Going through the recruiting/hiring process can be ridiculously stressful. Take the guesswork and mystery out of getting recruited with these tips and tricks from an insider—an actual recruiter! AMA was lucky to have Arielle Soriano visit us last week, a recruiter from Aerotek who recruits for companies including Google, Starbucks, Microsoft, Amazon, and Nordstrom (to name-drop just a few). Here's her advice for acing the recruiting process, and maybe stressing a little less while you're at it.
Photo via Unsplash
1. Make sure your resume is clean
When you're customizing your resume for every job or internship application (which you should definitely do!) things can get messy fast. Whether it's mismatched fonts, inconsistent bulleting styles, or a sudden switch from 13pt to 11pt type, those kinds of mistakes don't reflect well on you.
Your resume should be simple, readable, and have plenty of white space. Use bullet points instead of full sentences, and provide metrics and specifics whenever possible. Especially for general or ubiquitous job titles like "Customer Service Representative," make sure you can describe your specific experience and skills to stand out from the pack!
2. Prove you’re interested in the industry
Doing just a little research and taking a little time to show you're genuinely passionate about the field you're going in to can help your application and interview really shine. Be able to build a narrative with your resume and interview answers to show how you chose your career path and why. If they ask you at the beginning of the interview, "tell me a little bit about yourself!" that's a great opportunity to show that you're knowledgeable about and enjoy the industry you're pursuing.
3. Show you're willing to learn
Arielle admitted that when she was trying to become a recruiter, she didn't exactly have the perfect resume to get the job. “I had no idea how to be a recruiter! I’d been a summer camp counselor,” Arielle said. However, highlighting common skills between being a counselor and a recruiter, plus a willingness to adapt, listen, and learn, paid off in the long run. Whether interviewing for that sophomore year internship or entry-level job, recruiters understand that you may not be experienced in the exact role you're hoping to get. Don't worry! Show humility, passion, and that you're excited to tackle new responsibilities.
“I will hire character over competency," Arielle said. "If you’re a hard worker, if you’re a go-getter, that’s what’s important.”
4. Double check that your online presence presents you well
Arielle shared, “When I get a resume, I look you up on LinkedIn. If I can’t find you on LinkedIn, I look you up on Facebook." Professionalism doesn't stop at your resume & cover letter; in today's increasingly digital world, you need to take a look at your internet footprint—because recruiters will too.
5. Know what you want & who you're talking to
It’s important that you know the role you’re applying for and the company you would be joining. “You don’t need to get into the nitty-gritty like the date we were founded or the president’s name, but know our culture and our values. It’ll set you apart from candidates who didn’t do their homework,” Arielle recommended. Figure out what kind of company culture you want to be a part of when you walk into the office every morning and look for companies that fit that mold.
Also don’t overlook knowing the job description! Be able to talk how you could fulfill those day-to-day duties and help them imagine you as an actual employee.
"Demonstrate interest in the company, in the position," Arielle said. "Ask why a recruiter likes working at the company, or what the culture is like? You can also help show why you’re a great fit for that position. If they tell you it’s a competitive corporate culture, you can show examples and steer the conversation. Show initiative—it takes extra effort!"
All this might sound a little overwhelming, but what it boils down to is getting in tune with yourself & showing your unique background and skills recruiters. Arielle broke it down into four easy questions to make sure you're moving in the right direction and to help guide your job/internship search.
Four questions to ask yourself before any job application or interview:
What motivates you?
What skills and strengths would you like to utilize on a daily basis?
What is your desired company environment and culture?
What are your greatest strengths?
Figuring out your answers to these questions can help you be more authentic, narrow your focus, and discover what it is you're looking for! From there, just follow Arielle's 5 tips above.
For those of you who are reading to dive into recruiting strategies in a little more detail, Arielle highly recommended the book The Ideal Team Player by Patrick Lencioni.
Thank you so much for coming, Arielle!