ARTICLES, BLOGS & VIDEOS

The latest news, trends and information to help you with your recruiting efforts.

Posted May 21, 2019 by

Why including video in your job board posting is crucial if you’re trying to hire students and recent grads

They say that video killed the radio star. At least that’s what the The Buggles sang back in 1980. Could they have actually been singing about the death of text-only job posting ads?

While I doubt that the lyrics of that iconic song were referring to job posting ads, I do think that video is killing the text-only job posting ad. Why? There are 86 million members of Gen Z who are entering the workforce and relying on YouTube and other video sites for information far more than their Millennial older siblings — and even more so than their Gen X and Baby Boomer parents.

Our friends at Google recently conducted a survey with Qualtrics Research to better understand how 18- to 24-year-olds decide who to date. Of course, the decision of who to date is not quite the same as who to work for, but there are similarities. Some 41 percent of the age cohort learned about dating apps through online video sites like YouTube. Taken alone, that number doesn’t surprise me, but it did when I found out that it meant that 57 percent more of this age cohort found out about dating apps using online video sites than did 25- to 34-year-olds.

In addition to using video to learn about dating, Gen Z uses video for just about all types of learning. Indeed, 80 percent of teens turn to YouTube as a source of information.

Why does this matter to employers? Because a generation that prefers to learn through video is going to be more likely to apply for a job posting from your competitor that includes video instead of your posting that does not.

Videos Can Give Small- to Mid-Sized Employers an Advantage

In a tight job market, small- to mid-size employers often need to work harder to attract top talent. Video could be your secret weapon! Consider this:

  • Video gives candidates a better glimpse into your organization. They can determine whether they’re a good fit with your culture, your expectations and the position. Consider doing a “A Day in the Life” video that showcases your unique environment along with the position’s responsibilities, or a “Meet the Team” video that allows prospects to see faces and personalities. This can be especially helpful if you have a diverse team and you’re trying to attract more diversity.
  • Videos are persuasive because they resonate with candidates — they allow them to see, hear and feel the excitement a hiring manager has for the job and the company. They are generally perceived as being more authentic or believable than written job postings. More importantly, younger candidates are accustomed to this type of visual/audio experience to make decisions.
  • Videos help increase your SEO. In fact, according to Google stats, job postings that include video are more likely to show up in a job seeker’s search results than those that don’t.
  • Videos send a message that your company is on the cutting-edge. What you lack in size, you more than make up for innovation!

Finally, a study by TheLadders found that the average prospect spends only 50 seconds on a job posting description before moving on. They spend only 22 additional seconds reading the postings that describe a job that they’ve decided to apply for — meaning that they apply for jobs without knowing much about them. If your top prospects can’t muster enough excitement about a job description in less than a minute, it’s a good bet that those individuals will not apply for that job. Video provides that spark of excitement and holds a prospect’s attention longer.

A Fool’s Errand or a Smart Move?

A few years ago, College Recruiter embarked on what others in the job board industry told us was foolish: to exponentially increase the number of postings on our site with embedded video by offering that feature for free to our employer customers.

Today, hundreds of thousands of the postings on CollegeRecruiter.com have video embedded into them, even though most job boards don’t allow employers to embed video. Of the minority of job boards that do not offer that feature, most of those are very large and charge employers a fortune. Our strategy to encourage the inclusion of video isn’t unique but it sure is unusual.

Quite simply, College Recruiter believes that every student and recent graduate deserves a great career and we’re passionate about the candidate experience. Anything we can do to help the job seekers using our site find that great career in a way that creates a better experience for them is something we want to pursue. And video fits that description perfectly.

College Recruiter is the leading job search site used by students and recent graduates of all 7,400+ one-, two-, and four-year colleges and universities who are searching for internships, part-time jobs, seasonal work, and entry-level career opportunities. Our customers are primarily Fortune 1,000 companies, federal government agencies, and other employers who want to hire dozens, hundreds, or thousands of students and recent graduates per year. Our mission is to connect great organizations with students and recent graduates.

Whether you’re posting a single job for 30-days or using our JobsThatScale product to help you hire dozens or even hundreds, we’re going to want you to embed your YouTube employment video into your posting and we make it really, really easy for you to do that…for free.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock

Posted May 20, 2019 by

2019 job market best for college grads since 2017

Want more evidence that the job market facing this year’s college grads is the best in years? Actually, the best in 12 years, if you want to get technical.

