October 17, 2022
Career planning and job searching can sometimes feel like a job in itself. From reviewing job descriptions, to interview prep and even needing experience to get experience, there is a lot of ground to cover.
Caterpillar HR professionals have years of experience finding the top talent for Caterpillar and know what it takes to be a leading candidate. Here are their tips for overcoming common job search pain points and nailing your interview.
If you are struggling to find the opportunities that interest you, Greg recommends letting the company you are interested in do the work for you.
“Identify the companies you want to work for and join their talent network. Often you will receive notifications or newsletters to stay up to date on what is going on with that organization. They can also consider you for roles that match your skills and qualifications.”
“With Caterpillar’s Talent Network, once you opt-in, you can receive communications to stay up to date with new products, cool stories, open job opportunities, and a chance to learn more about the company. You could even use this advanced knowledge if you were to get an interview to show your knowledge and interest in the company,” added Patrick.
In terms of building up a strong Network, both Greg and Patrick emphasize the importance of a LinkedIn account.
Greg says, “LinkedIn is your modern-day Rolodex. It allows you to stay updated and in contact with your network. You'll be surprised how quickly your network will grow as you continue to build your career and be sure to connect with those you network with along the way.”
Patrick agrees, “Start by adding people you know, and then you can follow people in your industry and let them know you want to grow your network. This is how you can start building relationships with people with similar skills and industries to stay connected, possibly leading to job opportunities. If you put in the time, it can be a very beneficial tool.”
The key to having an impactful resume is to tailor it to each role you apply to. “The reason for this is to speak specifically to your experiences and skills that relate to the job you are applying for. This way, the recruiter or AI can see the directly related experience and roles. This is the best way to stand out in applying,” says Patrick. “If you apply to ten different jobs, you should submit ten different resumes. Look at the keywords used in the job description and the role's requirements. These will show you what the company is seeking and what you need to highlight on your resume to gain their interest.”
“Sometimes you don’t have the exact experience required or preferred for a role, however, you can’t get “real world” experience if you aren’t given an opportunity. This is where past experiences that aren’t considered “real world” direct experience can be played up and stand out in your resume or talked about in your interview,” says Patrick. “Look at past leadership experiences you might have. Think of school groups (student council, volunteer organizations) that can show you go above the normal requirements. Pick specific instances in those experiences that helped you grow, gain leadership experience or a skill that can relate to the role you are applying to that you can highlight on a resume and in an interview.”
The first step to preparing for an interview is research: the company, culture, interview process, structure, and other relevant information. Both recruiters say this will impress the interviewers and show that you are serious about the role.
At Caterpillar, we follow the STAR behavioral-based questions and response formatting.
“By answering the questions using the STAR (Situation, Task, Action, Result) method, you can effectively communicate to the interviewer your role, actions, and outcomes. This illustrates how you will handle situations in the future and provides insights into how you'll perform on the job. It's a good idea to practice this method and use it in interviews even if it is not a behavioral-based interview, as it tells the interview the entire story,” says Greg.
They also emphasize that you do not need to know everything and that asking questions about what you don't know is essential to show your interest in learning more.
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