There are a great number of students who most likely have applied to some of the same companies or positions that you want after college. With the constant increase in the amount of applicants that apply every year, the greater the amount of competition you will face going into each interview process. So, the real question is “How do you set yourself apart from them?” There are a few key pointers that I’ve picked up from past interviews and a few that I’ve learned from my fellow peers that I would like to share.
- Print your resume on resume paper. When going into an interview face-to-face, you want to make sure to print your resume on thicker paper than the typical white printer paper. It gives off a nice touch and looks more presentable as well as professional when you hand in your resume to a recruiter. Most students overlook doing this kind of extra step because they don’t think it’s a really big deal, but I have been told a couple times from recruiters about how appreciative it is that applicants take that extra step or initiative by doing even the smallest touches. So the next time you are about to have an in-person interview or even just going to a career fair, try to take that extra step to stand out and really make a difference!
- Make sure to ask permission before taking someone’s business card. This was something new to me that I did not know before and would not have thought twice about. It is common courtesy to ask for an employer’s business card even when it’s displayed out in front of his or her table. A common rule I give myself is to ask for permission no matter what and you can never go wrong.
- Make business cards for yourself. You are always told to have extra copies of your resume with you because you don’t know when you will meet potential employers. Although there are times when giving them your resume might be a hassle, so having a business card with you can make it a lot more convenient. Also, it’s small enough for employers to take and store in places, such as their wallet or bag when they need to put it somewhere.
- Be genuine. This might seem like something obvious, but I know sometimes your nerves might get the best of you and you often try to impress recruiters of your many accomplishments and talents you have. Don’t get me wrong. It is a good thing to show off your achievements and talents, but by doing so, make sure to show consistent authenticity and not make them feel like you are simply answering to just complete their question. Being genuine will show off your true colors and potential in the end.
These are some of the ways that can help you set yourself apart from other applicants and it may seem like a small thing to add to your list of interview tips, but it is really the little touches that matter.