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More tips for Getting the Most out of the Fall Job and Internship Fair

September 22, 2009

More tips for Getting the Most out of the Fall Job and Internship Fair (JIF), Thursday, September 24, Bender Arena, 1 p.m. – 4 p.m.

With the AU Job and Internship Fair (JIF) around the corner, your friendly career advisor would like to gently remind you that there is more than one good reason (e.g., getting a job or internship) for attending this exciting event.  Let’s make a list of opportunities offered to you at the JIF : (a) a possibility of a job or an internship; (b)  first-hand information about employers; (c) ideas related to your internships, jobs, or careers; (d) contacts with employers’ representatives, or other students standing along with you in the same line for the employer’s table; (e) good practice for your job search skills, and (f) a new challenge and satisfaction in meeting it.  See more on specific strategies to make each of these opportunities work for you.

  1. A possibility of a job or an internship (this will be very nice!) – TARGET YOUR EFFORTS.

Before the Fair (i) select several employers of your interest, (ii) research them by reading their websites, (iii) reflect on their missions/projects and your skills and passions (DON’T SKIP THIS STEP – VERY IMPORTANT); (iv) draw connections between their needs and your abilities to meet them (BE AMBITIOUS AND CONFIDENT) , (v) draft a 30 second speech to convince the employer of your talents;  and (v) practice the speech (MANY TIMES); (vi) see if you could tailor your resume;  (vii) make at least 20 copies and put them in a nice folder. Don’t forget to bring the folder!

At the fair, seek out opportunities to present yourself and your resume to the prospective employer. Don’t forget to SMILE, be FRIENDLY, POLITE AND RESPECTFUL. Get a business card.

After the fair, send “thank you letter” IMMEDIATELY, reiterate your interest and your fit for the position(s).

  1. First-hand information about employers of your interest, which you can use later in your job/internship search to tailor your resume and cover letter to specific employer’s needs.  – BE PROACTIVE.  At the Fair, obtain the information by picking up materials at the employers’ tables or through talking to employers’ representatives directly.  Don’t forget to SMILE, be FRIENDLY, POLITE AND RESPECTFUL.
  1. Ideas related to your internships, jobs, or careers.  At the Fair, you will have a chance to learn about 100+ employers representing a large spectrum of careers.  (How cool and time efficient it is!) – LISTEN AND OBSERVE. For strategy also SEE POINT B
  1. Contacts with employers’ representatives, or other students standing along with you in the same line at the employer’s table. These students may have useful internship experience in the past and be willing to share it – BE PROACTIVE, ASK and LISTEN.  Before the fair (i) select employers from the list; (ii) do quick research so you won’t ask not so smart questions, such as “ Tell me about your company,” (iii) prepare questions that show –I’ve done my homework; and (iv) prepare and practice  a 30 sec. “elevator” speech about your interests as they pertain to the employer, (v) brush up on your small talk skills.  At the fair, approach employers with an objective to make a good impression, initiate conversations with your fellow-students about their internship/job search experiences.  ASK AND LISTEN.  Don’t forget to get business cards. After the fair, send “thank you” e-mails immediately.
  1. Good practice for your job search skills. You can practice many useful skills at the fair, such as: networking,  giving a “sales pitch” about your talents,  wearing business attire and feeling comfortable in it, asking professional questions, or maintaining a professional conversation, or small talk. GO FOR IT!
  1. A new challenge and satisfaction in meeting it. You can challenge yourself to get out of your comfort zone. You will get enormous satisfaction in doing it, uncover your hidden potential, and gain confidence. GO FOR IT!

Each of these opportunities is a good reason for you to attend the JIF.  Set it as your objective and…. GO FOR IT!

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