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During the worst economic downturn in generations, Bill Means is helping Queens students prepare to compete in an increasingly tough job market. He's also taken on a new project to share his more than 20 years of career counseling even more widely as a public service.
Hundreds each day read his blog - http://blogs.queens.edu/CareerExpert/ - to read a rich stream of engaging posts on everything from how to maximize unpaid internships to ways procrastinating soon-to-be college graduates can catch up on job searching.
It's really fulfilling to interact with readers who have left more than 19 pages of comments, says Means, who directs Queens' Internships and Career Programs and is an instructor of education. His decades of experience in career advising informs his writing, and clearly readers are hungry for to hear practical and tactical advice.
Responding to a post on job interviewing, one reader wrote, "I've kept your recent article on ways to help ace interviews. I had an interview on Aug. 4 and I really was confident, conversational, prepared to summarize my past experiences and behaviors."
Means was inspired to launch the blog after conducting training to help displaced Charlotte workers re-enter the workforce. The sessions showed him how he could offer his expertise beyond the Queens campus to help people find work and have fulfilling careers, even in the most challenging markets.
The blog has led to even more opportunities to share his knowledge. Visitors, including Queens alumni who've been laid off from their jobs, ask Means for extra help with resume writing and job interviewing. Local journalists call to request interviews on career-related topics, and community groups invite him to conduct workshops. And he does it all in addition to his daily work with Queens students.
In one recent posting on seeking a mentor relationship, Means summed up his philosophy and the blog's focus:
"Good luck as you develop, grow and advance professionally," he wrote. "And please remember that, to be successful, you must incorporate a variety of tools to assist with your career development."