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StudyShare Q&A with Lexmark

Lexmark provides businesses of all sizes with a broad range of printing and imaging products, software, solutions and services that help customers to print less and save more.  Krista Williams, the University Relations Coordinator at Lexmark, comes from a background of  recruitment and sales. . Liz Caras, Lexmark recruiting manager, hasheld  several Human Resources (HR) positions  such as HR partner / generalist at Lexmark. They contribute their thoughts on the importance of service learning, how to search for a career, and ways to prepare for a job interview.

StudyShare: How do service learning opportunities look to Human Resources?

Krista Williams: Any type of real world experience that can correlate to a  position is helpful. It’s a way to transition into the position a little easier. This allows  students to be more prepared when going into a new position. We always look for students who have diverse experiences.

Liz Caras: Service projects are really invaluable for rounding out a student’s experience in a resume. As an employer, Lexmark is interested in students and applicants who have the basic skills and experiences, but also have some of those softer skills and interesting experiences that help them stand out. We’re really interested in students and applicants who have given back to their community and society in general.

StudyShare: What is your take on language skills on an application?

Liz Caras: Language skills are becoming increasingly more important in specific areas. Lexmark is very much a global company and having a language skill is going to offer another advantage for an applicant. The more skills you bring to the table the better, and language is one of them. Even if a language skill is not necessarily a mandated requirement of a position, a language skill might help you gain a particular experience or project. It might help you once you’re on the job.

StudyShare: What kind of skills or qualities do you look for?

Krista Williams: We recommend that students be well rounded and participate in outside activities. Being a leader in a group helps students stand out. We look at what types of roles they were in while in school such as  president, secretary, or social chair. Also students should have had  a few internships prior to working full time. The more experience they  can get the better. Along with the skills we look for, students who are in certain academic programs, have had opportunities to extend training in specialized programs, or are scholarship recipients are all strong indications on a resume.

Liz Caras: Students need to remember that when it comes down to competition for some jobs, it might be pretty tight. It might come down to extracurricular skills or other job experience. If you look at any business trends that are going on right now, students need to exhibit their flexibility and ability to adapt to change because business environments are changing so quickly. Also, the ability to speak and write proficiently is a dying art and one that often sets apart candidates.

What is your last tidbit of advice to students who are going into the workforce?

Krista Williams: Many times, students have the opportunity to utilize career centers and many resources that are available on campus. A lot of career centers will bring in panels of employers, conduct mock interviews, and teach students how to write resumes and present themselves in front of employers. Students should advantage of these resources.

Liz Caras: Some students don’t take advantage of those free opportunities and try to wing an interview. First, different companies interview in different ways. Anyone applying or interviewing at a company needs to do their research and they need to know as much about the company as possible. Second, it’s important to network and talk to as many recent grads as possible to get an idea as to what might be expected in an interview. Third, any applicant should go on the internet, Google “behavioral interview,” and be prepared to answer questions. Most companies today use behavioral interviewing, not “yes” or “no” answers, where they ask you to explain the way that you dealt with a particular issue in the past. The past is a good indicator of future performance. For example, “Describe to me a problem you had in the past and how you went about solving it.”

Krista Williams: We’ve seen a lot of students at the freshman age attend career fairs, even if they have not selected a major. They may not be ready to intern yet, but they get the experience to talk to employers early. They know what to expect, what employers are looking for, and what positions to apply  to.

 

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