Whether it is an upcoming career fair, an interview, an employer panel, or networking event, college is a place filled with continuous nerve-wracking experiences for the job-seeking student. Eager to find that summer internship that will land you your dream job? Are you a freshman or sophomore hoping to gain some experience over the breaks? Constantly thinking you aren’t experienced enough for the position? We’ve all been there. Confidence and patience are the keys to your future success.
You have many more skills than you may think. That part-time job you’ve had for the past two years that has nothing to do with your major just might make you stand out as much as any other experience would. Working at a restaurant part-time involves tasks such as customer service, quick problem solving, and communication skills that other competitors may not have. In my case, working in the restaurant industry has given me more experience as an underclassman than I could have imagined. I have learned infinite amounts regarding how to handle customers and the correct way to resolve an issue in a timely manner. Given responsibilities such as handling deposits and possessing a key to open and close a store on my own, I’ve learned the importance of having power and control over a situation. Thus far, I have used these skill sets I gained during my part time job during all of my interviews with professionals.
Even though you may not believe your experience is significant, the interviewer will. Basic stories such as reacting appropriately to an uncomfortable situation and demonstrating communication skills can show a professional that even though you may not have had much experience in the specific position, your skills may still be applied.
Always speak with confidence. Show the professional you are speaking with that you are proud of your accomplishments, confident, and that you are good fit for the position. Students often become nervous around professionals, and instead of expressing their abilities, feel under prepared and under qualified, suppressing their original plans. Remember that employers are as eager to have you on board as you are eager to work with them.
Lastly, dress for the occasion. When walking into a room full of employers, the last thing you want to do is be under dressed. Look as sharp and professional as you can in order to appear and feel that way. Ever hear the saying, “Look Good, Feel Good”? I would say that this applies here. You are more appealing than you realize. Any experience that you may have is worth discussing. There are hundreds of opportunities for students; one failure does not equal one hundred failures. Look professional, believe in your accomplishments, and have patience. You are as successful and empowering as you allow yourself to be.