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New York State (Taxation & Finance Department)

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JamesKim
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New York State (Taxation & Finance Department)  Reply with quote  

I'm sorry if this is in the wrong section, I just couldn't find an appropriate place to post it.

I went to a job fair today at my school, and this company, New York State Taxation & Finance Department came. I got there early, wore a suit, had my questions ready to go. Basically it was more of an informal type of interviewing. There were booths setup around the gymnasium, 81 companies were there.

I found the company and was the first candidate to approach to them. My resume is plain, I have no experience whatsoever. I have a 3.0/4.0 Cumulative GPA and working as I'm doing my studies. Here's what they asked, for what I can remember

1. The drive is pretty long from where you live and our department.
My response: I am willing to drive that far to gain experience

2. We pay our interns ranging from $15-$30
My response: Oh really? I wasn't aware of that; I was willing to work for free as long as I acquire some kind of accounting experience

Then they asked if I had anything questions for them, and I prepared 3 questions.

1. How large is the current pool of applicants or candidates?
2. How would you describe an ideal candidate for this position?
3. Is there anything I can do to make myself a strong candidate?

Now I really like this company since the fact that they work for the state. My only problem is my resume and it's weak. The only thing I have is my education.

What are you thoughts about this?

Thanks.

again sorry for the wrong section of this topic.
Post Fri Mar 28, 2008 2:13 am
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coaster
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Well, first of all, from what I know of you here on this board, they'd be lucky to have you. Smile

Comments:

- never mention you're willing to work for free. In fact, never mention you'd be willing to work for less than offered. It diminishes the perceived value of your work in their eyes.

- never mention you're applying for a job to gain experience. This implies that once you've got enough experience (i.e. you learned your trade on their time) then you're going to want to go elsewhere.

- don't ask about other job candidates. This implies that you believe you may not be the best candidate for the job.

points #2 and #3 are good.

I realize my comments may not be entirely appropriate given the circumstances of this particular job application, but I think they'd be good to keep in mind for the future.

Good luck!! Smile

Oh, and we all started out having just our education, so don't look on that as a negative....it's a positive -- having good academic credentials.

~Tim~
Post Fri Mar 28, 2008 4:14 am
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coaster
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PS - I think I'll move this topic to the "Green Room" -- that might be a little more appropriate for it.

~Tim~
Post Fri Mar 28, 2008 4:19 am
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JamesKim
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thanks for the advice, but isn't an internship similar to gaining experience in that work field and a bit different from an actual job?

Also, how do I get an internship within a legitimate company if I have no experience whatsoever. It's like distributing a credit card for someone who has a job but no history of credit. It seems like an insurmountable task to achieve. My cumulative GPA isn't that great, 3.0/4.0. Would they ever consider the fact that simultaneously I work and go to school? So in that case or situation, would a 3.0/4.0 be good?

Do any of you guys work in New York, particularly Long Island? Just a shot in the air but I can send you my resume and cover letter? If that is anyone works in an accounting firm or anything business related.

Thanks!
Post Sat Mar 29, 2008 1:46 am
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coaster
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Yes and yes.

~Tim~
Post Sat Mar 29, 2008 2:30 am
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JamesKim
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Sorry coaster but I asked more than 2 questions? Yes to what? haha I don't want to guess on this one! Very Happy
Post Sat Mar 29, 2008 3:04 am
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coaster
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#1 and #2. Working while you're in school is a positive. Wink

~Tim~
Post Sat Mar 29, 2008 1:27 pm
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JamesKim
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Well I really hope they would take that into consideration because education is basically the only thing I have. I think 3.0/4.0 isn't a good GPA, but since I work and school at the same time, where do you think that GPA stands now? maybe 3.3? Would they think that this person knows how to manage time and maintain a decent GPA?

Hey Coaster, you seem to be very experienced and been in a lot of situations so here's my question to you and for those who have much more experience than I do.

When interviewing someone, what do they look for? excluding education and internships. I know that I stumbled some words and thoughts, but any small thing that they look for? Maybe being the first applicant to show? Dress? They way you make eye contact?

Thanks
Post Sun Mar 30, 2008 1:58 am
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coaster
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It's hard to say, James, but if they're smart and experienced at hiring people they'll look harder at the person than at the resume. Resumes can be misleading. They'll look at whether the person is honest, reliable, a hard worker, not a complainer, jack-off or screw-up, pleasant personality, and most important, fits in with the company and the rest of the employees. That last you really don't have much control over. First impressions are important, and they don't have much time to get to evaluate a prospect, so yes, a neat appearance, good eye contact, and a firm handshake can make or break all other things being equal.

I really can't address your GPA. I have no idea where that stands in relation to when I went to school.

~Tim~
Post Sun Mar 30, 2008 4:18 am
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pf101
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When I used to do hiring, these are the things that would catch my attention - both good and bad (most of these should be obvious):

1 - email address. use something professional. I once got a resume submitted by sexkitten69@... Yeah, that's someone I want representing my company.

2 - Cover letter. If you can, try to mention something you've learned about the company in your cover letter and link it back to your skills/interests.

3 - outgoing voice mail message. I once called someone to set up an interview and their outgoing message was all about how if she wasn't answering it was because she was getting loaded at a party. Not impressive.

