Getting an Edge on Competition in the Job MarketSubmitted: 05/08/2013
Story By Lyndsey Stemm

WAUSAU - It takes a lot more than a college degree to land a job these days. Students at Northcentral Technical College are learning how to "Hit Pay Dirt".

Job skills aren't the only thing employers are looking for. "Soft skills" are the small things that can give you an edge in an interview.

When competition gets fierce for a job opening and employers have many qualified candidates, leaving a strong impression in an interview can be key. Northcentral Technical College wants its grads to be prepared.

"A lot of the things we pointed out were subtle things. Students generally know how to dress, but there's a couple of things that need to be pointed out to them sometimes that can make or break an interview," says Shawn Sullivan, NTC Student Development Director.

Subtle things like dressing the part, but not overdoing it.

"You don't want to create any sort of attention to yourself that is unwarranted. You want to keep the focus on your qualifications," says Sullivan.

"One of the things he stressed was that a suit is not always the answer, and he's right about that," say Zeb Burkam, an IT Networking Student.

After an interview do's and don'ts fashion show students could go to an etiquette lunch. A formal business lunch isn't something a lot of fresh graduates have experience with.

"We certainly think the information is applicable across all the age groups of students that attend NTC. But absolutely we want to make sure because our younger students are coming out of high school and they haven't necessarily been out into the workforce and haven't had the life experiences some of our older learners have had," says Sullivan.

All helpful hints students say will give them more confidence going into that interview.

"Oh yeah it'll help me be more comfortable in an interview situation," says Burkam.

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