As a company that values and aims to equip college students to help them achieve success after graduation, College Works Painting understands the importance of landing the first post-grad job. Most recent graduates struggle to find excellent positions because they lack hands-on experience, something employers have come to expect more and more of in the past few years. College Works Painting is passionate about equipping students through 500 coveted internship positions, providing interns with extensive training so they can essentially run their own house painting business after the course of a summer. The experiences propel students forward in the competitive job market, setting them apart.
For the past 20 years, the painting company has utilized the internship program, helping students reach success. Previous interns are quick to applaud the company for the skills they learned and the overall experience that helped them build confidence.
“We are dedicated to supplying highly motivated students with a premier hands-on leadership development experience in a safe, competitive, profitable, challenging and fun environment,” said a staff person. “We’re convinced that through our internship program and the arduous recruitment process, graduates are prepared for employment, taking on all of the training and experience they need to succeed.”
According to the staff at College Works Painting, students amass impressive skill sets through the program, such as: organization, leadership, interviewing, scheduling, management, estimating, customer relations, organization, cost management, budgeting, advanced problem solving and time management. All of these skills are important for recent grads trying to land a job interview, no matter the position. The following are just a few tips the staff extends to recent graduates – key points to help individuals ace an interview after college.
Get to know your main selling points: According to the team at College Works Painting, most graduates who bomb their first professional interviews are unprepared in regards to what they can offer the company. Their skills – if any – are still new, and so is their confidence.
“It’s hard to go from being a college student to facing a potential employer to say, ‘I’m the best candidate. This is what I have to offer and this is why I am different,’” said a staff person at College Works. “Even though job interviews are tricky to navigate, it’s imperative that recent graduates practice rehearsing their main selling points. It is sometimes uncomfortable to talk about yourself in this way for anyone – regardless of age. But when you are applying for a job, you are selling your skill sets to the highest bidder. You need to know – and be able to communicate – your best qualities. Rehearse them so you can naturally showcase your answers as to why they should hire you.”
Learn to summarize your experiences in the best possible light: College Works Painting equips college students with plenty of applicable experience after college, but those experiences are not as helpful during a job interview unless they are communicated clearly and efficiently. The staff advises recent graduates to perfect – and study – their resumes until they are able to highlight some of the best aspects of their job experience.
“Internships are all about learning new skills and hands-on experience, but don’t forget that these opportunities are also about developing an identity and a strong work ethic. Convey the skills you learned on-site that are certainly applicable to the job you are interviewing for, but don’t forget to include how the experiences impacted you to unlock your potential or the worthwhile relationships you built along the way. These kinds of answers will grab an interviewer’s attention and make you stand out in his or her mind.”
Spruce up your resume: College Works Painting suggests perfecting your resume – whether you are a recent graduate or a professional seeking a career change after 20 years in the industry. Resumes are often viewed as the first official interview, and many candidates are not considered because their resume is not organized or well-written.
“The biggest thing you want to avoid is getting your cover letter and resume in the trash,” said a staff person. “If a hiring manager trashes your resume, you won’t have the opportunity to expound on some of your experiences and skill sets. Make sure your resume is up to par before you even consider applying to different jobs. You should spend more time on your resume than almost anything else in the job hunting process.”
The team at College Works Painting advises against using a template or generic designs, so they can showcase their abilities through a well-articulated and designed document. They advise graduates to create a profile that is clear and concise, and to avoid terms like “results-oriented” or other cliché terms. The more concrete the better – and all unnecessary lines should be eliminated. The biggest thing, according to College Works Painting, is to make sure the design and text flow smoothly.