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Finding the Right Fit


									Finding the Right Fit
How do I know if a company is a good fit for me?
      A large or small company…or something in between?

      A privately-held or publicly owned company?

      A local, regional or national company?

      A self-performing GC/CM or more of a Program Management or CM-Agent company?

      Public or private sector clients?

      To travel or relocate frequently, or not?

      To build smaller projects with shorter durations or big projects that take more time to
      complete? Or maybe you want a variety of project types?

      A pre-planned, rotational type of staff development program, or do you want one that is
      less structured and more individualistic?

      To work in the field or in the main office?

Of course, there are still other considerations. The point is that there are lots of ways to define
“fit”. With all these options the only way to really figure out what you want is by talking to people
in the business about these variables, listening to their perspectives, and then comparing these
answers with what feels right for you.

For example, do you excel in a small organizational setting or do you thrive in a larger,
geographically dispersed organization? Or, do you have the desire to travel, especially while
you are young?

Examining each variable and thinking through how it affects you is crucial to defining “best fit”.

                                                                                                  page 1
Finding the Right Fit
                              Me                         Organization

                  Figuring out your                       What is the first step
                  passions, what are                      in your job search?
                                                               Company type... what
       Do you know what you               Me & the             do you want?
       want out of life?                 Organization              What are the
    What are you good at?                                          fundamental pieces
                                        What does that
                                                                   of information you
  How do you differentiate              mean to you?
                                                                   should know about in a
  yourself?                                                        particular company?
                                        Why is that
    Are your expectations a             important?
                                                                 How do you figure out what
    dream or a reality?                                          the best tool is to verify
                                        What is the
          What do you need out                                   which companies are truly
          of a job to feel happy                                 quality companies?
          or satisfied?                                     What does a proactive
                                                            job search look like to
                                                            an employer?

Q: Figuring out your passions, what are they?
A: “I knew that I always had a love for construction, but what reaffirmed this passion was
taking on an internship to see the day-to-day actions. Anything can look good on paper
but you need to experience it to confirm your passion.” - Power Project Engineer
continued on the next page

                                                                                                   page 2
Finding the Right Fit
Q: Figuring out your passions, what are they? (continued)
A: “Passion for a particular industry counts for a lot. Don’t settle for any old job;
be sure you’re seeking a position with the potential for forging a lasting and fulfilling
career, follow your passion, and success will follow you, is a quote from Tory Johnson
that opened my eyes to many avenues. Going into college I knew I wanted to be an
engineer, but I couldn’t nail down a specific discipline. I chose General Engineering so
that I could take a wide range of courses that cover many different topics throughout
the field of engineering. I found the courses that were hands on and constructive in lieu
of theoretical were the areas I excelled in. Construction productivity, material science
and controls courses were the classes that flew by because they combined the mental
ingenuity that is cultured through engineering with the physical application. I knew I
couldn’t sit behind a desk all day and construction is the perfect opportunity to materialize
my engineering skills.” – Power Assistant Superintendent

A: “Is there a particular event, a particular topic that makes your whole face just lighten
up? Whatever it is that makes you smile, and makes you happy whenever you encounter
it, this is a sign of something you are passionate about. I truly believe that happiness and
passion walk hand in hand. Both require each other. Doing what you have a passion for
brings out your best, and this leads to greatness.” - Frederic Premji, Founder of “I Need

Q: Do you know what you want out of life?
A: “Success. I want to wake up in the morning and want to go to work everyday, and
enjoy it and not be content just to get a paycheck. My goals are continually changing
and I like the fact that I am making choices on the fly. Ultimately I want to be happy, but
happy is a moving target that I aim for every day.” – Power Assistant Superintendent
continued on the next page

                                                                                                 page 3
Finding the Right Fit
Q: Do you know what you want out of life? (continued)
A: “The desire to make a difference is a basic human need. Our efforts to make a
difference at work help make us feel that we are accomplishing something and that our
efforts are worthwhile. The accomplishments that make a difference at work vary from
person to person. Interestingly, the worthwhile accomplishments that an individual can
feel good about are closely aligned with their strengths, competencies, and personality.
Making a difference is therefore different for each person.” – Joe Farcht, Faculty Member
at the University of Phoenix and author of the book, “Building Personal Leadership:
Inspirational Tools & Techniques for Work and Life.”

