How to Get that Job, Internship, or Co-op at the Career Fair

With the Career Fair next Tuesday through Thursday at the Bryce Jordan Center, it’s time to focus on what needs to be done to make sure you get that internship, co-op or full-time job you want.

For some people, the thought of pitching yourself to a recruiter in only a few minutes can be a pretty intimidating thing. However, you don’t need to be the president of everything and have a 4.0 in the honors college to get you “dream job”. By following these few pieces of simple commonsense advice, you have a better chance of getting that job you want with the company you want.

First and foremost, you’ll need to know just which day to show up at the BJC. Check to see which of the three career days best matches your goals for this year.

Tuesday, September 20th: Non-Technical Full-Time Career Day

Wednesday, September 21st: Internship/Co-op Career Day

Thursday, September 22nd: Technical Full-Time Career Day

Before the Career Fair:

  • Check your resume! Make sure it reflects you, has no general statements and that you have enough copies (2-3 per company to be safe).Have a friend, adviser, or Career Services take a look at it. The more eyes that see your resume, the more valuable feedback you’ll receive. Remember that action verbs (like managed, led, assisted, prepared, developed, worked, served, etc.) are key. They stand out to employers and make you look good.
  • Plan a route through the cluttered floor: try and plan on talking to 5-10 companies so that you don’t limit your options
  • Think of yourself as “Me Inc.” How do you want others to perceive you? Think about that, and put your best foot forward.
  • When talking to recruiters, be sure to pay attention to names and job descriptions.
  • Sell yourself in 60 seconds. Try a pitch that includes your name, year, major, minor (if you have one), and why you want this internship, co-op or full-time job. It helps to know a bit about the companies you’re contacting.
  • Good body language is always a plus–stand up straight, eye contact, give a firm handshake, smile and avoid putting your hands in your pockets.
  • Dress for success: Men and women have been recommended to wear suits with appropriate ties (for men) and blouses (for women), in addition to nice dress shoes.
  • Watch the cologne and perfume. There is a difference between smelling good and bathing in it.
  • Be courteous and conscious of the recruiters time. There are a lot of people coming to speak with them so don’t be “that guy”.
  • DO NOT… wander around like a lost puppy, be on your cell phone the whole time, forget your resume, exaggerate about what you’ve done, and don’t take free things off the tables unless they are offered to you.
  • Know the key dates to follow-up with you favorite companies. For example, information sessions or interviews with recruiters.
  • Try and follow-up with the person you talked with at the Career Fair with a personal, but profession, email.
Just remember that recruitment are these people’s job. They are looking for people to fill the positions their companies need. Be polite and honest and your chance of success will increase exponentially.

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