According to the Class of 2019 Student Survey by the National Association of Colleges and Employers, graduating college seniors who had applied for full-time jobs received an average of 1.10 job offers, the highest rate of average job offers in 12 years.

That students who are merely applying for jobs are, on average, receiving more than one job offer is consistent with NACE’s Job Outlook 2019 Spring Update, which reported that U.S. employers plan to hire 10.7 percent more graduates from the class of 2019 than they did from the class of 2018.

Ernst & Young's world headquarters in Hoboken, New Jersey

Posted May 14, 2019 by

Tickets now available for College Recruiting Bootcamp on D&I at EY

Diversity and inclusion have long been goals of leading employers, but the motivations behind those goals have been mixed. For some employers, diversity and making their workforces more inclusive was just something that they felt was the moral thing to do. For other employers, it was legally compelled. Fortunately, more employers are discovering that the more diverse and inclusive their workforce, the more productive is that workforce.

Join your fellow university relations, talent acquisition, and other human resource leaders from corporate, non-profit, and government organizations on Thursday, December 12th at Ernst & Young’s new, world headquarters across the Hudson River from Manhattan for a highly interactive, collegial, and informative day of learning. It is goal of the organizer, College Recruiter, that you’ll leave with a roadmap for how you and your organization can not only survive, but also thrive by enhancing your existing diversity and inclusion talent acquisition tactics and strategies.

Due to the generosity of our host, Ernst and Young, we are able to bring this event — our 17th College Recruiting Bootcamp — to you at a far lower cost than comparable conferences.


Welcome Reception, Wednesday, December 11, 2019

5:00pm – 8:00pm WOW Suite, W Hoboken Hotel, 225 River St, Hoboken, NJ 07030. Hosts, organizers, presenters, panelists, and attendees are welcome to join us for hot and cold appetizers, light dinner, premium wine and beer, and more than just a few good laughs.

8:00pm – ?? If the weather is nice, we’ll join panelist Gerry Crispin for a guided walk four blocks from the W Hoboken Hotel to Castle Point on the campus of Stevens’ Institute of Technology where you’ll see where Henry Hudson moored his ship when he discovered…wait for it….the Hudson River, and the best view of New York City. Gerry will share a great (old) story about the brass cannon embedded there and a nice, short tour of the campus.

Conference Agenda, Thursday, December 12, 2019:

8:30am – 9:30am Registration and casual, continental, networking breakfast.

9:30am – 9:35am Welcome from Natasha Stough, Americas Director of Campus Recruiting for host Ernst & Young, and Faith Rothberg, Chief Executive Officer of organizer College Recruiter.

9:35am – 9:40am Why Should We Care About Diversity and Inclusion?

Presenter: Steven Rothberg, President and Founder of College Recruiter

9:40am – 10:00am Opening keynote: How EY built a better workforce through gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, disability, and generational diversity and inclusion

Presenter: Ken Bouyer, Americas Director for Inclusiveness Recruiting for Ernst & Young

10:00am – 10:50am Panel discussion

  • Dawn Carter, Director, Early Careers for Intuit
  • Kim Wells, Director, EMBA & Executive Education for Howard University School of Business
  • Pam Baker, Member of College Recruiter’s Content Expert Board and Founder and CEO for Journeous
  • Kara Yarnot, Manager of College Relations for Boeing; Vice President, Talent Acquisition for SAIC; former Founder of Meritage Talent Solutions; member of College Recruiter’s board of advisors; and Vice President of Strategic Services for Hireclix

10:50am – 11:10am Networking break

11:10am – 11:30am Featured presentation: How to recruit employees with Asperger’s

Presenter: Penelope Trunk, Founder of Math.com, eCityDeals, Brazen, and Quistic and one of the world’s most widely read career advice experts

11:30am – 12:20pm Panel discussion

  • Keca Ward, Senior Director of Talent Acquisition for Phenom People
  • Paula Golladay, Schedule A Program Manager for the Internal Revenue Service
  • Janine Truitt, Member of College Recruiter’s content expert board and Chief Innovations Officer for Talent Think Innovations
  • Lois Barth, Principal and Human Development Expert for Lois Barth Coaching & Consulting Services

