Note: Some of the featured advice will be similar to that given before IR. But, since most of it still applies here, I’ve included that too.
The Career Expo is tomorrow, even though it’s only the end of January. For those of you who don’t know what it is, it’s our second biggest career fair (second only to IR). As always though, we’ve got you covered. Here are several simple things to do to prepare for it:
1. Create/update your resume.
If you haven’t done so in a while, MAKE THAT RESUME. Even though some companies encourage you to apply for jobs online anyways, it’s always good to make that great first impression. Who knows, some recruiters conduct interviews the very next day. If you want a pro to help you, the CCO has walk-ins for resume reviews. TIP: use action verbs to describe your past job experiences and leadership roles. Oh and be sure to update your contact information on the top of your resume!
2. Practice your elevator pitch.
Come up with a 30 second/1 minute blurb about who you are, what you’re interested in, and why you are interested in the company. Word of advice: practice it in front of a mirror prior to meeting company reps. Or, even better, practice it in front of your friends/peers/family/dog. That way, you can probably get some tips from them to make it better. Well, unless your dog can give you sound advice, it might not be that helpful; your cat will probably do a better job at that. But, I digress.
3. Pick out your business casual outfit.
Unlike in the fall, when IR was held in Memorial Mall, the Expo will be held at Mackey Arena. Even though it’s going to be indoors, I would still recommend wearing something warm especially since it’s snowing this week. If you choose to carry different shoes to change into once you get there, go for it. Feel free to mix it up a bit, too; if you don’t want to wear a blazer and a blouse, try wearing a nice sweater with muted colors. Just make sure it’s not a festive one–you really don’t want to embarrass yourself.
4. Research on companies you’re interested in.
This is super important: NEVER approach a company without knowing what they do, or worse, without knowing who exactly they are. Otherwise, you’ll end up talking about why you like food to PepsiCo the entire time. You want to make yourself stand out, so try researching on some of the cool things you like about them (i.e. the 787 Dreamliner for Boeing). This also helps you start a conversation with recruiters because it shows them you’re genuinely interested in working for their company.
Remember, don’t feel too intimidated by the recruiters there! In addition to looking at your resumes, they just want to get to know you better and find out what you are passionate about. The best thing to do is to make connections with them (mention that you’re involved with SWE or other organizations!). Even if the first time doesn’t go that well, you’ll get better as the day goes along!
I hope these tips help you all tomorrow! Good luck! 🙂
-Subhiksha, your editor