“Beep, beep, beep, beep,” my alarm rings out at the ripe time of 7:00 AM. Painfully, my eyes open. I slide out of my warm bed, open my blinds to the crisp morning light, and pull out my business suit that I ordered from Amazon two days before. It’s Career Fair day.
This past Friday, hundreds and hundreds of Pitt Business students boarded city buses—coffee in hand-- and headed towards the David Lawrence Convention Center for the annual Career Development Conference. Clad in black, gray, or navy suits, we walked in the hot sun toward a day filled with recruiters, resumes, long lines, and sweaty palms.
By the end of the day packed with panel discussions, shot-glass water cups, networking lunch, and traditional career fair, I couldn’t help but hear some of the same major themes throughout each facet of the day. We are often told that our resume and list of internships are the most important aspect of a job search, but today we got a little different perspective.
Below is the list of advice and suggestions that popped up numerous times leading me to the conclusion that they are exceedingly important and that I should share them with you.
Say goodbye to fear
The more confident about who you are as an individual and everything you can bring to the table is electric. Being secure in your unique qualities will get you noticed. People can’t ignore passionate and confident candidates.
Success is 60% image and 40% everything else
Whether you’re selling a toothbrush or selling yourself, there is one common fact that cannot be ignored: brand matters. Your personal brand is of upmost importance when interviewing. Who are you beyond your work experience and 3.7 GPA? What are your passions? What drives you? When you define your personal brand, people will want to buy into it.
Be a human
One of the most important aspects of an interview is jiving with the hiring manager and employees. Hiring managers want to know that you will fit within the company, but more than that, they want to know that they could spend day in and day out with you. So be yourself. Tell them the truth. If the fit isn’t right, then move on. It’s for the best in the end.
Age doesn’t define ideas or ability. Whether you’re 23 or 53, your ideas are just as valid and creative. Not to mention that your boss and coworkers want to hear them. Who knows, your idea could be the big break.
Find the right culture
One particular quote that really stuck with me was “The interview is for you as well. Interview us right back.” And she was totally right! Sure, we all want jobs when we graduate, but if the culture is not right for you, then your heart will never be in it. So ask the hard questions in your interview. Make sure it fits for you as well.