Panel of Experts Talk Resume Tips and Interviewing Advice at AMA ICC

Sarah Steimer
AMA Collegiate
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Key Takeaways

What? A panel of career experts offered advice to students at the AMA ICC.

So what? The topics ranged from knowing which words to include in a resume to body language during an interview.

Now what? Job seekers should prepare in advance, but expect to take notes during the interview and incorporate them into their own questions for the interviewer.

March 17, 2017

Career experts spent time at the AMA International Collegiate Conference providing answers to students' question, from resume-building to internships.

The panel was moderated by Stacie Garlieb, president of Successful Impressions, and included panelists Ryan Ayo, talent acquisition manager at Aerotek; Melanie Parker, campus recruiter at CDW; Lauren Peters, university relations recruiter at TEKsystems; and Thomas Lott, diversity recruiting programs manager at Oracle.

Listen to audio from the panel below. Here are some of the highlights:

Q: What are the top three things to include in a resume?

Lott: Include relevant information or keywords. You need to think about the job description as the answers to the test. Put those items in your resume. Also include your accomplishments. It can be uncomfortable bragging about yourself, but if you’ve gotten an award or some sort of scholarship, put those things on it. It makes you stand out. And be prepared to talk about those at length in an interview. Lastly, include quantifiable results, branching off of the accomplishments. There is a measure you’re being held to, and nothing is too small.

Q: How do you make buzzwords sound relevant on resumes? Where can you place buzzwords and integrate them naturally?

Lott: Highlight different words or themes within the job description. Things will pop out when you really study it. It’s similar to studying for a test. You’re connecting the dots from your experience to those buzzwords. Marry what you’ve done from your experience to the buzzwords.

Peters: Look at the Linkedin accounts of those who have the job you want one day and see what wording they use.

Q: If you’re more of an introvert, interviews can be stressful. Do you have any confidence tips?

Ayo: When you’re interviewing, it’s really like an open book test. Regardless of whether you’re an introvert, you’re just talking about your experiences. No one else has that. We can separate you – even if you’re an introvert – if you can deliver, the interviewer will walk out knowing way more about you than the extrovert who actually just talks a lot without saying much. At the end of the day, it’s about you and whether you can do the job.

Q: Any tips about body language during the interview?

Ayo: Do not come in with an iPad looking fancy and then also turn it on.

Parker: Avoid constant twisting. Be mindful to not twist or turn. Try to stay still and maintain eye contact.

Lott: Do not give me a dead fish handshake. It doesn’t communicate confidence. It’s a very small thing that communicates so much.

Peters: Eye contact. Many times people look around the room and it feels as though they don’t want to talk to you.

Garlieb: Never wear a watch to an interview and keep looking down at it. It sends the signal that you want to know how long the torture continues.


Melanie Parker answers a question at the career panel.

Q: When you get stumped, what does that look like from an interviewer’s standpoint?

Parker: Be open and honest, say, “That’s a good question, let me take a moment to think about that.” Teflect on your past experiences and be transparent.

Ayo: Ask if they can rephrase the question. Not everyone is great at interviewing, so they may have asked you a question that was really confusing.

Peters: Repeat their question. And be mindful that silence is a good thing

Q: Should you send people an email after a career fair or after an interview?

Peters: Persistency is key. If you want a job, go for it. It’s actually easier for me when you reach out first after a career fair, rather than searching through resumes.

Parker: Ask at the career fair if you can connect with them on LinkedIn. Mention which career fair it was, and try to connect within a 24-hour period.

Q: What questions should you ask of your interviewer?

Lott: Come in with a couple of questions, be prepared. Ask about the company culture, the jobs, etc. Also have some questions that can come from your notes. Everyone will ask, “What is a typical day like?” but if people refer back to something I said, it tells me they were listening.

Q: Do recruiters and employers prefer printed portfolios or web portfolios?

Garlieb: If you put it online, that’s more work for me. If you hand me paper at the end of an interview or explain it during the interview and show the projects you’ve worked on, then I got a resume and a brag book from you. If you have documentation to back up what you’re telling me and were considerate of my time, that’s great.

Ayo: You can’t have a portfolio that’s one size fits all tailor it to the position. You may need to have a few different portfolios. Maybe have both a physical and a digital copy.

Q: How can you make the most of your internship that occurs over a short period of time?

Lott: Network. The whole point is for you to stand out. Meet as many people as you can and have meaningful conversations. Let them get attached to you.

Q: Are you looking more for the skills or the personality?

Ayo: It’s tangible vs intangible. There are certain things we know we can teach you, and there are some things we can’t teach you. Those intangible skills are very important to us.


 AMA International Collegiate Conference 2017


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Sarah Steimer
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