Pay It Forward. Think Mentorship!

By Sophia Denton

“They won’t hire me. I don’t have enough experience.” Have you ever uttered these words? A colleague once told me that it’s not always about having experience in the field you are applying to; instead, employers are more likely to focus on someone’s list of accomplishments because it provides a picture as to whether this person is the right fit for the job.

The insights gained from colleagues and friends is what gives you the confidence needed to overcome challenges and propel you forward – which is why I make mentoring an integral part of what I do.

When one of my mentees finished the Executive Administration Program at her college, she had a tough time getting interviews and thought it was due to her lack of experience as an EA. After looking at her résumé, I advised her to outline her duties from previous roles, and then highlight and quantify her accomplishments in a way that would complement the competencies required.

I shared with her an accomplishment from my own résumé:

Reduced firm`s travel expenses by 25% through negotiations with vendors on hotel and hired car service rates

I quantified my achievement by figuring out the percentage that I saved the company, which tells the employer the following:

I understand that high travel expenses negatively affect the bottom line

I have strong negotiation skills; and,

I have the required problem-solving and budgeting skills required for the role.

Then in an interview, I would explain why I felt there was a need to negotiate rates and the process I used to get to the end result.

The information I passed along helped my mentee land her first EA position and I’m so proud of her!

Remember, the success of our profession relies heavily on the success of each and every one of us. Share knowledge, mentor, and empower your EA peers!