Many of you are already on your way to the Career Fair taking place today all across campus in Gampel, Rome, and the Student Union Ballroom. I’m sure by now, you’ve narrowed your target list of employers you’d like to speak with, you’ve polished up your resume at the Center for Career Development, and maybe attended an employer-hosted workshop on How to Navigate the Career Fair. Before you step through those doors and put on your winning smile, I have 3 tips so you can make the best of this exciting opportunity.
- Make That Personal Connection: “What do you look for in a candidate?”, “Can you tell me about X position?” These are great questions I hear students ask all the time. They’re valuable but by going an extra step, you can make your name stick in the recruiter’s mind. To make sure you stand out, try asking the representative about their experience at the organization, what lead them there, and what they did beforehand. Maybe they also went to UConn and are excited about sharing what they did their senior design project on, or a class they took that led them to their field. Often times, you’ll spark a great dialogue that goes above and beyond the standard questions they hear all the time. When they are reviewing your resume that night, they’ll remember talking with you about their chemistry final or cramming for accounting the night before the exam, when they were at UConn. Driving home that personal connection with the recruiter gives them something different to attach to your name, which could help score you that interview.
- Body Language Matters: I can’t count how many times I’ve seen students walk up to the table with their backpack slung over one shoulder, a coffee in one hand, and a weak handshake in the other. You’re interviewing for that job from the second you walk up to that table until the second they extend an offer (and it often doesn’t end there). Take an extra couple minutes today to drop the backpack, leave the coffee at the door and practice your handshake with a friend. How you introduce yourself, and how you present yourself sets the tone for the entire interaction. Make sure you start on off on the right foot.
- Look Professional: Fumbling through loose sheets of paper, which are probably creased or crushed from your backpack by now, isn’t the image you want to present when the recruiter inevitably asks for your resume. Take a couple minutes this morning, neatly place all of your papers into a clean folder or stop by the Co-op to purchase a portfolio. Being organized and looking professional during the entire interaction is key to making it to the next step.
Now, iron that shirt again, fix your tie, grab your resume, and come make your best first impression ever!