A corporate recruiter told me an interesting story a couple of years ago at a job fair in San Diego. I had taken advantage of a momentary lull in his activity to ask some questions about what made candidates stand out. He mentioned preparation and focus and then went on to tell me about this young lady who had once approached him with a resume written specifically for his company and a cover letter addressed to him personally. He was so impressed with her that he arranged for her to speak to a manager, who hired her on the spot. The odd thing about this story is that she was not qualified for any of the positions the company was looking to fill! They hired her because they liked her. They wanted her on their team and created a position for her after the fact. Not the first time this has happened nor will it be the last.
This young lady’s story is instructive on several levels, not least of which was how she had done her homework and knew exactly how she wanted to present herself. She knew the company, which was a huge plus with the recruiter.
Nothing grates on their nerves more than students who walk up, resume in hand, and then ask general questions about who the company is or what they do. If you ask a recruiter a question that can be easily answered from the company’s website, you might as well just wad your resume into a ball and chuck it into the trash yourself, because that’s where it’s going to end up.
- Recruiters want to see that-you know who they are and are prepared to engage them seriously.
- If you ask good, insightful questions they will like you more.
- If you start to connect the strength of your abilities with what they need you’ll get to watch them make the stars on your resume.
- Be confident and prepared and show them that you’re serious about being their dance partner. It will go a long way to accomplishing your goal.
What are some questions that you’ve asked recruiters or hiring managers that have impressed them? Let me know in the comments below.