Thompson Rivers University

Capturing the attention of potential employers

April 24, 2017

Jon Spence, Campus Recruiter for the Consumer Banking Associate Program, is always on the lookout for new and exciting candidates.

As part of the TD Bank Campus Recruitment team, Jon Spence, Campus Recruiter for the Consumer Banking Associate Program, is always on the lookout for new and exciting candidates. “I feel very fortunate to help create opportunities to support new grads.”

Jon came to Kamloops recently and took a number of TRU students to an Escape Room social. During this live gaming experience, participants had 45 minutes to solve a sequence of interactive puzzles and challenges in order to escape. “Not only did we get to know participants on a personal level, it was a great way to assess how everyone worked together as a team,” Jon said.

During these problem-solving scenarios, he saw examples of competitiveness, determination and perseverance as well as leadership. The activity allowed for true personality traits to arise in a way that doesn’t necessarily occur during a formal job interview.  Three TRU students interviewed successfully and accepted employment offers. “There is excellent talent coming out of TRU,” Jon stated.

What captures the employer’s attention? Jon describes key elements to employment success.

  • Ask questions. Especially detailed, specific, well researched and targeted towards TD (or whatever position or posting that you are applying for). “We can tell when you’ve done your homework, and those queries are always impressive.”
  • Do your research. “Referring to the website, and/or our brand and discussing the tools and products we utilize is really impressive.”
  • Curiosity is key. “We look out for curiosity; it’s a good telltale sign that you’ll be a suitable fit for a role within the organization.”
  • Volunteerism matters. “Volunteer hours and involvement with extracurricular activities really bolster your resume. Stepping outside of yourself to support your community is so important to us; trying to involve themselves to better themselves and their community.”
  • Take the time to learn more. “Getting a better sense of our corporate culture can be achieved easily. Booking an appointment or making time for a quick ‘coffee chat’ is great. Take 10-15 minutes to meet, connect and ask questions—even a phone call is welcome.”
  • Be yourself. “Authenticity is important as is transparency. We want candidates to be themselves. This a place to be yourself, and we want to meet the real you. So much of what we do here is relationship based. We want you to show your personality and share your experience, so we can see how it applies.”
  • Lock down LinkedIn. If your resume isn’t posted on this business and employment-oriented social networking service, you are missing out on much-needed exposure. “We will definitely check out your LinkedIn profile during the interview process.”
  • Cover your bases. “Cover letters are preferred. Offer a brief intro that offers different details from your resume. Half a page is more than enough.”
  • Short and chic. Keep your resume simple, clean and brief. “One to two pages is more than enough. Also, when applying for certain types of business lines (i.e. Consumer Banking, Marketing) a splash of colour can help something that pops makes the reader want to see more.”
  • Follow the lead. “When it comes to the interview process, be sure to match the mood of the interviewer to ensure your tone is appropriate.”
  • Introverts and extroverts welcome. “People are memorable in different ways, introverts and extroverts offer different types of leadership. We examine the potential.”
  • Tell a story. Be prepared with professional anecdotes about receiving feedback, dealing with conflict and solving problems. “Being able to tell a story is very effective when explaining circumstances or situations.”

Follow these examples and tailor your employable tools, and you will be well on your way towards a satisfying post-graduate career.

For more information on resume building and interview preparation, please visit the Career Education Department.


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