There’s so much talk about “securing the bag”. College students are eager to open up offer and acceptance letters from their dream job or target graduate program. However, social media and the virality of the “I’ve been selected to…” posts completely gloss over the process. You obviously didn’t just wake up with an offer from Google in your email! To me, the interview process is one of the most vital and informative aspects of the process. How else do we know if the company is exaggerating about the inclusive culture or if it’s just not a personal fit? Not only that, but an interview is the chance to differentiate yourself and put a face and personality to your resume. However, the hard part is often getting that interview. It’s time to get you through interview season:
- How does that resume look? I’ve seen resumes that look like they been untouched since high school and resumes that are quite literally size 8 font detailing the applicant’s favorite video game. Recruiter’s spend on average about six seconds reviewing individual resumes. That’s six seconds to make your written first impression. Choose a structured, concise and consistent format and stick to one page.
- Get that pitch together! Just like your resume, a pitch needs to be tailored for time. A recruiter wants to know who you are, what are your goals and why you are interested in their company. The hard part is sticking to 30 seconds. Be yourself and be concise. See a quick and simple pitch below:
Hi, my name is Lyndsey Camille and I am a senior at the University of Georgia. I am pursuing a degree in public relations and have experiences such as XYZ in which I helped to [insert results here]. I am interested in your company and the internship opportunities because [insert your why]. Would you please provide me with more information?
- Are you on LinkedIn? LinkedIn has become my favorite source for networking and reaching out to recruiters. Did you meet them in person? Don’t only follow up in email, but also connect with them on LinkedIn so they can see your additional accomplishments and stay up-to-date with your professional development. Interested in a company? You don’t need to jump through hoops to meet them in person, send an appropriate message to introduce yourself. Sometimes it takes a little boldness and an extra step to get noticed.
- Follow-up, with promptness! It can be so easy to forget. Imagine meeting hundreds, if not thousands, of students daily, attending various networking and events and then sitting down reading resumes with only a name as an identifier. It’s not rude that recruiters may forget you after only one encounter. No matter how memorable you think your conversation was, it is vital to send a follow-up or thank you email no later than 48 hours after the interaction. Memorability and authenticity speaks highly and may get your resume a second look.
These are only a few tips to get you from random student to viable candidate. Although many people emphasize “standing out”, also remember to be yourself. It’s the work behind the scenes that add to your resume and allow you to even enter networking spaces. Create and nurture connections, always find ways to improve your network and don’t be afraid to take the first step to getting the job or internship you desire.
Any questions? Ask away in the comments! Got tips? Drop them below.