Even though job seeking and the hiring process has gone virtual for many of our region’s employers, word on the street is that what helps a job seeker land the gig in today’s market is consistent with what helped an individual stand out and demonstrate competency before the pandemic hit. At a recent webinar hosted by UCCS’s School of Business for alumni seeking new employment opportunities, two Pikes Peak employers shared relevant wisdom that translated across industries and disciplines. Here are highlights from Northwestern Mutual and CED Colorado Springs comments to UCCS alumni.
- Every interview is an opportunity. Even if the first role you are asked to interview for isn’t a fit, if you demonstrate professionalism, an understanding of the company, and how you would contribute to the organization’s success, it could lead to being at the top of the list for a different that is a stronger fit for you and the company. Present your best self at all time and follow up with prompt, professional communication to increase your chances of being invited to look at a different role.
- Find a way to make a connection within the facility or office. The value of networking and putting yourself out there is still just as important in today’s market. Anything you can do to help your application stand out in the pile can make a difference. Reach out on LinkedIn, ask for an e-introduction through an existing relationship, or pick up the phone and leave a message as another touch point. Any of these methods could help flag your information for deeper review by the hiring team.
- Speaking of networking… do it across platforms and take advantage of every opportunity to leave a positive impression with familiar and new contacts. Schools like UCCS hold networking nights; employers will host virtual information sessions; and events and interactions about unrelated topics (hobbies, buying a car, etc.) could lead to someone asking you if you have interest in a certain field or with a certain company. Employers have plenty examples of when they met a great candidate “in the wild” during a sales transaction or through a respected colleague.
- Do some homework about the potential employer, the industry, and the role. A wealth of information awaits you through search engines. Use them to better understand the employer (hint: find their “news room” page with recent updates they company finds media-worthy), the nature of the industry, or what makes someone in your desired role successful.
- Show them you will work hard. When you do have the interview or a chance to talk about yourself with an employer, make sure you share any experience that shows a history of success and that you are willing and able to figure out problems and adapt to execute solutions. This is especially helpful if you are transitioning from one industry to another. Employers often value someone who is successful in one field who can show their transferrable skills and work ethic will lead to success in a new industry.
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