A quick Google search will reveal hundreds of articles for job seekers looking to stand out to recruiters. But there’s only a fraction of those resources for recruiters looking to stand out to their candidates.

As a campus recruiter, it’s just as important for you to stand out to students and grads as it is for them to impress you. The benefits are twofold: leaving a lasting impression on potential candidates not only strengthens your employer brand, it also speeds up your recruitment process. Forget spending precious hours chasing after lukewarm candidates – being memorable means the right hire will seek you out instead.

Stay top-of-mind with your talent pool with these 5 easy tips.

1. Make ‘em laugh

Campus recruitment events can be intimidating for many students and grads. From picking the right outfit, to polishing the resume, to crafting the perfect “elevator pitch,” there are so many factors to consider. That’s why it’s so important for recruiters to be relaxed when talking to attendees. Don’t be afraid to let your fun side show through, and make a few jokes if you’re comfortable. Relieving the tension can really help a potential candidate feel more at ease and comfortable with you, and help you stand out from the pack.

Tip: If cracking jokes isn’t your forte, arm yourself with a few fun icebreaker questions to help your attendees loosen up. Here are a few examples:

  • “Did you do anything fun over the weekend?”
  • “What do you like to do in your spare time?
  • “Can you tell me something about yourself that not a lot of people know?”

2. Have a “connection story”

Chances are, your typical introductions go something like this – “Hi, I’m [insert name here] and I’m a recruiter for [insert company here].” – right? This type of statement is straightforward and to-the-point, but it only covers what you do and leaves out a key ingredient: why. Why did you become a recruiter? Why do you love your work? Instead, use a connection story to introduce yourself to students and grads. It will help give them insight into who you are as a person, which will lead to deeper and more memorable conversations.

Tip: If you’re new to recruitment, you could talk about your job hunting experience and how it lead you to where you are today. Since you were in the candidate’s shoes not too long ago, highlighting this will help them relate you.

3. Give out compliments

Love the cool tie a student is wearing? Did a candidate have a strong handshake? Let them know with a compliment. The number one goal for most students at campus events is to make a good impression. A genuine compliment from you will give them much-needed reassurance that they’re on the right track – and that confidence boost will stick with them all day. Because, as the wise Maya Angelou once said, “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

4. Add an anecdote

A Stanford research study reported by Forbes showed that statistics alone have a retention rate of 5 to 10 percent, but when coupled with anecdotes, the retention rate rises to 65 to 70 percent. A big part of recruitment is highlighting the best parts of your workplace to potential candidates. So if you have some impressive facts and figures to share with students and grads about your company, ditch the jargon and use an anecdote instead. For example, instead of saying your organization has an employee retention rate of 85%, share some testimonials that highlight some of the reasons why employees have stayed. It will clarify your message and help ensure that they actually remember it later on.

5. Find something in common

Simply put, relationships are built on common ground. When you find something that you have in common with a potential candidate, it will make it that much easier for them to remember you. The reason is simple: whether it’s watching a popular TV show, or following a favourite sports team, having a shared interest with a recruiter will help a candidate see themselves as more than just potential employee, but as a part of the team. Who wouldn’t follow up with a recruiter who made them feel like that?

Campus recruitment events can get busy fast and it’s easy for recruiters to become just another face in the crowd. Focus on getting to know attendees beyond the resume and you’ll have the top candidates coming to you.

Discussion: How do you quickly build rapport with students and grads on campus?