Q: What are you good at?
A: “Ask yourself, what are my strengths? And when answering that question, it is
important to go beyond the basics – don’t be generic by saying I’m a people person,
as that doesn’t speak to your knowledge, skills and abilities. You want to ask yourself:
what am I really good at? What do I love doing, what excites me? Ask your friends and
colleagues for their opinions of your strengths, talk to other people about what they do,
which can then open your eyes to a myriad of possibilities. Ask for an informational
interview – even by email if it’s not possible to meet in-person. Here you can pose a few
questions about their career and the skills required to be successful in a particular line of
work.” – Tory Johnson, CEO of Women for Hire and Workplace and contributor on Good
Morning America

                                                                                                  page 4
Finding the Right Fit
Q: How do you differentiate yourself?
A: “If you can’t articulate your value, how can a potential employer know it? It is
essential to have a clear, confident, and consistent message about why you are such a
unique and valuable asset to a company. There are common answers that people use,
so try and figure out what makes you a genuine asset, and capitalize on that. Position
yourself, instead of just throwing yourself in the general candidate pool.” – Leo Pusateri,
author of the book “Mirror, Mirror on the Wall Am I the Most Valued of Them all?”

A: “Companies that are looking for candidates need to know more than simply the scope
of your responsibility or even the numbers you delivered. They need to know what it is
that sets you apart from the other, equally qualified individuals they are considering. Are
you doing enough to set yourself apart? Remember, your brand is your “unique promise
of value.” Be sure your career marketing messages convey both the uniqueness and the
value, and be clear and consistent in delivering those messages throughout your search.
The result will be stronger differentiation and better-fit opportunities.” – Louise Kursmark,
author of the book “How to Choose the Right Person for the Right Job Every Time” and
an Award-winning resume writer and executive career consultant

A: “Be honest with yourself. How much raw talent do you really possess? Ask your
peers where they think you are as far as talent. Preface it by asking for an honest
opinion of your strengths and weaknesses. You have to know where to grow so you can
focus on those areas.” – Derald Schultz, Founder and President of “Mediarail Design,

A: “To set yourself apart you will have to develop a good set of stretch marks personally
and professionally. Taking risks is one of life’s greatest joys and can be the first step to
success or failure. Success can also be found in failure. In the end, intelligence and
energy are the two biggest qualities for success and the keys to ultimately rising above
the crowd.” - Derald Schultz, Founder and President of Mediarail Design, Inc.

                                                                                                 page 5
Finding the Right Fit
Q: Are your expectations a dream or reality?
A: “Both; I have some dreams that are far-fetched but, I think if you put them in
perspective nothing is impossible, you just have to work hard towards them to achieve
them.” – Power Project Engineer

A: “Expectations are a reality that I strive to exceed everyday. Although expectations
may not be clearly defined, success comes to those who consistently go above and
beyond their potential.” – Power Assistant Superintendent

A: “Work expectations are those things people consider likely to happen in their job
situation, either now or in the future. Whether spoken or unspoken, met or unmet,
expectations have a powerful impact on our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors, and
play a key role in driving our attitudes. Research shows that people who have clearly
defined, well-communicated expectations find more satisfaction and success in their work
than people whose expectations go unspoken or unrealized. In a typical employment
situation, certain expectations – such as salary, hours, and job duties – are clearly
understood by both employer and employee. Other expectations, however, are so
intimately linked to an individual’s concept of work that they oftentimes go unspoken
or unacknowledged.” – Harriet Meyerson, Founder and President of “The Confidence

Q: What do you need out of a job to feel happy or satisfied?
A: “I want to see a future with whomever I am going to work with. I need to be
challenged and have interesting work. I also need a company who treats everyone with
respect. I do not want a large company; I like the smaller company where you are known
on a first name basis.” – Power Project Engineer

