Expressing yourself should not mean you make a bad impression.
Ah, it’s campus recruiting season. Now is the time where colleges have their career fairs, graduating seniors start looking for full-time work, and the rest are craving internships. I happen to live in this world, and would like to offer some practical suggestions on how to make a good impression on a job recruiter at any age.
I cannot tell you how many times I have looked at a resume, thought it was great, and then saw really poor grammar or spelling errors. This may seem like an obvious tip, but you should have someone else proofread your resumes, cover letters, etc. Sometimes we tend to be accustomed to our own writing style that we don’t notice things that are actually red flags to recruiters. If you want to be taken seriously, weed out mistakes or your resume could end up in a no interest pile.
2. Dress accordingly.
Better overdressed than underdressed, of course, but do you know that recruiters actually can tell a LOT about how you’re dressed? For example, if you are interviewing for a Finance position, by all means, black suit it up. However, if you’re in a more creative or liberal field, dress business with flair. You can add some color and accessorize a little more if you’re going into, say, fashion. Just remember to dress chicly, but with caution. The worst thing you can do is to look inappropriate for the atmosphere. I once saw a student dressed in khaki shorts and ankle socks for a career fair, and he was interested in corporate marketing. Really, buddy?
Also, make-up is good in moderation! Do NOT throw on a cat eye with blue eyeshadow. I saw a girl that drew her eyebrows on so heavily that it was a distraction for other recruiters in the area. Be careful, ladies!
3. RESPOND IN A TIMELY MANNER.
Why is that in caps? Oh, nothing grinds a recruiter’s gears more than being really interested in a candidate and not hearing back from them for a long duration of time. If you get an email, respond within 24-48 hours. You have a phone that has email access, I know you do. Respond or be forgotten.
4. Avoid the script.
You researched the job? Cool! Now please, for the love of Yeezus, do NOT recite the job description back to me and tell me you’re perfect for it! Have a little originality! Trust me, it goes a long way!
5. Check your ego at the door.
Confidence is key to success in any endeavor, but when your confidence turns into a cocky swagger, your recruiter is going to be instantly turned off. Keep your sense of “I know it all” in check or risk your recruiter thinking you’re an entitled jerk!
There ya go, 5 easy tips to making a good first impression on a recruiter! If you have any questions, please feel free to ask in the comments below!