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Making the Most of a Career Fair

Making the Most of a Career Fair

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Making the Most of a Career Fair

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  1. Making the Most of a Career Fair Career Services University at Albany

  2. Agenda Before: Identify your goals and do your research During: Make a great impression After: Follow-up and stay connected

  3. Goals What do you want to get out of the Career Fair? • Gather career information • Job search • Internship search • Develop your network

  4. Preparation • Who do you want to visit? • Which specific companies • What types of industries • What locations • Broaden your focus • Some job types are at practically all companies (e.g. HR, IT, accounting, marketing, sales) • Lesser known companies may have the best opportunity for you.

  5. Preparation Identify and research the companies you are interested in • Career Services website: You will see a link to the list of employers attending the career fair • Visit individual company web sites • Search on Linkedin • Companies have listings in LinkedIn • You can identify if anyone in your network work at the company you are interested in • Search on CareerShift • Create an account in UA CareerPath to access • Search for companies and see what jobs they currently have open

  6. 60 Second Commercial • Articulate what you are looking for and what you have to offer an employer • Make a list of 3-5 things you want employers to know about you • Include relevant information about education, skills, experience, and specific knowledge relevant to the position • Identify your most important personal attributes • Create a few sentences that describe those things • Practice it with a friend • Weave it into the conversation don’t just blurt it out at people

  7. Preparation • Make sure your suit is ready • Does it need to be cleaned? • Do you have a clean, ironed shirt/blouse • Ladies – pantyhose and closed toed shoes • Gentlemen – no athletic socks • Make sure your resume is ready • Get it reviewed by Career Services • Print it out on nice paper

  8. Preparation What you should bring: • Copies of your resume • List of questions for recruiters • Pen and paper for note-taking • Leather portfolio to neatly store your resumes • Briefcase/bag to carry information/brochures picked up at the fair

  9. Day of the fair • Arrive early...the fair is least busy when it begins. • The busiest time is the middle of the event • Go it alone; friends may keep you from visiting booths that are of primary interest to you. • Listen to what the recruiter is saying. When you are finished, walk away and take notes to help you recall important information. • Remember, this is not an interview; it is your opportunity to make a crucial first impression.

  10. Day of the Fair What makes a good impression? • Greeting: Firm handshake, demonstrate confidence, enthusiasm & interest • Clear & concise answers to questions • Asking good, well thought out questions that demonstrate your knowledge of the company

  11. Walk-about Technique Walk-about the Career Fair: • Get a feel for the layout of the room and employer booths. • Know specifically who you want to talk to and in what specific order. • Be ready to change your plans if long lines appear.

  12. Walk-about Technique Walk-about the Employer: • Instead of standing in line, approach booth from the side and pick up some of the company literature. • Take a few steps back. You now have valuable information about the company and you can get a preview of the company and the recruiter. • Listen to the conversations taking place and pay particular attention to the types of questions the recruiter asks. Be prepared to answer some of these same questions.

  13. Walk-about the Employer • Based on your research, the literature you’ve picked up at the fair and the conversations you’ve listened to, ask yourself: • Is this something I’m interested in? • Am I able to show that I’m qualified for this position? • If YES, get in line. Use this waiting time wisely by reading through the material you picked up previously. Many people may not have gotten this ahead of time so you will be at an advantage.

  14. Speaking with employers • Stay alert and focused on what is important to the company/recruiter, and how you can help further the company’s goals. How can you be an asset to them? • Remember to ask for business cards so you can send a thank you note and connect on LinkedIn!

  15. Information you need What to learn from employers: • Employment and/or hiring trends • Skills necessary for different careers/jobs • Current/future openings • Training, responsibilities and other information about the organization • Who to contact for follow-up discussion

  16. Employers Want to Know... • Specific career/job objectives • Individual strengths and limitations • Contributions you will make to the organization

  17. Behaviors to avoid Job Fair no-no’s for candidates according to employers • Lacking focus and not knowing what type of position to look for. Admitting, “I’ll take anything” or answering, “I don’t know” when asked about interests. • Not dressing neatly or professionally. • Not bringing a resume. • Lacking knowledge of a company and/or confusing the company with a competitor.

  18. More behaviors to avoid • Asking about salary. • Not asking any questions • Asking inappropriate questions • Having a poor or unprofessional attitude. • Grabbing free stuff • Not making eye contact • Lacking communication skills • Not bringing anything to write with or on • Giving a weak handshake

  19. Follow-up • You do not need to follow-up with everyone, just those you are interested in • Do what they recommended – fill out an application, email your resume etc. • Send a thank you email and/or connect with them on LinkedIn • ALWAYS send a personalized message when connecting on LinkedIn Thank you for taking the time to talk with me at the UAlbany Career Fair on Tuesday. I would like to add you to my professional network

  20. Conclusion For more information, visit Career Services - Science Library G-50 • Drop-in Hours: • MWF 10 AM-12 Noon • TTh 1-3pm • Appointments available upon request Or visit our