Presentation on theme: "Northeastern Illinois University Successfully Navigating a Job Fair Online Workshop The Placement Office, Office of Student Affairs Barbara Cosentino,"— Presentation transcript:
Northeastern Illinois University Successfully Navigating a Job Fair Online Workshop The Placement Office, Office of Student Affairs Barbara Cosentino, Assistant Director of Placement
Congratulations!! You’ve decided to attend a Job Fair. You’re on your way to meeting employers, learning about job opportunities and getting on a career path.
Just remember this rule: Job Fairs are only effective for students who are prepared!!
Basic Steps for Preparing for the Job Fair Review your resume Take a look at the list of companies coming to the event beforehand. Create a list of companies you would like to meet at the job fair Dress professionally and look like a candidate and not like a student – That means wear a suit, or at least dress business casual.
Resume Your resume should be 100% error free – that means no spelling or grammatical errors! Your resume should be fully updated prior to the fair. It should be printed on high quality paper, and not photocopied. Have enough resumes on-hand to give at least 2 to every employer attending.
Examples of Resumes If you do not have a resume, there are many examples available to you to base your resume on. Check out the following resources: The Placement Office, B-119 (Paper examples and resume books as well as examples on the website The Ronald Williams Library on-campus The Internet! Some good sites include: and /studentresume.htm. /studentresume.htm
Review Companies Coming to the Job Fair Visit the company websites prior to attending the fair. Visit other websites that also provide company profiles. Some good company capsule websites include and Google the company name – you never know what sort of interesting and useful information may come up! Jot down some basic information on each company you are interested in, such as what their basic function is, what sort of services they provide, and what their mission statement focuses on. Why do you need to do this? So you know why you want to work for the company. If you don’t know why you wish to work for them, they won’t know why they should hire you!
Dress for Success! Just knowing about the companies coming and having a resume ready is not enough. You have to dress for success – which means in a professional or business casual manner – no matter what the job is you are applying for. Remember, you have only one chance to make a good impression!!
Dressing Professionally For Men To look truly professional, you should wear a suit in a neutral color such as black, navy or gray. If you do not have a suit, at the bare minimum you should don a shirt, tie and nice slacks. Your shirt should be a neutral color such as white or pale blue. Your tie should be a complimentary color and should be standard in appearance. That means no cartoon characters, pinup girls, etc. Your socks should match your pants in color. Dress shoes are a must! Take the time to shine them the evening before.
Appropriate Professional Dress Examples:
Dressing Business Casual for Men If you do not own a suit currently, then opt for dressing business casual. Your shirt should be a neutral color such as white or pale blue. You can use a button down shirt or a polo style shirt. All shirts should be tucked in. Button-downs should preferably be long-sleeved. Ties are optional at a business casual job fair but are definitely dressier and make more of an impression. Pants should be khaki style and should be a neutral color such as beige, gray, or black. Socks should match the color of your pants. For footwear, use dress shoes that compliment your pants and are shined. Athletic shoes are not acceptable business casual attire.
Appropriate Business Casual Examples
Inappropriate Job Fair Attire for Men:
Dressing Professionally for Women Looking professional at job fair means wearing a skirt or pants suit in a neutral color such as navy, black, or gray. Your blouse should be in a complimentary neutral color such as white, cream colored, or light blue. Avoid off the shoulder styles or body skimming tops. Hosiery should be skin toned and should be free of snags or runs. Dress shoes of no more than 2 inches high are a must. Make sure they are polished and free of scuffs. Makeup should be natural looking and soft. Jewelry should be minimal and you should wear no more than 5 pieces total, with 1 earring counting as 1 piece of jewelry. Hosiery should be skin toned and should be free of snags or runs. Dress shoes with heels of no more than 2 inches high are a must. Make sure they are polished and free of scuffs. Makeup should be natural looking and soft. Jewelry should be minimal and you should wear no more than 5 pieces total, with 1 earring counting as 1 piece of jewelry.
Appropriate Professional Dress Examples:
Dressing Business Casual For Women If you do not currently own a suit, then you do need to attend the job fair in business casual attire. You can wear either pants or a skirt, provided neither is tight. Stick to colors such as black, brown, gray, navy blue or khaki. Fabrics should be cotton or cotton-blends. Skirts should come to the knee at their shortest. Be careful of slits in your skirt! Slits should not come up high on the leg. Pair these bottoms with a button-down shirt, blouse, sweater set or pull-over in a cotton, silk or blended fabric. Avoid shiny materials or tight fits. Hosiery should be skin toned and should be free of snags or runs. Dress shoes with heels of no more than 2 inches high are a must. Make sure they are polished and free of scuffs. Makeup should be natural looking and soft. Jewelry should be minimal and you should wear no more than 5 pieces total, with 1 earring counting as 1 piece of jewelry. If you are carrying a purse or a bag, err on the conservative side in terms of color or fabric. Carry the smallest bag possible for your items.