4 - at the interview. Dress appropriately. Wear a suit or, at the very least, a shirt and tie. I've had people show up for an interview in jeans. I told them they could just leave. You don't have to be wearing calvin klein, but at least show you made an effort. While interviewing, make eye contact, smile, laugh, have a personality. No one wants to interview a plank. Try to connect on a human level. Come prepared with questions for the interviewer about the job and about the company. Do your homework. Have an idea of the things you want to learn/work on during your internship.

5 - your resume. make sure your resume is formatted correctly and looks neat with a good layout (i'm happy to look at it if you want). Don't use things like spaces to align things (this is a big one for me. I look at every resume with the formatting on because if they can't format one of their most important personal documents correctly, what are they going to do to my business documents?). Don't use a huge font. Don't over-use bold/underline/italics. Don't use bizarre fonts and no more than two on the page. List the things on your resume in order of importance. In your case, that's probably school first. As far as other content goes, I'd do a skill/achievement based resume rather than a chronological. You might be surprised at the number of things you can put on there. Do you write papers for school? You're probably pretty good at research and editing. Do you use your computer? You probably have decent computer skills (list the programs you're familiar with. Do you have lots of homework? It's given you time management and prioritization experience. Do any volunteer work? Hold any student offices? Belong to any student orgs? Most of those things give you work skills, even though they aren't jobs.

6 - when you get the job. Do what they ask of you. Quickly, efficiently, and without argument. Try to solve problems on your own, but if you're not sure, ASK! Never act like a project is too menial for you. Part of being an intern is that you get stuck doing the crap work. But, if you're a hard worker and willing to pitch in when needed, you'll make a good impression and that will help you in the long run. I had an intern once who refused to make copies for me. Said it "wasn't her job". I informed her that her job (which she was being paid $10/hour for) was to do whatever I asked of her and that she had 5 minutes to decide whether she wanted to make copies or clear out her desk. She made the copies, but you can be sure that when projects came up she was the last one to be assigned the good ones and when it came time to write recommendations I declined to write one for her. My other interns, on the other hand, got glowing recommendations and some were hired after graduation. Be proactive in your job. Ask to take on projects. Ask to sit in on meetings. Ask to review old files so you can learn more about the business. Don't just sit waiting for something to be assigned. Even if it's a crap project "hey, mr boss man, I noticed the supply room is trashed. I don't have a project right now, can I spend some time organizing it?" it's better than your employer seeing you sitting doing nothing.

So anyway, long post but those are just some things I've experienced during my intern management time.

Good luck!

Personal Finance 101
Post Sun Mar 30, 2008 8:17 am
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JamesKim
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well my email address is my school address Jkim25 -at- nyit -dot- edu". I think that's appropriate. I went to the career center at my school and they helped me in writing a professional resume. They told me not to use templates because if whoever is reading over your resume, recognizes that particular template, it'll give an impression as if you want to show off the appearance of the resume without working on it or improvising your own style, and possibly not give credit to whoever made that template.

My resume is really crappy pf101. It's so degrading. I had to put my High School Achievements because without adding that, my resume is just blank.

For skills I have: Microsoft word, excel and PowerPoint
For Activities I have: Piano, electric guitar, audio recording, tennis
Should I put down, Sunday Bible study teacher?

But I would be glad if you can review on resume and give any pointers on it. Where can I send my resume to you at?

[email edited]


Last edited by JamesKim on Mon Mar 31, 2008 1:22 am; edited 1 time in total
Post Mon Mar 31, 2008 1:07 am
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JamesKim
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About the impression and being honest. I think they knew that getting interviewed informally was a first for me. Here's the scenario.

I basically took a walk around the gymnasium and read all the company's banner. Then I approached towards this firm I was interested in. Shook their hands firmly, introduced myself as well them. I was surprised that I was the first candidate. Now here's where my brain took different routes. She told me to sign the paper, filling out basic information. As I was writing my information down, she was just talking to me, so I basically wrote and looked towards like on and off, probably a good, long, 5seconds. I didn't interject while she was talking about the company she works for, I just said "mmhmm". I did prepare 3 question, 2 of which "coaster" said it was good. After introducing ourselves, she asked for my resume, but not a cover letter, any reasons why?

If you saw my resume, there's really nothing for me to bullshit about, sorry for language. But I did dress really nice, like the nicest I have ever dressed.
Post Mon Mar 31, 2008 1:15 am
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pf101
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James, I PMd you with my email address.

You need to stop tearing yourself and your skills down. Sure, maybe you have less experience than some, but you have more experience than others. And going for an internship, they're not expecting an MBA, just someone who is willing to work hard and learn.

There are lots of ways for you to get experience too. What about volunteering somewhere on or off campus? Teaching bible study is a good example. From that you learn public speaking, how to facilitate a group discussion, how to effectively communicate ideas, how to plan meeting agendas (assuming you have some input on the curriculum). Several of those things I know people with years of experience and they can't do it effectively.

Stop selling yourself short. I bet if we sat down for an hour for a chat about your background I could easily come up with a list of 10 skills that you have that employers would find useful. You just need to learn how to see that the things you do on a regular basis can easily translate into the business world.

Personal Finance 101
Post Mon Mar 31, 2008 4:30 am
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coaster
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Agree with pf101 101% -- you're a great job candidate Jim, just realize even the best don't land the perfect job the first time around.

I suggest not putting email addresses in plain text in posts because it can be read by spam bots.

~Tim~
Post Mon Mar 31, 2008 5:35 am
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JamesKim
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email address in plain text? Do you mean for my resume? When I type in my email address, it automatically puts it in hyper-link.
Post Tue Apr 01, 2008 1:30 am
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