12:20pm – 1:20pm Catered lunch break

1:20pm – 1:40pm Closing keynote: Winning over the c-suite: How the CIA’s talent actuation leaders use productivity data to win support for its D&I programs

Presenter: Roynda Hartsfield, former Chief of Hiring for the CIA’s Directorate of Digital Innovations (DDI)

1:40pm – 2:20pm Panel discussion

  • Gerry Crispin, Principal and Co-Founder for CareerXroads
  • Sahil Sahni, Co-Founder for AllyO
  • Nijhier-Aleem Lattimer, Program Coordinator for Howard University Ralph J. Bunche International Affairs Center
  • Bruce Soltys, Director of Campus Recruiting for Prudential; Senior Human Resource Program Manager of University Relations, Diversity Talent Partners, and Campus Programs for Verizon; Member of College Recruiter’s Content Expert Board; and Vice President of Sourcing Strategies for Travelers Companies

2:20pm – 2:30pm Wrap-up by College Recruiter CEO Faith Rothberg.

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Posted May 13, 2019 by

I’m willing to do anything. Why can’t I get hired?

I founded the company out of which College Recruiter. We’ve been helping students and recent graduates find great careers for 28 years, which is about six years more than the typical college grad has been alive.

One of the most common questions that we get asked by students and recent graduates is why they can’t get hired by an employer despite being willing to do any work asked by that employer. The response is almost always a variation of, “Well, that’s the reason. Employers don’t want to hire people who are willing to do anything. Few have the time and fewer still have the patience to coach candidates.

Corporate recruiters — those who work in-house for a specific employer — are typically evaluated based upon how many people they hire. If they take extra time to help you or work with you to figure out which of their openings you’re best suited for, chances are that they could have helped their employer hire multiple people in that same amount of time. Third-party recruiters (also known as headhunters or executive recruiters) are under even more time pressure as they’re typically paid a straight commission only when a candidate they refer to an employer is hired by that employer. For them, time truly is money.

Your skills are transferable to a wide variety of roles. I get it. You’re willing to just get your foot in the door and then work your way up. I get it. You’re happy to work for just about any sized organization, provided that it is a dynamic, growing company. I get it. You’d be happy living where you currently do but are also more than willing to relocate at your own expense. I get it. You just want a chance to prove yourself. I get that too and so do the employers that you’re contacting, but the sad truth is that most don’t really care.

Make their job easy. Commit to the type of organization for which you wish to work, maybe a few metro areas that you already have ties to, and a handful of roles and then pursue those with a vengeance. When you apply, be sure that they know that you’re really applying to the specific job by customizing your cover letter and resume to perfectly fit the job. You’re applying for a sales position and the job title the employer uses is “account manager”? Then be sure that your cover letter and resume use “account manager” to describe the work you’ve done and the work you want to do. Their job title states that they want a candidate with a major in computer science but your school calls that information technology? Then be sure that your resume states that your major was, “Computer Science (Information Technology)” or something along those lines.

Oh, and when you do start to engage with the recruiter, be sure that everything you talk about is for the benefit of the employer. They’re a multinational with offices in Chicago, Kansas City, Fort Lauderdale, and Barcelona? Great, but if the recruiter you’re talking with is filling a role for the Chicago office then don’t tell her that you’d love to work in Barcelona someday unless she asks you if you’d be open to starting with the firm in Chicago and a year or two from now working out of the Barcelona office. She’s trying to fill a seat in Chicago, not Barcelona.

Posted May 13, 2019 by

Salary Statistics and What They Mean to You

First, the good news: The unemployment rate in the U.S. is the lowest it’s been since 2001, and the percentage of prime working age adults who are employed is the highest it’s been since 2008.1 Though this improvement in the job market hasn’t been consistent across all industries, job functions and regions, there appears to be an overall improvement.

While this is undoubtedly positive for both graduates seeking jobs and the economy, it presents a few challenges for agencies and employers, particularly small to mid-sized companies. Many positions are getting harder to fill and candidates now have more choices, and therefore, increased bargaining power, often giving larger employers an advantage.

Though location, benefits, flexible hours and work environment are important factors in a career decision, salary is still ranked as the most important influence. A recent survey by Glassdoor shows that 67 percent of job seekers pay attention to salary when scanning job ads, more than any other piece of information on a position.

With that in mind, we’ve gathered some statistics on average starting salaries for 2018 graduates to help with your recruiting efforts this year.

