I thought I would do something a little different today rather than my usual outfit post, and I hope it provides some value to you or someone you know.
I think a lot of you know that I spent several years in the classroom before taking a leap and landing in Houston. Almost three years ago, I started working at a consulting firm and I now focus on their campus recruiting! Talking to young people about starting their careers post-graduation is so rewarding (and also feels full-circle as I was helping my 11th graders work on getting into college). Unfortunately 73% of 2020 grads wrapped up their college career this month without having a job lined up. A lot of people have lost jobs, been furloughed, and are having to pivot away from industries that they spent years in. I can certainly understand that it feels like a grim time to be job-searching.
In February, I got the chance to go back to my alma mater, Ole Miss, and give a quick lecture on selling yourself as top talent (and pitching my awesome firm). So whether you’re graduating from college (CONGRATULATIONS!) or are trying to find something, I’m sharing a few key takeaways from my presentation.
- Prepare – research the company and the role. Know why you’re interested and how you’d be able to contribute. DO NOT say “I’ll really take anything right now”. Explain how you’re the right person for THIS SPECIFIC JOB.
- Be able to speak about yourself – A common question you’re going to get during an interview is “Tell me about yourself”. Don’t just give a schpeel regurgitating your resume, don’t have something scripted (it sounds cold and impersonal). Talk about YOU! Yes, highlight your work experience, but share interests, where you grew up, why you got into x industry. Let your personality shine!
- Give specific examples – When asked those questions like, “Tell me about a time when…”, get specific. Have you heard of the STAR method? See below:
- Situation – introduce the situation and give the recruiter some context
- Task – describe the task you had to complete and the challenges you encountered
- Action – explain what you did and how you did it
- Results – share the outcome of your efforts, what quantifiable results did you have?
- Confidence, Communication, and Engagement – Be proud of the work you’ve done, be clear and concise in your answers, and show your EXCITABILITY for the opportunity.
- Ask Important Questions – and no, I don’t mean salary and benefits. Here are some questions that should be relevant to you:
- How would you describe the company culture?
- What are the opportunities for growth? Timeline for growth?
- What do you enjoy about the company?
- What are the challenges new hires face in this role?
Again, I hope this was helpful and I’m wishing you the best in your job search!