Appropriate Business Casual Examples
Inappropriate Job Fair Attire for Women:
For Male and Female Job Fair Attendees: Make sure you cover up any tattoos with clothing if possible. Take out any extra piercings that you may have, including nose, tongue and lips. Make sure your hair is clean, styled nicely and not in your eyes. Keep mints on hand to ensure fresh breath as needed. Do not chew gum or smoke prior or during the event. Leave your book bag behind. You want to look like a candidate and not like a student. Invest in a portfolio to carry your resumes and pens in, or at least leave your book bag in the car. Turn your cell phone off during the job fair.
Remember: You are the living embodiment of your resume, so put your best foot forward!
Once you are at the job fair: Stop, Look and Listen Plan on interacting with the recruiters – Just sneaking up to a recruiter’s table and slipping a resume onto it will not net you a job! Practice common courtesy while waiting to talk to employers. This means waiting patiently, not chatting on your cell phone and not complaining to your fellow job seekers. Use the time you have while waiting to talk to a recruiter to review your notes on the company, to network with other candidates, or to subtly eavesdrop on the information a recruiter is giving another candidate. Smile, make eye contact and shake hands with the recruiter. Remember: If you can see and hear the recruiter, he or she can also see and hear you!
Prepare to Sell Yourself You are your own salesperson and the product you are representing is you as a potential employee. You only have 1-5 minutes to ‘sell’ your product to the recruiter. Create a 30 second ‘commercial’ marketing your skills and abilities. In general, your commercial should include these steps: Introduce yourself, demonstrate your knowledge of the company, state how your skills can benefit them, and express enthusiasm. Practice your commercial prior to the event so that you sound confident and ready.
Two Commercials The following is a typical ‘commercial’ from an unprepared job fair attendee: “Hi, um…My name is Brad and I’m looking for a job in computer science. What are you hiring for?” A prepared job seeker, on the other hand, introduces herself to the recruiter in the following fashion: “Hi. My name is Michelle Myers. I am an education major here at Northeastern Illinois University, and am looking for a job that interacts with kids. I visited your web site and read that XYZ Agency has an after-school tutoring program. I am really interested in that line of work. May I give you my resume?”
During your time with recruiters, you will have opportunities to ask questions. The following are a general list of questions you can choose from to use during the job fair: What qualities is the company looking for in new hires? What is the hiring process like? Why did you choose to work for this organization? What is the next step I should take after the fair?
Close with the Recruiter Manage your time at each table and avoid monopolizing the recruiter’s time. Again, the average time at a recruiter’s individual table is 1-5 minutes. Thank the recruiter for speaking with you, smile and shake hands again. Take or ask for the recruiter’s business card and company literature.
After each recruiter interaction: Add any new information you have obtained about the company to your pre- existing notes. Write down a few impressions of your conversation with the recruiter. Do not move to the next table until you have taken some notes on the previous interaction and reviewed the next company you are about to visit.
After the fair: Send a thank you note to the recruiter within 3 days. Touch upon some of the conversation you had with the recruiter at the fair and reiterate why you would be a good candidate for the company. (Examples of Thank You letters are at the Placement Office website). Include another copy of your resume with the thank you letter. Follow up on any promises made within 3 days, such as transcripts, clippings, writing samples, web site links, etc.
References Career Recruitment Media, Inc. “Getting the Most Out of a Career Fair” Dougherty, Sharon. “The Job Fair Jumble”. Careerbuilder.com Duquesne University Career Services Center. “Tips on Job Fair Success” Stony Brook University Career Center. “Preparing for the Fair” nt.asp nt.asp University of North Dakota Career Services, Cooperative Education. “UND Career Fair Success” Vogt, Peter. “Learn to Work a Career Fair – Before, During and After”. Monster.com careerfair careerfair Yoon-Ji Kang, Esther. “Navigating a Job Fair”. Brassring.com. hannelID=1&SiteID=32/7/02 hannelID=1&SiteID=32/7/02