7 ways employers benefit from summer internship programs, even if interns don’t become full-time employeesSeptember 08, 2016 by Matt Krumrie
Summer internships are wrapping up at small and large employers across the country. College students are back to campus, and recent college grads are completing internships and looking for full-time employment. Some interns have secured full-time employment with the company for which they interned. Others are back in the job search, seeking a new job with a different company.
It can be a dilemma for employers: Can we keep our rock star intern and hire them permanently, or do we let them go and watch them succeed somewhere else? That’s not always the best way to look at it.
“Regardless if you are able to add a talented new college grad or entry-level employee to your staff, employers should always remember the best internships are those that are well-designed, have specific goals, and set appropriate expectations for the interns that are hired,” says Bob LaBombard, CEO of GradStaff, a company that serves as a career matchmaker for recent college graduates, and companies that are looking to fill entry-level jobs.
Translation: If you can’t hire an intern for a full-time job, all is not lost. Here are seven reasons why:
1. Strong Internship programs create a buzz/build your brand
“Given the enormous growth of social media, the best internship programs are important tools in enhancing and expanding the brand image of the employer on campus and in creating positive buzz about the company,” says LaBombard. Interns talk. They spread the good – and bad – about your company. Treat them well, and your business – and reputation – will benefit.
2. Internships help recruit for future job openings
Every business has specific business goals and needs when hiring interns. Larger companies tend to use their internship programs as a way to evaluate interns for current or future employment (such as after graduation), while small and medium employers are more likely to hire interns to accomplish specific goals, like completing a well-defined project or to cover staff for the summer vacation season, says LaBombard. Both are crucial to business success. And so is treating interns as you would any other employee.
“Even if full-time jobs will be only offered to a small subset of total interns, it is essential that each intern feels that she or he benefits from the experience and was treated fairly,” says LaBombard.
Can’t hire that intern now, don’t fret.
“Hiring needs can change rapidly, and that intern may soon be on your radar when seeking to fill a future opening,” says LaBombard.
Or, if that intern has a positive experience, they may seek to apply for other future job openings even after they have received one or two years of experience elsewhere.
3. Internships build networking and business opportunities
If your intern goes on to do great things, and had a positive experience with your company, they may come back to seek your company services in another role, mention you to clients or vendors, or seek to partner with your business for future projects. You may be developing a future business partner.
4. Develops strong pipeline of future talent
Did you hire a number of interns from one college or university? Did they have a great experience, but had to move on to other jobs? Don’t worry. These students will go back to their campus career center, professors, or peers, and reference the positive experience they had with your company. That means students from that college will be sure to keep your company at the forefront when seeking future internships, or full-time employment. Be honest and upfront with interns and keep lines of communications open about their performance, future opportunities, and next steps. This will ensure they view your company as a best place to work, and a place they would consider working for in the future. And a place they recommend to peers, professors, and campus career counselors.
5. Interns can make a positive impact on corporate culture
New ideas. New personalities. A new outlook. Those are all traits interns can bring to a department or business. This can help improve a company’s corporate culture, especially for employees who may be stuck in a rut. Maybe that new intern helps bridge some personality gaps and brings a team closer.
“A positive corporate culture is attractive to potential future hires,” says Bill Driscoll, District Presidentat Accountemps. “As much as possible, strive to develop a positive work environment where interns make the most of their skills and are exposed to different departments so that they will view the internship as a positive experience.”
6. Internships provide a way to get candid feedback about the company
Before saying goodbye to interns, make sure to conduct an exit interview. “It’s important for companies to part ways professionally because there is a chance you may work together again in the future,” says Driscoll. But take it a step further – use the exit interview to learn about areas where the company could improve or concerns that come up. These are things full-time/permanent employees may never share.
7. Helps understand true cost of recruiting and retaining employees
Don’t think you can afford to hire an intern right now? Can you afford to let that internship go to a competitor, or can you afford to spend more money to recruit and train a new employee in the future? That star intern already has experience with your company and can move right into a full-time role without missing a beat. This saves on the costs of recruiting and hiring a new employee, and keeps business moving forward, producing results with the intern who is now a full-time employee and that is already trained in and understand their role and the company.
