If you want a job in this economy, you need to sell yourself.
Kolleen Ostegaard, the American River College’s Career Center supervisor, offers advice to job seekers on preparation, presentation and delivery to help students stand out from the crowd:
CHECK YOUR FACTS
“It’s important that students know the company before they go in to meet with any employer,” Ostegaard said. “There’s nothing worse than being asked in an interview ‘What do you think about our Web site?’ and you say, ‘I didn’t look at the Web site.’”
Do some research on the company to show them that you’re invested in the position and not just casually job hunting.
REFINE YOUR résumé
After the interview, leave them with your résumé. “I like to encourage students to tailor their résumé to a specific position,” said Ostegaard. “Instead of sending one generic résumé out to 20 different employers, tailor each résumé so it’s not generic.”
Ostegaard also stressed the importance of finding ways to distinguish yourself from everyone else. When employers look at a résumé, it should be designed to point out all the things related to that job. They should be seeing skills and experiences that go hand-in-hand with the position.
DRESS TO IMPRESS
First impressions are very important. Many things have changed when it comes to procuring employment, but one thing is still a must: The suit-and-tie standard.
Conversations may be brief, so be prepared to tell potential employers everything they need to know in a timely manner. Provide a summary of job-related skills and previous experiences to help the interviewer determine your eligibility.
LOOK INTO INTERNSHIPS
Don’t be afraid to do an internship. “It’s a good idea to network and make friends with the business,” Ostegaard said. Internships can give students on-the-job experiences and show the employer that you’re serious about the job. Even if employment isn’t offered with the company, it could lead to networking opportunities.
ONE LAST BIT OF ADVICE
“One of the most overlooked part of getting a job is not proofreading the résumé,” said Ostegaard. Spelling errors will not impress employers. “(It’ll) go in the trash, no questions asked.”