From the Pros: how to get hired

Carly Kramer

Photo by Carly Kramer

There are many factors that go into getting a job. How qualified are you? How prepared are you for the interview? What is the hiring professional looking for? Trying to meet all the criteria can be overwhelming, but the goal at hand is to present yourself in the best way possible for the company. Who better to ask than the big guys in charge? Below are some tips from a Human Resource expert on how to land a job.

Consider your past experience

“How do I get job experience if every job requires prior experience?” This is often the mind-boggling question that surrounds job hunting. Though it can be hard to justify how flipping burgers at the local fast food joint for a summer translates to experience for a higher-level position, there are ways to apply it. Remember that time a customer claimed their order was wrong and you took care of it? That’s conflict resolution right there, which is a great asset to add to a resume. Think of non-profit work you’ve done as well. Tim Reardon is an HR Domain Manager of ADP, the world’s largest payroll company. He said that students seeking employment should “look for any apprenticeship programs or summer intern programs. Find a place to see your career in action. Volunteer if necessary.” Sometimes, finding experience is as easy as going to your local animal shelter or community center to see how you can help out. Relevant experience is all about how it can relate to the position you’re applying for.

Do your homework

No, we’re not talking about that discussion post that’s due at 11:59 tonight. Doing your research on the company will make you more marketable during the interview. Someone who invests time in their employment goals is sure to stand out. “Having an understanding of what the job entails makes your future employer know you are serious about this type of work,” says Reardon. “Look for competitors of the company and learn a little bit about them to be prepared for the interview.” Learning as much as you can will aid you during the interview process. After all, your greatest resource is yourself!

Nail the interview

Ah, yes — the dreaded interview… more like being questioned by your potential boss while wearing a put-together outfit that you probably wouldn’t wear on the regular. You’re probably sweating profusely as well. Though you never know for sure what will be asked of you, there are definitely ways to prepare. According to Reardon, employers like to see poise. How do you handle yourself in this stressful situation? “I want to see how you react to the interview,” he says. “It’s my job as the interviewer to try to get you to relax.” Reardon recommends practicing so that your answers sound confident, not contrived. Also, always remember to ask questions at the end of the interview. This shows your interest in the company. It could even be something as simple as “why do you enjoy working here?” The employer is more likely to hire someone who is willing to communicate. Always ask questions.

Be flexible

Do a split! Give a yell! And be a team player. You showed the employer that you’re willing to adapt to a new job setting. Being a part of a team means compromising and problem-solving, which are skills that employers want to see. “I want to know they can accept training,” Reardon says. “I don’t care about a straight-A student. I don’t care if you are well-versed in 12th century French poetry. It’s not relevant in the business world.” Even if you are in fact well-versed in 12th century poetry, don’t worry! You still have a chance of getting employed. Just think about other skills you have that are relevant to the job you’re going for. Remember: think about how your past skills can apply to your goals of today.

Have confidence

You have to believe that you can get the job! It’s easier said than done, but self-talk can really take you far. According to Reardon, confidence and eagerness shines through during interviews. Plus, confidence will motivate you to give it your all throughout the hiring process. So get out there. Show ‘em what you’re made of, and get a job.

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