5 Tips For Recruiting Season

As a lot of us begin to think about what we want to do with the rest of our lives, recruiting season can seem a bit daunting. Here are some tips to help tackle interviews, networking, and landing that perfect opportunity to show the world all that you have to offer!

1. Don't be afraid to network!

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When I first started the recruiting process, networking was definitely the part that made me feel the most anxious. I was afraid that the conversations would feel forced, but that doesn't have to be the case! Try to come prepped with a few questions about the company that you can’t find the answers to on the website and be sure to ask the company’s representatives about their own personal experiences. Try to remember that these people are excited to meet students who are passionate about the same kind of work and opportunities they are, so they are happy to have these conversations and to meet you! Who knows, you might even make a great friend!

2. Have at least 3 people review your resume.

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It’s always helpful to have an outside perspective on how you look on paper, but I think it’s even more useful to gather notes from at least three different people before tailoring your resume to be a great representation of who you are. I also think it’s helpful to get input from different types of people so you can have diversity of perspective; I’d recommend having a peer, a career counselor, and someone in your dream field take a look at what you have and offer their advice. That being said, be sure that it’s you who shines through at the end of the day and not the people who helped you edit!

3. Come to interviews with professional anecdotes in mind. 

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Behavioral interviews can be challenging because you’ll often be asked questions like, “Tell me a time when you faced a challenge on a team,” or “When was a time you had to use your leadership abilities?” These questions aren’t truly difficult per se, but you generally don’t want to be verbalizing a completely unprepared answer. It’s easy to ramble or end up telling a story that doesn't really showcase your talents relevant to the job as well as it could.

In order to better prepare for these types of questions, try writing down a few professional (or personal, but don’t get too personal) experiences that required you to use some of the skills that the recruiter is looking for in their candidates. After brainstorming 5-8 stories, create “tags” for each of the stories like “leadership,” “problem-solving,” “client interaction,” or “teamwork.” This method will help you to use one story to fit a lot of different questions and quickly recall a relevant story to the question being asked in the interview. Be careful to have a few stories that overlap on their tags so you don’t end up telling the same story twice!

4. Reach out to alumni!

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UVA has an amazing alumni network, and chances are there are a few Hoos at the companies you are interested in working for! Try searching LinkedIn or HoosOnline for alumni in the field you are interested in and send them a message to introduce yourself and set up a time to chat about their work experiences. It’s never a bad idea to have someone rooting for you on the inside!

5. Relax!

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Recruiting sounds big and scary when it feels like your whole future is on the line, but the best advice I can give is to just relax, breathe, and be yourself. It’s hard to showcase who you really are when you’re having a mini panic-attack on the inside, so just relax and remember that it’s merely a conversation and that you are interviewing these companies just as much as they are interviewing you!

Good luck, Hoos! You will all do amazing things.