The Beginner’s Guide to Professional Communication

We’ve written a lot on this blog about how to perfect your writing in the classroom. Whether it’s how to write better papers, how to write papers more efficiently, or how to do the research behind the papers, we’ve got it covered. One area we haven’t touched, however, is the writing you need to do outside the classroom. And no, I’m not talking about your Tinder profile or Twitter bio. I’m talking about professional communication.

If you’re in your first couple years of college, the professional world may seem a long way off  But it will be here sooner than you know it, especially since you’re going to follow our guides and land a killer internship, summer job, or freelance gig before most of your classmates have even written their first resume.
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5 Alternatives to Traditional Employment

What do you see yourself doing after graduation?

If you’re a regular reader of College Info Geek, I’m sure you’re already dreaming bigger (and more specifically) than just “I dunno, get a job, I guess.” You’re considering things like where you want to live, what kind of living arrangements you want, what your future financial goals are, and overall placing your desired lifestyle above your desired salary.

Still, when most people consider their post-college plans, they usually come down to one of two things: pursue further education, or get a job at a medium to large company.

And there’s nothing wrong with either of these paths. Chosen and funded correctly, further education can be a fulfilling option that can increase your future job prospects and further your intellectual development. Likewise, a job at a Fortune 1000 (or similar established company), can be the beginning of a meaningful career path.

What a lot of students forget, however, is that there are other options. The path after graduation is not a two-pronged fork, each path a straight career trajectory that will determine the rest of your life. It’s more like a a bunch of squiggly lines that radiate out from the central point that is college, overlapping into a variety of infinite possibilities. Read More…

Hard Skills Vs. Soft Skills: Why You Need Both to Succeed

Imagine two people are interviewing for a job. On paper, both candidates are very qualified. They both have degrees from prestigious schools, high GPAs, and a few years of relevant work experience.

Going into the interview, both are well-prepared. They’ve practiced all the common interview questions, dressed for success, and are ready to throw down.

After speaking to both of them, however, the interviewer’s decision isn’t even a hard one. One candidate clearly outshone the other – hiring them was a no-brainer. How can this be?

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The Ultimate Guide to Freelancing in College

Have you ever wanted to make some extra money? Of course you have.

When you’re in college, though, it can be a challenge. You have classes, clubs, sleep, and Netflix binge watching sessions to attend to. How are you supposed to make some extra cash?

The obvious answer would be a part time job. Part time jobs are a great option, but they’re not the only way.

What if there was a way for you to make extra money, set your own hours, and gain experience that would make you extremely attractive to recruiters?

Well, there is. Freelancing is the way, and in today’s article, I’m going to cover everything you ever wanted to know about freelancing while in college.

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The Ultimate Networking Guide for Introverts

Whether you’re an introvert or an extrovert – whether your idea of a good time is going to a huge party or brewing tea and reading Astonishing X-Men in your room (clearly the correct answer because Whedon wrote it) – you need to know how to build and maintain relationships with people.

If you’re in that introvert camp, though, meeting new people and “networking” can be anxiety-inducing.

Other things seem like straightforward, step-by-step affairs. Mastering the coursework in your major is easy. Crafting a resume is simple. But how do you “network” when you can’t even make small talk?

Actually, building relationships and networking can be broken down into systems and processes as well. Moreover, networking is a skill that can be learned with practice. And if nerdy online bloggers can do it, so can you.

Enter my friend Stefano Ganddini. I met Stefano a couple of years ago when he started reading College Info Geek and eventually reached out to me. Since then, we’ve chatted, shared each other’s work, and I eventually talked to him on the podcast. Read More…

Lazy Innovation Chronicles: How I Got Paid to Watch Netflix

This story features an app that you could maybe – just maybe – use to automate your entire job.

Probably not, but hey – stranger things have happened. Like that guy who outsourced his entire job to China.

Primarily, though, this is a story of how I channeled my own laziness to create an innovative solution to a problem. Hopefully, it’ll inspire you to do the same.

My friend Zach Sexton (from Asian Efficiency) asked me to write about these episodes of “lazy innovation,” which I told him about while we hung out in Portland; here’s the first one.

I supposed I should start out by saying that there are two types of lazy people in my mind:

  1. Type-1 lazy people: Those who are too lazy to do tedious work.
  2. Type-2 lazy people: Those who are too lazy to find ways to avoid said tedious work.

As time has gone on, I have found out more about myself. Specifically, I have found out – beyond a shadow of a doubt – that I am a Type-1 lazy person. Tedious, boring work is the bane of my existence and I will do just about anything to avoid it (including weaseling my way out of required classes).

“Peter Parker. Brilliant but lazy.” – Doc Oc

Type-1 lazy people are likely to be innovators. They’re more apt to put in a few hours of mentally taxing, creative effort to come up with an innovative solution (or at least research one), rather than take the easier route of simply following the script. Read More…

97 Actions You Should Take To Become THE Person Companies Want To Hire

This is a brain-dump of strategies, tactics, and other random stuff that I know will help you land a great job.

Heads up: This post is kinda ginormous. Don’t overwhelm yourself and try to do everything here at once. Pick a couple things to work on at a time, and save the rest for later – maybe bookmark this post so you know where to find it.

I have 97 tips to share with you today. Many come from direct experience – after receiving an internship offer without even interviewing (which I accepted), getting 7 other interview requests during the same semester, and working with recruiters and career advisers, I think my tactics are pretty effective.

Others come from the minds of friends, mentors, and experts whom I trust.

Each tip is brief, but lots of them link out to great resources where you can learn more. Read More…

Are You Investing Your Effort In The Wrong Places?

I’m going to start this one out with a story, because stories are fun.

Commander Brutus looked up at his head of military research with an expression torn between incredulity and sadistic glee.

He always liked having a legitimate reason for throwing someone off of a cliff.

“You wanna run that by me again?”

The lieutenant stuttered for a moment, then regained his composure: “Archers, sire. We should train every man in our military to be an archer.”

“Explain yourself.”

“Well, sire, our scouts have confirmed that the city we’re planning on invading has many guards on top of the walls. So if we train every man in our army to be an archer, we’ll be able to pick them all off easily!”

The lieutenant beamed. Read More…

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