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How Not To Send Annoying Work Emails

December 20, 2013

One of the benefits of our partnership with GEICO is an exchange of resources and career advice. This blog is written by Shannon Smedstad, GEICO Careers Blogger, and the guide below will help any new graduate working for GEICO or any company begin their career on the right foot.

Not all of us have grown up with a prolific use of technology. The first time I sent an email was in 1995; I was a freshman in college at Shippensburg University. Today, email continues to be key means of on-the-job communication. Therefore, it’s important that students, early careerists and job seekers know how to craft a proper email.

7 EMAIL HABITS TO AVOID AT WORK

1. Using all caps. Most of us probably know this, but RECEIVING AN EMAIL THAT IS WRITTEN IN ALL CAPS IS VERY ANNOYING. I was on the receiving end of an all caps email a few months ago and it literally hurt my eyes.
2. Saying hey. If you don’t know a person, well personally, then please do not start your email with “Hey, So-in-so.” This is particularly true if you are a job seeker sending an email to a recruiter or hiring manager.
3. Neglecting a greeting. The only thing worse than “hey,” is no greeting at all. If you are initiating a conversation via email with someone, don’t just plow right into it. Offer up a hello, good afternoon or at least kick it off with their name.
4. Exclaiming too much. Don’t you just love when people use lots of exclamations! It makes reading emails so much more fun! Especially when you use more than one!!!! Everything is so exciting today! Try to limit your use of exclamation points to one to two … tops.
5. Leaving the subject blank. The subject field is there for a reason. Don’t just include FW: or RE:. Write meaningful and contextual subjects. Give the recipient a reason to open, read and respond.
6. Writing with typos. Want to really annoy your readers? Use your, you’re, there, they’re and their incorrectly. Emails scarred with errors will not impress recruiters, supervisors or your co-workers.
7. Conversing via carbon copy. Having an email conversation with 10 people in the CC: field is a great way to annoy the masses. Email is not IM. Take it offline and have a one-on-one phone call or meeting.
Now, I am by no means the perfect email author. But, I am making a concerted effort to improve my email communication. One popular pet peeve that I will not let go of, even if it makes you cringe, is the use of emoticons. I happen to like them. 

This Harvard Business Review Ideacast from February 28, 2013 also offers advice on business writing and is worth listening to.

Ready to apply to a GEICO leadership program?
Visit geico.jobs/oncampus. Deltasigs can also connect directly with Debra Mienke-Pence, GEICO’s dedicated DSP recruiter, on either Facebook or LinkedIn.

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Twitter + Your Job Search: Tips for College Students

November 8, 2013

One of the benefits of our partnership with GEICO is an exchange of resources and career advice. This blog is written by Shannon Smedstad, GEICO Careers Blogger, and the guide below will help any new graduate utilize Twitter as a job search tool.

Tech-savvy and eager college students are finally using Twitter as a job search tool.  Last fall semester, I observed many college students tweeting and participating in Twitter chats. I think it’s fantastic that students are embracing Twitter as a way to reach out to employers, research companies, gain insight into corporate cultures, and find career opportunities.

 

USING TWITTER IN DURING THE JOB HUNT

 

  1. Search for jobs, internships and money for college. While there are many hashtags that you could try out, here are a few to start with: #jobs #hiring #genY #entrylevel #USAjobs #DCjobs #salesjobs #prjobs; #internships #internpro #intern; #scholarships #finaid
  2.  Follow company career handles. For example @GEICOCareers @SodexoCareers @GECareers @MicrosoftJobs @attJOBS share photos, videos, job postings and more. Read what they are offering or direct message them with a question.
  3. Follow your school’s career center. If your university’s career center does not utilize Twitter, follow ones that do. Syracuse, NYU, San Diego State and Indiana-Bloomington are schools that share job leads, resume tips and career-related articles on Twitter.
  4. Tweet your LinkedIn profile. Once you’ve identified potential companies or recruiters, tweet a link to your profile. Spark their interest and inquire about job leads or ask to set up an informational call.
  5. Subscribe to geo-targeted job feeds. Services such as TweetMyjJobs.com, SimplyHired, Indeed and BuddingUp post jobs to Twitter. Do a little research and subscribe to feeds that match what you are looking for in a job.
  6. Follow job-related tweeps.  There is a lot of information sharing on Twitter.  @Blogging4Jobs, @InternMatch, @YouTern, @BrazenCareerist, @InternQueen, @UrbanEmploy, @Doostang are some that come to mind.
  7. Stay in touch with recruiters. If you’ve met a hiring manager during a career fair or a recruiter at another event, ask if they are using Twitter. Follow them, tweet occasionally and stay connected to a real person.
  8. Extend your personal brand. I’ve seen public profiles that would amaze you! If you choose to use Twitter in the job search, I recommend that you: select an appropriate handle and profile photo, write a professional bio, and use your best judgment when tweeting.

Are you using Twitter in your job search? How has it helped you? Share your tips below.

