Seniors

April 14, 2020

Corporate Recruiter Advice for College Seniors – COVID-19

corporate recruiter advice for college seniors

If you’ve hung around long enough, then you’re probably familiar with the different types of posts I share on my blog – personal posts (like Life Lately), client celebrations and shoots, educational resources for your session, and occasionally advice and tips for my seniors! The biggest thing on the mind of a graduating senior in the spring is getting a job. One of my girlfriends, Keeley Page, is a corporate recruiter at Love’s. Knowing that this topic would be particularly relevant during this weird time, I asked her if she would be interested in sharing some insight and advice for college seniors. I’m PUMPED that she was willing to share her expertise with y’all!

If you’re not yet a senior, hang around! Keeley has a few easy ideas for you to pursue this upcoming school year, too!

Wow! I kind of feel like Carrie Bradshaw guest writing for Vogue right now! I am so excited to be able to share a few things that I’m super passionate about with you today on the Tuesday Lunch Break Blog!

Hi! I am Keeley Page! I am born and raised in Oklahoma City and I currently reside in Yukon- lolz I clearly am a homebody. I’m super involved with my church and love me some Jesus, I absolutely love being around my family, friends and the sweetest boyfriend, I watch too much Bravo and too many rom coms, I love decorating, and anything that has to do with fashion! I’m an enneagram 4w3 and an ENFP. I will also be your ultimate hype girl! I originally went to Oklahoma State for school but decided to finish up my degree at UCO. I am super passionate about so many things but ultimately my passion is helping others. More specifically I love helping others by offering them a job, career, or their dream that can: get them back on their feet, help support themselves and/or family, and ultimately change their life.

I have been in corporate recruiting for 5 years now and I know recruiting is where I am meant to be and is my calling. One of the biggest questions that I like to ask during an interview is, “what motivates you to get out of bed and come do your job?” Seems simple enough right? Well let me tell you…when I graduated, I had NO clue. So, if you’re like me and you don’t know…listen…that’s ok! I didn’t know for the longest time what I wanted to do or what I felt like I was called to do. Heck, I started college off in nursing, ended with my degree in fashion marketing, and now I’m in HR. Life throws curve balls but you just learn to go with the flow!

I’m excited to share with you all who might be looking for your first job out of college some insider tips and tricks! Don’t worry- if you’re not looking for a job juuust yet, I have some tips for you as well!

Lets start off with the elephant in the room…. yes I’m looking at you COVID-19, you beast. I know that you are seeing cities, jobs, schools, you name it shut down all around you. I get it, it’s scary to be looking for a job right now when so many companies have closed. You might be asking, “will I be able to find a job right now?” Unfortunately, I can’t predict the future, however, there are many companies that are still running, still hiring, and would love to hire on recent grads. Be patient, apply for more than one job, and keep an open mind. I was actually working retail when I decided to apply for a corporate job. I had always told my best friend, who kept telling me to get into HR, that I would NEVER go into HR. HA! Jokes on me. I decided to finally have an open mind, and here I am!

Ok, so you’re applying for jobs now. Between you and I, recruiters spend roughly 7 seconds looking at your resume. That’s not a very long time is it?! This is the time to impress us. Use keywords that you see in job descriptions, keep your resume as short as possible (try to keep it at 1 page), and tailor your resume for the job you’re applying for.

Another thing….research, research, research. Glass Door, Indeed, and LinkedIn will be your best friends for this. Take a look at what current and past employees are saying about the company. What is the company doing in the community? Is this a company that aligns with your morals and values- check out their company values! While you’re on LinkedIn- connect with recruiters from that company that you’re applying to. Send them a quick message letting them know that you have applied, let them know that you’re excited to hear back with the next steps, and give them your contact information with times that you’re available to talk. Don’t be shy! This gets our attention and lets us know you’re interested in the company and the position you applied to.

advice from corporate recruiter for college seniors

It’s interview time!

A few things:

  • Dress to impress- don’t go out and buy a suit if you don’t have one already but do look nice and presentable. If you have to question it…don’t wear it. If you wear heels, make sure they’re an appropriate height and that you can walk in them- sometimes you’ll get a tour of the company!
  • Bring several copies of you most up to date resume
  • Be prepared for some out of the box thinking- I remember being asked “if you were an animal what would you be?” My answer: an orca whale- they’re highly social, live in pods (which shows that I’m great with teamwork), and if I’m out on my own I know how to survive and keep business moving. Sometimes you have to think on your toes!
  • Bring 2-3 questions to ask if time allows- show that you’ve done your research on your company.
  • A thank you card, or email goes a long way and leaves a lasting impression

Most of us that are interviewing you are going to start off slow and let you warm up. We will ask you about yourself- this is the time to shine and to brag about how awesome you are! I know it feels weird to brag about yourself, but that shows confidence and confidence goes a long way in an interview.

Phone interviews are my favorite. This allows you as a candidate to truly get a feel for how the company is. Listen to the tone of the recruiter or hiring managers voice; are they excited and passionate about the company? Make the interview a conversation- don’t be a robot. I know that sounds silly, but people get nervous and just answer the questions without it flowing. Be professional, but also be yourself. You can be professional while holding a conversation. This goes for phone interviews or in person interviews.

9 times out of 10 you’re going to get asked what your salary expectations are, on a phone interview- I have a love hate relationship with this question because most people don’t know what to answer and either low ball or shoot too high. Be realistic. What are you able to live off of and be comfortable? Start with that number and give a salary range you’d like to be in.

Interviewing during COVID-19 more than likely will be a video interview. Still dress professional and look presentable. Act as though this was an in-person interview. If you’re uncertain how the video interview will look, ask your recruiter to test it out with you to make sure that your video and microphone are working properly.

Some of you might also be thinking, “Ok, Keeley, I just read all of this and I’m not about to start looking for jobs yet, I’m only a sophomore or a Junior.” Well….you’re in luck! I have a few things for you too!

One of my biggest regrets in college was never attending a career fair. I felt like I needed to know exactly what I wanted to do with my life, and they just felt so intimidating to me. Man does God have an amazing sense of humor since I now go to career fairs for a living. You all….DON’T miss out on these opportunities. If you’re able to go to a career fair…GO!! Even if you have NO clue what you want to do, a recruiter can help steer you in a good direction. We are here to help you, not intimidate you. Get your name in front of us! Again, this is a time to impress us. Yall…I can still remember the name of a girl 5 years ago because of how she impressed me at an OU career fair. If you make yourself stand out, we’re going to remember you!

I know that It’s a weird and uncertain time but remember, we’re all in this together. You’re not alone. Keep faith over fear. Hang in there! You got this!

CONNECT WITH KEELEY!

advice from corporate recruiter college senior posing in graduation attire

Note from Melanie: I am beyond myself excited & eager to celebrate the MFP 2020 seniors, although it will be a bit delayed! I’ve been working to reschedule my girls amidst the circumstances and am anticipating shooting into May, June, and a handful of girls in August! It’s just an extended celebration – no longer a marathon, but a sprint one week with a few weeks of rest, a sprint another week with a few weeks of rest, etc. I’m pumped for you all to help us celebrate these girls all summer!

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