Let’s imagine this scenario:
Two people are sitting in a lobby with a gajrillion other applicants for a business marketing job. One of these people is a college graduate, and one is a high school graduate. They both are dressed professional, looking clean, with their hair done. They are looking fresh. They both have their resumes and are ready to go. The college applicant goes in first, does their thing, answers all of the interviewers questions; they tell them everything they think the interviewers want to hear, kind of thinking they have this interview in the bag because they have the degree and are overqualified for the job. They leave and go treat themselves to a nice green tea mocha-latte-ccino with soy milk and non-fat creamer. The high school graduate is up. They go in, greet every interviewer by name, because they have already met all of the interviewers weeks before. Before the interviewers get started with the interview, the high school grad says that he was on the company website the other day and didn’t like how the company was scheduling events; they were really confusing for the average reader and offered a solution to the problem. Then they proceeded to talk about the high school graduate’s past work experience managing a couple of small convenience stores and how they were bringing in 60% higher profits in their time there.
Now, who would you guess has the interview in the bag? You see, this illustrates precisely the issue I see many college graduates facing. They think that just because they got a fancy degree from a fancy university, then suddenly the world owes them a high paying job. But it doesn’t work like that. You forgot that the world doesn’t owe you anything, and now you are having a ton of trouble getting a job, much less a job you actually like.
BUT NEVER FEAR, D. BANKS IS HERE.
I am going to show you the tactics I have used to set myself apart from other applicants and land myself an internship at one of the world’s most exclusive spas, as well as go from a weight room attendant with no management experience to literally running my own gym, as well as landing all the other jobs and getting offers that I had to turn down.
So, here’s what you have to do:
- Educate yourself
- Don’t wait, call, email, mail, visit
- KNOW THE COMPANY, offer a solution to a pain
- THANK THEM
- Follow up
There are a few obvious basics before we get to that list.
You want to dress nice. Clean up and make yourself look presentable. I don’t care what the job is. If you are dressed better than the other applicants, you are instantly setting yourself apart. Most of all, though, wear what makes you feel confident. Wear your confidence. Unless that means go naked. You probably don’t want to go naked.
Next, bring a resume. I’ll briefly go over resume building in a second. Make sure you print a resume out. Always bring a hard copy on resume paper so it looks more professional. I once went into a job interview expecting them to already have it printed out from the 5,000 emails I sent, but they did not. I still got the job offer, but I had to really work my magic on that one. Having a degree was a life saver, there.
Lastly, be yourself. If you are just telling the interviewers what you think they want to hear, they are going to know you are full of crap. Don’t think you know what they want to hear. Tell them how you feel. They aren’t looking for a drone that is going to kiss their butt all the time. They are looking for someone that is going to help their company. Do things that they are not thinking about to be more successful.
So, onto to resume building:
I am not going to spend a lot of time here because this blog will end up being 6 light-years long. But here are the basics:
Make your name huge. It should be bigger than everything else written on the document. Bold it. Make it hard to ignore. Make fireworks shoot out of it, if you can, and then email me on how you did that. You want them to remember you at all costs. When they deliberate on applicants later with their peers, your want your name to pop into their minds. Under that you want your contact information. Phone number, PROFESSIONAL email, and address. Next, you want to fill up your page, but still be brief. A couple of things I don’t like on resumes are objectives. Like, obviously, you are seeking a job at that facility. You’re at a freaking interview with them. I also don’t like the list of skills. In this generation, word processing is not a skill, and multi-tasking is actually a weakness. Just scrap that crap for actual education and experience. Now, this is your chance to brag about yourself. This document is all about you and all the amazing things you’ve done in between college parties or changing your kids diapers or whatever. But don’t mention your level on candy crush. No one needs to know you have logged 600 hours of gameplay on a free to play phone app. Mention your education, work experience, volunteer experience, and any relevant experience for the job. Literally anything. Think outside the box. That kid’s soccer game you got sucked into refereeing for? You could write, “Volunteer child care provider: Supervised children in athletic events to ensure enrichment in the children’s lives through a structured sport” or something bomb sounding like that. If you have any more questions on resume building, email me. I’d love to help you out.
