Dos and Don’ts for Students During Recruiting Season
By Eliza Martin, Recruiting Coordinator
Let’s face it: recruiting season can be a very stressful time full of anxiety and excitement. You’ve spent all this time being a diligent student, and now you finally get to show off your new skills to potential employers. Most students know to make eye contact, practice a firm handshake, and not show up late, but wouldn’t it be nice to have insider information about what employers are really looking for and what makes them cringe?
Below are 5 things we encourage you to ADOPT throughout your recruiting process.
- Be Informed. Know the company you are interviewing with. Spend some time on its website and ask specific questions about its services or events you may have noted.
- Make an Impression. Capitalize on the attributes that set you apart from the other hundreds of graduates seeking employment. Most positive impressions are made from personal stories and connections, not by trying to impress someone with your GMAT score.
- Be Honest. Know what you want from your career, future aspirations, size of office or team you’d like to work with, location, service area, etc. Don’t be afraid to tell us what you are looking for and communicate any expectations.
- Embrace Every Opportunity. Take full advantage of every event, Beta Alpha Psi meeting, meet the firms event, receptions, socials, etc. Embody professionalism and approach firms and representatives every chance you get. The more chances you get to be in front of firms, the more likely you are to leave a lasting impression.
- Follow Up. There is something about a follow-up card, email or call that really lets us know you are interested and committed. Firms appreciate personal messages from students who take the time to go the extra step after recruiting events and interviews.
Below are 5 things we encourage you to AVOID throughout your recruiting process.
- Dressing Inappropriately. The interview process is traditionally conservative and professional. When in doubt, overdress. Avoid wearing clothes that are too tight or too loose or wearing brands and logos. Remember that firms are evaluating the impression you would have on clients and if you would fit into the professional culture.
- Appearing Distracted. Remember to leave your cell phone in your pocket at every event, especially interviews. A candidate who makes the mistake of playing Candy Crush in the lobby and not realizing staff or clients are walking by is going to have a hard time overcoming the impression that they are not ready to be in a professional environment. In so doing, they are missing opportunities for introductions and positive interactions.
- Being Unprepared or Disinterested. Don’t rely on the interviewer to carry the conversation. You are also interviewing the company to find the right culture and fit for you. Be engaged and have thoughtful questions prepared ahead of time. Interviewers love questions.
- Oversharing. Be mindful of what personal information may be considered unnecessary or unprofessional. Vacations and hobbies are always safe topics of conversation.
- Simple Mistakes. Use spelling and grammar check throughout your resume and any correspondence. It is also a good idea to have someone else review your resume (career services and professors are good options). A LinkedIn profile should be professional (no selfies, please). Social media should be tasteful or set as private.
Overall, embrace the recruiting process. This is the only time you have multiple companies fighting over the chance to get to know you and hire you. Own it.
“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You’re on your own. And you know what you know. And you are the one who’ll decide where to go…” –Dr. Seuss, Oh, The Places You’ll Go!