This is a popular time of year for college seniors to start the job hunt in earnest. Students have accumulated four years of classroom knowledge and, hopefully, some real-world experience along the way. Now it’s time for the hard work to pay off. Applying for a full-time job is not the same as seeking an internship, as expectations are different and the process can be more challenging.
C. Blohm & Associates recently sponsored Young Professional’s Night on the UW-Madison campus, hosted in cooperation with the school’s PRSSA chapter. Melissa Wollering, Regional Communications Manager for SSM Health and Dean Clinic, and board member of Madison’s PRSA chapter, discussed why professional etiquette is important, and how it breaks down into three segments.
Before the interview:
- Resume: Your resume should be specifically tailored to each position, with relevant work experience to match the job description.
- Cover Letter: This provides an opportunity to summarize your resume, and highlight specific work experiences and situations.
- Research: Be fully prepared for the interview by looking into the company’s background and the position you’re applying for.
During the interview:
- Story telling: The interviewer has already read your cover letter and resume. Now is the time to expand on how you can excel in the role by speaking to examples from past work experiences, not class projects.
- Directness: Don’t dodge a question. If the question was not clear, ask to hear it again.
- Questions: Have two or three questions prepared about the company and position to show interest and that you’ve done your research.
After the interview:
- Card: Don’t forget to send a handwritten thank you note. It goes a long way!
- Human Resources: If discussing salary, trust what the human resources department says, it’s a science.
- Honesty: Be open and forthcoming if you need more time or are not interested in the position. You don’t want to start your career by creating a reputation as being less than forthright.
Applying for an internship and a full-time job are two different tasks. But remember, professional etiquette in both circumstances is key to landing your first job!
Thanks to all who attended our Young Professionals Night and to Melissa for a great presentation! If you were there, what improvements would you suggest for next year? Leave your comments in the section below.