You shirt could be worth a fortune, if you dress for sucess at the U of M career fair. It will be held on February 17th, in the Minneapolis Convention Center.
Janet Petersen from Career Services at UMD, spoke to two groups of students on making the most out of interviews at career fairs. " Wear professional dress and comfortable shoes, so you make a good first impression, " said Petersen.
Take a portfolio with you, rather than a bulky briefcase. She feels that job fairs are a great way to gather information, practice interviewing, and make contacts for future employment.
Petersen has been working at UMD for 17 years, helping students find jobs. She gave tips on preparing for the upcoming career fair, during her speech at the Campus Center. For example, when talking to an employer, show them that you've done some research by mentioning specific issues of the company, and mentioning their website. This shows an employer that you're motivated and serious about the job.
A list of the companies that will be represented is available through Career Services. Janet suggest that you research the companies that interest you. She feels that you will make the most of your day, by showing these companies that you've done your homework.
Petersen also suggests that you take notes for future reference, notes are a great way to write down helpful hints and information for future thank-you notes. You can keep your notes in your protfolio.
When you check into the trade show you will receive a packet of information, schedules and a map of the different employments booths. Interviews are held ina traditional setting that last 15 to 30 minutes. It is possible to make an apointment for an interview, if you contact the employer in advance.
Remember that Petersen says "The Point of of going to the job fair is to make good connections and to make a good impression." that is why it is so important to be professional, and do your research, so that your potential employer will remember you.
Send out individual thank you letters to each company, addressed to the specific employer. Try to personalize them, if you forgot something,
bring it up. These letters should be sent out within three day. This is considered standard business protocol, said Petersen.
Remember to be prepared, professional and do your research, those are the keys to seeling yourself to a potential employer.
The information on the career fair can be found on the UMD website under carrer services.