Everyone has a story of how they found their current job. I recently spoke with our new hire, Customer Service Representative Elise Brisson and her hiring manager, Jillian Lovejoy, about their hiring experience. Here's what I found out...
Elise Brisson graduated from the University of New England in 2010 with a degree in Psychology and Business Administration. She was hired at JobsInTheUS.com in June, 2010. In addition to her full-time position at JobsInTheUS.com, she has since enrolled at Husson University to pursue a master's degree.
Explain your job search coming out of college.
Elise: Since this was my first job after graduating, it was about finding the right fit for me. I wanted to find an environment where I felt comfortable and enjoyed coming to work everyday. When I read the description for the customer service position here at JobsInTheUS.com, I thought the job sounded like a great match for me. I can really say I enjoy going to work and have fun at my job!
I wanted to find a job where I could use my skills and be continually challenged. After speaking with Jillian and learning more about the position, I could tell this would be an environment where I could improve and grow. I was excited by the challenge of interacting with a diverse range of customers and issues on a daily basis. I enjoyed the thought of knowing I would be helping customers use and understand a website that helped me when I was a jobseeker.
How did you find your current position?
Elise: I started using JobsInME.com to search for jobs even before I had finished my degree. I was searching for positions in customer service, human resources and office administration. I thought my education and experiences would be a good match for these fields.
How did you hear about JobsInME.com?
Elise: Well, I've used JobsInVT.com to find summer jobs and my father's company uses JobsInVT.com to post job openings. So I was familiar with using the internet to find jobs. When I started my new career search in Maine, JobsInME.com was a natural choice.
How has it worked out for you?
Elise: I was able to stay here in Maine, which was important to me, and I got a job where I have the chance to build career skills. I enjoy the people I work with, and I've been able to put my communication skills that I have been developing these past four years to work in a formal business situation everyday.
Explain your interview experience.
Elise: Initially, I had a phone interview, which went well. The hiring manager put me at ease and really wanted to get to know me. My in-person interview was very comfortable and gave me a good feel for the type of people with whom I would be working. The outcome was that we both felt I would be a good fit for the company and that the position was a good match for me.
Does this position relate to your degree?
Elise: Yes, absolutely! I think customer service is a great fit for my degree in psychology and business administration. I am gaining an understanding of the business world and combining it with my understanding of how people think and act, which allows me to better serve and understand the customers by knowing how to communicate with them and reach a common goal.
Jillian Lovejoy, JobsInTheUS.com's Customer Service Manager, explains that the company has a unique customer service department. "We are problem-solvers and operations support. We handle each customer on a case-by-case basis with a unique solution for each customer. We also work closely with every department in our company, particularly IT, sales and accounting.
"It's really important to find someone who can learn quickly and think on their feet. It's also important to find someone who is excited to be part of a small company where his/her input is valued. As a recent college graduate, Elise had all of these attributes."
What were you looking for when you posted the job?
Jillian: Customer service experience, computer skills, a great personality that will fit in our small team, the ability to both learn from and teach others, and a genuine combination of skills that fit our helpful, courteous, problem-solving style.
Can you have customer service experience without a CS job title on your resume?
Jillian: Yes, definitely! Anyone who deals with helping customers on a regular basis, whether it is in a retail environment, service industry, educational setting, or training, has customer service experience. We're looking for people who have been job seekers themselves and can impart that experience to our customers - both our employers and our job seekers.
What personality traits are you looking for?
Jillian: The applicant should be outgoing, conversational, able to connect with others, patient, confident and have a good sense of humor, a strong work ethic, and a responsible demeanor. I look for someone who is upbeat, positive, and willing to learn. I also look for candidates who know their strengths and are able to answer questions clearly and concisely.
Why was Elise the perfect fit?
Jillian: Elise had customer service experience and was very motivated to jump right in and work hard. Most importantly, she had just come through the job searching process and had even used JobsInME.com to find us. So, I knew she would relate well to both employers and job seekers who use our website and would understand their needs.
We asked Jillian about her expectations for a college graduate entering the workforce, and she shared some thoughts:
"I expect new grads to be motivated to jump into a job, prove themselves, and be able to use what they have learned. Most new grads that I have worked with have a drive to advance their careers.
"In our current work culture, I don't expect a recent college grad to spend the rest of his or her career with one company, or even one industry. That's why it's all the more important for young grads to jump right in, learn as quickly as they can and apply themselves. That is exactly what Elise has done and I am confident that she will use her experience here at JiUS as the foundation of a great career.
"My advice to students is to be active and start building their resumes with student involvement, summer jobs, part-time jobs, internships, and volunteering, and to start setting goals that extend past graduation day."