How to Navigate a Career Fair
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How to Navigate a Career Fair

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  • Thank you everyone for attending today’s presentation! (Introduce speaker(s) and give brief bio(s)) Attending a career fair can be one of the most important first steps in securing a great career – however, you have to do it right. A career fair is often the first opportunity to make a great first impression with a potential new employer. Today we are going to cover 3 important aspects of “how to work a career fair” so you can be as prepared as possible to make a great first impression! Today’s topics are: How to prepare for the fair “ GO” time…the fair itself How to “make the cut,” steps to take after the fair… We will then conclude with a brief overview of the career opportunities we offer at Enterprise.
  • Just putting on a suit and walking into a fair WITHOUT preparing just is NOT going to cut it in today’s job market. Most career fairs are only offered for a few hours, and if you have classes to attend, or if you have to work, that time may be limited. You must prepare so you can make the most of your time and experience. To prepare, we are going to cover a few topics: Performing a “self-assessment” Doing your homework What materials you need to prepare Creating your own “elevator” speech Let’s start with performing your own self-assessment
  • One of the most important pieces if information you can understand when pursuing a career is understanding YOURSELF. You are going to be selling yourself, and as with any other “product” you are selling, you must know yourself inside and out in order to sell it effectively. At a career fair, you are given an opportunity to review a variety of different opportunities that a company may offer – so the more prepared you are to discuss what you have to offer, the more likely you are to find an opportunity that will fit you. This is much different than an interview. In an interview, you are pursing just one position, and you need to focus your qualifications specifically to that one role. You must first know what your career goals are – both short-term and long-term. This is frequently one of the first questions we will ask when a candidate walks up to our booth. You should be able to easily rattle off what your goals are. You also need to know some other aspects of yourself…what are your strengths, weaknesses, likes & dislikes. By knowing this information, the recruiter will be able to help match you to an opportunity that best fits you.
  • As I mentioned earlier, you may have limited time at the fair. Ask your career services office for a list of participating companies a few days before the fair. This list will most likely have each company’s website listed, and frequently the position titles and job descriptions for positions they intend on hiring for. Take some time to review each of the company’s websites and job descriptions, and go to the fair with the Top 5 companies you would like to visit. Hopefully you will have enough time to visit any other companies you have interest in, but your Top 5 are those companies that you MUST hit. You can research the opportunities at a variety of areas: Your Career Center The company website Your network of friends…do they work there? Do your friends’ friends work there? How about your parents or your parents’ friends? In addition to the job descriptions and career opportunities available, you should also research company/industry characteristics & culture to prepare you for the opportunities.
  • There are several pieces if information that you can bring with you to the fair. First and foremost, and a career fair MUST, is a professional, well-written, mistake-free resume. Make sure to have someone proof read your resume prior to the fair to ensure that it’s error-free. You will also want to bring many copies. Even though you have chosen your Top 5 companies to contact, you will hopefully have time to hit up many other companies, and you will want to be prepared. Along with your resume should be a list of pre-contacted references (preferably professional references). Since you will be targeting your Top 5 companies, you will also have an opportunity to tailor a cover letter to those companies. However, be forewarned, that you will want to MAKE SURE to give the right cover letter to the right company! There have been instances in the past when I have received a cover letter not addressed to me or my company. Although it can be a funny situation, it’s not the correct impression that you want to leave. Becoming more common are candidates bringing business cards in place of resumes. I’m not sure that I’m sold on this concept yet, but it’s an option that I thought I’d tell you about  For those of you pursing a career in advertising/pr/graphic design/etc, bringing your portfolio with you would not be a bad idea. The companies may prefer to wait until an interview to review it; but it doesn’t hurt to have it with you. “ Cheat” sheets can be helpful with your Top 5 companies…right before you approach the booth, review your cheat sheet to remind yourself of some top points you wanted to mention to show that you’ve done your research.
