The Look, The Resume, and The Interview

Mar 24, 2017Student Leadership Development Institute Blog

By Kristine Alfes and Mark Schostak

Well, it €™s about that time: growing up. This means there are bills to pay and things to buy, or maybe there is an upcoming date. Regardless, there is one thing holding you back: you don €™t have a job €¦
How are you supposed to get anything done? Here is some advice that will help you land that position and create a career pathway; take some deep breaths and keep reading.

The first step: The Look
Play the part. First impressions are, unfortunately, based on looks; therefore you must look eager to work. Do not carry yourself in a droopy manner, or look like a mess. Easiest way is to stand up straight and walk with a purpose. All you need to do is to be relaxed, but still be a professional version of yourself. This translates through your clothes also. Clean, neat, and professional is what most employers look at when first meeting a new hire.
Gentlemen would consider trimmed facial hair, fresh breath, and nice cologne. A clean, pressed button down shirt with a tie will be enough. If you €™re going for that higher position in the company, tuck that shirt in and throw a suit jacket on top. Avoid sneakers at all cost.
Ladies would consider a modest blouse with a pair of slacks, or a clean cut dress. Practice good hygiene, and show an exemplary of professionalism in your overall appearance.

The second step: The resume
Nevertheless, first job or the last, always maintain an organized and updated resume. Any employer that is mentioned should have a small blurb stating what positions were held and what job duties were done. Everyone looks for experience first, so sell yourself to be the best candidate for the position that is being applied for. If you do not have any previous skills to show off, write down accomplishments. Good grades in school, extra – curricular activities, or community service work will give a positive image to the prospective employer.

The third step: The interview
These must be conducted to see what kind of person you are, and if you will fit well with the position or the company. The interviewer will ask an abundance of questions; now the trick to blazing through the questions: be relaxed and focused. Do not over complicate the answers or say things that you want them to hear; answers that are plenty informative without being too detailed or long winded will give a positive interview. Always be honest, and whatever you do, do not be condescending to any person in an experience or those around you currently.
Afterwards, there will be the opportunity to ask a few questions of your own. Do not be afraid to ask any questions about the company, leadership, or growth opportunities; it shows that you have interest in them and are eager to be a part of the company. Always research the company that is being applied for, it is always good to have some general knowledge and questions lined up that are ready to fire. Be mindful of the types of questions also, asking about pay on a first interview will heed mixed reviews about you in the employer €™s eyes. As long as you are the best version of yourself, that position is golden.

These are the basic steps to gaining the experience and confidence to get you through to that job. Always have a sense of professionalism about you, but do not go overboard or understated. Everyone has the potential to make an impact, one job at a time. Plus if you ever feel nervous, just take a deep breath and take one step forward at a time.

I know that you can do this, good luck!
Check out the Careers and Alumni page by clicking here!

Kristine Alfes, Student Leader
Culinary Arts, Class of July 2017

Mark Schostak, Student Leader
Culinary Arts, Class of July 2018