Drexel University Associate Vice Provost Peter Franks has the goods on how to add diversity to an interview or a resume.
Student Question: My only job experience is waiting tables. How can I make that sound more diverse?
Peter Franks: All work has value and you need to be able to access the kinds of skills that you have in waiting tables and how can that apply to other situations. You may say, “I’m good at customer service, I’m good at keeping details, showing up on time, dependability”.
Networking is also something of value. You learn how to meet people, how to deal with them. Those are all skills that are transferable to other situations. Think about how you can use those skills to tell an employer how you can apply those skills to a new opportunity.
Student Question: I am religious and lead a religious organization on my campus, but I’m not sure if I should bring this up during an interview. Is it okay to talk about religion during an interview?
Peter Franks: It is okay, but you want to do it in the context of the interview. You want to use the interview time to promote yourself in a positive way. So if your religious experience included leadership experience, details, or forming new products for the religious organization, then you can bring it up in the areas of skills that you have learned, and demonstrate that to the interviewer as “I was a leader in this religious organization and these are the events we did…”. Bringing up those skill sets makes it appropriate.
Student Question: During a recent internship interview, I was asked to talk about my role in team settings. What’s the best way to answer that question?
Peter Franks: All employers are seeking people who work well in teams, so it’s a key attribute that any interviewer will be looking at. What you want to say is not what we as a group did, but what did you contribute to the group that resulted in specific outcomes. While most young people are fearful about appearing to be bragging, in a job interview situation, that is really what you have to do. Focus on what you did specifically with the team, how did you work well with collaborating with the team, and what did the team accomplish.
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