Job Choices 2012 - Diversity Edition - (Page 16)
4 Steps to Career Fair Success
The career fair provides you with an opportunity to connect with potential employers from a broad range of industries and can put you on the path to job opportunities—if you use your time wisely.
The career fair is a chance for recruiter and candidate to exchange information, gauge each other in terms of how well they match up, and move to the next step. You’ll want to gather information that you can use when you apply or in an interview. You’ll get the most out of the career fair if you have a plan of action. Follow these four steps.
1. Target employers in advance
Most career centers will have a list of organizations scheduled to take part in the fair. Get a copy and use it to identify organizations that interest you. Do some legwork on these: Check their websites and read their company literature (often available through the career center). You don’t have to be an expert (and the fair is a place to learn more), but should know something about the organizations before you attend the fair. Rank order the organizations according to your interest so that you can visit those of most interest ﬁrst.
Work the fair
Your challenge is to convey to the recruiter—in a short period of time—your interest and how you might be a possible match for the organization. Prepare a short script (two or three sentences) that you can use to introduce yourself. You want to include your name, year in school, major, and area of interest (e.g., a full-time job or an internship). Tell the recruiter a little about your skills, qualiﬁcations, and interests as they relate to the organization and its opportunities. Also, although many employers won’t take your resume at a career fair, you will want to prepare some copies just in case. (Many organizations have altered their processes for tracking applicants, and paper resumes don’t work well with those processes. Now, many recruiters won’t accept your resume at a career fair and, instead, may suggest you apply online. Don’t be put off: Remember that you’re at the fair to gather information you can use to help you succeed when you do apply.)
To get maximum advantage from the fair, have a game plan. • Arrive early. Focus ﬁrst on those organizations that you’ve identiﬁed as of most interest to you. Work through your list. • Behave professionally. Focus on the recruiter—not the giveaways. Be polite. Be considerate of recruiters and your fellow students alike. Wait your turn to speak with the recruiter; don’t interrupt, “crowd” the recruiter or the student speaking with the recruiter, or otherwise insert yourself into their conversation. • Don’t monopolize the recruiter’s time. He or she is there to meet as many potential candidates as possible. By using your prepared script, you’ll give the recruiter your most critical information and demonstrate your professionalism. • Be positive and enthusiastic. Make eye contact with the recruiter. The recruiter also wants a chance to provide information about his or her organization, so listen as well as speak. This is a conversation, not a monologue. As much as possible, you want to convey information about how your interest and qualiﬁcations match those of the organization in a natural way. You want to show that you’ve done some research. • Ask the recruiter about next steps: How should you follow up? What are the next steps in the hiring process? Should you apply online? Will the company interview on campus? Is there an upcoming information session? • Be sure to get the recruiter’s business card. (Tip: Jot down notes on the back of the card about the recruiter and company. You can use this information when writing your thank-you notes)
Look like a professional
The career fair is not an interview, but you should dress as if it were. Wear a conservative business suit, collared shirt (men) or blouse (women), and “dress shoes.” Observe proper grooming—clean, neat, pressed. In all your interactions with potential employers, you want to put your best foot forward, and that includes how you dress for the career fair.
Write a thank-you note or e-mail to every recruiter you spoke to at the career fair. In your note, you’ll want to: • Express your appreciation for the time and advice the recruiter offered. • Let the recruiter know what additional steps you’ve taken that he or she has suggested; e.g., you’ve completed an application online, signed up for an on-campus interview, and so forth. • Reiterate your interest in the organization and its opportunities.
Job Choices: Diversity Edition 2012
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Job Choices 2012 - Diversity Edition
Job Choices 2012
Opportunities by Employer/Website Index
Playing Fair: Your Rights and Responsibilities As a Job Seeker
Getting the Most Out of Your Job Search
From classroom to question mark
Reality check: Salaries for new graduates
4 Steps to Career Fair Success
Network for Your Job Search
10 Tips for Using Social Media in Your Job Search
From Student to Professional
The Art of Writing Job-Search Letters
Leader of the Pack
The Interview: Connecting Your Qualifi cations To the Employer’s Needs
Dressing for the interview
The behavior-based interview
Questions to ask in the interview
Tips for becoming a video interview star
USAJOBS: Work for America
The Critical First Year on the Job
Adapting to Corporate Culture
Selecting and Cultivating a Mentor
Applying Your Two-Year Degree to a Four-Year Program
Going on to Grad School
Job Choices 2012 - Diversity Edition