A: “I need confidence. (1) I need to feel confident my employer wants me to succeed.
(2) I need my employer to be confident in my abilities. (3) I need to have confidence in
my employer’s mission and values.” – Power Estimator

continued on the next page

                                                                                               page 6
Finding the Right Fit
Q: What do you need out of a job to feel happy or satisfied? (continued)
A: “I need to continually learn and be engaged by a job. I need feedback, positive or
constructive, from my peers and supervisors. I need to have fun... I won’t sacrifice my
life for a paycheck so I need to be around people I can relate to and socialize with.”
– Power Assistant Superintendent

A: “People tend to approach work from three perspectives. They view work as a job, a
career or a calling. Usually all three perspectives are important, but one or the other is
the priority.” – Mayo Clinic Staff

Q: A company has given me an offer, but it has a deadline for making a
decision. If I need more time to complete my job search, what should I
say to the company?
A: “Your job search is important. Feel free to politely explain that you are still in
the midst of your job search and would like more time. The stronger you are as a
candidate, the more leverage you have in buying more time. Also, there seem to be two
schools of thought among employers. One group who pushes hard, early and often,
to get candidates committed before their competition gets them. The other group is as
concerned about long-term fit as you are; that group will be more understanding of your
need for a thorough job search. Again, it is all about finding the “best-fit” for you. Bottom
line, taking adequate time to do your job search thoroughly will pay dividends for you and
the company over the long-haul.” – Power Superintendent

                                                                                                 page 7
Finding the Right Fit
Q: I really want to move out of the Midwest and experience other parts
of the country. What should I do when a Midwest-only company shows
interest in me?
A: “Be honest. Tell them your plans for relocation. Then ask if they know of
a company or two that they would recommend. And don’t forget to ask if they can
either give you a specific contact person in operations (not in HR) or would they feel
comfortable forwarding your resume directly to their contact on your behalf. The
Midwest-only company that truly thinks long-term and is truly people-centered will be glad
to help you get to where you want to go. Why? Because they know the odds are good
that someday you’ll come home to the Midwest… and when you do you’ll remember their
good deed.” – Power Project Manager

    Have a question you’d like answered?
    Email it to Gary Schreiber,
    Vice President, Power Construction

                                                                                              page 8
Lessons Learned
Insider tips from the under thirty crowd on what they learned while doing
their job search. Think of it as adding “extra power” to your search.
“Straight out of college, I guess the ‘don’t put all your eggs in one basket’ theory applied to my
interviews. I kept many options open until I was certain the job and company I wanted was able
to offer me a challenging role I was interested in as well as the opportunity to advance within
the company. Face-to-face interviews are key to successfully finding a company to suit your
needs. It becomes very obvious when an interviewer is intrigued by you; if they are sincerely
interested in you and what you have to offer, you can be guaranteed to get the support you
need to succeed.”

“Much of my search started with the internet and making random phone calls to the
companies that caught my eye. It’s amazing who you get to talk to just by picking up the phone
and calling. Rather than just talking with the HR reps, you can request to speak with someone
who is currently working in the role for which you are interested. This can help you gain some
great insight on specific job requirements, the day-to-day grind, employee morale, etc.”

“I think the interview process itself was a tell-tale sign of the company that I was
interviewing with. The interview process for two of the places I interviewed with was one
meeting and an offer followed a day later. My impression was they didn’t really want to get to
know me. They just needed a body as soon as possible. With my company, I had a phone
interview with a VP, then a sit down interview/breakfast with the EVP, and then a site visit and
interview with a PM and Superintendent and some of the staff on site. The whole process made
me feel this company really cares about the kind of person they are potentially bringing in. The
other companies wanted me to make a decision on the spot and I never felt pressured at any
point in the process with this company. The bottom line for me was I felt comfortable during
the whole process. In the end, I made my decision based on the people I felt most comfortable

                                                                                               page 1
Lessons Learned
“The most successful tool I utilized was the CEM department as an alumni. I had a trusted
source send me their latest career fair bulletin, which gave me contacts for over 300 companies!
From there I narrowed my search. I worked in this department as a student and witnessed
many times that alumni were utilizing the same resources as professionals were. I constantly
hear that the construction industry functions heavily on relationships and I couldn’t agree more.”

