Case Study. My pleasure to meet you too!

Fresh of graduation, you just created your brand new LinkedIn account.

You chose your favorite photo, you uploaded all of your titles and certificates, you asked your friends to help you validating your competences, and you’re doing the best as you can to maximize the visibility opportunities of your profile.

Not even two days after your first sign-in, a LinkedIn notification pops-up on your smartphone: a headhunter tracks down your account and, after introducing very briefly the company he/she works for, proposes you a first informal interview for a traineeship opportunity.

This catches you completely off guard: you know nothing about this person, you know nothing about this company, you know nothing about LinkedIn headhunting’s dynamics, at the same time the opportunity to secure a traineeship offer after just few days from your graduation is too tempting…

After thanking for the message, you start processing the idea that you cannot excel in your interview as long as you’re stuck in this information asymmetry.

A saying state: “in the era of information, remaining ignorant is a choice…”, with that in mind:

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  1. What can you do to put you at ease?
  2. What other relevant information, beside offer and background of the company, can help building your awareness of the context?
  3. How can you really impress your recruiter?

The traditional answers to these questions might seem a cliche. In the context of this training content, we wish to propose an approach a bit more “provocative”. You wish to impress your recruiter with information, questions and comments that he/she expects the least…everybody can look into the company’s website and learn few data and features about covered markets, products’ portfolio, etc., this is nothing exceptional.

Only very few people consider other strategic information…

What can you do to put you at ease?
First of all, you wish to seek for indirect information about this company. Many websites as allows (former) employees to leave review and comments about a given organisation’s climate, leadership style, and overall corporate culture. If you start stumbling across a large set of negative reviews, this is definitely a red flag that might help you reconsidering your choice. If no alarms start ringing, you want to look into their “identity” and mimic it accordingly: mission, vision and overall tone of their communication are the pillars that set the way you should relate with this organisation and the people within.

What other relevant information, beside offer and background of the company, can help building your awareness of the context?
Your recruiter(s) know(s) enough information about you to catch you by surprise, but you know nothing about him/her/they. Most of organisation’s websites display a “Staff” or “Our Team” section. In there, you will find most likely the personnel responsible for HR and talent recruitment: these people are your targets. Don’t even try to forget their names and faces…

How can you really impress your recruiter?
In other words, how can you really give the impression to have done the extra mile? How can you make sure that the recruiter(s) will not forget about you? Remember that the recruiter represents your very first “entry barrier”, if you manage to persuade them to let you in, you have already achieved a major milestone. You need to gather as many information as you can about their background an expertise, competences and skills, passions and hobbies, weaknesses and strengths: go look at their social media profile…did they do any outdoor activity? Did they visit any interesting place? If you’re lucky enough, you have interests in common with them: this will help you in nurturing a personal connection and will prove your capabilities in dealing with uncertainty.


Critical thinking


Own elaboration* *This scenario is completely fictional. Any reference to real people and/or events is purely by chance