Over the course of the last few years, I've used this blog as a forum to share information on entrepreneurship with college students and readers. However, I'm switching gears a bit now, and while I'm still an entrepreneur who has found his way to teaching and working at a university, the focus of this blog now is going to be on helping students prepare for life after college. So much has been written lately about the need for students to be better prepared for the job market...and since my school…Lynn University… is one of the schools leading the charge to do just that, I thought that the blog can also be used to help students (and anyone else interested in the topic) think about what they need to do to prepare for and get that first job out of college.
With that in mind, today’s piece comes from yesterday’s New York Times and the Corner Office column by Adam Bryant. It’s helpful, as you’re preparing for that first job, to understand how the hiring person approaches that task and more specifically, how do they hire?
Q. How do you hire?
A. The first thing I look for are the nonverbal components of one’s overall presence and presentation. Would I buy from this person? Would I want to do business with that individual? Do they look me in the eye? Do they have a certain energy level? Do they seem confident? Those are the kinds of things that really matter most.
I care less about your résumé in terms of the places you worked or where you went to school. What I do care about is how your résumé can give me insights into why you went from one position to another. I’m listening for how someone weaves together the changes in their career, and why they left one job for another. We all make mistakes. We all have setbacks. I’m listening to why someone left.
If I see multiple positions where there wasn’t necessarily progression, that’s always a point of concern for me. I listen closely if someone had a position that is a major change from the rest of their career — if there’s an outlier role. It’s not the worst thing to say, “I was laid off, and I needed a job and so I pursued this position, I gave it a shot, but I eventually went back to my area of specialization.” That’s perfectly fine.
But when people try to present the story of their career so that every move was a step up, everything was perfect and everything is wonderful, then I have to question whether they are realists. Are they going to be someone I’d feel comfortable working with? Or are they going to be constantly putting a spin on everything that happens?
I also don’t want anyone who’s constantly going to tell me what I want to hear, or what they think I want to hear. I find there are times when, if I make my view known too early, then I’ve just shaped the whole direction of the conversation. So when I’m interviewing someone, I will ask them how they feel about certain issues and points, and how they feel about certain organizations.
Before I describe how Williams Capital operates, I want to hear about their ideal environment. I want to hear how they interact with their colleagues rather than me saying, well, here’s the way Williams Capital is, because then I’ll just hear something similar back from them.