Why Should I Attend The Job Fair?

 

Many college students feel that attending the job fair is not worth their valuable time, using excuses such as, “there are too many other students” or “employers are just going to tell me to apply online”. Employers ask students to apply online, because it is more efficient and cost effective than having the student fill-out an application in person.

Networking with employers is critical in the competitive job market. Some students may send out hundreds of resumes, but without the direct interaction with employers provided by the job fair, you do not have the opportunity to deliver your “30-second commercial,” and make an impression. Employers pay a fee to attend most job fairs, this means that they find it beneficial to meet with perspective candidates in person, and not rely on the online application.

Job fairs are similar to a “one stop shop,” you will have the opportunity to be exposed to multiple companies across many different sectors of the job market. Instead of scouring the internet and job posting sites, you can gain access to the companies that are hiring and have made a financial commitment to finding some great talent. At a job fair you will be able to:

  • Meet with companies who are hiring locally and meet the hiring manager.
  • Research available positions nationally and sometimes internationally.
  • Understand knowledge and characteristics companies are looking for in an employee.
  • Build your network by meeting with hiring managers from within your industry.
  • Learn more about available internships in your career field.
  • Gain experience selling yourself to employers.

The job fair is a valuable resource in your career development. Whether you are seeking a full-time job, an internship, or are looking to gain information about positions in your career field, this is a wonderful opportunity to learn more about your career choice.

If you have further questions about the job fair or any career related questions please take the time to make an appointment with your career coach at www.wpcarey.asu.edu/sos.

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Geoff Huston, Undergraduate Business Career Consultant

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Go abroad. Get lost. Return like a boss. (Professional)

It happens to the best of us. Streets begin to look more or less alike and even with the aid of a map, you are lost. You swear up and down that the best gelato café would be on THAT corner – otherwise why else did you fly all this way to Italy? Well yes, you came to study, work, intern but most importantly gelato!

Your professional development abroad starts the moment you get lost. You are forced to assess your situation and adapt to find an alternative way to get where you need to go. You become resourceful, asking others around you about cross streets, researching transportation options, or simply using Google to recheck the address. You communicate with others in a foreign language, improving your oral and listening skills. Finally, you problem solve to get to your destination and order a well-deserved scoop of Stracciatella. Life is good and you reflect on your progress of international understanding via the hoops of fire you had to jump through to get here.

Getting lost is just one of the many inevitable ways to develop these highly marketable skills abroad. In addition to courses or work, be proactive, join clubs, participate in mentor programs, attend mixers – the point is get out of your comfort zone and find activities that continue to add to your professional growth. Employers look for well-rounded, globally minded individuals with a deep understanding of adaptability, resourcefulness, communication skills, and problem solving. Once you get over the initial stress of the unfamiliar, you will gain confidence and continue to thrive in future professional situations like a boss.

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Vivian Kiss, Coordinator, International Programs

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How To Dress Professionally

 

First impressions can make or break you, especially in a professional setting.  If you want to be taken seriously as a professional, then you must look the part.  Here are some keys to make sure you are walking the walk:

1. Kick the jeans.  Denim should be nowhere to be found in a professional setting.  At minimum, a long-sleeve button-down dress shirt, dress slacks, and a tie should be worn.  Whenever possible, a suit coat or sport jacket should also be worn.  If you do not know how to tie a tie, there are plenty of videos online that will show you.

2. Make the cut.  Dress clothes lose all professionalism and style when are too big or too small.  If your clothes do not fit to your current body type, pay the nominal fee to have them tailored.  Your dad’s or older brother’s hand-me-down suits can be a good thing, but not if they are 5 inches taller and 60 lbs. heavier than you.  Dress shirts are measured by neck size (generally 15-18 inches) and arm length (generally 30-36 inches).

3. Keep it simple.  This is not the time to break out the Tabasco tie or the neon orange shirt.  Remember that business is generally conservative which means dark suit (black, dark grey, or dark blue), simple color shirt (white or blue), and conservative tie (solid color or striped).

4. Polish and match.  Men, learn how to polish your dress shoes.  A recent study showed that an increasing number of employers looked at a man’s dress shoes as a way to gauge his level of attention to detail.  A simple $4 can of shoe polish can go a long way.  Don’t even think about wearing sneakers!  Remember – your shoes should match your belt (same color) and your socks should match your slacks (same color).

