Metropolitan Community College-Business & Technology students enjoyed two treats Wednesday: food and tips on building a resume and interviewing.
About 40 students attended a Lunch and Learn employer panel hosted by Career Services at MCC-BT. The panelists were Reno Moreno, managing partner at Integrity Staffing Specialists LLC, and Chuck Grantham, owner and president of Rudroff Heating & Air Conditioning.
“This is very helpful to us as students,” said Jeramie Kunz, a student in the Electric Utility Line Technician/Lineman program at MCC-BT. “You learn a lot about what you should or shouldn’t say in an interview and what your resume should look like. Any advice is going to prepare us for interviews.”
Moreno and Grantham stressed the importance of highlighting the skills students learn in the classroom on their resumes and during interviews.
“Be prepared to tell me how you can apply the skills you’ve learned in your classes here to the job you are applying and interviewing for,” Moreno said. “If you can’t tell me that, it’s going to be a strike against you. You’re probably going in the “no” pile.”
Grantham has hired several MCC-BT alumni to work for his company. He said a potential employee’s attitude during the interview is critical.
“I’m in a business where you are going to be working with people. I need to know that my clients are going to be comfortable with you when you come to their home,” he said. “When I’m interviewing you, I’m trying to get a sense of what kind of person you are. Are you professional? Do you have a good attitude? Are you well kept?
“For me, it’s attitude first, skills second. I know that you have a good skill set because of the training you received here.”
The panelists also discussed traits they were looking for during the hiring process. Moreno emphasized punctuality and preparedness.
“I want to see that you’re alert and motivated, that you want this job,” he said. “If you aren’t, that tells me what kind of employee you’re going to be. I look at thousands of resumes and do thousands of interviews every year. If there’s a hole in your resume or an issue in your interview, I’m going to find it.”
Both panelists said the first impression is lasting, noting that they spend about a minute scanning a resume.
“I’m not going to spend a lot of time looking at the resume right away, so if I see typos, errors on grammar, bad formatting, those things are going to jump out,” Grantham said. “Have a clean, professional resume. You could be the best candidate for the job, but if you have a bad resume, you’re not going to get an interview.”
MCC-BT plans to host a Lunch and Learn panel in the spring, said Tatia Shelton, Career Services coordinator. Follow us on Facebook for details about the event as they develop.
WHAT TO DO
- Research the company you are interviewing with to gain a base of knowledge.
- Be prepared to ask questions about the company at the end of the interview.
- Be punctual.
- Edit your resume.
- Tailor your resume for the position you are applying for. Do not use a mass-mail resume.
WHAT NOT TO DO
- Include irrelevant items on your resume that don’t apply to the position.
- Speak to an interviewer as if you’re speaking to a friend. Leave the slang at home.
- Say “no” when asked if you have any questions about working at the company.
- Lie on your resume or during an interview.
- Ask “what’s in it for me” questions.