Posted By Connie Thanasoulis-Cerrachio
Yesterday, Caroline and I met with the Placement Director and staff of a prominent graduate business school here in New York City. We were talking about how this new generation – Gen Y/Millennials/anyone born after 1978 - is often times a mixed bag. On the positive side, they are multi-taskers, relationship builders/team players, smart & agile, but on the flip side can be known to feel entitled, coddled, and lazy. So here are some tips on how you can impress your career services staff, and thereby improve your chances of landing a dream job, if you just use a bit of common sense and good manners.
Clean up after yourself: it’s basic, I know, and you are probably rolling your eyes. But this placement staff recently held a workshop, and the liter left behind was astounding. Instead of each participant picking up their empty water bottles, soda cans, empty plates … they were left behind. Imagine the impression that left on the staff … who is working to get companies to come on campus, and get you interviews and ultimately jobs. So they’ll just have to delay that a bit and clean up that conference room!
If you rsvp that you are attending an event at career services … attend the event. This staff recently had a workshop planned, with 11 people rsvp’ing that they would be there and ZERO attended, and ZERO emailed to let them know they wouldn’t attend. Not good. This particular workshop was being facilitated by someone in career services. Imagine if it were held by an employer who recruited on campus. Chances are they wouldn’t be rushing to come back a second time.
Say thank you to the staff that puts together these events. In the hustle of a day when people are going to school and working part-time or full-time jobs, we move at lightning speed. Saying thank you, in a sincere way, with good eye contact and a smile will yield so much more than you think.
These are simple, common sense things, but they are being either forgotten or ignored. That is an unfortunate fact. It’s worth your while to think about this a bit next time you deal with Career Services. Master these simple things so you could spend your energies on perfecting your resume, mastering your interview technique and networking effectively. Good luck to you!
Common Sense Off-Campus / How Good Manners Can Help Your Chances
Posted By Caroline Ceniza-Levine
I expect some readers are rolling their eyes at Connie’s piece, knowing that she couldn’t possibly be talking to them. Besides, how you behave at career services is not how you behave in front of employers. You know how to turn on the good behavior when it counts, right?
How you do anything is how you do everything. I don’t know the original source of this gem, but it should be your mantra as you go through your search. Every networking interaction is an interview. Every correspondence is a marketing document. When you are in job search mode, you don’t turn it on and off – you must always be on.
You don’t know what you don’t know. Sometimes when I speak at events I am introduced strictly as a coach with no mention of my past recruiting background. So the audience doesn’t know that I have a wide network of recruiting colleagues, that I still get asked for candidate referrals to jobs, and that while I don’t officially recruit I am very connected to many employers who are hiring even now. A jobseeker in that audience might not see interaction with me as part of her job search but it very well could be. I don’t know. She doesn’t know. We don’t know everything that can happen in life. But we can always be at our best just in case.
Practice makes permanent. This is another oft-cited gem, whose original source is unknown by me. But again, remember this as you go through your search and your life. The lackadaisical, whatever type attitude is a bad habit that is evidence of practice made permanent. It’s not so easy to turn off and on again. The energy and focus that you need to be at your best is something you need to practice and make a permanent fixture in your life. Practice good behavior now, always, everywhere.