Today I wanted to write about Career Fair that I went last week.
University of Minnesota holds "Job and Internship Fair" every year for the students. It is the biggest student career fair in Minnesota! More than 200 organizations will be there recruiting for hundreds of jobs and internships. The Job and Internship Fair is open to all U of M undergraduates, graduate students, and recent alumni.
This is a great opportunity not only to navigate your job options, meet with the employers, ask questions that you prepared, but also to practice your interview skills
One thing I noticed was this is a place you can actually "interact" with the companies in person. In fact, there are interview rooms were prepared, so if you scheduled an interview session, you can have interview with (possibly) your future employer!
There are few things that you may want to prepare
-Bring your student ID to get in.
-Bring copies of your most updated resume
(Actually, I was very surprised how this event expected me to be very professional)
•Women: Professional-looking dress, dress suit, or pantsuit; clean and comfortable shoes
•Men: Suit or jacket; shirt and tie; clean and comfortable shoes
-Check Parking info and directions (And free shuttle will be offed by UofM)
-A free coat check will be available.
First thing, you need to register. This year, I paid 10$ for pre-registered.
Second, Update your resume and take copies with you. For advice about creating a resume, see this Resume Guide, or look for more info on your college career site.
Third, Find out which companies will be at the Fair. Do some preliminary research so you can target a few (3 to 5) companies that truly interest you. This is very important for opening a conversation with the company.
Find out the company's size, general history, product(s), target market(s), and competitors. Good sources of information for that include:
•The company's Web site and annual report (often found online)
•Libraries. Use your public library, or business libraries such as the University of Minnesota Business Reference Library and St. Paul's James J. Hill Reference Library.
•Career Centers: Try your campus career services office or your local community's career center, where available.
These are the common questions you can ask for general information
•What types of career opportunities does your organization offer?
•What majors does your organization typically hire?
•What are the job responsibilities for that type of position?
•What are the most important qualities or characteristics you look for in hiring for that position?
•What are the most important skills necessary to do the job?
•What recommendations would you make for someone who would like to enter that field?
•Are you aware of related occupations that I would be qualified for with the background/major that I have or am planning to pursue?
•How did you get into the organization/career field? What is your background? How does it relate to the position?
•What are typical first-year assignments?
•Could I set up a time to visit you at your workplace to talk more about what you do?
•Do you know someone in your organization who does...?
•Do you have internship or summer job opportunities for someone in my major?
•Do you know of other contacts that might be helpful to me?
•May I contact you if I need more information?
Fourth, prepare a short script (just 2 or 3 lines) to introduce yourself with. Practice it and a firm handshake. In your script, try to include why you're interested in that company and the kind of position you're seeking.
I know, in some culture, having a "firm and confident" hand shaking is not very common, so be prepared :)
Lastly, be sure to follow up with the organization after the Fair
•Keep notes on your conversations and how you said you would follow up.
•If no business card is available, ask if the recruiter can be reached at the telephone number or address on literature. Information at the Fair may be more current than materials found in a library or career center.
•Send thank-you letters immediately - within two days if possible.
•If contacting by letter, refer to the date and location of the Fair, and jog the recruiter's memory of you. Mention any unique points you discussed so the employer will remember you.
•Any important information should be restated and emphasized.
•Reiterate your qualifications and include any information you neglected to mention.
•Proofread your letter and let someone else look it over.
•You may want to include a copy of your resume.
Are you ready to be meeting your future job opportunities? Be confident and Positive, that is the last key!