  • When you approach a booth, you will want to have a 10-15 second introduction of yourself to tell the recruiter. Information to include is: Name Major Anticipated graduation date Reason for attending the fair A point or two about the company/position that made you interested to prove that you’ve done your research a comment about why your skills/abilities match the career opportunities that they have available You will want to be careful that your “speech” doesn’t sound too scripted – so be sure to practice your speech several times prior to the fair. (AT THIS POINT, GIVE AN EXAMPLE OF A GOOD “ELEVATOR SPEECH” AND ALSO A BAD SPEECH) (CONSIDER ASKING FOR VOLUNTEERS IN THE AUDIENCE TO GIVE A SPEECH OF THEMSELVES TO GET THEM TALKING – AND REWARD THEM WITH AN ERAC GIVE-AWAY)
  • Now that you’re all PREPARED for success, it’s now GO TIME! Your success at the career fair will depend on many factors, but I will be running through the following with you today: How to dress for success What to expect the day of the fair “mapping” out your day And finally, the do’s and don’ts the day of the fair…
  • A neat and organized appearance can go a long way in making a good impression. Making sure your clothes are clean and pressed is half the battle. Spots on ties, runs in hose, or wrinkled clothes can do more damage than you think. When it comes to your hair basically DON’T try to make a statement with it and you should do OK. Neat and clean and conservatively styled are all you need to remember. When you check-in at the fair, you will most likely be given an adhesive badge to use as a nametag. A nametag goes on your RIGHT CHEST. Why? Because as you shake hands, you want your nametag to nametag to angle towards them. (DEMONSTRATE) No matter what the “dress code” states for the fair, dressing conservatively and professionally is always the best bet. Wear a suit , even if it may not be necessary. It makes a professional statement even if the recruiters attending are dressed business casual or casually. Yes, a suit can be expensive, but consider it to be a very wise investment. You’ll also need it when you start to interview, so you might as well purchase it now! Be careful of the “trends” that can influence your appearance – even if you’re going clubbing after the event, you won’t want to wear your “clubbing” clothes to the fair! What’s the earring/piercing rule? Basically, if you’re a guy--no earrings are appropriate, for a woman-- stick to your basic earrings (one in each ear). Piercing anywhere else is pretty much considered inappropriate. In any case, it’s better to be safe than sorry! *** (AT THIS POINT, GIVE AN EXAMPLE OR TWO OF POOR DRESS THAT YOU’VE SEEN)
  • Career fairs are typically loud, busy & hectic, especially during the peak times. Often times, fairs are held during the day – and in that case, you can expect that most people will be attending either between classes or during the lunch hour. Be prepared for that! If the fair is held at night, you’ll see the biggest rush right at the beginning. The fair usually starts to die down within the last ½ to 1 hour. Some people may be tempted to attend during that time so they don’t have to deal with the rush; however, I wouldn’t recommend it. Although WE never do it, some recruiters will close up shop early, and you may miss out on the opportunity to visit one of your Top 5’s. It is also very likely that your Top 5 are the same as everyone else’s Top 5 – so be prepared for lines. If you are in a line, and you still have other companies to see, feel free to step away for a bit to see the other companies, and then come back. Also, if you notice that the recruiter is giving the same schpeel to all the candidates, feel free to step in and listen. You can still give your elevator speech after the other candidate walks away, but I’m sure the recruiter would appreciate you saving their voice, even just for one schpeel! In today’s economy, many of the companies that have traditionally been top hirers may have reduced, or even eliminated, hiring. However, you will still most likely see them at the fair. Even though a company may not be hiring, they may still want to keep their name out there. Don’t get discouraged by this. After your elevator speech, simply ask if they are currently hiring – and they’ll tell you. Take this as an opportunity to learn, but then focus most of your efforts on those that are currently hiring. You may also come across companies that don’t accept resumes at the fair. Don’t take this personally – it’s most likely a company policy. If they don’t take your resume, just ask them how they would like you to proceed. You may be directed to email it to them, they may direct you to a company website to complete an online application, or they may not tell you to do anything depending on their staffing needs. Just ask! Many times a recruiter will tell you what step(s) you should take from here…be sure to listen! If they tell you to apply online, or to send a resume, or to sign up for interviews – DO IT! You’ll be listening to many different people that day and it’s likely that you’ll forget what you should be doing next…so feel free to take notes after you leave their booth if necessary.
  • You’ve already decided on your Top 5…once you arrive to the fair, they will give you a map of where the companies are. Map it out so you can make the most of your time. As I mentioned earlier, if you find that one of your Top 5 is busy, go to your next stop and come back. The lines will die down and some point, and you want to make sure you hit up everyone you planned. Ideally you will have time to hit up more than your Top 5, so you don’t want to spend the whole fair waiting in one line. You will also want to know what your next week or two’s schedule looks like. 90% of the time you will just be learning about an organization and they’ll give you directions on how to follow up or proceed. However, you just may make quite an impression on the recruiter, and they may want to schedule an interview with you at that point! So if you know your schedule, you can make the appointment at that time, and feel confident that you can stick to it.
