The Fall 2015 Jump-Start Internship and Job Fair kicks off tomorrow! There will be 46 employers on campus looking to hire Greenlee students, but are you really prepared? Juli Probasco-Sowers, the Greenlee School’s internship coordinator and one of its academic advisors, shares her quick tips to making a great impression on employers and landing the internship of your dreams.
Research companies before you go: Think about which companies interest you and which ones you think you’d like to work at, then try to pick five to ten to research more in depth. Check each company’s website and social media channels and be sure to read more than the featured items on their home pages or “About” sections.
Pro-tip: Check outside sources or online reviews to see what others are saying about them. These can make great talking points at the fair.
Bring copies of your résumé: Potential employers are going to want to see a résumé, so bring multiple copies of yours. If there are specific companies you have in mind, bring a cover letter and résumé tailored just for them. Make sure you highlight your work experiences, and try to focus on experiences that are most relevant to the type of work you’re hoping to go into.
Pro-tip: Employers will be eager to see what you can do, so have your work ready to view in a digital portfolio. Have a business card? Bring copies of those too.
Make a good first impression: Firm handshakes, maintaining eye contact, and good posture are all positive body language signs and important ways to make a good first impression. After the recruiter introduces him- or herself, repeat their name back to show you are paying attention. You should practice introductions before the fair, but don’t stick too closely to your prepared introductions—make sure to show your personality!
Pro-tip: While you may think that employers are too busy to notice you doing laps around the fair before you finally decide to talk with them, that isn’t always the case. Come into the fair and approach each recruiter with confidence to leave the best impression.
Dress nicely and professionally: Try to dress in business causal attire. Your research should come in handy again here, because you should know what each company’s culture is like and what their standards are. More corporate employers will expect more conservative or professional attire.
Pro-tip: Dress as seriously as you want employers to take you—do not show up dressed like you’re going to a party!
Think before you speak: Don’t tell employers you’re there because you need an internship. They know that already, why else would you be there? Make sure that you have some meaningful reason to be talking to recruiters—come prepared with information about the company and your own take on it; don’t just recite their website’s “About” page.
Pro-tip: It’s a dreaded question, but you should also come to the fair with some idea of what direction you’re planning to take your career once you graduate. It’s like majors in college and everyone’s answers will change, but employers appreciate candidates who know what they’re after.
Any questions? Stop by 101 Hamilton and set up an appointment with Juli Probasco-Sowers today!