Preparing for Recruitment Season
by Hana Meroth
Recruitment season can bring a lot of stress and anxiety, but it can also be really exciting and rewarding as you begin to look toward to life after college! Here are some tips that have helped me learn to talk with recruiters and project the best image of myself at career fairs and recruitment events.
- Prepare an Elevator Pitch — An elevator pitch is typically a short ~1 minute speech you’ve come up with to introduce yourself to a potential employer or recruiter. It could contain some background information on why you chose to study your particular major and what you’re passionate about. Having a small pitch prepared could help mitigate the awkwardness of not knowing how to begin a conversation. Feel free to practice before a career fair or networking event too!
- Put Yourself Out There (even if you don’t feel qualified) — I’m sure many of us have heard the statistic that the majority of men apply for a job when they meet only 60% of the qualifications, but many women only apply if they meet 100%. Although I am guilty of this myself, I’d encourage you to put yourself out there and apply for as much as you can! Even if you’re a first or second year student, there are plenty of internship opportunities out there — they might just be a little harder to find. Worst case scenario, you apply and don’t get the internship/job, but even then the company now has your name in their system and it might even increase your chances of getting a job the following year.
- Do Your Research — Before you attend a corporate event or interview, it’s helpful to do some research on the company so you have an idea as to what they do and what their company values in an employee. Try to come up with some questions about the company, as you scroll through their website — this could be a really great conversation starter with a recruiter or interviewer and would probably really impress them too! It’s also insightful to speak with other students who have interned with that company before to get a better understanding of what you may be doing in a similar position.
Those are just a few things that I’ve found most helpful in my search for summer internship opportunities. The more practice you have talking with recruiters, the easier it gets. There are a ton of opportunities through the UC Berkeley and clubs (like SWE!) where you can get the chance to put these skills to use. Handshake is a great place to look for upcoming career fairs and events.
And who would I be if I didn’t plug EWI, SWE’s largest career fair, Evening With Industry! We’ll have companies representing all different engineering majors and it will be a great chance to talk with recruiters from a wide variety of companies. Here’s the form to sign up: https://forms.gle/3hv2JGYsasfULQbKA, hope to see you all there! Good luck and happy recruiting!