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Tips For Candidates

You’ve Made It. Now What?

As a recent college graduate, you've reached an important milestone. Now as you enter the next phase of your life, you may be looking for career advice or simply some tips on what to do next. You've come to the right place. The resources you'll find here can help steer you in the right direction.

Overview

It may be tempting to accept the first job offer that comes your way, but there are many factors to consider when choosing your ideal employer. Some things to think about:

Professional development: Is the company committed to the professional and personal development of its employees? What kind of training programs does it offer? What is the performance review process? What is the growth potential for someone with your experience?

Culture: While many companies look pretty similar and seem to offer the same things, a little digging may reveal very different cultures and values. Trusting, fast-paced, careful, conservative, entrepreneurial, and creative - what company culture would best suit you? What are your co-workers like? It's also important to understand a company's position on work/life balance.

Mentoring: You may want to target companies that offer mentoring programs. The advice and support of a more senior colleague can be extremely helpful.

Social responsibility: Does the company give back? Does it support various causes? Is it a strong member of the community?

Commitment to diversity:  Is the company committed to identifying and cultivating diverse talent? Does the company have a diversity policy?

Compensation and benefits: In addition to your salary and bonus opportunities, it's also important to consider a company's health and wellness benefits, 401(k), tuition reimbursement, insurance, training, etc.

In the end, choosing an employer is your decision. But don't be afraid to seek the counsel of a few trusted friends or mentors before making a final choice.

 

 Tips for Candidates

 

Resume Writing

Submitting a well-written and properly formatted resume is one of the most important factors in getting the interviews you want. Your resume speaks volumes. It gives the reader a mental picture of you and your accomplishments before they even meet you. As a college student or recent graduate, you'll want to highlight your educational achievements as well as your work experience. Pointing out significant volunteer activities or work with various student organizations is also a good way to differentiate yourself. There are many different resume formats that work well. The primary objective is to present employers with a resume that is easy to read and informative.

Interview Tips

Interviewing can be one of the most difficult and stressful aspects of the job search process, but proper preparation will help alleviate some of the stress involved. Below are some general tips to help you prepare.

1. Plan Ahead

  • Do your homework! Research the company and position if possible. It will help you understand how the role you are pursuing fits into the company as a whole. Be prepared to provide specific information on how your educational background and any relevant work experience aligns to what the job entails.
  • Review common interview questions and prepare responses. These can be found online and are sometimes available at your school's Career Services department.

2. Dress To Impress

  • Be neatly attired. Formal professional attire is advisable to impress interviewers.
  • Avoid anything revealing or flashy, as this can be taken as inappropriate professional attire.

3. Be On Time

  • Attempt a practice drive at a realistic time of day to the location so you are comfortable with the route and traffic patterns.
  • Arrive 15 minutes early, but be mindful of not arriving in the building too early.

4. Turn Cell Phone Off

  • Ensure your cell phone ringer is turned off so there are no disruptions during your interview.

5. Be Prepared

  • Complete any required paperwork, such as an application, prior to arriving.
  • Bring a portfolio with resumes, a pad of paper and pen to take notes, work samples (if you have prior internship or relevant work experience), writing samples, kudos from past managers etc.

6. Have Good Eye Contact & Body Language

  • Maintain eye contact with your interviewer. Staring at the floor, ceiling, or wall when speaking or listening makes you appear disinterested.
  • Your posture and body language can say a lot about your personality. If you are slouching and fidgeting, it may seem as if you're uninterested or have somewhere else you would rather be.
  • Avoid playing with any objects or bouncing your leg or feet as this can be distracting to the interviewer and to you.

7. Listen & Adapt

  • Listen carefully to the questions and provide clear, concise and thoughtful answers. Don't go off on tangents; stick to the topic being discussed.
  • Be aware of the style of the interviewer. Ask questions to probe deeper into what the interviewer is asking so you can provide relevant responses.

8. Be Honest

  • Respond to every question truthfully. Avoid setting unreasonable expectations.
  • Be self-aware. Do not be afraid to talk about your development opportunities if the question arises.

9. Ask Questions

  • Once your interviewer is done with their questions, ask some of your own. Asking questions demonstrates that you are interested in the company and in the position at hand, so do not hesitate.

10. Show Appreciation

  • At the conclusion of your interview, be sure to thank your interviewers for taking the time to meet with you. Request business cards of each interviewer before leaving. Having business cards will help you spell each interviewer's name and job title correctly when sending a thank you note.
  • Send a brief note to the interviewers reiterating your appreciation for the opportunity to meet with them and expressing again your interest in the position.

The Hiring Process

When you submit your resume for a position, it goes to one of our talent acquisition recruiters, who review it based on the job's criteria. If you are selected for further consideration, someone will contact you. Our interview process varies by business area, so if you are selected to interview for a position, your recruiter will explain what to expect throughout the process.

If you are not contacted after submitting your resume, please be aware that your resume and contact information remains within our system and can be accessed by our recruiters for future opportunities.

We encourage you to create an online profile which gives you the ability to:

  • Browse current openings
  • Submit your resume
  • Apply online for open positions
  • Receive email notifications about jobs that match your profile

        

FAQs

Q: When does the recruiting process start?
A: Recruitment takes place year-round. It is never too early to register and create a profile in our database.

Q: What can I expect once I register and create a profile in your database?
A: Once you register and submit your profile, a recruiter can access your resume in our candidate database and contact you should an opportunity become available that matches your qualifications. By registering, you can also elect to have job posting notification e-mails sent to you whenever a new position matching your profile is posted. Since jobs are posted regularly, we highly encourage you to establish job notifications.

Q: How do I apply for a position?
A: Use our interactive tools to find jobs that match your strengths and interests. View Opportunities

Q: What browser and operating system is needed to search for jobs and submit my resume?
A: For optimal performance when searching jobs and submitting your resume, use updated versions of either Internet Explorer, Netscape, AOL, Firefox or Safari. Compatible operating systems include most versions of Windows and Macintosh.

Q: What are the steps in the hiring process?
A: After you apply for a position, a recruiter will review your qualifications. If your skills align with the requirements, you will be contacted for a phone interview. From there, qualified candidates will be invited to an on-site interview at one of our offices nation-wide.

Q: What type of candidate does The Hartford target?
A: We seek candidates with strong academic backgrounds and a desire to make a difference in their careers. We hire from a broad array of majors because we are committed to making The Hartford a diverse and exciting place to work. If you're passionate about what you do, we want to hear from you!

Q: What is The Hartford’s position on hiring foreign nationals?
A: All resumes are reviewed with the understanding that The Hartford does not sponsor foreign nationals for work-based visas or permanent residency unless a specific business need exists and prior approval is obtained.

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