Professor Dennis Mohle, of The Craig School of Business at Fresno State University has authorized this report. The issue is that unemployment in Fresno has gone up in the recent years and finding a good job or internship can be very difficult and stressful. Knowing how to interview well can help to get you the job of your dreams. This report will shed some light on the job interview process and will not stop there; it will also include how to write cover letters and resumes and will show how to properly manage social networking sites, while applying for a job. All of these steps are essential to being successful during the job interview process. The purpose is to carefully and thoughtfully explain to the readers exactly what steps to take in order to do well in the interviewing process.
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The methodology used for this research assignment spanned a wide variety of business outlooks. These outlooks ranged from business textbooks, published research and surveys. These methods were used because they seemed to be the most informative and provide ample amount of data and statistics. The first source used in this report was textbook, Business Communications: Process & Product. The second source was a survey that was done by a writer for AOL Job’s called, “What You Wish You’d Known before Your Job Interview”. Thirdly, was the MGT110 lecture book titled, Managing Organizational Behavior: What Great Managers Know and Do. For published research, I have an article called “Making the Job Interview Work for You”. A source used to fully understand the employer’s perspective was an article from, IUP Journal of Soft Skills titled “What to Expect From Across the Table”. Another sources used to find statistics is, InternetSafety101.org, where they review and publish statistics on the internet and its’ safety. Lastly, is an article from About.com that is titled “How (and How Not) to Use Social Media to Job Search”.
JOB INTERVIEW PROCESS
Interviewing, whether it is a job interview or an interview for an internship is vital to the existence of the business world. However, the interview is not the first stepping-stone in the road to employment. Surrounding yourself with the necessary resources to succeed is essential.
Who is interviewing?
Figure 1: Interview Waiting Room (Google 2009).
With the downfall of the economy and no turn-around in sight, more and more people are flooding to interviews anywhere they can. This includes high school kids, college students,
college graduates, recently unemployed adults and retired
adults being forced to work again. To sum up, everyone is interviewing. Therefore, it is imperative that everyone knows how to hold a successful interview and knows the “do’s and don’ts” of interviewing.
Having the right professional contacts and by surrounding yourself with people who build you up professionally and not down are just two of the recommend activities.
Figure 2: Surrounding Yourself With The Essentials (Soul Seeds 2011)
Typically, in the job process, the initial piece of information that starts the ball rolling is either the application or the resume. However, how you present yourself is what should be viewed as the most important thing. Whenever the applicant walks through the office doors of the employer is immediately performing a preliminary interview, without even noticing.
This is because professionalism is back, in the sense that how you dress is how you are choosing to promote and market yourself. It is also a since of pride. If a job applicant were to walk into an interview with: hair a mess, loaded with jewelry, tattoos that are visible and just lacking a professional issue it would show their unprofessional attitude (Baldwin and Bommer 2013).
Figure 3: What to Wear to an Interview (TSU Career Services 2010).
The general rule for clothing, when it comes to interviewing it is that the more solid the color, the better. For instance, a young woman by the name of Ana, was skipped for a job because of that fact that she wore a “club” bright colored dress that resulted in people in the office to begin to stare at things that are inappropriate. Therefore, to remain on subject and for the employer to remain on track, the person would have to wear those basic, solid colors such as black, navy, brown and tan. In addition, they were asked by several business executives to “dress modestly, not like you are going to a club” (Bockanic 2012). When it comes to jewelry and accessories, less is more. Wearing the minimal amount of jewelry has actually been hard for women to accomplish, but they must remember that it is not about the number of earrings or pieces of jewelry , it is instead about who you are as a person.
Huge issues for most employers these days are tattoos. Many people believe today that getting a tattoo is not a big deal and it will not affect the likeliness of a person getting a job, which is completely false. According to AOL Jobs writer, David Shepp, having tattoos that are visible decrease your chances of getting the job 35% instantly. However, there are some rare cases in which, the company is looking for someone with tattoos to represent them and therefore tattoos are not only a plus, but also a necessary item.
The average interview, begins with the interviewer asking the job applicant a couple questions about the company like “Why this company” and “What made ‘Such and Such Marketing ‘ different from all of the others”?
This area specifically is an area where most job applicants fall short. They do not come prepared with short personal stories, or examples and reasons for why they picked this company. The average response to a question similar to this one, contains approximately five “umms” or “I’m not sure’s” (Akhtar 2012). Imagine that you were conducting an interview and it took a person awhile to come up with a few reasons as to why your company beats out all the others. It may question whether or not you want to hire someone who doesn’t have strong emotional ties to his previous or future places of work.
In addition, before going into an interview it is always nice to reflect on this list of do’s and don’ts: research the companies for which you are applying, give a firm handshake, do not fidget or answer phones during the interview, show interest in the interviewer’s questions, maintain a good posture and behavior throughout and also be respectful.
Use of Social Media
Social media websites share personal information, and the sites seem to be adding more and more in-depth questions or options to such sites. This is making personal information more readily available to people who do not need access to such information. According to a recent study done in 2011, “26% of Americans say they are sharing more information on social networks today than one year ago” (Combs 2011). Social Networks are not regulated and anyone is allowed access to these sites unless a specific user has strict privacy setting. Except, most users are not aware of how to update their settings and make their sites inaccessible. Although, Social Networking has allowed many people to seek the help and aid that they may need. Many cases have been reported where, a person who is signed up with a social networking site, has not been able to find a job because of their subscription to the media (Doyle 2009).
