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April 12, 2021

NBC News and MSNBC anchor Craig Melvin moderated a virtual career event with MSNBC senior executive producer Omnika Thompson, NBC News talent acquisition consultant Tammy Fine, NBCUniversal talent acquisition recruiter Tiffany Lopez and LinkedIn career expert Andrew McCaskill.

We’ve rounded up five of our best tips for college students entering the job market.

5. Spelling matters.

While it may seem obvious, you would be surprised. Proofread everything. There’s nothing worse than having spelling errors or grammatical mistakes in your resume or cover letter. It will come off to recruiters as if you didn’t even care enough to read it over.

4. Lead with your story, not the ask.

When reaching out to a recruiter, tell them a little bit about yourself, what you’re interested in and what you’re passionate about. How you present your story matters to anyone who’s thinking about hiring you. Recruiters are more likely to reach out to someone who takes the time to share a little something about themselves than the person who just says “I saw this job posting. Can you tell me more about it?”

3. Do your homework. Know something about the company that you can communicate that says why you want to work there.

Come prepared with some knowledge about the job you’re applying for. Make sure you have an idea of the company’s brands, products, shows or other projects. Also, don’t forget to have some questions ready for the recruiter at the end of your interview.

2. Don’t flood the zone with resumes. It won’t set you apart, and it makes you look unclear about goals.

Make sure you’re applying to the right role. Read the job description and its requirements. If a job posting says it’s a senior-level position, and you’re right out of school, don’t apply for that role. Take some time to customize your resume to fit the job you’re applying for, and highlight the skills that will matter to the hiring manager.

1. Save your resume as “Firstname.LastName.PDF,” so recruiters can find you in a sea of applicants.

If your resume is called “Resume 2021” or “My favorite resume,” it will be hard for recruiters to pull up your file. But if a recruiter remembers you, and they’re quickly looking for someone to fill a job, they can easily find “Firstname.Lastname” among all the resumes they received.