Career fair strategies sharing


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Tip for making the most of a career fair

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  • Employers and College Career Center Staff suggest this formula for your introduction. Tailor your introduction to each employer by researching the organizations. How do your skills and strengths relate to the positions available at the organization
  • For how many years does an entry-level employee usually stay with your organization? What kinds of skills and experience do you look for in new hires? What are the characteristics of your most successful candidates? Are there specific career tracks within the organization? For example what a typical hire in your division expect to be doing in 2, 5, 10 years? Are there opportunities for ongoing training within your organization? How would you describe the culture at your organization?
  • Career fair strategies sharing

    1. 1. Making The Most Of The Career Fair Career Center Union 205
    2. 2. Topics <ul><li>Your purpose & goal </li></ul><ul><li>Preparing for the fair (your “pitch”, resume, researching companies) </li></ul><ul><li>Professional behavior and dress attire </li></ul><ul><li>Career fair strategies – During & After </li></ul><ul><li>Upcoming career fairs – Dates & Times </li></ul>
    3. 3. Your Purpose <ul><li>GOAL: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>To generate as many contacts as possible that will lead to possible interviews. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>WHAT WILL YOU DO? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Network : Engage the recruiter in conversation. Take the person’s business card. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Target : Talk with specific employers about possible career opportunities. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Investigate : Now is the time for you to speak with organizations you may not have considered before. </li></ul></ul>
    4. 4. Preparation <ul><li>Research employers who plan to attend: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Learn who is coming ahead of time </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Identify and research your most promising prospects </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Prepare a solid resume: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Prepare a current resume </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Use good paper </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Bring several copies </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Do you need more than one version tailored to an organization? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Note: Some employers will ask you to apply online rather than leave a resume with them. </li></ul>
    5. 5. Preparation <ul><li>3. Develop A 30-60 second “sales pitch ” </li></ul><ul><li>Think of it as answering the question… </li></ul><ul><li>Tell me about yourself </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Answering this question will be easier if you think about yourself and research the organization— </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>see suggestions for questions to ask yourself and to guide your research about the organizations on the handout provided </li></ul></ul>
    6. 6. Developing your own “sales pitch” <ul><li>Name </li></ul><ul><li>Class (senior, junior, sophomore) </li></ul><ul><li>Major </li></ul><ul><li>Opportunities that you are seeking </li></ul><ul><li>Relevant Experience (work, internship, volunteer work) </li></ul><ul><li>Highlights of skills and strengths </li></ul><ul><li>Knowledge of the organization </li></ul><ul><li>End with a question to engage the employer in conversation </li></ul>
    7. 7. Preparation <ul><li>4. Prepare questions for the employer </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Ask intelligent, thoughtful questions that demonstrate you have researched the organization. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ask about such things as an organization's career opportunities and relevancy to your major, what the organization values in its employees. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>5. Anticipate questions the employer may ask you and prepare answers: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>What are you looking for? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Why are you interested in working for <insert organization’s name>? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Why did you choose to study <insert major>? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What experience do you have? </li></ul></ul>
    8. 8. Professionalism <ul><li>Look like a professional </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Professional interview/ business attire </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Look your best! </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Dark suit (black, gray, navy) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>No suit? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Men: Dress pants & pressed collared shirt </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Women: Dress pants & pressed collared shirt or a skirt with a pressed collared shirt </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Polish your shoes (ladies: closed-toe are more professional) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Keep your hair out of your face </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Be well organized! </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Have a resume ready in a nice folder/portfolio </li></ul></ul></ul>
    9. 9. Professionalism <ul><li>Act like a professional </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Demonstrate confidence, interest and enthusiasm </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Be polite at all times </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Offer a firm, friendly handshake </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Make eye contact to establish rapport </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>SMILE  </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Sound like a professional </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Answer questions clearly, concisely and confidently </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ask intelligent, appropriate questions </li></ul></ul>
    10. 10. During The Fair <ul><li>Respect other candidates </li></ul><ul><ul><li>It may be crowded. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Don’t interrupt other candidates. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Respect other candidates’ privacy while talking with recruiters. </li></ul></ul>
    11. 11. <ul><li>PAY ATTENTION </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Observe the behaviors of the recruiters – How are they interacting with the candidates? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Pay attention to the questions you hear being asked by other candidates. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Pay attention to the recruiters’ responses. </li></ul></ul>During The Fair
    12. 12. <ul><li>STAY organized: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Get a business card from those individuals with whom you speak </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Make any notes immediately after your conversations (so you don’t forget) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Learn what you can while you’re there… </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Leave your resume and TAKE literature </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>ASK about their recruitment plans </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>ASK how you should best follow-up </li></ul></ul>During The Fair
    13. 13. After The Fair <ul><li>Most employers will follow-up with students within 2-4 weeks after the Career Fair if they are interested in setting up an interview. </li></ul><ul><li>Some may expect some kind of follow-up from you—a cover letter & resume, phone call or completed job application—and may not extend an invitation for an interview if you don’t take the initiative. </li></ul>
    14. 14. To Recap… <ul><li>Develop your target list. </li></ul><ul><li>Research those companies on your target list. </li></ul><ul><li>Write intelligent questions for employers. </li></ul><ul><li>Practice, practice, practice! </li></ul><ul><li>Have confidence and enthusiasm and show it to the employers. </li></ul><ul><li>QUESTIONS??? </li></ul>
    15. 15. <ul><li>“ From the moment they meet you, the employer is trying to determine if you are a good match for their organization.” </li></ul><ul><li>Kevin Gray, Associate Editor, NACE </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Help them see the match </li></ul></ul>
    16. 16. Sources <ul><li>Materials adapted from articles by Sally Kersley, Kevin Gray & Pamela S. Joell ( </li></ul>