The beginning of the school year means a few things, summer is winding down, you’re settling back into your routine, and it’s time to get focused. However, the beginning of the school year is also one of the most important times because it is recruitment season. Recruitment season is when most companies visit different universities and colleges to fill their summer internship positions. They most often start at a career fair, have various information sessions during a specific week on campus, and will likely end with a round of interviews. Like most major events this year, due to COVID-19, recruitment season will be quite different. Career fairs are being held virtually as are most information sessions which can present different challenges and advantages.
Here are a few tips on how to navigate and conquer virtual recruitment season.
- Sign up for the virtual career fairs and information sessions through your university’s career services office.
For each school, the platform may be different, however many schools use Handshake. By signing up for these events, you will have the opportunity to meet recruiters face-to-face, albeit virtually, and get to learn more about different companies that may interest you. You will also get a chance to network with alumni who now work at those companies and can give you specific insight on how they transitioned from school to their career. Finally, attending these sessions will help recruiters get to know your face and name, which will ultimately give you a leg up if you decide to go forward with the interview process.
- Make sure your social media profiles are up to date.
Once you submit an application for an open position, recruiters and hiring managers are most likely going to put your name into a search engine to see what comes up. You wouldn’t want this to work against you so make sure that your Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook profiles are either private or appropriate for a potential boss to look at. Clean it up how you would for your mom. When it comes to LinkedIn, Handshake, or WayUp, which are more so career social networks, make sure that your information is up to date. This will help recruiters to get a better idea of who you are and the experience that you have. List valuable experience as well as skills that you are truly good at. Be sure to have a professional headshot on these pages as it will help recruiters remember who you are.
- Have your resume and cover letter edited and ready.
Your most important tool in your professional toolbox is your resume. It says what you can bring to the table if selected for a position and why a recruiter should hire you. It is also an opportunity for them to briefly get to know who you are. It’s important to remember that most recruiters only look at a resume for a few seconds in order to decide if you should move on. In these few seconds, they’ll look at the organization of your resume, the amount of relevant experience you have, and what makes you a stronger candidate. In order to make the most out of your resume make sure it is short and sweet, most resumes shouldn’t be longer than a page. This can be done by removing large headers, photos, and experience from a long time ago. Also, put what you want the recruiter to know most about you. This means your skills and relevant work experience should fall at the top. Your resume should be looked at by at least two different sets of eyes, which will help identify any grammatical or content mistakes. Your cover letter will most likely not be needed until you actually apply to a position. However, it will help if you have one template where you can easily change the company name and other info to best suit the position you’re applying for. This is where you get to show your personality a little more and also where you can sort of brag about your accomplishments and experience.
The recruitment season is yours! Make sure to research different companies that are visiting your school and search the recruiter’s information on LinkedIn. Remember what makes you stand out from your peers and why a company should choose you to intern with them. You’ve got this, go get your bag!