Micah Thorson has been the President of Dunwoody’s Institute of Industrial Engineers (IIE) student chapter since it started about a year ago with a goal to connect students with professionals in the industry and expose them to hands-on experience.
As part of this initiative, IIE hosted a panel of HR professionals from Liberty Carton, and 3M and a hiring manager from Target Corp. to help students understand what these hiring managers look for in successful candidates.
“The interview process can be a little more rigorous for large companies,” said Thorson, “we wanted to invite them to campus to find out what they look for so we could be better prepared.”
Writing a successful resume
Allie Rikke–an HR Generalist at Liberty Carton–mentioned that the first thing she looks for on a resume is metrics. She said, “once you start talking money, people start paying attention.” Rikke suggested that applicants applying for industrial engineer positions should translate their projects into dollars and cents to illustrate the impact of their work.
3M Sourcing Agent Amelia Simonet explained that she pays attention to leadership roles. “Stay away from words like ‘assisted’ or ‘helped,'” Simonet advised. She said she prefers to hear what the applicant took the lead on—not what the applicant helped with.
Doug Meldrum, Group Manager at Target Corp., suggested students should get involved in organizations and clubs on campus, explaining it was a great way to highlight leadership skills on a resume.
There are many clubs and organizations like IIE available to students in different program areas. Thorson encouraged participation in clubs because they “give students practical experience and build their skills to be successful in their industry,” noting that IIE is hoping to offer a six-sigma training next semester.
Preparing for behavior-based interviews
In addition to resume advice, the panel highlighted the importance of behavior-based interviewing skills, particularly for people applying for technical careers. In order to be effective in a technical position, you’ll need to be able to communicate with your team successfully, they explained.
Behavior-based interviews include questions that allow hiring professionals to learn more about an applicant’s behavior and soft skills in a work environment. This helps them understand how the applicant will work with a team.
Associate Director of Career Services Rob Borchardt is available to help students prepare for these interviews by conducting mock interviews and providing feedback on performance.
“Landing the job is all about your interview prep. There are some tricks I can give to help figure out what questions you might be asked in an interview in addition to some of the standard questions,” Borchardt said, “Practice is key, especially for those harder to answer questions.”
Learn more about the services available to students on the Career Services webpage.
To learn more about upcoming events in the Institute of Industrial Engineers organization, contact Faculty Advisor Janet Nurnberg at firstname.lastname@example.org.