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Five Questions For: Carol Brown

Carol Brown is the Recruitment Manager for Best Buy Mobile and has 15 years experience in human resources. She considers herself a champion of workplace diversity. We asked her some frequently-asked questions from job seekers.

1) What’s the biggest mistake that new grads make in interviews?

They don’t list all their work experience. College students often manage or coach others or manage budgets. These are relevant work experiences if applying for management jobs. Make a master resume that lists every job, duty or project that you have worked on – including volunteering and babysitting. Then pull from that when applying for a specific job.

2) What is the biggest mistake that downsized workers make trying to change careers?

They panic and they start out applying for jobs based mostly on pay. They should apply for jobs in which they are experienced and qualified. They often fail to take into account that while they’ll make lower base pay in a new job, that benefits contribute to their overall compensation.

3) Why is “apply online” becoming a standard phrase at career expos?

It eliminates paper and allows an organization to view more candidates and filter credentials in a cohesive system. Most organizations have multiple jobs posted: applicants can choose what interests them.  Seventy percent of organizations have eliminated paper applications. Online is much more efficient.

4) What advice would you give a job seeker for any interview?

Dress professionally but comfortably – wear a suit/outfit that makes you feel good. Research the company and talk to people who have insight about it. Find a way to relax and connect with the interviewer, so that even if you don’t get the job, your interviewer may recommend you for something else.

5) What changes are here from a job search perspective?

Telephone interviews are becoming more prevalent. Take calls in a quiet space and from a landline telephone. Act like you are being interviewed in person: dress as if you were going to a face-to-face interview, and never sound like you are still in bed or have just gotten out of one. Keep your resume and other important documents handy to answer specific questions about your work history.

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