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

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Posted October 08, 2019 by

Can recruiters build relationships with candidates they reject?

By far, the most common complaint that we hear from the 2.5 million Gen Z and Millennial students and recent graduates who use College Recruiter a year to find part-time, seasonal, internship, and entry-level jobs is the lack of basic courtesy demonstrated by recruiters and other human resource professionals. Candidates understand that they should not expect to receive a personalized response to every job they apply to, but they do expect to receive a personalized response to every job they interview for. 

If an employer interviews 10 candidates and hires one, that employer can in about 10 minutes send a personalized email to the nine candidates who the employer was interested enough in to interview but who weren’t as well qualified as the candidate who was hired. The email need not be long or detailed. It need only thank the candidate for their interest and time, let them know that they were not selected for the job, and let them know why. 

Many recruiters are uncomfortable about the “why” portion and will use, as an excuse, the possibility that the why might generate litigation. But the data shows otherwise. The recruiter can easily paint a picture of the successful candidate by summarizing her work experience, education, and other qualifications that caused that person to be hired over all of the others.

Once the recruiter has drafted the email for the first unsuccessful interviewee, it should only take seconds to copy, paste, and send to the other eight. Also, if those other eight remain of interest, the recruiter should say so directly and what steps, if any, the candidates should follow to increase their chances.

If the candidate has interviewed two, three, or even more times, then even more time should be spent to courteously decline them. A great way of doing that would be to recommend, briefly, what the candidate can do over the coming months or years to better their odds of being hired. Maybe they should complete an internship or degree. Tell them. You’ll turn them from disappointed candidates into powerful advocates.

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.

Posted February 22, 2019 by

2 tips for how to stand out by following up after your job interview

Congratulations. You found a job of interest to you, applied, were granted an interview, and were interviewed. You’ve got a ways to go before you get hired, but how do you increase your chances of advancing from your first interview to the second and even further rounds?

Following up with the recruiters and hiring managers who interviewed you is key. You want to be sure that they know that you remain interested, not just as you’re walking out the door but in the days, weeks, and maybe even months to come. But be sure that you follow-up and don’t cross the line to be perceived as been a stalker. Some contact is good. Daily contact is bad.

A couple of tangible tips:

  • Bring with you to the interview some pre-stamped envelopes with thank you note cards. Immediately after you’re interviewed and have left the building, handwrite a quick thank you note to each person who interviewed you with a reference in each note to something that they said so they’ll know that your note was customized. Get those into the local mail that same day. The interviewers will likely receive the note the next business day, which will really impress them.
  • Once every week or two, email the interviews a note to confirm your continuing interest and provide them with a link or attach a scan of an article etc. that you’ve seen that may be of interest to them, such as something interesting that the press wrote about their company or one of their vendors or customers. You’d be surprised how many recruiters and hiring managers will assume that silence from a candidate indicates lack of interest.
Posted November 19, 2018 by

Superb hiring news for class of 2019: best hiring outlook since 2007

 

Economic news released today by the National Association of Colleges and Employers contained a lot of great news for students and recent graduates of one-, two-, and four-year colleges and universities.

According to a survey of NACE employer members, only four percent of employers plan to decrease their hiring of recent college grads while a whopping 57.4 percent plan to increase such hiring. For those who aren’t human calculators, that means that 38.6 percent plan to maintain their number of hires. Even better news is that the percent increase in projected hires came in at 16.6 percent, which would be the largest increase in 12 years. It is noteworthy that the hiring rate has not been increasing year-after-year since the Great Recession of 2008-09. Indeed, the class of 2018 saw hiring decrease by 1.3 percent.

(more…)

Posted November 07, 2018 by

How do I find a great, paid internship?

College Recruiter believes that every student and recent graduate deserves a great career. And a great stepping stone to a great career is often a great internship. But students are often frustrated by how to find an internship and, when they do find one of interest, how to apply, get interviewed, and get hired.

If you try to do everything all at once, it can be overwhelming. I like to break the process down into manageable, bite-sized pieces.

