Leading to Your Future Transcript
Dr. Greg Shirley:
Good afternoon, everybody. Thank you so much for joining us today. We are really excited to bring you this topic, Leading to Your Future, for Texas Woman's University. I'm Dr. Greg Shirley, I'm the Associate Director for Employer Relations, Technology and Operations in the Career Connection Center at Texas Woman's University. I've been here for about one year, and I decided to join you today. I'm joined by my esteemed colleague and right hand person. I will let her introduce herself.
I'm Lucy Moran. I'm Associate Director for Consulting and Programming, and I've been here for about two years now. We are very excited for you to join us today.
Dr. Greg Shirley:
What we want to talk about is, as leaders what skills have you gained in your experiences? And being a student leader nowadays means so many different things. You're juggling a lot of different responsibilities. Your leadership roles in your organizations, some of you may be working a part-time job or a full-time job, or have additional responsibilities outside of your schoolwork. And so what I want you to do, is I want you to think about how these skills are being obtained in your leadership role, but also what are some other things that you're doing to cultivate these skills and really fine tune them?
Lucy was awesome enough to give us a word cloud of just some of the skills that come to mind when we think of student leaders. I was a student leader in undergrad. Lucy, I'm sure you were still student leader as well. And I think it's safe to say that even to this day, we still use many, if not all, of these skills that you see here to varying degrees. And so it is our hope that by the end of this, you all will have the confidence to not only know that you already possess these skills and utilize them, even
though you don't think of them directly on a regular basis, however, how do you articulate them, in everything from a resume to a cover letter, and interview and even on your social media?
So, we're going to go into a couple of the different skills. What I will say is, you have any questions about any of the things that you see here, or if you have any questions about anything else, definitely feel free to schedule a virtual meeting with your career consultant so they can go through these in more depth with you. And you can do that by visiting our website, or even accessing your Handshake profile through TWU Connect and scheduling that appointment.
So the first skill we want to look at is critical thinking and problem-solving. You are always going to be faced with a problem. You're always going to be faced with problems that are going to require critical thinking to solve those problems. The one thing that I would suggest, is you never want to go into a situation and have a problem, but you don't come with an automatic solution. Does that mean that solution is going to be the solution that's utilized to solve that problem at that given time? Not always. However, that does not mean that your voice and your opinion does not matter in that situation.
Unfortunately, you're going to probably encounter more problems than you want or anticipate during your student leadership years, but these will only serve to hone the skill for your future employment.
Dr. Greg Shirley:
The next one we have I think is very near and dear to my heart because I'm a big extrovert, I'm a big social person, and that's teamwork and collaboration. Now, this looks different since we've been dealing with the pandemic. You all are now going into a year of student leadership that doesn't look like any year that you had before. A lot of times, this teamwork and collaboration is done in person.
Lucy and I can attest to this because now we see each other one day a week, but the majority of the time we're online. However, that has not stopped our teamwork and collaboration, not only between each other and with our other colleagues, but we've just learned different ways to adapt everything. I think working through a team and working through that environment, this is going to be vital for you regardless of the major you choose. You are always going to be working with other people. No person is an island.
And you may be working independently in some cases, but you're not isolated. You're always going to be working with other people in some shape or form.
Dr. Greg Shirley:
Oral and written communication. Now, this is a skill perhaps that you all are utilizing in many different mediums and many different platforms that even Lucy and I did when we were student leaders. We didn't have the internet. You all are communicating via text message, via social media.
So as a leader, you want to make sure that your messaging is clear, it's concise. You don't want to have to repeat yourself a lot of times, and you don't want your audience or the team that you're leading to be confused by something that you have said or something that you have written. So you really want to take that time out to choose your words carefully and to choose the effectiveness of how you deliver what your message is going to be.
Absolutely. Tone is very important and hard to convey in written communication, so you need to be extra careful. And this, again, is going to be something extremely important for your employers to know because you do this on a daily basis.
Dr. Greg Shirley:
Professionalism and work ethic. So this is one of the competencies that's going to be really important and really vital because this is going to basically mean how do you show up in the spaces that you occupy? Is the personality that you're bringing and the professionalism that you have going to be conducive to the work environment that you're in? So you want to know what are the proper topics? What's the proper dialogue of communication? What is the proper work attire? And that's changing, particularly as we progress in professionalism and in your career, and also working in a COVID environment, where a lot of us are at home.
