(BROWNWOOD, Texas) – Texas State Technical College trains students for careers.
One important aspect of those careers is the first step: applying for and then interviewing for jobs.
Some students at the TSTC campus in Brownwood recently received advice from Joe Razza, a regional recruiter with TSTC industry partner Crown Lift Trucks, about how to prepare a resume and the proper techniques that candidates should use during a job interview.
Razza has visited each of TSTC’s 10 campuses across the state to help students prepare for interviews. He said the college’s Career Services representatives are a valuable resource for students.
“They are here to help you,” he told the students. “They will look over your resume, guide you through what to do for an interview and make sure you are prepared.”
Erin Wilhite, a TSTC Career Services director in West Texas, said hearing advice from an industry partner is important.
“This is invaluable information for our students,” she said. “Hearing this kind of advice from an employer makes it real. This will make what the industry standards are today more apparent.”
Sabrina Stewart, a Welding Technology student, found the information enlightening.
“I learned some different things from the presentation that I plan on using when I interview for jobs,” she said. “I may also use some of it at home with my children.”
Razza said no matter when or where a person plans to apply for a job, a person should critique their resume often.
“When was the last time you looked at your resume?” he asked. “You should look at it several times a week.”
Posting resumes on job-seeking websites, like Monster.com, CareerBuilder and Indeed, is good, but resumes should be kept updated.
“If you do not update your resume on those sites, it will continue to drop down the list,” he said. “The people who post the latest, or review it several times, remain high on those sites.”
Razza said the best way to get a company’s attention is simple.
“Apply directly on the company’s website,” he said. “That way you are sure that it is the right spot and in the possession of the employer.”
However, Razza said people should make sure before submitting their resume that it is actually their resume.
“I have opened attachments before, and it was a person’s boarding pass,” he said.
A good resume is important because, according to research, an employer spends an average of six seconds reviewing it, Razza said.
“You need to grab their attention with the resume because that is your first impression,” he said.
Even if a student has no work history, many employers recognize an associate degree or a certificate of completion from TSTC as being valuable, Razza said.
“Employers see all of TSTC’s instructors as industry experts,” he said. “By studying at TSTC, it will benefit you in the search for employment.”
Razza also provided advice on how to select the right company to apply to after graduation.
“Networking with an employer prior to applying is key,” he said. “You will get to know them before you apply and hopefully begin work.”
He said the opposite is also true as employers research people’s social media sites to learn what traits they possess.
Razza said once you have been called in for an interview, the first impression is the most important.
“Look professional as possible,” he said, adding that having a cellphone in sight would not be a good look to the interviewer.
When the interview is complete, Razza offered one tip for the students.
“Have a positive attitude, no matter what happens,” he said.
Registration for the fall semester is underway. For more information about TSTC, visit tstc.edu.