Guest Speaker: Matt Woods

by Sahra Somani

On October 10 we had Matt Woods from McMahon come by and share his personal tips for getting internships. He explained that while applying online allows for easy access nationwide a con that we don’t account for is only eight out of ten jobs are posted online. Even though we feel we have the upper-hand when sending out our resumes through the various online job search engines, the truth is we honestly don’t.

Woods went on to explain his three pillars to successfully stand out amongst your peers. The three pillars are as follows:

1) Develop Irresistible skills.

2) Hack the hiring system.

3) Build a three-circle network.

He made sure to discuss each of these in as much detail as he could manage.

When discussing the first pillar, Woods mentioned that to highlight your irresistible skills it would be beneficial to talk about your skills and achievements over focusing on your certifications. He even went as far as to mention that you could even pre-plan a pitch to the company by creating your own mock posts to display your knowledge rather than simply walking into an interview with just a resume. The most helpful concept is to show that you can do the work rather than to talk about what you can do. Show don’t tell. Another concept that Woods mentioned was to build a T-shaped experience. T-shaped is when you can show that you have a variety of schools and are just a specialist it shows that you have more capability than your peers.

When it came to the second pillar, Woods mentioned that it would be best to tweak your resume each time you submit it to a future job prospect. This simple technique of changing the skills and experience on your resume to cater to the job you would like to have will give you an edge over others applying for the same position. He also mentioned a concept called the unicorn card. The unicorn card is a concept that highlight what it is about you that allows for you to be unique and memorable. It needs to be the one thing that you do that no one else thinks about doing. Two other tips he had were to make sure to endlessly follow up with companies for a job position and to get internal referrals to advertise your application from inside the company. These will also tip the scales in your favor when it came to the hiring decision.

For the last and final pillar, he mentioned that you needed to build a three-circle network. It would start with your inner circle which comprised of your role models and mentors and have it grow naturally from there. The second circle consisted of a professional network. This could comprise of a list of 10-30 people who are better at networking than you. The third and final circle consisted of the crowd. A good way to approach the crowd could be through social media posts or keeping up with a blog. It was at this point that Woods unfortunately ran out of time to add any more detail to emphasize his third and final, however he did mention that if you went to his website and added your name to his e-mail list he would send constant updates and tips through e-mail. This presentation would be available to you through that as well.

OU PRSSA is so thankful for Matt Woods to come out and talk to our members! He was an immensely eloquent speaker while managing to remain relatable and comedic throughout his presentation. We all enjoyed him so much that we even requested for him to continue when he mentioned that he was running out of time to present. Hopefully, these tips will help you with your internships as well! We will see you again at our next meeting on October 24, 2017! Until then, take care!