Career Conference: Boot Camp Recap

On Tuesday, Career Services held a Career Conference: Boot Camp, where a few employers you will be seeing at the Career Conference this spring gave advice to students who wanted to get a leg up on their resumes and interviews. This was also a good time to scope out a company that you may have been interested in. I was able to talk to two employers from 3M and the Hilton in Minneapolis. I had asked them what many college students think or wonder before the conference or before interviews. I thought I would go straight to the employers themselves as ask them what everyone else is wondering!

1. What if I have a lot of job experience but I can’t fit it all on a one page resume?

Both employers advised that you should have your most current job experiences on your resume. Also, when you are thinking of what to put on your resume for work experience, keep these jobs relevant. Your experience should have something to do about the industry and field you are perusing. The example given to me was if you had a lawn care business that was successful but you were applying for a hotel position, how does your lawn care job pertain to the job you are applying for?

If you don’t have a lot of job experience, don’t worry. This is where you get to know your professors and do well in your classes. I was told that many employers know your professors because they have either worked with them before or they used to be alumni and have kept in contact with professors over the years. If you make yourself known and are doing well, this will come in handy for you. Employers will go to your professors and ask about you, so be prepared if you don’t have too much job experience. Another reason to do well in school!

2. What is the best way to get information on a company/business?

Social media was a number one way to do research on a company if you have already gone on the company’s website. Social media and press releases are a good way to talk about current events and good things happening with that business. Keeping up with their social media is also a good ice breaker and an impressive way to show recruiters that you are more than just the usual student who only looks at the surface of a company.

3. What questions should I be asking recruiters at the conference?

You should be asking the recruiters what their company stands for, their mission, values, and goals for their customers and employees. This will also help you figure out what your own values and goals are as a student looking for what company you want to stand behind in their statements. If a recruiter doesn’t know, that is a good indication that you should reevaluate that company as a choice.

4. Do you really look at college student’s Facebooks and other social media?

I had to ask the dreaded rumor that employers look at your social media and the answer was Yes/No/DEPENDS. It really does depend on the recruiter, the company, and the human resources department. I was warned that you should still keep your social media clean though. You never know who is looking at your social media life.

5. What do you frequently see on resumes that are spot on?

An easy to read and organized resume is easier for recruiters to look over. If your resume is too busy and wordy, they will most likely not read everything important that you want them to see. Keep it clean, neat, and have dates in an organized line to read straight down. Recruiters also don’t recommend generic words on resumes like “good communicator”, “Leadership”, and “hard working”. Choose words that apply to your field like skills or experience. Instead of saying “Strong Leader”, put that you have been a manager or team leader for a work project.

6. How can we kill our interview with you? And how do we botch it as well?

Be ready to answer the question of your short, middle, and long term plans. This really can impress employers that you have an idea of what you want to head towards. Being vague gives the recruiter that you don’t care too much to be successful. They want to know you have goals you want to reach either with their company or in your work life. Have a 2 year, 5 year, and 10 year plan. It doesn’t have to be a definite plan, because recruiters know all too well that plans can change, but have an idea of your goals.

You will also want to have a good knowledge of the specific company location you are applying too. An example I was given from the GM of the Hilton in Minneapolis was that he asks in interviews if the potential employee knows about the specific location information on the hotel. If you give a general answer like, “it’s a large company, is well known, and I can see myself working there”, you will lose the recruiters interest. This is another reason to look at current social media.

One last tip was to make yourself known. If you are not looking for an internship, still go to the conference and introduce yourself to employers. You may see them in the future and continuing to visit them every year to catch up will make an impression on the recruiter. They will remember you eventually!

The Boot Camp also had stations that included the STAR Technique, Dress to Impress, How to Do Company Research, and Preparing an Introduction to yourself. Look for articles on those topics for the weeks following up to the Conference!