On Friday, August 23, 2013, LLoyd’s Senior Staffing Specialist, Jennifer Virgillio, was invited by the Career Office of Sanford Brown to speak at their New Graduate Orientation. Jennifer is an experienced recruiter specializing in the Healthcare arena.
For many of you, that field is Healthcare and you will be looking for jobs as Medical Assistants, Diagnostic Professionals and Business Associates.
I wish you much success. Confucius said, choose a job you love and you will never have to work a day in your life – that’s what it’s like when you have a job you want to go to everyday. It’s a good thing.
Of course, the hardest part of the journey you face right now is GETTING THE JOB. It’s not easy and finding a job is a job in itself, but you can do it if you are organized, determined and showcase yourself to your best advantage.
I thought about what kind of advice I would give you to get a job, but instead I’m going to tell you a dozen reasons why you might not get hired. Kind of like – where you blew it – in advance! Better you know now than make these mistakes when you want to put your best foot forward. So, here are the pitfalls, pay attention and beware.
Number 1 reason you didn’t get the job: Your resume. This document is your professional entrée to an employer. It needs to look great, be flawless in spelling and punctuation and follow the Goldilocks rule – not too long, not too short, but just right. Read it, read it again and have other people read it. Is it attractive? Does it highlight relevant classwork, experience, and extracurricular activities? Get rid of the fluff. Make every word meaningful. Pay attention to layout and readability.
Number 2 reason you didn’t get the job: You didn’t prepare for the interview.
I bet most of you spend a good part of your free time surfing the internet. When you are job hunting, use those skills to gather intelligence. This means look at a prospective employer’s website, click through several pages. Read the content. Check out the person who is going to interview you on the company’s website, LinkedIn or Twitter. Do your homework leading up to the interview. Go in knowing more than just the time of your appointment.
Number 3 reason you didn’t get the job: When I asked you if you had any questions, you asked me how much vacation time came with the position.
Now that’s something that is important, it’s just not the right time to ask it. There are many good questions to ask an interviewer like, “Why is the position open?” “How would you describe the company culture?” etc. I’m going to hand out an interview cheat sheet that will help you.
Number 4 reason you didn’t the job: You dressed for failure.
Casual attire is not appropriate for an interview. No jeans..no tee shirts, no sundresses or shorts, no flip flops, no sunglasses (either on your face or on the top of your head), no plunging necklines. If you would wear it to a barbeque or a club – don’t wear it to the interview. The employer wants to know you have the common sense to know what is right, even if your daily job will involve a uniform.
Number 5 reason you didn’t get the job: you are too addicted to your technology. This means you thought you could sneak a peak at your cell phone or held it in your palm. You forgot to silence the ringer or message alert. TURN IT OFF. I want your undivided attention.
Number 6 reason you didn’t get the job: after the interview you tweeted something negative about the prospective employer, maybe like “Lame salary, can’t believe they start people so low.”
Are you kidding? Employers monitor the internet too. They have all sorts of tracking to manage their online reputation and see what people post about them. There are many proven instances of tweets that cost people a job offer. While we are at it – make sure you clean up your own online reputation. The employer will google you, too. Check your privacy settings. See what comes up in images – some of your friends might have posted inappropriate photos of you on their pages and tagged you. We tell people to not get blindsided by Digital Dirt!
Number 7 reason you didn’t the job: you barely made eye contact, your handshake was weak, you fidgeted in your seat or you didn’t smile.
Guess what – people hire people they like. People who appear friendly, confident, approachable. Be that person.
Number 8 reason you didn’t get the job: you didn’t convince me you wanted it. The interviewer wants to know the position interests you. When you give an answer tell me why you are the right person. What makes you stand out from other new grads – is it your internship, your work experience, your good grades, your desire to learn at an organization like ours…tell me!
Number 9 reason you didn’t get the job: you showed up late.
This can be a kiss of death – especially in the healthcare field. Timing is important. An interviewer can run late, but a job candidate cannot. That’s the rule. Live it.
Number 10 reason you didn’t the job: you didn’t send a thank you note.
When you leave, be sure to have the interviewer’s correct name and title. If they have a business card on their desk, ask if you may take one. Send a nicely written note – email is okay as long as you reinforce your interest in the position and why you are the right fit. Be sure you do not use text abbreviations – spell out words – no OMG or LOL. This is also a good place to give the employer a link to your LinkedIn profile – giving more information about you.
Number 11 reason you didn’t get the job: oh yeah, you don’t have a LinkedIn profile.
What? Create one tonight. Put up a nice, professional looking photo of yourself. Make sure your resume and your profile have the same dates and info. Ask your teachers or past employers to write testimonials about you and why you are so great — these can be seen easily and read by a future boss. Many people think LinkedIn profiles will replace the traditional resume. Create one now and start building your professional online network as soon as possible.
Number 12 reason you didn’t get the job: you didn’t follow up.
Lots of candidates have a tough time with this. They sit and wait for the phone to ring like someone waiting for a second date. They are afraid to be proactive. At the end of the interview, be sure you ask what the decision making process is – when will they decide and how will you know. Give it a week, go ahead and make the call. If the news is you didn’t get it, ask if you can re-apply in the future or how you might have improved your chances of getting hired. It is better to know this than to not know, but a lot of people are afraid to hear it. Use whatever you learn to make the next interview you land better.
If someone asks you what you want as a graduation gift, tell them you want the book “Oh the Places You’ll Go” by our old friend Dr. Seuss.
It’s a pretty good poem for the new grad and he gives some very smart advice. I’m going to read you a line that sums up what’s next for you.
You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself
Any direction your choose.
You’re on your own. And you know what you know.
And YOU are the person who’ll decide where to go.
Good luck grads!