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The Value of In-Person Interactions During Your Job Search

No one is denying it, we are right smack dab in the age of technology. Many people prefer texting to calling and scrolling social media to paying attention in class. Despite our dependence on technology and new ways of connecting with companies, it remains just as important as ever to make face-to-face connections with recruiters.

Personal connection is powerful.

The power of personally connecting through human interaction speeds up the relationship building process. In a ten-minute conversation we can learn more about each other than in six months of online searching. This goes both ways, meaning that you are able to gather much more information about a company’s culture by interacting with a representative than by simply researching online. Why do you think companies continue to travel to university campuses for recruitment? Despite the financial cost, personal interactions continue to be the top method for recruitment. The National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) reported that 96.3% of employers recruited Class of 2015 graduates through on-campus activities.

Show you are a well-rounded candidate.

U.S. News and World Report wrote a story in 2013 that spoke about the importance of showcasing soft skills in an interview. Why? Because sometimes the difference between you and the next candidate is how well you fit with the company culture—or what (in the article) is described as “likability.” On a resume where outlining results matters, it is much easier to demonstrate and provide support for technical skills. Interacting with employers in person is the most effective way to show your well-roundedness.

Enthusiasm and tone are hard to convey online or on paper.

Why do you think emojis were created and the smiley face has become a part of office email? It is much easier to find commonality through conversation or discussion because you are able to convey tone and pass along your energy. For recruiters, in-person meetings allow them to assess a candidate’s personality and professionalism.

Communicating through technology is not always as “effective.”

Do you know how long it takes to have a full conversation over email? If you’ve been networking or job searching recently, then you do! There almost always remain unanswered questions within a response, or misunderstandings. Use your time wisely by engaging with employers in person. Not only will you be able to show your personality, but things are more likely to get done as the result of an in-person conversation.

Don’t go canceling your LinkedIn account just yet.

Now don’t go do something crazy like deactivating your LinkedIn profile because it’s all about balance. You should have a professional online presence as well as be engaged with in-person networking opportunities.

Learn more about maximizing opportunities for human interaction during the job search.

"Learning in a face-to-face human community, as humans have evolved to do over hundreds of thousands of years, may always be the ideal - especially in an endeavor that is as relationship-driven as business."
-Warren Bennis

About the author

Ashley Taylor

Ashley Taylor is a Career Counselor at Engineering Career Services.