Wrong! The summer and its tidal wave of job-market newbies can be a great opportunity for staffing firms. Because while you’re receiving all kinds of applications from students and graduates, so are all of your potential clients. And if you can make a case for taking that work off of their hands, they’d probably appreciate it.
Students and graduates can make great additions to your candidate pool, too. They’re likely to be comfortable with short-time assignments, especially if they need to return to school in the fall. Plus, they might also be covered by their parents’ health insurance, which can save you some time, paperwork and money.
So what should you look for on the resume of someone whose work experience might not have started yet. Things like the following:
- Leadership experience: Have they been an officer of a club, or led a project in or out of school? Sometimes awards can indicate leadership in a particular subject (or at least excellence, which isn’t too bad either).
- Volunteer experience: Have they volunteered at a nonprofit or other organization, whether part of school or not? Volunteering doesn’t just indicate a level of interest and caring for others, it shows an applicant taking initiative and doing work that needs to be done.
- References: Check to make sure they aren’t relatives, nor are they national figures who are unlikely to have met the applicant in person. If you call an applicant’s references (and we recommend you do if you’re considering the applicant for any job), listen for specific stories of leadership, learning and character rather than a generic “yeah, they’re great.”
Of course, graduates and students should be held to the same standard in interviews as everyone else is: professional appearance, confident demeanor, eye contact and no gum. Don’t forget to make sure they have a plan for transportation.
What has your experience been in working with students and graduates during the summer? Let us know in the comments!