that you will be supported.”
Play it safe online
Be careful when visiting job boards or using social media to conduct your search. A single status update could be enough to alert your employer. You can further minimize the risk of being caught by ensuring your privacy settings are tight and using services that mask your identity when posting your resume online.
Most hiring managers understand that you will need to make arrangements to communicate or meet outside of office hours. Schedule interviews for before or after work, or during your lunch break if time allows.
“If you say to a potential [employer], ‘I would prefer to interview before or after my workday, or possibly during my lunch break, because I’m busy [at work] and [my team] relies on me during the day,’ you are indirectly stating that you not only have integrity but are a highly valued employee,” Bristol said.
Take stock of your talents
Sirois suggested taking time to consider your best skills and qualities, both in your current and past roles.
“Record what strengths you use and talents you demonstrate,” she said. “Notice if you are at your best in teams or on your own, with ideas or plans or both.”
As you reflect on your optimal self, you will not only better understand the kind of environment that makes sense for you, but you also will have learned how to articulate your best qualities to potential employers, Sirois said.
Continue to work hard
Bristol suggested you put forth your best work and retain strong relationships within your current office, because you may need to use your current boss or co-workers as references for future jobs. However, loyalty to your current employer shouldn’t preclude you from looking for other opportunities if you are not satisfied with your current role or company, he noted.
“It is important to remember that you are not doing anything wrong when looking for a job,” Bristol said. “It is, in fact, your personal obligation to look for better opportunities if you are truly not emotionally, intellectually or financially fulfilled.”
Internships help prepare college students and recent graduates for their future careers by allowing them to take what they’ve learned in the classroom and apply it in real-life situations and environments. Some internships are paid and others aren’t, but regardless, both students and companies benefit from the experience, experts say.
“It is vital that a student understands what they are getting into before becoming fully invested in the career path that they choose,” said Todd Rothman, an educator and partner/co-founder of wyzPREP, which prepares students for the Graduate Management Admission Test (commonly called the GMAT). Internships provide the opportunity to work alongside mentors and peers, and gain experience you cannot get in a classroom, he added.
A competitive climate
Just like the job market, the internship climate is extremely competitive, with tons of applicants competing for the same job. Nowhere is that more evident than in California’s Silicon Valley, Jeff Selingo, author of “There is Life After College,” wrote on LinkedIn. Each summer, thousands of college students descend on the technology mecca to work as interns at a mix of startups and Fortune 100 companies. During those three months, these companies are looking for the best students in their intern pools — as well as those at other firms — and putting a full-court press on them to commit to permanent jobs after they graduate, Selingo said.
According to Selingo, more companies are hiring from their intern pools. This means recruiters have shifted their attention from hiring soon-to-graduate seniors as full-timers to scoping out juniors, even as early as the fall term, to be interns the next summer.
“Internships are increasingly the only way for new applicants to get in the door at some companies,” Selingo wrote. “Postings for internships now make up a significant proportion of the overall entry-level job openings in several industries, including engineering, graphic design, communications, marketing and information technology.”
“Everybody wants to get a chance to prove themselves, and many companies now treat internships as a trial run for full-time employment,” added Jon Loew, CEO and founder of KeepTree, a service that captures messages and send them on a designated date. “Most applicants are aware of this, so you have to compete with a lot of other qualified candidates looking to get a leg up.”
Apply the right way
Despite the competitiveness, you shouldn’t apply to internships for the sake of having them on your resume.
“First and foremost, make sure you apply for internships that truly interest you,” Rothman said. “Internships can be very demanding on a student’s time and effort. The more passionate a student is about [their internship], the more they will gain from it.”
Rothman noted that it is vital that students understand what they are getting into before becoming fully invested in the career path. Even if the student won’t be offered a job at the end of it, it’s important to have a direction.
Even if there is no potential for interns to be hired at the end of the internship, they shouldn’t rule out that particular opportunity, Loew said. “The networking opportunity alone can be invaluable,” he noted. “The best way to know is to evaluate what you really want to do with your life and focus on working and learning about that particular job.”
Time spent at these internships is valuable and should be treated as such, Rothman noted. However, it’s important to be wary of companies that try to take advantage of young professionals, said Natalya Khaykis, analyst at ZipJob.