As a manager coming fresh out of a recruitment process, I can tell you that experience on a résumé only goes so far. If you’re looking for a job, and hopefully a career, in communications, make sure you’ve sharpened your ability to do just that — communicate.
Recently Vanguard needed to fill an entry-level editorial position in which the primary responsibility was proofreading. The first person I interviewed was a year out of undergrad, with virtually no substantive experience in the field. I hired her immediately, for three reasons.
- Trustworthiness — She spoke very honestly about her lack of experience but genuine desire to do this type of work. That told me I could trust her, to both admit her shortcomings and ask for help.
- Talent — She performed extremely well on the proofreading test, despite never having had any training. That told me she had talent.
- Professionalism — She showed up for the interview dressed professionally and was extremely gracious in her manner, answering questions articulately and with a level of maturity that I knew would translate well in a client-based environment. That told me she was “client-ready.”
My advice to college graduates seeking a job in the communications sphere is to go back to basics, especially if your résumé is sparse. Even if you don’t have that amazing internship with Nike Inc. or the White House under your belt, be candid ― and confident ― about what you’re good at, even if it’s just learning. And demonstrate that you’re a person people would enjoy working with … would enjoy “bringing along.”
Finally, brush up on those interviewing skills, especially as you apply for communications jobs. Many times employers, like me, will make the investment in a yet-to-be-proven individual, if they’re convinced that the person has the maturity and competence to learn on the job.
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