Career Fairs: An Engineer’s Guide University of Portland – Office of Career Services
5 Terrifying Facts: Resumes get looked at between 5-30 SECONDS The average job search takes 6 - 9 MONTHS 80% of jobs are never advertised You are likely to have a job that doesn’t exist today You will have 7+ careers in your lifetime
This presentation will cover: Preparation – the key to success Working the event – do’s / don’ts Following up – the secret to getting that job / internship
Why go to a career fair? Meet recruiters in person “Accidentally” find an awesome company Practice introducing yourself Meet recruiters in person
Preparation = Success What you do before a fair is almost more important than the event itself Knowing the companies and their specialties helps you stand out from other, less informed candidates Don’t ever ask: “What does your company do?” Research companies!
What Does Research Look Like? Take the list of employer’s and . . . Google them – Look for articles, facts, things not on their website Know the company website Begin to develop a target list What companies look interesting, who’s doing what you want to do? Single out a top 5 list of companies to research more than others
Resumes: Bring The A Game Remember it has 5-30 seconds! Meet with a Career Services Staff Member to revise and refine your resume Include academic projects that demonstrate skills you will use in the internship or job Free of errors, readable font, resume paper
Develop an intro speech 20-30 Second Introduction (mini speech) What goes in it? – The 5 Question Structure Who am I? (introduce yourself) When are you graduating? What job or career am I interested in? What makes me different from the competition? Look to Answer: "Why should I hire you?"
Intro speech do’s and don’ts Do Make your speech sound effortless and conversational Do project passion for what you do Do maintain eye contact Do be prepared to wrap up early if the recruiter stops you Do focus on how you will help the employer Don’t focus just on yourself Don’t hesitate to develop different versions of your speech Don’t let your speech sound memorized Don’t ramble, know the 3 or 4 main things you want to discuss and speak with clarity
What to bring: A simple Portfolio Plenty of Resumes No Backpacks
Professional dress sends a message How you present yourself says more about you than your initial greeting Before you even say hello, employers are assessing you based on dress and attitude Dressing up to go “out” ≠ Professional dress Inappropriate dress will not be admitted at the fair You know this ahead of time ! Use it to your advantage; appear professional
At the fair You will sign in by year in school Take a moment, breath deep and relax Begin by speaking with a company not in your top 5 to warm up Expect lines and BE NICE TO EVERYONE
When you approach an employer Smile, make eye contact, offer a firm handshake and introduce yourself If someone is already at the company table when you approach, respect the other candidate's privacy and wait for him/her to finish Give your intro speech and engage in conversation, questions, and answers
Questions to ask employers Four go-to questions to ask: What are the traits and skills of people who are the most successful within your organization? Why did you come to work here? What keeps you here? What things has your company accomplished of which you are especially proud? What is your timeline for filling this position?
Questions to never ask employers Under the don’t be that guy/girl category: What does your company do? What can your company do for me? How many hours a day do you work? Any question about salary, vacation time, or benefits Any personal question Wanna get some coffee, sometime?
Before leaving an employers table Get a business card Ask how and when you should follow up Get more company info Thank the recruiter
Organize Reflect Return! Move away from the recruiter and make notes on the business card These will help you write thank you notes Reflect on what went well and what to improve Organize all the materials you’ve received and move on!
After the fair Write thank you letters – Recruiters are expecting them! Send within 24 hours This is your chance to highlight your skills and reference the conversation notes you made Describe again how you’ll be a great fit If there was more than 1 recruiter you spoke with, everyone gets a thank-you
Resources Career Services Office Orrico Hall Lower Level (503) 943-7201 UP Career Connections – Online recruiting resource Resume assistance, Career planning, more good stuff than you can imagine. WALK IN HOURS: M-W 2-4pm, Tr-F 10-12