An intern isn’t the only one getting invaluable experience and training. Employers can also benefit from hiring interns, even if they don’t become full-time employees. Want to learn more about how to find a great intern or improve your internship program? Check out our blog and follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and don’t forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel.
September 07, 2016 by Matt Krumrie
Five years ago, Steven Rothberg, founder of CollegeRecruiter.com, rarely heard employers talk about using analytics or data when making hiring decisions.
“Now I can hardly walk down the hall at a recruiting conference or spend 30 minutes on a call with a client and not hear some reference to it,” says Rothberg. “There is no doubt that HR professionals recognize the value in using data-driven decisions, but probably fewer than one percent of employers are good at it.”
Ian Cook, Head of Workforce Solutions at Visier, a company that develops cloud-based applications that enable HR professionals to answer workforce strategy questions, talked about the impact of analytics, specifically to campus recruiting and the hiring of recent college grads, in the College Recruiter article Analytics, data changing way employers recruit, hire college graduates.
“This is no longer a nice to have,” Cook said in that article, referring to the use analytics and data to drive recruiting and hiring decisions. “Everyone knows the game has changed, and if you are not using analytics to play the best you can then you will be left behind.”
The reality is, if you are not using analytics and data, your competitor who already is using analytics to recruit and hire recent college grads and entry-level job seekers probably has already interviewed or hired that candidate that may have once been interested in your company.
“If you don’t dive into analytics, then you are increasing the likelihood that your competitor will be able to scoop up all the great talent that you need,” says Cook.
The move to using big data and analytics for campus recruiting, hiring recent college grads or entry-level employees has been met with resistance by both small and large employers. Many of those employers believe their campus recruiting efforts, combined with a strong social media outreach, and robust campus careers page, drives success recruiting recent college grads or entry-level job seekers.
“We do hear the ‘our college recruiting program is a well-oiled machine’ from some employers,” says Rothberg.
But at the same time, both small and large employers are now successfully using analytics and data to drive hiring decisions. That list includes these three well-known companies:
Enterprise Rent-A-Car: Dylan Schweitzer of Enterprise Rent-A-Car spoke publicly about how they use data to track their sources of hire and that allows them to reduce their spend on schools, job boards, and other sources which are more expensive than their other sources.
Lockheed Martin: Alton Fox of Lockheed Martin mentioned at TalentBlend 2016 that they’re shifting more and more of their university relations budget toward job boards and other virtual sourcing tools because the cost-of-hire is far lower AND the employees are far more productive.
Uber: Uber tests, tests, and tests some more with different job titles, geographic targeting, job descriptions, landing pages, and more. They work with a wide variety of media partners and many of those partners are paid on a performance basis, so if the ads they run work well then Uber keeps working with the media partner and probably increases how much they spend with that partner, says Rothberg. If the ads don’t work well, Uber shifts those resources to better performing sourcing tools.
Using analytics and data to make recruiting and hiring decisions should be viewed as a way to bridge the gaps that can be cause with human oversight or human error. Analytics and data also provide a unique insight that has never been available before. So why not use analytics and data when making hiring decisions?
Many organizations are focused on analyzing candidates, such as by resume parsing or extended social profile analyses, in order to improve their likelihood of landing a great hire, says Cook. Others are taking a more strategic approach and attempting to analyze the workflow and outputs of the recruiting function.
They are looking at questions such as:
- Can we recruit faster?
- Are we spending our sourcing dollars in the right place?
- If we change up our process, do fewer people abandon their applications?
- Which sources consistently produce employees who stay and perform?
These are complex questions involving multiple data sources, but they are all are aligned to ensuring the function is delivering what the business needs.
“Predominantly, we see industries that need to recruit a lot of high value talent being early adopters or ahead of the game when it comes to talent analytics,” says Cook. “Organizations that hire lots of software engineers or technical medical staff or specialists with financial skills understand the value that comes from being data-driven as opposed to following the old ‘post and hope’ model.”
College Recruiter has been using analytics and data for years, providing employers with specific and organized reports to help achieve their recruiting and hiring goals. But many recruiters and HR professionals simply fear change, or the challenge of implementing analytics into the decision-making process.
“The biggest reason that I see employers resisting the use of data and analytics is the fear of math,” says Rothberg.
