Those who get the most out of life and those who give the most are those who make the choice to act.
Stephen R. Covey (1932-2012), educator, author, businessman, and keynote speaker
I was recently asked to present on what skills students should have or hone prior to starting an internship. As a strong believer in internships which can provide students with not only job experience (technical and soft skills) but also bolster their resume and perhaps lead to a job placement, I found this question intriguing. I brainstormed a list, did some online searching to round it out, and then organized it (see Figure 1).
Figure 1: Internship skills
I then focused on five of these selecting from all four quadrants, after some grouping. For each skill, I summarized what it entailed and how you could get or hone these skills. (See Table 1).
Table 1: Pre-internship skills to acquire or hone (with a “7 Habit” in red).
In the middle of this process, I suddenly realized that many of these soft skills were covered in the book entitled, “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.” In 1989, Stephen Covey wrote this best-selling book with now over 40 million copies sold. It is considered to be one of the most influential business books of the 20th century.
 Covey, S. R. (2004). The 7 habits of highly effective people: Restoring the character ethic ([Rev. ed.].). New York: Free Press.
A summary of the 7 Habits is shown in Figure 2.
I recently reread my copy and, although it seemed a bit long-winded in parts, the model and core teachings remain very relevant and valuable. There are an overwhelming number of summaries of various lengths available on-line, which are a much faster means to learn or brush up Covey’s core concepts.,,, Table 2 provides a summary of the 7 Habits as they apply to internships.
Table 2: Applying the 7 Habits to internships.
Internships are invaluable opportunities for students to gain work experience and apply the skills they have developed at school. In order to fully capitalize on these opportunities, it is advisable to start with a strong skill set by honing those skills you already have and reviewing the concepts outlined in The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People is a good place to start.
Licensed under CC BY-NC 4.0.
I responded to a LinkedIn article "Why Don’t Employers Call You Back?" by CareerBuilder blogger, part of which is reproduced here:
Of all the complaints we hear from job seekers, one of the most popular is, “Employers never call me back.” They say that not receiving any communication makes them think their application materials weren’t received, and it’s frustrating. After an interview, they expect to hear something, even if it’s bad news. They just want to know, one way or the other, if they might be in the running for the position.
One solution that I have seen a few progressive firms use involves two simple steps:
* Instantly acknowledging (often in an computer automated manner) receipt of the application. This allays concerns that e-mail, Linked in or some of the more bizarre forms actually worked.
* Clearly post two dates: the application deadline and the drop dead date for the first interview call. In doing so candidates can tell when they missed the cuts (and mentally move on).
I agree that once both sides have gone to the first interview stage in person or by phone, it is the employers responsibly to inform the candidate when they are no longer in the running. By phone would be nice, but even e-mail would suffice.
Many employers who post jobs in newspapers or on the web have a "drop dead date" by which time applications are due. Unfortunately this is usually followed by a version of "don't call us, we'll call you." Waiting and hoping for "the call" can be very stressful.
While I understand that responding to the 100's if not 1,000's of possible applicants is not feasible, one solution would be to let applicants "off the hook" so to speak by also posting a "final notification date." In effect, if you haven't been notified by this date - preferably 4 weeks or so after the drop dead date, then you have not made the infamous short list and should put this opportunity behind you.
In re-reading the excellent 1997 Harvard Business School's "In Transition" by ML Burton & RA Wedemeyer, I was reminded of the major steps in executing a career transition and how it in many ways parallels marketing a business with "YOU" as the product.
Good article see: http://www.iqpartners.com/WhyIQPartners/IQPNews_Apr_2010_jobs.html
His advice includes:
- Work with multiple recruiters
- Create a substantial digital footprint
- Always be networking