  • To summarize, here is a list of some career fair DO’s… (RUN THROUGH EACH OF THESE, AND THROW OUT EXAMPLES WHENEVER POSSIBLE)
  • On the flip side, here are some career fair DON’Ts!!! (RUN THROUGH EACH AND GIVE EXAMPLES WHEN POSSIBLE)
  • OK…so you’ve prepared like a pro, and you’ve made very positive first impressions. Next…you want want to MAKE THE CUT! I’m going to talk now about some following up techniques and where you take it from here.
  • Recruiters see MANY candidates at the career fair, and even though you made a GREAT impression on the recruiter, you ALWAYS want to follow up. After you spoke with the Recruiter, you should have collected his/her business card. If you spoke with someone other than the recruiter, ask for the both their card, and the recruiter’s card, and follow up with both. The best thing you’ll want to do in this situation is make your follow up personal. If there was something that you talked about with the recruiter that would make you stand out and help them to remember you, put that in your follow up. As far as how to follow up, that’s up to you. An email is immediate whereas a letter or note shows a little more effort. Both have their advantages so do whichever you feel is more appropriate. The most important thing is that you DO IT! Another method of follow up is via the phone. This is not standard today, but it’s an option – just be careful to not move to STALKER status! As I mentioned earlier, if a Recruiter asked you to email a resume to them, to complete an online application, or to sign up for an interview on campus…DO IT! A positive first impression can quickly be ruined if you don’t follow up appropriately.
  • Depending on your graduation date and also if the company is hiring or not, you may not be able to pursue a company immediately. If that is the case, file that information away. I recommend having a “Career Opportunities” folder or notebook where you keep notes, business cards and company literature. Write down who you met with so when you follow up down the road, you will remember the important details and who you can follow up with. You will also want to be accessible…when a Recruiter contacts you for a follow up conversation or potentially an interview, you want to be flexible. Remember, you were one of many at the fair, so if you’re not available when they need you to be, they may move on to the next person.
  • The largest and most profitable part of our business to date is Rent-A-Car - We are known as the neighborhood car rental company (the company that “picks you up.”) Our core business is focused on providing rental vehicles to customers who need transportation when their own car is being repaired, or need a different vehicle for a special occasion (Feel free to give examples - moving child off to college, convertible for night out on the town, luxury car to impress clients, etc). You’ll also find us serving most of the nations top airports, a part of our business continuing to grow at a phenomenal rate. Fleet management is another key area of our business. We lease vehicles to small businesses who also rely on us for fleet management services. We have averaged 9.2% annual fleet growth over the last 5 years and there’s a lot more potential in this area . As our rental and fleet businesses continue to grow, our ability to effectively and profitably sell our used vehicles will continue to be a high priority. We sell cars from our car sales branches around the US to customers in need of quality pre-owned vehicles. We have averaged 5% annual growth over the last 5 years. Our car sales team is recognized as having the highest customer satisfaction in the late model used car market. Due to continued customer demand and the desire to create more opportunities for our employees, we recently entered the commercial truck rental market. We see this as another opportunity to build a successful business, serving all of our customers needs.
  • In 2007, the Taylor Family, which founded Enterprise, purchased two other rental car brands – National and Alamo. The three brands combined have a fleet of more than 1.1 million vehicles and generate revenues of more than $12 billion.
  • I like to take a few minutes to share with you our Mission Statement and then our Founding Values, which are two things that drive all aspects of our business and every decision that we make about customer service, hiring, training and development and our community involvement. In a nutshell, our Mission Statements really has 3 basic parts: Take care of our customers, take care of our employees, and the growth and profitability will take care of itself. Now I know I’ve just told you A LOT of information about Enterprise, but it all boils down to this: Enterprise is not just about renting cars and leasing cars. It’s not really even about cars. That’s just what we do, it’s not WHO WE ARE. Our founder, Jack Taylor, knew from day one that the soul of our business is the people . He truly believed, and still does today, that if you get the people part of the business right…everything else will fall into place. Our company operates under one simple philosophy: (read quote). And it’s this philosophy ,and a lot of really great people, that’s gotten us where we are today.
  • Have you ever dreamed of creating your own startup? Of mastering skills that help you take ownership of your future? As a Management Trainee at Enterprise, you’ll learn to run a profit center, manage people and grow your own fast-paced business. You’ll enjoy big earning potential, with performance-based promotion that many MBAs would envy. The Management Trainee Opportunity at Enterprise gives you a chance to run your own business and share in the profits you help create. You will receive highly marketable skills and training in business, management, sales and service Our rapid promotions are based on performance, 100% from within. Top management at Enterprise all started in the Management Training Program.
