Established, well-known companies in every type of industry from food & beverage to technology…and all those in between…are actively looking for management talent. These companies are seeking individuals they can cultivate into the leaders of tomorrow. They want to pay you to learn how to manage their business and once you put your learning into practice, your compensation will most likely increase. And that’s not even the best part! Usually, these programs train participants at an accelerated rate, so your goal of achieving a high level of success becomes a reality before your peers have dropped “junior” from their titles.
Management training programs allow you to learn valuable skills not often taught in college and provide real world, on-the-job experience. Positioning yourself as a manager early in your career helps establish a foundation for greater opportunities.
How can you get noticed for such a stellar opportunity? Kim Kondla, Hiring Coordinator of Hajoca Corporation’s Management Training Program, offers these tips:
- Lead with your cognitive skills. Cognitive ability is important. We make an assumption about intelligence as one would about GPA. If you have a strong GPA—by all means list it. Include anything else that shows you’re smart – Dean’s List, academic scholarships received, etc.
- Demonstrate maturity. Because many candidates are entry-level, I’m drawn to anything that helps me see them as a mature adult. For example, if you paid for school yourself, note it.
- Establish your “sticktoitiveness”. Companies make a substantial long-term investment in trainees, so they want to know you’re loyal and committed. Showcase long term work for one employer, active membership in a club throughout college, or participation in the same activity (e.g. a charity run) for several years.
- Emphasize results. Demonstrate your performance effectiveness with statistics, e.g. “I saved X company $175 a month by switching telecomm vendors” or “I increased sales in the shoe department 3% by promoting matching hand bags”.
- Accentuate your agility. Managers don’t just sit behind a desk. They are hands-on, often working in warehouses, and must be willing to pitch in. Show your willingness by highlighting any physical work you’ve done.
- Sell, sell, sell yourself. All relevant skills, from selling knives or gym memberships (demonstrates sales ability) to preparing financial data (indicates an understanding of accounting) to dorm resident assistant or captain of the baseball team (leadership capabilities) are imperative for proving your value.
- Disguise a college degree. Management training programs typically require higher education so neglecting to share it is a major failure. Don’t assume the degree concentration will rule you out – e.g. a music degree for a business job. Some candidates won’t list a graduation date because they think it will reveal their age-which will be perceived as either too high or too low. The important thing is that you provide evidence of graduation. If details are missing, it could appear school was attended but not actually completed.
- Forget to change your opening summary. If your resume indicates that you want to work for an investment firm and manage a portfolio, but you’re applying for a job with a beverage distributor, you will not get an interview. Know the job and customize your application accordingly.
- Get verbose and longwinded. If the resume exceeds two pages, it’s too cumbersome to review. Use bullet points with action words (verbs). Be honest and concise.
- Ignore the importance of proofreading. Make sure your fonts are the same throughout, verb tenses are consistent and formatting is neat. Otherwise, you come across as lacking detail orientation and basic communication skills.
- Share personal information. It’s nice when someone can communicate elements of their personality and stand out as original. However, don’t overshare. For example, putting your picture on your resume can reveal your gender, ethnicity, and age. Share things that show your job-related nature/character, but not those that communicate your personal circumstances.
If you’re driven to lead, try applying for a management training program at your company—or look for for jobs at companies that offer this benefit. When you engage in training programs; opportunity won’t just knock; it will kick down your door!