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Job Hunting Tips from a Non-Recruiter

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Hi, I’m Colon and while I'm not a recruiter, I’m a 5-time intern and full-time college graduate employee at Intel. After completing my MS in electrical engineering at the University of Florida, where I also completed my BS, I became a full-time employee at Intel in May 2013. I am currently working in power delivery for datacenter and server platforms. I know first-hand what it’s like to apply to jobs, look for an internship and figure out what to do after graduation—that’s why I’m here. I’m here to shed some light into the application process, share what worked for me and hopefully help you stand out from the crowd and land a role here, too! I hope my posts will help get you started. I wish I had done this earlier to help those seeking summer internships but this will come in handy for the fall recruiting season.

Resumes are probably the most critical component of your application. This is how many recruiters will get to know you without actually meeting you. In fact, for students who don’t get the chance to speak to recruiters in person and can only apply online, resumes are the only thing that will get you an interview.

Have your resume reviewed by as many people as possible. Don’t be afraid to ask for feedback. Make sure you QUANTIFY your accomplishments under the “Work Experience” section. Did you increase efficiency, throughput, or cost savings? By how much? If you don’t have much work experience, list any projects that can help your case. Also, almost all Intel recruiters do not care for cover letters.

One common comment I’ve heard is about experience. “I want an internship to gain experience, but recruiters seek applicants with experience. How am I supposed to start?” Recruiters are not necessarily looking for technical work experience. They are looking for practical experience in some non-technical skills: communications, teamwork, and leadership. Have you worked in teams? Have you managed a project? Have you given a major presentation to superiors?

Luckily, you don’t need a previous internship or job to gain this kind of experience. There are plenty of opportunities to do this at your school. There are industry institutions (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers - IEEEInstitute of Industrial Engineers - IIE, other majors/industries), affinity groups (Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers - SHPE, National Society of Black Engineers - NSBE, and Society of Women Engineers - SWE), and project based teams (robotics, formula, software). It’s important to not just be a participant but try to be a leader. There are plenty of leadership roles in these. Find a group you’re passionate about and get involved. If your school does not have the group you’re interested in, you can start it on your own. That will only help your chances.

Networking is something we always hear about but is always explained very abstractly. Basically, networking is about creating relationships. Seek out anyone that can help you in your career: peers, professors, professionals. In this case, we will concentrate on recruiters. The problem is that many students only talk to recruiters at career fairs for the half-minute or so it takes to ask for a job or internship. Now put yourself in the recruiter’s shoes. How easy is it to remember someone you’ve only met for a minute or less? Now imagine meeting hundreds of people in quick succession. How many of those faces will you actually remember?

The key is to make a connection to make sure the recruiter remembers you. It can be tough to do this in the limited time you get at a career fair. This is why companies host information sessions, hospitality suites, and other such events. Take advantage of as many opportunities as possible to establish a rapport with recruiters. The least you can do is remember the recruiter’s name. If you can’t remember their name, can you expect them to remember yours?

This is just the start--stay tuned for specifics when it comes to your resume, networking, etc. These are some of the tips that helped me get where I am today--I hope they'll be just as useful to you.