The YALI Network recently hosted a YALIProfessionals virtual event, “Apply, Select, Recruit — Your Role in Creating an Inclusive Workplace.” Human resources experts Kimberly Williams and Cheryl Green Rosario spoke to YALI Network members about improving their job candidacy, hiring and retaining employees, and creating an inclusive and accessible workplace. Did you miss the online event? To watch the panel, click here.
Check out the Q&A below, where we answer additional questions and provide professional development resources.
Ayuk asked, “I’m a young graduate with no work experience and I would like to know how to make my CV more convincing or tips to impress and convince employers without work experience.”
There are several ways you can create a convincing CV without relevant experience. It is important to highlight your education, any projects you have undertaken, volunteer experience, and your best skills in your CV, even if they may not seem directly relevant. It is also important to tailor your CV for each job, as this can help you stand out from the competition. Writing a compelling cover letter, having a strong elevator pitch, and networking through platforms like LinkedIn can also be helpful. The YALI Network has many resources on crafting a solid CV, including how to avoid common mistakes and get your resume noticed.
Florence asked, “What role does leadership play in fostering an inclusive workplace culture? Are there specific leadership qualities that are particularly effective in this regard?”
Leadership plays a central role in fostering an inclusive workplace culture by setting the tone, modeling inclusive behavior, and promoting diversity and equity. Some leadership qualities of successful leaders include empathy, accountability, open communication, and a willingness to listen to others. Leaders prioritizing inclusion can create an environment where all employees feel valued, leading to higher morale, collaboration, and increased innovation. The YALI Network has resources on how to create a positive workplace culture, manage a team, and use your business for good.
Ob asked, “What are some of those things that one needs to know during, before, or after an interview?”
There are a variety of ways to be successful in an interview. It is important to prepare for an interview by researching the job and organization, understanding the role you are applying for, and preparing good questions to ask the interviewer. You can practice responses to questions that you might get asked in the interview and brainstorm unique contributions you can bring to the organization. After an interview, it is polite to send a thank-you email or letter to reemphasize your interest in the role.
Abigail asked, “What is the best answer to give if an employer asks why you are the best fit for the job?”
Even though this might seem illogical, there is no “best” answer to give an employer for why you might be the best fit for a post. What you can do instead is identify your strongest characteristics and tailor them to fit the job description. For example, let us say you are applying for an editorial position. When your interviewer asks why you are a good fit for the position, stress attributes related to communication, attention to detail, and an ability to give positive feedback. You can get yourself in this mindset before even entering the interview by adapting your resume to best fit what the employer is looking for. Whichever skills you choose to emphasize, answers that are honest, concise, and relevant will help you stand out.
Godfred asked, “How do you convince the interview panel that you’re the best fit for a job that you don’t have academic qualifications for, but you have built a lot of practical experience by working in a similar position over the years?”
Interviewing for a job without the needed academic qualifications can be daunting. However, you may be able to convince employers that you are a good fit for the job despite lacking specific certifications. Emphasize the time you spent at other, similar jobs to the one you are applying for. What did you learn? What practical skills might you know better than someone without your experience? Additionally, asking co-workers and managerial staff from your previous position for references may help your case. Ask them to emphasize your intuitive know-how and eagerness to learn on the job.