Transitioning from university to the working world poses an unfamiliar challenge to most students. The toughest part to understand is that sometimes there’s no clear-cut rulebook to follow when applying for jobs. However, there are several general practices necessary to impress an employer. Make sure you are aware of these particular struggles so you can learn how to master them.
- A lot of candidates are comfortable conversing through an online form of communication, such as e-mail, but they lack the ability to engage in face-to-face conversations. Many young professionals don’t even feel comfortable speaking on the phone. Technology has created a mindset in which an in-person conversation is considered a last resort. This is a crucial skill for the workforce and one that many students need to improve on. Hiring managers value the in-person interview because they can witness your confidence, demeanor and mannerisms—all very important factors when it comes down to choosing the right person for the job. Practice answering questions with the help of friends or family so you can give off the cool, calm and collected vibe when the interview day arrives.
- Many people don’t recognize the value of personalization and follow up. It’s important to send resumes tailored specifically for the type of role to which you are applying. Employers always know when they receive a generic cover letter or thank you note. It can be the difference between proving you want the job and getting written off. Don’t hesitate to include something you spoke about in the interview in a follow up note or how you feel connected to the brand/firm in a cover letter. Modifying your resume to be relatable is the name of the game.
- Quite often, applicants believe that the more experience included on their resume, the better. Although companies are looking for experience, odd summer jobs do not require a full section on the resume. These jobs can add up and register as an inaccurate number of total years of experience when recruiters use technology to search for entry-level candidates. To avoid this, students should tailor their resumes for each job application to highlight past experiences that are relevant for the specific role. As a student, you might not have much relevant experience, but the point is to highlight and focus on the jobs that really count.
Whether you’re applying for your first job or have forgotten to make these practices a habit in the past, recognizing what other students struggle with can give you a leg up in the job market. Integrate these common missteps into your application routine and you’ll stand head and shoulders above the competition.
At OneWire, our goal is to not only help students find a job, but find one that you are truly excited about. Visit our site to create a free online profile to search and connect with over 450 top employers in the finance industry. For more career advice, check out our Career Resources page, featuring interviews with leading industry CEOs on how they made it to the top.