Career Blog

12 Valuable Tips to Remember When Working with a Recruiter

by champions in How to Find a Job 25/07/2016 0 comments

Since many college students will be graduating in just a few months, many graduates are getting anxious about how to land a job before they leave college. As a college student, you’ve probably read advice on how to best write a resume in order to get results.  You’ve also read about the importance of targeting your resume and cover letter to best meet the employer’s qualifications.

As a college student you may have already applied for a number of jobs and/or internships and are feeling fairly confident when applying for positions online. After all, the process for each company or position is very similar and once you get the hang of it, it’s easy to apply.

On the other hand, you may be meeting with recruiters at your college or a career fairs you attend. Meeting with a recruiter is quite different than applying online for internships or jobs. If you take the time and plan ahead, this first encounter can move you through the process more quickly and land you a follow-up interview, either in person or over the phone.

This article focuses what recruiters look for when hiring for internships or jobs.

Important 12 tips to remember when working with a recruiter:

  1. When meeting a recruiter in person, your nonverbal communications are considered to account for 80% of an employer’s first impression. Be sure to offer a firm handshake, maintain direct eye contact, and smile as you introduce yourself to the recruiter.
  2. Recruiters will initially spend 8 seconds or less reviewing your resume. This is all the time you have to make a positive first impression. The things recruiters are most interested in are education, job titles, companies worked for, and start and end dates.
  3. Your cover letter may or may not provide additional information depending on if the employer reads it or not. I always recommend that a cover letter be sent as a compliment to a resume, knowing that there is a good possibility that the cover letter will never be read. Think of your cover letter as a way to compliment your resume and a chance to provide the employer with additional information about your interests and why you feel you are a good fit for the organization.
  4. One single error can immediately disqualify you as a potential job candidate; in addition, using an unprofessional name for your email could also put your resume immediately into the trash.
  5. A clear, professional resume that is put in logical order and is scannable can make a huge difference when employers are rating your resume.
  6. LinkedIn Profiles that are not professional can also hurt your chances of getting hired. Employers spend a good deal of time looking over an applicant’s LinkedIn Profile and if they don’t like what they see, your chances of getting hired may decline.
  7. Applying for jobs that you are not qualified for will quickly put you in the “no” pile or directly in the trash. Employers seek candidates that are qualified to do the job and also those they feel will be the best fit with the organization.
  8. Key words based on a specific position are key since ATS systems generally weed out applicants that are not qualified. These key words must be positioned where recruiters will easily find them on your resume or they may be overlooked along with your resume.
  9. Recruiters often look unfavorably upon new graduates since employers feel that they lack the knowledge and skills to succeed in the workplace. It’s your job to convince them that you have what it takes to successfully do the job.
  10. Even if your resume makes it through the initial screening process, you may then be expected to do a phone plus several face-to-face interviews as well.
  11. A resume is not enough in today’s job market. Be prepared for recruiters to check out your social media sites as well. Watch this video for tips on using social media to find an internship. Not only do employers seek qualified candidates, they also look for individuals that they feel will make a nice addition to their professional team. It might surprise you that what you divulge in your resume, cover letter, and/or interview might be the key to getting hired. Employers want to know that you will fit into the culture of the organization before they extend an actual job offer.
  12. Watch this video from to Job Searching and remember to be yourself. It’s important to plan extensively prior to meeting with recruiters, but it’s also important to be yourself.  In addition to your knowledge and skills, recruiters are looking for people that will best fit in with their organization’s culture and one who will become an effective member of the team.

By Penny Loretto has more than 20 years of experience in human resources, career counseling, and internship advisement.


Penny is currently the Associate Director in the Career Services office at a small liberal arts college. Penny has her own career counseling practice, Career Choice, where she works with adults in career transition. Penny is available for career planning workshops including researching career options, job search strategies, and resume development. Penny is recognized as a Licensed Mental Health Counselor (L.M.H.C.) with the state of New York, a National Certified Counselor (NCC), a Master Career Counselor (MCC), and a Distance Credentialed Counselor (DCC). She is a member of the American Counseling Association (ACA), the National Career Development Association (NCDA), the National Employment Counseling Association (NECA) and the National Society for Experiential Education (NSEE).


Penny has a B.S. in business, with a concentration in human resources management from Empire State College (SUNY) in Saratoga Springs, New York. She also earned a Master’s degree in education, with a concentration in counseling from The College of St. Rose in Albany, NY.

Penny Loretto

As a career transitioner myself, I enjoy assisting others in their career journeys. Career success depends on many factors and each experience brings us closer to where we ultimately want to be in our career. Each experience is part of our journey and helps to prepare us for our next role in life. I started out many years ago working in human resources and then stopped for a period of time to travel and raise my family. I held a variety of part-time jobs while my children were growing up and then returned to the workforce full-time. After more than ten years in human resources, I returned to college as a non-traditional student to do what I ultimately loved to do, counseling. I did an internship at a local counseling center for 6 months and the following year I completed an internship in career counseling at a four year liberal arts college where I was then offered the position of internship coordinator and later became the assistant director.

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