Career expert speaks to business students

He offered a variety of tips for students to keep in mind as they pursue careers.

Career development guru Donald Asher visited Columbia on Thursday to share, what he promised the audience, was knowledge that would benefit them more than $50,000.

He held two workshops in succession that evening to help students get a clearer understanding of the job market, approach their job applications creatively and know how to negotiate salaries.

“I came to the University of Missouri because the business school wants me to change the culture in the Crobsy MBA program,” Asher said. “They want the students to get a little more aggressive about negotiating for salaries and having a very clear intention of their career goals.”

Asher has been training professionals for more than 20 years. His first workshop that evening was attended by about a hundred students and was titled “7 Hidden Ways to Tap into the Hidden Job Market.” It described unique and creative ways for students to beat the odds and win their dream job or internship.

“About half the people who are hired did not respond to a posted opening,” he said. “So, about half the job market is hidden. Only about one-third of jobs are posted online and 66 percent jobs are never posted. So, you should not spend more than 10 percent of your job application time applying online.”

Frank Lin is an international student from China who is in his first semester of the MBA program.

“It clarified the common myth on applying for jobs online,” he said. “It is overrated. He gave us a better direction, by telling us that we should define up to three unique channels we want to apply at.”

Asher suggested using subtle ways to continuously stay in touch with recruiters by sending them updated versions of the resume.

“Ask them, ‘You know quite a bit about me. Is there any reason I’m not good?’” Asher said. “Should they not give you a specific response and keep delaying you, ask, ‘What do you need to close this job?’”

If there were students who were going to apply online anyway, he warned them that most resumes were never read but instead were scanned by machines.

“Take every noun from the job description and put it in the resume,” he said. “Make a list of all the company’s competitors and strategically include keywords about those competitors in your resume, if you wish to stand out.”

MBA student Marguerite Halley found the workshop tremendously helpful.

“We’ve always been told that women don’t always get paid as much when, in fact, we women should have been negotiating more”, she said. “As a former anthropology student, I know that women, even in the western culture, do tend to be less confrontational than men.”

She said she is confident the workshop will help her in her future careers.

“After this workshop I will be much more outspoken about my salary and negotiate it better,” she said.

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