The Recruiter Scoop: Getting Your Foot in the Door at a Large Company
February 21, 2019 | Express Scripts
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Given my position at Express Scripts, there’s always one question I’m frequently asked: how do I get my foot in the door at such a large company? Amid the days of taking a creative approach to sending in your resume – we’ve heard the stories of candidates disguising themselves as a Postmates delivery person or creating their resume on a chocolate bar – most people are surprised to learn that your resume isn’t your only important asset. Instead, I believe the key to getting your foot in the door comes down to one thing – networking.
While I’ve been lucky to spend my entire career in corporate talent acquisition doing what I love, I didn’t always know I was going to follow that career path. In fact, I was previously pursuing a career in nursing. With intentional networking, I discovered my passion for human resources and built my career around it.
Put Yourself Out There
When it comes to networking, you should always be intentional about building relationships and connections with other professionals who can support you in your career goals. Not only does networking expand your professional circle, it also broadens your thinking about potential opportunities and helps you practice your elevator pitch.
So, where do you start? Personally, I find it helpful to consider where you’re currently well connected and where you have the opportunity to build relationships. A few great ways to network are:
- Staying connected with alumni and professors from your alma mater
- Checking out other universities in your area for networking events that align with your interests
- Asking your current connections what groups they’re a part of and how you might benefit from joining
- Volunteering within your community – seek out opportunities to join a development board
- Researching your local and nationwide chapters relevant to your industry you can join
Landing your dream job takes time, so remain open-minded and treat every interaction you have as a networking opportunity.
In a World of Technology – Use LinkedIn to Your Benefit
Given today’s social media capabilities, one of the simplest – and most popular – ways to virtually meet and connect with professionals in your field is through LinkedIn. With more than 500 million members throughout the nation, something as simple as sending a connection request to another professional gets you one step closer to finding your next opportunity.
When I get a connection request on LinkedIn, I will review the individual’s profile to see if their background aligns to opportunities at Express Scripts. However, just sending a connection request is not enough. Be proactive! In order to effectively network, you must be open to being the first one to start a conversation.
Start a Conversation
First impressions matter – even if it’s not in person. When starting a networking conversation, I recommend introducing yourself and clarifying the purpose of your outreach. Whether you’re simply expanding your network or looking to start a conversation, always be upfront with your ask.
When another professional
The Work Doesn’t Stop With Networking
Once all of your networking has paid off and you’ve landed a job interview, make sure you put in the preparation to be successful. Here are my tips to successfully prepare for an interview with any company – large or small.
Do your research! Go beyond researching the company and familiarize yourself with the job’s responsibilities and requirements. What is it about the organization or role that inspired you to apply? By connecting your passion to the company’s mission, you’ll be able to share why you would be an asset to the organization.
Next, prepare responses for potential interview questions by thinking about your successes, major projects or stretch opportunities, areas of development, and lessons learned throughout your career. For those of you interviewing for your first professional opportunity, recall experiences from your education or past jobs. By preparing these examples ahead of time, you’ll be able to demonstrate in your interview how you’ve met
Don’t forget to ask questions. Toward the end of the interview, the team will likely provide you the opportunity to ask questions regarding the company or the position. I can’t stress enough the importance of asking questions that can’t just be found on the company website. Take this time to really dive into understanding not just the position itself, but also the team the position reports to, how the position fits into the department as a whole, etc.
Last, but certainly not least, remember to be yourself. We all get nervous before job interviews. It’s easy to go into the interview trying to be the person you think the recruiting team wants. However, what you’re really doing is taking the focus away from what’s important: the conversation. Remember, interviews are a two-way discussion. The interviewer wants to get to know you just as much as you should want to get to know the company. While you may really want the role, you also want the right fit. By being yourself, you’ll actually get to know your prospective employer and determine if you can see yourself building a career there.
Interested in getting your foot in the door at Express Scripts? Visit our career site to begin familiarizing yourself with our open roles.« There’s No Place Like Home: Serving Patients in the Home Setting| Making Moves: 4 Pieces of Career Advice I Would Give My Younger Self »