Decision Makers: Refresh Your Career with Coca-Cola

This new series, Decision Makers, will spotlight what goes on in the minds of people who make the hiring decisions--what they look for, what you should do. Even if you don't want to work for the particular company, there are valuable tips for any job seeker.

job interview Coca-Cola brings many memories to mind. Perhaps it's just lunch from 10 minutes ago. If you're of a certain age, it's the classic 1980 Super Bowl commercial with Pittsburgh Steeler "Mean" Joe Green. If you're of another age, you might remember the 2009 remake with Pittsburgh Steeler Troy Palumalu and a newer brand, Coke Zero.

Coke isn't exactly a small family business; there are more than 92,000 employees around the world. That's a long way from 1886, when Atlanta pharmacist Dr. John Stith Pemberton brought a jug of his new concoction to a local pharmacy. The first Coca-Cola was sold for 5 cents a glass. Adjusted for inflation, that works out to $1.18 today. You can find fountain drinks today for $1.50-$2.00, so Coke remains a bargain.

According to The Coca-Cola Company, people drink nearly 1.6 billion servings of their products every day. That's as if every person in the United States had 5 Cokes today. But if you work at Coca-Cola's Atlanta Headquarters, employees have access to free Coca Cola products. To some people, that perk beats free coffee.

That secret recipe remains a secret held only by a few people. The formula is patented, but because of trade secret regulations, you won't find the recipe on the U.S. Patent Office website. And the recognizable bottle dates back to an early method of quality control. Coca-Cola started using the famous contour bottle in 1916 so consumers would know they were getting "the real thing," even in the dark.

(See salaries for positions at The Coca-Cola Company.)

I'd Like to Buy the WORLD a Coke

Coke conducts business almost every country so there's a global approach. When you work for Coke, either filling vending machines or guarding the secret recipe, Tom McGuire, Global Director of Talent Acquisition, says that a global view matters. "It is our people and their ability to connect with each other and communities around the globe that really makes the magic happen," he says.

Even if you're applying to work in the mail room, be assured that the company hires with future promise in mind. "We try to approach most interviews as candidates for leadership positions, either now or in the future." says McGuire. While some companies might give a candidate with raw talent a "shot," Coca-Cola isn't one of them. "While there are always exceptions, we prefer to take potential and add development to it rather than just giving someone a "shot" at an important role," he says.

Insider Tip

One tip from McGuire works at Coca-Cola, but you might find success with this tactic at other companies. He advocates connecting your past with your potential future. "I have found that there are times in the interview process where the right person is able to connect an example from their past experience that perfectly fits what the interviewer is looking for in the conversation," he says.

Live to Work? Get a Life!

Coca-Cola wants you to get a life. The company's "Live Positively" program encourages employees to be active, live environmentally-conscious lives, volunteer in communities, and choose beverages that match their lifestyles.

Talking about hobbies and interests on your résumé and in interviews matters at this beverage king. What you do outside work gives hiring managers a sense of how you would be at work. "Knowing and discussing these personal interests helps give us a sense of what motivates an individual and how they might respond to our culture," says McGuire.

The "P" Word

There are all kinds of stories of people who work for Coca-Cola allegedly getting fired for drinking or even saying "Pepsi" on the job. The company asserts that it's a myth--saying the word P-e-p-s-i is not cause for termination. But a true company man, McGuire says, "Why would they need any other beverage in their vocabulary?!"

-- Coca Cola Job Openings

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Raymond Ford

Are Coka Cola, hiring, in the local area of Macon, Georgia.

Raymond Ford,

March 25 2012 at 7:24 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
stewart's family

i love coke it makes you burp after a full meal.

March 21 2012 at 5:16 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I don't like coke, never did. Pepsi is my choice. I have often felt that coke doesn't care about employees because there was ALWAYS job openings in Tucson. That usually means people are unhappy with the company.

February 20 2012 at 10:52 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I wouldn't drink a coke unless you're paying for it.

February 13 2012 at 6:00 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I wouldn't drink a coke unless you're paying for it.

February 13 2012 at 6:00 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I used to work for CCE before they were acquired by CCNA. At twI months shy of being with the company for five years (at five years you are vested with the company and eligible for 401K and retirement benefits) I was told that the Pompano Beach sales center was closing and that they are moving everyone to Hollywood (the corporate sales center). They were moving everyone over except the Admin Department (I was sales center admin) I lost my job, and my benefits. I have been jobless now for two years. Bitter? You bet! Coke cares about saving a penny and NOT about their employees. Thanks Coke.

January 28 2012 at 10:06 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Coke cleans your car batteries and wrots your teeth... ..

January 15 2012 at 3:31 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I worked for Coca Cola Enterprise (CCE) and have known people that were previous employed with Coke and HAD been fired for drinking Pepsi while in thier Coke uniform or stopping and getting a pepsi on the way home from work.

January 09 2012 at 5:20 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to bigtx12's comment
SCOTT !!!!!!!!

In the industry it just isn't Coke who will fire for using the competition. Beer companies are alot worse for it.

January 16 2012 at 3:09 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Retail sucks if you have a family retail aint for you.You are just a number they dont care about you just there product . And the stores all the they do is bitch i dont kno why wen 70% of there business is pepsi and coca cola. Pop and Chips is 1 seller in the world .

January 09 2012 at 10:50 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to billkless's comment
SCOTT !!!!!!!!

I used to work for a Soda company. The reason they are a pain in the butt? Is they want to feel like you have to bend over backwards or you don't get the extra space or the displays. They are a lot of little gods. Unfortunately most of the distributors have just done that. Weekend delieverys and taking care of thier shelves. That was the big mistake of the companies. Now they are the servants when we use to be sales and they had to take care of it and we would just help. Now it is they are the boss and the companies are the butt.

January 16 2012 at 3:07 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I need a job. How do i apply.

January 01 2012 at 11:40 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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