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January 30, 2020

Many of us enter a new year feeling motivated to make a change-- whether it is to set career goals, join a new company, or go after an open position. A role in manufacturing not only helps provide personal stability, but the products produced in our plants create a positive impact on our communities. From food and medical packaging to household items, the products our teammates develop become a part of our everyday lives. I sat down with Sonoco recruiters, Holly, Brittany, and Peter, to get the inside scoop on how to land a manufacturing job with Sonoco.  

First, meet a few of our recruiters.

Holly Miller headshot and quoteBrittany Powell headshot and quotePeter Leiva headshot and quote

What traits are you looking for when evaluating candidates for a job at Sonoco? 

Holly: “I am looking for someone who is reliable, wants to work, and someone that has a safety-first mentality. Safety is very important at Sonoco.” 

Peter: “I look for drive and motivation, and the ability to work independently and with a team. There has to be a good balance. Through candid conversations, I check to see if candidates will be a good fit for Sonoco’s culture and the specific plant and environment they are applying to work at.” 

What tips do you have for the application process?  

Peter: “Make sure you take your time with the application and pay attention to what you are doing. I always advise applicants to use a desktop computer, but our website is cellphone friendly as well. The whole process will be done through the application portal, so I encourage applicants to remember their usernames and passwords so that it doesn’t slow down the process. Applicants will also need to pay attention to their email since we will be sending them tasks to complete via Workday.” 

Brittany: “Be sure that your resume is up to date. We want to set you up for success, so honesty is important when it comes to how long you have worked somewhere and the responsibilities you had. Be able to explain your experience without fluffing it up.” 

What tips do you have for an in-person interview or job fair?  

Holly: “Dress like you care and want to work. We don’t expect suit and tie, but we do urge candidates to show up looking presentable. I also encourage candidates to elaborate when answering questions versus just giving “yes” or “no” answers. Giving real-world situational examples from past jobs is a plus!” 

What can candidates expect to discuss in an interview? 

Peter: “Know your “WHY”- Why do you want to work at Sonoco? Expect to thoroughly discuss your work history, know your dates, and be prepared to explain why you left your previous place of employment. This gives us a better understanding of your background.” 

Brittany: “I like to discuss future goals and ambition to progress. Internal growth is part of Sonoco’s culture. I ask about certifications and willingness to transition to different departments. I want to know how to nurture candidates so I can help them progress and succeed.” 

Have you seen employees advance at Sonoco?  

Brittany: “I hired a candidate in a packer role and just within 3 short months, he moved to an extrusion operator trainee role. With his advancement, he received a pay increase and added additional skills. We started posting jobs internally to help promote people within. When current employees see an open job posting, they can sign up as being interested. Management will see if they are qualified and go from there with an interview and any required tests.” 

What is one piece of advice for nailing the interview process with Sonoco? 

Holly: “Be willing to put yourself out there. Once you are active in an entry-level role, keep your options open and be willing to move to a new department or new shift. Be flexible and open-minded. That allows people to move and progress.” 

Brittany: “Have a positive attitude, be energetic and engaged in the interview, and show that you actually want the job. Be willing to answer the questions.” 

Peter: “Be confident, ask questions, and most importantly- be yourself! We have hired people that have had great attitudes and potential over someone that is skilled.” 

While the beginning of the year is a good time to search for a new job, the new year also provides just as much of an opportunity to grow in your current role. Set goals, prepare, and work hard. After all, the beginning of the year is not your only opportunity to make a change. 

View opportunities with Sonoco here. 

Author: Jordan Pupa