Average Starting Salary Projections by Discipline/Bachelor’s Degree for the Class of 20181

1. Engineering $66,521 +less than 1% over last year
2. Computer Science $66,005 +less than 1% over last year
3. Math & Sciences $61,867 (Physics – $69,900) +4.2% over last year
4. Business $56,720 (Marketing – $62,634) +3.5% over last year
5. Social Sciences $56,689 +6% over last year
6. Humanities $56,688 +16.3% over last year
7. Agricultures & Natural Resources $53,565 no information available
8. Communications $51,448 -less than 1% versus last year

 

According to NACE’s Winter 2018 Salary Survey report, students earning engineering, computer science, and math and science degrees are not only expected to be the highest-paid graduates at the bachelor’s-degree level but will also be in the highest demand.

WHAT’S LOCATION GOT TO DO WITH IT?

While an entry-level Software Engineer in the San Francisco Bay area can expect an average salary of $109,3502, the same position in Michigan has an average starting salary of $64,544.3 This is just one example of the often-sizable differences you’ll find in salaries based on geography. As you might expect, the two major factors that determine these variations are demand and cost-of-living.

States with the highest cost-of-living, such as Washington D.C. and California must adjust salaries upward in order to provide “livable compensation” and attract talent, while states with lower cost-of-living, such as Mississippi and Arkansas will typically offer less in for the same position.

States with the Highest Cost-of-Living

  1. Hawaii
  2. Washington D.C.
  3. New York
  4. California
  5. New Jersey
  6. Maryland
  7. Connecticut
  8. Massachusetts
  9. Alaska
  10. New Hampshire

Source: The Motley Fool, “15 States with the Highest Cost of Living,”
Christy Bieber, July 5, 2018.

Demand for a particular job also affects salaries. In fact, job availability is a major factor for candidates when determining where to live. Based on research by U.S. World News and Report, the states with the highest overall job growth are:

  1. Hawaii
  2. North Dakota
  3. Colorado
  4. Utah
  5. New Hampshire
  6. Nebraska
  7. Minnesota
  8. Iowa
  9. Massachusetts
  10. Wisconsin

Of course, these rankings refer to overall employment. Demand for specific jobs may differ by state, as well. For example, web developers and solar panel installers are in high demand in California, while Ohio is looking for more registered nurses to fill open positions.                            


SAME OCCUPATION, DIFFERENT PAY?

In addition to geography, the salary for a particular job can differ dramatically. The most obvious reason is that no job is exactly the same, even if a position has a similar job title. Variations in job responsibilities, company size and requirements all impact pay for jobs within the same occupation. The wider the variations, the greater the salary ranges. Some of the factors that affect salaries in the same occupation include:

Education/credentials: In many cases, jobs that require advanced degrees or professional certification earn more than others in the same occupation who don’t expect these credentials. Employers who require more credentials typically offer higher salaries, even when the job title is the same.

Experience and skill: In general, the longer someone does a job, the more productive he or she becomes and can, therefore, command a higher salary for their expertise. Candidates who have in-demand skills also may earn more.

Industry or employer: Salaries for the same or similar job titles often vary by industry and employer due to working conditions, type of clientele, training requirements, and demand.

Job responsibilities: Not all Marketing Managers are created equal! There are wide variations in job responsibilities under certain job titles. In major corporations, for instance, this position may require managing a large department and a very generous budget, while smaller enterprises will have fewer people to oversee, smaller budgets and comparatively less responsibilities.

Competition and performance: Some occupations are extremely competitive, and therefore, must offer higher salaries to attract the most successful employees. Workers whose pay depends on their job performance also might have very high wages.

The occupations with the biggest differences in salaries/wages are:4

  • Arts, entertainment and sports
  • Healthcare
  • Management
  • Sales, business, and financial
  • Science, math, and engineering

As you look to recruit talent in 2019 and beyond, knowing what salary to offer based on your industry, job demand, geography and job requirements can help you attract and place the best candidates for every position.


1National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), 2018 Winter Salary Survey
2PayScale, 2018.
3Indeed.com, 2018.
4U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2018.

Posted May 07, 2019 by

Massive unemployment still exists amongst high school and college graduates

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics recently released some fascinating — and depressing — statistics on the state of the job market for students, drop-outs, and recent graduates of the nation’s high schools, colleges, and universities. The findings may surprise you.

