HR Interview & Resume Tips

Hi Everyone! I wrote this post about 2 weeks ago but wasn’t able to post it. Hopefully this will work now! Last week HR had a Resume & Interview Workshop where all of the interns got to ask about any questions we had. So below I’ve listed 10 things HR mentioned that I think are very important, hope you think the same!

1. Cover letters: Only submit a cover letter for two reasons. 1) The employer specifically asks for one. Most of the time they have at least 200 applications for one position. They barely have enough time to skim your resume, yet alone read a whole cover letter. 2) You have to explain something they might not understand about you from your resume. For example, if you are moving to a new state because of your family, they can better understand why you are applying to that location.
2. Company Culture: Ask and be observant about the company culture while interviewing. If each person you interview from one company describes the culture in a drastically different way, it is probably not a good sign. Find a place to work that you would fit in and enjoy! Make sure to look at their social media to get an insight of the atmosphere!

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3. Career Fairs: When approaching a company at a career fair, make sure that you have done your research. Come prepared with questions and know what you are looking for in an internship. Obviously you want a job, but be specific and confident!

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4. Free stuff: When at a career fair and a recruiter offers you some free swag, always take it and say thank you! The recruiters don’t personally pay for the swag and they brought it there for you. Be excited and grateful. Also, don’t throw the gifts away in the trash at the fair. People from HR are everywhere and will remember if they see you trashing everything you just took!

5. Resume: First off, you probably don’t need an objective statement. Your objective is to get the job you’re applying for. An objective statement is probably just taking up space where you could write more about your experience.
6. Tailoring: If have a lot of experience make sure to tailor your resume. For example, if you are applying for an internship at DSW make sure to include your experience as a sales associate in a store. If you are applying to a bank, add some extra bullets under your VP Finance position for your student org. But always remember if you are applying to many companies at once, don’t write the wrong company name! No one at Deloitte wants to hire someone who writes in their email how much they would love to work at PWC. Always proof read!
7. Salary: Looking for a full time job and want to ask for a higher starting salary? HR at DSW said this isn’t rude, it actually shows how much you want to make this position work. Instead of accepting an okay job with a good offer, you want their job and are finding a way to get it. Just make sure to be respectful, they still have the right to say no. I suggest looking at Fisher Career Data Central, so you can bring in documentation of what other Fisher students of your major are earning after graduation. This is great to show how you have done your research!

8. Be transparent: If you have other offers, don’t lie to your potential employer. They appreciate transparency and might even expedite an offer if they think you might go to another company!
9. LinkedIn: HR told us that they look at 80-90% of candidates LinkedIn profiles. What does that mean for you? Make sure your profile is always updated! A great thing about LinkedIn is that you can go into much greater detail than you would normally do on a 1-page resume.
10. Reach out: Curious about a position? Connect with someone in Recruiting at the company you are interested in. HR at DSW said they get requests and messages all of the time on LinkedIn and many times even set up exploratory conversations with potential new hires.

*Fun Fact: DSW has the BEST food! Their cafeteria is amazing and has tons of options for breakfast and lunch everyday. It has great prices and some of the best melty chocolate chip cookies I’ve ever had!

**Tip of the day: Write what you do! You don’t have to start a blog or anything, just make a bulleted list in your phone of any tasks or projects you complete. This will come in handy when you update your resume and LinkedIn profile!

***Embarrassing moment: I have a confession to make…I have an irrational fear of birds. Their beady little eyes and ability to fly out of nowhere is terrifying. Anyway, I arrived at the parking lot at DSW the other day and saw a bird on the car across from mine. Getting ready to run inside away from the bird, it then flew onto my driver’s side mirror and stared at me for 5 straight minutes. The bird refused to move even after me blasting my music and honking my horn. Yes, I realize I sound slightly crazy, but it was staring into my soul!

So I backed out of my spot and it flew onto the hood of my car. I then proceeded to drive around the parking lot and it stayed on my hood like I was its ride! I was going to be late, so I parked, crawled through my car and went out the passenger’s side door. My day started with me defeated by a bird and praying no one saw what just happened.

Also, that bird has since come back to my car 5 times this summer! I’m not joking. I think I need a restraining order.

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12 in 12

Below are my top 12 of the amazing opportunities that I have had through my 12-week internship with DSW. Take a look below to see some of the great projects I’ve worked on and people I’ve met!

