Recent Graduates – Do You Know How Business Works?

Martin Yate CPC
Professional Resume Services

Most of your competitors for entry-level positions don’t understand how business works. They might not come right out and say it, but in the back of their minds there’s a vague but comforting idea that companies exist in order to create jobs. They just don’t get it!  Here are a few tips for how to make a great impression on interviewers by demonstrating your understanding of how business works and why you are the right person for the job.

Companies exist to make money, as quickly, efficiently, and reliably as possible. Companies make money by selling a product or service, and they prosper by becoming better and more efficient at it. When a company saves time, it saves money, and then has more time to make

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more money—this is called productivity.

If a company can make money without employees, it will do so, because that means more money for the owners. Unfortunately for the owners, a company requires a complex machinery to deliver those products and services that bring in revenue. Every job is a small but important cog in a complex moneymaking machine, and every cog has to mesh with other cogs. The cogs also have to be oiled (salary) and maintained (vacations, benefits). This all costs money; payroll and benefits are generally thought to account for by far the largest slice of a company’s income. If a company can redesign the machinery to do without that cog (automation) or can find a cheaper cog (outsourcing that job to Mumbai), of course it is going to do so.

There are two reasons jobs exist. First, as I’ve said, every job is a small but important cog in the corporation’s complex money-making machine. Second, the company hasn’t been able to automate that job out of existence because in your area of technical expertise, problems arise.

Consequently, the company hires someone who has the technical skills to solve these problems when they occur and who knows the territory well enough to predict and prevent many of these problems from arising in the first place. It doesn’t matter what your job title is; you are always hired to be a problem-solver with a specific area of expertise

Think about the nuts and bolts of all the summer jobs you’ve held. Whatever the job, it always comes down to anticipating, preventing, and solving problems. This enables the company to make money for the owners as quickly, efficiently, and reliably as possible. School didn’t work like this, but the professional world does.

Critical thinking or problem solving is one of a set of specific transferable skills and professional values that help the successful professionals execute their responsibilities well, whatever the profession or challenge facing them. Your peers didn’t learn these particular skills in school, and neither did you. But when your future boss is looking to hire someone, her goal will be to find someone who gets how the business world works. Your technical skills may help get you an interview, but if you want to set off light bulbs in the interviewer’s head and get that job, you must show that, unlike your competition, you know what it takes to help a company make money.

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