So prior to that, professionalism in the workplace was me saying good morning to everybody when I walk into the office. Now it may be, am I going to make sure that my Zoom background is appropriate for the meeting that we have? And am I going to be in the proper attire? So you want to make sure that whatever environment you're in, you're picking up on those professional cues so that you show up effective.
And then there's leadership. With leadership, the fact that you all are here, the fact that you all are listening to our conversation, the hope that you will follow up and see your career consultant to have these conversations after this presentation, are all going to be important. The thing that I've learned, is it's not always going to be about me leading from the front. Oftentimes, it's going to be about me supporting the individuals whom I am leading. It's going to be about me moving any obstacles or any barriers out of their way so that they can shine and they can be successful. Lead from where you're at. Sometimes it's going to be in the front, sometimes it's going to be behind, sometimes it's going to be right in the middle, but that doesn't make you any less effective of a leader.
And you don't always have to have that leadership title to be a leader. Leadership comes in all shapes and forms, and from all positions. You can still be a leader even if you're a member of an organization and not holding an executive position.
So what do all these mean, Greg? These are all attributes that employers seek on a resume. A lot of employers were polled and they all said the same things. These are the top skills that they're looking for in new hires. Problem-solving skills, teamwork, work ethic. These are all the top things that you are earning and learning, and they're also the ones that employers are looking for.
All right, so you have the skills and you know that's what employers are looking for. How do you communicate that? Well, first up is going to be on a resume.
Dr. Greg Shirley:
And so with your resume, that's going to be your own personal constitution. It's your living, breathing document, and it should adapt as such. You don't want to have one master document for all the jobs or positions you're applying for. Rather, you want to make sure that you cater your resume to those specific positions so they're applicable to that given role. So you want to make sure you identify skills from the job position description that you can highlight, and then connect your accomplishments that you have with the skills and competencies in the bullets.
And there's a really handy-dandy formula that's at the bottom of this slide that talks about outlining the tasks you've done, describe the skill that you have utilized with doing that task, making sure you utilize a strong action verb, preferably if possible, the action verbs that are in that job description, and then providing a result. And if you can put numbers and quantify those statements, even better.
So this is an example. A couple of things I want you to notice with this, one, you want to make sure that you use the appropriate verb tense. It's a pet peeve of mine when people do not put that action verb in the proper tense. If you're no longer engaged in that experience, it doesn't need to be in present tense. Any numbers lower than 10 can be written in numerical format on your resume. Numbers jump out and they do a more effective job, in my opinion, of really conveying the level of responsibility that you are accustomed to.
Now, you've gotten everything on your resume, and it's time for an interview. Behavioral interviewing is a technique that employers use to get you to demonstrate your skills and competencies. We have a lovely little formula, called the STAR technique, that will help you tell your story effectively and concisely. You're going to clearly take that question, outline the situation, the task that was before you, the action that you took, and the result of that action. And using that outline and framework, you're going to craft your answer and hopefully stay in a concise format and not ramble too much, because we do tend to do that in interviews.
An example would be, tell me about a time you had to solve a problem? Well, when I was president of XYZ organization, I had a member that was violating our code of ethics. The blue, that is your situation. The task, I had to have a tough conversation with this person. The action, I clearly outlined the policy that was being violated and explained why we had the policy in place. I gave her a choice of remaining a member of the group and stop the behavior or to leave the organization. That's the action that you took. And the result was the person ultimately decided to leave the group. It wasn't easy, but as president, my first duty was to the organization and I had to uphold our policies and standards. There. It's quick, outlines, concise in that STAR technique.
We do offer a lot of resources, obviously, on our website that will help you prepare for this. Big Interview will allow you to practice those interview questions, industry specific for new hires, pretty much any type of question you can think of, will give you the opportunity to practice. We also have some worksheets on how to market those skills on your resume and to translate some of those skills on your resume with some strong language.
Above all, meet with your career consultant, because they will be happy to help you create your resume, to give you feedback on it, to help you through that interview process and conduct mock interviews, help you outline your college experience so that you can get the most out of your college experience, and also help you develop your career action plan and put it in place, because it's constantly evolving and constantly changing. We're here to help you through that process.
We encourage you to visit our website for more information. Pretty much anything that you will be looking for you can find on our website, including a link to TWU Connect, where you can make your appointment with your consultant. We thank you so much for joining us today and-
Dr. Greg Shirley:
Yes, thank you so much.
... hope to see you virtually in our office soon.
Page last updated 10:32 AM, October 6, 2020