When preparing for a big interview, applicants may spend hours perfecting their resumes and cover letters or practicing their elevator pitches, but sometimes they forget to do their research on a company or position.
That’s why the Business/SPEA Information Commons began offering HIRE ED, a research service that collects company and industry information for students preparing for job interviews or internships.
“I think it’s just a way to help you to stand out,” said Christina Sheley, head of the Business/SPEA Information Commons in the School of Public and Environmental Affairs.
Sheley said she and staff members created the HIRE ED program in 2012. The program was inspired by previous work she had done with the Kelley School of Business and SPEA.
“Recruiting and job search is a really big part of their curriculum, particularly the Kelley School,” Sheley said. She said HIRE ED was created to provide extra support for students looking for jobs.
While students in the business school and SPEA are the primary users of HIRE ED, Sheley said staff has been testing the service in the Wells Library Learning Commons for students of any background.
“We would provide the service to anybody on campus who was interested,” Sheley said.
To use HIRE ED, students make a reservation online and indicate what companies and positions they want staff to research. Sheley said researchers then gather company and industry reports, questions students can ask recruiters, current news, details about company culture and benefits and interviewing information from recruiters.
“That gives students both a micro and a macro look at a company,” Sheley said.
She said the information helps students understand what companies need, so they can position themselves to fill that need.
Keith Dayton, a senior lecturer and a MBA core coordinator for Kelley, said he and Sheley began working together to use library resources for career support and education for students. Sheley and Dayton interviewed job recruiters to determine what students needed to be prepared.
“Part of what we discovered was students, as good as they were with the skill package that they had, they still needed more depth in terms of conversing what they do know,” Dayton said.
He said while students knew how to explain their skills to recruiters, they didn’t explain how their skills could be applied to a company. Students should demonstrate they are informed about a company’s competitors, new expansions and culture.
“You don’t go into an interview and say, ‘Tell me about your company,’” Dayton said. “You go in and you engage in a good, fruitful, engaging dialogue.”
Dayton said he thinks IU’s libraries are an important resource for students outside of finding materials and information that can't be found anywhere else. He even brings library staff to speak with his undergraduate and graduate classes and help them understand the value of research and utilizing the library.
“It makes them better,” Dayton said. “It makes them understand more about the world around them.”