Historically, most high school graduates did not go to college. The trend over the past few decades, however, has been that more and more are going to college. By October 2017,

66.7 percent of 2018 high school graduates age 16 to 24 were enrolled in colleges or universities. That increased 3.6 percent to 69.1 percent by October 2018. To those of us who value education, that’s a great thing. But to those of us who also value converting that education into a great career, the report contained some bleak news: only 72.3 percent of 20- to 29-year-olds who received a bachelor’s degree were employed, meaning that the unemployment rate for that cohort is about 7.7 times the April 2019, national unemployment rate of 3.6 percent.

Want some more highlights?

  • More women are in college than men. About 66.9 percent and 71.3 percent of men and women, ages 16 to 24, who graduated from high school are enrolled in college.
  • High school drop-outs are far less likely to work or even be looking for work than those who graduated. Among 16- to 24-year-olds, 47.2 percent of recent high school dropouts were working or looking for work, as compared to the labor force participation rate of 74.0 percent for recent high school graduates not enrolled in college.
  • A majority of young adults are in school. Only 42.8 percent – 16.3 million people – between the ages of 16 to 24 were not enrolled in school.
  • More graduates of two-year colleges are employed than graduates of four-year colleges. Among 20- to 29-year-olds, 75.0 percent of recent associate degree recipients, 72.3 percent of recent bachelor’s degree recipients, and 80.7 percent of recent advanced degree recipients were employed. Maybe that’s why 20 percent of recent bachelor’s degree recipients age 20 to 29 were enrolled in school.
  • Of those graduating from high school, those of Asian descent are 15.4 percent more likely to enroll in college than those who are black. The college enrollment rate of recent graduates was 73.4 percent for Asians, 69.6 percent for whites, 65.5 percent for Hispanics, and 63.6 percent for blacks.
  • About one-third of college students are also employed or looking for work. The labor force participation rates for male and female graduates enrolled in college were 37.3 percent and 35.5 percent, respectively.
  • Very few high school grads who enroll in college attend part-time. Some 90 percent were full-time students. Not surprisingly, only 32.5 percent of full-time students were in the labor force but twice as many – 74.3 percent – of part-time students were.
  • Four-year colleges are still the draw. Some two-thirds of high school grads enrolled in college attended a four-year colleges. Of these, 31.4 were also working as compared to 44.9 percent of those in two-year colleges.
  • Of the 37.9 million between the ages of 16- and 24-years of age, 21.7 million (57.2 percent) were enrolled in high school (9.4 million) or in college (12.3 million).
  • More than a million college students a year graduate with a bachelor’s degree.
  • Between January and October 2018, 1.1 million 20- to 29-year-olds earned a bachelor’s
  • degree; of these, 810,000 (72.3 percent) were employed in October 2018, making the
  • unemployment rate of 12.9 percent about 3.6 times the national, unemployment rate of 3.6 percent in April 2019.
  • The likelihood of graduating from college and being unemployed was virtually the same between men and women: 71.6 percent of men and 72.8 percent of women who recently earned a bachelor’s degree were employed in October 2018. The jobless rates for recent male and female bachelor’s degree recipients were 13.6 percent and 12.5 percent, respectively.
  • The job market for those with master’s and higher degrees was definitely better than those with associate’s or bachelor’s degrees. Between January and October 2018, 352,000 persons age 20 to 29 earned an advanced degree. Some 80.7 percent of recent grads with advanced degrees were working, as compared with 72.3 percent of those with bachelor’s degrees. In October 2018, the unemployment rate for recent advanced degree recipients was 10.4 percent.
  • Of the 374,000 20- to 29-year-olds who completed an associate degree between January and
  • October 2018, 75.0 percent were employed in October 2018. The unemployment rate for recent associate degree recipients was 9.6 percent.
Posted April 30, 2019 by

How to Land That Interview: Advice From the Experts

Whether you’re responding to the perfect job posting or sending queries out to companies on your “dream list,” we want you to get the consideration you deserve. So, we asked our panel of experts for their advice on how job seekers can make their cover letter and resume stand out from the crowd and land an interview.

(Please note, while there are some varying perspectives on certain aspects of the resume and cover letter, there are also some clear consistencies from our experts – just as there will be for different hiring managers.)

