“I’m Jeff, I’m CEO of CollegeHire and I want to help people get jobs.”
With this opening, Jeff Daniel, whose company matches recent graduates with information technology jobs, spoke with a small group of engineering and computer science students on “How to Find Your Dream Job” last night in Hollister Hall.
An energetic 30-year-old, Daniel formed CollegeHire in January 1999 after working at its parent company, Trilogy Software Inc., for five years. He described his company as a talent agency.
“We’re the Jerry Maguires of high-tech recruiting,” he said.
But Daniel’s speech didn’t focus on his company; rather, it shared insider tips on succeeding in the job-recruitment process.
“Having hired a lot of people, I want to give you the scoop on what happens,” he said.
According to Daniel, the first step is to set boundaries based on salary, geographic location and the role you want to play at the company. Next, find a mentor, “someone who has a little bit of industry experience,” he recommended.
He stressed the importance of internships and real-world experience, advising students without work experience to include relevant classroom projects on their resumes.
Daniel warned against overstating qualifications on a resume, however.
“Don’t lie — ever, ever, ever,” he said. “You’re going to get nailed on it, and it’s just going to kill you.”
Networking is a vital part of the job recruitment process, according to Daniel. “You have to play the game — which really sucks — but you have to play the game,” he said.
He characterized the interview process as a “funnel of doom,” in which 2000 applicants are narrowed down to 265 job hires.
“How would you like to get married that way? It’s a lot like dating,” Daniel said.
He coached his audience on what to expect at a site visit, comparing the process to the fraternity and sorority recruitment process.
“Be yourself,” Daniel urged. “Even when you’re being evaluated, be yourself. But understand they’re judging you the whole time.”
He coached the students on negotiating a salary and again cautioned them to steer clear of lying.
“Don’t say you have an $85,000 offer to try to get a higher offer when you don’t,” he said, explaining that experienced recruiters can sense a lie.
Daniel also emphasized the importance of understanding one’s financial picture.
“Be your own CFO,” he said. “Know your price. Money is not everything, but know what your fair market price is. You graduated from college — you don’t want to still live like you’re in college.”
He urged students to consider taxes and cost of living when comparing offers. “If you’re in New York [City], you have to pay Clinton, Pataki and Giuliani,” he said.
Daniel told the students to resist blindly accepting the first job offer.
“You’re in the driver’s seat. You have so many options in front of you,” he said. “Anybody in this room is going to get a good job. But is it the right one?”
Above all, Daniel told students to find the job that makes them happy.
“You’re the one getting up in the morning going to that job,” he said. “You have to love your job so much you’d do it for free.”
The students in attendance considered Daniel’s advice.
“I liked how he talked about insider tips of interviewing,” said Becky Walden ’01, secretary of Tau Beta Pi, the engineering honor society that co-sponsored the event with CollegeHire.
“He was really coming to speak about how to work the system to your advantage [and] how to obtain a job that’s best for you,” said Peter Velez ’01, president of Tau Beta Pi.
“I didn’t really gain much, because I already knew everything about it,” said Yan Zhang ’01, who found out about the presentation through the jobtrack.com website and was skeptical of Daniel’s intentions. “Obviously he’s coming here for his own [company’s] benefit,” he said.
Jeff Hoy ’01 disagreed. “He didn’t speak much about the company,” he said. “I think that it’s so great that it’s so personal with the CEO of a cool startup. He knows the secrets and the keys to get in.”
Archived article by Heather Schroeder