Thursday, February 26, 2015

How to Work a Career Fair: Student Panel

Every Career Fair we try to gather some students who are pros at the Career Fair. They answer your questions, and so here are some highlight quotes from the last one, February 25th, 2015! (Italics are questions asked by the attendees of the event)

"Recruiters have said to me that only 1 of 10 interviewees send a thank you. The "Thank You" moves you to the top of the pile."

"[For a follow up] I send an email that night thanking them for their time. Remind them of what you talked about."

"LinkedIn can be used for an exhaustive list of your skills, projects and past experience. Put a link in your resume."

"Definitely put your LinkedIn address on your resume BUT only if it's good and updated OR have a business card with the address on it."

Should I talk to the recruiter while they seem to be "reading" the resume?
"YES! Give them a few seconds to scan, then talk."

"Talk to your professors [the week before the Career Fair] about your classes next week. Try to make plans now to make up work, etc."

"Volunteer work is good for a resume: 'Eagle Scout', 'hobbies or interests', 'personal projects', 'as a Mechanical Engineer, an interest in rocketry', etc."

What to put on your resume if you don't have past experience?
"Academic projects, clubs, courses. Get involved on campus."

"The recruiter will look at your resume for 10 seconds so make your best stuff easy to find."

"A 1 page resume is a must. Tailor your resume to each company and take off stuff that a company wouldn't care about."

"References probably won't be asked for in an interview. They might be asked for on a paper application. Be sure you have the info."

"It's okay to take a minute and think about [a question from a recruiter], or even ask for clarification."

What questions have stumped you?
"'What kind of field are you interested in?' Many RIT majors are so broad it's hard to say."

What kind of questions can you ask employers?
"The recruiter might be an alumni, you can ask them about their RIT experience."
"Research the company and their projects, and ask about them. Ask why they love working there."
"Ask the recruiter what they're doing in their job, projects they can talk about, etc."

"If you are on a Visa, research companies to see if they will hire you."

"Get there early and run to your "A" company to beat the line. But be prepared to wait lines."

"Be ready to show how you can fit into their company and what skills you have that they can use."

What do you wish you knew?
"Recruiters are often the same year after year so visit companies again and again. Build relationships."
"Don't be intimidated. Go talk to the company even if your friends say they aren't interested."

"Not having a good conversation with a company happens. Go on to the next company with a positive attitude."

"Offers don't come every time. Don't get discouraged. This is a networking opportunity. You get better every fair."

"Think about what it is about you that sets you apart from all the others."

"Get the recruiters business card IF it was a good conversation. Follow up after the fair!"

What do you bring?
Folder packed with resumes or portfolio to carry them in. Get the resume out BEFORE you get to the employer."

What do you wear?
"No distracting jewelry, no overwhelming perfume or cologne."
"Think about the company culture, ladies a button down shirt and nice dress pants, not heels for the club."

60 Second Commercial?
"Just introduce yourself in 2-3 sentences. It's not really 60 seconds!"
"Tell the companies why you are talking to them, you major, what you are involved with on campus."

"Go to company events that are held before the fair!"

"Use the map [or Career Fair Plus App] to prepare your strategy" *Note this year you must print out the map yourself."

"Research the companies beforehand, have a plan of attack, tailor your resume to each company."

Thank you to the student panel volunteers and everyone you came to the event! Remember, check out our Twitter account for live coverage of events, or more specifically #RITCF for anything Career Fair related!

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Technical Portfolios

What is a Portfolio?
A portfolio is a collection of projects that highlights your abilities, achievements, and intellect. It allows you to share samples of your work with potential employers using a website or document (.pdf or powerpoint). 
  • The portfolio is designed to do one thing—to support you as you market yourself.
  • A well-prepared portfolio provides "evidence" to the reviewer of your accomplishments, skills, and abilities

How do portfolios differ from resumes?
Portfolios can expand on your resume:
  • They allow you to provide concrete examples of your work.
  • They can directly demonstrate your intellect, technical skills and visual competence.
  • They can also improve your visibility.

Do I need a Portfolio?
A portfolio is useful if you want to demonstrate your technical and design skills beyond the description on your resume.  A portfolio can also set you apart from other candidates since not many applicants use one.  Interviewers and hiring managers remember pictures over text so a portfolio can help you be remembered.  Whether you have a hard copy or an on-line portfolio, you can use it during the Career Fair.  Bring the hard copy or bring a tablet and show the on-line version.

Guidelines for Content:
Pics and documents that demonstrate abilities and experiences which are directly related to hiring needs or job field of prospective employer, and gives a sense of your competencies. In your descriptions, walk your reader through the process from design to completion.  
  • Engineering design projects
  • Future or planned projects – show the design, budget, parts list, calculations
  • Writing samples and a modified resume (see information on copyright and privacy)
  • Labs
  • Club projects

Portfolio Website & Examples:
Students who have used this site say that it’s as easy as Facebook and only took 60-90 minutes to put together their portfolio.  The hardest part is collecting the pictures of your projects.  You can look on the site and see many examples of engineering portfolios – Search for People, then under “Specialties” on the left, click on Engineering.  If you want to see a couple of portfolios by RIT students, look at James Hertzel or Timothy Halsch.

