The fair scheduled for Wednesday was moved to Thursday, February 15th due good ole’ New England weather. That means you have more time to prepare for the fair! Mother nature says, “you’re welcome!”
Hopefully you’ve attended one of our fair prep presentations during Internship & Co-op Week. But if you need a refresher on some tips, here’s a few big ones:
- Do your research. Employers expect you to have some idea of what their company does, who its customers are, or what services they provide. A simple Google news search can give you important insight, and checking out their website gives you a glimpse into their mission, culture, and locations. Taking 5-10 minutes to do your homework will give you an advantage when approaching their table.
- Know thyself. You’re going to be asked to talk about yourself, which can be awkward. Get ahead of your jitters by preparing an elevator pitch – 10-30 seconds of highlights about your career interests, accomplishments and experiences. You can talk about your major, previous internships, work, or volunteer experiences, career goals…even why you’re interested in the company you’re speaking with. And practice makes perfect, so do a few run throughs with a friend or a mirror!
- Dress to impress. Recruiters often attend career fairs in branded t-shirts or jeans and sneakers. It’s part of their culture. And once you’re part of their team, you can dress like that, too. But for the time being, air on the conservative side and dress professionally. You can never be overdressed, and it shows intent, preparedness, and that you’re taking the job search seriously. It can also make you feel confident. We suggest a pant or skirt suit with jacket, dress shoes and clean grooming. If you don’t have a suit, a button-up or dress shirt and nicer pants (khakis, no jeans!) are OK. And plan ahead – be sure you have time to change before the fair, or pack accordingly. Many students pop in casual clothes (even gym clothes!) because they didn’t have time to change in between classes. Avoid that if possible.
- Be prepared. Bring a few copies of your resume (which you now have time to bring to CCD for another resume critique!) to share with employers, and remind you of your accomplishments. A pen and notebook or padfolio can be really helpful, too. And don’t worry if an employer won’t take your resume, many companies have policies that require you to either leave your information through an iPad or apply online, and can’t accept resumes in person.
And don’t forget, the Careers for the Common Good Fair is Feb. 21!