5 Tips on How to Make the Recruiting Process Easier
Welcome to my blog compilation! My name is Eryn Cohen, and I’m currently a fourth-year student at UVA’s McIntire School of Commerce. I also work for the UVA Career Center as a Career Peer Educator (CPE), helping support other students through their professional development journeys.
It’s no secret that recruiting is stressful for everyone, but there are ways to make this process easier. Getting a full-time job or internship will require you to prepare months ahead, network with professionals, and most importantly, know when the application deadline is. What makes this even more confusing is that the timeline varies by industry, so it’s even more important to have a recruiting plan that’s right for you.
Below, you’ll see recruiting timelines mapped out by industry. At the beginning of the block is typically when the applications are due and interviews start, and at the end is about when the last offers go out.
There is a lot to keep track of, but there are plenty of resources that can help! I’ve compiled a list of tips and resources that can help you stay on top of it all.
Use Handshake: Keep Your Profile Updated and Sign Up for Newsletters
Handshake is a great tool that will definitely help you stay organized during the recruiting process.
First of all, it’s important to keep your Handshake profile updated. Recruiters will often send reminders to your Handshake inbox regarding upcoming information sessions and application deadlines. It’s crucial to keep details regarding your career interests updated so that the information you receive through Handshake can be made more relevant to you.
To do this, click on your profile icon in the top right corner of Handshake. Then, click on “Career Interests” in the drop-down menu. This will lead you to a page where you can update all of your interests, and soon you’ll be receiving customized newsletters featuring upcoming opportunities from the Career Center.
I’d also recommend flagging interesting roles you come across while searching the platform. When you flag a job, you’ll receive emails reminding you to apply. You’ll also be able to access all of those flagged roles in a separate “Saved” tab under “Jobs” on Handshake.
Start networking early.
On the topic of networking, one Barclays Investment Banking Analyst recently told me, “The students that stand out to me are the one that not only reach out and ask great questions, but also the ones that follow up. Checking in with me every few months shows how interested they are, and it makes me want to vouch for them.” This illustrates how important it is to start networking early; this way, you have more time to develop relationships with people at the companies that most interest you.
There are many different ways to approach networking. You can always connect and reach out to people on LinkedIn, you can ask some of your friends for some of their company contacts, or you can use a Career Center resource, Virginia Alumni Mentoring (VAM).
VAM is an online platform that matches you with alumni that can best answer your career questions. It’s a great way to utilize the UVA network and learn more from people who were once in your shoes.
To explore VAM, visit https://alumnimentoring.virginia.edu/.
Keep track of due dates, contacts, companies of interest, and just about anything else with a spreadsheet and or other organizational method of your choosing.
One thing that I’ve found really helpful while recruiting is having a centralized resource that keeps track of everything. I kept a Google Sheets spreadsheet of what I learned during recruiting. On one tab of the spreadsheet, I listed the companies along with dates of their information sessions, other events, and application deadline. I included another column that kept track of the applications I had finished so that I had an easy way to visualize my progress.
On another tab, I kept track of the various contacts I collected. I also shared this with my friends so that we could all input our contacts and expand our network of resources.
By no means do you have to create a spreadsheet to stay on top of recruiting. You can use a digital calendar, a running Word document, or even pen and paper. As long as you’re proactive and find a way to keep track of what you need to know, you’ll be able to spend less time organizing things and more time networking and preparing for interviews.
Find a recruiting buddy.
Recruiting is harder to do alone. Having people to run mock interviews with and remind you of deadlines you may have overlooked will make the process more bearable.
There are a few ways to do this. One way is to join CIOs that align with your career goals such as the Virginia Case Club (VCC) or the Alternative Investment Fund at McIntire (AIF). This will give you a community of people that are trying to help each other accomplish the same thing.
Also, when you attend in-person recruiting events or Career Center events, try talking to the other students in the room. It might be helpful to hear about their recruiting process, and maybe, you’ll find that you have more in common with them than you think.
Don’t be afraid to use your network. Asking friends if they know of anyone going through the same recruitment process as you is a great way to find potential recruiting buddies. I’ve been able to meet a lot of people who have helped me by just asking around. Even if it feels like a shot in the dark, there’s absolutely nothing to lose by asking!
While this is much easier said than done, it’s probably the most important tip to remember. During recruiting, it’s likely that you’ll face both expected and unexpected rejections. Sometimes, companies won’t even extend an invitation to interview. However, each application rejection and interview can be seen as a learning experience, and there are always things to improve upon for next time.
While the above recruiting timelines graphic does capture when most company recruiting timelines in that industry occur, it is not all-encompassing. There are plenty of late opportunities that you can find by being vigilant and following the aforementioned tips.
You should be flexible as well. Even if you end up in a position that wasn’t what you initially wanted, every opportunity will allow you to gain new skills and learn about yourself in the process. Also, recruiting is cyclical, so you’ll find yourself being able to re-recruit in no time at all.
Be resilient. Keep applying, keep networking, keep prepping, and keep using the Career Center’s resources.
Happy recruiting to you all!