Tuesday, September 6, 2011

The Employer Scoop: Secrets to Success at the Career Fair

Who better to get advice from than hiring personnel about how to work the Career Fair to your advantage? The individuals representing an employer are the ones you have to connect with, not the paper description of the company. Employers love the less formal setting of the Career Fair for this reason. Jon Finch of Milwaukee Tool explains, “We are hiring the entire person, not just the person in the interview. Their ability to make conversation at the fair and talk about their experiences helps us to understand who we are hiring.” So how can you make a positive impression? Here are tips from employers – they know what they want to see; take their advice and rack up the interviews!

Employers are in agreement – internships and other experience are very important. These are the things they look for first on a resume. Start early! Our office can help – check us out at http://www.lssaa.wisc.edu/careers/. Finch wants applicants to show “how [they] have worked in addition to their education.”

Many students are concerned about standing out from other job hunters. Chris Schueler of Medline Industries recommends an old-fashioned thank-you note. But don’t just make a general one for every employer you talked to. Add in comments about what you discussed. Remind the representative about your experience. Be enthusiastic about the company.

Don’t be general and basic when talking to employers, either. Finch and Schueler both believe that researching companies you are interested in is the most important thing you can do to prepare. Their pet peeve is when students come up asking what a company does and what majors they hire. Buckynet is a great resource for finding out more about the employers attending. You can see the full list at https://bus-wisc-csm.symplicity.com/events/students.php?mode=list&cf=FCIF2011.

Tailor yourself to the company. “Their qualifications should be identified as how they could positively affect the potential employer,” Finch says. Schueler advises that the top thing to keep in mind is to “do your research and be yourself. Make sure it is a fit for you and the company. It needs to be a fit on both sides.”

Now that you have the information you need to properly prepare for the Career Fair, don’t forget to mark it on your calendar. Be there to speak with over two hundred employers on Thursday, September 15 from 4:30-8:00 p.m. at the Kohl Center!

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