“Don’t rush into anything. A quality employer is willing to wait.”

“Know what kind of construction you want/enjoy most. I learned that flexibility in this area
doesn’t impress anyone. Companies are looking for prospects that know what they want to do.”

“Looking back, one of my unexpected ‘lessons learned’ was about the importance of
understanding how a company was going to let me know how I was doing in the job. How often
was I going to be reviewed? Exactly who would give me the feedback? Training programs are
an important gauge when looking at a company, but I’ve learned that in order to really grow
quickly and be challenged I need consistent feedback on my performance as well as ideas on
how else I can contribute to the company.”

“As far as lessons learned while performing my job search I realized that almost every
company’s recruiter did an excellent job selling their company. Every recruiter preached their
company’s philosophy and job experiences. It was difficult for me to decipher which companies
actually believed and practiced the philosophies and which companies were all talk. I found that
the best tool to verify which companies were truly quality companies was the amount of repeat
business conducted. Repeat business is the result of satisfied customers and that is a great
indicator of the quality company.”

                                                                                               page 2
Lessons Learned
“The first step in my job search was to determine what really mattered to me. What were
going to be the qualities in a company and its offer that would set it apart from the others?
For me, I determined right away that the monetary end of the offer would not be my main
determining factor. It holds true for me that “money can buy a lot of things but it can’t buy
happiness”. As cheesy as that sounds you could not pay me enough money to get up in the
morning knowing that I was going to a job that I didn’t enjoy with a company that was merely the
highest bidder.”

“Be sure to listen to everything each company has to offer and create a set of questions to
ask every employer. Make sure to keep track of the answers from each employer so at the end
of the day, you can start to narrow down to a Top 5 list.

What worked well for me was making this Top 5 list the focus of the interview process. These
were the companies that I knew regardless of offers, I could have worked for them. It’s
important that you find out whether the company wants you AND you want the company.
Remember that it’s about enjoying what you do and whether you can picture yourself working
for them.
When getting down to the final decision, ask to talk to some of the younger employees that
started in the last three years. Make sure you reach out to these employees to confirm the
answers the recruiter gave you. Don’t be afraid to ask what they like and don’t like about their
company. Ask about where they live, cost of living, the commute, night life, etc., as there are
questions you might not have asked the recruiter because they were older.

Going through this type of a process will make sure that your first few years out of school are
successful for both you and your employer.”

                                                                                                page 3
Job Search FAQs
What does a “proactive job search” look like to an employer?
    The candidate has been managing his/her early career to obtain experiences that
    progressively build on each other.

    The candidate digs below the surface to identify and research who the leading
    construction companies are in the geographic market(s) they are interested in.
    Candidate calls operations people in these companies directly to seek insight and/or
    employment. Want to talk with Power people?

    At a job fair or interview, the candidate can articulate what their job search strategy is.
    For instance, “I am looking for a privately-held company in Chicago that is aggressive
    in developing its people, and has a reputation for excellence with customers, architects,
    subs, and employees alike.”

    The candidate insists on talking to all the firms on their short-list in order to choose the
    one company that best fits them for the long term. This includes having a clear sense of
    what “best fit” means to them by the time they near the end of their search.

    The candidate has challenging, insightful questions prepared ahead of time.

    The candidate has done homework on a company and can articulate the basics of what a
    company is about at the beginning of an interview.

What is the fastest way to find who the major contractors are in a given
    Search or!!!

    Keyword search on the net – “Top Contractors”

                                                                                               page 1
Job Search FAQs
How do I find out which companies are hiring?
    Most strong, healthy companies are ALWAYS looking to hire great talent regardless of
    market conditions.

