When I went through the process of researching various companies of interest before I found the company I plan to build a career with, I discovered a few tips and tricks to organize my thoughts and the information I learned in the process.
So, if you’re wondering what steps you can take while on the hunt for a job, read on to find proven strategies you can implement to make the process more enjoyable while making the most of your time!
Keep a Journal…or an Excel Sheet
Writing down your feelings and notes before, during, and after your interactions with different company representatives can really put your thoughts into perspective. If you want more of a systematic way to reference your notes at each stage of the recruitment process, an alternative I have found helpful is Excel. Ultimately, the feelings you have about a company and potential future coworkers are subjective, so if you can quantify each phase of the job search process based on your experiences, you will have something concrete to refer to over time. Additionally, you can still make notes in Excel as well as note areas for follow-up.
When I have saved notes from an experience, I can clearly see what information has already been covered and think of questions I still want to ask. Also, since I enjoy learning more about the people I talk to from different companies, I can refer back to my notes when I know I will meet with someone I have talked to previously or someone who knows them. That way, we can pick up where we left off and keep the conversation going.
Make a Filing System
Create folders for each company you may be interested in working for. This allows you to become familiar with any gaps in research that you will need to fill in, and provides a method to sort the information that you will accumulate over the course of recruitment. By implementing a filing system, you will have an easier time finding your notes from a recent presentation and can quickly reference information you have gathered on the company and people who work there in one place.
Add Recruiters to Your Contacts
Get to know the recruiters you meet and put their contact information into your phone. That way when they call, you can recognize them and are prepared to talk to them. Keep in mind that if you are not in a good place to talk, you can call them back. Additionally, having their contact information readily accessible saves you time so you don’t have to search for their number when you have questions (because you will)!
Leading up to this, do make sure you have a professional phone voicemail greeting set up with your first name and details about what information the recipient should communicate to make the follow-up process more efficient.
Seek out Company Contacts
One student who went through the recruitment process before me noted the importance of staying connected to the opportunity to interact with potential coworkers. The thought he shared that, “you are not working with the recruiters, but the actual people” is simple enough to understand, but it may not automatically occur to you when you are busier than usual. The key here is being intentional about your interactions.
When recruiters visit campus, chances are they will bring other employees with them. This gives you the chance to ask questions direct from the source and see what life is like from their perspective. If you don’t have as much time to get to know employees at a company as you’d like to during their on-campus visits, another alternative is sending personalized LinkedIn connection requests to set up appointments to talk further. Those willing to help will respond, and from my experiences, they are quality people who will become an integral part of your professional network.
Take the Time to Send Thank You Notes
My last, if not most important, piece of advice is to express your appreciation for the time recruiters and other employees take to help you find the company that is right for you. You can do this through email, via a LinkedIn connection request, and later in the process with a handwritten note. Based on my interactions with several recruiters, I have found that their ultimate goal is to screen potential hires to see first if they are credible, and second, if they would do well with the company. At the end of the day, if a new hire is not happy at the company they chose, the consequence is lost resources. So, it makes sense that recruiters will go the extra mile to help students find a balance between being happy and feeling fulfilled. In turn, you as the student can do the same by following these tips!
Do you have additional tips for making the most of recruitment? Leave a comment below!