How to WORK a Career Fair Internship & Careeer Services Program North Carolina Wesleyan College Presentation Outline Preparation – Research! – Your marketing plan – Dress for success – What will you say? – The day before At the fair Interview preparation At the interview After the job fair ENCCA Job Fair details Research! Who will be at the fair? – Easily accessed via the ENCCA website www.enccacareerfair.org – Complete list with contact information, company overview, positions available, and web address for each company Who do you want to visit with? – View positions offered as well as company websites to determine this Company Research This very important step will allow you to answer and ask questions intelligently Where can I find company information? – Corporate websites Look for “HR” or “About”, maybe “Strategic Plan” Also browse the consumer side of their site to be up on what products and/or services they offer and how they present themselves – Newspapers May be helpful for small companies with underdeveloped web sites Your Marketing Plan How will you best market yourself? – Polished resume on fine paper (see presentation) – Professional dress, clean, well-groomed – Portfolio and pen – Networking cards – Collection of work samples (see presentation) – Prepare for what you will say Dress for Success General Guidelines Dress conservatively Sensible, practical clothes that make you look like you know how to focus on your work Make sure clothes look clean and neat Do not chew gum while at the fair Do not smoke before or at the fair (the smoke smell will attach to your clothing) Women’s Appearance Conservative suit color (black, grey, navy) Conservative blouse color (white, ivory) Appropriate neckline A tailored dress or coat dress is also appropriate Skirt/dress length should be between an inch above or below the knee Check slip length Wear hosiery Women’s Appearance (continued) Accessories add color and variety but less is more in the job fair/interview situation Heels should be around 2” height Conservative shoe style and color (close toe, black, navy, taupe, brown) Be aware of manicure Do not carry a purse, only a professional tote or leather-bound pad Wear make-up, but not too much Men’s Appearance Fit is critical to a suit jacket and pants Dark blue, grey, or black Button your jacket when standing and walking, unbutton when sitting A pressed, white, long-sleeved, cotton shirt – You should be able to fit 2 fingers between the collar and your neck Silk tie in a conservative color/print Men’s Appearance (continued) Tip of tie should reach center of belt buckle Shoes should be black or brown Socks should complement pant color Belts – plain leather in black, 1” Neatly trimmed facial hair Clean nails Polished shoes, no worn heels Carry a brief case or leather-bound pad General Grooming Tips Deodorant Light on cologne/perfume Brush your teeth, use mouthwash Neat haircut Polished shoes Impeccably clean What will you say? Elevator Speech/Personal Commercial – A 30 second impromptu “speech” – Should provide: Your current status (BIO major graduating in May) What your current employment goals are (entry level lab technician) A snippet of what you already know about the employer and how you may be a good fit (My beliefs fit well with your company’s mission of improving lives by developing innovative drugs.) A request for action (Can you tell me more about your company and how I might be able to contribute?) The Day Before Prepare copies of resume Practice your speech/commercial Review top employers list and the research you’ve gathered on each Verify all clothing and accessories are ready for wear Get plenty of sleep! At the Fair At the fair Check-in Plan your day – A map & employer directory will be provided – Be sure to meet with those you are most interested in first – you don’t want to run out of time and earlier candidates will get interviews Approach employers – Be polite, wait until there’s a natural break in conversation to introduce yourself – Extend a firm handshake – Use your speech/commercial – Smile, make eye contact, be confident! Before leaving the employer Leave your contact information Get their contact information Ask for an interview Ex. - “I’d like to take your business card and leave you with my networking card and resume. Would it be possible for me to get an appointment on your company’s interview schedule this afternoon?” At the fair (cont.) Be polite and mature throughout the day – you never know who’s watching nearby. Check-out by returning your evaluation if you will not return for interviews Eat lunch on your own Return to prepare for your interviews Be on time to meet employers at their table for your interview appointment Once interviews are complete check-out by returning your evaluation DRIVE SAFELY! Interview Preparation Review Job Announcement Look back over the job announcement, highlighting all mentions of duties and specific skills Try to form a picture of the individual they are seeking What is missing? Often times the announcement is vague, you will want to decide in advance what questions you have so you can ask them. Review Your Skills Match your skills with those mentioned in the announcement – Plan specific examples you can share that will exhibit your possession of these sills. – Try to recall a time you have done something similar to what they are looking for. – What transferable skills do you have that will be helpful in this position? Give examples. Practice Review a list of typical interview questions and anticipate how you might respond. – Pretend you are the interviewer. What questions would you ask? See typical questions here. – Do not try to script your responses. Participate in Mock Interviews with the ICSP Coordinator in advance. At the Interview Behavior Arrive on time and report to the employer’s table when the interview time is announced. Speak clearly and with good grammar. Avoid verbal fillers (“uh”, “you know”, “like”). Answer questions with examples and stories. Use humor if it seems appropriate. Feel free to take down a few notes. Body Language Firm handshake Good eye contact Erect posture (slightly leaning forward) Relaxed and confident Small facial/hand gestures Avoid fidgeting Smile Be enthusiastic Swallow yawns What Not To DO Don’t… – Be late – Ask about money – Criticize prior job or boss – Lie (better to say you don’t know an answer) – Slouch – Cross your legs – Interrupt – Feel obligated to answer illegal questions After the Job Fair Evaluation & Action Immediately make notes – What do you still have questions about? – What are the pros of the companies/positions? – What are the cons of the companies/positions? – How do you feel about your performance at the fair/in the interviews? – What could you improve on next time? Complete any follow-up instructions given to you by the employers Send a thank you letter to the employer within 24 hours Thank You Letters Express appreciation for the interview and meeting the individual. Comment on things that were mentioned in the interview. – If the employer had mentioned a current problem, remind them of ways you can help. If there was something relevant you forgot to say in the interview, mention it here. Express your interest in working at the company and that you look forward to hearing from them. Example ENCCA Career Fair Details Schedule: 9am – 12pm Information exchange 12pm – 1pm Lunch on your own 1pm – 4pm Interviews Location: McKimmon Center 1101 Gormon Street Raleigh, NC 27695 Travel: Notify me ASAP if you will need assistance!