These days 1in 5 jobs are found using social media, while the age old concept of knocking on the door and simply asking “are you hiring?” is still a scenario that is still out there. Although more and more people are being to utilize this social media and networking tool to job search and some are even using the online job search sites (Doyle 2009).
Social Media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn are some of the tools that are being used to search for a job. Nevertheless, some people forget that although social media is a good tool, it can also jeopardize your job opportunity if used incorrectly or in an inappropriate manner.
Now of course your Facebook account is your personal account, so you feel as if you have some sort of immunity and right to keep your private life private. Moreover, while that is true, depending on the settings that the person has on their social media’s allows future employers to browse all they please. Using these social medias in the right way, is vital to success in the interview process. The first amendment does give every person the right to free speech, however that does mean that you exercise your right by posting extremely religious articles, political views and/or mean and hatred comments are your boss. Refrain from anything that may cause a future employer to question to character. Social media has given us tremendous amount of power in terms of job searching capabilities, but it has also made everything we do much more vulnerable and easy to target. The saying ââ‚¬Å“choose your words carefullyââ‚¬ might be true now than ever before (Schepp 2011).
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Before you publish anything on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn or any other social media, make sure you havenââ‚¬â„¢t friended one of your colleagues or bosses before you make a rude remark about them. A “golden rule” would be to refrain from posting things that you would not want the person to know. Because even though you are not friends with the person you’re posting about directly, that person may be the friend of a friend and find out just as easily. Even though social medias sell you on “transparency”, it does not mean that it is the right thing to do. Being transparent comes with a cost and could eventually lead to the loss of your job.
A cover letter is written directly for the eyes of the interviewer and is sole purpose is to introduce both yourself and your resume in the future hope of getting the job. In reality, your resume may never be read without it being accompanied by a profession cover letter.
One must think of the cover letter as a “sales letter”. It is working to sell your resume to the interviewer. Some general guidelines for writing a cover letter are: only use white bong paper (any color or scented paper will not be taken professionally), should be only one page in length, both the cover letter and resume should maintain the same format and it should consist of three paragraphs.
This cover letter should open with a professional salutation to the hiring manager for the open position and should move into the three-paragraph format. The first paragraph should re-state the position that you are applying for, why you are applying and how you learned about the position. Then you should move on to mention something that you love about the company or business; the main reason why you are applying for the position. Then move to stating that you are great candidate because of your qualifications, experience, education and interests.
The second paragraph should now expand in greater detail your qualifications, experience, education and interests that directly correlate with the employer’s needs. You want to make yourself sound like the perfect candidate, therefore they must give you an interview to see what you’re all about.
The closing paragraph should be ended with a bold statement, such as one saying that you are the ideal candidate and a strong match for the company. Also, mention that you are looking forward to meeting with him or her and finish will a slightly aggressive touch that if 7-10 business days pass without a word, you will follow up yourself (Gueffy and Loewy 2011).
Figure 4: Example of Cover Letter for a Resume (Yahoo, 2008).
The resume will be one of the only things that the interviewer will look at to decide whether you deserve an interview. Therefore, it is very important. First of all the resume needs to be consistent, concise and clear. It should also be extremely easy to read. To stick with traditional standards the resume should be no longer than one page. This goes off being short and concise. You only have an 8.5 x 11 sized paper to inform the interviewer of why you should be picked for the job over everyone else (Baldwin and Boomer 2013).
There are several different types of resumes that are generally used to apply of job openings. Any of the formats are fine, it just depends on how what information you have to place on your resume and what type of information it is. If you have expansive job history, which is your selling point, chronological is the best style of resume. However if you are still in school and working towards your degree, an educational focused resume would be the most beneficial because you are highlighting your strong point (Gueffy and Loewy 2011).
Each type of resume can be found with a quick Google search, they even show up as templates for easy use. Therefore, you can begin to build your resume by simply replacing the sample information with your own personal information. Make tweaks to the layout or placement depending on your personal preferences to highlight your skills and abilities. Remember, there is no right or wrong way to write a resume. As long as your follow the general guidelines, anything is acceptable.
Today, many large companies or corporations are using”recruiting management” software that helps to better screen candidates. The hiring manager inputs into the software certain keywords that he is looking for and this software will then mine through the database of resumes searching for potential matches. If you would like to be found, the resume needs to contain keywords that directly target the jobs in your field of interest.
Figure 5: Example of Traditional Experience Based Resume (About.com 2012).
In summary, although many people are afraid of getting out there and interviewing for jobs. This is understandable because, job interviews can be challenging, in part because there is so much that can go wrong. However, when a person is surrounded with the right skills, interviewing is a piece of cake.
It is very important to remember the value of dressing, and acting professionally, maintaining professional social medias, the importance of writing both good cover letters and resumes.
You also will need to explain who you are and why the organization needs you. Being able to concisely describe the skills that you can bring to the position and to the company is a definite way to engage the interviewer while also making the case for why you are the right person for the job.
Although winging it in an interview might work, but chances are that, a lack of preparedness will come out during the test process and you will be left stumbling and racing in circles to answer questions. Moreover, that will not win you any points with any manager. Always come prepared.
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