Here is an example: Rothberg recently asked the head of HR for a 5,000-employee company if they would like a detailed proposal that walked through the outcomes of the various recruitment advertising packages being considered. This proposal included projections on the number of candidates that would be sent to that company’s applicant tracking system from College Recruiter, how many would apply, how many would be hired, time-to-hire, and cost-per-hire.
“She asked what I needed and I asked her how many people she wanted to hire and over how many months,” recalls Rothberg. “She didn’t know. I asked how many applications she would expect to generate for every 1,000 clicks we sent to her ATS. She didn’t know. I asked how many hires she would make for every 100 applications. She didn’t know. As unfortunate as all of that was, she didn’t want to know. She was the head of HR for a 5,000 person company and she didn’t want to admit that math scared her.”
Don’t let analytics scare you. Employers, both large and small, are using analytics to drive talent decisions. Dive in, before your competitors steals your next great hire.
“We can always find ways to save a little money, hire a little faster, diversify a little more, and hire people who perform a little better and are retained for a little longer,” says Rothberg. “Data and analytics help us identify those areas where we can improve, whether there is only minor or vast room for improvement.”
Wondering how analytics can help drive your recruiting decisions and successes? Contact College Recruiter today to learn more, and be sure to Check out our blog and follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and don’t forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel.
August 31, 2016 by Matt Krumrie
It’s no secret that analytics and data are driving, and changing, the world of sports, at all levels. From high school to college, and the pros, individuals, organizations, and teams are using analytics to drive decisions on and off the field. The rapid rise in the use of sports analytics led to the creation of the popular MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference, called “a forum for industry professionals, students, and fans to discuss the increasing role of analytics in the sports industry.”
The growth of sports analytics has also prompted Syracuse University to launch the first-ever sports analytics bachelor’s degree program in the United States. Launching in the Spring of 2017, the Syracuse University sports analytics bachelor’s degree program will focus on computer programming, statistics, math, and of course, sports.
In May of 2016 Zack Sims graduated from the University of Georgia with a double major in Digital and Broadcast Journalism and Statistics. He also earned a certificate from UGA’s sports media program, preparing him for a career in sports, or sports analytics. While at UGA Sims wrote for a few sports web sites, covered live events, and practiced analyzing sports data on his own. He was also a Division I athlete, participating in track and cross country. An informational interview helped Sims earn a sports analytics internship at Competitive Sports Analysis (CSA), an Atlanta, Georgia-based sports analytics company.
Below, Sims talks to College Recruiter about how he landed his sports analytics internship, what he does as a sports analytics intern, the type of technical and soft skills needed to succeed in sports analytics careers, what he knows now that he wish he knew while in college – and much more:
Informational interview led to sports analytics internship
Sims was required to complete an informational interview with a sports industry professional as part of a sports media class at UGA.
“I told my professor that I wanted to work in sports analytics, and he told me he had recently met a woman named Diane Bloodworth, who owned her own sports analytics company in Atlanta,” said Sims. “I interviewed with Diane and got an understanding for how she got into the industry. She told me to stay in touch, so I called her shortly before graduating and asked if she had any openings. She offered me an internship, and I started working shortly after.”
Sports industry background
During the informational interview, Sims was able to discuss how his previous work in sports prepared him for a sports analytics internship. In the summer of 2015 he served as the Broadcast Intern for the Sunbelt Collegiate Baseball League, where he did play-by-play and commentary, and wrote game stories. He also wrote for three different websites covering college football. During his time at UGA, he covered a multitude of sports (swimming, softball, basketball, baseball and more) for the UGA sports media program. Two of his assignments from that program got published in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and the Athens Banner-Herald.
Day-to-day duties of a Sports analytics intern
At CSA, Sims works as an analytics intern. CSA currently offers two products. scoutPRO is for fantasy football players. This product provide projections, access to a fantasy football expert, and insights into player data. CSA also offers scoutSMART, which is an analytics based recruiting software. It shows college football coaches how well a recruit will fit into their program. CSA currently only works in college and pro football. Its clients are fantasy football users (scoutPRO) and college football coaches (scoutSMART).