    Approach the companies that fit what you want, and pursue them proactively and

    If a company is actively seeking candidates, they may have job listings on the web.

What can I do to stand apart from other candidates?
    Be PROACTIVE in your job search. See above.

    Show a track record of contributing to any team or organization you have been part
    of. How was that organization (i.e. fraternity) better because of your involvement?
    Describe any formal or informal leadership roles you had. Be specific on your actual
    responsibilities. Leadership is a plus. Be prepared to discuss your involvement.

    Every candidate claims to have a strong work ethic; show the proof! What are some
    examples of circumstances in which you were expected to do a certain thing and, on
    your own, went beyond the call of duty?

    Offer a succinct resume focused on construction experience and leadership

    Firm handshake and consistent eye contact. Let your nervous energy work in your
    favor… be energized and enthusiastic!

    Talk more in terms of “we” and “us” instead of “I” or “me”. Be interested and confident,
    but also show humility. Explain your contributions within the team.

    Be able to verbalize why construction is for you.

                                                                                             page 2
Job Search FAQs
What are the fundamental pieces of information I should know about a
construction company before interviewing?
    What kinds of customers do they serve, and what kinds of projects do they build?

    How big are the majority of projects they build?

    Are they a “Builder” or a “Manager”? Type of company?

    What geographies do they serve?

    What services do they offer?

    How much work do they put in place each year? What is the trend for the past several
    years? What is their current backlog?

    How many people do they employ?

I have no experience in construction yet. What are some ways for me to
break in?
    Labor for a self-performing General Contractor or a Subcontractor. The key is getting
    time on a job site in order to maximize the learning experience. For instance, even
    though you might be hauling brick up a scaffold or even sweeping a floor, you will have
    opportunities to observe and ask questions of others on site. Ask questions that build on
    each other. Practice connecting the dots, so to speak, by showing interest.

    Approach a GC or a CM about some sort of assistant field office support role. Be
    creative and persistent, but not annoying. These tasks will get you familiar with some
    of the basic job site work flows, documentation, construction concepts, and terminology
    AND give you the chance to talk with others in the business.

    continued on the next page

                                                                                            page 3
Job Search FAQs
I have no experience in construction yet. What are some ways for me to
break in? (continued)
    Participate actively in construction related activities offered by your university. For
    instance: regional and national Construction Management or Design/Build Team
    Competitions, working directly for your university in their construction or facilities
    departments, attending company-sponsored job site visits, attending company-taught
    workshops or classes, taking leadership roles in CM or AGC student organizations or in
    non-profit programs like Habitat for Humanity, etc.

    Work part-time during the school year for a contractor near your campus. Roles vary
    (see above).

What are some creative ways to learn what a GC or CM is really like, both
internally and externally?
    Ask for names of a few employees with titles and phone numbers and call a few of them,
    especially those hired in the last 3-5 years. Ask them the same questions you asked
    the others in the company. Compare answers. Is there consistency? Are the answers
    positive? Do the people seem motivated and happy?

    Ask for a list of some of the company’s more regular subs. Ask them what it is like to
    work for that company. Also ask them how they compare this company to other top
    companies in the market. Ask them about how this GC/CM treats its employees.

    Ask what the average tenure is across the entire organization. Ask how many of the
    current PMs or Superintendents have been with this company for more than 5 years.
    Ask about the process and opportunity for advancement. Drill down for the reasons why
    people have left.

    Ask about the percentage of individuals that have been promoted from within by title.

                                                                                             page 4
Job Search FAQs
I’m a Senior and have been contacted by a head-hunter/recruiter. Should
I let them send my resumes to GC’s and CM’s?
    Having someone else do your work for you may not be a good way to start a career.
    Planning and executing your search on your own is yet another opportunity to learn
    and grow as a professional. Further, while you may get more job leads handed to you,
    understand that this scenario may scare away companies who do not want to spend the
    $15,000 (approximate) your head-hunter will charge them.

                                                                                         page 5
Job Search FAQs
If you want a job, you need to go after it! Cold Calling is an effective tool
if done right. Here are the steps to making a Cold Call:

Analyze the market, companies you are interested in, competitors, and
positions that interest you.

