Written by Undergraduate Consultant, Maddy Ozvath
As students at Fisher College of Business, we are expected to be extremely well prepared as we begin the interviewing process for internships and full-time jobs. Have you ever thought, “I wish I knew what recruiters were thinking?” or “I wonder how I can set myself apart from the other candidates?” If so, today is your lucky day! The Office of Career Management has reached out to numerous recruiters from Fortune 500 companies all over the United States to get the inside scoop on the employer’s perspective.
Below you will find common scenarios that we face as Fisher Students and advice from recruiters on how to cope with these tricky situations.
- A student is interested in a company that does not actively recruit at OSU. What steps would you suggest that a candidate take in order to get noticed by a recruiter?
“OSU has countless connections with employers—use your network! Career Services is a great place to start, they have lists of alumni that work for companies around the world—if you are interested in a particular company, most likely, there is a Fisher alumni connection there that you can leverage.”
“I think connecting on LinkedIn is always a great strategy. And be specific with your request. When you make a very open ended request to a recruiter (i.e. “Tell me about the types of opportunities your company has) you are way less likely to receive a response. Knowing what you’re looking for and how I can help you is a more effective way to connect.”
- Sarah, an undergraduate student at OSU, interviewed at a company over a week ago. In the interview, the recruiter mentioned that he would have made a decision within a few days. She sent a thank you note but still no response. What should Sarah do next?
“First, check your junk mail. Many times, we send mass emails or even automate responses to candidates about next steps in the interview process. Since our emails are “.coms” they may get trapped by a well-intended firewall.
If you still cannot find a response, it is appropriate to follow up with an email to the recruiter. If they told you a specific date, please wait until after that date. We give you those dates to ensure that every candidate has had a chance to interview for the position and decisions can be made.”
**Click here for how to create a thank you note**
- Do you have any suggestions for students to stand out during the portion of an interview when they have the opportunity to ask questions?
“We love getting questions that are truly specific to our company. It shows research and forethought on your end, and it’s nice not to hear the same questions over and over again! Try to limit the number of “generic” questions and instead focus on asking questions you truly want the answers to.”
“At some point during the interview, the interviewer will ask you what questions you have for them. This is your chance to get the information you need to make an educated decision on future employment! Tailor your questions to things you really want to know. Is it important to you that a company has a strong value of corporate responsibility? Ask about it! Is it important to you that a company has a focus on wellness initiatives? Ask about it! The professionals are there to answer your questions and they are the BEST resource to find out more about the company. “
**For more information about asking good questions, visit our interview guide**
- Resume Paper – does it matter? Does this factor come to play when deciding between potential candidates?
“With everything being online now, paper is less of the issue…it’s all about FORMATTING and then save your resume as a PDF. When you send a resume as a Word document via email, I may see something completely different when I open the document. Whether it’s because my computer has a different version of Word or my computer doesn’t support the font you chose, it makes it difficult to decipher what the resume is supposed to look like. Please do yourself a favor and get your resume updated to Fisher format and then save as a PDF before you send it out into the world.”
“True story: it doesn’t matter to us at all! I can’t speak for every recruiter, but when you go through hundreds or resumes a day it’s not a detail I notice. The experience speaks for itself, and we often would like a soft copy of the resume anyway. However, a crumpled resume, no matter what kind of paper it’s on, is definitely a no-no.”
- As LinkedIn becomes more prevalent – is this a preferred method of contact vs email?
“Every recruiter will feel differently about this. Personally, I do not use LinkedIn very often, so if a student reaches out on there, they may not get a timely response. I know other recruiters who use LinkedIn daily to source candidates for specific jobs. So maybe the answer here is…ask the recruiter!”
“Yes. We meet so many students through career fairs, info sessions, networking events, etc. that it is difficult to remember who I met with and when. If I can attach a face to a name through LinkedIn, you will be much easier to remember. Make sure to include a personal note on how we met when you send the invitation.”
- When are cover letters appropriate?
“The best use of a cover letter is to explain something your resume does not. You should use it to introduce yourself and highlight skills and experiences. Make it relevant to the position—if possible, read over the job description and customize your cover letter to match your skills and abilities to what they are looking for in an applicant.”
**Need more information about crafting the perfect cover letter? Click here**
- For students handling multiple offers – do you have any advice for coping with this situation without burning bridges with their recruiters?
“Yes. Please be transparent and honest! We will go out on a limb for candidate but we can’t do that if we don’t know what you’re thinking. For the right person we are willing able to negotiate on timing, so please be sure to work with us so you don’t miss out on a great opportunity! Being upfront will always go over well.”
**Wondering how to ask for more time? Schedule an appointment with a Career Consultant by calling 614-292-6024**
- For students preparing for the interview process, do you have any last words of advice?
“Do your research. Fisher provides you with so many opportunities to get to know the companies that recruit there—use them! You have alumni, classmates who have done internships, mock interviews, resume reviews, info sessions, career fairs, faculty, staff, etc. This is the one time in your life when searching for a job is easy! Take advantage of those opportunities and GOOD LUCK! The right job for you is out there-you just have be ready for it!”
I hope this advice helps you as you move through the job search process! While it can be daunting, being well prepared, doing your research, and acting professionally is a great place to start. GOOD LUCK!