In a world where everything — from job interviews and internships to career fairs — has gone virtual, it can feel tough to stand out through a screen. But it’s important to remember that, as a college student or recent grad, you’re not the only one adjusting to the shift to online recruiting!
When speaking to Handshake about global commercial real estate firm Cushman & Wakefield’s innovative Virtual Exposure Program, Campus Recruiter Katie Flaschar shared a few simple ways that students can make a good impression during the virtual job hunt. It turns out, it’s as easy as being active online and practicing good internet etiquette! Practicing positive habits like these when building a relationship with your recruiter can even be key to them considering you for a full-time role after your internship, or later on down the road when they want to connect an incoming hire with a great mentor at the company.
Ahead, read Katie’s advice for standing out to recruiters like her online.
1. Be active on job platforms; follow, engage, & respond promptly to messages
When it comes to catching a recruiter’s eye, Katie says that one of the key things students can do is stay active on online job platforms, such as Handshake. A lot of students are told about the importance of online career profiles by their university’s career services center, says Katie, “but they don’t take it very seriously.” By connecting with recruiters online and engaging with them virtually, Katie says, you show your hunger for opportunities through your online presence.
Her advice? Just engage! She suggests “liking things by the companies you're interested in and by the recruiters that you've met — engaging in that way, sending messages, following up.”
Which leads to the next tip...
2. Proactively follow up about interested and qualified positions
If you’ve applied to or interviewed for a position that you’re excited about and worry that the online shift might have impacted the process, don’t hesitate to explicitly reaffirm your interest. “This is the time to follow up on positions,” Katie believes. When reaching out to a recruiter, she advises using a “no pressure” approach in case the company’s hiring situation has changed. Here’s an example:
Hi there, I got interviewed a while ago for [X position]. I know that COVID-19 is still happening and might have impacted staffing plans, so no pressure, but I was just curious if there has been any movement in the process. I am still extremely interested in the opportunity if it’s available!
This type of message, the Cushman & Wakefield recruiter says, really drives home an applicant’s interest level to hiring managers who sometimes need a nudge: “Some have got a lot going on, and so having that reminder from a great candidate is always helpful.”
3. Consider your social media presence
“Your social media presence is so important virtually — and in general!” says Katie. And she’s not the only one who thinks so; Handshake VP of Higher Education & Student Success Christine Cruzvergara often talks about the importance of considering your digital impact in three distinct areas:
- digital brand: how you represent yourself online to present the professional you want to be (now and in the future)
- digital shadow: what a company or recruiter will find when they Google potential hires, which should align with your professional brand
- digital engagement: how you engage across various social platforms
Your behavior during the online job hunt, from your public social media profiles to your polite follow-up messages, can be the secret to catching the right recruiter’s eye — and hopefully landing the job or internship offer you’ve dreamt of.