Presentation on theme: "Prepare for the Fair How to Make a Career Fair Work for You 1 Presented by Clark University Career Services."— Presentation transcript:
Prepare for the Fair How to Make a Career Fair Work for You 1 Presented by Clark University Career Services
What is a Career Fair? Career fairs are face-to-face meetings between jobseekers and employers. Fairs provide opportunities to speak with company recruiters, submit resumes, or simply gather information about career opportunities. It is also a chance to grow your network of career contacts. Two-thirds of all people get their jobs using informal search methods such as networking with people and making direct contact with an employer! (careerchallenge.com) 2
Benefits of Attending a Career Fair Learn about the variety of positions available in a particular career field. Talk to someone currently working in your field of interest. Learn about internship and/or employment opportunities Establish employment contacts. Practice interacting with employers.
Tips and Strategies: Before the Career Fair 4
Research Participating Employers Look at the list of companies that will be in attendance. Research those that sound interesting by reading their website and talking to anyone you know who works or interns there. Jot down some informed questions to ask the company representative based on what you learn. 5
Prepare a Resume Develop a polished, professional-looking resume and have it ready to present to employers. Bring to the fair several copies of your resume printed on high quality paper. Career Services will help you write your resume and will critique your drafts. You may bring it in any afternoon during drop-in hours (Mon. – Fri. 12 to 4 p.m.). Use this link to get started on creating your resume!link 6
Prepare for a Positive First Impression! Dress appropriately. Shake hands firmly and maintain good eye contact. Be positive and enthusiastic. Show that you are interested in what the recruiter says. Wait until you are leaving the table to take the “freebies” offered. 7 HELLO my name is Lasting First Impression
Plan Your Attire “Business casual” attire is expected at an on-campus fair; for other fairs, a suit may be necessary. If in doubt about what to wear, opt for more dressed-up rather than less. 8
Master the Business Handshake First impressions are critical and employers may make assumptions about your professionalism based on your handshake. Your handshake should be firm – not weak but not too strong! Practice shaking hands with friends and ask for their feedback. LEEP Center staff are also happy to assist.
Practice Introducing Yourself Be prepared to present a 30 second commercial about yourself indicating your year in school, your major, your area of interest, and the type of position you are seeking (full-time entry level, internship, summer). Ex: “Hello, my name is ______. I am a senior at Clark, finishing up my degree in Psychology and Gender Studies. I’m interested in beginning a career in human services and I read that your agency provides services to families in crisis. I’d like to learn more about the entry-level career opportunities you have available.” Go on to speak about your particular experiences and accomplishments relevant to the job. 10
Prepare for Interviews Every time you speak with an employer, no matter how briefly, consider it an interview—demonstrate confidence, interest, and enthusiasm. Try to anticipate the kinds of questions employers will ask you. A common question is something like, “What are you here for today?” Tailor your answer to your interests and the company’s interests. Prepare to ask the employer questions as well! 11
What coursework or fields of study do you look for in successful candidates? Does your company hire on a continual basis or just at certain times of the year? Approximately how long does the hiring process take? Are graduate degrees preferred? If so, in what areas? Is there a G.P.A. requirement in the recruiting process? What would your organization consider the most important qualities in an employee? Sample Questions to Ask Employers at a Career Fair 12
What personality traits are important for success in your company? What opportunities are there for an entry level employee to participate in professional development activities (e.g. trainings, conferences)? How long have you been with this company? What made you choose to work here? For how many years does the entry-level employee typically stay with your company? How many employees work in X department? Do you expect your employees to relocate or travel? Sample Questions to Ask Employers at a Career Fair 13
Tips and Strategies: The Day of the Career Fair 14
Arrive Early and Independently Arrive as early as possible to see those recruiters you expect will be busiest. If you come late you may miss the organizations you wanted to contact. A professional image is easier to maintain if you speak to employers alone. Avoid traveling through the fair in a group of friends. 15
Maintain the Professionalism You Practiced Approach the recruiter with a smile and offer a hand when introducing yourself displaying a friendly, confident attitude. Maintain professional space and behavior. Avoid taking “freebies” until after your conversation. Hand the recruiter a copy of your resume and expand on it quickly with your “commercial.” Speak naturally; avoid presenting your introduction as a speech. 16
Prepare to Follow-up After a brief discussion with the recruiter, collect the organizational literature and the recruiter’s business card. Ask about the next step in the recruiting process or the preferred method of follow-up. Immediately after leaving the table, jot down notes about your conversation as well as names of contacts you spoke with who may not have had a business card. This will help remind you of information to reference in a thank you letter. 17
Tips and Strategies: After the Career Fair 18
Follow-up with Contacts Once you’re home, you should begin preparing thank you notes! In the letter, thank the recruiter for his/her time, restate your interest and qualifications for the position, recall something that you discussed, express your interest in a second interview, and indicate when you will follow up. Send your thank you notes by the next day. Following-up via is okay as long as you keep the letter professional. 19
Improve Your Resume Use what you learned at the fair to improve your resume. Add qualifications or details that best illustrate your fit for that industry or position. 20
Remember the Career Fair FIVES (adapted from JobWeb.com) Five things to TAKE TO a Career Fair 1. Copies of your resume, notepaper, and a pen. 2. A smile, a strong handshake, and a positive attitude. 3. A second “commercial”. 4. Information about the organizations that will be attending. 5. Energy and enthusiasm! 21 Five things to TAKE AWAY from a Career Fair 1. Business cards from the recruiters you have met. 2. Notes about contacts you made. 3. Organization information. 4. A better sense of your career options. 5. Self-confidence in interacting with company representatives.
Questions? Contact Career Services at: Or come to drop-in hours: Monday through Friday 12 – 4 p.m. in the LEEP Center at Dana Commons