Get Organized for the Career Fair this LDW

There’s a 3 day weekend on the horizon … which means plenty of time to prepare for the Career Fair on Wednesday, September 7th!  Career Fair Pro, Hallie, offers more tips on ensuring a successful Career Fair.

And so it begins… CAREER FAIR PREP SEASON! With the career fair less than a week away (Wednesday September 7th), it’s time to finally sit down and figure out how you’re going to land your dream job. Here are some quick tips for adding those finishing touches to your resume and your elevator speech—and how you’ll avoid showing up to the fair completely clueless.

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Resume Tips/ Tricks

  • Always list your events in chronological order with your most recent events at the top. Along with this idea, make sure all the internships and clubs that you are currently still involved in are written in the present tense, and all experiences that you have done in the past are in the past tense.

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  • At the top of your resume, there should be a unique header that includes your name, address, phone number, and email. If you ever need to submit a cover letter along with your resume, your cover letter should use this same header layout.
  • Make sure all of your experiences include the company/organization you worked for, the position you held, the time frame you worked there, and the city and state in which you worked. With regards to writing dates, it’s fine if you just include the month and year of your start to the month and year of your finish. For example, September 2015 – April 2016.
  • Dates and cities should be aligned to the right side of your page.
  • Don’t be afraid to mess around with the margins of your resume. But at the same time, you still want there to be a solid border of white around the whole page.  1/2″ margins around the page should be the minimum.
  • ALWAYS use black ink and print your resumes a few days in advance. You want to make sure you have at least one resume per company you plan to visit, along with five to seven extras. The Resource Room in the Union has resume paper available for a small fee, but can often run out close to the career fair date.
  • For more information on preparing your resume, review the Office of Career Management’s Resume Guide.

Elevator Speech Preparation

  • Your elevator speech will include the key points about yourself that will help start off your conversation with the recruiter. Career fairs and interviews are your time to boast about yourself, so don’t be afraid to let companies know the amazing things you’ve done!
  • Start off with a friendly hello and a firm handshake – no dead fish!

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  • Introduce yourself by stating your name, year in school, and major. Feel free to also list some of the organizations you are involved in on campus, as well as some of your past internship experiences. Even include how they may relate to the company you are speaking with.
  • Sometimes the recruiter will then turn it into a conversation and start asking you some questions about yourself, but if that doesn’t happen, don’t be afraid to continue leading the conversation and maybe ask a question of your own.
  • Companies want to know that you did your research. If you’ve seen something in the news about them recently, feel free to mention it!  Make sure it is a positive comment!
  • Lastly, direct the conversation towards the programs they might offer. If you’re a freshman or a sophomore, and they say they’re only looking at juniors, don’t be afraid to ask what your next steps should be, or what you can do in the next year or so to work towards a position with that company.

Remember, career fairs are all about networking. Ask for business cards when you’ve enjoyed your conversation with the recruiter and follow up by emailing those contacts afterwards. Although you might not always directly get an internship or job, the career fair can often set you up for a great opportunity in the future!

Katie Reynolds

Katie Reynolds is the Assistant Director of Undergraduate Student Career Development in the Office of Career Management at Fisher College of Business.

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