We talked in our last blog about how while Magnet Consulting is normally in the business of helping businesses, that process often led us to helping job seekers, and even job seekers’ parents. Because we are so often led to these seekers, we developed our Intern Bootcamps, week-long experiences for entry-level professionals to learn firsthand about how to be successful in the office. In preparation for those camps, we provided tips that parents can share with these job-seeking individuals. These tips included:
- Interviews Matter A Lot. How to prepare examples from your past that demonstrate competencies necessary for the job.
- Interviews matter, but they should also expect online and other testing. How to be ready for skills and other tests.
- Initiative goes a long way. Volunteering for more work is important!
In today’s blog, we cover the last two tips:
Academic writing isn’t business writing. I can’t tell you HOW many times we’ve seen this, and not just from students. Academic presentations are not business presentations. Academics are about using words, words, and more words…and showing through all those words that you are an expert on something. Oh, and charts…And graphs…and citations. Here’s the thing—we all did that in school because that was the expectation, but if/when we enter the business world we quickly realize there is a huge disinterest in all those words. Powerpoint becomes the new language.
Powerpoint is about bullet points…not sentences or paragraphs that are preceded by bullet points. Business writing is pictures…And infographics…Lots and lots of pictures and infographics. Most importantly, business writing is about the analysis of impact on bottom line. That isn’t just a phrase; that’s what we care about. What does this thing you’re suggesting get me? What does it do?
So, your presentation style must almost completely change from what you learned in school. At Intern Bootcamp, our participants have numerous opportunities to learn and demonstrate this new (to them), highly targeted form of communication.
Relationships are at least as important as technical skills. Your GPA/degree/NHS/SAT score got you the interview. After that, nobody really cares. Stop thinking the smarter person always gets the job or the person with the best resume gets the interview. Relationships matter. Build them. Nurture them. Use them. This doesn’t mean that “life is so unfair because people who don’t deserve a shot got one JUST because of who they know and not because of things relevant to the job”. This is about knowing that the ability to build relationships, influence people and negotiate while being likeable are relevant to every job. These are additional, important skills. Stop acting like they aren’t and stop whining when other people have these skills, and use them. Instead, do some independent learning on these so-called soft skills, have your capabilities assessed professionally. Join the Intern Bootcamp to get on-the-job lessons in influence strategy, building strategic relationships and more. And be ready for the feedback on how you can improve those skills.
If your children/grandchildren/nieces/nephews/babysitters will listen to you as you provide them these tips, that’s fantastic! But, if they need to learn these things for themselves like most of us do, give them the gift of a week of Intern Bootcamp where they will be tested, challenged, and most importantly, given tangible feedback on how to be more successful. Remember this gift isn’t just a gift for them… it frees up your basement couch from having a permanent inhabitant.