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Career Fair Strategies Presented by: Mike Brown Director, MBA Career Services Class of 2016 Orientation Implementation.

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Presentation on theme: "Career Fair Strategies Presented by: Mike Brown Director, MBA Career Services Class of 2016 Orientation Implementation."— Presentation transcript:

1 Career Fair Strategies Presented by: Mike Brown Director, MBA Career Services Class of 2016 Orientation Implementation

2 ….not just a place to collect logo pens and post-it notes!

3 Career Fair Benefits  Multiple employers; one location  Acquire market, company data  Practice interviewing skills  Network with recruiters  Land interviews

4 September Career Fairs EventDates Supply Chain Career FairSeptember 9, 10,11 Corporate Associates Career FairSeptember 15 PSU Fall Career DaysSeptember 16, 17, 18 National Black MBA Career Fair Atlanta, GASeptember 17, 18, 19 PSU Marketing Association Career FairSeptember 18 NSHMBA Career Fair Philadelphia, PASeptember 26, 27

5 Smeal Corporate Associates

6 Career Fair Strategies Pre-fair Preparation Career Fair Performance Post Fair Follow-up

7 Pre-fair Prep Strategy

8 Targeting Strategy  Determine your career fair goals  Identify job fair participants  Prioritize your target companies top 5 “must see” “A tier” companies 5-10 “nice to see” “B tier” employers 5-10 “intellectually curious” “C tier” firms

9 Research Companies Review job openings Flagship products or services Stock price, history, locations Recent merger/acquisition activity Key competitorsIndustry trends

10 Tailor Your Resume  Good matches move on; bad ones don’t  Customize to job or internship qualifications  Select best accomplishments  Present to top 5 “must sees”

11 Prepare Your Branding Message >Your response to “Tell me about yourself” >Strengths, abilities, knowledge >Recent experience, accomplishments >Your career goals, ambitions; interest in company >Practice, practice, practice

12 Dress for Success  Gents: white shirts, conservative ties  Ladies: closed toe pumps, nude hose  Hair: groomed; smartly styled  Be careful of colognes and perfumes  Pre-plan for pressing and dry cleaning

13 What to Bring:  Padfolio with pen and paper  Extra resumes (on resume paper)  Conservative work bag or briefcase  No backpacks!

14 Career Fair Performance

15 Five Success Traits Energy Warmth Confidence Poise Polish

16 Have a “Walkabout” Plan  Career Fair Get a “lay of the land” Locate target employers Identify who has long lines Determine your interview order Walk off some initial nerves

17 “Walkabout” part two  Employers Pick up media, job listings “Eavesdrop” on recruiter’s communication styles, personality, Qualitative vs. quantitative questions? Warm up with your 2 nd tier 5-10

18 First Impressions  Confidently approach the recruiter  Smile  Maintain eye contact  Firm handshake  “Hi, I’m ____, it’s a pleasure to meet you.”  Repeat recruiter’s name

19 Three “no-blink” responses 1.Why are you here today? 2.Why are you interested in our company 3.Why have you chosen this career?

20 Booth Etiquette  Respect the recruiter’s time  Wait your turn  Never interrupt a current conversation  Don’t speak negatively about anything  Don’t just drop a resume and walk away  Build rapport with recruiter

21 Recruiting for Undergrads?  Connect with recruiter  Make it an information interview  Show your interest in the company  “Talk shop” about the industry; business  Ask for the appropriate MBA recruiter

22 Closing Impressions  Ask for recruiter’s business card  Inquire about next steps  Extend a firm handshake  Maintain eye contact  “Thank you for meeting with me today”

23 Circle-back Strategy  When lines drop off  When you are more relaxed  To continue a conversation  To ask additional questions  To build rapport and be remembered

24 Post Fair Follow-up

25 Follow-up Strategy  Drop off a hand-written note at booth  Leave a VM message that evening  Send a thank you within 24 hours Reference what was discussed at fair Attach another copy of your resume  Be professionally persistent!

26 National Career Expos

27 Pre-expo Prep Register as early as possible;Apply for jobs; recruiters are screening resumes ongoingConduct pre-conference networkingUpdate LinkedIn to MBA candidate; scrub FacebookArrange travel logistics

28 30 Days Prior  Plan your agenda; speakers, networking events  Prioritize your target companies  Practice your branding message  Prepare open ended questions  Schedule simulated interviews

29 When You Arrive  Check in when you arrive  Review the expo floor map  Attend professional development sessions sponsored and facilitated by recruiters  Secure interviews  Seek additional networking opportunities

30 Tips for Expo Success  Anticipate the size; 100,000 sq. ft.  Start slow with B & C tier employers  Stay focused on targets and goals  Ask recruiter for an interview

31 Interview Centers Arrive early; allow time to check in One company will conduct multiple interviews simultaneously 200 to 600 interviews happening at once Partitions are “walls of cloth”

32 Final thought: Final thought: You might not find the job you’re looking for at a career fair; but you just might find your future employer!

33 Mock Career Fair event we are hosting on September 10 th. The event is designed to help prepare students for the Fall Career Fair events. Eight Different Corporate Recruiters in attendance: Students will also have the opportunity to practice their 30 second pitch with eight different companies attending the event Professional Headshots: The RIIT group will provide professional head shots for students for use on their LinkedIn profiles

34 Questions?

35 Penn State Smeal MBA Program 35 What Employers Are Seeking Desired Traits in 2011 MBA HiresPercentage Initiative77% Professionalism77% Motivation76% Integrity76% Ability to deal effectively with pressure/obstacles 75% Source: GMAC 2011 Corporate Recruiters Report

36 Penn State Smeal MBA Program 36 Upcoming Career Fairs

37 October Career Expos EventDates NSHMBA Career Fair Orlando, FLOctober 5-6 MBA Veterans Career Fair Chicago, ILOctober 12 Midwest Career Fair Chicago, ILOctober 19 MBA Women International Conference Phoenix, AZOctober Reaching Out LGBT MBA Career Expo Boston, MAOctober Net Impact Conference Baltimore, MDOctober 25-27

38 Prepare questions to ask  Strategic Comeback What skills, experience do you look for….  Strategic Planning What is the retention rate of newly hired…  Company Information How would you describe the corporate culture?


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