It’s that time of year again! The Fall Job and Internship Fair is right around the corner on Wednesday October 1, 2014. Career and job fairs provide candidates with an excellent opportunity to meet employers from a variety of industries and receive first-hand information about the organization and available full-time and internship positions. These fairs allow employers the opportunity to view a large number of potential candidates and promote their organization, which aids in the pre-screening process and gaining familiarity with students at the fair.
So, how do you ensure that you get noticed and land that perfect internship or job? Here are a few simple things that will ensure success:
Update your resume:
A good resume is paramount to the job search. It is the first glance that an employer will get of your background and credentials, so you want it to be neat and tidy. You want to make sure you include your most recent employer and possibly take out any information that may be irrelevant. For help with your resume you can find helpful information on the Career Services website, or you can always schedule an appointment with a Career Services professional. They can guide you step by step; making sure everything is in order and giving you useful suggestions on how you can improve the professional appearance of your resume. Once you have your resume in tip-top shape, you should print copies to hand out to the employers you speak to at the Job Fair.
Dress for success:
It is important to remember that the Job Fair is just like a job interview: you want to make the best first impression possible. Here are a few of the basic tips on professional attire.
- Wear nice dress pants that are clean and pressed with a buttoned up shirt and tie.
- Choose a solid-color button down shirt that is wrinkle-proof.
- If you can’t afford a suit, purchase a single-breasted, black, two-button blazer that will go with several of your dress pants.
- Black leather laced shoes are another “must have” that can be worn with a variety of outfits.
- If you don’t own a suit, you could wear a skirt (knee length or below) with a sweater set or nice blouse.
- Avoid heels unless you need the height and are comfortable wearing (and walking!) in them. Remember – closed-toed shoes.
- Ideally, blouses should not reveal any cleavage or undergarments (bra straps, etc.).
It is important for everyone to remember that jeans and flip-flops are a huge “no” in an employer’s eyes. If you are having trouble figuring out what to wear, always err on the side of caution and go for being over-dressed. Also, be sparing with make-up, perfumes, and colognes. More information can be found on the UW-Green Bay Career Services’ website under “Dress for Success.”
Once you have finalized your resume and selected your outfit, the final thing you need to complete is your homework! Research the companies that will be at the Job and Internship Fair — learn more about the organizations and the positions that they are offering. This will help you determine who you want to visit with that day. It is a great way to make a good impression and you will be more relaxed knowing you will have something to talk about with the employers. The company representatives will also be impressed that you took the time and effort; just another way to stand out in the crowd! A full list of the employers attending can be found on the Career Services’ website – and if you log into PRO, you can view all of the information submitted by the employers, including information about their organization and the types of positions which they are hiring.
With a little preparation and initiative, you can make a great impression at the Fair. The staff in Career Services hope to see you this coming Wednesday, October 1st!
By Bob Orndorff. Courtesy of the National Association of Colleges and Employers.
You control your career destiny! Just going to class and picking up your diploma after four years doesn’t cut it. You need to become active on and off campus.
Becoming marketable to employers or graduate schools is a four-year job. Here are the top 10 things you can do during college to make yourself marketable at job-search time. In fact, if you do all 10 of these, you’ll be unstoppable:
- Keep your grades up—Employers and graduate schools want candidates with good grades. That will probably never change. Doing well academically not only proves that you have a good knowledge base, but indicates a strong work ethic—a trait that employers value.
- Identify your interests, skills, values, and personal characteristics—The first step to clarifying your career goals is to go through a process of self-assessment. Visit your career center and take advantage of the self-assessment instruments it has to offer.
- Actively explore career options—You owe it to yourself to find a career that enriches your life, not one that brings you down. Actively exploring careers means talking with professionals in occupations of interest and observing professionals on the job. Your career center probably has alumni and other volunteers who are willing to talk to you about their careers. Also, attend any career expos, career fairs, and career speaker panels that are offered.
- Become active in extracurricular activities and clubs—Active involvement in activities and clubs on campus is highly valued by employers and graduate schools. Joining a club is fine, but becoming active within that club is what matters most. Become a leader, hold an office, or coordinate an event. You will develop your skills in leadership and teamwork—skills that recruiters covet!
- Get involved in community service—It’s important that you begin to understand and appreciate the importance of giving back to your community, and that you live in a larger community than your college or hometown. Typically, students look at community service as a chore. After they’ve served, however, it’s usually one of the most rewarding experiences they’ve had! Recruiters love to see that you’ve volunteered to help in your community.
- Develop your computer skills—Take advantage of the computer courses and workshops your college offers. You can also learn a lot by just experimenting with different software packages on your own. Finally, you should learn how to develop your own web page or web-based portfolio. There are many web-design software tools that make it real easy to develop your own web page! Contact your college’s information technology office to see how to get started.
- Develop your writing skills—Over and over, company and graduate school recruiters complain about the lack of writing skills among college graduates. Don’t avoid classes that are writing intensive. Work at developing your writing skills. If there is a writing center on campus, have them take a look at your papers from time to time. Remember, the first impression you give to recruiters is typically your cover letter or personal statement.
- Complete at least one internship in your chosen career field—More and more, internships are the springboards to employment and getting into graduate programs. Many recruiters say that when they need to fill entry-level jobs, they will only hire previous interns. In addition to making yourself more marketable, internships also are a great way to explore careers and determine whether or not certain careers are for you. When you work for a company as an intern for three to four months, you get a really good feel for whether the field (and company) is one in which you want to work day in and day out!
- Gain an appreciation of diversity through study abroad, foreign languages, and courses—We are now, more than ever, working within a global work force. For you to be successful at work and in your life, you must stretch yourself, and learn about people and cultures different than yours. Take advantage of the wonderful study-abroad opportunities and the courses relating to diversity. This is your time to travel! Most people find it harder to take time to travel as they begin their careers and start families.
- Use your career center all four years—Your college career center can help you throughout your entire college career. Here is just a sampling of what your career center can help you do:
- Choose your major and career direction,
- Explore career options,
- Obtain an internship,
- Write a resume and cover letter,
- Develop your interviewing skills,
- Identify your skills, interests, and values,
- Develop a job-search or graduate school plan,
- Connect you with prospective employers (career fairs, on-campus recruiting, and more), and
- Connect you with alumni mentors.
Remember, you control your career destiny. Don’t wait until your senior year to start realizing your goals. Your career train is on the move. Jump on board now so you can reach your destination!