  1. Fashion Week Columbus: FWC is a non-profit organization that supports local fashion designers and DSW is a huge sponsor! Throughout my internship I’ve been able to meet with their Executive Director and figure out how DSW could be a part of it, which includes providing all the shoes for the Kids Show and Final Runway show!
  2. Magazine features: As I’ve mentioned in my blog, I work with editors of magazines almost everyday including Cosmopolitan, InStyle, People StyleWatch, Redbook, Real Simple & more! They usually let me know the trends or styles they are looking for, and then I work with our Merchandising team to pick out what would work. Check out the below picture of a sample I sent to Oprah that made it in their August issue! thumbnail_IMG_7172 (2)
  1. Information Sessions: These sessions have helped me learn way more than I would have imagined. HR arranged about 10 information sessions where executives gave an overview of what goes on in their department. I mean, who would have thought that I would have completely loved the finance meeting I went to? If your internship has anything like this, make sure to go!
  2. Lunch with Interns: This is one of the things I am going to miss so much! About 10 of the interns and I meet in the cafeteria each day for lunch and it was a great way to get to know the other interns from around the country. It was also a safe zone for questions we might have thought were embarrassing, like where someone’s office was or how to use the fax machine.
  3. Skechers Events: If you happened to be at the DSW in Dublin on July 17th you would have seen 1 of the 23 Skechers Kids Parties that I helped with. The store in Dublin had a try-on event complete with a DJ, face painter, balloon artist and free prizes! This was really cool for me to attend and see over a month of planning come to life!thumbnail_skecher
  1. Pokémon Go: I know you’ve heard of the app that has taken over the world! This project was very unique because we didn’t have much time to plan at all when the app exploded with popularity. I was able to work with people in Communications, Signage and Media to pull off Pokémon Go in select DSW stores in just a few days. Customers received $10 off that day if they played Pokémon Go in the store! 
  2. Art Review: This was just one of the regular weekly meetings I always went to, but my favorite! Every week in Art Review different people in Marketing present their email, signage, gift card, website artwork and more. It was so cool to hear the feedback and see all of the behind the scenes work that goes into this business.
  3. Holiday Look Book: This was my big intern project and my favorite one too! I was able to gather products to show magazine editors what DSW would have in stock for their holiday issue. From the selection of products by the Trend team, to getting them shot by our Photo Studio, designing a layout myself and gathering over 100 contacts to send them to, this project was extremely rewarding. The whole project went through my hands from the beginning to end, and ended up turning out great! Keep a look out in your favorite magazines for DSW in Holiday Gift Guides!
  4. Bloggers: If you follow Barefoot Blonde or other bloggers, you’ve probably seen them wearing New Balance, Vans, Converse and many more DSW carried brands. I was able to see how these posts unfold from beginning to end, so fun!
  5. Buzzfeed: Ever wonder how Buzzfeed writes their articles? It’s from lots of drafts back and forth! Check out this one that tells you what your shoes reveal about your horoscope! I have to admit, mine was spot on…

    These were my results from the Buzzfeed quiz. What are yours?
    These were my results from the Buzzfeed quiz. What are yours?
  1. Events Planning Committee: Make sure to get involved! On the first day of my internship (still can’t believe that was 10 weeks ago), I volunteered to be on the Intern Events Committee. Throughout the summer a few of us have planned events like happy hours, Columbus Clippers games, cycling classes and a dinner. What better way to keep involved inside and outside of work!
    Some interns and I at Cycle614!
    Some interns and I at Cycle614!

    Interns take on the Columbus Clippers!
    Interns take on the Columbus Clippers!
  2. Amazing Mangers: Seriously, everyone who works here is fantastic. I report to two amazing women in PR (Hi Maria and Kris!) and have learned more than I ever thought I could in one summer. I’ve gotten my hands on some amazing projects, but more importantly received invaluable feedback each step of the way. I can’t thank them enough for the coolest summer I’ve had yet!
Maria and I at DSW's carnival that raised money for United Way!
Maria and I at DSW’s carnival that raised money for United Way!

*Fun Fact: All employees at DSW get 30% off! And that’s off clearance too! DSW’s employee benefits are amazing…I’m going to miss this!

**Tip of the day: Set up lunches with people that you would like to get to know better! In a quick hour lunch you might learn about a career path that you had never even thought about. I haven’t heard a “no” yet!

***Embarrassing moment: So you know how in #6 I worked on a Pokémon project? Yeah, I still can’t believe that just came out of my mouth. Well, in order to have it work in stores, I first had to test to see if it work which involved me going to the 3 stores in DSW and playing. More than one sales associate caught me taking selfies playing Pokémon Go. Oops! I have to admit though, it was really fun! IMG_8667

Desk Must Haves, Tips & More!

I’m 20 years old, have no kids, and yet my roommates all call me “Mom.” Seriously, sometimes I answer better to Mom than my own name. One of those reasons is that I’m always the one to have a random Band-Aid or tissue in my purse. So why should my desk at work be any different? Check out my list below of the top 12 things to keep at your desk. Most of these can be found in mini versions in the travel section of Target or Meijer! And don’t forget to decorate your desk a little too, you may only be there for a few months but you won’t feel as temporary with a desk that feels like your own!

