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How to Think Like an Employer

By Denisa Baltat on September 16th, 2014 in Employment Tips


Most students don’t realize the importance of thinking like an employer or a recruiting manager and imagining what it’s like to sit on the other side of the interview table. They graduate school, start looking for jobs and automatically think about what they want to hear from an employer and what their expectations are. However, it’s essential to understand that the employers have their own expectations and are searching for specific answers when conducting an interview.

Even though you might be new to the industry, or have no work experience at all, don’t sell yourself short. The things you learn during your program and practicum are very important and the employer is looking to see how you put them in perspective and spin them in your favour. Take a moment and put yourself in the interviewer’s shoes. What would you like to hear from a candidate with little or no work experience?

Here are a few school experiences that you can spin in your favour, and show the employer all the knowledge and skills you gained:

Highlight the transferable skills you learned in your courses or during projects

Take some time to think about the courses you took and the projects you were assigned. Think about what tasks you had to complete and how you completed them. Many times it’s easy to omit the most simple and important skills from your resume. If the skills you learned in class and used during projects can be useful in the workplace, those are transferable skills and are important to many employers looking for the right candidate.

Leadership abilities during group work

The main point of participating in group work is to help students develop leadership skills and the ability to work in a team. These two skills can help you shine in the eyes of the interviewer. Practice how you would recall your group work experience in an interview, and what example you would give to prove to the interviewer you developed strong leadership abilities. Many employers ask such questions during the interview, and it’s a good idea to have an answer prepared.

Don’t underestimate your volunteer experience and student association involvement

Extracurricular activities such as these, speak a lot to the kind of person you are and the types of duties you can perform. As a volunteer or a student association member, you will hold a certain position, which will have a job description and offer you the opportunity to gain valuable experience and polish your skill set. Don’t be afraid to highlight this experience and tell the employer how it helped broaden your knowledge.

Emphasize your co-op/practicum experience
Your Co-op/practicum is just as valuable, if not more, as any other work experience. It teaches you and lets you put into practice the theoretical knowledge you learned in class. Together with your classroom experience, your co-op or practicum brings your studies full circle and gives you hands-on experience in the industry of your choice.

Speak to your employment coordinator today for more information about volunteer opportunities, getting involved with the Brighton College Student Association or your upcoming co-op/practicum.