Our fall semester Professional Job Fair was last week, and the question that many students are probably asking themselves is, “Now what?!” If you’re a few semesters away from graduation and you attended the fair just to get a sense of what to expect, now is the time to prepare for next semester’s Internship Fair and/or Career Expo. If you are graduating this year, you should doing your company research and preparing for interviews. Whichever situation is yours, get your professional wardrobe ready—See last week’s blog for tips for success! The number one complaint we heard from employers after the job fair was that many students weren't professionally dressed. You only get one chance to make a first impression, so make sure it’s a good one!
Get your “elevator speech” ready for introductions either at a career fair or during the interview where the most common question you may be asked is, “Tell me about yourself.” Research the companies that you are interested in, either before attending a career fair or in preparation for applying for a job or internship. The second most popular question an interviewer will ask you (in some form or another), is “What do you know about my company or organization?” If you can’t shine here, the interview is going downhill fast. Our website has a whole section devoted to interviewing under the Job Search Toolbox tab. There is even a link to Optimal Resume where you can practice your interview skills online, use a webcam to capture your responses, view your performance, and share it with others for a critique.
If you met a few people at the job fair that you would like to follow up with, send them an email thanking them for attending the job fair and reiterating your interest in their company or organization. Include something personal that might make them remember you, something that you talked about at the fair. Include another copy of your resume or perhaps a revised copy that is more targeted to a specific job, and ask for either an informational interview to learn more about the company or a formal interview for a potential job.
Now what? NOW is the time to follow up! Good luck!