Four ways to score an interview at CH2M from someone on the inside
By Rachel Schneider, Recruitment Operations
A few years ago, I sat at my laptop applying for job after job and feeling much like a newspaper cartoon of a shipwrecked sailor on a tiny tropical island. I stuffed my important message – see me! Help me! Hire me! – into the vessel of emails, databases and forms and clicked send, quietly tossing my resume and cover letter, the story of my professional life, out into the dark abyss of the Internet. Like my stranded, illustrated counterpart, I only wanted to be heard by someone. I wanted the chance for someone to see me light up when I described my unique work experiences. I wanted to weave the complex tapestry of how I got to that exact moment in my professional life. I wanted an interview because really, what do we want more in this world than to be seen, heard, and have our experiences validated?
An HR colleague recently told me a secret: at CH2M, recruiters want to see you and learn all about you. If you are a fit for an amazing new opportunity, they honestly can’t schedule an interview with you soon enough. I’d never thought about interviews in this way. It’s not just the job seeker trying to find a way into their dream company, it’s about a dream company seeing a job seeker and realizing they’re a perfect fit. It’s mutual.
I wondered what other insider tips our recruiters could pass along for me to share with you, the ever-diligent job seeker. I asked them the question, What can people do to land an interview at CH2M?" Here’s what they told me:
1. Make sure you’re actually a good fit for the job before you apply.
So many people apply for jobs that are just beyond their reach. As you comb through a job posting, ask yourself, “Can I really do this job? Do I have the proper experience? Do I have the required degrees, licenses and speciality skills asked of me?” If you don’t, close the posting.
Recruiters are no fools. They know when someone meets important criteria for a job and when someone is stretching. Certain things are required for each job for a reason, whether internal or legal. If you can read a job description and match your qualifications and experience directly to the job, you’re more likely to score an interview. If you’re not a match, keep looking for a job that’s a better fit, and apply for that position instead. It saves the recruiters time, and honestly, it saves you from being disappointed. It ensures you’re free and ready to apply for (and interview for) the right job.
2. Someone reads your resume and cover letter, so make them count.
Those documents I tossed into the dark abyss? Chances are a real-life person read them. Even though applying online can feel like such an impersonal process, someone is on the receiving end. I swear.
This means that every single word you choose is important, so be sure to present yourself in the best, most truthful way.
"Your resume is a reflection of you," one CH2M recruiter told me.
Proud of a particular project you tackled at your last job? Highlight it. Don’t drone on and on in either document – up to three pages each, people – so pick the work experiences that you think best reflect exactly what’s being asked for in the job description, and do your best to explain how you were innovative and creative in your efforts and what you learned in the process.
And yes, spelling and punctuation count, so proofread like your job depends on it, because it does.
3. While we’re on the topic of your cover letter, tell us if you’re planning on moving.
Our recruiters are sometimes asked to look for people within a specific distance of an office or project site. If you’re planning on moving soon to a place near where they’re looking to fill your ideal position – because your partner is being relocated, because you miss living near the mountains, because you can’t survive without In-N-Out Burger (I don’t judge) – be sure to put this in your cover letter. Indicate that you don’t need any help relocating. “It’ll set you apart from the masses,” another CH2M recruiter told me. Otherwise, the address that stretches across the top of your resume might be the very thing that gets you discounted from your ideal job in your new home town.
Considering working in a new city? Our Global Recruitment Marketing & Technology Manager, Derina Adamczak, recently shared five tips to help you find work in a different state or country.
4. Follow all application directions and don’t try to find a direct route to a recruiter.
I’ve been guilty of this one. I’m always the first to ask “who do I know at this company, and how can they connect me to someone in HR?”
In reality, some of this can be useful when applying for a job at CH2M. If you have a friend who works here, tell them you’re looking at a particular job. Then update your resume and cover letter, and send it to them, because they can submit you internally into our system. Not only could they be eligible for a financial reward if you’re hired, our recruiters will consider you even more seriously because you’re recommended by someone we hold in high regard. Once you’re entered into our system, you’ll hear directly from us asking you to complete your application online. Then just sit tight and we’ll be in touch with both you and your friend.
Don’t know anyone at CH2M? That’s okay. Apply online – it’s not actually a black hole (I’ve seen the system at work and can totally attest to this fact). Trying to circumvent the system by reaching out directly to someone in HR only makes it easier for you to get lost in the shuffle.
It’s pretty simple, really. You’re not actually on a deserted island of endless job applications. Someone out there is paying attention, so be smart about your process. Pick the right job opening for your experiences. Submit your best documentation to the right people and places. If we think your experience is a great match for a particular job opening, if your resume and cover letter are meaningful and well-written, if you follow the proper steps to apply, you might just get called in for an interview at CH2M.
Learn more about careers at CH2M: http://www.ch2m.com/careers