“What are Hiring Managers Buying?” – Here’s What an Employer Really Wants

The Career Center has worked with hundreds of employers to help connect them with students to interview for job and internship openings. We’ve talked with many of them about what qualities they look for in the students they end up hiring. Here’s some of the advice that RedVentures, a South Carolina-based marketing agency, had to give:

  • Their recruiters will spend approximately six seconds looking at your resume. And they will spend most of those six seconds looking at your name, your education, and whatever position is listed first on your resume. Think about this – what is the most important or related experience you have for the job you’re applying to? That’s the one that needs to be positioned closest to the top of your document!
  • Social media can make or break you! RedVentures says that 93% of recruiters will look at your “digital footprint” at some point throughout their interview process. Make sure any questionable content on Facebook, Twitter, etc., is either removed or made completely private. However, not all social media should be deleted or hidden – don’t forget to take time to craft an amazing LinkedIn profile. Is LinkedIn really that big of a deal, you might ask? RedVentures answers: 89% of recruiters have hired someone through LinkedIn!
  • If you land an interview, RedVentures hires candidates who research their company thoroughly before the interview and who have thoughtful, prepared questions to ask. They also look for an email or a handwritten note thanking them for their time and referencing something you liked or learned in the interview. At the end of your note/email, remind them again why you’re the perfect person for the position.

So there you have it, straight from the source! If you think you might need help with your resume, your interviewing skills, your LinkedIn profile, or anything career-related, don’t hesitate to give the Career Center a call (478-445-5384) and set up an appointment with a career advisor. And if you dread talking on the phone, simply stop by (110 Lanier Hall) or send us an email (career.center@gcsu.edu)!

 

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Three Easy Steps to Prioritizing your Career in the New Year

So here we are, new semester, new year, new you! Right? What are some of your New Year’s resolutions? Maybe you’ve upped your gym game, maybe you’ve made a pact with yourself to be in bed before 11 on school nights, or maybe you’ve decided to give your mom a call more often. These are all great resolutions, but I have a suggestion for another: why not start prioritizing your career? For those of you who are freshmen or sophomores, don’t stop reading now! This post is not just for seniors. There are all kinds of ways you can start preparing yourself for your next steps after graduation, and the time to start is now. Here are just a few easy steps you can take to get started:

  1. Register on Career Connection! For those of you who don’t know, Career Connection is a job and internship database specifically for Georgia College students. What does this mean? These employers are posting jobs to our site and they want YOU! Once you register, you can upload your resume to the database for employers to view. You’ll also be able to apply to jobs and internships that are posted using your uploaded resume.
  1. Get involved! What kinds of student organizations can you join? Community service? Undergraduate research? Leadership opportunities? Figure out when that club you heard about meets, and go to a meeting! Looking good for employers doesn’t just mean doing well in the classroom – in fact, many employers value experiences that show skills like leadership just as much on a resume – if not more – than a good GPA.
  2. Visit the Career Center. We have a ton of resources that you can pick up to help you create or update a resume/cover letter, provide information about job and internship search strategies, or help you start research on graduate school programs. If you would like to have a one-on-one conversation about any of these things, you can schedule an appointment with a career advisor.

This is certainly not an exhaustive list – there are plenty of other ways to begin thinking about your career – but we know thinking about the capital-F Future can get a bit overwhelming. We hope that these three steps feel manageable enough, and will likely start to open doors for you that make the “Future” a bit easier to tackle.

We hope you’ve all had a fantastic start to this semester, and we hope to see you around on campus or in the Career Center!

 

How to Tackle the (Dreaded) “Tell Me about Yourself” Question

You’ve landed your first job interview with an employer you’re really excited about, and right now, you’re following them into their office to begin the interview. You feel confident and ready. You’re wearing a brand new suit, you’ve got a killer resume, and you’ve done extensive research on the company.  Your handshake is on point. If they ask about how you’ve shown leadership in the past, you’ve practiced your response. An example of a conflict you’ve had with a coworker and how you resolved it? Your answer is polished and prepped. You’ve got this.

The two of you sit down. The potential employer clears their throat. You’re ready for anything they’re about to throw at you. They say, “So, let’s start with you telling me a little bit about yourself.”

Crickets.

You’re racking your brain for something, ANYTHING to say. You stutter out your name, and where you’re from, and then….

nervous cartoons & comics

Your inner monologue is screaming: what else do I say? Where do I begin? Do I tell them how many siblings I have? Or about my hobbies? My penchant for eating a whole can of Pringles while marathon-ing Netflix shows in bed?

Being prepared for the beginning getting-to-know-you questions in an interview is an absolute must, although we often overlook it. So here are a few tips on how to prepare:

  • Address your strengths – what do you want the employer to know about you?
  • Think about the research you’ve done on the company and this position – what have you done or what skills do you have that will make you an excellent candidate for THIS job?
  • Reference the “why” – why should this employer hire you over the other five people they have interviewed that week?
  • Consider the Present-Past-Future formula, which is a great way to design your response. First, mention what you are presently doing and what skills you possess (that will be needed in this position), then, talk a little bit about what you’ve done in the past  that would contribute to the company, and what you’re planning to do or hope to achieve in the future,  For more info about this formula and for some examples, check this article out:
    Present-Past-Future Formula

Last words of advice: PRACTICE. Go ahead and type up an introduction for yourself, and rehearse it in your head before your interview. Don’t memorize it (you obviously don’t want to sound like a robot) but having a general framework in your head will ensure that your confidence remains unshaken, and that you start your interview off with a bang.

If you’d like to see some more examples, here’s a video that shows interviewees giving a “bad” answer and then a “good” answer:
“Tell Me about Yourself: Good Answers vs. Bad Answers”

If you want to get some feedback on your introduction as well as practice it on a real live person, please make an appointment for a mock interview with us at the Career Center. We will be happy to help!