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Know Before You Go | Career Fair Tips

Ready for the Career & Internship Fair on Tuesday? The School of Communication’s Director of Career and Internship Services recommends the following:

Before the Fair:

  • Research the Top 5 companies that you are interested in and then pick 3 additional organizations you don’t really know anything about

Where do you look for information?

  • Their websites and social media pages
  • Next? Google
  • Then? check out Hoovers, and Crain’s
  • Have a list of questions to ask the recruiters that shows you did your homework
    • Example:  I read about Ogilvy & Mather recently in Advertising Age, can you tell me more about the company’s leadership structure?
    • Practice your introduction
      • You want to give a firm handshake, make eye contact, smile and then introduce yourself
      • Example: Hello, I’m Matt.  I was glad to see that you would be here today.
      • Have your personal (otherwise known as “elevator”) pitch ready to go
        • Remember:  You want to cover your major, skills, related projects and what you’re looking for
        • Example:  “I’m Tania Smith, a junior in advertising/PR. I’m looking for an internship related to marketing communications for next summer. I read on your web site that (name of company) has an internship program in your marketing communications department. I’ve done some project work that I believe is related to the internship work and I’m very interested in your program.”
        • Check and double check your resume – make sure it’s in great shape
          • 1 page, free of typos, 11 or 12 point font, Times Roman or Arial, White or Cream Paper
  • Professional Dress – Employers ‘qualify’ candidates and sort out who rolled in for the goodies and who’s serious about a job opportunity
    • Nice pants, shirt/blouse and dark dress shoes should get the message across
    • Avoid a Club/Date Look: Flashy jewelry and revealing clothing takes away from the one thing you want employers to pay attention to: your skills and qualifications

At the Fair

  • Practice your introduction at a few companies you are somewhat interested in to work out the kinks before you approach your top choices.
  • Know that Employers Observe candidates as they are talking to other companies — Remember to be consistent
  • Four go-to questions to ask:
    • What are the traits and skills of people who are the most successful within your organization?
    • Why did you come to work here? What keeps you here?
    • What things have your company accomplished of which you are especially proud?
    • What are the next steps in the recruiting process?  When can I follow up?
    • Get the recruiter’s business card at the close of your meeting and make sure to say thank you!

After the Fair

  • Organize all the material you received
  • Write thank-you letters – Recruiters are expecting them!
  • Send within 24 Hours.
  • Your letter should again demonstrate how you would be a “good fit”
  • Make follow-up phone calls
  • Depending on what the recruiter said regarding how and when to follow-up.
  • Call the recruiter to ask about the status of the search

See you on Tuesday! Some of Chicago’s top organizations’ recruiters, hiring managers and executives are ready to meet YOU. So many employers want to meet you that we’ve outgrown our space on campus and we’ve moved just up the street to the Knickerbocker Hotel at 163 E. Walton, across from the Drake.

So polish that resume, shine your shoes and practice your handshake. Groups of SOC students will meet in the lobby at 51 E. Pearson at 2:45 p.m to escort you just up the street to the Knickerbocker’s Ballroom.