Do homework on the company you are calling; position(s) that you are
interested in; the person you seek to contact there, know why you are calling,
prepare questions you can’t learn through the Internet or general research.

Be pleasant to whoever picks up the phone when you are cold calling…
eventually ask if you could have a cell number of an individual who is currently
working in the role for which you are interested.

Be persistent, but in a tactful manner. Challenge the gatekeeper on the other
end of the line so you are able to talk with someone about their job and what
they do.

Get to the point. Practice with friends beforehand, be considerate of your
target’s time, thank them.

Thank you message for time, send resume.

                                                                                                   page 6
Resume Ideas
College Intern (with little or no industry experience)
   Keep your job search objective short and direct.
   Example: Seeking an internship with a respected Chicago area GC/CM.

   Identify your school, major/minor, GPA.
   If you’ve already taken some construction-related classes, list them so the companies can
   gauge how far along you are in the sequence.

   List any construction work experience.
   Including company name, location, duration, role, project description, responsibilities. Be
   specific on your actual responsibilities. If you worked during the school year, identify the
   hours per week. Identify any industry-specific computer software you’re familiar with. If
   you have no construction experience, briefly describe why a construction management
   career is of interest to you.

   List any non-industry work experience.
   Including organization name, location, duration, role, responsibilities. Be specific on your
   actual responsibilities. If you worked during the school year, identify the hours per week.

   Identify your extra-curricular activities.
   Within this list, describe any formal or informal leadership roles you had. Call out your
   specific contributions to the organization. In other words, how did you help to make the
   organization “better”?

   If you have room left on the first page of your resume, feel free to add any other information
   you feel is important at the end.

                                                                                              page 1
Resume Ideas
College Grad (with some industry experience)
   Keep your job search objective short and direct.
   Example: Seeking Project Engineer position with a respected Chicago area GC/CM.

   Identify your school, major/minor, GPA.
   Don’t take up valuable space on the resume listing all the relevant classes since the
   company generally knows what classes grads have taken from each school. Instead,
   highlight any particular specialization you may have like Mechanical, Electrical, or
   Structural Engineering or even LEED Accreditation, for example.

   List any construction work experience.
   Including company name, location, duration, role, project description, responsibilities, and
   a reference. Be specific on your actual responsibilities. If you worked during the school
   year, identify the hours per week. Identify any industry-specific computer software you’re
   familiar with.

   List any non-industry work experience.
   Including organization name, location, duration, role, responsibilities. Be specific on your
   actual responsibilities. If you worked during the school year, identify the hours per week.

   Identify your extra-curricular activities.
   Within this list, describe any formal or informal leadership roles you had. Call out your
   specific contributions to the organization. In other words, how did you help to make the
   organization “better”?

   If you have room left on the first page of your resume, feel free to add any other information
   you feel is important at the end.

                                                                                              page 2
Resume Ideas
Working professional (with full-time industry experience)
   Keep your job search objective short and direct.
   Example: Seeking “title” position with a respected Chicago area GC/CM.

   List any construction work experience.
   Including company name, location, duration, role, responsibilities. Be specific on your
   actual responsibilities. Provide an attachment that itemizes the specific projects you’ve
   been part of. Include the project name, client name, value, square feet, completion date,
   and a brief description.

   List any non-industry work experience.
   Within this list, describe any formal or informal leadership roles you had. Call out specific
   contributions as a leader.

   List any special training, skills, software knowledge, etc.

   Identify your school(s), degree(s), major/minor, GPA.

   Provide references when you’re ready to do so.
   Suggested categories include co-workers, supervisors, subordinates, subcontractors,
   architects, and clients. A minimum of 6-8 is preferred.

                                                                                               page 3
Interview Hints
Yes, it’s true… do your homework in advance.
This means know the basics about a company such as strengths, market focus, services,
and history. It also means to prepare questions around aspects that are important to you…
for example, approach to training, career paths, company expectations of performance,
opportunities the company sees for making itself stronger/better, how it compares itself to its
competition, litigation track record, type of culture, examples of “successful” employees, etc.

