Whether TU students are out looking for jobs post-graduation or for summer internships, the process can be frustrating and expectations often seem unclear. For those of us trying to distinguish ourselves from the hordes of frazzled millennials trying to scavenge for a steady income, Art Tyndall at Career Services has provided a simple how-to guide on getting that job:
Section I- Improve that Resume
-Use the words used in the job description. If you’re applying for something specific, use that to tailor your resume.
-Talk about your accomplishments. We have a bad habit of listing duties, but that doesn’t separate you from any other person. Including something like “exceeded sales quota by 20%” or “employee of the month for 3 months straight” is a better bullet point. Look back at your previous jobs and ask yourself “how did I have an impact” or “what did I accomplish while I was there” instead.
-Review the TOP 20 SUCCESS TRAITS at hireTUgrads.com. Show that you have those skills on your resume. Look at your work experience and decide how you would demonstrate those.
-NO TYPOS. THERE IS NO EXCUSE. If it’s a close call between you and another person and you have a typo, no matter how small, it’s enough to take you out of the running.
-Find alumni or other people working at the places and in the roles that interest you, either in person or on websites like LinkedIn. Look at their resumes and what skills they have listed.
-Have your resume reviewed by a Career Specialist in Career Services.
Section II- Ace that Interview
-Research the company. They expect you to know what they do. There is no excuse anymore. Do your homework. Know what is going on with the industry and in the company.
-Watch those older than you to see how they network and introduce themselves and present themselves.
-Dress like you want the job. There are acceptable forms of dress. It’s always better to err on the side of being overdressed versus underdressed. Looking sharp can be half the battle, especially at job fairs where you are being assessed with split-second judgements. Don’t wear jewelry if you’re going to fidget with it.
-Good posture is important. Using your hands is fine to do, as long as it’s not crazy and distracting. Make eye contact and be engaging. Show you’re interested and attentive with body language. Keep fidgeting minimal, but don’t be stiff.
-Anticipate the questions you could be asked. Look at glassdoor.com and see what kinds of questions are asked at that company. Everyone asks behavioral based questions. Students tend to have more problems answering those. Questions tend to probe for certain skills. Learn to recognize what they’re asking you about.
-Know what you’re good at doing, but also know which skills you need to improve. Companies often ask about strengths and weaknesses. Don’t tell them you’re bad at something, but instead tell them how you’re working to develop that skill.
-Have stories to tell. They make you seem more engaging and interesting. Check out the STAR method outlined in Big
-Interview, a resource found within Golden OpporTUnities. There are tips and hints and tricks and ways to practice.
-Practice practice practice. Please practice. No one is perfect the first time. Make a fool of yourself on video or in front of TU resources, not in a real interview. Schedule a mock interview with Career Services.
Section III – Improve Your Chances
-Network. It’s old fashioned, but it’s important. Often times, it’s about who you know. Make connections. Some of your best contacts will be parents of friends and friends of parents.
-Reach out. We don’t get every company or group on campus, so if you know what you want, there are ways to get in touch with other options.
-Do informational interviews. Talk to people who are in the profession of your choice. Ask them about their responsibilities, the pros and cons and ask for advice. You get to ask the questions, and most people are happy to give their time. This is also a good way to create contacts.
-Schedule an appointment with a Career Specialist to talk about your job search.
Section IV – Considering Offers
-Make a list of pros and cons. Rate the things important to you, whether that be location, salary or company values. Many times this process will reinforce a choice or lead you to a decision.
-Do NOT accept a job offer with a company and then continue with the job search. It makes you look bad, it makes TU look bad and it leads to a burnt bridge with that company or employer you back out on.
-Remember that it is always an option to call and ask about flexibility, whether it be about salary or about time constraints. A recruiter is usually happy to answer questions about benefits and policies. They would much rather you call and tell them you got a better offer and see if their company can match it than have you not give them a chance.
-Career Services is always happy to help you navigate this process.