DO NOT USE FOR CAREER ADVICEBy Maura O’Meara, Career Services Officer
Confession: I read my horoscope each month. I have also wished on every falling star I’ve ever seen. My Irish grandmother taught me to throw salt over my shoulder when I spilled some in the kitchen. Given this evidence, it is safe to say that I can be a bit superstitious.
I work in Career Services and when students ask me to identify how many employment offers they might get, or how likely it is that a chef will make them a job offer by next week, I usually reply “I cannot answer that question without a crystal ball.” But the truth is, there is no place for a crystal ball in my office, and there never will be. Although I love mysterious phenomena, I would like students to know that my role in advising you for career success has absolutely nothing to do with checking the alignment of the stars on the day of your stage, or even crossing my fingers for you before your big interview. My job is to be sure that you are as prepared as you can be using the very earthly talent of wisdom, and to prescribe a healthy dose of determination, not the eye of a newt. Part of your education at CIA is learning how to tell your own fortune. So I turn the question back to the student and ask, “How can you be sure you get the job you want?”
No divination is required! There are sure-fire ways to stack the odds in your favor that are absolutely within your own control:
ü Do extensive research before approaching a perspective employer so that they know you have a sincere interest in getting this position and that you have already discovered why you want to join their team.
ü Get your list of questions ready so that they know you have a healthy curiosity about their unique philosophy of food and service.
ü Show strong self-management skills by being on time and appropriately dressed.
ü Set a great first impression by having sharp knives when entering a kitchen.
ü Balance enthusiasm with focus so that when you cook, your work will be fast, clean and exact which they know will add to the success of their business.
ü Look them in the eye and smile so that they feel your natural sense of hospitality.
ü Follow up each interview with a thank you letter to show them you are serious.