Linkedin as a Portfolio:

The idea is to give users the opportunity to display their work rather than just talk about it. Go to your LinkedIn profile, and next to any module or position on your personal profile you'll see a small square image with a plus sign on it. Click this to either upload a file or add a link to your work.   (See more here)
See this recent RIT grad’s Linkedin page for ideas: Jose Cuevas

Linkedin vs. Coroflot
Should you use Coroflot or Linkedin to display your work (or both)?  Coroflot is picture heavy and text light so if you have a lot of work to display and don’t want to spent time writing and editing content then Coroflot is for you.  Linkedin is text heavy so if you don’t have a lot of pictures to display then you may find that Linkedin works for you.  If you use Linkedin, be sure to spend time writing a strong Professional Heading (the title under your name) and Summary.

Portfolio Link on Resume
You should put a link to your portfolio and/or your Linkedin page on your resume.  It can be placed in your header with your address, email and phone.  Put it in as an active hyperlink so that anyone viewing your resume digitally can click and go.  Be sure that you spell out the whole address though so that anyone who has a paper copy of your resume can type in the portfolio address and see it.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Spring Career Fair, 2015

Updates will be made to this post as things change:


Spring Career Fair is coming!

Wednesday, March 4, 2015
10:00 – 4:00  *Note new extended time
Gordon Field House
Interview Day Thursday March 5th  (for students with interviews scheduled from the Career Fair)

210+ companies already registered!  Open to all students, all majors
Check out companies, jobs, and workshops on Job Zone –

*New this year – Career Fair Pre-Registration 
Don’t stand in line – register online!
VIP pre-registration begins Feb 9 – look for an email with details later this week

Follow the Career Fair on Twitter @RITCareers, and #RITCF

*Make the most of your Career Fair experience with Career Fair Plus!  Download this app to your mobile device and get up-to-the-minute info on companies, special announcements, events, and a map of the fair.

Career Fair Quick Tips:
How do I find companies coming for my major?
·         Login to Job Zone, click Events, in Career Fair section, click Spring 2015 Career Fair. Click Advanced Search, select Spring 2015 Career Fair in the Day section, then select your major from the pull-down menu. 
·         You can also select any applicable citizenship requirement, and select the applicable position type.
·         Click submit.
·         The results are companies attending the fair for your major.  You can use this list to research and determine which companies you will approach at the fair.
How do I prepare for the fair?
·         Research Companies of Interest to You - Check out the company website, company profiles in directories, and search for news articles about the company. Finding out general information will allow you to ask intelligent questions of the recruiter, and learn where you might fit in at the company.
·         Update Your Resume - It is essential to have a resume that reflects your current skills and experiences, as most companies will be forwarding copies of resumes to many departments within their organization. Make sure that others have proofread your resume for accuracy; your career services coordinator in the Office of Career Services & Co-op is available to check it over.
·         Be Prepared to Ask Questions - Try to have one or two questions in mind for each employer, based on your research of and interest in the company. Do not ask the recruiters personal questions.
·         Know Yourself - Know why you want to work for the company, and be able to express your skills, accomplishments, and goals in a clear, concise manner. Try to identify specific experiences where you have demonstrated your strengths and skills.
·         Learn to Sell Yourself Quickly - You’ll only have a few minutes to introduce yourself, show you know what the organization is about, and spark the recruiter’s interest in you for a future, more formal interview. This is not easy, and takes preparation and practice – use a mirror, web cam, friend, or practice with your career services coordinator in the Office of  Career Services & Co-op.

Workshops to Help You Prepare for Career Fair:
Job Search for International Students
Co-Presented with International Student Services Office
Wed, Feb. 11, 4-5:00pm | Student Alumni Union – 1829 Room
In today’s world, looking for a job can be challenging.  Learn various methods to find job openings and network successfully. 

Resume Writing: Employers Speak
Thurs, Feb. 12, 5-6:00pm | Bausch & Lomb Center - Room A190
Learn resume and cover letter writing techniques.

Acing the Interview
Mon, Feb. 16, 5-6:00pm | Bausch & Lomb Center - Room A190

Building a Better Technical Resume 
Thurs, Feb. 19, 5-6:00pm | Student Alumni Union – 1829 Room
Learn the specifics of preparing your technical resume.

Career Fair Prep U & Resume Review                     
Thurs – Fri, Feb. 26 – 2711am-1:00pm | Student Alumni Union – Lobby    
Stop by the SAU and we will answer your questions about the Career Fair and review your resume.

How to Work a Career Fair
Wed, Feb. 25, 4:30-5:30pm | Bausch & Lomb Center - Room A190
Let’s get you ready to set yourself apart!

Mock Interview Day  
Fri, Feb. 27, 9am – 4:00pm
Bausch & Lomb Center Office of Career Services
Advanced sign up required through Job Zone (resume required).

Keep It Classy: Career Clothing Open House - Sponsored by TRiO SSS
Mon, March 2, 2-4:00pm | Campus Center – Bamboo Room 2650     
Is your career fair ensemble lacking? Come to find clothing and accessories to help you complete your outfit: first-come, first-serve and free of charge. 

Career Fair Tips- Recruiter Panel    
Mon, March 2, 4 –5:00pm | Student Alumni Union – 1829 Room

Behavioral Interviewing – The STAR Approach
Mon, March 2, 5:30 – 6:30pm | Student Alumni Union – 1829 Room
Toyota and GE use Behavioral Interviewing, as do many other companies.  These are not easy interview questions to answer unless you are prepared

To request interpreting services go to

For more tips and resources, go here

Download the Career Fair Plus App read this post about it