  • We offer a comprehensive development program where you will learn (go through talking points): Sales & Business Development—you will gain sales skills which will help you market the “Enterprise Difference” to referral sources such as insurance companies, body shops, dealerships,& corporate accounts. Financial Analysis- You will learn how to analyze the business’s financial statements, slicing and dicing the drivers of our business to improve performance and profitability Management Skills –You will learn how to train and develop others--coaching is a big part of this process Customer Service Skills—you will learn the branch operational plan that ensures the ESQI (Enterprise Service Quality Index) that has made Enterprise #1 in customer service, by JD Powers. Fleet Control and Maintenance–learning the balance of your fleet mix and managing your maintenance program to maximize profitability Develop as an Entrepreneur – You are truly being groomed to run your own business.
  • Generally, the career path for management trainee looks like this (feel free to amend per your program, but discussion should mirror that of the websites as closely as possible to prevent confusion. Here are some helpful hints and/or key areas to mention): You begin as a Management Trainee and are assigned to a rental branch where you will train under your Branch Manager. After your first 1-3 weeks, you will attend a New Hire Orientation where you will learn the foundation of our history, philosophy, sales, customer service and the basics of our computers system. After the first week, you will learn through working directly with Management and your branch team members. During the first year, you will complete the “Use Your Head” training manual as well as complete online comprehensive tests, to monitor your progress. You will also complete the Skills Evaluation Test and the Management Qualification Interview, which qualify you for the next position as a Management Assistant . The responsibilities and duties of this position are similar to the Management Trainee, however this position is very involved in training and development of new employees entering the Management Training Program. You will then be promoted to Assistant Manager – You are now responsible for running the day to day front end of the business and are paid a percentage of the profits of the branch. Branch Manager – As you move from Assistant Manager to Branch Manager, you will be evaluated on your branch fleet growth, ESQI, profit performance and will be rewarded financially based on how well you manage and grow your business. From the Area Manager position on up, you are gaining more responsibility, managing multiple locations. Although the program is mapped out here in these steps, how fast you progress is truly up to you. At Enterprise, you are truly paid and promoted based on your performance, not seniority. Once you’re in, it’s truly up to you.
  • As college students, some of you may be interested to know (or maybe you already do!) that Enterprise has amazing career opportunities! Our highly regarded Intern program is the way into a successful (and fun filled) career. We like to say that this program is “Business 101 on ten 10 cups of coffee” Our interns go at a highly energized pace. From day one as a paid intern with Enterprise, you’ll learn what it takes to run a successful business and acquire highly marketable skills and experience pertaining to every aspect of operating a business. And it’s learning by doing, not by getting coffee or filing all day. Our college interns take on the same challenges as our first and second year full-time professionals. It’s a team-based environment where the Enterprise employees are supportive and fun to work with. Creative, fun loving and hard working The ideal candidate is ambitious, creative, personable, resourceful, fun loving and hard working. And again, we promote from within giving you a jump start on your future.
  • Once again, thank you for coming! Hopefully this helped to feel more prepared to make a positive impression at a career fair and gave you a little more info about who we are and what we do. To take a more personal look please visit our website at www.go.enterprise.com and contact your local Enterprise representative. (HAVE LITERATURE AND BUSINESS CARDS FOR ATTENDEES TO TAKE ON THEIR WAY OUT)

How to Navigate a Career Fair How to Navigate a Career Fair Presentation Transcript

  • How to Work a Career Fair Presented by: Dustin Laroux & Genevieve Pedesclaux
  • Today’s Topics
    • Preparing for the career fair
    • GO Time
    • Making the Cut
    • Opportunities with Enterprise
  • Preparing for the Fair
    • Self-Assessment
    • Do your Homework
    • Materials to Prepare
    • Your Elevator Speech
  • Preparing for the Fair
    • Self Assessment
      • Determine your career goals
        • Short Term
        • Long Term
    • Skills Inventory
      • Likes
      • Dislikes
      • Strengths
      • Weaknesses
  • Preparing for the Fair
    • Do Your Homework
      • Point of Attack
        • Who’s going to be there?