5. Clean and crisp.  Make sure your clothes are clean and free of spots.  Just because you have not worn your suit since your uncle’s wedding 10 months ago, does not mean it is clean.  Also remember to iron your pants and shirt.  Don’t know how to iron?  The nearest dry cleaner can clean and press your suit.  Your suit jacket or sport coat should be hung, if possible, or folded neatly in half (shoulder to shoulder, not neck to bottom of jacket) prior to it being worn to avoid wrinkles.

Now, go make that great first impression and don’t forget to thank your mom when you make your first million!

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Greg Mena, Undergraduate Business Career Consultant

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7 Mistakes To Avoid In Your Interview

 

1. You didn’t do your research

You interview with a company to get a job. Hopefully you are excited about the job and the company. If you have not done your research on the company how do you know what you are excited about? Interviewers are people, and people like to talk about themselves. Business professionals also like to talk about their companies. A hiring manager or recruiter is usually proud of where they work which is how they got to the role they are in. If you are in an interview you will be asked questions about the job or the company. Questions like, “how many offices do we have?” Or, “what was our gross revenue last year?” Know the answer.

2. You didn’t Interview the Interviewer

A job interview is a two way street. There is a reason you research a company you are thinking about working for and there is a reason the interviewer asks if you have any questions for them. You want to make sure the job you applied for is what you thought it was. You also want to make sure the company and its culture is a good fit for you too.

3. You didn’t Show Up

I mean this literally. I once forgot a notebook at home where I had written down the address of where my interview was supposed to be and who with. The interview was on a multi-building campus occupied by one company. Without this information I couldn’t find where I needed to go and no one could help me. I missed the interview and guess what? I didn’t get the job.

4. You didn’t Send the Right Message

This is a simple message. “I am what you need and I can prove it.” The proof is on your resume and in the stories you tell during the interview. It is what you have accomplished in similar roles to the one you are currently applying for and the measured success of those accomplishments.

5. You didn’t Tell Them about Yourself

When you are asked, “tell me about yourself.” In an interview they are not really asking about you. What the interviewer is asking is, “tell me about how your past professional experience makes you a good candidate for this job.” The only time you would add anything personal into this answer is if you had a unique experience or hobby that taught you a skill or gave you an insight that would make you a better candidate for the job.

6. You didn’t Ask Good Questions

I mentioned earlier that an interview is a two way street. You need to ask questions to get a better understanding of how your success in the position will be measured and what expectations there may be that the job description didn’t cover. The best way to show you are a good candidate and did your research is not by the answers you give, but by the questions you ask.

7. You didn’t Tell Them You Want the Job

Interviewing for a job is just that, an interview. During the interview the interviewer is finding out more about you to assess if you are a good fit for the position. You too are asking questions and learning about the company and the position. It is a fact finding session. Don’t assume your presence is sending any message that you want the job. Once the fact finding session is over and you like what you heard, tell them you are excited about working there in that role, and ask what the next steps are.

 

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Michael Sanders, Undergraduate Business Career Consultant

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What If I’m Not Ready To Look For A Job

 

So you hear time and time again…. Go to the career fair! What happened to I just want to be a student?

This blog is not meant to be another voice in your ear telling you what you should  be doing; I am writing to give you some insight on why it may be beneficial for you to attend career fairs as early and as often as possible. These 4 tips should give you understanding as to “what’s in it for me,” as well as change your perception of what really goes on at career fairs.

  1. Information anyone? Informational interviews are an amazing way to build relationships with hiring managers, as well as gain insight on specific positions within the company. Just because you aren’t looking now, eventually you will be and if you are engaging enough to be memorable, you will have that previous relationship established to your benefit.
  2. Go to see what careers are out there. It is much easier to look for a job when you are not, looking for a job. This gives you the opportunity to do some major window shopping. Remember you are just browsing. Make sure you still give off the vibe you are interested though.
  3. Eavesdrop! Listen to how others are interacting with the employers, take mental notes…that way when you are ready to start your job search you can utilize all the pertinent information you have learned.
  4. Always remember thank you. This is no different from what mom and dad taught you as a tike! Upon completion of a career fair take a few moments to impress the hiring managers with your manners, and HAND WRITE a thank you letter. This doesn’t have to be anything major, it just has to be handwritten. In this day and time everyone communicates electronically, dare to be different, dare to STAND OUT IN A CROWD!
  5. “Thank you for meeting with me today and giving me some insight on (enter company name_________). I really enjoyed speaking with you regarding (think of something you talked about and insert here). I look forward to following (company name)’s progress and I definitely plan to stay in touch with you. Thank you again for your time.

Respectfully,

Your future employee

These are some helpful tips to get you ahead of the game. Don’t wait until it too late to realize the time to act is now!

