5 Do’s and Don’ts for New Job Candidates

By: Diane Henry, President: Red Real Estate

As an NYU alum who now periodically hires students from my alma mater, I thought I would share advice from an employer’s perspective. This post is for students who elect to work while they are in school (a smart idea in preparation for today’s job market).

1.       Do let your personality shine in an interview. You needn’t divulge details about your private life or awkwardly crack jokes but you can let the interviewer have a sense of you as a person and not just as a talking resume. Interviewers are human and in addition to considering your qualifications they will be interested in getting a feel for what it would be like to work with you.

2.       Don’t take for granted that you will get a letter of recommendation for positions you held for a very short time. It’s case by case. Exception if your boss explicitly offers, if you did a summer intensive or otherwise contributed real value. A case could be made that there is no harm in asking but think about it – even if they say yes, would you really want to stake your future full time job application on a recommendation from someone who does not know your work well enough to give a meaningful endorsement? Use judgment.

3.       Don’t call in sick on your second day of work. Don’t get me wrong -I am not suggesting you work while actually, really ill. But if your time with the company has been short and you take a day off early on, it can raise a red flag.

4.       Don’t put your feet up on the office furniture. You may encounter some relaxed company cultures. Our team, for example, has a great sense of humor and a very jovial vibe. But don’t get comfortable to the point where you are not respecting the enterprise. Take your cues from others in your office, if they are not doing it, don’t do it.

5.       Do know the difference between a job and an internship. Both are great for exploring what type of career or industry you might be interested in. However, internships exist primarily to teach you about the job/industry/company and give you “practice” work experience. Internships vary widely in responsibility level: from doing monkey work and making coffee runs to doing substantial work that ads value.

A part time job, on the other hand is just that – a job. In many cases, jobs more closely resemble what you can expect post-graduation. A job’s purpose is not primarily to teach you – though you will learn from it. Its purpose is for you to contribute value to the company. A job has a higher level of accountability and it generally matters whether or not you do it well. As a hiring employer, I consider a job history that includes paid professional positions to be a stronger indication of the level of experience, responsibility and work readiness of a candidate than internships alone. (Note: Your lifeguard experience two summers ago does not count! Unless you are applying to be a lifeguard.) And of course you make some money in process!

If you are a student seeking part time work we invite you to submit your resume to admin@red-realestate.com. Apply on NYU CareerNet for the following positions: Assistant to company President (907911) Marketing and Administrative Assistant (907907).

You can also visit us on the web at redrealestatenyc.com .

Have a great fall!

Diane Henry

President, Red Real Estate

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