When scanning the resumes of college students at a career fair, I am trying to quickly answer three questions:
- Is this person in the right major & year for our positions?
- If so, have they met our general qualifications (GPA, coursework)?
- If so, what do I want to hear more about?
The first question is a triage purely for efficiency. If I can’t offer you a job, it is in each of our best interest to end the conversation quickly. When I am on campus, I have a very specific target: computer science Juniors and Seniors. Outside of that, I can nurture a relationship with a sophomore, point a business major to our jobs website, and encourage a veteran. But I generally cannot offer them a position. The time that employers and student have at a career fair is finite, and it is best spent in conversations that lead to employment.
The second is also about minimizing the time spent on a student that we do not expect to interview, but leaving some room to ask clarifying questions. I do not have a minimum GPA, but around or below a 3.0, I’m looking for a story that gives context. For coursework, there is a specific class within the Computer Science curriculum that is the culmination of the junior year. A student could have 120 credits complete (enough for a degree), but without this class is likely not ready for our intern program. Not always, as a large amount of side work would demonstrate the same knowledge, but the course is a marker of readiness.
Finally, I’m looking for where to take the conversation next. I have a few questions ready to go, such as “What do you know about my company?” or “What are you interested in for an internship?”, but after that, I want to hear about something that is important to you, as evidenced by what I quickly pickup on your resume.
I’ll be doing more writing about careers and resumes specifically, so stay tuned for more info!