Held annually, Professional Networking Week presented by COBE Career Services is a great opportunity to introduce students to employers in a week-long series of events. As HR Director for Verified First, I had the privilege to represent the company on a business panel of experienced professionals:
The panel focused on best practices for students to break into their field and successfully establish themselves in the workforce. The panel discussed four key points that young professionals should keep in mind:
Every job description acts as a hiring blueprint. When submitting job applications, it’s critical to ensure that an HR professional can instantly see alignment between your resume and the job posting. Never lie on a resume, especially because many employers can conduct employment verifications that can easily identify fabrications. (If you need help with verifications, here’s a great company to contact.)
If you don’t meet all the qualifications, a cover letter can help explain gaps or perceived deficiencies in your skills or work history. For example, if the job description states two years of work experience is required and you’re new to the workforce, your cover letter can explain how your other qualifications can address this gap. For instance, serving in leadership for student organizations is relevant experience that a hiring manager may consider when reviewing your application.
To land a job, it’s important to bring the “wow factor” in every aspect of how you present yourself. Here are some examples:
Conversely, be sure to not screen yourself out of the role. For example, if interviewing for a managerial role, don’t discuss how much you dislike confrontation as it is likely to be a part of the job. In the interview, it is your job to paint a picture for the hiring manager of you being able to do the job, so all your answers should reflect this.
One example in our company is Elvin Croswhite, our Director of Client Services. He started at an entry-level position without any industry experience. Due to his ability to work hard and learn new things that met our company’s changing needs, he worked his way up the ranks quickly in only a few years. In fact, because of his tenacity and focus, he’s helped develop many departments. Like Elvin, your willingness to act and do whatever it takes to get the job done will create significant opportunities for you down the road.
Regardless of the level of talent new hires brings to an organization, their careers will eventually stall without humility. When you enter the workforce, you’ll be required to learn new things quickly - there will be many days where it will feel like drinking from a fire hose. Without humility, you will be unable to adapt and meet the needs of your company. Try not to take yourself so seriously that you become difficult to be around. It’s selfish to think that we can do everything ourselves, so be sure to learn from others whenever possible.
Having talent without humility often causes fundamental attribution error. Laszlo Bock, Senior Vice President of People Operations (human resources) at Google explained:
“Successful bright people rarely experience failure, and so they don’t learn how to learn from that failure …They, instead, commit the fundamental attribution error, which is if something good happens, it’s because I’m a genius. If something bad happens, it’s because someone’s an idiot or I didn’t get the resources or the market moved.”
Developing humility early on will help you learn from both your accomplishments and your mistakes. Developing this self-awareness will help you make the right moves early on in your career!
As Verified First grows, we look forward to developing a robust talent pipeline through recruiting students from Boise State. For information about our current positions, please click here.