College Grads Can Land the
Job of Their Dreams
Score a Hire With Expert’s
You may have aced Intermediate
Accounting, but you didn’t count on getting lost on the way to your first big
job interview. So you arrived late and flustered, chugged a restorative cup of
coffee in the reception area, and then offered your interviewer a sweaty
Those simple mistakes may have cost
you the job, according to Patricia D. Sadar, a 20-year veteran of Human
Resources Management and author of Congratulations…You Aced the Interview
for recent college graduates.
“Students and parents alike spend
their valuable time and hard-earned money to get into the right school and earn
their college degree,” said Sadar, an adjunct professor at Florida International
University. “It seems as though
they forget the big picture – landing the job.”
That’s an even greater challenge in
today’s market, which can be especially hard to crack for young workers. Sixty
percent of recent college graduates do not have full-time jobs in their fields
of study, according to a spring CNN Money report citing the
job-placement firm Adecco Group.
Sadar’s CliffNotes-style books
answer burning questions, break through myths, and point students towards the
career fast lane! All books are written to be read in an hour and put to use
Each book offers a checklist of
strategies and a road map to travel the simplest, fastest, and most direct route
for students to land the job of their dreams. Some tips include:
- Tailor your resumé to the job:
simply scan resumés, so be sure the experience and skills being sought are
easy to spot, and the same information is repeated in your cover letter.
Include a professional summary, competencies, strengths and accomplishments
all focused on the position for which you’re applying.
- Prepare for the interview – what
you do before, during and after counts: Know how to get there and allow
extra time so you don’t arrive late. Don’t use strong cologne or tobacco
products, and don’t drink coffee beforehand, all of which can be smelly
turn-offs. Do pop a breath mint – not chewing gum, which has no place in an
interview. If your palms are sweaty, wipe your hand discreetly before giving a
firm handshake. Follow up with a thank-you note to the interviewer within 24
- Be truthful when asked about
weaknesses: People often avoid these questions
or answer by presenting what they consider to be a strength as a weakness,
such as “I’m a workaholic” or “I’m a perfectionist.” The interviewer wants to
know if you can recognize your weaknesses and how you’re working on them, or
whether you can admit mistakes and learn from them. Be prepared to honestly
discuss one weakness and one past mistake.
- Ask questions, but not about
salary, benefits, sick or vacation time: Go prepared to ask three to five
questions about the company, the department or the position. You might ask the
interviewer to describe the ideal candidate for the job, what he or she most
enjoys about working for the company, or what the company’s biggest challenges
will be in the coming year.
- Remember, mealtime interviews are
not about the food: Order a conservatively priced meal
that doesn’t have a strong smell and that you can eat without making a mess.
Don’t order an alcoholic beverage, even if your interviewer does, and mind
your table manners.
- Be courteous to everyone you meet,
from the parking lot to the restroom: Don’t underestimate the importance
of parking attendants, receptionists and security guards, who often have
influence with decision-makers. The person in the elevator or at the lavatory
could be the CEO or a potential future boss.
About Patricia D.
Patricia D. Sadar is CEO of
People2Strategy, a strategic Human Resources consulting firm, an adjunct
professor at Florida International, faculty member at University of Phoenix,
speaker, career coach, and author. A graduate of Nova Southeastern University, she holds bachelor’s and
master’s degrees in Business