Ask in advance…
…whether the interview and/or site visit requires formal or informal dress.

Be aware of the need for a balanced conversation.
If you are doing all the talking (or vice-versa) something is wrong. A good conversation includes
lots of active listening.

Display positive body language.
Firm hand shake. Eye contact when talking AND listening. Avoid crossing your arms and legs.
Lean forward. Use hand or body gestures to help emphasize a few points (but don’t go nuts
with this!) and don’t be afraid to laugh and have some fun.

Practice interviewing.
Ideally, with an experienced person who can give constructive feedback.

Don’t just answer a company’s questions.
Engage in a dialogue whereby you ask questions of your own or that build on a topic raised by
the interviewer.

                                                                                                page 1
Interview Hints
When touring an office or job site…
…keep pace with the interviewer as you walk. Observe and ask about what you see around
you. Enthusiasm and interest outweigh a possible “dumb” question every time! And of course,
be careful! A jobsite can be dangerous.

Make sure you’ve been reading industry publications…
…like ENR, Building Design + Construction or Midwest Construction News. Knowledge of the
industry is something you’ll need for the rest of your career.

And finally…
…approach the interview as a two-way street. You should be interviewing the company, too (not
just the other way around). After all, you need to choose a company that is not only a good fit,
but one that will also give you the best platform on which to build your career long-term.

                                                                                              page 2
Job Fair Tips
Job Fairs can be a great way to experience a large number of companies in a
short period of time. They can also be a fast way to shoot yourself in the foot
if you are not prepared. Below are some tips on the Job Fair scene.

Definitely attend.
And no, not just Juniors and Seniors. Freshmen and Sophomores who are just getting started
with the process of seeking job opportunities in construction should go. Note: An employer’s
expectations are oftentimes more forgiving when talking to a Freshman or Sophomore versus a
Junior or Senior… so go and explore.

If you are talking to GCs and CMs…
…feel free to dress like the company recruiters dress… comfortably. An exception would be if
you know in advance that a company you’ve targeted has a formal “suit” culture, then be sure to
be in a suit.

Do homework on the companies in advance.
At the very least, read the brief company descriptions in the Job Fair booklet so you know the
basics of what a company does. This includes preparing some questions.

When you walk up to a company…
…make sure you deliver a solid handshake, look ‘em in the eye, and have a brief self-intro
ready to go. For instance, “Hi. My name is Jim Smith and I am a Junior in the CM program. I
am interested in learning how your internship program compares to that of other companies.”

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Job Fair Tips
Be prepared to answer questions.
While this is not an interview, a Job Fair is a useful mechanism for companies to filter possible
candidates. Be ready to discuss why you chose your major, the school itself, your GPA, your
experience so far in construction, your extracurricular activities and interest, etc.

Be energized and positive. A flat tire goes no where.

Don’t be afraid to pay a company a second (short) visit…
…at the end of the fair. Reinforce what impressed you or maybe how you compare and contrast
certain companies at the fair. This is your opportunity to ask follow up questions and gather
data for comparison.

Think twice about the trinkets.
A bag full of goodies that gets in the way of pulling out your resume or shaking hands is an
unnecessary hurdle. Save the shopping for another time.

Follow-up with an email to those people you spoke with.
Express appreciation for their interest in your school and for taking time to talk with you.
Reference something specific from your conversation… perhaps what you understand the next
step to be. And be sure your writing is grammatically correct.

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Industry Information
Midwest Construction News

McGraw Hill Construction

Associated General Contractors of America

Engineering News Record

Construction Management Association of America

US Green Building Council

American Institute of Architects

Design-Build Institute of America

Association of Subcontractors and Affiliates

Healthcare Building Ideas
Top Companies
MCN Top Contractors

ENR Top Contractors

ENR Top Construction Managers

Building Design + Construction Giants 300
(Includes LEEP AP Ranking)

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