RESUMES THAT RESONATE

Pam Baker, Founder and CEO, Journeous:

An important thing to remember is that your resume can and should be tailored to the opportunity, while your LinkedIn profile will be a more generalized view of who you are and your experience. You want it to be easy for a recruiter to spend the 5-7 seconds they’re likely to use on scanning your resume to say “yes, this person is worth talking to.”

Adapt your objective/summary to reflect the focus of the job you’re interested in. Review the order of the bullets listed under your experience to list those that are most relevant to this job at the top. If you have specific training that allows you to stand out for this role, make sure it’s highlighted and easy to see. Lastly, make sure to start your bullets with what you accomplished, followed by how you accomplished it and not the reverse. Far too many bullets on resumes start with the “how” and list the results at the end. At this stage, you need to grab the recruiter/interviewer’s attention FAST. 

For example, instead of saying: “Managed project to generate corporate donations for track team, doubling prior year’s total from $3,500 to $7,000,” say: “Doubled corporate donations to $7,000 for track team sponsorship by (how you did what you did)…” 

Alexandra Levit, Chairperson of DeVry University Career Board Business/Workplace Author, Speaker, Consultant, and Futurist Managing Partner, PeopleResults:

Look closely at the job description and determine what specific skills the company is looking for and what achievements they want to see from a candidate, and then tailor your resume to fit that criteria. When you describe your previous experience, make sure it relates to the job you are applying for. Employers want to minimize risk, so you need to assure them that you’ve already succeeded in these areas.

These days, objectives are not necessary. If you do include an objective, again, make sure you customize it for each position that you are applying for.

Finally, be concise. A resume should tell a cohesive story about your experiences/job history in 30 seconds. If you’ve had a long career, be selective about what you include on your resume. You don’t have to list every experience.      

Jeff Dunn, Intel Campus Relations Manager:

It’s all about targeting. For instance, a Computer Engineer has both hardware and software coursework and skills. For a software position, she needs to modify her objective – her “relevant” coursework and the class projects she lists – to be targeted for those skill sets.

In addition, make sure to include quantitative results/numbers in the resume whenever possible. Most resumes simply list tasks that do not demonstrate quality of work.

Joanne Meehl, MS, IJCDC, Joanne Meehl Career Services:

Job seekers should have a 3-4-line “Summary” at the top of page one of their resume that in short, snappy phrases mentions various points about them that match the job description – not only matches the posting itself, but shows an understanding of what the role AND career path require. It should also say something about who you are. College seniors can get this “inside information” about the career by talking with people who DO the job they want. This section should be real for the applicant, not made up for this one job. Here’s an example for an entry level Analyst position, by a client of mine who was a college senior when he wrote it, slightly edited for anonymity. (It worked):

New Analyst with big-picture business mindset. Relishes synthesizing data and doing research. Trusted by peers and managers during three pressured yet very productive Big Data internships. Self-driven, non-entitled, competitive, responsive, with a problem-solving attitude. Deeply interested in analytics, budgeting, operations. Speaks near-fluent Spanish and French. Willing to travel.                                    

COVER LETTERS THAT GET CONSIDERATION

Pam Baker:

While in truth I find that cover letters aren’t consistently read, when they are read, they offer an opportunity to go beyond the resume, which addresses the “what” and speaks to the “why” in your cover letter. WHY are you the best candidate for the job? WHY do you want this role? A resume is written in the third person; your cover letter is written in first person and gives you a chance to connect with the reader by making yourself memorable for who you are, beyond just what you’ve done. 

Alexandra Levit:

Again, you should customize your cover letter to the position, highlighting the areas of expertise that the employer is looking for. It’s also important to be concise in your cover letter. Tell your story succinctly and provide quantitative results whenever possible.

If possible, find a direct contact at the company and send your information to that person. Communicating directly with the hiring manager versus someone in HR can ensure that you won’t get lost in the system. With everything being automated these days, it’s more difficult to stand out and get attention from the right person within an organization.

Jeff Dunn:

A brief cover letter has more impact than a full page that I don’t have the time to read. For example, “I have spoken to several of your company employees, and I believe that the Digital Design Engineer is a good match with my Electrical Engineering coursework and successful team projects. The best times to reach me are the afternoons. I look forward to speaking with you.”

Joanne Meehl:

Again, any examples you can provide would be appreciated. Cover letters are read by some on the hiring side, despite what some people in companies say about never reading them, so do one. Do a “match up” of “what you need” (the employer’s needs) and “how I meet that need,” with examples of your successes from internships, activities, jobs, volunteer work.