  1. Sweater: When the AC is on full blast the marketing department turns into the tundra. Bring a neutral color cardigan/sweater/jacket to work and always keep it at your desk for those extra chilly days!
  2. Cough drops & tissues: To avoid death glares from your coworkers when you are sick or have allergies, always have cough drops, tissues & hands sanitizer with you. Slide5
  3. Ibuprofen: This isn’t middle school anymore and you can’t go to the nurse’s office for your headache. You also probably shouldn’t go home unless you are actually sick. Keep some medicine in your desk just in case.

    More than once other interns have asked our GroupMe for help. It always feels great to be able to help them out!
    More than once other interns have asked our GroupMe for help. It always feels great to be able to help them out!
  4. Lotion: Lots of lotion. I’m obsessed with lotion. That’s all.
  5. Gum/Listerine strips/mints/toothbrush: You should have at least one of the mentioned in easy reach so when you decide to get the garlic potatoes for lunch everyone at your 1:00 meeting isn’t backing away from the conference table.

    Here is the little travel kit that I keep in a drawer at my desk with all my necessities!
    Here is the little travel kit that I keep in a drawer at my desk with all my necessities!
  6. Lint roller: If you have a pet or lint just seems to like you, make sure you keep a lint roller handy to keep you from looking like a mess. You can buy mini ones in the travel section of Target!
  7. Band-Aids: My shoe obsession has its consequences and besides eating my paycheck, sometimes it means blisters. Keep a few Band-Aids in your desk for the heels you know are a bad idea but look so cute with your outfit. Beauty over pain, right?
  8. Water bottle/travel mug: Don’t kill the environment with your 3 Styrofoam cups a day. Also, these have lids so you won’t spill. Or is it just me who still can’t be trusted with a cup without a lid?
  9. Plant: I don’t have a window near me and also am not great at keeping things alive so I opted for a bamboo stalk! Just pick something green to brighten up your desk!

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    Check out my bamboo stalk in the corner! I think its probably only grown about 1/2′ in the past 2 months. Am I doing something wrong?!
  10. Pictures: So you can remember that one of the reasons you are working is to afford fun things with all your friends and family.
  11. Deodorant: I won’t go into detail but a few weeks ago I unpacked 18 boxes of super heavy promotional items, so….
  12. Food: This last item shouldn’t need an explanation, but I’ll give it one anyway. I love food. Food passes time and is delicious. Food makes me happy. Good enough?

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    Not going to lie, this is one of the most delicious cookies I’ve ever had.

 

Share in the comments section what other “must haves” are at your desk!

 

* Fact: No matter your position, there is no greater feeling than clearing a printer jam that no one else can figure out.

**Tip of the day: Introduce yourself! Even if you still don’t know the name of the person who sits at the desk next to you, it’s not too late! You never know when you will meet someone who is from your hometown, college or who is just plain awesome!

***Embarrassing (long) moment:

As I’ve said before, I mail out shoe samples to editors of magazines. The mail is normally picked up from our building at 3:30 and taken to our mailroom to be labeled and shipped out. However, I had a last minute shipment that needed to be overnighted and I missed the pick up. So I called the mailroom and they said I could still drop it off, I said I would be there in 5 minutes.

After standing in the empty mailroom for 10 minutes, I suddenly realized that I wasn’t actually in the mailroom. Sadly, most people had left work since it was pretty late on a Friday. I finally found someone who told me that the mailroom was in the Distribution Center (building next to mine).

This is the DC!
This is the DC!

So I walked into the DC aimlessly for a good 5 minutes until I found a security guard. He told me to go outside and click the buzzer to the mailroom doors. So naturally I walked around the corner of the building, looked for another 10 minutes for the buzzer and came back in to tell the security guard that no button existed. Long story short, the security guard then escorts me to the mailroom and there definitely is a buzzer. Apparently I’m just oblivious.

The man who works in the mailroom that I called, now 30 minutes ago, saw me coming and told me he figured I was lost! Whelp, at least I’ll never do that again

What TO Wear

Let me preface this blog post right away, this definitely isn’t what to wear to an interview and probably not even what to wear to your internship. DSW has a very casual environment, which I love. So here are a few of my favorite outfits I’ve worn to work!

Also, I’m not a fashion blogger or a model, this is just to show how DSW’s culture is reflected by what people wear to work!