Sims’ day-to-day duties go far beyond the job title, because CSA is a startup company. Sims said this internship has provided him with experience in a lot of different areas beyond sports and analytics. He uses math, business and communication skills on a daily basis. He helps with CSA marketing efforts, managing social media, and analyzing NFL data. He manages software databases and much more.
“When you work at a startup, you aren’t tied down to specific duties,” says Sims. “You really help in any way you can. I help manage our corporate website, run our Twitter accounts, head up our email marketing campaigns, manage the database for our scoutSMART, and create some visual analytics for our scoutPRO users. I’ve been able to work in so many areas during my internship.”
Software skills crucial in sports analytics careers
To succeed in a career in sports analytics, one must be able to have much more than a knowledge and interest in sports. They must be analytical, and be able to understand, learn, and use a variety of software programs, and have a variety of technical skills.
Prior to this internship, Sims used Kaggle, a social media site for data analysts, to practice analyzing sports data. He primarily looked at Major League Baseball data on Kaggle. Now, at CSA, R, Tableau and Excel are the three main programs Sims uses for conducting data analysis.
“They are great for breaking down large data sets and producing something meaningful,” says Sims. “I also use Constant Contact for managing our email marketing campaigns.”
Coding/programming skills important in sports analytics careers
“The one thing I wish I would have known was how important coding/programming is,” says Sims. “If you want to get into analytics, you really need to be proficient in a few programs. I was exposed to R and SAS while at UGA, but I didn’t really start learning them in-depth until I started teaching myself the last few months.”
Sims expanded on the technical skills needed to succeed in a sports analytics career, saying “I think you need to know R (or SAS), Tableau, and SQL to land some bigger jobs in analytics. Each of these plays a very big role in any analytics job. The good thing is there are plenty of places on the internet where you can learn these tools (W3Schools, R for Everyone, Tableau Website, Kaggle).”
Soft skills are crucial to sports analytics career success
You can love sports, and be an analytics genius, but soft skills are still crucial to succeed in sports analytics careers.
“I definitely think you need to be effective at communicating to work in analytics,” says Sims. “There are a lot of people who can break down data, but there aren’t many people who can do that and clearly explain what the data is telling them.”
From college classroom to the real world
Sims says the sports media and journalism classes he took at UGA helped prepare him for his internship.
“These classes made it easy to tell a story from the data I work with,” says Sims. “I think my statistics classes taught me what to look for when analyzing data.”
The future of sports analytics careers
Since starting his internship and searching for jobs in sports analytics, Sims has noticed just how fast the field of sports analytics is growing: “I’ve learned the sports analytics market is growing like crazy,” he said. “There are so many opportunities emerging, and this should continue for the next couple of years. This excites me, because I know I can work my up in the industry.”
Passion for sports important
Most college students or recent college grads who pursue a career in sports analytics are likely going to have a passion for sports. And that is another valuable trait to showcase with employers, when interviewing for jobs in sports analytics.
“I definitely think you need a passion for sports to be successful in this field,” says Sims. “When I’m trying to analyze data for our fantasy football users, it helps that I know what kind of metrics are important to them. I love football and I also play fantasy football, so it helps me know what our customers will want to see.”
Being a well-rounded college graduate is valuable
“I’m a believer that the more versatile your background is, the better,” says Sims. “Being passionate about sports is great, but if you can also break down data and draw important meaning from it, you can definitely find a job in sports analytics.”
The importance of a sports analytics internship
“It’s really hard to just land a sports analytics job when you come out of college, unless you’ve done a lot of work/projects on your own,” says Sims. “Internships are a stepping stone for you to get a job with a sports team, sports technology company, or other sports organization or business.”
Sims would welcome the chance to stay at CSA once his internship is complete. He also still dreams of working in an analytics role for a professional sports team/organization, or sports media company. For now, he knows he’s getting some of the best on-the-job training he can to pursue his passion and dream of working in the fast-growing field of sports analytics. Sims calls working at CSA “a great experience,” adding that he “gets the freedom to explore projects that I might not get a large company.”
Sports analytics careers are not the future, they are the present. Zack Sims is prepared to take the next step in his career. Current college students, recent college grads and entry-level job seekers can prepare for the next step in their career by staying connected to College Recruiter to learn about careers in sports analytics. To do so, visit our blog, and connect with us on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube.