The salutation should not sound like a lawyer wrote it, so don’t use “To Whom it May Concern.” A better choice would be “Good Day.” Use the first paragraph to tell them what position they have that you fit and that your resume is attached. Include the job number if one is given.

The next paragraph should tell them why you want the job and why you want to work for them. Here’s where you say you’re interested “because of (the company’s name) cutting-edge leadership” or other statement that’s personal to you. This kind of statement reveals the research you’ve done to choose the company. Most job seekers don’t bother with research, so your cover letter/email and resume will rise above the rest on this aspect alone.

Now, the killer paragraph! Show them you understand their pain; this is so much more powerful than saying one more time, “I have X-years of experience in this field…” This introduces the section where you clearly show how you match the job. I recommend that you show the company how you match the advertised job, point for point. Choose your 4-5 strongest attributes that match their requirements.

Finally, the last paragraph should be a call for action, such as “I would appreciate the opportunity to speak with you regarding this position.” If you say you will contact them by a certain date, be sure to follow-up when you say you will! Use your email signature – meaning all your contact information. Make it easy for them to contact you.

MORE TIPS FOR GETTING THAT INTERVIEW

Pam Baker:

Make use of your network! Who do you know who works in the industry/company/type of job you’re interested in? Family friends, alumni, past coworkers, people you were in volunteer roles with? People typically want to help, so don’t hesitate to reach out. Let them know why you’re doing so and ask for 15 minutes of their time. Then plan out 3-4 questions you want input on, so you can show interviewers you’ve done your homework and know what makes a great candidate. For example, you might want to know what some of the qualities are that this company looks for. Or you might want to find out what skills set someone apart in this type of role. Or maybe it’s useful to get a sense of the type of work someone with your degree could do in this industry or company. You might ask if they know anything about the recruiting or hiring team – and if they know you well enough (e.g., they’ve worked with you before on a project, volunteer role, in a work capacity) you could ask them to put in a good word for you. People who are recommended by someone in their network are at least 3-4 times more likely to get hired! So, doing some up-front research on who might be able to help is well worth your time. 

Alexandra Levit:

I agree with Pam. It’s important to make a personal connection if possible. Try to target someone who is directly involved in the area you are applying for. Also, be sure to follow up after you’ve submitted your resume. A good rule-of-thumb is three touchpoints within a six-week period. I suggest starting with an email, then a second email, and finally a phone call. If you don’t get a response after that, let it go. When you’re communicating with the company/contact, show enthusiasm for the company and the position – Why do you want this job? What makes you excited about working with this company? What aspects of the position are appealing?

Jeff Dunn:

If possible, follow up with an employee who can get your resume to the hiring manager, in case they don’t find your resume in the database.

Finally, show some evidence of “people skills” in addition to your functional skills (leadership, communication skills, adaptability, ownership, initiative, etc.). While these are subjective, including some will personalize your resume. You can give examples when you land the interview.

Joanne Meehl:

Show some excitement for the company, the role/position, and your career choice. Don’t make this a sterile exercise about “skills,” but expand from skills to show how you enjoy the nature of the work and that you’re planning to be doing it for many years because it’s so fascinating to you. Even if you’re a future (very sedate) accountant, show some FIRE for the work! This will demonstrate that you are serious about the career AND will distinguish you from other grads.

To learn more about the College Recruiter panel of experts, click HERE.

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia and author, Barnellbe.

Posted April 26, 2019 by

What are the consequences to students who renege on job offers?

I’ve been participating in an interesting discussion in a listserv managed by the National Association of Colleges and Employers. Most of the readers are talent acquisition leaders from Fortune 1,000 and other large employers and college career service office professionals. A small percentage of readers are like me in that they work for organizations which, in one way or another, help college and university students and recent graduates find great careers.

The discussion that prompted me to write this blog article is about whether employers should report to a career service office that a student who accepted a job offer later reneged on that offer. One employer volunteered that they do send lists of those reneges to the career service offices. I wonder if that employer and others like them are providing any context provided to the reasons for the student reneging on the offer or any opportunity provided to them to provide the context.

