C &EN asked company recruiters what advice they could offer to new graduates seeking jobs and how job seekers can distinguish themselves to recruiters. Here's some of that advice:
Danya Goerig, Chevron Phillips Chemical: "Research companies beforehand and ask informed questions when visiting company representatives at career fairs or in campus interviews. Get to know the personality of the company by meeting as many individuals as possible to see if they will feel comfortable working there. Also, students should take advantage of any campus career center services to help build their interviewing skills."
Susan Knox Wilson, BP America: "Learn all you can about a company, such as through an internship or co-op. Don't wait until May to locate an internship–do it now. Schools do a very good job of promoting career days and putting on career fairs."
William F. Carroll, Occidental Chemical: "Students who are flexible and willing to relocate should emphasize this when talking to recruiters."
Brian Bronk, Pfizer: "Everything starts with a strong background in research. From there, we look for individuals with diverse backgrounds who bring strong communication, innovation, leadership, and teamwork skills."
Ray D'Alonzo, Procter & Gamble: "Prepare a concise, relevant résumé that focuses on accomplishments, particularly outside the university, such as publications and presentations at meetings. Don't overembellish it. Candidate résumés should be focused, targeted, and relevant to the company they're applying to."
Jennifer Petoff, Rohm and Haas: "We look for open-minded scientists, people who want to branch out into areas they haven't thought about before. Don't rely solely on technical ability and showcase those 'soft skills.' People with volunteer experience, for example, show initiative and a willingness to take on responsibility."