Thousands of well-dressed students bring their polished résumé and built-up confidence into Hilton for the annual career fairs every fall in hopes of landing their dream internship.
You feel good, you look good, but as you start walking up to the booth that holds the dream internship you've been drooling over for months, the doubt hits you.
How do I make myself the company's most wanted candidate? Should I stick to my skills? My work and experience? Should I try to make small talk? Does that make me look unprofessional?
Suddenly you panic, and the confidence drains out of you the second your hand lands in theirs. You can’t stop thinking about those small yet impressionable things, whether you're forgetting something or if you're doing enough to impress them.
Lauren Hanson, from Pioneer, and David Boege, from John Deere, explained what recruiters will be looking for this year:
Leadership - This seems like a no brainer, but surprisingly, recruiters don't hear enough about students' ability to lead or examples of some of their leadership experience.
Personality and connecting - This can’t be stressed enough. The more you show employers a positive attitude and connect with them on a personal level, the more memorable you will be.
Selling yourself - This seems like what you go there to do. But be sure to not just tell them you are a “hard worker” and “motivated.” Give them some examples or anecdotes that show you can improve the company.
Ability to solve problems - Many students forget to hit this point when talking to their potential employers. Don't forget. They love to hear about how you’ve overcome challenges you’ve met.
Attractive résumé - Although you may have a great personality and are great at selling yourself, don’t forget that your résumé must show that you can accurately assemble a document of your skills and qualities that you can bring to the table. This includes correct grammar, which surprisingly seems to be the biggest mistake students make when constructing a résumé.