Let’s be honest, sometimes the student reneges on their employment-at-will relationship because they change their mind and we can point a finger at them as the party to blame, if there is a need to assign blame. But what if an objective, third-party would actually point to the employer? Reasons are numerous, such as when employers oversell the opportunity, materially change the compensation or position, the hiring manager is terminated or reassigned, a family emergency prevents the student from starting, the employer pivots or even eliminates the business unit that recruited the student, the economy very suddenly and very dramatically changes as it did in 2008, etc. 

Realistically, if an employer is going to report student reneges to the career service office, what do we expect the career service office to do with that information? Wouldn’t it make sense that there would be negative repercussions to the student, and are we trying to help that student or are we trying to punish them and dissuade future students from reneging, much like imprisoning criminals punish the perpetrator and, perhaps, dissuade others from committing the same crime. Do we want to model our college and university recruitment programs on the criminal justice system?

For the career service offices who are accepting the renege information from the employers and maybe even soliciting it, are you doing the same from the candidates? What about employers who renege on their offers? If you’re punishing the student in some way such as banning them from further use of your services, are you levying the same punishments against the employers? 

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

Posted April 25, 2019 by

To hire students, you need to recruit on campus. Right? Wrong.

At College Recruiter job search site, one of the biggest changes that we’ve seen over the past few years is the rapidly increasing number of employers who use time-to-hire, cost-per-hire, and productivity data to measure their sourcing partners, including college career service offices. Their findings are shocking to many.

For decades, employers believed that they had to travel to and recruit students on-campus if they wanted to hire “the best” candidates. Those beliefs were typically grounded in false assumptions. You’ve probably heard that productivity data shows that the more diverse and inclusive a workforce, the more productive is that workforce. But that means that an employer who only hires at a small percentage of the 3,000 four-year colleges and universities or the 4,400 one- and two-year colleges is undermining their own diversity and inclusion efforts. So the more targeted your campus recruiting efforts, the less diverse, inclusive, and productive will be your workforce. Ouch.

Another example? Many of our employer customers who have looked at their productivity data have discovered that the more elite the school the employee went to, the less productive is that employee. How can that be true? Because they leave far sooner than those hired from second or even third tier schools. One of our long-time customers is an accounting and consulting company. They cut way back on their on-campus efforts in favor of hiring through what they call “virtual” sources like College Recruiter. Why? Diversity, inclusion, and productivity. They’re becoming school and even major agnostic, meaning they don’t really care what school you went to or even what your major was. They used to only consider accounting, economics, and finance majors. Now they embrace fine arts, Russian literature, and any other major. In their words, “we can teach an employee how to read a balance sheet but we can’t teach them how to think critically”.

College Recruiter believes that every student and recent graduate deserves a great career. Our customers are primarily Fortune 1,000 companies, federal government agencies, and other organizations who want to hire dozens or even hundreds of students and recent graduates of all one-, two-, and four-year colleges and universities for part-time, seasonal, internship, and entry-level jobs.

In this historically tight labor market, are you struggling to hire the dozens or even hundreds of well-targeted, well-qualified students and recent graduates for part-time, seasonal, internship, and entry-level jobs? Would it make sense to either schedule a 30-minute call so that I can better understand your hiring challenges or email those to me so that I can make specific recommendations for how College Recruiter can help?

Courtesy of Shutterstock

Posted April 25, 2019 by

Should you change jobs, even if you don’t want to?

Changing jobs, even when you don’t want to, is one of the best ways to get a pay raise and improve the hard and soft benefits you receive.

Unfortunately, many employers give raises to existing employees only when forced to, but they’re typically willing to pay new employees the going wage for the same work. So it isn’t unusual for an employee to advance into a more senior role but still be paid like they’re doing their old job. But if they move to a new employer, that new employer is more apt to pay them for the work they’re now doing.


Also, it is easier to win better hard and soft benefits when you move jobs. Hard benefits are those which aren’t negotiable such as 401k and medical plans, but they differ significantly employer-to-employer. If your current employer’s medical plan is terrible, you’re not going to be able to get them to provide a better one to you but you can apply to work for employers with good medical plans. 


Similarly, soft benefits are often easier to obtain from a new employer. These are typically negotiable, such as flexible working hours. If you’ve worked for the same employer for five years from 8am to 5pm, Monday to Friday, it will likely be difficult to convince them to allow you to work from 8am to 6pm, Monday through Thursday and then 8am to noon on Friday. But it should be easier to convince a new employer to allow that.