It’s the paradox that new grads face again and again: “entry level” roles that require a few years of work experience. What? How are you supposed to get job experience if you can’t get a job without experience?
Well, don’t worry! There are many organizations out there that see new recruits as bright, ambitious and trainable potential rockstars that just need to get their foot in the door.
One of those employers is Softchoice, a company that sells hardware, software and IT services to businesses all over North America.
They offer three to six months of training or more for new sales and service positions, often hiring fresh grads with retail, hospitality and restaurant experience. They know some of the best talent may not have been discovered yet, and are invested in seeing each employee succeed in their role.
They also love dogs…in their office. Excited yet?
We picked the brain of Softchoice Corporate Recruiter Annette Birch for tips on scoring a sales job with Softchoice.
How to get a sales job at Softchoice
Softchoice hires year-round for Inside Sales Account Managers, Territory Sales Representatives and Customer Support Representatives, and every three months for co-op positions in October, February and June. Check out which career opportunities are currently available at Softchoice.
Annette says she takes a number of things into account with student and new grad applicants. When submitting your resume, be sure to include any of the following:
- Previous experience, such as part-time jobs, co-ops or internships
- Volunteer experience
- Education and extra-curricular involvement
- Past achievements and accomplishments
Anything you can bring to the table that is relevant to the role is worth mentioning. But Annette says the applicants who really stand out are those who are strong communicators – and know their stuff.
“A lot of it comes down to the attitude they portray. Ultimately we’re hiring consultants in our sales roles, so it’s important that they convey the ability to create a strong, trusting relationship over the phone with their customers. Top candidates have also done their research, and understand the role and the company. They are passionate, professional and confident in their abilities.”
Once you’re in: Making an impression at Softchoice
Landing a job with Softchoice means you’ll have passed a few rounds of interviews and a competency assessment with flying colours, to make sure the role not only aligns with your career goals but is also in line with the business needs of the company. And since the right candidates are often hired within 2 to 3 weeks, you’ll be starting on that career pretty quickly.
A great deal of training, mentorship and work with an organizational development coach, managers and team members starts as soon as you do. The learning never really stops at Softchoice, and employees have to be comfortable receiving feedback. This extensive training is to ensure you’ll be knowledgeable, comfortable and confident once you dive further into your role and take on more responsibility.
Rest assured, you won’t be “thrown to the wolves” as a bewildered newbie trying to figure things out on your own.
As for co-op students, the best way to ensure you’ll be asked back for the next term (or full-time after you graduate) is to make a good impression by getting involved, asking questions and being positive.
“Make an effort to participate in team meetings or events with your colleagues, show initiative, listen to advice and work hard to prove yourself,” Annette says. “Don’t be afraid to ask for advice if you’re uncertain about a particular task and try your best to have some fun too. A smile and a positive attitude go a long way.”
Why you’ll want to stay
There’s a reason Softchoice has been rated as one of the top companies to work for in Canada 7 years in a row – actually, there are several. Since they spend so much time training new recruits and investing in their success, they favour promotion from within. The potential of growing with the company and into a long-term career is there for every student or new grad who gets hired – as is the opportunity to work in their other offices all over the continent.
However, the main reason you’ll stay is the culture, says Annette. “We’re energetic and we’re passionate about what we do, and even though we’re a large company we have a community feel. We also have strong values – we offer a ‘green commute’ subsidy, two paid volunteer days per year, and are committed to giving back to the community. It really is an exciting company to be a part of.”