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Chris Holland, Undergraduate Business Career Consultant

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Customize Your 30 Second Commercial for the Career Fair

 

So the career fair is approaching and you’ve narrowed down the list of companies you’re planning on talking to. You’ve done your research. Now you need to practice what you will say when you approach the recruiters at the career fair! This is your opportunity to convince the employers you have the skillsets they are looking for in a candidate.

1. CONNECT THE DOTS

You just got done researching company job descriptions, now it’s your turn to convince the recruiters you have the skill sets (from the job description) they are looking for.

2. WRITE IT OUT

There is some basic information you should talk to the recruiters about before you jump in telling them your qualifications for the job. Start with a greeting and include your name, year in school, major(s). After you discuss your skills you can also talk about your career goals or interests, but make sure you are able to get across what’s most important to the employers, which is your valuable skillset.

Hi, how are you? (Don’t forget the recruiters are humans too)

My name is___________________. I will be graduating in _______________from the W. P. Carey School of Business with a degree(s) in______________________________________.

Currently and/or in my past experiences I have gained (tailor this to the job description)

  1. Skill set + at company/ student organization
  2. Skill set + at company/organization
  3. Skill set + at company/organization

I have researched your company(‘s) (position, culture, mission, etc.) posted on Sun Devil CareerLink and would like to speak with you further about the opportunity available and the interview process.

3. PRACTICE, OUT LOUD!

Rehearse your speech with a friend or in front of a mirror. Practice it out loud! You will feel much more comfortable and it will sound more natural if you are comfortable and confident in what you are saying.

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Sarah Hill, Undergraduate Business Career Consultant

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Women’s Professional Dress

 

So you’ve prepared for the career fair by fine tuning your resume, researching companies in attendance and perfecting your 30 second commercial. But now you’re wondering, “What should I wear?” Follow these 5 guidelines and you’ll be dressed for success in no time.

  1. Fit is everything! No matter what you choose, if it doesn’t fit properly it’s not going to look professional. Avoid low-cut shirts, sleeves that are too long, skirts that are too short and pants that are either too short or too long. You want to make sure that your clothes make you feel comfortable so that you don’t have to worry about adjusting and pulling.
  2. Classic or trendy? As a general rule of thumb, stay away from trendy. Stick to pieces that are classic staples, such as a black pant suit with a white shirt. Knee length pencil skirts are also appropriate.
  3. There’s a time and a place for statement jewelry. A career fair is not one of them. If you’d like to wear jewelry, keep it to small, subtle pieces. Don’t let your jewelry distract potential employers from your amazing resume and personality!
  4. A closed toe, medium height pump is the most appropriate choice in shoes. It is best to choose a color that matches your suit. Platform shoes, stilettos, sandals and boots are never appropriate professional attire.

For pictures of appropriate and inspirational career fair attire, please visit the W. P. Carey Business Career Center Pinterest page.

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Lisa Moore, Undergraduate Business Career Consultant

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How To Best Research the Companies Attending The Job Fair

 

To fully take advantage of any opportunity to interact with employers, the more you know, the more effective you’ll be in marketing yourself. One of the biggest complaints from employers regarding students they speak with at career fairs, is that the student had not researched their company prior to the event. The W. P. Carey Business Career Center (BCC) and university Career Services will always provide you a list of companies attending our events, so you can prepare to engage with them appropriately.

Each fall and spring semester, the career coaches in the BCC send out a bi-weekly newsletter to students in their major. Not only will career events be marketed in the announcements section, but specific information – including who will be there, is listed. The University Career Services will also list career activities on their web page and organizations participating. Take the time to review those lists, and determine who you might be interested in talking with. Research the company’s website, as well as doing internet searches to find out all you can. Take notes on things you find interesting and what it is about this company that you feel fits your personal career goals.

Sun Devil CareerLink (SDCL) enables employers to market career related positions to all ASU majors. Definitely take a look to see if your employers have posted either internship or full time positions there – as chances are, that’s what they’ll be hoping to find at the career fair. Research the companies and positions that best meet your needs, and be prepared to demonstrate why you are the best candidate, by providing examples of how you meet those skills and qualities listed.

There are many great opportunities for you to interact with recruiters throughout your college career.  Make sure you take full advantage of those opportunities, by preparing ahead of time to make those connections count!

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Terri Erb, Undergraduate Business Career Consultant

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What To Do After The Career Fair

 

You took the time to research companies, build a fantastic resume, buy a tailored suit and speak with as many recruiters as possible for a career fair that lasted no more than a few hours. Now what?

