School’s out for summer, and now students are asking themselves the hottest question of the season, “How do I get a job?”
Recently, on Breakfast Television, Geoff Bagg, CEO of the The Bagg Group, offered the youngest group of job-seekers key tips for coming first in class when it comes to getting work.
There are still jobs to be had as some businesses fill their needs last-minute. But many positions won’t be posted, so students need to call around but also be prepared to walk into businesses and drop off a typo-free resume.
Those who don’t have previous work experience can list any volunteer work and school accomplishments.
Here are six study notes from the experts at the Bagg Group to help students pass an interview and score a job:
1. Put yourself in the employer’s shoes
When the employer asks, “Why do you want to work here?” The candidate who doesn’t get the positions answers: “I really the need the bucks.”
It’s no surprise to anyone that, as a student, you want to work because you’d like the money. But that’s not the attitude that gets you the job.
Employers are not there to help you pay for school; they’ve got a business to run. They are looking for someone who is keen, enthusiastic and seems as if they’d be a reliable, valuable employee.
To get a job, focus on what you can do for the employer, not what the employer can do for you.
2. Show commitment
The employer says, “Can you work until end of August?” The wrong answer is
“Well, I don’t know, I’m thinking about taking a road trip in July for a couple of weeks – and we leave for the cottage early on Fridays.”
Find out what the work schedule offered is, and prepare to commit or don’t take the job.
Employers are leery of hiring students they suspect will jump ship the minute a pal invites them to the cottage.
And that’s not fair to the employer, or to your future. A bad reference is not something you want. So be careful of burning bridges. You never know who you’ll run into again, in what position.
3. Recognize there’s value in every job
“Scooping ice cream? No thanks, I think I’m better suited for a manager’s position – also, it would sound better on my resume.” That’s a response that won’t go over well with an employer.
A summer job is a learning experience, whatever you’re doing. Any job will give you insight about how a business is run that will serve you well in the future.
At The Bagg Group, we have placed almost 58,000 people in full-time positions, contract work, and part-time placements over the years. We know that what you learn about customer service, or the challenges and needs of a warehouse, that will give you a lot to talk about in an interview down the road.
4. Dress like a professional, not a student
What’s fine for school halls isn’t necessarily appropriate for the workplace. Stash the torn jeans and cut-off t-shirt when going for an interview, or even when dropping off your resume. Dress like the people do who work where you are applying.
The right first impressions pay off. If job hunting on foot, you don’t have to wear a jacket or heels in the heat, but you do have to look presentable.
5. Pay attention to your online presence
If you haven’t set your privacy settings on Facebook, do so before you walk out the door. It takes an employer two seconds to research you online, and wild pictures of you at a party don’t scream responsibility.
Also, be careful of your email address and phone message – stay professional. Lose the humour. What you find funny, others could find uncomfortable.
6. Find references
If you don’t have past employers, consider others who can offer a reference – teachers, people you’ve volunteered with or helped out.
There’s a time and place to be a keener – even for the hippest/coolest student. If you want to get ahead over the competition, make some money and gain some work experience, then now is the time to put on your keener hat. And keep it on when you’re in the workplace. You will be amazed at the spin-off benefits for your future career.
As Geoff Bagg said on Breakfast TV, you can be sure that every successful CEO has a story of one or more summers spend working at a hard-slogging job.