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Maximizing Your Time at the Career Fair

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Graduate students! Use this presentation from our Career Fair Prep workshop to help you get ready for the next career fair you attend!

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Maximizing Your Time at the Career Fair

  1. 1. MAXIMIZING YOUR TIME AT THE CAREER FAIR November 18, 2013 Facilitator: Tammy J. Samuels Assistant Director of Graduate Student Services
  2. 2. 13th Annual North Carolina Master’s & PhD Career Fair 2013 • Date: Thursday, November 21 • Time: 12 pm to 4 pm • Location: The Friday Center at UNCChapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC Employer Information Sessions held 12:30-4 Website: https://sites.google.com/site/ncmastersphdfair/ • What We Will Cover Today: – Dress, Resumes, Research, Introductions, Follow-Up, Career Fair Don’ts
  3. 3. Why Should I Go? • Employment opportunities specifically for Master’s & PhD students and postdocs • Networking Opportunity – Make a good in-person impression! • Learn about organizations and industries – Learn more about employers than you can learn from the website
  4. 4. How to Prepare • • • • • DRESS to impress Make your RESUME/CV top notch Do your RESEARCH Practice your INTRODUCTION Develop a Follow-up
  5. 5. Business Formal** Business Formal Men • • • • Black or Navy Suit Dress shirt Leather loafers Matching belt. Socks to match pant color. Business Formal Women • • • • Black, navy or tan suit or sheath dress with jacket Conservative blouse or top Knee-length skirt or suit pants Closed-toe heel (pump or sling back) or dress flat of a quality leather. ** Dress for the job
  6. 6. Career Fair Attire Source:Tarelton State University Career Services
  7. 7. Resume/CV Tips Multiple copies AND variety to fit specific companies/positions • – • CIA, Oak Ridge National Laboratories, Rho Inc., RTI, Kelly Scientific, and Teach for America to name a few Update your Resume/CV and have it reviewed prior to the Fair
  8. 8. Resume Review Graduate Students – Drop-ins every Tues. & Wed. 2-4pm (while class is in session); Smith Warehouse, Bay 5, 2nd Fl. – Resume Reviews at the Bryan Center • Wed. Nov. 20th 2-4pm (in lieu of Smith Warehouse drop-ins) Postdocs - Schedule an appointment with Molly Starback
  9. 9. Research Employers • List of Employers – Duke Cheat Sheet – LinkedIn • NC Master’s & PhD Career Fair • Plan your Day – Info Sessions – Prioritize Employers – Layout
  10. 10. Your Plan-5 Steps • Step 1: Identify employers, timing, and start visiting organizations • Step 2: Introduce yourself with confidence • Step 3: Ask informed questions • Step 4: Thank the recruiter, ask for business card • Step5: Make notes when you leave the booth
  11. 11. Step 1 • Survey the landscape • Prioritize employers & visit organizations you researched and/or are interested in
  12. 12. Step 2 • Introduce yourself with confidence – Nonverbal: Handshake, Smile, etc. • Bring a padfolio – Verbal: “30 second commercial”
  13. 13. 30 Second Commercial Also known as an “elevator speech,” the commercial is your first chance to introduce yourself to someone and give them a short synopsis of your skills and experience with the goal of getting them to ask you for more information. What are the Main Elements of the Networking Commercial? By answering these questions, you can begin to craft your personal commercial: • Who am I? What value do I bring? Identify yourself in terms of a job function or value you can contribute. • What benefits might you bring to an organization, based upon your strengths and qualities and proven accomplishments? • End your commercial with a question that will stimulate further action and/or referral. Source: Adapted from UMBC Career Center (http://www.careers.umbc.edu/skills/network/30sec.php)
  14. 14. Step 3 Ask Informed Questions – Informed Strategic Questions: “I noticed you have a health assessment group and a health policy group, what are the key differences between the two? “What kinds of skills or experience do you look for in who you hire?” – Strategic Planning Questions: “What have other postdocs from Novartis gone on to do?” – Key Company Information Questions: “What is the organizational culture like at Gallup? How is it different from other management consulting companies?”
  15. 15. Step 4 & 5 •Thank the representative for their time and express appreciation. •Get their Business Card •Make notes when you leave the booth
  16. 16. Career Fair Don’ts Don’t be TOO aggressive! Don’t be CLINGY! Don’t travel in PACKS!
  17. 17. After the Fair •What do you do? – Evaluate your experience and plan for the next step • What was positive/negative? How was your “commercial” received? What might you change? – Follow up with a sincere thank you letter Do’s & Don’ts: • Do: Be Prompt, Specific, and Succinct • Do: Follow this structure: – Paragraph 1: Express gratitude – Paragraph 2: Reiterate why you’re a perfect “fit” • Don’t get discouraged if a company never responds Evaluate your experience and plan for the next step
  18. 18. Career Resources – Visit the Career Center Resource Room for Resume/CV Review during Drop-Ins or Research Employers – Make an appointment with a Career Counselor, Call: (919) 660-1050 M-F, 9-5 – Postdocs – email Molly.Starback@duke.edu to schedule an appointment
  19. 19. Questions • Q/A • Please complete the workshop evaluation Thank you for coming! Duke Career Center Website: http://studentaffairs.duke.edu/career Phone: (919) 660-1061

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