Career Resources

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Three great tips from a college recruiter

Last week I had a recruiter come in to speak in my career management class, and I wanted to share three great tips that she gave to my students.

1.  Turn the interview into a conversation.
The recruiter advised my students not to get nervous about their interviews. (I know that's easier said than done!). However, she recommended treating an interview as "having a conversation." One of the primary things that recruiters are looking for in a candidate is their ability to fit in with the team and company. The more you can be personable, develop rapport with your interviewer and ask engaging questions, the more you will increase your chances of landing the job.

2. Be strategic about your LinkedIn headline.
Most students tend to put statements like, "Current student majoring in X at Y university," as their LinkedIn headline. The recruiter suggested that instead you put key words in your headline regarding the type of position you are seeking so that when recruiters do a search on LinkedIn to find appropriate candidates, they'll find you. So change your headline to something like, "Junior marketing student at Y university seeking position in social media or graphic design."

3. Connect with recruiters on LinkedIn.
To be honest, this was a surprising one to me. I assumed that recruiters didn't want students they didn't know invading their professional online space. And, although this particular recruiter welcomes students connecting with her, I need to warn you that there are some recruiters who wouldn't appreciate this approach. She stated that she didn't mind students adding her to their LinkedIn network, but she didn't want them sending her emails through LinkedIn because she didn't have the time to read them nor the inclination to respond. When in doubt about connecting with a recruiter on LinkedIn, I would highly recommend you speak with your college's career services center to get their advice.

By connecting to recruiters on LinkedIn, they'll see your status updates on their LinkedIn home page. And by posting frequent updates relevant to your field, you can position yourself as someone who is staying current with the latest developments in the industry, as well as staying "top of mind" with the recruiter.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Cover Letters: Hit 'em with your best shot - right away!

I often review students' cover letters before they send them to the employer. There have been many times when students do a terrific job of expressing their enthusiasm and interest in the position/company and why they would be a great fit - but sometimes they do so in the last paragraph. I always advise them that they need to grab the attention of the recruiter from the get-go and to make their first paragraph compelling enough that the reader wants to continue reading on.  So, take a moment to review your cover letters to see if you are putting your best foot forward - in the opening paragraph.