A View from the Top: Becoming the Ideal Job Candidate

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I’m very excited about the chance to help Bentley students succeed in the workplace.  I meet with students in my classes on a regular basis to help them to figure out how to stand out in a competitive marketplace and I am happy to share those experiences with the broader Bentley community.

“But wait” I hear you say, “Isn’t my degree from Bentley going to help me to stand out? “ For many students, that question masks a level of uncertainty and nervousness about how much work is really required to find the right internship or first professional job.  In other words, this is what they are thinking but are too polite to say:

 “But wait. I have a great degree from a great school?  Isn’t that enough?”

A great degree from a great school is extremely helpful, but there are many students with great degrees from great schools that will be graduating at the same time as you, and many of them will be competing for the very same jobs as you.  In the last decade, organizations have begun slimming down the number of positions targeted for entry level individuals, which are positions that recent college graduates typically fill and populate.

The Great Recession added to this trend and, as a result, many companies hire fewer individuals with limited work experience than in the past. And if that is not enough, organizations have been taking a leaf from marketing and using a BOGO hiring strategy – buy one and get one free – in which they fill two open jobs with one person. Factor in the number of terrific schools in the New England area and the shift in the employment world towards hiring those with prior work experience and you can see why your goal should be to find ways to make yourself the ideal candidate.

For example, it is very important to think ahead about how to maximize a number of key activities that can help you to launch your future career. These include how to work effectively with the HR department, how to manage your time at a career fair, and how to choose between various internship opportunities.   I will be covering each of these topics, and more, in this blog series.

I’m excited about the opportunity to share my experiences with you, and to help you to launch your professional career. You are encouraged to send questions directly to me at e.walker@bentley.edu or to visit me at 310 Adamian.  Or, you can simply bookmark this blog to check back for updates each Sunday at 3PM.  My next blog will discuss the importance of creating a personal story as a way to stand out in the employment marketplace.

By Elaine Walker
Elaine Walker Lecturer Elaine Walker