Potter College News
Professional Writing Club Discusses Preparing for Job Searching
- Christina West
- Monday, March 7th, 2022
No matter your year or major, job searching and interviewing are daunting tasks. The Professional Writing Club gathered via zoom on March 1 to address some of the best practices for preparing for a successful career launch. KirkpatrickPrice employees Adrian Sanders, Chaz Lively, Fallon Russell, Kristen Darby, Jennifer Troth, Sarah Slatton, and Carly Mathews provided their tips on resume building and interview etiquette. KP’s Director of Professional Writing, Maggie Austin, also attended the meeting and shared how to make a good impression during an interview.
The speakers first noted the importance of tailoring job application materials to a company. “A lot of people don't get past that application phase; they're not going to interview everybody that sends in something, so you want to make sure that you're standing out,” said Sanders. “Make sure you read that job description and match keywords from the description in your resume.”
Lively agreed with Sanders, adding, “Think really clearly about the type of company or organization that you're applying for to reflect the company culture in your job application materials.” Lively also suggested bringing in a small portfolio of writing samples, which can be an additional impressive resource to show during an interview.
When it comes to interviews, reparation is key. Russell likes to write down notes beforehand and practice answers out loud to prepare responses catered to the job. “I would also encourage you to establish a little pre-interview routine. Give yourself plenty of time to get to where you're going, not just be early for your interview, but to have time to pray, meditate, blast your music, watch an inspirational video, or all of the above,” Russell stated.
Darby struggled with feeling nervous before interviews but took solace in the fact that interviewers are people too, and they can also feel nervous about the interviewing process. Slatton, who has conducted several interviews, concurred with Darby. “I get very nervous before I interview somebody,” Slatton stated. “It is a lot of pressure to be a good representative of your organization.”
“We tend to think of interviews as much more clinical I think, and now I feel as though they're a much more personable experience,” Mathews stated. With that information, Mathews recommends showing passion and enthusiasm while maintaining professionalism.
Austin was in the first Professional Writing Capstone class in the PW program. She shared some insights on what she likes to hear when interviewing applicants as the Director of Professional Writing at KP.
“I think it's great if you ask about the company's culture and the vision or the values of that organization. That really gives the person putting on the interview an opportunity to talk about the things that they hopefully care a lot about, Austin said. “You may then have some examples from your own life on how you align with those values and the vision and mission of the organization, and it just opens up this whole new topic to talk about.”
Austin also emphasized the importance of a letter of appreciation to follow up after the interview. “It's important to let the interviewer know—first and foremost—thank you for your time. Thank you for you talking to me and taking time out of your day. Here are the highlights. Here are my takeaways. Here's how I'm feeling about the interview,” Austin said. This not only shows diplomacy but also ensures the employer that you are still interested in the position.
The final PW Club meeting will be on Tuesday, April 5 at 4:30 p.m.