Disclaimer: Mentions of third-party resources are provided for informational purposes and do not constitute an endorsement. I did not receive anything in exchange for listing any of these sites, however, I am a GEICO employee and have mentioned one of my company’s Twitter accounts.  

Ready to apply to a GEICO leadership program? Visit geico.jobs/oncampus. Deltasigs can also connect directly with Debra Mienke-Pence, GEICO’s dedicated DSP recruiter, on either Facebook or LinkedIn.

Terminology Tuesday: Golden Council

July 16, 2013

Welcome back to Terminology Tuesday! With Grand Chapter Congress just around the corner it is a good time to review what it means to be a member of the Golden Council.  At Congress, brothers will vote on proposed legislation that would expand the list of brothers who are eligible to be Golden Council members to include Chairs of Standing National Committees. Read the Congress Legislation to find out more. But first, here is what is currently means to be a member of the Golden Council.

Golden Council – Membership conferred by a majority vote of the Board of Directors after determining that the individual has fulfilled requirements of the completed position. Those who may qualify include elected members of the Board or elected Regional Vice Presidents who have completed a two-year term of office, any member of the exempt staff of the Central Office who has completed two years of service, and any member of the non-exempt Central Office staff who has completed five years of service.

Thank you Golden Council members for your hard work and continued dedication to the Fraternity.

How to Decorate Your Cubicle

July 11, 2013

The environment you work in can impact how productive, creative, and happy you are during the day.  Working in a cubicle is not always the most desirable of environments, but by re-decorating and keeping your space organized you will look forward to working in your new space.

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Here are some decoration/organizational tips:

Color Scheme:

Start by deciding on a color scheme for your cubicle.  Choose two colors, one will be the dominant color and the other will be an accent.  Get file folders, coffee mugs, book ends, binders and other large office items in the primary color.  Then buy smaller items such as paper clips, stapler, and hole punch in the accent color.

Inspiration:

Stay inspired by adding pictures and quotes to your space.  Change your computer background to somewhere you want to travel, hang up a calendar that has a theme you enjoy, and get a bulletin board to post inspirational quotes as you come across them.

Plants:

Not all offices allow employees to have plants in their work space, but if plants are allowed in your office make the investment!  Plants like croton, caladium and small cacti are good choices for your cubicle because they are easy to care for and will provide a touch of nature while you are working hard inside.

Organization:

Keep your cubicle neat and organized.  Buy organizational tools you will use and always keep as much of your work surface empty as possible.

Professionalism:

Remember to keep the decorations professional at all times.  Do not go over the top or choose too bright of colors.  Always respect the rules of the office and the requests of your co-workers.

Delta Sigma Pi Interactive

July 10, 2013

“What’s right isn’t always popular. What’s popular isn’t always right.” -Howard Cosell

However in the case of Twitter, which is becoming one of the most popular social media platforms with nearly 300 million active users, what’s popular is right! By following Delta Sigma Pi’s Twitter account (@deltasigmpi) you can stay up to date with what’s going with the Fraternity. From scholarship and event deadlines to fun facts and historical archives, our social media has it all!  On our homepage of dspnet.org there is a box with links to all of the Deltasig social media sites, be sure to connect with Deltasig in many different ways! Like us on Facebook and connect with us on LinkedIn!

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Read about Delta Sigma Pi’s social media and start following Deltasig online!

Motivation Monday: Life After College

July 8, 2013

Greek-LifeWelcome back to Motivation Monday! Today is focused on making the most of your Greek life experience after college! Greek membership requires academic achievement, time commitment, and philanthropic work; and those are just the basic requirements.  Greek life extends far beyond the membership requirements with all the leadership and networking opportunities available.  Participating in these events are great leadership and network builders for resumes and interviews.  To prepare for those moments when the opportunity to explain your Greek involvement arises, use these strategies from USA TODAY to maximize you participation in Greek life before and after graduation. The strategies come from Katie Smith, a career services professional at Duke University, and her article is titled Maximize your Greek involvement for life after college.

Think Greek Life… Now Think Again

July 3, 2013

Delta Sigma Pi is a professional fraternity.

This phrase has been engrained in the minds of every brother from the time they were handed their pledge manuals at the first pledge meeting.  It is so obvious to every member that it is overlooked how odd it sounds to those who are unfamiliar with Delta Sigma Pi.  “Professional fraternity” is a hard concept to grasp because fraternities are stereotyped as groups of men who are troublemakers that party and haze.  This description is far from accurate for Delta Sigma Pi.

Delta Sigma Pi has the reputation of America’s foremost business fraternity.  It is the responsibility of every brother to ensure that this reputation is upheld on every campus in every city.  No matter how long members have been associated with the Fraternity there are actions each brother can take to maintain the Fraternity’s image.

  • Send e-mails and post on social media to get members excited for chapter events and increase attendance
  • Plan non-alcoholic social events
  • Enforce the risk management policies set by the Fraternity
  • Continually ensure pledges and remind members of the no-hazing policies
  • Educate all members on risk management
  • Be aware of the personal reputation of recruits

Participating in Greek life is not synonymous for a four year party, so make it known in your area and break the stereotype!