Interview by Remi Alli
As a former Academic Support adviser and Faculty Mentor for Abraham Lincoln University, I’ve spoken with many motivated, hard-working students that I’m truly impressed with as well as many students who weren’t aggressive enough in their searches.
Bottom line, being active in sending out resumes and filling out applications usually isn’t enough. A successful job search is also about marketing yourself along the way.
A key component of “sticking out” from the crowd, is finding out as much information as you can about the person interviewing you. This can include your common interests. One student that I spoke with went the extra mile in preparing for one of his interviews. He took the time to research the professional accomplishments and hobbies of his interviewer.
He discovered that both he and the interviewer loved baseball. So, during the interview, the student casually mentioned that he loved baseball. This then led to an interview that lasted for nearly an hour longer than other applicants. Go figure, he was hired.
At the end of the day, people want to work with people they can associate with. You can be the best applicant on paper, but if your personality clashes with the interviewers’, you won’t be hired.
One of the most disappointing things I’ve heard from applicants is that they only focus on looking for work versus increasing their marketability.
When giving advice to students on finding employment I focus on two prongs.
The first prong is obvious, that of sending out resumes to as many open positions in the field you’re looking for as possible. The second, which is just as important, is NOT to be stagnant if you have the opportunity to volunteer, promote yourself or attend events and mixers.
Most local courthouses and legal aid foundations are in major need for volunteers. Seizing these kinds of opportunities help you to grow your network, and build your resume. This will enable you to separate yourself from the competition.