A few weeks ago, I was given the opportunity to moderate a Panel discussion for the International Radio Television Society (IRTS)’s 2011 Multicultural Career Workshop in New York City. There were approximately 125 students in attendance from various colleges across the US. Unfortunately there weren’t any Hofstra students, but maybe next year you can take advantage of this awesome event that definitely leads to other opportunities.
The panel discussion was titled “Making the Right Impression” and there were 6 employers in attendance from MTV Networks, Zenith Optimedia, Cox Reps, HBO, ESPN, and Fox News Channel.
Here are just 3 of the many questions that students asked the employers. I figured you may want to know the answers as well!
1 – When recruiting for Interns, what do you look for in terms of experience if there isn’t any relevant experience on the resume?
Even though a student may not have relevant work experience, it’s important to point out any relevant coursework that can be applied to that industry. Are they any specific projects that you worked on, any business models, etc? Also, it’s very important to point out the skill set that the you have acquired thus far in college. For example, talk about the involvement in any student organizations or even any part time jobs!
2 – What do you look for in terms of a cover letter?
First and foremost, if there’s no cover letter with the resume, the applicant won’t even be looked at. Secondly, it should not be generic. Take the time to tailor it to the company and tell “me” the employer why you would want to work at this company. It shows that you actually did the research!
Another employer mentioned that it should not be too long. They look at cover letters and resumes all day, so it should be straight and to the point!
3 – When should I start applying for jobs when I’m graduating in May?
Students should start applying about 1 – 2 months prior to graduating. Usually jobs that are posted are already vacant and they need to be filled immediately, so unfortunately there’s no “holding spots.”
Well there you have it folks, just a little snapshot of what employers look for! If you ever have any specific questions like these, feel free to stop by and we can certainly help you figure out the answer!
To learn more about the IRTS college programs, visit here: http://irtsfoundation.org/college-programs.html
~Kat Castro, Assistant Director