About Zack Sims
Zack Sims graduated from the University of Georgia in the srping of 2016 with a double major in Digital and Broadcast Journalism and Statistics. He also earned a certificate from UGA’s sports media program and was a member of the UGA track and cross country teams.
August 26, 2016 by William Frierson
For many college students and recent graduates, networking is likely to be part of their job searches. Their success or failure when interacting with recruiters and hiring managers will depend on their approach. While securing internships or entry-level jobs is a priority, college students and recent grads don’t want to come off as too aggressive when asking about career opportunities. Job seekers should not assume that just because they are eager to work that employers will automatically tell them about job opportunities, including those in the hidden job market.
When networking, students and graduates can inform professionals about who they are and what interests they have. At the same time, they can ask questions to learn more about potential employers and what they have to offer. Marc Prosser, Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Fit Small Business, discusses a key mistake to avoid when networking and shares helpful tips for a better experience.
“The biggest networking mistake is asking people if they know of any open jobs. It’s good to be aggressive and show you’re looking for work. But why should anyone recommend you, especially if they don’t know you or your work ethic?
The best way to network is showing curiosity about what people do. Ask them and tell them you’d like to learn more about their profession; establish an interest in them. They may recommend you and say “This person is interested in…and may be good for the position.” Asking employers if they’re hiring won’t be as effective as “Hey, what do you do?” Avoid that mistake and you’ll be better at networking.”
Marc Prosser is the Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Fit Small Business, a site that provides reviews and articles for small business owners. Prior to starting Fit Small Business, Marc was the CMO of FXCM for 10 years. He joined as FXCM’s first employee and grew the company to more than 700 employees.
August 22, 2016 by William Frierson
Attending networking events on college campuses is a great way for recruiters and hiring managers to interact with and build relationships with college students. By engaging in conversations with college students, recruiters and hiring managers can find potential candidates for entry-level jobs, internships, or other career opportunities. It is also important to keep in mind that networking is a two-way street. While it is important for students to follow-up with recruiters, recruiters should do the same.
One mistake some recruiters make is not following up during the hiring process. This can not only create a less impressive candidate experience but can also a company or organization’s reputation. Kevin Fallon, Director of Career Services at Salisbury University (Maryland), discusses the negative effect left on college students when recruiters do not follow up during the hiring process.
“The single biggest mistake we often see recruiters and hiring managers make during the hiring process is a lack of follow-up or follow-through. College students will come to us and say ‘I never heard back from (recruiter) at (name of company) – Should I follow up with them?’ This lack of following through on communicating with students is damaging to an organization’s brand, and it leaves them with an unfavorable view of the organization. It especially does when you consider the contact management software available today.”
Kevin Fallon serves as the Director of Career Services at Salisbury University (Maryland), where he leads the delivery of career and professional development services to more than 8,000 students enrolled in, as well as alumni from 42 undergraduate and 14 graduate programs in business, education, science and technology, and the liberal arts. Prior to joining Salisbury, Fallon’s 22-year career included talent acquisition and talent development leadership roles with global Fortune organizations such as PriceWaterhouseCoopers, Accenture, and Bank of America, as well as university career services leadership roles with the Robert H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland College Park and Rider University in Lawrenceville, New Jersey.
August 19, 2016 by William Frierson
How do you handle networking opportunities? Is it a one-way or a two-way street? The mistake you can easily make is that networking is all about you. Because you’re so focused on landing an internship or an entry-level job, no one else seems to matter. Having that perspective is a mistake.
Networking is about communicating with professionals or other job seekers and building relationships with them. If you’re not just talking but taking the time to listen to someone else, you can learn valuable information to benefit your career. Michael Moradian, Executive Director of HonorSociety.org, explains why networking isn’t all about you and offers good networking tips.
“We live in a culture obsessed with personal branding, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. The problem occurs when the only thing professionals focus on is themselves. Don’t attend networking events to tell your story alone; focus on listening, as well. After all, networking should be a dialogue, not a monologue.
It all comes down to authenticity. Are you joining professional groups and meeting people to only serve your career and to be the loudest, most talkative person in the room? If so, you will get nowhere fast.
Show a genuine interest in meeting new people, sharing ideas, asking questions, and developing strong relationships. Nobody wants to associate with selfish, egotistical blowhards who try controlling every conversation.
