Kevin Eksterowicz is a Talent Acquisition Leader here at Vantiv. I asked him what he loves about his job, and what advice he has for college students and recent graduates entering the job market.
How did you get into HR?
Like a lot of people, I actually sort of “fell” into HR. I majored in Marketing in college and I had my heart set on working for a huge NYC ad agency. The first opportunity they could offer me was as a Recruiting Coordinator serving the creative department and I jumped at the chance. A year later, I got the opportunity to work in a true advertising role. Sure enough, after a few years in an ad exec role, I realized that I missed HR and actively sought to return to Recruiting.
What do you love about your job?
What’s especially nice about the world of Talent Acquisition is that you’re helping people and you get the gratification of feeling needed. You have hiring managers with teams who are feeling the pain of a vacant position and you’ve got candidates who are actively seeking to make a change. You get to ease the pain of the internal client while helping someone gain the opportunity to take their career to the next level. It’s a win-win! The icing on the cake: you get to build relationships every day and no two days are the same.
What's the best job-seeking advice for college students or recent graduates you've heard?
It probably sounds like common sense but, “do your homework on the companies you’re applying to,” is easy, low-hanging fruit with big impact. If I call a candidate and they can’t remember the role they’ve applied to or what the company does, it’s a huge strike against you. Apply to roles and companies that really intrigue you and that you would be excited to interview for. A recruiter and a hiring manager can usually see right through a superficial interest level. I’d add that with the world of social media, it’s vital that things like your Facebook page and LinkedIn profile only paint you in a positive, mature, responsible light.
What's the worst job-seeking advice for college students or recent graduates you've heard?
“Cast a wide net by applying to lots of jobs that look exciting to you at a company.”
As a recruiter, if I see a candidate who had applied to a wide variety of jobs, I’m likely to perceive them as unfocused and possibly desperate – just eager to get a foot in the door but not invested in something specific and therefore more likely to leave the role/company early.
Do you have any tips for college students or recent grads on making their resume stand out?
Yes! So many tips, but I’ll focus on the big ones.
- Tweak your resume so that you highlight your skills and experiences that relate well to what the employer is looking for as stated in the job description. Don’t assume that they’ll just connect the dots – help them get there and make those highlights your leading bullet points under a specific job or internship.
- There’s really no reason for your resume to be more than 1 page unless you’re coming from a graduate program and are already deep into your career. That said, limit your bullet points to the most important contributions you’ve made.
- Quantify wherever you can! Example: “Increased customer service scores by 28% as a result of…”
- Skip the objective section that so many people include at the top of their resume. The objective is to land the job you’ve just applied for and we already know that.
- Have a second set of eyes review your resume. Typos can be deadly as first impressions go!
- Do you have any tips for college students or recent grads on making the most of an internship?
- Perform as if your entire internship is an interview because that’s really what it is. Come to work every day as if you’re fighting the competition to keep your foot in the door with the company.
Want to know when Vantiv will be recruiting at your college or university? Click here for a list of our upcoming career fairs.