The Power of Personal Connections - Job Search Advice from Across the Web

Navigating the post-college waters takes more than a degree and a good resume. This collection of articles highlights the importance of interpersonal skills and making personal connections, too. It can take the form of everything from finding a mentor to building good relationships with professors while in college, from learning how to listen, to cooperation and teamwork.

Lecture Me. Really (The New York Times) - In an era promoting online learning and more experiential learning, it is interesting to read a defense of the role of lecturing in the development of critical thinking skills. The author, a junior professor, makes a strong case for the value of lecturing, but the question is, are the right people listening? Read the article here...

Is College Worth It? That Depends (Gallup.com) - This article reports on the Gallup study findings about the "Big Six" factors in a college education that clearly contribute to success in later life and careers. While a college education provides a clear economic benefit, it is no longer an automatic ticket to success. That's why every college experience should strive to include these six elements to increase the likelihood that your educational investment will pay off:

  1. A professor who makes you excited about learning
  2. Professors who care about you as a person
  3. A mentor who encourages you to pursue their goals and dreams
  4. Work on a long-term project
  5. Have a job or internship where you apply what you're were learning
  6. Get extremely involved in extra-curricular activities

Read the article here...

9 Tips To Land A Great Mentor: How To Ask A Stranger For Career Advice (Forbes.com) - My friend Sabina Nawaz, who regularly coaches CEOs, wrote this article for the Forbes website. Millennials are often anxious to find mentors in their work organizations, but don't know how to go about it. From "doing your homework on yourself" to "thank your mentor," this is a great set of tips to get you started. Read the article here...

Why What You Learned in Preschool Is Crucial at Work (The New York Times) - Cooperation, empathy, and flexibility... If you were one of those kids who got high marks for playing nicely with others, then you're in luck. This article highlights the latest research which shows that jobs growing the fastest require some combination of sophisticated social skills and some technical skills. Read the article here...

Well-Prepared in Their Own Eyes (InsideHireEd.com) - An Association of American Colleges and Universities (AACU) survey found that employers are concerned about new graduates having a range of skills in areas like communication and team work. The survey showed a gap between student perceptions of their readiness for the job market and employers' perspectives. Read the article here...

How big a role do you think personal connections plays in your job search? Let us know in the comments below.