Recruiter Tips: Be Experienced, Be Strategic, Be Real

While connecting with recruiters on campus, on site, and on the Zooms, Mohr Career Services Career Connections team works hard to promote you, your talent, and support BizDucks in landing internships and jobs. We also seek to gather insights and intel on key attributes recruiters seek from our students. We share this with our advising team and now here on the website. This monthly blog will seek to summarize these insights, from conversations, and often (hopefully soon) direct from recruiters as they are featured in blog take overs or answer questions. Today’s “RECRUITER TIPS” draws from months of conversations I’ve had with recruiters in a variety of industries seeking to hire many different early talent roles and business functions.

1. GPA is not as important as you think.  

As I discuss how recruiters screen in or out candidates, about 90% do not look at or consider GPA (grade point average). A recent trend, this has accelerated even more in recent years. A recent poll by the National Association of Colleges and Employers found that four years ago, in 2018-19, almost 75% of recruiters screened for GPA standards and now, in 2022-23, only 37% even look at GPA. With the exception of many accounting firms and high-level investment banking, or seeking to go to graduate school, GPA has become less and less important to advancing candidates.

2. Experience outside the classroom is key.

When I ask recruiters what they do screen for when reviewing recent undergraduate resumes and applicants, in addition to general skills, nearly all site experience outside the classroom as key. Recruiters explain this means responsibility, leadership, and skill development in a club, at a job, and/or an internship. As my colleague Gene Rhee pointed out in his blog post ”those who have done a paid internship receive an average of 1.61 job offers … and only 0.77 job offers for those who have not done an internship at all.” In addition, in my conversations and interviews with recruiters they hold work experience, leadership, and project engagement in clubs in a similarly high regard. So, whether it’s a club, internship, or a part-time job, consider how you can support a key project, contribute more to the team, or lead to make an impact.

3. Demonstrate and connect your work to the opportunity. Research, communicate, keep it real.

The final hot tip I’ve gathered from these conversations with recruiters, is you must communicate well and make the connections for them, beyond the resume. First, the resume scan is mostly to match skills and note outside the classroom experience. Next, most jump to your LinkedIn page. Here they look for how you summarize skills and experience in jobs and/or extracurriculars while also showing some personal passion. They also look to what organizations and people you follow, and any insightful posts you may have that show your research and curiosity about key industries or roles.

Once a recruiter advances a candidate to a phone screen and/or interview, they are looking to YOU to make the connections and tell the story. They want to see that you researched their company and the roles to which you applied. Recruiters expect you to demonstrate how coursework and jobs, clubs, and/or internships provided you key skills and experience to succeed. Surprisingly to me, many recruiters said over and over that candidates fall short in connecting the dots, expressing their strengths, and bringing personal passion. In early talent and entry level roles, they know you will need to be trained on much of the content to succeed in your work, so they want more from you than listing skills on your resume or the job posting. Recruiters want to see how you communicate, think critically, and make connections to how you have and can provide value to the company. As you demonstrate this, focus on results and accomplishments where possible. Specific and precise information will stand out as part of your story.

Finally, keep it real. In the age of Artificial Intelligence and commitments to workplace inclusion and belonging, employers want authentic humans with warmth, creativity, optimism, and capacity to collaborate.

The Mohr Career Services team is here to help you take this advise and apply it. We want to help you level up your experience, story, and communication. Be sure to check out Jessica’s tips and advice here on interviews. Be sure to update your profile on Handshake and LinkedIn and follow companies that interest you and set up alerts to hear about virtual and in person opportunities. Get started today by having a conversation with us. Make an appointment with a career advisor. We want to help you.

By Sara Mason
Sara Mason Assistant Director, Industry and Alumni Engagement