Children grow up with very little exposure to the business world. By the time most college students graduate, they don’t have a clue about how office life works, including what to wear, how to behave or how to act at most times. These are social norms that young people who are new to the workforce need to adapt to quickly. Here is a few pieces of advice that will help get you started if you’re about to go on your first interviews or start your first job.
Writing a Resume
Having a good resume is an important step for getting your foot in the door at any company. There are some common mistakes that will make human resource departments throw your resume in the garbage as soon as they see them, the most important being spelling and grammar errors. If you don’t put in the effort to make sure everything is spelled and punctuated correctly, no company is going to think you’re worth hiring. Also, keep everything simple and to the point. You’re not applying for a position that requires 30 years of experience and multiple research papers. One page is usually sufficient.
Preparing for Interview Questions
A huge majority of interviews will be nearly identical to each other. By preparing for a common set of interview questions, you will have a leg up on most people who walk through the door looking for a job. The question that tends to trip most applicants up is, “What is your major weakness?” The key to this question is to demonstrate your ability to improve, meaning you should never answer “nothing,” or “I work too hard.” Use this opportunity to point out a genuine flaw in yourself and how you have successfully overcome it in the past. This will show that you don’t have an intractable ego and that you have the ability to change. Interviewers will always ask whether you have any questions towards the end of the meeting. Make sure you come up with a few questions that show you are interested in the position and the company. People who don’t ask any questions can come off as lacking curiosity.
There is a wide range of acceptable attitudes and dress codes in the modern workforce. Some companies are very laid back and allow their employees to do and wear almost anything they want as long as they get the job done. Other companies have a very strict dress code and system of manners that must be followed at all times. Most companies fall somewhere in the middle. During an interview, it’s better to over dress than under dress, but take note of the attitudes and outfits of staff as you explore your new office. Be as polite as possible at the beginning. If you notice that your interviewer has a sense of humor, you can start to expose the lighter side of your personality. It’s a smart idea to always stay away from topics that involve sex, politics or religion.