Now I'm finishing my senior year in college, it's time to think seriously about
my career. The Career Center at my university places at lot of students in their
first jobs. That's good news and bad news. I'm glad there are many companies
recruiting at my school, but I'm concerned I will fade into the crowd competing
for the same openings. How can I get noticed when I have very little work
experience and a degree in history?
It's human nature to want to feel special. Believe it or not, employers enjoy
being pursued just as much as you do. If you focus your interest on them, they
will be inclined to return the favor. Here are some tips for getting their
Select Companies You Want to Interview
If you haven't already, go to the Career Center and scan the list of companies
recruiting on campus. Sign up to interview for the most intriguing entry-level
jobs in your intended career. While you're at the center, pick up recruiting
literature from the firms with whom you've scheduled appointments. When you get
back to your room, read their material carefully and note the ones who impress
Research these Companies on the Internet
Before your interviews, head for the library or your computer to checkout the
websites of your targeted employers. Find out their mission, products and
services, revenues, number and type of employees, locations, community
activities, latest initiatives and key managers. What are three things that
attract you about each of these companies? Now you know more about them, do you
prefer some versus others? Why?
If you want to take your research a step farther, use an internet search engine
to find articles pertaining to the employers in national publications or
newspapers. Reading just a few pieces will provide you with substantial insight.
Talk to Your Contacts as well
You might also want to talk to your professors and school alums about the firms
you'll be interviewing. They may have insider information on corporate cultures
and directions you can mention in your cover letters and interviews. Ask your
contacts for their perceptions of these companies' goals and how you might help
Research Gives You a Competitive Edge
Finding out about an employer in advance will give you a tremendous edge over the
job seekers who write resumes and interview cold. You will tailor cover letters
to highlight your specific interest in the company. Your competition won't.
You'll be asking interview questions about issues only informed people know. Few
other candidates will. If you were a corporate recruiter, would you hire someone
who's clueless or an enthusiastic young professional who's done her homework?