  1. Don’t procrastinate. To use another cliche, early bird gets the worm. While I trust that you’d rather land a great internship than a great worm, the cliche is too well known and understood for me to pass up. Some internships, particularly those with non-profits and governmental agencies, have strict and sometimes very early deadlines. Looking for next summer? You might need to apply in November. As of the writing of this blog article on November 5, 2018, College Recruiter already had 1,795 internships advertised on its site and it is still a couple of months from January when employers start to get aggressive with advertising their internship opportunities.
  2. Complete your CIV analysis. What’s a CIV, you ask? Competencies, interests, and values. Grab a piece of paper and draw two lines down it to divide the paper into three columns. Write competencies at the top of the first column, interests at the top of the second, and values at the top of the third. Now, under competencies, write down everything that other people would say you’re good at. In the second column, write down everything that you find to be interesting, In the third column, write down everything that you care about. Now look for themes. What are you good at that also interests you and which you care about? Those themes are where you should focus your career search.
  3. Network. Many and probably most people think that networking is all about asking other for help. Wrong. It is about asking them how you can help them. That will build good karma and inevitably you’ll find that some — not all — will reciprocate by asking how they can help you. Take them up on the offer. Tell them about your CIV, where you want your career to start, and ask them for the names of two people you should talk with. Keep repeating that. After a few rounds of people referring you to people who refer you to people, you’ll likely run across someone who will decline to give you the two names, not because they’re a jerk but because they want to hire you. Bingo.
  4. Job search sites. Almost every college career service office has a career website, but the vast majority of jobs which are of interest to students and recent graduates are never posted to those sites. Why? Most employers don’t know about them and they can be hard and time consuming to use. So, use those sites but don’t stop there. Also use job search sites like College Recruiter, which typically has about a million part-time, seasonal, internship, and entry-level jobs advertised on its site. Did I tell you that College Recruiter already has 1,795 internships advertised on its site? Oh, yeah, I did. Did you search them yet?
  5. Attend career fairs. Quite frankly, I’m not a huge fan because the expectations of the employers are often poorly aligned with those of the students. Employer representatives typically attend career fairs because they’re coerced by their bosses, their career service office partners, or both. Their disinterest shows, and they make it worse by refusing to accept paper resumes and telling you to go to their career sites if you want to apply. You could have done that from home, right? But they’re great places to network (see #3) and learn what it is really like to work for a company if you happen to run across a representative who likes to talk and maybe isn’t as discrete as they should be.
  6. Search and apply to jobs. Seems kind of obvious, right? But you’d be amazed at how many candidates don’t apply to enough jobs, apply to the wrong ones, or do a terrible job of applying the ones they are qualified for. If you’re an elite student at an elite school or otherwise have some exceptional qualities, aim high by applying to the most sought-after internships, such as 20 top internships listed below. For everyone else, and that’s almost everyone, the hard truth is that you’re just going to have to try harder. But, if it helps, remember the joke about what you call a doctor who graduates at the bottom of their class from a third-rate medical school. The answer is doctor. Most employers for most jobs feel the same way about interns and new grads. They care far more that you went to college than your major. They care far more about your major than your school. And they care far more about your school than your grades or whether you had a sexy internship or just successfully completed an internship, preferably for them.
  7. Create a job. Whether it’s a gig employment opportunity driving folks around or doing their grocery shopping for them or starting a small business in college like I did, don’t discount this option. But if you find yourself uttering, “I just need a good idea”, move on. The good idea is the least of your problems. Executing that good idea is FAR harder and FAR less exciting.
  8. Get experience. The entire point of an internship program for the employer is to convert those interns into permanent hires upon graduation. If they don’t, their internship program is a failure. Similarly, the entire point of interning is to get an offer to become a permanent employee upon graduation and then to accept that offer. If you don’t, your internship was a failure. Well, maybe not a complete failure, but not as much of a success as it should have been.

So, back to the top internship programs. What are they? I thought you’d never ask:

1. Google
2. Apple
3. Microsoft
4. Tesla
5. Facebook
6. Goldman Sachs
7. Amazon
8. J.P. Morgan
9. SpaceX
10. The Walt Disney Company
11. Nike
12. Morgan Stanley
13. IBM
14. Deloitte
15. Berkshire Hathaway
16. Intel
17. ESPN
18. Mercedes-Benz
19. The Boston Consulting Group
20. Spotify

— Source: Vault

 

 

Posted August 24, 2018 by

Age discrimination: Over 40 and interviewing

 

Let’s talk about the issues that 40+ year olds are facing in the job market today. Almost 20% of all college and university students — about four million — are over the age of 35. So why do we automatically think of a bunch of 20 something’s when we hear “recent graduates”? This is also often the image that comes to mind for talent acquisition teams and is used to discriminate against older candidates. Jo Weech, Founder and Principal Consultant at Exemplary Consultants, explains the major problems that this misconception creates.

Exemplary Consultants provides business management consulting to small businesses and start-ups. Weech got involved in the process because she truly believes that work can be better for every person on the planet. She published an article back in July that got a ton of traffic, likes, and comments. Steven Rothberg, President and Founder of College Recruiter, had a conversation with her about some of her experiences, where the article came from, and some of the lessons that came from it. The lessons learned are not only useful for job seekers, but for those in talent acquisition as well. (more…)

Posted August 16, 2018 by

Understanding the advantages of the gig economy

 

The workforce has been evolving due to the integration of technology in our society today. “Sometimes all you need is a cell phone and a laptop and you can do many kinds of work remotely,” states Jo Weech, CEO and Principal Consultant of Exemplary Consultants. Weech provides business management consulting to small businesses and start-ups. Here, she offers insight into what the gig economy is and how students and recent graduates can take advantage of the opportunities that come along with it.

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Posted July 03, 2018 by

Preparing young women for gender inequality in the workplace

Career Resources Specialist Laveda Joseph has been noticing that at Wake Technical Community College, her female students are often unaware of the gender inequality that exists in the “real” world. Despite recent momentum toward equal pay, and the #MeToo movement, Joseph doesn’t see awareness increasing on campus. Anne Tomkinson, Senior Manager of Human Resources and Operations at D.C. Public Charter School Board, shares Joseph’s passion for helping young women prepare for the realities of the workplace. That’s not to say they accept status quo. On the contrary—the advice they share here should help young women advocate for themselves, build their confidence, and understand how to react when faced with inequality.

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Posted May 25, 2018 by

Job search advice for students and grads with disabilities

 

By day, Dan Cross is the Talent Acquisition Strategy Manager at Capital One. But a role he always embraces night and day is disability advocate. We posed a few questions to him and he gave some insightful tips for students and grads with disabilities who are job seeking. We share his advice below. Cross is outspoken about HR issues and trends (find him on Twitter @CrossOverHR), and was named an official SHRM 2018 blogger.  (more…)

Posted May 15, 2018 by

Entry-Level Job Seeker’s Guide to Interviewing

 

Got a job interview coming up? We would love for you to get that job! We’ve been connecting students and grads to entry-level jobs for many years now, so we know a thing or two about what will make you stand out. Don’t make the mistake of showing up unprepared. To help you prepare, we put together a guide just for entry-level job seekers. Download the Entry-Level Job Seekers Guide to Interviewing here (no registration needed). (more…)