Being authentic also requires gratitude. Many young professionals forget to thank whoever takes time to talk to them. Express how much you appreciate each person’s time and energy. This leaves them with a positive impression of you and solves another common networking mistake, which is failing to follow-up.
Most people assume their contacts will seek them out on their own. Don’t leave it to chance. Instead, be proactive, and connect online and schedule follow ups with a simple email or a request for a lunch meeting. Take charge, be humble, and maintain a level of professionalism.”
Michael Moradian is the Executive Director of HonorSociety.org, an honor society that recognizes academic achievement and provides valuable resources and tools to its members. Connect with Michael and HonorSociety.org on Twitter at @HonorSocietyorg.
August 16, 2016 by William Frierson
As recruiters and hiring managers search for top talent, it is important they understand how to approach potential job candidates. Employers should think about treating candidates the way they would want to be treated when searching for internships or entry-level jobs. Recruiters and hiring managers can’t assume just because they arrive on college campuses that they will make connections. Taking time to speak with college students who attend networking events shows sincere interest in them and create a favorable impression of an employer. Michael Moradian, Executive Director of HonorSociety.org, explains the importance of connecting with candidates in a genuine manner.
“Networking is a way to build professional relationships on a personal level. But many recruiters fail to connect with potential candidates in a meaningful way. Communication is the most important tool in a recruiter’s toolkit. If you can’t explain expectations and describe opportunities in a clear, straightforward way, candidates will go elsewhere. Job seekers aren’t interested in vague, unclear information. They want to know if an opportunity is right for them so help them see if they can fit into the role.
It’s easy to spot common offenders when you’re at networking events. Keep an eye out for card spammers, people who throw their business cards around attempting to reach as many people as possible in a short amount of time. This is not just unprofessional; it’s also offensive.
You can’t build relationships by skimming the surface and trying to get your information in as many pockets as possible. Why would I want to build a trusting relationship with you when you can’t seem to take the time to fully engage with me?
Instead, start a conversation and express a genuine interest in connecting. Being inauthentic and focusing only on the result is off-putting. Don’t force anything; sometimes, there just isn’t a fit. Express what you can offer and how you can help potential candidates.
Follow-up if you sense some interest, but don’t be pushy. There is a human side to business, and talented candidates appreciate when they are treated as a person, not a commodity.”
Michael Moradian is the Executive Director of HonorSociety.org, an honor society that recognizes academic achievement and provides valuable resources and tools to its members. Connect with Michael and HonorSociety.org on Twitter at @HonorSocietyorg.
August 01, 2016 by William Frierson
You don’t like getting spam, do you? Well, neither do hiring managers. It may be quick and efficient to upload your resume on popular job sites and send employers the same robo-resume, but hiring managers view these generic, mass mailings as spam. They can spot one-size-fits-all resumes in a nano-second and quickly discard them.
Here are four tips from hiring managers featured in the book, Graduate to a Great Career, on how to create a winning resume:
1. Add a short profile statement and your key selling points at the top “above the fold”
Realize your resume is an ad for branding yourself. Like a newspaper, an ad, or web page, the most important “real estate” is in the top half of your resume. Branding resumes begin with a profile or qualifications statement, a couple of crisp sentences that define your value. A strong profile statement is critical for recent graduates. You don’t have an impressive job title and career history yet, so you’ll need to specify your career focus and value proposition in your profile statement. In fact, many hiring managers told me a big problem with new graduate resumes is it can be hard to determine what entry-level job the new grad is looking for, especially if the grad doesn’t have a career-specific major like accounting or computer science. A profile headline like “Seeking an entry-level positioning” is too generic and doesn’t convey your career path. Remember, it’s your job to convey your career identity, not the hiring manager’s. For example, a recent grad named Erin who was a psychology major pursuing a career in marketing began her profile with the headline, “Aspiring marketing assistant: Psychology grad with pulse on the consumer mindset,” followed by a few bullets outlining her focus, strengths, and marketing credentials through two internships.
