Scanning a resume

When scanning the resumes of college students at a career fair, I am trying to quickly answer three questions:

  1. Is this person in the right major & year for our positions?
  2. If so, have they met our general qualifications (GPA, coursework)?
  3. 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!


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