Well after the career fair is over, ensure your time and money do not go to waste by following these 5 easy steps to increase your probability of success in landing the interview!

Step Back: We need to take a quick step back and rewind to during the career fair. Make sure to ask for business cards and/or contact information because you will need this for a few up-coming steps.

Step 1: If you did not have a chance to apply for opportunities on-line before the career fair, do this now. Find positions on Sun Devil Career Link (www.asu.edu/career) or company websites. Some companies at the career fair will give you information on how to apply. Follow these instructions and take your time tailoring your resume and providing accurate information.

Step 2: Send a thank you note after the career fair. Email or handwritten? Why not both! Keep your name in front by sending an email within 24 hours after the career fair and then send a hand written note in the mail a few days later. Here are a few tips and an example to help build follow-up notes:

  • Include that you applied for the position and through what website
  • Cite any advice you took that the contact may have provided (resume, career, etc.)
  • Add a few skills or experiences as a reminder to why you are a competitive candidate

Thank you

Step 3: Keep track of when you follow-up with contacts and add reminders for continued follow-up on a calendar. Use CareerShift to manage your interview and follow-up calendar as well as continue to find contacts and career/internship opportunities. (CareerShift is a free service through W. P. Carey Business Career Center – Go to my.wpcarey.asu.edu and search CareerShift)

Step 4: Maintain the relationship after your initial follow-up. Here are a few tips to keep the conversation going:

  • Search contacts on Linkedin.com. Review profiles for any immediate connects such as being a part of the same group, attended the same school, enjoy the same interests, etc. Note these similarities and/or any of the Step 2 tips when you send a note to connect.
  • Send an email to follow-up on advice, comment on industry news, ask career development questions.
  • Follow-up at the next career fair and/or event your contacts attend.

Step 5: Stay positive. Not all contacts will get back to you but this is no reason to give up. Continue following-up and building new relationships to grow your network and increase your chances for finding the internship or job that will launch your career!

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Jyll Harthun, Undergraduate Business Career Consultant

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Success Means Knowing Your R.O.L.E.

 

How do you define success? Seriously, take a moment and think about what ‘success’ looks like for you. Your definition can be so different than your parents, friends, teachers, mentors, supervisors, co-workers, advisors, etc. It can even look different to you at different stages of your life. If you were to google the definition of success, you will find descriptions to include: “the accomplishment of an aim or purpose, the attainment of popularity or profit,” and “a person or thing that achieves desired aims or attains prosperity.” One thing remains is that achieving success, however you may define it, is the ultimate career goal for most. In order to achieve that goal, you must realize your role in attaining success and prove it to an employer by marketing your value. I break down the acronym R.O.L.E. as the following:

RESPONSIBILITY – Take care of your responsibilities first and foremost. Go to class, study, pay bills, etc. Just because you are on your route to your own success does not mean that you can put aside your obligations. If you are searching for a job, you must prove that you are a responsible candidate. Employers will look at GPA and will call your references, e.g. supervisor, professor, etc. with a series of questions to qualify your credibility.

OPPORTUNITY – There are opportunities everywhere and they come in many shapes and forms. JOIN A CLUB! You hear it over and over but there is a reason to it. Opportunities present themselves through student and/or community organizations, and employers will sometimes present at meetings due to the captive audience. Be around like-minded people and you increase the likelihood of finding an internship, job or a connection through that organization in an industry or trade you are passionate about. Also, employers want to see that you are involved in more than just going to class and getting good grades (see Responsibility).

LEADERSHIP – When I speak with employers and recruiters, they are always seeking leaders. Therefore, I recommend that you find ways to lead others. You can be a committee chair for an organization, lead a group project, head up a volunteer effort, etc. Many attributes that come from leadership like delegating, negotiating, coordinating, and the like are what employers are seeking in their new hires. So get involved in something you are interested in and find a way to contribute at a higher level.

EXPERIENCE – Interviewer says, “Tell me a creative way you used to sell something?” How do you respond? This is just one example of a behavioral question of many that you will be asked when interviewing for jobs over your lifetime. For you entrepreneurs, you also have to qualify yourself and your experience to get a loan. Therefore, you respond to behavioral interview questions by telling the interviewer(s) about an experience from your work, life, or school by explaining the situation, task, action and result (STAR) to answer their question. The STAR method is very useful and can be easily remembered when being asked a behavioral question. To be a STAR interviewee, answer in STAR. Regardless, you must have relevant experience to be able to address behavioral questions properly.

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Marsha Gonzaga, Undergraduate Business Career Consultant

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