Job Fairs at ECC
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Some general tips and advice.
Assess Yourself & Potential Employers
Think about your strong points, your goals, the organization, and where you want to go within the company. Prepare a "one-minute commercial" or "elevator speech" detailing your background and what skills you bring to the company. Understand how your skills, or the ones you want to develop, relate to the available organizations and employment opportunities.
Research Companies Attending Event
Check this site often for an updated list of attending organizations. Thoroughly research your 'core' companies and gain background information upon which you can base your conversations with the company representatives. Use the library, career development services center, and company web pages for the information you'll need to prepare for the event.
You will need to register with HireSpartans to use these free services.
Listen to Podcasts
While using the HireSpartans services, listen to job fair-related podcasts. Podcasts to listen to are:
- Job Fairs: The Basics
- Job Fairs: A Day At the Fair
- Job Fairs: All the Wrong Moves
Prepare Your Resume
If you need assistance preparing a resume, use the examples in your Career Development Services Office, or go to the HireSpartans search kit. Once you've started, meet with a career development specialist in Building B, Room B120, to fine-tune your resume. If you are a community member, you may get career coaching help from ECC’s re-employment specialist at 847-214-6970.
Post Your Resume
When you are finished, you can post to HireSpartans.
Plan Your Wardrobe
Every year, employers comment on how they met someone they would be interested in pursuing but won’t due to the lack of professionalism and dress. Don’t let that be you!
All candidates should dress and present themselves professionally, which means:
- Arrive early and map out your strategy. Who will you talk with first? Lines will be longer for some employers than they will be for others. Plan accordingly and don't waste valuable time standing in line.
- Keep an open mind and don't miss out on opportunities due to lack of information or effort. You may want to tour the event and contact all the participating organizations to learn more about them and what they have to offer but visit your "core" companies first.
- Address the recruiter first with a smile, firm handshake, and your short elevator speech of skills and achievements. Never start your employer conversation with, "What jobs do you have?" Current students should share their field of study and the year of graduation, and core skill sets relating to the employer.
- Dress for one position higher than the positions to which you are applying. Not being professionally dressed is the most common job seeker mistake, and recruiters make notes even if you have to apply via their website. The best image is not jeans, sweatshirts, and backpacks. Avoid excessive jewelry and perfume. You will only have a few minutes to make an impression as a job candidate. Positive first impressions are critical.
- Do not be discouraged by the "apply online" conversation. You are standing in front of the recruiter! Be prepared to ask questions about the types of skills that will get a candidate noticed at the company, possible techniques to increase the chances of being called in for an interview, and the current focus and work environment of the department/company. Remember: One tidbit of information that you were not privy to before the application process can get you noticed at the resume/application or interview stage.
- No children. Come to the event with another parent and share babysitting duties outside of the gym area and go into the event one at a time.
- Turn off your cell phone and other electronic devices! Ringers, alerts, and phone conversations are distracting and disrespectful. Let the employers know that they are your main focus.
- Bring plenty of resumes to distribute to employers. There are no public copy machines near the events center.
- Job and Internship Fairs are not just for those seeking immediate work. They are a great way to connect with companies and career fields of interest. Employers are generally happy to share information about the careers that exist within their company and may even offer to connect you with an informational interviewing or job shadowing experience. Common questions include: What are common career paths within your organization? What is the training program for new hires? What do you look for in a candidate?, and What advice do you have for applicants?
- Make sure you obtain each representative's name, title, address, email address, and phone number so you can follow up with them. Collect literature and business cards whenever possible and ask the representatives when you can expect to hear back from them.
- Be sure to take notes after each table. Write down your thoughts about the company, the recruiter, your chances, follow-up strategies, to-do list, etc. Keep this information organized!
After the event:
- Make it a point to follow up with a letter expressing your interest in the company and in what you have to offer directly to the person you met. You may want to include an updated résumé, a link to an electronic portfolio, or provide better answers to specific questions asked during the event. Thank you/follow-up letters should be received by the employer within 2-5 days after an event. You may not receive a response, but you have done all you can to make your candidacy stand out.
- Many recruiters maintain talent pipelines on LinkedIn or through their applicant tracking system. If relevant, ensure both are up to date and connect with those recruiters as they allow.