Get a Job Online as a College Student: 4 Tips From Recruiters

Guidance Provided By: The Handshake Team


 

Thanks to Handshake and other digital tools, employers are increasingly focused on recruiting college students online.

As a job seeker, this is great news for you. It means you can find your next job or internship without having to rely on multiple in-person meetings with recruiters. How can you utilize Handshake to find a job virtually? Here are four helpful tips from recruiters.

1. Fill out your Handshake profile

The most important step to landing a job or internship on Handshake is filling out your profile. Employers are searching for students on Handshake based on the information in their profiles, and messaging candidates with event invites or to encourage them to apply for new job opportunities.

That’s why completing your profile, and keeping it up-to-date, is essential. Beyond the basic information like your major and graduation date, make sure to fill out your job interests, work experience, skills, courses, and clubs and organizations you’re involved with. The more information you provide, the easier it is for recruiters to find you!

2. Attend virtual events

Employers like IBM and Under Armour often host virtual events on Handshake to connect with students from across the country. Attending these events is a unique way to meet employees at the companies you want to work for. Virtual events also give you an opportunity to learn more about a company before applying for a job.

Be sure to check Handshake for new events and sign up for behind-the-scenes tours, coffee chats, and Q&A sessions, so you can get an inside look at your next potential employer.

“Handshake helps us expand our reach and create more meaningful connections with students from all backgrounds.”

Jeremy Buentello, IBM

3. Showcase your soft skills

As mentioned, skills are an important part of your Handshake profile. The hard skills you’ve developed in the classroom, at work, or through extracurriculars—such as digital marketing or a programming language—help you stand out to employers looking for students like you. However, don’t forget to include soft skills like communication, problem solving, collaboration, and creativity.

According to a recent survey of hiring managers, 92 percent said that soft skills matter as much or more than hard skills when they’re hiring. When preparing for an interview, try to think of specific projects or experiences that you can talk about to illustrate how you’ve applied these skills in your life.

“We’re fighting the misconception that you need an engineering background to join a tech company. Sourcing tools on Handshake are crucial for us in connecting with the students who are going to get the most value out of our fellowship.”

Emily Vogel, Box

4. Reply to recruiters ASAP

Last year, employers sent more than 16 million messages to students on Handshake. Typically, recruiters send messages to invite students to networking events or encourage them to apply for new opportunities. Chatting with a recruiter on Handshake is a great way to make a personal connection to the companies you want to work for, and helps distinguish you from other candidates.

So, when you get a message from a recruiter, make sure to reply as soon as you can. Download the Handshake app in the App Store or Google Play, so you can be notified when you get a message.

Log in to Handshake today to start getting recruited for your next job!

What Recruiters Like to See on a Resume & What Makes Them Cringe

By: Kristen A. Urhausen-Kummerer, Alumni Sharing Knowledge (ASK) mentor and former Big Four recruiting and operations leader

I have read thousands of resumes in my career with the Big Four and have seen all styles, formats and lengths. Having a resume with the right information, format and presentation can make or break your chances of grabbing the attention of a recruiter. There is no doubt that resume writing is one of the hardest things to do. It takes time and patience, but if done right, you can capture a recruiter’s attention and score an interview that will help you get one step closer to your dream job.

Here is a list of five things that are eye-catching to recruiters:

1. Notable accomplishments vs. a list of responsibilities  

When you include notable accomplishments, you are immediately showing the reader how you added value to your current/past employers, and how you could do the same for their company. Notable accomplishments should include quantifiable information, if possible, and a concise explanation of how you achieved the accomplishment. For example, the line, “Helped company save $300K in expenses annually” should be edited to say, “Key contributor in helping company save $300K in expenses, annually, by re-negotiating all vendor contracts and implementing an automated approval process workflow for all expenses.” A list of responsibilities doesn’t help sell you, your skills or capabilities is what will get your foot in the door.

2. Modern and slick format  

The format of your resume must be clean and easy to read. If your resume doesn’t have a format that is easy to follow, you will lose the reader’s attention in the first few seconds. Consider these guidelines:

  • Make sure your name jumps off the page by using at 20 pt. font
  • Include a bolded headline under your contact information (i.e., Innovative Information Technology Consulting Director)
  • Stray away from Times New Roman or Book Antiqua as the font. Use a font such as Cambria, Arial or Helvetica
  • Bold important information at the beginning of each notable accomplishment in an effort to encourage the reader to continue reading

3. Simplified contact information.

The key contact information to share is your name, e-mail address, phone number and a link to your LinkedIn profile. There is no need to include your physical address.

4. Career summaries that highlight expertise, experience vs. soft skills

Most candidates highlight their ability to communicate, get along with people and build relationships in their career summaries. Although this is important, recruiters want to know what your sweet spot is. When people think of you professionally, what comes to mind? If you are an IT consultant, you probably have strong experience assessing current information system infrastructures and providing custom solutions that meet client needs and business objectives.

5. Tables

Use tables to highlight technical skills and other competencies vs. including them in a bulleted list.

Now that you know what recruiters like to see on resumes, here are five things that make recruiters cringe:

1. Resumes longer than two pages

Recruiters spend an average of less than one minute reviewing a resume, and will most likely put your resume in the “no thank you” pile if it is longer than two pages.

2. Detailed company descriptions about current, past employers 

If you choose to include a company description, try to limit it to one sentence. Including more than one sentence takes up valuable white space and will lose the interest of the reader.

3. Objective statements

Adding an objective statement is out-of-date and will not help you stand out from the crowd. By applying for an open position, you are implying that you are looking for a new opportunity that will utilize your skills and career interests at a specific company.

4. References available upon request

Make it easier on employers, and yourself, by offering your references early on. In some cases, employers will automatically ask for references either on the job application, or after they have decided to extend you an offer of employment.

5. Misspellings and grammatical errors

Be sure to double and triple check your resume. Print it out and read each word out loud to make sure that it reads perfectly. Consider sending it to a friend to review as well. You need to demonstrate to the reader that you pay close attention to detail.

So, how does your resume stack up?


Kristen A. Urhausen-Kummerer received her Bachelor of Science in commerce from DePaul in 1992 and has 22 years of Big Four recruiting and operations leadership experience at KPMG LLP, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP and Arthur Andersen & Co, SC. She has interviewed and hired hundreds of professionals ranging from administrative assistants to senior executives over the years. Kristen is currently an independent resume designer and career advisor who focuses on partnering with job seekers as they prepare for their job search. She provides job seekers with insight on current resume trends, prepares them for interviews and helps to increase their confidence. Kristen is also an active ASK member and has helped students prepare for job fairs and interviews, in addition to providing career guidance and mentoring.