Dream Job? A Fresh Graduate Gets Hired – On the Spot!
One of my very good clients and friends called a few years ago to ask that I give a coaching session to her son. He had just graduated from Cornell and had a few interviews scheduled for entry-level jobs.
He was a charming, articulate, good-looking, and well-mannered young man. I asked, “You’re interviewing at some pretty major companies. What are you going to say or do to set yourself apart from dozens of competitors?”
First, we talked about focusing on how to find and discuss their needs and expecations. We reviewed the kinds of questions that get hiring managers to express what it is they really want.
What came next was a surprise for him. I said, “Don’t waste your time trying to impress them that you have the best education or that you are the smartest kid in the room. Tell them, ‘Here’s what I want you to know about me. Yes, I got a terrific education. Beyond that? I was well-raised. My parents are both high-achieving professionals. They showed me what it means to have world-class work ethics. They taught me to be polite and to listen. They demonstrated the importance of keeping my word and doing whatever it takes to get the job done. They are the kind of people who show up on time. They impressed upon me that I am responsible.'”
He got three job offers and recently was named “employee of the year” at one of these organizations.
I am not proposing adopting this type of presentation as a shortcut. If you came from parents who were the exact opposites of these qualities use something else. But, if you were also well-raised, tell them! Here’s why. Anyone with lengthy experience in working with entry-level workers has had their greatest pain from trying to work with someone who feels entitled or the opportunity is beneath them.
Always look towards the needs and expectations of the person you are meeting. Think, in advance, of their probable pain-points. This isn’t about generalizations. But, young people have a higher propensity of protecting themselves against feeling vulnerable, while older people tend to protect themselves against change. Hiring managers often get the brunt of that “protection.”
Trumpet your assets! If you were raised by the best parents in the world, tell them! Most of all, tell them what you learned. If you learned these characteristics through another channel, tell them. In the end, when most employers are hiring a younger member of the tribe, they are looking for a good human with outstanding behavior, excellent morals, values, ethics, and heart.
Brought to you by David Harder, President – Inspired Work, Inc.
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