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Don’t Be “That Guy” on Your Job Hunt

Hiring pros help COM students avoid rookie mistakes

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The COM Alumni Board wants to help students hear, "You're hired," after they learn job interview tips during Wednesday's panel.

With just a month left before graduation, the College of Communication Alumni Board wants to make sure that COM students don’t walk into a job interview and make embarrassing rookie mistakes. On Wednesday the board will host Don’t Be That Guy (or Girl) . . . The Idiot’s Guide to Landing a Job. A panel of six hiring managers and communications pros, including a COM television professor, will help students build their confidence and navigate the dos and don’ts of the job search. The panelists are Mark Nardi, senior vice president and associate creative director at Hill Holiday; Lindsay Faro of Cone, Inc.; Chris Cavalieri (COM’81), a COM assistant professor of television; Hilary Finkel (COM’86), a producer at WGBH; Marshall Hook (COM’94), director of operations at MetroNetworks/Westwood One; and Greg Gatlin (COM’96), director of public affairs at Suffolk University and former business editor at the Boston Herald. BU Today spoke with COM alumni officer Kristie Faletra (COM’06) to find out more.

BU Today: Who is “that guy (or girl)”?
Faletra:
The Alumni Board thought it was a clever way to describe the guy who comes in chewing gum and puts his coffee on your desk and forgets to bring a pen and paper, or the girl who comes in dressed inappropriately.

How will this event help students?
It will give them tips from hiring managers: what you should do, what you shouldn’t do, what they’ve found helpful, what they’ve found distracting, what stood out to them in the interviewing process, and what has led them to ask someone back for a second interview. I’ve heard a lot of the Alumni Board members say, for instance, that instead of doing research just on the company, you should do research on the people you might be meeting with as well. Sometimes there are little things that help you connect with a person, things that you wouldn’t necessarily think of as being helpful.

Is the evening only for seniors?
It’s helpful for all students, because not only are seniors trying to find jobs, but other students are trying to find internships, make connections, and network no matter what stage they are at in their education.

Is the event intended for networking as well?
Yes and no. The panelists don’t necessarily have open positions right now. However, I do think it is a great opportunity to network. The panelists are open to talking to students and developing relationships. You never know. Any contacts you make can be helpful.

What do you hope students will take away?
I think Alumni Board members would like the students to leave feeling a little more confident and comfortable with those first interviews. They’d like students to go away knowing how to position themselves and how to help themselves stand out and have such a successful interview that they get those jobs.

What should students know now so they don’t show up to the event like “that guy (or girl)”?
One thing to stress is, don’t be late. That’s one of the things that bugs hiring managers the most. Panelists want students to take this seriously, show up on time, and have some questions prepared. You can make a good impression on these panelists, and you never know what can turn into an opportunity. Don’t come in ripped jeans and sneakers. Try to look presentable. I always recommend having a résumé with you. Don’t be afraid to ask for the panelists’ business cards. If you can get contact information from them, e-mail or write them to say thank you. That establishes a connection right there.

Don’t Be That Guy (or Girl) . . . The Idiot’s Guide to Landing a Job will take place on Wednesday, April 16, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. in the COM Student Lounge, 640 Commonwealth Ave. Attire is business casual and an RSVP to Kristie Faletra at kfaletra@bu.edu is requested.

Rebecca McNamara can be reached at ramc@bu.edu.

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