Recruiting Insider: Rediscovering Basic Skills

8/22/2018 - By Mel Kleinert

Most of us remember our first summer job. Mine was as a waitress at a chain restaurant.  It was one of the best summers I ever had, and I can honestly say that I was able to get the job all on my own.  Mom and dad didn’t fill out my application, make any calls on my behalf, or negotiate an hourly rate for me (no negotiating when you’re a waitress).  Granted, this was a time before cell phones and social media, but I was taught early on by my parents that you have to “show up”, “be authentic”, and smile even if the last customer wasn’t happy that their steak and baked potato were touching – true story.  

Fast forward to today.  As a recruiter for an accounting firm, I am utterly stunned to find that some of those basic skills are lost on the fresh faces of today’s generation. Parents, do yourselves and your children a favor and be their career mentor.  Don’t make finding them a summer job or any job for that matter, YOUR job.  I want to give you some insight into the basic skills I and many other recruiters are looking for in applicants, because these skills most often translate to long-term success.

Polish Your Social Media Presence

Don’t fool yourself. Potential employers will look at your social media profiles and will make hiring decisions based on what they find. Polish up your profile prior to applying for jobs, so you can make a good first impression.

Pick Up the Phone

You can’t communicate only by text or email on a job. You are going to have to answer the dreaded… PHONE. Your voice will be that person’s first interaction with you and the business, so be polite and helpful.

Plan to be Early (so you’re at least on time)

At the bare minimum, show up on time. Employers notice who is early, arrives on time, and especially who is late. You do not want to earn a reputation for being late.

Patience for Promotions and Pay

It would be nice if every few years you got a promotion and your pay increased without negotiation, but it most often isn’t the case. Climbing the ladder takes time and the taking on of new responsibilities. Earning a raise or promotion requires going above and beyond, but most importantly, patience and humility.

Let’s help our new generation of job seekers grow into confident and successful professionals.  Let’s teach them about what it takes to be successful and allow them to take that knowledge and apply it.  In the words of Steven Spielberg, “The delicate balance of mentoring someone is not creating them in your own image, but giving them the opportunity to create themselves." If you have any questions about this article, please email me!

About the Author | Mel Kleinert
Mel has joined Saltmarsh, Cleaveland & Gund to serve in a firmwide position of Recruiting/Learning & Development Manager. Her areas of expertise include managing, coordinating and executing campus recruitment efforts and summer leadership programs, evaluating and preparing offers for hiring managers, as well as serving as the primary contact between managers, clients, and universities.

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