Some Tips for Students Looking for Internships or Jobs

I have mentioned a few times that I participate in the recruiting event for my company, and I had just visited a local university few days ago. Desperate time makes desperate students (people) *sigh*

Look for job is definitely money-releated, so I am going to offer some tips for students. Assuming you have the skills and technical criteria, I offer the following tips on how you approach and talk with company recruiters, and in all practicality, the tips should be also useful in your day-to-day interaction with people in general.

Disclaimer: I am not a “professional” coach — meaning, I have no certificate — but I do have the perspective of a recruiter, having done it more than I can count with my two hands and talked to hundreds, if not thousand of students.

Here I go.

  1. Do not behave like a robot — You are not a piece of meat. The recruiter is not a piece of meat. No one is just a piece of meat. So don’t treat people like a piece of meat. Should not we treat all people courteously anyways? Examples such as…
    • Do not simply walk up to a recruiter and recite a planned speech or essay.
    • It follows that, greet the recruiter and do not ignore him or her when greeted with “How are you?” or similar questions. (That happened a lot.)
    • Similarly, it’s good if you have a plan, but if the recruiter behaves or responds “out of sync”, adapt.
  2. Slow down your speech — It is great that you are prepared. It is okay that you are nervous. But it is NOT okay that you speak so fast that the other person cannot understand you, or simply zone out because you “buffer overflow” his or her brain. Speak at a decent pace.
  3. Breathe — Yes, literally, you need to breathe. This goes hand in hand with your speech. First of all, without breathing, you die. Without enough air, your speech will suck, and then you will try to speak even faster. At which point, you will get even more nervous. Breathing also helps your body handle the adrenaline rush. So, breathe. Breathe between sentences. It is okay to have a moment of silence.
  4. Stand tall — This will enhance your presence and image of confidence. Do not mistake this with puffed chest. Personally, I believe this has a huge impact on our impression on people in general, consciously or subconsciously. Fix your posture. If you don’t know what a good posture mean, go study what yoga, martial art, or singing talks about in a good posture.
  5. A nice and firm handshake — Besides posture, handshake is another good sign of a person’s attitude and confidence. A nice firm handshake is one which two persons’ hands cross with the concave part between the thumb and the index finger followed by a quick but firm squeeze. Do NOT crush the person’s hand.
  6. Pass on your resume once introduced and greeted — At career fair. This one is common sense, right? Give recruiter the resume so he or she can take notes of you and mark key points you that you are pointing out. (Literally, a few students did not give me the resumes until half way or when we are done talking… does not make sense, to me at least)
  7. Format your resume for easy glancing or browsing — Especially for career fair, the recruiter is to find key information in very limited time. Format key information so they are easy to spot at a glance, like graduation date, GPA, companies and job description of your previous work, important skills for the job you want, etc. Ask friends, teachers, strangers and see if they can find those information in 2-3 minutes. That will most likely make them happy.
  8. Resumes’s “One-page-ness” — This is targeted to undergraduate. Unless you have many very very important and relevant information that you MUST present, keep it to one page.

Note: Let alone the hard-to-browse resumes. I am very surprised to see many poorly done resumes yet these days. By that I mean, some of them are so obvious that the person did not even try.

Even though this may not be what all recruiters look for or how they feel, I believe these should be some good starting point, and the first 5 tips are generically useful for your interaction with other people in daily life. That’s all I have for now. Hope you find it useful.

Originally posted 2009-02-27 02:07:53. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

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