“Bailey Maxwell is an HR Generalist and Campus Recruiter at Bennett Thrasher. She has 6 years in the recruiting field and is entering her 5th fall accounting recruiting season. Her biggest passion by far is helping students prepare for the transition between student and professional, while enabling them with the tools they need to have confidence as they go through the recruiting process. Below is a letter she has written to students to help them prepare for the next few months of recruiting season.”
Each fall employers converge upon college campuses to recruit the best and brightest students to work in their firms and companies. As a campus recruiter I have viewed it as one of my most important job responsibilities to help students prepare for recruiting season and have the confidence and tools they need to be successful. I have summarized some of my most helpful tips and tricks to be shared with any students going through the recruiting process this fall.
First and foremost you need to have a resume that is not only up to date but that has been looked over by multiple people, you would be surprised how many mistakes I still see on resumes. Make sure to include a clean and concise objective (i.e. Seeking a tax internship for January 2017.). When preparing for the career fair make sure you research the firms that will be in attendance. Choose your top four and visit their booths first. If you still have time after speaking with your top firms, walk around and see what other firms grab your interest, you never know who you might meet. When talking with firms, be sure to ask them if they will be at any events on campus in the future. Take advantage of any networking opportunities you can. Also be sure to take the swag the firms will be giving out, it is usually pretty neat stuff and can help remind you who you talked to.
Your next step will be interviews, most likely starting with on campus interviews. Be sure to arrive 15 minutes early so that you can compose yourself before starting the interview. Each firm will have a “greeter” outside of the interview rooms. This person is there to talk to you while you wait for your interview to begin. Most likely it will be casual “get to know you” conversation but be aware you are still being evaluated. Follow up with each of the people you met during interviews within 24 hours. These interviews will likely be followed by office visits. These visits vary by firm, they will last anywhere from half a day to a day and a half. This is a great opportunity for you to meet with more associates and see the office space. Remember even though you are there to be interviewed you should also be evaluating the firm. Could you see yourself working with the people that take you to dinner? You will most likely decide what firm you want to work for based on the people and culture. Make sure you come prepared with a few questions that could potentially help you narrow down your top choices and make a decision.
Lastly, offers usually are given out starting at the beginning of October (possibly earlier) through the end of the month. Each offer will come with a deadline, be sure to communicate with the recruiters during offer time. If you receive an offer that has a deadline before you are done interviewing with other firms, ask if the deadline can be moved. You want to be able to evaluate all of your options before having to make a decision. When you are comparing your offers make sure to look at more than just the monetary offer. You are going to want to consider benefits and 401k offerings as well as PTO and hours expected to work a week. Once again use the recruiters as your resource, which is what we are here for. Reach out to them and ask questions, they will be more than happy to compare and contrast for you. Once you have made a decision let the firms know as soon as possible. Many times firms might be waiting on your response before giving out other offers, be respectful of the firm’s time and also cognizant that your peers may still be waiting for a decision from that firm. If you are declining an offer be sure not the burn any bridges. You can respectfully decline without leaving behind any hard feelings.
To conclude, the two most important things you can do during recruiting season is be genuine and take advantage of every opportunity to network with firm professionals. The next few months will be a whirlwind of activity between class and recruiting events but know it only lasts for a few months and you will hopefully come out on the other side with either an internship or full time opportunity with a great company that is thrilled that you chose their firm to begin your career.
Be sure to stop by the Bennett Thrasher booth at the career fair and say hello!
Best of luck,