Onto my aforementioned list.
Number 1: Educate yourself. This doesn’t have to be formal, but it really helps. Sometimes, you won’t even be offered the interview without a degree, though there are ways around this, but I’ll get to that later. Community college is fine. A degree is a degree so long as it came from an accredited institution. That being said, if you are going to spend all of the money to go to a University, realize that going to a University means so much more than getting a degree and going to parties every weekend. Universities are the best places to network. Which brings me to number 2.
Number 2: Network! If you are going to a University and you aren’t networking, you are wasting your time. It is way too expensive just to go to class and turtle in your dorm or apartment the rest of the time. That is what community college is for. If you are going to a University, meet as many people as possible. Meet people that are going to challenge you mentally, physically, and every other way imaginable. You want to create a network of people who are going to make you better. This can be tricky, because you want to be friends with everyone, and you don’t want to shut out people that are nice to you, but some people are nice to you and then they drag you down to make themselves look better. You want to surround yourself with people that are going to lift you up with them, rather than pull you down below them. You can meet some great mentors while you are there. Many college professors actually want to see students succeed under their tutelage. I know some of them seem like jerks, but if you had to grade 1000 papers every couple of weeks while also dealing with idiot Greek bros during class every day, you would get pretty ornery, too. Get to know them as human beings and they might be able to teach you waayyyy more than what is in the textbook, which you could essentially learn on your own.
If you are not in an institution and you are just that high school grad, the same principles still apply. Surround yourself with people that are going to make your better. You have a boss. Is he/she successful? Could you learn from her/him? Have you talked to them? Most people are more than willing to help you out if you show a real interest and just ask.
Number 3: You want to work at a certain facility. My biggest word of advice: DON’T JUST WAIT UNTIL THEY ARE HIRING. Go in today or tomorrow and talk to the manager or owner or whatever. Introduce yourself today. Talk to them. Tell them you are interested in maybe working there because reasons. Tell them you think you could really make a difference here. Drop off a resume and tell them to stay in contact and if anything opens up, you would like to be considered. This works wonders, because now as soon as they start thinking about hiring, your name comes to mind. It could be months down the road or next week. This is exactly how I landed my current job. If you did wait until the job opened, do not just turn in your application. Call and try to speak with the manager. Email the manager. Go in and try to meet the manager. It’s okay to be mildly annoying. Sometimes they simply forget to get back to you. They are busy running a business, and sometimes it gets hectic. Be polite, show your interest, and send them weekly reminders.
Number 4: This is a no brainer but I have seen this mistake so many times and I am only 23. Know the company. Know what they do. What they are about. What services they provide and what you could do to enhance those services. Be useful. There are actually people who cannot answer, “So why are you interested in working here?” with a real answer. They are like, “Duuuuuh, heard it pays gud. I would like pay gud.” Like, seriously, would you hire that person?
The last 2 points can be lumped together. They are thank yous and follow-ups. Thank them for their time and consideration of you! After all, they are spending time deciding on a job for YOU. Thank them for it.
Sometimes you wouldn’t think of this, but don’t let them forget about you. Send them a follow-up thank you letter. Email them a week after the interview at the latest and ask them if they have had time to consider you. Like we said, sometimes, they are busy. They just have a lot going on and they just forget to get back to you, and this way, you are making them remember your name because it keeps popping up!
Alright guys, I hope this has been helpful, you won’t become a master interviewer overnight. It takes time and practice. That is why you should apply for jobs even if sometimes they seem beneath you. At the very least you are getting your name out there and NETWORKING. Who knows what one of these interviews could come to? You might get an offer you weren’t expecting and can’t refuse!
If you enjoyed this blog, share it wherever it is you shared things, don’t forget to check out my podcast on iTunes, Google Play, TuneIn, and soon iHeart Radio! Be sure to tune in next week when I talk about how cell phones are ruining your life! As always, thanks for listening, this is D. Banks, signing off now, see you later.
You can find the podcast linked here!
Last week’s blog on The Perfect Squat can be found here!