Last week, in our #WITwants2know question, 44% of our respondents indicated they would be attending the Career Fair on March 17th. We realize that responses to this question may vary based upon your class year.
We asked Robbin Beauchamp, Director of Cooperative Education and Career Development, to assist with this week’s blog. Robbin provided the following information as you prep for the Career Fair. Some of this information is useful not only to our upperclass students, but to first year students and sophomore as well as they think about their future plans.
Career Fairs can be overwhelming for some students. At the March 17th event, we anticipate approximately 170 employers and 700 students to attend. Students are seeking co-op employment and our graduating students and alumni are seeking full-time professional positions. To make the most out of your time there, follow the guidelines below.
How to Navigate the Wentworth Career Fair
- Know your goals. A realistic goal for attending a fair is to get an idea of what employers are looking for or to be invited for an interview at the company at a later date. Do not expect to be offered a job today.
- Are you dressed appropriately in business attire?
- Use your best handshake, make eye contact and give an award-winning smile when you introduce yourself.
- Bring 20+ error free résumés with you; do not fold them. Use a portfolio, briefcase, or shoulder bag to hold résumés, corporate literature, and all the materials you will collect. We will provide you with bags. Your résumé should have been reviewed by Co-ops + Careers before the Fair.
- Be enthusiastic! Employers identify the most important personal attribute you can bring to your position is “Enthusiasm.” Project interest in the company.
- There will be many applicants approaching employers at the same time you are. DON’T BE OVERWHELMED. Keep a positive attitude and concentrate on benefits of the experience.
- Visit with employers who do not have students at their tables. Even if you have never heard of the company you might be surprised at the types of opportunities they may have.
- Remember to thank the person you talk to and take their business card for a formal follow up.
- Most of the employers will have information about their companies – feel free to take what is offered.
- Please don’t take the information if you don’t want it, politely say, “No Thank you.”
- Employers expect to interact with students seeking job opportunities as well as those simply researching careers and organizations.
- Review the list of organizations who will be attending the Fair, then research those employers of interest to you. Research the organization’s website. The list is on our website.
- Practice answering the questions: Tell me about yourself? Be able to deliver a 30 second ‘commercial’ about yourself to an employer.
- Prioritize the list of employers you want to speak with and go directly to their tables. Walk up and down the aisles first looking at who is present -you don’t want to miss anyone while waiting to speak with someone else or even interviewing.
- Be ready to make conversation and ask intelligent questions–making you a much more interesting candidate than those who ask “So. What do you guys do?”
- Your goal is to get an interview. If you’re genuinely interested, let them know! “I am quite excited about the possibilities your company offers, and I think I have the talent to help you achieve your goals…. What do I need to do to arrange an interview?” If an interview isn’t arranged immediately, don’t despair.
- Be prepared to discuss where you want to work geographically (New York – Boston – anywhere), what you like doing, what you’re looking for in a job, what your most relevant skills are.
- Within two weeks after the Career Fair, send a thank you note to the representatives you met and with whom you want to follow up – making sure to use contact information on the business cards you asked for at the event.