Recruiting: Cold Emailing, Applying, and Interviewing

Whenever I think about recruiting, one word comes to mind – stress. Last quarter, I had to experience my first recruiting season, which was pretty intimidating, and quite time-consuming. However, there are many tips and tricks that can help you land a good internship that is of interest to you. In this article, I will go through the process, and provide some tips about how to go about the recruiting process.

1. Cold Emailing

Cold emails are probably the scariest emails to send. As soon as you push the “send” button, you are automatically scared about what will happen to your email. Will they receive it? Will it go to a black hole like all the other emails people are sending? After several months of sending cold emails to my companies of interest, I have learned that it is about saying the right words in a concise, easy-to-read email. Here’s the template I polished through all the cold emails I have sent:

Hi [NAME],

I hope you are doing well. My name is [YOUR NAME] and I am currently a sophomore at Stanford University. I got your contact through [NAME OF CONTACT]. I wanted to reach out to you because as I explore career paths, I am very interested in [CAREER]. Therefore, I would like to know if there are any internship opportunities available at [COMPANY NAME] for [CLASS].

Are you available any time this week for a call? If you are not, could you point me in the right direction? I attach my resume for further reference.

Best regards,

[YOUR NAME]

This template has helped me get those first conversations and meetings.

2. The first conversation

The first conversation you have with a recruiter at a company is extremely important. You are trying to leave a good first impression to them. I would prepare beforehand by knowing the following information by heart:

(a) Your story: What are your accomplishments? What’s your story? What makes you stand out? How do your past experiences position yourself for a successful candidate at their company?

(b) Company interest: Why do you want to work for that company? What aspects of it is appealing to you? Do you know their website by heart? How do the company’s goals align with yours?

(c) Role: Why are you a good fit for a role? What unique qualifications make you stand out? What can you bring to the company? Are you willing to learn and grow?

With the answers to the questions in those three main categories, you will be able to give a good first impression. This conversation may lead to a follow up conversation, to the recruiter/point of contact connecting you to another team/person, to an invitation to apply for the program or even to a first round interview!

3. Applying

When applying to programs, make sure you have two main documents in hand:

(a) Resume: I will not go in depth into what goes into making a good resume but keep it short and concise (1-page max). Also, make sure you are highlighting experiences that are unique for the role and company you are applying to.

(b) Cover letter: Write a 1-2-page cover letter template, that you will change depending on the company. However, having a template that you can edit will make it way easier. Many of these companies will ask for a cover letter, and it can be very time consuming if you do not have a template to start from.

Once you have applied to the program, is time for the interview phase.

4. Interviewing

The interview phase will differ depending on the Career Type or Company. For example, an interview for a Consulting company will include case interviews and behavioral interviews. An interview for a Tech Company will include both technical interviews and behavioral interviews. Depending on what type of interview you are doing, you will have to prepare yourself for that. However, here are some tips for interviewing with any company:

(a) Do your research: Read their website. Meet up with people you know from the company and ask them question. Make sure you are familiar with what the company does and what the role entails.

(b) Prepare with any materials they send or whatever you can find on the internet: Look up practice interview questions online; there are thousands of resources that can help you prepare for whatever Company you are interviewing for.

(c) Keep calm: Be calm, poised and confident. You have prepared very well and are ready to tackle the interview. Don’t be nervous!

Hope this advice was useful for whenever you decide to go through the recruiting season!

- Nicole Birkner