From Career Treadmill to Fast Track

The Total Career Success Blog with Ken & Sheryl Dawson

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VoiceAmerica Radio Interview with NACE President Dr. Manny Contomanolis

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Finding a job that is “the perfect fit,” even for individuals with pages of references and years of experience, often proves to be a challenging task. If you are a college student and or recent graduate seeking a professional position for the first time, the job search process can seem almost overwhelming.  After all, you are charting unfamiliar territory that is far removed from the comfortable academic routine of college. But do not despair! With your degree and intelligence, eagerness and enthusiasm, and a little help from Total Career Success, you will soon secure the perfect job and be on the road to success. Total Career Success founders Ken and Sheryl Dawson sat down with the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) President Manny Contomanolis to discuss issues and trends facing college students and recent graduates who are currently involved in job searches. (Listen to the interview) Their Total Career Success radio show focused specifically on job markets and trends for first-time job seekers, as well as tools for success and finding the right fit for YOU.

The International Scene:

One of the significant issues discussed with Manny Contomanolis was the increasing “globalization” of job searches and job markets. So as college graduates dive into the professional world for the first time, they are really plunging into a diverse and geographically expanding market of opportunity that promises to continue to broaden in international scope. Before the job search anxiety begins to rise as a result of this revelation, consider what this burgeoning international scene means for the world outside of a job search. Vast amounts of knowledge and culture are being exchanged and there are now so many incredible opportunities for new cultural and professional experiences! Hopefully that realization transforms anxiety to excitement and enthusiasm for first-time job seekers.

Manny Contomanolis confirmed that employers and professionals across the world see talent as a global resource, which means that college students and recent graduates are not only themselves part of this global pool of talent, but that they have opportunities – more than any other generation – to increase their knowledge and learn from their peers across the globe. Throughout the program Dr. Contomanolis continued to emphasize that it is becoming vitally important for students and recent graduates to recognize the international scope of the job market as a way of increasing their knowledge and setting themselves apart from the growing pools of applicants to any given position. Ken Dawson also pointed out during the program that Total Career Success has been designed specifically with the international market in mind. The tools and strategies put forth in TCS – from resume preparation to networking to interviewing – will ensure career success in a global professional environment.


Another significant topic of the program addressed the role of technology in job search. Technology and the “globalization” of the job market and professional world go hand-in-hand. As technology has facilitated information exchange, it has dramatically shrunk the world! And in many ways it has “flattened” the playing field allowing everyone to get in the international game. For first-time job seekers who want to tap the international job market, technology and the Internet are essential for exchanging and acquiring information quickly. On the Internet, job seekers have access to numerous databases and websites that provide essential job search resources. Many companies have websites that contain information about their services and missions, as well as job descriptions and what they look for in potential employees. In addition, technology can be used as a valuable networking tool. Some organizations provide contact information for employees, some universities have alumni databases, and social networking in addition to direct e-mail is often a good way to keep in touch with contacts and expand your list of potential employers.

Finding the Right Fit and Your Personal Touch:

As Dr. Contomanolis stated, and employers affirm almost universally, employers look for candidates with strong communication skills, the ability to work in team settings, analytical/problem-solving skills, and the ability to learn and adapt. First-time job seekers can cite experiences they have had to highlight these and other core skills. Also, since students and recent graduates may have limited previous professional experiences, it is important for them to emphasize to prospective employers their ability and eagerness to learn and gain understanding and experience.

Beyond these universal core skills, it is good for first-time job seekers to do thorough self-assessments to decipher and better understand their skills, the broad ranges of their abilities, and their individual personalities in order to find the best organization and position for them. By articulating their passions and knowing their skills, individuals entering the job market for the first time can target their job search to fit their preferences, narrowing the focus of their search. The result is more quickly and easily finding the best position to fit their desires and needs.

Dr. Contomanolis also cautioned that while technology serves as an important and essential job search tool, one should never underestimate the power of making a personal connection through face-to-face contacts. When individuals know themselves and their passions and then pick up the phone or meet a contact or prospective employer in person, their knowledge and personality come through in the conversation. He declared that the most important thing in landing your perfect job is the personal connection with the employer and organization so that both the candidate and the employer know that it is the right fit.

Sheryl Dawson, co-host of the show mentioned that TCS provides the foundational tools for a fruitful job search, which individuals customize to meet their needs. They ultimately make their “personal connections” through the way they uniquely incorporate preparation, perseverance, and a positive attitude into their searches. The program touched on the challenges job seekers face amid an economic recession and the global financial crisis, emphasizing that now more than ever it is essential to prepare, persevere, and stay positive. Sheryl said, “Remaining committed to the job search by researching, networking, and preparing for interviews, coupled with an eagerness to land the right job and begin a successful career immediately, will set you apart and enable you to find a “perfect fit” job!”

Categories: Career Development · College Grads · Education · Job Search · radio show · Total Career Success

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