  1. Yes, people at DSW wear jeans and not just on Friday! However, there is a difference between the jeans you’ve had for 4 years with fading and giant holes in them and jeans for the workplace. When in doubt, go for very dark denim!Slide2
  2. Dresses or skirt lengths should be longer than your fingertips. I pack and ship boxes a few times a day to various magazines and you don’t want any incidents when bending down to pick something up!IMG_8576
  3. When it’s extra hot outside, it’s extra cold inside. I keep a cardigan in my desk drawer for those over air-conditioned days! Pick something in a neutral color that can go with whatever outfit you have that day. Mine is grey!
  4. Some places have a strict closed toed shoe rule; luckily DSW is not one of them.Slide1
  5. DSW loves their athleisure shoes and so do I! A lot of places of work would probably frown upon you wearing your Converse, Keds or Vans to work but tons of people here do. It’s wonderful (especially since I have a standing desk), no stilettos for me please!

Remember that it is always best to overdress. It might be worth asking what employees typically wear before you start your internship, even a distinction from “business professional” to “business casual” can lead you in the right direction. Dress up for the first day and then take it from there! Each company has it’s own unique culture!

Fun Fact:

Each printer at DSW is named after a different shoe. I normally print to “Platform Pumps!”

Tip of the day:

Don’t sign an email “xoxo.” Apparently this has to be taught? I have indeed received this from a person who has been in the business world a lot longer than myself (don’t worry, they didn’t work at DSW). Seriously, I just met you through email and you sign your name with hugs and kisses?

Embarrassing moment:

I normally don’t listen to music at my desk but I had been working on a project in Excel for over an hour and needed to wake up. So, I plug my headphones in and click to Pandora (“90s, 2000s, Today’s Hits Radio” of course). The song goes on for about 10 seconds until I realize that I plugged my earphones into my computer and not my phone (see what Excel does to me?) and everyone heard me jamming to “Dirty Little Secret” by the All-American Rejects.

Lingo and Lexicon

From the first day of my internship I learned that I was going to have to ask a lot of questions if I was going to be successful. I know from my previous internship that each place of business has its own lingo and abbreviations (who would have guessed that NDI stands for Next Day Interviews and IV means Increased Visibility?). So here is a list of some of the things I have picked up so far! Hopefully if you are interning in retail or marketing they will be helpful!

Acronyms:

  • DC: Distribution center: A warehouse that is stocked with products to be redistributed to stores around the country
  • DM: District Manager: A person who manages a set of stores. For example, one person might oversee 10 stores in Ohio.
  • MOD: Manager on Duty: Most stores have a few managers. MOD is the one who is working at the store at that moment.
  • BOPIS: Buy Online, Pick up in Store: A great option that DSW has that allows you to buy a product online and pick it up at a location near you!
  • TB: Touch base: A quick meeting, usually with your supervisor to update them on what is going on.
  • EOD: End of Day: Example: “Have this report to me by EOD.”
  • CTA: Call to Action: a link or image that encourages a consumer to take action (example: visit website)
  • OOO: Out of Office: Example: “Her calendar says that she is OOO Monday through Wednesday on a trip to Boston.”
  • POS: Point of Sale: The time and place where a transaction takes place.

 

I’m sorry to let you know but the vocab words you learned in Marketing 3250 with Terry Paul actually come in handy! Here a just a few that I hear on a regular basis!

 

  • Omni-Channel Retailing: provide a customer with multiple ways to shop (example DSW stores, mobile site and computer site).
  • Pop-Up Shop: short term or flash retailing in a temporary location. Example: DSW partnered with Teva  at Coachella and Bonnaroo for a pop-up location where people could buy and decorate a pair of Tevas!
DIY Tevas!
DIY Tevas!

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  • Perceived Value: Customer’s evaluation of the benefits and costs of an offering relative to those of competing offers. For example, DSW offers a better added value for their shoes than competitors and even displays other prices on their website.

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  • Frequency marketing program: The more you buy, the more you save! DSW rewards members get 10 points for every $1 spent! At 1,500 points you get $10 off!
  • Market targeting: evaluating markets and selecting which one(s) to enter. DSW selected about 20 stores to test market kids shoes in the last year!

 

*Fun Fact: DSW offers free shipping to ALL Rewards Members (takes about 1 minute to sign up)! And to answer your question, yes, I’ve bought way too many shoes already!

**Tip of the day: Always keep a notepad with you whenever you go to a meeting or even to ask your manager a question. You never want to be caught off guard or forget something because you didn’t take notes. This is also a great place to keep a list of all the acronyms you learn!

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*** Embarrassing moment: Each conference room at DSW is named after a street in New York, so I spent a good 15 minutes looking at a map of the building to find where my next meeting was. I finally gave up and asked around. Apparently “CRD” stands for “Courtney Russell’s Desk”…well that was embarrassing. Lesson? Just ask