This archived article was written by: James Justice
The USU Eastern Business Club recently hosted a seminar on how to create professional resumes and win interviews. Among the speakers were, Dr. Elaine Youngberg, Associate Professor of Business in the Business Department; Stan Martineau, Associate Professor of Automotive Technology; Kevin F. Axelgard, President of Les Schwab Tire Center of Price and Cori Axelgard who has worked in the job placement industry.
“The resumé has to be perfect,” states Youngberg. “Target your resumé to the company. The cover letter and resumé should look packaged so that you can ‘win’ that interview.” Before you get a first interview, sometimes known as a “initial interview,” Youngberg suggests, “practice your phone interview, explain gaps in your work / education history to yourself in front of a mirror, practice, practice, practice… Be perfect in that interview.”
“Presentation is everything,” Cori Axelgard says. “I’ve seen so manypeople show up for interviews in a ‘wife beater and jeans,’ makes me think ‘do they really want a job?’” She goes on to talk about the application process, “make sure, if you’re applying for a position that requires you to fill an application out that you fill everything out, front and back, then go back and double / triple check it. You won’t be hired if you don’t fill out the paperwork, employers are just too busy to spend time dealing with someone who can’t follow basic instructions.”
“Never, never, never bring a cell phone into an interview,” says Martineau. “If it rings, we’re done… There are more people in the interview than just the people you’re talking with, so always treat people with respect.” Martineau went on to say that when he was hiring he always looked for the respect people showed to his secretary, the janitor, the door greeter, etc. “Always dress above what is expected… You can dress above, but never dress below what is expected.” Meaning, if the job requires a “Blue Collar Shirt” and “Tie,” don’t come dressed to the interview in overalls.
“Honesty is the key,” states Kevin Axelgard. “Be yourself, but don’t be cocky. Paint the picture of why I should hire you, but don’t over paint it… Sometimes resumés are too glorious which turns me off. Write the resumé for the job.
Don’t use a cookie cutter resumés and never use a cookie cutter response to a question.” A few more things he likes in his applicants, “give me a good solid hand shake, look me in the eye, never look at the floor and tell me why you’d be a great, not good, but great fit for my company.”
There were a few things all presenters agreed on; first impressions are a big one, “you never get a chance to meet someone for the first time again,” states Martineau. Knowing your strengths verses your weaknesses is another big one. But, the biggest, and far greatest, is knowing the company you’re applying with and the position you’re applying for.
“If you want to be noticed, do your homework on that company,” says Cori Axelgard.
“Show that you care about my company, I’ll care about you,” says Kevin Axelgard.
“Appropriate questions about the company will set you apart, [and] make me remember you,” Martineau says.
“Doing your homework on a company, asking direct knowledgeable questions of that company, while following all of the other rules set out here will almost always guarantee you a position,” says Youngberg.
If you’d like to know more about upcoming events hosted by the USU Eastern Business Club contact David Cassidy, Ron Vogal or Dr. Henning Olsen.