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!