Thoughts about Employment

by brianp411

When applying for a job, think of yourself as a marketing brochure

I forget where I heard this quote from but it couldn’t better explain how to get a job. I actually got a call back from Bank of America for a teller position that they had. The recruiter called me today for my phone interview and I think I did great but unfortunately, due to my availability, I don’t know if I’m going to be able to continue with their hiring process and nag the job.

As I was going over some accounting stuff today and studying for it (finally!), I realized that wages are the biggest expense that a company incurs. Thinking from it their perspective, a new employee really is a loss to a company for a year. This greatly gets compounded when they lack certain experience. So, really, a job search shouldn’t be about what the business can do for you, it should be about what YOU can do for the company. How can you improve their business? What have you done for prior businesses to help them improve that you can transfer over to this business (this is where related job experience comes in)? Putting down great volunteer accomplishments or unrelated job accomplishments is great but it doesn’t help the recruiter or person interviewing you get a clear picture of what you would do for that particular business. For example, if you really went out of your way to help a customer at a retail job, that’s great. But how does that experience relate to XYZ corp. that specializes in sales? Remember, your past accomplishments and experience should directly relate to the job you’re applying for. This is why having related job experience can make it easier for you to tailor those experiences to the field you’re applying to.

Putting myself in this mindset really helps me focus and understand what a CV and resume is about. It should make the employer want to buy you just like a customer would want to buy a product off a shelf. Have you ever read the box that the product you bought came in? It lists all it’s features and how they benefit you (save money on this energy efficient hard drive. Locate the fastest routes to help you save money on gas for your trips.) Well, you have to make the company feel like they’re not going to be taking as big a loss when they hire you as opposed to another candidate (because all businesses experience a loss when they first hire a candidate as they get accustomed to the job).

The big problem for me is this: I haven’t worked many jobs. My very first job was at the age of 18 at Walmart. I hated every second of it and got fired shortly after getting it (2.5 months in). I now work at Home Depot and have a work study position at my school assisting students with our eLearning system (I love the work-study job). I’m just starting to get worried as time flies by and I haven’t got related jobs in my field (accounting/finance). This also brings me to my next point: Is four years of school really long enough to learn all you need to really be a good candidate for a job? Like right now, I’m trying to refresh myself on Excel which I had learned about two years ago. I could study all summer and still not be very good at this which really makes me question if students nowadays really have enough time to practice and hone their skills before they can go into their fields. How can we be  incredible candidates in our respective fields if we don’t have the time to properly learn the skills we need to do our jobs? Maybe the problem really lies in the fact in that we forget about a lot of what we learn in school. We take a class in college, we understand the material for a while and then we never use it again. We don’t have an opportunity to teach it to someone else, we don’t practice it or keep studying it, and we don’t make use of it in our daily lives and therefore when the time comes that we could have used this information or knowing that information makes the difference between making you a good or excellent candidate for a job; then it’s too late.

I guess this post is more about figuring out this work world thing and my way as a student in the business world. I hope I’ll be good at this stuff. I want to come back to school after my masters (with my own saved up money) and get a second associates in computer networking. I would really like to learn about that stuff and possibly pick up a side gig.