Out of School and Into the Job Market -
5 Tips for Success!
Written by The Business Expert
It’s true, the job market is very competitive during this tough economic time. Fresh out of college, with your degree, where to next? Here are some tips to help you find, secure, and win that interview for that dream job!
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Be prepared for longer waits to hear back from those applications you submit. Companies are seeing record highs for application submissions and it takes a while for the systems and processes to filter through them. Be sure you have a professional resume which lists your education and skill sets, opens with a brief but catchy objective note, and I always recommend to add in an Interest/Hobbies section at the end which helps the company see that you are human and that you have different passions. For example, if you are applying for a Information Technology job, within your passions section talk about how you like to develop code, be hands-on with computers, servers, or networking equipment and so forth. As a manager, I want an employee who is happy doing their job, passionate about it, and has high character and integrity.
When you finally get the call for that first interview, here are some brief tips to keep you fresh in the interview, and woo over the hiring panel / manager.
- Schedule your interview at least 1 day out from your call. This gives you time to think through the job, its requirements, your skill sets and potential questions you will be asked. Role play with yourself so you can prepare mentally for the different types of questions you will be asked. This also lets you get plenty of sleep beforehand, so you can be focused and prepared.
- Dress nicely. Sure, you may only be going to interview for a temporary pizza delivery job, but don’t show up in shorts. My rule of thumb is to always dress business casual. Nice slacks (no jeans), button-down shirt/dress shirt. If it's an entry level position within your chosen career field, dress even more nicely. You can never go wrong with a pair of dress pants/slacks, dress shirt, and tie for males, and a nice dress, or dress slacks and blouse for females.
- Take at least five copies of your resume with you to the interview on resume paper, not plain copy paper. Sometimes you will interview with just one person, but it is handy for them to have a few copies of your resume to pass around internally. Other times, you will interview with a panel of people, and it's great that each of them would have your resume in hand as you interview.
- This one may be hard, but don’t be scared. You want to woo over the hiring manager(s) in an effort to secure your job. Most of the time it is their job to ask you questions you may not fully understand or have experience with, and they want to see how you respond. If you do not know, say you do not know but that you would love to learn about that to help yourself AND the company.
- Thank everyone and shake hands before leaving. Be sure to send a thank-you note after your interview, either via email or in the mail. It's all about making a good impression.
With these quick tips, you’re sure to do well and hopefully be receiving that follow-up call or email to come in for another interview or to be hired!
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