No doubt, as you approach your final semester, you have parents that keep bugging you about what you plan to do after graduation. You probably also have a bunch of friends who seem to have it all figured out and landed a job offer long ago!
Is this what happens to you when you you start editing your resume?
Does the thought of preparing for life after graduation make you look like this?
Well, never fear, because you're not alone, and that's exactly why the Winter Career Expo was invented!
This career fair, held on campus each year, features some of the best employers and most loved companies in the country. They all come to Michigan to meet and mingle with some of the brightest talent in the Mid West.
It is a great opportunity to not only explore the different opportunities out there, but also to network and help you decide what you are passionate about and what you really want to pursue after you throw that graduation cap into the sky!
To help you make the most of the fair, here are 10 useful tips. As an employer who'll be attending the fair, and as someone who remembers what it's like to attend a career fair as a budding senior, trust me, this is valuable advice!
1. Check the list of Participating Organizations on the Winter Career Expo web site. Browse their sites, look up their Facebook pages, do your research on what companies look most interesting to YOU.
2. Create a list of your "Must Meets." Make sure you don't leave the fair without speaking to someone from each of these companies. If they are busy talking to a someone else, wait or come back when there’s less traffic at the table.
3. Research and learn more about the companies you interested in, learn about their industry, products, clients, etc… Of course, you won't understand all of the industry jargon, but feel free to write down some questions and show them that you went the extra mile researching the company. Employers love to speak with people who come prepared and are EXCITED about their opportunities.
4. Make sure your resume is clean, concise, simple and easy to read and clearly displays how your are different! Don't list every little league trophy you won, but make sure you include anything that demonstrates the value you bring to the table, especially if it is something unique.
5. Practice your “30 second introduction.” Don't get stumped when a potential employer says "So, tell me about yourself!" Have a little summary of yourself already in mind. And remember to ask questions about the person you're talking to, people love that! After all, it is a two way conversation!
6. Dress for the job you want to have. If you dream of being a CEO one day, wear a suit. You don't have to go all out by purchasing a flashy, new $2,000 Armani suit, but dress to impress. You don't have to wear a tie if it's not something you're comfortable in, but leave the sneakers and backpack at home. :)
7. Be memorable! There will be plenty of companies at the expo - AND EVEN MORE STUDENTS - so make sure that you leave a lasting impression with the employers you hope will remember you. If you don't, you will just become another resume in the pile. (tip: Most employers mark the resume of someone that stood out to them, so make sure you don't just hand off your resume and run!)
8. S-M-I-L-E! No matter how nervous you may be, or how tired you are from studying the night before, a smile hides it all!
9. Once you've spoken to all of your "Must Meets,” make sure you speak with as many other companies as you can. You'll be surprised at what you might discover. It's great to simply meet different people and practice chatting with someone from a different background, but you might learn something about yourself too!
10. Most important of all, HAVE FUN! At the very least, you are going to learn something about the working world, and learn about yourself. But hopefully, you will meet someone who may one day be your colleague at your dream job - a company that helps you become the person you want to be. Simply enjoy the opportunity to rub shoulders with some of the most admired companies in the world…. and SMILE! :)
A career expo is a great way to mingle with people in the working world and get to know more about the opportunities on offer, and speak to a real human being about what it's like to work at their company.
Best of luck!
Dino Delic is Managing Director of the Chicago office for Meltwater Group, a global SaaS company, providing online and social media monitoring, as well as media outreach solutions. Founded in 2001, Meltwater has 1,000 staff in 50 offices across six continents, and helps more than 23,000 of the world's most admired companies and organizations with their public relations, communications and social marketing needs.
Meltwater is attending the Winter Career Expo to meet with Michigan students interested in a career in Management. For more information about the opportunity, visit http://www.meltwater.com/company/careers/
And for more tips from Dino you can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or by stopping by the Meltwater table!