2. Expand your skill set to take advantage of new market opportunities
Be willing to take advantage of where the momentum is in the marketplace. During her job search for marketing jobs, Erin, our aspiring marketer mentioned above, noticed big retailers were advertising entry-level jobs and internships in merchandising, an area related to marketing that involves selecting products and evaluating sales performance. She decided to expand her job search and pursue both career paths: merchandising and marketing. Because there were a lot of merchandising internships online, she snagged a three-month, part-time internship at a large global retailer. But Erin needed a different elevator pitch and resume to apply for full-time merchandising jobs, and now with her internship, she had a story to tell. She had a hands-on role in compiling trend and competitive analysis reports, which gave her specific marketable skills. Here is Erin’s new profile statement for her merchandising resume, “Merchandising assistant with strong analytic, merchandising, and marketing skills.” She included new skills such as “completed Excel reports for accurate demand forecasting that resulted in a 10% improvement in accurate buying.” Before long, Erin was offered a merchandising job at a top global retailer.
3. Play to keywords and how the resume robots screen resumes.
The first “person” your resume has to impress is not likely to be a human being but a computer. Due to the volume of resumes that large and medium-sized companies receive, most companies use ATS (applicant tracking systems). Most ATS’s are not kind to new grads since they are programmed to check for a strong keyword match. Since most recent grads have limited experience, they don’t score high on an ATS (Only 25% of resumes make it past the resume robots). If you do have a strong skills match with a job posting, take the time to use the same exact words in your resume so the resume robots pick them out. Your resume can also be discarded if you format it incorrectly. Keep the layout simple with commonly used section titles like profile, work experience, education, etc.
4. Emphasize skills, experience, and results in the “Action + Numbers = Results” format.
Employers now give twice as much importance to specific skills and work experience as academic courses and grades. How do you make your abilities and skills stand out when you’re a new grad with limited work experience? It might take more effort than for an experienced job seeker, but you have more experience and accomplishments than you realize. Make a list of everything you’ve ever accomplished in internships, school projects, volunteer activities, part-time jobs, and the like. Then, follow this formula to create a powerful results bullet:
Action + Numbers = Results
Did [A] + as measured by [N] = with these results [R]
Here are a few examples of how college students and recent grads have created marketable results bullets out of internships and part-time jobs:
• Raised $55,000 in first month calling alumni for university capital
campaign; the top student performer all four weeks.
• As a brand ambassador interning at X Company, challenged to increase
website traffic, wrote ten blog posts that generated over 240 responses,
and helped boost sales.
• Prepared detailed Excel reports and pitches for business development
group at fast-growing technology company that
increased response rate by 15%.
The key to a successful resume and job search is to go for quality over quantity. You need to invest a little more time to create a resume that is right for each job, but it will pay off. Your efforts will be rewarded, and you’ll be on your way to an interview in no time.
Catherine Kaputa is a Personal Brand Strategist, Speaker, and Author of the newly-released book, Graduate to a Great Career: How Smart Students, New Graduates, and Young Professionals Can Launch Brand You. (April 2016. graduatetoagreatcareer.com). She is the author of two best-selling books, You Are a Brand and Breakthrough Branding for entrepreneurs. She is the Founder of SelfBrand (selfbrand.com). Speaking clients include Google, PepsiCo, Microsoft, Intel, Citi, Merck, Northwestern University, New York University, and University of Illinois.
July 30, 2016 by Bethany Wallace
Should we stress out the importance of an internship? Probably not, no. You’re already here, which means that you’re probably aware of how significant experience as an intern is to your portfolio without us lecturing you about it, too. Everyone wants to obtain a master’s degree education level or to hire people with as much experience amassed as possible, and the best way to get this boulder off your chest is to make sure you play it safe and give them what they want.
That said, you want to land an internship, but so does pretty much everyone else. How are you supposed to handle competition and stand out from the hundreds of applications that the hottest corporations at the moment need to go through at once? Here are some tips to make your resume shine.
Take the initiative – Make one
Make what? An internship program, of course. Let’s say you really want to intern at Big International Corporation X, you have your resume all written out, you’re ready to send it in and… surprise! It turns out that there was never a program like that to begin with. How is that possible? It seemed like such a natural inclusion that it’s almost surprising they don’t offer internship positions in the respective field.
