Don’t drop the ball on your first assignment – the job interview

I remember the feeling well… the excitement, nerves and anxiousness of finding my first “big girl” job. I can honestly say that my $20 suit never paid off more than when I got the offer from my dream employer – ChappellRoberts.

As the coordinator for our agency internship and job shadow program, all too often I see students and recent grads bomb the first and most important parts of the job search.

Here are a few tips for internship and job seekers:

1. Resume AND cover letter – while Twitter may have a 140 character limit, your resume and cover letter do not. Yes, I said COVER LETTER! This is your resume’s wing man, and without it you don’t score. The cover letter is a narrative about how your experience and personality make you the ideal candidate for the job. The email that carries your resume AND cover letter will never take its place.

2. Dress for success – It wasn’t designer and it certainly wasn’t “sharp” looking, but my $20 black interview suit from college gave the impression that I was dressed for the job I wanted. Yes, the advertising industry is fun and funky. Once you’ve been hired and paid your dues, you can likely wear ironic graphic tees and sneakers (assuming no client meetings).

3. Thank you notes will never go out of style – Even when you arrive at your internship or job interview in a flying car or via holograph, it will NEVER be out of date to send a hand-written thank you note following your interview. If you’re interviewed by multiple people, send each one a note and make it personalized and sincere.

4. Research the company – As one of the most digitally connected demographics, college students and recent grads must take the time to research the company and position they are applying for – and with the same inquisitiveness of stalking an ex-boyfriend or girlfriend’s new love on Facebook. Even if you look the part in your $20 suit, you won’t be a perfect fit if you don’t know the first thing about why you’re there.

They call it an interview process for a reason – it is grueling. But if you are prepared with these four simple tips, you’ll be a step ahead.


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