Angela Kiniry, the director of human resources at the National Life Group in Montpelier, is a faculty member of UVM’s Business Savvy, a six-credit, summer course open to sophomores, juniors and seniors. Kiniry, who has worked in the human resources field for over 20 years in Fortune 500 and Fortune 1000 companies, offers job-hunting advice for students and recent graduates.
Most students and recent graduates don’t have much work experience. What are some important details they should include on a resume?
Relevant courses, relevant school projects/deliverables, leadership experience (high-school sports captain, college sports, leadership roles), extracurricular activities, and volunteer work.
What are three important points graduates should remember when they are interviewing for a job?
1. Firm handshake and eye contact.
2. Know the job that you are applying for and an overview of the company.
3. Dress one-step above… dress like your boss! Also, make sure that your shoes polished and “fit” your outfit. People look at your shoes!
What are some pitfalls to avoid in a job search?
- First and foremost, avoid typos in your cover letter or resume. I saw a resume last week from a student applying for a position, and there were 11 typos in the resume.
- Have a professional email address, such as firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Avoid applying for jobs that you are not qualified for or applying to all jobs in one company. By doing this, you are more than likely not going to be considered for anything.
What will students learn in the Business Savvy course?
Students will learn all of the skills they need to translate their college experience into a rewarding career, including:
- Business fundamentals: finance, marketing, human resources, management, and strategy.
- Students will see what it’s like to run a company through a team business simulation.
- Upgrade their resume, presentation skills, interviewing skills, and learn business etiquette.
As you mentioned, you’ll be teaching students about business etiquette. Why is business etiquette so important?
I am a firm believer that professional and polite skills in life are essential for an individual’s success.
If there was one piece of advice you would give a recent college graduate looking for a job, what would it be?
Follow your dreams, and dream big! You will spend a lot of your life working. Make sure that it is in a job that you are interested in and aligns with your interests and personal values.