This is when you can go bold and prove your initiative prowess. Get in touch with the company – write them an e-mail, contact them on social media, and let them know that you have an idea for an internship program. Think it thoroughly before contacting them, though. This way you can offer detailed explanations and practical solutions, which are going to make you sound all the more capable, resourceful, and involved in the prosperity of the company.
Create an interactive video
Interactive resumes tend to be a surefire way to capture an employer’s attention. That’s because, even if all the applicants were to follow the same pattern and send in engaging applications, the only way that they can actually work is through personal charisma.
Record a video introducing yourself and add on the screen links that redirect to other videos where you solely focus on one specific asset you want to expand on (for example, leadership skills). If you’re a developer, develop a mini-game where the player navigates a world filled with chunks of text from your resume. There are many directions you can follow, and the most important thing you need to do is exploit your personal talents and ace up your sleeve. If you’re a painter, paint the application!
Build your resume out of Legos
Welcome to the world of specifics. Today, we talk about Legos. They can be much more than sources of entertainment and deadly traps for clueless barefooted trespassers. Leah Bowman was a student at Northwestern University who managed to impress the company she applied to for an internship by sending them a resume in the shape of a Lego model.
The crafting represented herself surrounded by the variety of skills she possessed, and it was paired with a cover letter which explained in further detail her assets and experience.
Use apps to your advantage
We know about LinkedIn, Twitter, or other forms of social media. Their usefulness resides in the name: social media. It seems obvious that platforms dedicated to human interaction could play a big role here. But what does an application via Snapchat or Vine sound like?
If you have the possibility of emailing the resume to your desired company, include a link to a Vine where you creatively lay down your skills in six seconds. If you’re able to pull that off, surely there’s got to be a level of creativity in you that’s bound to spark some interest. Moreover, this is a way to showcase another really charming and sought-after trait – humor. Tell a story through images by using Snapchat and its colorful features and captions option. Just try to steer away from Tinder as we have no clue how that could prove useful… for now.
The first step to landing an internship is to make your application stand out as well as possible. Small details, such as the title of the e-mail, the font, or the color of the page weigh a lot. If you want to take it a notch further and be sure that you nail that internship position, then just adopt one of the methods on this list.
Want more tips to help you land an internship or job at a major corporation? Keep visiting our blog and be sure to register as a job seeker on CollegeRecruiter.com, too. Follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube for regular job and internship updates.
Karl Magnusson is a motivational writer and a career coach, with over five years of experience under his belt. He loves helping people identify their hidden talents and thrives on seeing his clients achieve professional acclaim.
July 15, 2016 by William Frierson
College career services offices are designed to help prepare college students create career paths. Whether helping college students continue their education or finding internships and entry-level jobs, these offices have the resources and tools students need for succeeding in the job search. The career services professionals on college campuses can even share their personal experiences to give students a better idea of what to expect in the real world.
However, while having resources, tools, and professional advice is nice, how can career services offices improve to attract more college students? Nichole Lefelhoc, Director of the Career Center at Mansfield University, discusses how these offices can center their budgets around collaboration and creativity to connect students with career services offices and other events.
“Collaboration and creativity are the name of the game when it comes to ensuring our budget can be utilized in such a way that we are reaching the greatest number of college students. In a time of shrinking operating budgets, we focus our efforts on developing strong relationships with departments across campus and pool resources to have the greatest impact on students. We have also found a great amount of success in collaborating with student organizations to co-sponsor events. The student group will conduct much of the marketing of an event, as well as fund refreshments, and the career center will organize the content and/or guest speakers.
Another area of potential collaboration is with employers. Many employers are seeking ways to brand their organizations on college campuses, and career centers are seeking ways to connect their students with internship and employment opportunities. One such example was a “Fall Fest” sponsored by an employer. We organized pumpkin decorating, s’mores, hot chocolate, and a fire pit. Turnout at the event was tremendous and offered an opportunity to not only brand the employer, but also market the services of our career center. The event came at no expense to our office.”
Nichole Lefelhoc is the Director of the Career Center at Mansfield University. Nichole helps prepare college students for success after graduation and in their chosen careers. She has a responsibility to make sure the career center offers the appropriate services and resources for this to happen. This could mean anything from career exploration, professional image, and resumes/cover letters to internships, job searching, interviewing, and graduate school.