Tips for Virtual Career Fairs

Spring Break is just around the corner and for most of us that means relaxing and not opening up a textbook. However, you can still continue your job search even while away from school. Maybe consider networking with a future employer on LinkedIn or attending a virtual career fair that you have found online. Virtual career fairs are similar to an online chat room with an employer and all done from the comfort of your own room! Keep these tips in mind when you are preparing for this type of fair:

  1. Don’t use emoticons and internet abbreviations. You want to remain professional and give a good first impression. Don’t use OMG or LOL, just avoid abbreviations and slang all together. Type the same words that you would say when speaking face-to-face with an employer.
  2. Do your research. Know what the job description says that you are interested in and have an idea of what the company is looking for. Then you tailor your resume directly to this and utilize key words/ phrases that they have included in the job description. Instead of having a very broad and generalized resume, make it as specific as you can. This is something that you can’t do while attending a physical job fair, so take advantage of it.
  3. Be well groomed and neat. In a virtual career fair, a good conversation can easily flow into a Skype interview. Therefore wearing pajamas and having bed head is not such a good idea. Shower and dress as you would for an actual career fair as this will boost your self-confidence. Try to wear blues and greens as whites and patterns may not look very good on a webcam. Additionally, if your office space normally looks like a tornado hit, make sure to tidy it up and have it look somewhat professional.
  4. Check your social media. As a job seeker looks at your resume, then can just as quickly find you on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter to see that unattractive picture or post about last weekend. Make sure you either check your privacy settings or do NOT post anything that you wouldn’t want your grandma to see…or else you may have some explaining to do. This can also cost you a future interview or job position. #ThinkBeforeTweeting
  5. Relax beforehand. In a virtual career fair setting, it is more relaxed for job hunters as there is not all the pressure of meeting recruiters face to face and being as presentable and poised. However with this decrease in anxiety, you should still maintain your confidence and resist being too relaxed. Treat this as you would any other job fair and put your best foot forward. Have clear goals that you want to accomplish and prepare questions for the recruiter. Unlike in a career fair, you can keep notes and company information by your side. Remember that recruiters meet hundreds of applicants, so stand out in a positive way!

Keep these tips in mind for your future virtual career fair and also for the Internship & Summer Jobs Fair on Wednesday, March 9th after spring break. Hope to see you then and have a great break!

Tips from: https://www.collegerecruiter.com/blog/2012/03/15/virtual-career-fairs-benefit-job-seekers-and-employers/

Informational Interviewing!

In an online article titled, “Informational Interviewing”, Carole Martin gave some useful tips for students, and other adults, who are looking to conduct an informational interview. Here’s what she said:

Identify the Information You Want- basically, this means know what you’re looking for from the company, the person that you’re interviewing, and in your career in general!

Make a List of People You Know- this can help you to see what areas the people that you know work in. For example, writing this list my help you remember that your cousin’s husband is a pilot, and coincidentally, that’s the exact position you are looking for. From there, you can ask questions regarding job qualifications and even what companies he recommends talking to!

Make the Appointment- This should be a 15-30 minute interview with the person, regarding what he or she does!

Plan an Agenda for the Session- Martin talks about preparing questions that give you the information you’re looking for, meaning you shouldn’t be talking about pilots if you’re doing an informational interview with an accountant! You want to make sure to ask the right questions!

Conduct Yourself as a Professional- This cannot be said enough, even though you it’s just an informational interview, you should be conducting yourself as if you are on a BIG job interview!

Show Interest- Martin says, “A little flattery goes a long way”. Make sure that you know who you’re talking to and their position within an organization.

Be Prepared to Answer Questions About What You’re Looking For- have a short personal statement ready, because though it is an informational interview, the person probably wants to know about your job search and what direction you want to go in, in regards to your career!

Get Names- Other contacts in the field can not only help you get more informational interviews, but are useful for networking and can hopefully allow for you to be remembered when a position becomes available!

Send Thank- You and Follow-Up Letters- Writing a note, or at least an email, can help the person that you interviewed with remember you even more, and help them show that you were really grateful for the information that he or she provided!

Take Advantage of Any Referrals You Receive- You will have to take risks to get closer to your dream job, according to Martin, and reaching out to a professional that you do not know can be considered one of those risks. These referrals may lead to a potential job interview, which is the ultimate goal!