        • Select Top 5
      • Company Research
        • Where to research
          • Career Center
          • Company Website
          • Your network
        • What to research
          • Company/Industry characteristics & culture
          • Career Opportunities available
  • Preparing for the Fair
    • Materials to Prepare
      • Resume
      • References
      • Cover letters
      • Business cards
      • Portfolio
      • “Cheat” sheets
  • Preparing for the Fair
    • Your Elevator Speech
      • 15-30 seconds
      • Name, major, anticipated
      • graduation date
      • Reason for attending the fair
      • Prove you have done your research
      • How your skills and knowledge relate to the career opportunities available
  • GO Time
    • Dress for Success
    • What to Expect
    • Map out your Day
    • Do’s & Don’ts
  • GO Time
    • Dress for Success
      • Think “Conservative”
        • Wear a suit
        • Be careful of trends
        • Earrings/piercings
      • Neat and organized
        • Nametag on right
        • Clothing that is clean and pressed
        • Neat, professional hairstyle
  • GO Time
    • What to Expect
      • Busy & noisy
      • Long lines
      • Lack of hiring at some companies
      • Some companies may not accept your resume
      • Take notes if necessary
  • GO Time
    • Map Out Your Day
      • Locate top 5 & map out route
      • Schedule your time appropriately
      • Know your weekly schedule
  • GO Time
    • Career Fair DO’s
      • Use your ELEVATOR SPEECH
      • Develop & use a FIRM HANDSHAKE
      • Check for FRESH BREATH
      • SMILE , use EYE CONTACT & show PERSONALITY
      • Ask OPEN-ENDED questions
      • Collect company LITERATURE & BUSINESS CARDS
      • Remain PROFESSIONAL
      • LISTEN carefully to Recruiter
      • Offer RESUME
      • THANK Recruiter for time
      • FOLLOW UP!
  • GO Time
    • Career Fair DON’Ts
      • Use FILLER WORDS like, “um, you know, like”
      • SWEAR or use jargon/slang
      • Bring CELL PHONE / wear BLUE TOOTH
      • Bring your CHILDREN
      • Snatch FREEBIES before talking with Recruiter
      • Approach company UNPREPARED
      • Discuss PERSONAL information
      • Cruise around the fair with FRIENDS
  • Making the Cut
    • Following Up
    • Next steps
  • Making the Cut
    • Following Up
      • Thank you note, letter, or email
      • Phone calls
      • Follow through on employer requests
        • Complete applications
        • Sign up for on campus interviews
  • Making the Cut
    • Next Steps
      • File away company literature
      • Keep business cards
      • Be accessible
  • Opportunities with Enterprise!
    • Questions before learning about career opportunities at Enterprise??
  • Who are we?
    • Founded in 1957
    • Largest Car Rental Company In North America
    • 70,000+ Employees
    • Hire over 8,000 College Graduates a Year
    • 7,000 locations Worldwide
      • US, Canada, UK, Ireland & Germany
    • Operate Fleet of more than 900,000 Vehicles
    • Annual Revenue of $10.1 Billion
  • Who are we?
    • rent-a-car
    • fleet management
    • car sales
    • commercial trucks
  • Who are we?
    • Taylor Family Owned Companies:
  • “ Take care of your customers and employees first and profits and growth are sure to follow.” - Jack Taylor - Founder Our Mission: One Simple Philosophy
  • What is a Management Trainee?
    • Entry-level position with a career path to various aspects of Management
    • Learning all aspects of running a business
      • Sales
      • Customer Service
      • Management
      • Finance
      • Human Resources
      • Marketing
      • Administration
      • Fleet Management
    • Promotion 100% from within!
  • What is a Management Trainee?
    • Comprehensive development program where you will learn:
      • Sales & Business Development
      • Financial Analysis
      • Management Skills
      • Customer Service Skills
      • Fleet Control and Maintenance
      • Entrepreneurship
    • 3 years in a row on BusinessWeek’s “Top 50 Places to Launch a Career!”
  • Management Career Path
    • General Manager
    • Regional Vice President
    • Group Rental Manager
    • Area Manager
    • Branch Manager
    • Assistant Manager
    • Management Assistant
    • Management Trainee
  • Management Trainee Internship
    • Full-time paid summer program with a career path to Management
    • Learn all aspects of running a business
      • Sales, Customer Service, Management, Finance, Human Resources, Marketing, Administration, Fleet Management & More
    • Gain marketable skills that will prepare you for a successful career after graduation
    • Participate in contests and competitions with other interns
    • Integral part of the Team
  • THANK YOU! Questions?