As of this writing, I am about to speak with over 300 undergrad students about potential job and internship opportunities. While the quantity is, certainly, overwhelming, the experience itself is thoroughly enjoyable. I have a great time speaking with these students about what I do and what interests them in order to see if it is a good fit between us (my company) and them. In this week’s posts I’ll document some of my thoughts and observations from the experience in order to better assist others as they are going through the recruiting and interview process. Here are my day 1 thoughts:
- Have a really good, unique question ready to ask the recruiter. I was approached by a student today who asked me: “what is the ‘wow’ factor that sets strong candidates apart from the rest?” Though not a complicated question, it was different than the normal questions recruiters get. I appreciated being asked something completely different. And, it showed that this student was thinking about good questions. Most importantly, I remembered this student as a result of the question
- Never, under any circumstance, sell yourself or your experiences short. I worked in a coffee shop as a barista when I was an undergrad, but spun my experience so I sounded like I was the most integral personal to that coffee shop’s success. I have noticed a lot of students will put down their experiences. Own these experiences, no matter how trivial or laborious, when speaking with a recruiter. If you can demonstrate your ability to tell a story to a recruiter, you will be very successful in your job search
- Related to the previous point, be creative in sharing your story. Do not come up to a recruiter with a resume full of action items of what you tactically did this past summer. I don’t care that you “worked on Excel based projects.” Anyone can work on Excel based projects. What did you accomplish and why was it done? The resume should be used to show results and what you accomplished for the end user. You can morph your Excel experience to be: “managed financial report through Excel to support 3 different business lines, leading to increased efficiency in communication between the business lines.” That shows what you did and what it accomplished. That’s what recruiters want to hear. Your talking point for this bullet point should talk about why this was important and what the business need was. Always think about the full story and be able to succinctly tell it!
Stay tuned for more thoughts from my recruiting experience this year.