Get Off the Pile

At Afterword, we work to find tidbits of advice that will help you in the “real world” after UVM. Getting noticed during the job interview process can be a challenge — so we reached out to two alums who hire and find jobs for people to see if they had any advice for you. Because, it can be hard to get off the pile.

Enter our newest series on the blog: Get off the Pile.

Get off the pile image

Today, Dani Peck ’12 and Noah Nielsen ’10 share some helpful tips. Noah has worked in New York City and built relationships with hiring managers and vendors to connect people with amazing career opportunities. And Dani has worked at Keurig Green Mountain Coffee, Inc. for several years and has held many roles in the career and communications realm.

Here’s their advice for getting off the pile:

  • Get to know your connections — It’s frustrating when people are trying to network with you and just send a resume with a note saying something along the lines of ‘can you put in a good word for me’. Connect with them on LinkedIn, provide some more background about yourself (particularly if they are an alum), or offer to buy them a cup of coffee — make a real connection.
  • Network the right way — Networking can help you land the job you’re looking for when done well. It’s takes more effort than just passing on your resume. You should ask for advice or have informational interviews. Then, once you’ve built a connection with a contact, ask for a referral. In the professional world, a referral means a lot. Most people will not personally refer someone unless they know them personally or have had a conversation with them about their experience and career goals.
  • Show that you have direction — Dani speaks from her own experience, “I don’t like it when new grads have ZERO direction for their career path. If I ask what they’re looking to do and the response is ‘anything,’ then I know they are not motivated and driven.” Even if you’re unsure of exactly what you want to do, you should narrow your focus and know what you’re passionate about so that you can relay this when speaking to potential employers or networking contacts.
  • Perfect your resume — Make sure your resume fits on one page and that it’s free of typos. It may seem obvious, but it’s key to getting off the pile. Keep editing and refreshing until it’s perfect because your resume is usually your first impression.
  • Follow up — Noah speaks from experience, “I speak to so many students and young alumni, hand them my business card, and then never hear from them.  I can’t help you if you don’t reach out.” Write a hand-written thank you card, send an email, connect on LinkedIn – do something that shows you care about your new connection.

Now go out there and get off the pile!


Ryan and Derrick