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Tips for College Graduates on Job Hunting

Recently, I heard more exciting updates from students that they found their dream jobs. Congratulations to those who got job offers! For the others who are still in the job market, they may find it useful to watch this ABC News video about tips on job hunting:

Tip No. 1: Look for a person, not a job. Networking is extremely important in job hunting --- knowing the right person will very likely lead to the right opportunity with the right job. Statistically, 80% of jobs are filled by referrals; 80% of jobs never got advertised before they are filled. This is very true. Quite a few of my colleagues recently found very good career opportunities because of referrals.

Relevant discussion: Social Media Job Search Tactics; Revisit Social Media and Job Search; Social Media and Job Search III.

Tip No. 2: Figure out what you want to do – or fake. First of all, if a job seeker does not know what s/he wants, nobody can help her/him. Then, job seeking is different from internship seeking. It may work if a student wants to “explore” his/her career options in an internship, but it may not work in job hunting. If a job candidate cannot tell what s/he wants to do, how can a recruiter access this person’s long-term “fit” with the company? In a competitive market like no others, why will a company want to invest in a person without knowing his/her career goal?

Tip No. 3: Clean up your professional persona. Pay attention to every detail, from professional dress, resume paper, punctuality, tunes of speech, words or slang used in conversations etc. Everything must be “perfect.”

Relevant discussion: Dress to Impress: “Old-Fashioned” Business Attire Still Works; Smart Phone Etiquette

Tip No. 4: Access your transferable skills. Research and consider the competencies required for a specific job and see how a job seeker may relate his/her strengths and previous experience to the job. Be sure to use quantifiable examples to demonstrate a job candidate’s skills and abilities.

Relevant discussion: Cover Letter, Resume, and LinkedIn

Tip No. 5: Get over yourself. A candidate should not sound arrogant or naive. Instead, s/he must show that s/he can follow through a task and take initiatives at work.

Tip No. 6: Be careful if you wear piercings and tattoos.

Relevant discussion: Is It OK for Hotel Staff to Wear Piercings and Tattoos?; Does Tattoos Go Alone With Professionalism? 

How useful do you think of these tips? What is your (successful or not-so-successful) experience of job hunting?

Comments

  1. Nice tips. Thanks for sharing this post.

    Jobs India

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hello Dr. Kwok!! You were the very first person I thought of to come to w/ this hotel industry question!!!
    Do you know of any websites, blogs or search engines etc.... that would help me to learn the OPERA system?
    I was hired at the Sheraton Hotel at the Falls in the Front Office, (score!!!!) and I was looking to find a tutorial or step by step Opera Module to help me learn the system faster, and for easy access when I have questions. Any suggestions???
    allingen@syr.edu

    Thanks in advance & I hope your summer is going well!
    Amber Lingenfelter

    ReplyDelete
  3. Congratulations, Amber! That's so exciting! I feel very happy for you!

    As to learning the OPERA system even before you start working for Sheraton, I suggest you to hold on that thought. I really don't think it is necessary for a candidate to master a particular operation system before s/he starts working at the Front Desk. Even though many hotels are using OPERA, different brands and different properties may have their “customized” OPERA system. The basic and transferable skills, such as checking-in, checking-out, posting charges, making reservations, etc., however will remain the same. The hotel you work for may want to do things “slightly different” according to a particular hotel’s preference. If you jump start now, you may find that you waste your time by learning something unnecessary later. More importantly, you may end up learning something or some so-called “bad habits” that the hotel does NOT want you to learn. During classes, we met with several hotel managers, some of whom made comments on “experienced” employees vs. candidates with no experience. They value relevant work experience, but they sometimes find it more difficult to “correct” those experienced employees’ “bad habits.” These “bad habits” were completely acceptable in one brand or one particular property but not in the other. In that regard, managers sometimes may prefer to train somebody who does not have any experience at all.

    I am sure you will do well in Sheraton. I also believe that Sheraton will provide you very good training on both the brand standard and the operation system. My suggestion is to enjoy a lovely summer for now and get a good plan for your next semester’s busy schedule. Or, you may ask the managers you interviewed with and see if there is anything in particular they would like you to prepare before you start working for the hotel. I doubt they will ask you to learn OPERA on your own before you started working for them.

    Keep up the good work, Amber. You will make us proud. 

    Linchi Kwok

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thank you Mr. Kwok! You give wonderful advice! I have been working with the Sheraton for about two weeks, and I am already trained on PBX, and a little on Opera. Very busy season for us so I haven't been able to be trained as much as I would hope, hence my inquiry to you, but all in good time! I hope this note finds you well, and that you are enjoying your summer!
    See you soon

    ReplyDelete

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