How to Land Your Dream Job: A Thanksgiving Meal

24304 Betty Crocker's Guide to Your First Thanksgiving

Written by:  Charlie Foster, Employer Relations Specialist at Baylor University

You’re graduating from college in less than a month, and you are interviewing for your dream job after Thanksgiving. But you’re worried that you aren’t bringing all the right tools to the table.

Think of your interview as a traditional Thanksgiving meal. While every part of your interview is important as an individual component, the complete picture that you present is the part that sells the recruiter. In short, it’s the delicious whole that everyone looks forward to. Look at your job seeking and interview as each of the parts of the Thanksgiving meal:

Grandma’s Homemade Dressing – Your Educational Experience

Everyone expects grandma to make her traditional, homemade dressing. It’s the one thing that everyone knows will be there. The same thing is true with your educational experience. Everyone has their own experience, just like grandma has her own recipe. But interviewers expect you to have a college education. Find a way to make yours standout. This may be a particular study abroad or project that you worked on in your major. Utilize that when talking about your educational experience.

Mashed Potatoes and Gravy – Your Internships

Mashed potatoes are the staple side that everyone loves at Thanksgiving. It’s the simple foundation of the meal that goes with everything. Your internships are the foundation of your appeal as a candidate in an interview. The more internships you have, the better you look to a new employer. And everyone loves a solid, learning internship for the foundation of your new career.

Auntie Muriel’s Green Bean Casserole – Your Resume

Auntie Muriel may not be the best cook ever, but she knows how to make your least favorite side a bit more appealing. Your resume makes your learning and experiences more appealing, too. While it might be a simple piece of paper that you love to dread, it is important for you to have with every application and interview. You need to make sure that your resume is professional, well organized, and easy-to-read for all interviewers and recruiters. Make sure to utilize your resources to have your resume proofread and designed for better appeal.

The Thanksgiving Turkey – Your In-Person Interview

The star of the show is the Thanksgiving turkey. Your interview is in the limelight for you to get this job. While the turkey takes time to be seasoned and prepped for cooking, you also need to prepare for your interview well in advance. Learn about the company that you are interviewing with, including their culture and main responsibilities. You should also know as much as you can about the job that you are interviewing with. With this knowledge, you will be able to brightly shine, just like the turkey at dinner time.

Pumpkin Pie – Your Personality, and You

The grand finale of the meal: the pumpkin pie. It’s the part of the meal that everything builds up to, and the part that leaves the best impression. Your personality and the way you present yourself is the most impactful impression during the interview. As cliché as it sounds, the most important thing you can do is be yourself. Recruiters and interviewers can tell when you are being fake, are nervous, or not confident in yourself. The best thing to do is to present yourself with confidence and determination that you are the right candidate for the job.

By bringing the complete meal to the table, you are sure to land your dream job!



8 Common Résumé Questions

typewriterCareer and Professional Development offers résumé review drop-in hours every day. Here is a list of the most common questions I get asked:

  1. How small can I make my font size or margins?

Margins can be anywhere from .5 to 1 inch; use your best judgment and keep it easy-to-scan. Font size should be 10 point or larger to keep your résumé from being too crowded or difficult to read.

  1. Can I put high school experiences on my résumé?

It depends on how old you are and how much university experience you have to discuss. As a freshman or sophomore, you may have some high school experience on your resume until you become more involved on campus or attain a part-time job/summer internship.

  1. How can I make one résumé for all my applications?

It is not best practice to use one generic résumé because each job position or graduate program has different requirements or preferences. Every résumé you create should be tailored to display the skills and experiences desired for each application. You may want to create one “master résumé” that lists all your accomplishments and experiences and then choose which items are most relevant for each job or graduate opportunity you pursue.

  1. My résumé is a page and a half, is that okay?

If you are an undergraduate student, your résumé should really be one page. Graduate schools may require a Curriculum Vitae (CV) or longer résumé, but if it is not specified, try to keep it to one page. There are some exceptions. If you are unsure, ask a career advisor.

  1. Should I include my work experience from part-time jobs in restaurants or clothing stores?

Absolutely! Show off your relevant and transferable skills (customer service, communication, etc.) from all your work experiences! However, you may not include them if you have more relevant experiences you want to discuss or run out of space on your one-page résumé.

  1. Do I have to include a profile or objective statement?

No, these are optional résumé components. It may be helpful to have a profile if you are applying to a job that does not necessarily align with your major or past experiences because it gives recruiters a better idea of who you are and why you are applying. Objective statements can be helpful for career fairs where recruiters are hiring for multiple jobs and you want to clarify which position you are seeking.

  1. Should I put Microsoft Office skills on my résumé?

There is no need to list Office unless the job posting specifically mentions these skills or you have completed a certification or specialized training. Most companies will assume that you know how to use those programs.

  1. Is it okay to list out my skills (team-player, effective communicator, etc.)?

The best strategy for a skills section is to demonstrate skills with concrete examples rather than simply listing them. To see an example of how to do this effectively, come by our office and pick up a CPD Guide!

Written by Kristin Koch, Graduate Apprentice for Career and Professional Development



As a former recruiter who worked with employers around the country to fill a range of positions from entry-level college grads to CFOs, I highly recommend that you build a profile on LinkedIn. Any time I reviewed résumés, the first thing I did when I wanted to learn more about someone was go to LinkedIn and see if they had a profile. If they didn’t have a strong profile, I moved their résumé to the bottom of my pile!

Here are six helpful LinkedIn tips to make your profile as effective as possible.

  1. Add a professional picture on your profile – If you post a picture to your profile, studies have shown it is eleven times more likely to be viewed! In my experience as a recruiter, I didn’t even click on profiles that didn’t have pictures. Keep in mind though that your picture needs to be professional. Make sure you are professionally dressed with a nice backdrop behind you, and make sure the picture is only from your upper chest or shoulders and above.
  2. List as many skills as possible on your profile – These skills can be anything from technical skills (such as Excel, PowerPoint, or SAS) to general skills (such as problem solving, public speaking, or sales). People who list skills on their profiles are thirteen times more likely to have their profiles viewed!
  3. Complete the education portion – If you know your expected graduation date, add it to your profile so recruiters don’t contact you about jobs that start before you graduate. Also, be sure to add relevant coursework, and site examples of leadership even if you have to go back to high school activities. Recruiters love leaders!
  4. Connect with alumni – Under the “My Network” column on your homepage, click “Find Alumni”. This is an easy way to find people who would be open to connecting with you. There are nearly 70,000 Baylor alums as of today that you can connect with!
  5. Customize your connection requests – When you request to connect with someone, alter the default message to tell the person how you know them or why you would like to connect. This 10-second task increases the odds that someone you don’t know will agree to connect with you.
  6. Check out the jobs! – LinkedIn has thousands of jobs for professionals at all career stages. You can customize your job search by criteria such as location, company size, industry, experience level, and more. Many times a job posting will even tell you who posted the position, which means you can request to connect with them, introduce yourself, and get your name moved to the top of the job poster’s mind as they are reviewing applicants.

Written By: Adam Kaye, Director of Employer Relations at Baylor University