Sunday, August 10, 2008

Internships, involvement in clubs seen as keys to chance at interviews

When it comes to searching for your first big job after college, the person in Human Resources, or, HR for short, can be your best friend or worst enemy.
They scan your resume, evaluate it and decide whether you should come in for an interview.

What exactly are employers looking for when picking out possible applicants fresh out of college?
Bayer staffing specialist Delores Scotto said all it takes is a little work experience and leadership skills to make an employer take a second look.

“While you’re in college, I can’t stress enough getting an internship,” Ms. Scotto says, “Any real world experience will be looked upon favorably.”

Even if your former job demanded only that you sharpen pencils or go out to fetch coffee for the boss, it’s a good bullet to place on your resume, just don’t specify if that’s all you did.

Say you were too busy trying to get that 3.8 GPA to get a proper internship.
All hope is not lost.

“For recent graduates, anything that shows teamwork or leadership skills is good,” Scotto says, who emphasizes to highlight any teams or campus clubs you may have been on while in school.

“If you were the treasurer of your sorority or fraternity and managed funds, that’s a plus.”

If you don’t even have that to add to your resume, list some of your outside college activities, possibly a position on a recreational baseball team, or even that you babysat during the summer. Anything that shows that you are more than just another face in the crowd is a plus.

As Scotto says, “We’re looking for the big picture as well.”

Rachel N. Veness, public relations coordinator at GEICO, listed the top three areas that the insurance company focuses on for college graduates:

Academic information, including school, major and minor, relevant coursework and overall G.P.A.

Work and internship experience and whether it is relevant for current open positions.

Leadership and extracurricular experience.
“This is really where a student can set herself apart from other resumes,” Veness noted.

“In addition, we may look for specific technical skills, especially when recruiting for our entry-level technology and analyst positions.”

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