 

To read more about Carole Martin’s article follow this link:

http://career-advice.monster.com/job-search/professional-networking/Informational-Interviewing/article.aspx

Networking is like Dating

When searching for a job or gaining career advice, networking with professionals is a good start. Networking is similar to dating. With Valentine’s Day coming up, remember some of these tips whether at a candlelight dinner or while networking for your dream job.

  • Never discredit anyone. You never know what the future may hold. Love blossoms in ways that you would not expect and so does networking. Connect with everyone and be polite as well. Do not burn your bridges as you do not know when you will need a reference from a previous boss.
  • Don’t do all the talking. Networking and dating is a mutual process. You do not want to tell your whole life story. Both parties should be asking questions to show a genuine interest in the other. Also, do not spend too much time focusing on your career aspirations. People will remember you after the event for your hobbies, similar hometown, and favorite sports team. Create an engaging, but memorable conversation to spark their attention.
  • Listen.  You have two ears and one mouth for a reason. Listen and be engaged in the conversation. The other person can tell if you start zoning out or become disinterested. After meeting with someone, write down key points that you can remember them by. This can include basics such as their name, the networking event you met them at, and a fun fact about them, such as you both enjoy PB&J sandwiches.
  • Stay Sober. If you are concerned about being able to maintain a conversation after a few beers, you better rethink those beers as it is difficult to maintain a sensible conversation. If you feel it is socially acceptable and everyone else has a drink, buy just one. It can be a challenge to loosen up while meeting new people and trying to impress them, but just know your alcohol limit.
  • Maintain the Connection. If your first date went well, you may exchange phone numbers. For networking, this may not be very appropriate professionally. However, you can exchange business cards or add them on LinkedIn. From this, you can check in with them periodically and ask about possible job opportunities or any other questions that may arise. From this, you are creating a lasting connection that could potentially lead to your future job.
  • Say Thank You. After a date, it is polite to thank them for it. Therefore the same goes with networking and you can do this by emailing or sending them a LinkedIn message thanking them for their time and the opportunity to learn more about their job. Remember to personalize the message, remind them who you are, and include a fun fact from the conversation about yourself. Once you land your dream job, you will look back and want to thank all those that helped you get there.

Good luck this weekend on your date and future networking event! If you have any questions or feel you need practice at networking, feel free to stop by our office in CNH 305 to set up an appointment.

Tips from: http://www.prdaily.com/Main/Articles/Networking_is_like_dating_6_ways_to_succeed_in_bot_7971.aspx#%29

Interviewing Successfully!

It’s that time of the year again, interviewing season!

Are you looking for an internship? A summer job? A full time job? Or even interviewing for graduate school?

Here are some useful tips that we think can help you succeed in your next interview!

Interviewing in general:

  • Learn about the organization- Coming into an interview with specific questions regarding different aspects of the organization will show that you have a true interest in the company and want to learn as much as you can!
  • Rehearse what you want to say and how you want to say things- Mock interviews are a great way to learn to answer common interview questions! They also give you time to think about what you would say and really perfect it before your big interview!
  • Know your strengths AND weaknesses- Strengths can be easy to identify and pick which skill you want to highlight the most during an interview; however, it is the weaknesses that are often the most difficult to answer. You want to be sure to take time to reflect be prepared for the question. Personally, I like to talk about a weakness that I have, that I think that the company can help turn into a strength. This lets the company know that you are willing to grow

If you’re interviewing on Skype:

  • Look at the Camera, not the screen- As tempting as it is to want to look at yourself or the interviewer, looking at the camera will allow you to have that “direct eye contact” moment that is essential in any interview setting
  • Prepare your surroundings- You want to make sure that you are in a quiet room with a plain paint color or wall design. There is nothing more distracting for an interviewer than loud noises coming from your side of the screen or a distracting piece of art work behind your head.
  • Dress the part- Even though you are doing a Skype interview, you want to make sure that you look like someone who should be hired. You still want to be in full interview attire to be, no excuses!

Also be sure to sign up for a Mock Interview on February 11 to talk to professionals about how to interview successfully in your field! You can sign up through Career Connect!

For more tips and tricks on interviewing, check out these websites:

http://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/personal/2013/08/01/13-tips-for-a-great-skype-interview/2608915/

http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/money/jobcenter/jobhunt/interviewing/2002-11-14-interview-steps_x.htm