Job Applications: Going Beyond the Resume


Kahleia: Welcome to Thor’s Hammer’s podcast! My name is Kahleia Corpuz, the editor-in-chief for Thor’s Hammer. Today, I am joined by Ms. Withrow, one of our Hospitality and Tourism teachers who previously worked in Human Resources, and her job was to hire people.

I know a lot of students have the flexibility to work now because of online school, so here are some questions I asked Ms. Withrow to put forward your best effort to get that job!


Question 1

Kahleia: When we talk about job applications, most people focus on the resume aspect. What are the most common resume mistakes people make?

Ms. Withrow: Hi, thanks for having me!

The most common mistakes are definitely the easy ones: spelling, grammar, punctuation, alignment, and margins. I always suggest to my applicants not to use colored fonts, just black on white simple copy paper, no photos of yourself, and no references on the resume. Don’t list hobbies or any personal detail, only keep it strictly to professional aspects.


Question 2

Kahleia: Alright, so once you’ve gone through that entire resume process, and now you’ve submitted it, how long should you wait until you follow up on it?

Ms. Withrow: Okay, for most jobs, I would wait about a week. Sometimes you might work with a temporary agency, and you can follow up with them a little bit sooner, in three to five business days.

I would say wait about a week, and make a phone call to the manager. If it’s in the restaurant industry, call in the afternoon between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m., that’s kind of their downtime, or not as busy time. If it’s any other business, make sure you call between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. and not during lunch hours which is typically 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. So call back for the hiring manager, and that should hopefully get you some sort of answer.


Question 3

Kahleia: Alright! Thank you for that. If you do get an interview, how do you present yourself as someone they need to hire?

Ms. Withrow: This one seems like it would be easy, but first things first, you have to be there early, 10 to 15 minutes early.

Make sure you’re professionally dressed. What does that mean? Typically, let’s take it an easy way, black shoes, black socks, black trousers or pants, a white dress shirt, a tie, black blazer, that sort of thing. Make sure your hair is neat and tidy, and that your clothes are ironed. For women, make sure you’re not wearing too short of a skirt, too much jewelry, that type of thing.

And bring extra resumes with you! You never know if you’re gonna be in a panel interview, so just one or two might not be enough. Bring around five, that should be plenty. And go alone. Something I found in the industry was you might need someone to give you a ride to your interview, but don’t bring them inside with you. Leave the kids, the brothers, the adults, the parents at home or in the car because only one person’s getting the job. It’s just gonna be you.

And the last thing I have to say, SMILE, SMILE, SMILE until your face HURTS. No one wants to hire someone that isn’t smiling even if you’re nervous, fake it til you make it! That’s what you have to do.

Kahleia: Fake it until you make it! Right!


Question 4

Kahleia: So, right after an interview, what should you do after you’ve had one?

Ms. Withrow: The best thing, and the best communication I can say for anyone is to send an email at least, and send a thank you. Say thank you for your time, thank you for the opportunity to meet with you, thank you for the information you might have gained from them at the interview.

And also, tell them if you’re interested. You may not be interested right now, but if you change your mind later, putting on that good impression will help you. Because as a recruiter, I used to always put notes on resumes if they called back to say thank you, sent an email to say thank you, or made any type of communication back to see how professional they were, or if they had no communication, I made sure to write that I never heard back from them.

Kahleia: Alright. Thank you for answering all of our questions! I hope this helps anyone who is looking to apply for any jobs, and I wish you good luck in all of your job endeavors! Thank you, Ms. Withrow, for being with us today, and we’ll see you guys later!

Ms. Withrow: Alright, thank you for having me! Bye everyone!